The Historic Sports Car Club’s season moved to the fabulous Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire over the August Bank Holiday weekend (24th-26th August) for the annual Gold Cup historic race meeting. Run in scorching temperatures, some tremendous racing delivered a superb spectacle for a typically large and enthusiastic crowd.
In the best tradition of the Gold Cup, a former Grand Prix car won the feature race as Australian racer Marty Bullock triumphed in his ex-Alan Jones Williams FW06. Bullock was aggregate winner across the pair of XL Aurora races in the car last raced at Oulton Park in 1979 when Giacomo Agostini finished sixth in the Gold Cup.
In the opening race, Jamie Brashaw (March 73B) fended off his friend and rival Mark Dwyer (March 742) to win in the spectacular Formula 5000 car. However, at the start of the second race they tangled wheels at the first corner and were both out, so Bullock set the pace under constant pressure from the Chevron B25 of James Murray. Despite the determined efforts of Murray in his ex-Peter Gethin Formula 2 car, Bullock held on to take a popular victory in the superbly presented F1 car.
An incredibly close finish in the second Historic Formula 3 race was another of the highlights of the weekend. Sunday’s double-header for the 1-litre Formula 3 provided two classy wins for Andrew Hibberd in his ex-Chris Irwin Brabham BT18 but the action behind him was stunning. At the end of the second race a blanket finish put Christoph Widmer, Andy Jarvis and Peter Thompson three-abreast over the line, covered by just 11-hundredths of a second.
As Jarvis struggled with fading tyres, Widmer just managed to get the nose of his Brabham up alongside Jarvis’s March as Thompson went to the left of the track in his Brabham to make it three-abreast. An elated Widmer won the sprint to the line to finish his 100th race in style. “It was incredible,” said the Swiss racer. “I was in the middle with a blue nose either side!”
Hibberd was a useful 13s clear at the flag to back up his victory in the opening race when early leader Enrico Spaggiari (Lotus 41X) and Jarvis shared the podium places after more fine battling.