Although this was not the first event held this year at the track, one never feels that the season has really started till the B.A.R.C. have held their first meeting, which in this case had the added attraction of being the Easter event, and drew a very good attendance. The weather over the whole weekend was distinctly discouraging, and the B.A.R.C. were very lucky not to have their racing marred by rain. As it was the sky was content to threaten, and the few drops of rain which fell were not enough to have any effect on the track surface. On the other hand, the wind was rather boisterous, and made extremely high speed a very ticklish business, as was fully demonstrated when Birkin’s Bentley appeared from the Members’ Bridge in a terrific skid, caused mainly by the gusty conditions, but happily controlled with superb skill. The Bentley has already distinguished itself this season by breaking the lap record in practice by 1/5th second. This now stands at 137.96 m.p.h
Kaye Don, the previous holder of this honour, was to have appeared at this meeting in one of the new supercharged 4,900 c.c. racing Bugattis, but it was announced that owing to trouble with the supercharger drive in practice, he would not run. We hope that by Whitsun he will have had more time to get the car right, when we should see some interesting speeds. Sir Henry Birkin’s Bentley has certainly found some more power during the winter, and Messrs. Birkin and Couper are not likely to slack off their efforts to make the car even quicker. All of which means that Kaye Don will have his work cut out to improve on Birkin’s figures. The opening event was the Senior Short Handicap with Widengren’s O.M. on scratch, and Robinson’s veteran Bugatti on the limit mark, also Capt. Waite’s Austin looking very smart, and driven by L. P. Driscoll.
The Bugatti got off well, but it was soon evident that the Austin was going very fast, as was R. J. Munday’s Vauxhall. On the second lap Driscoll took the lead from Robinson, and Munday pulled up to third place and looked very much like catching the leaders when his motor passed away just after the fork, giving place to Ashby’s Riley, which caught and passed the Bugatti to take second place, and they finished in that order.
Driscoll’s fastest lap was at 102.08 m.p.h., which beat Major Gardner’s previous best 750 c.c. lap of 100.61 m.p.h. on an M.G. and which he later improved upon.
The second race was a” Mountain” event which produced some fast cornering by the ultimate winner, J. Robinson’s Bugatti and also by the scratch man, Hamilton, on a “blown” M.G. Midget, who came fourth. Robinson took the lead early and was not seriously challenged, but had one anxious moment when he approached the banking corner rather too fast for his brakes, and shot straight up the track. However, he slowed successfully and continued. Second place fell to Cuthbert’s supercharged Lagonda which went really well, and Eccle’s Bugatti was third. A good tussle for fourth place went on between Victor Gillow (Riley) and Hamilton, the latter finally catching him.
Vernon Balls was out on one of the new Crossley racers but was evidently only using the event as a try-out and did not produce any fireworks.
Two short races followed, the first being without much interest as the order of the leaders remained nearly unchanged, being Stonard (Riley), G. C. L. Willis (Austin) and A. H. Eccles (Bugatti), the latter just getting his place from Westbrook’s Alvis.
The second was an excellent race, the chief interest centering on John Cobb’s big Delage and Sir Henry Birkin’s Bentley on scratch, Kaye Don being unable to start. Jack Dunfee’s Ballot was limit man, and on the first lap led from Penn-Hughes (Bugatti), Lewis (Talbot) and Bouts (Sunbeam).
Hard on their heels came Cobb, who by virtue of his car’s acceleration had a considerable initial lead from Birkin, who then proceeded to reduce the gap. The Delage came up rapidly to third, and on the Byfleet banking on the last, lap took the lead, Birkin coming through the field to second place just before the fork and chasing Cobb over the line a few yards behind, the official difference between them being given as 1/5th of a second. Penn-Hughes was third.
Birkin’s best lap was at 134.24 m.p.h. and the winner’s average speed 119.24 m.p.h.
The second Mountain race of the meeting followed, the entry consisting chiefly of a swarm of “blown” Austins, with Sadlier-Jackson’s Bugatti on scratch, and W. S. Braidwood in W. R. Nimmo’s Frazer-Nash (just through the Lands’ End) at the limit mark with one of the Austins. Incidentally this “all-round motoring” week-end seems to be getting quite popular, as Bellamy drove his Frazer-Nash in both events as did W. K. Faulkner, whose. Bugatti tied for first place in the last Mountain race of the day.
T. A. S. Mathieson (O.M.) proved the most consistent driver of the race and won fairly easily. Taking the lead from the Frazer-Nash on the fourth lap, followed by Elwes and Willis on Austins, he was only challenged by-Willis, who led him on the sixth lap but had the hard luck to retire almost within sight of the finish, leaving the O.M. to win from Elwes with Gilbert’s Talbot third. The Senior Long Handicap fell to Brackenbury’s Bugatti, which on the second lap began to overhaul the limit man, Major Gardner (M.G. Midget), and took the lead. Meeson’s Vauxhall then took second place, and near the finish Gardner had to give third place to Froy.
The Junior Long saw Driscoll re-handicapped 15 seconds on account of his previous win, and Westbrook, on an old Sports Alvis, soon overtook Horsman’s Triumph and held the lead to the end.
The Austin came through the field to eclipse his previous efforts and put up two new records for laps in a race, the standing lap at 89.74 m.p.h. and the flying lap at 103.11 m.p.h. E. F. Rayson, on a Riley, was third.
