Flavien gives Oulton a taste of things to come



Oulton Park Gold Cup

A 12,000-strong crowd, full grids and fabulous weather helped to make the new-look Oulton Park Gold Cup for historic cars a big success.

Flavien Marçais dominated the headline Pre-1972 Grand Prix Car race in Luke Chaprnan’s BRM P180, the Frenchman treating the spectators to a copybook drive. Meanwhile, a stunning battle between a charging John Bladon in his ex-Mike Hailwood Surtees TS9B and Matthew Wurr raged for second place. When the latter spun his ex-Peter Gethin 1970 European F5000 Championship-winning McLaren M10B at Old Hall, Bladon was secure.

Philip Walker’s drive was majestic as he guided his Lotus 16 to victory in the Pre-1961 Grand Prix Car Race, his nimble cigar-shaped car never headed. John Clark took second in his Cooper T43, despite mid-race pressure from Marçais’ Cooper-Bristol.

Richard Attwood guided John Beasley’s Brabham BT4 to honours in the Pre-1966 Grand Prix Car Race after a broken wishbone eliminated erstwhile leader Frank Sytner. As Sytner surveyed his Brabham BT4, a helpful Sir Jack Brabham pointed out, “We only built them to last a season!”

Sytner won the BRDC Historic Sportscar Championship race despite a mid-race safety car period allowing Nick Linney’s Lister Jaguar to close.

John Clark took his Cooper Bobtail to victory in the Drum Brake Sports Car race, and Neil Fowler saw off the versatile Jason Minshaw to win a spirited Historic Formula Ford race.

Newcomer Tim Fish scored his first-ever win in the Historic Roadsports series, and old hand Michael Schryver dominated the FIA Lurani Trophy for Formula Junior cars.

The HSCC entries were full, but the guest races notably less than they have been for Silverstone events. But the atmosphere was like nothing Oulton Park has enjoyed for a long time, and this is undoubtedly a platform upon which to build next year’s 50th anniversary celebrations at the Cheshire track.