The Easter Goodwood Meeting
Two Wins for Stirling Moss and Roy Salvadori. Scott-Brown's Magnificent Drive. Moss Sets New Lap Record. Sports-Car Races Won by Aston Martin, Cooper-Climax and A.C.
In spring sunshine the B.A.R.C. had a crowd of over 60,000 for its Easter Goodwood Meeting. The big race of the afternoon was the Richmond Formula 1 Race, which produced a magnificent ding-dong battle between Hawthorn (B.R.M.), Scott-Brown (Connaught) and Moss (Maserati). Driving in his first full-scale F.1 race, Scott-Brown put up a sensational performance, leading Moss in the works, fuel-injection Maserati for 16 of the 32 laps in spite of failing brakes, after which he experienced a broken crankshaft but spun safely to a standstill. Hawthorn had a miraculous escape when the B.R.M. threw him out before overturning. Moss set a new lap record of 1 min. 30.2 sec., equal to 95.79 m.p.h. He also ran right away with a sports-car race in the not-new, Gilby DB3S Aston Martin, making larger and more recent sports cars look silly. Salvadori had a good day, winning two races in two different Cooper-Climax cars and finishing second in the Richmond Trophy. Bueb (Cooper-Norton) won the F.III Earl of March Trophy.
The caterers set a new standard, using radio inter-com. to call up supplies, and amongst the celebrities present were the Duke of Kent (Sunbeam Rapier), the Earl of Essendon (2.4 Jaguar), the Duke of Richmond and Gordon (Jensen 541), and Earl Howe in a Mercedes-Benz 300SL tastefully finished in his well-known colours. Several class lap records fell. Unfortunately two drivers were killed when flung from their cars. -- W.B.
The Paddock bays revealed much of interest at this first big meeting of 1956. Moss had a works Maserati which was virtually one of last season's 250/F.1s, but with fuel injection, which Maserati were trying for the first time in a race, and bigger turbo-cooled brakes. The fuel is injected into the ports, the injection pump, on the near side, being driven by a short roller-chain, and six cable-operated sliding throttles used at the inlet ports. Connaught had a team of three cars, of which Leston's was the actual Syracuse winner. All had normal bodywork and Weber carburetters. Gerard had taken the steering wheel of his home so as to bind it with cord in the vintage tradition. Both he and Leston complained of various shortcomings, mainly that fuel blew back from the carburetters in their faces and that the Dunlop disc brakes were uncertain, but Archie Scott-Brown loved his and threw it about in a manner wonderful and inspiring to behold! B.R.M. had only one car, the original new machine, out for most of the practice period and Hawthorn was not very happy with its handling. Both Gordinis arrived in their vast lorries -- they were a six and a straight-eight, with Messier disc brakes, but last year's cars. Salvadori had the Gilby Maserati, now brought up to date at the factory, but Wharton was reduced to driving a Rosier Ferrari in the absence of the Vanwalls, whose new Chapman chassis were not ready. Moss was officially credited with fastest practice-time although he found the lack of power low down an embarrassing feature of the fuel-injection Maserati and was unofficially quicker in his own Maserati, from which the disc brakes have been removed -- unofficially, Scott-Brown was fastest of all, for Connaught. Brabham was to have driven the old Moss Maserati but its lack of disc brakes seemed to put him off.
Hawthorn's works D-type Jaguar was interesting as it had Lucas fuel injection and disc brakes, but it was slow and handled badly and was scratched. Several Coopers and Loti had the 1,470-c.c. version of Coventry-Climax engine, one of the works cars, which Salvadori drove, also having Girling disc brakes. Gerard's Cooper-Bristol had a works six-port head with twin-choke d.d. Solex carburetters, Coombs' Cooper-Alta was the ex-Chase car with S.U. fuel injection, Atkins' F.II Connaught possessed Borani wire wheels and brake drums from a F.1 car, and poor Rogers' Sun-Pat Special had a 1956 Tojeiro tubular space-frame, dual wishbone and coil-spring i.f.s., de Dion rear-end with coil-springs, Dunlop disc brakes and disc wheels, a Bristol engine with his own six-port head and twin-choke d.d. Solex carburetters, and a neat body with tail-fin on its head fairing.
