British Cars Dominate the Big Race
Splendid Debut of G.P. Aston Martin. Moss’ Narrow Escape in B.R.M. Supporting Races won by Moss (Aston Martin DB4), Salvadori (Cooper-Maserati), Bueb (3.4 Jaguar) and Ashdown (Lola)
Between 80,000 and 90,000 people assembled for the B.R.D.C. International Trophy Meeting at Silverstone on May 2nd.
All the races were fast, sprint contests and the 50-lap International Trophy Race for F.1 cars was intensely interesting, Brabham driving a works Cooper-Climax magnificently, leading all the way, while one of the new G.P. Aston Martins, in Salvadori’s hands, was second, sounding beautifully crisp throughout, a first-appearance as commendable as it was unexpected. Flockhart drove well to finish third in a B.R.M., after Stirling Moss had had a very near call when the Dunlop disc brakes of his B.R.M. failed going into Copse corner, necessitating spinning the car to avoid a crash, a situation Moss handled with superb skill and calmness.
The supporting races saw Moss run away with the Grand Touring Car Race in a DB/4 Aston Martin, Salvadori taking the 3-litre Sports Car Race from stern opposition in John Coombs’ 2½-litre Cooper-Maserati, Cooper beating Lotus in the 2-litre class. Bueb led home the Jaguar contingent in the Production Touring Car Race, with Jaguar 2.4, Volvo and Austin A.40 as class victors, and Lola and Elva beat Lotus convincingly in the 1,100-c.c. Sports Car Race. Salvadori’s G.P. Aston Martin equalled the lap record of 105.37 m.p.h.
During the afternoon Fangio landed at Silverstone by helicopter, was driven round the course in a Land Rover to the plaudits of the crowd and started the big race. There was also an interesting parade of Historic Cars, including the T.T. Garage’s 1933 2.3 Alfa-Romeo, but in which Donald Campbell was a “non-starter” because the 350 h.p. V12 Sunbeam from Montagu Motor Museum broke its gearbox. — W. B.
The B.R.D.C. International Trophy Meeting, established as the major race of the year at Silverstone after being built-up for years by the Daily Express, was run again on May 2nd. under the expert control of John Eason Gibson and proved a very interesting, highly exciting race. It marked the debut of two of David Brown’s new Aston Martin G.P. cars, which had to face opposition from Ferrari, B.R.M., Cooper and Lotus. These beautifully turned out cars have six-cylinder 2,493-c.c. light alloy engines with twin o.h.c. heads in which the valves are inclined at an included angle of 95 deg., dry-sump lubrication, dual ignition from Lucas magnetos driven off the back of each camshaft and three twin-choke Weber carburetters are used. The chassis is a space frame of small diameter chrome-molybdenum tubing with coil spring and wishbone i.f.s. with torsion anti-roll bar. At the back a de Dion axle with trailing links is sprung on torsion bars. Armstrong telescopic shock-absorbers are used. The gearbox provides five forward speeds controlled by a r.h. remote gear lever. The brakes are outboard Girling discs, with Ferodo pads and Avon have provided tyres similar to their well-known Road Speed tyres, 6.00 by 16 at the front, 700 by 15 at the back, of special rubber compound, on Borrani wire wheels. A limited-slip ZF differential is used. The body follows the classic modern form for large G.P. cars, with long nose, curved screen following back along the cockpit sides, and a short upswept tail, two exhaust pipes running along the off-side of the car. These cars were hardly expected to be rid of teething troubles and it was indeed a pleasant surprise to find Salvadori’s on the front row of the grid, the Aston Martin having done a practice lap in 1 min. 40.4 sec., compared to 1 min. 40.2 sec. by Moss, who was driving a B.R.M., Brooks, whose Aintree Ferrari had managed 1 min. 40 sec. and Brabham, who had also done 1 min. 40.4 sec., in a works 2½- litre Cooper-Climax.
