Tag Archives: Oulton Park

For The Whole Family – Eagle 74A #74A004

After building Eagle Mk5 chassis, based on the ’67 Belgian Grand Prix winning Eagle Mk 1, for two consecutive Formula A champions Lou Sell (’68) and Tony ‘A-Z’ Adamowicz (’69) Dan Gurney’s All American racers refrained from building any more Formula A renamed Formula 5000 cars until 1974 while he focused on his Indy programme.

Eagle 74A, Michael Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

At the end of 1973 AAR built a Formula 5000 Eagle 74A show car which I believe has never been raced, three more 74A’s followed two for the Jorgensen Steel supported works team and one, today’s featured chassis #74A004, that was built for Francisco Mir Racing based in Santa Monica, California.

Eagle 74A, Michael Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Francisco Mir Racing entered #74A004 for Nestor Garcia Veiga to drive in the second and third rounds of the 1974 SCCA/USAC Formula 5000 championship. Nestor came recorded a 6th place finish at Mosport but failed to qualify for the final at Watkins Glen.

Eagle 74A, Michael Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

With sponsorship from Mr Marty Italian Lella Lombardi was then employed to drive #74A004 at Ontario California where she finished 14t after finishing 5th in her heat ahead of her team mate James Hunt running in a Mr Marty Lola T332.

Eagle 74A, Frank Lyons, Silverstone Classic

Hitherto ’74 works driver Elliot Forbes-Robinson drove #74A004 at Laguna Seca where he retired and at the final round of the ’74 Championship John Morton drove the car to a seventh place finish.

Eagle 74A, Michael Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Mike Koslowski bought #74A004 in 1975 the only result I have found for it in his owner ship was a did not start, DNS, when he entered Ron Dykes, who qualified 23rd, for the race that turned out to be the last ever SCCA USAC Formula 5000 event at Riverside in October 1976.

Eagle 74A, Frank Lyons, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

The ownership trail of #74A004 continued in the USA until 2002 when Ian Giles brought the car to the UK. Since 2005 the car has belonged to the Lyons family, son Michael Lyons with the black helmet is seen driving the car at this years (2014) Gold Cup meeting where he came second in the first race and won the second. Father Frank Lyons is seen driving the car at Silverstone in 2012 and Oulton Park in 2011, Mother Judy Lyons has also raced this car on occasion.

Thanks for joining me on this “For The Whole Family” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


2014 Highlights – Motor Racing

45 years after I was taken to my first motor race meeting in the middle of Africa it is hard to believe that one of my greatest joy’s is getting up in the middle of the night and heading to the next one.

M4 East Bound

This year I managed to get to at an average of one meeting month from March through to October.

Gould GR55, Colin Calder, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe,

For the last couple of seasons my motor racing year has got underway in March marshaling at the Bristol Motor Clubs Great Western Sprint, this year my duties in the pit lane were over for the top ten run off, above Colin Calder made his 15 hour trip from Scotland worthwhile by grinding out the fastest time of the day narrowly pipping his daughter heather by just over 1/10 of a second.

Lola, Goodliff, Elva, Woodhouse, VSCC Spring Start, Silverstone

The VSCC Spring Start meeting at Silverstone saw the start of the 80th Anniversary of ERA celebrtions, top race of the day was the Formula Junior event which saw a race long scrap twixt the red 1960 Lola Mk2 of Simon Goodliff and the 1959 Elva 100 driven by Mark Woodhouse fall in Simon’s favour.

Ocon, Verstappen, Dallara F312, Silverstone

2014 was Max Verstappen’s first season in car racing, in his third car race ever, above, he is seen overtaking Esteban Ocon on his way to second place in the 3rd European Formula Three championship of the season run at the Silverstone 6 Hours meeting. Even then he probably would have found it unlikely to believe that aged seventeen years and one hundred and sixty-six days old he is set to become the youngest driver ever to start a Formula One Grand Prix when making his 33rd race car start driving a Torro Rosso in the 2015 Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne next season.

