Easter at Goodwood

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Goodwood, where the B.A.R.C. held its traditional Bank Holiday Race Meeting, was graced with a big crowd, estimated at 40,000, which assembled in dubious weather to watch five races. Of these the 1,100-c.c. sports-car race and the F2 race were exciting, the 100-mile Glover Trophy F1 race which should have been the big event of the afternoon, was virtually a four-car Grand Prix, while the remaining race, for saloon cars, was merely light relief.

On paper the entry was a promising one but on the day the Cooper-Borgwards and Cooper-Maserati were unimpressive. Moss, using a 2-1/2-litre Rob Walker Cooper-Climax as replacement for the Cooper-B.R.M. which was not ready, was able to outdrive Brabham in the similar “works” Cooper and the revised B.R.M.s were not a match for the Coopers on the Sussex circuit, although the F1 Climax engine was not giving more than about 215 b.h.p., from which some estimate can be deduced of what the 1959 B..R.M. engine develops. Moss was obliged to drive hard in order to win the Glover Trophy and £210 because the Cooper, which Alf Francis had endowed with 58-mm. Webers, would not open up cleanly out of the chicane, although when the power did come in, the little car really motored.

Torrential rain and hail ruined the big sports-car race and turned the Paddock into a quagmire. Its condition on wet days really is disgraceful and we suggest that if he wishes to continue to attract big crowds John Morgan should install an inexpensive shoe-cleaning service at the exits. Indeed, looking at our trousers, it might be a profitable thing for the B.A.R.C. to introduce a dry-cleaning service! Is it too much to hope for concrete walkways in the Paddock before Whit-Monday? 

The Chichester Cup for 1,100 c.c. sports cars opened the programme. Three of the impressive new Lolas dominated the race, leaving the Lotus and Elva challenge far, far behind. These remarkable little Climax-engined cars led 1, 2, 3 all the way. Peter Gammon, in the first production version, led for seven of the ten laps, with Mike Taylor and Peter Ashdown fighting such an intense duel for second place that they virtually shunted in the chicane on lap 5, Taylor keeping the lead he snatched from Ashdown who had gone ahead momentarily on lap 2. This duel continued, Ashdown leading on lap 8, Gammon having fallen to third place, and in trying to stave off his rival Taylor, spun at Woodcote trying to pass on the outside, on the last lap of this exciting race. He recovered splendidly and got across the line in third place, retaining the Lola 1, 2, 3 triumph over Lotus, although the tail of the car was damaged  —  stout effort!  Ashdown won at 87.89 m.p.h. and set a new 1,100 c.c. sports-car lap record of 1 min. 35.4 sec. (90.38 m.p.h.). Gammon was second, five seconds behind, Taylor third, 11 sec. behind Gammon. The best Lotus could do was fourth, Prior finishing 31.6 sec. behind the winning Lola, followed in by Campbell-Jones and Hicks. The Lola is now the outstanding 1,100 c.c. sports/racing car. The very new Morland-Climax, with A30 gearbox and disc brakes all round, didn’t go at all well.

The 15-lap F2 Levant Cup Race was contested between Brabham in the works Cooper-Climax and Salvadori in Tommy Atkins’ Cooper-Climax, the rest nowhere. Brabham got off to a substantial lead but Salvadori, difficult to recognise in a space helmet, whittled this down and went by on lap 6. However, by lap 10 the Australian was out in front again and Salvadori,  unlucky with slow traffic through the chicane, dropped back, to close up for a photo finish, making fastest lap at 95.79 m.p.h. Of the others, Jim Russell’s smart silver and green Cooper was safely in third place, with Graham Hill’s ex-Allison 1958 Team Lotus trying hard but unable to catch him. Behind the Lotus cars Masten Gregory and McLaren drove a close race in the Alan Brown Coopers. They finished thus, Brabham winning at 93.34 m.p.h. by 0.4 seconds, Russell 12 seconds behind Salvadori. The two Cooper-Borgwards of the British Racing Partnership, driven by Wicken and Bueb, the latter having a ZF differential, were extremely disappointing.

The gathering clouds then opened to flood the course for the 21-lap, Le Mans-start Sussex Trophy race for sports cars over 1,100 c.c. Those spectators whose girl friends had wisely brought umbrellas probably enjoyed this race  —  most of the others were too busy being miserable or trying to devise improvised shelter. The Le Mans start was chaotic. Then, through the spray, Peter Blond held the lead in a 3.8-litre Lister-Jaguar, with Graham Whitehead trying hard to force his Aston Martin DBR1 by. This Whitehead failed to do but as the rain eased off wily Ivor Bueb worked his Lister-Jaguar up into second place by lap 15 and next time round was in the lead, which he retained, beating Blond by 6.8 see., averaging 78.64 m.p.h. over the soaking track. Whitehead followed Blond in by a mere 0.6 sec.  Salvadori, much fancied on practice times in Coombs’ Cooper-Monaco-Maserati, got nowhere, but earned applause for recovering from a multiple spin between Woodcote and the chicane; he finished a bad fourth. Blond made fastest lap at 82.92 m.p.h., and Stacey’s Team Lotus won the 2-litre class, a lap down on the leaders, and holding them up through the chicane. Only one Lister-Corvette started and it soon retired.