The second row was occupied by Flockhart (B.R.M.) — 1 min. 41.2 sec., Shelby in the second Aston Martin — 1 min. 44.8 sec. — and the American driver Lovely, whose 2½-litre Team Lotus-Climax had circulated in 1 min. 42.2 sec.
The best Phil Hill had done in his Ferrari was 1 min. 43 sec. and it might have been better had Enzo Ferrari sent Behra, who knows Silverstone. Row three thus had P. Hill, Graham Hill, 2½-litre Team Lotus — 1 min. 43.2 sec. — Fairman in Atkins’ Cooper-Maserati — 1 min. 43.6 sec., and Taylor, F2 works Cooper –1 min. 45.2 sec. Behind came Russell, F2 Cooper — 1 min. 45.4 sec., McLaren, works F2 Cooper — 1 min. 45.4 sec. and Ireland, works F2 Lotus — 1 min. 46 sec. Then Burgess, in Atkins’ 2.2 Cooper — 1 min. 46 sec. — Marsh, F2 Cooper — 1 min. 46.2 sec., Bueb, Cooper-Borgward 1 min. 46.4 sec., Scarlatti, his Maserati with a queer new tail and side cowling — 1 min. 49.8 sec., then de Silva Ramos (Maserati) — 1 min. 51.2 sec., Bill Moss in the U.R.S. F.2 Cooper — 1 min. 51.8 sec. and Parnell, F.2 Cooper — 1 min. 52.4 sec., with, right at the back, Miss de Filippis, whose Maserati had nearly been excluded for suspected oil-shedding — 2 min. 01.2 sec. and Naylor’s J.B.W.-Maserati which had qualified at an unspecified speed. Herrmann’s Maserati and Stacey’s works F.2 Lotus non-started.
Fangio dropped the Union Jack and the field roared in a crash of sound off the grid, Brabham in the lead, Salvadori in the noisy, crisp-sounding Aston Martin second, followed by Moss, Shelby in the other Aston Martin and Brooks (Ferrari) faintly stealing a lead on the closely-bunched pack.
After a lap Brabham led in the Cooper, Moss was second, ahead of the two Aston Martins, Flockhart’s B.R.M. up in fifth place, Brooks sixth. By the end of the third lap Moss led for B.R.M. and Brooks was past Flockhart, these two unable to outpace the Aston Martins.
The fourth lap brought sensation, for Moss felt the brake pedal of the B.R.M. go to the floorboards coming into Copse Corner. He spun the car, which slewed half round again on the grass on the outside of the course and came to rest, its nose inches from the bank, engine still running. Moss sprang out, inspected something at the front of the car, smoke swirling momentarily from about the bonnet, then he vaulted up the bank to safety. Next he was running across the track, leaping the inner fence and running towards the pits. He returned with Rivers-Fletcher, who crossed the track with him to examine the front brakes. Moss then recrossed the track, said a few words to Tommy Wisdom and the photographers and walked dejectedly away. The B.R.M. spent the remainder of the race in the ditch. When it was removed fluid was still dripping from the Dunlops; the external brake lines were intact, the leak apparently being at the base of the pads casings. Fangio witnessed Moss’ remarkable exit from the race.
This put Brabham in the lead and he drove like one possessed, sliding the tail of the Cooper out of the corners. Salvadori, the new Aston Martin appearing to handle splendidly, kept the Australian in sight but couldn’t close on him. Brooks held third place but his Ferrari lacked fire and didn’t seem to handle too well, over-steering. Flockhart, his face gradually blackening, drove the remaining B.R.M. hard in fourth place, close up to Brooks.
For lap after lap the order was Cooper, Aston Martin, Ferrari, B.R.M. — real racing variety — with Shelby fifth ahead of Phil Hill, in the other Ferrari.
