GOOD weather, good racing, and a good crowd summarises the B.A.R.C. Whitsun Meeting. Racing opened with a 10-lap F.3 race for the Reg. Parnell Trophy,. which Pike threw away by losing his Brabham-Ford at St. Mary’s on the first lap. Courage’s Brabham-Ford running away from Crichton-Stuart’s Brabham-Ford to win easily, and set a new F.3 lap record of 97.08 m.p.h. Third place was very closely contested by a string of six cars, headed by Cole’s Brabham-Ford until Knight, right on form, displaced it in his Cooper-B.R.M. two laps from the finish.
The Historic Racing Car event had a big if somewhat straggly field, suggesting that more starting money for fewer cars might be a good bet for next year. Cohn Crabbe, in his second real motor race, drove his Maserati 250F with the most commendable restraint, yet sufficiently fast to take the lead on lap three when Allart in Margulies’ Connaught came into its pit, and to hold it thereafter. It was truly unfortunate that, under the impression the race was over, he eased up too soon and was overtaken on the last lap by Salvage’s Connaught, which won by a second. The Hon. Patrick Lindsay drove his E.R.A. “Remus” superbly, finishing third, and winner of the pre-war class, well ahead of Wilks’ Cooper-Bristol, Cottam’s Connaught, Beryl in Lindsay’s own Maserati 250F and other post-war machinery. Coles’ s/c. J4 M.G. won the sports-car class; fastest lap was by Allart’s Connaught, at 86.06 m.p.h. Crabbe was getting 6,300 r.p.m. down Lavant straight and the other Maserati 250F 6,500 r.p.m., or some 130 m.p.h., these cars using only 2nd, 3rd and top, and taking St. Mary’s in top gear.
The big race of this warm afternoon was the Whitsun Trophy Race over 21 laps, for Sports and GT cars. As the flag fell, Coundley in the McLaren-Elva Oldsmobile got away well, whereas Salvadori in a Ford GT spun his wheels. The opening laps were a battle between Coundley and Nathan’s Brabham BT8 Oldsmobile, but Coundley pulled away and when Nathan came in with a sick engine the McLaren-Elva was about half-a-lap ahead of Salvadori. It stayed that way to the end, with the remaining places unchanging, in the order—Mac (Shelby Cobra), Lumsden, (Jaguar E), Lepp (Lotus Elan) and Sparrow (Shelby Cobra). Coundley thus won his second most important race, compensation for all-night work by his mechanics, who also had the transporter break down on them.
The Saloon Car Race, over 15 laps, endorsed my contention that it takes a Ford Mustang to win these British saloon-car races, Salmon’s smart car of this make and type winning by 26.2 sec. from Drury’s 1,718-c.c. twin-cam Ford Anglia and Peer’s 1,800-c.c. Ford Anglia, although Doc. Merfield had his Ford Cortina V8 up in second place, before it shed the n/s. front wheel, and even Merfield can’t go on racing on three wheels. Cave’s irrepressible A40 led its class. Cooper spun his Mini-Cooper-S 90º out of the chicane—no mean feat!—and Dodd’s 3.5 Jaguar fought off Swanton’s Anglia.
Interest was added to the last race, a 10-lap Formule Libre affair, because Lindsay was driving his Maserati against the modern Cars. Coundley led away but the McLaren-Elva broke its back axle on the first lap, letting Bloor’s Brabham-Ford into first place, followed by Dean’s Lotus 30. This lasted for three laps, then these two were eliminated in a spinning incident, giving the lead to Sparrow’s Cobra from Bell’s twin-cam Lotus-Ford. Lindsay was by then in fifth place but sensibly going straight on at the chicane whets the o/s. front brake grabbed; he was black-flagged, spoiling his race and spectator interest in his progress. It would surely have been kinder to have let him finish under a penalty, rather than bring him in but I suppose the official concerned would have black-flagged the aeroplane which had nosed over on landing if it had been possible to do so. When Bell came in oil lap seven Lantranchi’s ex-B.R.P. F.1 Lotus-Climax became second, ahead of Bennett’s Brabham-Ford (so Lindsay could have finished fourth, even deducting the small advantage his s.o. episode might have given him).—W. B.