WHITNEY STRAIGHT WINS THE MOUNTAIN CHAMPIONSHIP. R. L. DULLER’S AMAZING CRASH. SIR MALCOLM CAMPBELL AND T. E. ROSE-RICHARDS
INVOLVED IN A COLLISION. WOMEN’S MOUNTAIN RACE WON BY MISS RITA DON. THE closing meeting of the B.A.R.C. was arranged to be held on October 14th, but rain fell heavily on that day and it was decided to postpone the meeting for a week. This decision gave
rise to a good deal of discontent among the spectators, for during the afternoon the sky cleared and the track became nearly dry. It ‘would have been a difficult matter, however, to get through the whole programme before nightfall, so that the authorities were fairly justified in their action.
Great excitement was caused on the Thursday before October 21st, when Tazio Nuvolari arrived at Brooklands and proceeded to practice over the Mountain course with Earl Howe’s Bugatti. But Brooklands has yet to have the honour of counting the great Italian as one of its drivers, for Nuvolari was that same night called back to Paris, and so Taruffi took his place. Earl Howe was prevented from driving the car himself owing to a recent operation to his arm.
Possibly as a result of their disappointment on the previous Saturday, a very small crowd assembled for the meeting in which incidentally some very fine cars and drivers were scheduled to participate. The weather was dull and cloudy and a keen wind sprang up during tl:e. afternoon. In view of the early hour of sunset the whole programme was shifted forward by half an hour, so that the first race started at 1.30 p.m.
The Woking Junior Long Handicap.
Distance : About 9 miles.
I. H. J. Aldington (Frazer Nash 1,496 c.c.), Dn. 21s.
2. C. B. Follett (Alvis 1,496 c.c.), Im. 51s.
3. A. Ashton-Rigby (M.G. Magna, 1,087 c.c.), I m. 43s.
Won by 30 yards at 96.47 m.p.h., 75 yards between 2nd and 3rd. A field of 15 went to the starting line for the first race. E. L. Meeson made his reappearance at the track—not at the wheel of a ” 30/98 “—but driving a 4-seater Hillman Minx from the limit mark. After a lap had been completed the order was : E. L. Meeson (Hillman), V. W. Derrington (Hornet), C. B. Follett (Alvis), R. 0. Percival (Bentley), A. A. Rigby (Magna), H. J. Aldington (Frazer Nash), H. Rose (Alfa Romeo), C. le S. Metcalfe (Abbott Nash), R. R. K. Marker
(Bentley), S. Smith (Bugatti), P. W. Dixon (Riley), R. J. Munday (Munday Special), R. S. L. Boote (Riley), and Kaye Don (Bugatti). Aldington had made the most progress, having passed Metcalfe and Boote, but
the final result would seem to rest between his Frazer Nash, Rigby’s Magna and Marker’s Bentley, with its high singleseater body. On the second lap Aidington took fourth place, passing Percival’s old 3 litre Bentley, which was back-firing, while Lerrington had disappeared. Previous casualties had been Dunham (Alvis), who had difficulty in getting away, and Metcalfe. Then Kaye Don packed ups and Munday and L ixon, the other back markers, never looked as though they could make up their handicaps.
Aldington continued to pass everyone ahead of him, coming round on the last lap with a clear lead, to win at the line speed of 96.47 m.p.h.
The Woking Senior Long Handicap.
Distance : About 9 miles.
