THE INTERNATIONAL TROPHY
Complete success of innovation by the Junior Car Club. Popular victory for the Hon. Brian Lewis, driving a 2.3 litre Alfa Romeo. M.G. Magnettes 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Austins win the team prize.
ONCE again the Junior Car Club deserves the thanks of motorracing enthusiasts in this country for its originality in keeping abreast of the times. The system of handicapping devised for their First International Trophy Race, while apparently excellent in theory, seemed to many to contain a hint of some hidden snag which might have turned the race into a fiasco. Indeed, the general opinion before the event was that if the handicap method was successful a first class race would result, but if it was the slightest bit wrong, then nothing could prevent the race from being a procession.
In view of these misgivings, the J .C.C. is to be heartily congratulated on the very cleverly calculated success of its system. For the benefit of those readers who were not present at the race, a brief description of the method of placing all cars, both large and small, on an equal footing will not be out of place. The circuit used was as in the ” Double Twelve” and ” 1000 Miles ” last year, i.e., clockwise, and omitting the Home Banking by using the Finishing Straight. Half way down this stretch there was an “S ” bend, through which all cars had to pass. Beyond this bend the cars pursued different courses, according to their size, being divided into three groups as will be seen in the list of starters on this page. Group 1 proceeded straight towards the Byfleet Banking ; Group 2 negotiated a fairly sharp bend to the left, marked by a “
channel” of low fencing ; and Group 3. being the fastest of all, had to turn sharply to the left, by Chronograph Villa, and then right to rejoin the course of the cars in Group 1. How very near this system of handicapping was to perfection may be judged by comparing the total time for five consecutive laps, at the same period, of Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Sunbeam and R. T. Horton’s M.G. Midget, these two cars being at that time the fastest machines in Group 3 and Group 1. The Sunbeam’s time was 8 min. 55 secs., while the Midget took 8 min. 52 secs. The slight gain on the part of the Sunbeam would amount to 60 seconds for the whole race, and this
time was intended to give the larger car a chance to refuel and change tyrds (a procedure effected by the Hon. Brian Lewis in 57 seconds). *
Practising was carried on for a whole week before the race, and gave the organisers an opportunity to adjust the severity of the handicapping corners to a nicety. First of all Whitney Straight’s meteoric laps on the Maserati caused a little alteration to be made, and this was carried on still further when the Hon. Brian Lewis arrived with his Alfa Romeo, fresh from Italy, and proceeded to put in some very fast laps. The international aspect of the race was
reduced when J. M. de Texidor completely wrecked the engine of his single-camshaft Bugatti in the most expensive manner imaginable. Hamilton’s M.G., which had been going very fast indeed, had trouble on the eve of the race, too late for repairs to be possible, and finally the news came through that Count Czaikowski, whom everyone had been looking forward to meeting again, would be unable to get over in time from his record-breaking activities at Berlin.
After heavy rain on the Friday, everyone was relieved to wake up to fine weather on Saturday, May 6th. All the morning a steady stream of cars filed in through the entrance gates, and by two o’clock a really splendid crowd had assembled. The idea of a massed start in a big race at Brooklands, after an absence of many years, had caught the imagination of everyone and as the last half hour before the start wore away the crowd became keyed up to a high pitch of excitement.
