The Oulton Park Gold Cup Is Classic Racing You Should See For Yourself
Photography by Jayson Fong
I’ve been told countless times to take the effort and make it to Oulton Park for the Gold Cup, and what I do know is that when so many people tell you that an event is well worth going to, they are usually on to something. Finally, 2016 was the year to see what it was all about—and it ended up as one of the most refreshing racing weekends of the year.
Originally awarded to the winner of the non-championship round of Formula 1 that used to be held on this challenging circuit, the Gold Cup weekend has been a regular of the Oulton Park calendar since 1954. With drivers including Sir Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, and Jackie Stewart among many greats to have steered in anger around the circuit, this little corner of Cheshire is rich with motorsport history that includes not just single seaters like Formula 1 and F5000, but also GT racing, superbikes and saloons.
Today, the legacy of the Gold cup is continued, as period grids like the Pre-’66 Grand Prix cars and Formula Juniors from the early days return to the circuit. It turns out to be a great decision not to look at a hint of a timetable or entry list before arriving: the dramatic effect of watching a swarm of single seaters flowing out of Old Hall Corner and towards Cascades is truly memorable.
For me, a standout aspect of Oulton Park is how incredibly picturesque the circuit is, and with an air of authenticity and regard for its heritage it is a welcome change to the standard barren ex-airfield layout that so many other British circuits share. From the tree-lined straight out of Druids Corner to the overlapping sections by the lake and heading to the hairpin at Shell Oils Corner, Oulton is full of character and certainly pushes drivers to stay awake while at the limit.
As a result, this weekend featured action at multiple points around park with many heated battles witnessed by spectators during the intense Formula Ford, Jaguar Classic Challenge and forever entertaining historic touring cars. However, if racing wasn’t the only interest, the infield hosted a vast collection of road cars from local clubs, an artisan market, live music and Second World War military camp display that recalled Oulton’s past as a US Army staging Camp.
So, the Oulton Park Gold Cup weekend: a relaxed, yet spectacular event held at one of the most scenic circuits in Britain, with some of the finest racing cars from the circuit’s past. It’s probably worth seeing for yourself.