Reports of Recent Events, August 1946

[The Indianapolis, Brussels and other continental reports were prepared as Stop Press matter for the July issue, but extreme pressure on space crowded them out. We publish them here, so that readers’ records will not suffer – Ed.]

From the European point of view Indianapolis was marred by a serious crash in practice sustained by Rudolf Caracciola, who, his 1 1/2-litre Mercédès-Benz held up in Switzerland, was driving a 4 1/2-litre Thorne-Special. At the time of writing the German driver lies in hospital with head injuries and partial paralysis.

The race — Italy, France, now America; when will Britain . . ? — was won by Robson’s 3-litre, Art-Sparkes-engined Thorne-Special, at 114.82 m.p.h., for the 500 miles. This car had a centrifugal supercharger, Robson’s unblown car having succumbed during practice. It was sensibly driven, to win easily after a run occupying 4 hr. 21 min. 16.71 sec. Jimmy Jackson was 2nd, with the Jackson-Offenhauser, at 114.49 m.p.h. and, far slower, 3rd place went to Ted Horn’s Maserati, known as a Boyle-Maserati-Special. Andres’s (Maserati) Elgin Piston Pin Special (ugh!) was 4th, Chitwood’s Noc Out Hose Clamp (again, ugh!) 5th, Durant’s 1939 G.P. Alfa-Romeo, 6th, Villoresi, after changing several magnetos on the 1 1/2-litre Maserati, 7th, Wearne’s Wolfe Tulsa, 8th, Sheller’s Jack Maurer and De Yore’s Schoof Special being next in order.

In practice, Ralph Hepburn’s blown Winfield-engined Nori Governor set a new lap record at 134.44 m.p.h. This car led at 55 laps, having averaged nearly 120 m.p.h. for the first 40. There were many more retirements than usual. Horn lost time over his Maserati’s magneto, Miller’s Miller-Offenhauser lost oil, Cole’s Alfa-Romeo had trouble with its fuel tank, and Rex Mays had the exhaust system of his Offenhauser come loose. Then the four-wheel-drive Fageol crashed, Russo Suffering a fractured leg and cuts, and Rose hit the wall, completely wrecking the Offenhauser, but escaping with slight burns. Robson’s Bugatti-chassis V8-Miller threw a rod, Hank’s Lockhart-Miller lost oil, and Hepburn hesitated to consider whether driving entirely without brakes was wise. Noc Out lost a rod also, and Salon’s Maserati a universal joint. Hepburn, after continuing a magnificent, brakeless drive, then had a valve break.

British Successes Abroad
Some very important races have been contested on the Continent and we only regret that, of a Stop Press nature, full reports cannot be given. British sports and racing cars performed outstandingly. On Whit-Sunday, at Chimay, H. L. Brooke, using the ex-A.C. Dobson elderly, white E.R.A., had an easy win in the G.P. des Frontieres. He won at 75 m.p.h. (1 hr. 20 min. 34 sec.). “Bira” (3-litre Maserati) chased him until blower trouble set in. Steinbach’s sports Alfa-Romeo and Adant’s unblown 2-litre Bugatti finished a poor 2nd and 3rd, respectively, “Bira” 6th.

On the same day the race at St. Cloud saw Wimille and Farina on 1 1/2-litre Alfa-Romeos meet the Maseratis. Wimille led until transmission failure excluded him, Farina fell out from the same cause, and Sommer (1 1/2-litre Maserati) setting a lap record (afterwards beaten by Chiron’s 4 1/2-litre Darracq) won a great race at 67.99 m.p.h. (1 hr. 38 min. 42 sec.). Chiron was 2nd and Mazaud’s Maserati 3rd. Nuvolari (Maserati) did not finish. Ruggieri was 4th and Mathieson 5th, on 1 1/2-litre and 3-litre Maseratis, respectively. In the small-car race Gordini blew-up his Fiat, allowing Scaron’s Simca to win at 58.65 m.p.h., from Bonnet’s Citroen-engined D.B. and de Cortanze’s Darl’Mat Peugeot, with a Riley 4th.

