THE BROOKLANDS OPENING MEETING
THE BROOKLANDS OPENING MEETING
A Programme of Sprints and Mountain Races. R. H. L. Eccles (Bugatti) and D. Bertram (Delage) both score “Doubles.” r r HE frosty weather having hindered the concrete repair work to the
surface of Brooklands Track, the first B.A.R.C. Meeting took on the unusual form of a series of sprint events intermingled with the ever-popular Mountain races. The faulty part of the Track lay from the Members’ Bridge to the beginning of the Railway Straight, where the start of the 2 mile sprints took place.
Brooklands is invariably blessed with fine weather, at any rate for B.A.R.C. Meetings, and March 3rd lived up to this tradition. The sun shone quite frequently, and the cloud formations over the flat plain on which the Track is built were remarkably fine.
The first race was timed for 2 o’clock, but when this hour arrived the Paddock was comfortably free from crowd and the Public Enclosure almost empty. However everyone seemed to know everyone else, so that the B.A.R.C. slogan of “the right crowd and no crowding” was indeed born out.
Eight cars lined up for the start of the Walton Junior Mountain Handicap, the absentees being D. L. Briault, who had been serving on the jury of the Rasputin “cause celeore” and could not find, time to practice ; A. D. Anderson, whose Austin Seven was being worked upon in the Paddock ; and Dr. R. A. Beaver, a sufferer from big end trouble with his “30/98.” R. J. W. Appleton was limit man with a 4-seater Riley, and made excellent use of his start, his cornering at the Fork being fast and neat. H. G. Dobbs on a similar car was not so tidy, having to cope with a terrific front-wheel patter-judder-wobble when he applied his brakes.
On the second lap R. C. Vickers (Lea Francis) was in second place behind Appleton, with Dobbs, G. Shapley (Bugatti 2.3 litre 4 seater), K. W. Marten (M.G. Midget), J. Robinson (Brescia Bugatti), T. A. W. Thorpe (Frazer Nash) and G. Casswell, also on a Nash, in a roaring, gear-changing pack behind. Appleton still held his lead, but Martin fell right back to the tail of the procession through some rather inaccurate cornering at the Fork. On lap 4 Robinson was lying in a good position when he slid broadside at the Fork turn and sent one of the barrels marking the corner, rolling gaily across the Track. His trouble was a brake which tended to seize. Having stopped his engine he decided not to continue with the race.
Appleton still clung gamely to his lead, but right on the last lap he was caught by Vickers and Shapley, the latter just scraping home ahead of the Lea Francis to win by a length at 62 m.p.h. Right at the end Marten amused the handful of spectators at the Fork by nearly turning round, and promptly getting into a counter skid followed by several more deviations from the straight and narrow path. The second race was a 2 mile handicap, starting on the Railway Straight and at the Fork. The
scratch-man was a non-starter, T. H. Wisdom having entered by mistake instead of in the half-mile scratch races. The field got away in the following order : R. Morgan (Austin), Charles Follett (Alvis Firefly), D. N. Letts (M.G. Midget), C. T. Delaney (Lea Francis), C. G. H. Dunham (Alvis Speed Twenty) and C. T. Baker-Carr (Bentley 4/ litre). From the first there was only one car in it, Letts’ Midget shooting ahead at a colossal pace, and winning at a speed of 92.78 m.p.h. in spite of cutting out before the finishing line. Follett was second and Delaney third. Letts’ Midget has been the subject of much work by Wilkinson of the Bellevue Garage this winter, and will want watching at future meetings. It now has twin exhaust pipes, and twin rear-wheels for Mountain races. Event three was another 2 mile handi
cap, Wisdom (Leyland Thomas) and A. Baron (Bugatti) being the only nonstarters. The field was made up of two Magnas, a blown Midget, a Riley, the Abbott-Nash, and a Bentley. The result was a win by 200 yards for M. P. Simpson (Riley), followed by F. Allen (supercharged M.G. Midget) and H. L. liaddick (M.G. Magna).
These races lacked interest owing to their short length and the fact that they were run over that section of the track farthest away from the spectators.
The fourth race was paradoxically called ” Half-Mile Scratch Race—Distance: About / mile” In view of the extraordinarily high speeds attained by the winning cars it would have saved a good deal of questioning and argument if they had been called ” About Half-amile Scratch Races.” There were no non-starters, and the full field was as follows : R. F. Oats (Maserati 2,514 c.c.), R. G. J. Nash
(Anzani-Nash), T. S. Fothringham (Bugatti 2,263 c.c.), F. W. Dixon (Riley), C. T. Delaney (Lea-Francis) and 0. Bertram (Delage). Those who can derive instructive information from the level acceleration of various well-known cars found these sprints very interesting. The less serious spectator could not fail to enjoy the spectacle of a massed start. As it turned out, however, the start was hardly massed, for the Delage and the Bugatti, hesitated on the line, and the ” Spook ” did not rush away as one expects it to. Oats made about the best getaway, leaving long lines of rubber on the concrete, and looked as though he would win, but Bertram bore down on him at great speed and carried off the prize at the incredible ” half-mile” speed of 91.84 m.p.h. Fothringham was third, 20 yards behind the Maserati.
