I. F. CONNELL’S SPORTS DARRACQ WINS OUTER-CIRCUIT HANDICAP AT 111.49 m.p.h. A RETURN TO MOUNTAIN RACING UNDER rather dismal weather conditions Brooklands Motor Coursewhich literally never closes-reopened to the general public on March 11th, when two outer-circuit long handicaps and three handicaps over 5 laps of the popular Mountain circuit were contested. Obviously the latter course is very well liked by spectators and it provides a close view of the cars, while the short lap enables race progress to be easily followed. We have heard the circuit described as
‘ ‘ artificial . ” Certainly it is neither a pure road, nor a pure track circuit, nor is it really an ” artificial ” road course. Yet it does provide a quite normal test of a car. Extremely heavy braking is necessary before the Fork hairpin and this corner places a premium on stability. As maximum speed cannot be reached by a fast car anywhere on the lap, acceleration is of extreme importance ; clean acceleration with no over-run between changes. The Members’ banking turn is decidedly unconventional, but is again an excellent test of stability. So we are glad this sort of racing, along with outercircuit and Campbell artificial roadcourse racing, is to figure in the B.A.R.C. programmes throughout the 1939 season. It is good to find another year commencing with no idea of a ban on outercircuit lappery and we congratulate Mr. Bradley on refusing to listen to any suggestions that outer-circuit racing should cease. Although racing at an opening meeting is never so enthralling as that which follows, Tony Dunhill remarked to us that he would not miss outer-circuit stuff for worlds and would be extremely sorry were it ever banned-and that is a more general opinion than road-raceonly fans may imagine. And as a letterwriter mentioned not long ago, now that those who tour the autobahn look for cars capable of cruising for long periods at low engine speeds without mechanical stress, isn’t this the very quality that outer-circuit racing develops ? In the Paddock one naturally looks for changes wrought during the cold
season. Dunham had his 1,842, c.c. four-cylinder Alvis II with imposing radiator cowling, as well as the familiar, and very noisy, 2i-litre Alvis 1 with a different form of nose. Deane’s F.I.D. was a blown Austin Special, and Winterbottom had put in some good work on the suspension arrangements of this 1.074 c.c. Alta. J. M. A. Edmondson drove the ex-Dugdale M.G., Parnell was racing again with the ” 4,9 ” Bugatti-engined B.H.W., which has tr,ansverse independent suspension at the front and a quarterelliptic assembly at the rear with hydraulic damping. ,. The first long handicap saw Oats leading in the 111:-litre Follett Alvis, followed by Mrs. E. M. Thomas’s sports-equipped black 828 B.M.W. and Dunham’s small Alvis, the last named nicely low on the banking. Oats had a cover over the passenger’s seat but Baker’s old 5.3litre Graham-Paige carried a passenger. Mrs. Thomas came up fast with the sports B.M.W. and appeared in a very good
position, but Connell got his stripped sports 4-litre Darracq-the car Mrs. Lace used to race-round very rapidly indeed from scratch, to win at 111.49 m.p.h. with the B.M.W. second and Turner’s 1i-litre Riley third. In the next long handicap a very close finish resulted, marred by exclusion of
E. M. Thomas with the B.M.W., who finished ahead of the field. At first no statement about this exclusion was forthcoming, but eventually, to satisfy the Press, it was announced that Thomas had badly baulked another driver. We believe that Gerard’s Riley was baulked along the Railway Straight-clearly, the B.A.R.C. intends to adopt strong measures in this direction.
