15th July 2013

OULTON PARK TROPHY - F.2

BRILLIANT BRISTOW WINS AT LAST

ENTRY

Although the Formula 2 season begun down in Sicily the Oulton Park Trophy was the first opportunity for many of the British-based competitors to start off their season. Twenty cars arrived at the pretty Cheshire track of which no less than 14 were Coopers (15 if you count the Hume, which is a modified Cooper as well). Of the rest, 4 were Lotuses, two of the new 18s entered by the factory (Ireland and Stacey), one 16 (Bob Hicks) with Frank Gardner, a young Australian driver, bringing along an elderley Lotus 12. Perhaps the most interesting car in the entry was the brand new Laystall Climax. This is a front-engined car and its debut was entrusted to the experienced Henry Taylor, who must have wished that they had been able to install the seat somewhat lower as he stuck way up in the air flow and looked somewhat uncomfortable.

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, there was no sign of either the works Coopers or the Equipe Sunbeam (Jack Brabham) car. Nor any sort of car for Stirling Moss, which was a pity. So the Cooper hordes were headed by Harry Schell and Chris Bristow in the Yeoman Credit cars. A very interesting entry was that of motor cycle champion John Surtees, who is moving up (across) into cars this season. J.S. had an immaculate dark ble T.51. Roy Salvadori is yet again driving for C.T. Tommy Atkins in both F.1 and F.2 this season and he was on hand with Tommy's T.51. The rest of the Cooper entry were individually-owned cars, driven by, in no particular order, McKee, Marsh, Campbell-Jones, Lewis, Halford, Wicken, Ouvaroff, Twisk, Ron Carter and Maurice Charles. As mentioned the Hume appeared again in the hands of Ian Raby once more, with the unusual red and grey livery first seen in Syracuse.

PRACTICE

Both practice sessions were dominated by Chris Bristow. The young man from south London was clearly the quickest driver out there and his pole position was thoroughly deserved. There was a works Lotus in second place after both sessions but the driver's name changed; to begin with, Stacey was the closest man to Bristow but that place was taken on the starting grid by his more experienced team mate Innes Ireland. Maybe we should not have been surprised to see the name Surtees on the front row but given his lack of miles on four wheels, it was a startlingly good debut by the multiple motor cycle champion.

The Coopers of Schell and Lewis made up row two while Stacey slipped to 6th, heading a phalanx of Coopers - seven of them lining up behind the Lotus. Henry Taylor found the new Laystall to be quite a reasonable performer and he was not disappointed to find himself in 15th place on the grid. Neith Raby nor Twisk were able to improve their first session times and slipped from 14th and 19th respectively, to 19th and last.

GRID ORDER for the 40 lap race:

   1.
2
C. BRISTOW COOPER CLIMAX T.51
1.49.20
   2.
20
I. IRELAND LOTUS CLIMAX 18
1.49'99
   3.
9
J. SURTEES COOPER CLIMAX T.51
1.51'22
   4.
1
H. SCHELL COOPER CLIMAX T.51
1.51'47
   5.
6
J. LEWIS COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.51'62
   6.
19
A. STACEY LOTUS CLIMAX 18
1.52'33
   7.
4
T. MARSH COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.52'77
   8.
7
B. HALFORD COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.52'83
   9.
3
M. McKEE COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.52'92
 10.
18
G. WICKEN COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.52'99
 11.
5
J. CAMPBELL-JONES COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.53'08
 12.
18
R. SALVADORI COOPER CLIMAX T.51
1.53'28
 13.
14
S. OUVAROFF COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.53'71
 14.
24
R. HICKS LOTUS CLIMAX 16
1.54'22
 15.
28
H. TAYLOR LAYSTALL CLIMAX
1.55'45
 16.
23
F. GARDNER LOTUS CLIMAX 12
1.55'59
 13.
8
R. CARTER COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.55'85
 14.
10
M. CHARLES COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.57'51
 15.
26
I. RABY HUME CLIMAX
1.57'54
 16.
27
J. TWISK COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1.59'53

THE RACE

For three-quarters of the race Bristow and Ireland had a ding-dong battle for the lead but unfortunately for the Scot, the handling of his Lotus begun to deteriorate as the end approached and having held a narrow lead from lap 22 to lap 35 he was powerless to stop Bristow from passing him and pulling rapidly away to a comfortable 20 second victory. These two had been part of a three-way battle early on in the race with Stacey in the other works Lotus hanging on to the lead battle before slipping back and eventually retiring when he spun off the track. Schell too was quite competitive early on but retired with engine trouble at half distance.

Maybe John Surtees was looking for the twist grip throttle - whatever the reason, he made an awful start and was practically last at the end of the first lap. By lap 10 he had reached 12th place; was 7th by half distance and following the retirements of Schell and Stacey, the dark blue Cooper was up to 3rd. It was a remarkable drive and it is worth noting that at half distance Surtees was 41 seconds behind the leader - he finished 55 seconds behind. The inference being that had he started well, he would almost certainly have finished second. Under the circumstances he was very happy with third plus the fastest lap.

Another driver who performed very well was Salvadori. From the start Roy was on the move and quickly worked his way into the top six, moving up to 4th upon the retirement of Stacey's Lotus. If the Atkins Cooper had qualified higher he may well have been able to challenge Surtees for third place. Campbell-Jones, Halford and McKee had steady runs and Bob Hicks was delighted to finish as high as 8th.

HERE IS THE FULL RESULT OF THE 40 LAP RACE:

   1.
2
C. BRISTOW COOPER CLIMAX T.51
1. 15. 22'44
   2.
20
I. IRELAND LOTUS CLIMAX 18
1. 15. 43'93
   3.
9
J. SURTEES COOPER CLIMAX T.51
1. 16. 17'12
   4.
18
R. SALVADORI COOPER CLIMAX T.51
1. 16. 38'90
   5.
5
J. CAMPBELL-JONES COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1. 17. 19'20
   6.
7
B. HALFORD COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1. 17. 20'39
   7.
3
M. McKEE COOPER CLIMAX T.45
1. 17. 22'02
   8.
24
R. HICKS LOTUS CLIMAX 16
39 laps
   9.
14
S. OUVAROFF COOPER CLIMAX T.45
39 laps
   10.
18
G. WICKEN COOPER CLIMAX T.45
39 laps
   11.
23
F. GARDNER LOTUS CLIMAX 12
39 laps
   12.
26
I. RABY HUME CLIMAX
38 laps
   13.
8
R. CARTER COOPER CLIMAX T.45
38 laps
   14.
10
M. CHARLES COOPER CLIMAX T.45
38 laps
Fastest lap:   J. SURTEES, COOPER CLIMAX T.51,   on lap 22,   1.50'27
Retired:
4
T. MARSH COOPER CLIMAX T.45
37 laps
19
A. STACEY LOTUS CLIMAX 18
25 laps
1
H. SCHELL COOPER CLIMAX T.51
20 laps
27
J. TWISK COOPER CLIMAX T.45
8 laps
6
J. LEWIS COOPER CLIMAX T.45
4 laps
28
H. TAYLOR LAYSTALL CLIMAX
0 laps

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