THE SECOND B.M.C.R.C. 1926 MEETING. 3. S. Wright Breaks More Records on his Zenith.
THE Second 1926 meeting of the B.M.C.R.C., held on April ioth, provided a remarkable contrast to the opening day, all three necessary factors to the success of Brooklands : speed, spectators and sunshine, being present in much greater force than on the previous occasion. Some really close finishes were staged by the wily handicapper and the even more wily competitor, and these, together with the extraordinarily high speeds put up by one or two riders, provided a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon’s sport.
W. L. Handley Opens the Proceedings.
The ball was set rolling by a series of four scratch races for solo machines of 250 c.c., 350 c.c., 500 c.c., and Ism c.c., the two smaller classes covering three laps and the larger machines five. In the 250 C.C. race there was never any doubt as to the result, W. L. Handley shooting away from the field on his extremely rakish-looking Rex-Acme-Blackburne and winning comfortably from C. W. Johnston (Cotton). An interesting duel for third place between 0. E. Tottey (New Imperial) and S. M. Greening (Zenith) resulted in a victory for the latter by a few yards. Result—
(r) W. L. Handley (248 c.c. Rex-Acme), 76.03 m.p.h.
(2) C. W. Johnston (248 c.c. Cotton).
(3) S. M. Greening (246 c.c. Zenith).
W. D. Marchant Shows Polished Form.
The 350 c.c. race over a similar distance was remarkable for the reappearance of W. D. Marchant on a solo Chater-Lea, at least, so the programme would have it, though we could see very little similarity between this weird-looking nickel-plated machine and the standard Chater-Lea. It will be remembered that Marchant has several times narrowly escaped disaster owing to his chin being violently struck by the handlebars—on his latest machine he sits further aft on a long strip of Sorb° rubber and rests his chin on a similar Sorbo pad cunningly countersunk into the tank top. As was expected, Marchant accounted for this race with ease, his task being simplified by the early retirement of Handley, this time on a 348 c.c. Rex-Acme. J. S. Worters however, another fast man, who had experienced trouble with his 250 c.c. machine, scored over Handley in this race, finishing second on a 344 c.c. Excelsior J.A P. C. W. G. Lacey, on a 344 C.C. Orindlay-PeerlessJ.A.P., was slow at the beginning of the race, but eventually got going and, travelling splendidly, ran through the field, nearly overtaking Worters. C. W. Johnston (348 c.c. Cotton) was a good fourth. Result—
(1) W. D. Marchant (348 c.c. Chater-Lea), 89.90 m.p.h.
(2) J. S. ‘Worters (344 C.C. Excelsior).
(3) C. W. G. Lacey (344 c.c. Grindlay-Peerless).
Victor Horsman Wins Again.
The next race, for 500 c.c. machines, was over five laps and produced some very formidable entries in R. N. Judd and F. W. Dixon (Douglases), V. K Horsman (Triumph) and A. Denly (Norton). On the first lap, however, a comparative newcomer in the form of P. M. Walters, on a Sunbeam-J.A.P., had insinuated himself between Denly and Horsman, who in the order named completed the leading trio. Judd, travelling very well from a slow start, had reached fourth place. Walters took the lead from the second lap to the fourth, and Horsman held his position a few yards to the rear with Denly in the third position until valve rocker trouble caused the Norton rider to retire
on the fourth lap. Regular habitués of the track are accustomed to the tactics of the wily Horsman, so little surprise was felt when friend Victor opened his throttle a trifle on the last lap and left Walters to finish some distance astern. The retirement of Denly on the fourth lap and Judd and Dixon on the third and second laps respectively (the two latter apparently with plug trouble) allowed C. S. Staniland to run into third place with little opposition. Result
) V. E. Horsman (495 c.c. Triumph), 92,57 m.p.h.
(2) P. M. Walters (498 C.C. Sunbeam J.A.P.).
(3) C. S. Staniland (490 C.C. Norton).
J. S. Wright’s Hurricane Race.
Great excitement prevailed at the start of the five lap scratch race for machines up to 1,000 c.c. J. S. Wright is always expected to do something interesting and his Zenith looked very business-like with its mauve finish and plated rims. Rumours were also circulated about great speed on the part of Patchett (McVxoy) and Baldwin (Zenith). The race however was a procession, if a hurricane rush at no m.p.h. can be so described, Wright steadily increasing his lead all the way from G. W. Patchett (McEvoy-J.A.P.), who, however, was travelling fast enough to have won any previous race over a similar distance. H. J. Knight, on another Zenith-J .A.P., held third place all the way after Baldwin’s retirement on the second lap. Patchett, whose riding was much admired, kept his machine close to the bottom of the banking by heeling over at an alarming angle in his efforts to shorten the distance. This treatment resulted in enormous wear of the studs on the left-hand side of the back tyre, the difference being easily discernible after only five laps. Result :
(1) J. S. Wright (998 C.C. Zenith), ro8.5r m.p.h.
(2) G. W. Patchett (976 c.c. McEvoy).
(3) H. J. Knight (976 c.c. Zenith).
Wright lapped at 113.45 m.p.h. and established new records for the flying five miles and five kilometres, and the standing ten miles and ten kilometres at speeds of approximately 112 m.p.h. and 107 m.p.h. respectively.
A Good Win by R. V. Packman.
The remainder of the programme consisted of handicap races over three laps, the first being for 350 c.c. machines.
