One-Litre F3 Historic Racing Association


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28th-29th August 2010 - Oulton Park

David Methley Takes the Peter Hanson Trophy

Bob Lyell is usually responsible for the immaculate preparation of James Long's Brabham BT15, but a prolonged engine rebuild left him with a free weekend. Rather than seeing a pair of idle hands we set him to work; his report appears below. Many thanks Bob. All photographs courtesy and copyright Michael Hedger.


As enthusiasm for Historic Motor Racing has grown, so has each circuit responded by developing a meeting dedicated to our favourite aspect of the sport. For Oulton Park, it’s the August Bank Holiday Gold Cup. This picturesque Cheshire circuit, created in the 50’s is well suited to Historics taking its track layout from the narrow sweeping estate roads serving the old hall, not the usual airfield perimeter track.Whilst entering the paddock was never going to deliver the time portal experience of Goodwood, competitors and spectators alike could not fail to be excited by the sight and sound of so many proper racing cars. Most of the 1 Litre F3 competitors were to be found in what has become their established home to the right of the entrance having squeezed in whilst still leaving a way open to the assembly area. If there was a prize for the furthest travelled it should go to Vincent Rivet and his wife, now 1002 kms from home.

From a programme entry of 13, 14 arrived. We lost Ian Bankhurst because the engine for his Alexis was not ready, but gained Bev Bond, Lotus 59 and Stuart Tizzard with his Chevron B15C. All scrutineered without incident but passing the noise test proved more difficult, requiring additional silencer packing for some.

The first testing session was just that, testing. The weather which had been unsettled for most of the preceding week, well 2 months actually was not going to change just for us. Five went out to simultaneously enjoy rain, sunshine and F5000 cars. For most it served as a reminder of the circuit layout, for Steve Wilkinson that top gear was not high enough.


All 14 assembled for an incident free 15 minute session at 12.45. It was great to see Bev Bond reunited with the same lotus 59 which he had driven here to victory in the British Empire Trophy meeting back in 1970 when 3 of the 5 races were for 1 Litre F3 cars, what a meeting, what an empire. Present owner Jim Chapman’s kindness would be repaid by its safe return at the end of the day

Perhaps the rain, falling mainly at Druids and generally damp track helped, but for Roland Fischer, Nigel Bancroft and David Methley to secure the 3 fastest times and push the quickest F2 car down to 4th was a tremendous performance. The resulting grid promised an exciting first race the following day.

Saturday evening

That there is a social side to our sport could not have been more ably demonstrated than by the BBQ which Steve Wilkinson and his wife Jenni organised on behalf of 1000ccF3HRA that evening. How they sheltered 60 people from the rain let alone fed and watered them, (with something stronger than water) was a masterpiece of paddock entertaining. Those attending were not just the weekend’s competitors; many from the period came along to recount tales of daring do in the 1 Litre cars which they still remember with such passion. Racers like Charles Lucas, Alan Rollinson, Mike Walker, Natalie Goodwin, Cyd Williams, Ian Ashley, Dave Berry, John Cardwell and Ben Moore.    

Sadly Chris Holland would receive personal news that required him to return home.

Race 1

After a monumental downpour on the Sunday morning, the track dried for our first race at 13.22, but the excitement started before the lights went green. Those near the pit wall saw late arrival Leif Bosson dive down the inside of the rapidly forming grid, (thank you marshals) and into the pit lane to check that all was well. What they had not seen was his car and the red Tecno of Peter Froude touch on the green flag lap leaving the Tecno stranded with a bent wishbone.

Roland Fischer having secured pole was also blessed with sitting in the only puddle on the circuit. It was never going to be an easy start, the rear wheels finally finding grip after he had lost places to David Methley and Nigel Bancroft. Last away was Leif from the pit lane, he would have to work hard to make up ground.

It was Nigel and David who entertained us and I am sure themselves with a great dice at the front of the field, in the end David took the chequered flag less than 3 seconds ahead of Nigel.

Stuart Tizzard called it a day after 4 laps with a misfire that sounded like fuel starvation and Andrew Thorpe, shown a technical problem black flag in error correctly pulled over on the last lap to DNF. Both would make the second race.

Race 2

Because the famous Oulton Park curfew dictates that all engines are stopped by 6.30, the chequered flag must go out at 6.27. Cutting 5 minutes off the previous race and running a very smart green flag lap enabled the lights to go green at 6.12 for a full duration race. At the front the David Methley, Nigel Bancroft tussle continued, further down John Counsell who had debated whether to go out, having lost all power below 7,000 rpm, was having his own race with Bev Bond. When Frank Sytner showed him the way past on the last lap the commentator described them as “these 3 old stagers”.

At the line it was again David Methley leading Nigel Bancroft by 8 seconds with Roland Fischer third.

Leif’s luck was no better in this second race, being forced to retire on lap 5 when his engine tightened.

On reflection a very enjoyable meeting in a significant year for the revival of 1 litre F3. A good grid of 14 cars, 3 having driven from Continental Europe, Baba san having flown over from Japan, a lap time of 1.51 and very few mechanical problems. All combined with good company, an excellent BBQ, A plastic chicken (?) and the chance to see Bev Bond reunited with ‘his’ Lotus 59 40 years on.

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