This B.A.R.C. Sports-Car Meeting was an auspicious occasion, constituting the 50th of these meetings (formerly called Members’ Meetings) in the Jubilee Year of the B.A.R.C. Unfortunately the weather did not play up—it was overcast and very cold.
The 10-lap Race for F.J. and non-s/c. 1,100-c.c, sports cars should have been an F.J. benefit, yet the order at the finish was F.J., sports car, F.J., sports car, which shows that Formula Junior requires big names and works cars to get it out of the rut. Dibley won at 90.72 m.p.h. by an ever-increasing distance from Hegbourne’s Lola-Climax. Behind, Nicholson (Lola) and Fletcher (Lotus-Ford) fought a stirring duel, to no avail because the former had spun and to do this at Goodwood entails penalty! Sc, Fletcher was moved to third place, Jerram’s Gilby fourth. Hegbourne won the sports-car class, setting a new non-s/c. 1,100,c.c. sports-car lap record of 91.52 m.p.h., and Dibley lapped at 93.51 m.p.h. Prince ran into the chicane with his Lotus and the rolling sections rolled away to block the exit, which could be dangerous. Capel (Lotus) found the gap useful, and motored through it. The Frenchman Bernusset’s Holbay-Weber Lola-Ford fell sick and circulated slowly.
A 7-lap “Veedol” Scratch Race followed. David Eva failed to notice the flag drop but drove superbly when he did start, winning at 80.86 m.p.h. in his twin-cam M.G. coupe, after a lap at 83.08 m.p.h. Second place was a photo-finish between Burnand (A.C.-Brisuol) and Unett (Sunbeam Alpine coupe), the times being identical but the A.C. just crossing the line ahead of this fast Alpine. Pendred (M.G.) held a furious slide out of Woodcote, one of numerous spins, slides and wattle-bashings of an eventful afternoon.
The Closed Car 10-lap Handicap saw Merfield come through the field magnificently from scratch in the “Team Boomerang ” 1.5-litre Ford Anglia, which disdainfully pushed even Marston’s 3.4 Jaguar out of its way, to win at a rousing 80 m.p.h. from Hick’s Anglia and the generously handicapped Morris Minor saloon of Young. The crowd loved it, and waved programmes at Merfield. Wingfield’s Austin-Cooper did some spirited wattle-dodging out of the chicane, and here, to see Merfield snatch a place from the Jaguar, plumes of blue smoke rising from his tyres, was quite something! This remarkable Ford actually made fastest lap, at 82.6 m.p.h.
Some of the allure of the 10-lap Scratch Race diminished when it was learned that de Selincourt’s Lister-Jaguar had suddenly dropped a valve in practice. Mrs. Coundley lent him her D-type Jaguar but he spun it into the bank on the first lap some way after Woodcote, damaging the nose and being removed in a shocked condition—fearful of what Mrs. C. would say to him? “Dizzy” Addicott, the intrepid Vickers’ test-pilot, led throughout in his Lotus, with light-alloy 3,524-c.c. V8 Buick engine, tuned with Iskenderian cams and Edelbrock manifolding and now using a Jaguar gearbox. It is geared to do some 196 m.p.h. at 7,500 r.p.m., with a 4-to-1 axle ratio and 3.5-1 overdrive, but on this occasion contented itself by lapping at 94.74 m.p.h., to draw away from Hegbourne’s fast 1,100-c.c. Lola-Climax, winning by 12.6 sec. at 91.43 m.p.h. Fox’s Lola-Climax, out on its own, beat Hodgson’s Lotus-Climax to third place. It was a rapid race, Addicott setting a new 3.5-litre sports-car lap record and Hegbourne lifting his recently-established 1,100-c.c. ditto to 92.31 m.p.h. Tice (Lola) and Gould (Lotus) raced a length or so apart, to finish fifth and sixth, respectively.
Eva again came through to Win the Le Mans-start 10-lap Scratch Race, although only fourth on the opening lap. His M.G. averaged 79.78 m.p.h. but on the closing laps was so hard-pressed by Entwhistle’s 1,622-c.c. T.V.R. that the latter appeared to be playing at shunting-engines. Eva contrived to hold it off by 5.4 sec. at the line but the Blackpool car lapped faster, at 82.76 m.p.h. Dangerfield’s TR4 was third. Everyone was driving on or over the limit and seven drivers were each penalised one minute for spinning, a rule I dislike. It was a stirring dice, with the A.C.s and Morgans outclassed. Neville’s Daimler SP250 hard-top was disappointing and scratched from its later races.
Two 5-lap Handicaps and a ” Veedol ” 7-lapper concluded the racing. The first was won by Entwhistle’s impressive T.V.R. at 80.75 m.p.h. This time he lapped at 83.08 m.p.h., as did Arnold’s unplaced Lotus-Ford. Algate’s TR2 was second, Pilkington’s ancient Lago-Talhot third. Another ancient was Ashby’s Silverstone Healey with triple-carb. 3.4 Jaguar engine and its hood up— which was last. Hodgson came through fast to win the next race at 85,78 m.p.h. in his Lotus-Climax from Cole’s Lotus-Ford and Dangerfield’s A.C.-Bristol. Mackenzie (Turner) made a bid for victory, having been second to Mayes’ XK120 all the race, but accelerated too late, pushing his rival head-on into the chicane bricks, to the Jaguar’s detriment. The “Veedol” Scratch Race was won by Cole, with Bennett’s Turner scoring a class-win.
