MASERATI WINS THE B.A.R.C. CAMPBELL TROPHY RACE
VICTORY FOR “B. BIRA.” RAYSON’S SPLENDID DRIVE. LORD HOWE INJURED.
Before the first scratch road-race over the new Brooklands road-course on May 1st the experts ‘mew that brake troubles would be prevalent, particularly amongst the Alfas, and they knew the Himotore would be a handful but, also, they expected E.R.A. to win. It is now history that victory went to ” Bira’s ” 3-litre Maserati, while E. K. Rayson drove a magnificent race to come in second with his 11-1itre Maserati–in a scratch contest. We saw something of Rayson’s thoroughness in tuning and preparation some years ago when he was racing the Bugatti and are not altogether surprised at his success.
The race was run in. fine, warm weather, before a not very extensive crowd, over 100 laps, equal to approximately 220 miles. Notably enough all the big cars started, the non-runners being confined to W. B. Humphreys’ M.G., which suffered transmission maladies a week earlier at the Palace, ” Bira’s ” Delage, that was not ready in time, although out for practice, Fairfield.’s E.R.A., which had incurable brake weaknesses, Andrew Leitch’s 11-litre Maserati, Mrs. Hawkes’s Derby, and ). H. Bartlett’s Alta. The practice period had seen some very fine laps by Lord Howe, Dobson gyrating with the Bimotore, which Leitch thought positively frightening, Tongue fitting a new piston to his E.R.A., and Jucker attempting to find some more brakes on his new 11-litre independently-sprung Alta. Connell had gearbox trouble with his E.R.A. on the Thursday, but repaired it in time to run. Lined up in rows of three, very Continental, before the new concrete pits, the . twenty-two cars got away vividly after Mr. Bradley had called the minutes to the waiting drivers. Charles Bracken. bury crept forward to try and swing round his opponents, and everyone went into the first bend in a bunch, Walker (E.R.A.) leading Earl Howe (E.R.A.) and ” Bira ” (Maserati). The Hon. Peter Aitken’s 11-litre Maserati was left on the line, to get going after rather half-hearted efforts at push-starting. Past the pits
after one lap, into a blinding dustscreen, ” Bira ” led Howe with Walker third and Mays (E.R.A.) fourth. Tongue (E.R.A.) called at his pit, to get away as ” Bira ” passed on lap three, and after eight hectic laps Walker came to rest on the Aerodrome Road with his gearbox hors de combat. Then there was excitement as Charlie Dodson brought Dixon’s blown DixonSpecial in with bad overheating and slack tappets, a shower of water shooting up to spray the spectators on the pit roof and both Dixon and Dodson proceeding to cut away part of the very obstructive radiator cowling, a pit-marshal finally assisting in re-strapping the bonnet. Lord Howe now lay behind ” Bira ” in a really tremendous duel, Howe driving superbly. After ten laps ” Bira ” led the De Ram damped E.R.A. by a mere 2 secs., at 70.71 m.p.h. By fifteen laps ” Bira ” had speeded up to 71.59 m.p.h. with Howe absolutely on his tail. Then four laps later Howe passed
and for seven laps kept 1-2 secs. ahead, drawing ” Bira ” faster and faster. On lap twenty-six this stirring duel finished and finished sadly, for the blue E.R.A. struck the bridge over the river, went up onto its nose and rolled over sideways. Howe was thrown out and suffered a broken wrist, broken rib and smashed shoulder, his helmet saving more serious injury. ” Bira ” got by safely. The ambulance was a very long while in reaching the accident. There will not be an enthusiast in the country who will not be intensely sorry about this unfortunate accident, but at least there is the consolation that it occurred as one knows Howe would wish, in the full flight of
battle. Early reports indicated that things were not too severe, but we regret that its we go to Press rumour has it that a brain specialist has been called to Weybridge Hospital. ” Bira ” now led and, advised by his Siamese pit signals, eased up. Dobson
was now running second with the Biniotore Alfa, very impressive to watch. Mays had been in, worried by brakes and his recent fuel burns, and Fairfield took over. Connell, too, had a lengthy pit stop, removing his helmet and waiting patiently while work went on beneath the bonnet and the E.R.A.’s engine was tried on the handle. At the same time D. Scribbans (E.R.A.) was in, mechanics looking over the engine as he cleaned his visor. At sixty laps” Bira “led by 2 min. 44 secs., and it was Rayson who was second, the Binzatore Alfa vanishing on the thirty-first lap, near the Members Hill turn, with what was officially given as transmission trouble. Its brakes were still inadequate to the course. Brackenbury held third place in Martin’s Alfa, using top gear all the way round and having frequent worrying stops to refuel and adjust brakes. The small Maseratis were in and out, Hanson, who was faster than anyone through the Hill Bend according to a spectator friend’s timing, looking distinctly worried and leaving the cockpit
for a quick drink. Men with brooms swept the course at the Hill turn, and Jucker snaked at times in his mis-firing Alta. At thirty-five laps Chris Staniland’s beautiful Alfa-R.otneo got third place as Brackenbury stopped, but he, too, had to come in for frequent brake adjustment, to retire on the seventy-ninth round with no stoppers at all.
