WHIT-MONDAY MEETING OF THE B.A.R.C.
yit ;Another Sunny Day at Brooklands.
AS at Easter, in spite of a week of doubtful weather, the conditions on Whit-Monday were delightful for the ordinary holiday-maker ; for the Brooklands habitué, however, the sun was rather fierce in the early afternoon, the great concrete oval acting as a very efficient reflector of both light and heat.
For once the handicappers displayed unusual skill in staging close finishes ; in several races the entire field seemed to cross the line in a bunch. This feature, together with the appearance of the famous ” ThomasSpecial ” ” Babs,” resulted in a thoroughly interesting afternoon. We cannot help wishing, however, that some effort could be made to enable the spectator to see more of the racing, as at a motor-cycle meeting ; at present, if one is in the Paddock, one can see very little of the start or finish of the race, and in any case one is too far from the track to read the competitors’ numbers as they flash past the gap at the end of the straight. If one stands near the edge of the track, one misses the interest and excitement of the Paddock, and the parade of fashions (both automobile and sartorial !). If the present form of race continues, the paddock and grand stands should be moved to the railway straight, when much greater satisfaction would be obtained for one’s fifteen shillings or more that is paid for admission.
The first race was the Private Competitors’ Handicap, and provided a mixed field, ranging from an Austin Seven to a 5-litre Ballot. At the end of the first lap Maxwell (Austin Seven) was still holding his original lead, but H. W. Purdy (Bugatti) and R. B. Howey (Ballot) were observed to be catching up ground rapidly. On the last lap Purdy managed to scrape in front of the Austin as they crossed the line, and the big Ballot just failed to catch B. Eyston’s Aston-Martin, which finished third. The winner’s speed was 88 m.p.h.
A ” Slow ” Race. The 75 m.p.h.. Short Handicap was next decided, and provided a win for L. C. Rawlance on the 2-litre O.M. On the first lap the limit man, B. H. Norris (Rhode), led, followed by the Marendaz Special and
B. Eyston (Aston-Martin), but shortly afterwards he was passed by a bunch of later starters, including the two above, the winner, G. N. Norris (Lea-Francis) and G. Newman’s Salmson. The dog fight among this bunch resulted in second and third places falling to the Lea-Francis and the Marendaz Special respectively. The finish was remarkably close, and the winner’s speed was 87-im.p.h.
” Babs ” makes her debut.
There were ten starters in the 100 m.p.h. Short Handicap for the Brooklands Gold Vase, and an exciting duel ensued between two ” 35-second men,” K. Don on the Wolseley-Viper, and A. G. Miller on a 5-litre Sunbeam. After Meeson, on his surprisingly fast touring Vauxhall, had led for one lap, Miller and Don in the order named came to the front, the former eventually winning by half a length at 102 m.p.h. Third place went to the intrepid Barclay on the T.T. Vauxhall.
The much-vaunted ” Babs ” was obviously not being hurried in this race, and the pitiful outbursts of the lay press, such as ” Babs nowhere ! ” and ” World’s fastest car hopelessly beaten ” were rather amusing.
The Twenty-third 90 m.p.h. Short Handicap.
The most interesting entry and incidentally the winner in this race was the six-cylinder supercharged Halford-Special, of 1,500 c.c., which will be driven in this year’s 200-mile race. The supercharger protrudes beneath and in front of the radiator between the chassis dumb irons, and the whole car is most attractively finished.
The race itself was not very interesting, except for Major Halford’s dash through the field from the i6second mark, overhauling Lanfranchi (Alfa Romeo) and G. E. T. Eyston (Aston-Martin), who followed him home in the order named. The winner’s speed was 05 m.p.h.
Thomas uses his Brakes.
The Lightning Short Handicap was a thrilling spectacle from start to finish, the most impressive sight perhaps being when the three great white cars (Babs and the two Leylands) one after the other crawled slowly out to the start and lined up side by side just behind the starting line in order to use the slope of the banking to restart their engines. ” Babs” was to have been driven by J. R. Cobb, but at the last minute Thomas and Cobb changed_seats, so that the latter took the Leyland
with 3 seconds’ start. R. B. Howey drove his brother’s Leyland Thomas with 10 seconds’ start.
