1952 British Grand Prix race report - Ascari victorious Silverstone
A Splendidly Organised "Daily Express"/ B.R.D.C. Silverstone Meeting. Ascari and Taruffi Win the Big Races, Moss (Kieft) the 500-c.c. Race. Both B.R.M.s Retire!
The British Grand Prix Meeting at Silverstone on July 19th was one of the most interesting day's racing so far experienced at the famous circuit. As the big entry came out for the Formula 1 British Grand Prix a police band played the appropriate National Anthems and the spectators in the packed grandstands applauded in Continental fashion. The weather, cloudy and cool, played up too and the course remained dry throughout. The racing was extremely interesting. The 500cc race resulted in a fine duel before the Kiefts came through, and in poor little Don Parker's dramatic demise with victory in sight, when his primary-chain broke with less than half-a-lap to go.
Alberto Ascari crosses the line to win the 1952 British Grand Prix. Photo: Motorsport Images
The Grand Prix was a certain victory for the beautiful four-cylinder Ferraris, so meticulously prepared, but interest was held when Farina's car experienced plug trouble and fell back, with speculation as to whether the other Ferraris would falter, and casting of the limelight on Hawthorn's splendid driving of his Cooper-Bristol and in the new-found speed of the Connaughts. Finally, the Formule Libre race saw Taruffi victorious in the very nicely presented Thin Wall Special Ferrari, followed by Villoresi in the Indianapolis Ferrari, third place going most creditably to Landis' yellow Ferrari after both B.R.M.s had retired. Ascari (Ferrari) set a new F1 lap record of 94.08 mph and Taruffi (Thin Wall Ferrari) a new absolute lap record of 96.67 mph, equalled by Gonzalez (B.R.M.). But Gonzalez' attempt to catch the leaders after taking over Wharton's B.R.M. and Taruffi's all-out drive -- puzzled as he was, because his pit knew he was penalised 30 sec for a jumped-start—were immensely exciting and will live in history. The Daily Express can congratulate itself on a very well-run meeting, grandly organised. The Rover turbo-car was demonstrated and is a vehicle, quietly built and tested, which does an enormous service to Britain in patching up prestige in which B.R.M. continues to bore gaping holes.
500cc RACE (15 laps, approx. 45 miles)
Eric Brandon in John Cooper's Cooper led at first but before a lap was completed George Wicken had his Cooper in front. Gerard's Cooper held third place and Big Bill Whitehouse, Coombs, Truman, Clarke, Annable, Paul Emery and Pugh were next up, in that order.
Already Kearon and Lones had "shot their bolts," being right behind the field. On lap two Moss in the Kieft had come up into fifth place, Wicken holding his lead from Brandon, Gerrard still third. One more lap, and Stirling led, passing Wicken on the outside at Stowe Corner. The leading trio were ahead of the rest, but were enjoying a grand dog-fight, for at the end of lap four Wicken was again in the lead from Brandon and Whitehouse, Moss back in fourth place after "one of those things." The Revis had already retired. Moss was second to Brandon after five laps, Whitehouse third, Wicken fourth. By lap eight Stirling led again, having made fastest lap, at 84.98 mph, on lap three. Now it was Don Parker in the Kieft who was making his way up. He was third after seven laps and driving all he knew how, behind Moss after nine laps. Troubles were thinning the field—the Pugh-Cooper was out with clutch failure. Ripon experienced a triple spin at Beckett's and damaged the front suspension and the Emeryson had pulled off at Stowe, later returning to its pit. A couple of laps later Parker passed Moss and led by a bare second, 0.7 mph the faster. Nothing that Stirling could do was of any avail, for Parker drew very slightly ahead on the corners. Then--what foul luck!--as the pair accelerated out of Stowe for the last time Parker's primary chain broke. Moss swung out and passed the coasting Kieft on the right and went on to an undisputed victory 14 sec. in front of Brandon.
1st: S. Mosel (Kieft), 31 min. 40 sec. 82.5 mph
2nd: E. Brandon (Cooper), 32 min. 0 sec. 82.32 mph
3rd: G. H. Wicken (Cooper), 32 min, 23 sec. 81.34 mph
4th: W. J. Whitehouse (Cooper); 5th: J. Coombs (Cooper); 6th: C. D. Headland (Kieft); 7th: D. Truman (Cooper VI); 8th: F. R. Gerard (Cooper); 9th: L. Leston (Cooper); 10th: A. Loens (Erskine Staride); 11th: H. L. Williams (Emeryson); 12th: M. A. H. Christie (Cooper); 13th: D. Taylor (Arnott); 14th: A. Moore (J.B.S.); 15th: S. Lewis-Evans (Cooper); 16th: M. C. Kearon (Cooper); 17th: F. H. Bacon (F.H.B.); 18th: C. Lones (Kieft); 19th: P. R. Emery (Emeryson).
