International Lombank Trophy Meeting Snetterton, March 25th

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THIS was the first meeting of the season which featured a race for the new 1 1/2-litre Formula 1, and a direct comparison with last year’s 2 1/2-litre cars was possible as the Inter-Continental and Formula 2 cars were lumped together in one race; the 100-Mile Lombank Trophy. Team Lotus entered one 2 1/2-litre car for Ireland and a 1 1/2 for Jim Clark, Yeoman Credit entered two 1 1/2-litre Coopers for Salvadori and Surtees and U.D.T.-Laystall sent a 2 1/2-litre Lotus for Cliff Allison and a 1 1/2 for Henry Taylor. Jack Brabham entered his own 2 1/2-litre Cooper but it was tired after its Antipodean season and Tommy Atkins offered his 2 1/2-litre Cooper to the World Champion. The rest of the small 14-car field was made up with privately-owned cars, all save Brian Naylor’s Maserati-engined J.B.W. being powered with a Coventry-Climax engine. The engine being used at the moment is the old 1 1/2-litre F.P.F. unit used in F.II racing, but at Snetterton the Formula 1 cars were easily outpaced by the Inter-Continentals, John Surtees’ best practice lap in 1 min. 38.2 sec. being 4.2 sec. slower than Ireland’s time in the works Lotus, which in itself is over 2 sec. slower than Jim Clark’s record made last year in a Lotus. An interesting sidelight is the fact that few of the cars are yet down to the minimum weight limit, despite the many complaints that were made when the Formula was introduced.

At the start of the race, which took place in pale sunshine, Cliff Allison spurted his pale green U.D.T. Lotus into the lead but he was quickly overhauled by Brabham and Ireland who then proceeded to pull away from the rest of the field. Ireland took Brabham after three laps and began to open up a gap, the World Champion being content to play the waiting game. John Surtees was placed fourth in the Yeoman Credit 11/2-litre Cooper behind Allison and in front of Salvadori and Naylor. Jim Clark and Henry Taylor were lighting for seventh place. Salvadori made two quick pit stops with a rough sounding motor. and Naylor also stopped for good as did Bernard Collomb (Cooper) and Langton (Hume-Cooper), while Graham Eden spun off at the hairpin and did not restart. Ireland’s transmission gave up on lap 14 and left Brabham with a comfortable lead and the meagre fieid of nine cars well spread out. However, sonic excitement was being provided by Salvadori who was motoring furiously to regain the lost time by his two pit stops, sliding through the Esses and kicking up stones as he used all the road; soon he had set the fastest Formula 1 lap of the race in 1 min, 38 sec. and he was gaining on Jim Clark’s Lotus very rapidly.

Brabham lapped Surtees on lap 21, indicating the difference between the two formulae at this early stage, and then he lapped Salvadori for the second time, which spurred the latter to hold on, bringing himself nearer to Clark, and on the penultimate lap he took Clark for a well earned fifth place, which the crowd fully appreciated. Jack Waltham averaged 102.67 m.p.h. and John Surtees in the first Formula 1 car averaged 96.62 m.p.h. Although neither of them was pressed hard during the race the result is a fair indication of the gap which exists between the 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 litre cars, a situation which is not likely to alter appreciably until new 1 1/2-litre engines are available.

Potentially the most interesting race of the day was the 18-lap Formula Junior event. In addition to a number of Lotus Twenties, the new Kieft, Lola and Cooper designs were making their first appearance. McGowen’s Gemini had been given pole position on the grid due to a timekeeping error but he was soon swamped by the Lotuses of Trevor Taylor, Jim Russell (in his first race since his 1959 Le Mans crash) and Mike McKee and the Cooper of Tony Maggs. Taylor took the lead, initially followed by Russell, who had a ” moment ” letting Maggs and McKee through and then McKee spun in the Esses when attempting to pass Maggs and later retired. This left the first three positions in no doubt but Rhodes (Kieft), Love (Cooper), Arundell (Lotus), Bill Moss (Lotus) and Dick Prior (Lola) were furiously disputing fourth place. Love retired with gearbox maladies and Arundell held on for fourth place from the Australian Gardner who caught this bunch towards the end of the race.

Of the remaining races the Ferraris of Parkes and Whitehead outstripped the DB4GT of Salvadori in the G.T. race while Graham Warner held on to a good fourth place in his Elite from McKee’s similar car. Epps overturned his DB4 for the second time this season but escaped unhurt and at the tail of the field Merfield’s Anglia harried Clarke’s Healey 3000 all through the race, but was disqualified for non-standard bodywork.

l’arkes and Sears had the touring car race in the bag with their Equipe Endeavour 3.8 Jaguars but miscalculation of fuel consumption resulted in the cars running out of fuel on the last lap, giving victory to Sir Gawainne Baillie followed by John Surtees. Hutcheson’s Riley won the 2,000 c.c. class and Hurrell’s Saab won the 1,000 C.C. class after Aley’s Mini-Minor had rolled in the Esses after a burst tyre.—M. L. T.

Results:

The Lombank Trophy–37 Laps–100 miles 

1st: J. Brabham (Cooper-Climax)       . .    . .    . .   102.67 m.p.h.

2nd: C. Allison (Lotus-Climax).

3rd: J. Surtees (Cooper-Climax) (First F.1 car to finish).

Fastest lap : I. Ireland (Lotus). 1 min. 33.6 sec. (104.23 m.p.h.).

G.T. Cars–12 laps

1st: M. Parkes (Ferrari 250GT)   . .    . .    . .   89.51 m.p.h.

2nd: A.G. Whitehead (Ferrari 250GT)

3rd: R. Salvadori (Aston Martin DB4GT)

Formula Junior–18 laps

1st: T. Taylor (Lotus)   . .   . .   . .   93.22 m.p.h.

2nd: A. Maggs (Cooper).

3rd: J. Russell (Lotus).

Touring Cars–15 laps

1st: Sir G. Baillie (Jaguar 3.8)  . .  . .  . .  . .  81.94 m.p.h.

2nd: J. Surtees (Jaguar 3.8).

3rd: D. Taylor (Jaguar 3.8).

NATIONAL SPRINT ASSOCIATION

This Association was formed four years ago with the object of popularising the pastime of sprinting with powered vehicles, by encouraging Clubs to run more sprint meetings and members of the N.S.A. to take part in these meetings. As the Association was formed mainly by motorcyclists its activities have remained largely in that sphere but the members are keen to embrace four wheels as well as two and would welcome into their ranks owners of cars who like to go sprinting. They would especially welcome anyone who is a capable organiser. The Auto Cycle Union have given tentative approval for a National Records Day and it is hoped to attract some four wheelers to the event. Secretary is Mr. Len Cole, 1, Ingrams Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey.

AUSTIN HEALEY CLUB

Recently formed under the auspices of the British Motor Corporation the Austin Healey Club caters for owners of all Healey and Austin Healey models. This Club incorporates the original Healey Drivers’ Club and the more recent Southern Counties Sprite Club. Three centres are in operation at present, details of which can be obtained from Mr. P. W. Browning, 47, Brampton Grove, Hendon, London, N.W.4.

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