ROUND AND ROUND THE MOUNTAIN STANDARD BALILLA SPORTS MODEL COVERS 856 LAPS AT 55.11 M.P.H.-NEW 1100 C.C. LAP RECORD BY ALTA.
ALTHOUGH Brooklands Track is officially Closed for highspeed work
• it is still possible to use the Mountain circuit for records and testing purposes. At the time of going to press two cars have taken advantage of this to put up two excellent performances. First of all, on the eve of November 3rd, J. A. Corrna.ck signified his intention of attacking the 1,100 c.c. class record with his supercharged Alta. Unfortunately he had to wait until 5 o’clock for the use of the track, and by that time it was so dark that you could not see the car at the Fork from the Paddock. In Spite of the difficulty of judging the corners under these conditions COrmack lapped at really high speed, both car and driver doing their job in first-class style. His fastest lap was accomplished in 57.26 secs, at a speed of 73.56 m.p.h.., thus comfortably beating R. J. B. Seaman’s previous record of 57.8 secs. (72.87 M.p.h.) made with an M.G. Magnetic%
The next car. to arrive on the scene was the actual little Balilla Fiat sports model that caused a crowd to collect every day at Olympia. It came with a different purpose from that of the Alta, namely to cover 1,000 miles on the Mountain Circuit in two days. This car has made its name in long road races such as the Milk Miglia and the Targa Abruzzo, and it was in an endeavour to imitate the conditions obtaining in these races that the car was sent to Brooklands by the sole London distributors, Messrs. Gordon Watney & Co., Ltd. The drivers Were Dudley Froy and J. Wren, and on the first day they had to contend with drenching rain. Fortunately the Balilia is renowned for its excellent weight distribution, suspension and steering, so that the car was easy to handle and placed a minimum of strain on the drivers. The average speed was amazingly consistent, never varying from 55 point something for the first seven
hours. Then it began to get dark, and a change of wheels dropped the speed by 1 m.p.h. The first day’s run ended in darkness, and the only illumination to guide the drivers was the lights of cars parked at the two corners of the circuit.
On the next day the same steady average speed was maintained, six out of the nine hours being covered at 55 m.p.h. Absolutely no trouble was experienced throughout the run, and the average speed for 1,000 miles was 55.11 m.p.h. (18 hrs. 8 mins. 39.2 secs.).
A little thought will emphasise the merit of this very fine performance. On every lap of 1.17 miles the car had to be braked heavily once, and the indirect gear ratios used on both corners. This coupled with the revving of the engine as the car accelerated away from the corners, and the strain on the chassis caused by high-speed cornering, is very definite proof of the toughness and reliability of a remarkable little sports car. And remember, it sells at £299!