CLOSE OF THE BROOKLANDS SEASON
HANS RUESCH (ALFA-ROMEO) MOUNTAIN CHAMPION MAYS (E.R.A.) VICTORIOUS IN SIAM MOUNTAIN RACE. AN OUTER-CIRCUIT RACE WON BY OLIVER BERTRAM’S BARNATO-HASSAN AT 1281 M.P.H. AN extremely interesting meeting on October 16th finished the 1938 B.A.R.C. season, attended by quite an excellent crowd, as is usual when so many people are ” up ” (or “down “)
for the Show. For the first time at any motor-course, outer-circuit, mountain nii(1 road-circuit races were staged during the same afternoon, and a record number of entries was obtained.. The first race on the card was a short, outer-circuit handicap. Powell’s 847 c.c. M.G. led at first, followed by Gordon Brettell’s skinny Austin Seven and Fred
Thatcher’s M.G. Magnette. Btettell eventually got into the lead, but the back markers came up fast and Elgood’s 44-litre Bentley, which ran so well at the M.C.C. Meeting, won by 2 secs. at nearly 102 m.p.h. from Wooding’s 3.3litre Talbot off the same mark, followed home by Powys-Lybbe’s Alfa-Romeo, Which pulled down excitingly off the Home Banking for the last time, in order to pass Barker’s sports 3-litre Sunbeam. The scratch Bowler-Hofmau-Special lacked knots. The next short handicap saw Harvey-Noble’s very rapid, monopost° M.G. Midget, holder of the Class H lap record, make good use of a 21 secs. Start to stave off the back markers and win at 113.4 m.p.h., followed by a mere i. of a sec. by Couper’s Talbot 105, which had the same handicap. Oliver Bertram, who snaked about on his first lap, pulled close in on the Railway Straight and thundered the Baniato-Hassan-Special into third place. It looks very imposing in pale blue finish, with the protruding air intake tunnel, and black disc on the rear wheels. Clayton drove his Amilcar Six and P. Courtney the Amilcar Six once raced by VvIdengren. The third race was a long handicap. Miss McOstrich led for a while in her Frazer-Nash, followed by Thatcher’s M.G., Follett’s 14-litre Alvis and Barker’s 3-litre Sunbeam. Then T. H. Wisdom, from the 42 sec. mark came through on a stripped edition of the new sports 34-litre SS. 100. 11c won easily at 111.85 m.p.h., lapping at 117 m.p.h. believe the car had a compression-ratio of 12 to 1, .against the standard ratio of 7.2 to 1, but was otherwise completely standard. This definitely puts the new S.S. amongst the forefront of ultra-fast sports-cars. It will be recalled that Wisdom .did a similar pre-Show demonstration with the 2..}litre S.S. last year. How so much speed is built into such moderately-priced cars is a question other fast-car designers
should endeavour to solve. Another sports-car was second, in the form of H. J. .Aldington’S Type 328 FrazerNash-B.M.W., fully equipped as usual, which started 16 secs, before the S.S. Follett was third on his Alvis. The Sunbeam, which is blown, had trouble. In the last of the outer-circuit handicaps, a long race, Oliver Bertram pulled
out some real speed, coming through from scratch with Capt. W. Barnato’s Barnato-Hassan-Special, to win. at 128f m.p.h., finishing 4 sec. ahead of W. E. Humphreys’s special M.G. Midget. The Clayton Amilcar was third. Bertram did some neat passing of several slower cars, going in to the finish. We are glad the B.A.R.C. still stages outer-circuit races, in spite of the attraction of the other -circuits, and urge them to continue to do so next year. There are still spectators who .enthuse over flat-out speed and members of the B.A.R.C. who still enjoy a fast race round the outer-circuit, even though 30 few now specialise in building cars for this class of racing. Many amateurs are missing a good opportunity of converting interesting material into fast outer-circuit cars-which involves less expense
than is the case when brakes, steering, gearbox and transmission have to be of a high standard such as the other circuits demand and where power-weight ratio becomes of extreme importance. Next we had the Mountain Race over 10 laps, for the Siam -Challenge Trophy, held by Raymond Mays and presented by H.R.H. Prince Chula of Siam. A class handicap was used, 750 c.c. cars getting 20 secs. start, 1,100 c.c. cars 15 secs., with Ii-litre cars-the limit-on scratch. Hadley on the little green Austin went round in the lead for five laps, but Mays on the works E.R.A. was coming up steadily, driving absolutely