Benhard / Webber / Hartley, Porsche 919 Hybrid, 6 Hours of Silverstone

The 6 Hours of Silverstone meeting was my second visit to Silverstone in 8 days. Timo Benhard Mark Webber and Brandon Hartley in the #20 Porsche 919 Hybrid above started the event in 6th place and survived to finish 3rd. At the end of the season Mark Webber became world news and ended up in hospital after crashing his 919 Hybrid with in half an hour of the finish of the race run in São Paulo an event which completely eclipsed the fact that #14 Porsche 919 Hybrid team mates Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb went on to score the teams first World Endurance Championship race win since returning to top level endurance racing at the start of the year.

Maserati MC12 Goodwood Cent 100, Michael Bartels, Goodwood Festival of Speed

At the end of June I popped over to Goodwood for the Festival of Speed where Sebastian Loeb driving his 2013 Pikes Peak winning Peugeot 208 was tipped to make an attempt on the Goodwood Hillclimb course record set by ‘Quick Nick’ Heidfeld driving a Formula One McLaren Mercedes in 1999. Dark horse for the Goodwood Hillclimb turned out to be Michael Bartles driving the specially liveried Maserati MC12 ‘Goodwood Cent 100’ which finished just over a second down on Loeb who missed taking the outright record thanks to the gearing being short on top speed.

Lotus Cortina, Shedden, Meaden, Silverstone Classic,

Gordon Shedden and Richard Meaden provided the tyre smoking dice of the day driving their Lotus Cortina’s on the Super Saturday morning of the Silverstone Classic meeting. Richard Meaden seen following above won with team mate Grant Tromans after Gordon’s car over heated during the mandatory pit stop in the Sir John Whitmore Trophy.

07 14 07 26 Lola T70 Voyazides Hadfield_2455sc

Having already won the Mustang Celebration trophy during the afternoon of the Super Saturday Silverstone Classic meeting Leo Voyazides swapped his Ford Falcon for his Lola T70 Coupé and won the FIA Historic Masters Sports Cars race with Simon Hadfield after Martin O’Connel’s 2 litre/122 cui Chevron B19 mysteriously went off road with out injury to the driver.

Mallock Mk 9, Michael Mallock, Oulton Park,

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend I managed to get up to Oulton Park for the Gold Cup meeting, while the day was fairly wet and miserable the racing was hot from beginning to end. Michael Mallock achieved the rare feet of not only winning a race in a car, #9 Mallock Mk 9 Formula Ford, bearing his family name but also beating a field of rear engined Formula Ford cars with the only vehicle carrying it’s engine in front of the driver.

Plymouth Satellite, Cheng Lim, Brighton Speed Trials,

Having encouraged readers to help save Brighton Speed Trials at the beginning of the year I managed to make my way down to Sussex for the saved event in September. Slowest car in the event but none the less entertaining was Cheng Lim’s Plymouth Satellite.

BY-Pod, Chipping Sodbury School, Renishaw Castle Combe Heat 2014

Counting as one of the most awesome vehicles I have seen all season is Chipping Sodbury Schools BY-Pod electric vehicle taking part in the Renishaw Castle Combe Heat 2014 of the Greenpower Challenge. I left the meeting with my spirits for the future of motorsport in what ever form it might take thoroughly uplifted.

Cooper Mk X, Steve Jones, Cooper Mk XI, George Shackleton, BAC MSC Challenge Trophy, Autumn Classic, Castle Combe,

One of the many highlights of the third Autumn Classic meeting run at Castle Combe was the dice between the Cooper 500 Formula 3 cars of Steve Jones and George Shackleton for the BAC MSC Challenge Trophy, Steve claimed the spoils in his slightly older #74 Mark X. Next year among the many attractions of the 4th Autumn Classic at Castle Combe on October 3rd will be one of the BRM V16’s which for my money would be worth the price of entry if nothing else showed up.

Thanks for joining me on this “2014 Highlights” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Americana Thursday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Almost Superflous – Lola Chevrolet T332/T330 #HU23

Towards the end of 1973 although the Lola T330 had not won any Formula 5000 (F5000) championships outright, though one had been used to assist Jody Scheckter win his US F5000 title alongside his Trojan, the Lola T330 was rapidly becoming the fastest car on the US and British circuits when the company sold it first improved T332 models with fashionable tall airbox and a rudimentary body extension over the motor to the rear axle.

