SHUTTLEWORTH WINS THE DONINGTON GRAND PRIX
Foreign stars make the running in first half of the race, but retire after half distance. C. E. C. Martin; loses first position through last minute skid
At last the ambition of the Donington organisers has been achieved, and a 300 mile rate run under Grand Prix rules run off on England’s only road-circuit. It was a most successful affair from every angle except that of the weather, for which Mr. Craner and his staff of helpers could hardly be blamed. Even the wet roads were not without their uses, as they prevented higher speeds being attained, so that there were no less than nine out of fifteen cars still running at the finish.
Foreign cars and drivers always add to the interest of a race over here, and for once all three whose names appeared on the programme did actually take part in the race. Farina was at the wheel of a 4.5 Maserati, the new VS-cylinder car, his partner Rovere had brought a 6-cylinder 3.7-litre car, the one which Nuvolari drove last year, while Raymond Sommer, twice victor of Le Mans, was seen on the 3-litre Alfa-Romeo which he drove so successfully at Comminges. Against them were ranged three 3.3litre I3ugattiS driven by Lord Howe, Martin and Eccles, Shuttleworth’s Alfa and Rose’s 2.3, and also Featherstonhaugh on an ex-Whitney Straight 3-litre Maserati and Austin Dobson on a similar car. Last and not least of the Supercharged cars was ” Bira’s “
Besides these there were two 2-litre Rileys entered by Freddy Dixon and driven by the two pairs Brian LewisCyril Paul and Pat Driscoll-Wal Handley, Pat Maclure on the 500 miles race 2litre Riley and Dobbs on his off-set singleseater. Farina showed the paces of the new Maserati by lapping in 2 minutes 8 seconds during practice, a second faster than Eccles’ record, and Sommer did 2 minutes 14 seconds. While Maclure astonished everyone by equalling this on his unblown Riley. Conditions were as depressing as they could be on Saturday
morning. The sky was overcast and there were several heavy showers within an hour of the start. The covered stand at Starkey’s Corner was much in favour, in spite of the con fusion caused by the numbers of the seat tickets issued not corresponding with those that were free. Footbridges spanned the course at three points, making it possible for spectators to move about freely, and everyone seemed determined to make the
best of a wet day. Crowds lined the fences below the grand-stands watching last-minute preparations and listening to the roar of the various cars being warmed up. With fifteen minutes to go, the rain ceased, and drivers, mechanics and officials marshalled the cars into their start ing positions. Waterproof sheets were removed, and the many-coloured racing machines could now be seen in all their glory. In the front rank were the blue Alfa-Romeo of Sommer, Farina’s brightred Maserati, beautifully streamlined and very low, and next to it Maclure’s Riley. Behind them the rest of the held was drawn up in threes according to the lap speeds put up in practice. The order
was :—Featherstonhaugh, Earl Howe, and Shuttleworth; Martin, Rose, and “Bira”; Brian Lewis, Handley, and Austin Dobson ; and in the last row Dobbs, Rovere, ,and Eccles.
It was a sple»did sight to see in England, even with the slight anti-climax when it was announced that there were still spectators on the course, which held up proceeding for a quarter of an hour. At last the Union Jack was raised, and the exhaust notes of the cars mounted to a cuhninating pitch, followed by a headlong rush for the first corner at Old Starkey’s. Farina got there a car’s length ahead, with Shuttleworth and Sommer jostling for second position. After that there was a regular dog-fight of Bugattis and Maseratis, while it was noticeable that not _a single car was left on the starting grid. All eyes turned then to the top of the long slope leading down to Starkey’s Corner. A red cm. was the first to come into sight over the brow of the hill, and
was, as one had expected, Farina’s Maserati. In a single lap he had gained eighty yards on Sommer, while Shuttleworth on the green Alfa was some fifty yards to the rear. The rest of the cars were fairly well strung out, the order being Featherstonhaugh, Howe, Martin, “Bira,” Maclure, Rose, Dobson, Lewis, Everitt who was taking the first spell on Rovere’s Maserati and passed Eccles on the hairpin, and finally Dobbs and Brian Lewis. It was Lewis’s first experience of the Riley and he found it difficult to fit into a cockpit arranged to suit Freddy Dixon’s measurements.
