Goodwood Easter Meeting
Richmond Trophy Race Run Under Appalling Weather Conditions but Parnell Still the Master. “Bira” Wins Chichester Trophy. Splendid Driving by Poore and Shawe-Taylor. Dryden and Coldham Fight a Great Duel in the 500-c.c. Race.
In the huge new Goodwood Paddock much of interest was to be observed during practice on the Saturday. The Platé Maserati for “Bira” to drive arrived in a Bianchi lorry; and before the afternoon was over Parnell, in his Maserati, had lapped in 1 min. 40.4 sec., fastest time of all. De Graffenried was only 0.4 sec. slower, and very notable was Shawe-Taylor’s 1 min. 42.8 sec. in his B-type E.R.A. Heath got the new H.W.M. round in 1 min. 43 sec., Harrison’s E.R.A. lapped in 1 min 44.4 sec., while Brandon’s Cooper-J.A.P. 1,100 took 1 min. 45.8 sec. Those were the six fastest times. In trying to go faster still a nasty happening befell Parnell, who was wearing a sandal on his burnt foot, which slipped as he changed down to take Lavant corner. The Maserati left the road and hit the straw bales, which caught fire after Parnell had climbed out, due to their contact with the hot exhaust pipe—another reason why straw hales shouldn’t be used. Reg. was very mildly cut about the face, the Maserati’s radiator cowl was crumpled and it looked to this reporter as if the near-side suspension unit was a trifle bent. The radiator just escaped damage. “Bira” spent some time trying his brakes and his Maserati had a severe wheel shimmy as it came slowly into the Paddock. Cooper was less fortunate in his Cooper 1,100. which was towed in.
Very unfortunate was Peter Walker, who had the scavenge pump fail on the ill-fated E-type E.R.A., flooding the sides of the car in oil. This was wiped off and Peter tried again, but the trouble persisted.
Murray’s Maserati oiled up, because he got behind Rowley’s old Delage. Both the H.W.M.s. were present and going well, Abecassis’ a trifle stiff and in a mild spot of bother with its rear S.U. Otherwise, practice produced little excitement.
Of the 500-c.c. cars, John Cooper’s new, lightened Cooper was fastest, in 1 min. 57.4 sec., C. A. N. May being only 0.2 sec. slower, and Aikens’ Iota third fastest, in 1 min. 59.4 sec.
Technical interest there was aplenty. Dryden had his Formula II Healey, which has a reduced wheelbase of 7 ft. 8 in., a new crank and rods to reduce the capacity, the bore and stroke being 80.5 by 97 mm. (1,987 c.c.), the engine giving 130 b.h.p. at 5,000 r.p.m. 2LS Girling brakes with bonded linings are used all round, Healey 15-in. wheels are retained, the back-axle ratio is 8.5 to 1, the radiator is neatly cowled, and the neat rubber-rimmed steering wheel is a Derrington, formerly used on Dryden’s Cooper. The tyres are 6.00-15 rear, 5.75-15 front, and light-alloy Girling shock-absorbers damp the front suspension, telecontrols being used at the back.
Jacobs’ well-known supercharged, slab-tank M.G. was much as last year, except. for a smaller radiator.
Walker’s E-type E.R.A. now has two carburetters, the bonnet having a “power bulge” over them on the near side, new wire-mesh screen has been placed behind the radiator grille, the big steering wheel is newly cord-bound, and a Lucas magneto nestles by the driver’s feet. Metal cages now surround the rear-axle drive-shafts to restrain them should a universal joint shear. The rear Dunlops were 6.50-16.
Exciting new features of Murray’s 4CL Maserati were a big perforated air-scoop on the near side feeding to the carburetter, and a vast untapered expansion box at the end of the exhaust pipe.
Poore’s famous 3.8-litre Alfa-Romeo was unchanged, with Wade superchargers, Armstrong-Siddeley pre-selector gearbox and 7.00-17 rear Dunlops.
