The weather Gods decided to look kindly upon the VSCC when they hosted their annual pilgrimage to OuIton Park following conditions which have ranged, in recent years, from indifferent to downright awful. And what a splendid change it made, with racing to match, one of the highlights being a superb turnout of Edwardians on the Sunday.
Saturday’s opening scratch race was red-flagged on the second lap after Hulbert’s Alvis Silver Eagle and Ted Dunn in the White Riley tangled at Old Hall, with Hulbert taken off to hospital, fortunately being discharged next day. David Morris in father’s ERA R11B consolidated his early lead from the restart to win comfortably from Ian Bentall’s Bentley 4 1/2 and Sparrowhawk’s Alvis Special.
As a prelude to the following day’s Vintage Seaman event, Julian Majzub gave notice of his intent in winning the Patrick March vintage race with his Bugatti 35B, albeit lacking the opposition of Dutton and Llewellyn, and easily led home the pursuers headed by Alex Boswell, treating the Bequet’s rebuilt Hispano engine with respect and not yet matching his pace of last year, and Terry Cardy, whose Bugatti sprayed oil with gay abandon. David Caroline (Morgan Super Aero) and crowd-favourite Martin Stretton (Frazer Nash) indulged in a fine scrap for fourth place with the Morgan gaining the verdict by about a car’s length.
Anthony Mayman continued his unbeaten run this year with R4D in the Richard Seaman Memorial Historic Trophy to make it two-in-a-row. However, he has some way to go before approaching Martin Morris’ record of ten victories in this event, and Morris it was who filled the runner-up spot with ERA R11B, narrowly holding off Ludovic Lindsay in Remus who made rapid progress over the closing stages having first disposed of Bruce Spollon (ERA R8C) after the President nearly spun at Druids, and then picking off Sir John Venables-Llewelyn (ERA R4A) with two laps remaining. Duncan Ricketts was again first 1 1/2-litre car home, whilst Chris Mayman claimed sixth after a battle with Bill Morris in Chapman’s ‘E’ type example.
The invitation feature this year was a round of the Pre-’57 Classic Saloon Car Championship which didn’t produce much in the way of excitement and resulted in a runaway win for Brian Steven’s Jaguar Mk 1 — being a 1959 car he wasn’t eligible for points, these going to Reg Palmer’s Zephyr Mk 11 in second place.
A Morgan three-wheeler race has now become a regular attraction but sadly this year’s race lost front runners Greg Bibby and Chas Reynolds after only one lap allowing Bill and Maggie Tuer to inherit the lead from Bibby which they maintamed to the finish in fine style, with David Caroline — not used to carrying the extra weight penalty of a passenger — unable to match their pace and having to settle for second well clear of Dave Andrews/Gaynor Pearson.
Anthony Mayman took his second win of the day in the Allcomers Race with the Halford Lotus 16, in spite of difficulties holding top gear, with the race for second always in control of Ludovic Lindsay revelling in his recently acquired 250F and managing to keep John Harper, in Mayman’s BRM, at bay. Chris Drake kept fourth place on the road in spite of a ten second penalty for pre-empting the starter’s flag some way clear of Jeffrey Pattinson, getting more accustomed to and displaying more confidence with his ex-Moss 250F.
Saturday’s programme included two four lap Handicaps with wins going to Guyatt’s Talbot by less than a second from Morley’s Lagonda, and Fry’s Railton Light Sports Tourer by a distance from Bulinski’s Frazer Nash. ASDC
The innovation on Sunday was a 4 lap Edwardian Handicap, with the splendid entry of 29, plus the veteran Mercedes of Roger Collings, helped by the VCC. Of them, 24 were classed as unmodified cars. It would have been nice if 80 year old Cecil Clufton, (who introduced Edwardianism into the VSCC) in the 1908 Itala had won this but he started from the pit lane, lapped at 60 mph and was 15th. It would have been nice if part-organiser Barry Clarke had won, but his 1913 5-litre Metallurgique stripped its timing gears and his Singer 10, driven by Jane Tomlinson, led for two laps, then retired. Gordon’s Tamplin had a start of a lap and 80 sec on the field but was never seen again! The 1908 Panhard was lapping at 63 mph (the expensive programme did not contain handicaps for any of the races as they were not worked out until practice had finished and the results did not quote decimals of speeds — very odd!), but the winner was Portway’s 1914 TT Sunbeam, from Hamilton-Gould’s ‘little’ 1909 Darracq and Ware in the NMM 1912 Coupe de L’Auto Sunbeam. Hill, from Beaulieu, bravely started in the NMM 1908 GP Benz but ran only one lap. Neve’s Humber, repaired since Curborough, non-started with a fuel blockage. Baddiley in the other Coupe de L’Auto Sunbeam actually won but was judged to have been too fast for its handicap.
Back to reality, Miss Moss won the normal 4 lap handicap in her low-chassis S-type Invicta (64 mph), from Asplin’s modified Ulster A7, Bugler’s 4 1/2 Lagonda third. Ivan Dutton’s 35B Bugatti then proved, in the Seaman Vintage 10 lap Coy’s race, that it could cope with the might of Tim Llewellyn’s 8.4-litre Bentley as it had at Silverstone. Behind this fighting pair Cardy’s Bugatti held off Jon Giles in the attractive AC/GN. Caroline’s Morgan was 5th, Horton’s Bugatti finished just ahead of Stretton’s tail-happy ‘Nash. The big LSR Delage — it has four blocks of three cylinders not two pairs as stated last month — had a monumental blow-up. After which, Fox’s Delahaye had little difficulty in taking the next 4 lap Handicap from Hine’s 4 1/2-litre Bentley and the irrepressible Bugler. Young Wyn-Owen had had the audacity to write begging a lenient handicap for his JAP-engined Morris Minor, was given ‘limit’, but lasted but a lap.
Sunday’s big one, the 12 lap Allcomers’ scratch race, proved conclusively that Anthony Mayman is the VSCC’s Champion driver (with Dutton in the running). His Bruce Halford Lotus 16 had lost bottom gear, so started from the back of the grid. But try as they did, neither Ludovic Lindsay (250F Maserati) nor Tony Merrick (Dino Ferrari) could beat him. The Lotus took the lead and despite losing top gear towards the end, won by 47.5 sec. at 87 mph, lapping just below its previous best, at 90 mph. Drake’s 2.2 Lotus 16 was 4th and the first ERA home was Chris Mayman’s 1 1/2-litre B-type, after Ricketts (gearbox trouble) and Sir J Venables-Llewelyn (low oil pressure) had retired. Only the 250F Maseratis of Martin Morris and Jeff Pattinson beat the pre-war car. In spite of six retirements, it was an interesting race.
The final race, a 4 lap scratch event, was ably won by Jon Giles’ AC/GN, after a second lap struggle with Robinson in a 1 1/2-litre Riley which lapped 0.1 sec. quicker than Jon, whose own best of 76 mph was appreciably faster than his previous best round this circuit. The 4.3 Alvises of Spiers and Sparrowhawk ran close until the former dropped seven places on the last lap, giving 4th place to Adam Smith’s Frazer Nash.
Mayman has now a seemingly unassailable lead in the MOTOR SPORT Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest, with 108 pts. Next round: Cadwell Park on August 26th. WB