The, West Hants and Dorset C.C. ran one of its biggest meetings to date, in suitably sunny weather, on the occasion of the fourth race day at Ibsley, near Ringwood. Due to crop cultivation the former circuit could not be used, but a 1.9-mile lap of the perimeter provided a fine substitute and the old Paddock bend was still the most difficult, involving competitors in some truly phenomenal avoidances. The races, of widely divergent character, were run off promptly, the commentary (P. Moore) was sensibly objective, and the club issued a good programme. The new B.R.M., Flockhart up, was an attraction, but Salvadori’s F.I Maserati was, alas, still convalescent after its Goodwood thrust. Practice was notable for the unfortunate Neate entering a corner to such good purpose that his Renault 750 saloon did a complete sideways somersault. But again the ambulance boys bad a “dull day.” The Army helped by bringing a most imposing “recovery vehicle” and a welding plant and the Hartwell Sunbeam Alpine hard-top made a very elegant circuit car.
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Closed-Car Race (5 Laps)
Run in two classes, this race saw Mrs. Leavens in a Jowett Javelin soundly trounce P. H. Channon’s 1 1/2-litre Riley saloon in the 1,500-c.c. category, and Roy Salvadori, driving Rob Walker’s 3-litre Aston Martin, catch Gillie Tyrer’s potent Jaguar XK120 coupé on lap three in the big-capacity division. Salvadori snaked somewhat into the fast bends but it. worked out as planned, possibly assisted by warm brakes on the Jaguar. Williamson’s Riley-Morris Minor retired on the first lap.
750 And 1,172 Formual Race (5 Laps)
The next race, over the same distance, was for 750 and 1,172 Formula cars of the 750 M.C. It attracted nine starters in the former, six in the latter category. The 1,172 contingent produced a duelling trio, Small’s D.H.S. 11b leading the Loti of MacDowel and Lambert until the D.H.S. suffered from clutch slip and it was a case of Loti leading and the Buckler following. MacDowel’s has a Ford Ten engine reduced to 1,064 c.c., Lambert’s being the full 1,172 c.c. like that of the D.H.S. Hard-trier Adamson’s Austin Seven took 750-c.c. honours from Burry’s buzzing Seven. Wilks’ Austin retired on lap three while leading and Salthouse suffered some erratic sparks.
Vintage Sports-Car Handicap (5 Laps)
A fine field of sixteen vintage cars ranging from Austin Sevens, one of which was driven by Pete Almack’s son, to Nicholson’s 6 1/2-litre Bentley saloon faced the starter. For two laps Miller’s 24-litre Darracq tourer led, then Gibbs’ fast Riley Nine, more “racing” than the rest, went into the lead and ran away from the field, pursued by Fitzwilliam’s beautiful blue blown 2.3 Le Mans long-chassis Alfa-Romeo. Williamson really thundered round in his famous 4 1/2-litre Bentley, chased by Burton’s Bentley, to net third place. Quartermaine delighted us by using the outside handbrake of his 30/98 Vauxhall through the corners and Hill’s abbreviated 12/50 Alvis motored meritoriously.
Small Sports-Car Race (5 Laps)
This was a walk-over for Peter Gammon’s Lotus-M.G., which is chalking up so many successes this season. MacDowel’s Lotus-Ford took the 1,300-c.c. class. Some terrific thrills were provided as cars spun at Court Corner (old Paddock bend). On lap two, for instance, Sparrowe’s Morgan 4/4 gyrated and somehow Tapp’s Buckler just squeezed between it and the straw bales marking the outside of the curve. A lap later it was the turn of the J.A.G.-M.G., which Fiander’s Tojeiro managed to miss, Steed afterwards driving wildly back to fourth place. Right at the end Sergeant put his M.G. right amongst the bales on this bend.
Racing Cars Over 500 c.c. (15 Laps)
Here the public had its B.R.M. and Flockhart, refraining from spinning round as he had in practice, ran right away with it, going better than a comet, to win at nearly 83 i/2 m.p.h. The Ecurie Ecosse Type C Jaguars, beautifully turned out as usual and attended by Wilkinson, who had come down from Scotland in his small Ford, followed at a discreet distance, in the order Stewart, Sanderson. Working very hard, Graham Whitehead held fourth place in the E.R.A., closing on Sanderson on the corners but left behind by the Sports Jaguars elsewhere! Stewart burnt rubber out of the bends. Lewis held tail-slides on his E.R.A., Baxter came into Court Corner far too fast, spinning his Type C in front of McGlashan’s Cooper-Bristol (no contact!), and Colin Chapman, promoted from sports Lotus to F.I Erneryson, spun on the second lap and lost time being push-restarted. Baxter finally retired and the clearly-numbered Turner was slow.
Formula III (15 Laps)
This 500-c.c. race produced a fine tussle. Bicknell in the semi-all-enveloping Revis took the lead from Tyrrell’s Cooper-Norton on lap three, only to suffer steering failure, whereupon Tyrrell led the next two laps. A Staride had meanwhile run up a bank, altering the angle of its rear wheels, to continue undaunted, and when Tyrrell retired on lap six Leston took the lead with Don Parker’s Kieft on his tail, Hunt’s smart Cooper in third place. On the final lap Parker put on speed, to pass Leston but at Paddock bend Leston swept back into the lead in masterly style.
Big Sports Cars (7 Laps)
The last race in a good day’s sport produced a lot of interest. The Ecurie Ecosse Jaguars were never troubled, not even by Salvadori in the 2-litre Maserati. Lewis-Kuster’s Allard broke its transmission leaving the line, Leavens’ Triumph TR2 spun on lap three at Court Corner and mixed its cogs before resuming, Davids’ Jaguar and Byrnes’ Kieft-Bristol indulged in skids, while Onslow’s Alta flung a wing high into the air with a lap still to run. Stewart again made the Jaguar’s back tyres smoke, lapping Standbridge’s Sunbeam Alpine in five laps.