The Ferrari Owners’ Club
of Great Britain

Round

1st R1: Gary Culver 328GTB / R2: Gary Culver 328GTB
2nd R1: Pete Fisk 550 Maranello / R2: Chris Butler 328GTB
3rd R1: Chris Butler 328GTB / R2: Pete Fisk 550 Maranello
report by William Moorwood & Nicky Paul Barron
photography by Simon Cooke and William Moorwood

Oulton Park is a classic parkland road course and given a dry track in good weather I doubt that there is a better place to be in the UK. So it was a bit of a worry when the sunshine of Friday was replaced by early morning heavy rain, to the extent that we were warned in the drivers briefing that there could be a delay to the start of proceedings. I6 drivers attended the briefing, which was a smaller number that seemed likely earlier in the week when it seemed probable that we would have over 20 cars on the grid. In particular three potentially front running 335s were unable to attend.

This was a one day VSCC meeting and the paddock and public areas were full of lovely vintage cars of all shapes and sizes. There was live music and even dancing in the circuit café. Promoters increasingly understand the need to improve the show, and the VSCC certainly know how to put on a well organised and welcoming event.

The weather cleared from heavy rain to light rain and the qualifying started on time. Although it was a decidedly wet track it was definitely better than it might have been.  Top of the form was Gary Culver followed by Chris Butler, both in 328s. Tris Simpson was just ahead of Lee Moulden in their 355s and, next up was Richard Moseley making an all too rare appearance in his yellow 328 GTB. The RnR driver of the Knockhill weekend, Pete Fisk, was not finding the Cheshire rain and worn tyres a good combination and was back in 10th place on the grid. Carl Burgar was a welcome returnee to the paddock in his ex John Roberts 328 GTB. It was the first time he had driven the car and announced after qualifying that he did not like it at all. Fortunately he began to like it better as his times and position in the races improved, and even hoped to be at Zandvoort in two week’s time. Another welcome returnee was Pauline Goodwin in her 328 GTB and it was good to see her husband Jon later in the day.

Race 1

The first race got underway just after lunch on what appeared to be a dry circuit. Butler’s once famed starts have not been going well since he changed cars, but with new engine and steady bar mountings he was back on form and lead the pack into the first corner from his front row start. Culver was holding off Lee Moulden with Richard Moseley next up.

All looked good until the pack approached the Shell Oils hairpin when a small mistake by Peter Everingham put him off the track into the barriers and then back across the track. Fortunately no one else was involved in the incident. The safety car was deployed a little late just behind the front four cars, but with a prompt from Steve Burns in race control the race was red flagged and the grid set up for a new start, on what would now become a 15 minute sprint.

At the restart Gary Culver got away in the lead from Butler, Moulden and Chris Compton-Goddard. Lee Moulden was certainly a potential winner of this race but a drive shaft failure put him out on lap 3. This left Culver with a comfortable lead from Butler and a closing Pete Fisk in the 550. By the end of lap 4 Fisk had moved the big car ahead of Butler’s group 3 328. At the flag the order remained Culver, Fisk, Butler and it had all got a bit spaced out at the front.

On the other hand there was plenty of close racing at the back with Burgar making a great start from the back to gain several places only to be pegged back by William Moorwood (308GT4) with a neat move into Knickerbrook. This however came to no avail as in the course of the race Burgar, Peter Moseley (308GTB) and Richard Fenny (308GT4) would all get past him. Not surprisingly the track the track conditions were not conducive to fast times and there are no new lap records to report this weekend.

Race 2

For race 2 we had lost Peter Everingham but also Tris Simpson whose 355, although better than at Knockhill, was still not running as it should.  The good news was that Vance Kearney would be on the grid thanks to excellent work from RnR, and a borrowed part from Wayne Marr’s 355. The rain had come back stronger than for qualy and it was windy too.

All got away safely from the start, and despite the conditions there were no incidents. Everyone stayed on track, which was a testament to the skill of all who took part. At the front Culver and Butler showed off their talent and were able to excel in the tricky conditions, lapping noticeably quicker than everyone else. Despite his lack of seat time Richard Moseley was going very well in his 328 to hold down 3rd position. Pete Fisk and Vance Kearney were enjoying an entertaining tussle, possibly holding them both up, with Chris Goddard in close attendance.  This was allowing Tim Walker and Nick Cartwright to slowly close them down and get past Goddard whose worn tyres were proving to be too much of a handful on the wet track.

As in the first race there was plenty of close racing at the back of the field. Carl Burgar again moved up several places to get ahead of Moorwood who in turn was hounded by Goodwin and Fenny for the whole race. At the flag it was Culver who always had things under control. Chris Butler rounded up another excellent showing with second place and would have been closer to Culver had he not come up behind slower cars at the end of the final lap. In third place was Richard Moseley, Pete Fisk held on from Vance Kearney and Tim Walker held on from Nick Cartwright as Goddard slipped down two places on the last lap to finish behind them.

At the prize giving Chris Butler not only had two Group 3 wins but the RnR driver of the day award for a great performance in a standard car. Gary Culver was, no doubt after Knockhill, pleased to have a car running well and picked up two race wins and two Group 4 awards. The 355s did not do so well this weekend and Pete Fisk enjoyed two Group 5 awards. First in class for Groups 2 and 1 went to Chris Goddard and William Moorwood.

Thanks to the VSCC for inviting us and putting on a really good event. We could not fail to be impressed by the enthusiasm to race their cars of all shapes and sizes with minimal protection from the elements. Thanks also to Simon Cooke for braving the elements and despite everything providing some excellent photos.