HON. BRIAN LEWIS (BUGATTI) GAINS THIRD SUCCESSIVE VICTORY in MANNIN MOAR RACE
HON. BRIAN LEWIS (BUGATTI) GAINS THIRD SUCCESSIVE VICTORY in MANNIN MOAR RACE FEW RETIREMENTS AND FEWER SPECTATORS. MARTIN (BUGATTI) SECOND AND THIRD. AND FONTES (ALFA-ROMEO)
AFTER the debacle of Wednesday’s race one could not help wondering whether the second race on the Douglas circuit would show any improvement, especially after the destruction amongst the Bugattis wrought in the International Trophy. However, these fears were groundless, for Brian Lewis piloted the new 3.3 Bugatti entered by Earl Howe and Mr. Nc el Rees to victory at a speed fractionally higher than that put Up by the same driver on the MonopOsto AlfaRomeo last year, while C. E. C. Martin drove consistently and fast to bring another of the 3.3 Bugattis into second place. Luis Fentes confirmed the good impresion created by his win in the International Trophy and finished third on the
car with which Brian Lewis won the Mannin Moar race two years ago.
Less fortunate was Raymond Mays on his E.R.A. He was lying a comfortable third during the last stages of the race, and then with only half a lap to go the transmission passed out on Bray Hill, a heart-breaking conclusion to a fine run.
The entry list was short but snappy, the most formidable cars being obviously the three new 3.3-litre Bugattis driven by Lewis. Martin and Eccles, and the 3-litre Monoposto Alfa-Romeo of Shuttleworth. Another useful car was the 3-litre Maserati driven by Rose-Richards, the car which won last year’s International Trophy. Then there were the 2.6 and 2.3-litre Alfas and Bugattis ready to snap in if the faster cars dropped out, while the 2-litre E.R.A. of Mays was something of a dark horse, but had gone quite well in practise. Last, but not least, Rayson’s 2-litre Bugatti, newly fitted with a self-changing gearbox, entered by the owner for the fun of the thing, but destined to occupy an honourable place at the finish. As the cars lined up in front of the pits the talk suggested a reliability trial rather than an exciting road-race. Would the back-axles stand it, how about tyres, and whether to use second or third gear for the Bray Hair-pin (bottom would probably have been needed a couple of years ago), all these were questions of the day. Fortunately, the weather conditions were again dull and cool, which favoured both the treads and the road-surface, and as It happened, only one tyre was changed in the course of the entire race, which is a
fine tribute to the wearing qualities of Dunlop products. The starting arrangements were the same as those of Wednesday’s race, with the cars drawn up in an order determined by the fastest laps put up in practise, the best being one by Martin in 3 min. 8 secs., Qr 77.27 m.p.h. The cars were lined up in the following order :
First row : Martin, Shuttleworth and Lewis; second row: Fontes and Eccles; third: Rose-Richards, Mays and Brackenbury ; fourth : Rayson and Cook; fifth : Leith, Hamilton and Wilkins, and finally Dobson. ThiS array of cars and drivers was enough to gladden the eyes of any enthusiast, but there were few if any more spectators round the course than had been present for the Beg race, However, there were the cars, straining at their leashes, with Martin’s Bugatti moving slightly as he felt in the clutch. ” Ebby,” with his large starting flag, was probably the only unmoved being within sight, and as it touched the ground the pack got away in splendid style, roaring off with smoke and black tyre streaks to the Greenhill hairpin. Brian Lewis was the first to get round, but Shuttleworth, on the Alfa, was close on his heels, and giving the Monoposto all it knew past the Grand Stand was abreast and past Lewis by the time they reached the bottom of Broadway. Close behind were Martin and Eccles, and Raymond Mays on the E.R.A., and not far behind them Fontes on his faithful Alfa. Behind them came the slower cars in a close bunch, and just as he reached Broadway Wilkins on an Alfa turned a complete circle right in front of the Hon. Jock Leith. Leith acted in a split second,
swerving and braking furiously, but was unable to avoid striking the Alfa with the back of his car. The impact was only slight, but the chassis was damaged, and the driver had to retire to the pits after another lap. By this time the leading cars were again speeding down the Promenade, and it was seen that Shuttleworth was still ahead
of Lewis, the order of the other cars remaining the same. At the fifth lap Shuttleworth was about 200 yards in front, helped by a lap of 3 min. 13 sees., or 75.26 m.p.h., with Martin making a useful third, then further back were Eccles, Mays and Fontes. The struggle continued in this vein for some time, Shuttleworth straining every
effort on all the corners, especially at the Greenhill hair-pin where the Alfa-Romeo fairly shook as the brakes went on, in contrast to Lewis and Martin, who cornered smoothly and reserved themselves for the acceleration afterwards. Just about this time Lewis was struck between the eyes with a flying stone, half stunning him, but carried on as though nothing had happened. Mays was engaged in a great duel with Eccles and succeeded in passing him on the eighth lap after a stirring chase on the straight in front of the Grand S tan ii.
