Classic Chappel leading the pack at Oulton Park, this time believed to be the BARC Forward Trust round on October 7th 1973. John held the lead to win and set fastest lap a whisker under a 90 mph lap in a 1293cc Mini ! The over 1300cc class was poorly represented but John had plenty of opposition in his 1300cc class including that red Escort of Tony Dickinson. Ray Payne won the 1000cc class in his Imp. That time was quicker by comparison to John Fitzpatrick's Group 2 class record from 1970 but only lasted 20 days until Eric Smith lowered it to 91.36 mph . Crazy lap times for Minis.
* but less than 5 as doesnt appear on Autosport's seasonal list which starts at 5 wins.
For a while back in the early 1970's with Special Saloon racing at its most popular John Chappel became the fastest man in a Mini around Oulton Park. He rivalled Geoff Wood as the 1-litre king always in his dark blue and white-roofed Cooper under the Howley Racing ( of Warrington ) banner . For 1972 John moved up a class with a 1293cc engine and set a new class record of 1 minute 50.2 on the long circuit. Always content to just race in his native north-west rather than chase national championship honours John won his class at least 34 times in career from at least 1965 to 1977. Later concentrating on his Howley business his younger brother? Brendan Chappel continued the good work in the team's 850 class Mini racer in the latter half of the 70s.
Autosport's 1973 seasonal review of Special Saloons named unofficial season champions and runners-up ,naming Chappel as the season runner-up ,adding...'John Chappel was unbeatable at Oulton Park until ( Eric ) Smith's BDA came arrived at the end of the season'.
At the 2 early rounds of the season Autosport described Chappel`s car as 'new ,sparkling ' and 'new Arden-engined Mini' . After initial problems the new car was soon talking John back to class wins.
Autosport reflected 'John Chappel ,owner and builder of the lightest Mini in racing stayed near home for a year but was rarely beaten at Oulton and even gave Alec Poole a great run one day when he ran with a borrowed 1293 mill.'