THE BROOKLANDS OPENING MEETING
The Opening Meeting of the B.A.R.C. is always a very sure sign that the winter is well and truly over and that the new season is at last getting into its stride. So it was fitting that a spring-like sun should be shining on March 14th, when the curtain rose on the 1936 Brooklands season. It certainly was pleasant to be in the Paddock again with signs of activity on every hand, friends to meet, and a general atmosphere of speed apparent.
Although the super-fast cars were not present, there was much of interest to be examined in the Paddock before the competitors in the first race went out to the line-up. In the absence of the Napier-Railton and the Barnato, Richard Marker’s imposing, short-chassis 61-litre Bentley was a centre of attraction, more especially as Miss Allan was driving it in the second race, and subsequently it covered a lap at practically 130 m.p.h. in its owner’s hands. P. F. Jucker’s gold-finished monoposto Frazer-Nash, with Marshall supercharger and Shelsley engine, was
attracting much attention, as was the 2.9-litre Alfa-Romeo with which Charles Martin finished second in the Pau Grand Prix a week previous.
Two very imposing Alfa-Romeos were on view outside Thomson and Taylor’s new paddock premises, one of which, Jack Dunfee’s monoposto with which Nuvolari won the 1935 German Grand Prix, attracted quite as much attention as any competing car, in view of its Dubonnet independent front suspension. The only E.R.A. actually running was ” Bira’s ” new 1i-litre, resplendent in a coat of blue paint, with a bonnet overcoat to match.
Amongst the big fellows were Rex Munday’s veteran black Leyland and G. L. Baker’s 5.3-litre Graham-Paige, which has four Solex carburetters and a forward-swept exhaust system. Both Lemon-Burton and Alan Bainton had blown up their Bugattis pretty seriously in practice, but the ex-Bugatti exponent, E. K. Rayson, was making his first appearance with the little 131-litre Maserati that he has acquired from Gino Rovere, a really beautiful little car. A. Powys-Lybbe had forsaken his veteran Alvis for a 2.3-litre Alfa-Romeo, the car on which Fontes won the International Trophy last year. Turning to the racing, the hair-raising passing episodes that we have come to look for at a B.A.R.C. meeting were largely diminished by the absence of the really fast cars, but some very hectic cornering, mostly at the Fork hairpin, was a feature of the Mountain races. Handicapping on the whole was poor, though it must be difficult to estimate first time out the improvement in speed of various cars after their winter overhaul. There was only a small gathering in the public enclosure, but when the spectators congregated on the enlarged Fork stand to watch the Mountain competitors cornering the crowd seemed of more impressive dimensions. Incidentally, the view at this point has been much improved by the demolition of ” Chronograph Villa,” and the accommodation generally is better than was the case last season. The new road
which is to by-pass the Paddock by looping round behind Robin Jackson’s works was not completed, neither was the members’ lawn.
The ladies were having a real day out, as they were competing for the first time in any race against the men. Miss Summers (Marendaz-Special), Miss Allan (Bentley), Mrs. Roy Eccles (Eccles Special), Mrs. D. G. Evans (M.G.), Mrs. Briggs (Riley), Mrs. Lace (Singer), Miss Doreen Evans (M.G.) and Miss Chaff (Fiat) turned out in appreciation of this revised ruling.
FIRST MARCH SHORT HANDICAP About 6 Miles
G. D. Sandiford let away on a Singer Nine, followed 16 secs. afterwards by Miss Summers, driving a white sports Marendaz-Special. G. Briggs, one-time Frazer-Nash exponent, followed, going nicely on a Brooklands model Riley Nine. A. F. P. Pane, deputising for H. J. ” Aldy ” who had sprained an ankle, made a poor start on the blown Frazer-Nash, apparently because of crossed H.T. leads. Charles Follett got
going very well on his Alvis Speed Twenty and won by 200 yards at a speed announced as just over 90 m.p.h. and subsequently amended to 97.56 m.p.h. He worked up to 114 m.p.h. during this race. Baker’s big Graham-Paige was second and the Eccles-Special, making up on its very heavy handicap, ran in third, 200 yards behind.
I. Charles Follett (2.7-litre Alvis) 31s.
2. G. L. Baker (5.3-litre Graham-Paige) 28s.
3. It. H. Eccles (1,083 c.c. Eccles-Special 8.) 12s. Won by 200 yards at 97.56 m.p.h.
Also Started : Cl. P. H. Noble (Bugatti), A. F. P. Pane (Frazer-Nash), G. Briggs (Itile;y), Miss D. Summers (Marendaz-Special), Cl. D. C. Sandiford (Singer).
