Stirling Moss, driving Rob Walker’s Cooper-Climax, won the International F.1 150-mile race at Oulton Park on September 26th. It was a race “International” in name only, because Volonterio, only Continental entrant, substituted Halford to drive Gould’s five-year-old 250F Maserati, which failed to start, proving too slow in practice. It was a curious line-up, composed of Moss and Brabham in Coopers, Bristow, Wicken, Owen, Hart, Marsh and Raby also in Coopers, mostly with 2-litre or smaller engines, Marsh’s having drum brakes. Salvadori’s Cooper-Maserati, which was plagued by fluctuating fuel pressure in practice, Hill and Piper in Lotus cars, and a curious B.M.W. entered by John Brown, who did not get much further than the starting grid. The fire went out of the prospects when Bonnier’s B.R.M. was withdrawn as insufficiently fast. However. Moss slashed the lap record well and truly in practice.
As the flag began to fall Brabham shot away, causing Rob Walker to enter a protest in favour of Moss. However, this protest proved unnecessary, because after five of the 55 laps Moss got past Brabham and ran away with the race.
At times Brabham closed on Moss, but always Stirling speeded up again, finishing with the Gold Cup, £2,000 and a mob of admirers surrounding the Sunbeam Alpine in which he made his lap of honour. He also set the Oulton lap-record to a rousing 97.64 m.p.h.
Brabham drove magnificently, taking corners on opposite lock and only one wheel to steer with, the other being many inches off the ground, while sometimes he hung his Cooper’s tail out so far he raised clouds of dust, or even motored along the verges. But to no avail — he was 5.2 sec. behind at the end of the 150 miles. His jumped start was apparently due to clutch trouble.
The rest of the story is quickly told. Bristow emulated Brabham in a milder manner, never made a mistake, and brought the Yeoman Credit Cooper in third. Salvadori drove the far-from-fit Atkins’ Cooper-Maserati with all his usual fire, to come home fourth, and Graham Hill was fifth, in spite of a shocking start in which he beat only the B.M.W. and a pit stop of 15 sec. on the third lap to report low oil pressure. which he had to contend with for the rest of the race. These positions held from lap nine until the end. But by that time only Moss, Brabham and Bristow were on the same lap, Salvadori being two down, Hill three and Tony Marsh, who led Hart, no fewer than four to the bad, down to Paul Emery in his tail-heavy Cooper-Maserati which nearly got shunted by Brabham on several occasions, who did only 46 laps.
Owen ran up the bank and shot across the course at Old Hall Corner and was out on the first lap. Wicken spun off at Esso Corner on lap six and retired, Piper’s Lotus stopped for water, and so only eight finished, as follows:–
1st: S. Moss (Cooper-Climax) 1hr. 34 min. 37.2 sec. 96.29 m.p.h.
2nd: J. Brabham (Cooper-Climax) 1hr. 34 min. 42.4 sec. 96.20 m.p.h.
3rd: C. Bristow (Cooper-Climax) 1 hr. 36 min. 14.8 sec. 94.65 m.p.h.
4th: R. Salvadori (Cooper-Maserati) 53 laps.
5th: G. Hill (Lotus) 52 laps.
6th: T. Marsh (Cooper) 51 laps.
Lap record: Moss, 1 min. 41.8 sec. — 97.64 m.p.h.
Poor Brian Naylor crashed his J.B.W.-Maserati in practice and was considerably injured. Moss, who arrived in a small Ford, and all the other drivers did a lap of honour before the race seated in or on a team of smart new Sunbeam Alpines.
In the supporting races Jim Clark’s Lotus Elite walked away with the 10-lap Autosport up-to-1,600-c.c. Series Production Sports Car Race, winning at 77.54 m.p.h. from two Elvas driven by wheel-sawing Meek and Ferguson, while in the classes Bob Gerard defeated Shepherd’s Sprite, which has the engine out of Shepherd’s fast A40. Vincent’s Elite was second only to Clark’s Elite and the Elvas vanquished a Twin-Cam M.G.
The over-1,600-c.c. race saw Dickie Stoop lead all the way in his Sebring Frazer Nash, winning at 76.73 m.p.h. from Mitchell’s A.C.-Bristol. about which Jack Sears’ Austin-Healey coupe could do nothing in spite of its greater engine capacity, although it led Class E at 76.59 m.p.h. from Sir Gawaine Baillie’s 4.6-litre Chevrolet. Protheroe’s XK120 lost a lap at the start but circulated fastest, at 77.9 m.p.h.
