De Selincourt now leads in Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest
Another highly entertaining afternoon’s sports-car racing, with more incidents than usual amongst the 117 entrants. De Selincourt in his newly-acquired Lotus came through magnificently to win the 10-lap 1,100-c.c. Scratch Race. Fifth for four laps, he was third after half-distance, then overtook Lambert’s and Jacobsz’s Lotus cars, to win at 83.44 m.p.h., after a lap at 85.21 m.p.h. Six drivers spun in this race alone.
The first five-lap Closed Car Handicap saw Gaston’s Austin-Healey Sprite hard-top with full Downton conversion, including 12 to 1 compression-ratio, come through from scratch (he gave Howard’s VW, standard save for an Abarth four-pipe exhaust, 75 sec. start), to win at 72.58 m.p.h. from Stevenson’s A35 and Jankel’s Ford with external oil cooler. On lap four Gaston pushed his way past outside Jankel between Woodcote and the chicane, with Stevenson trying to get past on the near-side, to the Ford driver’s obvious discomfort. On the last lap what has always seemed inevitable one day, happened — Knight came too fast out of the chicane and his A35 lifted onto its off-side wheels and rolled over onto its roof and then onto its side. Although the boot lid flew open, the driver’s door fell off and the shape of the little Austin was immediately modified, Knight escaped with a slight cut on one arm, the spectators signifying relief as he stepped from the car. He undoubtedly owes his escape to a Delaney Galley seat harness. Gaston lapped fastest, at 74.1 m.p.h. Lord Strathcarron’s Sprite hard-top, also Downton tuned, with A40 front brakes, but with a compression-ratio of only 9½ to 1, was on scratch with Gaston and didn’t stand a chance.
The Le Mans-start 10-lap Marque Scratch Race was led from start to finish by Lawrence’s Morgan Plus Four, splendidly driven, to average 79.08 m.p.h. and lap at 81.36 m.p.h. De Selincourt beat the “uncrowned TR king” Hurrell after five laps, these two TR3 drivers running only feet apart, the gap between them at the finish being a mere 0.2 sec., whereas the Morgan, with its dual side-mounted silencers, led de Selincourt by 7.8 sec. The backmarkers ensured that the race wasn’t dull. McKee and Hextall fought a dual in their TRs for the early part of the race, the former’s TR3 eventually drawing away from the TR2. Sleep (A.C.) and Dean (TR3) became involved at Levant corner, both cars suffering considerable front-end damage, Lovett (TR2) and Mackay (A-H. 100) spun at Woodcote, which is a thing you just mustn’t let the B.A.R.C. catch you doing at a Members’ Meeting, and Tice’s A-H.100 retired. On lap six Milton (TR3) cheerfully pushed Lawrence off his line into the chicane and then slid in front of him leaving this odd corner, but two laps later Munns (A.C.) slowed down and waved on the TRs duelling for second place.
The next race was a five-lap Scratch Race which Gaston’s very fast Sprite led from start to finish, running now in open form. This time it averaged 73.12 m.p.h. and did best lap at 74.61 m.p.h. Mackenzie, in the lead before the start of the racing for the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy Handicap, had to be content with second place. 4.8 sec. in arrears, Martin’s Lotus-Ford just failing to wrest this position from the Sprite. This time Lord Strathcarron retired with a detached throttle cable on his Sprite, Percival (Lotus-Ford) hit the barrier at St. Mary’s, damaging the car but not himself, Palmer over-corrected after a slide at the chicane, his Lotus finishing up on the grass, earning disqualification, and Powell’s now sensibly-handled Lotus-Ford (formerly he caused the wrath of the officials to descend on his head due to over-ambitious driving) retired. Baring’s Sprite, with Peasmarsh plastic nose, had a close-fought battle with Elwes’ Sprite. Incidentally, what odd colours Sprites get painted!
The fifth race was actually uneventful, Count Ouvaroff’s Willment-Climax leading unchallenged, but very fast for all that, from Union Jack to chequered flag, as well it might, being the sole 1½-litre amongst a field of 1,100s in this five-lap Scratch Race, and with twin-cam engine at that. The Count won at 84.28 m.p.h. and set fastest lap, at 86.22 m.p.h. Westcott pipped Jacobsz (both Lotus pilots) for second place during lap three, passing the S. African down Levant straight. His Equipe S. Africa partner Maggs didn’t appear, thus sacrificing his former lead, shared with Mackenzie, in the Brooklands Trophy Contest.
Another five-lap handicap saw the advent of the G.S.M. Dart with Willment i.o.e. conversion and twin d.d. carburetters for its Ford Ten engine and coil-spring i.r.s. It got into the lead, driven by Wagner, on lap two, and led almost to the finish, when Barker’s AIton-Jaguar beat it over the line on acceleration. However, Barker had dented the tail of Muskett’s smart ex-Hawthorn Cooper-Bristol in returning from an off-course excursion and he was excluded by the stewards, Wagner being given the race, at 69.97 m.p.h. (to Barker’s 79.09 m.p.h.). It was a sad day for Barker, for apart from this incident his father had been unable to fly to Goodwood because the wind was too strong for his Piper Cub! Addicott’s Lotus-Ford spun onto the inside of the course out of Woodcote, Graham receiving a loud ovation for his skill in motoring Goddard Watts’ 492-cc. Berkeley along on the grass on the opposite side of the road at undiminished speed after taking avoiding action. The scandalised stewards disqualified Addicott. Graham himself spun just beyond the chicane after braking hard in the path of an A.C. on the last lap but he recovered skilfully. Shepherd-Barron’s beautiful Border-Reivers’ Alfa-Romeo S.V. was second, William’s Lotus Elite third. Back’s 2½-litre Lister retired. Miss Massey (Jaguar XK150) obviously believes in taking corners cautiously before opening up, in which she was followed by scratchman Were (XK150) in the next race!
The next Closed-Car Handicap was a runaway win for Hill’s Peerless, at 72.58 m.p.h. The Alfa-Romeo was disqualified for the crime of putting all its wheels on the Goodwood grass, so second place went to Miss Massey, whose Jaguar out-accelerated Williams’ Elite to the line, although the Lotus made fastest lap, at 76.87 m.p.h. Two 1.5 Rileys retired.
The last race appeared to have been won by ultra-cautious Mrs. Wheeler, who had 135 sec. start in her TR2 but who, thinking she was being caught, touched the brakes at Woodcote (her explanation!) and spun. So the laurels went to Chitty’s TR3 at 71.9 m.p.h., from Elwes’ Sprite and Mrs. Howard (who isn’t afraid to press on) in the Lotus-Climax, indeed; she made fastest lap, at 76.73 m.p.h. on a wet track. Smith’s TR2 spun out of the chicane, Huggins’ TR2 coming almost to rest to avoid a collision, Waring’s Sprite retired and Graham’s Berkeley remained glued to the road when it seemed certain to over-correct and spin. The much-publicised Mrs. Cherry Crisp from S. Africa drove the G.S.M.-Dart but wasn’t helped by ragged carburation. So ended, in rain, an eventful meeting.
The next in the series is on July 11th. — W.B.
N.B. — Positions to date in the Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest will be found on page 540.