The first Big Bristol M.C. &L.C.C. Race meeting at castle combe
The First Big Bristol M.C. & L.C.C. Race Meeting at Castle Combe
Brian Shawe-Taylor Wins Formula Libre Race in his E.R.A. and Sets Record Lap. Stirling Moss Wins Three Races in Unsupercharged Cars, Peter Collins Wins 500-c.c. Race.
T.w. Bristol Club held its first big race meeting at the 1.84-mile Castle Combe circuit on October 71.11. The racing was some of the best we have seen this year and Castle Combe looks like ranking as the ” Silverstone of the West” in 1951. Nine tett-lap races, two of then fin. sports ears, were run off and the organisation was excellent. ItaM fell during practice but stoplied for the racing, altliongh leaving the
course very slippery for the heats of the 500-e.c. race. However, the surface is effectively skid-proof, although very bumpy in plak:es and edged with loose stones. The circuit einbnices some interesting corners, notably Tower and Quarry, and was Veil SVEVed by Antone public-address apparatus. The Paddock is on the opposite side to the starting-grid, which calls for a useful half-lap Vanning up run before each event, if slightly less convenient to lazy Pressmen than tlw layout of Lulsgate.
A good crowd lined the ropes, considering the rain and cold wind. No accidents marred the racing save for one incident, which could have been ugly but luckily wasn’t • when Richmond’s Rapier baulked de Lissa’s M.G. going into Quarry Corner. The ears touched, and de Lissa was forced on to the grass and, his steering damaged, swerved towards the spectators. They were not tightly packed and were able to scatter easily, and in any case de Lissa stopped clear of the rope barrier, but this is the sort. of thing which could have dire results. The Bristol Club, thanks to the generous co-operation of Mrs. Kathleen Maurice who owns the land, have an excellent circuit in Castle Combe and it should be lef le of I 11,(_`w brighter spots in 1951. On October 71.h. Stirling Moss was outstanding. His Cooper-Norton went. sick aftxr winning its heat, but MOSS won races with an HAV.M. and a sports ” Le Mans ” Frazer-Nash against still tion, often badly placed on the grid. and his spirited duel with the Whitelionse E.ILA., when he had the unblown
was (Pike epic and Proves 311-1ain Stirling’s great. talent and adaptability. In practice, bnike failure put him into a field at Quarry Corner but left hint unruffled.
Racing Cars to Formula 111, Heat 1, Ten Laps
The course wits very wet, and much sliding abota luippelied. But H. M. Dryden made no mistakes and led front start to finish in his Cooper-Norton. the issue never in doubt. Tlw sight of the massed field bearing down on Quarry Corner was immense and a foretaste of what was to follow in other rates, 110v
land apparently remembered that the trials season has commenced, for lie frequently drove his Cooper on the grass, and Jones’ Mereury-.J.A.P. Iliad an exciting ‘ time at Quarry after losing adhesion, but continued.
Lones’ Iota fell back after a good start. but accelerated better than the Grose. out of Quarry. On hip six Nurse’s Cooper slid round in the path of Dryden but all was well. The back wheels of Burgess’ Cooper were returned wliere they belonged by deft wheel-work, but Paul Emery’s Emeryson accelerated better. until its engine gave trouble, although Burgess nminaged to pass it. into the corner and vent into second place, wliielt 1Le illS1 lost to I.,ones ii> t he run-in, the Iota having picked up live places after its initial setback. Drydien’s comparatively low average emphasises Ilow wet was the road. tsd :It. M. Dryden (I ooper.:Corton). Wan b.r see., :it 67.81
211t1 : II. 1,0111,8 (Iota ” Tiger Kitten II “I. I. Burgess (I’ooner-I.A.V.).
