Racing at Whitsun

Goodwood (June 3rd)

The B.A.R.C.’s National British Race Meeting at Goodwood on Whit Monday June 3rd, although being the secondary meeting to their Crystal Palace International Race Meeting held simultaneously, provided Ferrari an opportunity for free practice for the R.A.C. Tourist Trophy, due to take place on the Sussex circuit on August 24th. Two GTO Ferraris were entered for the main event of the day, the 21-lap Whitsun Trophy for G.T. cars, under the auspices of Maranello Concessionaires, one being a brand-new red car which only arrived in this country a few days before the event, the other being the well-known, off-white 1962 car. In addition Chris Kerrison had entered his low-line 250 GTO Speciale and Geoff Richardson, an elderly, pinkish-red, road-going 250 GT. The only car to promise any serious opposition to Mike Parkes in the new Ferrari and Mike McDowell, one time Formula Two Cooper driver, in the other Maranello car was Brian Hetreed’s ex-Mike Salmon Aston Martin Zagato. Despite the stiffness of the new Ferrari’s engine, for which b.h.p. figures are not disclosed, Parkes’ best practice lap time of 1 min. 30.0 sec. (96.00 m.p.h.) gained him pole position with McDowell and Kerrison alongside. Fastest of the smaller G.T. cars was Graham Warner’s Lotus Elan with 1 min. 37.2 sec.

Parkes made one of the poorest starts of his career allowing McDowell to lead away whilst Gordon Jones’ Marcos sneaked by on Parkes’ right. Parkes soon made up the lost ground, however, taking the lead from McDowell at Lavant Straight on the second lap and pulling steadily away to cross the line an apparently easy winner from McDowell and Kerrison. Hetreed never did have a chance to show his paces, spinning at Lavant and damaging the front offside wing. Fourth place, and first in the 1,151 to 1,600 c.c. class was Warner in the Elan, which he spun on the first lap and spent the early part of the race making amends. And amends he made by breaking the lap record for G.T. cars up to 2,000 c.c. (held until then by Graham Hill in a Porsche at 1 min. 40.2 sec.) with a time of 1 min. 38.4 sec. (87.80 m.p.h.)—an incredible performance on a wet track!

The six-race programme was headed by a 10-lap saloon car race qualifying for the Spring Grove Saloon Car Championship. Mike Salmon (Jaguar 3.8) had no opposition to really worry him, leading the entire length of the race and finishing almost a lap ahead of “Doc” Merfield, driving his Lotus Cortina. The most interesting duel of the day was provided by Merfield, Allan Allard (supercharged Allardette), Mike Cave (Austin A40) and J. Lewis (Mini-Cooper “S”), all of whom attempted to wrest second place at one point or another; Lewis just getting third place coming out of the chicane on the last lap from Allard and Cave. The rules of the Spring Grove Trophy, whereby only two capacity classes, up to 1,200 c.c. and over 1,200 c.c. are used for claiming points meant that Merfield, although finishing second to the Jaguar, was “cheated” out of an up to 1,600 c.c. class which he would have gained had the usual classifications applied. The Historic Racing Car event saw Peter Waller’s, 6-cylinder supercharged 1,488 c.c. E.R.A. R9B beat the Hon. Patrick Lindsay’s ex-Bira 1,498 c.c. E.R.A. “Remus”; Waller leading in the opening laps until overtaken by Lindsay, who led for three laps until Waller regained the lead at the chicane on the last lap. Lindsay took second place after a bumpy ride on the grass. Third was John Freeman’s Aston Martin, fourth Tony Charnock’s mixed vintage, 4.3-litre Alvis and fifth the ex-Bira V12 Osca driven by the bearded Morin Scott.

The 15-lap race for sports cars was won by Bill de Selincourt in John Coundley’s wire wheeled, 2.7-litre Lotus 19, after a slow start from Syd Fox’s Lola-Climax, Chris Williams’ Lotus 23 and R. Benson’s Elva-Climax Mk. VII. Stephen Miniprio’s Elva-Ford Mk. VII was unfortunate to sustain engine bearing trouble after leading in the early stages—perhaps that will entice him to fit a Coventry-Climax engine that was reputed to power his Elva in the programme! — E. L. W.

