Southport sands became the scene of motor-racing for the first time this year on April 25th. The surface was far from dry, and in the big race of the day the corners became badly cut-up, especially on the seaward side of the circuit. Proceedings opened with a couple of one-mile sprints in the time-hono,ured, sand-racing fashion. The first, for cars up to 1:t–litres, was won by W. Esplen’s ” R ” type M.G…Ilidget, which led
J. Walker’s’ blown 1 Bugatti comfortably after half distance, Tinker’s Frazer-Nash coming in third. The next sprint was a close contest between Denis Conan Doyle’s S.S.K. 88/250 h.p. Mercedes-Benz and two V8 Fords, S. H. Allard’s Bugatti-bodied job and a stripped cabriolet handled by de Ferranti. In the end the big Mere. just snatched a victory. Activity on the sands then proclaimed the big event of the day, the 50-mile handicap race for cars, run under sealed handicap, over a course marked out with flags and comprising two mile-long straights joined by hairpin turns. When the handicaps were announced, Esplenrs M.G. was found to be on scratch, but it had evidently damaged itself in winning the first race and was a non-starter, as
was T. V. G. Selby’s 2-litre Bugatti. About twenty cars started, ,a standardlooking Austin 7 being on limit with 25 laps to cover, whereas the MercedesBenz cars that Southport invariably attracts-in this case two 38/250 h.p. models entered by Princess Nina Mdivani but driven by Adrian and Denis Conan Doyle, and R. M. Arbuthnot’s stripped 36/220 h.p. car-had to do 281 laps and the virtual scratch car, J. Walker’s blown Bugatti, 29. Allard was soon going nicely, and Ferranti, after a poor show at the beginning, found his stripped cabriolet V8 picking up well. The big Mercedes were most impressive on the corners, but seemed to handle badly and were running with some cylinders missing, Arbuthnot Stopping to peer beneath the bonnet before continuing more slowly. Walker did some hectic broadside cornering and retired at about half distance. Fish on the Austin went steadily round, but the Fords held all the attention, Ferranti doing all-he knew to catch Allard as his motor improved, though he could not maintain his half-lap handicap advantage. A. Brooke’s 30/98 Vauxhall soon stopped in clouds of smoke and Warburton’s 30/98 fell back, so that Allard and Ferranti, driving neatly, ran in first and second with T. K. Humber’s unblown G.P. Bugatti a poor third from
H. Hodgson’s Riley. Adrian Conan Doyle Was well behind them, while Warburton was the last official finisher. Allard averaged 61.69 m.p.h., compared with 61.98 m.p.h. for a 100-mile motorcycle race run off in the morning, beating Ferranti by 33s. His Ford has a modified cooling system, Stintilla Vertex magneto ignition, and a 2.3-litre G.P. Bugatti body giving a driving position almost over the rear-axle, the whole car looking most ” Indianapolis ” in its fully stripped form.
Straight Mile Sprint (up to 11-litres) 1. W. Esplen (M.G. Midget)t 2. J. Walker (14-11tre Bugatti)f 3. A. Tinker (Frazer-Nash) Straight Mile Sprint (over llt-litres) 1. D. Conan Doyle
1. D. Conan Doyle (Mercedes-I3enz)t 50 Mile Handicap I. S. II. Allard 61.69
I. S. II. Allard (Ford V8) 61.69 m.p.h.
2. D. 7.. de Ferranti (Ford V8) 59.91 m.p.h.
3. T. R. Humber (Bugatti) 58.15 ‘m.p.h. 4. H. Hodgson (Riley) 5. A. Conan Doyle (Mercedes-Benz)f 6. C Fish (Austin 7)
7. G. Warburton (30/98 Vauxhall) trhese ears were Nowa.