On the third Saturday in parched March the B.A.R.C. opened the British racing season before an excellent crowd, with the first of its 1953 Members’ Meetings. An entry of 103 sports cars was obtained, ranging from standard saloons to imitation Ferraris. It included the much-publicised DB2 Aston-Martin of H.M. King Hussein of Jordan which, however, did not run, although the King circulated the circuit in a vast Lincoln landship. In practice, J. Bussell overturned his M.G. and was removed by ambulance. The races, which counted towards the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy and £80 in cash prizes, were as follows:
5-Lap Handicap for Closed Cars
R. L. Woods came strongly through the field of 11 from the 8-sec. mark to take the lead on lap three and tour in to a decidedly decisive victory. Collins’ odd-bodied Fiat 1,100 coupé was flung at the corners and clung to second place, until pipped by Bix’s XK120 coupé on the last lap. The Riley saloons of Rogers and Gelberg came over in line as if tied together, the former having made up almost all of the latter’s 25-sec. advantage. Curtis could do nothing from scratch in the Monte Carlo Allard saloon, which emitted much blue smoke. Harry Lester ran a Lester-M.G. with Fiat 500 coupé body to which a boot had been added.
1st: R.L. Woods (DB2 Aston-Martin) — 8 sec.– won by 20.6 sec,. at 70.88 m.p.h. Fastest lap, 74.48 m.p.h..
2nd : A. T. Bix (XK120 Jaguar) — scratch.
3rd : D.G.E. Collins (Fiat 1,100) — 1 min. 55 sec.
5-Lap Scratch Race for Cars up to 1,500 c.c..
This was magnificent! Beauman, driving the ex-Hawthorn 1935 T.T. Riley of the Cornhill Racing Team (which commentators Curtis and Watkinson insisted on referring to as a vintage car), went splendidly, to lead from the second lap onwards. Shattock, too, was on form, passing Davis’ Cooper-M.G. between Woodcote and the chicane in a do-or-spin effort , but his Lea-Francis engine has a lot to lug and he couldn’t cope with Gammon’s very fast M.G. Threlfall’s M.G.-engined Tojeiro, which had intrigued the commentators before the start, soon retired with water-bound cylinders, and Lewis’ Jupiter spun off and through the straw bales well before Woodcote on lap three. Perhaps the forward engine location and locking brakes promoted this, as a lap later Dudley’s Jupiter spun at the chicane. Lewis’ car was driven in with a drooping tail. Mrs.Gibbs crunched the cogs of her Le Mans now disguised with an all-enveloping body, and Blakeley had a hectic tussle with the steering wheel of his undistinguished Le Mans H.R.G. The Riley, unmodified in appearance since its T.T. days, but with a new head, light-alloy tanks and hydraulic brakes, stole the race. The commentators called it “ex-Maclure.”
1st: Beauman (Riley); won by 6.8 sec. at 71.48 m.p.h. Fastest lap, 76.06 m.p.h.
2nd : P. D. Gammon (M.G.).
3rd It. G. Shattuck (R.G.S. Atalanta).
5-Lap Scratch Race for Cars of 1-1/2 to 3 litres
The feature of this race was the manner in which Mitchell, clad as for a day in his garden, pushed racing-driver Alan Brown, of the Ecurie Anglaise, in his Ferrari-like Cooper-Bristol all the way, to pass on the last lap and get his ex-Newton Le Mans Frazer Nash (with modified wings) over the line 0.2 sec. ahead — magnificent! Mitchell drove a very polished race and braked for the corners noticeably later than Brown. A long time afterwards Brooks’ Silverstone Healey came along to take third place, having held off Woods’ DB2! Baxter’s old 2-litre Aston-Martin was unwell.
1st: H.A. Mitchell (Frazer Nash); won by 0.2 sec. at 80.97 m.p.h. Fastest lap, 82.76 m.p.h.
2nd : A. Brown (Cooper-Bristol).
3rd : C. A. S. Brooks (Silverstone Healey).
5-Lap Scratch Race for Cars of over 3 litres
Oscar Moore in his impressive H.W.M.-Jaguar, with exhaust pipes feeding into the main chassis tubes, won this comfortably, from the third lap onwards. Page got his 5.4-litre Allard past Tom Sopwith’s XK120 on lap four but vanished without comment — the announcers said, “order unchanged “! — on the last lap, letting Wick’s XK120 into third place of a spirited finish. Walker’s 4-1/2-litre Bentley blew up.
1st: O.Moore (H.W.M.-Jaguar) won by 5.0 sec., at 75.79 m.p.h. Fastest lap, 79.27 m.p.h.
2nd: T. Sopwith (XK120 Jaguar).
3rd: C. Wick (XK120 Jaguar).
Second 5-Lap Handicap
The P.A. chaps told us about the two Riley’s of the Cornhill Racing Team as Riseley–Pritchard brought his car out for this race — actually it was the same Riley that Beaumont drove so well to win the second race, but bearing No. 8 instead of No.9. Bickell, the T.T. Garage tuner, obviously knows about these things for the race was never in doubt, the Riley eating up the field to win at precisely the same average as before! Again, magnificent! Dargue’s neat M.G. was second. Betty Haig’s ex-T.T. M.G. Magnette third. Shattock again performed his spirited passing act into the chicane, this time to dislodge Rogers’ Riley saloon. Sickness overtook Harewood’s blown M.G. and Gibbs’ Riley. Short bravely raced a J2 M.G.
