This event is run on Air Ministry property and is not therefore open to paying spectators. However, for VSCC members it provides that prominent attraction of a speed-trial, namely the opportunity to compare the pace of individual cars, especially as at this venue drivers are timed over both a 1/4-mile and a kilometre from a standing-start over a good surface, in addition to which cars are timed through a speed-trap towards the end of the course.
This year (June 1st) a strong and chilly wind was blowing up the runway, so that the Morgan 3-wheeler contingent were changing to lower-ratio sprockets. FTD was made by D Baldock’s 1938/9 blown 2-litre Alta, in 24.85 sec, his terminal speed 129 mph. Craig Collings’ 8.1-litre Bentley took the Colerne Trophy for fastest vintage time (26.10 sec. and 125 mph), and the quickest lady driver was Miss Jo Moss in the Invicta (35.17 sec, and 89 mph).
Class winners were Derek Edwards in the sports Aston Martin (31.95 sec) who did just the ton through the trap, best vintage Car Mrs Temple’s 80 mph Riley 9; R Spiers’s 4.3 Alvis (29.92 sec), best vintage Car the 4-1/2-litre Bentley of P Blakeney-Edwards; E Dunn’s Riley (31.83 sec), vintage winner B Beebee’s Lea-Francis; and Craig Collings, whose Bentley netted the lot in Class 4, handicap, vintage and overall prizes. Of the racing cars, Bishop’s 1928 A7 scored in both divisions (35.72 sec and 80 mph) Shotton’s Morgan cleaned both sections up to 1500cc (31.92 sec and 96 mph) and of the pre-war big racers Baldock aforesaid scored, with fastest vintage time by Howell’s Bugatti (28.99 mph and 115 mph). The postwar Historics were a wash-out, one Cooper-Bristol non-starting, the other retiring! The Edwardians brought the fun back, Harold Smith being rewarded with running the one-off 4.9-litre Indy Sunbeam again with a win in 36.42 sec, from Day’s 3.9-litre Straker-Squire (37.03 sec), which clocked 83 mph to the Sunbeam’s 71 mph, showing Smith’s superior acceleration. STD went to Bullett’s AV Monocar, in 81.95 sec, locked in combat as it were with Chris Gordon’s Tamplin which with 344cc more managed 61.23 sec and was 11 mph quicker at 45 mph. Randall ran a 41/2-litre Marion (58.83 sec), Bradshaw a racing Model-T Ford (46.14 sec). (See page 696) — WB