Three Class Records Broken at Bugatti O.C. May Meeting
The weather was fine until the programme at Prescott on May 22nd was almost completed, so that drivers had the advantage of a dry course, rare at this venue. Unfortunately, the meeting was sandwiched between Silverstone and the I.O.M. races and entries suffered in consequence, while they were further depleted by 23 nonrunners.
Fastest time of the day was made by Sydney Allard’s 3.7-litre Steyr-engined Allard, which clocked 46.12 sec. on its first ascent, a time only 0.45 sec. outside Gerard’s course-record of 1948. The Allard retains the de Dion, coil-spring independent suspension with large ribbed inboard brakes; which was adopted for it towards the close of last season, and it now has a four-speed Clerk electric gearbox of Allard’s own design, controlled by a small selector-lever operated by the right hand. A feature of this box is that it provides closer ratios than a Cotal box, and at Prescott Allard made his climb in the first and second gears.
Second fastest time was made by Dennis Poore in his 3.8-litre Alfa-Romeo, which now has two Wade superchargers in place of the old, dual Alfa-Romeo blower. Poore did 46.84 sec. during the team contest. Third fastest time was made by Merrick in the supercharged 2-litre Alta which he shared with Noel Carr.
Three class records fell, that for racing cars up to 500 c.c., in which first Lones, then Eric Brandon, beat Stirling Moss’ record; that for racing cars over 2 litres, in which Allard beat Poore’s record, and that for 1 1/2-3-litre supercharged sports cars, in which J. S. Fry’s Bugatti beat A. C. Whincop’s old figure. A fairly large crowd attended, the organisation was fully up to B.O.C. standards, and there were no accidents, although several “near-misses.” The wonderful 1911 Stanley steamer opened the course. The results follow, class by class:
Unfortunately the 1913 Bugatti “Black Bess” lost a couple of teeth from its crown-wheel before the event and Clutton’s Itala had something equally serious amiss. However, Mawer decided to drive the former car carefully and was rewarded with second place on time, whereas the Itala was scratched. It was left to Kenneth Neve in the 1914 T.T. Humber to make fastest time, in spite of high gear ratios. J. G. Hampton’s beautiful 1912 Sunbeam was sedate, so that Densham’s cheeky little Calcott, its timing gears making a fearful protest, beat it and made its fastest ascent yet, in just over 75 sec. It had burst a front tyre in practice. Alas, Ashton’s very beautiful 1912 T-head Austin Ten tourer, of 1,616 c.c., which was found in Manchester and which has only been taxed for three-quarters in its entire life, mixed its cogs after Orchard Corner and didn’t essay another run. Formula results have not been announced.
1st: K. Neve (1914 3,295-c.c. Humber) … 59.81 sec.
2nd: G. E. Mawer (1918 5,037-c.c. Bugatti) … 64.35 sec.
3rd: C. L. Densham (1913 1,496-c.c. Calcott) … 75.03 sec.
Also ran: Hampton (Sunbeam), 77.59 sec.; Ashton (Austin), failed.
Sports Cars up to 1,500 c.c., Non-supercharged
Delingpole’s H.R.G. was well handled and won the class comfortably. Furley handled his McEvoy-Hornet-engined, i.f.s., aerodynamic Graley very nicely, while Mrs. Binns put real effort and style into her ascents, driving a Riley “Sprite.” Ruddock’s H.R.G. went astray on its first ascent, but he displayed admirable judgment thereafter. Pitt’s Ford “Prefect”-engined F.I.A.T. 500, with M.G. transmission, 4.8-to-1 Magnette rear axle and “TC” half-shafts, had an incident on its first run and didn’t appear again.
1st: K. C. Delingpole (1,496-c.c. H.R.G.) … 53.56 sec.
2nd: G. A. Ruddock (1,496-c.c. H.R.G.) … 53.98 sec.
3rd: G. R.. Furley (1,408-c.c. Graley) … 57.78 sec.
Also ran: Mrs. Binns (Riley), 58.26 sec.; Fisher (Aston-Martin), 58.74 sec.; Scott (Morgan), 60.61 sec.; Maton (Riley), 62.24 sec.; Pitt (F.I.A. Ord), 63.32 sec.
Sports Cars up to 1,500 c.c., Supercharged
Finch, in his newly-assembled Villiers-blown Amilcar Six, improved vastly on his second ascent, being very fast if rather wild, but he could not beat Leonard’s famous M.G. Magnette, even though this wasn’t quite up to its class-record form of last year. Hern wasn’t quite as fast in his ex-Finch Amilcar Six as Marshall, who shared it with him, although the latter had an alarming series of incidents leaving the Esses on his second run.
