Four-Wheel-Drive Successful in Gold Cup Race Moss Wins At Ouiton Park, The Ferguson Making History
OULTON PARK is such a pleasant place, with such tolerant officials, that a visit there is always welcome and now M and improved roads are open it is within 31 hours or so of London. The October International Gold Cup Race is an important occasion and Cheshire Car Circuit Ltd. deserved better of entrants this year. A weekly motor paper told us that, Ferrari apart, an entire Grand Prix field would be present, a truly International occasion. Remembering a year when I went up with ” D. S. J.” and was pleasantly surprised to find the LanciaFerraris racing, I set off early on the Friday with a keen sense of anticipation, swapping the Herald for a Singer Vogue outside Coventry and proceeding to the circuit with the photographer. Alas, on arrival we found that Porsche had scratched at the last moment, so Gurney and Bonnier were not to be seen, and that the new British V8 engines were being reserved for Watkins Glen, so that the only thing International about the meeting was the presence of Masten Gregory (u.D.T. Lotus), Seidel (Lotus) and the Frenchman Collomb (Cooper).
However, Moss was there with the four-wheel-drive, frontengined Ferguson, the car very smartly turned out, and having the latest Mk. II Climax engine on this, its third racing appearance. Indeed, the entire Gold Cup field was Climax-powered!
It looked like being a fierce race, because eleven drivers had broken the former 11-litre lap record, fastest being McLaren in Atkins’ Cooper (t min. 44.6 sec.), followed by Moss (Ferguson) in I min. 4.4.8 sec. Third fastest was Hill’s B.R.M., in t min. 45.0 sec., 0.2 sec. quicker than Clark’s Lotus, these four on the front row of the grid.
Friday had been a golden autumnal day, with Oulton looking its very best, and after a walk along Chester’s ancient wall at midnight we retired to bed in a very ” horsey ” hotel, looking forward to sunshine and falling leaves on the morrow.
Alas, a bright morning gave way to heavy rain as the F.J. , race commenced, with the interesting result that Parkes failed to hold his initial lead in the Gemini, which had lost a gear and was suffering from grabbing brakes, and Maggs’ Cooper-Austin won the t9-lap Redcx Trophy at -75.58 m.p.h. from Proctor’s Alexis-Ford and Love’s Cooper-Austin, Ouvaroff’t Ausper-Ford fourth—who says there is a one-make monopoly in F.J. racing ? Team Lotus had a bad day, Ashdown losing a minute for jumping the start and Taylor going Out with transmission trouble when coming through fast. Maggs and Love, both in 1,too-c.c. Tyrrell Coopers, tied for fastest lap, at 78.26 m.p.h.
Before the Gold Cup the drivers were paraded in a fleet of Army Champs—a good idea, but rather too redolent of 1939 for my comfOrt. Tony Brooks missed his—no doubt he intends to remain a civilian!
Rain fell fitfully during the big race. Graham Hill made a brave bid to retain his initial lead, snatched from Clark after three laps, but Moss, the Ferguson in its element, came by on lap six of this 05-mile F. r race. For some time Hill hung on, then Stirling drew away, the B.R.M. second, McLaren third but not fulfilling practice-time promise, World Champion Brabham in a works Cooper fourth.
Two laps later Brabham passed McLaren and the race settled down to damp dullness. Moss increased his lead in the immaculate Ferguson and history was unfolded before our eyes, for here was -a four-wheel-drive car leading a race; not only by reason of Moss’ prowess but because with its unique transmission it could out-brake every other car on the circuit and was quite immune from trouble, save that difficult 1st-gear engagement caused Moss to start slowly.
Hill gradually fell back, Brabham closing on him took second place, lost it to the B.R.M., then took it for good on lap 30, exactly half-distance. But nothing Brabliam could do would whittle down the Ferguson’s unassailable lead, although the road was drying, enabling Moss to lap at x min. 54 see. Poetic justice this. alter Cooper’s concern to have the new and revolutionary Ferguson black-flagged at Aintree! The ever-unlucky Graham Hill retired with a broken piston and the race lost much of its fire. There had been duels back in the field, between Brooks and Suttees for sixth place, for instance, until Surtees retired. Right at the end Brooks speeded up his I3.R.M. in an at tempt to snatch third place from McLaren but the Coortor, too, speeded up, lapping at t min. 46.6 sec. This had the effect of causing Brooks to lap at the same speed—but he finished
3.2 sec. behind the Cooper—and Moss proved that the Ferguson it no wet-road freak, for he now established a new 1-litre lap record of t min. 46.4 sec. (93.42 m.p.h.).
The greatest praise is clue to Ferguson Developments, Major Tony Rolt, Claude Hill, Jack Fairman and the other people who have so quietly and effectively perfected this astonishing new G.P. car, in such a short time. There should be plenty of wealthy enthusiasts anxious to buy the production Ferguson when it appears, perhaps in 1963.
As the crowds began to roll towards the Bailey Bridge exit, Salvadori won the 19-lap Saloon Car Race at 79.94 m.p.h. from Hill and McLaren, all driving 3.8 Jaguars. Parkes’ Jaguar having retired. The class winners were Salvadori, Harper’s Sunbeam and Whitmore’s Morris Mini Minor.—W. B.
Results : GOLD CUP RACE-16s Miles Ist : S. Moss .. i hr. 51 min. sec., 88.83 m.p.h.—
Ist : S. Moss (Ferguson) .. i hr. 51 min. 53.8 sec., 88.83 m.p.h.—
new lap record, 93-42 mph. 2nd : J. Brabham (Cooper) .. i hr. 52 min. 39.8 sec.
3rd : B. McLaren (Cooper).. t hr. 52 min. 47.4 sec. 4th Brooks (13.R.M.); sth : Gregory (Cooper); 6th : Burgess (Cooper); 7th : Marsh (13.B.:0.); 8th : H. Taylor (Lotus); 9th : Naylor (J.B.W.);
Toth : Seidel (Lotus); zit”‘ : Piper (Gilby); z2th : Summers (Cooper).
Retirements : Eden (Cooper), spun; Parnell (Lotus), fuel pump; Lewis (Cooper), puncture; Salvadori (Cooper), selector trouble; Ireland (Lotus). broken tappet; Clark (1..Otus), broken rear nis. wishbone; Hill (13.13.M.), piston failure; Surtees (Cooper), magneto; T. Taylor (Lotus), it3OSC exhaust, also push-started; Collomb (Cooper), various and tyres; Ashmore (Lotus), gearbox.