Snetterton Sports-Car Meeting (June 25th)

Author

M.P.

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On June 25th the Eastern Counties M.C. held a national sports-car meeting at Snetterton. The highlight of the day was the 100mile race, which was divided into three classes, and was supported by one handicap and three scratch races. The weather was perfect, in fact so hot that the tar was tacky round the circuit making cornering tricky.

The first event was a combined five-lap scratch race for cars up to 1,300 c.c. and 1,301 to 2,000 c.c. The first three cars in lap one remained in that order till the end. They were A. D. Brookes (Frazer-Nash), C. S. Morton (TR2) and L. J. Coe (TR2). W. E. Parkin (TR2) was lying fourth on the opening lap when he tried to take the hairpin too fast, resulting in a drive up the sandbank. He retired when the car was manhandled free, with a damaged radiator. In the smaller class H. S. Ladds in a TC M.G. was first, followed by J. Mason in an 1,100 Riley. R. Clarkson seemed to have difficulty keeping his TR2 in a straight line RS he braked and changed down, although he managed to keep on the track.

The next event was also a combined five-lap scratch race, for the larger cars, 2,001 to 3,000 and over 3,000 c.c. The unlimited class consisted of XK120 Jaguars, and the smaller class an assortment of Aston Martins, TR2s and an Austin-Healey. From the start J. Ogier (Jaguar XK120) went into the lead where he remained until the end. For second place there developed quite a race on the first lap, F. Kenyon (Jaguar XK120) was second with Angela Brown (Aston Martin DB3) close behind, and the Frazer-Nash of A. D. Brooks only a car’s length behind her. The second lap saw Brooks lead Angela Brown, but on the third lap he dropped back with some trouble, leaving the DB3 to harass the XK120, which it did. On the fourth lap Kenyon, who was being pressed very hard by Miss Brown, missed a gear out of the hairpin, and the DB3 slipped past on the inside. In an effort to catch up, Kenyon spun his near-side rear wheel with so much power that a black tyre mark was left, 100 yards long, and a strong smell of burnt rubber; he tried very hard to catch Angela Brown but could not do so. At the finish J. Ogier (XK120) was first followed by Angela Brown (DB3) followed by Kenyon (XK120) who limped across the line having buckled a wheel on the last lap by hitting a marker drum. Dr. C. Shepherd (Aston Martin DB2) spun off in the esses when a brake locked on, damaging the car but not himself.

Next came what could have been a very exciting, evenly balanced race. A ten-lap race for Triumph TR2s, but alas too many drivers tried too hard at the hairpin which broke the field up into a rather dull procession. In the melee at the hairpin F. Newby rammed R. Clarkson who was gyrating in front of him. On the second lap the first three were W. Smith, G. Morton and L. Coe, and at the end of 10 laps the order was unchanged.

At 4 p.m. the big race of the day started, a 100-mile race divided into three classes. Class A up to 1,500 c.c., Class B 1,500 to 3,000 c.c., and Class C over 3,000 c.c. Cars in Class A were credited with two laps and Class B with one lap at the start.

It was it good start with Prothero’s C-type Jaguar going into the lead which he soon lost to Roy Salvadori in the Gilby Engineering Aston Martin DB3. Behind, Scott-Brown (Lister-Bristol) was giving a display of driving ability, which we now come to expect from him. In other words he passed and drew away from all cars in the larger (over 3,000 c.c.) class, which consisted mainly of three C-type Jaguars and the Jaguar-engined H.W.M. driven by Abecassis and the R.G.S.-Atalanta driven by M. Burn. So the leaders settled down to some serious racing in this order, Salvadori, Scott-Brown, Abecassis, W. Smith, with Blond and Prothero scrapping for fifth place.

In the handicap there was a giant-killer in the form of J. Russell in the 1,100-c.c. Cooper, which was going so fast that the faster cars had great difficulty in stopping him slip-streaming them down the straight. Early on M. Burn went farming in the R.G.S.-Atalanta and hit something solid in the long grass which put him out of the race; though he was not injured the car looked badly bent at the front. The 5 ½-litre H.W.M. driven by Page developed some trouble and kept catching fire, and finally retired at the hairpin covered in foam. Just over half-way through the race Salvadori lapped the very fast Cooper and so made up the handicap lap, which put him into the lead, followed by Scott-Brown, and behind him came Abecassis. As the H.W.M. went through the esses it was very close to the Cooper, but alas in the very fast Coram Curve Abecassis ran off the road and hit the soft banking, causing damage to the car and slight bruising and cuts to himself. Angela Brown who saw the accident from afar stopped her car on the track and went to give assistance, eventually going away with George in the ambulance, still leaving her car parked on the circuit. With the H.W.M. out of the race things quietened down and the end saw only Salvadori and Scott-Brown on the same lap. Congratulations should go to J. Russell in the Cooper 1,100 who was only 7.36 m.p.h. slower than the fastest car in the whole race.

The meeting came to an end with a handicap race for the winners of the first three races and was won by Hofman (Lester-M.G.). — M. P.