LETTERS from READERS, March 1951
*********** 4,0 • ****** 4.4,0419•4> ****** i r, like to mention a few facts overlooked…
EASTER MONDAY AT BROOKLANDS RECORD CROWD, SPLENDID ENTRY, AND NEW MOUNTAIN RECORDS BY WHITNEY STRAIGHT (MASERATI) AND T. A. S. 0. MATH IESON
THE quality of the entry list alone was sufficient to guarantee the success of the Easter Monday Meeting at Brooklands, but the addition of glorious sunshine and a record crowd made the day one of the most enjoyable
we have ever spent at Weybridge. Sir Malcolm Campbell covered two laps of the outer circuit on ” Bluebird,” amid much smoke and flame ; Whitney Straight provided the finest exhibition of driving ever seen on the Mountain Circuit when he raised the lap record to a speed of 78.29 m.p.h. ; Mathieson set up a new Class E. Mountain record at 72.15 m.p.h., beating the previous figure by 3 m.p.h.: and Oliver Bertram made a successful debut at the wheel of the 10 litre 12 cylinder Delage.
In the paddock, the loss of the ” tote ” was partially compensated for by the famous race-game, which was kept going without cessation for the whole afternoon. An” exhibit” which caused great interest was two of the racing M.G. Magnettes, travel stained from their triumphs in the Mille Migli a.
The new paddock entrance looked very neat and tidy, but the number of entrance gates provided—only two—proved quite inadequate, and. caused many people to miss the first race, being the kind of thing apt to give new visitors to the Track a bad impression.
The Addlestone Junior Short Handicap. Distance : About 61 miles.
1. C. G. H. Dunham (Alvis 2,511 c.c.), 27 secs.
2. J. H. Bartlett (Sahnson 1,096 c.c. S.), 23 secs.
3. A. K. Kirkaldy (Frazer:Nash 1,496 c.c.), 54 secs. Won by 25 yards at 92.23 m.p.g. 60 yards between 2nd and 3rd. A. K. Kirkaldy (Frazer Nash) and W. M. Couper (Austin) were the first to be sent away from the line, but Couper dropped out after covering half a lap. Kirkaldy still held his lead at the end of the first circuit, followed by G. K. Cox (Rover) and D. L. Briault (Wolseley Hornet), who had started level. The next group were closing up fast, however, C. C. H. Dunham. (Alvis Speed Twenty) having gained a lead from the other starters off the same mark, G. P. H. Noble Salmson) and M. P. Simpson (Riley). On the final lap it was obvious that the result would be closely contested, for Cox was overhauling Kirkaldy, Dunham was travelling very quickly, and J. H. Bartlett (Sahnson) who had started 3 seconds later, was trying all he •
knew to gain on the .Alvis. Coming off the banking Dunham led, and at the same time Bartlett passed Kirkaldy and Cox. •
The “Speed Twenty” was in fine fettle, however, and got home first at the excellent average speed of 92.23 m.p.h. Kirkaldy (Frazer Nash) was third.
The Addelstone Senior Short Handicap. Distance : About 61 miles.
I. R. Morgan (Invicta 4,467 c.c.), 36 secs.
2. A. II. L. Eccles (Bugatti 2,263 c.c.), 30 secs.
3. C. J. Turner (Bentley 4,398 c.c.), 18 secs. Won by 60 yards at 99.62 m.p.h. 45 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
Dunham (Alvis), by virtue of his win in the first race, was put back to the 45 secs. mark, level with C. T. Delaney (Lea Francis) and H. 0. Dobbs (Riley). Delaney made a wonderful getaway, but petered out at the end of a lap, giving Dobbs’ white Riley the lead. As they came off the Members Banking for the second time Dobbs led, followed by R. Morgan (Invicta) , A. H. L. Eccles (Bugatti), Dunham (Alvis), Delaney (Lea-Francis), going badly, and the scratch-man, C. J. Turner (Bentley), who went rather near the edge by the famous “bump,” and raised a cloud of dust. On the last lap both Morgan and Eccles passed the Riley, whose driver had third place snatched from on the very finishing line by Turner’s,Bentley.
The Addlestone Lightning Short Handicap. Distance : About 61 miles.
1. T. A. S. 0. Mathieson (Bugatti 1,990 c.c. S.), 26 secs.
2. ‘I’. H. Wisdom (Leyland-Thomas 8,468 c.c.), 19 secs.