At 2.25 engines were started up, and clouds of blue smoke came up from the rows of multi-coloured cars. Then the chequered flag was held aloft, dropped, and with a terrific roar the 28 cars shot forward. To be precise there were only 27, for Widengren’s Amilcar failed to move, the engine having apparently stopped. After another push by his disgruntled pit-staff the Amilcar at last got away, by which time the rest of the field had disappeared round the Byfleet Banking. First off the line was the Hon. Brian Lewis (Alfa Romeo), followed by Straight (Maserati), Fothringham (Bugatti), Earl Howe (11/I.G. Magnette) and J. C. Elwes (M.G. Midget). By the time the cars had reached the Byfleet Banking, however, Sir Malcolm Campbell (Sunbeam) was in the lead, the big 12 cylinder car, assisted by the Wilson gear-box, possessing terrific acceleration away from the corner. Campbell led at the end of the first lap, followed by Lewis (Alfa Romeo), Straight (Maserati), Rose-Richards (Bugatti), Dixon (Riley), Eyston (M.G. Midget), Howe ( M.G. Magnette) , Fothringham ( Bugatti) ,
Driscoll (Austin) and the rest of the field in a fairly solid pack. From the start it was obvious that there was going to be plenty of excitement, for the great advantage of a short race is that no driver can afford to take things easily. Straight seemed discontented with third place, and by dint of a veryfast corner coming off the Members Banking succeeded in passing Lewis. This corner was the scene of the first accident of the day ; luckily without any injury to anyone. J. C. Elwes (M.G. Midget), taking the corner in company with a group of cars, found himself forced inwards, so that he hit the barrier of sleepers at the foot of the track. The impact was suffident to cause the car to turn over, but to everyone’s relief the driver was tin scratched. • By now the field was sorting itself out into a more natural order, and on the third lap Straight passed Campbell to take the lead, the order then being Lewis, RoseRichards, Kaye Don (Bugatti), Fothringham (Bugatti), Dixon (Riley), Horton (M.G.), E. R. Hall (M.G. Magnette), Howe (M.G. IVIagnette), H. J. Aldington Frazer Nash) and the rest of the field. On this lap great excitement was caused by a most extraordinary accident which occurred to G. E. T. Eyston. As the ” Magic ” Midget came past the Paddock Grandstand, the off-side rear wheel came off. The car was travelling at about 80 m.p.h. but in spite of its narrow track liyston very skilfully kept it on an even keel, and finally came to rest at the pits. The wheel, however, bounding high in the air, inclined towards the people at the end of the pits and struck a pit-marshal, G. Roberts, knocking him unconscious and cutting his face. We are glad to say
that his injuries were found to be not of a serious nature. The ” Magic ” Midget was unable to continue the race through the spring clips being worn down by contact with the concrete track. The fight between the leaders continued, Rose-Richards passing Lewis to take third place, only to lose it again to the Alfa Romeo a few laps later. No one could hold Straight, who was driving with tremendous verve, and had left Campbell far behind. Retirements began to be announced; Yallop only completed one lap when gear-box trouble caused him to withdraw his M.G. Midget ; S. A. Crabtree, after a halt to tighten his bonnet and
change a plug, on his Midget, stopped finally 14 minutes after the start with engine trouble ; K. D. Evans ran a big end on his Midget after 7 laps ; D. N. Letts did likewise with his Midget 2 laps later ; W. E. Humphreys, after three pit stops for plugs, shock absorbers, and a new wheel, ran his Amilcar into a sand bank so rudely that the propellor shaft was bent ; and finally Benjafield’s Alvis “Speed Twenty,” after a run of three laps, was pushed to the ” dead ” car park
suffering from gudgeon pin trouble. Fothringham’s beautifully finished green Bugatti came in to rectify a leaking petrol tank and to diagnose the cause of a very high oil temperature. In fact, the race was causing a tremendous amount of trouble, and one or more cars were in the pits during the whole race. Widengren came in to adjust the shock absorbers and
change plugs on his Amilcar. Another car in trouble was Horton’s Midget, a favourite for the race, which made several calls for plugs. The throttle control dropped off Cuthbert’s Riley, causing a brief stop, and Aldington changed plugs after going for 13 minutes. So much for the unfortunates. Meanwhile the leaders continued to lap regularly, and at 3 o’clock the order was :