There were only four starters in the fifth race, another of the ” Half-Mile” events. The cars were lined up on the slope of the Finishing Straight, and raced to the finishing line at the Fork. The four protagonists were R. Morgan (Austin), Miss P. McOstrich (Talbot), A. Baron (Bugatti 3 litre), and Miss Margaret Allan (Bentley). The Austin ” died” on the line, leaving the others to fight it out in the order of Bugatti, Talbot, Bentley, Baron’s speed being 69.23 m.p.h. The Mountain race which followed was a welcome diversion from the rather brief sprints. There were two rehandicaps, Donald Letts being knocked back 12 seconds and F. Allen six. The limit car was E. K. Rayson’s Riley, which was supercharged with a blower taken off an old 33-180 Mercedes. Rayson held his lead right through until the run-in from the Fork to the Paddock, when he was “pipped on the post” by A. H. L. Eccles. The latter drove with tremendous spirit, and handled his Bugatti in masterly fashion. Donald Letts quite rightly took things easily, for his re-handicap required him to beat the 750 c.c. lap record on every lap in order to catch the limitmen ! There was a good deal of cunning work executed at the Fork, Dixon and Letts on two occasions slipping by Eccles and Freeman (Salmson) by the simple
expedient of taking the corner close-in. P. L. Donkin (M.G. Magnette) had a distinct ” moment ” on the third lap at the Fork, while Dixon slid most im pressively on the Members’ Bridge corner. The cars looked very tine from the Fork,
disappearing up the Finishing Straight in a cloud of dust. Eccles’ speed was 69.74 m.p.h. Two more 2 Mile Sprint Handicaps followed. In the first Eccles repeated his performance in the previous race by coming through from scratch to win at 98.36 m.p.h. The Bugatti looked very fast as it came off the Byfleet Banking and entered the old Finishing Straight, by which time it was 100 yards ahead oi
the second man, R. F. Oats (Maserati) who had also started from the scratch mark. Third place was taken by D. M. Dent (Frazer Nash).
Oats got his reward in the next race over the same course, but only by luck. H. G. Dobbs seemed to be a clear winner as the car left the Bytleet Banking, but he made the mistake of taking the outer
circuit at the Fork, leaving Oats to gain first place at the very good speed of 96.72 m.p.h. Once more the start was transferred to the Finishing Straight, for the Scratch
Sprints. Bertram and Fothringham were again slow in reacting to the fall of the flag, with the result that Mrs. Petre, very self-possessed and on the qui-trive, thrust her unblown Bugatti to the head of affairs. But bigger and supercharged engines can atone for the most sluggish starts, and
Bertram and Fothringharn crossed the line side by side, about 100 yards ahead of Mrs. Petre.
In the Tenth Race, “About Half a Mile,” Mrs. Petre was a clear winner, her getaway being perfect. M. P. Simpson (Riley) came home second, with Miss Joan Richmond bringing into third place the old 8 cylinder Ballot raced for many years by Jack Dunfee. The meeting closed with a very good Mountain Race, called a “Senior,” al though there were only two cars of over 1 litres capacity. Shapley, Dixon and Eccles were all rehandic.apped by reason of previous successes. Dobbs was limit man, and on the second lap slewed right round at the Fork, effectively blocking
Robinson (Brescia Bugatti) took the lead on the third lap, pursued by Shapley (Bugatti) and Casswell (Frazer Nash). Eccles and Dixon were struggling with their additional handicaps, and the task tempted the former to leave his cut-out point a little too late at the Fork, so that the Bugatti executed a ” tete-a-queue ” and overshot the corner backwards. Exit Eccles.
Dixon was driving with his usual dash, and seemed to have developed his Riley to a very high power-output. On one lap he made the only record of the meeting, when he set up a new figure for the 1,100 c.c. Mountain lap-record at 71.15. m.p.h. The previous holder was Whitney Straight, and the same M.G. Magnette on which he inade the record was being driven in the race by its new owner, R. J. B. Seaman.
In the end Robinson scored a very welldeserved victory at 63.92 m.p.h., being sonic 75 yards ahead of Dixon, with Shapley’s black Bugatti third.
