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Andy Middlehurst claims victory in Historic Grand Prix Cars Association race at Oulton Park

Sunday, August 29 2010

Andy Middlehurst has clinched victory in the Historic Grand Prix Cars Assocation race at Oulton Park today after a tense battle with Ian Ashley.

Middlehurst started in second in his ex-Jim Clark Lotus 25, but made a good start and vaulted pole sitter Ashley's LDS F1 on the run down to Old Hall.

John Clark made a stunning start from fourth place and was alongside the leaders on the run down to the first corner, but eventually came round the first lap in third.

Middlehurst held a 1.092s lead at the end of the first lap, and stretched his lead to 1.6s at the end of lap two, and 2.7s at the end of lap three.

But Ashley was soon in his stride, and began to claw the gap back down, and at the end of lap six was less than a second behind, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process.

Ashley's charge was halted on lap seven though when the top two caught backmarkers at Knickerbrook. Middlehurst was able to scrape through, but Ashley wasn't quite as fortunate and was delayed, losing over half a second in the process.

The action was almost as close further down the field, with Alan Baillie forcing his Cooper T71/73 past Mark Piercy and into sixth place.

Back at the front, Ashley set about reversing the damage caused by backmarkers by reducing the gap once more, and at the start of the last lap it was Middlehurst's turn to meet traffic, with a gaggle of cars in front of him on the start finish straight.

But it wasn't to prove enough for Ashley as Middlehurst hung on and crossed the finish line just 0.8s ahead.

John Harper rounded out the top three in his Cooper T51 while John Clark driving a similar machine finished fourth. Andrew Smith's Cooper T43 finished fifth with Baillie rounding out the top six.

Historic Grand Prix Cars Association, Oulton Park, race result:
1. Andy Middlehurst (Lotus 25), 10 laps
2. Ian Ashley (LDS F1), +0.887s
3. John Harper (Cooper T51), +2.292s
4. John Clark (Cooper T51), +12.873s
5. Andrew Smith (Cooper T43), +18.599s
6. Alan Baillie (Cooper T71/73), +30.613s
7. Mark Piercy (Lola Mk4), +32.875s
8. Sidney Hoole (Cooper T66), +47.598s
9. Miles Griffiths (Cooper T45), +1m06.182s
10. Mike Windsor-Price (Cooper T51), +1m24.730s

Tickets for the Oulton Park Gold Cup on 29/30 August are available on the gate for £21 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click on the link below.