Thursday 09 March 2017
The Historic Sports Car Club has unveiled an outstanding line-up of races for the Oulton Park Gold Cup (26-28 August), capped by the return of Historic Formula 2.
Other headline races include the Super Touring Trophy, the Jaguar Classic Challenge and the Historic Touring Car Challenge for touring cars from 1966 to 1990. A full line-up of HSCC championships for single-seaters, sports cars and touring cars will pack out the weekend and the two F2 races will carry the coveted Gold Cup title.
After a gap of nine years, the spectacle of period Formula 2 cars will return to the fabulous Cheshire parkland track for a double-header for the HSCC Historic Formula 2 International Series, which is open to single-seater racing cars built to the appropriate Formula 2, Formula B and Formula Atlantic regulations between 1 January 1967 and 31 December 1978.
Through the late 1960s and 1970s, Formula 2 was the absolute proving ground for young drivers. European Formula 2 champions of the era included Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Clay Regazzoni, Ronnie Peterson, Jacques Laffite and Bruno Giacomelli.
In April 1967, the first season of the new 1600cc F2 regulations, Formula 2 cars raced alongside F1 cars in the non-championship Oulton Park Spring Trophy and Jackie Oliver finished fourth overall in his F2 Lotus 41B. In September that year, Jackie Stewart (Matra MS7) and Graham Hill (Lotus 48) finished second and third overall behind the F1 Brabham of Jack Brabham in the Gold Cup. The star-studded F2 entry that weekend also included Jochen Rindt (Brabham BT23), Jean-Pierre Beltoise (Matra MS5), Jacky Ickx (Matra MS5) and Brian Redman (Lola T100).
It was five years before F2 returned to Cheshire for the second round of the 1972 John Player British Formula 2 Championship when young Austrian Niki Lauda won convincingly in his works March 722. Non-finishers included John Surtees (Surtees TS10) and Jody Scheckter (McLaren M21). The short-lived championship returned to Oulton in September for the fifth and final round when Ronnie Peterson (March 722) beat Lauda and James Hunt (March 712M) to provide a stellar podium for the final period F2 race at Oulton Park.
In August 2017, the 1600cc and 2-litre F2 cars will contest rounds seven and eight of 10 in the Historic Formula 2 International Series, a series that also takes in races at Donington Park, the Nurburgring, Magny Cours and Dijon. To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1600cc F2 regulations, a special award will be presented to the leading 1600cc car across the aggregate of the two races at Oulton Park.