Cunningham-Reid had a 1956 unpainted H.W.M.-Jaguar with the familiar number "HWM 1" and Abecassis last year's H.W.M.-Jaguar. The Gilby Aston Martin which Moss drove instead of Salvadori was a 1955 practice DB3S with ordinary brakes -- and a horn which Stirling used to blast his way round the course, lapping 2 sec. faster than the rest of the sports cars! Brandon's new Halseylee had a preselector gearbox and Borani wire wheels. Cornet drove his 1½-litre sports Maserati from Dover to Goodwood when its trailer gave trouble; he spun at the chicane when he first saw it, and here Fletcher grazed the wattle fence with his new-type H.R.G. Both Moss and Scott-Brown missed cogs on one occasion, Stirling because as he changed into fourth the lever selected second, Archie because a rather stiff preselecter pedal caused him to miss the target, the revs soaring to 7,500, or some 800 over peak. Of the 500s, Davis' Beart-Norton had Borani wire wheels and brakes and hydraulic clutch operation, and the Petty-Norton had a de Dion rear-end.
The Lister-Maserati which Scott-Brown was to have driven was absent due to a seized camshaft. Steed was a non-runner having crashed his Porsche Carrera badly on the road on his way home on the Saturday, and Scott-Russell's Lotus-Bristol broke a hub at South Harting on the way down on race-day.
The Lavant Cup (Non-s/c. cars not exceeding 2,000 c.c. -- 7 laps)
Salvadori in the works Cooper-Climax 1,470-c.c. sports car, the one with ordinary brakes, led all the way, vanquishing 2-litre F.1 racing cars! Working hard, Gerard tried to hang on, and maintained his second place, making fastest lap, and when Leston's Willment 1½-litre Coventry-Climax went sick on lap two Young held his Connaught skilfully in third place, Cliff Davis coming up to fourth position in his Lotus-Bristol. Tyrrell's Cooper-Alta retired on lap six. Rogers left the road at Lavant Corner on the first lap in a cloud of dust, the Sun-Pat Special overturning on the inside of the course. The driver was flung out and, unhappily, was killed by his fall. Salvadori's race average alone was faster than the former 1½-litre sports-car lap record!
1st: R. Salvadori (Cooper-Climax), won by 1.0 sec., at 87.17 m.p.h.
2nd: F. R. Gerard (Cooper-Bristol)
3rd: J. A. Young (Connaught)
Fastest lap: Gerard and Salvadori. 88.89 m.p.h. (Salvadori set a new 1½-litre sports-car record in the Cooper-Climax of 88.59 m.p.h.)
The Earl of March Trophy (500-c.c. racing cars -- 7 laps)
Cohn Davis in the Beart led the initial lap, but thereafter Bueb came by and, driving with rather better style, proceeded to establish a safe lead, not to mention a new F.III lap record of 84.37 m.p.h. The other feature of this race was a duel, behind Allison, between Cowley in the Petty-Norton and Bicknell in the Revis, with Tyrrell hanging on to both of them. On the run-in Bicknell just beat Cowley. Messervy's Jason-Triumph was unwell after three laps.
1st: L Bueb (Cooper-Norton), won by 3.8 sec., at 83.24 m.p.h.
2nd: C. C. H. Davis (Beart-Cooper)
3rd: C. Allison (Cooper-Norton).
Fastest lap: Bueb, 84.37 m.p.h. (new 500-c.c. record)
Sports-Car Race "A" (Cars exceeding 1,500 c.c.-15 laps)
Moss took the Gilby Aston Martin and led all the way, leaving the field well behind and soon out of sight. After 14 laps he had lapped Head's Cooper-Jaguar (now painted white) and blew his horn at it. Abecassis held second place in the H.W.M., Berry in Broadhead's D-type Jaguar also going splendidly but never getting near George. These three were soon well spaced out, but up to lap seven Alan Brown in an Ecurie Ecosse D-type Jaguar had been in front of Berry, until a momentary error at Lavant Corner put him back behind Berry and Flockhart in the other Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar. The H.W.M. and Jaguar continued to corner on the limit, Stirling "miles" out in front, then attention was distracted by a fire at Woodcote Corner. Unfortunately, A. F. F. Dennis, driving one of Duncan Hamilton's D-type Jaguars, as Duncan in his own D-type was coming up on him, is thought to have changed in error from fourth to first gear, locking the back wheels and causing the car to roll over, Dennis being thrown out and killed. Naturally, Duncan pulled in.
