THE EASTER MEETING OF THE B.A.R.C. The Car Racing Season Opens with an Exciting Meeting.
EXCELLENT racing was witnessed at Brooklands by a crowd estimated at between 20,000 and 25,000 people on Easter Monday, when the track season commenced with a very successful meeting.
No one could possibly complain about the lack of thrills, for J. D. Barclay almost went over the top and regained control after one of the most remarkable skids ever witnessed on the track, whilst the crowd were also delighted by the wonderful performance of the supercharged Saltnson, which driven by Mons. A. Goutte, sprung several surprises by putting up some most astounding lap speeds.
As usual, the paddock presented a lively scene long before the racing actually started, and the enclosures were thronged by picnic parties in gay attire, evidently combining a Bank Holiday party in the open air, with the enjoyment of a good afternoon’s sport.
In the paddock there was the usual bustle of final preparations, for somehow it seems impossible for all the competitors to get ready in time to start without much titivating of the machinery, but this, though perhaps rather irritating for the drivers, adds a further flavour of excitement to the proceedings and keeps the public on tenterhooks as to how their money should be invested, where the mild flutters are concerned.
The Easter Private Competitors’ Handicap.
Seven starters lined up for the first race, which was over a distance of 51 miles, starting and finishing on the Railway Straight. The latter arrangement is certainly one of the bad points of the racing from the spectators’ point of view ; but perhaps some day or other the committee will see fit to provide stands so that the starts and finishes can be seen at close quarters instead of by the aid of field glasses, as is necessary at present. R. G. Moore on his Gwynne Special got away well with a start of i min. 7 secs. and for some distance held the lead from E. F. Walter on a Salmson. Then J. S. Spencer was seen to be making good headway on his 2-litre Sunbeam and was only a short distance behind Moore as the Fork was passed for the second time. On
arriving at the Members’ Bridge, Spencer had a useful lead and eventually won rather easily from C. S. Staniland, whose 2-litre Bugatti proved too fast for the Gwynne Special. Spencer’s car was one of the Strasbourg Grand Prix Sunbeams, and his average worked out at 91.88 m.p.h.
The Thirty-seventh 75 m.p.h. Short Handicap.
This race attracted no fewer than fifteen starters, of whom R. T. T. Spencer on a green Austin Seven was sent off with 59 seconds start. Samuelson on another little Austin petered out on the first lap, but the firstnamed made very good use of his start and managed to hold it until the end, though he was seriously challenged by Vernon Balls’ Amilcar, Gillow (Riley) and Oates (0.M.) following closely in their wake. Among the back markers Frazer Nash appeared to be very fast, but Felix Scriven’s “No, No, Nanette” was certainly in a truculent mood, only consenting to come in a rather bad last. Since pensioning off his Austin
Twenty Mr. Scriven has not had very good luck at Brooklands, but perhaps later in the season he may return to winning form. The two Salmsons driven respectively by George Newman and Captain Hazlehurst travelled well but could not get on terms with the leaders, the order of finishing being R. T. T. Spencer (Austin Seven), Vernon Balls (Atnilcar), Gillow (Riley) and Eyston (Aston-Martin). The winner’s speed was 731 miles per hour.
The Forty-seventh 100 m.p.h. Short Handicap. •
This race was noteworthy as providing the only false start on record at Brooklands, for by some misunderstanding Sir R. Gunter started off before the proper signal was given, and had to return to the post. The next man away was Mons. A. Goutte on the supercharged.Salmson, who passed Gunter before reaching the end of the Railway Straight, literally flashing past him at a terrific speed and putting up a lead which
left the others no shadow of a chance, though Barclay (r.T. Vauxhall), Meeson (Vauxhall), J. R. Cobb (Nat) and Capt. Miller (Sunbeam) were all travelling very fast.
In this race, J. G. P. Thomas slowed up towards the end, his engine apparently suffering from bearing trouble, for it did not appear again during the afternoon, much to the disappointment of the crowd. Gunter’s Vauxhall was also in trouble after finishing and the contest was remarkable for the unexpected speed of the Salmson, which won at 101.07 m.p.h., a new record for a I,100 C.C. car for the distance, the previous record being 87.12 m.p.h. Before breaking down, Gunter managed to run into the second place, and Barclay’s Vauxhall was third.
Inquiries in the paddock after the race proved that Gunter’s Vauxhall had suffered a mishap to the universal joint on the cardan shaft.
The Twenty-second 90 m.p.h. Short Handicap.
