THE J.C.C. FIFTH INTERNATIONAL TROPHY RACE
RAYMOND MAYS, WITH THE 2-LITRE E.R.A.. WINS AT 82.3 M.P.H. ” BIRA ” (MASERATI) RETIRES AFTER A GREAT DUEL. ONLY FOUR FINISH WITHIN TIME LIMIT
AVERY classic contest is the Junior Car Club’s International Trophy Race, this year the third big race to be held at Brooklands. Ever original, the J.C.C. this time arranged a rolling start, the first ever used in this country, they booked Bank Holiday as the big day, the first time a British long-distance race has been run on a public holiday, and they arranged that the circuit should be the longest ever used at Brooklands, by incorporating the Hill portion of the Campbell road circuit. A very interesting course resulted, with a lap of 3.369 miles, hard on brakes, a fine all-round test of stamina yet allowing speeds upwards of 120 m.p.h. to be held for considerably over a mile. And, of course, the famous Dyer handicap channels, this time three in number, were retained at the Fork, making this the only long-distance race in which varioussized cars can run on an equal footing without the use of time or distance handicaps that no spectator ever eally enjoys. The only criticism of the International Trophy system is the great premium placed on the braking qualities of one section of the field, but we cannot have it all ways, and in many other classic races some cars have had to run far greater distances than others, which, on a highly idealistic. basis, is even more undesirable. The groupings were as follows :—cars up to 1,100 c.c. blown and 1,700 c.c. unblown ; ears up to 2.6-litres blown and over 1,700 c.c. unblown, and cars over 2.6-litres, blown.
On the Thursday we learned with regret that the Maseratis of Count Trossi and Gino Rovere, the former’s the very formidable four-cylinder 14-litre, would not be over, although they had ordered fuel. Also that Austin Dobson would not run the Bimotore Alf a-Romeo.
In the afternoon ” Bira” went out in the beautifully trim Maserati with Prince Chula timing him from the Paddock Stand, “Bira” and Chula having arrived together in ” Bira’s ” blue Type 500 Fiat. After a few laps the road-racing tyres were replaced by track covers, when ” Bira ” slid more but got through the corners faster. We clocked him at 2 ruins. 24 secs. on one lap. Quite epic was Hughes, whose M.G. turned left on the Members’ Banking instead of right, guiltily turned on the Railway Straight and came back to enquire of Mr. Cann the correct route ! R. C. Fleming, who had a puncture in a brand new tyre, took the Monza Alfa round in 2 ruins. 40 secs. All night work had been going on fitting twin Arnott blowers to Ian Council’s E.R.A., which had not shown up by 4 p.m. Interest centred on a huge Ford van bearing the imposing inscription : “Alfa-Romeo, Bimotore, Austin-Dobson, Peter Aitken, Brooklands Track, Weybridge.” It did not contain the Bimotare but was obviously there on some serious errand, so that the discovery was made that Dobson had entered his 1i-litre Maserati as ” B. Alder” and would be driving that car
in the race, Peter Aitken also running a Maser. Six. On the Friday it was discovered that Raymond Mays would drive the 2-litre E.R.A., which formerly had been used for sprints, thereby gaining half-a-litre on the Maseratis, while Humphrey Cook would handle the works E.R.A. We heard that Mays had lapped at 2 ruins. 18 secs., and ourselves timed him during the afternoon at 2.201 and 2.211. ” Bira ” was getting the 3-litre Maserati round in 2.231 and 2.231 by our clocking. From the turn off the finishing straight to leaving the Fork channel, the ” road ” portion of the course, the faster cars took under a minute, ” Bira ” being clocked at 55 secs. on one circuit. Wakefield’s Maserati started very easily and motored at 2.231. but Cook (E.R.A.) was slow and Duller (Riley), Maclure (Riley) and most
of the M.G. and Maserati drivers only did intermittant practising. The turn from the ” road” course on to the Members’ Banking was taken very close in by most drivers, Mays then shooting almost to the lip and diving fiercely down to the Fork, while” Bira” also went well up the banking, occasionally correcting vicious tail The non-starters posted on Monday, numbered twelve. Austin Dobson found the Bimotore Alfa’s brakes still quite unsuited to this sort of racing, and instead appeared as ” B. Alder” in the 1 Hare Maserati. A. F. Ashby was ill and scratched the big monoposto Alfa-Romeo, Freddie Dixon’s Dixon-Special was a non-starter as the car wasn’t ready and Charlie Dodson was said to be ill, Rolt’s ” Dolomite ” Triumph was unrecovered from its Ulster blow-up, the Austin Seven had come to pieces so badly in practice that special parts would have been needed to run it, an impossibility in the time, and both Whitehead’s E.R.A. and
Hanson’s 1 Pare Maserati had had serious trouble during practice. B. A. Bradley’s fascinating Riley Nine was absent, though it had practised. Powys-Lybbe’s Alfa-Romeo and Connell’s E.R.A., completed the non-starters, leaving a field of twenty. Before a really remarkable concourse of spectators, in burning sunshine, these remaining cars drew up opposite the Paddock in the old finishing straight. Drivers took their places, and Cobb’s 4-litre Sunbeam took its place ahead of the field. Mechanics and well wishers were shooed from the howling pack, the Sunbeam responded to hand-cranking and away they went on this most curious rolling-start, in which, unlike Indianapolis and Lea Bridge rolling starts, jockeying for positions was allowed. This jockeying did not seem terribly hectic, but as they
repassed the Paddock, Mays on the 2-litre E.R.A.. shot ahead; closely followed by ” Bira,” while Smith’s M.G. Magnette was left by the accelerating pack.
