JUNIOR CAR CLUB MEMBERS’ DAY A GREAT SUCCESS
Two well-supported High Speed Trials and Close Finishes in Short Events
COMPETITION is so keen nowadays in all speed-events that the dual-purpose sports car is usually rather outshone by its semi-racing rivals, and the J.C.C. Members’ Day at Brooklands is one of the few opportunities open to the private owner of competing against cars like his own. More than 120 cars took part in this year’s meeting, and the various events were run off with commendable speed and efficiency.
The principal event of the day was the High Speed Trial, which was run off in tWo sections, with nearly fifty cars in each. The course was similar to that used in the International Trophy.
The cars started in the finishing straight, negotiated an artificial bend at the Fork, and continued in a clockwise direction round the outer circuit. They regained the finishing straight at the top corner, and completed the circuit by way of an S-bend marked out with tubs and flags half-way down the finishing straight. This circuit, measuring 2.6 miles, had to be completed 20 times, the speed required ranging from 52 m.p.h. for the smallest cars to 63 for those over three litres, with special awards for those who exceeded these figures by 4 m.p.h. or over.
The first heat of the High Speed Trial went off without much incident, except for the antics of L. M. Ballamy, driving a home-built car based on a blown Austin Seven, who cornered with rather unnecessary vigour, for which he was cautioned by the stewards. Some excellent performances were put up, the fastest time of the trial being achieved by R. J. Barton on an Ulster Aston-Martin with a time of 43 min. 36 secs. (71.6 m.p.h.). Other times under 46 minutes were: H. C. Hunter (Frazer-Nash), 45-56; Hartwell (2.3-litre Alvis), 45-59; A. Brine (Bentley S.) , 45-18, and C. W. Windsor-Richards -(3o-o8 Vauxhall), 45-46. The second group of cars were considerably less rapid than those in the first heat, while the standard of driving was also rather poor, many of the cars attempting to take the S-bend much too fast and getting through more by good luck than good management. Gootnick, on a magnificent two-seater five-litre Mercedes resplendent with badges, was quite the least skilful. He took the bends either in a
skid or at a crawl, got in everyone’s way approaching the Fork bend, and looked for some time as if he were going to be passed by M. W. B. Mays on a veteran Alvis, and came to rest at the side of the course at least once in order to sort out his gears.
The fastest time in the second section of the trial was made by Charles Follett, who took his Speed Twenty Alvis through the bends in excellent style and without unnecessary fireworks. His time was 44 minutes 25 seconds, or 70.25 m.p.h., the next fastest being L. J. Turner (M.G. Magnette S.) with 46-2, C. R. Watson (Talbot io5) 46-5, and E. Griffiths Hughes (Frazer-Nash) 46-55.
The luncheon interval was welcome after a morning spent on the glaring track. At 2.30 the programme continued, beginning with one-lap handicap races. Race “A” brought a surprising variety of cars to the line, from Gootnick’s fivelitre ” Mere ” at scratch, to Rogers’ un
blown M.G. with a start of 48 seconds. Once under way, however, the field quickly began to close up, and on the By fleet banking it was hard to distinguish who was in the lead. Coming down the slope Hunter seemed to coax just a little extra speed from his Frazer-Nash and crossed the line two lengths ahead of Hartwell’s Alvis, with Brookes’ Alfa just behind. The next race was equally varied, with 9 h.p. Singers at the limit mark, by way of 30-98 Vauxhalls to Turner on a supercharged Magnette, who was giving 5 sec.. onds to Silbertson on a “105” Talbot. The programme was running so far ahead of time that there was a considerable wait on the line, and plugs showed signs of oiling up, the scratch car amongst others starting off with a trail of smoke. Warburton and Lovegrove, the Vauxhall exponents, could be seen fighting it out all round the track, and the last named passed his opponent on the line to win by a quarter of a length, with Curtis on an
J.C.C. MEMBERS’ DAV-continued.
Aston-Martin only a lap behind. Pretty hot handicapping!
In the third race Birkett, in a 12 h.p. Standard saloon, received 59 seconds start and held his lead to win by 250 yards, to everyone’s delight. Gregory, on a large 6i-litre Bentley saloon, just caught Baker’s equally vast open Minerva so yards from the finish. In the last of these sprints our money was on R. M. Strang, who was driving the Hudson Terraplane described in last month’s ” Motor Sport,” though the handicappers thought that Glass’s Hudson coupe and Boulting’s zos Talbot were a match for it. Strang won by a hundred yards with Bracey’s M.G. second. There were three two-lap races. The first resulted in a very close finish between Phipps and Campbell, both on AstonMartins, with Hartwell on a nice-looking six-cylinder Alvis three lengths behind. The second was interesting because there on the scratch mark were Gootnick’s Mercedes-Benz and Hampton’s blown 2.3
Bugatti, then a varied field down to a i3-litre Riley.
The Mercedes beat the Bugatti by about two lengths, but neither of them were placed, the race being won by Barton on his fast Aston-Martin, 40 yards ahead of Davis on a ti-litre Singer, with Charles Follett on the Alvis third. The third race of the group was won by Grimmond who put up the excellent speed of 81.37 m.p.h. on a closed Railton Terraplane. Strang, who was giving Grimmond 23 seconds, finished two lengths behind, and Gregory’s Bentley saloon chased him closely. The handicapping of the final of the one lap races was as close as anything yet seen, Campbell’s Aston-Martin winning by a length from Lovegrove, and Follett just behind was chased home by a swarm of other cars. The two-lap race final was another success for Aston-Martin, this time Barton’s car again, while Hartwell (Alvis) and Phipps (Aston-Martin) crossed
the line together in a dead-heat for second place.
The three one-make races were again marked by close finishes, the first three Singers within a single length, and the only three Frazer-Nashes which took part in their event not much further apart.
Proceedings concluded with driving tests through a series of pens on the finishing straight, chiefly remarkable for the fact that Gillett on an 8 h.p. Ford, and Hunter on a Renault, who won their respective classes, were both driving closed cars. The test-hill is spectacular or not according to the acceleration of the car and the bravery of the driver taking part. Strang and his Hudson proved an ideal combination, the car taking off in striking fashion, as the photograph shows. The time of 9 4,15 seconds, made with a considerable amount of sand on the hill, compares well with the racing car record of 7f seconds, held by R. J. G. Nash on a Frazer-Nash.