Flockhart's Jaguar and Baxter's Aston Martin had both retired and Cliff Davis' Lotus-Bristol had coasted to Woodcote on lap eight after emitting great sheets of flame along the straight, suggesting a monumental engine "blow-up," when to finish would have won him the 2-litre prize, for which there were no finishers. Piper's Jaguar XK120 went straight on at St. Mary's Corner on lap 11 but regained the road safely.
1st: S. Moss (Aston Martin), won by 23.0 sec., at 89.18 m.p.h.
2nd: G. Abecassis
3rd: R. E. Berry (Jaguar).
Fastest Lap: Moss, 90.95 m.p.h
Sports-Car Race "B" (Cars up to 1,500 c.c.-7 laps)
Salvadori had another "from flag-fall-to-chequered-flag" lead, this time in the disc-braked works Cooper-Climax. He was followed by Russell in the works Cooper-Climax in which he had won the Lavant Cup. Behind these two unbeatable Coopers came a tight-bunched trio composed of Bueb's Cooper-Climax 1½, Leston's Willment Cooper-Climax 1½ and Bicknell's team Lotus Lotus-Climax 1½. That was until Bicknell passed Bueb early in the battle. He then tried very hard to take Leston but failed so to do by a matter of 1.6 sec. The smaller Loti brought up the rear, Chapman's 1½-litre Coventry-Climax-engined Mk. II being a non-starter. Cornet never got his Maserati going, although its acceleration down Lavant Straight gave some idea of its capabilities; he crashed it mildly at the chicane on the second lap. The race was certainly a Cooper-Climax benefit but Salvadori was slower than be had been in the Lavant Cup in the non-disc-braked Cooper.
1st : R. Salvadori (Cooper-Climax), won by 86.30 sec., at 86.3 m.p.h.
2nd: J. Russell (Cooper-Climax)
3rd: L. Leston (Cooper-Climax)
Fastest lap: Salvadori and Russell. 87.45 m.p.h.
The Richmond Formula 1 Race (32 laps)
Undoubtedly this was one of the best short races we have seen for many a year -- at all events up to half distance. Hawthorn in the compact B.R.M. got off well and led for two laps to cheers from a patriotic crowd, with Moss and Scott-Brown breathing hard behind him. The fantastic Archie got the lead on lap three and Moss was close behind him. Hawthorn having mysteriously slowed at the end of Lavant Straight at the close of lap two, to let the Connaught and Maserati by. Scott-Brown won the admiration of the crowd and proved that deformity is no bar in his case to driving of true G.P. calibre. He flung the Connaught through the corners, never in the least perturbed when it went nearly sideways-on. Moss was clearly having his work cut out to even hold the Connaught and confessed that he had no margin of safety in hand through the corners. On lap eight less than a length separated them and Moss tried to get by on Lavant Straight, to no avail. On lap 10 in lapping Bayol's slow Gordini at Lavant Corner the Connaught never held back for a moment. A lap later Moss tried to take Archie on the inside at this corner -- again it didn't work. However, the Connaught front brakes were now fading and the car was snaking as well as sliding, and Stirling was right up behind. To yells from the spectators he got into the lead along Lavant Straight on lap 16 and it was evident that the Connaught wasn't able to hang out. The gap widened and on lap 17 the crankshaft, perhaps overstressed in practice, broke, rod came out of the engine and the car spun wildly but cleanly at Woodcote. Had Moss been still behind he doubts whether he could have taken evasive action! Archie, his name now linked with Nuvolari and Brooks from different eras of racing history, stepped calmly out, unshaken, only mildly expressing his disappointment. Bravo, bravo! Here's to next time! In the race Archie went up to 6,900 r.p.m.