This gave the race to Gerard, at 96.67 m.p.h., with Dunham’s Alvis I second and Wright’s Frazer-Nash-third. Dunham again held a low course. Marston’s beautiful ex-Rayson 2-litre Bugatti seemed off-colour. The first Mountain handicap saw Hyde lead almost from the start, to win at 63.82 m.p.h. with his Riley. Great disappointment and sympathy was felt for George Abecassis on scratch with his now-proven 11-litre Alta. He slid on a wet patch on taking the Fork hairpin on his initial lap and spun round, the off rear wheel clumping the outside safety sleeper fence and doing too much damage for the car to run again. Connell brought his blue Darracq up nicely to second place and Percy Maclure, handling the Riley Six lately owned by Mrs. Petre was third from the 5 secs. mark. Winterbottom (Alta), and. Gerard (Riley) had trouble. Hugh Hunter ran his new sports Alfa-Romeo in this race and, unlike Connell, kept his not inconsiderable wings and other equipment in place. He passed Maclure on the final lap at the Fork, by dint of superior braking, but the racing Riley had the Alfa rather
easily on acceleration. So now you know what an E.R.A. must feel like, if you have ever been left by Hunter’s Alfa on the road.! The Second March Mountain Handicap saw Peter Aitken’s scratch E.R.A. go straight on at the Pork on lap I, when Mortimer’s unblown, ex-Bellevue M.G. led from Lemon-Burton’s blown If-litre
G.P. Bugatti. Burton drove a really fine race, to win by a narrow margin from Council’s ever-present Darracq, at 66.65 m.p.h. Connell very nearly defeated his rehandicap of 4 secs., and cornering inside the Bugatti at the Fork on the last lap, drew level with Lemon-Burton, but was vanquished on acceleration by I of a
sec. Parnell, master of his big, squat B.H.W., was third. Lots of excitement occurred on a wet patch at the Fork, where Watson’s Riley spun round, which Lewis (Alfa-Romeo) and Wainer (Delahaye) had managed to do also, in the previous race. Cowell (Alta) also turned round at this spot on lap 2 and seemed to oil plugs and Beadle’s Alta also retired. The last race on a by now chilly afternoon saw many non-starters Abecassis, Lt. Torn, whose Maserati lit up in practice, which luckily it did not do when our representative was getting figures for it a few days earlier, Innes (M.G.), Aldngton (B.M.W.), Elgood (Bentley), and Harmer, whose Bugatti blew-up in practice. Wright’s FrazerNash led for a long while, but Mortimer, on a very fine 2.3-litre Bugatti, came up to win at 69.74 m.p.h., after a slightly hectic moment at the Fork. Parnell managed second place with the B.H.W. and Brooke’s new 1,’752 c.c. 6-cylinder Riley was third. Wright fell back with expensivesounding noises and Esplen’s R-type M.G. went sick. Aitken’s E.R.A. found the wet patch at the Pork and incommoded Stuart-Wilton’s M.G. and Beadles’ Alta. Gerard was fourth in spite of a re-handicap of 5 secs. Yes,
this Mountain racing is excellent to watch and calls for a good car. Two motor-cycle handicaps were contested over this course, the first won by Mobbs (Velocette) and the second by Hamilton-Griffith (Arid l and chair). In the outer-circuit motor-bicycle race the big-twins were fairly numerous but not
very effective. T. F. Pullin’s PullinSpecial 590 c.c., pullin’ a chair and passenger, won at 88.15 m.p.h. and the Mountain race averages were both below the speeds of the car races.
FIRST MARCH LONG HANDICAP
(About 9 Miles)
SECOND MARCH LONG HANDICAP
FIRST MARCH MOUNTAIN RACE
1, Ian Connell (3.9 Darracq), 6s. start, 111.49 m.p.h.; won by 4.4s., with 06s. between second and third. 2, Mrs. E. M. Thomas (2-litre Frazer-NashB.M.W.), 46s. start. 3, R. M. Turner (1,496 c.c. Riley), 46s. start.
1, F. R. Gerard (1,496 c.c. Riley), 46s. start ; won at 96.07 m.p.h. by 0.8s. with 1.6s. between second and third. 2, C. G. H. Dunham (2.5 Aivis), 108. start. 3, R. E. Wright (1,496 c.c. Fraser-Nash), lm. 17s. start. (About 6 miles)
1, A. B. Hyde (1,089 c.c. Riley), 38s. start ; won at 63.82 m.p.h. by 3.68., with 3.6s. between second and third. 2. Ian Connell (3.9 Darraeq), 17s. start. 3, Percy Mitchum (1,486 c.c. Riley), 5s. start.
SECOND MARCH MOUNTAIN HANDICAP
1, J. Lemon Burton (1,493 c.c. Bugatti), 25s. start ; won at 60.65 m.p.h. by 0.6s., with 5.2s.
between second and third. 2, Ian Connell (3.9 Darracq), 17s. start. 3, R. Parnell (4.9 B.H.W.), 5s. start.
THIRD MARCH MOUNTAIN HANDICAP
1, C. K. Mortimer (2.3 Bugatti), 178. start ; won at 69.74 m.p.h. by 68., with 2.4s. between second and third. 2, R. Parnell (4.9 B.H.W.), 4s. start. 3, H. L. Brooke (1,752 c.c. Riley), 215. start.