Agen, September 27th.
With a lull in Formula II activities and sports-car racing there was time to look in on a Formula III event. This was the meeting held at Agen, at which a very representative international entry was competing; naturally the British cars and drivers had things all their own way, but the Continental opposition was quite fair. The event was run in three 20-lap heats and a 30-lap final, the first three in each heat going into the final, and with 24 of the 28 entries arriving on the day it made a compact eight cars per heat. Starting was rather vague, the runners doing a complete lap of the 1.7-kilometre circuit behind a pace car and then having a flying start, and as so often happens with this sort of start the results were rather ragged.
In the first heat Brise (Arnott), Lewis-Evans, Snr. (Cooper), and Bradnack (Cooper) were up against a Swiss driver, Gilomen (Cooper), Beels (Cooper), Angeletti with a home-made car, and two local French drivers in D.B.s. Brise was quite unchallenged from the start, though Gilomen was very close to Lewis-Evans, followed by Beels, while Bradnack ran into the straw bales and then broke his gearbox, and the rest were nowhere. After 12 laps when Brise seemed all set to tour home in the lead, the centre axle shaft that carries the sprocket on the rear axle sheared and that was that. This left Evans and the Swiss to have a very good race together until the end of the 20 laps, with Beels finishing third some way behind.
Heat two was quite absurd for the only opposition to Brandon (Cooper) was Davis and Fitzau with early Cooper-J.A.P.s, the rest of the field comprising a very poor collection of slow cars. Even while touring round Brandon set up a fastest lap that remained for the day, and had no trouble at all in winning from Davis (Cooper) and Heineger (Cooper).
The third and last heat was more exciting and really made the day, for it contained Loens (Kieft), Bueb (Arnott) and Lewis-Evans, Jnr. (Cooper), the last named having flown over direct from Goodwood, where he had been narrowly beaten by Parker. Getting away well together it looked as though a good race was going to ensue when a rear hub shaft sheared on the Cooper and a wheel came off, fortunately with no damage. Loens and Bueb then put on a brilliant demonstration, racing wheel-to-wheel until the last corner, when the Arnott ran out of fuel, letting Loens home the winner, Bueb finishing second in neutral, with Chazelet (Volpini) a poor third.
All nine qualifiers were ready for the final and as no French driver had got into the first three of any heat, Audibert was allowed to run, being the best of the French drivers. His Acero D.B. car was a D.B. 500 with the engine put at the back and with rear-wheel drive, which seemed to be a great improvement over the old type of D.B. Brandon, Bueb and Loens rushed away into the lead, with Lewis-Evans, Snr., and the Dutchman Davis a little way behind, but after the first lap Loens lost ground and found his Kieft would not steer very well, Lewis-Evans catching him and staying with him until nearly half-distance. The cause was a slowly deflating rear tyre that finally brought the Kieft to rest at 15 laps, by which time Brandon had outstripped Bueb and the race had become a procession. Although Loens changed a wheel he could not make up the lost time, and before the end his gearbox broke, which settled matters. At 18 laps Bueb disappeared for a while on the back of the circuit while he located lost sparks, and then he stopped altogether with a broken hub-shaft on the rear of the Arnott.
Without straining himself at all Brandon cruised round to win the £100 prize and an armful of cups and gifts, and Lewis-Evans, Snr., made a steady run into second place. On the last lap Davis was lying third when a chain broke and Gilomen beat him home.
1st: E. Brandon (Cooper-Norton) 36 min. 7.8 sec. 84.695 k.p.h.
2nd: L. Lewis-Evans (Cooper-Norton) 36 min. 35 sec.
3rd: H. Gilomen (Cooper-Norton) 36 min. 41 sec.
Fastest lap: E. Brandon (Cooper), 1 min. 6 sec. — 92.727 k.p.h.