The meeting concluded with a spirited 14-lap closed-car race, easily won by Salvadori’s 3.4 Jaguar at 76.68 m.p.h. from the XK120 and the Chevrolet. Foster’s Twin-Cam M.G. won its class at 75.8 m.p.h. from Meek’s Alfa-Romeo S.V., which recovered rernarkably well from a nasty off-course excursion after bring carved up by Blond’s Jaguar. Another Jaguar, a Triumph and a Twin-Cam M.G. retired,
Hardman (Riley) of VSCC Wins Motor Sport Silverstone Trophy at N. Staffs M.C. Meeting
Fourteen separate races were contested at the N. Staffs. M.C. Silverstone Meeting on October 3rd, under the blazing sun which has characterised the 1959 summer and antumn. In practice Shank’s Austin-Healey 100 spun at Woodcote and finished up through the Paddock exit gate where another Austin-Healey 100 belonging to an official was standing. Both cars were considerably damaged and Steward “Lofty” England badly bruised. In future Shanks’ car should wear a red ribbon on its tail.
Racing opened with Taylor in Smith’s ex-Mallock Austin-Ford coming throngh fast to win a sports-car handicap at 68.65 m.p.h. from Venner-Pack’s Speedwell Sprite and the Toucan. Fowler’s old Aston Martin retired. A similar race followed, in which the very determined U.S.A. driver of an Austin-Healey, C. Jones, won at 68.43 m.p.h., and Wershat in the Lola commenced some grass-track racing which was widely emulated during the afternoon. Charnock brought his polished silver Alvis into second place. A very exciting finish was seen in the third of these handicaps, Bekaert making a bullet-like rush for the line so that his Lister-Jaguar dead-heated for third place with Ashmore’s Austin-Healey, after Milne’s H.W.M-Jaguar — the original H.W.M. — had won at 70.56 m.p.h. from Randle’s business-like Lister-Bristol. Next Wershat won the 1,172 race in Lola by a huge margin, at 72.25 m.p.h. and Mallock did likewise in “Simplicity” in the 750 race (63.54 m.p.h.).
Two sports-car scratch races were then contested together producing victories for Elwes’ Sprite (68.59 m.p.h.), and Eden’s Kieft-Climax (76.37 m.p.h.), the latter very easily defeating the rest and Green (Fairthorpe) recovering well from a high-speed spin. The Speedex E.S.T. retired. Meanwhile sheep had invaded Silverstone, which caused someone to remark that these weren’t the only sheep seen on the course that day!
The delay over, F.3 racing cars were given a ten-lapper, Pitcher’s Cooper-Norton leading until it retired on lap six, whereupon young Fenning drove steadily to a runaway victory at 73.61 m.p.h. in his Cooper, encouraged by signals from his father. A long way behind Parker and Rodgie duelled for second place in their Cooper-J.A.P.s. The Motor Sport Elimination Handicap was closely contested, Mallock taking four laps to close on Scott’s fast Minx saloon. the back markers then coming through with a rush, Mallock being beaten by his old “special,” which won at 70.39 m.p.h., the Lola, the Playford-M.G., and several others. Randle’s Lister-Bristol had an easy win from Porter’s A.C.-Bristol in the up-to-2,700-c.c. sports-car scratch race, at 74.03 m.p.h. and this time the U.S.A. driver spun (how long do his tyres last?), as did Leach on the last lap, his TR2 driving off in the path of Duggan’s Morgan — more grey hairs!
Bekaert showed his mastery of Silverstone Club racing by whistling the Lister-Jaguar in the winner of the Formule Libre race at 81.9 m.p.h., although fastest lap was shared (at 84.88 m.p.h.) by Taylor (F. 2 Cooper) and Twisk (F. 2 Cooper) as they battled for second place. Conyer’s remarkable Austin, which is the old Bond 500, now with A35 engine enlarged to 996 c.c. inclined and set across the frame driving the front wheels (we seem to have heard of this before!) through a motor-cycle gearbox, retired.
The unlimited sports-car race caused great excitement, because Bekaert retired with a blown gasket after lapping at 84.14 m.p.h. and Maggs’ Tojeiro-Jaguar went wide at Woodcote on the run-in, Mould’s Lister-Jaguar accelerating over the line beside it, we should have said to win — but the harassed officials declared a dead-heat, at 79.91 m.p.h. Johnson indulged in more grass-track racing in the Halton-Tojeiro and Ashmore performed some wonderful evolutions in his D-type Jaguar, cheerfully indicating that all was under control.
The Motor Sport Final for the Silverstone Trophy and £75 then started, with a big field in spite of the absence of Bekaert, and although Hardman’s 1½-litre Riley Special, which had qualified at the V.S.C.C. Meeting last April, built up a big lead, winning at 67.25 m.p.h. Charles Bulmer’s handicapping skill came into full effect for second place, the Lola somehow getting through from a solid wall of cars rushing all ways round Woodcote, the Playford-M.G. third. Fastest lap was made by Lee’s C-type Jaguar, at 79.3 m.p.h. After the prize presentation and the “bubbly,” Fenning’s F.3 Cooper won the racing car handicap by a very comfortable margin, at 73.99 m.p.h. and the closed-car scratch race, divided into up to and over 1,000 c.c., produced as winners Parkinson’s A35 (62.51 m.p.h.) and Harding’s M.G. Special (68.43 m.p.h.). This full day’s sport made a grande finale to the 1959 Club Silverstone season.