Goodwood Autumn Meeting
Hawthorn Wins Woodcote Cup and Goodwood Trophy Races in Thinwall Ferrari -- and sets a new 94.53 m.p.h. Lap Record
In perfect weather, before a good but not a record crowd of spectators, Mike Hawthorn showed the Goodwood clientele his superiority as a driver, winning both the big races in G. A. Vandervell's Thinwall Special Ferrari, and setting fresh race and lap records. It was a magnificent performance -- Hawthorn is undoubtedly Britain's No. 1 driver. Stirling Moss' misfortunes continued, but he secured one second place. Fangio, straight from his great surprise victory at Monza, retired in the Goodwood Trophy but his B.R.M. finished 23 sec. behind Hawthorn in the Woodcote Cup race. The meeting featured some interesting cars, for Moss' Cooper-Alta should have been exceedingly fast on its Monza showing (but wasn't), Volonterio brought a 2-litre Maserati from Italy (which, however, just crawled), and Salvadori drove S. G. Greene's new 2-litre six-cylinder sports Maserati which apparently prompted the lines of the DB3 Aston Martin body (this, too, was disappointing). Salvadori in the works Connaught and Rolt in the Walker Connaught drove splendidly until Rolt's car was sacrificed on the B.R.M. altar. The sunshine seemed to encourage new lap records, Salvadori breaking the Formula II figure, S. Lewis-Evans the Formula III record.
Madgwick Cup -- Formula II, Scratch, 5 Laps
The meeting opened with the Madgwick Cup Race. Salvadori led all the way in the works fuel-injection Connaught, after Moss had left him momentarily at the start. Stirling held second place in the Cooper-Alta but either it had lost its Monza speed or couldn't use it round Goodwood, for Rolt's Connaught was always close behind, especially at the corners. Wharton, recovered from stomach trouble, made a welcome re-appearance but his Cooper-Bristol was for once a discreet distance behind the Connaught, although ahead of Gerard's Cooper-Bristol and Leston's fast-cornering Cooper 1,100. Duncan Hamilton sheared an axle shaft and shed a wheel from Chase's Cooper-Bristol as he let in the clutch, so he missed a drive! Salvadori raised the Formula II lap record to 90.95 m.p.h.
1st: R. Salvadori (Connaught), won by 13.4 sec., at 89.63 m.p.h.
2nd: S. Moss (Cooper-Alta).
3rd: A. P. R. Rolt (Connaught).
Fastest lap: Salvadori. 90.95 m.p.h.
Sports Car Race -- Scratch, 5 Laps
This was again a procession for the place-men, George Abecassis making no mistakes in the new H.W.M. which showed promise in the Nine-Hour Race. This XK120-engined car won comfortably from Wharton's de Dion Frazer-Nash and Brooks in Hely's Frazer-Nash, although on the first lap it was Duncan Hamilton's C-type Jaguar which was third. The L.M.C. ran out of road. Nightingale's XK120 Jaguar dented itself on the chicane, and Hogg's Allard retired after an incident at Madgwick. We had expected great things of Salvadori in Greene's beautiful 12-plug Maserati, but he couldn't better seventh place, behind the duellists Hamilton and Graham Whitehead (DB3) and Head's XK120.
1st: G. Abecassis (H.W.M.), won by 7.4 sec., at 83.0 m.p.h.
2nd: K. Wharton (Frazer-Nash).
3rd: C. A. S. Brooks (Frazer-Nash).
Fastest lap: Abecassis, 84.37 m.p.h.
Woodcote Cup -- Formule Libre, Scratch, 5 Laps
Consternation arose when Hawthorn in the Thinwall Special Ferrari failed to appear on the warming-up lap. He was broadcast for and arrived on the starting grid only 30 seconds before flag-fall, starting from a shade ahead of the B.R.M.s. The Thinwall had been in small pieces the night before, and we feared the worst.
But no! Hawthorn not only led from start to finish, but his race average equalled the old B.R.M. lap record! He established a new lap record of 93.91 m.p.h. and won by over 16 sec. It was an electrifying drive. Some oil was thought to have been dropped at St. Mary's by Greene's Maserati in the previous race, so Hawthorn cornered wide here, whereas the B.R.M.s were clipping the inside. The first lap saw, not the B.R.M.s of Fangio and Wharton hot on the Ferrari's tail, but Salvadori' s Formula II Connaught second, Wharton third, Rolt's Connaught fourth and Fangio only fifth. Wharton passed into second place when Salvadori's car broke an oil pipe on lap two, but Rolt still led Fangio. Then, on lap three, Wharton had a brake lock going into the chicane. The B.R.M. spun, stopped across the track, blocking the corner. Wharton banged in first gear and drove in the anti-race direction out of the corner onto the grass, but Rolt, seeing him approach in this novel manner, took avoiding action and in consequence hit the concrete safety wall, damaging the Connaught beyond repair -- very bad luck.
Wharton went back into the race in third place behind his team-mate and that is how they finished, with Moss fourth, Gerard fifth and the R.R.A. sixth.
