THE VARSITIES AT EYNSHAM
ANYONE who attended the InterVarsity Acceleration Tests on the wind-swept Eynsham By-Pass in 1932 was not a bit surprised that the most appalling weather conditions should prevail for this year’s event. On the night before Saturday, February 25th, snow fell steadily, so that the majority of competitors and intending spectators decided to keep away from the chilly By-Pass, with the result that only 22 starters out of 96 entrants materialised.
Mirdculously, the snow melted on the Saturday morning, so that in spite of a certain amount of slush some very good times were put up. The Oxford Club is well-known for a pronounced inability to link up the time they intend to start their meetings with the moment when the proceedings are actually begun. This year, in spite of only a quarter of the scheduled entrants turning up, the delay was merely a matter of 2i hours, and it is difficult to imagine what would have happened if 96 instead of 22 competitors had been present. Of course, the timing apparatus was to blame. W. Burke pulled off the 850 c.c. class for semi-sports cars, drawing first blood for Oxford, but the score was quickly equalised by the Cambridge Secretary, A. C. Fairtlough, whose Saltnson was unopposed in the 1,100 c.c. division. Then G. A. D. Smith put Oxford ahead again by recording 49.8 seconds with his Wolseley Hornet, and L. F. Von Liergardt (Ford V8) clinched matters still further by winning the unlimited class. His time, 39.5 seconds for the standing kilometre,
was the best so far, Michael May’s Silver Eagle Alvis being a little slower in 41.6 seconds, in spite of a good get-away.
The 1,100 c.c. sports cars were not as fast, S. W. Jackson (Riley) being the winner in 42.1 seconds. The 1,500’s were slower still, but Von Dierdgardt enlivened things a little once more by carrying off the unlimited sports class from Commander Fowle’s Talbot ” 105.”
Then a very different sound was heard from the starting line, as the Super Sports cars got into action. Fastest of all was the 500 Mile Race M.G. Midget driven by Kenneth Evans, which sounded in the pink of condition, and was 5 seconds faster than Kim Collett’s similar car. Evans was travelling really fast over the finishing line, and his time, 33.6 seconds, was very near to the International Class Record held by E. R. Hall in 33.285 seconds. No one else approached this time, second man being R. R. K. Marker with his Le Mans zli• litre Bentley, with a time of 37.2 seconds. The Duke of Grafton had bad luck with an old G.P. Sunbeam once owned by Oliver Bertram, the car suffering from severe clutch slip. The organisation of the Oxford Club does not include official information of the results to the Press, but the following is a rough idea of what happened :
THREE-WHEELERS: 1, A. L. Hicks (Morgan), 41.1 secs.
SEMI-SPORTS UP TO 850 c.c. : 1, W. Burke (M.G.), 49 secs. ; 2, A. L. Watson (M.G.), 50.9 secs.
SEMI-SPORTS UP TO 1,100 c.c.: 1, A. C. Fairtlough (Salmson), 47.1 secs.
SEMI-SPORTS UP TO 1,500 c.c. : 1, G. A. D. Smith (Wolseley Hornet), 49.8 secs. SEMI-SPORTS OVER 4.500 c.c.: 1,
L. F. Von Diergardt (Ford V8), 39.5 secs. ; 2, M. W. B. May (Alvis), 41.6 secs. ; 3, I. M. Bowles (Ford V8), 44 secs. ; 5.
M. Burton (Essex), 44.7 secs.
SPORTS UP TO 1,100 c.c. : 1, S. W. Jackson (Riley), 42.1 secs. ; 2, R.. A. Mitchell (Ri ey), 45 secs. ; 3„-k. C. Fairtlough (Sahnson), 47.1 secs. ; 5, J. R.. G. Finch (Alta), 49.3 secs. SPORTS UP TO 1,500 c.c., 1, R. Bickford (Alvis), 44.3 secs. ; 2, H. W. hiderwick (Frazer-Nash), 44.9 secs. ; 3, A. M. Laing (Aston Martin), 45.1 secs,
SPORTS OVER 1,500 c.c. : 1, A. BakerCarr (Bentley), 37.7 secs. ; 2, L. F. Von Diergardt (Ford V8), 39.5 sees.; 3, Comm. R. G. Fowle Talbot), 41.1 secs. ; 4, M. W. B. May (Alvis), 41.6 secs. ; 5, I. M. Bowles (Ford V8), 44 secs. ; 6, M. Burton (Essex), 44.1 secs.
SUPER SPORTS UP TO 850 c.c. : 1, K. D. Evans (M.G.), 33.6 sees. ; 2, K. Collett (M.G.), 38.2 secs. ; 3, J. G. C. Ruston (M.G.), 43 secs. SUPER SPORTS UP TO 1,100 c.c.: Same
as 850 c.c. •
SUPER SPORTS UP TO 1,500 c.c. : Same as 850 c.c. SUPER SPORTS OVER 1,500 c.c. : 1, K. D. Evans (M.G.), 33.6 secs. ; 2, R. R. K. Marker (Bentley), 37.2 secs. ; 3, A. Baker-Carr (Bentley), 37.7 secs. ;
4, Duke of Grafton (Sunbeam), 46.2 secs.