THE J. Cu c. INTERNATIONAL TROPHY RACE PERCY MACLURE (RILEY) WINS AN EXTREMELY CLOSE RACE — E.R.A.s SECOND AND THIRD — UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENT TO JOSEPH PAUL
THE sixth International Trophy Race of the J .C.C. was one of the best races of the series, Percy Maclure winning by 0.02 m.p.h. from Raymond Mays with his unsupercharged 1,738 c.c. sixcylinder Riley. This race is always one of the most pleasant on the Brooklands Calendar, because it is as easy to follow as a scratch race, yet the handicap channels allow large and small cars to compete on an equal footing. The new long lap of 3.369 miles, embracing part of the road circuit, provides an excellent balance between road and track circuit, and enables an excellent view of the race to be had from the public enclosure on the Hill. The scoreboard gave the positions of the first four cars very efficiently lap by lap, and a microphone in the pits materially added to the spectators’ enjoyment of the exciting struggle during the closing stages of the race. Unfortunately, a very serious accident marred the early laps, for Joseph Paul’s ex-Le Mans V12 Delage caught fire and was well alight coining up the new finishing straight. Other cars were running in close proximity to the Delage and Paul appeared to stick to his position as long as possible, apparently hoping to get an opportunity of running onto the grass verge without hitting another car. Then, either because he could stand the flames no longer, or because he was blinded, he swerved to the near side, collided with Lace’s Darracq, and both cars went up the bank. The Delage dived down, a mass of flame, amongst the crowd, injuring ten persons, one of whom died later. Amongst the injured were Noel Pope, Frank Beart, Robert Waddy, Murray Jamieson, Mrs. Jill Thomas and Mrs. K. Petre, W. E. Humphries, Douglas Hawkes and Miss Haig. Lace’s Darracq was pushed across the track out of the way and was able to continue. Our sympathies go out to the friends and relatives of those involved in this horrible calamity, to the promoters of the race and to the Brooklands proprietors, and, in particular, to poor Joseph Paul, who suffers severe concussion and burns, after leaping out of the cockpit a mass of flame. Certainly only a single line of wood palings separated the cars from the crowd at this part of the course, but the distance of the course from this
fence and the height of the bank must render the safety arrangements immune from criticism, even from the most antagonistic. Thirty entries were received for this year’s race, and the non-starters were Gerard’s Riley, Wakefield’s Maserati, Hanson’s Maserati, Powys-Lybbe’s Talbot, Staniland’s Multi-Union-Special, and Mrs. Thomas’s Alfa-Romeo. The remaining cars lined up in the finishing straight, an impressive sight, the plugs of Lace’s Darracq receiving last minute attention. The Joseph Paul Delage also came out late and Wilkinson was working on Cotton’s E.R.A.’s carburetter up to starting time, while Connell’s E.R.A. had its plugs changed. Came zero hour and the pack moved away in a solid bunch for the flying lap behind John Cobb’s palatial 4i-litre Bentley, Arthur Dobson (Delahaye) Wilkinson (E.R.A.), Gerard (sports sixcylinder Delage) and Rolt (E.R.A.) in the front row. As the Bentley drew in and Eyston dropped the flag, Maclure’s Riley, the sports Delage and Maya’s E.R.A., now of 1,748 c.c., came to the front. Along the back leg, Mays led. from ” Bira ” (Maserati), Gerard and Abeeassis (11-litre Alta). There followed the horrors of poor Paul’s crash, and when one again attended to the race it was seen that Raymond Mays had. a fair lead over ” Bira’s ” famous 3-litre Maserati, with Earl Howe (11-litre works E.R.A.) going
extremely well in third place. Everitt was fourth with Parnell’s twin-camshaft M.G. Magnette and Ansell’s E.R.A. and Cotton’s E.R.A. had both visited the pits. At the sharp hairpin turn from the old finishing straight into the road circuit back leg we observed some of the cornering tactics. Connell’s E.R.A. experienced axle judder under the heavy braking necessary to kill the high speed attained at this point, Esplen (M.G.) beat the BrookeSpecial on acceleration, Gerard had tail slides with the sleek Delage, running with headlamps in place, and Wilson (1,100
E.R.A.) took it wide. Rolt also preferred to run wide, his E.R.A. sometimes leaving the course, to send up a cloud of sand, while Abecassis had power slides to control as he opened up the Alta. After 11 of the 60 laps had been run, Mays still led ” Bira” and Earl Howe was still a splendid third, but Percy Madam’s unblown 1,738 c.c. Riley had displaced the Parnell-M.G. for fourth
place. After 18 laps Cotton’s E.R.A. was out. At 3() laps Maclure was third behind Mays and” Bira” and Earl Howe fourth. Hunter’s 4-litre Alta hereabouts fell sick, smoke issuing from the cockpit, so that it spent the remainder of the afternoon in, and. out of the pits. Earl Howe then had to retire the E.R.A. and Kenneth Evans, going very steadily with the Bellevue 2.9-litre G.P. Alfa-Romeo, came into fourth position.
Mays was driving magnificently, cornering very close in, but always ” Bira,” in blue racing attire and dark-lensed goggles, held the blue Maserati in second place, flames issuing from the exhaust on the over-run, the old car maintaining its position in spite of the chicane handicap on big cars. We timed Mays’s 27th lap, unofficially, at nearly 86 m.p.h. M. Mongin, temporarily relieving Arthur Dobson, looked very stern in the Delahaye, and Lace’s Darracq used its brakes audibly. After 39 laps the order of the first three was unchanged, but Wilson’s E.R.A. was now running fourth. Gerard was treating the crowd on the hill to an interesting series of tail slides in the Delage. Immense excitement ! At 40 laps Mays came in to refuel and change rear tyres. It was a longish pause, for, to start with, the green E.R.A. overshot its pit, and
Members’ Banking, and shortly afterwards Mays weaved his way between a Delahaye and Wilton’s M.G., in pursuit, Mongin going wide at corners to give Mays a passage. Nichols now came to his pit, losing a lap, and Abecassis refuelled.
Then, on lap 45, Mays came in to change a plug. Watches clicked, all eyes were directed to that stationary car at the pits.
Bira” duly came through to lead. Would the Maser. stop ? That was the question on everyone’s lips. We timed Mays as 14-id secs. behind “Bira” ” at the corner after the pits as he restarted. Hunter’s troubles continued, Lace had a vicious tail slide, and Nichols’s M.G. flapped its wheels under the brakes, but all eyes were on the leaders. A. C. Dobson’s Delahaye now refuelled. ” Bira” shook an upraised arm at Hamilton (AlfaRomeo) as he followed him onto the “
The portable electric starter came into play and the E.R.A. screamed off–but still it sounded sick. MaClure was now second, cornering as steadily as ever, but Mays was leaving his braking noticeably later. On lap 50″ Bira “shot up the Members’ Banking turn as the Riley passed beneath the Paddock Bridge, and Mays was an almost equal distance behind. Came drama I On lap 52” Bira “stopped at his pit for fuel. It was a very brief