The Empire Trophy won by Count Czaikowslii (Bugatti)
PRELIMINARY RACES GO TO M. B. WATSON (M.G. MIDGET) AND FRANK HALLAM (ALVIS). R. T. HORTON (M.G. MAGNETTE) BREAKS THE 1,100 c.c. LAP RECORD AT 115.55 M.P.H. FOR, one reason or another the British Empire Trophy Meeting at Brooklands organised by the British Racing Drivers’ Club failed to attract a really representative entry of track-cars. Moreover, the inevitable non-starters still further tended to detract from the interest, with the result that spectators
were left at the end with a sense of something lacking from what might have been a first-class meeting.
Turning to a brighter side of the picture, the first race, for cars up to 1,100 c.c. was interesting for some sudden changes of fortune—providing one kept an accurate account of the laps of each car in the race. In the second event, for cars over 1,100 c.c. Prank Hallam had a runaway win on an old 1 litre straight-eight T.T. Alvis, while the Empire Trophy Race itself provided the really exhilirating spectacle of Count Czaikowski’s world-hour-record Bugatti in action. In order that people might have a chance to get down from Town, the first race for the India Trophy was scheduled for 3 o’clock. A field of fourteen was reduced to ten by the failure of W. A. Cuthbert (supercharged Riley 9), R. A. Vallop (M.G. Magnette) and B. 0. Davis (M.G. Magnette) to prepare their cars in time for the race, while H. T. H. Clayton had the bad luck to shear the supercharger drive of his 6 cylinder Amilcar in the Paddock just before the start. And so the actual starters, with their handicaps, were as follows : G. H. S. Balmain (M.G. Midget) 9m. ; H. R. Attwood (M.G. Midget S.) 4m. 12s.; E. K. Rayson (Riley), G. P. H. Noble (Salmson S.), M. B. Watson (M.G. Midget S.) and K. D. Evans (M.G. Midget S.) 3m. 36s.; H. G. Dobbs (Riley) 2m. 6s. ; G. F. Manby-Colegrave (M.G. Magnette
S.) and H. Widengren (Amilcar S.) 54s.; and finally R. T. Horton (M.G. Magnette S.) on scratch. A minor sensation was caused when it was seen that” Ebby ” held a brand new starting flag in his hand, to wit, a small Union Jack. At first this was thought to be merely Ebby’s ” geste ” in support of the Imperial nature of the meeting, but it was afterwards given out that the national flag will in future be the usual means of giving drivers the signal to ” Go i ” As was only to be expected, the start was quietly unimpressive. Balmain (M.G.) got away by himself and completed two whole laps before -Attwood (supercharged M.G.) started. Of the next batch Noble (Salmson) made the best getaway, and worked up a comfortable lead on the first
Balmain came round again on his third lap, and then Dobbs’ white Riley was unleashed. This car was strongly favoured to win, for it had been most carefully prepared with an offset streamlined body, the exhaust pipe being enclosed within the shell of the body. Soon after, Manby-Colegrave (Magnette) and Widengren (Axnilcar) accelerated away side by side, the French car getting slightly the better of it. This left Horton’s scratch Magnette chafing impatiently on the line, and 54 seconds later he, too, was flagged off by ” Ebl?y.” As Horton left the line Balmain’s Midget came by at the end of its fourth lap, so it will be seen that the only way in which to keep count of the race was by scoring with pencil and paper. .Attwood (blown Midget) was already out of the race, for his car began to misfire badly at the end of the first lap, and finally came to rest on the far side of the Track. Of the third group of starters, Noble’s Salmson held its lead for three laps when Watson and Evans, both on blown Midgets, overhauled it and forged steadily ahead. Widengren’s Amilcar was the next casualty, coming into the pits after 17 minutes running, and being withdrawn owing to lack of petrol-pressure. Nothing much happened then until it was seen that Dobbs (Riley) was catching up rapidly with the previous starters, lapping at about 108 m.p.h. On his 8th lap he caught Rayson’s Riley, and on the 13th he got into 4th place behind Watson, Balmain and Evans, through the retirement of
Noble’s Salmson with tyre trouble. The race now looked a fairly open issue between Watson (M.G. Midget) who was in the lead ; Dobbs (Riley) who on the
15th lap passed Evans and Balmain to take second place ; and Horton (Magnette) who was coming up very fast indeed from scratch. Horton’s Magnette, in spite of a standard road-racing body, was lapping at very high speed and on one lap succeeded in breaking Goutte’s 7 year old record with the Salmson of 114 m.p.h. by covering a lap at 115.55 m.p.h. Then Dobbs, when in sight of victory, had to fall back with misfiring, and was re-passed by Evans, who took second place behind Watson. It now remained
to see whether Horton could possibly catch the two “young brother” Midgets on his Magnette. All three cars were going really splendidly, Watson lapping at about 103 m.p.h., Evans round about 100 m.p.h. and Horton at a steady 114 m.p.h. Finally Watson crossed the finishing line 41 seconds ahead of Evans, who scraped into second place by a mere 2 seconds from the pursuing Horton. Thus M.G. cars were first, second and third, a first class performance, and a fitting opening to the British Empire Trophy Meeting.