1. R. F. Oats (Alvis 1,496 c.c.), 1m. 51s.
2. R. R. K. Marker (Bentley 4,398 c.c.), 50s. 3, R. G. Percival (Bentley 2,996 c.c.), lm. 51s. Won by 300 yards at 90.00 m.p.h. 50 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
Percival’s Bentley was limit man in this race, followed by R. F. Oats, driving Follett’s Alvis, Ashton-Rigby (M.G.), Dunham (Alvis), Marker (Bentley), Lixon. (Riley), Whitney Straight (M.G. Magnette), Munday (Munday Special), R. L. Duller (Bugatti) and T. H. Wisdom (Leyland Thomas). Straight had wiped out Dixon’s 3 second start by the time the Railway Straight was reached, but his Magnette was misfiring on the second lap. Percival still held his lead, but Marker had fallen back two places and Dunham’s Alvis had once more given up the ghost. After two laps the only changes in the order were
that Straight had lost ground and had been passed by Munday, and Marker had got into his stride, re-passing Dixon. On the final lap Percival’s Bentley packed up completely as the car left the Members’ Banking, the driver coasting
for the rest of the distance. Oats was now a clear winner, with Marker just too late to get 1st place. Our attention was next drawn to the efforts of R. L. Duller to bring his Bugatti past the Munday Special for the doubtful honour of securing 6th place. As the two cars came into our view from beneath the Members Bridge both of them seemed very high on the banking. Munday was leaving room for another car to pass, and seeing this, Duller attempted to get through the gap. As they drew nearer to the point where we were standing at the end of the road leading on to the Track—the Bugatti was almost alongside the Munday Special. Then a depression in the track caused the Bugatti to slide down a little, until it was in danger of touching the other car. By now Duller seemed determined at all costs to get past, and promptly pulled up again. He could not have chosen a more unsuitable past of the track for this manoeuvre, for, narrowly missing contact with the low parapet at the top of the track, the Bugatti immediately found itself on the famous bump which invariably sends cars bounding in the air, all four wheels clear of the ground.
From now on it was obvious that the Bugatti would crash, for it struck the bump in an upward direction and came down to earth again pointing towards the outer edge of the track. This caused Duller to pull inwards sharply, and in a moment the green car had lurched broadside, skidded right round, rushed backwards across the track and disappeared in a cloud of mud, demolishing a telegraph pole at the inner edge of the track. There the car actually turned over, throwing the driver safely onto soft ground, without anything more serious than a cut hand and a good bruising.
The Mountain Championship.
Distance : 10 laps, About 12 miles. Previous Winners :
1931. 15 laps. The late Sir Henry Birkin (Maserati), 73,51 m.p.h.
1932. 15 laps. Sir Id. Campbell (Sunbeam), 68.60 m.p.h.
1. Whitney Straight (Maserati 2,514 c.c. S.).
2. Taruffi (Bugatti 2,263 c.c. S.).
3. The Hon. B. E. Lewis (Alfa Romeo 2,336 c.c. S .) .
4. A. H. L. Eccles (Bugatti 2,263 c.c. S.). Won by 60 yards at 73.64 m.p.h. 300 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
The race for the Mountain Championship had all the makings of a really fine contest, but soon after the start it was deprived of a good deal of its interest. But let us first of all consider the cars lined up at the starting line opposite the Paddock. There were 8 of them altogether; four Bugattis, two of them twincamshaft jobs handled by the Italian, Taruffi, and T. E. Rose-Richards, the others being single-camshaft cars in the hands of T. A. S. 0. Mathieson and A. H. L. Eccles; Whitney Straight’s black Maserati, with twin rear wheels, the holder of the lap record of 53 4/5 secs., at 78.29 m.p.h.; Brian Lewis’s ” biposto ” Alfa Romeo ; Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 12 cylinder Sunbeam, winner of the race last year, now also fitted with twin rearwheels ; and finally Raymond Mays with his special Riley. On the fall of the flag everyone got away nicely, except Mathieson, whose blue Bugatti was afflicted with fuel starvation. But as the cars roared away up to the top corner it was seen that all was
not well. Taruffi had leapt into:the lead, and was hugging close in to the corner, holding his car masterfully as it struggled to swing sideways. Rose-Richards was right behind, and tried to follow Taruffi’s course, only to lose control of his Bugatti and execute a complete broadside skid, just before he got to the real corner.
