Monday, August 27 2012
Oulton Park was filled with nostalgia for the second day of the Gold Cup (Monday). Even the Bank Holiday rain couldn't dampen the spirits of the Cheshire crowd, many of whom got into the spirit of the event by dressing up for the 60s and 70 era that saw the Gold Cup enjoy its heyday.
The headline Derek Bell Trophy races were for cars that competed for the Gold Cup in its contemporary era, including Formula 2, 3 and 5000 machines and even an F1 curiousity. Richard Evans' Formula 2-spec March 742 led the first encounter from Jeremy Smith's 6-wheel March 2-4-0 Grand Prix car. The damp conditions meant that the nimbler racers were never threatened by historic expert Michael Lyons in his Lola T400 F5000 and eventually retiring, he conceded third place to Mark Dwyer's March 742. Smith had a problematical second race, leaving Dwyer to finish behind Evans. Lyons' fortunes were no better and it was Nigel Glover's Lola T330/332 that took F5000 honours.
Like day one, the schedule was bookended by junior single seaters and this time the Formula Ford category, introduced in the late 1960s, provided the entertainment. In the race for 1600cc cars, Robert Wainwright's Elden held an early advantage over David Wild's Lola but the order between the pair changed during a highly entertaining opener that was resolved in the former's favour. Later on, Russell Love narrowly defeated Nelson Rowe in the curtain-closing 2000cc contest.
Mike Gardner led the Historic Touring Car field in his Ford Falcon with Dan Cox's Lotus Cortina leading a chasing pack that included Hillman Imps and Mini Coopers doing battle with Mustangs at the sharp end. With the Falcon establishing a handy lead, attention turned to the final podium places, which were fought between Cox, Roger Godfrey's Cooper S and David Heale's Imp. Cox was the loser in this, slipping down the order as the Mini grabbed the runner-up slot.
Mark Wright and Dave Coyne's RS1800 headed a trio of Capris during the opening moments of the JD Classics race, recalling classic European Touring Car encounters. However Sean and Robert Brown's Escort Mk I RS got amongst the Capris of Tom Pochciol and Paul Pochciol/Simon Hadfield as the latter machine grabbed the lead on lap three, which the pair would hold to the end.
Meanwhile in the sportscar contests, Steve Hodges, Kevin Cook and Andrew Schryver didn't last long in the Martini Trophy race, leaving Al and Nick Fleming's and Graham and James Dodd's Chevrons to lead. Both duly made the race their own until Dodd raced off into the distance in the latter stages.
Jon Minshaw upheld family honour in the second E-Type Challenge encounter, with Alex Buncome eager to make amends for his troubles yesterday. Indeed he assumed the lead early on, with Minshaw electing to stop first, at the halfway point. Unable to steal a march on the leader, he had to settle for second place, with Chris Scragg completing the podium.
Dodd and Minshaw's Maserati Birdcage took the early lead in the Stirling Moss Trophy race but after the stops the second-placed Dodd and Dodd Cooper Monaco was setting the pace. Catching the leader on a drying track with ten minutes to go, the pair fought hard for the win for several laps but inevitably the Maserati had to give best to the Cooper.
Next Saturday Oulton Park hosts the BRSCC Club Car Championships. Tickets are available in advance for £10, with free admission for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.