OULTON PARK, 25 AUGUST 2002

GOLD CUP MEETING

The decision of the HSCC to organise this commemorative meeting was more than justified by the outstanding parade of cars that appeared in the paddock. I cannot remember a better display of beautiful, serious and valuable historic racing cars outside of Monaco and Goodwood. Congratulations must go to Grahame White and his team for such an achievement. My favourite must be the pair of matching British Racing Green D-Type Jaguars sitting quietly beside each other under an awning. At the best part of a million pounds each it was the ultimate in gentlemen’s toys!

For our small team we had two races to face. With no suitable event for the Mk7S the 300 Junior had a busy day. First was the only British round of the FIA Lurani European Championship which meant a larger than average field plus a few fast boys from the continent. We were using the full international circuit which is a fast and challenging track best seen on TV for the British Touring Cars and Superbikes.

Our second event was the Classic Racing Cars event where we challenge for class wins as the event is full of very fast ex-F3 and F2 cars of the early 60’s. we won our class last time out in Cadwell so hopes were high in this one.

First practice went well with the car’s performance this year almost 5 seconds a laps quicker than last time here – sponsors money well spent on all the mechanical work in the last 12 months. The only excitement was two full revolutions spinning at the high speed left hander after the start. Luckily apart from grass and mud we ended up pointing the right way and carried on. 14th on the grid and the first drum braked car was quite pleasing overall.

Due to the very full entry we were only 4th reserve for the second race. However we were allowed to practice and all went well with no repeat of the driver errors.

The Junior race got off to an incident packed start. At the first corner the Lola of Robin Longdon and Lotus of Edwin Joswey contrived to spin each other (again!!). I arrived at the corner to find another Lotus in my way so took avoiding action onto the grass only to find the Lola facing me. Virtually at a standstill I took off again having lost many places and with a big chase now the only option. The rest of the race was fun with a few huge battles and lots of overtaking and I managed to drag myself up from 20th on the first lap to 11th at the end – once again the first drum braked car having overtaken the last car on the final lap.

By now I had been informed that I was in the second race but would have to start at the back of the grid. I was happy enough about this as I was only interested in the class win and figured I could make up enough places during the race. However this was not to be – through no fault of ours. As the cars lined up for the start the marshall on the grid clearly did not know what the arrangements were and waved me to the side. As I did know what I had been instructed I took off and began overtaking cars as planned. However as I passed the line first time round there it was – a black flag!! Obliged to come in within 3 laps I did two more and overtook the class leader before coming in to the pits where I was hauled up to the Clerk of the Course to explain my actions. This done I received a full apology – a fat lot of use that was having ruined my race and lost me valuable championship points. As you might imagine there is an ongoing discussion at this stage!!

Overall though a good day and now it is on to Goodwood – see you there.

 

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