The limit man, G. Hill (246 c.c. Diamond), held his lead for two laps, but was eventually passed by R. V. Packman on a 348 c.c. Cotton, who won from the 54 seconds mark. Among the back-markers, W. Colgan (Cotton), C. W. G. Lacey (Grindlay) and C. W. Johnston (Cotton), all travelled well but failed to get placed. Result— (1) R. V. Packman (348 c.c. Cotton), 54 secs,
(2) G. Hill (246 c.c. Diamond), 2 mins. 18 secs.
(3) C. R. Goodwin (248 c.c. Connaught), t min. 5t secs.
Won at 79.17 m.p.h.
F. W. Dixon’s Near Shave.
The next race was open to machines of over 350 c.c. and under 1,000 c.c., and provided a very close finish. G. W. Patchett, in company with several other big twins, was virtually scratch, and thanks to a hearty shove from “MOTOR SPORT” and albeit a rival pressman, ran through the entire field, winning by a wheel from A. R. Quinn, on an apparently standard ” P ” Triumph, which however was entered by the redoubtable Horsman. In this race the lower fork shackle-pin of P. W. Dixon’s Douglas fractured and the rider was thrown. Although travelling at about Too m.p.h. Dixon was only slightly bruised and cut. Incidentally, the forks in question had been used continuously since before last year’s T.T. and fatigue of the metal had set in. Result—
(I) G. W. Patchett (976 c.c. McEvoy), 12 Sees.
(2) A. R. Quinn (494 c.c. Triumph), 2 mins. 24 secs.
(3) R. Gibson (493 C.C. Sunbeam), z min. 27 secs. Winner’s speed, 102.69 m.p.h.
Owing to a leaky tank Patchett only just got home before his petrol supply failed him, so that the finish was even closer than it looked.
A Newcomer’s Success.
The three-lap private owners’ race resulted in a surprise win for A. P. Hamilton, on an o.h. camshaft Veloce, this machine never having won a race before. Once more the scratch man was within an ace of catching the winner, H. J. Knight bringing his Zenith into second place at somewhere round Too m.p.h. R. Gibson again secured third place on his Sunbeam. Result—
(1) A. P. Hamilton (349 C.C. Veloce), I min. 48 secs.
(2) H. J. Knight (977 c.c. Zenith) scratch.
(3) R. Gibson (493 c.c. Sunbeam) i min. 15 secs. Won at 75.23 m.p.h.
Quinn’s Win on a ” P ” Triumph.
In the three-lap expert handicap the limit man once more scored, A. R. Quinn on the ” P ” Triumph leading throughout. Curiously enough he was again challenged by the McEvoy concern, this time represented by M. A. McEvoy, on the 498 c.c. model, who was a very
close second. Baldwin’s wonderful old Matchless M.A.G. was ridden in this race by T. R. Wainwright who usually performs on something much tamer.
Baldwin himself is reported to have equalled Wright’s best lap speed in this race, but his Zenith unfortunately did not finish. Result—
(t) A. R. Quinn (494 C.C. Triumph), z mins. 12 secs.
(2) M. A. McEvoy (498 c.c. McEvoy), 48 sees.
(3) C. S. Staniland (490 c.c. Norton), 33 secs. Winner’s speed, 71.56 m.p.h.
The 350 c.c. Expert Handicap.
Another expert handicap followed, this time limited to machines of under 350 c.c. This was won at the very creditable speed of 77.81 m.p.h by a 246 c.c. machine, ridden by J. S. Worters ; the steady running Wallis machine finishing second. J.A.P. engines were first, second and third. Result
(i) J. S. worters (246 C.C. Excelsior), i min. 9 sees.
(2) G. L. Wallis (344 c.c. Wallis), 45 secs.
(3) S. M. Greening (246 C.C. Zenith), i nfn. 30 secs. Won at 77.81 m.p.h.
The 90 m.p.h. Handicap.
The title of the tenth race reminded one rather of a B.A.R.C. car meeting, being the go m.p.h. handicap.
W. D. Marchant was on the limit mark, surely the only time he has ever occupied this position, and showed his contempt for the handicappers by winning at a comfortable 90.72 m.p.h.
The other two limit men, A. G Williams (493 c.c. Sunbeam) and G. E. Tottey (488 c.c. New Imperial) failed to get placed. Once more a big Zenith from scratch forced its way into second place, Knight again being the rider. Result—
(I) W. D. Marchant (348 C.C. Chater-Lea), 36 secs.
(2) H. J. Knight (977 CC. Zenith), scratch.
(3) C. S. Staniland (588 c.c. Norton), 12 secs. Winner’s speed, 90.72 m p.h.
L. Milne’s Runaway Win in the Passenger Handicap.
For the third time in the afternoon the limit man scored, in the last race for passenger machines, and for the third time C. S. Staniland brought a Norton into third place. L. Milne led throughout on his Rex-Acme J.A.P. and sidecar, followed at first by Wainwright (Cotton and sidecar) and then by Preston and Prestwich (Norton and J.A.P. respectively). The result however was—
(I) L. Milne (344 C.C. Rex-Acme and S/c), i min. 54 sec. (2) J. S. Preston (588 c c. Norton and S/c), m min. 18 secs,
(3) C, S. Staniland (588 C.C. Norton and S/c), 24 secs. Winner’s speed, 64.84 m.p.h.