With 14 cars and drivers entered, we were one of the
larger grids for the day of racing mainly devoted to Formula Fords. We
were allocated the last of the practice sessions and then a mid-afternoon
race slot on a day which moved from ‘Cloudy/Dry’ to ‘Bright/Dry, and
Oulton Park looking at its best.
JB Jones had brought his Cooper, as repairs to the Cousy were not yet
complete. ‘I am still getting to grips with the highly responsive steering
on this car as opposed to the set up on the Cousy.’ Students of Cousy will
know what he means!
In practice John Turner was first away, looking fast but initially
sounding a bit rough. Others showing intent were Roy Hunt’s Martin,
Richard Bishop-Miller in the Revis and Martin Gartside’s Cooper who sadly
seized his brand new Norton engine which ended his day. Other troubles
were with JB, whose Triumph twin crank shaft broke splitting the
crankcase, Marcus Black in his ex-Jack Mayes (USA) Mk V with gearbox
trouble, and welcome newcomer Ian Phillips in a nicely presented Mk X
whose exhaust detached itself. Starting last was Gordon Russell in the
Mackson who worked his way efficiently through the field to claim pole.
And the winner is....
So, mixed reactions, with some smiles and some resigned expressions.
Darrell Woods, who had pulled off with an unhappy noise, was able to
dispel his concerns, R B-M, having posted 2nd fastest did his customary
engine change, and other fettling was done with more or less success.
Hakan Sandberg was having a wretched day with a magneto.problem which
would not go away, and unlucky Marcus, despite strenuous efforts could not
beat his gear selector problem.
10 cars came to an orderly rolling start from which Gordon lead away with
several hopefuls at his heels. Unfortunately a collision at Knickerbrook
chicane between Roy and R B-M reduced this number but hill-climber Mark
Riley in only his second race and driving the ex-Murray Rainey Cooper was
showing well until overhauled by the race-long duel developing between
Darrell and Mike Fowler in his Mk V. From the 4th row John Turner had his
rocket boots on and by mid race had closed to within 3 secs of Gordon –
this gap closed to nothing as John made a bold attempt at Old Hall on the
final lap but discretion ruled and the gap at a thrilling finish was under
˝ second. No less exciting was the Fowler/Woods battle for 3rd which went
to Mike by a similar margin. Mark had a lonely but steady run in 5th place
and Shirley was the final finisher. Ian survived 3 laps in his debut
before pulling up with violent vibrations caused by engine mountings
working loose but had already made up two places on his grid position.
Stuart Wright in the Dastle also retired.
The Lewis-Evans Trophy was presented to Gordon by Steve Lewis-Evans whom
we were delighted to see here with his family in force – picture shows
grandson Daniel, the latest recruit.
Our thanks to the BRSCC and to their commentator Mike Cookson who gave us
enthusiastic and well-researched coverage.
Mike and Darrel had a race long dice