The Brussels Sports Car Race saw Chaboud’s 4 1/2-litre Delahaye win the big-car class at 67.14 m.p.h. (1 hr. 7 nun. 45.2 sec.) from Levegh’s 4-litre Darracq and Sommer’s sister car. St. John Horsfall’s 2-litre Aston-Martin won the 2-litre class for Britain, at 64.7 m.p.h., Leslie Johnson’s B.M.W. being 2nd, after going sick. Johnson took the Winston Churchill Cup for fastest lap of the day, at 69.72 m.p.h. Bertini’s Fiat won the small-car class at 60.47 m.p.h., from

Gordini, whose Fiat turned round while leading. Over here we have had Gransden . . .

Allard versus Jeep
On June 19th the N.W.L.M.C. held a most interesting contest on Bagshot Heath, under restricted R.A.C. Permit. A Willys Jeep, driven by Sgt. Lush, R.A.S.C., and entered by the M. of S. F.V.P.E., competed against Ken Hutchison’s V8 Allard, over the Lawrence Cup Trial course, to decide which would constitute the better trials car. The Jeep had its four-wheel-drive engaged and Hutchison was using Dunlop competition tyres. Of the Kilimanjaro group of hills, both vehicles failed on No. 1, both climbed Nos. 2, 4 and 5, while only the Allard climbed Nos. 8 and 6. Red Roads and Red Roads Loop failed neither, and a timed climb of Red Roads saw the Allard clock 12.8 sec., the Jeep 21.3 sec. The slow climb of Red Roads went to the Jeep, Hutchison stalling. A cross-country timed run took the Allard 46.4 sec. and the Jeep, which paused in a gulley, 54 sec. Draw your own conclusions! Amongst the spectators were Allard, Appleton, Warburton, Burgess, Price, C. A. N. May, Imhof and Whittet.

Knock M.C.C. Night Trial
Held over an 88-mile course near Belfast, the Knock Night Trial, once a 12-hour event, occupied from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Henderson’s D.K.W. won the under-1,100-c.c. Cup and Pentland (Citroen) and Rollinson (Singer) tied for the over-1,100-c.c. main prize. Dermont Johnson (Alfa-Romeo), Rollinson and McMillan (Riley) took the Team Award, and First Class Awards went to Jennings (Austin), Chambers (Morris), McClure (Singer), Couser (Riley), McMillan (Riley), Wolseley (Riley), Johnson (Alfa-Romeo) and Porter (Alvis).

Bristol M.C. and L.C.C. Naish Hill-Climb
At the Club meeting George Hartwell’s blown 2-litre Alta made f.t.d. in 51.85 sec. for the loose, 750-yd. course. Runner-up was Newton, with his H.R.G., in 51.95 sec. Some interesting “specials” ran, including Fry’s rear-engined, ex-Macdermid Lancia, Mardon’s V-twin “Loci,” the four-wheeled Morgan “Salome,” the blown 1 1/2-litre Triangle, and the s.v. A.C.-engined “Stromboli.” Len Parker’s V12 Allard beat Hutchison’s V8 Allard in the big sports class, “Loci” was second to Hartwell in the racing category, Newton beat Fry in his class, and Hodgson’s 847 M.G. beat Best’s sister car (both blown) in their division. Way’s B.M.W. beat an Alfa-Romeo in the saloon class, and Butler’s “P” M.G. was much faster than French’s imitation “Brooklands” Austin Seven, in the small sports class.

Perpignan G.P.
Sommer and Wimille held the interest in this race, but Sommer retired with piston trouble, leaving Wimille’s Alfa-Romeo to do a lap of the 1.6-mile circuit at 59.2 m.p.h. and win easily at 57 m.p.h. Louveau’s Maserati was second, two laps behind, with “Raph” (Maserati) third. Mathieson, driving his 2-seater Maserati, managed sixth place behind Grignard and Trintigniant.