1st: M. Hawthorn (Ferrari Thinwall Special), won by 16.2 sec., at 92.11 m.p.h.
2nd: J. M. Fangio (B.R.M.).
3rd: K. Wharton (B.R.M.).
Fastest lap (record): Hawthorn, 93.91 m.p.h.
500-c.c. Race -- Scratch, 5 Laps
In practice Moss found his new Cooper to be slower than his old one so he naturally took the latter. But he never got into the first three, and retired after four laps with his engine unshipping oil. Little Don Parker led all the way in his Kieft, with Bicknell's Staride and S. Lewis-Evans' Beart-entered Cooper fighting a battle-royal behind, which resulted in Lewis-Evans passing on the last lap but one and keeping ahead by a mere 0.2 sec. over the line. It was a grand finish, for Parker had won by 0.4 sec., and in addition, Lewis-Evans set a new Formula III lap record of 83.24 m.p.h. in the process. Thornton's Arnott seized at Lavant on lap two, and Thomas' Cooper ran badly. Moss waved an arm at Lewis-Evans as if baulked on one occasion but, in the opinion of the commentator, Stirling' loses by changing from a big to a small car and vice versa, and his 500-c.c. driving is beginning to suffer in consequence.
1st: D. Parker (Kieft), won by 0.4 sec., at 81.36 m.p.h.
2nd: S. Lewis-Evans (Cooper).
3rd: R. G. Bicknell (Staride).
Fastest lap: Lewis-Evans, 83.24 m.p.h.
Goodwood Trophy -- Formule Libre, Scratch, 15 Laps
With the third B.R.M., Sturzbecher's Meteor-Veritas, Macklin's H.W.M. and Flockhart's E.R.A. non-starters and Rolt's Connaught unrepairable in time, the field comprised 12 cars. Before Madgwick Hawthorn in the purposeful 4½-litre Thinwall Ferrari was past Fangio's B.R.M. He set about breaking his own lap record lap after lap until, as the V12 engine went ragged, he had a sufficient lead to win without anxiety, at record speed. Fangio held second place for eight laps, never, however, dangerously close to Hawthorn. He then spun at Woodcote, letting team-mate Wharton by, as if to compensate for the reverse happening in the earlier race. Then Fangio was seen to be in difficulty with his gear-change and he retired, minus fourth speed, on lap 11, letting Gerard's Cooper-Bristol into third place, ahead of Graham Whitehead's flying E.R.A., Salvadori, who had been fourth for two laps until he spun at St. Mary's, having to manhandle the car off the course himself and wait a long time for a push restart, and Gould's Cooper-Bristol. Thus they finished. Moss only lasted three laps in the Cooper-Alta.
Wharton's B.R.M. misfired at high revs, and was 23 sec. behind the sick Ferrari at the finish. The B.R.M.s certainly make a grand noise, but so do many children's toys. Surely it is time to scrap them now -- for a design unable to beat a basically-1950 Ferrari or even finish two cars in a 36-mile race is useless. The Vandervell/Owen battle with their new cars next year should be worth seeing. Jason-Henry spun at Lavant in the Ecurie Britannique Connaught on lap two and went carefully thereafter.
1st: M. Hawthorn (Ferrari Thinwall Special), won by 23 sec., at 92.7 m.p.h.
2nd: K. Wharton (B.R.M.).
3rd: F. R. Gerard (Cooper-Bristol).
Fastest lap and new record: Hawthorn, 94.53 m.p.h.
First September Handicap -- Sports Cars, 5 Laps
Rather poor handicapping made this an uninteresting race. Woozley's 5.4-litre Allard led Hogg's Allard of the same capacity and Page's Allard, also a 5.4-litre, came strongly into third place. Brooks' Frazer-Nash was fourth, Bix's Jaguar fifth and Goodhew's Darracq sixth, the 1953 Maserati again being well out of the picture.
1st: P. Woozley (Allard), 1 min. 10 sec., won at 75.52 m.p.h.
2nd: J. Hogg (Allard), 1 min. 10 sec.
3rd: R. A. Page (Allard) 0 min. 39 sec.
Fastest lap: Duncan Hamilton (Allard). 81.82 m.p.h.
Second September Handicap -- Racing Cars, 5 Laps
Hawthorn decided not to drive the 11-cylinder Thinwall Ferrari and other non-starters diminished the field. It had, incidentally, been put to "owes 8 sec." Horace Richards' stylish Riley-engined H.A.R., from the "limit" mark, led for three laps, then Dunham's 2½-litre ex-Brooklands Alvis and Marr's Connaught got by. Then, on the last lap, Graham Whitehead's great efforts in the E.R.A. bore fruit and he took the lead. Dunham overdid it at Lavant and rotated, so that Hall in the Border Reivers' Cooper-Bristol took third place. Leston's Cooper 1,100 retired on lap one with gearbox failure.
1st: A. G. Whitehead (E.R.A.), 0 min. 29 sec., won at 85.42 m.p.h.
2nd: L. Marr (Connaught).
3rd: J. K. Hall (Cooper-Bristol).
Fastest lap: Whitehead, 87.27 m.p.h.