Altogether a quiet, peaceful meeting, not the least enjoyable part of which was the renewal of acquaintances made last season, and the opportunity for much chat and gossip on racing prospects with people of similar enthusiasms.
RESULTS. li’cap. S.
Walton Junior Mountain Handicap (6 miles). I. G. Shapley (Bugatti, 2,263 c.c.) 5 2. H. C. Vickers (Lea-Frauds, 1,496 c.c.) 15
3. R. J. W. Appleton (Riley, 1,089 c.c.) 25 Won at 62.85 m.p.h. by 1 /5s. •, 1 4/5s. between second and third. First Walton Sprint Handicap (2 miles). I. D. N. Letts (M.G., 747 c.c.) 15 2. C. Follett (Alvis, 1,496 c.c.) 18
3. C. T. Delaney (Lea-Frauds, 1,496 c.c.) 12 Won at 92.78 m.p.g. by 6 I /5s. ; 8 2/5s. between second and third.
Second WIton Sprint Haandicap (2 miles). 1. M. P. Simpson (Riley, 1,089 c.c.) 13 2. P. Allen (M.G., 747 c.c.) 15 3. L. Maddick (M.G., 1,087 c.c.) 15
[Motor Sport photographs
Clive Gallop and H. G. Dobbs pull the latter’s Riley out of the fa7rway in the nick of time, after he had skidded broadside on the Fork hairpin. The tonner of the race, J. Robinson (Bugatti) is seen passing.
the passage. Clive Gallop, who was the flag marshal at this point, effectively waved a blue flag with one hand and hauled the Riley out of the way with the other. The luckless Anderson completed one lap with his Austin and then retired.
Won at 85.31 m.p.h. by 4 1/58.; 3 2/58. between second and third.
second and third. First Walton Scratch Sprint (1 mile).
1. 0. Bertram (Deluge, 10,688 c.c.).
2. R. F. oats (Maserati, 2,514 c.c.).
3. T. S. Fothringliam (Bugatti, 2,263 c.c.). Won at 91.84 mph. by 1 l /5s. ,• 1 3/5s. between
Second Walton Scratch Sprint mile).
. ii.ron (Bugatti, 2,992 c.c.).
2. Miss McOstrich (Talbot, 2,276 c.c.).
3. Miss Allan (Bentley, 4,398 c.c.).
Won at 69.23 m.p.h. by 4 I /Ss. ; 2 3/5s. between second and third.
second and third. Walton Lightning Mountain Handicap (6 miles).
1. A. H. L. Eccles (Bugatti, 2,263 c.c.). scr. 2. E. K. Ra.yson (Riley, 1,089 c.c.) 32 3. F. W. Dixon (Riley, 1,089 c.c.) 11 Won at 69.74 m.p.h. by 1 2/5s. ; 1 3/5s. between second and third,
Third Walton Sprint Handicap (2 miles).
1. A. H. L. Eccles (Bugatti, 2,263 c.c.) scr.
2. R. F. Oats (Nlaserati, 2,514 c.c.) set.
S. D. M. Dent (Frazer Nash, 1,496 c.c.) 18 Won at 98.36 m.p.h. by 3 1/5s. ; 3 2/5s. between second and third.
Fourth Walton Sprint Handicap (2 miles). F.
1. R. F. Oats (Maserati, 2,514 c.c.) scr. 2. F. K. Rayson (Riley, 1,089 c.c.) 12
3. R. Way (Rover, 2,565 c.c.) 15 Won at 96.77 m.p.h. by 3s. .,. Ils. between second and third.
Third Walton Scratch Sprint (4 mile).
1. 0. Bertram (pelage, 10,668 c.c.).
2. T. S. Fothringham (Bugatti, 2,263 c.c.).
3. Mrs. K. Petre (Bugatti, 1,990 C.c.). Won at 89.11 m.p.h. by 4s. 88. between second
Fourth Walton Scratch Sprint (i mile). I. Mrs. K. Petre (Bugatti, 1990, c.c.).
I. Mrs. K. Petre (Bugatti, 1990, c.c.).
2. M. 1′. Simpson (Riley, 1,089 .cc.).
3. Miss J . M. Richmond (Ballot, 2,973 c.c.). Won at 71.15 m.p.h. by 1 1 /Ss.; 2 1/5s. between second and third.
Walton Senior Mountain Handicap (6 miles,. 1. L. Robinson (Bugatti, 1,496 c.c.) 32
1. L. Robinson (Bugatti, 1,496 c.c.) 32 2. F. W. Dixon (Riley, 1,089 c.c.) 11
3. G. Shaplcy (Bugat-ti, 2,2(3 c.c.) 37 Won at 63.82 m.p.h. by 14s. ; 4s. between second and -third.