NEWS FROM SOUTH AFRICA
South African Notes
Results of the annual hill climb organised by the Cape Peninsular MotorCycle and Car Club, held on Saturday, the 27th November, are as follows :—
” Fireworks_ ” Pheiffer driving a modified Ford V8 won the ” Stock ” car class, creating a new stock car record in 1 .min. 13.7 sees. for the mile Course. This also proved to be the fastest time of the day in the absence of Steve Chiappini and “Mario,” who were busy preparing their cars for the Rand Grand Prix ; much disappointment was felt by the large crowd who were anxious to see Chiappini’s latest acquisition, the 2.5-litre Maserati, in action.
Thompson, a one-legged driver, who recently won the Kimberley 100-mile race, did well to gain second place in the 1,500 c.c. class with an unblown 750 c.c. Ulster Austin, against strong opposition, being beaten by Preim with a fast series ” T ” M.G., a Lancia Aprilia making a close third.
The course record therefore still stands to the credit of ” Mario ” with a 2.3-litre Bugatti, time 1 Min. 9 secs., made in 1936.
” Mario,” the “nom de plume ” of Dr. Massacuratti, will be remembered for winning the second South African Grand Prix from the late Pat Fairfield and Wimille, with the ex A. H. Eccles 2.3 Bugatti.
Notes on the Grand Prix
The 1,500 c.c. six-cylinder Maserati, which is to be driven by Bill Everitt,
was originally intended for poor Mrs. Petre, Her unfortunate crash and later her magnificent fight back to health have been closely followed by all South African enthusiasts who witnessed her fine driving in this country. It is understood that the car will remain in South Africa as a training
machine for potential young African aces, though how this is to be arranged is not known at the moment.
There has been much activity at the Pollsmoor track in preparation for the forthcoming Grosvenor Grand Prix : ” Mario ” has been carefully” running in” his 3,700 c.c. Maserati which has been fitted, SQ it is rumoured, with a new engine.
Chiappini has also been busy trying out his new Maserati, and has decided to fit his alternative block, wl,ich raises the capacity from 2.5 to 2.9 litres ; the offset Monoposto body looks formidable enough and the car appears well suited to the local conditions. Van Riet of Cape Town, who has well in the past Grands Prix, has a much modified single-seater 750 c.c. Austin,
with a very well streamlined body reminiscent of the 1931 Austin works team; the car is exceptionally fast and is of course “blown.” Van Riet was second in the Kimberley Hundred of this year.
Result of the Second South African Grand Prix
The second South African Grand Prix was won by ” Duggie ” Van Riet, of Capetown, driving a monoposto 750 c.c.. supercharged Austin, from Roy Hesketh with an ” R-type ” M.G. by 21t sees., in a time of 1 hour 59 mins. 50 secs. for the 121.52 miles course, an average speed of 60.85 m.p.h.-1.32 m.p.h. better than his handicap speed.
Roy Hesketh, second place man, had a terrific duel with Van Riet, starting together as limit men. Van Riet made the better start and it was not until lap 27 that Hesketh passed the Austin on the straight. The M.G. had the superior speed but Hesketh lacked the experience and cornering skill of the Austin driver who hung on like a leech, and from the 27th to the 41st lap was never more than 2 secs, in arrears, until cutting off late for a corner on his 42nd lap he repassed the M.G., going on to win by 21f secs. A close third being the popular Count ” Johnny ” Lurani, who started favourite and was considered a likely winner, until a few laps from the finish it was seen. that he could not catch the fleet little Austin.
Fourth home was also a South African and limit man, V. C. Berrange, driving a 1,098 c.c. Brooklands Riley, with an. average speed of 59.20 m.p.h.
The late Pat Fairfield’s 1,100 c.c. E.R.A., now owned and driven by Norman Wilson, was fifth at 61.43 m.p.h. ” Mario ” (Dr. Massacuratti) was sixth at 64.48 m.p.h.
Siena seventh with the 1,500 c.c. Maserati, Raymond Mays and Earl Howe eighth and ninth respectively at 63.36 and 62.71 m.p.h. There were no other finishers within the time limit.
A few laps after the start the corner ” Howe’s Choice ” which Lord Howe opines as the worst corner oil the course was. made even more treacherous by sand blown over the tarmac surface.
Of the backmarkers Villoresi had many pit stops, eventually losing some 20 mins. in a prolonged inspection of the ” blower. ‘ Everitt left the course for the wide open spaces at speed, but resumed after losing 15 mins, straightening things up. Govani, ‘2-litre Bugatti, and Roderick, Maserati, -who comprised Group 3 starting 1 min. 40 secs. before the scratch men, retired with engine trouble.
The Hungarian, Hartmann, suffered consistent tyre trouble with his 1,500 c.c.
Maserati. Du Toit, the South African who was driving Hartmann’s other entry, the big 2.9-litre Maserati, crashed with great effect.
Great excitement was caused in Capetown when it was learned that ” Duggie ” Van Riet had won the second South African Grand Prix. This slight sandy-haired young man has captured popular imagination with his latest achievement. Van Riet and his mechanic, George Anderson, have over .a period of years modified a standard Ulster Austin into a highly potent racing unit with independent suspension of his own design and an ex-works racing
monoposto body. The engine peaks at well over 6,500 r.p.m. In an interview with the writer before the race, Raymond Mays expressed his hope of being able to achieve a place, thereby gaining the B.R.I).C. Road
Racing Gold Star. Mays has fought hard to gain his points but has not had the best of luck of late—perhaps next Year !
The handicapping was modified before the start, the limit men in Group I were brought back from 15 mins. start to 12f mins., and Group 2 consisting of Lura,ni and Norman Wilson were re-handicapped a further 50 secs. On their previous handicap.
In the opinion of everyone concerned an enjoyable and exciting race.
And now for East London.