Results > 25th-27th August 2018 - Oulton Park

Milicevic Claims the title

Milicevic claims the title at Oulton Park

Historic Formula 3 Championship

Oulton Park, 26/27 August 2018

Jon Milicevic clinched the 2018 Historic Formula 3 Championship title with another pair of wins at Oulton Park during the annual Gold Cup weekend (26/27 August).

Despite the best efforts of Andrew Hibberd, Milicevic won in the rain of Sunday and the dry of Monday to make it 11 wins from 12 rounds and secure back-to-back titles with three races left to run.

Despite the poor weather on Sunday, the Gold Cup was another success with a big crowd packing in to the Cheshire parkland track on a weekend that particularly celebrated the Chevron marque. The Historic F3 pack had two prime race slots, one on Sunday and one on Monday, following qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

Milicevic signalled his intentions for the weekend by taking his Brabham BT21B to pole position, but Hibberd (Brabham BT18) was right on his tail, with a best lap only a tenth of a second slower. Enrico Spaggiari was a welcome returnee in the Lotus 41X after the long trek from Italy and posted third best time from Peter Thompson (Brabham BT21) and Mike Scott (Brabham BT28) as Marcus Mussa completed the top six in his Tecno.

Elsewhere on the grid, Leif Bosson (Brabham BT28) was a welcome returnee after missing a couple of races and James Long (Brabham BT15) returned after a long sabbatical. Martin Halliday and Simon Haughton flew the flag for Chevron on a special weekend for the marque.

Sunday’s race ran on a very slippery track, even though the worst of the rain had passed. Both Milicevic and Hibberd had sampled the conditions in the earlier Guards Trophy race, while Hibberd had also been out in the Formula Junior race.

Milicevic duly headed the field away and, with Hibberd in tow, soon went clear of the rest of the pack. Hibberd mounted a determined pursuit and attacked into Hislop’s mid-race, but slithered onto the grass and lost time. Later in the lap a half spin on the exit of Lodge cost Hibberd his best chance of closing back in on Milicevic but the winning margin was still down to less than four-tenths of a second at the flag. “I went straight on trying to outbrake him,” said Hibberd

“We had a different tyre choice,” explained Milicevic. “Andrew was on wets and I thought I’d try dries. Then there was some more rain later in the race and Andrew closed in. Thank goodness we ran out of laps!”

Spaggiari, on only his second visit to Oulton Park, was a secure third while Thompson and Scott battled over fourth for much of the race. The matter was only settled with two laps to go when Thompson pitted with a worsening misfire. A tremendous six car pack fought over what became fifth place as Bosson headed Jim Blockley (Brabham BT21B), Long, Mussa, Barry Sewell (Lotus 41) and Steve Seaman (Brabham BT21). Just four seconds covered the six cars after 22 minutes of racing.

Monday’s race had to be red-flagged and re-started after an unfortunate accident for Gregan Thruston (Brabham BT21B) who went off at Deer Leap. Gregan was later taken to hospital for further checks on a shoulder injury. Peter Hamilton’s Tecno was also sidelined in the accident.

The re-start was over four laps and Milicevic was able to edge clear of Hibberd to make certain of the 2018 title. Thompson was an early retirement after efforts to clear the elusive misfire failed, so Scott had an easier run to third place from Seaman as Spaggiari slipped back to fifth. Mussa chased the Lotus home and, in turn, had Mark Linstone (Brabham BT16) in pursuit.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to bits to win the title,” said Milicevic. “It may look easy, but it’s not and I’m so proud to be champion again. Thanks are due to Josie and Alison for their support and to Keith Messer and all the F3 guys for a great season.”

Paul Lawrence

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