WAKEFIELD WINS AGAIN
WAKEFIELD WINS AT 93.91 M.P.H. NEW E.R.A. DAMAGZS ITS PETROL TANK IN A SKID AND RETIRES JP. WAKEFIELD scored his third Continental victory with his new
• four-cylinder sixteen-valve Maserati when he won the Albi Grand Prix on Sunday, July 16th. A similar car, driven by R. E. Tongue, finished second, and ” Bira’s ” four year old E.R.A. was a gallant third.
Great surprise was caused by the appearance of the new E.R.A. at the practice session on Friday. After the regrettable scratching of the car from Rheims race the previous week-end, Mr. Cook had told several people that he would not start at Albi-and that it was doubtful, in fact, whether he would race the car again this year. It was understood that the car would proceed to MontIhery for really searching tests at maximum speed in an effort to bring to light as quickly as possible the manifold Minor faults which still existed in. the car.
In actual fact the car did go to Montihery, but its ” tests” there consisted of a one-hour lain at 100 m.p.h.-obviously a quick way of running in the new pistons and rings which Were probably fitted after the trouble at Rhein’s. At the first practice session, in addition to Dobson and the new E.R.A., were Hug and Tongue on Maseratis, Raymond Mays with his new 1938 E.R.A., Brooke and Abecassis with Altas, and Herkuleyn’s M.G. Marcel Contet, winner of the Bol d’Or„ was present with his Maserati but was unable to drive owing to his petrol supply not having arrived. Dipper was also there, but his car developed a leaking radiator. Wakefield’s car was at the course, but he himself was not there to drive it. A good crowd turned out to watch the fun. The fastest lap was made by Dobson at 97.13 m.p.h., which, however, was not 4 secs. slower than the laprecord established by Raymond Mays on an older E.R.A. two years ago at 99.06 m.p.h. Hug (Maserati) and Mays (E.R…9..) both did 96.65 m.p.h., with Tongue
(Maserati) a shade slower. Brooke was next with 79.23 m.p.h., then came Abecassis with 77.17 m.p.h., and finally Herkuleyns with 65.71 m.p.h. The Saturday practice was a most unhappy affair. It was raining hard all the morning, and continued throughout the practice session. At the very begin ning there was a catastrophe. On his second lap Armand Hug got into a terrible skid on his Maserati, crashed into a telegraph pole, and was hurled into a ditch. The car careered along into a field, Poor Hug was quickly taken to a clinic, where he was found to have fractured his skull at the base. While I write these lines his condition is still ” tres tres serieux:’ according to the doctor who is attending him, but there is at least a hope that he may recover. Hug is an extremely likeable young man, as well as being a fine driver, and his accident put a distinct damper on the proceedings. The speeds were naturally not so high as the day before, owing to the wet road, and in the end it was ‘Wakefield who made the fastest lap at 95.27 m.p.h. Dobson was one second slower ; Mays 13 seconds slower
than Wakc.-!field, and ” Bira ” 9 seconds slower than Mays. The day of the race started badly with more heavy rain, through which the Wretched motor-cyclists fought their way during the morning. These races, incidentally, provided a fine double victory for an old friend in Fergus Anderson, riding a 350 c.c. D.K.W. After lunch, however, the rain stopped and the road dried, so that all was well when the
fifteen cars lined up for the start of the first race. It is a misnomer to call it a heat, because the Albi winner is found by -adding together the times of each competitor in two races of 20 laps each. The starters were : Dipper, Sommer, Loyer, Tongue, de Graffenreid, Wakefield, Horvilleur and Contet on Maseratis of various types, Dobson, ” Bira ” and Mays on E.R.A.s also of different types ; Abecassis and Brooke on Alias ; Delorme’s Bugatti and Herkuleyns’ M.G.
Dobson made a fine start and was leading at the end of the first lap from Wakefield, Tongue, ” Bira” and Mays. After the second lap it was announced that the new E.R.A. had got round in 3 minutes 27 seconds, at an average speed of 96.19 m.p.h. The leading group were setting a terrific pace, and after four laps had lapped Delorme and Herkuleyns.