Fastest lap: Moss (Kieft) and Parker (Kieft) 84.98 mph
The British Grand Prix (85 laps, approx. 249 miles)
A truly comprehensive field lined up for the Grand Prix, as follows: Ferrari: Ascari, Farina, Taruffi, Fischer, Hirt, Salvadori (Baird's car) and Whitehead (V12). Gordini: Manzon, Bira, Trintignant and Claes. Cooper-Bristol: Hawthorn, Parnell, Brown, Brandon and Murray. H.W.M.: Duncan Hamilton, Collins, Macklin and Gaze. Connaught: Downing, Thompson, Poore and McAlpine. Alta: Whitehead. E.R.A.: Moss. Frazer-Nash: Crook (sports). Maserati: Bianco and Cantoni (A6Gs). Maserati-Plate: Schell and de Graffenried. Non-starters: Rosier (Ferrari), Wharton (Frazer-Nash single-seater) and Aston (Aston-Butterworth).
Stirling Moss during the 1952 British Grand Prix. Photo: Motorsport Images
From flag-fall Ascari went off at a great pace, to build up a quite unassailable lead, Farina in second place behind him. Taruffi hasn't quite got the feel of a Ferrari and it took him 15 laps to work through to third place, what time Dennis Poore had the Connaught there, followed by Downing's Connaught. Hawthorn was another who started comparatively slowly, being sixth after five laps, fifth by 17 laps. After only one lap, Alan Brown came to his pit for a 60-sec stop in the Cooper-Bristol, and Manzon was also in trouble, losing three minutes while the Gordini's clutch was examined. Moreover, before five laps, Hirt had retired his Ferrari, sans brakes. Brown soon came to his pit again, complaining that the Bristol engine was far too hot - it had discarded its fan belt. Early in the race both Ascari and Farina broke the lap record (new speed 93.25 mph at that point) and were averaging a greater speed than the old lap-record. Gaze was in trouble after half-an-hour, his H.W.M. stopping for a complete overhaul after an oil-flinging episode, and Manzon finally abandoned the Gordini Six at Woodcote Corner. Poore was going magnificently in the Connaught, although he spun on one lap at Copse Corner. Brown lost 3 min while a new fan belt was fitted to his Cooper-Bristol, and David Murray 2 min over a change of plugs for his sister car, following which he retired at Woodcote.
After 15 laps Ascari led Farina by 17 sec., averaging 91.36 m.p.h., compared to his 92.27 m.p.h. average after 10 laps.
By 20 laps the three Ferraris still occupied the three leading positions, 21 sec. and 17 sec., respectively, between them, and the average had fallen to 91.11 m.p.h. for, on a non-stop run, they were running absolutely unchallenged—Poore, in fourth place, averaging 88.57 m.p.h. to Taruffi's 88.73 m.p.h., 5 sec. behind this third Ferrari, Mike Hawthorn still had his Cooper-Bristol in fifth place ahead of Downing, but Brown was again in trouble over his fan belt, the Cooper-Bristol stationary this time for eight minutes. The H.W.M.s hadn't come into the picture and Collins' car stopped for two minutes to replenish with all liquids.
After 25 laps the order was Ascari (91.31 mph), Farina (90.59 mph), Taruffi (88.88 mph), Poore (88.64 mph), Hawthorn (87.69 mph), Downing (86.25 mph), and then Thompson, Bira, Parnell, Whitehead (Ferrari), Salvadori and Whitehead (Alta).
Two laps later excitement was occasioned by the appearance at his pit of Farina - the Ferrari's bonnet was cast off and new plugs put in, with a loss of three minutes and four places—new order: Ascari. Taruffi, Poore, Hawthorn, Downing and Farina. Moreover, Farina's car was not going properly and he fell further back, Thompson's Connaught was in sixth place after 30 laps, when Ascari had averaged 91.34 m.p.h. Moss was doing his best in the new E.R.A. but its Bristol engine lacked power and got too hot, and early in the race he had spun the car round. Now he stopped to try the effect of fresh plugs but soon afterwards retired and left Silverstone to seek better fortune elsewhere. Bira's Gordini Six also came to rest for good beyond Club Corner, the old transmission bogey again in evidence.
