It was refreshing to find a trial run in the old style when the twelfth annual Brighton-Beer event was held by the Brighton and Hove M.C. On June 20th. Competition tyres and solid axles were barred, and the course, though difficult enough to cause only seven 100 per cent. performances to be made, out of thirtysix starters, contained nothing likely to damage the cars. It is hoped that the organisers will not be discouraged by the relatively small entry, but will continue a policy which, when it becomes generally known, is the only one to revive the popularity of trials with the ordinary competitor and the ordinary car.
The principal trophy was won by A. B. Langley, driving his T-series M.( ;. Midget. He achieved this honour by his performance in the brake test, held during the night on the descent of Middledown, a hill once used in the LondonExeter trial. Had the restart test, on the upward gradient at the other sid: of Middledown, been retained in the results, it seems that R. A. Macderinid, also driving a T-series M.G., but in this case supercharged, would have been the winner, for his was the only car to cover the long timed distance in less than 5 sees. It is contrary to the policy of the sporting Brighton and Hove Club to knock everyone out of the running for a first-class award by the very first tuned section, however, and the results of the test were therefore deleted. The start of the event was at 1 a.m. at Lobscombe Corner, on Salisbury Plain. Rain was falling gently, but this soon cleared up, and the night run was not cold, and quite enjoyable. The restart test came after about -a twenty miles run, and certainly as the headlights of the long line of cars slanted up the gradient, with its high hedges on each side, the
marked distance between the lines, to be covered in not more than 5 secs., according to the regulations, seemed impossibly long. So it turned out. Car after car accelerated as hard as the driver could go, but only Macdermid, with his supercharged car, got within the limit. Others who nearly succeeded were K. Hutchison, with his very sporting Ford
Vs, A. G. Imhof with his M.G., and C. W. Taylor with his Sinyer. At the brake tesL ears had to coast downhill with engine stoppc..d, and come to rest astride a line. Best time (8 secs.) was made I,y A. Graham Wi113, with a
Ford V8 equipped with twin rear wheels-a loophole in the regulations ! H. Powell blotted the copybook of the H.R.G. team by overshooting the line, but E. K. Farley, with another H.P .G., took only SA secs, The Alusketeers team of M.G.s had enormous low pressure tyres to defeat the ban on ” comps.,” and team leader Macdermid stood near the braking line to give his colleagues the word when to brake. Thus helped, A. B Langley set up 8F secs.
There is no better place for a breakfast stop in a trial than the Castle Hotel, Taunton, whose proprietor is indeed a keen follower of these events. Much refreshed, competitors next tackled Windout, which caused some nine failures, including Wills, who thus nullified his good showing in the brake test. Fingle Bridge and Simms first earned their notoriety, so far as big events were concerned, in the Brighton-Beer trials before 1930. In those days competitors thought little of making the attempt with ordinary tyres, though honour certainly went to those successful. Pingla
Bridge, with its many corners and loose yet reasonable surface, is an excellent hill for ordinary I yres, It did not look in difficult condition for the recent Brighton-Beer event, but to everyone’s surprise failure after failure resulted.
A long timed section was arranged, beginning with a flying start in the middle of the first hairpin and extending up to the fifth corner. The most difficult part of the hill was just before the end Of the timed section, and many failed to reach this point. Hutchison’s Ford, which also had big low pressure tyres, was only kept going by its driver’s skilful handling, and Imbors MG, bumped its way up. Richards’s M.( just got past the timed section before failing, but Mrs. Stanton’s Riley did not get quite so far, and a host of pushers helped her on her way. Then, surprisingly enough, all three of the H.R.G.s failed, Curtis getting the farthest.
It became evident that the best way to tackle the fifth corner was wide on the outside, and Collins (M.G. Magnette), Cromar (Singer), and D. B. Burrage (M.G. Midget) all Succeeded by picking their course carefully. Bastock’s M.G., of the Musketeer’s team, stopped, but Langley was applauded for a good climb. E. G. S. Cooks M.O. Magnette also made a very fine climb. Miss PigOtt’s Singer burst a tyre right in the middle of the hill, and the wheel was changed, not without difficulty, by the help of the observers, who were becoming somewhat heated with much pushing. E. G. Smith’s Austin Seven buzzed up merrily, aided by an auxiliary gearbox that gave its driver a choice of a great number of ratios. L. G. Johnson made a very fast ascent with his FrazerNash-B.M.W. His time was only excelled by Macdermid’s supercharged M.G.,
-Which had got out of order through its driver stopping to fill up with petrol.
Between Fingle Bridge and Simms, Pepperdon intervened. This is another hill associated with Brighton-Beer -trials of the old days, but is never expected to cause much difficulty. Some locals had sought to increase the hazards by throwing down huge boulders and other rubbish. but few cars stopped. Finally Simms towered before the competitors. There were three starting lines at the foot, for cars up to 1,100 c.c., 1,500 -c.c. and over (supercharged cars coming Into the unlimited section). The hill,
after its treatment by the M.C.C., is now not so difficult as in times gone by, and only a dozen failures resulted, compared with seventeen on flngle Bridge. Curtis, Farley, and Powell atoned by making fine climbs with the H.R.G.,s, and J. F. Parfur brought his old Lancia
up well. Smith’s Austin again earned applause, but Collins and Cromar ered their only hill failures in the trial. ‘W. A. V. Davis had a tyre burst on his Singer near the top, but carried on successfully with the tube in ribbons. M.G.s had a fine day, carrying off all the principal awards.
Brighton and Hove Trophy : A. B. ‘Ali gI,•‘ (MA.), Bishop Trophy (opposite olitss); It. A. A1,04.rmid AI„ Hewitt Trophy (visitors): 1′. S. Flower (?1.(;.). Simpson Lee Trophy (B. (t. II. inemls!rs): A. (4 Imhof (M,(,I.). Lord Thompson Team Trophy : U. A, INlardermid, J. A. Rastock. A II. 1.;nitacy 04,(4.$), First-class Awards : 11’. G reen, H. S. cook, G. Kinsey-Morgan, .1. E. S. cmwford, Hut chistat Word L. G. Johnson (Frazer-Nash-B.NI.W.). E. G. Smith (Aust in). Second-class Awards : 11. E. lliclmnis. J. A. Bastocit. G. F. Petintny, R. W. U. A. E. L. Ow is. E. K. Fade: (II. It .(;.*.;)..1. Parker (Lancia). .1. II. Whit I indalp, A. I *roma r (singers), A. Graham Wills I rd vs), Third-class Awards :It. Powell (11.R..(1,), V „1 A. V. Davis (snipsr), D. B. Bump
RESULTS and Hove : A. B. ‘Ali gI,•‘
SUCCESSFUL BRIGHTON-BEER TRIAL IN THE OLD STYLE. A. B. LANGLEY (M.G.) WINS THE TROPHY.