Meeson’s Vauxhall led on the first round, hotly pursued by Barclay on the Vauxhall. In spite of a 3 seconds’ start, Cobb was passed in a flash by Babs, roo yards from the start. The other Leyland was gobbled up at the beginning of the second lap in similar fashion. Barclay passed Meeson half a lap from the finish, and managed to hold off ” Babs” by about 50 yards at the line, 3./leeson being third. Barclay’s speed was ioo/ m.p.h. After the race, Thomas complained of being very sore owing to the bumps. He estimated his speed at
the end of the railway straight to be 160 m.p.h., and had to brake hard before negotiating the Byfleet Banking at a beggarly 120 m.p.h. !
A novel race for the three types of Grand-Prix Bugatti was staged next over the same distance, seven starting. C. S. Staniland, with 20 seconds, soon ran through the four 4-cylinder models (40 secs. start) and led comfortably to the end. G. Duller, lapping very fast from the scratch mark, came in second, with H. W. Purdy third. Staniland won at 031 m.p.h.
The 90 m.p.h. Long Handicap.
Held over 8f miles, the long handicaps are always more interesting than the shorter races, the last lap usually providing great excitement. This race was no exception, on lap one 0, E, T. Eyston led, followed by
Newman and Hazlehurst, on Salmsons. On lap two the Bugatti ” finger ” (J. C. Douglas) was in the pie once more, having displaced Hazlehurst. On the third lap the Bugatti ” thumb ” (Malcolm Campbell) plunged into the confectionery and extracted the plum. Campbell won by a length from Douglas at 941 m.p.h. The Halford-Special, rehandicapped to scratch in company with Thomas on the Lanchester, finished third.
“Tip and Run” on the Track.
The Ioo m.p.h. Long Handicap produced more passing and repassing than has ever been seen before in a race of this sort.
On lap one the limit man, Lanfranchi, on the Alfa Romeo, held his lead, but Staniland (Bugatti), 25 secs. had passed Meeson (Vauxhall) 28 secs. Barclay (scratch) drew away from Newman (Austro-Daimler), also scratch. On lap 2 Meeson repassed Staniland, but could not leave him. Kaye Don, on the Wolseley-Viper, had passed Thomas and Halford (the former on the Lanchester), and was now fourth. On the last lap everything was reshuffled again. Meeson and Staniland passed the leading Alfa Romeo, one on each side of it, in close company. Thomas passed and was repassed by the Halford-Special, and the unwieldy looking Viper overhauled everyone in front, to win by 400 yards at 105 m.p.h. Staniland lost second place to Halford by inches.
The Ninth Race.
The 75 m.p.h. Long Handicap was a procession throughout, with very little overtaking, but, however, a very bunched finish. The Eyston brothers, looked winners from the start, G. E. T. beating brother B. by two lengths at 85i m.p.h., after giving him 3 seconds’ start. Both drove Aston Martins. G. Newman’s (Salmson) was a close third from the 27 sec. mark. The ancient Nazzaro from scratch was a hectic last. Dr. Benjafield, well in the running for a place on his Frazer-Nash, miscounted, and failed to turn down the finishing straight.
The ” Star ” Gold Star Handicap.
Once more the two Thomas productions were brought out, this time Cobb taking charge of ” Babs.”
Only six were allowed to start, and the first lap order was Miller (Sunbeam), Campbell (Bugatti), Barclay (Vauxhall). On the second lap Campbell passed Miller and Howey on the Ballot passed all three of the previous leaders. Barclay appeared to be much slower in this race though the trouble did not seem serious, and he dropped back to fifth. This time it was ” Babs’ ” turn to sulk and Cobb could do no better than last. The Leyland, however, travelled at a tremendous speed, and ‘was only 50 yards behind Howey, who won at II() m.p.h., having received 25 secs, start from Thomas. M. Campbell, on G. Duller’s Bugatti, was third. The whole meeting passed off smoothly and without accident.