The Aston Martin Owners Club 2018 racing season kicked off at Oulton Park in grand style.
It was incredibly busy, probably due to the fact this meeting was held during a VW weekend. However, all these Volkswagen fans certainly seemed to enjoy what was going on on track! Throughout the day I saw many people settled in front of their VW vans or somewhere on the grass near the track watching the races.
An additional bonus for the Aston Martin fans was that there was quite a bit more off track entertainment, market stalls and food/drink stalls. And of course the atmosphere was even better than usual.
This time I was lucky to have a media pass, which meant I could go into the ‘danger zone’ between the armco and the mesh fence. If, as a spectator, you do not already appreciate the work the marshals do, you certainly will if you ever make it to their area. They were very helpful and explained the rules to me, but I did also see them glance in my direction every now and then. I can imagine they don’t really need the additional work of baby sitting media people, but they are there to ensure everything goes smoothly and safely.
One downside to being allowed pretty much anywhere is that I went where I couldn’t hear the commentators. So, unfortunately, I had to miss information on who was in what position or what happened to a car that I couldn’t see coming around again, for example.
This time there was no pre-war race, which I thought was a pity. However, a new race – two, in fact – was the Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship. The grid is quite a mix of cars, but it’s great fun to watch.
My favourite car, the Aston Martin DB4 Lightweight, was once again present. That car always puts a smile on my face, simply because it is stunning.
The other DB4 was also a very welcome sight, but I think my favourite surprise was the 1952 DB2 which raced in both the Equipe Pre ’63 and the Jack Fairman Cup (inc. the JEC XK & Hawthorn Challenges). As you can see by the name, they do tend to put a few races together. This results in rather large grids which of course creates more interesting racing. I mean, how many cars can fit through the first corner at the same time? Even when the cars start stretching their wheels and the grid spreads out there isn’t a very long time that you don’t have anything to watch on track. In fact, with the visibility at Oulton Park being quite good, you can probably always find a car to watch.
During lunch there was a track parade. It was a little bit disappointing to see they only got two laps and I do hope this was not due to the fact there were not as many cars in the parade as I have seen at other race meetings. Thankfully some of the drivers understand the attending petrolheads really well and held back every now and then, only to speed up and let the engine roar. If any of those drivers reads this: thank you. It was awesome.
In 2018 AMOC has five races planned. I’ve been attending only a few years now, but enjoy this so much I hope to be at every race this year. If you still haven’t been to one and you happen to love Astons, I suggest you go. Friendly atmosphere, great racing, great variety of cars on track, in the paddock and the parking areas and – most importantly – it is all about Aston Martin. What’s not to love?