Easter Satuday at Castle Combe
Margulies (Jaguar XKI20C) Wins Main Event
In spite of a small entry and comparatively brief programme, the Easter Meeting of the Bristol M.C. & L.C.C. at Castle Combe circuit was as enjoyable as ever. The sun lent a touch of summer to the scene, belied by a cold wind, and the presence of two Bentley Continentals and Kathleen Maurice’s new Frazer-Nash coupe as circuit-cars added much to the spectacle.
In the 15-lap Free Formula race (a good title, which obviates the journalistic tussle with Formule or Formula Libre !) attracted a mixed field, from which J. Riseley-Pritchard led all the way in the ex-Rolt 2-litre F II Connaught, ably pursued by G.N. Richardson fighting with his supercharged E.R.A., with T.T. Kyffin in the ex-Gould Cooper-Bristol turning and twisting in his seat as he held off Abecassis in the sports H.W.M.-Jaguar.
This event was supported by two 10-lap F.III races, both of which were won by Don Parker in his Kieft. In the first, which Parker won at 78.97 m.p.h., D. Taylor’s Cooper and J. Russell’s Cooper provided considerable opposition, while F. Hobart’s Martin retired, A. Eccles’ Staride spun off and J. Brown’s Martin trailed its rear-end in clouds of smoke. In the second F. III event Parker had a harder task, fighting a ding-dong duel with Russell, the Kieft sometimes snaking alarmingly. In the end Don won by a mere 0.4 sec., his average up to 79.31 m.p.h., opponent Russell making fastest lap, at 81.98 m.p.h. Behind, Taylor held a stolid third place, E.J. Moor (Cooper) had a fine duel with T. Bridger (Kieft) and Brown occupied sixth position.
The 10-lap Production Touring-Car Race proved interesting. J.M. Burn’s D.K.W. Sonderklasse easily disposed of a Standard Ten in the 1,000-c.c. category, both D.K.W.s cornering splendidly, outpacing a Sunbeam Mk. III saloon. The 1 1/2-litre class had no entries, G. H. Grace had to work exceedingly hard in his Riley Pathfinder to pass G. Gelberg’s well-known 2 1/2-litre Riley saloon at the very end, in the 2 1/2-litre class, and Angela Brown won the event after a very nice drive in her Aston Martin DB2/4 coupe, chased by H. F.S. Hay’s pre-war Bentley Cornishe saloon. B. Baxter was disappointingly slow in a gleaming 4.1-litre Ferrari coupe. The big event of the day was a 30-lap, 55-mile Sports-Car Race, divided into classes. Abecassis was obviously out to win, but retired the H.W.M.-Jaguar when a tyre tread stripped. This left. Margulies with a comfortable lead, driving his Jaguar XK120C more calmly than he used to dice his Talbot. Michael Burn, making a first appearance in the R.G.S. Atalanta, chased the Jaguar to some purpose but fell hack after leaving the course and becoming distinctly airborne at Old Paddock Bend while passing a Lotus. Nurse was going splendidly in his aerodynamic Lotus-M.G., to lead the 1 1/2-litre class and hold third place in the race as a whole, ahead of Tries’ Jaguar XKI20C.
In the 1,200-c.c. class Piper’s Empire-Lotus led Baird’s Lotus, N.I. Barrett held a series of tail slides in his Buckler to no avail, as it rolled over at Old Paddock Bend, leaving oil on the course and its driver temporarily unconscious (he soon recovered). B. Halford drove his T.T. Sprite racing-bodied Riley really well to take second place in the 1 1/2-litre class, ahead of T. Hodges’ Griffiths-M.G., the Turner shedding a front wheel at Tower Corner without overturning. Its driver explained apologetically that he had personally assembled the hubs before the meeting.
J.B. Naylor indulged in much on-the-grass motoring in his Lotus, E.A. Jauncey’s Otter-Cub retired, and the Griffiths-M.G. flung away a hatch-cover. Sir T. Beevor’s Healey Silverstone went sick and considerable tail slides characterised E.M. Rogers’ second place in the 2,000-c.c. class in his Morgan Plus Four.-W. B.