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Oulton Park circuit

A scenic racing circuit located in Cheshire nr Tarporley.

Located at: Little Budworth, Tarporley, Cheshire CW6 9BW. Tel: 01829 760301

Background to the track
Oulton Park, located near the small village of Little Budworth in Tarporley, Cheshire, can trace its racing heritage back to 1953 when the first competitive meet was held, behind closed doors, on August 8th 1953. The races held that day around the 1.5 mile track were organised by the Mid-Cheshire Car Club, and were run with the intention of getting RAC accreditation to allow the paying public to attend future races.

Oulton Park circuit guide
The first race was for 500cc Formula 3 cars, split into 3 separate heats. Winner of the final race was Les Leston, a name forever associated with go-faster accessories and goodies to fit on road cars throughout the 50s and 60s.

Formula 2 cars featured in the main race of this inaugural meeting, with Tony Rolt piloting a Rob Walker-entered Connaught A-Type to victory.

This successful first event led to Oulton hosting publicly-attended events for the first time later in the year, a combined venture by the Mid-Cheshire Car Club, and the Wirral 100 Motor Club. Again 3 heats of Formula 3 racing are run during the day, with victory going to Ninian Sanderson. In second place came a certain Ken Tyrrell, a name that would do great things in Formula 1 several years later, and be forever associated with Jackie Stewart's World Championships in 1969/1971/1973. The birth of Oulton Park as a racing circuit was celebrated on its 50th birthday in 2003.

Magnetic driving game by Duncan Hamilton at Oulton Park
Duncan Hamilton's Oulton Park driving game.
The tree-lined Oulton Park circuit was now gaining a reputation for being a challenging circuit, with some useful changes in gradient and stunning surroundings.

1954 saw the track extended to 2.23 miles thanks to the extension up past the lake (Lakeside) to Island Bend, the season starting in April with the British Empire Trophy race.

The race was won by Alan Brown in a Bristol, with second place driver Roy Salvadori, driving a Maserati A6GCS, grabbing second and setting the new lap record while he was at it.

By now, the public was benefiting from extra provisions installed in '53, including safety banks and a new bridge.

Later in the same season the circuit would be further extended, to 2.7 miles. In August, the first ever Gold Cup meeting was held. The first event would see a certain Stirling Moss compete in his brand new 250F Maserati (250F models available here), starting from the back of the grid but fighting his way through the pack to win this first Gold Cup race, at the age of just 24, in a car new to him.

Further seasons would see repeat runs of the Gold Cup, and many more new races come and go.

Today, Oulton holds a number of high profile events throughout the year. The Gold Cup, for historic single seater, sports and saloon cars, is now established as a great meeting where classic competition cars can be seen on a circuit that has barely changed since the 1950s. Drawing the largest crowd is the British Touring Car Championship that visits Oulton Park each season, the challenging nature of the track usually leading to some entertaining dices between the front line saloon car racing drivers.

To view the current racing calendar for this Cheshire circuit, visit the Motorsport Vision website, and find out more about the BTCC here.

Also see on the oldclassiccar site:
Photographs from a sports car meeting held at Oulton in 2005
Jaguar saloons racing report from Oulton Pk.
Racing car classifieds - parts for sale & wanted
Shelsley Walsh Centenary
Goodwood's Revival meeting

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