MATTERS OF MOMENT, November 1950





It was gratifying that the B.R.M., driven by Reg. Parnell, won both its races on the rain-soaked Goodwood circuit during the last 11.A.R.C. meeting of 1950.

As this was the car’s first public appearance after its Silverstone fiasco, everyone naturally tried to learn as much as possible from its behaviour. What, then, did it all add up to’? Parnell covered 13 practice laps before the meeting. His

fastest was at 89.1 m.p.h., 0.16 m.p.h. below the lap-record he set in 1940 in a 4CLT Maserati. The 13.1LM. had the circuit to itself, the Maserati was

in a race, but against this the British car went out when the course was somewhat slippery. Parnell won the Woodcote Cup at an average speed of 78.5 m.p.h., doing his best lap at 82.01 m.p.h., and the Goodwood Trophy at 82.48 m.p.h.., with a fastest. lap of 84.05 Both races were run in the rain, the course soaked, hut conditions were perhaps not quite so severe as at Easter, when Parnell won equivalent races in his Maserati. On that occasion he was 4.22 m.p.h. slower in winning the big race than his average in the Goodwood Trophy race in the 11.11.M., and de Graffenried, who made the fastest. lap at Easter, got round 1.71 m.p.h. slower than the 13.R.M. Tile lit tisld car sounded magnilicent. displayed immense acceleration up the straights and was never in top gear at any place on the circuit. Against that it was hesitant on getting

away, Maserati and E.R.A. outpacing it initially, and it was reported to look somewhat. unsteady at the front, end when cornering. Parnell deserves the very highest praise for the skill and restraint he displayed in introducing the BALM. to the chequered flag. Pessimists point out that ” Bira ‘• in Plate’s 4C111’ Maserati was within 1.6 seconds of the H.R.M. at. the conclusion of the Woodeote Cup mid 12.4 (or less I han 12 b ) see behind it as it.witti the Goodwood Trophy. While offering sincere congratulations to ” Bira ” on his magnificent driving, which constituted the only

real opposition to the 13.11.M., it. is perhaps an insult. to the intelligence of our readers to explain that this challenge proved nothing, because no one except Parnell knows just how mach the 13.R.M. had in hand. Reg. had his rear-view mirrors, event if these were not of regulation size ! Everyone, ourselves included, was delighted that the 11.11.N1. won, but it is nonsense to say that the car was proved a world• beater in full-length Grands Prix on its Goodwood showing of that it subdued ” strong opposition.” It raced, in fact, for just over 30 minutes or 40.8 miles. Moreover we consider that the policy agreed to by the organisers some time before the day of the meeting, of allowing the car to Shelter in the Scrutineers’ Enclosure instead of in No. 1 bay in the Paddock adjacent to its Maserati rivals was an unfortunate one. Those who paid their 1:.1 to enter the Paddock were doubtless disappointed not to see the car to which so many of them have contributed, and surely the B.R.M. and its personnel should, from the first, have taken its normal

place in the Paddock as the AlfaRomeos do when they visit Silverstone. To treat it as a pampered thing at home is only likely to cause trouble when Continental crowds press close on the eve of more important engagements abroad. In the light of the foregoing, enormous credit goes to Raymond Mays for immediately pressing for a 13.11.M. entry in the 200-mile race at Barcelona, even at the risk of the ears ” blowing up.” That is a far more sensible test, one from which valuable lessons, victory or not, cannot fail to result, and it is high time the 13.R.M. be tested in this manner. As soon as MOTOR SPORT heard the gratifying decision of the Trust to send two ears to Spain, to be driven by Reg. Parnell

and Peter Walker, we hired a charter aircraft and, if all goes to schedule, a report of the B.R.M.’s first Continental engagement will appear on page 570 of this issue. The British car front Bourne will meet, strong competition from Ihe pew 4b-litre Ferraris (believed to have new twin-cam heads), Milans and Maseratis, although unfortunately not from AlfaRomeo. If the 13.11.N1. fails to win or even to finish at Penya Rhin there will be far more excuse for it than if it had lost, both its little races at. Goodwood.

The thoughts and good wishes of every British enthusiast were with Mays and the, and with the drivers, on October 29th. May the best car win–and, writing this Editorial before the race, we devoutly hope that that car is the B.R.M. But, win or lose, providing is good show is put up, the Trust can look forward to renewed support in the immediate future. Financial support, is essential if the 11.12.N1. is to succeed and we are privileged to annotmee that space will be given in NIOTou Seoul.

to the 11.1LNI.A. for its future announcements.