Goodhew had the ex-Hutchison “P3” Alfa-Romeo, with its four-tier oil-cooler along off-side chassis side-member, and 7.00-16 rear tyres. Peter Clark’s “Le Mans” H.R.G. had bulbous metal covers over the aperturea for its recessed head-lamps, and a small battery where the passenger’s seat normally lives. Incidentally, we thought this meeting was for racing cars only, yet here was this car, Hern’s Amilcar, Mortimer’s new “Silverstone” Healey, the O.B.M., and Meyer’s H.W. Alta, the latter the all-enveloping two-seater Alta which Abecassis used to drive, and with headlamps in place! In Italy a sports car is often a racing car decidedly sketchy wings and lamps, but at Goodwood “full racing trim” apparently includes unstrapped aerodynamic sports cars and other sports cars with the wings off.
Gale’s Darracq. its plugs buried in deep wells in its valve-cover, used an Ediswan battery. The “elastic band” suspension of the Emeryson 500 was intriguing. Another interesting new “500” was Mullard’s G.W.M. It has Hillman Minx i.f.s. rear suspension ½-elliptic springs inside the chassis frame and a rear-placed engine or the latest Norton “single-knocker” type having remote float-chambers, one each side on the fireproof bulkhead, feeding via long rubber pipes to the carburetter at the back or the engine, this layout being intended to obviate fuel starvation on the corners. Alas, the car had been on fire and looked like being a non-starter due to clutch trouble. The Heath-J.A.P. also had transmission maladies and there were ominous heat-patches on its front brake drums. The O.B.M. had a throttle twist-grip on its gear-lever, six stub exhausts, Dunlop tyres on its front wheels and Michelin “Success” covers with very deep-cut treads on its rear wheels, all 5.25-16.
Gerard was putting in some good work in his E.R.A., which was his 1935 A-type with Jamieson-blown 63-mm.-bore 2-litre engine.
The members car park was nearly as much fun as the Paddock, the cars being of every sort the enthusiast craves, from cream “328” B.M.W. to the 1908 Sixty ltala. And on every hand one heard praise of the many improvements effected at Goodwood during the winter.
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A blustery wind, giving way to torrential rain, kept many people away from Goodwood on Easter Monday, but those who attended saw some well-fought thrilling racing. There were rather a lot of non-starters, including Whitehead’s Ferrari, the Walker/Rolt Delage (which had a loose cylinder liner), the A.B.J. (which wasn’t ready in time), the Cromard Special, etc.
In the Paddock that morning the topical remark was, “How cold!” and John Morgan was certainly unlucky with his weather. A good crowd had collected round the new H.W.M.s, each with a gauze trap for its twin S.U.s, while the four Amals of the aerodynamic H.W.-Alta were receiving adjustment. It was quite like old times to see Charles Brackenbury warming up Byrom’s Bugatti. Racing commenced promptly at 1.30 p.m., the gale-force wind laden with rain.
Lvant Cup (5 Laps, Scratch)—Cars up to 2 litres non-s/c., up to 1,100 c.c. s/c.
Baring (H.W.M.), Winterbottom (Cooper-H.R.D.) and de Mattos (Cromard Special) were non-starters. Fifteen cars lined up, Christie’s and Aston’s 1,097-c.c. Coopers and Oscar Moore’s O.B.M. in the front line on the grid.
From the third row Abecassis crept forward in the H.W.M., reversed back as the flag fell and got off badly in consequence. Aston’s Cooper took the lead, John Cooper on his tail, but the much-fancied Brandon, also on a 1,097-c.c. Cooper, well back and Heath’s H.W.M. moving up fast. After a lap Aston and Cooper were way ahead of the rest. Brandon having, however, worked up to third position; Jacobs’ wonderful T-type M.G. was fourth, Green’s Cooper-H.R.D. 1,000 fifth. Whitehouse’s Cooper 1,000 had already retired.