The J.B.W. was in difficulties with a sticking throttle, Scarlatti’s Maserati out with a split fuel tank and soon the luckless Graham Hill departed when the Lotus broke a brake pipe. Brabham kept winning prizes, Indianapolis fashion, for leading at different lap stages. Ramos’ Maserati expired, Hill spun the Ferrari, in which he seemed uncomfortable, and the lady driver went comparatively slowly, de Filippis bending over to change gear forcibly but her Maserati going faster than we have previously seen a girl drive.
The race settled down — Brabham, Salvadori, Flockhart, Shelby, the second Aston Martin moving up as Brooks retired with a misfiring Ferrari. Hill stayed fifth, followed by Fairman in the Cooper-Maserati although he could only get 6,100 r.p.m. Moss was not being given Flockhart’s car — there would hardly have been time in a 50-lap race and possibly Stirling was suspicious of the Dunlop brakes — and Brabham, occasionally clipping the grass at the corners, had drawn away from the Aston Martin. Salvadori gave us a heart attack as he seemed to miss a gear coming out of Copse on lap 25 but all was well, the exhaust note as crisp as ever, although Roy continued to look down at the gear gate.
Behind Fairman a trio composed of Ireland (his F.2 Lotus only finished shortly before practice, two fillers protruding from the tail, whereas on Hill’s Lotus these were recessed), Bueb and Russell, fought a hard battle. Ireland and Bueb leaving Copse side by side lap after lap.
Right at the end the exuberant Aston Martin pit tried to speed up Shelby, hoping he could pass Flockhart and fill third place — alas, he over-revved, and burst the engine, with two laps to go. So B.R.M. was third, Hill’s uninspiring Ferrari fourth. But Aston Martin had every reason to be enormously encouraged, especially as on lap five Salvadori had equalled the existing lap record, proving that David Brown’s new G.P. car has speed as well as reliability. So there it was — a really instructive race. Brabham had driven the works Cooper-Climax magnificently. For Moss the race was nearly fatal, for Ferrari a fiasco, and again Lotus had got nowhere, although Lovely went well until his engine required oil. The J.B.W. retired with gearbox trouble, de Filippis’ Maserati with transmission failure.
B.R.D.C. International Trophy Race – 50 Laps – 150 Miles
1st: Brabham (Cooper) 1 hr. 25 min. 28.6 sec. 102.73 m.p.h. 50 laps
2nd: Salvadori (Aston Martin) 1 hr. 25 min. 46.2 sec. 102.38 m.p.h. 50 laps
3rd: Flockhart (B.R.M.) 1 hr. 25 min. 53.2 sec. 102.24 m.p.h. 50 laps
4th: Hill (Ferrari) 49 laps
5th: Fairman (Cooper-Maserati) 49 laps
6th: Russell (F.2 Cooper) 48 laps
Fastest lap: Salvatori (Aston Martin). 105.37 m.p.h.
International Grand Touring Car Race — 12 Laps (36 Miles)
Moss’ 3.7-litre Aston Martin DB4 coupe could hardly help winning, as in practice he had lapped 5 sec. faster (1m 55.4 sec.) than Salvadori in Coombs’ 3.4 Jaguar, these two sharing the front row of the grid with the quite astonishing Lotus Elites of Chapman and Whitmore, Chapman having been only 0.8 sec. slower than the Jaguar. On the second row Sir G. Baillie should have had his vast Chevrolet Corvette coupe, which had lapped in 2 min. 2.2 sec., but it non-started due to a grabbing front brake, leaving row two to lan Walker’s Elite and Sears’ works three-carburetter Austin-Healey 100-Six. Two of the six twin-cam M.G.s non-started, Martyn’s having dropped a valve.
In the race, after Reg. Parnell had warmed up the big DB4 coupe, Moss led all the way, followed by Salvadori’s Jaguar and the remarkable Elite driven by its designer/producer, which displaced Sears’ big Austin-Haley after half-distance. Ian Walker’s Elite retired with something amiss at the off-side rear of the car which caused a slight fire, and Sprinzel’s Speedwell Austin-Healey Sprite with overheating. Wood’s Sprite fell out with valve trouble.