Racing Cars to Formula Ill, Heat 2, Ten Laps
Naturally, all eyes were on that No. 1 driver, Stirling Moss. Ile was second to Peter Collins after a lap and the next lap the position was the same, with Stirling trying unsuccessbffly to puss outside till the corners. Braid was ill trouble, Watkins and Moor were right at the baek. After II iris’ laps Collins had pulled clear of Stirling, but a lap later Miss was riglit on his tail again and from lap live Onwards he was in the lead, vItielt he steadily increased after he had led Collins so fast into Quarry that his rival slid on to the grass. Stirling glancing back the better to enjoy the spectacle. Behind, a good way behind, Rogers held third plane frran Leary and Brake. Cadbury’s comic -“Tiger Kitten and Ebdon’s Cooper retired, Moss lookilI Inick again to see how Collinsa back wheel seeming to be
out of truenumaged Quarry next I limit’, 81111 1 lois it ended. : s. to,. ••?013,rNortteo. Von by 1.0 s,3%, st 7:i. ii ,
:A. Rovers (cooper).
Racing Cars, 501-1,100 c.c. Ten Laps
Vhlurto0 in the cream Cooiwr 1.000 presse4I on well tont truly, leading the tightly-lamehed, snarling pack to Quarry after the start. Winterbottont’s Cod3per ,000 was pressing him hard, with Merriek’s Cooper 1,100 in third place, AVOI idiom’ of O. Pkippy ita histories compact, steady-ridling 1/jinn and Webb’s exParnell i.f.s. M.G.. which politely waited for Richmond’s tail-leSs, bonnet-less, twostage Rapier before taking Quarry. On the ocx t lap this order rei uained. except
aforesant Hiclundaidide 11.igsa episodic put the latter out and dropped the Rapier 10 eight h place. On I lie fount It lap Merrick passed Winterbothan and a lap later Whael.on. his lead conmilidated, lapped Bristow’s white 1.100-c.e. Alta. Six laps, and Winterbottom’s Cooper began to nais-tire, losing third place to Poppy, while after another lap Merrick had retired. These diseases did not spread to 1VIdarton’s very fast car, whieli won extremely mnvineingly, lapping all but the second and third pkwc-inen after eight laps. As Winterbottom dropped back Poppy got the Djinn home a well
deserved scoond, with Wel)b third.
381: K. Wharton tto,qter.I.A.1′. 1,(100). Wan II)’ 56.11 Ser., la 75.9.2 2nd : 0. Poppy 0/jitai-.I.A.P.).
:irtl: Webb (M.0. /.
Racing Cars, 1,101-1,500 c.c., Ten Laps
Keen anticipation -as they Iliad up, for the field included Gerard’s E.R.A., all the way front Leicester to support. Bristolian enterprise and seek a .£310 first
prize, Shawc-l’aylor’s K.R.A., A. G• Machead’s E.H.A. and Martin in Hartwell’s V..R.A, The Bag fell, the pack roared away, but a bay-window appeared where no bay-window should be in the engine of Martin’s car, having appreciable oil on the enurse. Gerard litchi his own to Quarry, and, indeed, was never caught. Behind him Shawc-Taylor gave an almost (Int:illy polished distday of driving. chased by Itiehaedson.s E.H.A.-engined 11.R.A, until the third 1111), when Whitelwad came by. Ching eujoyed himself but was obviously far slower in his old unblown Ilugal Ii. Peter Collins was trying his utmost, to overcome blown six-cylinder opposition in his 1,200-c.e. Cooper—I.A.P., actually pAssing NVIliteliead as they accelerated out of Quarry. Itichimison, troubled by locking brakes. had fallen back. Meanwhile Gerard. always a tiny margin ahead if SI ULWe-Tny 10 r , (44)%1′ ftli a I ICSS ly titid t t WO drew Oil it of sight of evei yone else. Collins won his duel with Whitehead and Richardson was 1st g: ‘to-dot Wort bY 1.1 St”, ttt SOASS ‘211d :tIN. Shawe-T.tylor
31,1 I’. 0ollins ofooper-.1.A.P, 1:2(10).
