H. S. Eaton drove a Talbot ” 90 ” into third place at an average speed of 68.66 m.p.h.
Since then he has been No. 1 driver in the Talbot team in every race in which they have competed, in addition to playing a lone hand in the Italian 1,000 Miles Race this year, and taking part in many Brooklands meetings on both the outer and ” Mountain ” circuits. Valuable experience was also gained by driving a 2.3 litre Bugatti with Earl Howe in the 1930 French Grand Prix at Montlhery, and a 2.3 Alfa Romeo with Sir Henry Birkin in the Belgian 24 Hour Race at Francorchamps.
As he has had first hand experience of so many circuits, I asked him whether there was any course which he particularly favoured. ” It all depends what sort of race you want,” he replied ; ” if you want a ‘ gentlemanly ‘ sort of race, Le Mans is the place, where you are never ‘ all out.’ and there are plenty of long straights. and it’s mostly a question of saving your
car for the distance. On the other hand, for a real scrap over a sporting circuit, don’t think you can beat the T.T. course at Belfast. Montlhery road circuit was a great place, too, but very hard work.”
I ventured the opinion that the Spa circuit at Francorchamps is a very difficult one. “
Yes. The road is hardly ever straight or level. The fact that the course is lined with monuments to motor cyclists and cardrivers who have been killed there is not exactly encouraging when you first drive there.”
The Italian 1,000 Miles Race he described as” a very high speed long distance tour,” for although the roads are nominally closed, you are never quite sure you are not going to meet something coining the other way. His performance in driving for the whole distance single-handed was a very stout effort indeed, and one demanding the utmost power of endurance. I was surprised, therefore, to hear that he did not find it necessary to train at all before the race.
“The nervous tension keeps you from feeling tired while you are driving, although a sudden lassitude comes over you when you get out of the car.”
Brian Lewis does not confine himself to motor-racing, for, as all the world knows, he runs a very flourishing aeroplane agency in Conduit Street, and finds time for a good deal of flying himself. In the week-ends he often plays golf, and occasional tennis and squash during the week in Town.
In view of the vogue of pre-selector gear-boxes at the Motor Show this year, and of the successful application of this type of box to Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 12cylinder Sunbeam, I was interested to hear that Brian Lewis considers that it has a very definite future for racing purposes. He is of the opinion, however, that a normal type of gate-change operation should be used, situated either on the dash, or somewhere near to hand, so that the driver will not have to worry about making a mistake in selecting the correct ratio, for at high speed a racing car is by no means free from jerky movement. He also considers that a driver should only pre-select a few seconds before he requires to change gear, in case of being baulked.
With the disbandment of the Talbot team, I asked him whether he had any plans for next season, but he replied that he had not yet made any definite decision as to whether he would race at all next year.
But I shall be very surprised if the Hon. Brian Lewis, one of England’s leading exponents of the sport, will be able to resist the call of motor-racing when next season arrives !
An illustration by R. A. Nockolds of the single seater Talbot during the 1931 500 miles Race.
Learning about Petrol. school masters have attended
MANY school masters have attended the Petroleum Products Exhibition at the Charing Cross Underground Station, and have asked for specimens and literature to help them in their lectures and demonstrations.
In general the object of the Exhibition, which was to explain what petroleum is and how it is got and refined, has justified itself abundantly in the interest displayed.
The Shell-Mex and B.P. chemists demonstrating at the exhibition have been pleasantly surprised at the high standard of intelligence shown in the questions posed to them, particularly by schoolboy visitors.
” Knocking ” is a problem which has attracted much attention.
It is intended to make a classification of the questions asked, in order to discover the points upon which the motorist needs special enlightenment.
Alfa-Romeos for 1933.
The activities of the famous Italian concern are now confined to two main types, the 6-cyl. 1,750 c.c. and the 8-cyl. 2,336 c.c. The first can he obtained in various forms, starting with the 17/75 single camshaft Turismo, followed by the twin camshaft 17/85 Gran Turismo, the long wheelbase supercharged twin camshaft 17/90 Gran 1 urisnio Compressor, and the short wheelbase supercharged twin camshaft 17/95 Gran sport.
The 21/220 h.p. 8-cylinder model is sold in two wheelbase lengths, 10ft. 4in. and 9ft. 2in., for two or four seater bodies.