THE SECOND MEETING AT DONINGTON
A BRILLIANT SERIES OF VICTORIES FOR H. G. DOBBS. GOOD WORK BY K. D. EVANS (M.G.), E. K. RAYSON (BUGATTI), AND HON. JOCK LEITH (BUGATTI) FIRST LADIES’ RACE WON BY MISS FAY TAYLOUR (FRAZER NASH)
DONINGTON PARK is a satisfying place. The racing is nearly always of a good standard, the Park itself is a place of great beauty with its woodlands
and lovely vistas, and for a modest half-acrown you can see the cars at close quarters round the whole length of the course. Donington is good value. The Second Meeting, held on May 11th, suffered from its proximity to the Inter national Trophy of the previous week, for such fast cars as Martin’s 3.3-litre Bugatti, and Eccles’ 2,3 could not be repaired in time. However, the entry of 51 cars in cluded plenty of cars worth watching, and altogether the day’s sport was very satis
factory. An innovation was the First Ladies’ Handicap, which had the distinction of being the first road-race for women to be held in England. Contrary to the usual custom, no one upset his car or did any tricks in practice on Friday, but Jucker’s supercharged Frazer-Nash blew up heartily, an event which provided Porter Hargreaves with a useful stock of spares for his own motor car, which was inclined to misbehave. A valve was taken and fitted to his engine—
but it was found to be i-in. too short. The subsequent welding carried out by means of the fire in the lounge of Donington Hall that evening will long be remembered. The start of the first race on Saturday was put back to 2 o’clock, which enabled Londoners to make a comfortable journey in the morning. It could only be called a curtain-raiser, for there were only five entries, and of these Kenneth Evans (Q type Midget) was far and away the fastest. The unblown cars, two Austins (Wharton and Garmon) and a Midget (Else) received 2 minutes start from Evans and Abecassis (blown Austin). The first three had an excellent scrap for three laps, Wharton leading for a time, only to give way to Else. Abecassis was going badly, while Garmon could not deal with Starkey Corner, turning right round on one occasion. Evans caught the leaders on the fourth lap, and came home an easy vvinnei at a speed of 64.2 m.p.h. A delightful little car, that single-seater “
5-LAP RACE FOR 850 c.c. CARS
1. K. D. Evans (M.G. 746 c.c.. S.), :cr.. 64.2 m.p.h. 2. N. J. Else (M.G. 746 c.c.), 120secs. 8. K. Wharton (Austin 747 c.c.), 120secs. Also Ran: G. Garmon (Austin 747 c.c.), 120secs.: G. Abecassis (Austin 746 0.0. S.). Eleven people turned out for the next
race, a 25-mile Handicap carrying a first prize of £50. An unusual collision took place as the cars went round to the starting line. Grice hugged his right side of the road after Hairpin Corner, but Shuttleworth, who was following, evidently thought that he was on a public road and tried to edge his Alfa in to the right of the Riley—in spite of the fact that there was absolutely no room. His front wheel hit one of the Riley’s rear wheels, and the impact sent him slithering on to the grass. The race rapidly resolved itself into a duel between two Rileys, Maclure’s “nine”
and Dobbs’ ” fifteen hundred.” Maclure was limit man (120 secs), while Dobbs started from the 75 secs mark. For three . laps Grice (Riley, 120 secs.) was in the picture, hut then he was caught by Dobbs, who was handling his beautifully tuned car with real skill and verve. Evans was trying hard to keep up from the 6o secs. mark, but his car was misfiring slightly as he revved on the gears, with the result that he steadily lost, instead of gained, on Dobbs. At half-distance the order was. Maclure, Dobbs, Grice, Evans, Cholmondeley Tapper, Shuttleworth, Cassi.vell, Leith, and far in the rear, Tennant. On the next lap Shuttleworth’s Alfa. Romeo was misfiring badly, and he retired
T. P. Cholniondeley-Tapper (Bugatti 1.498 c.c. S.). 30secs.: Hon. J. Leith (Bugatti 2,263 c.c. S.) and 1L 0. Shuttleworth (AlfaRomeo 2,963 c.a. S.), scratch. The next race, 5 laps for 1,500 C.C. cars, was an easy thing for Dobbs, whose special Riley can show a clean pair of heels to most supercharged cars of a similar
size. In this event, too, the ” blowns ” gave the” unblowns ” 30 seconds start. Dobbs led from start to finish, but Hargreaves made a great effort to keep up with his Frazer-Nash, and kept in second place for four laps of the supercharged cars, Cholmondeley Tapper’s Bugatti, worked its way through to second place, in spite of some difficulty with the oil surging. R. Parnell was not making
at the pits. Leith was encouraged to go faster still, and fairly hurled his red 2.3 Bugatti round the corners. He could not hope to catch the leaders, however, and the interest now centred on the problem of whether Dobbs could draw level with Maclure. He lost a few valuable seconds by going on the grass at Starkey, but then settled down to whittling away the seconds bit by bit. Maclure’s 4-cyl. car was in wonderful form, however, and was really competently handled. 10 sec., 7 secs.. and finally they roared down Starkey Hill on the last lap, Maclure getting home first by a few yards. A fine race.
