Brands Hatch On Easter Monday
In almost perfect racing weather Formula III racing and sports cars were assembled at Brands Hatch and an excellent series of events took place. The first race consisted of four 10-lap heats and three finals for 500 c.c. cars followed by a race for J.A.P.-engined cars; events for 1,200 c.c. and 1,500 c.c. sports cars were then run and the afternoon’s racing ended with the unlimited sports-car race.
Heat 1 of the first race saw a duel between Russell and Mackenzie-Low both driving Coopers; Russell was away from the line first, but his rival later took the lead and held it for some time until on the final lap Russell passed him to come in first with an average speed of 69.66 m.p.h. which was very commendable. Heat 2 saw the trio. Allison, Cowley and Anderson, who finished in that order, passing and repassing each other many times during the race. Heat 3, between Wicken and Truman, was won by Wicken driving a new Cooper; in this race D.S. Stevenson retired because of gearbox trouble in his Vincent-engined Cooper. The fourth heat was won by Taylor with an average speed of 68.89 m.p.h. This appeared to be a very easy race for Taylor who was followed into second place by Bridger driving a Kieft. The first of the 500 c.c. final races for the second five competitors of each heat was won by Jones in a Kieft followed by Bloor in a Cooper; the second of the finals for the first five of each heat was won by the invincible Russell at an average speed of 69:71 m.p.h. which is almost a record pace; Allison came second after a hard fight. The consolation final saw Iszatt receive the chequered flag first followed by Ham and Lewis-Evans. The J.A.P. race started well with G.F. Meharey in first place, although he later had to give up, his place being taken by Manning who was the ultimate winner; Scott MacArthur’s Mackson also had to give up.
In between the racing events it was interesting to see the latest trends in car bodywork; the track car in use was the fibre-glass-bodied Jenson 541 “Gran Turismo,” a high-class luxury vehicle in modern styling. Another of the highlights of the afternoon was the appearance of the Ford-engined Elva, although looking at the engine it seems hardly appropriate to call it a Ford since there are so many modifications; the car was built by F.G. Nichols and driven by Peter Gammon who won the 1,200 c.c. sports-car race with it; Richards came second and Hicks third after fighting hard with his Lotus against Waddup in a Buckler 90. The 1,500 c.c. race again saw Gammon driving the Elva against heavier opposition, particularly the M.G.-engined Lotus of Naylor who was eventually forced to make a false move for he spun off the track leaving Gammon in third place; the final order was Nurse, Allen and Gammon, Lotus M.G.. Lotus M.G., and Elva, respectively. The final event was the unlimited sports-car race. Roger Biss in his Bristol Warrior was the first off and Peter Gammon trying to compete with Jaguars this time even managed to get up to fifth place in the first lap and was able to pass Bradnack in a Cooper Bristol for a brief spell before spinning off the track. A very good show was put up by Triumph TR2s in this race and an even more remarkable effort was shown by David Piper this year driving a Lotus M.G. instead of his former mount, a J4 MG. The results were : first Nurse, Lotus M.G., second Biss, Bristol Warrior, and third Piper, Lotus M.G., Bradnack was fourth in his Cooper Bristol. This satisfactorily concluded a very fine and well-organised afternoon’s racing.-I.G.