It is significant that Chapman’s 1,220-c.c. Elite lapped as fast as Salvadori ‘s 3,442,c.c. Jaguar, which was 1.76 m.p.h. slower than the winning Aston Martin. The 1,300-1,600 c.c. class was won by Bloxham in a Jacobs’ M.G. at 81.01 m.p.h., the 1,600-2,600 c.c. class by Lawrence’s Morgan Plus Four, at 82.44 m.p.h. The tiddlers’ class (up to 1,300 c.c.) was a walk-over for Chapman and of the Sprites, Williamson’s Alexander car was placed 19th. just ahead of Bob Gerard’s Turner, both covering only 11 laps in a race-long duel, Hill’s Speedwell Sprite coupe being outclassed. The Elites of Chapman, Lawry and Whitmore deservedly won the Team Prize. — W.B.
Sports Cars Over 1,100 and Under 3,000 c.c. 25 Laps (75 Miles)
From practice times it looked as if this race would be a Cooper-Lotus battle although Moss had a 3-litre Aston Martin, which he could not get onto the front row of the grid. Likewise, the Lister-Jaguars were outclassed not only on handling but also for sheer speed. It seems that the days of the big sports cars are well and truly numbered now that the 2½–litre Climax engine is available.
Salvadori earned pole position with a lap of 1 min. 43.4 sec. in the John Coombs Cooper-Maserati with 2½ -litre four-cylinder engine, and Graham Hill did 1 min. 44.4 sec. a 2½-litre Lotus Fifteen. They shared the front row with Jim RusseIl and Jack Brahham both in Coopers.
At the drop of the flag Salvadori went into the lead followed by Moss who had pushed the Aston Martin between Hill and Russell. First time round Salvadori still held his lead but Graham Hill was closing rapidly in the Lotus and Stacey in a 2-litre Lotus was holding fourth place from Jack Brabham. Hill took Salvadori on the second lap and proceeded to pull steadily away from the field while Brabbarn had now taken Stacey and was about to pass Moss in the Aston Martin who broke the 3-litre sports car lap record in his efforts to keep in front.
Douglas Graham found the Innes Ireland 2-litre Lotus a handful and went on to the grass at Copse on one lap and followed this up by later spinning off at Copse. Although the track was clear the marshals waited until the leaders were in sight again before pushing poor Graham across the track. On lap eight Brabham got by Moss and in so doing broke the absolute sports car lap record with a time of 1 min. 43.6 sec. (101.71 m.p.h.). Stacey decided to take Moss also and on lap 10 he succeeded, but on lap 16 he appeared round Woodcote with apparent collapse of the front suspension and crashed into the grass bank on the outside of the corner at high speed. The front end of the car was very badly damaged and Stacey was lucky to escape with a shaking. This accident may have been brought about by a bumping incident in which Stacey nudged Brabham onto the grass and forced him to make a pit stop which dropped him to seventh place. Meanwhile Masten Gregory had brake failure on the Ecurie Ecosse Lister-Jaguar and went straight on at Becketts, mounting the barrier and suffering a badly cut thigh which put him out of the Trophy race.
Hill had been going magnificently and the Lotus sounded very crisp, but on lap 17 the Hornsey bogey struck and he pulled into the pits with the differential grinding itself to pieces, a fault probably brought on by the extra power of the 2½-litre engine.
These incidents left Salvadori with a comfortable lead, over 12 sec. in front of Moss who was very fortunate to be in second place as were Bueb and Flockhart in Lister-Jaguar and Tojeiro-Jaguar respectively in holding third and fourth places. These four held their positions to the end of the race with Whitehead a bad fifth in his Aston Martin. Moss left the 3-litre sports car record at 1 min. 45 sec., Stacey the 2-litre record at 1 min. 44 sec. and Brabham the absolute sports-car record at 1 min. 43.6 sec., 0.4 sec. faster than Masten Gregory’s record in the 3.8-litre Lister-Jaguar.
