With a 2,000 guineas prize as the main attraction, the majority of Formula One drivers were to be found at the Mallory Park Circuit over the Whitsun holiday, and the entries for the B.A.R.C.’s Whit-Monday National Open Meeting at Crystal Palace consequently suffered, with most teams splitting their entries. Among those who elected in favour of the “London G.P.” was last year’s winner, Roy Salvadori, with the Bowmaker-Yeoman Lola-Climax V8, still with its “Monaco” nose, Trevor Taylor in the Team Lotus 24, now fitted with a B.R.M. V8 unit, although obviously designed primarily for a Climax engine, Innes Ireland in one of the U.D.T. Lotuses, also fitted with a B.R.M. engine, and completing the “seeded” drivers was Bruce McLaren in a 1961 works Cooper with 4-cylinder engine, his Monaco-winning V8 being saved for the Belgium G.P. the following week-end. Cheshunt seems to be wary of fuel injection and Taylor’s car ran with Weber carburetters and brazed and modified exhaust stacks, as did Ireland’s car.
Two 4-cylinder Emerysons were entered for Tony Settember and John Campbell-Jones, and a third had been entered by Gerry Ashmore for Graham Eden to drive but was changed for a very tatty Lotus 18 with 4-cylinder Climax unit. The Lotus-B.R.M. of Wolfgang Seidel failed to appear and his place was taken by fellow German Gunther Seifert in an elderly 4-cylinder Lotus-Climax, and other Lotus drivers completing the grid were Jay Chamberlain (Mk. 18 with 4-cylinder engine), David Piper and Brian Hart with his bright orange F.J. car fitted with 1,475-c.c. Cosworth-Ford engine. Ireland, having just returned from Canada, had missed practice and was therefore at the back of the grid, whilst the front row accommodated Salvadori, McLaren and Taylor with the two Emerysons on the second row.
The start saw Ireland spurting away to weave his way through the ranks and to emerge at the finish of the first lap in third place behind Salvadori and McLaren, with Trevor Taylor close on his heels. Graham Eden’s Lotus was the first retirement, failing to move off the grid and being wheeled out of the way before causing an obstruction. Also out of the race was Jay Chamberlain, who broke a con.-rod on the first lap. Ireland needed only another lap to push through to the lead, where he stayed to the finish, the B.R.M. engine not missing a beat.
Salvadori, always a good performer on this circuit, had little difficulty in keeping second place, whilst the early stages of the 36-lap race (50 miles) saw McLaren having his work cut out to hold off Taylor, until the latter dropped back slightly and eventually retired with one lap to go whilst in fourth place. Moving up into fourth place after lapping consistently was the Emeryson of Tony Settember, a lap behind the winner but comfortably ahead of Hart’s Lotus. The 16th lap saw trouble for Campbell-Jones with the other Emeryson, coming into the pits with a dead motor, whilst Keith Greene was also in the pits for a loose wire to be tightened up on the Gilby before going back in about ninth place. After lapping very slowly at the back of the field for over half-distance, Seifert eventually retired his Lotus with gearbox trouble. The lap record held by Salvadori was easily broken by Ireland on several occasions and was eventually left at 87.46 m.p.h. (57.7 sec.) for the 1.34-mile circuit.
Supporting events included a Formula Junior race in two heats and a final, the first a processional but quite exciting affair, the second a dismal race with only eight starters, and the final producing undoubtedly the best race of the day with representatives from nearly every F.J. stable scrapping for the lead. Other races were for saloon cars, where the two Alexander Engineering Chevrolet Chevy lls challenged the 3.8 Jaguars and very nearly beat them! The one driven by Kelsey taking third place behind Salvadori and Sears and ahead of Sir Gawaine Baillie until being disqualified for not having an exhaust, and the other car in the hands of Peter Sachs retiring after losing its exhaust. The sports-car race saw Paul Hawkins in one of Ian Walker’s Lotus-Ford 23’s easily winning from a field comprising a batch of similar cars, four of the latest Elvas, two front-engined Lolas, and Geoff Oliver’s D.R.W.-Terrier-Ford. Class records in all categories were broken – E.W.
The Midland A.C.’s Championship Hill-Climb on June 3 was disappointing in that Tony Marsh, the record-holder at 34.41 sec., and several other well-known exponents failed to return their entries in time and were unable to obtain entries on the reserve list. Marsh was allowed a single demonstration run and without practice managed to unofficially break the record with his Marsh-B.R.M. at 33.96 sec. Ray Fielding’s B.R.M. won the Championship Class at 34.65 sec., with Chris Summers’ Chevrolet-engined F.2 Cooper second and Reg Phillips’ Fairley-Climax third. Fielding now leads the Championship with 29 points from Phillips (22), Marsh (18) and McLaughlin (18). Although organisers are justified in sticking to fixed entry dates, and consequently have recently suffered by several well-known drivers missing the post or not turning up after sending in an entry, one wonders whether an automatic free entry for those making a record or f.t.d. would be a worthwhile incentive to ensure top-class entries?