THE .JUNIOR CAR CLUB’S TWO HUNDRED MILE RACE. The Sixth of the Series proves an exciting event.
COMPARISONS are always odious, but at times they are too obvious to be neglected. For maintained interest and excitement, as opposed to hair-raising thrills, the j.C.C. event easily surpassed previous events of this nature during the present year Some of the latter lacked “speed,” another lacked entries, and some of the courses were not as interesting as they might have been.
This year’s ” 200,” however, drew 38 starters divided into three classes, many of the cars were really fast and the course allowed the spectators to see displays of driving skill under all sorts of different conditions. At 2.30 the cars were started by maroon and semaphore, and missing the first sandbanked turn they rushed down the straight and on to the main track. Superior acceleration was shown by Divo’s Talbot (as in the R.A.C. Grand Prix), and he was closely followed by Malcolm Campbell (Bugatti). Among the back row cars the most surprising “get away” was that of Morel on a 6-cylinder supercharged Amilcar who shot past many of the larger cars.
However, in a 200 mile race the start means little, and, as was expected, the 1,500 c.c. event rapidly developed into a procession, headed by the Talbots in the order Divo, Segrave, Moriceau, with the two Alvis’s hanging on grimly behind.
On the very first lap, however, one of the few thrills of the race took place ; at the Vickers hairpin the Eldridge special driven by Hawkes collided with Eyston’s Bugatti, both cars being sufficiently damaged to warrant their withdrawal. The drivers luckily escaped serious injury, but it must have been a bitter moment for Eyston, who was not in any way to blame. Another unfortunate incident occurred right on the starting line when Halford damaged his gearbox. After some delay he continued, using only top gear, obviously a terrible handicap in a race of this character.
It soon became evident that the Salmon team were for once not ” walking over” in the 1,100 c.c. class, the six-cylinder Amilcars appeared as nippy as any car on the track, deceleration and acceleration being remarkable and maximum speed very little below that of the fastest 1,500 c.c. cars.
The Salmsons, too, were extremely fast, that driven by Casse holding the lead from the three raging Amilcars for most of the first twenty laps.
Naturally the ding-dong struggle between the rival French makes aroused the keenest interest. Of the three Amilcars driven by Martin, Morel and Duray, and the three Salmsons (Goutte, Casse and Newman), each one was continually popping in and out of the first three places, and nearly every one was in the lead at some time or other.
Meanwhile in the 750 c.c. class the four Austins were humming quietly round at their own speed with G. Hendy and Gordon-England in the van.
Harvey “piles up.”
On the twenty-fourth lap the second thrill took place. C. M. Harvey, who was running fourth, was baulked on the “paddock ” bend, the Alvis turned completely round and hurtled backwards across the track into a telegraph pole at the foot of the timekeeper’s box. Harvey stepped out uninjured, but the car was not fit to continue. This left the Talbots in an even stronger position than before, their nearest rivals being the Earl of Cottenham (Alvis), Douglas and Purdy (Bugattis) and Thomas on his own car.
The latter, by the way, is quite the lowest car ever produced, and contrasted strangely with Johnstone’s comic little Bugatti of early post-war vintage, which, however, was running remarkably well. At 31 laps the other 8-cylinder Alvis retired with the works” of one cylinder lying in the bottom of the