RACING AT SOUTHPORT Many Events but lack of Entries
THE weather was kind to the Southport Racing Club on the second meeting of the year, and bright sunshine tempered the keen inshore wind. The sands were in excellent condition except for a small patch of water near the southern end of the course. As usual, this consisted of a mile-long stretch of sand divided down the middle by a line of flags with hairpin turns joining the two straight sections.
Car and motor-cycle events • alternated, 23 in all, and with the small number of vehicles in each event, interest amongst the spectators was Obviously flagging before the last race took place some five hours after the start. Two fast cars which unfOrtunately did not run were K. Hutchison’s Bngatti, which did so well at Donington, and G. J. Jackson’s old Grand Prix straighteight Sunbeam. The former was prevented from running by a leaky petrol union, while the Sunbeam actually started in a sprint race, but split a radiator hose connection, and Jackson was unable to get a replacement of suitable size in the toWn. The first eight races were Straight Miles, and No. 1 for 750 c.c. cars was won by
C. D. Parish in an all-Austin event. Parish did well in the 1,100 c.c. class, but was caught just at the finish by H. B. Prestwich, driving a white twin-cylinder Frazer Nash fitted with an unusual singleseater racing body. Parish was again successful in the 1,500 c.c. racing class, as the Nash refused to function a second time while the 11 litre Sports class looked painfully slow in comparison. In the open class, Tong, in a three-litre Lagonda, dealt successfully with another car of the same type and a closed three litre Bugatti.
In the 2 Litre Racing class, C. T. Rhodes made a fine start and kept ahead of Noel Carr. In the next race Jack Field’s famous 2.3 Bugatti, painted brilliant blue, was seen for the first time, and also the three litre Sunbeam, even more striking with its orange chassis and blue bodywork. Ten yards over the line, however, a cloud of steam shot out of the Sunbeam’s bonnet and enveloped the mechanic ; cause, a burst water connection. Carr crossed the finishing line a few yards ahead of Field. In the following race the order was reversed. Field had an easy win in the Three Mile Race and Stephenson, who is often seen at
Btooklands, a long distance behind in his Austin.
There were nine starters in the Five Mile Race, but as they varied from Parish’s Austin to Field’s Bugatti, the smaller fry did little towards making a close finish. Field and Carr seemed, as usual, well matched. The former gradually drew ahead, while Rhodes on a supercharged two litre Bug finished third. The three Austins did a certain amount of private scrapping, as, unlike the larger cars, they all took the hairpins close in with their fronts heeling over in a disturbing way. Walker and Stephenson nearly collided and Parish was again successful in his category.
The Fifteen Mile Race for sports cars which followed seemed very slow by contrast. Tong’s green Lagonda lead the field for so,me laps, but was slow on corners and wallowed badly when straightening out. This enabled Moss on a twoseater Magna to slip past him and win comfortably.
An eleven-mile race supported solely by Austins was not exciting, nor was the following one in which Field and Rhodes were the only starters.
Many of the spectators had deserted by the time the last race, over a distance of 25 miles, began, specially when it was seen that neither Field or Carr were appearing. Rhodes (1,500 c.c. 8-cyl. Bugatti) was comfortably leading the slower cars, and had actually completed a lap when Field was seen to start. Undeterred by being one lap behind in twelve, he drove magnificently, sliding his tail very skilfully after the corners, so that he was straight and pointing up the middle of the course, while Rhodes was less steady and took the whole width of the track to get round.
Excitement was intense as the blue car passed the slower vehicles and got on the tail of Rhode’s black 2-seater, caught him up and passed him, crossing the finishing line, which was placed a short distance round one of the bends, while Walker was still half a mile behind.
Results on page 318.