Highly Successful Brooklands-Type Racing at Goodwood
Reg. Parnell’s 4 CLT/48 Maserati Wins Three Races, including the Richmond Trophy, and Sets the Lap Record to 87.1 m.p.h. Folland’s Ferrari and Kennington’s Cisitalia Successful on their First Appearance. Stirling Moss has Easy Victory in his V-twin Cooper. Whitehead’s Great Drive.
The B.A.R.C. Meeting at Goodwood in the ideal weather that prevailed on Easter Monday was motor-racing at its best. It was not surprising that it confirmed the impression that motor-racing has at last achieved recognition and real popularity in this country — the grandstands were packed to capacity, the rails were thick with keen spectators, a ripple of enthusiasm from this vast crowd greeted each dramatic incident and afterwards the traffic flowed back to London in an unbroken, Derby-day stream. The attendance was estimated as 40,000. Everyone seemed pleased with the improvements to Goodwood’s amenities, and in spite of a half-hour delay when non-paying members of the crowd invaded the course (having cut a way through a fence to do so), the programme finished on schedule. Our considered advice to anyone who did not attend is: don’t miss Goodwood on Whit Monday.
All the old atmosphere of pre-war Brooklands prevailed. The cars that began to fill the parks from 10 a.m. onwards were the same mixed collection of moderns and ancients, odd-looking and conventional, that used to make their way Weybridge-wards in the old days. There were the same sports girls and fashionably-dressed women, just as sporting or fashionable as ever, the same faces in the Paddock, the same hush of expectancy as zero-hour drew near and the inevitable seekers-after-admission-passes hanging hopefully round the Paddock gates. And the grass-grown Paddock produced the usual matters of personal, sartorial and mechanical entertainment.
Naturally, a centre of attraction was Dudley Folland’s new 2-litre Ferrari, a beautifully compact car with a real “bonnetful” of engine. The positions of the five forward speeds are conveniently marked, in roman numerals, on the gear-lever knob. It used a Marelli 6v. by 9 starting battery on a small trolley and was shod with Pirelli 5.50-15 front and 6.00-15 rear tyres, it being rumoured that this make of tyre was essential to successful roadholding. Incidentally, Dunlop technicians were busy taking the temperatures of each of the tyres on Parnell’s Maserati immediately it returned to the Paddock after its races. It was shod with 6.50-16 rear covers.
Spikins’ Lea-Francis-engined Spikins special had new independent suspension all round, by double tubular trailing links and torsion bars at the front and an underslung transverse leaf spring and swing axles at the rear. Its nose cowl was very slender, and the engine had four Amal carburetters. Peter Clark was quietly confident with his Standard “Vanguard”-engined monoposto H.R.G. which showed very clean carburation when the ignition was cut after a fast run. He is, however, hoping to get the compression-ratio up above 9 to 1 with a new head and pistons before the I.O.M. race. Oscar Moore’s O.B.M. had a neat, detachable cockpit-top and Fairman had contrived a very narrow radiator cowl and six Amal carburetters for his Riley. Clapp’s 1,100-c.c. H.R.G. had a belt-driven Marshall supercharger on the nearside of its engine and Jacobs’ 1,086-c.c. M.G. had sports-type bodywork with a slab tank, a supercharger just protruding from the bonnet on the near side, a detachable steering wheel and strut-type hydraulic shock-absorbers at the front. Strut-type dampers were, as a matter of fact, quite a feature of the competing cars, being noticed on Whitehead’s B-type E.R.A., Parnell’s Maserati, and several others. Nothing was so impressive, however, as the huge built-in dampers for the i.f.s. of Poore’s Alfa-Romeo, which, incidentally, ran on 5.25-18 rear Dunlops. Moss’ Cooper is now silver, with a horseshoe motif on the headrest, and its 500-c.c. engine was changed for the V-twin between the second and sixth races! Johnson’s E-type E.R.A. was unpainted, while a canvas cover entirely concealed Dunham’s Alvis in the Paddock. Murray’s Maserati had been handsomely repainted.