So the race was settling down. Brandon's Cooper-Bristol was afflicted with the fan-belt trouble and the Connaughts, although going splendidly, seemed to have miscalculated their fuel consumption, for Thompson called in for fuel, oil and water, and Poore lost 55 sec. refuelling, which gave Hawthorn his chance to notch up a place, the Cooper-Bristol being third after 49 laps and, a grand tribute to its Farnham tuners, going as well as ever. Through Stowe Corner Mike had all the polish and "on-rails" technique of the great Alberto himself, albeit he had averaged 88,24 m.p.h. after 50 laps to Ascari's 91.01 m.p.h. Hawthorn was, in fact, 65 sec. behind Taruffi in the second Ferrari.
Duncan Hamilton's usual fiery drive for H.W.M. ended hereabouts, with what could have been a stuck valve, and Bianco, never very fast in the A6G Maserati, lost a minute for refuelling. Then Downing had to stop his Counaught for the same purpose, but lost only 30 sec. Gaze gave in to his long struggle to right the H.W.M. machinery, Macklin's H.W.M. took on fuel and water, McAlpine's Connaught and Graham Whitehead's Alta fuel. Brown stopped once more, this time for oil.
Alberto Ascari receives the winners' trophy at Silverstone. Photo: Motorsport Images
So there it was!—British cars, on the whole, doing well, Hawthorn and Poore outstanding, and Connaught seen as a new Formula II challenger to Cooper-Bristol, but delayed either mechanically or for fluids, while the Ferraris ran on unassailably. Even Farina's was going better, and by 70 laps was in sixth place. Alas, Peter Collins' H.W.M. lost nine minutes while misfiring was traced to a faulty magneto and oil was poured into the engine. So the Fifth R.A.C. British G.P. of the B.R.D.C., promoted by the Daily Express, ran to its interesting and accident-free close. The final result was:
1st: A. Ascari (Ferrari), 2 hr 44 min 11 sec.; 90.92 mph
2nd: P. Taruffi (Ferrari), 1 lap behind.
3rd: M. Hawthorn (Cooper-Bristol), 2 laps behind.
4th: D. Poore (Connaught); 5th: E. Thompson (Connaught); 6th: G. Farina (Ferrari); 7th: R. Parnell (Cooper-Bristol); 8th: R. Salvadori (Ferrari); 9th: K. Downing (Connaught); 10th: P. Whitehead (Ferrari); 11th: B. Bira (Gordini); 12th: C. Whitehead (Alta); 13th: L. Macklin (H.W.M.); 14th: R. Fischer (Ferrari); 15th: J. Claes (Gordini); 16th: K. McAlpine (Connaught); 17th: H. Schell (Maserati Plate); 18th: G. Bianco (Maserati); 19th: de Graffenried (Maserati Plate); 20th: F. Brandon (Cooper-Bristol); 21st: T. Crook (Frazer-Nash); 22nd: A. Brown (Cooper-Bristol).
Fastest lap: A. Ascari (Ferrari), 1 min. 52 sec. --94.08 m.p.h.
Formule Libre Race (35 laps, approx. 103 miles)
While the contestants in the Grand Prix either celebrated success or licked their wounds, the Rover turbine gas car demonstrated its vastly impressive accelerative and speed capabilities to the huge crowds round the circuit (and that evening it was driven away through the press of traffic like any other car), and the successful Sunbeam-Talbot team from the Alpine Rally completed a lap of honour, and then came the Formule Libre Race, a Daily Express gift to B.R.M.!
Poore felt he had done enough with a sore throat and scratched his big Alfa-Romeo—which had its outrigger tank in place to enable it to run more than 65 miles without refuelling. Other non-starters were Mann (Alfa-Romeo), Somervail (E.R.A.), Dobson (Ferrari), Skelly (Frazer-Nash) and Moore (H.W.M.-Jaguar). This left as the field:—
B.R.M.: Gonzalez and Wharton. Ferrari: Taruffi (Thinwall Special), Villoresi (Indianapolis 4½), Landi and Rosier. Alta: Kelly, de Mattos, Simpson and Watson. E.R.A.: Flockhart (Mays' old car, Zoller blown), Gerard and Graham Whitehead (the Shawe-Taylor car). Maserati: Gaze (ex-Bira 2.9) and James (4CLT). Bira. R.R.A.: Richardson. Delage: Thompson. Cooper-Bristol: Barber.
