The First B.A.R.C. Members' Meeting 1955
Michael Head (Jaguar XKI20C) Leads in “Motor Sport” Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest
Dull, showery weather characterised the first B.A.R.C. Members’ Meeting at Goodwood on March 26th, but, in spite of 56 drivers new to motor-racing taking to the circuit, only three accidents occurred, and these to old hands, who escaped serious injury. Moss was present to congratulate his sister Pat on winning her race at the wheel of her M.G., and the Duke of Kent, the Hon. Lascelles and Mike Hawthorn were amongst the celebrities. Points were scored towards this year’s Motor Sport Memorial Trophy, in which Head (Jaguar XK120C) leads from Marriott (Lotus) by two points—next round, June 18th.
First novices’ handicap (5 Laps)
Eight Triumph TR2s led away together and Froggatt kept his wire-wheeled version ahead of Hughes’ radio-equipped model for three laps, then Hughes disappeared and Barthel’s old-type Aston Martin, wipers going, came up into second place, followed by Reynolds’ TR2. Slides were indulged in by Busfield’s XK120, Mainwaring Evans’ Healey and Reynolds. Howard’s H.W.M. Alta which had caught fire in practice, was amongst the non-starters.
Ladies’ handicap (5 Laps)
This, an innovation, gave Pat Moss victory in her first race, a not too difficult feat from a handicap start of 1 min. 20 sec. She took the lead on lap three, driving with extreme confidence and neatness. Miss Burt, going steadily and cleanly in her Aston Martin DB2/4, came past a bunch of slower cars into second place on lap four, but all eyes were on Hazel Dunham, who really had her A.C. Ace motoring. She held vicious tail slides with skill, leaving the chicane, and on her last lap spun off at Woodcote, only to recover calmly, take the chicane just as fast, and retain her third place. Angela Brown’s DB2/4 Aston Martin was fourth, ahead of Nancy Mitchell’s Triumph TR2. On the first lap Mrs. Leavens overturned her white Triumph TR2 at St. Mary’s—we gather this is not the first time she has accomplished this manoeuvre. Sally Noel-Buxton kept a tight rein on her Jaguar XK120C,which she had slightly dented in practise.
Second novices’ handicap (5 laps)
Bell, in the “limit” car, a hood-up 918-c.c. Morris Minor tourer, led all the way, but Marriott, driving his Lotus-M.G. skilfully, picked up many places to take second place in the Minor sandwich, J. Miles’ supercharged 918-c.c. Morris tourer being third, ahead of Odoni, who drove his Morgan Plus Four with great verve. The opening lap saw Silverman displaying more valour than discretion in his mildly-hotted-up Renault 750 saloon, which slid sideways out of the chicane and almost overturned; thereafter it went less quickly and boiled. The new Elva, which had non-started in the Ladies’ Race, now spun twice in the hands of Wakeling.
First scratch race (5 Laps)
Peter Gammon now took a hand in motoring the Elva (see notes following report) and kept it in the lead for three laps, whereupon it went very sick—it had dropped a valve in practice—but by changing down out of the chicane on the last lap Gammon was able to crawl home in second place, with new owner of the neat Ford Ten-engined R.W.G., Lund, out in front. Marriott came through to occupy third place, followed by Hewitt (M.G.), Carill-Worsley (all enveloping Halton-Buckler) and duellists Richards and Hicks (Loti), in that order and a tight bunch. Mainwaring’s Lotus retired in clouds of smoke while lying fourth, and Raby’s Ford Special boiled.
Second scratch race (5 Laps)
With only seven starters this was a Type C Jaguar procession, with Head’s white car never out of the lead. Behind, Laws’ Atalanta kept Thomas’ XK120 at bay.
