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Lyons and Evans star in tricky conditions at the Gold Cup

Monday, August 25 2014

Visitors to the Oulton Park Gold Cup on Bank Holiday Monday were treated to thrilling on-track contests, particularly in the showcase Derek Bell Trophy, which recalled the Formula 5000 and Shellsport G8 contests of the 1970s.

Richard Evans stole the show in the opening Derek Bell Trophy contest, guiding his March 742 to victory, ahead of pre-race favourite Michael Lyons in a Gurney Eagle FA74. Lyons was almighty early on and things were looking ominous for the chasing pack when he opened up a six second lead on the first lap. Evans was able to chip away at his advantage though and by lap five Evans was all over the back of Lyons. Lyons defended impeccably but was unable to hold off the charging Evans who overtook him magnificently around the outside at Shell.  Mark Dwyer completed the podium in his 782, to complete a March one-three. 1974 Gold Cup winner Ian Ashley stormed from the back of the grid in his Lola T300, resisting a late onslaught from the six-wheeled March 2-4-0 of Jeremy Smith, to claim a fine fourth.

Derek Bell Trophy, Race 1
1, Richard Evans, March 742, 11 Laps
2, Michael Lyons, Gurney Eagle FA74, +9.553s
3, Mark Dwyer, March 782, +17.652s
4, Ian Ashley, Lola T300, +1m04.404s
5, Jeremy Smith, March 2-4-0, +1m15.419s

The second Derek Bell Trophy contest took place in testing conditions and Evans led initially, before the race was interrupted by a red flag when Tim Barry went off the track on lap three. Lyons got the better of Evans at the restart and led by 2.4s by the end of the first lap. Evans closed the gap but fell just short, following Lyons closely across the finish line. Behind them Ian Ashley returned to the Gold Cup podium, forty years after his Formula 5000 success here.

Derek Bell Trophy, Race 2
1, Michael Lyons, Gurney Eagle FA74, 8 Laps
2, Richard Evans, March 742, +0.939s
3, Ian Ashley, Lola T300, +28.443s
4, Gregory Thornton, Chevron B24, +1m38.602s
5, Myles Castaldini, Brabham BT38, +1m50.908s

John Cleland rolled back the years to win in the Super Touring Trophy in his Vauxhall Vectra, defending well and then pulling away to defeat Paul Smith's Audi A4. Mark Jones completed the podium in his green Renault Laguna, as driven by Jason Plato in period.

Tim Davies was another star tin top performer of the day, winning the first of two Historic Touring Car races, despite getting a poor start. Swamped off the line, Davies was quick to recover and eventually headed Pete Morgan's Mini home by just 0.3s, despite the Minis being favoured on the slippery surface. Pete Morgan was able to win the second contest in his nimble Mini.

Francois Derossi (Chevron B17), Benjamin Tusting (Reynard SF79) and Michael Mallock (Mallock Mk) shared the remaining single-seater honours in the Classic Racing Cars, Historic Formula Ford 2000, and Historic Formula Ford 1600 classes respectively.

Tony Sinclair (Lola T292) won the second  of the weekend's Martini Trophy contests, which recreated the European Sports Car Championship battles of the 1970s.

Mark Charteris was victorious in the HSCC Classic Clubmans, beating Spencer McCarthy in a strong field that included racing ace Mark Hales.

For a calendar of Oulton Park events click here.