It has been a rollercoaster start to the 2017 season for the #18 Wild West Jerky team, with 3 races completed in both the UK Oval Legends Championship and CAMSO V8 Series.
The UK Oval Legends Series kicked off at a very wet Ipswich and having never driven a Legends car in the wet, Arnout struggled to be competitive and focused on finishing both heats and the final. With the final being run in the dry, Arnout could run far more competitively and managed to lap within 1/10th of a second of the race winner’s best time.
Northampton was next up on the calendar with several Wild West Jerky and Cruga Biltong staff on hand to see the action. Unfortunately, it was another trying day as Arnout struggled to get used to the tricky handling of a Legends car. The race day finished early with an engine issue preventing the #18 Wild West Jerky and Cruga Biltong Legend from starting the final.
Rounds 1 and 2 of the CAMSO V8 Series took place over the Easter weekend and with Race Car Direct building a brand new Late Model car for 2017, there were high hopes that this would result in an improved championship result from 2016. Testing the week before helped to iron out any teething problems and Arnout managed to lap quicker than he ever has around the 1/4-mile oval.
Two fourth places showed the potential of the car, however an unfortunate accident with team mate Davey Evans caused extensive damage to the #18 Wild West Jerky ASCAR. The mechanics had a lot of work to do before round 3 of the CAMSO V8 series.
Round 3 of the UK Oval Track Legends took place at Birmingham Wheels and after a mid-week test at the same venue, there was finally a significant improvement in speed. With his three rookie races behind him, Arnout was moved up towards the front of the grid and could race competitively for the first time since racing in the Legends series. Two competitive heats were capped off with a 1200cc class win in the final.
The third round of the CAMSO V8 series took place at Warneton and following limited testing due to inclement weather, the #18 Wild West Jerky Late Model car could finish in 3rd place in heat one, albeit whilst spinning backwards over the finish line! Two 6th place finishes in the second heat and final mean that Arnout is now in 5th place overall and only 6 points off third place in the championship.
The next UK Oval Track Legend race is on 29th May at Hednesford with round four of the CAMSO V8 series taking place in June at Warneton.