RELAY RACE WON IN A THUNDERSTORM W. L. THOMSON’S TEAM OF AUSTINS FIRST—OFFICIAL MORGANS SECOND— LADIES’ TEAM OF M.G. MAGNETTES TAKE THIRD PLACE.
THE annual ” Big Race for Small Cars,” the Light Car Club’s Relay Race, was run off on Brooklands on July 21st and resulted in a welldeserved win for W. L. Thoinson!s Team of Austins driven by the entrant himself, R. F. Turner, and T. V. G. Selby, which averaged 84.65 m.p.h. Advancing steadily through the field, they took the lead on the 80th lap, and finished two laps ahead of the three-wheeler Morgans, who led Miss Schwedler’s team of M.G. Magnas by the same amount. A sudden thunder-shower during the last hour made conditions very unpleasant and A. Ashton Rigby (M.G. Magna) had one of the most spectacular skids ever seen on the track, which happily finished withOut injury to the
turn to hand the scarf to the third man for the final 30 laps.
The ” A” cars were assembled at the Fork, and sharp at 2 o’clock D. E. Harris, the first member of Sparrow’s team was given the signal to start. His small red Singer Nine had the track to itself for some .minutes, and hummed round rather high on the banking, to be joined six minutes later by G. H. Robbins’ Magna, which was obviously a .good deal faster. Williams, the No. 1 of the Cambridge University team, set off at a great pace on his Hornet a lap afterwards, Nit his enthusiasm was excessive, and he retired after three laps with a large hole in the crank-case of his engine. Driscoll’s B.N.C. sounded very healthy as it left the line, but Hodge’s Singer had
in spite of the blow-oil valve on the B.N.C. blowing out, compelling the driver to tour in with the hole plugged up with his overall belt.
The 14th lap proved fatal for three important cars, for the fuel pump on Driscoll’s Austin packed up on the B3rfleet Banking, and the driver took a short cut back to the pits across the grass, which caused the team to be disqualified. Miss Schwedler’s Magnette fell out at the same time, while Evans on the blown Midget toured into the pits and retired with some minor supercharger trouble. Hartwell’s Magnette had a good deal of plug trouble during the first laps, but was later unofficially timed to be lapping at 108 m.p.h. The plug trouble seemed
driver. TOrrents of rain again fell in the last half-hour, and as a result the speed of all the cars still running fell considerably.
The entry list was smaller than that of last year, with 23 teams instead of 29, and of these four were non-starters. The official team of M.G. Magnettes entered by G. E. T. Eyston could not be got ready in time, which left the official Austin team, who received 4 minutes, as scratch Cars. Miss Schwedler’s team of 1,250 c.c. Magnettes, very smart blackpainted cars received 4 mins. 30 sets., and the Morgan team had a further minute advantage.
Kenneth Evans’ M.G. team was and he joined the Fraser Nashes of Peaty and Mitchell-Thomson with his Type Midget, which cut down their handicap to 12 minutes. Two of the J.R.D.C. teams were scratched, and Hodge on the low single-seater Singer joined the fourth team, which in consequence had its start reduced to 34 ruins. 30 secs. The race was over a distance of 90 laps, and the handicap of the three team Cars was imposed on the No. 1 car, which was the fastest of the three. The:” token was a coloured scarf which at the pit was handed over to the NO. 2 driver after the first car had completed 30 laps or alternately, when engine trouble compelled it to retire, and the second driver then -ran to his car parked further -down the track and leapt into the fray, coming in in his
sooted its plug waiting for the starting flag and crawled to its pit to have them attended to, only to retire after two laps. Derrington’s Salmson only managed two laps and Greene’s Magna again after two laps joined the ” dead ”.carg in the Finishing Straight. Meanwhile the leading car, Harris’s Singer had completed 10 laps, at 72 m.p.h., Robbins was second at the very respectable speed for an old-type Magna of 84.54 m.p.h., while the Cambridge University team, now represented by H. G. Campbell on an Amilcar, was a long way behind.
Thomson’s little single-seater Austin, with a handicap of 23 minutes on the nonexistant scratch Magnettes, then got away. K. D. Evans started lapping in fine style with his pale blue Midget, quite a lot faster than Barnes whose dark-green Singer with lowered chassis received a start of only 9 minutes, and finally at 3.49 p.m. Driscoll on the white MountainRace single-seater Austin entered the fray. Driscoll got into his stride at once, and was_soon lapping at just under 103 m.p.h., passing Thomson who was not so slow at
round about 94 ” like a flash.” The Morgan was doing about 98 m.p.h., and was steadier than last year’s cars but it could not have been pleasant to drive up near the rim of the baring. Meanwhile on their 16th lap, Robbins had .overtaken Sparrow and led the ‘field, while Driscoll’s team was third at 20 laps,
infectious, and Derrington’s team, which occupied the next pit, were constantly in for attention, and all three cars . were eliminated after 25 laps. Robbins’ Magna showed no Signs of flagging and still led at the thirtieth lap.