At this meeting small entries often meant specially good races, and though Kaye Don, Dunfee, and Penn-Hughes were non-starters, the Lightning Long Handicap was the finest straightaway race of the meeting. Widengren (4-litre O.M.) was limit man, and Cobb this time had 3 secs. start from Birkin, as his fast standing lap would not be of such advantage in a 3-lap race. Widengren held his lead till the fork on the last lap when he was passed by Birkin, who had caught and passed Cobb half way round the Byfleet banking. On his second lap Birkin had a most hair-raising skid as he came out of the lee of the Members’ Hill and the wind caught his Bentley. For a fraction of a second it looked as if the car would shoot right down the banking, but he held the skid perfectly without any sign of over-correcting, and the car straightened out. He kept his foot hard down and went on to win—a most magnificent, but very terrifying piece of driving.
The meeting closed with a further Mountain Handicap with Penn-Hughes as virtual scratch man in the absence of Kaye Don, and Morris-Goodall on a T.T. Aston Martin as limit man. From the start it was a fast race with everyone doing all they knew on the corners. Penn-Hughes was driving extremely well, and his Bugatti engine sounded delightful. Faulkner on another Bugatti was obviously going well, as was Straight (also on a Bug) though he was rather wild on two or three occasions. At the end of a thoroughly entertaining scrap, Straight drew level at the Fork, and together they shot over the finish to provide the third dead-heat in the history of Brooklands. So ended the first meeting of the season, and one on which the organisers are to be congratulated.
1932 BARC Brooklands Easter Meeting results
The Norfolk Senior Short Handicap
Distance About 61 miles
1. L. P. Driscoll (749 c.c. Austin, S.), 42 secs.
2. A. F. Ashby (1,089 c.c. Riley), 36 secs.
3. J. Robinson (1,496 c.c. Bugatti), 1 min. 1 sec.
Twelve ran. Won by 10 secs. (500 yds.) 2 2-5 secs. (100 yds.) between second and third.
Winner’s speed 95.97 m.p.h.
Norfolk Junior Mountain Handicap
Distance About 12 miles
1. J. Robinson (1,496 c.c. Bugatti), 50 secs.
2. W. A. Cuthbert (1,954 c.c. Lagonda, S.), 45 secs.
3. A. H. L. Eccles (1,496 c.c. Bugatti), 30 sees.
Fourteen ran. Won by 23 secs. (800 yds.) ; 6 secs. (250 yds.) between second and third.
Winner’s speed 61.94 m.p.h.
The Norfolk Junior Short Handicap
Distance About 6k miles.
1. H. W. Stonard (1,089 c.c. Riley), 1 min. 21 secs.
2. G. G. L. Willis (749 c.c. Austin, S.), 1 min. 10 secs.
3. A. H. L. Eccles (1,496 c.c. Bugatti), 55 secs.
Fourteen ran. Won by 8 secs. (350′ yds.)
Winner’s average speed 84.32 m.p.h.
The Norfolk Lightning Short Handicap
Distance About 61 miles.
1. J. R. Cobb (10,688 c.. Delage), scr.
2. Sir Henry Birkin (4,442 c.c. Bentley, S.), scr.
3. C. Penn-Hughes (2,263 c.c. Bugatti, S.), 16 secs.
Six ran. Won by 1-5 sec. (12 yds.) ; 4 secs. (240 yds.) between second and third.
Winner’s average speed 119.24 m.p.h.
The Norfolk Senior Mountain Handicap
Distance About 12 miles.
1. T. A. S. O. Mathieson (2,350 c.c. 0.M., S.), 20 secs.
2. J. C. Elwes (749 c.c. Austin, S.), 24 secs.
3. A. B. Gilbert (2,276 c.c. Talbot), 11 secs.
Sixteen ran. Won by 7 secs. (250 yds.) ; 1-5 sec. (10 yds.) between second and third.
Winner’s average speed 59.66 m.p.h.
The Norfolk Senior Long Handicap
Distance About 9 miles.
1. C. Brackenbury (1,496 c.c. Bugatti), 1 min. 8 secs.
2. E. L. Meeson (3,234 c.c. Vauxhall), 1 ruin. 1 sec.
3. D. Froy (4,467 c.c. Invicta), 44 secs
Seven ran. Won by 2.5 sec. (20 yds.) ; 3 2-5 secs. (180 yds.) between second and third.
Winner’s speed 97.31 m.p.h.
The Norfolk Junior Long Handicap
Distance About 9 miles.
1. H. Westbrook (1,496 c.c. Alvis), 56 secs.
2. L. P. Driscoll (749 c.c. Austin, S.), owes 15 secs.
3. E. K. Rayson (1,089 c.c. Riley), 29 secs.
Nine ran. Won by 5 3-5 secs. (200 yds.) ; 3 secs. (125 yds.) between second and third
Winner’s speed 82.68 m.p.h.
The Norfolk Lightning Long Handicap
Distance About 9 miles
1. Sir Henry Birkin (4,442 c.c. Bentley, S.), owes 6 secs.
2. J. R. Cobb (10,688 c.c. Delage), owes 3 secs.
3. H. Widengren (1,491 c.c. O.M., S.), 29 secs.
Five ran. Won by 3 2-5 secs. (180 yds.) ; 4 2-5 secs. between second and third.
Winner’s speed 122.07 m.p.h.
The Norfolk Lightning Mountain Handicap
Distance About 12 miles.
1. W. Straight (1,990 c.c. Bugatti), 1 min. ; W. K. Faulkner (2,263 c.c. Bugatti), 1 min.
3rd. D. Fray (4,467 c.c. Invicta), 1 min.
Straight’s average speed 66.30 m.p.h.
Faulkner’s average speed 63.25 m.p.h.