Lola T332, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Today’s featured car has a history complicated by the fact that the T330 #HU23 chassis plate was actually fitted to a T330 bought in July 1973 by Australian Johnnie Walker and fitted with a Repco Holden V8.

Lola T332, Neil Glover, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

After Johnnie severely damaged his T330 at Surfers Paradise in September 1974 he replaced the chassis with a new T332 type, but stuck the T330 HU23 chassis plate on it. Possibly to save himself some import taxes. The de-plated T330 chassis was subsequently repaired and is now referred to by experts as T330 HU23(A) while today’s feature chassis is referred to by experts as T330 HU23(B), for the purpose of this blog I shall continue to refer to today’s featured chassis as T330 HU23 as there will be no further reference to the de-plated chassis crashed at Surfers Paradise.

Lola T332, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Still using the salvaged Repco Holden V8, Johnnie was a regular top four finisher in the 1975 Tasman series winning at Surfers Paradise which made him a title contender, in today’s featured car, two races before the series finale at Sandown Park.

Lola T332, Neil Glover, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

At the finale, with the title all but wrapped up, Johnnie started from pole before crashing when his car inexplicably turned left on the back straight on the opening lap. Johnnie rebuilt the HU23 and continued to race the car until February 1976.

Lola T332, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Peter Edwards bought HU23 in 1977 and continued to race it with a Chevrolet motor, similar to the Small Block Chevrolet seen above, until 1982. Peter sold HU23 on to Bernie Van Elsen who had HU23 stripped and the parts, including the motor but excluding the chassis, fitted to the Veskanda Group C sports car being built in Adelaide by Dale Koennecke and Harry Aust of K&A Engineering with help from former ex VDS Can Am engineers John and Bob Murphy.

Lola T332, Neil Glover, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

After selling his car Jonnie drove a Lola T330 belonging to fellow competitor Max Stewart in 1977 but that only lasted until Max was killed driving his Lola T400 during a practice session at Calder Park in October 1977.

In the aftermath of the tragedy Johnnie entered into an agreement to race the Lola T332, actually plated T330 22 by former owner Kevin Bartlett, in the Magnum Wheels livery of owner Martin Sampson until they won the Australian Gold Star series, after which both agreed they would retire from the sport.

Jonnie won the Australian Grand Prix at Waneroo and the Gold Star series in 1979. At the end of the final race of the series at Sandown Park Jonnie pulled into his pit to pick up Martin so that they could both complete a lap of honour in a final farewell to the sport an event which can be seen in the second photo of this Nostalgia Forum post by Ray Bell

Note the 1979 Sandown Park race was also the same one in which Kevin ‘KB’ Bartlet crashed the Brabham BT43 I featured last week and that Jonnie Walker is seen driving Martin Sampson’s Magnum Wheels Lola T332, T330 HU22, in the background of the photo of Kevin before his crash. That Lola T332, T330 HU22, is obviously not the same one as T330 HU23 featured in today’s post, as I incorrectly believed it to be last week.

Chassis T330 #HU23 appears to have been restored by Hall & Hall in 2001 and has been raced in the white and orange Magnum Wheels livery of Martin Sampson by Neil Glover who is seen at the wheel in these photographs, all taken at Oulton Park, since 2007. Last year, 2013, Neil won the Derek Bell Trophy with the car.

My thanks to Ray Bell, author with Tony Loxley of F5000 Thunder, for his infinite patience with my infinite dumb questions, to both Ray and Lee Nicole at the Nostalgia Forum for giving me a run down of some of the differences between a Repco Holden and Small Block V8 and to facebook acquaintances,Tom Rosenthal, Peter Brennan, Phil Straver, Stephen Morici, Dave Hudson, Sam Henderson, Dave Wolin, John S Buckley, Peter Phillips, Rob McDonald, Graham Wadsworth, Tim Meehan, Derek Kneller, Steve Price, Cliff Bennett, Darren Ciantar, Rory McDonald, Danny Fondren and Bill Sherwood.