25-MILE HANDICAP FOR CARS UP TO 3.500 c.c.
1. P. Maclure (Riley 1.087 c.c.), 120secs.. 64.33 m.p.h. 2, H. G. Dobbs (Riley 1.458 c.o.), 75secs,
3. K. D. Evans (M.G. 746 c.c. S.) 60secs. Also Ran: J. R. Grice (Riley 1,087 c.c.), 120secs.: G. Casswell (Frazer-Nash 1.496 c.c.), 75secs.; D. Tenna-nt (Singer 1.496 c.c.). F.: K. Rayson (Bugatti 1,496 c.c. S.). ” Tim D. Davies ” (Frazer-Nash 1,496 e S.), and
an auspicious debut with the single-seater Nlagnette raced last season by the late H. C. Hamilton, which was running very slowly. One of the brightest spots in the race was the dashing driving of the prince in incognito “A. Bira,” with his Riley Imp. He made up on the corners what he lacked in speed on the straight.
5-LAP RACE FOR CARS UP TO 1,500 c.o.
1. H. 0. Dobbs (Riley 1,458 c.o.). 30secs., 64.2 m.p.h.
2. T. P. Cholniondeley-Tapper (Bugatti 1.496 0.0. S.). scratch. 3. H. Porter Hargreaves (Frazer-Nash 1,4f:6 c.c.), 30secs. Also Ran: H. A. Richards (Riley 17 c.c.), “A. Biro,” 1,087 c Ward
(Riley 1,089 c.c.), J. R. Once (Riley 1.089 c.c.), E. W. Dobson (Riley 1,089 c.c.), T. K. Humber iBugatti 1,496 c.o.), and R. Percival ‘Frazer-Nash 1.496 c.o.). Mules.; A. A. Rigby (I?4 0. 1.087 c.c.). R. Parnell (M.G. 1,987 c.c. S.), P. D. Walker (Alta 1,087 c.c. S.). J, M. Smith (M.G. 1,087 c.c. S.), and “Tim D Davies” (Frazer-Nash 1,496 0.0. 8.), scr. i Shuttleworth was a non-starter n the next race, in which Dobbs was a hot favourite. He made his usual snappy
getaway, and had built up a comfortable lead on the first lap, chased by Porter Hargreaves. Rayson’s Bugatti was a lastminute addition to the programme, and he scrapped with Leith for the whole race, keeping ahead of the ” 2.3.” “A. Bira ” blew up on the last lap after a good run, Laird, on the blown Aston Martin, sounded hearty but not very quick, Humber’s Bugatti was misfiring, and Smith fell right back with the Magnette raced by Major A. T. G. Gardner. Rayson and Leith could not catch Hargreaves, and finished third and fourth. Thus Dobbs won for the second time, having driven a model race on a perfectly turned-out motor-car.
race on a motor-car. 5-LAP RACE FOR CARS UP TO 3,500 c.c.
1. H. G. Dobbs (Riley 1,468 c.c.), 60secs., 64.45 m.p.h.
2. H. H. P. Hargreaves (Frazer-Nash 1,498 o.e.),_ 608ec8.
3. E. IL Rayson (Bugatti 1,496 c.o. 8.). scratch.
Also Ran: “A Bira” (Riley 1,087 c.c.), T. K. Humber (Bugatti 1,496 c.c.), G. ca,sswell (Frazer-Nash 1,496 c.c.), 60secs.; J. IC Smith (M.G. 1,087 c.c. S.), EL Laird (Aston Martin 1,496 c.c. S.)„ Hon. J. Leith (Bugatti 2,263 c.c. S.), aerate la. Will Dobbs pull off the hat trick? That
was the question heard on all sides at the start of the next race, a scratch event for 1,50o c.c. cars. There were eight nonstarters out of 15 entries, so the race was naturally somewhat lacking in interest. Dobbs heat Evans on the getaway, and these two forged ahead of the .rest. The Riley gained on the Midget on every lap, however, but Evans stuck to his job and finished a good second. CholmondeleyTapper could not show the Bugatti at its best, but took third place. The only incident of note was the furious boiling of Whitehead’s supercharged Alta.
And so Dobbs had done it ! Three 5-lap races in succession. His speeds were interesting, showing the value of prolonged practice:-64.2 m.p.h., 64.45 m.p.h., and 65.69 m.p.h.
5-LAP RACE FOR CARS UP TO 1,500 c.c.
