THE MANNIN BEG
A THRILLING RILEY-M.G. DUEL—DIXON LEADS FOR 45 LAPS—NORMAN BLACK (M.G.) WINS AT OVER 70 M.P.H. THE capacity limits in the Beg race were the same as last year, that is, unsupercharged cars up to 11 litres and supercharged cars up to 1.100 c.c. The practices had shown that a great struggle must ensue between the team. of 11,1itre Rileys entered by Freddy Dixon and the numerous M.G. Magnettes. The Rileys were of course modified and tuned by Dixon himself,
and were very law and well-streamlined. Three of the M.G.s were single-seaters, Eyston’s being the record-breaking car with off-set engine and transmission, with a shorter body than before. Horton retained his off-set body, in which the driver sits alongside the transmission, and a similar layout was used in Hamilton’s car. The other Magnettes were fitted with the new light bodywork, in which the tank is fitted in front of the rear axle, and Everitt’s new type Midget, which shaped very well in practice, was a smaller replica of the Magnettes. The McEvoy Special was a bored-out Wolseley Hornet considerably Modified as regards chassis. The Singer driven by Brian Lewis carried a neat racing body and there was nothing unusual about the Rileys of Baird lr
Gillow. The 1,100 c.c. E.R.A. and the supercharged two-stroke Jameson never appeared in the Island. Wednesday morning was warm and fine, and the haze which veiled -the sun gave promise of more heat later on. By nine o’clock the racing cars were ranged in their places before the pits, some drivers idly knocking up their hub caps, while others, Freddy Dixon amongst them, made frantic last-minute adjustments. At 9.50 the cars were lined up, the order being decided by the lap-speeds
in practice, and Handley, Dixon, Hamilton andEystontooktheir places inthe frontrank.
The tearing exhaust-notes which came from the 19 cars on the line defies description, and the jockeying for position which followed the starting flag was most exciting. Handley was seen to gain a few lengths’ lead from Eyston in the 200 yards up to the first corner, with Hall and Norman Black just behind. The whole mob were quickly round Broadway corner, all, that is, except the wretched Gibson. The gearbox of his M.G. seized in top gear when still on the line, and was pushed to the side without running a single yard.
All eyes were turned towards Summer Hill, and a chocolate and brown car was seen approaching. It was Handley, with a 200 yard lead. He roared up to Broadway corner at terrific speed, was quite unable to get round, and his car shot sideways into the lamp-standard with a terrific crash. He stepped out unhurt, but the tank and frame of the car were extensively damaged. Meanwhile Eyston had passed, with Dixon in hot pursuit, and Hall, Hamilton and Norman Black close behind. The
field was already spreading out, with Horton, Donkin, and Martin in a little dog-fight on their own, and Brian Lewis in an unaccustomed position at the tailend of the procession, followed by Baird.
Fairfield on one of Dixon’s Rileys spent a good deal of time in the pits, and overshot the Broadway corner on several occasions—Dixon and Cyril Paul followed his examples. These last two were however going splendidly, and Dixon overhauled Eyston by the tenth lap. His average speed was 71.19 m.p.h. with a lead of 6 seconds from Eyston.. Hall sustained his usual bad luck and retired with a burst petrol tank.
The course was undoubtedly rough in places, and on the bump at York Road corner all the fast cars, notably Horton’s M.G., were thrown high into the air. Dixon was tremendously fast up through the town, just easing his foot momentarily as his car shot into the air, and put up two record laps, the fastest being 2m. 59s. or 73.57 m.p.h.
There was certain activity in the pits, the McEvoy being delayed by clutch trouble, while Brian Lewis was forced to retire with what was thought to be a blown gasket, but proved to be a warped valve. The spare petrol tank in Paul’s car came adrift, and he lost 6 minutes in removing it and taking on 14 gallons of fuel.
On the whole the cars were standing up well to the arduous course, and the leading cars continued at increasing speeds.