In practice the Thinwall Special, beautifully turned out, its exhaust stubs protruding from the undertray, had troubled Taruffi because the suspension had no "spring" to it, and before the line-up he was still troubled. Eager to get on with it, he jumped the start, for which the stewards penalised him 30 sec., although it is doubtful if he gained more than three. So Taruffi led Villoresi, in the red car with the high headrest, away and although they were also in the front row, the B.R.M.s took off slowly in about seventh and eighth positions. After a lap the order was: Taruffi, Gonzalez (B.R.M.), Villoresi, Bira, Landi, Wharton (B.R.M.), Rosier, Gaze, Whitehead, Flockhart, James, Thompson, Gerard, Kelly, Barber, Richardson, Watson, and Simpson. A lap later Wharton had his B.R.M. in fifth place, behind Taruffi and his team-mates, Villoresi and Landi, and Bira's 4½ blue-and-yellow O.S.C.A. was sixth. Already de Mattos' Alta had retired.
After five laps Taruffi had a 4-sec. lead over Gonzalez, averaging 94.42 mph to his 93.74 mph. Wharton had come past Landi and was in fourth place, 17 sec. behind Villoresi, averaging 89.9 mph to the Italian's 92.59 mph. The crowd was on its toes as the low green B.R.M.s literally shrieked round—they now have bigger radiators, a new, larger air intake, and many louvres in their bonnets.
Although Taruffi led throughout on the road, the Stewards' penalisation put him behind Villoresi on time and he was given the all-out signal, no doubt thinking that Gonzalez was the menace, but puzzled after the Argentinian had stopped. This sudden cessation to Gonzalez' meteoric driving came on lap eight, when, with all wheels locked, the leading B.R.M. shot straight on through the hurdles at Stowe Corner. To yells of encouragement from the crowd, Gonzalez continued, but a large tree-stump from the barrier had stuck in the radiator and the steering was damaged. Between Stowe and Club Corner Gonzalez stopped on the grass verge while two marshals ran to the B.R.M., pulled the obstruction clear, and pushed it off. It was a long time starting and then crawled slowly to its pit. Here Gonzalez ordered Wharton to be called in and, in a lightning change, 5 sec. only lost at the pit, he shrieked off in Wharton's car, now in fourth place behind Taruffi, Villoresi and Landi. Incidentally, Simpson's Alta had broken its gearbox and the R.R.A. retired sans oil pressure.
Gonzalez now thrilled everyone present with a stupendous attempt to retrieve B.R.M.'s precarious position. He drove like one possessed, spectators and marshals alike waving him on. Regardless of the wheel flap out of corners, refusing to give way to anyone, he screamed round the course. After 15 laps he was still fourth, Landi in front of him but instantly disposed of. He now had approximately 40 sec. to make up on Taruffi, who, obeying his pit, was driving the Thinwall flat out, at an average of 92.98 mph, held by Villoresi only because of the 30-sec. penalty. After 18 laps Taruffi led by 5 sec. on time, but on the road was well ahead, averaging 93.16 mph after 20 laps to Villoresi's 93.0 and Gonzalez' 91.3 mph. Landi, in the yellow 4½ Ferrari from Brazil, was 22 sec. behind Gonzalez, and behind him two historic racing cars, Gaze's Maserati and Flockhart's E.R.A., were running beautifully; Rosier's 4½ Ferrari stopped for brake adjustment. After 22 laps Taruffi, his penalty washed out, led by 7 sec., which he increased by a further second over Villoresi a lap later.
After 25 laps Taruffi was 13 sec. ahead and Gonzalez had 43 sec. to make up on him and 30 sec. to catch Villoresi, which in 10 laps he couldn't hope to achieve for all his virtuosity and bravura. Kelly was another Alta casualty and Bira's O.S.C.A. boiled like a tea-kettle.