It was” Bira” who led on the road-leg, but Mays passed him on the Railway Straight, and after one lap it was Mays, ” B a ” Parnell (M.G.), Wakefield (Maserati), Featherstonhaugh (Maserati), Appleton (Appleton-Special), Wilkinson (M.G.), Dobson (R. R . A . ), Maclure ( Riley), followed by the stragglers. In the next round Mays still led ” Bira” by a narrow margin, with Parnell and Wakefield behind, then Appleton, Featherstonhaugh and Maclure. Maclure had gone very fast in practice on Saturday and his Riley had very big rear tyres to ease matters in the ” engine-room.” Two-and-a-half-minutes after the start Smith brought his M.G. in for a new induction gasket, which took 174 mins. to fit, and Brookes’s M.G.-Riley was in at ‘2.34 p.m., 4 mins. after the start, with a similar trouble, though only two minutes was lost. Appleton soon stopped to cut away the radiator Cowling of the Appleton-Special, which Was overheating, and then a sensation was caused by the disappearance of Percy Maclure, whose Riley had stopped “out in the country” with piston trouble from which it retired. Arthur Dobson’s white E.R.A. came ,in for brake adjustment and a new carburetter needle, and lost six valuable minutes, and Faulkner lost 2 minutes having his M.G. plugs changed and the front shockabsorbers tightened. Already the new course was proving a very severe one. At ten laps Raymond Mays had a bare *sec. lead from ” Bira ” with Parnell third, Wakefield fourth and Wilkinson fifth. On one lap ” Bira ” got past the E.R.A. by passing inside at the turn of the finishing straight into the road-circuit, but Mays accelerated fiercely past him again and on the next round, when both were held up by Nickols’s M.G. Midget, ” Bira ” waited and went through right on May’s tail. At this corner Wilkinson went very wide, touching the sandy strip between track and sleeper barriers, Austin Dobson came closer in, Cook chose a more normal path, Hamilton (Alfa-Romeo) went through almost centrally, Nickols and Wilson (M.G.$) both chose to go wide and Brooke (M.G.Riley) came quite close-in. At the turn on to the Members’ Banking from the roadsection unofficial timing showed Wakefield and Arthur Dobson to be a whole second faster than anyone else, save ” Bira ” who was secs. slower than these two drivers. Wakefield chose a very good course indeed, though at times be slid a trifle wildly. The narrow Strip of track between the two straights seemed rather a dangerous passage for spectators going to and from the pits, nor did we like the parking of retired cars right alongside the course. Austin Dobson’s Maserati came in for more than one attack on a broken rear shock-absorber, and Fleming’s Alfa was throwing oil badly, which necessitated taking out all the sparking plugs. After twenty laps Mays led at an average of 84* m.p.h., with ” Bira ” a bare 2t secs. away and Wakefield a very good third. The pace was now telling, and Featherstonhaugh’s old 2.1-litre Maserati, ex-Straight car with ‘I’ & special gear-shift, retired with supercharger trouble, as did the AppletonSpecial. Faulkner (M.G.) had changed 2 more plugs taking One minute per plug and later all plugs in 3 mins., while Arthur Dobson did more work on the E.R.A.’s brakes and put in fresh plugs and Parnell’s M.G. lost 2 most important minutes putting in ten gallons of fuel and fitting a. new oil pipe. W. Hughes (M.G.) effected oilpump repairs, Faulkner again came in worried over plugs, changing a carburetter jet and altering the carb. setting, and Brooke put more water into the M.G.Riley in a mere 22 sees. Poor Faulkner was truly having a busy day, for after motoring for a further six minutes he came in to have all the oil drained from the Magnette’s sump. Nickols came to his pit at 3.35 p.m. for fuel, plugs, oil and water, a well conducted refresher of 4 mins. Came sensation ! ” Bira ” drew in. He was 3 secs. behind Mays, was driving rather better, and had seemed likely to be playing a waiting game. Now he was out of the car, standing in his pit, overalls soaked down the back. The Maserati had sprung a leak in the fuel tank. But worse, the engine was a mass of smoke and steam ; clearly something serious was amiss and ” Bira ” wiping his face in a big handkerchief, went sadly to explain things to Prince Chula in. an adjacent pit. Now it was Billy Cotton, taking over from ” Wilky,” who lay second, with Wakefield third, having taken a minute to refuel, and Cook, whose 1*-litre works E.R.A. was steadily
driven, fourth. Mays had averaged 84.55 m.p.h. at half distance, and led by 4 mins. 10f secs. from the M.G. E.R.A. supporters looked very contented. Brooke had put in oil, a new plug, and eight gallons of fuel in 2 mins., and both Faulkner’s M.G. and J. H. T. Smith’s M.G. went out at the same time with supercharger sickness. Dobson’s Maserati finally gave in to broken shock-absorber brackets.