Bowles’ Austin Seven was naturally outclassed, but his ascents earned him second place in the Handicap Class.
1st: L. Leonard (1,425-c.c. M.G.) … 50.96 sec.
2nd: O. A. F. Finch (1,100-c.c. Amilcar) … 51.19 sec.
3rd: J. Marshall (1,100-c.c. Amilcar) … 52.26 sec.
Also ran: Hern (Amilcar), 52.55 sec.; Bowles (Austin), 53.04 sec.
Sports Cars, 1,501-3,000 c.c., Non-supercharged B.M.W.
Hutchison’s much-publicised B.M.W.engined Veritas won this class with a polished, if not very rapid, initial ascent, but developed trouble on its last run and stopped beyond the Esses. Perkins’ B.M.W.-engined H.R.G., going wide out of the Esses, tyres flexing, was second. Leston had an incident on his first run, but continued.
1st: K. Hutchison (1,996-c.c. Veritas) … 52.94 sec.
2nd: W. S. Perkins (1,941-c.c. H.R.G.) … 53.92 sec.
3rd: L. Leston (2,664-c.c. Jaguar 100) … 57.32 sec.
Also ran: Wykes (Frazer-Nash), 58.34 sec.
Sports Cars, 1,501-3,000 c.c., Supercharged
This class, which one would expect to be a Bugatti benefit, produced a mere couple of runners, but was enlivened when J. S. Fry’s 2.3-litre, road-equipped, G.P. Bugatti relieved Whincops similar car of its class-record by a margin of 0.42 sec. Fry was wild in the extreme, his run demonstrating the safety-factor of Bugatti roadholding.
1st. J. S. Fry (2,300-c.c. Bugatti) … 49.14 sec.
Also ran: Blackburn (Bugatti), 51.91 sec.
Sports Cars over 3,000 c.c., Non-supercharged
Lifting its inner front wheel well clear the road at the Esses, Miles’ Ford V8-Frazer-Nash was a sure winner. Symmondson was rewarded with second by very neat handling of his Type 57S Bugatti, which is not an easy car to drive quickly up Prescott. Hewitt was careful not to scratch his Allard’s paint-work, the two Invictas were nicely handled and Jay’s J.B.M. seemed jealous of the Stanley steamer, a jet of water vapour issuing from its radiator vent.
1st: K. H. Miles (3,622-c.c. Frazer-Nash) 51.59 sec.
2nd: R. C. Symondson (3,257-c.c. Bugatti) 54.00 sec.
3rd: G. E. Matthews (3,486-c.c. Jaguar) 54.37 sec.
Also ran: Monro (Invicta), 55.09 sec.; Mansell 55.18 sec.; Sir David Gamble, Bt. (Invicta), 56.46 sec.; Jay (J.B.M.), 57.19 sec.; Hewitt (Allard). 57.22 sec.
Sports Cars over 3,000 c.c., Supercharged
Racing Cars up to 500 c.c.
Lones made two very neat ascents, breaking the old class record with 49.12 sec. on his first, in spite of just contacting the bank as he left the Esses, and being only .01 sec. slower next time. Then Erie Brandon, raising the dust in a series of tail-slides, got down to 48.8 sec., a very fine show, which beat Moss’ old record by 0.71 sec. C. A. N. May confirmed the promise he showed at Goodwood, but not, all the drivers in this class were so neat. Breese (Iota-Zephyr) experiencing a series of unfortunate swerves after the last bend of the Esses, Strang, after failing on his first run, leaving the road momentarily in the Esses on his second, and Ebdon appearing to find his Halldon-J.A.P. a handful. The Bardon seemed to sit down well, and Kearon made a very strong bid in his Cooper.
1st: E. Brandon (497-c.c. Cooper) … 48.80 sec.
2nd: H. C. Lones (496-c.c. Tiger Kitten) 49.12 sec.
3rd: C. A. N. May (497-c.c. Cooper) … 49.47 sec.
Also ran: Saunders (Cooper), 49.91 sec.; Kearon (Cooper), 49,92 sec.; Strang (Strang), 50.11 sec.; Reece (Cooper), 50.14 sec.; Truman (Bardon), 50.17 sec.; Collins (Cooper), 50.34 sec.; Breese (Iota-Zephyr), 51.07 sec.; Sykes (Cooper), 52.04 sec.; Ebdon (Halldon-J.A.P.), 52.68 sec,; Steadman (Parsenn), 53.79 sec.: Tipper (Monaco). 51.41 sec.: Derrick (Cooper), 54,59 sec.; Underwood (Underwood), 80.09 sec.