RESULT OF THE INDIA TROPHY.
Not Exceeding 1,100 c.c.-50 mile Handicap.
1. M. B. Watson (747 c.c. M.G. Midget, S.), 3 mins. 36 secs., 101.23 m.p.h. ; 34 mins. 56.6 secs.
2. K. D. Evans (747 c.c. M.G. Midget, S.), 3 mins. 36 secs., 98.90 m.p.h. ; 35 mins. 37.8 secs.
3. R . T. Horton (1,086 c.c., M.G. Magnette, S.), scr., 108.20 m.p.h.; 35 mins. 39 secs.
4. H. G.D obbs (1,089 c.c. Riley) , 2 mins., 6 secs. 103.11 m.p.h.; 35 mins. 54.2 secs.
mins. 54.2 secs.
5. G. F. Manby Colegra.ve (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnette, S.), 106.4’2 m.p.h.; 36 mins. 13 secs.
6. G. H. S. Balmain (747 c.c. M.G. Midget), 9 mins.; 80.85 m.p.h. ; 36 mins. 56.8 secs.
7. E. K. Rayson (1,089 c.c. Riley), 3 mins. 36 sees.; 93.36 m.p.h. ; 37 mins. 24.8 secs. After a short interval the cars were lined up for the next race, the” Canada” Trophy, for cars with engines exceeding 1,100 c.c. Once again non-starters re duced the field, Mathieson preferring to save his Bugatti for the Mannin Moar race at Douglas ; R. L. DuIler’s Bugatti running a big-end before the race ; and H. Stisted’s Mercedes-Benz and R. R. K. Marker’s Bentley just failed to turn up. This left the following starters : G. L. Baker (Minerva) 7m. 48s. ; C. T. Delaney (Lea Francis S.) 6m. ; C. G. H. Dunham (Alvis) 5m. 42s.; W. E. Humphreys (Alvis) and K. Hutchison (Bugatti) 5m. 24s. ; F. Hallam (Alvis S.) 4m. 48s.; B. H. Wickens and R. 0. Shuttleworth
(Bugatti) 2m. 24s. and virtual scratch. The various getaways were uneventful, with the exception of Hutchison’s Donington-Bugatti, which was misfiring rather badly. At the end of its first lap Dunham’s Speed Twenty Alvis came in with a blown gasket, and retired. Another driver whose hopes were short lived was Dudley Froy, at the wheel of Wicken’s
14 litre Bugatti, as it came past the Fork at the end of the initial lap the cockpit was filled with smoke and the car was withdrawn. For two laps no changes occurred, and then Hallam, on a 14 litre 8-cylinder f.w.d. Alvis passed Humphreys, driving Charles Follett’s 4-cylinder Alvis. Hallam’s car was producing an excellent turn of speed, lapping at about 103 m.p.h. It was a trifle unsteady at the rear, no doubt due to its front-wheel-drive, but the engine sounded crisp and well-tuned. On the
next lap he still further improved his position owing to Hutchison’s Bugatti beginning to misfire. Hallam was therefore lying third, behind second man, who was Delaney’s Lea Francis, and the leader, Baker’s Minerva, which continued to rumble round at a steady gait.
Shuttleworth, starting from virtual scratch, made up leeway quite well for some time, until his fuel pressure began to fall, causing the car to slow occasionally. The driver signalled his trouble to the pit by an expressive “thumbsdown.” Even so he soon took fourth place, a lap behind Hallam, for Humphreys’ Alvis blew its gasket on the 6th lap and retired two laps later. At the same time Hutchison retired with plug trouble on his Bugatti, leaving only four cars running. Shuttleworth began to play a sort of cat-andmouse game with Hallam, which caused some excitement until it was pointed out that the Bugatti was a whole lap behind the Alvis. No sooner had Shuttleworth got ahead than his pressure would start to fall again, and the Allis would again take the lead. Meanwhile Delaney (Lea Francis) had passed Baker’s Minerva, and the latter car was in turn passed by Shuttleworth three laps from the end. The field continued in this order
until the finish, Hallam scoring a welldeserved victory at an average speed of 102.48 m.p.h.
RESULT OF” CANADA “TROPHY.
Exceeding 1,100 c.c.-50-mile Handicap.
1. Frank Hallam (1,492 c.c. Alvis, S.), 4 mins. 48 secs.; 102.48 m.p.h.; 32 mins. 9 secs.
2. C. T. Delaney (1,496 c.c. Lea-Francis, S.), 6 mins.; 95.41 m.p.h.; 33 mins. 8 secs.
3. R. 0. Shuttieworth (1,990 c.c. Bugatti), 2 mins. 24 secs.; 101.64 m.p.h.; 34 mins. 47.4 secs.
4. G. L. Baker (5,954 c.c. Minerva), 7 mins. 48 sees.; 83.99 m.p.h. ; 35 mins. 35.2 secs.
Then the motor-cyclists took to the track, 26 of them, and for some time the air was full of the sharp, almost musical note of well-tuned two wheelers as they tore round the concrete. Once again quiet descended, and soon the cars were pushed out for the start of the chief event of the day, the scratch race for the British Empire Trophy.
