The West Essex C.C. Whitsun Race Meeting took place at Snetterton on May 19th. Special features of the day were the “Double Twelve” Trophy Race, run in three parts, and the saloon-car race. Immense fun was had by all in the latter event and some very creditable and at the same time hilarious driving was portrayed by the small car exponents.
Archie Scott-Brown was again on form in his Lister-Maserati and won the second heat of the “Double Twelve” Trophy at 87.25 m.p.h. against fair opposition. The 500-c.c. event of the day went to Jim Russell in a Cooper, followed closely by Bridger in a similar car, and the Lotus handicap event went to Prior’s M.G.-engined Mk. VI model. In contrast the Jaguar race was less exciting, especially as Archie Scott-Brown had to retire with his C-type after completing eight of the 10 laps.- I.G.
“Double Twelve” Trophy Race – Heat 1
An unexpectedly effective motor car took part in this event – the Standard Ten-engined F.C.D. Mk. I driven by J.W. Banbury, which came in second. This rapid machine worked its way up past many of the other cars, in spite of rather soft suspension. Beedie’s M.G. TC’s front wheels assumed an alarming angle on all bends and Smith’s Elva-Maserati held the lead for a few laps but was unable to compete with Dalton’s Austin-Healey, which won the heat.
“Double Twelve” Trophy Race – Heat 2
An interesting race in which Scott-Brown’s masterly process of “slow car elimination” could be watched. By the seventh lap of this 12-lap race Archie was gaining three seconds a lap on the leading Lotus of W.S. Frost. By the 10th lap Archie was in the lead with the Lister-Maserati.
“Double Twelve” Final
Here again Archie tried hard for another win but the handicappers overcame him so that he was only able to attain fourth place. Mees had to retire at the Esses with a broken gear-lever in his Cooper-Jaguar, Newby had a close shave at the same spot when he nearly lost control of his Morgan Plus Four, and Beedie again put in some fantastically good cornering in the TC – to the extent of lifting wheels. J.E. Dalton in the Austin-Healey received the laurels of victory for his efforts after steadily working his way to the fore.
Formula III Scratch Race
The first two laps saw Bridger in the lead but the order soon changed to Russell, Bridger, Robinson; Russell’s speed being 81.09 m.p.h. These first three cars were close together but the field spread out rapidly in the course of the 10 laps. Sir T. Beevor and E.J. Moore did some gyrations at the hairpin but turned again into the fray.
Jaguar Car Race
Much tyre burning went on at the hairpin during this event, especially on the part of the XK-120s which started off first. Then came the C-types driven by Lawrence and Scott-Brown, and finally a D-type with Capt. I.B. Baillie at the wheel. By lap seven Archie had crept up to first place but unhappy noises from his engine made him retire on the following lap, allowing Lawrence’s C-type to come through and win.
This began with three. Mk. VI models on the front row. First lap saw Derisley and Prior come round first, followed by Laverton in the rather rare Mk. VII model. Prior, however, kept up the pace to the end, followed on the last lap by Hall in the Mk. XI.
Saloon-Car Handicap Race
This was another inspiring event, as competitors hurled A30s, Minors, Anglias and suchlike into sharp corners in a most alarming manner, and all credit must go to these cars which stood up to the treatment very well. Bell’s Alta-head Morris Minor remained in first place throughout the race, much to the joy of the spectators. Dr. G.C. Shepherd spun his 300SL Mercedes-Benz on his first lap but carried on, N.W. Graham’s A30 Austin seemed very unsafe as it came through the Esses and the car later retired, and Horridge’s Ford Prefect also looked unsafe, lifting rear wheels as it came round, but nothing untoward happened. Another creditable performance was put up by G.H. Grace in the 2 1/2-litre Riley, which he was driving on the absolute limit. Altogether a most instructive race for motoring enthusiasts wishing to become acquainted with the police force.