M.C.C. Reunion Rally
This happened at Shipston-on-Stour and a good time was had by all. A 1905 Wolseley unfortunately paraded about with its crew dressed in comic costumes, but the real business of the day was a Concours. W. A. L. Cook’s 3 1/2-litre Bentley drop-head coupé won the closed class. A. J. Linnell’s S.S.100 was the winner of the open class, for which there were only three entries.

Lancashire and Cheshire C.C. Captain Stott Trophy Event
Twenty-five entrants had to complete five tests in a run of 44 miles. Pilkinton’s 1946 Singer Nine won from Tyrer’s 1946 “TC” M.G., with Hankins (Citroen) third.

West of England M.C. One-Day Trial
Held in the Tiverton area, an excellent entry of 30 motorcycles and 21 cars was obtained. Len Parker (Allard), Tolman (M.G.) and Best (M.G.) did very well.

Hare Cup: W. R. Cleave (1,496-c.c. no marks lost. Truro Cup: K. J. Morton (1,496-c.c. H.R.G.), no marks lost. Novice Tankard: J. J. Whitefield (972-c.c. M.G.), no marks lost. Moffat Cup (team prize): Taunton “A” Team — Buncombe (1,292-c.c. M.G.), Tolman (1,292-c.c. M.G.), with Godber-Ford (490-c.c. Norton) and Jarman (348-c.c. B.S.A.).
First-class Awards: Burgess (1,122-c.c. Morgan), Parker (3,622-c.c. Allard), Best (847-c.c. M.G.), Tolman (1,292-c.c. M.G.).
Second-class Awards: Melhuish (972-c.c. Singer), Appleton (3,622-c.c. Allard), Buncombe (1,292-c.c. M.G.), and Bullivant (1,498-c.c. Riley).

Remich Hill-Climb
After winning the G.P. des Frontieres in the ex-Dobson E.R.A., H. L. Brooke established f.t.d. at the International speed hill-climb at Remich, in spite of having gearbox trouble. Warmest congratulations, Sir!

Sand Racing Again
Sand racing was resumed at Saltburn last month. The Middlesbrough and D.M.C. put on three one-mile races and a 20-mile handicap. The one-mile race for blown 850-c.c. and up to 1 1/2-litre unblown cars was won by Cunningham’s “Brooklands” Riley Nine, which beat the M.G.s of Robinson and Shapley. In the blown 1 1/2-litre, unblown 2 1/2-litre mile race, Tyrer’s “328” B.M.W. vanquished the Riley and Robinson’s M.G. The last mile event, for cars up to 5 litres blown, saw the Riley again successful, beating Robinson’s and Hewitson’s M.G.s. The averages were 61.64, 67.41 and 59.8 m.p.h., respectively, for the three races. The 20-mile race went to Flather’s “328” B.M.W. at 56.78 m.p.h., from the Riley and Tyrer’s B.M.W.

The Bristol M.C. and L.C.C. Allen Trophy Trial was won by Ketheroe’s M.G. Bold’s Riley made best performance in the Yorkshire S.C.C. Wharfedale Sporting Trial, and Wharton’s “PB” M.G. was best performer in the Birmingham U.M.C. Evening Trial. Honours in the S.U.N.B.A.C. Sporting Half-Day Trial were shared by Bold’s Riley and Rawlings’s M.G.

Bidong de Five Lltres
In this year’s fuel consumption contest, held by the A.C. de l’Ouest, Buisard won by averaging 67 m.p.g. and over 37 m.p.h. in his Simca Fiat.

Of the small cars, Gordini (Simca) won a very hard race at 52 m.p.h., calculating that he had to make 750 gearchanges. He finished 2 sec. ahead of Waeffler (B.M.W.), with Scaron (Simca) third. Wimille (3-litre Alfa-Romeo) won the big car race, with Grignard’s Delahaye second and an Amilcar third.

Motor Racing Screened
Part of the New Pathé Pictorial newsfilm No. 98, due to be released on July 29th, contains “shots” of the Vintage S.C.C. Elstree Speed Trials, notably of Abecassis, Mrs. Gerard, Miss Patten and John Bolster.