Wider & Longer Cockpit – Flash Special

In 1957 while Jack Brabham was building the Cooper T43 for an almost complete season of Formula One the Cooper Car Company was still predominantly dependent on selling open wheelers for the “500” Formula 3 class, their 1957 500 F3 model was known as the Mk XI even though it was little changed from the 1956 Mk X and 1955 Mk IX models that preceded it.

West London launderette and dry cleaning operator Albert Zains had been racing Cooper 500 Formula 3 cars since 1954, for some long forgotten reason he ordered his 1957 Cooper XI to be built with a cockpit 2 inches wider and 2 inches longer than standard.

Flash Special, Roy Wright, Oulton Park

Albert’s own size is not thought to have played any part in the decision, he christened his Norton powered car the Flash Special.

Of the cars known results up to 1960 when Albert appears to have retired from racing were 5 third place finishes all recorded in 1958, two of which were scored by Albert, two with Ian Raby at the wheel and one with Syd Jensen.

Flash Special, Roy Wright, Oulton Park

Albert appears to have been part owner and one time racer of a Lotus Eleven chassis #168 which post Albert’s involvement in 1958 became known as the “Singapore Eleven” with fellow 500 F3 exponent Gordon Jones.

The Flash Special was fitted with a Triumph motor in 1970 and is seen in these photo’s with current owner Roy Wright at the wheel at last years Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting.

Flash Special, Roy Wright, Oulton Park

Thanks for joining me on this “Wider & Longer” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another ERA. Don’t forget to come back now !


Advancing Suspension – Petty Norton

Acknowledged Norton tuning expert Ray Petty, no known relationship to the Petty’s of Level Cross, NC, turned his attention to building a 500 Formula 3 car in late 1955.

Petty Norton, Oulton Park

The Petty Norton featured a space frame chassis and suspension with rocker arm actuated inboard coil springs and shock absorbers at the front and de Dion rear with a transverse leaf spring.

Petty Norton, Oulton Park

Powered by one of Ray’s tuned 497 cc / 30.3 cui Norton Motors Alan Cowley led on the cars debut at the Boxing Day Brands Hatch meeting, until he spun into retirement.

Petty Norton, Castle Combe

Alan continued driving the Petty Norton through 1956, with Ray Petty taking over for the Brighton Speed Trials and Freddie Campbell for the Commander Yorke 100 mile race at Silverstone in September 1956.

Petty Norton, Nigel Challis, 500 F3, Oulton Park

The Petty Norton is not known to have competed in 1957, though why remains a mystery since when Jeremy Menzies took over the wheel in 1958 he recorded at least three “Junior” wins at Brands Hatch and a respectable 4th in the Commander Yorke 100 run in August 1958.

Petty Norton, Nigel Challis, BAC MSA Challenge, Castle Combe

Dave Lecoq driving the unique Petty Nroton won the Earl of March Trophy at Goodwood in 2005.

Petty Norton, Nigel Challis, BAC MSA Challenge, Castle Combe

Seen at the wheel at Oulton Park in 2013 and Castle Combe two weeks ago is present owner Nigel Challis.

Thanks for joining me on this “Advanced Suspension” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l pscho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1936 ERA. Don’t forget to come back now !


Pinacle Of 500cc F3 Design – Staride Mk 3

Mike Erskine Speedway rider who owned a factory that manufactured motor vehicle radiators who also built Staride frames for Speedway motorcycle racing in Southampton.

Staride Mk3, Xavier Kingsland, Gurston Down.

At the end of 1951 he quit Speedway and started building a prototype 500cc Formula 3 car to a design, an evolution of a Kieft design, by former Kieft designer Dean Delamont and Cecil Mitchell for John Hambin.

Staride Mk3, Xavier Kingsland, Gurston Down.

On it’s debut at Goodwood in April 1952 John finished 4th. A production protoype Staride also appeared in 1952.

Staride Mk3, Xavier Kingsland, Gurston Down.

For 1953 a production run was started and Reg Bicknell who had successfully built and raced the Revis was one of the works supported drivers.

Staride Mk3, Xavier Kingsland, Gurston Down.

