THE MANN IN RACES
F, W. DIXON (RILEY) WINS THE MANNIN BEG AT 84.41 m p.h. IN A TEST TO DESTRUCTION OF MOST OF THE ENTRANTS. THE HON. BRIAN LEWIS (ALFA ROMEO) A WORTHY WINNER OF THE MANNIN MOAR, AFTER A STERN TUSSLE WITH T. E. ROSE-RICHARDS (BUGATTI) AND G. E. T. EYSTON (ALFA ROMEO).
MANN IN BEG RACE. ST }MRS.
R. M. Mere, M.G. Magnetic (S), 1,087 c.c.
E. R. Hall, M.G. Magnette (5), 1,087 c.c. V. Sullivan (Morris Minor, Sullivan Special) (8), 732 c.c.
D. K. Mansell, M.G. Midget (S), 746 c.c.
F. W. Dixon, Riley, 1,089 c.c.
T. G. Moore, Frazer Nash, 1,496 c.c.
V. Gillow, Riley, 1,086 c.c. J. I,. Ford, M.G. (S), 746 c.c.
R. H. Vallop, M.G. Magnette (5), 1,087 c.c.
G. E.T Eyston,M.G. ap,nette (S), 1,086e.c.
H. C. Hamilton, M.G. Magnette (5), 1,086 c.c. Kaye Don, M.G. Magnette (5), 1,086 c.c.
S. A. Crabtree, M.G. Midget (5), 746 c.c.
E. I,. Gardner, M.G. Midget (5), 746 c.c.
NCI.; more in 1933 the Isle of Man has resounded with the sound of racing car exhausts, not, alas, over the famous T.T. course but this time round a circuit through the streets of Douglas. The Manx people had for some time been trying to get the R.A.C. to organise a race on the Island, and when the suggestion of organising a race on the lines of the Monaco Grand Prix was put forward, the Club agreed to organise the event. Two races, the Mannin Moar for large cars and the Mannin Beg for small ones, were decided upon. Each race consisted of 50 laps of a 4.6 mile circuit.
The course begins on the Promenade, almost at sea-level, and after a right and. a left turn rises slightly to the Government Buildings hair-pin. A steeper ascent leads up through the town, with a fast section ending in Woodburne corner. A series of right angle turns lead the cars round the bottom of the Playing Fields to Victoria Road. This sweeps up to Governor’s Bridge, but the course crosses the dip by a by-pass road instead of rounding the sharp bend which the motor cycles have to negotiate in the T.T. races. A level road leads to Onchan, where there is a sharp hair-pin, then a downhill section followed by the 1 in 8 descent to the Promenade. This is the fastest part of the course, and runs for three quarters of a mile to the start. Though level, it has several bends and the tramlines and rough surface made it unpleasant for the smaller cars. The drivers quickly got used to the new course, and on the first day Rose Richards (Bugatti) made the fastest Large Car or ” Moar ‘ lap in 4m. 27s. or 63.02 m.p.h. while in the smaller class Dixon (Rikv , got round in 4m. 42s. Eyston on the second day brought down the record to 4m. 21s. and Lewis on the final morning
reached 64.43 m.p.h. or 4m. 17s. iiixon improved to 4111. 36s. or 60 m.p.h. Fothringham had a spectacular smash on the first morning when he ran into a wall near Woodbourne Corner and bent the front of his Bugatti, escaping with a cut chin, and Eccles, also on a Bugatti, broke a connecting rod.
Manning Beg Race. The Mannin Beg was for cars unsupercharged up to 1,500 c.c. and supercharged up to 1,100 c.c. Fourteen cars appeared on the starting line, the missing ones being two 1,500 c.c. Rileys, a six-cylinder Frazer Nash which appeared once in
practise but had not been prepared in time, and Bartlett’s Salmson, which also practised but did not run.
Changeable and showery weather, which had inade carburettor ‘lining so difficult during the period of practise, was prophesied for the Mannin Beg Race. Rain actually fell in the early morning but the course was almost dry by 9 o’clock. The stands were not well patronised, but crowds of people were round the copse and in the windows of the hotels on the Promenade.
Men were at work painting the starting positions for the massed starts, which were determined by the lap speeds put up in practise. The cars were to be ranged alternately in rows of four and three, with Dixon, Hamilton, Mere-and Eyston in the first rank.
The air which had been full of the roar-Mg of engines stilled at nine o’clock, when the ears were wheeled to the line. Quarter of an hour later it broke out again as the drivers gave their cars a final warming. The rasping sound of the Magnette exhausts made it impossible to hear announcements, but the final minutes were shown by holding up numbered boards.
At last Ebby raised his flag, the Manx “Three Legs” on a red ground, and ten seconds later the roaring screaming mob was off.
Terrific acceleration and a swerve and Kaye Don, shooting out of the second rank took the lead, followed by Hamilton and Crabtree. Dixon was close behind. After a slight ” traffic block” at Church Corner, all the cars sorted themselves out without incident, and passing and repassing as they roared through the narrow streets of Douglas at length reached Governor’s Bridge. Here Gillow was seen inspecting the plugs of his Riley.
