Challenging times for Bradley Gravett at Oulton Park

Bradley Gravett suffered one of the the most challenging weekends of his time in the Vertu MINI CHALLENGE at Oulton Park as the 2024 season reached the half-way stage.

Bradley headed to the Cheshire circuit on the back of a hectic weekend at Snetterton in which he had equalled his best result of the season to date and picked up a brace of top six finishes.

Things didn’t start well for the EXCELR8 Motorsport racer in Friday practice however, with a gearbox issue in the opening session leaving him well off the pace having been able to put just six laps on the board.

With the issue fixed for the second session, Bradley was able to get some meaningful running under his belt, and would end up with the sixth quickest time - boosting confidence going into Saturday’s qualifying session.

The lost track time on Friday would come back to haunt Bradley however as, despite improving his lap time by well over half a second, he would end up ninth on the timesheets as his rivals made greater improvements.

With Oulton Park being one of the most difficult circuits on the calendar on which to overtake, Bradley went into race one firmly on the back foot but a storming start saw him rocket up to fifth on the opening lap.

Hopes of a strong result would be ended by a lock-up that left Bradley struggling to stop the car going into the tight Island hairpin, which resulted in him being overhauled by a number of his rivals to slip back down the order.

A five second penalty for exceeding track limits then didn’t help his cause, and resulted in Bradley being classified eleventh at the finish.

Despite losing ground at the start of race two, Bradley had worked his way back into the top ten when NAPA Racing team-mates Jamie Osborne and Lewis Selby clashed ahead at the final corner.

Electing to try and take the inside line to avoid a collision, Bradley was instead collected by Selby as he attempted to regain control which put Bradley into retirement on the spot - bringing a challenging weekend to a disappointing conclusion.

“I’m sure there are words to describe how the weekend panned out at Oulton Park, but I’m struggling to find them,” he said. “I felt confident on the back of some solid pace at Snetterton, and probably even more so despite the problems we had to contend with in testing considering we ended up inside the top six.

“I think its fair to say that that was as good as things got however, as the race weekend itself just didn’t go my way. Although I went quicker in qualifying, the loss of track time on Friday ultimately hampered my performance compared to the rest of the field and at a circuit like Oulton Park, you have to be at the front if you want to chase a top result.

“I actually made a really good start in race one to climb up into the top five and for the first few laps, I felt we could actually be on for something special but then I started to struggle with the brakes a bit, particularly going into the hairpin.

“It meant I was a bit of a sitting duck and to cross the line back in tenth - and then lose another spot to track limits - was so disappointing considering what might have been.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t repeat the start in race two but I was still making up places when the two NAPA cars clashed and I had nowhere to go. It sums up my luck that they both managed to continue, whereas I was left on the side of the circuit with a heavily damaged car.

“The results this season have been far from what I was looking for and largely through no fault of my own, as I’ve had an unbelievable amount of misfortune in the opening half of the year. The summer break comes at a good time to hit the reset button, and having discovered something on the car this weekend that I think had been holding us back, I’ll be looking to come out fighting when the action resumes.”

Bradley Gravett is supported by GERKO, Third Millennium, Ultimate Car Control, My Custom Workwear, Scalextric, Elite Vehicle Chargers, Flying TV, Bradbury Racing, Tesouro Timepiece, Oak Road Motor Factors.


Challenging times for Bradley Gravett at Oulton Park


Challenging times for Bradley Gravett at Oulton Park


Challenging times for Bradley Gravett at Oulton Park