A. C. Dobson (E.R.A.), who had seemed a likely winner, spent a very long time at his pit while work proceeded on the near-side front brake plunger, which Dobson took with characteristic good humour. He eventually got going again but came in several times and gave best to the brakes after thirty-two laps. Powys-Lybbe in his Alfa-Romeo was driving a splendid race, occasionally making worried signs to his tank filler, and at forty-six laps he took third place, later to be repassed by Brackenbury. Ashby in the big Ferrari Alfa came in to hand over to R. L. Duller, water being poured over the exhaust pipe before the fuel was put in. Ashby was fearfully excited, yelling to Duller to pump up the pressure when he was well out of sight. The rear brakes were taken up about four turns. Although Duller professes not to like courses with corners he drove remarkably well and at sixty laps was fifth. Still Rayson on the little Maserati ran on like clockwork, keeping at bay his bigger pursuers. On lap fiftyseven he came in to re-fill, taking just under one minute. Charlie Martin was
now keeping an anxious eye on Charlie Brackenbury, though he had also been looking after the Bimotore, which came in once before its retirement for fuel, Martin also adjusting the brakes. The cornering at the turn into the straight past the pits was very interesting. Brackenbury cut it very fine, ” Bira ” not quite so close, and Rayson was doing very rapid stuff after his refuelling stop. Staniland was also very masterly, the All near front wheel ifting appreciably, as with Wilkinson’s Alfa and several E.R.A.s and others. Jucker now
came in, the Alfa’s bonnet being quickly lifted, though no one in the pit seemed sure which of the spare plugs to put in, so that work was MA rapid.
Scribbans’s E.R.A. was now going well, eniitted a most curious noise from the engine, but poor Jucker went off still suffering from Misfiring, feeling for goggles that were not there ! Meanwhile the calm Stanliand chewed contentedly.
Brackenbury came in again, work was calmly done, and the Alfa was re-started on the 11 andle Wilkinson then handed the Monza Alfa over to its owner, R. C. Fleming, after worried conversation. The brakes were taken up by “W ilk)”‘ himself, who had smote a bank and knew they needed it, but very soon the car was out with the gearbox useless.
Certainly the course was gruelling, as almost immediately K. D. Evans, on Dobson’s Alfa, stopped by the Hill Bend on his seventieth lap with transmission trouble, the car having hardly any brakes. It had been sounding horrible for many laps. Lybbe then visited the pits and went away with dispatch, after which MervynWhite incurred the wrath of Hugh McConnell by arriving beyond his pit
in a both-ways broadside. Fairfield was now cutting out very early before the corners.
The three leading positions remained unchanged—” Bira” (Maserati), Rayson (Maserati), and Powys-Lybbe (AlfaRomeo). On lap sixty-five ” Bira” did a very smart re-fill, which dropped him back by I min. 55 sees., though he soon taught Rayson, pulling up his lead to 2. mm. 20 sees. Duller was now in fourth place be fore Scribbans, but on lap ninety-seven he had infernal luck, as the Alfa-Romeo died Well and truly. So the E.R.A. was a well-deserved fourth, with Brackenbury a lap away when Follett had finished his flagging-in. Hanson, Mervyn-White and Jucker had some ” moments ” when they cornered wrongly and the Bugatti had once turned completely round at the Railway Straight corner. The new course is excellent in every respect, and provides a fine view for the public. The new scoreboard was slow in functioning, depending as it did on a fisherman who hooked information on a string. ” Bira ” stopped at his pits on finishing but was called up and sent off on a lap of honour, bare-headed. The crowd showed more than usual appreciation. Rayson’s drive was really magnificent, Lybbe was splendidly consistent, and Scribbans fully deserved his place. The winner’s average was 60.(16 m.p.h., falling from 70.97 at thirty laps, and no lap record has been announced. Four cars finished, six were flagged in, and the remainder retired, including Peter Aitken’s Maserati with fuel feed trouble and A. P. Hamilton’s Alfa with engine trouble, apart from those already men tioned. ” Bira ” wins the Campbell Trophy and replica, and /.2.1() cash, Rayson took L250, Powys-Lybbe L100, and Scribbans £100. The course was
very gruelling to both cars and drivers. ” Bira ” wore helmet, glasses and visor, with spare goggles round his neck, Mervyn-White goggles only, Fairfield, Ashby, Duller, Staniland, Dobson and Aitken helmet and goggles, Powys-Lybbe his famous back-to-front cap and goggles, Brackenbury drove bare-headed with goggles, and most of the others favoured helmets and visors, Wilkinson using a big visor and a bigger helmet behind a large windscreen. The new pith are a great improvement and will be more so if pressure-refuelling equipment is installed. The three leading cars all had twin o.h. camshaft blown engines and the E.R.A. had push-rod operation of o.h. valves set in hemispherical cylinder heads.
