The M.C.C. Race Meeting, Silverstone (July 2nd)


I. G.

On July 2nd the Motor Cycling Club held a mixed race meeting for cars and motor-cycles; a series of One-Hour Trials and 5-Lap Handicap Races was organised, alternating between car and motor-cycle events. The first one-hour trial started at 10.30 a.m. This was for cars of all kinds and each of these trials was divided into classes according to engine capacity; J. Kenyon in an XK 120 Jaguar (over 2,600-c.c. class), R. Brookes, TR2 Triumph (up to 2,600,c.c. class), R. Thomas, Austin A30 (up to 1,000 c.c.) and J. Richards, Lotus (not exceeding 1,600 c.c.) were the winners of their respective classes. The finest driver in this race was Thomas in the little A30, recording an average speed of 51.21 m.p.h. as he hurled the car into the corners and flew down the straights demonstrating just what could be done with such a small car if one really tried. D. L. Camm in a Jaguar 100 had clutch trouble and had to be towed in half-way through the race as did T. W. Dargue in an M.G. just before the finish; Liddell also had to retire because of suspected fuel leakage in his Buckler. In the second one-hour trial for cars G. G. McDonald, Bentley 4 ½, E. G. Kemp, A.C. Ace, J. H. Kelshaw, M.G., and J. K. Bell, 918 Morris Minor, were the winners of their classes; McDonald’s Bentley showing the rest of the field a “clean pair of heels,” including the Jaguar XK 120 of G. Towse. D. S. Schute was driving well in his Simca Aronde until ominous knocking noises made themselves apparent and R. Hough had to retire at Becketts after clouds of smoke from his exhaust indicated expensive interior trouble, in this case, a seized-up engine. Even more expensive was the mishap which occurred when J.T. A. Williamson’s Riley 1 ½ rolled over, resulting in considerably damaged bodywork although driver and passenger were unharmed this was caused by one of the disc wheels wrenching itself free from the studs.

The next event for cars was the 5-lap scratch race with Liddell in the Buckler first at 68.57 m.p.h., followed by Towse in the XK Jaguar. Kamm was still having some clutch slip with his 100 Jaguar and Mrs. Gibbs was forced to retire on the last lap. Event 7, the 5-lap handicap for cars was most interesting; there were several of the smaller cars entered and one could see the drivers of these battling against time to catch up their opponents. Lap one saw the Renault of V. C. Faber enter Becketts first followed by the Austin A30 of R. Thomas and then J. K. Bell’s Morris Minor; lap two saw the Morris leading with the Ford Anglia of E. W. Cuff-Miller second and the A30 third; the Ford then took over the lead and finally won the race with Bell’s Morris second, a case of tricky handicapping. A similar race followed immediately after this in which some heavier pieces of machinery took part. Bradley’s Bentley led the field for the first few laps followed by the TF M.G. of J. D. Hall with Hurrell’s Triumph creeping up lap by lap to win the race at 64.89 m.p.h.

Event 9 was again a 5-lap handicap race with A. F. Coakley in the Lotus M.G. away first, Gibbs’ Lotus Ford and Freeman’s Aston Martin next. This order remained for a lap or two until Gibbs overtook Freeman and finally Brookes in a TR2 came up into second place and stayed there. M. R. G. Llewellyn drove his Lester M.G. well and Towse in the XK Jaguar went round corners fast but with clouds of smoke coming from the off-side driving wheel — he obviously hasn’t heard of the recent increases in tyre prices! The final 5-lap handicap race for cars which took part in the Exeter or Land’s End trials last autumn was between the two Dellows of Templeton and Allott and the Tucker-M.G. of H. W. Tucker Peake, resulting in a win for Tucker-Peake with Templeton second; Allott had to retire when his exhaust pipe fell off.

Morgan and Messerschmitt enthusiasts were also able to see their idols performing, for five Morgans entered the first one-hour trial and in this class F. L. Willis won in a Ford-engined model, but P. E. West retired with his 996-c.c. version; A. R. Wershat in a 174-c.c. Messerschmitt was the leader in this field and all these machines motored round the track quite happily, carrying driver and passenger, for one hour, and the occupants seemed to be having immense fun. In the motor-cycle races E. P. Eacott (998 Vincent). D. De Souza (498 Triumph), J. N. Kendall (348 Velocette) and D. F. Shorey (199 Triumph) won their classes in the first one-hour trial: A. R. Person (998 Vincent). J. R. Bloomfield (500 B.S.A.), E. F. Cope (350 Norton), R. K. G. Rennie (646 Ariel s/car), D. R. Mann (350 A.J.S. s/car), W. Morris (197 James) and N. E. Surplice (E.M.C. 123) did likewise in the second one-hour trial. Finally came the Motor Sport Handicap Trophy Race. This race is made up from the first six finishers in the previous handicap trophy event, in this case the V.S.C.C. meeting of April 16th, and the first four finishers of events 5, 7, 8 and 9 of the M.C.C. meeting. This resulted in it total of twenty cars on the starting line, the first car away being the A30 of R. Thomas again; R. E. C. Brookes and S. A. Hurrell had fun dicing together in their Triumph TR2s as did P. J. Nunn in the Frazer-Nash 1932 Meadows with J. V. Skirrow in a similar 1930 model; L. Gibbs had the misfortune to throw a con-rod coming out of Woodcote as the race was coming to a close. P. J. E. Binns, in a Riley, was the winner once again of this event, at an average speed of 65.35 m.p.h.; following him were P. J. Nunn (Frazer-Nash), J. Kenyon (Jaguar), J. V. Skirrow (Frazer-Nash), M. Llewellyn (Lester) and W. Liddell (Buckler). This concluded a very pleasant and informal meeting. — I. G.