28th Brooklands Reunion

Standing water meant standing racing cars when a cloudburst scuppered the sprint element of the Brooklands Reunion in July. Anyone who took it easy in the dry practice missed out, as awards were given on those times, but the morning Test Hill climbs went ahead, so everyone got something out of it. And of course it is the social element which really counts. . . Guest of Honour was Rivers Fletcher, and the theme was those BRDC 500-mile races which mixed tiddlers on handicap with outer-circuit monsters; a more recent invocation of these, the Napier-Bentley, was the focus of a Napier display, bellowing into life once or twice and summoning applause from deafened onlookers.

Brooklands survivors included Tarring’s 1908 60hp Napier, Stafford East’s GN “Akela”, Tom Delaney’s Hyper LeaF, the Conan Doyle Mercedes 38/250 and Rob Walker’s ex-Bira Delahaye 135, among others.

It was also the first chance to visit the new “Fastest on Earth” display in the Campbell shed, opened only days before, featuring a wonderful model of the Napier-Railton built as a working reference for the real thing, and much else. With this expansion the Museum has turned a corner, quelling gripes that there just weren’t enough cars on show. If only the RaiIton were one of them. Stafford East was spotted trying to drive “Akela” along a banking so slippery that elsewhere small children were going down like nine-pins, but the slim silver machine couldn’t get the purchase to keep straight, let alone gain altitude. It was an alarming sight from the Members’ Bridge.

Results: Rain stopped play. Results based on practice times. No handicap results declared.) Class 1: J Baxter (A7), 17.33 sec. Vintage: ditto. Class 2: J Watson (Riley), 16.42 sec. Vintage: E Poynter (Lea-Francis), 20.65 sec. Class 3: A Hunt (Riley), 17.44 sec. Vintage: H Conway (Bugatti), 20.65 sec. Class 4: R Burrell (Bentley-Royce), 14.09 sec. Vintage: R Buxton (GN), 17.97 sec. Class 5: R Lemmon (1913 Vauxhall), 20.60 sec. Class 6: P Whenman (Lagonda), 15.09 sec. Vintage: F Fernandez (A7), 17.09 sec. Class 7: R Towell (Morgan), 17.22 sec. Vintage: ditto Class 8: D Baldock (Alta), 13.34 sec. Vintage) Hulbert (Alvis). 14.42 sec. Class 9: P Grist (Alfa Romeo),13.65 sec. Vintage: D Biggins (Vauxhall), 17.72 sec. Fastest Lady: Miss Burrell (Bentley-Royce). 16.14 sec. FTD (Woodlands Park Hotel Trophy): D Baldock (Alta), 13.34 sec.