WHITSUN AT WEYBRIDGE
Kaye Don again Lowers the Lap Record with 137
1 37.58 m.p.h. for a lap ! That was certainly the event of Whit-Monday at the track, when Kaye Don’celebrated his first straightaway Brooklands meeting since his return from America by raising the lap speed to the above figure, thereby breaking Birkin’s record by some 2 m.p.h., a feat the full meaning of which is hard to convey to anyone who has not been quickly round the track.
Recently there have been several prophets who have made so bold as to predict a lap at 140 m.p.h. by the end of the season, and it looks as if their words will prove true. Also, Tim Birkin is not the man to let his own record remain broken , longer than he can help, and preparations are already under way for another attack. The Brooklands fan must now be thinking of the thrills of a race with Kaye Don and Birkin level on the scratch mark. On the whole this might be a bit too much of a good thing, but we can trust the authorities to temper their showmanship with discretion. B
This element was much in evidence at this meeting, several cars being disqualified at the start on the grounds of unsafe components, both Couper’s old Excelsior, and the veteran Lorraine-Dietrich, being detained on suspicion of weak steering gear. It is certainly hard luck on a keen driver, to be stopped racing, but it requires very little imagination to see the wisdom of the Stewards’ decision. A defect in one car may endanger not only its driver, but many others, and a meeting missed while a fault is thoroughly remedied is surely worth the avoidance of a grave risk.
Kaye Don’s effort was not the only good -thing served up at this meeting however ; the weather was perfect, and the remainder of the racing was of a particularly high standard, especially the “mountain races,” which have now become an accepted feature of the track, and one which has been a tremendous success since its inception this season. The first race, the Devon Junior Short Handicap, saw Horsman’s
little Triumph first off the mark with 1 m. 42s. start, and he led for a lap till passed by Martin’s Riley, which was in turn passed by Field’s 14.-litre supercharged Talbot (one of the famous Ta1bots of a few years ago) which won by 120 yards at 99.6 m.p.h. ” Ginger ” Llewelyn brought his Lea Francis into third place the same distance behind Martin.
The next race produced rather a crop of non-starters and Kaye Don had only top gear left. In spite of this he very sportingly ran, and although, naturally, unable to make a proper getaway, showed what he could do by equalling Birkin’s lap record.
The race was won by John Cobb on the big Delage, at 116.88 m.p.h. Cobb was making his first reappearance at Brooklands after a serious• illness, and his win was universally popular. The Mountain Racing Handicap produced a good scrap in spite of the small entry, and Scott’s Delage and Roger’s Bugatti did battle in great .style for some laps. But the
Bugatti got home at 63.8 m.p.h. with S. C. H. Davis (Riley) second and Eyston (Alfa Romeo) third, after a tussle with Bartlett’s Salmson.
The Prince of Wales’ Gold Plate was won by Dudley Froy on the Leyland Thomas at 107.32 m.p.h. J. F. Field’s Talbot ran into second place and E. M. Thomas’ Bugatti, came third and just displaced Stewart’s from this position at the last moment.
The Devon Junior Long Handicap saw considerable reshuffling of handicaps, Martin, Llewelyn, and Field all being penalised for previous wins or places. which kept them out of the running, and let A. T. Gardner’s Amilcar into first place ; second and third positions went to Stewart and Field respectively.
The Senior Long Handicap was won by Durand’s Bentley, who led Rogers’ Bugatti home at 103.61 m.p.h. with Spero’s Lea-Francis third.
Although some veteran cars had this day been told to go away and repair themselves, this did not apply to the wonderful old chain-driven Benz, which got off the mark like a rocket.
Nicely handled by Cyril Paul, it held off all attack and won at 106.91 m.p.h. Kaye Don, starting from scratch, still with only top gear, soon got going at a most astonishing speed ; streaking round the track and performing terrific leaps over the famous bump, he ran into second place,
having raised the lap speed to 137.58 m.p.h. Dudley Froy was third on the Leyland Thomas. The last race of the day was the Mountain Speed Handicap which
produced a good field and good racing. An astonishing feature of the handicapping was the fact that Aldington on his Frazer-Nash had to concede 13 secs. to Campbell on the Mercedes. An even more remarkable effort was the fact that Aldington very nearly got away with it and finished within 350 yards of the ” Mere” We were certainly ;
treated to an exhibition of acceleration in excelsis.
The Fork hairpin is a genuine ” road-racing ” type of corner, and all drivers took it as such. The ” Merc’s ” get away from it was terrific, with Aldington’s Nash not much slower. However, where the Nash made up was at the Members’ Bridge bend. This is definitely a corner where special treatment is indicated, and the road racing type of cornering— that is cutting in close—was in
dined to lose time.
We have mentioned in previous accounts that Aldington’s cornering at this point is liable to be quick, and apologise for seeming to labour the point. But, the fact remains that it is so very definitely faster than anyone else’s that it cannnot be overlooked.
Approaching wide and fast, he keeps wide and goes right up the banking, using it to slow him going into the corner, to get him round it, and to give him a good run off from it afterwards. He frequently went within a few feet of the top, but was quite steady, and the result of his driving is shown by his lap speed.
Campbell, S. C. H. Davis, and Brian Lewis on one of the new Talbots all drove with finished precision, but comparatively quietly. Earl Howe remarked as he was watching the race that the ” Mere ” was new and should be treated with respect at first. If this is what that means, we ought to see some fun when his team of three Mercedes get to Phoenix Park.
After three laps Victor Horsman (Triumph) was leading, with Ashby’s Riley, Penn-Hughes’ Frazer-Nash and the “Mere.” in hat pursuit ; lap number five saw the latter fourth and finally he moved up to premier place while second and third positions were held by Davis and Horsman.
Captain Campbell then held his lead, with Aldington a very good second, Davis third, Brian Lewis fourth and Oats (0.M.) fifth.
As the consolation handicap had to be abandoned owing to lack of entries the Mountain Race concluded the programme, and a very bright and interesting programme at that.
THE DEVON JUNIOR SHORT HANDICAP.
THE DEVON LIGHTNING SHORT HANDICAP.
THE MOUNTAIN RACING HANDICAP.
THE DEVON SENIOR SHORT HANDICAP.
THE DEVON JUNIOR LONG HANDICAP.
THE DEVON SENIOR LONG HANDICAP.
THE DEVON LIGHTNING LONG HANDICAP. Distance : About 9 miles. .
THE MOUNTAIN SPEED HANDICAP.