After ten laps the order was the fol lowing :—
Shuttleworth (3-litre Alfra-Romeo), 74.84 m.p.h.
Lewis (3.3-litre Bugatti), 74.72 m.p.h., 3 secs, behind leader.
Martin (3.3-litre Bugatti), 74.41 m.p.h., 11 secs, behind leader.
Mays (2-litre E.R.A.), 73.07 m.p.h., 37 sees. behind leader.
Eccles (3.3-litre Bugatti), 72.99 m.p.h., 39 secs, behind leader.
Fontes (2.3-litre Alfa-Romeo), 72.15 m.p.h., 62 secs, behind leader.
Lewis’s relentless pursuit of Shuttleworth ended in the eleventh lap, and the Bugatti passed ahead at Summer Hill at the far end of the Promenade. Shuttleworth had apparently taken too much out of his car, and bad dropped back to third on the next lap, and on the mth circuit came into the pits and retired with backaxle and gear-box trouble. Lewis then set to work to build up a useful lead, and on the i5th lap recorded 3 min. 6 secs., or 78.1 m.p.h., the best time recorded in the race. Charlie Martin was only slightly less rapid, nineteen seconds behind, while Raymond Mays was going great guns in third place 1-is in rear. The acceleration of the E.R.A. seemed quite equal to that of the Bugattis, but the lighter car was at a disadvantage on bumpy surfaces such as that of Bray Hill. Scarcely had the excitement of the Lewis-Shuttleworth duel died down when blue flags were seen waving at the top of Broadway, signifying an accident on the narrow road up through the town. The victim was Hamilton on an Alfa-Romeo, who had previously been reported as
rather dangerous on several corners, particularly at the Promenade hair-pin, where he skidded broadside right across the road. His final exploit took place as a result of a skid on the fast bend. The car slewed across the road, crashed into a wall and turned over twice, coming to rest across the road. The driver was lucky to escape with nothing worse than abrasions, while Humphrey Cook, who was not far behind, was just able to squeeze past. As a set-off for his scare he found his if-litre mount in sixth place on the 20th lap. Good for E.R.A.s!
The leading cars were nearly at halfdistance; and soon came the first refuelling stop, Charles Brackenbury, who was driving Martin’s second entry and had come back into sixth place. He took four minutes over the job, while Raymond Mays, who was in at I 1-14 needed only 57 seconds to take on board 20 gallons of fuel and a certain amount of water. This snappy performance went for nought, however, as he called into the pits a lap later with the radiator cap stuck open and lost zi minutes having it secured. Cook also made two calls, one for re-fuelling and a second to cure misfiring. A new set of plugs was fitted, but the car still was not right, and a few laps later it was withdrawn, the trouble being, apparantly, an excessive supply of oil.
Eleven out of the fourteen cars were still on the course, but then Brackenbury’s car was seen to be missing. News then came through that the seat had collapsed as the car was approaching the bottom of Bray Hill, dropping the burly Charles on the prop-shaft, and setting fire to the lagging of the spare petrol tank. The car shot off the road, but the fire was quickly extinguished, and after a second visit to the pits Brackenbury proceeded at speed, somewhat handicapped by a seat still unsecurely fixed. Brian Lewis and Martin were still setting a cracking pace. The placings at the thirteenth lap were as follows:— 1. Lewis (3.3-litre Bugatti), 76.41 m.p.h., 2. Martin (3.3-litre Bugatti), 75.38 m.p.h.,
1 m. 18 sees, behind leader.
