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Points for Crees at Oulton Park
Points for Crees at Oulton Park

Kent’s Michael Crees bagged two more Independents Trophy podium results at Oulton Park in Cheshire on Sunday, during the fourth event of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season – but contact in the final race ended a possible hat-trick.

Arriving at Oulton’s 2.3-mile Island Circuit buoyed after claiming his maiden Independents top three at Thruxton a fortnight prior, the Broadstairs racer looked to make continued progress but a difficult qualifying session on Saturday, 11th June, left plenty of work to do.

Rising to the challenge, ‘Creesy’ sliced through from 20th on the grid into 14th position overall in round 10, third in the Independents Trophy, and then finished an enhanced 13th in round 11 – also third in class. In round 12, though, his Vauxhall Astra was caught-up in the fallout of a collision midway around the first lap and the damage caused led to instant retirement.

Able to maintain eighth in the Independents Trophy standings even so, the Glencar Construction, Geberit, DDS Group, PCS, Fire Control Services, CTD, Blue Rock Systems, Aquadart and BITA backed driver is only 12 points shy of the top five in the class championship.

Creesy had a lot of work to do in the opening encounter on Sunday, round 10, and although he wasn’t able to make immediate progress from the 10th row of the overall grid he soon got into his stride after a fairly early Safety Car period – caused by a car in the barriers at Deer Leap.

Moving up into 18th position, by lap 12 he was 16th and knocking on the door of the outright points paying top 15. Two laps later he made the breakthrough, leaping into 14th place, where he stayed to the flag on lap 18 – also securing third in the Independents Trophy class.

From the seventh row of the grid in round 11, the Vauxhall Astra racer gained one place on the first lap and ran strong and consistent pace with the top 10 tantalisingly close. In the end, Creesy had to settle for 13th positon overall but the result once again marked third in the Independents for his second class podium of the day and third in succession.

With a great opportunity to challenge for even more in round 12, any hopes were undone on the opening lap of the weekend’s final BTCC encounter when Creesy was powerless to prevent a luckless retirement after a multi-car accident.

As three cars made contact just over the crest at Hill Top, the ensuing chaos meant drivers had to take major avoiding action. Moving onto the grass on the right-hand side to try and avoid the aftermath, unfortunately Creesy could do nothing when Daniel Lloyd’s damaged Hyundai appeared in his path and the inevitable contact ruled the No.777 Astra out on the spot.

Speaking after the weekend, Crees said: “On Saturday we were losing our pace, we made it difficult for ourselves, but I’m quite satisfied with what we did on Sunday, coming back with solid performances and some good overtaking. We had another impressive start in race one, in race two we held the pace and held our own – on pace we should be there. Then we got caught-up in the incident in race three which was unfortunate, nothing I could do about that, and I’m just glad everyone was OK and walked away from it.

“It’s such a shame [race three] because we just need to have that little bit of luck on our side. We’ve missed out on three races now, and we’ve obviously missed those points. When we have finished this year we’ve more or less always been in the points, so onto Croft next and see what happens there. Hopefully we can have a completely clean weekend and get more points on the board.”

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