1.”II. flira” (2.9 Maserati), 3h. 10m. 52.8e., n9.00 m.p.h.
‘2. E. K. Rayson (1,496 e.e. Maserati), 3h. 19m. 29?.s.. (.8.2,5 m.p.h.
3. A. Powys-Lybbe (2.3 Alfa-Romeo), 3h. 24m.
53 , 61)6.. 011r.p.L.
4. 31. 27m. 7s., 0,5.65 m.p.h. ribbans (1,488 c.c. E.R.A.),
Winners et 1,500 c.o. Class Prizes
l. R. K. Rayson (Maserati) 2. I). 1T. Seribbans (E.R.A.
Still R-mning at End ol Race (Et:stance : le0 laps)
0. Brackenbury (2.9 Alfa-Romeo), 99 laps ; R. R. Tongue (1,488 C.C. E.R.A.). 98 laps ; A. F. Ashby and II. I. Duller (3.2 Alfa-Romeo). 96 laps : P. G. Fairfield and Raymond Mays (1,488 e.e.
92 laps; C. Mervyn White (2,3 Bugattl), 91 laps ; Robin ‘Ranson (1,400 e.e. Maserati, 01 laps.
A. C. Dobson (E.R.A.), 32 laps, brake trouble ; P. D. Walker (E.R.A t. S Ia ‘eathov Lord Howe (F. .A.), 25 laps. eral-Ited Hon. Peter Ail ken
MaseratH IS laps, 011.1 feed I rouble ; P. ,Ineker i3 lais. blower release al e ; Doason l)’ iiSpecial). I laps, enEine trouble ; .X. P. Hamilton (2.3 Alfa). 11 laps, l•titzine trouble ; W. E. ‘Wilkinson (2.0 Alfa). 7.1 laps, gear
box • S. Stanflatal (2.9 Alfa), 79 laps, bra!ieg ; K. H. Evans (2.9 Al(a), 70 laps, transmission ; A ust in itt,bson (5.8 Alfa ). 31 laps, clutch and transmission : It. L. Duller (3.2 Alfa), 97 laps, engine.
Position, Driver, Car, and Speed I. R. Mays ( E.R. A.), 62.90 m.p.h.
2. P. Maelure (Riley), 60.07 m.p.h.
3. P. D. Walker (E.R.A.). 64.17 m.p.h.
4. P. G. Fairfield (E.R.A.). 63.72 m.p.h.
5. R. Dreyfus (Delahaye), 63.77 m.p.h.
Driver, Car, and Laps
A. Powys-Lybbe (Alfa-Romeo), 79.
I. F. Connell (E.R.A.), 78.
It. E. Tongue (E.R.A), 7S.
D. H. geribbans (E.R.A.), 76.
W. Hughes (M.G.). 76.
R. Parnell (M.G.), 75.
H. L. Hadley (Austin), 74.
P. F. Ricker (Alta), 71.
Driver, Car, Laps, and Cause
“B. Biro,” (Maserati), 64. Gearbox.
W. Wilkinson and W. Cotton (Riley), 55. Engine.
C. H. Manders (M.G.), 56. Back axle.
Hon. P. Aitken and A. Dobson (Maserati), 41.
A. C. Dobson (E.R.A.), 40. Fuel feed.
R. Hanson (Maserati), 33. Crashed.
C. Brackenbury (Alfa-Romeo), 30. Engine.
Rueseh (Alfa-Romeo), 28. Gearbox.
K. D. Evans (M.G.), 23. Fuel tank. O. J. P. Dodson (Austin), 16. Fire.
M. Falkner (M.G.), 9. Brakes. Mrs. K. Petre (Austin), 7. Carburetter.
L. Schell (Delahaye), 6. Driver injured.
E.R.A.: R. Mays, P. G. Fairfield, and D. H. Seribbans.