THE DOUBLE TWELVE
to be re-metalled, and later in the afternoon reassembled the engine and got going again just before the end of the first day. Very smart work on the part of all concerned !
Capt. Frazer Nash had early trouble with the blower on his Austin, but set to work to change same with great rapidity, and after some delay eventually got going again and went remarkably well thereafter. The new M.G., in the hands of L. G. Callingham started off in a very promising manner. It showed a good turn of speed, ran very pleasantly and evidently handled steadily, but had however to come out of the running owing to the butterfly valve of the carburettor coming loose and a screw getting into the works, causing considerable damage. It was certainly hard luck that this entry should be put out of the race by such an unusual trouble. Kaye Don on an Alfa Romeo was soon after in trouble with the wings coming loose ; these had had to be modified at the last moment to comply with the regulations, and the extension pieces were breaking away. Don did some quick work in the pits with aluminium sheeting and got away again, and by a really fine display of driving began to catch up again. It was already becoming evident that the Aston Martins were going to be in the picture and their consistent running was very noticeable. The fastest of their team was, however, unfortunately put out of the race owing to a misjudgment in the oil supply when changing over drivers, and it was left to Bertelli's car of the same make to take up the running. The Talbots were running close together with a lap speed
of well over 80 m.p.h. and were able to hold their own with several of the bigger cars. The Alvis were being delayed with valve trouble and Mrs. Bruce dropped from 4th place. In the afternoon Jack Dunfee and Birkin's Bentleys both retired with broken valves after setting a cracking pace at the beginning of the race, and
Bertelli moved up to 3rd place with the Hon. Max Aitkin (Talbot) 4th.
Another small car which was going very consistently was Whitcroft's Riley and after a delay to .Aitkin's Talbot this car moved up to 4th place.
Just at the end of the first day's running he had gained sufficient on his handicap to oust Bertelli from third position and this, therefore, was the same as that at the finish. Just before 7 o'clock on the Friday occurred the crash which eliminated the two Talbots driven by Col. Rabagliati and Hebeler ; the two cars came into contact just after the pits causing Hebeler's car to overturn, fortunately without hurting driver or mechanic, and also causing Rabagliati's car to crash through the railings with much more Serious results, the mechanic and a spectator being killed and the driver and several spectators injured. As a result of this race the third Talbot was withdrawn from the race at the end of the 'first day.
THE SECOND TWELVE HOURS.
8 a.m. on the second day did not see the same willingness to start on the part of the majority of cars, notable exceptions being the Austins and Aston. Martins. The latter having dry sump lubrication it was quite an easy matter to fill the tank with hot oil and get off the mark without delay. In this manner Bertelli gained a place from Whitcroft's Riley but was unable to maintain the position against his handicap for more than two hours. At this point the two cars were tying for third position, and later Whitcrofi's Riley drew ahead, the order remaining =changed to the end. Lagondas were in trouble at the start Couper having to fit a new timing chain at the pits. This trouble put several of these cars out of
the race as the delay in fitting the new chain was too great to give them any chance of finishing high up.
Early on Dr. Benjafield arrived pushing his Bentley, which had damaged pinions in the rear axle. As he approached the pits someone called out" Have you pushed it far ? " " Oh, about a mile," was the cheerful reply. He then set to work to dismantle the axle but the car was later withdrawn. The Bentley pit organisation was a model of efficiency, and filling up and changing over of drivers was accomplished with the minimum of delay or fuss. Their experience of long distance races has certainly taught them the great value of "pep in the pits." Campbell's Bugatti had been suffering from various troubles and Earl Howe had
a narrow shave when a hub cap came off on the railway straight and he had to walk all the way back to the pits to collect a jack. Eventually he re-arrived with the car, when it was filled up and Campbell took over and gave a marvellous exhibition of driving in an endeavour to re-gain his lost position. The delays, however, had been too great to give him a. chance.
In the afternoon the bright weather gave place to some of the heaviest rain that has ever been experienced at Brooklands, and this made conditions extremely unpleasant for the drivers. The big Bentleys in the hands of Woolf Barnato and. S. C. H. Davis were leading comfortably and. slowed considerably in the rain. This was not the case with the Alfa Romeo drivers, who were determined to use every opportunity to make up lost ground and, their cornering seemed every bit as fast as it had been in the dry. Another driver who kept up to schedule, and if anything gained on it was Mrs. Scott in the Riley who again proved herself a driver of the highest class. From now until the end of the race there was little incident, the position of the leaders remaining unchanged, and it was not until a few minutes from the finish that anything of interest occurred. Whitcroft's Riley punctured, and he started to change the wheel ; finding however, that the jack was not working properly, he continued to the pits on a flat tyre to find that the race had finished, with himself in third position after driving a very well judged race. The tyre that punctured had already done considerably more than Its specified distance but he had decided
to risk not changing it when advised to, fortunately without serious effect. Both the Aston Martin and the Riley had been travelling considerably faster on the second day than on the first, but within an hour of the finish it became evident that the Aston Martin would not be able to catch up the Riley.