I. W. Straight (Maserati), 17 laps, 90.20 m.p.h.
2. Sir M. Campbell (Sunbeam), 16 laps, 88.33 m.p.h.
3. Hon. B. E. Lewis (Alfa Romeo), 16 laps, 88.32 m.p.h.
4. T. B. Rose-Richards (Bugatti), 16 laps, 88.28 m.p.h.
5. K. Don (Bugatti), 16 laps, 86 m.p.h.
6. 1,*. W. Dixon (Riley), 16 laps, 85.61 m.p.h. Straight’s driving was terrific, and he forged ahead to such purpose that he was now nearly a lap ahead of Campbell, Lewis and Rose Richards. Leaving the pits we walked up to the top corner, where the cars swoop off the Members Banking down into the Finishing Straight. The cornering methods of the various drivers varied widely. Straight came round very quickly, wrestling with the steering wheel, but maintaining perfect control. Lewis, on the other hand, soared very high on the banking, then swooped down close in to the inside edge of the track. His Alfa Romeo seemed a better balanced car than the Maserati, giving a neater appearance to Lewis’s cornering. Don’s Bugatti seemed very rough to handle, and his cornering was not as fast as the others through his brakes becoming almost useless after 50 laps. Don was further handicapped by a new block, for the sake of which he kept his speed down. A few laps later Straight was in trouble, coming
almost to a standstill at the Fork. He crawled past us, visited the pits, refuelled, and continued for several laps with the car making a very inefficient sound in its back axle. The same trouble befell RoseRichards, who also retired, so that two of the fastest cars were out of the race. Driscoll (Austin), after doing his best to remove one of the barriers in the ” S” bend, made two or three calls at the pits to examine, and fin ally change, his battery. Horton, after more stops for plugs, retired with clutch trouble, while Gardner (M.G. Midget), was called in for not going through the ” S’ ” bend. Aldington (Frazer Nash) was in once or twice for shock absorber adjustment, a failing which troubled the cars in Group 3 badly, for they had to traverse the bumpiest part of the whole track in their
” channel” at the Fork. At 3.30 the order had changed through the retirement of Rose Richards but Straight
was still going slowly.
1. Sir M. Campbell (Sunbeam), 33 laps, 88.84 m.p.h. 2. Hon. B E. Lewis (Alfa 33 88.82
Romeo), 33 laps, 88.82 m.p.h.
3. K. Don (Itugatti), 32 laps, 87.84 m.p.h.
4. W. Straight (Maserati), 32 laps, 85.69 m.p.h. S. E. R. Hall (M.G. Magnette), 31 laps, 82.97 m.p.h.
6. G. F. Manby-Colegrave (M.G. Magnette), 31 laps, 82.12 m.p.h. Soon afterwards Straight retired, lett ing Hall up into 4th place. The Magnettes were running very steadily, particularly those driven by 1, R. Hall, G. F. ManbyColegrave and Mrs. Wisdom. Fothring ham stopped somewhere over by the Railway Straight, and the mechanic was seen walking towards the stranded Bu gatti, which was later announced as withdrawn. Widengreu came in to refuel, and Rayon (Riley) retired with a run big end. Dixon came in to the pits, and assisted assisted by Cyril Paul and a mechanic„ proceeded to take off the head of his Riley in order to fit a new gasket. This was completed in 25 minutes, and with a gush of water and smoke from his exhaust pipe, the perspiring “fFreddie ” set off once more. For a few laps the squat black Riley kept going. Then, in trying to make up time Dixon overshot the top corner, and soon after, retired with the gasket blown once more. Aldington continued to call at the pits to adjust his shock absorbers, a particularly annoying trouble, for in other respects the Frazer Nash was going splendidly, lapping at
83 m.p.h. At 4 o’clock the order was :
I. Sir M. Campbell (Sunbeam), 51 laps, 89.10 m.p.h.
2. Hon. B. E. Lewis (Alfa Romeo), 51 laps, 89.09 m.p.h.
3. K. Don (Bugatti), 49 laps, 85.92 m.p.h.
4. E. R. Hall (M.G. Magnette), 47 laps, 83.19 m.p.h.
5. G. P. Manby-Colegrave (M.G. Maguette), 47 laps, 82.97 m.p.h.
6. Earl Howe (M.G. Magnette), 46 laps, 81.96 m.p.h.
All this time the crowd had been thrilled by a tremendous duel between Sir Malcolm Campbell and the Hon. Brian Lewis. Approaching the top corner the Sunbeam was always some distance ahead.
Then, by faster cornering the Alfa driver would gain ground, until, as the cars went through the ” S ” bend and entered the final corners, Lewis was right on Campbell’s tail. As no change in their positions took place it was obvious that, all being well with the cars, the ultimate issue would
be decided by which pit-staff could fill-up and change tyres in the quickest possible time.
