SPORTING EVENTS OF THE MONTH.
LONDON’S FIRST ROAD RACE. Exciting Events at the Crystal Palace.
IN,M . EROUS corners of varying “fastness “, several hairpins, ascents, descents and an almost uniformly loose surface enabled a large crowd of
spectators to see some hair-raising sport at speeds which were never higher than 30 m.p.h. for the mile lap. It is possible that some riders attained nearly 55 m.p.h. on one stretch of the course but it was noticed that the average spectator preferred to watch at the comparatively slow corners, where only the wilder spirits proved at all spectacular. In our op’nion the best place on the course was the fast loose left hand bend through the trees just before the statue hairpin at the highest point on the lap. On this corner solo riders were touching 35 m.p.h., banking at a considerable angle and liable at any moment to stiffer skids of a more or less lurid nature, while sidecar outfits with passengers well extended seemed to travel even faster and to skid steadily all the way round.
Another exciting spot was the sharp descent followed by a wicked S-bend over the Reservoir or Lily Pond, which latter we were surprised did not claim its victims. Sidecars bumped and skidded round this point in most spectacular manner and frequently seemed to be on the point of joining the Gold Fish.
All grades of riding, good, bad and indifferent, were to be seen, but it was noticeable that comparatively unknown local amateurs, with a better knowledge of the course were far superior to Several T.T. and Brooklands cracks. We were very amused at the antics of one T.T. winner, who could not keep the engine of his sidecar outfit running on the hairpin turns. He eventually wearied of restarting on loose up-gradients and retired, where
upon, for the benefit of the crowd, his passenger remarked that the machine ” had too much guts for the course.” Too much oil and not enough care in carburettor tuning would have been a more apt remark !
Among the best riders, B. Bragg and L. Bellamy on Coventry Eagle machines showed up well, while fastest lap of the day went to A. E. Parnacott (A.J.S.). In the sidecar classes 0. A. Norchi (Coventry Eagle), J. Chell (A.J.S.) were very good while some clever cornering was accomplished by the rider of a P. & P. sidecar outfit.
One amusing incident occurred when P. Ffrench (O.E.C.) was flagged off the course for frightening the timekeepers. (He skidded wildly through the” finishing straight” about nine inches from the officials’ table).
That sidecars. were able to average higher speeds than solos, in spite of not having larger engines, emphasises the ” slowness” of the course and brings home its great value as a test of riding skill as opposed to those races in which the fastest machine wins. The winners were :—
175c.c. (Trade), I. P. Riddock (Zenith).
(Private), J. Broughton (Francis Barnett).
250c.c. (Trade), F. W. Clark (New Imperial).
(Private), L. H. Wilson (Dunelt).
350c.c. (Trade), F. E. Parnacott (A.J.S.).
(Private), L. Bellamy (Coventry Eagle).
500c.c. (Trade), S. Twiby (A.J.S.).
(Private), J. Twitchett (Dunelt). SOLO GRAND PRIX. L. Bellamy (Coventry Eagle),
600c.c. sidecars (Trade), P. Bradbrook (Coventry Eagle).
600c.c. sidecars (Private), J. Chell (A. J.S.).
SIDECAR GRAND PRIX. G. A. Norchi (Coventry Eagle).
The 200 -Mile Sidecar Races.
THOSE who witnessed the 1926 200-mile sidecar races will remember the disgraceful manner in which machine after machine dropped out with serious mechanical trouble, so that eventually only one 600c.c. machine and not a single big twin finished in their respective classes.
This year it was pleasing to note that although the 350c.c. class once again showed the largest number of finishers, the percentage of reliability in the other classes was much higher than last year. With three classes running together and with the rather obscure lap scoring arrangements it was very bard to follow the progress of the race unless one concentrated on each class for ‘a while ; we will therefore deal with one race at a time.
The speed at which the 350 c.c. leaders set out on their 200 mile jaunt was perfectly amazing and seemed to suggest inevitable and wholesale breakdown at a later stage.
W. C. Handley (Rex Acme), F. C. Millar (ZenithBlackburne) and J. S. Worters (Excelsior) led the field for a time at close on 80 m.p.h., the former ahead and the other two duelling furiously some distance behind.
Johnston and Colgan with the new o.h. camshaft Blackburne’s retired early, as did L. P. Driscoll (1st lap) and R. H. Hopkins, both on Chater Lea engined machines.