On the third lap Cooper had closed on Aston, the situation being interesting, for Cooper seemed to gain on braking, Aston to be faster, and Brandon to corner better. Alas, a cylinder cut on Cooper’s car, leaving Aston to win comfortably from Brandon, with Green third. Jacobs had serious trouble on the last lap, but the new V-twin Cooper J.A.P.s had covered themselves with glory. Abecassis retired with a punctured carburetter float, and Heath lost lime spinning round.
1st: W. S. Aston (1,097-c.c. Cooper), 78.92 m.p.h.
2nd: E. Brandon (1,097-c.c. Cooper).
3rd: J. V. Green (998-c.c. Cooper).
Fastest lap: Brandon at 82.3 m.p.h.
Also finished as follows: Cooper (Cooper), Jacobs (M.G.), Moore (O.B.M.), Crook (Frazer-Nash), Heath (H.W.M.), Christie (Cooper), and Meyer (H.W.-Alta).
500-c.c. Race (5 Laps, Scratch)
Non-starters comprised Mullard’s G.W.M., Braid’s Cooper and Symond’s Cooper, leaving twenty very interesting runners. Bacon had the F.H.B., Cooper his lightened Cooper-J.A.P., C. A. N. May a Cooper with a “double-knocker” Norton engine, Westcott a Cooper-J.A.P., Truman a Bardon-Turner with Speedway J.A.P. motor and all-independent suspension, Carter a Speedwat J.A.P.-Cooper, Leigh the same well-tried Cooper, Coldham a 998-c.c. J.A.P.-engined Cooper with one “pot” removed, a Speedway barrel and dry-sump lubrication. Tye and Samuelson had normal Coopers, Pugh his Scott-engined car with Austin Seven back axle and i.f.s., Bottoms a J.B.S. with “Manx” Norton engine, 19-year-old Collins his “double-knocker” Norton-Cooper. Rhiando made his initial appearance in the Rhiando-Trimax, with horizontal Speedway J.A.P. engine in a very Auto-Union-like chassis of stressed-skin construction and using 6.00-16 rear tyres on wheels slotted to cool the brakes. Flather’s Marwyn had a special Vincent-H.R.D. engine, part “Grey Flash,” part “Speedway,” the Emeryson 500 had the ex-Fernihough V-twin 496-c.c. J.A.P. engine in a front-drive chassis suspended on rubber in torsion, and using no differential. Dryden’s Cooper had a Francis Beart Norton engine with a special finning and valve gear, while Aiken’s Iota relied on a very special Triumph Twin engine in an all-independently sprung chassis.
Many were in trouble on the line, including Watkins’ Cooper-J.A.P., Westcott’s Cooper-J.A.P., Carter and Leigh, although the latter two got away late. Lap one saw Dryden leading by a small margin from Coldham with Truman third. Already Rhiando was out and Pugh lacked speed. A “neck-and-neck” duel developed between Dryden and Coldham and became the feature of the race. Sometimes “Curly” was a lap away, at other times two, then, after three rounds, they were level, side-by-side. The crowd simply loved it. Meanwhile, John Cooper had been crowded out at the very first corner, Collins getting entangled with him and causing him to hit a post and damage his car, much to his annoyance, and on lap two the Iota retired.
Then Truman misjudged, motored into the rough and let May up into third place, but his “double-knocker” availed him little, for Bottoms and Carter came by with a rush. Carter was closing the gap, too. Then up to the line came the duellists, Dryden a bare two lengths in the lead. Coldham crouching low over his wheel to get the last ounce—what a finish!
1st: R. M. Dryden (499-c.c. Cooper-Norton) … 68.4 m.p.h.
2nd: S. A. Coldham (497-c.c. Cooper-J.A.P.).
3rd: A. Bottoms (499-c.c. J.B.S.-Norton).
Fastest Lap: Carter (Cooper-J.A.P.) at 70.7 m.p.h.
Also finished as follows: Carter (Cooper), May (Cooper), Samuleson (Cooper), Bacon (F.H.B.), Tyre (Cooper), and Flather (Blue Flash).
