Sir Stirling Moss has thrilled the fans at the Oulton Park Gold Cup today (Monday), racing in the Sir Stirling Moss Trophy in an OSCA FS372 as well as demonstrating the revolutionary Ferguson P99 four-wheel drive F1 car that won the 1961 Gold Cup. We caught up with the racing legend earlier today.
“Oulton Park has changed enormously” commented Sir Stirling.
“They’ve added quite a lot to the corners and the hairpin is around another turn, and after the pits is quite a change. There are so many changes that I don’t know where I am when I’m out there! It’s totally different to what it was before and a lot better when you know where it goes and enjoyable to drive.”
Sir Stirling is a racer at heart, and was delighted to be taking part in the activities today.
“It’s lovely to be back out on track. I wasn’t as fast as I’d like to have been but that’s because I’m older! The weather is good today which always helps, and the enthusiasm of the crowd is great, and it always has been a lovely place, it’s really beautiful.”
Sir Stirling shows no lack of enthusiasm for historic motorsport, and took in the atmosphere at Oulton Park, waving to the fans during his demonstration.
“The great thing about historic cars is that they are all so different, they don’t look the same and as the years have gone by there has been a change in the silhouette, but I think the old cars have a lot more character than the new ones.”
Moss competed in the race named after him, sharing an OSCA with Ian Nuthall, but experienced reliability issues in the morning and at the time it was unclear that he would be able to race.
“I’m afraid we had some problems with the gearbox, and I dont know if I will be driving today, but if I am driving I will be out there trying to win!”
The car was repaired in time however, and Sir Stirling took over from Nuthall half way through the race, and guided the car to a 20th place finish.
Moss is a five time winner of the Oulton Park Gold Cup, but confirmed that the stand out win was in 1961.
“When I’m thinking of the Gold Cup, the Ferguson victory stands out. It was the most interesting car to drive; its so different to anything else from that time. The 250F was the nicest car I’ve driven here, but the Ferguson in its own way is so intriguing that I’d probably have to put that at number one.”
And Moss has the chance to drive that car again today. Speaking before the demonstration, Sir Stirling admitted he wasn’t sure how he would feel when driving it.
“I shall be very interested to see how I feel handling it, because the great thing about the Ferguson is it was quite different to drive compared to a Maserati or anything else. Being four wheel drive you had to change your style quite a bit. I’ll be interested to see how it feels to me now all these years after.”
The great man was philosophical regarding the innovation of the Ferguson, admitting that such ingenuity may never return to Formula One.
“I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like it again. Unfortunately they banned it from international motorsports and you couldn’t have a Formula One car that was four wheel drive which in my mind was a very stupid thing to do. For something as novel as that to be in Formula One was a great step forward.”