The English racing season (automotive) opened at Goodwood on March 11th with the 44th B.A.R.C. Members’ Meeting. The attendance would not have disgraced a “big” day and the entry was so prolific that competitors’ cars overflowed from the Paddock bays. The weather was spring-like but cold. During practice Brailey flattened his M.G.-A by rolling it and Jean Bloxham’s D-type Jaguar developed ignition “shorts” which refused to be cured, while Whitmore’s Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster, which gives a few more h.p. than normal versions, had oil-cooler trouble.
Shill threw away the first 5-lap Handicap when he spun his Lotus at Woodcote on the last lap, after leading all the way. Peter Boshier-Jones went through to win for Lola, 2.8 sec. ahead of Keens’ similar Lola-Climax, Shill restarting to take third place, ahead of Beckwith’s Lotus Eleven, which had received new bearing shells shortly before the start.
There followed an entertaining Closed Car Handicap which might well have been extended from five to ten laps. But apparently the handicappers had never heard of how fast a twin cam Fiat Abarth 1000 goes, because Baring, given 30-sec. start, pulled out an enormous lead, spun at Madgwick, which let Lawrence’s incredibly fast A40 take his place, then re-passed, to win by 6.2 sec. Hurrell’s left-hand-drive Saab was third, Merfield’s noisy Anglia fourth, Howard’s scratch Aston Martin DB4 fifth in spite of demolishing the chicane hurdles on lap four. Brownlee’s D.K.W. Junior created a good impression, cornering so fast on three wheels that it ran into its own smoke-screen. Miss Cristabel Carlisle, unlike many girl racers, really drove her Austin 850.
The 10-lap Formula Junior Scratch Race lacked four Lolas, the gearboxes of which weren’t ready, but was far from dull, for Bill Moss’ Lotus Eighteen gave the three Team Lotus entries a strong challenge. Indeed, although Trevor Taylor’s smart Lotus Twenty led virtually all the way, Moss held off Arundell until lap five, by which time the third works Lotus, McKee’s was out with brake trouble. The f.w.d. Bond and Tojeiro-B.M.C. made first appearances but neither was placed, Gardner’s Lotus being fourth, Epps’ Elva fifth and Murrell’s D.R.W. sixth, all with Ford 105E engines, Holby or Cosworth tuned.
The 10-lap Marque Scratch Race sprang a surprise; for amongst the usual entry of Austin Healeys, Triumphs, Morgans and A.C.-Bristols, the South African, Olthoff, ran away from them all in his decorative Twin-Cam M.G. until engine trouble ousted it on lap eight, allowing Staples to win for A.C. Shaw drove his 1958 A.C.-Bristol viciously, pushing Duncan’s A.C. out at the chicane on lap one and Whiteaway’s A.C. into the chicane on lap five. Whiteaway justifiably stood up in his dented car, waving his fists, then roared off in pursuit, ignoring the chicane the next time round. This earned him disqualification whereas Shaw was awarded second place and apparently wasn’t reprimanded—but the crowd boo-ed him as he drove in. Duncan was third—A.C.s 1, 2/ 3.