3. It. T. Horton (M.G. 747 c.c. s.), 26 secs. Won by 300 yards at 111.9 m.p.h., k mile between 2nd and 3rd. Three non-starters, Whitney Straight (Maserati), H. Widengren (0.M.), and R. J. Munda,y (Munday Special), reduced the field to five, made up of R. T. Horton (M.G.), T. A. S. 0. Mathieson (Bugatti), J. Cumming (Maserati), T. H. Wisdom (Leyland Thomas), and Oliver Bertram (Delage), starting in that order. The first three cars got away together, Mathieson quickly taking the lead from Horton. The Bugatti forged ahead, its high pitched
exhaust note sending shivers down the spines of those who like that sort of thing, being audible all round the track. Bertram’s Delage sounded uneven as it came down the Railway Straight, although travelling very fast. By this time Wisdom had got into second place, but he could make no impression on Mathieson, who roared home first by 300 yards. Bertram passed Cumming, but could not catch Horton.
Mathieson’s average speed was the fastest win of the day.
The First Addiestone Mountain Handicap. Distance : About 6 miles.
1. R. H. Eccles (Frazer Nash 1,496 c.c.), 1m. 15s.
2. Whitney Straight (Maserati 2,514 c.c. S.), scratch.
3. T. E. Rose-Richards (Bugatti 2,263 c.c. S.), 93. Won by 300 yards at 61.04 m.p.h., 200 yards between 2nd and 3rd. This race produced the thrilling spectacle of a Bugatti/Maserati duel between Mathieson and ‘I’. E. Rose-Richards, representing the first named, and Whitney Straight, the latter. R. H. Eccles (Frazer Nash) got ahead of his fellow earlystarters after two laps, while a great battle was being waged by the back-markers. Straight had unofficially broken the lap ‘ record several times in practice on the previous Saturday, and it was confidently predicted that he would do so to-day. His driving was simply terrific, and the most polished display, combined with dash, that has ever been seen on the mountain circuit. He approached the Fork at very high speed, braked heavily, with the tail of the car doing its best to
get in front, and then took the turn in a long, accelerating slide. On the fourth lap he passed Mathieson and RoseRichards, but Eccles (Frazer Nash) still held a comfortable lead.Coming down to the Fork for the last time Straight found himself behind a group of about six cars, all taking the corner wide, so he came up on the inside and entered the corner first. With spinning rear wheels the black Maserati tore up the Finishing Straight in pursuit of the Frazer Nash, which crossed the line with a lead of 300 yards. Straight had his reward, though, when it was announced that he had officially
broken his own record of 54 secs. by 1/5th sec., at a speed of 78.29 m.p.h. RoseRichards, handling his new double-camshaft Bugatti in its first race at Brooklands, did well to finish third. T. A. S. 0. Mathieson (Bugatti) who finished fourth, accomplished a fine feat
in setting up a new lap record for Class E during the race, his speed being 72.13 m.p.h. as against Shuttleworth’s old record of 69.74 m.p.h.
The Addleptone Senior Long Handicap.
Distance : About 9 miles.
1. C. J. Turner (Bentley 4,398 c.c. S.), 9 secs.
2. H. Widengren (Amilcar 1,093 c.c. S.), 21 secs.
3. R. Morgan (Invicta 4,467 c.c.), 32 sees. Won by 10 yards at 110.43 m.p.h., 300 yards between 2nd and 3rd. • Henken Widengren’s squat little Amilcar was hot favourite for this race, especially as Wisdom’s Leyland Thomas was put back from scratch to owe 5 secs. At the start P. J. Urlwin-Smith’s old 22/90
Alfa Romeo soon passed Briault’s Wolseley Hornet and established a long lead. Gaidner’s Midget, which started next, developed trouble, so that at the end of the first lap the order was Urlwin Smith (Alfa Romeo), Briault (Hornet), Gardner (M.G.), J. H. Berger (Invicta), R. Morgan (Invicta), Widengren (Amilcar), C. J. Turner (Bentley) and Wisdom (Leyland Thomas). On the second lap the Leyland slowed on the Byfleet, and retired with a burnt-out clutch. Widengren’s Amilcar, once owned by Miss Maconachie, was setting a great pace but did not seem to possess very good weight distribution, the front wheels lifting as the bumpy stretch of the Members Banking was traversed.. Urlwin-Smith was still in the lead as the cars started their third lap, followed by Briault, Widengren, Morgan, Berger, Turner, and Gardner. Widengren caught and passed Urlwin-Smith coming off the Byfleet Banking, and looked an easy winner—until it was seen that Turner’s Bentley was making a tremendous effort. As the two cars careered round the Members Banking the Bentley was closing up rapidly, and in the closest finish of the day, crossed the line first by 10 yards to score a well-deserved win at a speed of 110.4 m.p.h. Then came the exhibition run by ” Bluebird.” As the car was pushed across the Paddock, a swirling rush of people followed it to the Track-gate. Sir Malcolm made an excellent speech, pointing out the impossibility of attaining a really high speed on the bumpy Brooklands track, and hoping that the crowd would not be disappointed. Villa and his men got to work with the auxiliary starting engine unit, and after the momentary scare of a small fire, the Rolls-Royce engine burst into life with a deep rumbling sound. Soon the car was away, flames and smoke belching from the exhaust ports. After a lap had been covered in this manner, to the accompaniment of a sound like a bad thunderstorm, Sir Mal Continued on next page
colrn got into second gear, and the true note of the engine was heard. As the car came back into the paddock, renewed enthusiasm was heard on all sides for Sir Malcolm’s almost incredible 272 m.p.h.