After 30 laps Taruffi, who had already set the lap record at 96.67 mph on his third lap, led by 15 sec. from Villoresi, after deducting his 30-sec. penalty, and Gonzalez was 31 sec. behind him (61 sec. behind on the road) and 16 sec. behind Villoresi. He, too, had equalled Taruffi's lap record when in his own B.R.M. on lap 3 and 7, and he now proceeded to do this speed again in the Wharton B.R.M. This was too much for the Bourne car and as Gonzalez started uphill towards the pits he ceased to accelerate and coasted to his pit, the gearbox useless, a gallant drive over.
Let us—and especially those who applauded Gonzalez while he was running, but after he had retired lost all interest in Landi's steady drive into third place—face a few facts. Due to the noise of the V16 engine Gonzalez seemed to be going like an atom-bomb. Actually he proved that his limit in both B.R.M.s was exactly that of Taruffi in the old Ferrari known as a Thinwall Special, which had something not quite right about its suspension. The atom-bomb was elsewhere, in the gearbox, which couldn't face less than 100 miles of this sort of racing. B.R.M. have found the driver but cannot produce a worthwhile racing car. Apparently, as they have no team manager, or even an interpreter for Gonzalez, he did as he wished about calling Wharton in, whereas if Ken, holding third place, had been left alone, he would almost certainly have finished third, without having to push the frail machine as Gonzalez had to to regain that position, to ultimately burst. The final result was:
1st: P. Taruffi (Ferrari Thinwall Special), 1 hr. 6 min. 2.8 sec.; 93.07 mph
2nd: L. Villoresi (Ferrari), 1 hr. 6 min. 17 sec.; 92.73 mph
3rd: F. Landi (Ferrari), 1 lap behind.
4th: Gaze (Maserati); 5th: Flockhart (E.R.A.); 6th: Gerard (E.R.A.); 7th: Barber (Cooper-Bristol); 8th: G. Whitehead (E.R.A.): 9th: Bira (O.S.C.A.); 10th: Thompson (Delage); 11th: James (Maserati); 12th: Rosier (Ferrari); 13th: Watson (Alta).
Lap record: Taruffi (Ferrari) and Gonzalez (B.R.M.), 1 min. 49 sec. 94.67 mph
The Ferraris used Shell X-100 S.A.E. 50 oil, poured into their rear tanks from ordinary one-gallon tins.
Ramponi, who advised the Ferrari team, was in fine form. Farina sat aloof on the pit counter and argued with the head mechanic about how to take Woodcote Corner. They then went to visit Raymond Mays. Taruffi also called the head mechanic to examine the Thinwall Special's suspension, and another Ferrari mechanic spoke to the mechanic in charge of Baird's Formula II car. Taruffi's Formula 1 car refused to run on all four for some time before practice but was just kept running until all the plugs came in.
Gonzalez came in from practice (he lapped at 97.57 mph) and tried to make the mechanics understand that he wanted 7.00 -17 in place of 7.00-18 back tyres. Wharton was using 7.00 17s. 5.50-18 tyres were used on the front wheels. While wheels were changed the plugs were removed and the near-side drive shaft universal greased. Wharton told us he was still getting used to handling such a potent car. Other rear tyre sizes: Indianapolis Ferrari, 7.50-18; O.S.C.A., 6.50-16; Formula II Ferraris, 6.50-16.
The new-found speed of the compact Formula II Connaught was the talk of Silverstone. They had a new exhaust system in which two pipes merged into one pipe at the scuttle.
Watson's Alta, rebuilt after its crash at Snetterton, now has the latest Alta rack-and-pinion steering. It fulfilled its role as the "eternal last," but at least finished when the other Altas all retired.
Taruffi and his red-headed wife used an A70 Austin as transport.
H.W.M. had a complete spare Alta engine with them.
The "transports" of racing folk add to the colourful score. Here are some that were present :
Ferrari: Large and smaller O.M. vans.
Dennis Poore: His faithful Dodge converted coach.
Richardson: Ford van.
Watson: Bedford van.
P. H. Bell: Perkins diesel-engined Fordson.
Gerrard: Dodge van.
Bira: The old "White Mouse" Ford van, very tatty.
Claes: Fargo van.
E. J. Moor: Trailer for "Wasp" towed with Perkins 30/98.
Cooper Cars: Vanguard van.
Arnott: Bedford van.
Lucas: Large Commer van.
Dunlop: Vanguard van and almost-vintage Morris van.
Notwen: Commer van.
Derrington: His Ford workshop van.
Ecurie Ecosse: Bedford van.
Rosier: Smart Renault van.