Reg was a regular top three finisher in International Formula 3 events through 1953 as was Dennis Taylor in 1954.

Staride Mk3, Xavier Kingsland, Oulton Park.

It is believed 10 Starides, weighing 500lbs, were built and they were offered for sale at £550 less engine and gearbox.

Staride Mk3, Xavier Kingsland, Oulton Park.

Today’s featured 1953 Staride Mk3 is seen at Gurston Down and Oulton Park last year with Xavier Kingland at the wheel.

Anyone within traveling distance of Castle Combe will have the opportunity to see 500cc Formula 3 cars, like the Staride and Revis I looked at last week, tomorrow where they will be racing for the Bristol Aeroplane Company Motor Sports Club Challenge Trophy along with seven more races and a plethora of classic car demonstrations and static displays.

Thanks for joining me on this “Pinacle Of 500cc F3 Design” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I be starting an 80th Anniversary Celebration of English Racing Automobiles (ERA). Don’t forget to come back now.


Unlike A Cooper – Revis

Reg Bicknell from Southampton was an entrepreneur who built up several business which eventually included dealing in cars, running pubs and managing amusement arcade machines.

After being demobed from the Royal Air Force where he served as a night fighter pilot Reg returned to his auto sales and repair business.

Revis, Mallory Park

Inspired by a copy of the Formula Three magazine IOTA in a pub he determined that he too could have a go at building a car, without interfering with his business commitments, to compete in the formula aimed at the impecunious.

Reg drew up nine criteria for his car before he started which began with “1. Be as unlike a Cooper as possible” and went on to include all round independent suspension, all parts to be made from scratch and so forth.

Revis, Mallory Park

He began building the car in the winter of 1950 with his teen neighbour Brian Trew after first getting a set of magnesium alloy wheel rims cast which could be bolted on to the brake drums.

The first JAP powered variant of the car was finished in late 1951 after many build problems particularly with the suspension were overcome by trial and error.

Revis, Mallory Park

Reg’s car initially proved too heavy and unreliable so over the winter of 1951 Reg ditched the independent rear suspension for a swing axle arrangement and during 1952 he replaced the JAP engine with a heavier more powerful “double knocker”, twin cam, Norton motor but still managed to bring the overall weight down from 625 lbs to 560 lbs.

These refinements along with replacing the pair of rear brakes with a single inboard unit turned the Revis into an altogether more competitive machine and Reg clocked up 2 wins and numerous placings along with a shared lap record at Goodwood during 1952.

Revis, Mallory Park

In 1953 Reg took the offer of a semi works ride with Staride, but on his only outing in the Revis took another win at Silverstone.

For 1954 Reg replaced the conventional aluminium body work of the Revis with a rough home made fibre glass nose that enclosed the front wheels, in this configuration Reg clocked up 10 more wins during 1954.

Revis, Mallory Park

The following season Reg abandoned the original Revis for the Revis II and in 1956 the original Revis seen here was shipped to the USA for future SCCA champion Pierre Moin who raced the car 5 or 6 times as an open wheel car with a Triumph twin motor without much success.

The Revis had further unreliable outings until at least 1961 and was brought back to the UK from Canada by present owner Richard Bishop Miller in 2009.

Revis, Bishop-Miller, Oulton Park

Reg Bicknell would go on to share a Lotus XI with Peter Joop in at Le Mans in 1956 where the pair finsihed 7th overall and 1st in class.

At the beginning of the 2014 season Richard Bishop Miller had the misfortune to fracture his vertebra after the Cooper of John Turner landed on top of him at the VSCC Silverstone Spring Start meeting.

Fortunately while Richard was recovering in hospital the Revis was striped and repaired so that both car and driver could return to the track at Zandvoort in Holland a couple of weeks ago.

Richard hopes to make the trip down from the Lake District to Castle Combe for the VSCC meeting on Sunday October 5th and I for one shall look forward to seeing him compete for the The Bristol Aeroplane Company Motor Sports Club Challenge Trophy for the “500” Formula Three cars which have not been seen at Castle Combe since 1955.

Thanks for joining me on this “Unlike A Cooper” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a concept competition car from Renault. Don’t forget to come back now !