The Oulton Park Gold Cup’s 2017 race programme kicked off in fine style this afternoon (Sunday) with Darwin Smith claiming the spoils in the first of this weekend’s two Historic Sports Car Club Formula 2 International Series races.
Smith topped an impressive entry of Historic F2 runners in qualifying on Saturday and always looked like the man to beat in his March 722. Next to finish in the 22-strong race field was Richard Evans’s March 742, whilst the Chevron B40 of Chris Lillingstone-Price March drivers a clean sweep of the podium.
Michael Bletsoe-Brown was another Chevron driver to enjoy a good run, with a useful performance to finish fourth in his B27, whilst James King completed the top five in a March 712. King’s performance is noteworthy as it was his first drive at Oulton Park since 1977 – a year in which he was a British F3 race-winner at Cadwell Park.
Smith carries a useful 17-second advantage into Monday’s second Historic F2 race, after which the overall aggregate victor will be named as this year’s ‘Historic Gold Cup’ winner.
HSCC Historic F2 Gold Cup R1
1, D Smith, March 722, 13 laps
2, R Evans, March 742, +17.365s
3, C Lillingstone-Price, Chevron B40, +1m11.902s
4, M Bletsoe-Brown, Chevron B27, +1m16.874s
5, J King, March 712, +1m21.036s
Other highlights of the day included a 40-minute Jaguar Classic Challenge race, and other historic GT and single-seater races.
Away from the racing itself, the circuit’s picturesque infield was filled with plenty of attractions including Military period pieces, a relaxing bandstand area, and massive classic car displays.
All of this and more will be repeated tomorrow with a hugely busy programme of historic motor racing, and off-track delights.
Tickets for the Oulton Park Gold Cup on August Bank Holiday Monday 28 August are available on the gate for £25 with free entry for under-13s.
Photo: Simon Arron