Order at the 30th Lap. 1. G. H. Robbins’ team (47h..), 30 lap, 87.91 m.p.h.
1. G. H. Robbins’ team (47h..), 30 lap, 87.91 m.p.h.
2. R. W. Sparrow’s team (53m.), 28 laps. 74.66 m.p.h.
3. J. R. D. c team (34m.), 23 laps, 85.87 m.p.h.
4. Mrs. K. Nitre’s team (37m.), 22 laps., 76.73 m.p.h. 5. R. J. W. Appleton’s team (35m. 30s.), 21 laps, 75Ai3
6. J. A. Driscoll’s team (41m. 30s.), 20 laps, 75.28 m.p.h.
The early starters were holding their own very comfortably, and it remained to be seen whether the second strings could keep up the running. Halford, on an ancient four-cylinder G.N., took Robbing’ place; Way, on an Austin, replaced Harris, while the J.R.D.c. representative was now Hills on a J.2 Midget.
W. L. Thomson had been putting on speed, and his was the fastest car on the track just before the change-over. R. E. Turner, his second string, was not too happy, as a nut had come off one of his crank-shaft weights the day before and had bent two connecting rods, which meant some hectic last-minute Work. However, after stop to change a soft plug, he set off in great style, and by the 40th lap had brought his team into 5th place, with an average speed of 91 m.p.h. Of the other fast cars, Miss Allen’s Magnette, now scratch with the with
drawal of the Austins, was going round fast and smoothly, except for a short period of misfiring which was cured by a change of plugs. Barnes, on the special 4-litre Singer and Rhodes on the No. 1 Morgan seemed very well matched as regards speed„ completing several laps within a few lengths of one another, but Langley, on Singer No. 2, a 1,500 c.c. car with the normal square tail, was considerably slower. Halford’s G.N. and Way’s Austin were still holding their own for their respective teams, but Hills dropped out and at the 50th lap and the Thomson combination had moved into second place. Miss Allen rain which stopped almost at once, but quarter of an hour later a torrential downpour began, and in a few minutes the track was flooded. Tuson on an old 9 h.p. Fiat, who was the third member of Robbins’ team and still in the lead, tried to dodge the stream of water as well as he could, but he and his passenger were obviously both getting soaked, but Hodge and Appleton on Singers seemed more fortunate, as the shape of the cars protected them better from the flying water. Suddenly, almost invisible through the heavy rain, a Magna was sighted coming off the Byfleet Banking, then to everyone’s horror just as it neared the
was going strongly on her Magnette, catching up 5 seconds a lap on Turner, but Miss Schwedler’s team had a great deal to catch up, for they were not yet on the leader board, while a further delay was caused by the tread coming off one of the back tyres as the car passed the pits, throwing fragments of rubber high into the air, but the tyre did not burst. Miss Allen came in on the next lap and Miss Evans took her place. The other lady’s team, captained and now represented by Mrs. Petre on a Singer, was going well in fourth place. Fine weather had prevailed thus far, but about four o’clock a heavy cloud was seen coming up from the south. The prospect at a good many of the pits was also gloomy about this time, with Richardson’s Singer in to retire, leaving Appleton to carry on, Lord Avebury’s Lea Francis demanding water, which did not prevent its retirement, Driscoll’s Ford, the third car of the combination also coming in hot and bothered, Read’s Magna with the same symptoms, while the third car of the Cambridge team, a Singer driven by de Rennick, threw a rod. A pleasant lesson in self-restraint was given by a pit-manager after seeing a gaping crank-case. All he said was :
Bring me a camera.” At 4.30 there was a light sprinkling of end of the Vickers Sheds it skidded completely round, slid broadside on down the track, turned another circle, and shot right across the track, crashing broadside into a barrier at the end of the pits. Marshals and officials rushed round but to their great relief the driver, which proved to be Ashton Rigby, was not in the least hurt. He carried on for a lap and then retired, but only because his exhaust pipe was so flattened that his car refused to function properly. The driver giving an account of the mishap said that there was no rain at the other side of the track, and that when he encountered the swimming concrete over near the Fork coming off the banking at close on 100 m.p.h.,
• there was nothing to do but to ease up the throttle gently and to hope for the best. His was certainly a providential escape.
After all this excitement it was learnt that Th.ornson’s team had picked up another place, and with Selby out on the third of the team cars, which was the supercharged car which Thomson drove last year and nearly as fast as Turner’s machine, it looked as though they might just catch Tuson.