Handicap race A (5 Laps)
Making the most of 103 sec. start, Watson’s old 12/70 Alvis led for four laps but was caught at the end by Constable’s TD M.G. Sargent made a wild effort to catch the Alvis at Woodcote but his TC M.G. failed by 0.8 see. on the run in. Hamilton’s vintage 4 1/2-litre Invicta took a gallant fourth place in spite of fluffing somewhat, Lord’s air-cooled 646-c.c. C.S.C. went well but was getting terribly hot, White’s scratch Lotus went sick, and V. W. Herrington (Triumph TR2) was last, crunching his cogs. Johnson drove his TR2 well.
Third scratch race (5 Laps)
Coombs aerodynamic Lotus-Connaught was handled impeccably to win by a huge distance from Bicknell’s interesting and very compact new Revis-Borgward, Hodges’ J.A.G.-M.G. coining up into third place pursued by Appelbee’s Leonard-M.G. Bailey vanished from third place when his Tojeiro demolished an observer’s box protected by a concrete barrier !
10-Lap scratch race
This was easily the most stirring race of the afternoon. Head’s Jaguar XK120C led most of the way, it is true, but the opposition was intense, first Carnegie’s XK120C trying to catch the white car, then, as it fell right back, Brooks gave one of his masterful demonstrations of prowess in Hely’s Le Mans Frazer-Nash, passing Head, only to be re-passed, and then on lap eight Chase, lapping very fast, poked his ex-Alan Brown Cooper-Bristol past the ‘Nash. It was stirring stuff, and Chase finished only a second behind Head, with Brooks 2.8 sec. behind him. In contrast, Harris held the side of his TR2 while cornering ! Steed (DB2) enjoyed a duel with Onslow (Frazer-Nash Le Mans). Toole overturned his Turner.
Closed-car handicap B (5 Laps)
Bednash’s rolling Ford Zephyr convertible made short work of this, Jacobs’ special M.G. coupe being second, ahead of Gelberg’s 2 1/2-litre Riley, while Corps’ Citroen Six was fourth and Graham’s Austin A30, lifting its inner rear wheel on corners, held Off Bell’s re-handicapped Morris Minor and Goodearl’s Renault 750, which gave it 20 sec. start.
Handicap race C (5 Laps)
In the dusk Dennis made very neat use of the gift presented to him by the handicappers and won by a very respectable margin in his black Austin-Healey, while Shale’s Austin-Healey 100S bested Rudd’s A.C. Ace on the last lap.
His Grace the Duke of Richmond and Gordon was driving a smart Jensen 541.
H.M. Gadsby’s Riley Nine is an ex-Victor Gillow car, with four Antal carburetters and four long separate outside exhaust pipes each with its own silencer.
The Elva, due to be shared by three drivers, Betty Haig, Gammon and Wakeling, has a Ford Ten engine with a Nichols’ head having four push-rod overhead inlet valves, one of which fell in during practice. The chassis is a tubular space-frame with coil-spring rigid back axle and coil-spring i.f.s., the gearbox is Jaguar, there are four Antal carburetters, and the radiator is a low-set aircraft affair, with the header tank placed remotely behind the engine.
C.W. Witt had the ex-Phillips 1949/50 Le Mans M.G., which spun at the chicane, and S.A. Mitchell a compact M.G. Special with TC engine in a PA chassis.
I.E. Raby’s Ford Special “Puddle Jumper” relied on twin S.U.s, coil ignition and an Aquaplane alloy head.
The Renault 750s were mildly tuned, not 1063 models, Goodearl’s having twin S.U.s and the others a large single d.d. carburetter and four-branch exhaust system. They do around ’70 m.p.h.
Exciting but a non-starter was G.H. Williamson’s beige Ford Prefect which had a Farina inclined o.h.v. head with Bristol-type valve gear, twin S. U. carburetters (four Annals will come later), four-branch exhaust manifold, a compression ratio of 8.5 to 1, and Buckler close-ratio gears. It. was suffering from a porous cylinder block on this occasion, but 70 in second is claimed.
Effective was J.A. Cowap’s C.S.C., with rear-placed 646-c.c. B.S.A. air-cooled twin motor-cycle engine, chain drive, and all-independent suspension by transverse leaf springs and wishbones.