First Round of the 1959 Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest/National Prescott Hill-Climb

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This took place at the 34th B.A.R.C. Members’ Meeting at Goodwood on April 25th, on the usual points system. A splendid entry of 125 cars had been received but, alas, summer had taken place the day before and on race day rain flooded down, driven by a high wind into a lashing fury. Under the circumstances it is a splendid tribute to their enthusiasm that spectators almost filled the stands and even stood, clinging to gale-threatened umbrellas, along the railings.

Keith Greene, who so nearly won the Brooklands Trophy in 1957 and 1958, had hoped to score useful points with his new Lotus Seventeen. However, in doing 18 laps at Brands Hatch during the preceding week it was evident that all was not well with his new car and mechanics set about an all-night session to rectify troubles such as bodywork fouling the wheels. Greene drove to Goodwood in his Porsche and qualified in it. The Lotus didn’t arrive in time for the first race and managed only two laps in its next race before retiring — disappointing to the Syd Greene equipe and not a very good advertisement for Colin Chapman.

This first race was a 10-lap Scratch Race for 1,100-c.c. sports cars. The South African, Maggs, led all the way in his Lotus to win easily, but second place was fiercely contested between his fellow South African, Jacobsz, in the ex-Campbell Jones’ series 2 Lotus, and Hegbourne (Tojeiro). The latter went ahead for three laps but Jacobsz, braking later, re-passed on lap seven and thus they finished — Maggs, Jacobsz, Hegbourne, Murdoch (Lotus).

Next came a 5-lap Closed-Car Handicap, in which at least the drivers kept dry. The “limit” cars led for most of the race, Blydenstein’s Borgward catching Pilsworth’s 1.5 Riley after three laps, to go through the chicane in the lead, whereupon Lumsden’s “scratch” Lotus out-accelerated the German saloon to the line, having made up 60 sec. on Blydenstein, Pilsworth third. Hunt’s XK120 retired.

The 10-lap Marque Scratch Race, run in shocking weather, turned out to be a procession, quite high-speed in the circumstances. De Selincourt kept his Triumph TR3 ahead of Lawrence’s splendidly-driven Morgan, which was driven hard and sometimes unhappily baulked. These two were followed at a discreet distance by Hurrell’s TR3, and farther back came North’s TR3, Hextell’s TR2 and Chitty’s TR3, the last-named changing places after lap one. The Twin-Cam M.G.s of Fletcher and Carnegie, the A.C. of Staples and Duggan’s Morgan retired.

The second 5-lap Closed-Car Handicap was a lot of fun, although we regretted that the very fast L.M.B.-Ford and Morrogh’s Ford, also blown, non-started. Waddell’s FMR 500 led away and built up a huge lead, flicking through the chicane, to the delight of the crowd, but eventually a bevy of fast Austin A35s and a Volkswagen beat it, the finishing order being Levy, Gaston, Combe and Bryant. Lawrence (A35) excelled himself by driving off the course, behind the observer’s tower at St. Mary’s and back onto the course — to be excluded by the horrified Stewards.

The fast Lotus contingent came out for a terribly wet 5-lap Handicap and this time Rees’ Lotus-Climax kept ahead of Maggs and Jacobsz, Shill’s Lotus taking fourth place after Murdoch retired. Woodley’s Mk. 6 Lotus lost a front wing and, as recounted, Greene retired.

The next 5-lap Handicap was an Austin-Healey Sprite benefit, ten starting, some business-like with aero-screens, others racing with hood and sidescreens erect, which shows either how effeminate or how sensible today’s racing drivers are! Venner-Pack’s Sprite won from those of Mackenzie and Pieris, Ide’s old M.G. fourth, followed by two more Sprites.

A miserable afternoon concluded with two more 5-lap Handicaps. Coles’ rebodied 747-c.c. M.G. looked well placed, but trouble set in and Mann’s A.C.-Bristol won very comfortably from Goddard-Watts’ extremely impressive — both in respect of speed and steady cornering — Berkeley hard-top with 692-c.c. Royal Enfield engine. McNab’s Lotus was third.