The boys really are driving fast in these Sports-Car Meetings and if it were to rain. . . .! See you at Goodwood on July 7th, when another round of the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest, in which the leaders are Eva (M.G.) with 13 points and Burnard (A.C.) and Hegbourne (Lola), each with 10, will be contested ?—W. B.
10-lap Scratch Race: H.P.K Dibley (Lola-Ford) – 92.72 m.p.h
7-lap “Veedol” Scratch Race: D.Eva (Twin-Cam M.G.-A) – 80.86 m.p.h
5-lap Closed Car Handicap: D.P. Merfield (Ford Anglia) – 80.00 m.p.h
10-lap Scratch Race: D.G. Addicott (Lotus-Buick) – 91.43 m.p.h
10-lap Scratch Race: D. Eva (Twin-Cam M.G.-A) – 79.78 m.p.h
5-lap Handicap: D. Entwhistle (T.V.R.) – 80.75 m.p.h
5-lap Handicap: C.A.C. Hodgson (Lotus-Climax) – 85.78 m.p.h
7-lap “Veedol” Scratch Race:: D.J Cole (Lotus-Ford) – 83.84 m.p.h
The Eight Clubs’ annual race meeting at Silverstone probably provides a more typical cross-section of current Club machinery than any other event of the year. The paddock is filled with the latest in 750 and 1172 Formula devices, Contrasting with a wide variety of more recognisable cars of widely differing types and age.
As usual the day’s entertainment was smoothly run, with Douglas Johns—who was using as official car, one of the still-scarce P1800 Volvos—acting as Clerk of the Course. Proceedings opened with four half-hour high-speed trials, which included an enforced pit-stop to change all valve-caps. The oldest car present was I. T. Easdale’s supercharged 1750 Alfa Romeo, which sounded healthy enough but was spraying some oil. A Sprite deposited its exhaust system on the track, causing M.B. Ferris’s ex-Prior Lotus XI to tear its bodywork.
Due to other commitments, Charles Bulmer can no longer spare much time working out race handicapping, but it was demonstrated during the afternoon that Dennis Loveridge can carry out this task capably. This did not show itself particularly during the first handicap, which was won by S. A. Hands (Anglia-Classic) with nearly seven seconds to spare; in the next one, however, 2.5 sec. covered the first five finishers. Here John Gott’s Healey 3000 won from J. Morley (Lotus-Climax), T.P. Hart (Lola-Climax), C. R. Miller (Goodwin Special), and the Earl of Denbigh (E-type jaguar) who all scrabbled through Woodcote in a tight bunch on the last lap.
In the third handicap Haslam’s Morgan Plus Four led throughout from the limit mark, beating. Povey’s Lotus by 1 sec. Mrs. Peter Gammon’s Anglia, handicapped into an eventual seventh place, displayed acute axle-tramp at the start and was driven with enterprise; Millington’s Terrier spun as it crossed the finishing line.
Norman’s Sunbeam Alpine lost a probable third place in another handicap whilst attempting to increase the radius of Woodcote Corner. Peter Mitchell held first place in an Anglia-Classic until overwhelmed by Bob Burnard’s flying A.C. on the last lap, with Holford’s Turner-B.M.C. a close third.
The final handicap was not without its incidents. Driving his E-type with all the stops pulled out, the Earl Of Denbigh made the best lap before taking the chequered flag in a vast and marshal-scattering spin. Despite this, and a gyration by team-mate Gott at half-distance, the Hants & Berks M.C. team of Denbigh, Gott, and S. Thynnee (Mini) took the honours in this inter-club race. Burnard just managed to beat the Earl to the line for individual first place but, as the A.C.O.C. had not fielded a complete team, his performance went unrewarded.
Most closely-fought among the scratch events, which, like the handicaps, were disputed over five laps of the club circuit was that for 1172 Formula cars. A. J. Youlton’s Terrier, A. K. Wershat’s Lolita and R. Inglis’s Rejo were going up the straights side by side, with Wershat often, but not always, taking the corners slightly ahead; on the last round Youlton managed to beat Wershat and Inglis out of Woodcote to take the flag by 0.4 sec. Eccleston’s rear-engined Dison did not last the pace.
By contrast the earlier 750 race developed into rather a procession. Langton came up from a poor grid position to take the lead from Small, a lead he was never to lose, while Mallock’s Simplicity dropped back after an early challenge.
Noteworthy scratch races for the unspecified motley included a short-head victory for G. M. Young’s Sprite over Mayhew’s fast Riley Special, and yet another win for Burnard (Ace-Bristol) who displaced Gott (Healey 3000) after the latter had set the pace earlier.
The fifteen-event programme certainly went on for rather a long time, but the competition and organisation were of a sufficiently high standard to keep most spectators at the circuit until the bitter end (6.40 p.m.) despite a constant threat of rain, and the occasional sound of John Arlott’s Egbaston commentary over the p.a. system.- A. W.