The W. Hants & Dorset C.C. Race Meeting at lbsley on April 18th lived up to tradition. It was a happily-informal, well-run meeting, with interesting racing for 750 and 1,172 Formula cars, sports cars, vintage cars, 500s and Formule Libre racing cars. Speeds were high over the 2.2-mile circuit, and in spite of a clash with Snetterton an excellent entry of over 125 was obtained. (But what a pity these clashes still occur — the preceding and subsequent weekends were free of racing, yet we had to have lbsley/Snetterton together and Goodwood/Silverstone both occur on May 2nd — Ed..)
750 Formula race (5 Laps)
This attracted a splendid field of 13 Austin Seven-base “kitchentable” specials, including Jack French’s “Simplicity Itself,” a car built in about three weekends for less than £100, or about one-third the cost of many 750 Formula cars. Moreover, it was fast enough to hold Tiedeman’s Ulster from the start. These two had a fine tussle, exchanging messages as they raced side, by side, until, on lap four, Tiedeman hit the straw bales at Paddock Bend and overturned. He was rescued with a slight knee injury and splayed out front wheels. Alas, a large bale had been deposited in front of French’s car and, after pushing it several hundred yards, he had to stop, remove it and, sans working self-starter, push-start. This let the back-markers into the places, French finally coming in ninth.
1st: L. L. West (Austin), won by 1.4 .sec. at 55.17 m.p.h.
2nd: R.H. Grimsley (Austin).
3rd: B. Lowe (Austin).
Fastest lap: Tiedeman (Austin), 58.08 m.p.h.
1,172 Formula race (5 Laps)
For this the field was ten Ford-engine specials. Liddell’s Buckler spun on lap one, after which the leaders were Currie (Lotus lllb), Small (D.H.S.) and Tapp (Buckler). Alas, Currie seemed in trouble, losing a big lead, so that Small took the lead on the last lap, followed Tapp, who finished with a rear mudguard flapping, but speedily fixed this before the next race. Desoutter’s Ford-Lotus with boxed in back wheels was third.
1st: D.H. Small (D.H.S.) won by 1.4 see. at 62.76 m.p.h..
2nd: C. Tapp ( Ford-Buckler).
3rd: P.A. Desoutter ( Ford-Lotus).
Fastest lap: Currie (Lotus lllb), 64.65 m.p.h.
Sports cars up to 1,500 c.c. (5 laps)
Gammon’s oversize M.G. streaked away from a field of 14 at flag-fall and led Beauman’s ex-Hawthorn T.T. Riley for two laps. Then it spun at the hairpin and although carrying on determinedly in second place, tyres howling, the Riley was left to a comfortable victory. Tapp did well to head the remainder in his blue Buckler, leading the 1,300.c.c. division, ahead of the Ford-Lotus. Dobbs’ (J.N.D.) was boiling at the finish.
1st: D. B. Beauman (Riley). won by 12.2 sec. at 69.31 m.p.h.
2nd: P. D. Gammon (M.G.)
3rd: G. Tapp (Buckler).
Fastest lap: Beauman (Riley), 71.85 m.p.h.
Vintage Sports Car Handicap (5 laps)
R. Barker, popular Editor of’ the V.S.C.C. Bulletin, drove nicely to pull it off in Jack French’s 1929 Austin Seven “Simplicity Itself,” ample proof that French not only writes knowledgeably about such cars in the 750 Bulletin, but can make them go in practice! March’s Alvis Speed Twenty hybrid was second, ahead of Williamson’s fast 4-1/2 Bentley. Orr-Ewing did splendid drifts (we do not say four-wheel!) round Samson’s Curve in his fine 4-1/2 Bentley, Morin Scott drove his white Hispano-Suiza determinedly, McKenzie’s 3-litre Bentley got skittish with its front wheels and was slow, and Hill’s shortened 12/50 Alvis retired.
1st: R. Barker (1929 Austin) 56.89 m.p.h.
2nd: R. C. R. March (1927 Alvis).
3rd: J. A. Williamson (1923 Bentley)
Fastest lap: Williamson (Bentley), 68.91 m.p.h.
500-c.c. Racing Cars (Heat 1 — 5 Laps)
Loen’s Kieft looked like scoring but it dried up and let Bicknell’s yellow Staride through for a big lead.
1st: R.G. Bicknell (Staride-Norton). won by 8 sec. at 73.67 m.p.h.
2nd: A. Loens ( Kieft- Norton).
3rd: L. Leston (Leston Special).
Fastest lap: Bicknell (Staride-Norton). 75.38 m.p.h.
