Rothmans Gold Cup

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OULTON PARK, August 21st.

John Surtees scored his second successive win in the annual non-championship Formula One Rothmans International Gold Cup race held a week after the Austrian Grand Prix. Driving the latest 004 Surtees TS9 in the Brooke Bond-Oxo colours he broke the outright circuit record set by Rodriguez and Gethin in the Spring Cup race earlier this season. It was far from a runaway win, although Surtees had a 12-sec. advantage over Howden Ganley’s BRM after the end of the two short 20-lap (55-mile) parts.

The entry of Formula One cars was down to an all-time low of eight for this well-established event, although, as usual for non-championship Oulton Park races, the field was bolstered by a full squad of Formula 5000s contesting their own Championship within the race. Last year’s Gold Cup marked the debut of the Tyrrell with Jackie Stewart at the wheel, but this year there were no attractions of this nature, although the few F1 cars there were attracted a sizeable 25,000 crowd.

As mentioned, Surtees came with just the one Formula One car, Yardley BRM had the same P160 for Gethin as he raced in Austria, while Ganley was back in his regular P153. Frank Williams brought along his two Marches under Motul and Politoys sponsorship. Pescarolo was in the regular 711, while Tony Trimmer drove the 701. Mike Beuttler was in his regular semi-works March 711. The remaining two Formula One drivers were both making their debut in this category of racing. Experienced sports and saloon-car driver Chris Craft took the wheel of the ex-works Brabham BT33/2, while French F2 driver Jean-Jarier was in Hubert Hahne’s silver March 701.

Gethin was fastest in Friday’s practice with a 1 min. 24.6 sec. lap, 0.4 sec. under the existing record, while Pescarolo and Ganley both equalled it. In the first part Pescarolo made a fine start and was chased by the two BRMs and Surtees, but Gethin made an early pit stop to investigate a suspect front tyre. So Pescarolo ran out the winner from Ganley, who just held off a late challenge from Surtees. Gardner’s futuristic new Lola T300 led home the 5000s and Gethin recovered to take fifth place ahead of the Surtees TS8s of Hailwood and Rollinson.

In part two Surtees rushed into an immediate and determined lead with Pescarolo (despite a problem with the rear brakes) managing to hang on, which was all he needed to do to win overall. Gethin dropped out after three laps when he rammed Pescarolo at Lodge Corner and damaged the BRM’s steering and then Pescarolo threw it all away when he lost control and crashed at Knicker Brook on lap 7, without injury. It was a bad day for Williams, as Trimmer had creased the monocoque of the 701 in the first part. So Ganley finished second in the heat (and overall) with Gardner third in this heat (and overall) and Rollinson taking aggregate fourth ahead of Craft in the Brabham F1 after Hailwood damaged his suspension when he went off course. It was an enjoyable little race but in no way significant.—A. R. M.