Troubles naturally occurred during Saturday’s practice, the E-type E.R.A. again thrusting an axle shaft through its tank. On the Monday morning Abecassis was troubled by the second-gear synchromesh cones picking-up on the G.P. Alta, while Parnell’s Maserati was said to have but recently had its superchargers rebuilt. Then poor Bradnack had the entire rear end of his Frazer-Nash dismantled, to attend to transmission maladies. The Mackie-Wilks Rover now has an o.h. inlet, 1,996-c.c. engine, with triple S.U. carburetters and Lucas magneto.
The Lavant Cup Race (up to 1,100 c.c. s/c, and up to 2,000 c.c. non-s/c). Five laps. Scratch
This race produced a bunch of the more interesting entries, in the shape of Folland’s V12 five-speed Ferrari two-seater, Hutchison’s bright yellow Veritas aerodynamic two-seater. Heath’s rebuilt Alta, the O.B.M., Kennington’s Tipo 103 Cisitalia, Clark’s Vanguard-H.R.G. and the Spikins Special. Of these, Clark, Kennington and de Mattos in the Spikins had the front row of the starting grid, these positions being decided by ballot, not practice times, for all the scratch races. The start was immense, Marshall in the Amilcar Six taking to the grass in the scrimmage to get through. After a lap Fairman’s Riley led the Cisitalia, with Heath’s Alta third and the Ferrari, which started with the Alta from row three, pressing him hard. Already Nixon’s Riley had coasted in with dead engine and Clapp’s blown H.R.G. had also retired.
On lap two the leaders came round still bunched, but Folland had taken the lead at Madgwick Corner, the Cisitalia now second and Fairman third. The O.B.M. was moving up, but the Veritas was impressive only by reason of its colour and its exhaust note and not on account of its speed. It came in after four laps with carburation trouble and the Spikins lasted an even shorter distance. The Clark H.R.G. sounded nice, but hadn’t enough speed, Bingley’s Aston-Martin seemed ragged and Marshall’s Amilcar refused to stay the distance. So Folland, driving beautifully, and his car holding the road like a leech, ran on to an easy but impressive victory, beating the Cisitalia by 8.8 sec., with Fairman sitting comfortably in third place. Folland set the fastest lap, at 81.50 m.p.h.
1st: D. C. Folland (1,995-c.c. Ferrari), 78.03 m.p.h.
2nd F. W. Kennington (1,000-c.c. Cisitalia).
3rd: J. E. G. Fairman (1,954.7-c.c. Riley).
4th: Heath (Alta),
5th: Wilke (Rover),
6th: Moore (O.B.M.),
7th: Downing (Riley),
8th: Clark (H.R.G.)
9th: Bingley (Aston-Martin),
10th: Kipps (M.G.).
The 500-c.c. Race. Five laps. Scratch
As the flag fell Moss and Coldham shot out ahead of the field of 19 in their Coopers — the field, by the way, including “No. 13” as Page had requested this number. At the very commencement Samuelson’s Cooper had momentarily thrust in front, while at the other end of the scale Rhiando, his mouth obscured beneath a handkerchief, was left on the line. The end of the initial lap saw four men tight-bunched for the lead May, Brandon, Coldham and Dryden, for Moss, after leading fort brief spell, had retired. Another circuit and Dryden, driving very well, had a useful lead, but C. A. N. May, Coldham and Aston, all in Coopers, were fighting it out behind. Brandon had retired already and Truman’s Bardon-Special was out on lap three. Next it was Aston’s turn, which enabled Parker in his Parker-C.F.S. to gain a place. Later May’s Cooper had trouble. Dryden looked to have an unassailable lead and then the luck of the game entered into the picture — carburation trouble slowed him, enabling Coldham to go ahead and win by 1.2 sec. Dryden had the consolation of fastest lap at 74.61 m.p.h.
1st: S. H. Coldham (Cooper-J.A.P.), 70,80 m.p.h.
2nd: R. M. Dryden (Cooper-Norton).
3rd: Parker (Parker C.F.S.).
4th: Samuelson (Cooper), 5th: Bacon (F.H.B.)
6th: Rhiando (Cooper).
