A Section Devoted to Old-Car Matters
“Daily Express” International Trophy Historic Car Race, Silverstone (April 27th)
12 laps—Full Circuit—Wet
A varied field of 28, hampered by the conditions, put on a good race. Bewer’s G.P. Aston Martin led for the first two laps, before gearbox trouble eliminated it. Lucas (Maserati 250F) then took the lead, working hard to hold tail slides, closely pursued by Corner in his 250F, which closed the gap on acceleration out of the corners, made fastest race-lap at 85.46 m.p.h., but slid into the bank at Chapel Curve on lap 4, the driver cutting his face.
Crabbe in his Maserati 250F now took up the pursuit of Lucas, but the latter drew away to an enormous lead after six laps. Boorer’s Lotus 16 passed Crabbe and these two fought furiously for second place, which in the end went to the Lotus by a mere 0.2 sec. Balmer (Cooper-Bristol), Morris (E.R.A.) and Pilkington (Cooper-Bristol) fought their own battle, Balmer taking fourth place after ten laps, by brave driving, in spite of having spun at Copse on lap 2.
Lucas finished with no-one in sight, winning by 31.8 sec. Moffat lost 3rd gear in the Type 35 Bugatti and slowed down, and Day’s E.R.A., sounding awful, did only seven laps. Apart from the six place-men mentioned, Eckersley (Lotus), Kain (Bugatti), Lockhart (Rover), Beer (M.G.), Brown (E.R.A.) and Curtis (Cooper), in that order, were the only competitors to go the full distance. The Hon. P. Lindsay entered both his Maserati 250F and monoposto Alfa Romeo and brought the latter to Silverstone but elected to watch the race from his Rolls-Royce tourer. In practice Lucas lapped at 100.93 m.p.h., so these Maseratis are by no means hanging around.
Oulton Park on June 22nd
The Vintage S.C.C. has its second race meeting of 1968 at Oulton Park on June 22nd. I tend to harp on the sheer pleasure of seeing the old racing and cars, and the more exciting post-war historic racing cars, in action but certainly the Oulton V.S.C.C. Meeting is extremely nostalgic, perhaps because this pleasant circuit not far from Chester is reminiscent of the Donington Park road course over which this Club, with its characteristic initiative, ran race meetings before the war. Moreover, being in the distant North, the journey to and from the venue lends itself to excitement where the older cars are concerned and the event lends itself to a very fine social week-end.
So there it is—the date June 22nd, the venue Oulton Palk. This is the Richard Seaman Memorial Trophy Meeting—appropriate, because somehow, if Seaman had not been killed racing for Mercedes-Benz, I think he might have been driving historic cars today—at which the main race is the Seaman Historic Trophy Race over ten laps of this misting circuit, for pre-1940 racing cars. It should see the Hon. Patrick Lindsay driving his beautiful Dubonnet-i.f.s. monoposto Alfa Romeo and Sir Ralph Millais with his recently imported, normally suspended monoposto Alfa Romeo, now broken-in to English air. If Neil Corner elects to run his monoposto Alfa Romeo, we shall see three versions of these famous cars in one race. Blight’s Talbot 105 BGH 23 will be making a strong bid in this event.
Then there-is the Seaman Vintage Trophy Race over the same distance for vintage racing and stripped sports cars, which should entice a remarkable variety of machinery onto the starting-grid. We can expect to have Kain’s Type 35B Bugatti giving them a tough task. Racing stairs at 1 p.m., there is practice to watch in the morning, and the supporting programme includes that most exciting 10-lap Allcomers’ race for the post-war historic racing cars like Maserati 250Fs and Lotus 16S, the Frazer Nash Handicap, and several 4-lap handicaps with mixed fields. A fine day’s Sport must ensue if the day is fine and there may be a Parade of cars taking part in the Concours d’Elegance, which means for some of the finest, most glistening pre-war cars in the Land. This is the second round in this year’s Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest, in which Peters’ SS100 leads from Glydon’s Ulster Aston Martin. The public is welcome—pay at the gate, for the good of the circuit owners, not, the V.S.C.C. No dogs.—W. B.
Flying Kilometers—Bentley D.C.
On May 4th the Bentley Drivers’ Club took part in flying kilometre speed tests over a closed 6-km. section of the Kennedy Laan Autoroute near Gent in Belgium. The runs were co-organised by the R.A.C. de Flandres and R. O. Russ-Turner of the B.D.C., and it was ironic therefore that fastest time should be set by R. Wills’ Lagonda with a speed of 224.2 k.p.h., about 140 m.p.h. This Swiss-domiciled car is something of a “bitsa”, apparently being powered by a modern Aston Martin DB6 engine! Other class winners included J Bailey’s Fiat 1500S with an average of 151.2 k.p.h. for his two runs; A. Clark’s Mercedes-Benz 600, clocking 196.5 k.p.h.; R. Mortimer’s Osca with 165.2 k.p.h.; H. Hines 3-litre Bentley at 160 k.p.h., just on 100 m.p.h., and R. Moss’ 6½-litre Bentley with 177.4 k.p.h., 110.5 m.p.h. The latter was running on 7.00 x 18 rear tyres with a 3.0-to-1 back-axle ratio, but 19- and 21-in. wheels were much in evidence. Among the 15 assorted Bentleys present were Russ-Turner’s ex-Brooklands car fitted with a two-seater body, which was second fastest overall with a speed of 119.1 m.p.h., and P. Motley’s 4½-litre ex-Pacey Hassan Special which managed a meagre-looking 105.8 m.p.h.
V.S.C.C. Curborough Sprint Results (May 12th)
Class 1 (Standard Sports Cars up to 1.500 c.c.) : 1st : B. Fowler (1933, Aston Martin), 44.5 sec.
Class 2 (Standard Sports Cars over 1,500 c.c.) : 1st : W. R. Alexander (1933 Lagonda), 47.2 sec.
Class 3 (Modified sports cars, unlimited capacity) : 1st : W. D. A. Black (1931, Alfa Romeo), 41.s sec.
Class 4 (Racing Cars up to 1,500 c.c.) : 1st : A. J. Merrick (1934 E.R.A.), 40.2 sec.
Class 5 (Racing Cars over 1,500 c.c.) : 1st : A. Cottam (1953 Connaught), 38.6 sec.*
Class 6 (Edwardian) : 1st : J. W. Rowley (1913 Talbot), 52.9 sec.
*F.D.T.—A. Cottam (1953 Connaught), 38.6 sec.