So ended a hard race with British cars occupying the first four positions and also winners of the team prize.
Afterthoughts on the Race.
Of the 30 cars finishing the Double Twelve, 24 were fitted with Ferodo Linings including the first two Bentleys. When. one considers the nature of the Race, it is very obvious that the efficiency claimed for Ferodo Lining is well upheld. * * *
fitting on all Bentley and Aston Martin models. * * *
An interesting point about the Tracta driven by S. D. Marr in the race is that it was the same car as that tested earlier this year by MaroR SPORT, in which report we emphasized its sturdy build, and described it as the sort of car on which nothing would ever break. The truth of this is proved by its Double Twelve performance when it had absolutely no mechanical trouble whatever. On the second day however the car grazed the end of the sand bank and lost its fishtail. Not being allowed to continue without it was necessary to find it. By the time this was done and re-fitted a delay of over two hours had occurred which put the car out of the running for a high position, a really atrocious bit of luck, but the sort of thing that is always happening in racing. * * An example of enthusiasm receiving an undeserved rebuff was provided by an incident on the morning of the race before the start. A driver of a certain make was feverishly going over his car seeing to various last minute adjustments, and decided ,that the model would be better with a fresher set of hub caps. Accordingly a sleepy mechanic was ordered to go and remove the set from a works car outside the depot. At that moment, however, an enthusiastic private owner, anxious to see how his favourite make was faring in the final preparations, drew up outside and went in to look round. The mechanic, coming out and finding, as he had been told, one perfectly good
Young Accumulators achieved another success in the Double Twelve being fitted to a large number of cars competing in this event. Both Bentley and Aston Martin teams were Young equipped throughout, also Earl Howe's Bugatti.
A discharge of roughly 850 amps. is necessary to turn over a high compression racing engine such as the Big Six Bentley. When it is remembered that the cars have to be restarted from cold after the previous day's twelve hours continuous running, it is hard to exaggerate the battery's task. The Young Accumulator is a standard
motor car, promptly removed the hub caps from same, and fitted them to the racer. Shortly after, our enthusiast returned to collect his model, and was horrified to find the wheels quite unattached. Result—much cursing and recrimination, and, eventually, some more hub caps. After all one car is much like another at 5 a.m., especially when they both have Rudge wheels !
from page 45.
Mr. B. S. Marshall in 1921 finished sixth in the Grand Prix des Voiturettes at Le Mans. The same year saw four Aston Martins entered in the first 200 mile race, and their experience in this race enabled them next year to set up records in the light car class for 800 and 1,200 miles and 12 hours, driven in turn by Clive Gallop, H. Kensington Moir, and S. C. H. I)avis. Next year's 200 miles race again saw Aston Martin among the entry with Zborowski and R. Kensington-Moir as their drivers and then when George Stead on the old Aston Martin "Bunny," which was a side valve machine, and which in spite of its age ran perfectly regularly and eventually finished second at 86.33 m.p.h. against a field of specially built cars of that year.
The same year two Aston Martins were entered for the Grand Prix de Penya Rhin and Zborowski drove a fine race and brought his car home second at 63 m.p.h. In 1923 the Grand Prix of Boulogne again showed them formidable competitors, and running with perfect regularity for the whole of the distance, R. C. Morgan and G. E. T. Eyston finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. In August of this year a slightly modified car with a narrow chassis with no differential was prepared for records, and in the hands of F. B. Halford annexed the halfmile, kilometre and mile records at 62.8, 66.5 and 74.12 m.p.h. The next 200 mile race gave another example of Aston Martin reliability and Eyston, Morgan, and Hall finished fourth, sixth and ninth, and were the only complete team to finish the race.
At the same time as the 200 mile race, Zborowski took a car to Spain for the Penya Rhin race and after a great struggle with Dario Resta on one of the famous Darracqs, eventually finished in front of him and gained second place. The same driver followed this by finishing third in competition with the formidable Darracqs in the race for 1500 c.c. cars on the Sitges track.
After this Aston Martin did not appear so much in the big races as they were going through a period of modification and re-organisation of their concern, and it was not until the appearance of the present car, designed by Mr. Bertelli that they have really come into their own, and the manner in which they have done so shows that his ability, supporting the traditions of this make in the past, has enabled them to overshadow their old succeses with those of the present, giving proof, if proof were needed, of the truth of the opening words of this article.