Oulton Park Gold Cup 2023
Harry Barton Wins Sir John Whitmore Trophy for Historic Touring Cars.
Held over 28-30 July at Oulton Park in Cheshire, England, Barton Racing left the TVR at home and entered Harry in three races (2×20 minutes and 1×50 minutes) driving our matched pair of Retro Engineering prepared BMWs. Practice, qualifying, and racing, all done and dusted during Friday/Saturday. So everybody got Sunday off! The weather was dry and warm.
First up, a pair of ten lap sprints both counting towards the Sir John Whitmore Trophy. After a trouble-free practice Harry lined up fifth on the grid for Race 1, his 1965 BMW 1800 TiSA sounding very crisp. Result? First Historic Touring Car across the line. Race 2 was a repeat of Race 1, although some unwanted close attention from a very erratic Cortina driver, who shall remain nameless, did his best to spoil things. Luckily the damage was restricted to one wing and a door allowing Harry to carry off a well deserved double win. We await the Trophy.
The MRL fifty minute Historic Touring Car Challenge was altogether more serious, and split into more classes than Crufts. And in an effort to provide balance Harry’s 1969 BMW 2002, along with three Ford Cortina’s, were awarded an unnecessary thirty second grid delay. There was also a mid-race compulsory pit stop which further complicated matters. Anyway a real ding dong developed off the line until, on lap three, Harry broke away, free to chase down the very quick 3 litre Capri of James Slaughter which he eventually caught and passed. Sadly, on lap seventeen the BMW rolled to a stop and into retirement with gear selection problems. Game over.
All in all it though two out of three was a great result for the team, and bodes well for the big Silverstone Festival meeting at Silverstone next month (25-27 August) when the TVR, currently going through a refresh, joins the two BMWs.