The Chichester Cup Race (over 1,450 c.c. s/c). Five laps. Scratch
After half-an-hour’s delay while intruders were cleared from the course, the field of thirteen roared away to an exciting start, Parnell and McAlpine rather anticipating the flag. The unfortunate Murray had failed to get his Maserali, engine started in time, in spite of advice from Parnell, the car’s former owner.
Right from the start Parnell’s 4 CLT/48 two-stage Maserati led, its lead growing ever bigger and Gerard’s 1948 lap-record of 83.4 m.p.h. being lifted to 86.4 m.p.h. before Parnell returned victorious to the Paddock. So easy was Parnell’s victory that interest centred on the battle which raged behind him, Poore in the “3.8” Alfa-Romeo doing all in his power to hold off Johnson in Mathieson’s E-type E.R.A. The Alfa slid wildly out of Lavant Corner at the end of the second lap, lost the lead to Johnson, but regained it before lap three was concluded. It was splendid to see Poore handling his big car with such skill. On lap four, as Parnell lapped Mann’s old “2.6” Alfa-Romeo, Johnson got past Poore, but on the last lap Poore put in a terrific effort and overtook his rival, getting second place by a mere one second. Ashmore was not particularly pleased with the way his 4 CLT/48 Maserati ran (it had a piece of a Dunlop plaque blanking its radiator grille), but he drove well to move into fourth place after three laps, while Whitehead took rather longer to displace first McAlpine’s Maserati, then Shawe-Taylor’s E.R.A., to occupy fifth place. Abecassis in the G.P. Alta and Hutchison in his “2.9 ” P3 Alfa-Romeo pulled in after three and four laps, respectively, and Mann also pulled in before the end. Parnell won by 12.8 sec.
1st: R. Parnell (1,496-c.c. Maserati), 82.98 m.p.h.
2nd: R. D. Poore (3,800-c.c. Alfa-Romeo).
3rd: L. G. Johnson (1,487-c.c. E.R.A.).
4th: Ashmore (Maserati), 5th: Whitehead (E.R.A.), 6th: McAlpine (Maserati), 7th: Shawe-Taylor (E.R.A.), 8th: Ansell (Maserati), 9th: Parker (Maserati), 10th: Byrom (Bugatti), 11th: Habershon (Delage).
The First Easter Handicap. Five laps
Handicapping of these races was Brooklands-style, on assessed speeds of driver-cum-car. Kennington had a very reasonable start and led for the entire race, winning by 81 sec. with no one else in sight. For two laps Gill’s R-type M.G. lay second, but it began to boil and retired after four laps, Downing in Nixon’s Riley displacing it for second place a lap earlier. However, Gill failed to hold off the Rover, which ran most creditably, and Shillito in Harrison’s Riley, and he finally gave up. Behind these men Oscar Moore and Heath were engaging in a fine duel, only a couple of lengths separating them, the O.B.M. ever ahead of the Alta, finally to draw away, although just after they had crossed the finishing line the Alta shot past its rival. Ripley’s Riley retired after three laps. Moore made fastest lap, at 77.80 m.p.h.
1st: F. M. Kennington (1,090-c.c. Cisitalia), 74.79 m.p.h.
2nd: G. N. Mackie (1,996-c.c. Rover).
3rd: G. Shillito (1,985-c.c. Riley),
4th: Downing (Riley), 5th: Moore (O.B.M.), 6th: Heath (Alta), 7th: Scott (H.R.G.), 8th: Fairman (Riley), 9th: Ridley (M.G.), 10th: Bingley (Aston-Martin).
The Richmond Trophy Race (Formula I Cars). Ten Laps. Scratch
This was the big race of the day and grand value it represented to the immense crowd watching it. Even before the flag dropped the field was more than straining at the leash — some cars were definitely moving towards Madgwick Corner! Rolt’s Alfa-Romeo headed them, but Habershon’s i.f.s. 1926-type Delage faltered in the rear for a while.