The general aspects of the fourth race were altered owing to the re-handicapping of M. Goutte and J. S. Spencer, the former losing 25 seconds and the latter 5 seconds, owing to their previous wins. Hazlehurst,
the limit man, with 37 secs. start, and Capt. Waite, who started 10 seconds later, got going at a very good speed, but Turner, on the Austro-Daimler, rapidly made headway, with George Duller coming along in good style at the rear. He was driving Capt. Woolf Barnato’s Bugatti, and went to the front after passing the fork for the second time. Until a few yards from the finishing post, it looked as though Hazlehurst’s Austin would be second, but during the last few seconds, Turner flashed past, beating him practically on the post, making one of the closest finishes of the afternoon. Duller, who drove with his characteristic skill and dash, won this race at an average speed of 97 m.p.h., and some of the bookmakers seemed loth to pay up, owing to the unannounced change in drivers.
The Brooklands Founders’ Gold Cup Race.
The star turn of the afternoon was robbed of much of its interest by the absence of J. G. P. Thomas, whose
Leyland-Thomas had packed up in the third race. Kaye Don (Wolseley Viper) was first away, but was quickly overhauled by Barclay on the Vauxhall, with Cobb and Howey following.
On the second time round, Howey’s Ballot was gathering speed and travelling high up on the banking, passed the rest of the field with comparative ease. The Viper was suffering from a fit of misfiring and finished last, the race being won by R. B. Howey at r061 in.p.h., with Barclay (Vauxhall) second and J. R. Cobb, on R. Warde’s Fiat, third.
The Twenty-second 90 m.p.h. Long Handicap.
George Newman (Salmson), with I min. 3 secs. start, held the lead from a field of ten, but his position was seriously menaced by a quickly moving little bunch of cars, comprising Waite’s Austin, Eyston’s Aston-Martin, and Barnato’s Bentley. The above order of running remained unaltered until Frazer Nash ran into the third place. Whilst the leaders were fighting out a battle royal, things were happening in the rear, for Goutte was forging ahead with the speedy Salmson, and by the time the fork was reached on the final lap, he had
overtaken all except Barnato’s Bentley. A bad skid under the Members’ Bridge had the effect of steadying Goutte down considerably, and this allowed Barnato to keep the lead he seemed in danger of losing to the Frenchman, and though the latter quickly made up the lost ground, he was unable to beat the Bentley for the first place. Barnato’s speed was 108 m.p.h., the second and third places being gained by Goutte and Newman (Salmson) respectively.
The Forty-sixth 100 m.p.h. Long Handicap.
This race provided one of the most miraculous escapes that has ever been seen at Brooklands and left even the most hardened of racing men gasping with astonishment. H. W. Purdy was allowed 37 seconds start with his new Bugatti, and held quite a nice lead for the first lap, but obviously could not hold it for long from either Turner’s Austro-Daimler or Woolf Barnato’s Bentley. Turner was leading on the second lap, with Meeson (Vauxhall), Barnato (Bentley) and J. G. P. Thomas (Lanchester) following in the order named. At the Members’ Bridge, Thomas performed one of his terrific swoops down from the banking, and thus gained a good lead. Then towards the end of the Railway Straight, Barclay
attempted to pass another competitor, with the result that one wheel went over the top of the banking, shot up a cloud of dust, and shot backwards down the track, regaining control of his car after circling round at an appalling speed. Whilst all this was going on, Thomas and Barnato, who were just clear of Barclay, went ahead, the order of finishing being : J. G. P. Thomas (Lanchester), Capt. W. Barnato (Bentley), and E. L. Meeson (Vauxhall). The winner’s speed was 100.26 m.p.h.
The Thirty-seventh 75 m.p.h. Long Handicap.
The appearance of the Donnet-Zedel, driven by Capt. Miller, was not regarded as anything very exciting ‘by the handicappers, for it started early among the Austins and other small fry, even then failing to show any turn of speed. R. F. Oats, driving an 0.M., led at the end of the first lap, whilst Gillow’s Riley was travelling very well. During the second lap a thrilling little scrap was seen to be in progress between two Sahnsons, driven by G. Newman and Capt. Hazlehurst, until the latter gradually drew ahead and began to get
on terms with Oats, who was then leading. Just at the last, Hazlehurst put on a spurt and overtook the 0.M., and just managed to finish a few yards in front with an average speed of 87.10 m.p.h. Oats was second and G. Newman third.
The Thirty-second Lightning Long Handicap.
Only four starters lined up for the concluding event of the meeting, and Barclay received a great ovation for his pluck in turning out again after his experience in the Ex) m.p.h. Handicap.
R. B. Howey, in the absence of J. G. P. Thomas, was the limit man, J. R. Cobb (Fiat) starting 2 seconds later. Eleven seconds later the flag fell for Barclay.
E. L. Meeson was the first to start, with an allowance of 50 secs., followed by Barclay 19 secs. later. Then after a lapse of 12 seconds, the flag fell for J. R. Cobb (Fiat), and finally R. B. Howey was despatched as scratch man, in the absence of J. G. P. Thomas. Meeson led for nearly two laps, when Barclay passed him at a very high speed. Howey then came to the front, but did not prove fast enough to hold the lead from Cobb, who beat him for the second place, Barclay winning at 105.78 m.p.h.