Chichester Cup (5 Laps, Scratch) Formula Libre
Whitehead’s Ferrari, Rolt’s Delage and Goodhew’s Alfa-Romeo non-started. The field numbered 15, with de Graffenried’s Maserati, Gerard’s E.R.A., Murray’s Maserati, and Poore’s Alfa-Romeo on the front row of the grid. Cuthbert’s E.R.A. had two-stage supercharging, Dutt’s old 2½-litre Maserati was less attractive than last year because its radiator had been moved forward and its exhaust pipe given a megaphone, and it only just started in time. Murray’s Maserati had a preselector gearbox. Parnell was quite calm, only entering his Maserati after the two-minute signal had sounded, his car’s radiator cowl bearing signs if Saturday’s impact.
As the flag fell Poore used the acceleration of his grand old 3.8-litre Alfa-Romeo to lead Gerard and “Bira.” Gerard and de Graffenried then engaged in a little tussle, the former leading, and Poore incurred “Bira’s” wrath because he used a bit of road the Prince wanted for his Maserati. “Bira” was leading after a lap, Poore second, de Graffenried third, Parnell fourth. Poore then lost his place to de Graffenried, who also seemed to think he was baulked, but very soon afterwards Poore demonstrated his right to his corners by passing the Maserati, although it repassed at Lavant corner. Abecassis lost time in the H.W.M. by leaving the road, but regained it.
After two laps it was “Bira,” now comfortably ahead, driving magnificently, his car sounding beautiful, de Graffenried, Poore, but, a lap later Poore had again passed de Graffenried along the straight. Parnell didn’t seem to be trying in fourth place, but Gerard was fifth, Walker sixth, his E-type E.R.A. losing oil as it did in practice. Rowley’s historic Delage was misfiring. “Bira” pulled out a quite ridiculous lead and de Graffenried drove magnificently to pass Poore on a corner on the last lap. Poore tried courageously to catch his rival and got into a horrible four-wheel-slide for his pains as he crossed the line. This carried him on to the grass before the grandstands, but was very skilfully held.
1st: Prince “Bira” (1,490-c.c. Maserati) … 80.63 m.p.h.
2nd: Baron de Graffenried (1,490-c.c. Maserati)
3rd: R. D. Poore (3,800-c.c. Alfa-Romeo).
Fastest Lap: de Graffenried at 83.24 m.p.h.
Also finished as follows: Parnell (Maserati), Gerard (E.R.A.), Moss (H.W.M.), Abecassis (H.W.M.), Duncan Hamilton (Maserati), Rowley (Delage), A. G. Whitehead (E.R.A.), Chorlton (C.D.L.), and Dutt (Maserati).
First Easter Handicap (5 Laps)
Bradnack’s Cooper, Whitehouse’s Cooper, Jacob’s M.G., de Mattos’ Cromard and Hern’s Amilcar were non-starters. Bristow’s old 1,074-c.c. Alta two-seater got to the line but no further.
As the field of twelve roared away on the now wet road, Merrick recovered from his last year’s crash at Shelsey, had “moments” holding his Cooper 1,100. Treen made the most of his 73-second start in his modified “Brooklands” Riley Nine, said to have a 15-to-1 compression ratio, and led for three laps, during which Crook’s Frazer-Nash had a puncture on the first, de Lissa’s M.G., now Roots-supercharged, and Dunham’s Alvis holding second and third places.
Green’s Cooper-H.R.D. was creeping up, but he overdid matters at St. Mary’s and left the road. Treen’s riley then fell sick, letting de Lissa into the lead, but he looked back anxiously, as if aware of the potency of the Alvis behind him. Meanwhile Aston’s Cooper-J.A.P. was coming up fast from scratch, whereas Merrick’s Cooper-J.A.P., which had gained no ground, now just caught Baring in Abecassis’ H.W.M. when his car gave trouble. Dryden’s new Healey was boiling. Aston finally went into the lead to score another victory for the new Cooper V-twins, and the Alvis failed to catch the M.G.
