Results > August 24th 26th 2019 - Oulton Park

Oulton Park two thrilling Histoirc F3 races

HSCC Historic Formula 3 Championship

Oulton Park,

Rounds 8 and 9,

August 24/25

Andrew Hibberd romped to a double win in rounds eight and nine of the Historic Formula 3 Championship as the 1-litre F3 cars delivered some epic racing during the annual Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting (August 24/25).

Hibberd, who was racing three different cars over the weekend, set the marker in qualifying with a best of 1m50.970s on his first Historic F3 appearance since the season-opener at Donington Park. That put his ex-Chris Irwin Brabham BT18 a handy margin clear of European visitors Christoph Widmer (Braham BT18A), Francois Derossi (Chevron B17) and Enrico Spaggiari (Lotus 41X).

Championship leader Simon Armer and Andy Jarvis were next up in their March 703s before Peter Thompson, making a welcome return following his Goodwood shunt, in his Brabham BT21. Further back, Mike Scott (Brabham BT28) was sidelined with gearbox problems that ended his weekend while Mike Walker was finally set for his return to 1-litre F3, after a gap of 51 years, in his Brabham BT21.

A slowish start by Hibberd into the opening race allowed Widmer to grab the early lead but Spaggiari led at the end of the lap. “It just bogged down and they all went past me,” said Hibberd. “It made the first two laps quite exciting!”

Widmer, running second, dived into Old Hall for the second time with Derossi on his tail but the Chevron ran fractionally wide and Derossi went off into the barriers at some speed. Thankfully, Francois was unhurt and quickly jumped out but his weekend was over.

Hibberd got ahead before a brief safety car period while Derossi’s car was moved and from the re-start was able to ease steadily away. In his wake there was some tremendous battling as Spaggiari was joined by Widmer, the impressive Jarvis and Thompson. Eventually, Widmer dropped back a little to tussle with Armer while Spaggiari took second as Jarvis beat Thompson by a tenth of a second. “John Miles was second here in 1968 in this car so this is special,” said Spaggiari, who defended hard as Jarvis attacked.

An incredibly close finish in the second Historic Formula 3 race was one of the highlights of the weekend. Sunday’s second race provided another classy win for Hibberd but the action behind him was stunning. At the end of the race a blanket finish put Widmer, Jarvis and Thompson three-abreast over the line, covered by just 11-hundredths of a second.

As Jarvis struggled with fading tyres, Widmer just managed to get the nose of his Brabham up alongside Jarvis’s March as Thompson went to the left of the track in his Brabham to make it three-abreast. An elated Widmer won the sprint to the line to finish his 100th Historic F3 race in style. “It was incredible,” said the Swiss racer. “I was in the middle with a blue nose either side!”

Jason Timms (Brabham BT21) bounced back from a troubled first race to take fifth at the expense of Spaggiari while Andrew Tart (Merlyn Mk9) had a strong race to come out on top of an entertaining three-way battle for seventh with Steve Seaman and Leif Bosson (Brabham BT28). Mark Linstone (Brabham BT21) was tenth from Walker, who was pleased to have a clean run to the finish after being sidelined from the opening race with a first lap fuel issue.

The only non-finisher in the second race was Armer who pulled off with a flat battery, so the title race will go down to the Silverstone Finals meeting in October with Armer and Bosson closely matched at the head of the points’ table.

Paul Lawrence

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