at his limit. Peter Aitken’s Shelsley Frazer-Nash toured in after a lap and R. G. J. Kingsmill on the Spikins-SingerBantam was in trouble later, while Hadley retired on his last lap. Walker was going great guns on his E.R.A., but Count Trossi on the four-cylinder Maserati passed him, only to retire a couple of laps later-these Mountain races are stern medicine. Charles Martin was giving us a great exhibition of verve in his E.R.A. and at last he got past Walker to lead by about a length, only to be passed by Walker at the Fork on the very last lap. So Mays’s black, very business-like E.R.A. came home to another victory, at 80.08 m.p.h., well ahead of Walker’s E.R.A., with Wakefield’s Maserati only f sec. away in third place. Last year Mays won this race for E.R.A. at 77.98 m.p.h. So to the scratch 10 lap contest for the Mountain Championship. Very regrettably Mays had experienced trouble with the 2-litre E.R.A. in practice and he was obliged to scratch. Things looked pretty promising for Hans Ruesch who, as in 1936, was over specially for the race in the now familiar, much-used 8.8-litre eight-cylinder Alfa-Romeo. Sure enough, after a momentary dash by Bartlett’s 2-litre Alta, the Alfa led, getting so comfortable a lead that Ruesch eased up, to win by 22f secs. at 80.41 m.p.h., compared with Mays’s average of 80.84 m.p.h. when his E.R.A. won this race last year. Ruesch gets b:10 and a replica of the “Kathleen Drogheda “Trophy. A great duel took place for second place between Kenneth Evans with his 2.9-litre monoposto Alfa-Romeo and Wakefield’s little Maserati. Wakefield drove magnificently and passed Evans on the eighth lap going into the Members’ Corner, but he thereafter retired, presumably with lock
ing brakes. Evans was second, Bartlett’s Alta third and the irrepressible Percy Maclure fourth with the 2-litre Riley-unbloven, but ” boosted ” for all that, as it well deserves to be. The next three races were over 3 laps of the Campbell Road Circuit, handicapped on the usual B.A.R.C. basis. These races follow those run off at the special Campbell Circuit Meeting held earlier this year and very excellent races they are. The urge that sooner or later possesses a new driver to compete in an event with corners is easy to understand and these events are obviously going to form an extremely important and instructive part of B.A .R.0 activities in 1938. Those who specialise in making cars go into and around corners very quickly are likely to find much increased work as a result, for the Brooklands road-course is one of
very fast bends. The spectators, too, like these events, and from the Hill an excellent close-up view of three corners and the starts and finishes is available, as well as a bird’s-eye view of most of the rest of the course. Paddock on-lookers have the alternative of crossing the finishing-straight bridge to the new pits, or of going “out into the country” to the Aerodrome bends. At present one is kept rather far back from the road at the latter position, which is wise, and starts and finishes cannot be seen. We suggest a new bridge and a stand inside the Wey bend, if possible with high enough seating to command a view of the Hill Straight. In the first race Lind-Walker’s Bugatti led from John Dugdale’s smart black
unblown M.G. Magnette and Nickols’s blown M.G. Midget, until Nickols took the lead to win at 63.46 m.p.h. with M. S. Soames, driving J. H. T. Smith’s welltuned M.G. Magnette, second and Walker, from scratch, third in the E.R.A., which slid far enough off the road to raise a shower of earth one lap. In the next race Roy Eccles’s Eccles-Special won at 67.19 m.p.h. from the Appleton-Special with H. J. Aldington’s Type 328 fullyequipped Frazer-Nash-B.M.W., which cornered most impressively and almost matched the Appleton-Special it seemed on acceleration, third. Billy Cotton and Martin, on E.R.A.s; were both on scratch and Martin finished ahead. Hyde drove the ex-Tapper 3-litre Maserati carefullyit has a normal, centrally disposed gearlever and rev.-counter on the steering column. Finally, in the last race, Count Trossi, who had been a non-starter in the Mountain Championship, started from scratch and drove a most polished race, just failing to catch Austin Dobson’s Maserati, which started 18 secs. ahead, for third place. J. B. Wilson’s R-type M.G. won at 61.55 m.p.h. with Hunter’s Sports Type 328 fully-equipped Frazer Nash-B.M.W. second. No one had bettered A. C. Dobson’s lap record for the circuit of 73.13 m.p.h., established with his E.R.A., though attempts were anticipated during the following fort night. Nor had anyone bettered the highest average for a Campbell Trophy handicap, which remains at 71.09 m.p.h., also to the credit of A. C. Dobson and his
So ended another highly successful Brooklands year, admirably managed in. every respect, as one has come to expect of Mr. Percy Bradley. It is noticeable that there have been no bad accidents throughout the season, excepting the unfortunate practice crash of Mrs. Petre’s, from which, we are glad to record, she is slowly recovering.
October strikes cold after 5 p.m., and the meeting having finished commendably to schedule, there was a general flocking to the car-parks and much winding-up of saloon car windows and slamming of saloon car doors. Here’s to the spring !