Now we know
Bob Burnard, one of our most promising sports car drivers, raced with considerable skill and generalship in several events last season to win the Veedol Motor Racing Competition and its major award, the most advanced Formula Junior Racing car obtainable, a Lotus 27.
Since then, discounting two appearances early in the year with his Ace-Bristol, now sold, Bob Burnard (and his racing car) have not been seen at any race meeting; many people have asked him and us for the cause of his non-appearance.
Paradoxically I suppose it can be said that the very competition which we devised to give a good production car driver the-opportunity to break into single-seater racing, has been responsible. When we ordered the finest and latest F.J. car to give our winner the best possible send-off, we under-estimated the teething troubles that the new car would suffer and the delay in sorting them out due to the long hard winter.
So when Bob and his helpers, Roy Capell and Bob Arscott eventually took delivery of the first monocoque-bodied F.J. car to reach a private owner, they had more difficulties to overcome than had been anticipated.
It was collected as a bag of bits, and after their normal day” work they spent many nights checking parts and putting the car together. Compromises had to be made in trying to get Bob’s 6 ft. 2 in. into the monocoque bath.
Then came an unsatisfactory first practice at Silverstone after which modification incorporated on Peter Arundell’s similar team car were recommended by Lotus, so the car was stripped down again, taken to the works, improved, re-assembled, and practised with again.
By varying wheel camber and toe-in, handling has been progressively improved in trials at Brands Hatch and Goodwood, but at Goodwood a faulty oil seal allowed oil to spew from the gearbox and although no damage was done—obviously because Veedol Racing Oil (RA) was being used—the box has had to be stripped for inspection.
To take advantage of the further delay the engine has gone back to Cosworth for a pre-race inspection too, and there will still be a rush to have the car prepared for its debut. Despite a preference by Bob Burnard for more room and further improvements yet, he expected to be on the line for his first F.J. event in the A.M.O.C. meeting at Silverstone on July 6th. I have nothing but admiration for the unflagging energy, with which Bob and his crew have met their problems, perhaps no more frustrating, fatiguing and costly than is normal in motor sport, but no less formidable to amateurs for all that. On behalf of Mr. J. Paul Getty and Veedol (U.K.) Limited I wish him many well deserved successes in the remainder of the season.
Managing Director, Veedol (U.K.) Limited.