Order at 20th Lap
1. F. W. Dixon (Riley), 72.31 m.p.h.
2. G. E. T. Eyston (M.G. Magnette S), 71.23 in.p.h.
3. H. C. Hamilton (M.G. Magnette S), 71.21 m.p.h.
4. N. Black (M.G. Magnate S), 71.19 m.p.h.
5. C. J. P. Dodson (M.G. Magnate S), 69.68 m.p.h.
6. R. T. Horton (M.G. Magnette S), 69.14 m.p.h.
Except for Dixon, who had built up a lead of 52 seconds on his Riley, the cars from Abingdon had complete command of the situation, but a fine struggle was taking place between representatives of the M.G. teams. Eyston was being pressed hard by Hamilton, and Norman Black was close on Hamilton’s tail. The bunch closed up until only two seconds separated the three, and Eyston’s efforts to keep ahead were reflected in his record lap of 2m. 57s. or 64.4 m.p.h. The very next lap Hamilton came to grief on Summer Hill through one of his brakes seizing, and he crashed into the same telegraph pole which accounted for Lace in last year’s Mannin Moar race. Hamilton escaped unhurt. Eyston still maintained his speed, only to be passed by Norman Black a few laps later. One of the most difficult corners on the course was the hairpin at the ‘foot of Bray Hill. Approached down a steepish hill, the corner had an outward camber, while as the race went on, patches of the rough surface-material were torn out. The Rileys seemed to find considerable difficulty in negotiating it, and the front wheels were often locked over at 45 degrees before the cars answered their
helms. On one occasion Dixon found his way almost completely blocked by his team-mate Fairfield, who had turned round, and Baird had several moments of this sort. Gillow, of course, took an erratic course almost every time.
Dixon negotiated the corner quite unconcerned by any skids which might occur, chewing steadily, and Black had to do a fair amount of wheel waggling at times. Horton, Eyston and Dodson were all consistently neat, while C. E. (‘ Martin amongst the blown Magnettes rarely made a mistake.
Everitt, whose M.G. Midget had been going so well, had considerable difficulty in getting away up Bray Hill, and appeared to have lost bottom gear, while Horton lost a quantity of water each time he braked for the corner. He suffered from water-pump trouble later in the race.
The course this year was only 183 miles in length, so many of the cars were able to complete the distance without stopping for fuel. Eyston took on 15 gallons of petrol, and also oil and water in one minute. Dixon was apparently not going to stop, relying no doubt on the spare tank by his side, so he gained a further advantage.
Several wild corners were reported about mid-day, Gillow as usual at Bray Hill and also Freddy Dixon and Eccles. Donkin, who had been driving yer:, steadily in what was only his second roadrace, and who had worked his way up to fifth, hit the kerb going up Broadway and damaged a wheel. Much to his disappointment and that of Dennis Evans, who was running his pits, the damage proved more extensive than was supposed, and he had to retire at the pits. Meanwhile Gillow was becoming more and more hectic, troubled apparently by a locking rear brake, was flagged into the pits and decided not to proceed further.
Dixon still roared round happily, in spite of a skid at Broadway which threatened to put the car out of control. and led by 2m. 24s. from Black, who had a further two minute advantage over Eyston.
Order at 40th Lap.
I. F. W. Dixon (Riley), 72.48 rn.p.h,
2. Norman Black (M.G. Magnette S), 71.06 m.p.h. 8. 0. E. C. Eyston (M.(. Magnette S), 70.09 m.p.h.
4. C. J. P. Dobson (M.( ;. Magnette S), 70.07 m.p.h.
5. C. E. C. Martin (M.( ; Magnette S), 68.1 m.p.h.
6. Roy Eccles (11(I.G. Magnetic S), 66.85 m.p.h. On his 38th lap Dixon’s car was misfiring slightly, birt next time round it had cleared itself, and with his .cOmfortable lead, he seemed a certain winner. Meanwhile Dodson was seen to be pressing Eyston. Eccles, Eyston, Dodson and Baird passed the Stand in a howling mob
which only just sorted itself out in time to negotiate the Broadway right-angle turn. Two laps later Dodson was ahead, but this change of position was scarcely noticed at the time, since at that moment there came an announcement that “
Freddy” had slowed down. He came past the stands misfiring on his 45th lap, then a report was received that he had almost stopped at York Road. No further news was given for some time, and when Black made his next appearance it was certain that he was in the lead. At 12.30 Dixon was reported as stopped at the top of Bray Hill, having run out of fuel, a sad ending to such a gallant run. The spare tank had developed a leak, unnoticed by the driver. Black flashed over the line at 12.34 p.m., winner at the very handsome speed of 70.99 m.p.h., thus making a spectacular return to small-car racing. Dodson finished t wo
minutes later, in considerable pain through splinters of glass from his smashed goggles, beating Eyston by a small margin. Eight cars finished within the fifteen minutes allowed, in contrast to last year’s race, in which only one car besides the victorious Dixon came within the time limit.
It is worth noting, incidentally, that Dixon, the unfortunate Handley, Black and Dodson all attained success on motor-cycles on the Manx T.T. course; and this has no doubt contributed to their skill in handling four-wheelers.
1. Norman Black (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnette Si, 2 hrs. 34 mins. 37 secs. Speed 70.99 m.p.h.
2. C. J. P. Dodson (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnette 8), 2 hrs. 36 mins. 20 secs. Speed 70.2 m.p.h.