1. H. Cr. Dobbs (Riley 1,458 c.c.), 65.69 2. K. D. Evans (MG-. 746 c.c. S.),
3. T. P. Chohnondeley-Tapper (13ugatti 1.496 0.0. S.).
Also Ran: E. W. Dobson (Riley 1,089 c.c.). P. N. Whitehead (Alta 1,087 0.0. S.).. H. Smith (M.G. 1.087 c.c. Sj„ “Tim D. Davies” (Frazer-Nash 1,496 c.c. S.). Then came the great event, the first Ladies’ Race over 5 laps, by invitation only. In this race, the usual Donington practice of handicapping on engine size
gave way to the individual system. Actually the handicap caused a rush of people to the bookmakers (Donington’s latest and very welcome addition), who promptly rubbed out the odds opposite Doreen Evans’ name. They could have saved themselves the trouble, however, for the ” Q ” Midget lost its radiator drain-plug on the starting line, and there was no time left in which to put matters right. Before the start the announcer innocently told us that ” No. 3 has her bonnet up at the moment! ” Joan
Her driving was a natural reflection of her long experience of racing on motor-cycle speedways, hill-climbs, and road races. At all times was she safe, confident and skilful, in spite of poor brakes. On the fourth lap she appeared in the lead, and she finally won at the creditable speed of 57.35 m.p.h. ” Jackie ” Astbury, in her first race of any kind, finished a good second, with Patricia McOstrich third on her old Frazer-Nash. Eileen Ellison had a rather hopeless task, but acquitted herself well. Miss Allan retired on the first lap.
Richmond (Triumph) was the first away with a start of too secs., followed at 65 secs. by ” Jackie ” Astbury (on PorterHargreaves’ Frazer-Nash) and Patricia McOstrich (supercharged Frazer-Nash). issecs. later Fay Taylour got away, driving Casswell’s unblown Nash, and then came Mrs. Lace (Singer), and Margaret Allan (with ” Tint Davies’s ” blown Nash) from the 25 secs. mark. Finally Eileen Ellison was flagged away with her if-litre supercharged Bugatti.
After the second lap there was only one car in it, for Fay Taylour was right on as, heels of the three cars in front of her, and neatly picked up places one by one.
5-LAP LADIES’ RACE FOR CARS UP TO 3500 c.c.
1. Miss Fay Taylour (Frazer-Nash 1,496 c.c.), 50 secs., 57.35 m.p.h.
2. Miss J. Astbury (Frazer-Nash 1,496 c.c.), 65 secs.
3. Miss P. McOstrich (Frazer-Nash 1,496 c.c.), 65 sees.
Also Ran: Miss J. Richmond (Triumph 1,232 c.c.), 100secs.; Miss M. Allan (FrazerNash 1,496 c.c. S.); • Mrs. A. C. Lace (Singer 1,4C6 c.c.), 25secs.• Miss E. Ellison (Bugatti 1,496 c.c. 8), scrat:oh. Cattle the last race, which was rather
difficult to follow owing to the fact that several of the limit cars received credit laps as well as limit time allowances. For some distance Humber held the lead with his 4-cyl. Bugatti, closely followed by
Klementaski (M.G. Midget) and Grice (Riley). Meanwhile Rigby, with the M.G. Magnette raced by Donkin last year, was working his way to the fore, and after 4 laps was lying fourth. In the rear’ some fast work was being put in by Evans (M.G. ” Q “), Rayson (Bugatti 2-4), and Leith (Bugatti 2.3). The former was driving with magnificent spirit, and more than once passed slower cars on the difficult downhill curves from the wood to the paddock. Indeed, on this stretch he was faster than anyone else, using a nevervarying technique of power-slides. On the seventh lap Leith passed Evans, and he, too, was putting up a splendid show. Rigby was now reading, followed by Grice, Humber, and Rayson, who was gaining round rapidly. On the last few it
laps t.; leaders closed up well, and a really good finish was seen in which Rigby just got home ahead of Rayson, with Grice staving of Leith.
The race was a fitting finish to a day which, though not spectacular nor highlyexciting, was nevertheless thoroughly enjoyable.
25-MILE HANDICAP FOR CARS UP TO 3,500 c.c.
1. A. A. Rigby (.M.G. 1,087 c.c. 8.), 140 secs. 64.2 m.p.h.
2. E. K. Rayson (Bugatti 1,496 c.c. S.), 60 secs.
3, J. R. Grice (Riley 1,087 c.c.) 1 lap and 2’7 secs. Also Ran: “A. Bira,” (Riley), 1 lap 27secs.; J. P. Alnutok (Austin 746 c.c. S.), 1 lair) 90secs.; L. Ward (Riley 1.089 c.c.), 1 lap 27secs.; L. Klemenittski (M.G. 746 c.o. S.), 1 lap 45secs.; T. K. Humber (Bugatti 1,41f;6 c.c.), 1 lap 45secs.; Q. F. Connell _(Vale 1,496 c.c.), 1 lap 27seca.; H. H. P. Hargreaves 1.-‘n,-er-Nash 1,496 c.c.), 1 lap 27 secs.; P. N. Whitehead (Alta, 1,089 c.c. S.), 150secs.;
J. H. Smith (M.G. 1,087 c.c. S.), 150secs-; “Tim D. Davies” (Frazer-Nash 1,496 0.0. El), 150secs.; K. D. Evans (M.G. 746 0.0. S.), 72secs.; P. Maclure (Riley 1,089 c.c.), 60secs. ; Hon. J. Leith (Bugatti 2,263 c.c. S.), 20seca.