1st: W. S. Aston (1,097-c.c. Cooper J.A.P.), scratch … 73.77 m.p.h.
2nd: B. de Lissa (1,087-c.c. M.G.), 0 min. 50 sec. handicap.
3rd: C. G. H. F. Dunham (1,842-c.c. Alvis), 0 min. 50 sec. handicap.
Fastest lap: Aston and Green (Coopers), at 74.74 m.p.h.
Also finished in this order: Treen (Riley), Moore (O.B.M.), Christie (Cooper), Dryden (Healey), and Baring (H.W.M.).
Richmond Trophy (II Laps, Scratch) Formula I Cars
This, the big race of the day, was affected by the rain, which after the first lap changed from a drizzle to a torrential downpour. Parnell’s Maserati and Harrison’s E.R.A. had the best position on the grid, whereas “Bira ” and de Graffenried had to work their way through the traffic. De Graffenried’s car had yellow front wheels, lent presumably by “Bira” and an unpainted bonnet. The E-type E.R.A. joined the non-starters, leaving a field of ten. Work proceeded with files on a steering-column clamp on Parnell’s car up to starting time, and the bonnet of Abecassis’ H.W.M. was lifted on the line.
As the flag released them “Bira” really went through the gaps, but Parnell faltered. Harrison led momentarily but “Bira” got his corner, as he had intended! After the first lap he led by half-a-dozen lengths or less from de Graffenried, Parnell third, but Shawe-Taylor, in the B-type E.R.A. he drove so well in practice, giving him no quarter and going round St. Mary’s corner faster than anyone. Watson’s Alta was very soon back in the Paddock.
Then the rain fell in torrents, or, rather, was driven horizontally by a gale against which only the more skilful spectators dared to open their umbrellas. Already Murray had left the road but regained it, and now the picture changed dramatically. De Graffenried was obviously discomfited, sawing at the wheel. “Bira” and he, with Parnell, drew away in the first three places, but on the 5th lap “Bira” decided he just couldn’t see to drive and eased up. Harrison’s E.R.A. retired and de Graffenried led, with Parnell, accelerating like a bomb, closing the gap between them. Behind, in fourth and fifth places, Shawe-Taylor led Graham Whitehead as if one E.R.A. were towing the other. Murray was merely touring round now. “Bira” speeded up, then gave up altogether. After seven laps the two two-stage Maseratis remaining had a vast lead, the Swiss still just ahead, both cars remarkably steady but Parnell obviously the master of the now very miserable situation. Shawe-Taylor was third, still “towing” Whitehead, and Abecassis had the unblown H.W.M. a notable fifth. Alas, he didn’t realise how the race was shaping and came in to seek a hot bath. Now only four runners remained and de Graffenried was obviously discomfited, raising his goggles. With three laps to go Reg. Parnell took the lead, unchallenged master of Goodwood, and built up such a lead as you only see once in years in a race of this kind, lapping at 81.5 m.p.h. to do it. Shawe-Taylor did outstandingly well to finish third, and Whitehead displayed splendid form.
1st: R. Parnell (1,490-c.c. Maserati) 78.26 m.p.h.
2nd: Baron de Graffenried (1,490-c.c. Maserati).
3rd: B. N. Shawe-Taylor (1,488-c.c. E.R.A.).
Fastest lap: Parnell, at 81.5 m.p.h.
Also finished: A. G. Whitehead (E.R.A.).
Second Easter Handicap (5 Laps)
Unfortunately Shawe-Taylor decided not to run in this event. It was interesting to see Byrom’s single-cam “2.3” Bugatti beat Gale’s Darracq on initial acceleration. Phillips’ “Limit” “TC” M.G. led for two laps from Marshall’s ex-Clayton Amilcar Six. Then Dunham’s Alvis passed both of them at a corner, and Byrom and Gale set about catching him. However, the Alvis ran efficiently and held its lead, winning by 8 seconds.
1st: C. G. H. . F. Dunham (1.842-c.e. Alvis), 1 min. 10 sec. handicap … 69.30 m.p.h.