On the next circuit Raymond Maya. encountered the bad luck which so often spoils his chances when he lost first a hub cap and then a wheel and had to retire. Behind the leaders at some distance Sommer and de Graffenreid were having a close scrap, as were Dipper and Abecassis, While Brooke amused himself by skidding the corners in a hectic manner which thoroughly terrified the officialsOn one occasion skidding right round in front of the stands. Just when Dobson seemed all set for a good win, the green E.R.A. developed an irregularity in its exhaust note. It may have only been a plug, but whatever it was the E.R.A. pit decided to call him in immediately. Now this is a very tricky thing to do at Albi, where the pits are situated just after a corner. If you want your man to come in you must do one of two things : send a signaller back round the corner, so that the driver has time to read the signal before he gets to the corner, or else signal him from the pit to come in on the next lap. The E.R.A. did neither of these things. Instead, they waited for Dobson to come round the corner and accelerate hard before Stepping into the road with a notice asking him to stop immediately. Dobson did his best to obey orders, but it was
quite impossible. No driver on earth could have pulled the car up so quickly. As it was the E.R.A. skidded sideways under the excessive application of the brakes, and went slam into the straw barricades. The petrol tank was split, and the possible winner of the race was out-through no fault of his own. This left Wakefield in the lead, and although he had to Stop for fuel-which he took on smartly in 18 secs.,-he ran home an easy winner from Reggie Tongue
by 1 min. 30 sees. ” Bira ” was third, and Abecassis beat Dipper for fourth place by one second. The twelve remaining competitors lined up for the second race at 4.40 p.m., and when the flag fell it was Wakefield’s red Maserati that went to the front once more. Behind him, at the end of the first lap, came Tongue, ” Bira,” Abecassis, Dipper, Brooke, Contet, Sommer and
de Graffenreid. Horvilleur drew into his pit to repair a sheared magneto drive. Wakefield pulled steadily ahead, and after five laps was 18 secs. in front of Tongue, who was 43 secs. in front of ” Bira ” in turn 22 secs. in front of
Abecassis, leading Dipper by 5 secs. Cozad: went out with brake trouble, and Dipper dropped back so that Brooke began to close on in Abecassis. These two were having a terrific scrap when Abecassis’s engine seized solid as they were tearing along at high speed. Brooke could not avoid the sliding Alta and both cars went out of control. It was a miracle that neither driver was hurt, for Brooke’s car turned right over several times. This let Dipper back into fourth place behind ” Bira.” who was driving steadily and obviously getting himself acclimatised again after his had shaking at Rheims.
After 15 laps, Wakefield, whose Maserati seems to have a very heavy fuel consumption, had to stop at the pits, but as he was by this time 1 min. 7 secs. in front of Tongue this did not cause him to worry –until the engine showed the same unwillingness to re-start as it did at Rheims. Forty-four seconds had gone by before it fired once more, and Wakefield’s lead had been reduced to 1.4 seconds by the time he got going again. Tongue actually got within 11 seconds of his rival on one lap, but Wakefield had the situation well in hand and was able to put on a spurt which gave him a lead of 20 seconds at the end of the 20th lap.
COMPLETE RESULTS RESULT OF FIRST RACE
1. J. P. Wakefield (Maserati),,20 laps In lb. 10m. 22s., speed 91.32 m.p.h.; 2. R. h. Tongue (Maserati), lh. Ilm. 52s : 3. ” B. Bira ” (E.B.A.), lb. 13m. 42s.; 4. G. E. Abecassis (Alta), 19 laps in lb. 11m. 47s. ; 5. 11. Dipper (Maserati), 19 laps in 111. urn 48s.; 6. II. L. Brooke (Alta), 19 laps in lb. 12rn. 22s. ; 7. R. Sommer (Maserati), 18 laps in lh. 10m. 41s. ; 8. de Graffenreiti (Maserati), 18 laps in lb. 11m. 14s.; 9. Horvilleur (Maserat1), 18 laps in lh. 12m. ho.; 10. Cont4’t (Maserati), 18 laps in lb. 13m. 57s. ; 11. Derkiileyns (M.(4.), 16 laps in 111. 13m. 288.;
12. Delorme (lingatti), 14 laps in lb. 10m. 47s.
RESULT OF SECOND RACE 1. J. P. Wakefield (Maserati), 20 In lb. 10m.
1. J. P. Wakefield (Maserati), 20 laps In lb. 10m. 68.8s. , speed 93.50 m.p.h. ; 2. It. E. Tongue (Maserati) 20 laps in lb. 11w. 18s. ; 3. “B. Bira” (E.R.A.), 19 laps in lb. 11in. 2s. ; 4. II. Dipper (Maserati), 19 laps in I h. 12rn. 29s.; 5. It. Sommer (Maserati), 19 laps in Iii 11 in. 15s. •, 6. do 11i-often reid (Maserati), 18 laps in 111. 12m. 21.s.; 7. Ilerkuleyns (M.G.),16 laps in 11). 1 Int. 44s.; A. Delorme (Bugatti), 15
laps in lh. 15m. 6s.; 9. Ilorvilleur (Maserati), 11 laps in lb. 12tn. Is.
1. S. P. Wakefield (Maserati), 40 laps in 2b. 21m. 20.8s., speed 93.91 m.p.h. ; 2. R. E. Tongue ( Masera t 40 laps in 21i. 23in, 10s, ; A. ” B. Bim (E.R.A.), 39 laps In 211. 24irt. 41s. ; 4. II. Dipper (Maserati), as laps in 21L 24ni. 17s. ; 5. R. Sommer (Maserati), 37 laps in 2h. 24m. 56s. ; 6. de Graffenreid (Maserati), 36 laps in 2h. 23m. 35s.; 7. Horvilleur (Maserati), 32 laps in 2h. 24m, 12s. ; 8. ilerkuleyns (M.G.), 31 laps In 2h. 25m. 128.; 9. Delorme (Bugatti), 29 laps in 2h. 26M. 62s.