Later during the race Handley filled his tanks and then suffered tyre trouble, thus letting Worters into first place which he held at half and three quarter distances ; Handley, Millar and F. G. Hicks (Velocette) took it in turns to occupy the next two places until a broken rocker eliminated Worters, when they all moved up one. Eventually Handley finished about 300 yards ahead of Millar at 69 m.p.h., breaking the 200 mile and 3-hour records. J. S. Worters established new speeds for the 100 mile and 2-hour records (73.34 m.p.h. and 71.28 m.p.h. respectively).
Towards the end of the race it was noticed that although Millar had a large fishtail on each side of his back wheel, that on the off side was not attached to a silencer, which requirement had vanished. Millar was too blinded by dust to see the officials flagging him and suffered the extremely crushing luck of disqualification.
m.p.h. 1. W. L. Handley (348 Rex-Acme-Black burne sc.) 69.00 2. *F. C. Millar (348 Zenith-Blackburne sc.) 68.96 3. F. G. Hicks (348 Velocette sc.) • (36.02 4. W. 0. Edmunds (344 Rex-AcmeJap se). 64.11 5. W. G. Greenaway (348 Charter-Lea sc.) 61.71 6, C. V. Crowther-Smith (348 Rex-Acme Blackburne sc.)
7. E. C. Fernihough (344 ZenithJap sc.) * Excluded.
Tim 600e.c. CLASS..
A trio of Nortons (A. Denly, C. S. Staniland and 0. H. Tucker) led during the earlier laps of the 600c.e. class, with H. I,eVack (New Hudson) ” loitering ” just behind.
Bullus on the other New Hudson experienced” magneto trouble” after three laps, but the first important retirement was that of Staniland with a burst tank, just after he had completed 50 miles. Le Vack had passed Tucker, but slowed again and at half distance was lying third. Bewster (Zenith) retired with a seized valve and Matthews (Norton) had his engine strewn all over the track by a broken connecting rod ; Denly meanwhile was piling up a tremendous lead and averaging 80 m.p.h. After half distance Tucker experienced petrol pipe and tyre trouble so that at threequarter distance Le Vack had again passed him. Shortly afterwards, and to everyone’s sorrow, Denlv broke an exhaust cam spindle and retired ; he had broken 4 records and speeds ranging from 79-82 m.p.h. It now appeared as though 60.97 • • • 59.26
Le Vack would reap the reward of running to a” canny” schedule, but an examination of his valve springs after he had won discounted any suggestion that he had speed in hand !
m.p.h. 1. H. Le Vack (591.4 New Hudson sc.) 68.90 2. G. H. Tucker (588 Norton sc.) 65.27 3. C. M. Harley (488 Zenith-Jap sc.) 58.27
THE 1 ,000C.C. RACE.
As was expected J. S. Wright took the lead at about 85 m.p.h. followed by 0. M. Baldwin (Zenith) and F. A. Longman on the veteran Harley Davidson. C. T. Ashby (Zenith) a previous winner was soon in trouble, first lap—broken magneto chain—long walk—then third lap stripped holding down bolt,—finis ! C. F. Temple (0.E.C.), Hamilton (McEvoy) and Humphries (Brough) also executed various repairs. G. W. Patchett (McEvoy) fitted a new gearbox in the remarkably short time of 10 minutes but had other troubles sufficient to him in time. At
half time Longman had retired and E. C. Baragwanath (Brough) had replaced him in the first three. Temple was using a great many tyres and eventually decided that he had had enough and stopped.
Meanwhile J. S. Wright’s Brough broke a rocker and lost three quarters of an hour so that 90 m.p.h. laps later on availed him nothing. Baldwin now took the lead and H. M. Walters (Zenith) ousted Baragwanath, a trio which maintained the positions to the end.
m.p.h. 0. M. Baldwin (976 Zenith-Jap sc.) 73.97 H. M. Walters (976 Zenith-Jap sc.) 72.83 E. C. E. Baragwanath (976 Brough Super ior-Jap sc.) 71.07 R. E Humphries (976 Brough Superior Jap sc.) 70.00
MORE NORTON RECORDS.
500 Kilometres 500 Miles 1000 Kilometres
63.20 m.p.h. Class ” F” Classes ” F” & ” G 5 Hours
64.76 m.p.h. Class ” F ” 6
64.60 m.p.h. 1 , ” F ” 7
64.42 m.p.h. ” ” 8 PI
63.22 m.p.h. 17 ” F ” 9
63.33 m.p.h. 31 ” F ” 10
63.25 m.p.h. Classes” F ” & 11
63.37 m.p.h. „ ” F ” &” G 12
63.51 m.p.h. „