Campbell came in first. Sir Malcolm leapt on to the pit counter, C. S. Staniland (who was to take over), Villa and another mechanic got to work on the car, filled up, changed the rear tyres, -• and finally sent the car away in 1 min. 46 sets. A few laps later I.ewis was due to come in, so we took up our position by his pit. Here the atmosphere was that of a battleship going into action. Churns of petrol were in rows on the counter, two wheelclouts, and a jack. Arthur Fox, entrant of the car, himself worked the control lights to signal Lewis to come in. Wilcosson, calm and collected, was in charge
of the actual work. N. H. Freeman and ” ATac ” of Dunlops were standing by. A cry “Here he comes,” and the figures crouched on the counter braced themselves for the work to come. The red Alfa Romeo came quietly to a standstill, and in a trice Lewis had leapt onto the counter. Knock, knock, knock off came the wheels, while the churns were rapidly emptied. A hasty glance at a cut in one of the front tyres and soon the rear wheels were in place once more. In less time than it takes to write, Lewis was back in his seat. Two men gave the car a push, and. with a cough the 8 cylinders burst into life. 57 seconds,. and an object lesson in carefully planned pit work ! ‘rims LelA is was still in the lead he gained wh Campb,ell stopped to refuel, and at 4.30 the order was :
1. Hon. B. E Lewi s (Alfa Romeo), 67 laps, 88.25 m.p.h.
2. SirM. Campbell (Sunbeam), 66 laps, 87.28 m.p.h.
3. K.Don(Bugatti), 65 laps, 85.21 m.p.h.
4. E. R. Hall (M.G. Magnette), 63 laps, 83.34 m.p.h.
S. G. F. ManbyColegrave (M.G. Magnette), 63Iaps, 83.04 m.p.h.
6. Earl Howe (M.G. Magnette), 62 laps, 81.19 m.p.h. Cars were constantly calling at the pits. Widengren came in for 5 minutes to refuel and change plugs. Earl Howe paid a brief visit for plugs, and Manby-Colegrave, who had been handling his M.G. Magnette with great determination, was called in for failing to negotiate the last corner. J. D. Barnes (Austin) refuelled and changed plugs, and soon afterwards lost all his gears except top, which considerably slowed the car after the corners. To complete his misery the throttle began to stick. Gardner (M.G. Midget) refuelled, and shortly afterwards retired with big
end trouble, so that by this time all the M.G. Midgets had dropped out. Cuthbert’s Riley began to break up, first the engine beginning to miss, and then unpleasant noises coming from the gearbox, causing him to retire. Aldington gave up the unequal struggle against his shock absorbers and retired.
Sir Malcolm Campbell, when he realised that Lewis had obtained a good lead, exhorted Staniland to push the car to its limit. Staniland responded nobly, in fact so hard did he try to catch Lewis, in accordance with pit-instructions, that the Sunbeam cracked up under the strain and at 4.35 came in to change plugs. Sir Malcolm once more took the wheel, discarding his helmet and smoking a cigaret’ e,only to come in a few laps later. The car was examined and withdrawn, no reason being given for its retirement. At 5 o’clock, then, the order was :
I. Hon. B. E. Lewis (Alfa Romeo), 84 laps, 88.33 m.p.h.
2. K. Don (Bugatti), 81 laps, 84.84 m.p.h.
3. E. R. Hall (M.G. Magnette), 79 laps, 73.34 m.p.h.
4. G. F. Manby-Colegrave (M.G. Magnette), 78 laps, 82.63 m.p.h.
S. Mrs. E. M. Wisdom (M.G. Magnette), 77 laps, 81.54 m.p.h.
6. Earl Howe (M.G. Magnette), 76 laps, 80.07 m.p.h. • Now, barring mechanical trouble, it was Lewis’s race, for Kaye Don was three laps behind, followed by four Magnettes which were all putting up a splendid show. But the race was not yet over, and the last half hour was to produce some incidents which would have a material effect on the final placings. First of all, Manby Colegrave, who had aroused a good deal
of favourable comment by his rapid handling of his M.G. Magnette, had. a momentary lapse on the last corner which was to cost him any hope of finishing. Coming out of the turn he struck one of the oil-drums filled with sand which were used to support the fencing. The blow on the front wheel sent the axle right back, and only clever work on the part of 1VIanby-Colegrave prevented the car from turning over. The end drew near. When Lewis was only 5 laps from the finish and Don himself had only 8 to go and was comfortably holding second place, the transmission of the 4.9 Bugatti passed out, and the un
lucky driver had to retire. Don’s misfortune let Hall into second place, which he held until the end.
Steadily the Alfa Romeo circled the track, without a variation in its note, and at last the chequered flag was held ready. Up the straight came the red Italian car, and in a moment the Hon. Brian Lewis flashed across the line, winner of the first International Trophy Race. 11 minutes later came E. R. Hall, smiling as ever, completing a wonderful run on his M.G. Magnette. Third place was filled by Mrs. Wisdom, a popular and well deserved performance, and she in turn was followed by Earl Howe. Then came the two Austins, driven by Goodacre and Barnes, Widengren’s Amilcar, and Driscoll’s Austin, which narrowly avoided being outside the 40 minutes-later-than-the-winner limit.
