CORONATION DAY AT DONINGTON. A Grand Slam for Austin
Those who were so unpatriotic as to journey to Donington Park on Coronation Day were rewarded with some very good racing, in spite of the drizzle that grew worse as the day wore on.
Quite a lot of important things happened. In the first place, Capt. Bemrose, President of the Derby and District M.C., opened the new club-rooms behind the Press Box, one room being for the Club Committee, the other for members.
Then P. Maclure, aged twelve, turned a lap in 5 min. 1* secs., at 30 m.p.h., which was very excellent, as his car was a miniature two-stroke Riley of meagre horse-power.
In the first race Goodacre, driving one of the green, works o.h.v. Austins, just got home a winner. He had started from scratch and had to make up 1 min. 55 secs. on Prestwich’s unblown 847 c.c. M.G., which he did, with * secs. tacked on to render him the victor. Esplen’s R-type M.G. Midget was third. The Austin averaged 64.95 m.p.h. In the next race, for 1 f-litre cars, Goodacre went to the lead at once in a field of nineteen, and proved the Austin’s teething worries a thing of the past by winning at 64.75 m.p.h. Maclure’s fast and essentially reliable uxtblown Riley was second at 63.95 m.p.h., and Walker -cheered E.R.A. supporters by just gaining third place after a delay in starting while misbehaving plugs were feverishly attended to on the line. His average was up to 66.72 m.p.h. and Prestwich and his
M.G. had to be content with fourth position.
The third race was for cars up to 5-litres. Goodacre and the by now extremely popular Austin had a start of 55 secs. Maclure did some very nice driving for a while until his Riley fell sick and attention was held by Charlie Martin’s scratch Alfa-Romeo. Martin picked up place after place on a fine drive and on the last lap was third behind the leading Austin and Prestwich’s M.G. They finished a very close race in that order.
Then came the big race of the day, in the form of the 100-Mile Coronation Race for the J.C.C. Trophy intended originally for the International Trophy Race, had that event been run on Coronation Day. The Austins soon took the three leading positions, out of twenty-six runners, Goodacre first, H. Hadley second and Mrs. Petre’s side-valve job third. After some 15 laps Pat Fairfield (E.R.A.) got past Mrs. Petre, and then took second place, Hadley having been in to his pit for a pint of oil and a check on the radiator
level. Charlie Martin, driving like a master, now had the big Alfa-Romeo in third place. Five laps from the end Martin overhauled Fairfield’s E.R.A. and so far ahead was Goodacre’s Austin that the Alfa pit-control actually urged for less loud-pedal that Martin might be certain of his place. So Goodacre neatly cleaned the board for Austin, winning at 61.66 m.p.h. Everyone who admires Austin’s continued
participation in racing with special racingcars went away rejoicing. C. E. C. Martin (Alfa-Romeo) was second at 64.36 m.p.h. and Fairfield (E.R.A.) was third. Fourth came J. F. Gees’s Riley, Kenneth Evans was fifth on the exDobson Dubonnet-suspended Alfa-Romeo that is now his property, and Mrs. K.
Petre’s Austin took sixth position. It is significant that in spite of divers counter attractions and bad weather, some 14,000 spectators were present, which indicates that at last the public is associating public holidays with motor-racing.
Five-lap Handicap for cars up to 850 ex.
1. C. Goodacre (o.h.c. Austin S.), 13m. 42.2s.
2. H. B. Prestwich (847 c.c. M.G., U/s.), 13m. 47s.
3. W. Esplen (746 c.c. M.G., S.), 14m. 40.4s.
Five-lap Handicap for cars up to 1,500 c.c.
1. C. Goodacre (744 c.c. Austin, S.), 11m. 59.48.
2. P. Maclure (1,087 c.c. Riley U/s.), 12m. 8.2s.
3. P. D. Walker (1,488 c.c. E.R.A., S.), 12m, 22.48. Five-lap Handicap for oars up to 5-litres
1. 0. Goodacre (744 c.c. Austin, S.), Ilm. 49.4s.
2. C. E. C. Martin (2.9 Alfa-Romeo, S.), 11m. 56.4s.
3. H. B. Prestwich (1,087 c.c. M.G., S.), 12m. 7s. Race for the Coronation Trophy presented by the Junior Car Club. 100-m1le Handicap for cars up to
1. C. Goodacre (744 c.c. Austin, S.), lh. 39m. 118. 61.66 m.p.h.
2. C. E. C. Martin (2.9 Alfa-Romeo, S.), lb. 41m. 29s.
3. Pat Fairfield (1,087 c.c. E.R.A., S.), 111. 41m. 57s.
4, J. F. Gee (1,496 c.c. Riley, U/s.), lb. 45m. 38. 5. K. D. Evans (2.9 Alfa-Romeo, S.), lh. 45m. 22s.