It was Fred Ashmore who led for the first lap, with Parnell and Rolt very close together in that order behind him. Gerard, his E.R.A. rendered distinctive by a slanting radiator grille, was fourth. Reg. Parnell was in his customary position at the head of things by the end of another lap, Ashmore second, Rolt third, followed by Gerard, Whitehead, R. Ansell, Harrison and Johnson. On the third lap Rolt passed Ashmore, and Whitehead in the 1936 B-type E.R.A. was seen to be driving a truly magnificent race. Rolt had been given the blue flag for baulking Gerard and the latter made a determined attempt to pass going into Lavant Corner, demolished a loudspeaker pylon and, as Rolt’s hub-cap touched the E.R.A. Gerard the Unlucky, in a huge cloud of earth, hit the bank, damaging the E.R.A.’s front axle. Rolt’s Alfa-Romeo spun off the road on to the inside of the course, but was undamaged, and Rolt at once ran over to Gerard. Fortunately, neither driver was hurt, but neither could continue. This let Whitehead into third place and on lap five, his car snaking viciously at the bend by the grandstands, he moved up past Ashmore. Harrison, too, in his re-bodied E.R.A., was awaiting a chance to slip past Ashmore’s Maserati.
In the midst of such excitement one hardly noticed that G. Ansell’s E.R.A. and Murray’s Maserati were out or that the Grand Prix Alta was misfiring.
After seven laps had been completed, Parnell had lapped Gale’s Darracq. Still Whitehead drove at his absolute limit, holding second place with Harrison about an equal distance away in third position, followed by Ashmore, who found no real bite from his car beyond 70 m.p.h., and the E-type E.R.A., which was dropping further back, the rear-end looking too soft for fast motoring. At one time Habershon’s Delage looked to be in Parnell’s path, but it moved over and gave the following E.R.A.s all the room they needed. Parnell ran on to win by 3.8 sec., pushing the lap record up to 86.23 m.p.h. Whitehead came in second after one of the finest drives anyone has had in an E.R.A., 3 sec. ahead of Harrison, who also drove his B/C type E.R.A. magnificently. Incidentally, Whitehead’s car had a massive tubular cross-member ahead of the radiator grille carrying the upper ends of hydraulic struts, besides Hartford shock-absorbers, and vertical hydraulic struts damping the rear axle. This race emphasised that the E-type E.R.A. is now a back-number. The G.P. Alta has not much longer to go before the same will apply. Hamilton’s 6C Maserati retired early.
1st: R. Parnell (1,496-c.c. Maserati), 82.89 m.p.h.
2nd: P. N. Whitehead (1,488-c.c. E.R.A.).
3rd: T. C. Harrison (1,488-c.c. E.R.A.).
4th: Ashmore (Maserati), 5th: Johnson (E.R.A.), 6th: Abecassis (Alta), 7th: Ansell (Maserati), 8th: Habershon (Delage).
The Second Easter Handicap Five laps
Moss’ V-twin Cooper had the advantage of all these cars on acceleration from the start and he drove in his usual fiery but calculated manner, moving from fifth to second place after two laps and taking the lead on the fourth lap. Leonard’s newly-bodied M.G. Magnette, with one of its S.U.s protruding from the rear of the bonnet, caught Jacobs’ blown M.G. before Madgwick Corner as they left the line, but it subsequently fell back, leaving Jacobs’ M.G. in second place sounding delightfully crisp and letting Abecassis in his V-twin Cooper through to second place on the last lap. Moss won by the comfortable margin of 24.4 sec. and made the fastest lap, at the very impressive speed of 82.44 m.p.h. John Cooper was warned by Earl Howe for going wide in his V-twin Cooper and Crossley drove his 2-litre Alta very nicely from scratch, but to no avail.
1st: S. Moss (998-e.c. Cooper), 79.46 m.p.h.
2nd: R. W. Jacobs (1,086-c.c. M.G.).
3rd: G. Abecassis (998-c.c. Cooper).
4th: Leonard (M.G.), 5th: Hartwell (Cooper), 6th: Dunham (Alvis), 7th: de Lissa (M.G.), 8th: Holt (H.R.G.), 9th: Crossley (Alta), 10th: Cooper (Cooper), 11th: Hobbs (Rapier), 12th: McClure (M.G.).