Wilson’s M.G. replenished and mechanics were working on a broken valve-cam-finger on Pamell’s fast twincam M.G. Naturally Mays could now ease up, and the 2-litre E.R.A. dropped its average towards the end, though by forty laps it had averaged 85.01 m.p.h., when Wakefield was back in second place, driving the race of his career, 6 mins. Oi secs. behind, with Cook’s E.R.A. now third and Cotton’s M.G. fourth, all spread out considerably. Actually the M.G. had stopped for 70 secs. to take on JO gallons of fuel, oil and water, when Wilkinson changed places with Cotton, who now
drove. At 4 p.m. Hamilton’s 2.3-litre Alfa-Romeo retired with gearbox maladies and 5 mins. later Hughes’s M.G. burst its cylinder block and naturally nothing could. be done about that. Just before this Brooke, whose curiously short M.G.Riley was still going strong, took on more water, which occupied 52 secs., and at 4.7 p.m., he came in for a tyre change, which was rare in this race, changing both rear wheels in 75 secs. Ten laps from the end Mays had a solid lead of 3 mins. 22 secs. from Wakefield, and his average was down to 82.53 m.p.h. Mays had. come in amid fearful excitement on the part of his followers and complete calm in the pit, to take on sixteen gallons of fuel and a gallon of oil in 43 secs., and not losing his lead. The result was a foregone conclusion so
far as the winner was concerned. At 4.57 p.m. Mays gained the chequered flag, did a lap of honour, quite loudly clapped by the great British public, and drove onto the grass opposite the pits. Cotton, after nearly missing his channel on one occasion, had brought the M.G. back to third place, 3 mins. 44 secs. after Mays was flagged, Wakefield finished in second place, and 391 secs. later Cotton, well clapped from all the pits, finished third on the M.G. Cook had had a last minute stop with carburetter trouble but having only four laps to do, was sent off with the car very sick. It finally refused to climb the hill corner and
retired, Arthur Dobson taking fourth place with the older, white E.R.A. No one else finished within the time limit. RESULTS
1. Raymond Mays (1,980 c.c. E.R.A.) 82.30 m.p.h. 2h. 27m. 23s. 2. J. P. Wakefield (1,494 ex. Maserati) 80.32
m.p.h. 211. 3Im. 7s.
3. W. E. Cotton (1,087 c.c. M.G.) 79.91 m.p.h. 211. 31m. 46i5. 4. A. C. Dobson (1,488 e.e. E.R.A.), 74.33 m.p.h. 2h. 43m. Ills. Distance, 60 laps (202.14 miles) Lap Leaders Ten Laps
Raymond Mays (E.R.A.) 83.28 m.p.h.
“B. Bira ” (Mm=erati).
R. Parnell (M.G.).
J. P. Wakefield (Maserati).
W. E. Cotton (31.0,). Thirty Laps
1. Raymond Mays (E.R.A.) 84.55 m.p.h.
2. W. E. Cotton (M.G.).
3. J. P. Wakefield (Maserati).
4. Humphrey Cook (E.R.A.).
5. N. G. Wilson (34.G.). Fifty Laps
I. Raymond Mays (BALA.) 82.53 m.p.h. 9. J. P. Wakefield (Maserati).
3. Humphrey Cook (E.R.A.).
4. W. E. Cotton (M.G.).
5. N. G. Wilson (M.G.).