Everyone will join us in congratulating the Hon. Brian Lewis on his victory. Undoubtedly one of the very finest drivers in this country, first place has always, until now, just eluded him. No less so do we congratulate Mr. A. W. Fox on his share in the race. One of the most ardent supporters of the game, Arthur Fox, like Lewis (who always drives his cars), has never actually tasted the fruits of victory before. The Alfa Romeo ran as one expects an Alfa-Romeo to run, without a trace of mechanical trouble from beginning to end. The M.G. Magnettes deserve the highest possible praise for a first class performance in their debut in England. The efforts of E. R. Hall and Mrs. Wisdom are particularly good, and bode fair for the future of the car in competitions. E. R. Hall is
rather like the Hon. Brian Lewis in the regularity with which he fills second or third place, and we should like to see his turn come to win a big race-as Lewis’s has done. Mrs. Wisdom drove a steady. careful race throughout, and thoroughly deserved her third place. A performance everyone will be glad to hear of was that of the Austins in winning the Team Prize. In view of Sir Herbert Austin’s return to racing this season, this initial victory is particularly appropriate. Incidentally, the reason why the three Magnettes did not gain the prize was that they were each metnbers of different teams ; Earl Howe
being partnered by Elwes and Hamilton, E. R. Hall by Horton and Eyston, and
Mrs. Wisdom by Evans and Letts.
RESULTS. 1. Hon. B. E. Lewis (2,336 c.c. Alfa Romeo, S.),
2 hr. 58 mins. 12 secs., 88.07 m.p.h. 2. E. R. Hall (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnette, S.),
3 hrs. 9 mins. 37.4 secs., 82.77 m.p.h.
3. Mrs. E. M. Wisdom (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnette S.), 3 hrs. 13 mins. 14 secs., 81.24 m.p.h.
4. Earl Howe (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnette, S.), 3 hrs. 16 mins. 41 secs., 79.81 m.p.h.
5. C. Goodacre (747 c.c. Austin, S.), 3 hrs. 21 mins. 9.4 secs., 78.03 m.p.h.
6. J. D. Barnes (747 c.c. Austin S.), 3 hrs. 31 Inirs• 49.4 secs., 74.09 m.p.h.
7. H. Widengren (1,098 c.c. Amilcar, S.), 3 bra. 33 mins. 8.6 secs., 73.63 m.p.h.
8. L. P. Driscoll (747 c.c. Austin, S.), 31irs. 36 mins. 4.2 secs., 72.64 m.p.h.
The number of laps covered by non-finishers was as follows :-Kaye Don (Bugatti)92; G. F. ManbyColegrhve (M.G. Magnette), 86; Sir Malcolm Campbell (Sunbeam), 80; E. L. Gardner (M.G. Midget), 73; W. A. Cuthbert (Riley), 71; H. J. Aldington (Prazer Nash), 54; E. K. Rayson (Riley), 38 Whitney Straight (Maserati), 32; F. W. Dixon (Riley), 31; R. T. Horton (M.G. Midget). 25; T. E. Rose-Richards (Bugatti), 23; T. S. Fothringliam (Bugatti), 22; W. E. Humphreys (Amilcar), 10; D. N’. Letts (M.G. Midget), 9; K. D. Evans (M.G. Midget),7 ; S. A . Crabtree (M.G. Midget).4 •, G. E . T . Eyston (M.G. Midget), 3; J. D. Benjafield (Alvin), 3; J. C. Elives (M.G. Midget) and R. A. Yallop (MAI . Midget), 1 each. The group pladngs were as follow :-
Group III.-Hon. B. E. Lewis.
Group II.-1, E. R. Hall ; 2, Mrs. E. M. Wisdom: 3, Earl Howe ; 4, H. Widengren.
Group I.-1, C. Good.acre ; 2, J. I). Barnes ; 3, L. P. Driscoll.
Fastest lap : Whitney Straight (Maserati) and Sir M. Campbell (Sunbeam), 1 min. 41.6 secs., 92.70 m.p.h.
First 8 cars, or all finishers, were equipped with Ferodo brake linings.
1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th cars used Castro! oil. 1st •fix cars ran on Dunlop tyres.