3. G. E. T. Eyston (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnetic 8)1 2 hrs. 36 mins. 57 secs. Speed 69.93 m.p.h. 4. C. E. C. Martin (1,086 c.c. NI.G. Magnette 2 hrs. 41 ruins. 5 secs. Speed 68.11
5. Roy Eccles (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnette S), 2 hrs. 44 mins. 22 secs. Speed 66.78 m.p.h.
(3. Cyril Paul (1,486 c.c. Riley), 2 hrs. 44 mins. 25 sea Speed 66.67 m.p.h.
7. R. T. Horton (1,066 c.c. M.G. Magnette 5), 2 hrs. 44 ink’s. 54 secs. Speed 65.58 m.p.h.
8. NV. G. Everitt (746 c.c. M.G. Midget S), 2 hrs. 4,3. mins. 3 sees. Speed 65.3 .m.p.h. H. Laird (McEvoy Special) had completed 46 laps and W. R. Baird 35 when they were Nagged oft,
Portuguese driver of an Alfa, who had been entered by E. F. Abecassis.
Ten O’clock approached, and engines were started. Unmoved by the roar and blare of rising and falling exhaust notes, ” Ebby ” raised his Manx flag, kept it there for those minutes which seem like hours to the anxious drivers, and then down it went. For a second nothing seemed to happen, then Brian Lewis shot forward ” like a flash” to use his own expression, followed quickly by Rose-Richards and Dodson. Dixon’s getaway was not so rapid, but he nipped in behind the other two, with Sameiro on his tail. The hum of the exhausts as the cars negotiated the back section of the course could be plainly heard from the Stand, and in a short time a small red dot was seen descending Summer Hill to the Promenade. As had been anticipated, it was Brian Lewis on the Monoposto Alfa, hotly pursued by Rose-Richards on
his Bugatti. Dixon was challenging Dodson, and actually passed him at Broadway Corner, a marvellous tribute to his skill and timing ability on an unblown 1,800 c.c. engine. Sameiro and Shuttleworth were behind him, and the latter made good We of the escape: road at Broadway Corner. To add to the excitement, a large dog escaped on to the course, but was quickly captured and put under restraint. Driving at this spot was definitely hectic and Dodson. Who had got back to third place, went round the lamp-post. Sameiro, Eccles, Dixon and Shuttleworth all arrived in a bunch, Dixon sliding about in front of Shuttleworth in the most dangerous way. Hamilton, who had only had half-an-hour’s practise on Don’s car, was well behind, and Cyril Paul wa, lapped by the leaders in the first five laps. Dixon’s career at this time was a most varied one, since he was right off the leader board..at the fifth lap. He narrowly missed Sameiro, who overshot Broadway on the sixth lap, in the next was :duelling with Eccles, passed him, and was only 40 seconds behind Lewis again at the ninth. Rose-Richards held gamely on to
second position, only 15 seconds behind him, but was plainly exerting himself to the utmost to do it, while Lewis went up Broadway Hill each time obviously with a good deal in hand.
Order at 10th Lap.
1. Brian Lewis (Alfa Romeo), 75.21 m.p.h.
2. T. E. Rose-Richards (Bugatti), 74.54 m.p.h.
3. F. W. Dixon (Riley), 73.43 m.p.h.
4. V. Sameiro (Alfa Romeo), 72.89 m.p.h.
5. C. J. W. Dodson (Alfa Romeo), 72.8 m.p.h.
6. A. H. L. Eccles (Bugatti), 72.68 m.p.h.
The first retirement was that of Staniland, driving Mathieson’s Bugatti. After a single lap ominous noises started to come from the gear-box, and it was found that the lay-shaft had broken. Shuttleworth’S Bugatti had been sending out clouds of smoke, but after a visit to the pits to clear a choked fuel pipe, he continued at full speed.
The race was being run at a much slower pace than would have been anticipated from the practise -lap speeds. Lewis’s seventh lap was done at 76.12 m.p.h., and this was beaten by Dixon at 76.56 m.p.h. The Riley was very spectacular on Summer Hill, and also at the foot of Bray Hill. Dust was reported troublesome on Summer Hill, but the course was standing up well elsewhere. The bump at Governor’s Bridge had been improved, and Dixon was the only one to float badly.
Rose-Richards had been driving valiantly only some 15 seconds behind the Monoposto Alfa, when suddenly he failed to come round. He reached the pits and mechanics tore open the bonnet and delved into the hot machinery, the trouble being announced as.a broken water pump gland. He persevered for another lap, steam spouting from his radiator filter-cap, but was forced to retire. This left ,Dixon in second place, 44 seconds behind the leader. Dodson and Sameiro were still fighting it out for third some twenty seconds behind him,
with Eccles closely following, ready to step in if either of the others made a mistake. The exhaust pipe on Hamilton’s Alfa, which had been lying sixth, came off going along the Promenade. The driver stopped to secure it, but it fell off again and was run over by one of the back wheels. It was so badly flattened as to be irreparable, and the driver had the disappointment of having to give up on a perfectly sound motor-car.
