Out-going champion Dean makes his mark with last-lap 70s Road Sports win
An epic 70s Road Sports Championship counter topped the opening day of action at Oulton Park as out-going champion Jim Dean swept to the fore on the final lap for a memorable victory.
Earlier in the day the Historic Road Sports pack set the bar high with a cracking race, but the 70s field managed to deliver an even better contest as Lotus, Morgan and Datsun raced wheel-to-wheel.
The fast-starting Charles Barter forged his Datsun 240Z into an early lead but Dean’s Lotus Europa went with him while Russell Paterson (Morgan Plus 8) and Julian Barter (in Dean’s other Europa) watched the fun from close quarters.
A grassy moment at Knickerbrook cost Dean some momentum and Paterson, on a welcome return to the championship, dived into second. Dean then had more trouble on his hands as Barter junior, showing scant respect for the car’s owner, pushed his Europa briefly into third.
Up front, Barter senior had a chance to draw breath, but then managed to knock the master switch off momentarily with his elbow and the other three were back at him until son Julian dropped back with a misfire.
Despite a damaged gearbox, Paterson edged ahead of Barter into the final lap and Dean then blew past the Datsun on the exit of Cascades. That spectacular momentum took the Europa ahead of the Morgan at Shell and the result was finally settled.
“It was awesome,” said Dean. “What a race with these two guys!”