Sir Malcolm Campbell had the misfortune to be following Rose-Richards, and could not avoid the gyrating Bugatti, striking it broadside and damaging the Sunbeam’s back axle so that it skidded round on the track with locked wheels. The Bugatti was removed, but Campbell’s car had to stay where it was in the fairway for the rest of the race. Meanwhile the other drivers had arrived at the Fork, in the following order : Taruffi, Brian Lewis, Raymond Mays, Straight, and Eccles. As the cars roared up to the Members Bridge turn once more,
blue flags were waved and Taruffi slowed right down, almost to a standstill. Straight, Mays and Lewis had swept past almost before he realised that things were not quite so disastrous as the gesticulations he had seen had at first suggested.
Down at the Pork occurred the second incident which was not calculated to give our Italian visitor a happy impression of British driving skill. Raymond Mays lost control of his Riley and spun to a standstill, with stalled engine, right in the path of Taruffi. The latter pulled up— without losing his engine—only a foot or so from the Riley, and neatly got away again in purusit of Lewis and Straight. Lewis was caught on the fifth lap, but try as he would Taruffi could not draw level with Straight. From this point the order was unchanged, Straight driving magnificently to win by 2 seconds from Taruffi. These two drivers gave a fine exhibition of skill, their cornering being a delight to watch throughout the race.
The Woking Junior Mountain Handicap.
Distance : About 6 miles.
1. R. P. Turner (Austin 747 c.c. S.), 34 secs.
2. C. A. Richardson (Riley 1,089 c.c.), 39 secs.
3. P. W. Dixon (Riley 1,089 c.c.), 21 secs. Won by 150 yards at 63.63 m.p.h. 3 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
There was some delay before this race could be begun, for Campbell’s car had to be removed, and it had deposited a large pool of oil onto the track. At last it was decided to send the competitors on a preliminary lap of inspection, so that they would know where to expect the oil, and this was done. 18 cars took part in the race, limit man being G. B. C. Sumner (Austin), with C. R.. A. Grant (Alfa Romeo) at the other end of the scale. In spite of the closelypacked groups in which the cars came round, the standard of driving was on a high level, and fortunately there were no untoward incidents. As the field settled down it was seen that R. F. Turner (Austin) would in all probability be the ultimate winner. And so it proved, this fine driver finishing first ahead of C. A. Richardson and F. W. Dixon, both on Rileys. Turner’s driving was most re
markable. At the Fork, he approached the corner at a seemingly hopeless speed, braked evenly, and slid round with his little Austin just heeling over at the limit. And he did exactly the same thing every time. Relatively speaking. his cornering was as good as any seen on the Mountain Circuit this year.
Of the rest, Grant was miserably slow with the Alfa Romeo, a pretty 2.3 litre 4 seater fully equipped ; Aldington could do nothing with his one-from-scratch handicap; Everitt revolved slowly at the Fork on the last lap ; and Thorpe had bother with the door of his Frazer Nash opening wide on every lap at the Pork.
The Oxford and Cambridge Mountain Handicap
Distance : About 6 miles.
I. Raymond Hays (Riley 1,496 c.c. S.), scratch. Cambridge.
2. Whi tney S traight (ACC Magnette 1,087 c.c. S.), 5 secs. Cambridge.
3. ‘I’. A. W. Thorpe (.Praser Nash 1,496 c.c.), 35 secs. Cambridge.
Won by 500 yards at 71.39 m.p.h. 120 yards between 2nd and 3rd. The first Inter-Varsity Mountain Race very nearly proved a fiasco, for the Oxford authorities have issued orders which prohibit members from taking part in motor races when the University is in
residence. To get over this difficulty the Brooklands people invited past as well as present members of the Universities to compete, and the following drivers eventually appeared at the start. For Cambridge : Raymond Mays (Riley), Whitney Straight (M.G. Magnette), R. J. B. Seaman (Bugatti), T. A. W. Thorpe (Frazer Nash), R. C. Vickers (LeaFrancis) and K. M. G. Anderson (Austin). For Oxford : K. D. Evans (M.G. Midget), the Hon. P. Mitchell-Thomson (Frazer Nash), T. G. Moore (Frazer Nash) and G. B. C. Summer (Austin).