The Third Easter Handicap. Five laps
Whitehead met Parnell again in this race, but with 20 sec. start over Reg who was on scratch. And the latter showed his Maserati to have plenty in hand, for he came up from 13th place after a lap to fourth place at the close of lap four. On lap five he moved to second place behind Rolt and took the lead on the last lap. It was a magnificent finish, however, so that Bunny Dyer actually waved a blue flag at Parnell as he neared the line in case Rolt could beat him on sheer acceleration up from Lavant Corner. This was not to be, however, and Parnell won his third race of the day — what an Easter egg! — by 0.8 sec. Moreover, he yet again shattered the lap record, leaving it at 1 mm. 39.2 sec., equal to 87.10 m.p.h. This betters Gerard’s 1948 speed by 3.7 m.p.h., but it is only fair to state that the course has been slightly widened in places for this season.
This time Ashmore was third, with Byrom’s 1930 Bugatti, complete with that magnificent Molsheim exhaust note and aluminium-spoked wheels, fourth. Early in the race, G. Ansell was shown a blue flag to ensure that he should not baulk Whitehead, but this time Peter did not manage to close with the leaders, and from the line Murray’s Maserati showed superior acceleration. Crook’s Alfa-Romeo baulked Murray for a time, but the latter got by and Bainbridge in Ansell’s Maserati was close on the Alfa’s tail at the finish. Lewis’ “2.3” Alfa-Romeo retired.
1st: R. Parnell (1,496-c.c. Maserati), 84.18 m.p.h.
2nd: A. P. R. Rolt (3,440-c.c. Alfa-Romeo).
3rd: F. Ashmore (1 ,490-c.c. Maserati).
4th: Byrom (Bugatti), 5th: Murray (Maserati), 6th: Gale (Darracq), 7th: Crook (Alfa-Romeo), 8th: Bainbridge (Maserati), 9th: Whitehead (E.R.A.), 10th: Habershon (Delage), 11th: Ansell ( E.R.A.).
The Programme was similar to the old B.A.R.A. Race Cards — a very good layout. But please may we have the cars’ colours, Mr. Morgan?
Anthony Eden and his wife were present and keenly interested in the racing. Countess Howe was with Mr. Eden’s party. “Bira” and his wife were also present.
The general impression seems to be that the commentators missed a great opportunity during the 25 minutes that the B.B.C. allowed them for a broadcast of the entire Richmond Trophy Race. We hope that in future the B.B.C. will employ experienced commentators.
Who was the very efficient marshal who kept the starting area clear after engines had been started? And what did Freddie Dixon say to him when requested to “get along there”?
George Eyston was present and John Cobb was one of the Judges.
A pleasing gesture was the Duke of Richmond and Gordon’s invitation to cripples in motorised invalid chairs to view the racing from his guests’ enclosure.
Which of the B.A.R.C. officials relieved the “bookies” of £15 on the first race?
Lord Howe used his V12 Lagonda and the Duke his Bristol.
Handicapping was done by L. A. Ebblewhite, son of the late A. V. Ebblewhite, and P. B. Mayne, an R.A.C. time-keeper.
The B.A.R.C. considers allotting starting-grid positions on practice times quite out of the question for such short races.
Who was it who tried to gain free admission by saying he was a friend of Humphrey Cook and Earl Howe. And did it work?
And how many sports-cars ran at Goodwood, after all?
Has the British Motor Industry any qualms about the fact that, at a meeting attended by 40,000 spectators and widely publicised in the Press and by the B.B.C., Italian cars won five out of seven races?
Congratulations to the B.A.R.C. for erecting three covered scaffold grandstands, proper fencing and a concrete safety-wall in front of the Paddock. A permanent Paddock and stands are planned for the future.
Lodge plugs were used by the first, second and third finishers in every class at the Bank Holiday meeting at Goodwood Road Racing Circuit — a striking indication of the reliability of the special racing plugs which the Lodge company has developed in close consultation with leading racing drivers of the day.
Photographs appearing on the cover and on pages 171 to 170 are Motor Sport copyright.