The first car-race meeting was held at Brands Hatch new 1-mile circuit, on April 16th. These were races, and all but one were so closely contested that the leaders, even after 30 miles, were all on the same lap at the finish. Add to this the excellent view of the whole course which spectators enjoy, either from the fences or from their cars parked on the sloping banks, slick organisation, a John Bolster commentary, expert driving and a total absence of unnecessary “officialdom and red-tape” and Brands Hatch will be seen to have a very promising future. The setting is delightful and some 7,000 people are believed to have attended. We are glad that the 500 Club has “come home” with such an excellent venue; all credit to their hard-working secretary. J. F. Gale. We recommend those who are not at Le Mans on June 25th to attend the next car meeting at Brands Hatch. Note that the cars lap faster than motorcycles at this famous two-wheeler venue! The fastest lap announced was by Carter (Cooper), at 64.76 m.p.h.
Amateur-built Car Race (10 Laps)
A breathless race! The Parker led the front-drive Emeryson, was passed, then Parker made a great effort to repass along the finishing straight but went on to the grass in doing so. Emery then had trouble, as did Bacon’s F.H.B., while Spink’s G.S.3 spun at Paddock corner.
1st: D. Parker (Parker-J.A.P.) … 59.24 m.p.h.
2nd: P. R. Emery (Emeryson-J.A.P.), 13 sec. behind.
3rd: G. Spink (G.S.3-Norton).
Open Challenge Race (Final-10 Laps)
This was run in three seven-lap heals and a Final. Parker and Baird lost time by stalling at the start of heat I. The Rhiando-Trimax retired after a lap. John Cooper won convincingly at 60.81 m.p.h., 3.8 sec. ahead of Brown, Parker coming in a gallant third. Aston started badly in heat 2 and Whitehouse came through between Coldham and Carter, bat the latter repassed on the last lap to win at 61.57 m.p.h., 0.4 sec. ahead of Whitehouse, Coldham third—a magnificent race! Interest was lent to heat 3 by the appearance of Stirling Moss, but his Cooper seized its piston as he was chasing Bottoms’ J.B.S. after four laps. The race was then a procession, Bottoms winning at 61.95 m.p.h., 13.8 sec. ahead of Sykes’ Cooper, Christie third. The Final was a fine tussle between Carter and Whitehouse. Parker making a bad start from the back row but duelling with Sykes, and Bottoms losing time on the grass at Paddock bend. May’s Connor retired.
1st: K. E. Carter (Cooper) … 62.84 m.p.h.
2nd: W. J. Whitehouse (Cooper), 1.8 sec. behind.
3rd: J. N. Cooper (Cooper).
Professionally-built Cars Race (Final-20 Laps)
This was in three 10-lap heats and a 20-lap Final. In heat 1 Aston’s Cooper led Brandon for five laps, then seized solid. Brandon built up so vast a lead he slowed to converse with the crowd. Lambert’s Cooper also retired, leaving Brandon at 58.3 m.p.h., 46 sec. in front of Baird’s Marwyn, the only other finisher. Heat 2 was exciting, for with Brown’s Cooper out in front Spike Rhiando’s rear-engined Rhiando-Trimax fought a stirring duel with Winterbottom’s Cooper-H.R.D., first one leading then the other, Spike grand on the corners. Alas, the bugs aren’t out of the Trimax yet and it retired on lap 9, whereupon Christie took up the challenge and passed Winterbottom, losing to Brown by 2.8 sec., the average being 59.88 m.p.h. Coldham and Carter led until 6 of heat 3, when Coldham retired and Whitehouse set at catching Carter, which he did by a prodigious effort at the top bend on lap 8, finally winning at 62.26 m.p.h., by 1.7 sec., John Cooper third. In the Final Whitehouse showed his mastery, catching Cooper at the downhill corner, while Coldham also came by, Carter now as fast. but a lap in arrears.
1st: W. J. Whitehouse (Cooper-Norton), 63.13 m.p.h.
2nd: S. A. Coldham (Cooper-J.A.P.), 3.6 sec. behind.
3rd: J. N. Cooper (Cooper-J.A.P.).
Championship Race (30 Laps)
This gruelling race eliminated cars one by one, John Cooper’s engine seizing, the Emeryson spluttering round, Bottoms going out at lap 17, when the Emeryson finally stopped. Whitehouse proved his and the Norton engine’s real superiority and won again, a fine exhibition of driving, during which he was careful to look behind before pulling over to pass. Parker finished fourth.
1st: W. J. Whitehouse (Cooper-Norton), 63.66 m.p.h.
2nd: E. Brandon (Cooper-J.A.P.), 8.8 sec. behind.
3rd: A. E. Brown (Cooper-J.A.P.).