Meanwhile Kaye Don had reached the Promenade and the order remained the same, but Dixon had closed up on Crabtree. E. R. Hall (Magnette) came into his pit to change a plug and set „off again at great speed. Hamilton, who last lap was close behind Don passed him (luring the third round and Lixon and Eyston had dosed up on Crabtree. The first accident of the race occurred at Church Road, where E. R. Hall skidded into the kerb and broke his front axle. A front tyre apparently deflated after a cut on the tramlines, and the driver was unable to ” make” the corner,
The cars soon began to string out, and their numbers were lessened by the retirement of Gillow (Riley), whose car was disabled by the collar pulling off one of its valves. The Frazer Nash driven by ‘1’ G. Moore made an unpleasant sound turning into Church Road, and stopped in Finch Road with a run big -end. Ford was reported to have buckles! a front wheel. The order remained unaltered for the next few laps, but Eyston dis appeared from the leader board. It was later announced that he had retired with a sheared camshaft drive. Mere made
frequent visits to the pits to change plugs.
Order after 10 laps.
H. C. Hamilton, M.G. Magnette, 58.02 m.p.h.
Kay Don, M.G. Magnette, 57.7 m.p.h.
S. A. Crabtree, M.G. Midget, 57.56 m.p.h.
P. W. Dixon, Riley, 57.54 _m.p.h.
R. H. Yallop, M.G. Magnette, 56.3 m.p.h.
E. L. Gardner, M.G. M dget, 53.39 m.p.h. Hamilton was drawing steadily ahead and his car seemed immensely fast, Streaking along the Promenade. As will be seen, Dixon at this time was right on
Crabtree’s tail, but he soon began to drop behind. It seemed as though his furious driving during the practises had been too much for his car. He was announced as stopped, making adjustments. Hamilton seemed to have the race well in hand, lapping at about 4m. 42s. or
59 m.p.h. Crabtree, who had been driving brilliantly, was having trouble with his brakes and crashed at Onchan Hairpin, damaging the front axle. He drove in slowly and was cheered by the sympathetic crowd.
Order after 20 laps.
H. C. Hamilton, M.G. Magnette, 58.10 m.p.h.
Kaye Don, M.G. Magnette, 57.8 m.p.h.
R. A VallopM.G.Magnette, 56.78 m.p.h.
J. I,. Ford, M.G. Midget, 52.82 m.p.h.
E. L. Gardner, M.G. Midget, 52.62 m.p.h.
I). K. Mansell, M.G. Midget, 52.01 m.p.h. Dixon seemed right out of the running, but after a call at the pits when
the gearbox was re-filled, he started to lap with his accustomed verve. For the last few laps he had only been able to use third and top gears, a tremendous handicap on the twisty course, but when the gear-box cooled, bottom ” came back.” Two more retirements were reported, Mere (back axle) Sullivan (supercharger drive) and then Gardner with two bigends gone. Kaye Don had always kept close on Hamiltdn’s tail, but suddenly ceased to appear. Vet another retirement, this time fractured supercharger
drive. Half distance and only five runners
out of a field of 16. Britain’s first Round the Town Race was finding the weak spots.
Order after 30 laps.
H. C. Hamilton, Al AL Magnetic, 57.84 iti.10). R. A. Valhi!), MA;. Magnette, 56.82 m.p.h.
F. W. Dixon, Riley, 53.8 m.p.h, j. T4. Ford, M.G. Midget, 51.61 m.p.h.
G. K. Mansell, M.G. Midget, 51.35 m.p.h. Yallop, who had made a promising debut in the Manx Races with his fast and steady driving, went out on the 32nd lap with back axle trouble. Hamilton alone of the Magnette drivers continued, with such a substantial lead over Dixon that he was flagged down every lap. Even so the power of the engine was too much for the transmission and at 12.33 a report from Governor’s Bridge announced his retirement with usual complaint of back axle trouble. Apparently the Magnette engines, ‘running on alcohol fuel, were
developing over 100 horse power, and the constant reversal of load which occurred on the many corners of the Manx course revealed weaknesses which the International Trophy at Brooklands did not disclose. At 40 laps therefore only three cars were running, Dixon’s Riley and the M.G.’s driven by Dennis Mansell and Ford and Baumer. Mansell had made up his mind before the race to hold a steady speed well within the powers of his car and his tactics succeeded even better than he
dared to hope. Ford, driving the car which did so well at Le Mans, was holding a fast and steady course.
The only interest in the last few laps was whether Ford would finish within 15 minutes of the winner’s time. Dixon crossed the line at 1.45, a comfortable winner, and Mansell only had two laps to complete. Just when it seemed Ford could pull it off, a message from Governor’s Bridge announced that he was held up with ignition trouble, but further inspection showed that the switch leads had come off the terminals at the back of the switch board. After losing 5 minutes he got going again, called at the pits for a lightning change of plugs and was off.
This delay took away any chance of finishing in time, and the green flag signifying the end of the race, was shown before he could start his final lap. This good effort did not go unrewarded, for it was decided that the third prize should be awarded even though the full distance had not been covered. As will be seen, fourth place in the Mannin Maar race was filled in the same way, as Kaye Don was also unable to finish the 50 laps.
Dixon’s victory was a very popular one. Dogged throughout with gear-box trouble, his cornering and speed on the straight were a joy to see. When first gear started operating again his speed crept steadily up, and his pit staff waved frantically the last few rounds to slow him down.
1. F. W. Dixon, Riley, 1,087 c.c., 54.41 m.p.h., 4h. 13m. 35s.
2. D. K. Mansell, M.G. Midget (5), 746 c.c., 51.4 m.p.h., 4h. 28m. 30s.
3. J. I.. Ford, M.G. Midget (8), 746 c.c., 49.33 m.p.h., 4h. 34m. 9s., 49 laps.
The winning Riley used Ferodo brake linings, Dunlop tyres, Castrol Oil, and Pratt’s Ethyl.