Baron de Graffenried (Orsi Maserati) wins two races. Ken Wharton (B.R.M.) sets new race and lap records in winning Richmond Formule Libre race.
A record crowd assembled at Goodwood circuit on Easter Monday to watch the first big B.A.R.C. meeting of 1953; in spite of a wet morning and a cold wind, 50,000 people were estimated to be present. Yet no serious traffic congestion resulted. The racing was interesting and some exciting new cars ran, including two B.R.M.s appearing for the first tune under the aegis of Alfred Owen. With one of them Ken Wharton not only set a new lap record of 92.21 m.p.h., but made a faster race-average — 90.47 m.p.h. — than the old lap record held by Parnell. Wharton is indeed the newly-crowned king of the Sussex circuit.
First Easter Handicap: Sports cars — 5 laps
A. P. O. Rogers, noted for his spirited driving of his 2-1/2-litre Riley saloon, made a determined bid from the “limit” mark and led until the end of the fourth lap, when Goodhew in the ex-Gale Darracq went by. At the same time, Protheroe’s XK120 Jaguar came by to take second place. Margulies’ beautiful 3-1/2-litre Delahaye returned to the Paddock after one lap, Brooks’ Healey finished making a nasty noise, and Dennis’ DB2 Aston-Martin was painfully slow, finishing last. Baxter’s L.M.C., the Willis B.M.W., stopped after three laps with no oil pressure.
1st: J. Goodhew (Darracq) — 1 min. 5 sec. — won by 6.4 sec., at 74.1 m.p.h.
2nd: E. Protheroe (Jaguar) — 59 sec.
3rd: A. P. O. Rogers (Riley) — 2 min. 5 sec.
Fastest lap: Holt (Jaguar Type C),. 78.26 m.p.h.
The Lavant Cup: Formula ll — 7 laps, Scratch
This race showed the sheer virtuosity of Salvadori’s driving. In the latest Connaught, with fuel injection, he ran away from de Graffenried’s Orsi Maserati and looked like winning comfortably. Coming through the chicane on the last lap he was held back by Emery in the Alfa-Romeo 1,900-engined Cooper, and as he snapped the accelerator down to get by a connection broke and the Connaught’s revs. died. So the Swiss driver came up to win, Salvadori coasting over the line in second place, and Tony Rolt, in a normally-carburetted Connaught, backing up the Ripley stable by taking third place after a good drive. Curtis could get only misfiring from his newly-acquired H.W.M., Richards’ H.A.R. was very sedate, and Bryde’s Cooper-Bristol retired. Emery did not look particularly safe in the Alfa-Cooper which Alan Brown intended to drive, and de Graffenried has not lost any of his wheel-sawing action. McAlpine’s Connaught was fourth. Moss’ new Cooper-Alta ran, but badly, and did not re-appear in its remaining two races.
1st: Baron de Graffenried (Maserati). won by 12.8 sec., at 87.63 m.p.h.
2nd: R. Salvadori (Connaught).
3rd: A. P. R. Rolt (Connaught).
Fastest lap: Salvadori. 89.44 m.p.h.
The Earl of March Trophy: Formula lll — 5 laps, Scratch
Alan Brown, fastest in practice in his Cooper-Norton, led all the way, setting a new 500-c.c. lap record of 82.44 m.p.h. But Bicknell’s Staride held him determinedly, with Moss (Cooper) in third place after the first lap. On the last lap Moss passed Bicknell coming down to Woodcote Corner, but to the spectators’ cries of astonishment, Bicknell repassed. Stirling made a bold bid to out-accelerate him from the chicane for second place, but failed by 0.4 sec. Nicholson spun off in his Kieft going into Woodcote and here, on lap three, Tyrrell (Cooper) ran straight on into the sandbank, taking no evasive action and suffering nasty facial injuries in consequence. Burgess, in Brandon’s Cooper, had trouble, so Brandon was wise to drive Vandervell’s Cooper, in which he finished fifth, behind Bob Gerard’s Cooper.
McCandless drove his astonishing new car, which has a backbone chassis, all-enveloping body, a “double-knocker” Norton engine, under a “power-bulge” in the nose, driving all four wheels, which are suspended on long double wishbones, a megaphone exhaust coming out of the top of the bonnet, Avon racing sidecar tyres on multi-spoked wheels, and steering by handlebar complete with twist-grip and clutch lever. There is a foot gear-change, square fuel tank and ignition battery beside the driver’s feet, the body shell detaches and a rev.-counter is situated in the back of the engine “hump.” The little car is well built and holds the road well, and it finished eighth.
1st: A. Brown (Cooper-Norton) won by 40 sec. at 80.97 m.p.h. (New 500 c.c. lap record. 82.44 m.p.h.).
2nd: R. G. Bicknell (Staride).
3rd: S. Moss (Cooper).