Ecurie Richmond: Vast A.E.C. van.
Scuderia Ambrosiana: Leyland bus.
Shawe-Taylor: Bedford van.
Kieft: Big Guy van.
Baird: Guy "Otter" van.
Gaze: Small Ford van.
Big Bill Whitehouse: Bedford van.
Equipe Brittanique: Bedford coach with beds and 2-car storage.
G. A. Vandervell: Leyland "Comet" van, Austin van and Austin lorry.
David Shale: Austin van.
Simpson: Alta in a long caravan.
Redex: Small Ford van.
Mintex: Small yellow Commer van.
B.R.M.: Austin transports of funereal hue.
Lundi's aged lorry had had a bad biff en route. Etc., etc. (No standardisation here, Miss Red-Tape!)
Moss used Shell fuel and oil, Lodge plugs, Dunlop tyres, Ferodo brake linings and Borrani wheels. Ascari used Shell fuel and oil, Champion plugs, Pirelli tyres, Kiclos brake linings and Borrani wheels. Taruffi used Esso fuel and oil, K.L.G. plugs, Pirelli tyres, Ferodo brake linings and Rudge wheels.
Ascari now has 27 points towards the 1952 World Championship, against 19 for Taruffi and 16 for Farina.
Speed Does Not Cause Accidents
Writing in the Essex Road Safety Bulletin, the Chief Constable of Essex, Capt. F. R. J. Peel, states:
"Of 6,340 accidents in Essex in which blame was attributed to car drivers or motor-cyclists, in only 86 Cases was excessive speed thought to be the chief cause. On the other hand, very slow speed has contributed to some accidents."
We are reporting this in the hope that those who help to frame our motoring laws and those responsible for safety campaigns should have a good opportunity of studying the statement for, in the past, far too much emphasis has been given to speed causing accidents, whereas competent motorists will know that it is very rare for a fast driver to be involved in an accident of his own making.
In so many counties, when driving quickly, you are stopped by a police car and the officer says: "Now, now, old man, are you in a hurry--take it a little slower or you may be getting into trouble." Whereas, on the arterial roads of Essex we hope to hear: "Now, now, old man, you cannot drift about all over the road holding conversation with your passenger or lighting your pipe or cigarette, or you may cause annoyance and danger to the driver of a fast car." "Jay-drivers" continually imperil the lives of competent drivers by this drifting. The fast driver also suffers from those who deliberately make a double line of traffic and travel at a slowish speed for some miles immediately they see a fast car approaching. The rudeness and discourtesy extended by these "jay-drivers" to competent motorists every day is disgraceful, but they are encouraged in many parts of England as "slow and safe." Our experience, and that of most of our readers, has been that the fast driver its alert, keen to consider others, and quickly prepared to give way to faster drivers.
Driving about in plain clothes, jumping out from behind lamp-posts and hedges, is certainly no way in which to try and bring safety to our roads! Thanks to Capt. Peel, the competent motorist is getting a square deal in Essex, for Capt. Peel has gathered around himself a team of officers who, under his instruction, are bringing credit to the mobile police force. We hope other Chief Constables will review the position and publish figures of their own areas so that the attention of the motoring and non-motoring public shall be turned to the danger of the "jay-driver."
Berkhamsted and District M.C. is holding another Tewin Water Speed Trial on August 4th.
The Scottish Hill climbs - continued from page 361,
Wharton was again at the top of his form and made f.t.d. in his Cooper and second f.t.d. in the E.R. A. thus completing the double.
Class 1. Up to 500 c.c.
Alex McGlashan opened the meeting in his Cooper and came very near to breaking the class record. On his second run he did manage to do so, as did Don Williams, son of Eric Williams in his Emeryson on both runs, but Ninian Sanderson made best time and beat the class record by 3.43 sec. on his second run.
1st: Ninian Sanderson (Cooper) 60.96 sec.
2nd: Don Williams (Emeryson) 62.19 sec.
3rd: Alex McGlashan 63.67 sec.
4th: John E. Wilson (Kieft) 65.19 sec.
Class 2. 501 to 1,100 c.c., Non-s/c.
Cecil Heath the winner in this class gave two excellent performances in his Cooper. Unfortunately, Bob Haddow had a spot of engine trouble to begin with, but on his second climb was only 1.89 behind.
1st: Cecil Heath (Cooper) 62.94 sec.