3. Eccles (3.3-litre Bugatti), 73.92 m.p.h., 3 in. 12 sees, behind leader.
4. Fontes (2.3-litre Alfa-Romeo), 73.11 m.p.h. 4 in. 17 secs. behind leader. 5. glays (2-litre E.R.A.), 71.52 m.p.h., 8 in. SO sees, behind leader,
6. Rayson (2-litre Bugatti), 67.41 m.p.h., 12 in. 42 sees, behind leader.
None of the three leading cars had been in to the pits yet, though ” churns ” of fuel were poised on the pit counters all ready for the fill-up. Eccles never needed his, as he overshot the corner at Broadway, running up the escape road. He avoided hitting anything, but the extra strain of the sudden stop was too much for the transmission, and the car remained where it was, out of the race with a broken universal joint. Just before midday there were signs of activity in Martin’s pit, and in shot the Bugatti. 16 gallons of petrol were tipped in while the driver had a drink and
changed his goggles. Pretty smart work ! Fontes was in soon afterwards, so that Lewis was the only one of the leaders who had not made a stop. Surely he could not complete the race on one fill? However, on the 38th lap he decided to come in, took on four gallons of petrol, and was away again in 37 seconds. Barring accidents Lewis was now a certain winner, for his car was running perfectly, and he was taking it round corners with a minimum of braking and effort. Martin’s car was doing well too, though he found his brakes rather feeble towards the latter part of the race. The Bugattis looked particularly comfortable, though the drivers sit so low that only
Brian Lewis was passing the stand on his final lap. Broadcast announcements followed him round the course and soon the car could be heard roaring along the Promenade to receive the chequered flag. Cheers greeted him as he crossed the line and set out on his “lap of honour,” and well they might, for to win an International race three years running is a performance which, as far as we know, has not been accomplished by any other driver since motor-racing began. Charlie Martin, who finished less than a minute behind Brian Lewis also received his round of applause, and then everyone waited for the arrival of Raymond Mays, who had been a little over a lap behind the
their heads appear above the top line of the body.
A lap behind the two Bugattis came Mays on the E.R.A. He had lost a further minute at the pits through having to wire down the radiator cap, but was keeping 40 seconds ahead of Fontes. The brakes of the Alfa were tending to lock after 40 laps of strenuous cornering, and Fontes had several hectic moments at Onchan hair-pin. The same thing happened to Wilkins, who was being speeded up in an effort to finish within the time limit of 15 minutes. Rayson through consistent driving was only 14f minutes behind the leader, and Dobson on a 2.6 Alfa, bought from the Ferrari stable, was a further 4 minutes in rear. He had trouble with the engine overheating, and was forced to run without the radiator guard and to make several stops for water. The leading cars were still lapping at about 75 m.p.h., so on this 4 mile circuit they were never long out of sight, and
winner. He had got to Bray Hill quite safely, but no further news was forthcoming. He had signalled that he was running on his reserve tank two laps before— had he run out of petrol or was At something worse? At last news came—seized universal joint at the top of Bray Hill. Wretched luck indeed with a certain third place dangling in front of him. So dumfounded were the officials, in fact, that they let Fontes do an extra lap before they remembered to flag him. Rayson on the two-litre Bugatti was the only other driver to finish in time, with only i second to spare. Wilkins, Dobson and Brackenbury all being flagged off after completing 48 laps.
RE SU LT.
1. Hon. Brian Lewis (3.3-litre Bugatti), 2 h. 40 in. 11 sees_ 75.57 m.p.h.
2. C. E. C. Martin (3.3-litre Bugatti), 2 h. 41 In. 2 sees., 75,16 m.p.h.
3. L. Fontes (2.3-litre Alla-Romeo), 2 h. 43 in. 14 sees.,71.94 m.p.h.
I. E. K. Rayson (2-litre Bugatti), 2 h. 55 in. 11 secs., 69.1 m.p.h.