A 10-lap Scratch Race for Unlimited Sports Cars was extremely good value, because three big cars with 3.8-litre Jaguar engines ran, and it takes the big fellows to really stir the onlookers—the present tendency in all branches of motor racing to reduce engine size kills the spectacle only powerful engines can supply. Yet here we saw a 1½-litre car beat the heavy metal when, with consumate skill, Henry Taylor, trying out the new Laystall five-speed gearbox in twin-cam Lola virtually akin to a F.1 car, crept up on de Selincourt’s Lister-Jaguar and, the latter missing a gear-change during this side-by-side tussle, won by 2.4 sec. It was a truly exciting race, led by de Selincourt in the 1958 ex-Bekaert Lister-Jaguar until the ninth lap, when Taylor, having disposed of Addicott’s single-cam 1,216-c.c. Lotus-Climax, took de Selincourt out of Lavant, was re-passed down the straight, but harried the big car closely and finally took the lead on the final circuit. Salmon’s D-type Jaguar gave best to Lola and Lotus after half-distance but this, and Coundley’s ex-Vickery space-frame 3.8 Lister-Jaguar, were fourth and fifth and gave the crowd the sight and sound they go to motor races to enjoy. Kerrison’s single-cam Lola Climax was sixth. Another “nostalgic” runner was Mew’s H.W.M., one of the 1950 team cars, now with triple-S.U., 3.4 Jaguar engine. Hextall, in new beard, drove an open G.T. Weber-carburetted TR-engined Tornado. The 300SL gave up on lap one, confirming that you can’t jink about with this complicated Mercedes-Benz engine and get away with it. When Keens (Lola) spun at Woodcote, Hextall and Dilley passed, one on either side!
The 5-lap Scratch Race for non-slc. sports cars up to 1,200 c.c. overhead camshafts banned, was the “special”-builders’ chance, which they took! Mackenzie pulled out a big lead in his twin Weber Alexander-Turner, but Derisley caught him only to be taken on the inside at Woodcote on lap three; then Mackenzie went off at St. Mary’s and Jon Derisley, in his home-built Lotus 7 with Cosworth Ford engine, won by 3.0 sec., White’s Sprite third. Naylor hadn’t even waited for the race to start, demolishing the chicane with a big spin as he took his Sprite to the start! In the race the chicane saw Mansfield spin his Lotus as he left it and Walker’s G.S.M. Delta spin in mid-chicane after its line had been usurped by Davies’ Lotus. Derisley actually lapped Mrs.Joy Pitman’s Sprite in under five laps!
Although re-handicapped, Pickering’s old all-independent, tubular-chassis Leco-M.G. led for three laps in the final 5-lap Handicap, after which all eyes were on Olthoff and Dilley. The South African had his M.G. going well again and drove splendidly, power-sliding the corners, but had to give best, by 2.8 sec., to Dilley’s all-enveloping Targa Florio Frazer Nash Bristol, the car Rudd and Peacock drove at Le Mans in 1954. Pateras, from Greece, was third in his A.C.-Bristol. Salmon and de Selincourt, on scratch, were out-handicapped, Salmon going ahead of the Lister in spite of rumoured gearbox trouble. The G.G.—not the well-known Editor of a weekly contemporary, but Powell’s entry non-started, so it was impossible to judge what it was, beyond being a Ford V8 Special.
So the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy remains open and Staples leads the F. W. Dixon Trophy Contest. These meetings are enormous sport—the next one takes place on May 6th.—W. B.
5-lap Scratch Race, sports cars up to 1,100 c.c. : P. Boshier-Jones (Lola),
134.6 m.p.h. Fastest lap: W. Keens (Lola). 87.45 m.p.h.
5-lap Closed Car Handicap : M. B. Baring (Fiat Abarth), 72.66 m.p.h. Fastest lap : D. Howard (Aston Martin), 75.26 m.p.h.
10-lap Formula Junior Scratch Race : T. Taylor (Lotus), 90.89 m.p.h. Fastest lap : Taylor and Arundell (Lotus), 92.50 m.p.h.
10-lap Marque Scratch Race : R.. A. V. Staples (A.C.), 78.54 m.p.h., and fastest lap, 81.07 m.p.h.
10-lap Scratch Race, unlimited sports cars : H. Taylor (Lola), 87.24 m.p.h., and fastest lap, 90.19 m.p.h.
5-lap Scratch Race, non-o.h.c. sports cars up to 1,200 c.c. J. A. Derisley (Lotus), 78.23 mph., and fastest lap, 81.36 m.p.h.
5-lap Handicap : R. Daley (Fraser Nash), 81.51 m.p.h. Fastest lap M. Salmon (Jaguar), 90.95 m.p.h.