On the second lap the order remained the same but Farina had increased his lead to a hundred yards, and then 150 yards on the following one, while Shuttleworth found the French-owned Alfa a little too quick for him, and lost ground each lap. On the fifth lap Farina was nearly a quarter of a mile ahead of Sommer, while Martin passed Lord Howe coming down to Starkey’s Corner. and thus moved up into fifth place. On the seventh lap Farina lapped Lewis, and two laps later overhauled
Dobbs. Charlie Martin had quickened his pace in pursuit of Featherstonhaugh, but had an anxious moment when braking at Starkey’s Corner. He shot off on the grass and ‘turned completely round but got away immediately, while” Bira” had a similar experience with his E.R.A. at Red Gate, but lost two laps in extricating himself. Farina’s average speed after ten laps was 64.55 m.p.h., which was pretty quick considering the state of the roads. It was obvious all the same that he was not hurrying, just rolling round the corners
and ” away like a VS Ford, and keeping Sommer at a comfortable 150 yards. Rain showers fell from time to time, but Farina did not seem to be worried by them and his speed mounted to 66.61 m.p.h. at the twentieth lap. Featherstonhaugh took to the grass on, the hairpin to avoid a car in front of him and Martin passed into fourth place, but a few laps later braked heavily when in hot pursuit of Shuttleworth, who was running steadily third, and spun right
round at Starkey’s Corner. Eccles was cut in the face by a flying stone and had to come in and hand over to Fairfield.
On the thirty-fourth lap Shuttleworth came roaring down to Starkey’s Corner in company with ” Bira ” on the E.R.A. He found, that the latter, whose car bore the legend ” Siam ” in large letters in case anyone should mistake his nationality, had no intention of giving way, and had no option but to charge straight on to the grass, just pulling up in time to avoid hitting the bank. He came into the pits two laps later to enter a protest, but the only result of this was that he lost third place to Charlie Martin on the 3.3 Bugatti. ” Forty laps at 65.47 m.p.h. and no retirements,” said the announcer, but he was only just right. A few moments later Farina was reported as having stopped near McLean’s Corner with a broken half-shaft in the back-axle, which was most disappointing after Farina had shoWn what the car could dO. At the same time Rose (2.3-litre Alfa-Romeo)
came coasting down to the pits and retired with engine trouble. With Farina’s retirement Sommer moved into the lead, and at 50 laps C. E. C. Martin (3.3-litre Bugatti) was second, 1 minute 40 seconds behind, and Lord Howe on a similar car was only 10 seconds in the rear. Shuttleworth who was fourth was within four lengths of being lapped by Sommer, but now decided the time had come to make a stand. The two Alfas were perfectly matched and after a time the English driver widened the gap to forty yards. This contest was ended by Shuttleworth having a terrific skid at the hairpin corner shooting up the bank, and Sommer was past before he got back on to the road. Featherstonhaugh on his 3-litre Maserati was lying fifth, and Everitt on the 6-cylinder model, which he found very difficult to handle, sixth. The brakes squealed unpleasantly
each time the car came up to a corner, suggesting bother in that department very soon.
On his fifty-ninth lap Sommer came into the pits, and besides refuelling changed all eight plugs, possibly as a result of his duel with Shuttleworth. This stop cost him over 3 minutes and so Martin passed into the lead, having completed 60 laps at a speed of 66.04 m.p.h. Lord Howe then came in and Shuttleworth jumped up into second place.
Sommer set off again with renewed speed and at the sixty-fifth lap had pulled up to second place. Shuttleworth refuelled and adjusted his brakes all in the record time of 1 minute 10 seconds, but his stop pulled him back to fourth, while Everitt had been doing wonders with the 6-cylinder Maserati and had taken third place. Just as Sommer looked like catching Martin, his bonnet strap broke and he was flagged into the pits to remove it, and again four laps later to fit another on in its place. These delays so infuriated Sommer (bonnet straps are not compulsory on the Continent) that he lost all restraint and started to overdrive the Alfa
Romeo, and on the seventieth lap wasseen to come slowly into the pits. A mechanic jacked up a back wheel and twisted it this way and that—another broken halfshaft. Sommer kicked the offending bonnet strap and left the course. The second most dangerous car in the race was hors-de-combat.
This left Martin in the lead, while Everitt now lay second even after a 1 minute pit-stop. This erstwhile driver of M.G.s was making a splendid impression on a car which proved a real ” handful ” on the twisty Donington course, and Rovere was quite content to let him continue the good work. Shuttleworth was back in third position and Lord Howe conserved his car and held on to fourth place. Incidents were reported from various parts of the course, the most serious when Dobson (Maserati) crashed at the hair-pin
and retired, with the driver O.K. Featherstonhaugh, who had been in sixth place, dropped out at Coppice Corner with transmission trouble. Dobbs had lost second gear on his Riley, and came in to hand over to von der Becke, while Eccles was in ‘trouble with his brakes once again.
