Variety at Ibsley
Salvadori Wins Two Races at Excellent W. Hants & Dorset C.C. Race Meeting
The W. Hants & Dorset C.C. held its fifth Ibsley Race Meeting, on April 30th, as it is fully competent to do, and offered, as usual, some delightfully varied racing. Ibsley circuit, near Ringwood, has some fast corners and four reasonably-long straights in a lap distance just short of two miles. In practice on a wet course Salvadori in the F. 1 Maserati was very fast and was confidently expected to break the lap record of Flockhart’s B.R.M. (87.39 m.p.h.) on race day — this Roy did, the new record being 0.6 sec. faster, equal to 1 min. 21.4 sec. Salvadori also won the big sports-car race in a DB3S Aston Martin, during the course of which he established a new sports-car lap record of 84.3 m.p.h., beating Stewart’s Jaguar record by 1.4 sec. Bueb set a new F. III lap record of 82.18 m.p.h., beating Leston’s record by 3 sec. Hawthorn was a surprise starter in a Lancia Aurelia Gran Turismo saloon.
The programme, with 179 entries, included 750 and 1,172 Formula races, a vintage-car race, saloon-car race, etc., an idea other clubs might copy. The exits from the circuit were sensibly thought-out and, altogether, Ibsley ended the April racing on a sound note. — W. B.
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Sports Cars, Any Capacity (Le Mans Start-5 Laps)
This was sub-divided into three capacity classes. Rudd’s A.G. Ace Led all the way, followed by an incredibly tight bunch composed of Trimble’s Austin-Healey, Halford’s Riley and Lund’s R.W.G., which later spaced out in that order. Standbridge’s A.C. Ace stopped on the first lap with a partially-seized gearbox and Ladd’s M.G. ploughed through the straw bales at tight Court Corner. Rogers’ Morgan Plus Four had overturned in practice.
750-c.c. and 1,172-c.c. Formula Race (5 Laps)
This race attracted ten Austin Seven-base Specials and 12 1,172 Formula cars. Of the latter, the advantages conferred by a good chassis and streamline bodywork were demonstrated by MacDowel, whose Lotus with Mk. VI chassis and Mk. IX tail-finned -aerodynamic body ran right away from the rest, lapping at over 70 m.p.h. with a Ford Ten engine complying with the 750 M.C.’s requirements. Laverton’a older Lotus with linered-down Ford Ten engine was second, followed by Tapp’s Buckler 90. There will surely be sadness that even this branch of “poor man’s racing” is dominated by Loti and the latest Buckler? Groot cornered fast in the Cuff Special.
The 750-c.c. division saw Aberg fight out grand battle with Stanley’s Austin M.M. Special. Baxter sawed at his old Austin Seven steering wheel in true Etancelin manner. Adamson had an ingenious carburation system on his Austin Seven, consisting of a high-set Ford Stromberg downdraught carburetter feeding two curved inlet pipes, with a four-branch exhaust system.
Vintage Sports-Car Handicap (5 Laps)
This was rather spoilt because the handicappers made a gift of it to Williamson’s very fast Bentley. Characteristically, however, Williamson tried hard, changing down beyond Court Corner each lap. Old-school Bentleys dominated the racing, West’s high-chassis, bolster-tank, 4 ½-litre Invicta, which was towed to Ibsley behind a delectable three-speed Twenty Rolls saloon, never having a chance from the 35-sec. mark and trailing its exhaust pipe in disapproval.
Sports Cars (1,500 c.c. Non-s/c. and 1,200 c.c. S/c.) (5 Laps)
This was exciting, Leston’s Connaught soon displacing Bueb’s Cooper-Climax from the lead. Sopwith held a good third place on his first outing with the Cooper-Climax, after Chapman’s unpainted Lotus-M.G. had retired.
Further back in the race Tapp’s Buckler 90 was unable to overtake Liddell in the old works blown Buckler, with huge rear tyres.
Closed-Car Handicap (5 Laps)
This was fun, and enlivened by Hawthorn’s driving of a 2 ½-litre Lancia Aurelia Gran Turismo saloon, which he threw about in fine style, the car notably stable over the bumps. It was unplaced but made fastest lap at over 72 m.p.h., winning a special prize. Sopwith’s special three-carburetter Sapphire, also on scratch, was easily outdistanced. Sparrowe’s 1,098-c.c. M.G. coupé had a resin-body.
Graham’s Austin A30, ably driven, with twin S.U.s and 8.2-to-1 compression ratio, outpaced a Morris Minor and a Standard Eight from the same mark, and Atyeo’s Wade-blown Ford Prefect got into second place before the engine succumbed. Cuff-Miller’s Ford Anglia chased Shillabeer’s Vauxhall Velox and Ellsworth-Laing’s aged coupé B.M.W. did wonders in holding off Shute’s Ford Consul. A revealing race!
Formula Libre (over 500 c.c.) Race (15 Laps)
Sports cars were admitted, and this was a really fine race. Salvadori led after the first lap, which Cobden’s ex-Whitehead Ferrari had dominated, and behind Beauman’s Connaught took Keen’s Cooper-Alta after six laps. Brabham’s Cooper-Alta going great guns behind, although Riseley-Pritchard’s Connaught got by after seven laps.
Behind, Scott-Brown drove his usual unruffled race in the 1954 sports Lister-Bristol, and when Beauman and Brabham vanished with two laps to go he was placed fifth, Young (Connaught) pipping him on the last lap.
Wick drove his Cooper-Jaguar well (it has triple two-choke Weber carburetters), Webb’s fuel-injection Turner was motoring well, but Anthony’s disc-brake Lotus-Bristol with roll-resistance at the rear, was outclassed by the Lister. Incidentally, Anthony had made good use of the R. E.M.E. breakdown crane in the Paddock to remove the engine from his car after a stone had punctured the sump.
Formula III (15 Laps)
A race-long tussle between Russell and Bueb held everyone’s interest, the Cooper-Nortons very close most of the time, until Bueb fell back a shade, only to come up again before the end, losing by half a length.
Third place was a similar hard struggle, Don Parker coming up on Lewis-Evans’ Cooper-Norton after a bad start, to a ding-dong occasioned by the Cooper being faster on the straights, where the Kieft seemed overgeared. Bicknell crashed his Revis-Norton. Shaddick’s I.E.R. Midget-J.A.P. spun suddenly at Court Corner, causing driver and spectators to register amusement.
Sports Cars (over 1,500 c.c.) (7 Laps)
Great stuff, Salvadori leading in the Aston Martin but Scott-Brown not only closing on him at corners but corning up alongside as they straightened out, when the larger car would draw away. Blond drove his C-type Jaguar with disc brakes very well, Wick was again fast but couldn’t catch Blond, and Anthony held off Margulies’ C-type Jaguar. The Clairmonte had a Connaught engine with non-alloy head and ram-inlet pipes for the four carburetters. Carnegie contrived an accident in his C-type Jaguar which reduced the car to a vintage model, both metaphorically and literally!
The Paddock and car-parks contained some interesting machinery, including a Lea-Francis-engined Gordano coupé, an Alfa-Romeo Giulietta, McDonald Hobley’s two-shade Ford Prefect with “funny-peculiar ” horns, two 300SL Mercédès-Benz and an aged Austin Twelve two-seater, belonging to an official, which seemed to have shed its timing-chain, but which was running again at the end of the afternoon.
In spite of overcrowding on our roads the journey home, mostly up A31 on a Saturday evening, proved very pleasant, the roads being practically empty.