Sports Cars up to 3-litres and over 3-litres (7 laps, Scratch)
These two races were run concurrently with 90 sec., between them in a strangely mixed field. Mitchell, in his casual brilliant style, won the smaller in his Frazer Nash, the third I.e Mans Replica built but with Mk. II wheels, from Currie’s Frazer Nash and Frazer in a Sunbeam-Talbot coupé which prompted Rootes to build the new Sunbeam Alpine. Ian Stewart in the Ecurie Ecosse XK120C Jaguar pulled off the big race, but was hotly pursued by Sydney Allard in the Le Mans JR Allard. The latter lost all its water, looked horribly unsafe in a “liftty” fashion, suffered fuel starvation on the corners and scuffed its front tyres by reason of excessive wheel camber, so clearly, in getting it along as he did, Sydney has lost none of his skill. When baulked at Samson’s by a slower car he actually went inside and passed Stewart to get into the lead. Black’s Frazer Nash and Scott’s Hispano-Suiza retired and Nehorai’s Hispano-Suiza coupé played merry hell with the straw bales at Paddock Bend without much hurting his rugged motor car. The remaining Ecurie Ecosse XK120cs were never within striking distance of the Le Mans Allard.
Up to 3,000 c.c.
1st: H.A. Mitchell (Frazer Nash) won by 16.2 sec. at 70.38 m.p.h
2nd: M. L. Currie (Frazer Nash)
3rd: A. B. Frazer (Sunbeam-Talbot)
Fastest lap, Mitchell (Frazer Nash). 74.05 m.p.h.
Over 3,000 c.c.
1st: I.M.M. Stewart (Jaguar X K120C), won by 0.8 sec. at 73.86 m.p.h.
2nd: S.H. Allard (Allard).
3rd: J. Stewart (Jaguar XK120C).
Fastest lap I.M.M. Stewart (Jaguar), 75.99 m.p.h.
500-c.c. Racing Cars (Heat 2 — 5 Laps)
Headland’s Kieft jibbed and he lost a lap before starting. Brown’s Ray-Martin Special led at first, then fell farther and farther back, whereas Fenning’s Erskine-Staride came up strongly to win from George Wicken’s colourful Cooper. Owen (Hill-J.A.P.) explored the straw.
1st: E. Fenning (Erskine-Staride) won by 7.2 sec. at 72.26 m.p.h.
2nd: G. H. Wicken (Cooper-Norton).
3rd: J. D. Habin (Staride-Norton).
Fastest lap: Fenning (Erskine-Staride). 74.79 m.p.h.
Formule Libre race (15 Laps)
Although the smart, blue Connaught of Ecurie Ecosse, driven by Ian Stewart, led easily all the way, this was an excellent race. Ninian Sanderson, in the same stable’s ragged-sounding Cooper-Bristol, clung to second place on a snaky, bumpy ride, and for laps Habin kept the ex-Parnell Maserati in third place until it fell back, letting Sydney Allard by. In the 1951 Le Mans Allard Sydney had been going great guns in an unstable-looking car, leaning almost out of sight into the wide body on the corners. The old Maserati was noticeably happier over the bumps than the lighter Cooper-Bristol, and the Connaught was rock-steady.
1st I. M. M. Stewart (Connaught) won by 1 min. 3.2 sec. at 77.55 m.p.h.
2nd: N. Sanderson (Cooper-Bristol).
3rd S. H. Allard (JR Allard).
Fastest lap: I.M.M. Stewart (Connaught), 78.85 m.p.h.
500-c.c. Racing Cars (Final — 15 Laps)
This was an absorbing study from Union Jack to Chequered Flag. Leston led lap one, hotly pursued by Bicknell, only to have the yellow Staride go into the bales at Paddock Bend. Loens then took second place and eventually caught Leston after seven laps. Clearly, Leston was in trouble and he fell farther and farther back, so that out of a bunch who had been duelling together, Wicken came up to take a very close second place from Headland, who had “taken straw,” with Truman third, ahead of Habin.
1st: A. Loens (Kieft-Norton) won by 0.5 sec. at 72.05 m.p.h.
2nd: G. H. Wicken (Cooper-Norton).
3rd : D. Truman (Cooper-Norton).
Fastest lap: Loens (Kieft-Norton), 74.3 m.p.h.
Formule Libre ( 7 Laps) .
A fine finale! Hamilton kept his wonderful old high-chassis 4-1/2 Invicta in the lead until a lap from the finish, when Richmond’s noisy blown Rapier came by, Nightingale’s Jaguar XK 120C came fourth, as Allard tied with the Invicta on time, but all eyes were on Mitchell, who, resuming his former harrying of Hartwell in a (racing) Cooper-Bristol, finished fifth in his (sports) Frazer Nash after Hartwell retired. Margulies spoilt the cowl of his beautiful Delahaye on a bale, Orr-Ewing drifted his long 4-1/2 Bentley more determinedly than ever, only the skill of ” S.H.A” held the Le Mans Allard to the road at Samson’s, after it had tried to spin, front wheels in the air, and again Black’s Frazer Nash fell out.
1st: D. Richmond ( Rapier).
2nd: C.J. Hamilton (Invicta) and S.H. Allard (Allard)
4th: F.T. Nightingale (Jaguar XK120).
Fastest lap: S. H. Allard (75.38 m.p.h.)