Friday, August 24 2012
Whilst this weekend's Oulton Park Gold Cup (26-27 August) will focus on the event's halcyon days of the 1960s and 70s, there will also be representation from the following decade. Remembered as a time of excessive consumption, motorsport keenly followed the trend and some of the spectacular creations that emerged can be seen in action on and off track.
A popular feature of the Gold Cup is the rally display on the venue's dedicated stage and the awe-inspiring Group B cars will be returning this weekend. The Audi Quattro that kicked off the four-wheel-drive era will have a heavy presence, and the Lancia 037 that swept away all competition in the middle of the decade is sure to entertain. However the eyes of many will be focussed on Britain's contender, the wild MG Metro 6R4. Despite a lack of success, the Williams-designed V6 monster is one of the most fondly-remembered of that time.
Also joining in are many classics from earlier times, including the Ford Escort and Lotus Sunbeam, Mini Cooper and a large Porsche 911 contingent. The cars will be out from 12 noon to 6pm on Sunday, and 9am to 6pm on Monday, and spectators can get a closer view of the action with hot rides in Oulton Park's fleet of Escort Cosworths, available to purchase on Monday.
Meanwhile the European Touring Car Championship of the early 1980s will be celebrated with a healthy contingent of Group A cars in the JD Classic Challenge Race on Monday. The Jaguar XJS used to devastating effect by the late Tom Walkinshaw will join its earlier XJ12 cousin, whilst the Rover Vitesse that succeeded it will be out too. With a wide span of years covering the series, British interest continues with the Triumph Dolomite Sprint, whilst opposition comes from Germany with the BMW 2002 and NSU TT, and the Japanese Mitsubishi Starion. Ford is well represented too, with the Escort and Capri models that regularly battled on the racetracks of Europe.
In addition there are 17 more races for single seaters, sportscars, GTs and saloons, including the headlining Derek Bell Trophy featuring Formula 5000 cars that battled for the Gold Cup in the 1970s. Spectators are encouraged to arrive in period dress, with a grid walk on Monday at 1pm open only to those suitably attired.
Tickets for the Oulton Park Gold Cup on 26-27 August are available on the gate for £21 each day, with free admission for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.