James Dodd was peerless at the annual Oulton Park Gold Cup historic festival, winning in three very different sports-racing cars.
With car club gatherings, rally demonstrations and track parades, the Gold Cup remains the biggest event of its kind north of the Midlands. Unfortunately, modest grids for some of Monday’s feature races, a likely legacy of the proximity of the Goodwood Revival, took the shine off a little.
In Sunday’s sunshine, Dodd romped to victory in the Guards Trophy race in his father’s Ginetta G16. Once early leader – and McLaren test driver – Chris Goodwin had parked his McLaren M1 with engine problems, Dodd ensured that the Ginetta saw off the Chevrons. He elected to run solo, which came as a surprise to his father Graeme, who was waiting to take over at the pitstop. “He shooed me away: I guess I’ll drive less and less,” said Graeme philosophically.
Dodd’s second win came in the Martini Trophy, which ended up being a single race after Sunday’s opener was red-flagged. John Burton’s Chevron was inadvertently tipped over at the first corner, fortunately without harm to the 2-litre sports veteran. In Monday’s rain, Dodd fought a mighty contest with Nick Fleming as they both battled treaded tyres on a damp track.
The final Dodd victory allowed Graeme a share of the glory as they teamed up in his Cooper Monaco in the Stirling Moss Trophy. Ironically, James had to overtake his dad for the win after Graeme began the race in the Cooper and then jumped into the Maserati Birdcage started by Jason Minshaw.
Simon Hadfield also managed the feat of finishing first and second in the same race, sharing the Ford Capris of Paul and Tom Pochciol in the JD Classics Challenge.
Others to master the tricky conditions included Richard Evans (March 742) who won twice in the Derek Bell Trophy. In the wetter race, he had to cope with a decent challenge from Jeremy Smith who gave the six-wheeled March 2-4-0 the best result of its short race career. Paul Lawrence