BRITISH CARS DO WELL AT SPA
LAGONDA, ASTON-MARTIN, SINGER AND TRIUMPHS ALL SCORE MERITORIOUS PERFORMANCES FERRARI ALFA-ROMEO COVERS GREATEST DISTANCE
Last year, it will be remembered, the Belgian G.P. was held at Spa, and the 24-Hour race due to take place on the same circuit was cancelled. This year the opposite state of affairs occurred.
An entry of international character was secured, and competing cars came from Italy, France, Great Britain, Holland, Germany and Belgium. There is no general classification at Spa, and the cars are divided into two main categories of blown and unblown, with the usual sub-divisions according to engine size.
The most regretted non-starter was the 41-litre Bentley entered by E. R. Hall, who had intended to drive the car for the whole distance single-handed. A. R. Phipps, the American, had entered a specially blown Aston-Martin, not realising at the time that his non-standard car would not comply with the regulations. The weather was unsettled throughout the race, and occasional rain made demands on the drivers’ skill. From the very start there was only one car in the race so far as the supercharged cars were concerned, namely the big AlfaRomeo entered by the Scuderia Ferrari, and driven by Raymond Sommer and Seven. All that remained was to see whether this car could stand up for 24 hours, and this it did with consummate ease, averaging 77.67 m.p.h. Its fastest lap, and the record for the race, was
covered at 85.69 m.p.h. The second Alfa from the same stable retired after nine hours, with a broken valve. In the over 4,000 c.c. unsupercharged class the 41-litre Lagonda driven jointly by R. J. B. Seaman and F. E. Clifford was easily the fastest car. The only
opposition came from more or less standard American cars, which put up some extraordinarily creditable performances. A big Buick saloon, for example, averaged 69 m.p.h. against the 72 m.p.h. of the Lagonda. One of the cars in this class, an eight-year-old Chrysler driven by De la Fontaine, caused some excitement when
it caught fire at the pits. It was later able to continue, and averaged 59 m.p.h. for the 24 hours. The 4-litre class was dominated by Delahayes, the winning car averaging 75 m.p.h. One of these cars, piloted by
Daniell, had an amazing crash in the middle of the night. All the lights failed as he was approaching a fast corner, and the car ran off the road down a steep
embankment. Daniell was unhurt. A standard Plymouth saloon finished a worthy third in this class. The 2-litre class was probably the most interesting, for it contained one of the new 2-litre Aston-Martins which were all set to make their debut at the can celled Le Mans race. The drivers at Spa were J. C. Elwes and Sir A. Robert MacRobert. Against this promising car were pitted the three beautifully stream lined Adler-Triumphs, similar to the holder of the 24-hour record. In the race the Aston-Martin turned out to be much faster than the Adlers, even though the drivers were not trying hard. Just when everything looked set for a trouble
free run, and the nearest Adler was some 45 miles astern, the petrol tank split and the car was withdrawn. EIwes had to walk 81 miles to the pits. This left the Adlers in undisputed possession of the class, and they came home first, second and third in team order.
An excellent performance in this class was made by a perfectly standard 2-litre Triumph driven. by Elliott and Rolt. Without any elaborate preparation the car ran with great regularity, and actually covered the fastest 2-litre lap. It eventually finished fourth. The Aston-Martins had it all their own way in the 1,500 c.c. class. W. Headlam and C. (” Happy “) Wood drove a steady well-judged race, and were actually faster than the 2-litre Adlers. Their Aston, prepared by Wood, never
faltered for an instant. M. Falkner and A. N. L. Maclachlan, on the old Mille Miglia car, lost gear after gear until only top was left. This proved sufficient to gain second place. The team of Imperias, Belgian-built Adlers, with special sleeve-valve engines, all suffered some internal complaint and retired.
The 1,100 c.c. class was won, according to expectations, by Gordini with his Simca-Fiat. He was chased all the way, however, by a Singer driven by two Dutchmen, who finally finished second in the class. One of the most coveted awards in the Belgian 24-Hour race is the King of the Belgian’s Cup, presented to the winning team. Aston-Martins had great hopes of winning this until the 2-litre
car passed out, and then it was a fight between Adler-Triumph and Simca-Fiat, victory going to the former. RESULTS Supercharged cars :
. 1. R. Sommer and F. Sever! (Alfa-Romeo) 202 laps. Speed 77.07 Id.P.11. Unsupereharged cars: Over 4,000 c.c. : 1. It. B. Seaman and
F. B. Clifford (Lagonda) 190 laps. Speed 72.91 m.p.h.
2,001 c.c. to 4,000 c.c. 1. B. Le Bevue and M. Mongin (1)elahay,,•) I 9 laps. ;-;pyi.IC .-).(16
2. L. Sclipil and It. ( arriri (1)e1;1)1:0.4.) 195 laps.
3. Deboy and Thirion (Plymouth) 156 laps. 1,501 ex, to 2,000 ex. 1. It. sa and
Graf °ride!) (Adler-Triumph). Speed (i1.2:; m.p.h.
2. 0. Lohr and P. von Ouilleanme (WierTriumph) 163 laps.
3. schatunberg-Lippe and H. Boetikes (AdlerTriumph).
4. A. Bolt and J. Elliott (Triumph) 153 laps. 1,101 c.o. to 1,500 c.c. Wood (Aston.?lartin) 171
2. M. F. 1, Falliner (Aston-Marlifi) 141 laps.
Up to 1,100 c.c. 1. (Simea-Fiat) 140 laps.
2. Alexandraff and 139 laps. 3. Zanardi and Alin
Team Prizes : I. Adler-Trilimi?h.
2. Sinica-Fiat. I. W. Headlam and C. IL laps. Speed 65.81 m.p.h. and A. N. C. Maelaehlan
A. Gordini and R. L. N. Speed 57.10 m.p.h. P. (loldseinnidt (Singer)
(Simea-Fiat) 133 laps.