Second Easter Handicap: Racing cars — 5 laps
Ron Flockhart’s ex-Mays 2-litre E.R.A., very smartly turned out, was driven in a truly polished manner to lead from lap two to the finish. Peter Whitehead got his new Alta-Cooper into second place at the same time and held it there, and de Graffenried came into third place on lap four; these three well ahead of the others. Taruffi couldn’t have been trying, for the Thinwall Ferrari, a delightfully fierce-looking F l car, was held through Woodcote by Duncan Hamilton in Kenny’s blue Lago Talbot, although a lap later the Italian had passed Kennington’s 6C Maserati and Hamilton had some excitement holding the Talbot out of Woodcote. Wharton’s yellow-nosed Cooper beat the Maserati on the run-in.
1st: R. Flockhart (E.R.A.) — 30 sec.– won by 4.4 see., at 85.46 m.p.h.
2nd: P. N. Whitehead (Cooper-Alta) — 30 sec.
3rd: K. Wharton (Cooper-Bristol) — 22 sec.
Fastest lap: Baron de Graffenried (Maserati). 89.53 m.p.h.
The Chichester Cup: Formule Libre, 5 laps, Scratch
De Graffenried got away first and was never challenged, for Wharton’s B.R.M. never came to grips with him, Flockhart drove the old E.R.A. splendidly into third place, and Parnell never got going properly in the second B.R.M. Salvadori looked like pipping Parnell for fourth place but this race was run over a wet course and he spun coming out of Woodcote on lap four, the Connaught also blowing a gasket. It ran backwards off the road, thereafter constituting a useful grandstand from which the unlucky Salvadori saw the remainder of the race.
1st: Baron de Graffenried (Maserati), won by 0.4 see., at 79.48 m.p.h.
2nd: K. Wharton (B.R.M.).
3rd: R. Flockhart (E.R.A.).
Fastest lap : Wharton, 81.36 m.p.h.
Third Easter Handicap: Racing cars, 5 laps
After following Goodhew’s ex-Hutchison P3 Alfa Romeo through the chicane on the first lap, Dunham’s Alvis pulled right away from the field. Christie, in the 1,100 Kieft, after being baulked round Woodcote by Richards, shot into second place but at this same place on the last lap the car expired, letting Stewart’s Ecurie Ecosse Cooper-Bristol and Marr’s Connaught by, both of which caught Dunham, whose Alvis “blew up” on the run-in.
1st: J. R. Stewart (Cooper-Bristol) — 10 sec. — won by 4.0 sec. at 80.22 m.p.h.
2nd: L. Marr (Connaught) — 16 sec.
3rd: C. G. H. F. Dunham (Alvis) — 38 sec.
Fastest lap; Stewart, 88.44 m.p.h.
Fourth Easter Handicap — Sports Cars, 5 laps
F. C. Davis got the only real applause of the afternoon, as he won this race in the Bristol-engined Tojeiro. Head’s XK120 Jaguar was second, ahead of the re-handicapped Goodhew Darracq. The race ended on an amusing note, when Alan Brown, who had earlier tried to pass Sanderson’s XKI20C into the chicane, only to drop back, came out of the chicane in eighth place, clouted the barrier and swung wide across the course. This caused Bryde to brake hard and his Allard went backwards into the damaged fence and neatly skewered itself on a stake, the seat back saving the driver from injury. A big hammer had to be found before the Allard could be released and the course cleared!
1st: F. C. Davis (Tojeiro) — 48 sec.– won by 1.6 sec.. at 76.19 m.p.h.
2nd: M. Head (Jaguar).
3rd: J. Goodhew (Darracq).
Fastest lap: D. Hamilton (Jaguar Type C), 83.56 m.p.h.
The Richmond Trophy: Formule Libre, 15 Laps, Scratch
Ken Wharton, wearing a short-sleeved shirt on this cold April afternoon, drove a magnificent race, keeping the B.R.M. right out in front, and setting up a race-average 0.09 m.p.h. faster than Parnell’s old lap record! He also broke that lap record by no less than 1.83 m.p.h. Indeed, we believe Wharton beat Parnell’s old lap record on every lap. De Graffenried was second for three laps, and then Taruffi brought the Thinwall Ferrari past. But the Italian looked unhappy at the chicane and never got to grips with the B.R.M., although he was lapping very fast. Parnell’s B.R.M., true to tradition, retired after only four laps.
The first three cars finished quite out of sight of Salvadori, who was fourth in McAlpine’s normally-carburetted Connaught. Tony Rolt brought his Connaught in fifth, having effectively shaken off Gerard’s Cooper-Bristol, both drivers doing all they knew how and using every inch of road out of the chicane. Flockhart was last — but only because he spun the E.R.A. off at Woodcote on the first lap and lost a lot of time. Whitehead’s Cooper-Alta lasted for six laps, Coombs’ Connaught shed a marker-flag and retired two laps later. It was a decisive, popular and thoroughly deserved victory for Ken Wharton.
1st: K. Wharton (B.R.M.), won by 6.0 sec., at 90.47 m.p.h. (New lap record. 92.21 m.p.h.)
2nd: P. Taraffi (Ferrari).
3rd: Baron de Graffenried (Maserati).