In the last race Mrs. Howard spun her Lotus harmlessly going into Woodcote and Mackenzie’s Sprite won by a big margin from de Selincourt’s TR3 and Munn’s A.C. — W.B.

All the Winners:

10-Lap Scratch Race, up to 1,100 c.c.: T. Maggs (Lotus-Climax) 72.05 m.p.h.

5-Lap Closed-Car Handicap: P. J. S. Lumsden (Lotus Elite) 70.70 m.p.h.

10-Lap Marque Scratch Race: R. W. de Selincourt (Triumph TR3) 73.64 m.p.h.

5-Lap Closed-Car Handicap: B. W. S. Levy (Austin A35) 62.43 m.p.h.

5-Lap Scratch Race up to 1,500 c.c.: A. B. Rees (Lotus-Climax) 73.77 m.p.h.

5-Lap Handicap: J. L. Venner-Pack (Austin-Healey Sprite) 66.28 m.p.h.

5-Lap Handicap: J. M. Mann (A.C. Ace-Bristol) 69.92 m.p.h.

5-Lap Handicap: K. W. Mackenzie (Austin-Healey Sprite) 67.10 m.p.h.

Leaders on Points in Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest:

T. Maggs (Lotus-Climax) and K. W. Mackenzie (Austin-Healey Sprite), 7 points each; R. W. de Selincourt (Triumph TR3), 6 points; Jecobsz (Lotus-Clitnax), 5 points; P. J.S. Lumsden (Lotus Elite), B. W. S. Levy (Austin A35), A. B. Rees (Lotus-Climax), J. L. Venner-Pack (Austin-Healey Sprite) and J. M. Mann (A.C. Ace-Bristol), 4 points each.

The next round in the contest will take place at Goodwood on June 6th.

_

No Records at Wet Prescott

The 17th National Prescott Hill-Climb, organised by the Bugatti O.C., took place on May 3rd in drizzling rain which continued for most of the day, precluding the breaking of any records except perhaps for the slowest time ever.

The first round of the R.A.C. Hill-Climb Championship looked to be a repeat of last year’s event, with the main contestants being Tony Marsh, David Boshier-Jones and David Good, with interruptions from A. T. Norton, R. B. James and M. S. Hatton. After the usual winter swap-round of cars, Tony Marsh is now in possession of the ex-Michael Christie F.2 Lotus, on which a considerable amount of work has been done. The engine has been moved back in the frame to give better weight distribution and a somewhat lower style of bodywork given to the car. Marsh still owns the Mk. VIII 1,100-c.c. Cooper-J.A.P. but he elected to use the Lotus in his Championship runs. Mike Hatton purchased Christie’s other car, the Mk. X Cooper-J.A.P., and looks like giving a good account of himself this season.

In the racing-car runs prior to the Championship Boshier-Jones recorded an excellent 46.98 and 47 sec., against Marsh’s 48.80 sec. in the Cooper. On his second run Marsh entered Orchard Bend too fast and gently bumped the earth bank, to put paid to any chance of bettering Boshier-Jones’ time. David Good made an excellent climb on his second run of 49.10 sec., to make third best time of the class.

In the Formula 1 and 2 classes Tony Marsh did 48.52 and 48.77 sec. in the Lotus. The sensation of the event was the performance of “Doc.” Taylor’s Caesar Special, which won the Formula 1 class with an astonishing 49.84 sec. The Caesar Special has been competing at Prescott for a number of years now but the 2-litre A.C. engine seems to be as good as ever. As he crossed the finishing line the car began shedding its chains all over the road. Patsy Burt came to grief in her immaculate pale blue F.2 Cooper when the front-off-side brake locked on going into Orchard Bend and the car plunged into the deep ditch on the inside of the corner. She is not the first person who has been through the straw bales at this point, and it would seem wise to put something stronger there.

In the Championship runs Boshier-Jones decreased his times even further to record 46.54 sec., while the best that Tony Marsh could do was 47.19 sec. in the Lotus, which was nevertheless good enough for second f.t.d. David Good was third with 48.24 and A. T. Norton fourth with 49.36 sec. — M.L.T.