You were there...

Memories of the Oulton Park Gold Cup, ’73 British GP and Gethin vanquishing the Porsches in lnterserie

These evocative photos from the 1966 and ’68 Oulton Park Gold Cup meetings were sent in by Brian Barlow of Lancashire. “I didn’t have a car, so when a friend with a Mini van offered me a lift I jumped at the chance. He was a keen modeller and usually went on practice days which were more informal, so he was allowed to photograph the cars.

“As you can see from the photos, practice for the ’68 Gold Cup was rather wet, but as Ferrari were sending over two cars for Derek Bell and Chris Amon a trip to Oulton was a must. During a heavy downpour we sought refuge in the Ferrari race transporter. We were standing next to an Italian man, quite tall with curly black hair, glasses and an air of importance. It was chief engineer Mauro Forghieri. I wonder what are the chances of entering such hallowed territory these days.”

Wiltshire’s Tim Finney sent in a bundle of shots, these of the 1973 Silverstone British GP meeting being just a few of them. ‘Our family summer holidays were often secretly planned around European grands prix. My mother would whoop with delight when father told her. ‘This year it’s going to be Austria’! My, how she enjoyed herself at the Österreichring!

“We used to hitchhike to Silverstone and occasionally break in through the haphazard fencing. A mate of mine, who’s now a director of a multinational chemical firm, was found by the authorities hanging upside down from barbed wire, snagged by his trousers!” Among the more poignant shots is that of Dave Matthews’s Ford Capri. During the ’73 British GP support race, he would tangle with Gavin Booth’s lapped Mini and Dave Brodie’s Escort in a horrific accident.

Belgium’s Gert van Gelder sent in this excellent shot of Peter Gethin, taken during the June 1971Kent 300 Interserie race at Zolder: “He was driving the Sid Taylor Racing McLaren-Chevrolet M8A and won with Leo Kinnunen second (aboard his AAW Racing Porsche 917 Spyder). Toine Hezemans was third driving the works Autodelta Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3. Sadly Pedro Rodriguez didn’t make the start of the race [with the factory BRM-Chevrolet P167] due to engine problems. I was a boy of 11 when I sat in the grandstand watching it all Three months later Gethin went on to score his one and only grand prix win at Monza for BRM.