Racing Cars, 1,501-2,500 c.c., Ten Laps
The attraction here was Stirling Moss in an against Crook’s sister car, the 0.11.M., Newton’s Le Mans ” FrazerNash, and ‘Vharton in Bell’s. 2-litre E.H.A.. uI wItieli he had beaten Raymond Mays up Shelsley. It was an immense struggle. As they arrived at. Quarry Corner. one of those long righthand, 18O-deg. bends, 1Villment led the lot, in Ayrton’s special Type 51 Bugatti, until he ;„,d-yrated and slud. backwards into
the _clover. LIMO’S blown ” 2.8 ” BUgatti was apparently sickened by this and took no further interest. So Wharton led lap one from Moss, whose H.W.M. was being driven to its limit and had disposed of everyone, save de Mattos’ CromardSpecial, which hung on in third place. It was now a matter of what Moss, in his normally-aspirated 2-litre could do to Wharton in his Roots-blown 14-litre. Wharton had better general acceleration but into the bends Moss gained yards— indeed, on some laps he was forced to follow the E.R.A. radiator-grille to •tail round Quarry. Kenneth McAlpine was holding fourth place behind the Cromard in a very smart, low Continental-C.F.looking, disc-wheeled Formula II car, the new hush-luislt I ,767-e.e. Connaught monoposio. Next. c; I I Lt. the 0.13.M., Oscar Moore seemingly a bit flurried and braking fiercely at times. On lap five we noticed Wharton glance at the E.R.A.’s gear Ouachita as he changed down for Quarry and Moss swept up on him
relentlessly. The 0.13.M. was -now very slow to pick up. A lap later .Wharton’s E.R.A. had drawn away a trifle from the H.W.M. but very soon Stirling was right on its tail ‘again. The smart single-seater Connaught was third. the Cromard-:now fourth and Newton’s sports Frazer-Nash pressing it hard under braking but not quite a match for the Laystalt,sponsored car aceeleratively. These two enjoyed a grand tussle to the ,end, Wharton’S gearbox broke on the eighth lap and Stirling Won easily but brilliantly from the Connaught and Cromard.
5, Moss (.M,W.M.). Won by 30.2 see., at 78.54 m.p.h.
2nd : K. McAlpine (Connaught).
3rd: B. C. P. de Mattoa (ConnantSpeelal).
Racing Cars to Formula Ill, Ten Laps
Moss was in trouble with NO of power from the Norton and a wide-ratio gearbox and wasn’t in the race at first. However, from Sixth place on lap one and ninth place on lap two—by which time Symonds had stopped before Quarry and the Wasp was not running properly—Stirling was fifth after three circuits and passed Brake at Quarry on lap four, to become fourth behind Collins, Dryden and Burgess. Next lap he was third and he held that position until, his engine not being itself—he had nearly stopped altogether out of Quarry Corner on lap one—he was beaten on the run-in by Burgess’ Cooper. Meanwhile, Dryden had wrested the lead from Collins after two laps, to lose it again two rounds later,. whereupon • he pressed his rival hard, often right on his tail at Quarry, to lose by a second.
Collins and ‘ Curly ” tried to shake hands while in motion after the race but failed to “make contact” Even here Moss proved his skill, “clasping ” with Collins while both Coopers were going -quite rapidly. 1st : P. J. Collins (Cooper). Won by to see.. .73.65
2nd : It. M. Dryden (Cooper).
3rd: 1. Burgess (Cooper).
Sports Cars up to 2,000 c.c., Ten Laps
An interesting field took the grid. MOSS was out of his sick Cooper and into Murray’s “Le Mans” Frazer-Nash with scarcely a breather. Crook and Joan Gerard (making a welcome return to racing) also had these ears. John Cooper
was fancied in the two-seater CooperM.G. and Sparrowe had a blower On his swift Morgan “4/4.” On the first lap Tony Crook led from Moss, who had been way-back at the start, these two chased by R. F. Peacock’s well-known ” 328 ” 13:MAV. Moss took
the lead on lap twe, using his brakes fiercely before the corners, and Crook had the good sense to let him win. Always Peacock, in the far less. noisy B.M.W., was third, but a long way behind. The Cooper-M.G. was fifth behind Sparrowe until trouble developed. Ruddoek’s H.R.G. had come up by then to occupy this position in front of Mrs: Gerard. On her seventh lap Jean passed Gerry and when the blown Morgan ” blew-up ” by Quarry Joan automatically took
fourth place. The Connaught was slow for a Connaught. but seventh behind Ruddoek, followed by Croysdill in /Wand & Tabor’s odd, large-looking but effective If litre Lester-M.G., followed by Davis in the ex-Leonard M.G.
