40 Years On


Alan Cox

Alan Cox outlines VSCC action at Mallory

Although Mallory Park is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary year, the VSCC meeting at the end of June was a low-key affair with only two named races, the main one appropriately, being for the Bob Gerard Trophy, which attracted seven Cooper Bristols, amongst which Graham Burrows handled his ex-Gerard example. Having fitted a new crank to replace the one broken at Donington, Duncan Ricketts held an early advantage with Sally Marsh’s ERA R1B but was soon under intense pressure from Sir John Venables-Llewelyn with the Felton P3 Alfa; once past at half-distance, the Alfa was able to pull away to a fairly comfortable win. Burrows worked the Cooper ahead of Ted Dunn’s Riley Falcon Special to claim third, while Peter Mann (ERA R4A) held Tony Noble (Cooper Bristol) at bay for fifth.

The Patrick Marsh Trophy for Vintage cars looked to be another victory for Mark Walker (Parker-GN) who led for 10 of the 12 laps, shadowed closely by a determined Ben Collings (Bentley 3/8), but when the feed-pipe to the oil pressure gauge came adrift Collings was ideally placed to capitalise and take a deserved win, some ten seconds clear of John Baker-Courtenay with the neatly-conducted Sunbeam Tigress. Gary Caroline (Morgan Super Aero) finally came out on top of the scrap with Spencer Flack’s 8-litre Bentley for third, with early challenger Robin Baker (Hispano-Delage) falling back to fifth.

The race for pre-1941 Road-going Sports Cars gave Julian Bronson the opportunity to take a flag-to-flag win, entertaining the crowd with much opposite-lock, while Marc Hevia (Alvis ‘Brutus’) staved off the early attentions of Ian Bentall (Bentley) to take second. Behind the Bentleys of Stephen Bulling and Tim Llewellyn, Chris Drake (Maserati 8CM) won the best dice of the day with Irvine Laidlaw (Alfa Monza) to take sixth.

The ’50s Sports Car Race only attracted nine starters, only two of these having engines larger than two litres. Hence it developed into a Lotus benefit with Ron Gammons’ polished aluminium XI heading Jim Woodley’s XVII, which set fastest lap before spinning backwards into the bank on Stebbe Straight, George Edney’s IX took up pursuit of Gammons and crossed the line second, only to have been adjudged to have jumped the start, thus elevating John Gray (Lotus XI) into the runner-up spot.

The well supported 500cc F3 and Formula Junior cars race was dominated by Tony Steele’s FJ Lola, but 500cc stalwart John Turner (CooperJAP) proved to be the best of the F3 contingent, having a lonely race in second with David Stevenson (Cooper-Norton) inheriting third after Julian Majzub retired his Cooper-Norton when the engine tightened. Rodney Delves (Keift) hounded Stevenson to the line to take fourth.

Marc Hevia (Alvis) ‘made his trip from the Charente worthwhile by winning the opening short Scratch race from another Alvis of James Broomfield, while James Diffey was entrusted with the Bronson Riley to take the final Scratch race from Spencer Flack (Bentley) and Stuart Harper (Morgan). John Brydon took the first Handicap with his interesting Simplex-powered CGV from Doug Bukin’s Austin 7 Special in a race well peppered with Edwardians. The remaining Handicaps went to Cecil Schumacher (Talbot) from Piers Leigh’s Rapier and Tye Pountney (Riley), and Keith Poynter (Lea-Francis) comfortably clear of that man Schumacher again!