VSCC Second Silverstone

Following on its Jubilee celebrations, the Vintage SCC ran its second Silverstone Race Meeting of 1984 on July 14th, with more races in the day than ever before, and a record entry of 267, the programme said. Rain fell, but did not disrupt the racing, but attendance was down to about 6,000.

First, a six-lap scratch race, a fine win for Drake’s ex-Danahar 8C Maserati, which led all the way, beating the Bentley-Royce by 7.2 sec, Hines 3/4½ Bentley third. Next, a handicap five-lapper, which Dolton’s N-type MG Magnette took, from the Riley Specials of Upston and Baker.

Tim Llewellyn then won the Boulogne Trophy 10-lap Scratch Race, ably sliding the blue 3/8-litre Bentley round the corners in the wet, for which he was awarded the Boulogne and the Russ-Turner Trophies by Audrey Russ-Turner, and was later given the Driver-of-the-Day Award. Julian Majzub followed Tim (who had been able to wave to his fiancée Miss Harris in the similar 4½-litre Bentley as he lapped her) across the line 20.7 sec later, in the 35B Bugatti, beating Russell’s 8-litre Bentley that was third. Morley did well to keep the giant Bentley-Napier in fourth place and, after an off-course excursion, de Cadenet drove the 1929 26M Maserati to fifth place, lapping at 76.06 mph to Llewellyn’s 75.96 mph. Harper was good value in the Aero Morgan until its engine tired. The result would have been different had Footitt’s engine not played up when he was in second place, causing him to retire two laps from the finish.

A mild five-lap Handicap came as a breather, with the light cars, Howard’s 1914 GP Mercedes, and Collings’ 1903 Mercedes in the field. The light-car element lacked the “funnies”, consisting mostly of serious Sevens, of which McBeath’s won, from Heelis’ Riley 9 and Comber’s 1937 Morgan 4/4. Veteran Mercedes beat Edwardian racing Mercedes by 14th to 20th places, the handicap 50 sec in the younger car’s favour! The bars now emptied and people lined the rails for the keenly-anticipated Drill Service 10-lap ERA Scratch Race, only the third of its kind we think, the other two having been two at pre-war Brooklands. The runners were R5B, RIIB, R4A, R8C, R6B (Willie Green), R10B, R2B (“Romulus”), R2A, R1B, R9B, R12B, R12C, R1A, R7B, and Hawkins’ ERA-engined Riley Sprite. Non-runners were R14B, R3A, and Corner in Lindsay’s ERA-Delage that had lost its o/s rear wheel that morning, when the hub broke up, while Wallis in Chapman’s 1938 E-type ERA got only as far as the grid. We had tipped the Hon Patrick Lindsay to win in “Remus” and he soon pulled out a useful lead, with a best lap at 85.38 mph, Martin Morris and Sir John Venables-Llewellyn spaced out, each about a dozen lengths behind him. Then, with only two laps to go, R5B’s gearbox failed, and so Morris ran home the victor. But the float-needle in R11B’s carburetter had come out, so another half-lap and Venables-Llewellyn would probably have won! Some way behind, Spollon in R8C, going very well, was third, ahead of Classic in the first of the 1½-litre cars, followed by Pat Marsh. Green was sixth, Bill Morris in “Romulus” seventh, Stephens eighth, Kergon ninth, Riley 10th and Wildbois 11th. Mason also broke a halfshaft it seems, Mann had magneto trouble, and Gahagan lost vital control-linkage. It is said that Lindsay jumped the start, so Morris would have won anyway.

The 10-lap scratch race for Hawthorn-period Sports Cars (pre-1961) was won by Drake’s “assembled” D-type Jaguar, from Duffy’s D-type and Harper’s C-type, a Jag walk-over, as Pearson’s D-type was fourth. Drake lapped at 86.52 mph. The Pre-war Racing Car Scratch event, over the same distance, had a start-line mishap, when Sir Venables-Llewellyn’s ERA broke a half-shaft and Classic’s ERA ran into it, damaging the Tecnauto ifs of R2A. Dean’s Type 59/50B Bugatti Special was almost involved but scraped by. David Black in the Tipo-B Alfa Romeo was never challenged, running away to win by 9.2 sec, with a fastest-lap at 84.13 mph. For six laps St John’s Type 51 Bugatti had held off Spollon’s ERA for second place but Bruce then got by and was 0.8 sec up by the finish. Next home were the ERAs of Kergon and Marsh, with Dean sixth. Russell, lapping at 76.67 mph, won the vintage section, in the big Bentley.

Seber’s Wolseley-Hornet then won a five-lap Handicap from Gunn’s Q-type MG and Upston’s Riley, before we were treated to the interesting sight of Neil Corner driving Lindsay’s 1960 Indy Turtle Drilling Special in the 15-lap Hawthorn Memorial Trophy Race. Lindsay says he does not fit its cockpit, so he asked Neil to drive. Corner, who had done only a few practice laps, had a tough task and elected to start at the back of the grid.

In spite of its rearward start, Corner was ninth by lap one, went wide at Woodcote on lap two and dropped a few places (he was sideways-on at Maggotts they say) but was sixth by lap three and got into fourth place by lap five. Out in front was Chris Mann’s Lotus 16, but Bruce Halford’s Lotus 16 passed Mann on lap eight and went on to win by 4.3 sec. Further back, Phillips’ Lotus 16 was third. Nice to see Halford win; he has really retired, but finds VSCC races fun! Corner lapped at 88.64 mph to Mann’s best of 91.59 mph, Neil finding the Turtle lacking braking power. Behind him Cottam and Mason finished fifth and sixth in their 250F Maseratis, with Black again master of the rest of the opposition in the monoposto Alfa Romeo, that has found more revs on its smaller wheels and tyres, although we were misinformed over it still having its Ashby cylinder blocks. Corner’s race speed was 86.5 mph, 2.32 mph slower than Halford’s, so Lindsay must have been well pleased with his Indy-Special’s first British outing. . . .

There remained two more Handicaps, the five-lap event being won by Jaye’s Attenborough from Sparrowhawk’s 4.3 Alvis and Benthall’s 4½-litre Bentley, the four-lap “lightning” race by Boswell’s Frazer Nash, from Burrell’s Bentley-Royce and Sr John’s Bugatti. — W.B.

Boulogne Trophy Race: T. C. Llewellyn (Bentley), 73.60 mph.
ERA Race: M. Morris (RIIB), (Jaguar) 82.94 mph.
Pre-1961 Sports-Car Race: L. C. Drake (Jaguar), 84.68 mph.
Pre-War Racing Car Race: W. D. A. Black (Alfa Romeo), 81.70 mph.
Hawthorn Memorial Trophy Race: B. H. Halford (Lotus), 88.82 mph.
Six-lap Race: C. Drake (Maserati), 68.72 mph.
First 5-lap Handicap: T. Dolton (MG), 61.60 mph.
Second 5-lap Handicap: A. McBeath (Austin), 58.26 mph.
Third 5-lap Handicap: J. A. Seber (Wolseley), 69.24 mph.
Fourth 5-lap Handicap: F. Jaye (Attenborough), 74.44 mph.
Lightning Handicap: A. Boswell (Frazer Nash), 67.84 mph.
Fastest lap of the Day: C. Mann (Lotus 16), 91.59 mph.