“Phew! Pretty hot isn’t it? The speaker shaded his eyes carefully with his hand and watched Meeson’s A.C. flash over the line at nearly 100 m.p.h. His companion turned away despondently. “Too hot for me,” he replied, and tore a little coloured ticket into shreds, casting them to the faint breeze which blew lazily across the grand-stand. The first man may have been talking about the weather, the second man undoubtedly was referring to one of several very fine races at the Essex M.C.’s Brooklands Meeting which was held last Saturday.”
The above quotation appeared in the Light Car & Cyclecar, that virile journal with its famous photographic front cover, many years ago, in 1922 in fact, when anything to do with Brooklands and motor racing was magic to me. I recalled it as I watched the racing at Goodwood on July 1st, for although Meeson’s A.C. wasn’t present and pressmen cannot afford to bet, it was very hot and some of the races were very closely contested.
The B.A.R.C. had obtained the usual splendid entry for this Members’ Meeting and a fair number of scantily-clad spectators assembled, in spite of the counter-attractions of the French G.P. at Reims and the sea.
An old-timer in the Paddock drew attention to the generally scruffy appearance of many of the competing cars, of which Eades’ Aston Martin DB2/4, Bullen’s Tornado and Brown’s Buckler were amongst the worst offenders, being battered, shabby and patched-up. In contrast, how smart is Oliver’s D.R.W.Ford, which, by the end of the scorching afternoon, led the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy contest by one point from Derisley (Lotus-Ford) and Keens (Lola-Climax), which should make the final round on September 16th very exciting.
Keens won the first of the scratch races comfortably, at 83.48 m.p.h. from Harrison-Hansley, both in Lolas, Dodd coming up well to third place in Birch’s Lotus, ahead of Derisley’s Lotus. Keens made fastest lap, at 85.88 m.p.h. Holland mildly pranged his Lotus at Lavant.
Lapping the slow stuff, Oliver then ran away with the next scratch race, the neat D.R.W.-Ford lapping at 84.54 m.p.h. to win by a big margin, at 82.07 m.p.h. from Derisley. No others were in sight, until a battling bunch arrived, with Soley’s Lotus just ahead of Porter’s Lotus.
There were only three cars really racing in the 10-lap F.J. race and Addicott, tail-sliding to some purpose, disposed of Costey in Sieff’s Cooper-B.M.C. after six laps, going on to win in Dibley’s Lola-Ford at 86.18 m.p.h. (best lap – 88.71 m.p.h.). Woodley’s Emeryson-Ford was third. So slow were the others that Heathcote had time to stop at Fordwater, replace an h.t. lead, and still finish fourth.
Addicott, in his own entry, a Lotus-Climax, should have won the 10-lap Sports Car Scratch Race but he had found the oil boiling in practice and although he built up a simply enormous lead, on the very last lap the engine gave up and he was obliged to coast in, to fourth place, Keens’ Lola, winner at 83.21 m.p.h., Harrison-Hansley’s Lola and Dodd in the Lotus passing him. However, Addicott had made fastest lap, at 88.16 m.p.h. Heath was fifth in Graham Whitehead’s ex-Innes Ireland Lotus.
If noise is any criterion, Merfield’s Ford Anglia had the Cibie Cup Race in the bag, and win it he did, at 75.49 m.p.h., pursued by Hutcheson’s fast Barwell Riley 1.5 and Junkel’s Anglia. The Riley made fastest lap, at 77 m.p.h. The commentator at St. Mary’s got so excited that he went on describing how fiercely the race was progressing after it had finished and the cars were slowing down!
The 10-lap Marque Scratch Race was a tremendous tussle between Staples and Shaw in A.C.-Bristols. Staples started badly in the Le Mans business but drove very fast (best lap, 82.13-m.p.h.) and was second to Shaw on lap five and on his tail three laps later. A stirring duel now began, Staples taking the lead in a cloud of dust out of the chicane but Shaw holding on grimly. On the last lap they were side-by-side round Woodcote, Shaw doing what looked impossible, but he was on the outside and ran wide, so that Staples won by a mere 3/5 of a second, at 79.17 m.p.h. No-one else was in sight, but eventually Braithwaite’s Morgan came in third.
It was a feature of this hot afternoon that the two leaders would fight it out but the rest of the field would be far behind. It was so in the first of two handicaps, when Howard’s Jaguar XK120 from scratch caught Hutcheson’s Riley on the last lap. The Riley spun out of Woodcote but was able to continue in no danger of losing second place. The Jaguar averaged 80.78 m.p.h., making fastest lap, at 82.44 m.p.h. Crawford’s Anglia was third. The last race was won by Chilty’s Sprite, from Heath’s Lotus and Oliver’s D.R.W., the last named pipping Dangerfield’sTR3 on the line.
Duringg the afternoon James Tilling regaled us with his opinion of Le Mans but no-one bothered to give the points-scores in the various contests run by the B.A.R.C. and liason between the start-commentator and the officials regarding re-handicaps and changes of driver was obviously scarcely existent. – W. B.
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