A ‘You were there’ special
That prime non-championship Formula 1 race, the Oulton Park Gold Cup, is the venue for Neil Dockray’s striking driver portraits
You won’t nowadays find many people who travel to the Oulton Park Gold Cup by coach, but that was how Neil Dockray made it in 1962 — a Wallis Arnold outing from Leeds. “We set off at about Sam,” he says, “but you don’t think about that in your teens.” Neil still regrets he had no camera with him at the 1961 race, when Stirling Moss scored the only 4WD F1 victory in the Ferguson, but he made up for that with some fine portraits from ’62, particularly of his personal hero Innes Ireland. “He was the star of the first meeting I ever went to, at Full Sutton in Yorkshire in 1958, and he remained my favourite.” Neil was to be disappointed by the Scot’s race this time, as his UDT Lotus-Climax’s clutch failed — not that it mattered as he had incurred a 60sec penalty for a jump start.
“My interest was always in the paddock,” says Neil. “Anyway I only had a 50mm lens on my Agfa camera, so action shots were hard. But you got a great view if you climbed on a brick building that was right by the track. Sometimes you’d find the teams there too! Everyone was friendly, even to a lowly spectator.” Neil’s race-going days are gone, but he retains one motor racing ambition — to trek out to the memorial plaque to Innes Ireland near Rubha Reidh lighthouse, Wester Ross, where the driver’s ashes were scattered.