Racing Cars, 501-750 c.c.
Owen’s smartly-bodied blown Austin Seven got into a high-speed spin in the Esses and, missing a tree by inches, came to rest still on the road, its off-side rear tyre nearly on fire. Symonds tried hard but he hasn’t yet realised his ambition of owning the fastest Austin in existence.
1st: K. C. Jarvis (747-c.c. Austin) … 51.27 sec.
Also ran: Symonds (Austin), 52.01 sec.; Owen (Martin-Special), failed.
Racing Cars, 751-1,500 c.c.
Richards deserved his success in this class, for he handled his impressive little Riley really well. Rivers Fletcher (M.G.) seemed to use a lot of rubber and had a nasty incident on his second run. Merton made a determined run, sawing at the wheel, in Sievright’s Alta, and Finch went very rapidly, his Amilcar, now disguised as a racing car, snaking slightly as he braked for the Esses, and spinning its wheels under acceleration. Blomfield hit the bank.
1st: H. A. Richards (1,087-c.c. Riley) … 50.54 sec.
2nd: O. A. F. Finch (1,100-c.c. Amilcar) 51.48 sec.
3rd: J. H. Turner (1,087-c.c. Turner-Special) 51.61 sec.
Also ran: Morton (Alta), 52.47 sec.; Chambers (Bugatti), 53.21 sec.; Lady Mary Grosvenor (Alta), 53.23 sec.; Blomfleld (Bugatti), 54.39 sec.; Rivers Fletcher (M.G.), 54.53 sec.
Racing Cars, 1,501-2,000 c.c.
Mays entered too late to be accepted but we all look forward to seeing his hush-hush new sprint car at the June 12th meeting. Merrick made a prodigious run in the twin-rear-tyred Alta and might have broken the class record, only he overdid things on his second run, hit the bank broadside coming out of the Esses and found the car well up in the air. To his credit he continued without much delay, but was 0.35 sec. slower than before. Noel Carr couldn’t beat his partner, although he was obviously trying hard, clipping the bank and sliding considerably. Wilks displayed beautiful judgment in that very creditable 2-litre non-supercharged Rover, and the four-carburetter Lea-Francis-engined R.B.L. had about as much power as it could use up Prescott.
1st: R. W. Merrick (1,998-c.c. Alta) … 46.54 sec.
2nd: N. Carr (1,998-c.c. Alta) 47.06 sec.
3rd: P. W. Neale (1,990-c.c. Bugatti) … 49.15 sec.
Also ran: Wilks (Rover), 49.41 sec.; Baird (R.B.L.), 49.43 sec.; King (Rover), 50.12 sec.; Rose (R.B.L.), 50.64 sec.; Perkins (Bugatti), 51.19 sec.; Taylor (Caesar), 52.29 sec.; Mould (Bugatti), 54.04 sec.
Racing Cars over 2,000 c.c.
In this class Allard really got the Steyr-Allard going, beating Poore’s old class record by 0.09 sec. On subsequent runs there was too much oil near the plugs for the car to repeat the form shown on its first ascent. Poore, on the other hand, opened with 46.71, improved to 46.34 on his team-event ascent and dropped fractionally, to 46.4 sec., on his last run-consistent work. Stubberfield fairly threw his monoposto Bugatti at the corners. Neale was untidy in the imposing Buick-engined Neale-Special, with eight exhaust stubs and twin S.U. carburetters, each having a large air-cleaner. Both McAlpine and Poore showed fine form, the former tending to saw at the wheel a trifle, but Reece’s Bugatti was more in control of its driver than the driver appeared to be in control of his car.
1st: S. H. Allard (3,700-c.c. Allard) 46.12 sec.
2nd: R. D. Poore (3,800-c.c. Alfa-Romeo) 46.40 sec.
3rd: K. McAlpine (3,035-c.c. Maserati) 47.24 sec.
Also ran: Reece (Bugatti), 48.15 sec.; Stubberfield (Bugatti), 48.50 sec.; Lloyd-Jones (Triangle-Skinner), 50.03 sec.; Neale (Neale), 53.60 sec.
1st: K. C. Jarvis (Austin)
2nd: J. B. Bowles (747-c.c. Austin).
3rd: Lady Mary Grosvenor (1,490-c.c. Alta).
1st: Poore, Hutchison, Fry (Alfa-Romeo, Veritas, Bugatti), 149.85 sec. aggregate.
Also ran: Sir David Gamble, Bt., Monro, Blomfield, 164.41 sec. aggregate.
Photographs appearing in this article are MOTOR SPORT copyright.