Order after $O Laps.
I. G. H. Robbins’ team (47m.), 60 laps, 80.39 m.p.h.
2. W. L. Thomson’s team (23m.), 54 laps, 90.3 m.p.h.
3. R. W, Sparrow’s team (53m.), 53 laps, 68.28. m.p.h.
4. Mrs. IC. Petre’s team (37m.), 50 laps, 73.9 m.p.h.
5. Cambridge team (44m. 30s.), 49 laps, 67.9 m.p.h.
6. R. J. W. Appleton’s team (35m. 30s.), 48 laps, 72.6 m.p.h.
Two of the fastest cars in the rain wereLones on the Morgan and Miss Evans on the Magnette, while Selby’s car was. fortunately fitted with road-racing tyres. The rain abated soon after Ashton Rigby’s. accident, but came on again very heavily during the last half-hour.
Tuson’s car started to have an irregularbeat, but one could scarcely credit the news soon afterwards given out, that it had broken a connecting rod, which had gone through the side of the crank-case. Fortunately it did so at a high level, and the oil did not escape. Selby was coming up fast and at the 80th lap had gained the lead from the Fiat, and the Morgans. were coming up strongly, but the Robbins’ team might have held second place to the end, if Tuson had not been stopped because his exhaust system had come adrift. Hard luck indeed 1 On the 88th. lap Selby was two laps ahead of the Morgans, making his position quite securewhile Miss Evans on the Magnette gained rapidly to finish in third place. At last the chequered flag was shown, and after another circuit the red car came to rest in front of the pits, its driver wet but happy. All that now remained was to push the winning cars to the Finishing Straight through the rivers of water at Chronograph Villa, with wreaths for the cars and champagne for the pilots. Those who drove in the cloud-burst at the end certainly deserved it.
The slight discomforts experienced by drivers and spectators was more than compensated by the first class racing which had been witnessed, and the L.C.C. are to be congratulated on a fixture which came fully up to the standard of the races held in previous years.
1. W. L. Thompson, jun.’s team (W. L. Thompson,. jun., R. F. Turner, and T. V. G. Selby, supercharged Austin Sevens), 23m. start. Time, 3h. 26m. 21s. Speed, 84.65 m.p.h. 2. H. F. S. Morgan’s team (T. A. Rhodes and H. Laird, 996 c.c. Morgans, H. C. 1..ones, 730 c.c. Morgan),. 5m. 30s. start. Time, 3h. 31m. 51s. Speed, 90.91
3. Miss I. C. Sc.hwedler’s Team (Miss I. C. Schwedler, Miss M. Allan, and Miss D. B. Evans, 1,287 c.c. M.G. Magnettes), 4m. 30s. start. Time, 3h. 38m. 35s.. Speed, 87.85 m.p.h.
4. Hon. P. Mitchell-Thompson’s Team (K. D. Evans, 747 c.c. M.G. (S), H. P. A. Peaty and Hon. P. Mitchell-Thompson, 1,496 c.c. Frazer-Nashs), 12m.. start. Time, 311. 41m. 45s. Speed, 82.66 m.p.h.
5. Mrs. K. Petre’s Team (Mrs. S. Tolhurst, Miss E.. Ellison, and Mrs. K. Petre, 972 c.c. Singers), 37m start. Time, 3b. 43m. 44s. Speed 71.53 m.p.h.
6. F. S. Barnes’ team (J. D. Barnes and A. H. L. Langley, 1,493 c.c. Singers, J. R. H. Baker, 972 c.c. Singer), 9m. start. Time, 3b. 45m. 35s. Speed„ 82.30 m,p.h.
7. J.R.D.C. team (K. H. Perry, 747 c.c. M.G. (S),. W. G. C. Hills and J. H. Potts, 847 c.c. M.G.’s), 34m. start. Time, 311. 46m. 15s. Speed, 72.09 m.p.h. 8. R. J. W. Appleton’s team (F. R. G. Spikins,. W. J. B. Richardson, and R. J. W. Appleton, 972 c.c. Singers), 35m. 30s. start. Time 3h. 54m. 42s. Speed, 69.32 m.p.h. •
9. West Hants L.C.C. team (G. R. Hartwell,. 1,087 c.c. M.G. (S), J. A. Elliott, 1,098 c.c. Crossley, and E. P. Huxham, 990 c.c. Morgan), 31m. start. Time, 3b. 55m. 18s. Speed, 70.05 m.p.h.
10. R. W. SparroW’s team (D. E. ‘Harris, 972 c.c.. Singer, R. Way and R. W. Sparrow, 747 c.c. Austins), 53m. start. Time, 3h. 56m. 58s. Speed, 63.04 m.p.h.