Out-go­ing cham­pion Dean makes his mark with last-lap 70s Road Sports win

Motor Sport News - - Racing Reports -

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!”

Dean left it late to snatch win

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