Brakes of course were the main trouble, and Everitt and Driscoll both gyrated at Starkey’s as the result Of ” stoppers ” which did unexpected things. Apart from that, the vibration on the Maserati was so great that Everitt’s feet became quite numb, and he had to come in and hand over to Rovere.
With a hundred laps completed the order was Martin, Shuttleworth, Lord Howe and Everitt„ each separated by a lap, then “Bira” (95 laps) whose 1k-litre E.R.A seemed as fast as ever, and Eccles (Bugatti) with 93 laps. Ten cars were still running after over 250 miles of speed and corner work, a state of affairs which few people would have prophesied before the event. Before he finished Martin was due to call at his pit for a small quantity of fuel and at lap 104 a mechanic hung out a board marked ” In.” Next lap
the car pulled in and eight gallons of fuel was dumped in in a, twinkling. ” You’ve got about two minutes ” said Kensington Moir, who was acting as pitmanager, and Martin rumbled -off again after a stop of only 34 seconds.’ A win for the Bugatti seemed a fore’, gone conclusion but next time round No. 2. failed to appear. Shuttleworth, Lord Howe and I hc rest continued on theirway and it ‘vas not until they had gained two laps on Martin that news came through—he had. gone off the road at McLean’s .Corner and was unable to start the car. Officials came to his rescue and gave hiM a push, but with only ten lari’s to go it was obviously iinpossible to catch up Shuttlewortit or Howe. It was very hard luck, but a
NEW ” COLD-PROOF ” PETROL A new which has been rendered
A new petrol, which has been rendered ” cold-proof,” ensuring summer starting in winter weather, i8 nov4, being delivered from all Esso pumps throughout the country, announce the Anglo-American Oil Co., Ltd. This new Esso petrol should prove a boon to motorists this winter, for it gives double-quick Starting, however cold the day may be. The quickest starting petrol, however, cannot function if the lubricating oil is so thickened by cold that the selfstarter Cannot Swing the engine quickly enough to cause a ‘spark. The company
thing which is always liable to happen when a last-minute stop upsets the rhythm of driving. The final laps were enlivened by a duel between Driscoll and Dobbs on their Rileys: Driscoll’s brakes had almost ceased working, while Dobbs had lost second gear, and time and again they rushed crown together to Starkey’s Corner three of four lengths apart. Lord Howe made great efforts to catch Shuttleworth, whose brakes were not functioning too well, but the Alfa, managed to get home with less than a minute to spare. It was a splendid finish after three hundred miles of ,fine driving, and the spectators were not: slow to show their appreciation of these two and the unfortunate Martin who came in a lap behind. Rovere and accordingly market wi n ter grades of Essolube .Motor Oil which remain fluid
R.A.C. RALLY, 1936 invitation
The invitation of the Mayor and Corporation to hold the R.A.C. Rally at Torquay in 1936 has been accepted by the club.
The date of the Rally will be Tuesday, 24th March, to Saturday, 28th March, and the R.A.C. is now engaged in drawing up the regulations and making the necessary arrangements. Copies of the regulations and entry forms were available at the end of October.
Eccles finished in time in • spite of the various troubles which they had experienced,: while “Bira’s” performance on a lt-litre cat was a tribute both to his skill and to the stamina of the car. RESULTS
1. R. O. shuttlowort ?:.:.904 c.c. Alfa-Romeo, S), 4h. 47m.. 125. 63.97 m.p.h.
2. EarIll owe (3,255 cc. Bugatti, 8), 411. 47m. 57.8s. 63.80 m.p.11.
3. C. E. C. Mart in (3,255 c.c. Bugatti, S), 4h. 49in. 47.4s. 63.39 m.p.h.
4. G. Rovere and W. C. Everitt: (3,700 c.c. Maserati, S), 4h. 53m. 59s. 62.49 m.p.h.
5. ” B. Bira ” (1,188 c.c. E.R.A., S), 4b. 581n. 165. 61.59 m.p.h.
6. A. Fl. L. Eccles mid P. G. Fairfield (3,255 c.c. Bugatti), 4h. 59ni. 335. 61.33 m.p.h.
Still running at the finish : Hon Briau Lewis and C. rani (1,808 c.c. Riley). 117 laps ; W. L. Handley and L. P. Driscoll (1,986 c.c. Riley), 115 laps ; B. G. Dobbs and A. W. von der Becke (1,808 c.c. Riley), 119 laps.
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