M.G.s FIRST AND SECOND IN AUSTRALIAN T.T. RACE
A 200 MILE RACE HELD ON THE NEW A.R.D.C. CIRCUIT ON PHILLIP ISLAND
Australia has held its first Tourist Trophy race, an event distinguished by a variety of incident. Amongst the cars engaged were the Austin which won the B.R.D.C. 500-miles Race in 1931, the M.G. on which Tazio Nuvolari won our own Tourist Trophy event in 1933, • a Bugatti which holds the Australian flying mile record-112 m.p.h.—and an M.G. which was assembled by its driver, his wife and a friend only a few days before practice began. During the race itself, the driver of Nuvolari’s old car—J. H. Fagan, who
started from scratch — handled his machine in a manner which suggested that he was inspired by the Italian himself. During a pit-stop, he took on fourteen gallons of petrol, replenished with water and checked over his wheels in 36 seconds—which is fast for Australian racing, while G. C. Martin broke all records for Phillip Island pitwork with a wheel-change in 14 seconds.
The race was witnessed by the largest crowd ever to assemble on the Victorian road circuit. There were sixteen starters, the field consisting of Fagan’s blown Magnette, three Bugattis, two Terraplanes, a Chrysler and a Ford, a Riley Imp, a Morris Special, and the remainder being M.G. Midgets and the Austin. The limit man got away to a thirty-five minute start and helped to set a hot pace. At the end of ten laps, one machine had retired with steering failure, the Austin had punctured its radiator, the Ford had caught fire and the Terraplane had blown a gasket.
At twenty laps, T. Hollindrake—on an unblown J3 M.G.—was leading from the Riley Imp, chased by two Bugattis, with Fagan bringing Nuvolari’s old machine up through the field in a really magnificent style. On the twenty-fourth lap, the Riley Imp broke an oil-pipe and retired, one of the Bugattis snapped a con rod, and on the twenty-fifth lap Fagan shattered the record for the course, averaging 71.4 m.p.h., did it again on his next lap and snatched third place.
The Chrysler was running well, but its radiator had been damaged just before the start. The driver made six stops in quick succession for water ; on each occasion, steam hurled the radiator cap high into the air. He had to retire in the thirty-third lap.
Other machines were handicapped by various troubles, and just before threequarter distance, Fagan’s Magnette took the lead, chased by the limit man on the M.G. Midget, and T. M. Peters on the record-holding Bugatti, who dropped out with oil failure on his forty-fourth lap. These were followed by two M.G.s and Tinkham’s Bugatti, while Hollindrake was at the pits striving to repair a cracked chassis. His Midget was halted for ten laps, and he got going again only when the leader had almost finished.
This event, the first of any real importance on the new A.R.D.C. course, proved that the circuit is too small for a long-distance race. Towards the end, Fagan had gained sufficient lead to be able to reduce his speed, and his last twenty laps were accomplished at hardly more than touring pace. He and Peters, on the blown Bugatti, had formed themselves into a ” stable ” before the race—the first such team Australia has yet known. Their tactics were for Peters to break up the oppo
sition and allow Fagan to go through to win, a plan which worked out perfectly.
The race as a whole showed much improved pit-work, and some very hard driving. Race distance, sixty laps of a 3.3-mile
circuit. RESULTS T. H. 3b. 6m. 15s. 64
T. H. Fagan (M.G. Magnette) 3b. 6m. 15s. 64 m.p.h. H. R. Reeve (M.G. Midget) 3h. 59m. 4s. 49.9 m.p.h These were the only cars to complete the course
Others still running were :—V. A. Maloney (M.G.; 58 laps ; G. C. Martin (M.G. Midget) 56 laps). P. Tinkham (Bugatti) 49 laps ; T. Hollindrake (M.G. Midget) 39 laps.
(M.G. Midget) 39 laps. THE BENALLA CENTENARY RACE
Last Easter Monday, the first road race ever held on the mainland of Australia was run off at Benalla, about 120 miles from Melbourne. The event was known as the Benalla Centenary Race and, organised by the Victorian Sporting Car Club, was held over a distance of 100 miles on a 2i-mile circuit. One entered machine had the greatest power-weight ratio of any racing car ” down under,” being a Bugatti chassis fitted with a Ford VS engine.