THE SOUTHPORT MOTOR CLUB 100 MILE SAND RACE.
THE organisation of the Southport Motor Club seems to improve each year and the Hundred Mile Race which they held on May 18th lasi was a very successful and exciting event. The weather was beautiful and the sands were in perfect condition.
As usual the course of a mile and a third consisted of two long straights divided by a line of flags, with a hairpin turn at each end. The entrants, who were divided into five classes according to the cubic capacity of their engines, had to do thirty-five laps to complete the race. Thirty cars started. They were lined up in three rows and all got away quickly as the flag dropped. T. Thistlethwayte’s 7,000 c.c. supercharged Mercedes was the biggest car running and had gained the lead at the end of the first lap. He was closely followed by Raymond Mayes on his three litre Vauxhall Villers and Dan Higgin on one of the old four cylinder 200 mile race supercharged Talbots. After a few laps Higgin, who was cornering magnificently, took the lead, but, unfortunately for him, clutch trouble developed on the 13th lap and he was forced to retire. Mays’ Vauxhall, which had been misfiring, also retired and Thistlethwayte again took the lead
and continued to hold it until the end. He was followed by three Bugattis driven by G. Lane Jones, J. Field and R. V. Fontes. Later on G. Lane Jones dropped out and there was quite an exciting duel between J. Fields and R. V. Fontes.
Three Austen Sevens driven by G. Poppe, S. V. Holbrook and P. Stevenson did exceedingly well and made wonderfully fast laps for such small cars. Stephenson indeed was at one time only three laps behind Thistlethwayte. He created a tremendous thrill by turning his car right over whilst cornering.
In the most stoical manner he picked himself up and after righting his car he drove off again with only a few seconds delay. At first it seemed as though the upset had been quite a harmless one, but very soon bearing trouble due to oil leakage developed and he was forced to retire. G. Poppe eventually worked up into fifth place behind J. Darby who had been doing exceedingly well on a front wheel drive Alvis and came in fourth.
Great amusement was caused at the end of the race by the Aspden (Eldridge Special) which completed the third lap twenty-five minutes after the winner was flagged in.