Moss went on his way, taking with him Hawthorn's absolute lap record with the Thinwall Ferrari when he established a speed of 95.79 m.p.h. Hawthorn never regained his early promise, the hard to-handle B.R.M. falling right back -- and then, on lap 23, as it accelerated out of the fast Fordwater bend, it went out of control, slid across the course, hit the ploughed earth infield, and went end over end. Luckily Mike was thrown out, escaping with a shaking and a lacerated ankle. His concern, before being taken to hospital, was for his mother, who was in the Paddock. It is believed in some quarters that a top suspension wishbone broke -- Hawthorn said he thought the car seized up on him.
This spirited duel and the dramatic retirements of Scott-Brown and Hawthorn distracted attention from the remainder of the race. Salvadori had got past Leston on lap 10 and Gerard held fourth place, both Connaughts troubled by their brakes. Parnell was fifth in Rob Walker's older Connaught. The Gordinis went like sports cars, Manzon ahead in the eight-cylinder, Rosier's Maserati passing the six-cylinder Gordini of Bayol, and Wharton in Rosier's blue Ferrari retiring soon after the start. The second B.R.M. ran too badly ever to give Brooks a chance to show his ability, retiring on lap 9 when in eighth place behind Parnell, its failure variously attributed to lack of oil pressure and induction trouble.
1st: S. Moss (Maserati), won by 1 min. 3.2 sec., at 94.35 m.p.h.
2nd: R. Salvadori (Maserati)
3rd: L. Leston (Connaught)
Fastest lap: Moss, 1 min. 30.2 sec., 95.79 m.p.h. (new lap record)
Production Sports-Car Race (13 laps)
There were some curious starters in this race for production sports cars. For instance, how many new H.R.G.s have been made, or A.C.-Bristols, and have Frazer-Nash sold more than a couple of dozen Le Mans Replicas?
Rudd's A.C.-Bristol pulled out a gigantic lead but Utley's Frazer-Nash Le Mans Replica took Dalton's disc-braked Austin-Healey 100S after nine laps, while Calvert's steady twin-cam H.R.G. was an excellent fourth. Coombs drove Rob Walker's first Mercedes-Benz 300SL mainly with the brakes on, and retired, after vainly pursuing Ozier's battered Jaguar XK120, which also retired, and being beaten by Green's Austin-Healey 100. But then Stuttgart makes the 300SL as a touring car! In a rather dull race, Mainwaring Evans spun his A.C. Ace, then led Stanbridge's A.C. Aceca, Constable's TD M.G. with rampipes to its carburetters disposed of Simpson's M.G. MGA amongst others, Fletcher's new H.R.G. stopped, and Hurrell's Triumph TR2 converted itself into a steam car.
1st: K. N. Rudd (A.C.-Bristol), won by 57.8 sec., at 78.84 m.p.h.
2nd: R. J. W. Utley (Frazer-Nash)
3rd: J. Dalton (Austin-Healey)
Fastest lap: Rudd, 80.15 m.p.h.
Over 2,500 c.c: Dalton (Austin-Healey)
1,501-2,500 c.c. Rudd (A.C.-Bristol)
1,201-1,500 c.c. Calvert (H.R.G.)
The Easter Handicap (7 laps)
Two old E.R.A.s, Lord Ebury's and W. F. Moss', led off, but Moss later spun round and, restarted, couldn't discover the cogs.
From the 42-sec. mark Flockhart and Alan Brown in the smart Ecurie Ecosse D-type Jaguars had an easy run, Parnell in the Walker Connaught from "12 sec." failing to catch Brown by 0.2 sec. as they crossed the finishing line. Salvadori in the Maserati was fourth, from scratch.
1st: R. Flockhart (Jaguar), won by 8.0 sec., at 86.77 m.p.h.
2nd: A. E. Brown (Jaguar)
3rd: R. Parnell (Connaught)
Fastest lap: Parnell, 91.91 m.p.h.
The next Goodwood B.A.R.C. Meeting of similar calibre is on Whit Monday, May 21st. Book now, chaps!