Results > August 28th - 30th 2021 - Oulton Park


OULTON PARK GOLD CUP 28th -30th August


After a shaky start at Cadwell Park, which he left empty-handed having banked his Chevron B17 in the first leg of the season-opening Justin Haler Trophy event, Jeremy Timms’ 2021 campaign gets better and better. Emboldened by fighting seconds at Donington and a confidence-boosting double victory over the ultra-rapid Andrew Hibberd (Brabham BT18) last time out at Brands Hatch, the combo was in a class of its own as 18 competitors - including, delightfully, welcome returnees Leif Bosson from Sweden and Christoph Widmer from Switzerland - tackled the Oulton Park Gold Cup rounds over the August 28-30 Bank Holiday weekend.

On pole by 2.6 seconds in Saturday’s qualifying session in the ex-works Chevron B17 raced by Swede Reine Wisell in 1970, Timms did not relent en route to 33 and 28 second wins over the subsequent two days. With erstwhile points leader Andrew Tart spinning out of Saturday’s race, second place man Keith Messer non-starting following a bizarre paddock incident and Hibberd sitting the meeting out, Timms rocketed to the top of the table with only Mallory Park’s finale on September 18-19 remaining.

Without cousin Jason Timms for company following the latter’s engine dramas at Brands, double Monoposto champion Jeremy took just four laps to assert his superiority in timed practice. Quickest in all three sectors of the spectacular undulating 2.69-mile circuit, his 1m50.634s best represented an average speed of 87.59mph. Timms’ advantage came from the middle and third sectors. Only 1.8mph separated the top six through the Lakeside speed trap (111.8-110mph), but Jeremy was 2.7mph swifter than Steve Seaman (BT21) over the timing line, indicating strong apex speed at Lodge and superb traverse of Deer Leap.

Defending champion Ian Bankhurst (ex-Terry Ogilvie-Hardy Project X Racing Alexis Mk8) snatched P2 on the grid, his 1:53.248s a whisker better than Widmer’s 1:52.360 last lap charge in the ex-Wal Donnelly Brabham BT18A, dormant for the past year. Steve Seaman (Brabham BT21) sat just behind on 1:53.807.

Also in the chasing peloton were Simon Armer (ex-Tom Walkinshaw Petonyer Aviation March 703, 1:54.585), Paul Waine (de Sanctis, 1:54.791, benefiting from a fresh Sam Wilson-built engine); team mates Andrew Tart (ex-John Fenning Merlyn Mk9) and period F3 ace Mike Walker (ex-Mike Knight Brabham BT21) on 1:55.225 and 1:55.946 respectively; Keith Messer (ex-Peter Colborne Vesey, at the scene of its sole F3 appearance, 1:56.761); Peter Hamilton (ex-Helmut Hochheiser Tecno 69, 1:56.770); Mark Linstone (BT21, 1:57.111) and local man Barry Sewell (ex-Derek Bell Lotus 41, 1:57.787). Now well into his 70s, Sewell’s Oulton experience dates back to the early 1960s with three nimble Lotus Elites, one previously raced by Salford’s Derek Bennett who built his first Chevron car in ’65!

Helsingborg’s Leif Bosson retrieved his ex-Sten Gunnarsson Gullringshus Brabham B28 from “Yeremy” Bennett’s Nemesis Racing store - with the Ulf Svensson’s red sister car, his period Cadwell Park winner - as travelling spare just in case. The former champion confessed to being rusty having cut 2:01.275. That was 1.429s quicker than Tony Wallen, enjoying his Oulton Park debut with the ex-Carlos Pace Lotus 59. Tony’s 2:02.704 was a fine effort on the challenging track, good enough for 14th place.

Bill Cowing in the ex-Chris Meek Ginetta G8 - a fascinating ’64 car built on a full-length fibreglass monocoque bathtub chassis, with inboard front suspension and a side-draught carburettor engine with intriguing overhead exhaust - Paul Booth in the Tetsu Ikuzawa Brabham BT21), Simon Etherington (ex-Manfred Mohr Branham BT15) and Andy Jarvis (out for the first time in two years in his blue ex-Peter Deal March 703) completed the pack. Alas Andy was sidelined by a holed piston before he could get going, while Messer clipped a gatepost and snagged a rear upright on the unique Vesey, rendering him a spectator too.

Sixteen 1000cc ‘screamers’ thus started Sunday’s race, in which leader Timms came round 1.3s ahead of Bankhurst at the end of the first lap, Ian having made the best initial getaway as the lights changed. Widmer, fast-starter Armer, Maine, Linstone, Tart, Walker and Hamilton headed the chase. Seaman was out on the first lap, to be joined in retirement by Cowing who pitted the dark red Ginetta after two tours.

Once into his stride, Timms pulled out four or five seconds per lap. Much as spectators appreciated his vitesse, they were more focused on the titanic battle between Bankhurst, Widmer and Armer which raged throughout. This was a microcosm of 1000cc F3 racing of yore, when much of the field was hooked into a slipstreaming frenzy. Widmer jostled to the front of the trio on lap seven, but peaked too soon for Bankhurst retaliated into Old Hall on the final circuit and Armer found a way past the Swiss too. Less than half a second blanketed the trio at the chequer.

Waine, who spun at Cascades on the second lap and came round 11th, collected his thoughts swiftly and made it back to seventh, behind Tart and Walker. The svelte de Sanctis was quickest through the start/finish speed trap, pulling 104.5mph incidentally. Hamilton gyrated at Cascades as he essayed to relieve Andrew of fifth but ended his race in the gravel trap. His departure promoting Mike, who claimed sixth, a few seconds behind his car’s co-owner. Behind Waine, Sewell, Linstone and Bosson rounded out the top 10. A lap down, Wallen, Booth and Etherington completed the finishers. Paul and Simon, duelling at that point, saw more of winner Timms than anybody else as Jeremy dived inside to lap them them at Old Hall.

All bar Seaman formed the second grid on Monday morning. The race was an action replay of the first out front, Timms scarpering into the distance with Bankhurst, Widmer and Armer squabbling over the minor places - all three taking a turn ahead - once Waine, who shot through to second on the opening lap, then again spun at Cascades on lap two - was out of the equation. Paul continued and indeed salvaged fourth, behind Bankhurst and Widmer, when Tart gyrated onto the grass at Hislops on lap eight, affectingly ending his title bid. “I was only on top of the points table through consistency, so I didn’t deserve to win it,” he said. Also out, 100 metres further on, was Armer who pulled off at Knickerbrook, fishing for gears.

The impromptu mid-order reshuffle saw Linstone claim fifth and Walker sixth, having both set personal best laps late in the race. The veteran hung on well to the former Saab rallycrosser. At 75, Walker - who won a F3 race at Oulton in ’68 in the Chequered Flag McLaren M4A, and F5000 rounds there in September ’69 (Lola T142) and March ’70 (McLaren M10B) - certainly enjoyed his weekend.

Sewell, Hamilton and Bosson remained on the lead lap. Following an excursion on the second lap, Peter knuckled down, passing Leif on the penultimate circuit and shadowing Barry over the line. Booth and Wallen finished together, with Etherington and Cowing also making it home.

Marcus Pye

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