2nd: J. G. Byrom (2,262-c.c. Bugatti), 1 min 0.5 sec. handicap.
3rd: G. Gale (3,996-c.c. Darracq).
Fastest lap: Mould (Delage), at 73.47 m.p.h.
Also finished, as follows: Marshall (Amilcar), Phillips (M.G.), Mould (Delage), Clark (H.R.G.), Meyer (H.W.-Alta).
Third Easter Handicap (5 Laps)
The weather improved for this race. Indeed, a dazzling sun lit the wet road. Stirling Moss was driving Heath’s Alta, a pleasant surprise, as many people thought he had lost his driving, and therefore his International Competition, license. He got off well from the 40-sec. mark. Harrison’s E.R.A. beat Whitehead’s E.R.A. easily from the grid and of the “scratch” men it was “Bira,” Parnell, de Graffenried.
Chorlton’s pleasant-sounding Type 51A Bugatti-engined C.D.L. led for two laps, pursued by Moss and by Duncan Hamilton, who started with him. Hamilton caught Moss on lap two and took the lead, harried by Stirling, on lap three. “Bira” had come up well and Parnell was ahead of de Graffenried. Hartwell wasn’t very rapid in his smart, Tecnauto-i.f.s., ex-Nixon E.R.A., and Harrison again had trouble. Hamilton built up a just sufficient margin from Moss to win by 2.2 seconds, and a long way back came “Bira.”
1st: J. Duncan Hamilton (1,496-c.c. Maserati), 0 min. 40 sec. Handicap … 76.35 m.p.h.
2nd: Stirling Moss (1,960-c.c.N.M.W.) 40 sec. handicap.
3rd: Prince “Bira” (1,490-c.c. Maserati), scratch.
Fastest lap: “Bira” and Parnell, at 81.36 m.p.h.
Also finished in this order: Parnell (Maserati), Chorlton (C.D.L.), Gerard (E.R.A.), de Graffenried (Maserati), Harrison (E.R.A.), Kelly (Alta), and Hartwell (E.R.A.).
Parnell owed much to his 35s. visor, for both “Bira” and de Graffenried wore goggles, through which they just couldn’t see in the rain.
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But de Graffenried made fastest lap, at 83.24 m.p.h. and Brandon’s 1,097-c.c. Cooper-J.A.P. pulled out a lap at 82.3 m.p.h., faster than Parnell by 0.8 sec., although it wasn’t raining so heavily when he did it.
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Tony Crook did his familiar arm-waving act. His puncture which eliminated the “Le Mans” Frazer-Nash was caused by a huge staple.
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In all but the Chichester Trophy the winning cars were Dunlop-shod.
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The B.A.R.C. racing organisation was excellent and undefeated by the weather. And we “gentlemen of the Press” were given service other race-organisers should copy.
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De Graffenried took his defeat in the Richmond Trophy philosophically. He drove the Maserati over the course to his van after the meeting, having to use brute-force to engage bottom gear.
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The Paddock telegraph-board for results, a la Brooklands, worked well and the Tannoy public-address was clear and loud.
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John Bolster again excelled himself as a commentator, in company with Eason Gibson. He described the technicalities of the cars as they lined up for each race as no one has before. Have the B.B.C. thought of trying to sign him up?
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Amusing! The flag-man who gave Dryden the “blue” when Coldham was about three lengths behind him during their epic duel.
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Who described Rhiando as “More American than an American”?
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The public were allowed in the Paddock and tended to crowd the mechanics at times, although the place is remarkably large.
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The next big Goodwood Meeting is on May 27th—Whit-Saturday.
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Suggestion! If you cannot afford the admission, go down and prowl round the car-park. Many truly intriguing cars were parked in fields outside the Goodwood circuit on April 10th., including a 1912 Alpine Eagle Rolls-Royce four-seater.
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This scribe went home very securely and quickly in the snug comfort of a Jowett Javelin saloon, heater going full bore.—W. B.