The Bristol M.C. & L.C.C. opened its 1953 season at the splendid Castle Combe circuit on Easter Saturday, when an excellent entry of 89 sports and Formula Ill cars was received.
The meeting was run to schedule before quite a nice crowd of spectators and good sport witnessed. Our only complaint concerns the racket worked by the caterers, who not only demanded 1s. deposit on their cups—sensible, no doubt—but also charged 1s. for the use of them, so that a small cup of indifferent tea cost Is. 4d., an imposition the Bristol Club will no doubt wish to stamp out in future. There was a sensible commentary by W. G. Kay and D. Burston, without unnecessary humour, which carried well over the Antone loudspeakers.
500-c.c. Racing Cars: Heat 1 — 6 Laps
J. Brown’s Martin Special led for three laps, followed by Don Parker’s Kieft, while Clive Lones in Tiger Kitten III passed Creamer & Son’s Creamer out of Quarry hairpin. On lap four Parker took the lead out of Quarry, and held it to the end, he and Brown finishing with no one else in sight. One lap from the end Bradnack got his Cooper past Lones. Truman’s Mk. VII Cooper was nowhere.
Ist: D. Parker (Kieft), won at 74.96 m.p.h. Fastest lap: 75.0 m.p.h.
2nd: J. Brown (Martin Special).
3rd: B. E. Bradnack (Cooper).
Sports Cars up to 1,200 c. — 10 Laps
H. H. Gould’s Riley Nine-powered Cooper went extremely well and led all the way. Tapp’s blue Buckler and J. N. Dobbs’ Ford-engined J.N.D. Special had a grand tussle for second place, Dobbs cornering at wheel-lifting speed and passing Tapp near the end, only to slide at Quarry and allow Tapp to regain the lead. For a lap these two were separated by L. Wilson’s Riley but it spun at Quarry corner and T. Deaville’s Riley Special, coming round very fast, seemed likely to hit the stationary car head-on. Luckily it managed to go inside but struck the other Riley a glancing blow and itself spun round. Wilson had a back tyre punctured but drove on; Deaville’s car had a burst tyre and the back axle pushed well out of place. On the previous lap H. Roberts’ Treen Riley slid broadside and ran across into the path of Mallock’s Ford-Austin, which contacted it head-on. Mallock’s front axle and wheels were damaged and the Riley’s steering wheel did not turn the front wheels. Luckily all the drivers escaped injury, if we discount Mallock’s bruised arm and very slight cuts.
1st: H. H. Gould (Cooper-Riley), won at 66.92 m.p.h. Fastest lap: 68.29 m.p.h
2nd: J. Tapp (Buckler).
3rd: J. N. Dobbs (J.N.D. Special).
500 c.c. Racing Cars: Heat 2 — 6 Laps
Bueb’s Arnott led away but by lap two Brise’s Cooper was in the lead from Nurse’s Cooper and Smith’s Kent-Smith, the last-named with coil-spring i.f.s. and swing-axle and elastic i.r.s. On lap three Taylor’s Martin Special came right through to second place, to lead when Brise stopped with trouble at Quarry. Headland also came up well to second place.
1st: D. Taylor (Martin Special), won at 74.93 m.p.h. Fastest lap: 77.0 m.p.h.
2nd: C. Headland (Kieft).
3rd: J. J. Smith (Kent-Smith).
Sports Cars up to 1,500 c.c. — 10 Laps
F. C. Davis led throughout in his Cooper-M.G. and set a new class lap record, beating Hawthorn’s time. D. Beauman in the ex-Hawthorn T.T. Riley tried hard to catch him and closed the gap to about 100 yards, only to get on the grass in a big way at Quarry hairpin on lap eight and lose much ground. The Tojeiro, with oversize M.G. engine, was a good third.
1st: F. C. Davis (Cooper-M.G.). won at 74.08 m.p.h. Fastest lap: 79:81 m.p.h.
2nd: D. B. Beauman (Riley).
3rd: C. H. Threlfall (Tojeiro).
Sports Cars up to 3,000 c.c. — 10 Laps
H. A. Mitchell gave the polished driving exhibition we have come to expect of him and led comfortably throughout from F. C. Davis, who tried hard in the new all-enveloping 2-litre Bristol-engined Tojeiro. Whereas Mitchell’s ex-Newton Le Mans Replica Frazer Nash was very steady, the Tojeiro looked more ” lifty” into the corners. M. Currie held third place in another Frazer Nash,
Melville Smith drove W. Bradley’s 328 B.M.W. very fast, R. Bickerton went nicely in his Blackburne-engined “chain-gang” Frazer Nash, but March’s Speed Twenty Alvis Special was painfully slow and Sinclair’s Connaught retired.
1st: H. A. Mitchell (Frazer Nash), won at 74.98 m.p.h.
2nd: F. C. Davis (Tojeiro). Fastest lap : 77.5 m.p.h.
3rd : M. L. Currie (Frazer Nash).
Sports Cars, Unlimited — 10 Laps
Oscar Moore held Mitchell at bay, although the Frazer Nash braked later for the corners and a wisp of smoke appeared from the cockpit of the H.W.M.-Jaguar. On the closing laps, however, Oscar Moore drew away to win comfortably — another victory for this cleverly-conceived car. Page’s 5.4-litre Allard was no match for these 3-1/2 and 2-litre cars.
1st: O. Moore (H.W.M.Jaguar). Won at 78.26 m.p.h. Fastest lap: 80 m.p.h.
2nd: H. A. Mitchell (Frazer Nash).
3rd: R. A. Page (Allard).
500-c.c. Racing Cars: Final — 10 Laps
Don Parker led until the very last lap, when Taylor beat him in the run-in. Smith slid at Quarry but held his car well until others had gone by.
1st: Taylor (Martin Special). Won at 76.58 m.p.h. Fastest lap: 78 m.p.h.
2nd: D. Parker (Kieft).
3rd: A. Nurse (Cooper).
Sports Car Handicap — 10 Laps
A hailstorm of terrible ferocity added an unintentional handicap and made the race difficult to follow. Blakeley’s Le Mans H.R.G. won a wet race from Currie’s modern Frazer Nash. Threlfall spun once or twice in the Tojeiro but continued unabashed.
1st: D. M. D. Blakeley (H.R.G.). 2 min. 24 sec. handicap. Won at 62.02 m.p.h.
2nd: M. I. Currie (Frazer Nash), 1 min. 14 sec. handicap.
3rd: I. Lewis (Cooper-Riley), 2 min. 24 sec. handicap.
N.B.—There will be another of these enjoyable meetings at Castle Combe on June 6th. The circuit is within easy access of Bristol and Chippenham.