Another Successful Season for H.W.M.
How John Heath’s 2-litre Single-Seater Upheld British Prestige at Home and on the Continent During the 1951 Season
EXCOURA D GE by the success of the 1950 two-seater I I.W.M. ears, John Ifeath and Abeeassis built, a new team Of ears for 1951. to full single-seater Formula specification. Starting at the very first race of he season with three ears, later supplemented by a fourth, the 11.1V.NI. team earried out a progranune of British and Continental (-Vents that was extremely praiseworthy. In all, 26 events Were covered, resulting in live first plums, three seconds and two thirds in British events. including a 1-2-3 on two occasions, three second places and three thirds in International Formula II races, and a a Formula I event, as well as third in or
numerous places lower than third position. On a number of occasions an HAV.M. has been unassailably in the lead of a Formula II race when minor mechanical trouble caused retirement. After the Easter Goodwood meeting the team went abroad with three ears, carried in a specially-conru stcted A.E.C. lorry presented to them by a well-wisher Hi appreciation of their 1950 efforts. The regular team drivers were Stirling Moss and Lance Maeklin, backed up by George A beeassis and John Heath and occasionally by various Continental drivers ; sometimes a driver who was available in his home town–this created greater good will with organisers and subsequent benefit financially. At. Marseilles, the first Formula II event, Moss finished third, Macklin sixth and Bira retired near tlw end when his fuel pump refused to draw up the last few gallons Irons the tank, not through a steering failure as reported ill sonic quarters at the time. The addition of Louis Chiron to the .team for San Benno and Bordeaux enabled a satisfactory arrangement to be rain Iiwith the organisers of these Formula I events. . t the former, Moss finished a magnifiCEM I fifth., with Macklin seventh, while Chiron was 11th, having been delayed by trouble in the differential. The latter meeting saw Chiron finish seventh nind Macklin retire with a sluggish enginle. Weber carburetters were being used and it took the team some while to solve the intricacies of these It instruments. Ilack home at. Silverstone Moss finished sixth in the first heat of the International Trophy, while Macklin and Abeeassis retired. Back on the Continent., Moss finished third at Monza to the works Ferraris, while Macklin was dogged by carburation trouble. At Genoa Abecassis joined the team and for most. of the race Moss kept. between Aseari arid Villoresi on the
works ” 2-litre Ferraris. later tolead, only to retire when a differential starwheel broke up. Macklin kept a steady third place, which he could have improved upon had he decided to keep a 4.1 rear axle instead of changing at the last minute to a 4.5. Abecassis brought the third car home in fifth place.
An invitation to the Swiss G.P. was a great compliment to Ow team, and Moss and Abecassis drove, the former finishing eighth, having kept in front of Talbots and Maseratis, while the latter retired with magneto trouble. At Aix-le-Bain, Heath drove the third car, the other two drivers keeping to their individual ears throughout the season. Moss finished second, after winning his heat.. The other two were put out by trouble in the preselector gearboxes, which caused a number of retirements during the season, but which Arnistrong-Siddeleys, who made the boxes. eventually cured for them.
The following weekend the tern; divided. Macklin being accompanied by Chiron to Angoulerne. taking the A. E,( van, and Heath. and Moss going to Rome with last year’s Fordson van and one car. The result was second place for Macklin’, sixth. for Chiron, with Moss fourth amongst very hot Ferrari opposition. They joined forces again at Avus, but henthe
speeds were too much. for the willing engine’s aml both Moss and Macklin retired with broken crankshafts. Moss then went to Rouen anal the spare car was lent to Yves Girami-Cabantous, who lives there. but both; cars retired, Moss with gearbox trouble and the Frenchman with a broken differential. The Le Mans weekend saw Heath left on his own with three healthy ears and no drivers, so lie took the lot to Naples, enlisted the help Of Harry Schell, drove the second car himself and lent the third to a local Italian driver named Rocco, so once again the full team were on the starting line. Schell drove a fine rave, gaining second place, but the other two retired. Back in Belgium the regular drivers rejoined tlw team and a fourth car was sent out from England. Moss, :Macklin and !lean. had the regular cars and Roger Laurent, a Itelgian driver, borrowed the fourth. Moss ran second until his engine lost its tune, Macklin retired with ignition trouble, Heath finished seventh and Laurent sixth. By now the hard-worked team were beginning to feel the strain of the season’s very full programme, for there was only one skilled mechanic. Alphonse Francis, to look after the ears. He was assisted by Frank Nagel and Richard Curtis. two very keen and able youngsters, but inevitably they lacked the years of racing experience so essential, yet so difficult to obtain. However, the enthusiasm of the three, backed up by occasional relief from Frank %Veld) and .tack Tolley, who were normally based at
Valton, kept the cars going anal they continued to fulfil all their contracts for starting.