So to the Glover Trophy Race, over 42 laps, on a still rather wet course. Only non-starter was the second Team Lotus, never taken out of its van. The Centro Sud Maseratis had arrived on the Sunday and had practised on the Monday morning, as had Moss, who had spun off and crashed mildly on the Saturday, his mechanics apparently having been casual over steering connections. Scarlatti and Kavanagh had old 250F Maseratis, Fairman taking one of the two Centro Sud cars from Gerini, although the latter had driven a Maserati 300S cautiously through the aforesaid “motor-boat race.” Salvadori had Tommy Atkins’ Cooper-Maserati, Masten Gregory, Brabham and McLaren works Coopers, of which Brabham’s had full 2-1/2-litre Climax engine. Hill had a works Lotus with 2,494-c.c. Climax engine, Piper an outclassed 2.2-litre F.1 Lotus. And there were Schell and Bonnier in the B.R.M.s, Schell expected to win on training form.

Thus the field comprised 13 cars. Alas, only four of these were capable of making a race of it and after Moss had used some special tactics to make Schell give way to him after ten laps and Brabham had taken Schell a lap later, the thing became a dull procession, Moss comfortably ahead of Brabham, the two B.R.M.s “tied together” in third and fourth positions but lacking sufficient steam to close on the Coopers. The only bright spot was Moss’ speed when the Rob Walker Cooper really got wound up!  Brabham’s, like Moss’, fluffed coming out of the chicane.

Far behind the leading quartet came Gregory’s Cooper, which displaced Salvadori after Roy had spun at Levant and come in for clean goggles. Indeed, Masten Gregory and McLaren again drove a very close race. Hill retired the Lotus with lack of brakes.

Moss ran through the field  —  he had lapped Da Silva Ramos’ Maserati after a mere five laps  —  his best lap being at 94.12 m.p.h., but the Cooper sounded in poor condition at the end and Stirling had obviously found it difficult to control on this hard drive. Somehow, in this dull race, the slow cars managed to spin. On lap 14 Kavanagh opened up too early on the damp course out of the chicane. His Maserati spun into the concrete safety barrier on the inside of the course and fell to pieces. On lap 25 Da Silva Ramos decided to emulate this camera-catching manoeuvre and twice hit the barrier on the outside really hard, opposite the other crashed Maserati, bending back his car’s front wheels and probably bending the chassis tubes. Both drivers escaped injury.

Fairman plodded round, bringing the Gerini car home intact but Scarlatti retired. If this is British F1 racing we are going to be bored to tears for the rest of this season!  Moss won at 90.31 m.p.h., 16.6 sec, ahead of Brabham, a vindication of the Cooper and the new, hastily-finished 2-1/2-litre Coventry-Climax engine. The B.R.M.s were third and fourth, Schell a second behind Brabham but 12.6 secs. behind Moss. Bonnier, who had driven a splendidly steady race, closed right up on Schell over the line, to emphasise that he was keeping behind his team-mate under orders and could have driven faster had he been allowed to. Besides these, only Gregory was credited with going the full distance.

The day’s racing closed with a 10-lap saloon-car race in which Bueb in the Sopwith 3.4 Jaguar outdrove Salvadori’s 3.4 Jaguar, winning by 6.6.sec, at 78.4 m.p.h., lapping at 74.56 m.p.h. Winners of the other classes were Uren’s fast  Ford Zephyr (72.29 m.p.h.), Leston’s very quick Riley 1.5 (70.69 m.p.h.) and Shepherd’s noticeably steady Austin A40 (67.21 m.p.h.) which beat Adams’ Speedwell A35. There was a heart-stopper when Uren (the other Uren) spun his 3.4 Jaguar in the chicane and had to drive against the traffic before he could get out of the way. The Coombs Salvadori Jaguar had the Reg. No. BUY 1, not bad for a Jaguar agent. The Rudd Renault Dauphine Gordini wasn’t very impressive amongst so many “hot”  A35s and deflated its offside back tyre. —  W.B.

Footnote: At Brooklands Track, built in 1906-7, there was always a concrete-surfaced Paddock…