1st : S. MOM (Frazer-Nash). Won by 2,2 see., at 74.77 m.p.h.
2nd: ‘r. A. D. crook (Frazer-Nash).
3rd : It. F. Peacock (BMW.).
Sports Cars Over 2,000 c.c., Ten Laps
This was very definitely Sydney Allard’s race, in the Cadillac-Allard J2. Let us trace his truly meteoric progress.. Crozier’s 8-litre Bentley, ex-Metcalfe, led into Quarry after the start, a grand vintage sight, but after a lap Sydneyhad a -vast lead. After two laps theAllard was getting on for half-a,lap ahead of Crozier, who thundered mightily into Quarry, then had to waste so much time stopping his vast car that Craig’s 34-litre push-rod Jaguar, outpaced on the straights. closed right up on him. Craig even p.is,(41 ,11
Quarry on lap four but Was behind again next round. To return to Allard, he lapped Mellor’s 44.-litre Bentley after four laps, Boothby’s ” SilverstOnt ‘ Healey after six laps,O’Mara Taylor’s 31-litre S.S., that. was fifth, after nine laps and won in a canter at over 74 m.p.h. average. Behind, Crozier, on a stirring drive, managed to hold second place, although Craig was trying all he knew, making the Bentley driver scatter stones from the edge of the road, entering Quarry a trifle too fast, on his •seventh The race had other aspects of interest. The best Dargue could do in Leslie Johnson’s XKI20 Jaguar was fourth— beaten by the Allard, Bentley and prewar Jaguar. The other S.S. (nee Jaguar)
kept ahead of Mountford’s ” Bugatti and Watkins’ ” Silverstone ” Healey , while Burton’s 44-litre Bentley and Williams’ 44-litre Bentley staved off Hay’s famous Rolls-Bentley saloon, which pattered its front wheels over the Castle Combo liumps—a vintage victory. Hay, in his turn, kept ahead of Boothby’s Healey. These club sports-car contests are so revealing !
1st: S. A. Allard (Chilillae-Allard 12). Won at 74.1 M.p.h.
Cad : G. M. Crokier (Bentley). 3rd : 3. It Craig (Jaguar).
Formula Libre, Ten Laps
Like the last race at the Brooklatids Autumn Meetings, everyone realty put. cant h in to the winds-and-went motoring hi the failing light of the bleak afternoon. Gerard hadn’t entered and, alas, Poore’s Alfa-Romeo had broken a piston at Goodwood and wasn’t present. So Brian’ Shawe-Taylor was never challenged and won deservedly—deservedly, after his many very fine drives this season. In the fourth race he had lapped faster than Gerard, at 81.79 m.p.h., and now he
raised the Castle Combe lap-record to 82.6 m.p.h. (l Min. 20.2 sec.), proving this excellent new circuit to be about as fast, possibly faster, than GoodwoOd. • Winterbottom’s Cooper 1,000 held second place for two laps, then lost it to Graham Win; id ‘s 11;..R.A., and was also passed by Moss, going magnificently as usual, in the ituhlown, and one would have thought. 4)111.classed; Behind, the order was Wharton’s Cooper 1,000, in place of Ito 1•:. t. A., Richardson’s.lt McAl pinc’S racing Connaught, Butterworth, win ?s?• A..1.11. never really got going
properly, Newton’s ” Le Mans ‘ FrazerNash and Montgomerie,Charrington’s Coop,tr. After three laps, the leading three drew well .away from the rest, with Most beating,up Whitehead on every corner, and even drawing level momentarily out of them. Sliawe-Taylor drew well away from these two and thus this excellent race ended. Richardson 1usd passed Winterbottom and Wharton to take fourth
Castle Cotnbe had been most enjoyable and a fine tribute to Moss’ skill and versatility.—W. 13.
1st. : 1;, N. Shawe-Taylor (E.B.A.). Won by MD sec.. tt s i .23 m.p.h. 2nd : A. G. Whi1ch,(1 (E.R.,‘ 1. 3rd : S. MOM (11. V.M .).
Record lap : Shim-Taylor (E.H.A.), in 1 min. 20.2 Sec. (82,131114,1i.).