On Sunday, May 1st, the British Racing and Sports-Car Club held another meeting at Brands Hatch. This time the weather, unlike the last meeting on Easter Monday, was unpleasant and the steady downpour of rain continued throughout the afternoon.
The programme included qualifying races with finals for 500 c.c. cars, sports-car events for 1,200-c.c. and 1,500-c.c. cars, and a J.A.P. race. Heat 1 of the first race was won by George Wicken in a Cooper at 61.03 m.p.h., following him in was Raby also in a Cooper, although he was a little way behind. Heat 2 began well with Taylor in the lead and Ivor Bueb just behind him as the second lap came up. Taylor, however, was unable to stand the pace for Bueb overtook him and held the lead until the ultimate winner of the race, S. Lewis-Evans came upon the scene. In this event Fergusson in an Emeryson was a non-starter and Lund after seemingly retiring at the pits made a quick recovery and continued racing. Jim Russell, also in this heat, was lying in third place for a while and eventually managed to pull up into second place for the finish followed by Taylor into third place: Heat 3 saw Bridger leave the starting line first with Heath second although the latter dropped back leaving the main order: Bridger, Cowley and Parker, the order which they held for almost the entire race; fourth place went to Manning in a Staride, and the winner’s speed was 61.89 m.p.h. (Bridger, Kieft). In the race for sports cars up to 1.200 c.c., Hale was a non-starter in his Lotus and Frank Nichols, the designer of the new Elva, was unfortunately unable to be present because the bonnet of the car blew up during practice and he was hit on the head; he was not seriously injured. Peter Gammon drove the car in this event, but was not quite so successful as he was last time owing to the presence of Ivor Bueb and his Coventry Climax-engined Cooper with four-wheel independent suspension and cut off rear-end. This car was very fast and Bueb succeeded in coming through to second place from the rear of the starting grid before he had even completed half a lap and by the end of it he had overtaken Gammon and was leading. First place went to Bueb with a speed of 57.14 m.p.h. and Gammon came in third. The J.A.P. race started well for Iszatt and Heath followed by Manning and Taylor; after three and a half laps the order changed to Manning, Iszatt and Heath, the roadholding of the Staride driven by Manning appeared to be superior to that of the Coopers in view of the heavy rain that was falling at the time. By the seventh lap the order had changed again, Taylor leading followed by Heath and Walker, although on the final lap Heath made a great effort and overtook Taylor in a very spectacular fashion only a short distance from the finishing line. The race for larger sports cars began with Gammon in the lead, but Les Leston soon remedied this by passing him with his Connaught, David Piper in a Lotus lying third: Ivor Bueb, however, was also very much in the running and began to press Leston until he succeeded in passing him, Leston, however, passed Bueb again on the inside of Paddock bend but spun off the track and regained second place only to he challenged by Austin-Nurse (Lotus-M.G.). The order of finishing was: Bueb, Leston, Austin-Nurse and Piper; 61.11 m.p.h. was the winner’s speed. The Consolation Final for the 500 saw Lewis-Evans lead off well with Hall second, but the latter soon took over the lead and won the race at 58.09 m.p.h., with Brown second. The second final for 500-c.c. cars consisted of another fight between Taylor, Heath and lszatt; Taylor and Heath in the lead to begin with followed by Iszatt who later moved up into second place, finishing order was Heath third, who had dropped back a little, Jones second and Taylor first at 60.37 m.p.h. in an Arnott. The last race of the day was the 15-lap final for 500-c.c, cars again. Lewis-Evans won this event at 63.35 m.p.h., but considerable credit must go to George Wicken who put up a wonderful battle in driving rain to bring his car into second place. Lewis-Evans was off first from the start followed by Cowley and Raby, later when Don Parker was lying third Wicken, who was then fourth, just managed to pass him on the outside of Paddock bend when the cars were almost touching and by pressing on hard was able to capture second place.
In spite of the weather then, an interesting and quite informative afternoon was had by Formula III and sports-car fans. — I. G.