1st: R. Salvadori (Cooper-Maserati) 2½-litre 98.40 m.p.h.
2nd: S. Moss (Aston Martin) 3-litre 98.23 m.p.h.
3rd: I. Bueb (Lister-Jaguar) 3-litre 96.77 m.p.h.
International Production Touring Car Race 12 Laps (36 Miles)
The saloon cars usually provide good value for money but a singularly uninspiring entry and a large number of non-starters reduced the interest of the race. The four classes were so divided that the overall and class winners could be predicted easily and these looked to be wins for Jaguar, Ford, Volvo, and Austin.
The Volvo factory had entered four cars for Wessblad, Nystrom, Bengtson and Gunnar Andersson the European Rally Champion and in their class the only opposition looked to come from Les Leston and G. H. Grace, both in 1.5 Rileys. In the over 2,600 c.c. class five 3.4 Jaguars were entered with another battle indicated between Bueb and Salvadori, and in the baby car section the only opposition to a bunch of Austins was the dimutive 747 c.c. three-cylinder two-stroke Saab in the hands of Chris Threlfall, which unfortunately non-started. Doubtless the four Volvos warranted the title of “International “.
Naturally the Jaguars led away from the start and they took up the order of Bueb, Salvadori, Baillie and Protheroe in which positions they remained for the rest of the race. In fifth place was Peter Blond, keeping his 2.4 Jaguar in front of Tom Dickson’s 3.4 who took seven laps to overtake Blond. D. J. Uren held a comfortable seventh place and second place in his class to Blond and Andersson’s Volvo was drawing away from Leston’s Riley. Leston was only just holding off Bengtson’s VoIvo and the Volvo seemed to have plenty of steam in hand. On lap four Grace’s Riley 1.5 shed its front nearside wheel coming out of Copse and came to rest safely on the grass. The pressed steel wheel had pulled over the nuts and when some washers were added the car was soon on its feet again.
Doc Shepherd’s very fast and stable Farina A40 easily led the under 1,000.c.c. class and in fact was leading David Shale in Cuff-Miller’s Ford Zephyr. Nearly everyone kept station to the end of the race except for Bengtson ‘s Volvo which swept past Leston to beat him by .6 sec. to give a class 1, 2 for Volvo.
1st: I. Bueb (Jaguar 3.4) 86.57 m.p.h.
2nd: R. Salvadori (Jaguar 3.4) 86.29 m.p.h.
3rd: Sir G. Baillie (Jaguar 3.4) 85.88 m.p.h.
Up to 1,000-c.c.: G. Shepherd (Austin) 75.65 m.p.h.
Over 1,000 and up to 1,600-c.c.: G. Andersson (Volvo) 77.54 m.p.h.
Over 1,600 and up to 2,600-c.c.: P. Blond (Jaguar 2.4) 82.42 m.p.h.
Sports-Car Race under 1,100 c.c. — 25 Laps (75 Miles)
In the entry list for this race the all-triumphant Lolas seemed to have little opposition except perhaps from Alan Stacey in a works Lotus and Tom Dickson in a works Elva. With 17 Lotuses. six Elvas, one Tojeiro, four Lolas and a Cooper the field was a little more interesting than it has been in past years.
From the start Ashdown and Gammon in their works Lolas went into an unchallenged lead followed by Arundell (Lotus), Dickson, Stacey, Taylor, Raby and Eric Broadley (Lola). Four makes in the first eight cars. Taylor began to move up his Lola and on lap two he was in third place, while Stacey, no doubt suffering from the effects of his crash, began to drop back. The pattern of the race was now evident and barring accidents the Lolas were bound to achieve yet another win although the drivers would undoubtedly have preferred some one to try and make a race of it. But just as the Lotus was uncatchable two years ago so it is with the Lola today. Three Lolas were in the lead and just to rub it in Eric Broadley the designer and builder of these cars began to challenge Arundell and Dickson for fourth place. On lap live he passed Aruudell but he had to wait until lap 13 before he sneaked past Dickson who was making the Elva motor better than anyone else has been able to. Stacey retired on lap six with brake troubles.
