Even if this event is more a gigantic driving-test (even to penalties for touching markers) than the sort of speed trial we used to know, it is fun to drive in, and the heat wave last month brought a good number of onlookers as well as competitors. Post-vintage cars far outnumbered the pre-1931 contingent.
FTD came with the post-war Racing Cars class, contested by the Connaughts of Cottam and Walton. The former clocked 37.6 sec., which gained the Curborough Trophy but failed by 0.2 sec. to better Wilkes’ 1971 course-record with the Lotus. Paul Morgan, driving his Rapier because his Lago-Talbot had a porous block, won the 1,100 c.c. Racing Car class, in 42.9 sec., best vintage time being made by Gray’s Hardy-Special, its rear-mounted JAP stirred to action by a Centric-260 blower. Plenty of what were once called Shelsley Specials enlivened this 1,000-1,500 c.c. Racing Car class, such as the Becke Powerplus, the GN Martyr, and the BHD Special with 1 1/2-litre twin-magneto o.h.c. Vitesse GN engine.
There was a splendid needle-match in the over-1,500 c.c. Racing Car class between Footitt and Giles, both thrashing round in the Cognac, the broken rocker that stopped it at Silverstone the week before obviously rectified. The owner did 39.9 sec.; Giles replied with 39.6 sec. On his second run Freddie got down to 38.9, but Ron recorded 38.7 sec. That won him the class, the vintage section, and broke his last-year’s class record by 0.5 sec. Mts. Giles captained the threesome, and herself managed 45.4 sec. Brooke had the VauxhallVilliers going so well that it is in danger of losing its non-starting record! It tended to ignore corners in practice (which was wet) but Brooke did a courageous 43.6 sec. during the afternoon, in spite of a noticeable absence of retardation. Guy Smith was consistent in his Alvis-Frazer Nash, with 39.8 and 39.9 sec
Two Edwardians turned out, of which Rowley’s 1913 Th.-Schneider (Motor Sport, January 1976) did an excellent 38.0 sec., beating Neve’s 1914 TT Humber by. 0.7 sec. and the Humber’s class record by 1.1 sec., although the Coventry car was on form, having itself gone 0.4 sec., quicker than it did last year. Space, alas, Precludes mention of the sports cars.—W.B.