Motor Racing Legends staged two races at the Oulton Park Gold Cup on Monday, 29th August, 2011 — the Royal Automobile Woodcote Trophy and the Stirling Moss Trophy.
Although John Ure and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards dominated the Royal Automobile Woodcote Trophy race with their Cooper T24/25, they did not start from pole – that honour was secured by Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams driving Dick Skipworth’s Jaguar D-type.
When Skipworth took the wheel of his own car for the start, however, he was – not surprisingly – unable to match Whizzo’s frantic pace, allowing John Ure to belt past in his Cooper and snatch the lead. Right on Ure’s tail throughout the first half of the race was Stephen Bond’s Lister Bristol, which even took the lead at one point – and, remarkably, achieved the fastest lap of the race. But any chance of scooping victory disappeared in the pit stop when Bond, as a single driver, had to stop for a mandatory 45 seconds.
The Ure/Blakeney-Edwards pairing, meanwhile, did such a rapid pit stop that the Cooper hardly seemed to be stationary at all. In fact, Blakeney-Edwards pushed Ure out of the car and left him on the ground as he roared off down the pit lane – but John Ure didn’t seem to mind this strategy…
Another hero of the race was Denis Welch, who took over from Malcolm Verey to drive a blinding second half in the Allard J2 – a particularly brutal car in the wetter weather which came towards the end of the race. Welch took the Allard up through the grid, even passing Stephen Bond’s Lister Bristol on the last lap, to finish second. So, at the end of a fast and furious race in which – despite the increasingly damp conditions – no one failed to finish, the Ure/Blakeney-Edwards Cooper was first past the flag, the Verey/Welch Allard second and the Lister Bristol third.
The Stirling Moss Trophy race, meanwhile, was a real challenge for the drivers, thanks to heavy, intermittent rain showers.
While Bobby Verdon-Roe took pole in the 1959 Le Mans-winning Aston Martin DBR1, a misfire meant the car didn’t take the start – sadly robbing spectators of what would have been an epic battle between the DBR1 and the Lister Knobbly of Jon Minshaw and Martin Stretton, which qualified just four hundredths of a second behind Verdon-Roe.
Nevertheless, there was no shortage of thrills as the race unfolded. On lap 5, a spin saw Jon Minshaw lose the lead and drop down to third in his Knobbly, giving Ewan McIntyre the opportunity to sweep ahead in his Lotus 15, closely followed by Jason Minshaw in his Maserati T61 Birdcage. As single drivers, however, both McIntyre and Jason Minshaw were penalised by a mandatory 45-second pit stop, which was part of the reason that Martin Stretton was able to re-take the lead in the Lister Knobbly by lap 13: that, and some truly stunning driving by Stretton.
There’s no doubt that the heavy showers caused some excitement. After the race, which saw the Minshaw/Stretton Lister Knobbly take the chequered flag followed closely by Ewan McIntyre’s Lotus 15 (with Jason Minshaw’s Birdcage in third), Ewan commented that he must have ‘been off the track at just about every bend’ at some point during the race.
[Source: Motor Racing Legends]