Thursday, 6 September 2007

Weekend Fun 3

Last post about the Oulton Park Gold Cup. I’m not much of a fan of motor racing but it is much better to see racing cars in action on the track rather than static in a museum. You do see some fine displays of driving skill as old racing cars generally have more power than they have roadholding or braking ability. This year some of the more prestigious cars stayed away because the Goodwood Revival was the following weekend. As a result there were no C or D-type Jaguars, no Listers, Ferraris or Corvettes, which was a disappointment given the high standard of entries in past years.

What was interesting was the difference in sound quality between the different engines. The sound of a 4 or 8 cylinder engine carries much more clearly than any six. Subjectively the loudest cars of the weekend were the Chevron sports cars and the Formula 5000 single-seaters. Formula 5000 was an interesting discipline, using Formula 1 chassis but with production-based 5-litre American V8 engines to keep costs down.

Favourite moments of the weekend included watching the historic Formula Junior cars and seeing both a Fiat 124 coupé and a BMW 328 (well, a Frazer-Nash BMW) in action. The Fiat is such a rare car because most examples rusted at a frightening rate – a shame because contemporary accounts rate it highly. As for the BMW, it was the most modern of the pre-war cars – no wonder so many people hold the 328 in high regard.

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