Christie Doran has endured a challenging weekend in the latest round of the VAG Trophy at Oulton Park. Coming off her first ever victory in the previous meeting at Snetterton, Doran was hopeful of more positive results and showed class-leading speed throughout the weekend. Unfortunately Christie suffered from a mechanical failure whilst leading not just her class, but the overall race, which forced her retire from what could possibly have been her best career result to date. Nonetheless, Doran can take a number of positives from the weekend and has continued her excellent progress in the VAG Trophy.
Despite not taking part in any testing in preparation for the weekend, Christie was confident of a good qualifying session coming off the back of her maiden win at Snetterton. Conditions were extremely tricky with rain and an already wet track proving a challenge for the drivers. Nonetheless, Doran was able to improve her lap times during the course of the session to qualify her VW Golf in third place in Class B. With experience to be gained in each and every session, Christie knew she would be able to fight for a podium result in both races later in the day.
Race one took place shortly after with the track conditions still damp and treacherous. Christie made a fantastic start and moved into second in Class B, also entering the top-10 overall with one of her best opening laps all season. Doran’s pace was extremely impressive during the opening stages of the race as she held her position among the fastest Class A cars whilst beginning to catch Class B leader Simon Tomlinson. Although Christie dropped back to third on lap six, she was able to recover lost time and set the fastest lap in class by nearly two seconds. Continuing to gain time on her rivals, Doran finished the eleven lap race in third, narrowly missing out on her second victory in as many races by just three seconds.
Courtesy of her 9th place overall finish in race one, Christie was drawn onto reverse grid pole for the second race of the weekend. This would be a daunting prospect for many drivers, especially when running in a different class to a number of her competitors, but Doran handled the pressure excellently. Making another superb start, Christie held off the quicker Class A cars to lead the opening lap of the race as the safety car was deployed. The next two laps were led by Christie under the safety car but unfortunately she pulled into the pits as the racing resumed, retiring with a mechanical failure. It was a tough end to a race filled with promise for Doran but her race starts were once again impressive, along with ability to handle the pressure of leading the opening lap.
Christie’s performances throughout the meeting further highlight the great progress she has made during the course of the 2016 season. Doran is proving to be a regular front-runner in Class B and has started to take the challenge to a number of Class A contenders. The final race of the VAG Trophy season will take place at Castle Combe on the 8th October with Christie looking to add to her already impressive trophy tally from the season.