The Things They Say

If you were a biscuit, what kind of biscuit would you like to be?” Asked of eleven BTCC drivers by Russell Bulgin of Autocar recently. Can you imagine such a question being put by pre-war journalists to any racing driver, or what their response would have been? I think I know how Freddie Dixon might have responded!

“Dunfee and Paul faced stern opposition… in particular from Bentley’s arch rival Mercedes, driven by top German driver Zehender with one of the white s/c SSK cars. An epic struggle ensued… as he (Zehender) battled wheel-to-wheel with Dunfee and Paul”. From a Press release about “Brooklands Action Day” at Millbrook on May 27. In fact, apart from Zenhender hardly being the top Mercedes driver in 1931, the 38/250 SSK Mercedes-Benz he drove in that years BRDC 500-mile race made many pit-stops, before retiring. As for the “wheel-to-wheel” stuff, it must have been very brief, if it happened at all. (Any photographs?) The lap chart shows that for most of the race the only cars that challenged the winning Bentley were Riley and Talbot, but hardly “wheel-to-wheel” in this handicap race.

Brooklands itself can never be restored. It is too far gone, — all that remains… are the Clubhouse, workshops, Test Hill and a short stretch of the banking. The “chassis and running gear” have long since mouldered away, their remains used to build supermarkets and a petrol station”. The BRC Journal, in another build-up to the Millbrook “Brooklands Action Day” on May 27. Sadly, all too true.