With the greatly-regretted absence of John Cobbs’ new Napier-Railton, owing to some difficulty having been experienced with the silencing of the central block of cylinders, only three of the original entrants came to the line, namely, Count Czaikowski with the identical 4.9 litre Bugatti with which he recently set up a new world’s hour record of 132.87 m.p.h. ; Kaye Don on a similar, but rather earlier car ; and Oliver Bertram on the 10 litre pelage which won the race last year in the hands of John Cobb. To these three 130 m.p.h. cars were added Hallam’s 11 litre Alvis, Dunham’s Speed Twenty Alvis, and the two Magnettes driven by Manby-Colegrave and Horton. Seven cars in all, four of which stood only a very remote chance of success.
The start was rather a scrappy affair, the big cars seeming to get rather mixed up with the slower machines. Bertram fared best, Don and Czaikowski being held low by other cars as they went onto the Home Banking. The 4.9 Bugattis soon got free, however, and with Don in the lead they came past the Pork a good way ahead of Bertram, who in turn was well in front of the rest. There were really only two -cars in the race, and while it lasted the duel between Don and Czaikowski was a sight to remember for many a day. On practically every lap the Count tried to pass going down the Railway Straight, but could never do more than draw almost level. Both cars were travelling at high speed, and put in fastest laps at the same speed, viz., 131.76 m.p.h. From the Home Banking one could hear the full throated roar of the big supercharged eight cylinder engines as the drivers opened up down the
Railway Straight-a most impressive sound.
The Delage was very disappointing. Considering that the car had won last year’s 100 mile race at an average speed of 126 m.p.h. its lap speeds of 117 m.p.h. were depressingly low. In 10 laps the two Bugattis had caught up with Bertram, and he showed a glimpse of the car’s latent speed when he held them down the Railway Straight. On the next lap, however, Don got by on the outside, and as he did so, Count Czaikowski made a wonderful sprint and passed both cars on the inside. Don’s Bugatti seemed to have lost its tune, for the blue Bugatti streaked ahead and had soon piled up a very comfortable lead.
The position of the leaders being more or less assured, at any rate for the moment, the crowd turned some of its attention to the slower machines. Manby Colegrave was at the head of the bunch, but Dunham had fallen by the wayside.
Horton had been into the pits for a qui-ck change of plugs. Hallam prancing round at about 105 m.p.h. was tailing ManbyColegrave.
Czaikowski and Don continued to gain lap after lap on the slower cars. The former, now that Don was offering no real resistance, was signalled to ease up by the Countess, who as usual was in charge of her husband’s pit. A few more laps saw the last of Bertram and the Delage. A bird struck the windscreen, completely shattering it, and at the same time back axle trouble developed. And so it went on until the end, the immaculate blue and silver Bugatti lapping regularly well within its capabilities, and gradually gaining on the red car driven by Kaye Don until the former was only about a half a mile behind. Then the checkered flag was waved, and the Count was given a hearty cheer for his fine average of 123.58 m.p.h. Kaye Don also received his share of the applause for putting up a good fight, his average being 121.47 m.p.h.
After the two big machines had been flagged home, a minor duel was staged between Horton and Manby-Colegrave, both on M.G. Magnettes for the five laps the leaders had gained. Horton had soon wiped out his pit-stop delay, and passed Manby-Colegrave on the 11th lap. Some time later, however, clutch slip developed on Horton’s car, and the driver had the exasperating experience of seeing his precious lead gradually cut down without being able to increase his own speedeven though the necessary power was available. Manby-Colegrave, driving confidentally and pushing his car to the limit, just managed to catch Horton right at the end, and thereby registered his first “place “in a big race in no unconvincing manner. Hallam continued his steady Speed, a shade slower than the Magnettes, and finished fifth at the good average of 103.11 m.p.h.
RESULT OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE TROPHY.
THE BRITISH EMPIRE TROPHY.
Open to All-comers.-125-mile Scratch Race.
1. Count S. Czaikowski (4,975 c.c. Bugatti, S.), 123.58 m.p.h. ; 1 hr. min. 28 secs.
2. Kaye Don (4,975 c.c. Bugatti, S.), 121.47 m.p.h.; 1 hr. 1 min. 36.4 secs.
3. 0. F. Mauby Colegrave (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnette, S.), 106.88 m.p.h.; 1 hr. 9 mins. 54.2 sees.
4. R. T. Horton (1,086 c.c. hl.G.Magnette, S.), 106.76 m.p.h. ; 1 hr. 9 mins. 56 secs.
5. Frank Hallam (1,492 c.c. Alvis, S.), 103.11 m.p.h.; 1 hr. 12 mins. 32.4 secs.
Count Czaikowski’s Bugatti was equipped with Dunlop tyres, Castrol oil, and Pratt’s Ethyl.