Although John Ure and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards dominated Monday’s Royal Automobile Woodcote Trophy race at the Oulton Park Gold Cup with their Cooper T24/25, they did not start from pole – that honour was secured by Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams driving Dick Skipworth’s Jaguar D-type.
When Skipworth took the wheel of his own car for the start, however, he was – not surprisingly – unable to match Whizzo’s frantic pace, allowing John Ure to belt past in his Cooper and snatch the lead. Right on Ure’s tail throughout the first half of the race was Stephen Bond’s Lister Bristol, which even took the lead at one point – and, remarkably, achieved the fastest lap of the race. But any chance of scooping victory disappeared in the pit stop when Bond, as a single driver, had to stop for a mandatory 45 seconds.
The Ure / Blakeney-Edwards pairing, meanwhile, did such a rapid pit stop that the Cooper hardly seemed to be stationary at all. In fact, Blakeney-Edwards pushed Ure out of the car and left him on the ground as he roared off down the pit lane to re-enter the fray. John Ure seemed quite happy with this outcome…
Another hero of the race was Denis Welch, who took over from Malcolm Verey to drive a blinding second half in the Allard J2 – a particularly brutal car in the wetter weather which came towards the end of the race. Welch took the Allard up through the grid – even passing Stephen Bond’s Lister Bristol on the last lap – to finish second.
So, at the end of a fast and furious race in which – despite the increasingly damp conditions – no one failed to finish, the Ure/Blakeney-Edwards Cooper was first past the flag, the Verey/Welch Allard second and the Lister Bristol third. That Lister Bristol, incidentally, entered both the Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy and the Stirling Moss Trophy – the two races organised by Motor Racing Legends – as did Brian White’s Triumph TR2.
Class winners not yet mentioned included Martyn Corfield and Jeremy Welch in their Austin-Healey 100M; and Rick Hall and Martin Melling in the Aston Martin DB3.