The M.M.E.C. At Silverstone (June 5th)

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The Midlands Motoring Enthusiasts’ Club ran off its sixth annual Silverstone meeting to schedule on Whit-Saturday, with a programme of scratch and handicap 5, 6, 8 and 10-lap races for sports and racing cars. The weather held out until the last race, which was run in a thunderstorm. Rather like a school sports-day, competitors appeared again and again in good-natured “have a go” competition. In particular Peter Gammon, the Stirling Moss of club race meetings, had a very busy day, running in nearly every event, stopping for no apparent reason in one, but netting five “firsts” and two “seconds” with his incredible Lotus-M.G., which ran right away from Baxter’s Type C Jaguar and beat all the 500s in a racing-car event, and the Clairmonte-Connaught, the ex-Skelly Alta with Bristol engine driven by A.”Elbows” Wake and the R.R.A. in the Formule Libre race. With this Lotus about one wonders if big-engined cars are worth while at these meetings!

Certainly the R.R.A. spun into Woodcote’s ditch because a brake cylinder pipe severed, releasing all the fluid, and the Clairmonte, having trouble with its brakes, also spun, but Gammon had comfortably beaten the latter in another race.

Watling Greenwood’s smart and effective R.W.G. gained a “first” and a “second.” The 500-c.c. 8-lap race was won by Headland’s Martin-Headland from Moor’s Wasp and Anderson’s Staride, Rowbotham’s J.L.R. having gear-change difficulties. Jackson’s Cooper-M.G. went well in the small sports-car races but a TF M.G. was completely out-classed. Moor might have got another “second” in the fifth race but missed an upward gear-change out of Beckett’s and let the Alta-Bristol by, with Headland leading very comfortably — 500 c.c. ahead of 1,971 c.c.!

The 1,172 Formula race, five laps from scratch, saw a great battle between David Small’s smart and successful D.H.S. IIB and Walshaw’s Lotus, but Walshaw cornered wide on the final circuit and remained behind Small, Marsh’s Dellow third. Walshaw made amends by winning Heat 1 of the sports-car handicap from Nurse’s fast Riley and Marsh, while in Heat 2 J. E. G. Stevens won in a DB3 Aston Martin (early type) from Gammon and Shale’s Austin-Healey.

One race saw Burton’s very impressive vintage 4 1/2-litre Bentley, its driver really busy with the tiller, keep ahead of mere XK120 Jaguar and Austin-Healey opposition.

During the afternoon Bleakley’s TR2 Triumph shed it s offside front wheel just as another of these cars did at the Eight-clubs meeting; luckily the car came safely to rest but scrutineers should note.

A good meeting, enthusiastically run. Even in the thunderstorm only an Austin-Healey spun off, Nurse winning in fine style on handicap from Gammon, both going magnificently, with White’s Austin-Healey third.

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