The two happiest days of my life

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No, not mine. But when I was interviewing racing driver W.B.(‘Bummer’) Scott he told me which were the two happiest days of his life.The first was when he scored the only try for Cambridge in the Twickenham Inter-Varsity Rugby Match, I think it was in 1924. As a reporter I liked to check things and long afterwards, seeing in the library a book on the history of rugby football, I consulted it. There in the Appendix it was that lone try by the all-round sportsman so well known in motor-racing circles…

Scott’s other happiest day was when he beat Malcolm Campbell in the Gold Star Trophy at the Track, when they both raced straight-eight 1½-litre GP Delage cars. On that 1930August Bank Holiday Campbell’s blue Delage and Scott’s black and green sister car were giving Birkin’s blower Bentley 88 seconds start in 23 miles. With a dozen competitors Birkin would have been well over to the right of the track at the start and the two Delage cars, Campbell in front,would have been coming up on Birkin as he was about to start.

There was a blue line at this point, not to be crossed unless one fast car was passing another. Scott, in order not to crowd Birkin, crossed the fatal line. He then caught and passed Campbell, only to find himself disqualified. “It was sheer misery,” he told me, until his win was re-instated by the Stewards, after Birkin had spoken in Scott’s favour. I calculate that Campbell, who had started the faster, had cleared the Bentley but that Scott was coming up to it fast as Birkin was being flagged away, and therefore crossed the forbidden line to give Sir Henry more room. Birkin’s support of Scott was very sporting, as he had himself been disqualified after winning an earlier race when he went outside the same line in Craig’s unfamiliar Bugatti.