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Oulton Park Gold Cup to honour John Surtees this weekend

Friday, August 18 2017

The Oulton Park Gold Cup will pay tribute to legendary motor racing figure John Surtees with a special Lola T70 demonstration when it returns on August Bank Holiday Weekend (26-28 August). The iconic T70 MkII Spyder, as raced by the Surtees team in the mid '60s, will be driven by Mike Whittaker at lunch time on the Monday.

Surtees, who remains the only individual to have been world champion on both two wheels and four, won the Oulton Park Gold Cup four times during his illustrious career. 'Il Grande John' was actually the first person to win the Gold Cup as a historic event, when he claimed the last of his four victories behind the wheel of a Maserati 250F.

The T70 demonstration will serve as an iconic reminder of Team Surtees' 1966 foray into Can-Am sports car racing in North America, when John himself fended off competition from cars entered by Penske and McLaren to win the crown.

In addition to the on-track commemoration, Surtees will also be remembered by long time Oulton Park commentator Mike Cookson within the pages of the souvenir event programme. 

The race programme itself will be headlined by the Historic F2 International Series, which brings dedicated races for late '60s and '70s F2 cars back to the event for the first time in almost a decade. The Surtees theme will continue here with Jeremy Wheatley expected to take to the grid in his TS15, in a field which also includes cars from Brabham, Lotus, March, and Chevron. The aggregate winner from the two F2 races will be awarded the 'Historic Gold Cup' which was introduced last year to recapture the spirit of the original award. 

Other highlight races will include a double-header outing from the '90s Super Touring Cars which will recreate the pulsating British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) battles of the era. A number of star cars will be on track, including manufacturer-prepared saloons from Nissan, Volvo, Renault, and Ford, whist there will be a big name driver in the mix too in the shape of two-time BTCC champion John Cleland. 

The race line-up will also incorporate classic GT and sports car racing, more retro single-seaters, and the Historic Touring Cars which always produce crowd-pleasing racing. On top of all that, Formula Ford's 50th Anniversary will be celebrated with four races across the weekend, with the entry list expected to approach 50 cars. 

Away from the cut and thrust of the racing itself, there will be a wealth of attractions to enjoy and maintain the retro mood within the circuit's infield. This will feature everything from one of the largest car displays you'll see in northern Britain this summer, to retro music, and military displays which will pay homage to the venue's time as a World War II staging camp under the leadership of General Patton.  

High adrenaline rally rides will be available on the day as well, and vintage bus tours of the circuit will take place on the Sunday morning, enabling guests to see the circuit from an alternative perspective. 

Tickets for the Oulton Park Gold Cup are available online in advance for £19 until midday on Wednesday 23 August and on the gate thereafter. For more information, please call 0843 453 9000 or visit www.oultonparkgoldcup.com.