ONE should see at least one Club Meeting at Silverstone a year, so naturally I chose the 8-Clubs Whit-Saturday racing, arriving as the series of half-hour High-Speed Trials were finishing. It was the usual dear old Silverstone, sans tunnel and with the Press Box locked, but the sun shone and the spectators saw some very exciting racing, all races over five laps.
Yardley led the 750 Formula Scratch Race all the way, his Complexity finishing 19 sec. ahead of Goldthorpe’s W.E.V., which, however, fought off Bennett’s Austin Special by a mere second. The winner averaged 69.58 m.p.h. and made fastest lap, at 71.29 m.p.h. Only one car, Clayton’s Vitesse Mk. 2R had the now-permitted 600-c.c. o.h.v. Reliant engine.
The last lap of the following handicap was terrific, Evans’ M.G. Midget holding the lead it had established on lap three, but Greenaway’s M.G.-A trying to take Wolchover’s Austin Healey 3000 on the inside at Woodcote, only to slide wildly, although still retaining third place. Stephenson’s Wells also spun in taking avoiding action. Evans drove very well indeed and deserved his easy victory, at 66.23 m.p.h. On the very first lap of the next scratch race Holford’s Turner spun at Woodcote and collected Downie’s blown Austin-Cooper-S which went on with a dented o/s. front wing, this shunt sending Cole’s Marcos momentarily into the ditch. Meanwhile, the Hon. B. Fielding was out in front in his Morgan Plus Four powered by a Daimler 250SP V8 engine with four double-choke Webers. However, Calvert’s A40 with 1,650-c.c. Ford engine, starting from the back of the grid, was in second place after three laps, and taking Woodcote for the last time it pushed Fielding onto the grass, to win from the Morgan-Daimler, at 76.65 m.p.h. (best lap, 79.08). Behind these two another battle raged between Riley’s oversize 1,293-c.c. Cooper-S with double-choke Webers and Wiles’ ordinary Mini-Cooper with Downton-tuned 1,132-c.c. engine, which finished in that order.
Chamberlain’s Cooper-Jaguar won the next handicap, at 79.21 m.p.h., from Riley and Fielding, and then came a scratch race in which the first three places remained the same from the first lap—Groombridge’s Centaur-B.M.C. winning at 73.02 m.p.h. from Hands’ Austin Healey 3000 and Fithern’s Mini-Cooper. Small drove very well to lead all the way in the 1172 Formula Scratch Race, lapping Miss Kemp’s Lotus 7 before winning by 21 sec. in his Milmor V, at 78.61 m.p.h. He lapped, with a s.v. Ford engine remember, at 80.18 m.p.h.! A spin at Woodcote cost Day’s A.D.S. second place, which went to Wild’s D.R.W. Mk. 1., cornering wide, but ahead of Bryant’s Lotus 7. Another very polished performance was seen when Hands’ Austin Healey 1000 led the next handicap from flag-fall, to win at 73.28 m.p.h. He was aided by a generous handicap and in spite of lapping at 83.89 m.p.h. Granville-Smith’s Cobra had to settle for third place, beaten also by Downie’s Cooper-S, who, not content with the 1,275-c.c. engine, has placed a Type 142B Shorrock supercharger, driven by toothed belt and blowing at about to lb./sq. in., ahead of the engine beside the oil-cooler.
The scratch race which followed produced a most exciting race-long duel between Wolchover’s Austin Healey 3000 and Stephenson’s Ford to-engined Wells, the latter making up for slightly inferior speed by-faster cornering, finally to cross the line the winner by one-fifth of a-second, at 69.31 m.p.h., also making fastest lap, at 71.64 m.p.h. Super’s clean Ford Cortina GT was third. Granville-Smith’s Cobra hard-top won the last scratch race, a long way ahead of Lord Cross’ Open Cobra after O’Connell’s A.C. Aceca-Jaguar 3.8 coupé had spun, and the last handicap was won by Imrie’s Tojeiro-Bristol, from Dempsey’s A.C. Ace-Bristol and O’Neill’s Austin Healy 3000. It had been a packed day of splendid racing, with all manner of cars competing, including Gale’s Lancia Aprilia with boot-lid and window-glass removed to lighten it(!), Fois in Pirelli overalls and a Fiat 850 with double-choke Weber, special exhaust system and lowered suspension, Noad’s Oraska-VW with twin Soles and raised c.r., Shirley’s Triumph Vitesse with SAL carburetters and Konis, Bunce’s Tornado Talisman powered by Ford—in fact, by a twin-cam Elan engine, Hartley’s Ford Anglia with big American carburetter and Cortina GT manifolds, etc., etc.—W. B.
The Things They Say: ” . . . it is about time that they took some lessons in how to present the product.”—Henry N. Manney, writing in Road & Track about Alfa Romeos.
“Speed has been singled out, not because it is the most dangerous, but because it is the easiest to denounce In moral terms.”—A. J. P. Taylor campaigning in The Sunday Express for a law to wake up the dawdlers.