2nd: R. T. Haddow (Cooper) 64.83 sec.
3rd: J. HI. White (Mackay) 67.95 sec.
4th: N. Kennedy ( Burdmonk) 72.36 sec.
Class 3. 501 to 1,100 c.c., S/c.
Once more Ken Wharton thrilled the crowd as he drove faultlessly over Stone Bridge round Cobblers and the Hairpin Bends to finish in 54.23 sec., a record for the course beating Dennis Poore's 1951 f.t.d. by 2.09 sec.--a really splendid performance, for which he received a great ovation from the appreciative spectators. Bernard Bradnack in his Cooper made an excellent second climb when he clocked in at 58.94, thus making him fourth f.t.d.
1st: Ken Wharton (Cooper) 54.23 sec.
2nd: B. E. Bradnack (Cooper) 58.94 sec.
3rd: A. H. B. Craig (M.G. Special) 68.65 sec.
4th: R. J. Smith (Turner-M.G.) 71.97 sec.
Class 4. 1,101 to 1,500 c.c. Non-s/c.
This promised to be an exciting class as the Australian Hill-Climbing Champion Keith Martin was out to show us what Australia could do. Bad luck has dogged him since he has been over here and he was unable to compete at Bo'ness. It seems as if it is still following him for on his first attempt he only managed a few yards, and then had to free-wheel to the paddock, owing to the failure of the petrol pump. Before his second climb a local garage had supplied an electric pump and he started off like a rocket. At half-way he had practically equalled Ken Wharton's time and it looked as if he was to live up to his name of lead-footed Martin. However, disaster came at Cobblers Corner when he skidded into and bent the white railings. Nothing daunted, however, he jumped out of his damaged car, and amid the cheers of the crowd finished the course on foot. He was rewarded by a very welcome cup of tea presented by two or three of the attractive nurses, which perhaps compensated in some measure for his disappointment. Ian Hopper the winner of this class gave a polished performance in his Hopper Special.
1st: Ian Hopper (Hopper Special) 66.72 sec.
2nd: W. Martin (Marilatti) 80.54 sec.
3rd: R. G. Mickel (Singer) 80.71 sec.
Class 5. 1,101 to 1,500 c.a. S/c.
Ron Flockhart in an E.R.A. broke the record in this class by no less than 10.94 sec. Freddy Stang's Lea-Francis packed up on his second climb at Cobblers Corner and had to be pushed off the road.
1st: R. Flockhart (E.R.A.) 60.45 sec.
2nd: F. S. Stang (Lea Francis) 69.39 sec.
Class 6. 1,501 to 3,000 c.c. Non-s/c.
A new record was made in this class by James F. Gibbon in a Rover Special in which he made two excellent climbs.
1st: J. F. Gibbon (Rover Special) 62.24 sec.
2nd: J.R. Stewart (Healey Silverstone) 63.94 sec.
3rd: J. D. L. Melvin (Frazer-Nash) 63.98 sec.
4th: W. G. G. Brand (Healey Silverstone) 69.49 sec.
Class 7. 1,501 to 3,000 c.c. S/c.
Ken Wharton in Bell's E.R.A. made the second f.t.d. with such complete control that it made the whole climb look ridiculously easy.
1st: Ken Wharton (E.R.A.) 56.14 sec.
2nd: P. J. Stubberfield (Bugatti) 64.87 sec.
Class 8. Over 3,000 c.c. Non-s/c.
James Neilson in a Jaguar XK120 was the winner in this class and he made two very competent climbs, and just a few seconds behind came G. P. Denham-Cookes also in a Jaguar. Pat Melville driving his beautifully kept Vauxhall, was as ever a joy to watch, and Major A. MacGregor Whitton in his white Topez leisurely drove up the hill.
1st: J. Neilson (Jaguar XK120) 63.89 sec.
2nd: G. P. Denham-Cookes (Jaguar XK120) 66.88 sec.
3rd: A. Moore (Allard) 67.02 sec.
4th: T. M. Tannahill (Jaguar XK120) 67.08 sec.
Class 9. Over 3,000 c.c. S/c.
As at Bo'ness, excitement was great as Dennis Poore tried to better Ken Wharton's record-breaking run, but although on his second climb he beat his last year's record by 0.11 sec., he couldn't beat Ken Wharton's times, who was left undisputed champion.
1st: Dennis Poore 56.21 sec.