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Retro racing reigns at Oulton Park Gold Cup on Sunday afternoon

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Oulton Park Gold Cup's bumper race programme kicked off with 10 exciting races this afternoon (Sunday), with Andrew Park claiming the first spoils of the weekend in the Formula Ford 2000 curtain raiser. 

Park guided his Reynard SF81 through the on-track spray in wet conditions to win by five seconds from a bustling Historic Formula Ford 2000 chasing pack, which no fewer than 28 cars starting today. For those who missed it, tomorrow's programme will kick off with another super-sized helping from the Formula Ford 2000 machines.

This was followed by a tight Historic Road Sports race in which the Lotus Elan S1 of John Davidson finished just over a second ahead of the Turner Mk3 of Paul Tooms.

Local manufacturer Chevron is being celebrated this weekend, so it seems only appropriate that the marque's B8s occupied the top four positions in the Guards Trophy race for GT and sports-racing cars. Ross Hyett and Andrew Kirkaldy claimed top honours from Simon Hadfield, just one day ahead of a special 50th anniversary race for the iconic performance car. The leading non-Chevron in the race was the rare Ginetta G4R of Dan Eagling.

There were two Historic Formula Junior races today - one each for front-engined and rear-engined cars. Mark Woodhouse was victorious in the first of this on board his Elva 100, whilst Jack Woodhouse was the star man in the second on board his Lotus 20/22.

Calum Lockie was impressive in the first of the weekend's Pre '80 Endurance Challenge races, claiming a dominant win in his March 717 from the Chevron B26 of John Burton. The Pre '80 cars return tomorrow for a second 30-minute race, featuring sports racing cars which first raced in the '70s.

It was a familiar name at the top of the standings in the Super Touring Cars as John Cleland won in the Vauxhall Vectra he raced as a works driver in the '90s. Cleland commanded the race from the front to win on the road, though was not recognised as the official winner due to his use of experimental tyres this weekend - the 'official' winner was second place man Neil Smith in his Alfa Romeo 156.

There were more recognisable names at the front of the Jaguar Classic Challenge too, with British GT regulars Jon Minshaw and Phil Keen coming out on top in their Jaguar E-Type. Minshaw and Keen, who also won in the wet when the British GT Championship commenced at the Cheshire circuit in April, won against a field which included former Formula Ford Festival winner Dave Coyne, historic ace Martin Stretton, and well known personality Tony Jardine. 

Jon Milicevic won a tight Historic Formula 3 race in his Brabham BT21B from Andrew Hibberd in a Brabham BT18, before John Williams brought things to a close with a 70s Road Sports win in his Porsche 911. 

Away from the racing, long-time Chief Medical Officer Alistair Gray was given a fine send off at his final meeting at Oulton Park in the position. Gray, who has acted as Chief Medical Cirucit at the Cheshire circuit since 1989, was presented with a commemorative frame by MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer at a ceremony attended by HSCC boss Grahame White and Circuit Manager Jon Rush.

On top of the racing, countless classic car enthusiasts braved the weather to fill the venue in displays, with special parades from the Cheshire Concours d'Esprit and Porsche Club. 

The Gold Cup resumes tomorrow (Monday) with another full day's on-track entertainment, with tickets available on the gate for £25 - under-13s FREE. 

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