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Oulton Park Gold Cup to feature huge HRDC touring car entry

Wednesday, July 20 2022

A remarkable 37-car grid will contest the Historic Racing Drivers Club (HRDC) 'Jack Sears Trophy' touring car race at the Oulton Park Gold Cup on Saturday 30 July.

The HRDC grid will evoke memories of the British Saloon Car Championship, now the BTCC, with machinery originally built and raced through the '50s and '60s. This will recreate a fondly remembered era of tin top racing in which 'Gentleman' Jack Sears frequently battled wheel-to-wheel with Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jackie Oliver, Sir John Whitmore, and many other heroes of yesteryear.

The 1950s will be epitomised by battles between bellowing Mk.1 Jaguars and the smaller Austin A40s, whilst Lotus Ford Cortinas and Mini Coopers will provide crowd-pleasing duels with a distinct 1960s flavour.

Amongst the Jaguar drivers will be flamboyant 'Welsh Wizard' Grant Williams in his family-owned ex-Works Jaguar Mk.2. Other entries from the famous British marque will include a Richard Butterfield and Tony Jardine shared Woodroffe/Coombs Mk.2. Other highlights will include a quartet of Alfa Romeos, including Neil Merry's original GTA and Tim Dutton's Giulia Sprint GT. 

A trio of Ford Anglias will be worth watching too, evoking memories of '60s touring car heroics from John Fitzpatrick, John Young and Chris Craft. Driving duties in the HRDC 'Angleboxes' will be handled by Martin Reynolds, Colin Sowter and Eric Walker.

No fewer than nine Lotus Ford Cortinas are expected to appear too, including cars driven by the experienced pairing of Mike Gardiner and Dax Cox and solo competitor Pete Chambers. Henry Mann will share a Cortina with '80s and '90s touring car hero Steve Soper too on a hugely competitive grid.

The Mini entry will feature plenty of rapid competitors too, including Clio Cup racer Ben Colburn who will be hoping to beat father Richard in their evenly matched Cooper S racers. One driver who'll definitely have his eye on leading home the Mini contingent is Nick Swift, who has a supreme record behind the wheel of Britain's iconic compact classic.

There will be plenty of interesting cars hailing from the 1950s too, including Drew Pritchard's 1958 VW Beetle. Other interesting cars from the BTCC's formative decade include Ding Boston's Riley 1.5 - as used in the 1958 title shootout between Sears and Tommy Sopwith'.

James Colburn, brother of Ben, could be another entrant to watch as he puts his Clio Cup experience to good use behind the wheel of a Vanguard Six.  The Austin A40 'Speedwell' cars of Mark Daniel/Matt Moore and the Dorlin brothers, Richard and James are worth keeping an eye on too - don't surprise if they take the fight to some of the 1960s cars.

The announcement of the HRDC's 37-car strong entry follows the recent news of a Historic Grand Prix Car Association grid at the new look Gold Cup. A comprehensive list of entries for the whole meeting will be published ahead of the event.

Other highlights of the updated programme this year will include new additions from Masters Historic Racing, the Classic Sports Car Club, and the Vintage Sports-Car Club. All on-track activity will be overseen by the Historic Sports Car Club which will also offer up a range of its popular championships and series.

Saturday and Sunday tickets are available from £22 with free entry for under-13s. For more information, please call 0344 225 4422 or click here.