On Bank Holiday Monday a couple of weeks ago I picked up GALPOT contributor Tim Murray and headed 175 miles north to Oulton Park for the second day of the Gold Cup meeting which marked the circuits 60th Anniversay. When we got there we met friends Simon and Phil from The Nostalgia Forum who directed us toward the control Tower where Steve Jones invited us to a cup of coffee and we met Alan Cox who also puts in a regular appearance on these pages.
Afterwards Tim and I had a wonder around the paddock where we found Greg Thornton’s Formula One March 761 resplendent in the colours of Sweden as would have been seen in the hands of Ronnie Peterson. Greg was declared the winner of the opening Derek Bell Trophy race of the day after Micheal Lyons experienced a pinion failure in his Lola T400 Formula 5000 car and an accident in which no one was hurt blocked the track.
Despite a sagging rear wing James Dodd driving his, non period, Martini liveried 1976 Chevron B36 appropriately won the Martini Trophy for 2 litre / 122 cui sports cars.
I only ever saw Patrick Watts 1998 British Touring Car Championship Peugeot 406 racing on the television but I spent many hundreds of happy hours driving one just like it in a Play Station game called TOCA 2, Patrick found his old car in Australia. Unfortunately he did not finish the Super Touring Trophy which was won by the versatile James Dodd who didn’t have time to celebrate his Martini Trophy win in the Chevron B36 before jumping into his Honda Accord.
The Historic Formula Fords can always be relied on to provide entertaining racing, Sam Mitchell and Callum Grant in their #40 and #1 Merlyn MK 20’s were never much further apart than this through out the 20 min race. Callum eventually got the better of Sam to take the chequered flag.
Nelson Rowe won the Amitstead Barnett Financial Services Formula Ford 2000 race and sowed up the Historic Formula Ford 2000 championship with a fine win in his Reynard SF79, the #10 Delta T81 of Derek Smith above has a chassis design going back to 1978 which was penned by none other than Patrick Head went on to form a formidable partnership with Frank Williams.
The Historic Touring Cars also provided a hugely entertaining spectacle above the #14 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super of Bob Schukburgh takes the bumpy route as he tries to pass a couple Hillman Imps, the #4 Mini was driven by British Olympic Cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy. Richard Dutton in the red and gold #35 Ford Mustang worked his way up from the back of the grid to 5th place in the race which was won by Mark Jones in a Ford Lotus Cortina.
A welcome Antipodean novelty in the Libre race for Classic Racing Cars was the Alton AR2 powered by a Holden straight six driven by Henry Ooterbaan, the race was won by Andy Jones driving his father Ian’s Lotus 59.
If the first Derek Bell Trophy race disappointed because of it’s premature end, the second made up for it by the bucket load. With Micheal Lyons Lola rendered hors d’combat by it’s gearbox Micheal’s father Frank stepped aside to let his son race the family Hesketh 308E with which he started from the back of the grid. For the first 5 laps Neil Glover driving the #10 Lola T300/332 kept Greg Thornton in the #32 March 761 at bay by which time Micheal Lyons joined the fun. Greg on the left is seen above about to over take Neil in the Lola while Micheal on the right is about to pass on the outside on lap six. On the following lap Micheal got past Greg to take a comfortable win. Afterwards I was left wondering what Micheal might have achieved in his Mum Judy’s Surtees TS9.
Steve Jones won the 500cc / 30.5 cui Formula 3 race in his Cooper, above the #7 Petty of Nigel Challis leads the #65 Smith Buckler of Richard de la Roche and #89 Cooper Mk 4 of Shirley Monro in the squable for 10th place, Challis finished the race ahead of Monro and de la Roche.
John Harrison led the Classic Clubmans race from lights to flag, above the #77 Ladybird Mk6B driven by Bob Yarwood was built by Oulton Park legend Derek Walker, who is credited with winning more races than anyone else at Oulton Park. Derek received a special award for his achievement during the meeting.
As the sun atarted to set the final race of the day was FISCAR Team Handicap race for sports cars built in the 1950’s was won by Brian Arculus in the #71 Lotus Elite.
After a quick sausage and chips washed down by a strong cup of tea it was time to head the 175 miles into the evening with the heavy bank holiday weekend traffic listening to Radio 2 which was celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the release of Dark Side Of The Moon.
Thanks for joining me on this “60th Anniversary” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for Americana Thursday tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1958 racing Corvette. Don’t forget to come back now !