This year’s R.A.C. Rally made excellent use of the number of circuits in this country, and was accordingly known as the “Rally of the Tests.” Although a road mileage of some 2,000 had to be covered to a strict time-schedule, over some tortuous roads in Wales, the Lake District and Scotland, the results were determined largely by timed tests at Goodwood, Oulton Park and Silverstone circuits, and at Prescott Hill. There was a Scrutineering “flap” when two-carburetter Rileys were made to revert to single carburetters.
We observed the Hastings contingent at Goodwood, where most of the circuit had to be covered at speed, with the added hazard of having to stop astride, and reverse over, two lines en route.
Early in a day of sunshine, blue sky but mist rising from the cultivated ground inside the course, D. H. Perring’s Austin-Healey made a very fast run. A. Colbourne-Baber dealt neatly with the reversing business in his Volkswagen, J. Halley’s Jaguar Mk. VII possessed good brakes, selected its gears quietly but bowed under the brakes, and J. Watts’ Ford, using snow-tyres, braked rather early. J. Pocock (Vauxhall) was neat, but careful of his braking — his car was adorned with many club badges — while C. Tyrer’s Sunbeam-Talbot smoked and slewed sideways as it slid to a standstill. P. Anton’s M.G. looked slow.
Moving on to St. Mary’s Corner P. G. Cooper’s Triumph TR2 blipped through, J. R. Platt sat hunched over the wheel of his Vauxhall, W. H. Waring handled his DB2 Aston Martin with spirit, the engine of D. C. T. Bennett’s Jaguar, which had a huge reversing lamp, was misfiring and R. K. Hooper’s Sunbeam-Talbot was sedate — most of these cars went through with tails sliding while Miss Burt did not make the best use of her XK120 Jaguar coupé.
In contrast, J. B. L. Jacobs’ Alvis was fast, I. A, Marden’s Ford was steady, D. B. Watkinson’s Standard cornered well, J. H. King held a good line in his Triumph TR2, and S. R. G. Jeffery was trying hard, his Standard leaning over.
At Lavant Corner, S. A. Dare’s Sunbeam-Talbot slid its tail. W. G. Cawsey changed-up in his little Renault, while before the first stop-line F. H. Whittle wound his Vauxhall up in third gear. D. Potter took the test, very late, at this stage, his Sunbeam-Talbot bearing No. 8.
At the first stop-line C. B. Lander’s Sunbeam-Talbot slid sideways, J. Trigg locked all four wheels of his Hillman and “chunked” reverse gear in while it was still rolling forward, B. W. Fursdon put up a fine show in his Renault 750, although missing his gear changing up, and then both G. Burgess and W. Grant-Norton, arriving fast in their Frazer-Nashes, stalled their engines and lost a lot of time restarting them.
In spite of snow-grip tyres on its back wheels the Ford of M. R. Davies slid a long way, but W. H. Baker’s Ford demonstrated excellent brakes and F. Holmes put up a very polished show in his Sunbeam-Talbot.
A. B. Fraser wrung record noises front the unfortunate cog-box of his Sunbeam-Talbot, F. E. Still indulged in a record slide in his Austin-Healey and reversed untidily, whereas B. D. S. Ginn (Jowett) and N. T. Lithgow (Austin) were both neat.
F. M. Baker had a terrific forward slide in his Austin-Healey and then let it roll still further from the line in an untidy attempt, G. N. Dear’s M.G., screen flat, was fussy but rapid. Sheila Van Damm was not very bright with the Sunbeam-Talbot, but in this team both Norman Garrad and P. Harper changed down before reaching the line and put up impeccable performances.
Some damage was already evident on competitors’ vehicles. R. L. Manwaring’s Sunbeam-Talbot was dented along the near side and H. A. R. Fox’s Allard was sans front number plate. A. G. Imhof’s Allard hadn’t arrived and someone remarked that perhaps he was still planning the Tulip Rally route! The third (lady) passenger in A. H. Baker’s Land Rover, which slid badly under braking, had a precarious perch in the back on a pile of mattresses!
The Rally was a triumph for the TR2 sports car.
1st: J. C. Wallwork (Triumph).
2nd: P. G. Cooper (Triumph).
3rd: T. C. Harrison (Ford Zephyr).
1,000 c.c.: W. Schluter (D.K.W.).
1,001-1,300 c.c. : R. N. Richards (Ford New Anglia).
1,301-1,600 c.c.: F. D. Dundas (Jowett Javelin).
1,601-2,600 c.c.: T. C. Harrison (Ford Zephyr).
Over 2,600 c.c.: H. J. Adams (Alvis).
Up to 1,600 c.c.: A. William, (M.G.).
1,601-2,600 c.c.: J. C. Wallwork (Triumph).
Over 2,600 c.c.: F. G. Davis (Austin-Healey).
Team Award: Ford No. 2 Team (T. C. Harrison, Mrs. Mitchell and J. G. Reece.)
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