TNR’s Jepp takes Challenge class and Overall pole at Oulton Park

Qualifying Result - Oulton Park - May 2024 (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

Richard Jepp, driving the #65 Team Northbrook Racing Peugeot 107, got the weekend off to a flying start for Emma Norton’s squad by taking overall and class pole position for the opening race of the Oulton Park double-header for rounds four and five of the 2024 Student Motorsport Challenge. Jepp put in a 2:15.757 on his sixth and final lap to finish the 15-minute session over a second quicker than Brady Pollock in the #12 West Suffolk College Toyota Aygo. 

Completing the top three in the Student Motorsport Challenge class was defending BRSCC Nankang Tyre CityCar Cup champion Elliot Lettis, making his Challenge debut in the #3 City College Norwich Peugeot. Lettis lapped in 2:17.331 to finish sixth quickest overall.

Elliot Lettis - City College Norwich - Race 1 Oulton Park (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

Originally a grid of 14 cars for the second weekend of the Challenge, the #87 Team Northbrook Racing entry had to be withdrawn after an incident in Friday’s practice sessions. Barracksport, the Oxford-based team who made their debut in 2022, had worked all night to change the engine in their #11 Citroen and were still working to cure a small oil leak minutes before James Reilly had to leave for qualifying.

Elliot Lettis - City College Norwich - Race 1 Oulton Park (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

The session was red flagged shortly after it began after a spin at Turn 1 and when green flag running resumed, it was TNR’s Ricard Jepp in the #65 TNR Peugeot that went to the top of the timing screens with a 2:17.446 followed by Boston College Racing’s Rory Pickles with a 2:19.432 in the #52 Citroen. Jepp went quicker again with 2:16.512 as QE Motorsports’ Joshua Jackson, class winner last time out at Snetterton went second quickest in class with a 2:18.001.

Rory Pickles- BCR - Qualifying Oulton Park (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

Making his Challenge debut was 2023 CityCar Cup Champion Elliot Lettis in the #3 City College Norwich Peugeot who put in a 2:17.833 to go second quickest in class and fourth quickest overall.

Jepp was the first driver to lap in under 2:16 with a 2:15.969 on his fifth lap which he improved to 2:15.757 on his final lap.

West Suffolk College’s Brady Pollock put in a flying final lap to qualify second in class with a 2:17.032 with CCN’s Elliot Lettis third quickest in the Challenge class with a 2:17.331.

Brady Pollock - WSC ME - Qualifying Oulton Park (Photo: Roger Jenkins)

QE Motorsports’ Joshia Jackson was fourth quickest in class followed by teammate Haydn Payne. Barracksport’s James Reilly was sixth quickest followed by BCR’s Rory Pickles, ESC’s Jack Wheeler, Barracksport’s Matty Prance and Sussex Motorsports’ Colin Dunn. WSC’s Andrew Payne, BCR’s Nick Abbott and CCN’s Glenn Bee complete the Challenge class qualifiers.

“The session was a challenge,” said Richard Jepp. “There is a new format to qualifying this year and it’s a bit of a free-for-all for the line up rather than in Championship order as it was previously so I had to find some space. I found space and the car felt really good. The team have done a great job and we spent a lot of time working on the car yesterday during practice. 

“It’s difficult to pass on this circuit. It’s very narrow and incidents can happen the further back you are so I’m glad to be on the front row. It’s my first ever overall pole so hopefully I can drive off into the distance.”

West Suffolk College’s Brady Pollock was pleased with the car and is looking to the first race.

“We had the speed the whole session and it was a case of waiting for some space in traffic,” said Brady Pollock. “There was a lot of traffic but we made our way through it and got a clean lap.”

“If I can get a clean start, because we struggled to get away at Snetterton, I think we can do well in the race.”

Race One, round four of the 2024 Student Motorsport Challenge, gets underway at 11.55.