TIE FOR WAKEFIELD TROPHY
FINAL TEST CALLS FOR GOOD JUDGMENT IN W.A.S.A. LONDON-EXETER TRIAL
FOR the first time in its history the contest for the Wakefield Trophy, championship of women trials diivers, has resulted in a tie. In the final event of the W.A.S.A. 1988 series, the LondonExeter Trial, Mrs. P. M. Wood, -driving a Frazer-Nash-13.:?I.W., and Miss M. Wilby, with a Frazer-Nash, both put up exactly the same performance on formula in the special acceleration and braking test, and were thus co-winners of the Trophy.
Although the event was, according to tradition, known as the London-Exeter, actually it started and finished at Minehead ! The final test was held on the seafront at this town. Drivers had to accelerate for 100 yards, and then stop as soon as possible after crossing the final line.
Any stopping distance less than 5 yards counted as 5 yards, in order not to upset the formula, and thus although Mrs. Wood stopped in 9 ft. 11 in., her performance was counted equal to that of Miss Wilby, who judged matters so exactly that she brought her Frazer-Nash to rest in just the minimum 15 ft. On the acceleration part of the test, both drivers took 9 secs. Mrs. Wood, with one of the fast T.T. Frazer-Nash-B.M.W.s, got away in terrific style, but braked sooner than was actually necessary. If she had allowed herself the full 5 yards in which to pull up, her acceleration time would certainly have been the better of the two.
As it turned out, the complicated formula justified itself, placing the advantage on judgment, rather than on sheer speed or engine capacity, and a tie was a worthy result. An excellent course had been chosen for the trial preceding this final test, and it was a pity that the event was marred by drizzling rain. Miss Watson, the last winner of the Trophy, unfortunately had injured her arm, and was unable to
start. The first hill was Doverhay, and despite stories that this fearsome gradient was in bad condition—indeed, the surface of the S-bend was very loose and rocky—only One car failed. After the ascent of Edbrooke, the River Bade at Tarr Steps, the famous beauty spot on Exmoor, was found to be in such spate that the water-splash was impassable, and drivers had to take another way round to reach the hill following. Here Miss Milne did very well to make a fine climb with her Singer coupe, which has
seep much service, and only two failures resulted.
A stop-and-restart test was held on Wellshead, the lower corner of which, once marked by an impressive rocky step, has now been built up. Twenty yards had to be covered in a maximum of 7 sees., and all the seven drivers who had qualified for this final trial of the championship series were well within the time. The best was Mrs. Hague, who took only 3f sees. with her Riley Sprite, and a splendid performance was that of Miss Barbara Marshall’s old Anzani-G.N., which Clocked 4i secs. At Southern Wood a tricky section on wet grass caused some difficulty, and .here Miss Milne, .after a plucky effort, had to retire, and Miss Dobson’s Rover and Miss
Bean’s Morgan both failed. Beggar’s Roost, on the other hand, caused no failures, and so competitors returned to Minehead fer the final test. In this Mrs. Hague, who has had much success in rallies this year, was expected to do well, and put up easily the fastest acceleration time (8 sees.), but left the braking so late that on the wet surface her car slid on for more than 38 ft.
RESULTS Lord Wakefield Trophy : Mrs. P. M. Wood (Frazer
Lord Wakefield Trophy : Mrs. P. M. Wood (Frazer
Nash-B.M.W.) and Miss M. Wilby (Frazer-Nash) tie. Victor Riley Trophy : Mrs. K. Hague (Riley). Violet Watson Trophy : Miss Ii. Marshall (Anzani.N.).
Lord Nuffield Trophy •. not awarded.
Lord Decks Trophy : Miss M. Wilily (Frazer-Nash). Association Trophy : Mrs. P. M. Wood (FrazerNash-B.M.W .). First-Class Awards : Mrs. P. M. Wood, Mrs. K. Hague, Mimi M. Wilby, Miss B. Marshall,
Third-Class Awards : Miss E. M. Dobson (Rover), Miss 1). L. Bean (Morgan).
The two German teams have returned from England well pleased with them selves. Of the two, Auto-Unions are rather more happy at the moment, as their cars showed themselves to be definitely faster than the Mercedes in Great Britain, both on aCcekration and in maximum speed. What is more, they now seem to be reliable, and even better, the great Tazio Nuvolari has finally mastered the different ” feel” of a rearengined car. He has a fine second-string in Hermann Muller, while Rudolf Hasse is steadily improving
Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, can point out that it might have been a different tale if Seaman hadn’t lost a whole lap when he skidded on the oil, that Lang was handicapped by a broken windscreen, and that Von Brauchitsch had a badly blistered hand.
But that still doesn’t get away from the fact that the Auto-Unions had quicker acceleration.
There are going to be some battle royals between these two teams next year, both of which will benefit, mechanically, from the few months of the ” close ” season’.
Parisian motor-racing circles are considerably relieved at the miraculous recovery of Laury Schell from his severe injuries in the smash which prevented him from seeing his Delahayes in action at Brooklands. First reports of his accident were not unduly alarming, but the next message seemed to contain a
doubt whether he would survive. A complicated trepanning operation has been carried out on his head, and he is now well on the road to recovery.
Schell and his madame are tremendously popular in France, and indeed all over Europe, as they well deserve to be.