The Second Addiestone Mountain Handicap. Distance: About 6 miles.
1. Whitney Straight (Maserati 2,514 c.c. S.), scratch.
2. J. Cummings (Maserati 2,494 c.c. S.), 23 secs.
3. T. H. Rose-Richards (Bugatti 2,263 c.c. S.), 9 secs.
Won by 70 yards at 74.95 m.p.h., 80 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
There were some interesting cars entered for this race which failed to materialise. Sir Malcolm Campbell had entered a 2.3 Alfa Romeo, W. K Harker was down to drive his double-Austin-Seven Harker Special, and Allan Arnold should have turned out with ” The Terror.” K. D. Evans (M.G.), starting level with R. R. Pelham-Burn (Bugatti), soon drew away from the rest of the field, and led for three laps. G. F. M. Colegrave was taking things quietly with his new M.G. Magnette, while the remainder of the cars gradually closed up behind. Burton (Bugatti), Colegrave (Magnette) and Pelham Burn (Bugatti) had a little competition in politeness on the second lap at the Members Bridge corner, all giving way to one another until they slowed down almost to a crawl. Noel Carr, hero of Southport and Shelsley, was making his first appearance on the mountain circuit,
but did not seem at all happy on the corners. On the second lap he nearly did a broadside at the top bend, apparently holding his car too low, and on the fourth lap, approaching the Fork level with Straight’s Maserati, turned completely round. He finished off his ” hat-trick ‘ by doing another broadside at the Fork on an extra sixth lap.
Straight gradually overhauled the rest of the field, in spite of being rehandicapped to owe 5 secs., and eventually passed Cumming (Maserati) at the Fork to win a wonderful race by 70 yards. Rose-Richards, who had received 11 seconds from Straight, finished third.
The Addlestone Lightning Long Handicap. Distance : About 9 miles.
1. J. H. Parsons (Alvis 1,513 c.c. S.), 2m. Ils.
2. W. M. Lloyd-Roberts (Talbot 2,276 c.c.), lm. 34s.
3. R. T. Horton (M.G. 747 c.c. S.), 34s. Won by 175 yards at 85.82 m.p.h., 400 yards between 2nd and 3rd. In view of the fact that cars of such widely different speeds as J. G. Hutchieson’s unsupercharged M.G. Midget and O. Bertram’s 10 litre Delage had been selected for this race, the handicappers had a difficult task before them to ensure a close finish. As it was Hutchieson and J. H. Parsons (Alvis front-wheel-drive), had covered a whole lap before the Delage left the starting line. Parsons’ car was going very steadily, and never looked like being caught, although Horton’s Midget,
holding the track like a leech, managed to get into third place. Lloyd Roberts (Talbot) was second, but Bertram never got into the picture.
The Third Addiestone Mountain Handicap. Distance : About 6 miles.
I. I). Letts (M.G. 747 c.c. S.), 14 secs.
2. Lt. Comdr. A. T. Grogan, R.N. (Frazer Nash 1,496 c.c. S,), 4 secs.
3. Marquis de Belleroche (Austin 749 c.c. S.), 14 secs.
Won by 300 yards at 64.02 m.p.h., 200 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
The last race of the day provided the spectacle of H. J. Aldington, driving an unsupercharged Frazer Nash, on the scratch mark against half a dozen blown machines which received starts varying from 4 to 14 seconds. P. J. Urlwin Smith led for two laps on his 22/90 h.p. Alfa Romeo, when D. N. Letts came by to take the lead, having outstripped W. A. Cuthbert (Riley), R. A. Ya.11op (blown Midget) and the Marquis de Belleroche (blown Austin), all of whom had started from the same mark. Aldington had difficulty with a sticking throttle, and overshot the Fork corner, as did Evans (.1%.2.G.), so it was left to Grogan to uphold the Frazer Nash colours, which he did to such purpose that he passed everyone except Letts, whose car was going splendidly. Belleroche, on his box-like Austin,. drove well on the corners, and thoroughly deserved third place.
A first class meeting.
*********** 4,0 • ****** 4.4,0419•4> ****** i r, like to mention a few facts overlooked…
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