Personal Records

It used to be almost possible to base one’s calendar on the VSCC fixture list. But more events have been added and there is a notable change this year, with not one, but two, Donington Park race meetings. The next one is on October 6th. The first was held in pleasant ‘global warming’ weather, on May 26th. I was asked by a lady journalist what ‘new’ cars would be running. I had to tell her, virtually none, any recently discovered historic cars being in dealers’ showrooms or the auction rooms. Another VSCC innovation was a (BBC) on-board camera on a vintage Bentley, but I suppose what is good enough for Ayrton Senna . . . . At Brooklands the occasional fresh entry was welcome, to the extent that when the Bimotore-Alfa Romeo was a non-starter a notice to the effect was posted at the gate, to prevent anyone asking for the entrance fee to be returned! Alas, Margulies’ interesting ex-Francesco Matrullo 1100cc Maserati, billed in the VSCC programme, was similarly a non-runner, Dan having hurt his back, although I do not know why Michael Lavers, billed as the second driver, didn’t deputise.

The John Holland Trophy Scratch Race, over 10-laps for vintage racing cars, was predicted a win for Tim Llewellyn’s famous 3/8.4-litre Bentley — the one with the camera. It led away and gained a little on Ivan Dutton’s 35B Bugatti round Redgate. But the Bugafti was going well and after four laps was leading, with the Bentley dropping back. Surely filming did not have any influence? The Bugafti lapped 1.9 seconds more quickly, winning by 3.3 seconds. Boswell’s Hispano Suiza aero-engined Bequet Delage was third, but although re-valved, seemed handicapped on the fine Donington Park circuit by its two-speed transmission — we hear a Bentley box is contemplated. However, this 12-litre V8 beat the 35B Bugattis of Horton, who had oil spillage problems beforehand, and Cardy, after Caroline’s Morgan had shed its n/s front wheel when in fourth place, stopping safely on two. Majzub’s 35B was among the nonappearers.

In the old days the Shuttleworth Trophy race was combined with the Nuffield Trophy race at the VSCC Donington Meeting, appropriately because both were run there before the war. Now the latter race will be held at the second Donington Meeting. The Shuttleworth, 10 laps from scratch for pre-war racing cars, was, as expected, won in fine style by Anthony Mayman in ERA R4D. After a brief consultation with his assistant on the start-line, he drove impeccably, lapping at 79.98 mph, and winning at 77.52 mph, well clear of President Spollon’s ERA R8C, which had a fierce dual with Chris Mayman in the 1 1/2-litre ERA AJM-1. They crossed the finish line with a mere 0.4 seconds between them, whereas ‘The Master’ had a 36.4 seconds lead over Spollon. It may be monotonous to win your every race but Anthony Mayman, who remains the top VSCC driver, has his personal records, race average or lap speeds, to beat . . . . Sir John Venables Llewellyn kept his ERA R4A ahead of Jaye’s Alta and next home was Paul Grist in the 2.6 Monza Alfa Romeo which Dick Wilkins raced at Donington before the war. Unfortunately Jeffrey Pafterson’s actual Shuttleworth 1935 Donington GP winning 2.9 monoposto Alfa Romeo, to its credit on 19″ tyres, was a non-starter. As was Marr’s V8R1 Maserati. Ludovic Lindsay (ERA R5B) retired with low oil pressure, and Mark Gillies’ Riley, Robinson’s Riley, Stephens’ ERA R12B and Bscher’s 4CL Maserati also dropped out, the last two on the first lap. The venerable Brooklands Alvis of Richard Dunham sounded very ‘flat’, but it finished.

The other important race of the afternoon was the Coy’s sponsored 12-lap Allcomers scratch race. It was Anthony Mayman who again had it all buttoned up, his ex-Innes Ireland/Bruce Halford 1959 Lotus 16 sounding as crisp as had R4D, and which was as impeccably driven, overtaking slower cars on whichever side was expedient. After Lindsay’s 250F Maserati had passed Harper’s BRM, the P25 built up from parts by Tom Wheatcroft for his racing car collection, it became a processional race. One commentator hoped that Lindsay was closing on Mayman. But no-one catches Anthony! He took the chequered flag with 2.5 sec. in hand, at an average speed of 81.87 mph and lapped at 84.59 mph, to his best lap of 85.72 mph last year. This substantially consolidated his lead in the VSCC Challenge, as had R4D in our Brooklands Trophy. The BRM was 47.1 sec behind the Maserati and Beasley’s Mk 2 CooperBristol dropped further and further back, without losing fourth place. Merrick’s Dino Ferrari had started badly and finished behind ERA R4A. Bscher enlivened his race by driving the Maserati along the pit-lane on three consecutive laps. Dutton’s Bugatti was content to rest on its former laurels, not reappearing again, and Ure’s ERA R9B and Ellison’s Riley lasted for only a lap.