The pace was fast and furious, and on the first lap Vickers turned right round at the Fork, being successfully avoided by everyone else. On the next circuit Evans found himself approaching the Fork a little faster than his wont, and so wisely went up the ” escape road.” Anderson did likewise, after a hectic first lap. On lap 3 the order was Thorpe, Moore, Mays, Vickers, Sumner, Seaman, Straight, Mitchell-Thompson and Evans. Straight’s Magnette was misfiring badly, but he carried on. Mays then went into the lead, and held it till the end. Moore lost his third” gear” on the Frazer Nash, and was passed by both Straight and Seaman. Thorpe drove very well to get second place.
The Woking Senior Mountain Handicap.
Distance: About 6 miles.
1. P. W. Dixon (Riley 1,089 c.c.), 32 secs.
2. Whitney Straight (M.G. Magnette 1,087 c.c. S.), 7 secs.
3. H. R. Attwood (M.G. 747 c.c. S.), 17 secs. Won by 600 yards at 66.62 m.p.h. 75 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
Another tremendous field turned out for this event, 17 cars in all The handicapping, so far excellent, was sadly at fault in this race. In fact a glance at the programme showed Dixon as an easy winner, for he was in the third group from limit.
Some good scraps and clever driving were seen among the rest of the field, however. R. J. W. Appleton (Bugatti) was outstandingly good at the Fork, time after time passing one or two people during this manoeuvre. CholmondelyTapper was also good, but had to retire on the 3rd lap. Whitney Straight did well to get second place, having to pass 16 cars to do so.
The Women’s Mountain Handicap.
Distance : About 6 miles.
1. Miss Rita Don (Riley 1,089 c.c.), 20 secs.
2. Mrs. K. Petre (Bugatti 1,990 c.c.), scratch.
3. Miss P. Altham (M.G. Magnette 1,087 c.c. S.), scratch.
Won by 150 yards at 60.34 m.p.h. 75 yards between 2nd and 3rd. There was only one non-starter in the first Women’s Mountain Handicap, R. E. L. Featherstonhaugh’s Alfa Romeo,
which should have been driven by Miss D. Hughes.
On the first lap the order was Miss Don, Mrs. Roe (Lea Francis), Miss Taylour (Salmson), Miss Sedgwick (Frazer Nash), Mrs. Petre, Miss Ellison (Bugatti), Miss J. Houldsworth, Miss Althorn and Miss Gibbs (Bugatti).
Miss Don had a safe lead, at any rate for five laps, for Mrs. Petre and Miss Altham were closing in rapidly when the chequered flag was finally waved.
The Woking Lightning Mountain Handicap.
Distance : About 6 miles.
1. T. A. S. 0. Mathieson (Bugatti 2,263 c.c. S.), 20 secs. 2. A. H. L. Eccles (Bugatti 2,263 c.c. S.), 20 secs
3. R. T. Horton (M.G. Magnette 1,087 c.c. S.),. 27 secs.
Won by 7$ yards at 69.51 m.p.h. 20 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
The race was a fiercely contested one, the order on the 2nd lap being Rose (Alfa Romeo), Roy Eccles (Frazer Nash), Attwood (M.G.), Delaney (Lea Francis), Donald Letts (M.G.), Aldington (Frazer Nash), R. T. Horton (M.G. Magnette), R. A. Yallop (M.G. Magnette), A. H. 14. Eccles (Bugatti), Mathieson (Bugatti) and the slow C. R. A. Grant (Alfa Romeo).
On lap 3 Letts moved up a place and Yallop lost two. Next time round Delaney had gone to the top with a bang, driving magnificently and passing four cars. The whole pack were so close together that it was almost impossible to say who would win eventually. On the last lap all the leaders were trying their level best to get ahead of their neighbours, and by a really fine effort Mathieson swept by the six cars in his path to gain a well-deserved victory from virtual scratch.
By now the light had nearly gone. In the grey of dusk the Track looked bleak and sombre, taking to itself the memories of another season’s racing. By the time tea was finished darkness had descended, and so spectators bid farewell to Brooklands until next Spring.