Just as a 1. 2. 3, 4 win seemed certain Gammon brought in his car on lap 20 with a broken oil pipe to be followed two laps later by Broadley who stopped out on the circuit. This let Dickson into third place and Arundell into fourth with Cedric Brierley a comfortable fifth in the Elva which has replaced his successful special. Ashdown went on to gain a comfortable win by nearly 30 sec. from Taylor who was a further 35 sec. in front of Dickson. Six Lotuses and two Lolas retired during the race. — M.L.T.
1st: P. Ashdown (Lola) … 93.69 m.p.h.
2nd: M. Taylor (Lola) 92.74 m.p.h.
3rd: T. Dickson (Elva) 91.61 m.p.h.
Motor Sport Trophies
During June there are three events counting towards the Motor Sport Goodwood and Silverstone Trophies. On June 6th, at Goodwood, the 35th Members’ Meeting will commence at 2 p.m., where B.A.R.C. members will do battle for points counting towards the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy. Joint leaders at the moment, with seven points each, are T. Maggs (Lotus) and K. W. Mackenzie (Austin-Healey Sprite).
On the same day, at Silverstone, the Eight Clubs are holding their Annual Silverstone Race Meeting, and during the day qualifying races will be held to decide the four drivers who will go forward to the Final of the Motor Sport Silverstone Trophy which takes place at the North Staffs M.C. meeting on October 3rd. A further qualifying event for the Silverstone Trophy will be held by the Motor-Cycling Club at Silverstone on June 27th.
Drivers who have already qualified for the Final from the Vintage Sports Car Club meeting are L. R. Durdin (Vauxhall), R. V. C. Hardman (Riley), P. C. L. Moores (Talltot) and A. Charnock (Alv(s).
“1959 ‘Road & Track’ Road-Test Annual. 49 test-reports. 1 dollar.
Since the war American motor journals have improved enormously and the road-test reports published in some of them are reliable and of great interest, especially as the U.S. journalists seem to hook cars denied to English papers. Road and Track have issued an annual of their 1958 test-reports, which contains pictures, a line-drawing and tabulated performance data relating to each car. Full performance figures are quoted, including speedometer error statistics. The tests cover such cars as A.C.-Bristol, Aston Martin Mk. III, Chrysler 300-D, Ferry-Dauphine, special VW, Berkeley, Fiat-Abarth 750, Jaguar XK150S, Mercedes-Benz 300SL, Twin-cam and Judson-blown M.G.s, Porsche Super, Saab G.T., Toyopet de luxe, etc. There are also reports, with predicted performance figures, on a number of American and Continental classic cars, including Rolls-Royce P3, Delage D8-120, Mercedes-Benz 36/220S and Ferrari 212. There is a chapter on that Road & Track folly, the Cyclops II, and an introductory chapter on what to buy. This absorbing annual is published from Box 232, Venice, California, and should be available from specialist booksellers in this country. — W.B.
Stanley Schofield has recently released another of his popular “Sound Stories” records, the latest in the series being devoted to the V16 B.R.M. The commentary has been both written and spoken by that master of the art Nevil Lloyd. The record (No. E.P. 509) traces the full history of the V16 B.R.M. and the fantastic noise of the two-stage supercharged engine can be heard in all its glory — although the wife and neighbours will have other names for it. This record must become a classic and at the very modest price of 13s. 6d., inclusive of postage and packing, is a bargain. The address of Stanley Schofield Productions Ltd. is 6, 7, 8. Old Bond Street, London, W.1.