Of the shorter supporting races, the first 5-lap scratch event was won by Grist’s Monza Alfa Romeo (69.46 mph) from Sparrowhawk’s 4.3 Alvis now with Bentley gearbox, the next by Withington’s Derby Bentley Special (64.92 mph) after it and the second place Triumph had both lapped at 86.10 mph, the third of these races by Burrough’s Cooper-Bristol, (74.56 mph). The Le Mans Singer of Simon Bird got a long piece about itself in the programme, having survived Sammy Davis’ spectacular crash with it in the 1935 TT when the steering on three of the four Singers failed. But in its 5-lap Handicap engagement it was last but one, nor did Hancock’s Balilla Fiat turn up to challenge it as had happened with one of these Italian cars in Ulster. The winner was, in fact, Brewster’s racing A7 Chummy, at 58.56 mph. The previous Handicap race had been won by Drewitt’s Riley, at 65.55 mph, followed home to a Riley 1, 2, 3 by Watney’s White Riley and Payne’s Riley. Lockhart’s exceedingly aged Rover did quickest lap, at 74.17 mph. The first Handicap saw Fox win in his Delahaye, at 66.95 mph. The John Goddard Trophy race, 5 laps from scratch, was a scratch between Jaye’s ex-Beadle 2-litre Alta, which won at 73.46 mph, lapping at 75.77 mph, Grist’s Alfa Romeo, and Boswell’s Bequet Delage, which were the runners-up. WB

The second VSCC Silverstone Meeting incorporated the Boulogne Trophy and the two Hawthorn Trophy races. Ivan Dutton’s 35B Bugatti won the Boulogne by 7.7 sec., at 75.8 mph, after a battle with Llewellyn’s 8.4-litre Bentley, Majzub’s 35B third and Morley’s giant Bentley-Napier in fourth place, ahead of two more Bugattis. Brooklands corner on the new Club circuit was slippery, slides and spins, of which Alex Boswell had two in the Bequet Delage, being greeted with ribald laughter by the new-breed of spectators.

Coy’s Hawthorn Trophy contest was the expected walk-over for Anthony Mayman, ERA R4D ahead by 13.7 sec., at 81.19mph, its best lap of 83.87 being 1.10 mph faster than at the April Meeting. For four laps Jaye’s Alta was in third place behind Lindsay’s ERA R5B but a fuel pipe apparently broke and squirted petrol into the cockpit, which Paul hastily vacated. Older onlookers might have seen it as Raymond Mays leading ‘Bira’, Beadle and Earl Howe. . ! It ended an ERA benefit, Spollon in R8C third, Sir J. Venables-Llewelyn’s R4A 4th., especially as only Jolley’s Giron-Alvis, driven with spirit, was ahead of Bill Morris in GP2, in 6th place, followed by Stephens’ 1 1/2-litre R12C and Danaher in ERA AJM 1. Next home were Margulies’ 4CL Maserati and his ex-Cormack Alta driven by Bond.

After this Mike Sparken gave us a fine demonstration in his Tipo 158/159 Alfa Romeo, as good a way as any of celebrating his 60th birthday! He, too, spun at ‘Brooklands’ on his first lap, to be greeted with sarcastic applause from the spectators. In the second Brooks Hawthorn Trophy race Mayman began to run away from the rest in the Lotus 16 but on lap 8 of the 12-laps he stopped, with ‘a wire adrift.’ That let Lindsay in the ‘kit-bits’ 250F Maserati win, at 81.84 mph, from Ricketts driving the Mayman 250F and Drake’s 2.2-litre Lotus 16. Two Cooper-Bristols were 4th and 5th followed by Margulies’ 4CL. Mayman lapped at 86.08 mph, 0.33 mph slower than he had in April, Lindsay at 83.77 mph. Harper’s P25 BRM, after running third, retired with a lap to go.

An innovation was a race for Ulster-type A7s but some of the ‘Ulsteroids’ bore little resemblance to Ulsters. Indeed, only four runners had standard cars. However, there were 44 entries, of which seven had to be reserved, 30 started and only six retired. All wore little raspberry decals I wonder why? Sweeter maybe than mulberries? After Robinson’s twin-SU Special had spun and stalled Spence’s low-hung 1930/31 Seven won at 62.83 mph (best lap at a furious 64.13) from Eyre’s single-carburettor 1929 Ulster. A five-lap Handicap would have surely been more appropriate? Of the supporting events, Chris Mann’s Monza Alfa Romeo won the Phillips Trophy race (70.58 mph) from the duelling 4.3 Alvises of Sparrowhawk and Spiers. Thompson’s Lagonda Rapier won the first 5-lap Handicap (67.38 mph) Keeling’s super-charged PB MG the second (65.21 mph), Ellison’s 1750cc Riley the third (64.04 mph), Keeling also won the first 5-lap Scratch race (66.99 mph) and Anthony Mayman the second, driving Lindsay’s ERA 5B ‘Remus’ (77.11 mph) — but how much better had he been put in a Handicap race and made to work for it from the scratch mark! The leaders in the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy contest are: Mayman, 90pts., Drewitt/Llewellyn, 44pts. each, Thompson 36 pts. Next Round, Oulton Park, July 7/8th. WB