VSCC Silverstone

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THE HON. PATRICK LINDSAY won three of the eight races at a first-class Vintage SCC meeting over Silverstone’s Club circuit on April 17th, watched by a considerable crowd of enthusiasts in the chilly sunshine. Some exciting racing and no accidents made it a memorable afternoon’s sport, starting with the 40 min. High Speed Trial incorporating a compulsory wheel change. Interesting runners were Avril Scott-Moncrieff, loudly cheered by some children, in the ex-Bear Type 57 Bogard with racing body and Allison’s blown MG NA that Symons drove in the 1935 Monte Carlo Rally. Non-qualifiers were Tony Jones in Wilson’s “bitsa” Carson-Vauxhall, Drewitt’s Riley, Dillies’ Trees-Riley, Jane Arnold-Forster’s wooden Austin 7, none of which finished, and Wills’ M45 Lagonda.

Racing started with the 10-lap Itala & Lanchester Trophies scratch race. Brian Classic was expected to do well in the Bamford 1927 1.5-Iitre, i.f.s. GP Delage, but it didn’t last a lap, the official reason for its retirement being “out of fuel”. Hamish Moffatt, bereft this year of the Wall single-seater Bugatti, drove his own dark blue GP Type 35B, but, unhappy about the pistons, had a seizure, also on lap one. That left John Ward’s Type 35B chasing Kale’s sister car, and leading comfortably after the third lap. Majzub Senr., had found new power from the slim Pacey-Hassan and ran throughout in third place, followed by Tim Llewellyn’s 4.5-litre Bentley “Bluebell” and Dick Smith’s Meadows-Nash. The dazzle-painted Straker-Squire was seventh, taking the Lanchester Trophy, and behind it the much-welcomed Halford Special finished 0.5 sec. ahead of the 200 Mile Race Alvis which Major Halford had also driven in contemporary times. President Threlfall, in his first race with the ex-Rowley 1913 Th.-Schneider, drew well away from Conway Junr.’s Type 37A Bugatti.

Next, a five-lap Handicap, difficult to follow due to credit laps, but won by Lake’s neat MG N-Type Magnette, from Hornby’s Ulster Austin and A. G. Smith’s road-valid MG PB. So to the highly-exciting Haggar-sponsored Pre-War Allcomers’ 10 lap scratch contest. Ten ERAs should have been on the grid, but Mann’s had brake problems, Spollon was ill, and Classic was also absent. Stephens had Bill Morris’ “new” Hanumann R12C running with Bill’s R12B. Margulies’ Maserati retired on the line but all eyes were on Lindsay in the ERA “Remus” and Donald Day in R14B, who fought the most intense and exciting race of any seen at a VSCC meeting. By my lap-chart Day led laps one, three, four, five, six and nine. But that is only part of the story, because the two drivers swopped positions all round the circuit and were either side-by-side or only a few lengths apart throughout, until Lindsay drew away on the final lap. Day would take Lindsay on the inside coming into Woodcote, then outside at the same place, Lindsay retaliating by re-passing twice at least on the inside at Becketts, only to have Day out-accelerate him. In the end R5B displayed superior acceleration and won by 0.9 sec., Lindsay lapping at 86.4 m.p.h., or one second faster than Day. Cynics among the onlookers suggested that only sponsorship makes racing that close. . . ! Nick Mason was third in R10B, Marsh’s R1B fourth, R12B fifth and Millar got his 8CTF Maserati home in sixth place, well ahead of Dean’s Type 51 Bugatti. Loveday’s “new” 4CM/6CM Maserati retired at half-distance, after making the slowest lap.

Another five-lap Handicap went to Peter Binns in his well-known Brooklands Riley 9, with the irrepressible John Howell working up to second place in the blown twin-cam 3-litre Sunbeam, about half a length ahead of Rogers’ LM6 Aston Martin. Much of the anticipation for the Allcomers’ 10-lap scratch race was removed when Willie Green in ERA R9B and Vic Norman’s P25 BRM failed to start. The opening laps were a duel between Bruce Halford and Simon Phillips in their Lotus-16s. The latter cornered wide at Woodcote on lap two and went ahead momentarily, until Halford out-accelerated him. Phillips then tried tighter tactics at Woodcote, to no avail, then fell back with fuel-feed problems, but later recovered. Halford then led from laps five to eight, pursued by the indomitable Lindsay, only to retire, again officially confirmed as due to being “out of fuel”. So the ERA was an unexpected pre-war victor, with the Hon. A. Rothschild’s 250F Maserati second, 26.4 sec. behind, third place going to Cottam in his Type AL10 Connaught. Day was fourth, this time 51.9 sec. behind the flying Lindsay, their respective best lap-speeds being 4.2 sec. apart, which the cynics may like to note. Fastest lap was by Bruce Halford, at 90.88 m.p.h., 1.3 sec. quicker than Lindsay’s best.

These two had outpaced the field by lap six. Duly (250F Maserati), and Roscoe in his recently-acquired, ex-Clinkard 4.3-litre Alvis single-seater, spun at Beckerts. That bit of excitement over, Derrick Edwards took the five-lap scratch race in his Ulster Aston Martin from Hudson’s Ulster Aston and Newman’s Riley after a close race, and the programme was concluded with two more five-lap Handicaps. Lindsay won the first of these, pleasingly in his formerly temperamental ERA-Delage, from the 25 sec.-mark, lapping in 1m 09.9 sec., to keep just ahead of MacPherson in a High Speed Frazer Nash from the 30 sec. starting-position, with Colborne’s slower-lapping 6CM/4CM Maserati close up in third place but emitting a veritable smoke-screen as it finished. Danaher’s 8CM Maserati was fourth, Lockhart’s venerable Rover fifth, Mason’s ERA sixth. The final race was won easily by Smith’s Super Sports Frazer Nash, from Dunham’s ex-Brooklands Alvin and Rogers’ Aston Martin. During the day Margulies treated us to the wonderful sound of No. 1 V16 BRM, on a demmo run, but why not race it? — W.B.

Results

Itala & Lanchester Trophies Race

1. J. Ward (Bugatti)
2. B. B. D. Kain (Bugatti)
3. F. Majzub (Pacey-Hassan)

Haggar Pre-War Allcomers’ Race

1. Hon. P Lindsay (ERA)
2. D. H. Day (ERA)
3. N. Mason (ERA)

Allcomers’ Scratch Race

1. Hon. P Lindsay (ERA)
2. Hon. A. Rothschild (Maserati)
3. A. S. Cottam (Connaught)

First five-lap Handicap: D. Lake (MG)
Second five-lap Handicap: P. J. E. Binns (Riley)
Third five-lap Handicap: Hon. P. Lindsay (ERA-Delage)
Fourth five-lap Handicap: R. J. B. Smith (Frazer Nash)
Five-lap Scratch Race: D. J. P. Edwards (Aston Martin)
Fastest lap of the day: B. Halford (Lotus 16)
NB Race speeds were not divulged to the Press
MOTOR SPORT Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest: Hon. P. Lindsay — 36 points; Binns, Ward, Lake, Edwards, R. J. B. Smith — 18 pts. each; Rogers —16 pts.; Kain, Hornsby, Day, Howell, Hudson, Dunham, 13 pts. each. Next round, Donington Park, May 23rd.

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