(Singer). SECOND MARCH SHORT HANDICAP About 6 Miles
H. B. Shaw, running a rather cum
bersome-looking British Salrnson, only just got started in time to line-up, and was not so fast as expected. WindsorRichards got his old 30/98 Vauxhall motoring well, but neither he nor the other back markers could wear down Miss Summers’ lead and her MarendazSpecial won very easily. R. J. Munday’s Leyland came over the line 300 yards in the rear, seeming to ease up near the end, and C. G. H. Dunham was third, his streamlined Speed Twenty Alvis reaching a speed of about 117 m.p.h.
down the straight. Miss Allan drove the big Bentley very well, her standing lap being run off at over the century mark, and her flying laps at nearly 120 m.p.h., but she was unplaced from scratch. Her best lap was actually at 119.15 m.p.h.
I. Miss Summers (2-litre Marendaz-Spec.) 1in. 14s.
2. It. .1. Aiunday (7.2-litre Leyland) 21s.
3. C. Cl. H. Dunham (2.5-litre Alvis) 268.
Won by 300 yards at 89.03 m.p.h., 60 yards between 2nd and 3rd. Also Started : Miss M. Allan (Bentley), T. A. W. Thorpe (Frazer-Nash), P. F. Jucker (Frazer-Nash), Mrs. it. H. Eccles (Rapier-Special), H. T. IL Clayton tela_yten-Arnilear), Cl. L. Baker (Graham-Paige), C. W. E. Windsor-Richards (Vauxhall), H. B. Shaw British Salmson),
MARCH LONG HANDICAP About 9 Miles
The only long handicap of the after
noon was won by A. C. Kelway, driving a rather ancient, unblown 11-litre Bugatti. But it was not an easy victory, for Richard Marker’s big Bentley, again from scratch, was only 20 yards away as Kelway crossed the line, having lapped at 130 m.p.h. in the course of the race. The Bugatti averaged over 90 m.p.h. Dunham again took third place with his Alvis. Baker was motoring quite rapidly in his Graham-Paige, but Jucker’s new Frazer-Nash monoposto was not on form.
1. A. C. Rein-ay (Bugatti) ire. 36s. 2. It. R. K. Marker (Bentley). Scratch
3. C. G. IL Dunlmm (Alvis).
Won by 20 yards at 90.49 m.p.h., 350 yards between 2nd and 3rd. Also started : P. F. jucker (Frazer-Nash), Cl. L. Baker (Graham-Paige), Charles Follett
Mrs. D. G. Evans (M.G.), H. B. Shaw (British Salmson), D. Powell (M-.G’.).
PlItST MARCH MOUNTAIN HANDICAP About 6 Miles
There were five non-starters in a field
of fifteen in the season’s first Mountain race, but interest was fully maintained by C. E. C. Martin with his new AlfaRomeo, which was reputed to have knocked a couple of seconds off the lap record in practice, Rayson’s Maserati and Cormack’s 11-litre Alta.
Scott-Moncrieff’s Singer, driven by Mrs. Lace, was the limit car and seemed thoroughly vague at the Fork. Andrew Leitch soon had his unblown 1/-litre Bugatti well in front, while some particularly good cornering was put in by the Hon. Jock Leith on a similar, but supercharged, car.
There was a highly-exciting duel between Rayson and Cormack, who both started off the 13-second mark. Cormack managed to get in front by virtue cf some exciting work at the Fork, but doing it once too often, spun round facing the other way. Martin found the re-surfaced Fork corner slippery with sand and streaks of tyre rubber, and had to take things rather gently. He caught Rayson, but Leitch got home with 400 yards to spare.
RESULT 1. A. Leitch
1. A. Ai. Leitch (1,496 Bugatti) lm. 208. 2. O. B. C. Martin (2.9-litre Alfa-Romeo S.) scratch
3. E. K. Rayson (4-11tre Maserati S.) 13s. Won by 400 yards at 60.87 m.p.h., 300 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
Also started : A. .1. C,orma,ek (Alta), Hon. T. Leith (Bilotti), J. N. lanes (M,G.), Mrs. G. Briggs (Riley), Mrs. A. C. Lace (Singer).
SECOND MARCH MOUNTAIN HANDICAP • About 6 Miles
Eleven cars of rather varied characteristics lined up for this race, but once again unfortunate handicapping and an unexpected turn of speed on the part of Briault’s 1,100 c.c. Alta upset any hope of a close finish. Almack’s Austin, a neat little car with cast aluminium wheels, failed to produce its expected knots owing to a blown gasket, and Bowler’s 3-litre Bentley was rather overpowered by the blown stuff, Ashton Rigby’s M.G. and Briault’s Alta which soon started coming through the field. Jarvis on a 2.3-litre Bugatti and ” Bira ” on his immaculate bright blue E.R.A., started off together on the scratch mark. Jarvis lead by 15 yards on the first two laps,. but only by reason of keeping his foot hard down and snaking U n pleasantly after the Fork. The third time round he was unable to hold it and the car turned half-round
right in ” Bira’s ” path. This turning round business was evidently infectious, for Mrs. Lace, Smith on a nice-looking Magnette, with lowered chassis, and finally Fane on the Frazer-Nash rotated in the Fork area. Miss Doreen Evans drove a cool race on her R-type Midget and was rewarded with third place. Powys-Lybbe made no mistakes with his Alfa-Romeo, but with a start of only 4 secs. on the scratch cars he did not come into the picture.