Seven cars still remained in the race, and the roar of the Alfas and the whine of the Bugattis, not to speak of the healthy exhaust notes of the Rileys, still continued to shake the windows of the houses alongside the course. Brian Lewis opened up a little and on his 20th lap, set up a lap record of 2 mins. 51 or 77.01, knocking off a further second on his next round.
Order at 20th Lap.
1. Hon. Brian Lewis (Alfa Romeo), 75.55 m.p.h.
2. F. W. Dixon (Riley), 74.36 m.p.h.
3. V. Sameiro (Alfa Romeo), 73.9 m.p.h.
4. C. J. P. Dodson (Alfa Romeo), 73.88 m.p.h.
5. A. H. L. Eccles( Bugatti), 73.73 m.p.h.
6. R. 0. Shutt’moral (I3ugatti), 69.48 m.p.h. Dixon’s performance in keeping ahead .of foreign supercharged cars of 50 per cent. larger capacity was nothing short of marvellous, but the hopes of Riley enthusiasts were dashed when he failed to come round on his 21st lap. He was reported stopped at the bottom of Broadway, then as backing down off the course. The trouble was something serious, and he sent back to the pits for tools to investigate it. Not until he had removed the sump was he willing to give up, with bearing trouble, and walked back
to the pits to receive the sympathy of the spectators. The other drivers each improved their order by one place, with Dodson only 2 seconds behind Sameiro, while Paul, whose car had been running much better
during the last few laps, gained a place on the leader board.
Shuttleworth’s car had been smoking badly for several laps, and at 11.37 came the news that he had retired with a broken connecting rod.
The Monoposto Alfa was still roaring round at an undiminished pace, with hardly a second’s variation from 2.57 or 75.68 m.p.h. Sameiro, who was shaping remarkably well for his first road-race, seemed to be nervous of Dodson’s challenge, and put on speed. At the end of the 30th lap, he was 12 seconds ahead, but water was reported to be streaming from his radiator. He was seen slowly descending Summer Hill, and Dodson passed him on the Promenade. He pulled into the pits, a jet cf steam shot up as the radiator was opened, and a hasty glance inside the bonnet was followed by much shrugging of shoulders. A connecting rod had gone, and the car was slowly pushed back to
the dead-car park. Eccles had been following closely on the heels of Dodson, not more than 100 yards separating them at one time, but he pulled into the pits, shortly after Sameiro’s retirement. A certain clanking proclaimed that something was wrong. The back
heels were jacked up and pulled round with the gear-lever in various positions, the driver seemed satisfied, threw off his crash-hat, for the heat had become intense, and leapt back into his seat. The crowd cheered, but in a few yards the clanking started again, and another good car went into retirement. Back axle trouble this time.
By the fortieth lap, therefore, there were only three cars in the race, the singleseater Alfa, driven by Brian Lewis, who had a two-minute lead over Dodson on John Cobb’s two-seater, and Cyril Paul on the Riley, a further 7 minutes to the war. It was believed that the Riley had suffered from a partial seizure earlier in the race, a trouble which had also been experienced the previous day, but Paul had kept steadily on, and his average speed was now nearly 70 m.p.h. There was a moment of anxiety when it was reported that he was going slowly at York Road, but a few moments later passed the Stand with his engine sounding as healthy as ever. The finish of the race was free from incident, except that Lewis lapped Dodson on the 48th lap, and at 12.25 t he Monopost° Alfa roared across the line to gain yet another victory for the marque. Lewis had driven practically the whole race with only second and top gears, as the selector locking mechanism for third gear had ceased to function after the first few
rounds. His practice lap at 80 m.p.h. gave some clue to what car and driver could have done had they been pressed.
Dodson gained a popular second place four minutes behind Lewis, but it was feared at first that Cyril Paul would not have time to finish in the fifteen minutes’ grace allowed. Happily he got home with 3 minutes to spare, a satisfactory result after his stout-hearted advance from the back of the field.
1. Hon. Brian Lewis (2,655 c.c., Alfa Romeo), (S), 2h. 25m. 41s., 75.34 m.p.h.
2. C. J. P. Dodson (2,336 c.c., Alfa Romeo), (S), 2h. 29m. 05s., 73.61 m.p.h.
3. Cyril Paul (1,808 c.c. Riley), 2h. 37m. 138., 69.83 m.p.h.
J. Alfa-Romeo driven by Brian Lewis-Englebert tyres, Jaeger speedometer, Champion Plugs, Shell spirit, Bosch ignition, Ferodo brake linings.