TH 4 SOUTHPORT 50-MILES RACE
A CLOSE FINISH RESULTS IN A GOOD WIN FOR W. L. THOMSON (AUSTIN). AVARIED entry was received for the 50 Mile Race, which took place on Birkdale Sands on April 29th. The list was as usual headed by Fields’
single-seater Bugatti. Noel Carr with the supercharged two litre did not appear on the line, owing to back axle trouble on his way North.
The second batch comprised three Bugattis and Whalley’s V8 Ford, and received one credit lap. De Ferranti’s car was a bored-out 2 litre, once the property of Gordon Stables, bought in a sorry state and overhauled. Whalley’s Ford was the one he took through the R.A.0 Rally complete with large four-seater body. Selby, a very successful performer at Southport two years ago was once more at the wheel of his two litre. J. Walker with a supercharged 1,500 c.c. car did not run.
Supercharged Austin 7’s were well in evidence ranging from the good old yellow pattern of C. H. Fish to the elaborately c)wled and streamlined red car of W. L. Thomson, from which only the top of the driver’s head projected. This class received four credit laps. The sand was in good condition and the course was a full half-mile in length, as usual, divided down the middle by a row of flags so that the cars had to negotiate a hairpin bend at each end. Fine
weather prevailed, and some three thousand cars were parked on the beach to see the racing. All the cars, with the exception of Sel got away well, Jack Field establishing a clear lead by the time he had completed a lap. Selby lost threequarters of his lap Start through his Starting difficulty, due to moisture from the alcohol condensing in his tank, and his car spat each time he got away from the corners. He drove a fine race,
being quite as fast round the corners as the 2.3, but Field of course gained considerably on the straight.
De Ferranti seemed unhappy in his gearchanges and struggled with the lever after each corner, He came to rest after some 15 laps, and retired with bearing trouble. At half dis tance the 750 c.c. cars, by virtue of their 4 lap start, were occupying the higher places on the ingenious score board, on which the position of the can, is shown by tlIk height of their number boards. Thomson and Parish were leading by two laps, but Field had already drawn up on level with Stephenson. A
few laps later in response to signals, Field increased his speed and got to within a lap of the leader, but his smoky exhaust suggested that all was not well.
With oil pressure down to zero and unpleasant sounds from the motor. Field kept going, but Thomson seemed quite happy except when he had occasion to look into the ” office ” when his face seemed in danger of being cut in two by the sloping windscreen.
The last lap was distinctly exciting, but the blue car for all its frenzied cornering could not gain at all on the red Austin and Thomson crossed the line some hundred yards ahead after a finely contested race. Nor did the excitement end there for as soon as the Bugatti stopped, dense clouds of smoke shot into the air and marshals ran about with spurting fire extinguishers. This was all unnecessary, however, the smoke being caused by the collapse of a piston.
Parish came in third, the V8 Ford and the other runners a lap or more behind the leaders. The results were as follows :—
750 c.c.–W. L. Thompson (Austin). 1,100 c.c.—W. L. Thompson (Austin). 1,500 c.c.—W. L. Thompson (Austin). 2,000 c.c.—T. V. G. Selby (Bugatti)„ 3,000 c.c.—J. Field (Bugatti).
1′ imited c.c —J . Field ( Bugatti) .