1. D. L. Briault S.) 27s.
2. A. Ashton-Rigby (1,087 c.c. M.G. S.) 278.
3. Miss D.13. Evans (747 CA’. M.G. S.) 17s.
Won by 500 yards at 70A3 m.p.h. 150 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
Also started : ” B. Bira ” (E.R.A.), R. Jarvis (Bugatti), A. Powys-Lybbe (Alfa-Romeo), A. F. P. Pane (Fraser-Nash), J. H. T. Smith (KG.), H.P. Bowler (Bentley), J. P. Alum& (Austin), Mrs. A. C. Lace (Singer).
THIRD MARCH MOUNTAIN HANDICAP About 6 Miles
In this race Baron was the limit man
driving one of his interesting hybrid Bugattis. This particular car had a Brescia engine in a Grand Prix chassis.
This combination was most successful and he was still a complete lap ahead of Martin when the latter passed him on the Alfa on his second lap.
Smith and Carr made good use of their start, speeding up the finishing straight while the rest of the field were snarling round the Fork. Powys-Lybbe (Alfa), 17 secs., kept ahead of Corrnack, 33 secs., but Martin passed Rayson (Maserati), 13 secs., at the Paddock their second time round. On the third lap Baron was still strongly in the lead, passing Jucker’s Gold Standard Frazer-Nash as the latter pulled up, misfiring at the Paddock. Smith still had a twenty-yard lead on Carr, the order of the others being
Powys-Lybbe, Martin, Corm ack, Rayson. On the fourth lap Smith and Carr were together, the latter moving into second place behind Baron as they passed behind the Members’ Hill. Martin
moved into fourth place, not much consolation after some fine driving, and Cormack’s Alta dropped out with misfiring after some very rapid laps. Baron won by the length of the Finishing Straight and Carr maintained his lead over Smith.
1. A. Baron (1,490 e.e. liugatti) lin. 20s.
2. F. W. Carr (1,087 c.c. M.G. S.) 40s.
8. T. H. T. Smith (1,087 c.c. M.G. S.) 45s.
Won by 400 yards at 62.77 m.p.h., .30 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
Also started : C. E. C. Martin (AM-Romeo), A. j. Cormack (Alta). E. R. Rayson (I?Laserati), A. Powys-Lybbe (Alfa-Romeo), P. F. J ucker (FrazerNash).
FOURTH MARCH MOUNTAIN HANDICAP About 6 miles
After his rapid lapping in the second Mountain race, Ashton-Rigby (14.G.) was set back from 27 to 23 secs., a rehandicap which gave a remarkably close finish to the last race. Miss Chaff set off from the limit mark with a handicap of 1 min. 24 secs. with Leitch on his Bugatti 17 secs, after
wards. This order held the first time around, but Kenneth Evans was hard on the tail of Leith’s 11-litre Bugatti, while ” Bira ” was leading from Fane’s single-seater Frazer-Nash which started level with it from the scratch mark.
On the third lap Ashton-Rigby driving splendidly had got into third place, while Evans had passed Leith, Eccles and Bowler to claim fourth position. It was evidently going to be a hot finish.
The fourth lap saw Rigby in the lead, with Evans 200 yards behind him and coming up well. ” Bira,” too, had at last got to grips with his handicap and was fairly blasting along in fifth place.
There was only forty yards in it as the two M.G.s rounded the Fork turn, but despite the smaller car’s every effort Evans could only make up ten yards on the way to the finishing line, a mere
second behind. ” Bira ” finished strongly in third place 150 yards further back. With this final promise of brighter things to come the first meeting of the season ended. We look forward to more of this sort of handicapping and some really fast cars at the Easter Meeting in
RESULT 1. A. Ashton-Rigby (1,087 c.c. M.G. S.) 23s.
1. A. Ashton-Rigby (1,087 c.c. M.G. S.) 23s.
2. R. D. Evans (747 c.c. M.G. S.) 17s.
3. “B. Bira” (1,286 c.c. E.R.A. S.) scratch.
Won by 30 yards at 70.43 m.p.h. 150 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
Also started : A. F. P. Fane (Frazer-Nash II), R. C. Vickers (litigant), R. H. Eccles (Rapier. Special), Hon. J. Leith (Bugatti), U. P. Bowler (Bentley), A. M. Leitch (Bugatti), Miss D. Chaff (Fiat).