The World Championship leader Graham Hill provided practically all the excitement in an otherwise damp and cold Snetterton. His drives in the U.D.T.-Laystall Lotus Monte Carlo and John Coombs’ 3.8 Jaguar, during which he well and truly broke lap records for both classes, gave spectators their money’s worth.
The F.J. race which opened the meeting was run in fine drizzle on a wet track, which caused the winner, John Fenning, in Ron Harris’ Lotus 20, to drive cautiously throughout, his fastest lap being some 11 m.p.h. slower than the existing lap record of Richard Atwood.
Initially Fenning was pressed by Wyllie’s Lotus 22 but on the ninth lap Wyllie spun at the hairpin and dropped to fourth place, leaving Pearce and Olthoff in second and third places.
The Autosport World Cup and “Senior Service” Team Trophy race proved unexciting. due mainly to lack of foreign entries, only a lone Dutch team competing against three British teams (two of which were added as makeweights!).
M. Johnston’s Elite led for the first nine laps but shot straight down the escape road at the Esses without brakes, leaving Sutton in a similar car comfortably in the lead. Ben Pon in his Porsche Abarth Carrera did not strike his “home” form and was passed by Whitmore and Shaw, and relegated to fourth place at the finish. As the second Dutch finisher, Bouwmeesteer in a Super 90 Porsche, could get no higher than ninth, the British contingent easily won the first leg of the competition.
The Scott Brown Memorial Trophy race entry was large and varied, but the only cars which seemed to have any chance against the U.D.T.-Laystall Lotus Monte Carlo driven by Graham Hill were the two G.T.O. Berlinetta Ferraris of Parkes and Surtees. However, these latter cars, being in the GT. class, could not really hope to compete with such an incredibly fast sports/racing car, and so it proved.
Graham Hill did his best to keep the interest alive and, as the track was now nearly dry, he proceeded to devastate the existing lap record, leaving it at 100.79 m.p.h. In fact, his average was higher than the old lap record. Mike Parkes, seemingly suffering no ill effects from his practice accident in which he lost a wheel from the Equipe Endeavour 3.8 Jaguar and rolled, held second position comfortably throughout (adding 3 m.p.h. to his own (G.T. record) to win the G.T. class. Surtees was never far behind.
The fourth and final race, for saloon cars, provided an interesting finale to a not very inspiring day. Once again, Graham Hill in the sole remaining Jaguar 3.8 (the second Equipe Endeavour car was withdrawn after the accident to the first, and Roy Salvadori was a non-starter through illness) led the field from the drop of the flag. He had no opposition at all, even Sach’s Chevrolet (having 1 1/2 more litres) couldn’t keep him in sight, and he was forced once more to do some record lapping to keep himself aroused. He eventually got round in 1min. 50.6 sec. (88.21 m.p.h.) some 2 m.p.h. faster than Parkes’ record.
Down among the smaller cars the usual Mini-dice raged. Mick Clare, Christabel Carlisle and J. A. Lewis scrapped happily until Lewis’ car gave up the ghost. Miss Carlisle’s car went flat eventually, leaving Clare in front. Between the Minis and the big saloons, Alan Hutcheson was circulating easily in front of his class. The remainder of the 1,001-2,000-c.c. cars were too busy trying to lose Minis to be much of a danger to him.
As is often the case, the saloon cars provided most of the duelling in a meeting made interesting only by the sight of Graham Hill demonstrating how to drive a motor car properly.- L.A.M.