1st: R. Riseley-Pritchard (Riley) — 30 sec.– won by 20.2 sec. at 74.48 m.p.h. Fastest lap, 76.32 m.p.h.
2nd : T. W. Dargue (M.G.) — 45 sec.
3rd: Betty Haig (M.G.) — 1 min. 10 sec.
Third 5-Lap Handicap
Lap one saw Baxter’s Aston-Martin seize up and retire at Woodcote, what time Stewart’s smaller Aston-Martin led from Blakeley’s H.R.G. and Howard’s Morgan Plus Four. Alexander’s green ex-Stapleton Aston-Martin non-started, having lost bits of cylinder block in practice! As the race progressed, Hely’s Frazer Nash took the H.R.G on the off side into the chicane, foretaste of a close finish, in which Mitchell again showed his mastery, beating Cliff Davis’ Cooper on the last lap, and Alan Brown just out-accelerating Brooks’ Healey on the run in.
1st: H. A. Mitchell (Frazer Nash) — 10 sec — won by 1.0 sec., at 79.93 m.p.h. Fastest Lap, Brown and Mitchell, 81.97 m.p.h.
2nd: F.C. Davis (Cooper-M.G.)
3rd: A. Brown (Cooper-Bristol).
Fourth 5-Lap Handicap
Jubilation! Powell’s short-chassis SSK Mercedes-Benz two-seater, its supercharger howling like a dinner-siren, won this with half Goodwood in hand. Behind, Collinson just broke up a vintage trio by poking his 2-litre Aston Martin home ahead of Hamilton’s evergreen and accelerative 4-1/2-litre high-chassis Invicta, which Orr-Ewing’s Bentley, although better anchored, couldn’t catch. Alas, amidst all this happiness, Bailey’s pretty, lowered, supercharged K3 M.G., Harewood’s M.G. and Williamson’s vast, all-enveloping Riley Nine deranged themselves. Commentator Curtis was puzzled by Smith’s Atalanta, which he thought might be Cadillac-powered. It is the ex-Miss Wilby Lincoln-Zephyr-engined car.
Ist: N. Powell (SSK Mercedes-Benz) — I min — won by 28.8 sec., at 68.25 m.p.h. Fastest Lap, Collinson, 70.7 m.p.h.
2nd: B.F. Collinson (Aston Martin) — 35 sec.
3rd: S. J. Hamilton (Invicta) — 45 see.
Fifth 5-Lap Handicap
This was an Allard duet, Page’s Cadillac J2 winning from Jackson’s Mercury-engined car. Protheroe’s XKI20 was in trouble leaving the chicane on the last lap, but was not running for a place anyway. Mann’s 2.6 Monza Alfa Romeo went beautifully, flame pluming from its exhaust on the over-run, and Goodhew seemed to have the feel of the ex-Gale Darracq.
1st: H. A. Page (Allard) — 35 sec.– won by 6.6 sec. at 76.06 m.p.h. Fastest Lap, Oscar Moore and Page, 78.98 m.p.h.
2nd: P.R.W. Jackson (Allard) — 40 sec
3rd: N. H. Mann (Alfa Romeo) — 25 sec.
Sixth 5-Lap Handicap
The cornering of Chapman’s Ford Ten-engined Lotus was received with enormous acclaim by the commentators — unfortunately, as the little car whisked through the chicane for the last time trying hard to grasp third place from Gammon’s very effective M.G., the off-side back wheel flew off, the welding which holds the hub plate to the wheel centre having collapsed. The wheel flew straight for photographer Brymer, perhaps intent on deleting all evidence, but the Goodwood safety-sleepers saved him. Scarf’s Ford Buckler won a neat victory from Marsh’s ex-Powys-Lybbe 12/50 Alvis. Wilkins (M.G.) performed a Shattock on Pilkington (M.G.) into the chicane. Powell, suffering the only re-handicap of the afternoon, toured round in the Mercedes.
1st: P. H. Scarf (Ford Buckler) –1 min. 10 sec. — won by 4 sec. at 63.76 m.p.h. Fastest Lap: Gammon, 75.13 m.p.h.
2nd: A. Marsh (12/50 Alvis) — 2 min.
3rd: P. D. Gammon (M.G.) — Scratch
The leaders for the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy are:
8 pts: H.A. Mitchell (Frazer Nash)
5 pts: L. Woods (Aston Martin DB2); P.D. Gammon (M.G).
4pts: A. Brown (Cooper); D.B. Beauman (Riley); Oscar Moore (H.W.M.); R. Riseley-Pritchard (Riley); N. Powell (Mercedes-Benz); R.A. Page (Allard); P.H. Scarf (Ford Buckler); F.C. Davis (Cooper-M.G.); P.R.W. Jackson (Allard).
The remainder have three points or less. Next meeting for this contest, May 2nd.