Showers which caused the track to fluctuate between dry and very slippery made this an exciting afternoon’s racing for those whose hearts do not over-rev. as cars spin and crash. There were 91 entries in spite of Le Mans and, despite many incidents, no personal hurt.
Innes led all the way in his 1,100 Lotus-Climax to win the first 5-lap Scratch Race, in spite of his engine having been reassembled after its Whitsun “blow-up” only that morning. He won at 83.95 m.p.h. (fastest lap, 85.54 m.p.h.) by 3 sec. from Bristow’s Cooper-Climax, with Page’s Lotus third. Fisher (Lotus) was nudged by Mathieson’s Lotus out of the chicane.
Coles disguised blown 750 M.G. led for three laps in the following 5-lap Handicap, then retired, letting Sheffield’s TR2 win at 72.36 m.p.h. by 1 sec. from Fleming’s A.C. and Foster’s M.G. MGA. Vestey’s l.h.d. A.C. did odd things, braking heavily for the chicane and stalling. Ireland had another win in the next Scratch Race, at 83.37 m.p.h., finishing 2.2 sec. ahead of hard-tryer Greene (Cooper), Digby’s Cooper third. Bristow retired.
Jean Bloxham’s Aston Martin seemed to have a favourable handicap in the next race but it was now very slippery and she fell back from third place. Margaret Ashby held tail slides neatly in the Leco-M,G., leading for four of the five laps, after which Cuff-Miller, who had wisely let down the back tyres or the Lago-Talbot, won nicely at 67.8 m.p.h., 4.6 sec. in front of Marriott’s Lotus, Sargent’s XK120 third.
The 5-lap Marque Scratch Race really was something! It was distinctly slippery. First Beckwith’s M.G. MGA spun out of the chicane but went on. Then Sheffield, leading in his TR2, smote the wattle sideways-on and fell back. This put Bentley’s TR2 in the lead but he found himself on the wrong line at Fordwater in an unresponsive car which wrecked itself as it hit the bank and rolled; the driver was flung out, unhurt. McKechnie’s Morgan Plus Four and Foster in Jacobs’ M.G. MGA now diced side by side. The Morgan had the lead on lap four. On lap five they were level down to Woodcote, first one car a foot ahead, then the other, as both drivers postponed their braking. Somehow they got round Woodcote, the Morgan leading. Foster refused to admit defeat and came up alongside McKechnie on the right as they went for the chicane. McKechnie braked and slid straight through the chicane wall, seriously damaging his car. Foster went on to win, at 73.92 m.p.h., 10.4 sec. ahead of Looker’s Morgan, McCulloch’s TR2 third. Bentley had made fastest lap, at 76,32 m.p.h. Fleming (A.C.) was excluded, with Sheffield, for spinning.
Peter Gammon in the L.M.B. Ford Popular did all he could in the Closed-Car Handicap but Dore’s Morris Minor, with Javelin engine, had been given a generous re-handicap and won by 5.2 sec. at 65.93 m.p.h. from Sparrowe’s M.G. coupe, Gammon third. Jean Bloxham, on scratch, made fastest lap, at 74,74 m.p.h. Cuff-Miller’s Elva Ford was in trouble as usual, so was unable to catch Griffin’s VW, which took the chicane without trace of roll, whereas the Ford rolled and lifted a wheel. Dore’s Morris is really a tourer with hood up: closed-car races should he confined to saloons, and closed tourers and convertibles barred, surely?
Patsy Burt (Cooper) nearly pulled off the next handicap, driving well, but Page’s Lotus passed her on the last lap, to win by 2.6 sec., at 79.88 m.p.h., Digby’s Cooper third, while Ireland, asked to give Charles’ D-type Jaguar 21 sec.(!), made fastest lap, at 85.04 m.p.h., and was fourth, 6.2 sec. in front of Charles, at the finish!
By grace of a credit lap Goddard-Watts’ Berkeley hard-top won the last race, at 58.86 m.p.h., setting a lap 350-c.c. record of 60 m.p.h. Its old failings overcome, it was also notably fast and stable through the chicane. Mrs. Naylor, cramped in her Lagonda Rapier cockpit, was second, Palmer’s H.R.G. third.
The placings for the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Contest are as follows and the final round on August 31st should be exciting, because Ireland’s lead can be taken by a “win and a second” or “two thirds” by both Foster and Page, and Bristow isn’t out of the running by any means: — Ireland 16 points; Foster and Page 10 points each; Bristow nine points; Charles and Greene eight points each. — W. B.
Mallory Park (July 6th)
One of the best meetings organised for some time by the B.R.S.C.C. was run off at the Mallory Park circuit near Leicester when sports cars, 500s, and some Formula II racing cars had an outing on this undulating 1½-mile course.
Warm, cloudy weather prevailed as the 500-c.c. cars set off from the start at 3.30 p.m. on the first heat with Jones and Russell fighting for the lead while Strange and Robinson brought up the second contingent. Taylor and Boshier-Jones kept in close formation in the second heat Taylor coming in with a creditable speed of 80.2 m.p.h. which he improved on by winning the 500-c.c. final also at 81.46 m.p.h. with Boshier-Jones again close behind in second place.
The first event of the day was the Production Sports-Car Race, being a 24-lap epic. Stationed at Shaws hairpin it was easy to speculate on the driving habits of the competitors. Ian Walker was a little slow to start with his yellow Lotus-Ford, but he was leading by lap three ahead of Bekaert who was pulling his C-type Jaguar round as furiously as he could, but the little Lotus still moved away ahead. Walker spun at the hairpin on his 22nd lap, but he had gained such a lead by then that he was quite safe and took the chequered flag — having averaged 76.17 m.p.h. for the race. P. J. Sargent drove a very steady race in his XK120 Jaguar, making use of all the hairpin, but needing his power to catch the others on the straights.
D. F. Levy drove rather wildly at first, but improved later in his A.C. Ace-Bristol, and Jennings in Ken Rudd’s disc-braked Ace-Bristol had to fight hard to keep his place with Hudson’s Austin-Healey. Second man through at the finish was Bekaert, followed by Mainwaring-Evans in the 100S Austin-Healey.
Marsh and Wicken in Cooper-Climaxes had a real ding-dong battle in the 1,500-c.c. Sports-Car Race which went to Marsh eventually at 84.87 m.p.h. The 1,100-c.c. event comprised mostly of Lotus-Fords was also won by Walker at 76.68 m.p.h. in front of J. Lawry in a similar car.
Rain came for the under 1,100.c.c. Race which resulted in victory for Jack Hall in his Lotus with Tom Dickson, also in a Lotus, second. The only mishap in this event was when Threlfall bent the tail of his Tojeiro-Climax in a slide; 72.17 m.p.h. was Hall’s average speed.
Finally came the Formula II dice. Wicken kept just a foot or two ahead of Marsh all the time and won at 76.70 m.p.h., but on aggregate times in the previous 1,500-c.c. event Marsh was the winner. — I.G.
Girling, Not Dunlop
The disc brakes on the back wheels of the new M.G. record-car are Girling, not Dunlop as stated last month.