Crystal Palace (June 3rd)

Despite the fact that the scheduled Formula One race was cancelled, the large Bank Holiday crowd at Crystal Palace watched some excellent short distance races of the type which British organisers do so well and for most of the day spectators sat in their shirt sleeves, roasting in warm sunshine.

First on the bill was a 10-lap heat for Formula Junior cars, the Anerley Trophy being run in two 10-lap heats and a 20-lap final. This saw some pretty fierce racing between the Brabhams of Hulme and Gardner and Richard Attwood’s Lola with Peter Arundell in the works Lotus 27 unable to get anywhere near them and haying a very hairy drive as the car was cornering in a most un-Lotus-like manner. Chris Amon, driving one of Tyrell’s Coopers in place of Peter Proctor who has temporarily lost his driving licence, spun at North Tower bend and took Mike Spence (Lotus 27) with him, both cars being put out of the race.

This race was followed by the second heat of the F.J. event which was won at a canter by Alan Rees’ Lola from the Brabhams of John Dunn and Rodney Banting. The pace in this heat was much slower than in the first one and Rees would only have finished fifth in the first race.

The over 1,300 c.c. 15-lap saloon car race saw another victory for Jack Sear’s Ford Galaxie. Roy Salvadori tried to keep up in Tommy Atkins’ 3.8 Jaguar but he could not even out-corner the Ford which rolled much less. Graham Hill was third in Coombs’ 3.8 Jaguar and Sir Gawaine Baillie finished fourth in his Ford Galaxie and was catching Hill towards the end. Bill Aston was fifth in his 3.8 and an excellent sixth was Jimmy Blumer in his Ford Cortina ahead of Powell’s 3.8 which lost its bonnet early in the race. Richie Ginther, driving one of the Willment Cortinas, harried Powell unmercifully, forcing the Jaguar into lurid opposite lock slides. When lapping Crawford’s Rapier, Ginther placed his bonnet against the tail of the Rapier and pushed it hard through North Tower bend to the delight of the crowd!

The main event on the programme was a 36-lap race for sports cars over 1,150 c.c. which actually proved to he the least interesting race of all. Fresh from his Indianapolis and Mosport adventures Jim Clark was driving one of the Normand Lotus 23Bs with Mike Beckwith driving the other team car. However, it was Roy Salvadori who took the lead in Atkins’ Cooper-Monaco and he gradually extended his lead over Clark, breaking the sports car lap record in the process. Trevor Taylor, also driving a Lotus 23B, was third ahead of Beckwith for four laps then Beckwith passed him. Taylor was suffering from grabbing brakes and he eventually smote the bank at Ramp Bend, tearing off the nose of the Lotus and holing the radiator. Salvadori lost the clutch of the Cooper after 25 laps and retired, leaving Clark and Beckwith to reel off the laps, chalking up yet another success for the Normand cars. Keith Greene drove well in his Lotus 23B to finish third, the only other car on the same lap as Clark and Beckwith.

A 1,300 c.c. saloon car race was dominated by Mini-Coopers, the only non-Mini being Anita Taylor’s Ford Anglia. The three works Mini-Cooper S-types of Whitmore, Hopkirk and Rhodes looked to have things sewn up as they circulated nose to tail, but Christabel Carlisle had other ideas and on the last lap she forced her Don Moore tuned S-type past Rhodes into third place, whereupon the female element in the crowd went berserk.

Finally, with rain clouds threatening, came the 20-lap final of the Anerley Trophy F.J. race. This proved to be a repeat of the first heat with Hulme and Gardner fighting it out in Brabhams. Gardner led for the first two laps then Hulme went into the lead and held it to the finish, winning by 1.2 sec. Alan Rees finished third in his Lola from David Hobbs’ Lola and Peter Arundell’s Lotus 27 which was still handling very badly. John Fenning suffered deranged steering on his Lotus 27 at South Tower Corner and came to rest without hitting anything while Paul Hawkins lost his brakes on Ian Walker’s Brabham and hit the wall at Ramp Bend.—M. L. T.