A N T’ 1-1 R ERA. SUCCESS
R. E. Tongue, former driver of :NI .G. and Aston-Martin cars, scored a popular victory in the Irish Motor Racing Club’s road-race at Cork. The circuit used for the contest measured just under six miles to the lap, and comprised one long straight of two and three-quarter miles, cement-surfaced, and the remainder winding secondary roads of very difficult character,
There were twenty-four starters, and the cars were despatched in four groups, all going away almost together as the system of handicapping was on the basis of credit laps, with additional time allowances in some instances.
Charles Martin, driving his ” monoposto ” Alfa-Romeo was in the first line and he got well away when the cars were released, doing his initial laps at a speed of just above 88 m.p.h. Austin Dobson on another Alfa-Romeo engaged with Martin in an exciting dual. Down the long straight very high speeds were maintained, and Martin replied to Dobson’s 87.31 m.p.h. with a lap at 88.01 m.p.h., and later recorded 88.37 m.p.h. Finally both Alfa drivers put in laps at 88.72 m.p.h. The field was being led by W. M. D. Montgomery, driving Carr’s Austin 7, but ” Bira ” (E.R.A.), Tongue (E.R.A.), and E. K. Rayson. (2-litre Bugatti) were actually beating their handicaps by the most useful margins, and excitement rose as it was seen that ” Bira,” driving magnificently, was making up on the Alfas. Martin eventually established a lap record at the fine average speed of 91.31 m.p.h. The pits were the scenes of much activity, and in particular there was an exceedingly brisk demand for new spark ing plugs. Trevor McCalla found his
Sullivan Special in continual trouble, Rayson’s Bugatti stopped on the straight section of the course and was abandoned, and on the very first lap Manby-Colegrave’s E.R.A. blew a plug clean through its bonnet and retired.
Charles Martin began to slow as a result of over-oiling, though he did not bring the Alfa into his pit, carrying on with clouds of smoke issuing from the bonnet as he accelerated from the corners.
Toohey, Dublin driver of the little Ford that last year won the Leinster Trophy race, was going well, but on the whole the slower cars seemed to be penalised by too heavy handicaps, while, if anything, the back-markers had been let off too lightly.
‘Bira,” after a splendid run, had the foul luck to experience a fuel-pipe chokage and he left his E.R.A. and retired. Tongue, seeing the other E.R.A. stationary, wondered if the fuel allowance was sufficient and came into his pit to check over. Incidentally ” Bira ” was driving ” Remus ” in this race ; his other E.R.A. is named ” Romulus ” C. Mervyn White, at the wheel of car? Howe’s old Bugatti, indulged in the only accident of the day, after a series of
exciting slides on the wet tar. His. Bugatti spun round and round, narrowly missing Prank O’Boyle’s Riley, and smote the grass banking very hard, breaking the car’s front axle and damaging White’s. hands and arms.
Tongue now found that his steady drive had brought him up to seconcl place, with only the small Ford ahead of him, and on the 27th lap—the race for him numbered 33 laps—he went into the lead.
Dobson was signalled from his pit and made a gallant effort to catch the E.R.A., but fast as the new Crand Prix Alfa travelled, sliding fiercely on the sunmelted tar, Tongue had the race very nicely in hand, and put the E.R.A. up. to a lap speed of 88.72 m.p.h. just to.
make quite sure of it. Now another steady drive received its reward, forPowys-Lybbe’s Alfa-Romeo came right up steadily into second place.
Charlie Martin in his turn made a terrific effort with the sick Alfa but rotten luck alone rewarded him ; the engine died on the lap last of all and although he pushed in real earnest for half-a-mile, the race was declared over when his car was but fifty yards from the’ finishing line. Hard luck indeed. It was. afterwards found that the scavenge oilpump had failed, the same trouble which defeated him in the Empire Trophy.
So Tongue brought in No. 8 E.R.A., a popular winner. No less popular was.. Powys-Lybbe who gave Tongue one minute start and was second, 3m. 23s. behind the E.R.A.
Austin Dobson was third on his new Alfa, and the Ford Eight was deservedlyplaced next. In spite of the fact that the sun materially assisted in destroying the road surface on the corners, and that there was a bit of a fuss before the race because two competitors were posted non-starters for not completing the necessary number of practice laps, the Cork race must be written down a signal success. These Irish road-races are remarkably good training for bigger events, and this particular contest was remarkable for the fine running of Tongue’s 1i-litre E.R.A., the speed of the Alfa-Romeos, and of the rewards earned by those who drove steadily, supported by accurate control from pit managers. Tongue broadcast
after the event, paying a tribute to ” Bira’s driving and to the enthusiasm of the tens of thousands of keen spectators who had watched throughout the contest. Undoubtedly the speed attained down the long straight leg of the circuit contributed to the retirements, which numbered sixteen ; the heat of the day also had to be reckoned with.
The Duke of Grafton, who was one of the competitors and was not allowed to start on account of not completing all the qualifying laps, very sportingly gave all his fuel to D. C. MacLachlan, whose supplies had failed to reach him from England. Tongue averaged 85.53 m.p.h.
1. R. B. Tongue (E.R.A., S.) rec. 2 laps. Speed 85.53 k.p.h.
2. A. Powys-Lybbe (Alfa-Romeo S.) rec. 2 laps less lm. Speed 84.03 m.p.h.
3. A. Dobson (Alfa-Romeo S.) rec. 1 lap less 2m. Speed 86.95 m.p.h.
4. 3. Toohey (Ford) rec. 9 laps less 3m. Speed 63.63 m.p.h.
5. I, Peters (Frazer-Nash) rec. 6 laps. Speed 66.74 m.p.h.
O. Sir A. W. MacRobert, Bt. (M.G. S.) rec. 4 laps less lm. Speed 71.41 m.p.h.
7. C. II. W. Manders (Adler) rec. 8 laps less lm. Speed 60.48 m.p.h.
8. D. C. MacLachlan (Riley) rec. 6 laps. Speed’ 64.89 m.p.h.
Outside time limit : C. B. C. Martin (Alfa-Romeo 8.) scr.
Letters from readers, June 1960
N.B. – Opinions expressed are those of our correspondents and "Motor Sport" does not necessarily associate itself with them. – Ed. Is it an eyesore? Sir, For what must be a pleasant…
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