J. H. T. SMITH WINS THE SYDENHAM TROPHY RACE
” BIRA ” SECOND AND MACLURE E.R.A., AND UNBLOWN RILEY
THE Crystal Palace staged another /nixed meeting on May 21st, mingling motor-cycles with motor-cycle combinations and cars, an arrangement that hardly seemed to attract,as big a crowd as one sees at purely car meetings. The only car event of the day was the 30 Mile Sydenham Trophy Race run on a group handicap basis. 1,100 c.c. cars received a start of 105 secs., 21-litre cars 15 secs., and Lace was alone on scratch with the sports Darracq of 3.9-litres with which he had a narrow escape in the International Trophy Race. Wilson ran his 1,100 c.c. E.R.A., De Ram damped, ” Bira ” his older E.R.A. ” Romulus, ” which is said to accelerate better than the Zoller-supercharged car, and Maclure had his 2-litre six-carburetter Riley in action. Connell and Rolt drove E.R.A..s and Smith his M.G. Magnette. Unfortunately Arthur Dobson was away on holiday, so we were not treated to a renewal of the duel that he had with “
Bira” at the first Palace meeting. Abecassis had the 1 tithe fully independently suspended Alta, with which he so very nearly went swimming at Fisherman’s Bend in practice. Smith led off from Stuart Wilton (M.G.), Wilson and Brooke (M.G.). Wilson’s E.R.A. was throwing a considerable quantity of oil on the course, which resulted in the Alta doing startling things and eventually spinning half round, while Brooke also spun round on the oil-patch and stalled his engine, being restarted
by an official ar.d a photographer. Sawdust was thlown on the oil with little effect. Something really should be done about this oil business. We have the compulsory fire-proof bulkhead regulation, to enable a driver to stay longer in a car that effects an under-bonnet fire, and we foresee the fitting of unbroken undershield s likewise becoming compulsory—this should not be very difficult now that most road-racing cars carry decently streamlined bodies. In practice
before the International Trophy Race an E.R.A. flung oil onto the Track with startling results, though in this case a partially-open external filler cap was to blame. The difficulty in respect of oil on a course is that it is exceedingly difficult to remove—one recalls painful scenes at Shelsley some time ago when the President of the B.R.D.C. had to throw lighted matches on gallons of petrol to burn off an oil patch—and yet an unin
formed public will not wait patiently while comic removal methods are tried. The cure is to prevent oil dropping from the ,:ars. To return, to the race, Smith’s smart M.G. got an easy lead over his group, but ” Bira ” was going all he knew to overcome a stiff handicap. Maclure, eternally bareheaded, which would be nightmare for” Uncle Lewis” were we all as tough, found third place for the Riley and drove magnificently, but could not approach “Bira.” After five laps the order was Smith, Wilson, Wilton, Brooke and ” Bira,” with ” Bira’s ” E.R.A. 78 secs. behind the leading M.G. It was not until lap 8 that Wilson was flagged in for oiling
the circuit. By that time ” Bira ” needed 55 secs., and Smith was only in possession of five good cylinders. Smith was lapping at 55 m.p.h. to ” Bira’s ” 56.5 m.p.h. In the end Smith’s rather sick M.G. Magnette won by 12.9 secs. at 52.77 m.p.h. Maclure got in third, 40 secs. behind “Bira.” Brooke had trouble and limped round until flagged off, Lace’s Darracq was outclassed on this circuit, Wilton’s M.G. retired with engine sickness after 10 laps, and that left Rolt’s E.R.A. fourth and Hanson.’s
Maserati fifth. Smith receives the Sydenham Trophy and £75 and it was splendid to see a hard-tried competitor reap success. The fastest lap was made by ” Bira,” who did his twelfth circuit at 2 mins. 8.7 secs., or about 56i m.p.h.
1. J. H. T. Smith (1,087 c.c. M.G. Magnette) 52.77 m.p.h.
2. “B. Bira” R.R.A.) 54.83 m.p.h.
3. P. Maclure (1,987 c.c. Riley) 53.54 m.p.h.
4. A. P. R. Rolt (1f-litre El.R.A.) 53.32 m.p.h.
5. R. Hanson (14-litre Maserati) 53.25 m.p.h.
WS running at end: A. C. Lace (Darracq), H. L. Brooke (M.G. Brooke). Non-finishers : H. Stuart Wilton (M.G.),
N. G. Wilson (E.R.A.).