The Dutch T.T. saw three ears running. Moss lying second for some time, until a spigot locating the magneto of his new Alta engine sheared, dropping him to third place. Heath finished sixth. and Macklin retired near the end with the Fuel-feed trouble that. had beset Bin; at the beginning of the season. The fourth.
car Wati lent to Giratal-Cabantous for a French national event, but his mechanics did not get. it. going properly. Another division of forces occurred at the beginning of August. Moss anal I reath taking Iwo ears to Freiburg, collecting fourth and eleventh phones, while Nhanklin journeyed down to Albi with the other two, the second to have ben e driven by DuncanlamilIon. When they arrived there was only ennough Esso finel for one car and Macklin brought, that home in seventh place among the Formula I ears.
At home Abeeassis completed the fifth car, fitted with 1950-type transverse leaf-spring i.f.s. and a brand new engine, and competed at Borehant, but he was held back by having only top gear for most of the race.
At Erten, Moss was leading from two private Ferraris when a wishbone pivot. of the coil spring suspension gave trouble and he was forced out, leaving Macklin, with the only other entry, to finish in fifth place.
Moss and Ifamilton competed at. Curragh, in the VakefieId Trophy, with cars fitted with the new engines and finished first and second. This was followed by Moss and Macklin going down to Modena for the Formula If event. where they were able to deal effectively with GonzMez and Nlarinton with twelve.cylinder Ferraris, but eon Id not catch Ascari 701(1 Villoresi with the leW fourcylinder Ferraris. Moss was lying second when he was forced to retire, and Macklin came home third. That concluded a very full and successful Continental season and the team returned home to compete in the remaining British events.
At Goodwood, in the Madgwiek Cup. they gave an impressive display, finishing in line-ahead, 1-2-3, in the order Moss. Macklin and Abeeassis. Ifamilton joined Abeeassisfor Castle Combe, driving Moss’ car, but had trouble in practice, and at Winfield they again demonstrated that their Continental racing was no myth by finishing 1-2-3, in the order Moss, AbeCatiSiS and Hamilton. Finally, as an afternoon out, Abeeassis and I familton ran at the Snetterton Speed Trials, using Macklin’s car as the Moss car broke its crank in praet.ice.
Thus concluded a season worthy of any great racing factory, and that this was accomplished by a small private concern, the efforts of two Men with no great financial backing or industrial resources behind them, deserves the highest possible praise, and full support in the future. Already plans are under way for the 1952 season, and two of the 1951 cars are to be sold, while cars for the new Formula for 1934 are being eonsidered.
The team ears ran the whole season with very little serious trouble ; the chassis, of !tenth’s own design, and the excellent Cir.ling brakes with Akin drums were 100 per cent. Dunlop tyres, 5.25 by 16 front and 6.00 by 16 rear, were used throughout, as were Lodge plugs, Vigzol oil and Lucas magnetos. Each car was equipped with its own set of alternative axle ratios, these being Salsbury-nutde units of :1.77, 4.1, 4,56, and 4.86 to 1, with Itypoid drive, eaelt being a self-contained unit complete with differential and housing, SO that a change could be effected in 20 minutes, as wits proved more than once during the season. All the cars used Weber 38 DC() carburetters and ran on short stub exhansts, but alternative fulllength, exhaust pipes were carried in the vans in case of objections from other eompeti t ors. No praise can be too high for anyone who keeps the English raving-green iii the forefront of Continental racing, and to keep it as high as ILW.M. has done over the past season merits the undying respect and admiration of the sporting world. It is to be hoped that every assistance possible, either privately or through the
industry, will be given to Heath and Abecassis in order that they may prepare in the fullest possible manner for the 1952 season. IL S..1.