THE COUNTY DOWN MOTOR RACE
NARROW VICTORY FOR W. T. McCALLA (2-LITRE SUNBEAM) FROM THE SCRATCH MARK—HIGH SPEEDS AND NO ACCIDENTS.
IN running the race for the County Down Trophy, the Ulster Automobile Club accomplished a feat which every motor racing enthusiast would like to see copied in England. An interesting course of a shade under 4 miles in length was chosen near Donaghadee, and a total length of 30 laps or 114 miles was decided upon. A handicap system of credit laps was devised, whereby only the scratch man, W. T. McCalla (G.P. Sunbeam) had to travel the full distance. No attempt was made to encourage ” crack ” drivers in any way, with the result that the event proved a first-class training ground for new drivers, and one that should do much to raise the standard of competition driving.
The course was roughly triangular in shape, with three sharp corners. There were several interesting bends on the straights, in addition to some awkward undulations. Two of the ” legs ” were reasonably wide roads, but the third was narrow and demanded a certain amount of caution from the drivers of the large cars. Terrible accidents were predicted for the unfortunate competitors, a prophecy which was partially fulfilled when D. Yule and J. W. Patterson crashed in practice.
The massed start of 17 cars was worth corifing a long way to see, and all the drivers handled their cars well as the pack roared away in close formation. As had been expected, the leader at the end of the first lap was W. T. McCalla on one of the famous 7 litre Grand Prix Sunbeams, which competed in a team of three, at Montlhery, and other continental circuits, several years ago. Behind him thundered H. C. McFerran (Bugatti 2-litre), W. R. Baird (Riley), and Kavanagh (Riley). Baird soon got into second place, for McFerran had to stop at the pits to tighten his exhaust pipe. In actual position, of course, the small cars were still leading comfortably, McCalla having conceded five laps to the slowest of them. After ten laps the order was : 1, J. R. Hodge (Singer) ; 2, L. R. Briggs (M.G. Midget) ; 3, A. R. Finlay (M.G. Magna), and 4, W. T. McCalla, Sunbeam). Hodge and Briggs were
having a fine scrap, which terminated when the former hit the hedge and buckled a wheel, a mishap which put him right out of the running. Baird was driving his usual fast race, and his Riley was strongly favoured by those “in the know, to win.” It was not to be, however, for his engine cracked up shortly before 20 laps had been covered, a similar fate befallingBriggs.
not Hodge been delayed by his accident. This driver atoned for his mistake, however, by picking up several places before the finish. Altogether the Ulster Automobile Club is to be heartily congratulated on its enterprise in organising a highly successful race, carried out smoothly and with an absence of unnecessary 1:
In the resultant general-post, McCalla now stepped into the lead, followed by Finlay (M.G. Magna), W. F. Ayrton (M.G. Magna) and E. J. Wilkinson (Singer Nine). McCalla had been signalled to go all-out by his pit, and immediately increased his speed to such purpose that he set up a new lap-record of 3 mins. 15 secs., or 70.35 m.p.h. Once certain of his lead he eased up, and was actually 11 seconds ahead of his handicap when he received the finishing flag. The winner had driven a cool, unhurried race, using good judgment, and the same could be said for Finlay and Ayrton. A different story might possibly have been told had
I. W. T. McCalla (Sunbeam, 1,992 c.c. S), scratch, 67.14 m.p.h.
2. A. R. Finlay (M.G., 1,087 c.c.), 3 credit laps, 59.98 m.p.h.
3. W. F. Ayrton (M.G., 1,250 c.c.), 4 credit laps, 57.27 m.p.h.
4. E. J. Wilkinson (Singer, 972 c.c.), 4 credit laps, 55.53 m.p.h.
5. W. Sullivan (Sullivan Special, 732 c.c. S), 2 credit laps, 59.27 m.p.h.
6. J. R. Hodge (Singer, 972 c.c.), 4 credit laps, 54.83 mp..h.
7. J. McGrattan (M.G. 847 c.c.), 5 credit laps, 58.91 m.p.h.
8. I). L. McLachlan (Riley, 1,089 c.c.), 1 credit lap, 58.91 m.p.h.
9. D. M. Mackenzie (Riley, 1,089 c.c.), 2 credit laps, 55.21 inp..b.
10. M. H. Fleming (M.G., 847 c.c.), 5 credit laps, 49.31 m.p.h.