750 MC RELAY SILVERSTONE
ONLY a week alter the OttIton Park event. the 750 Motor Club held their annual Six hour relay race at Silverstone. It was on an altogether bigger scale, fielding 27 teams of from four to six cars. With six hours racing over the short Club circuit. lap totals were bound to be high, and the handicap figures reflected this. The Chevron team were again on scratch, while at the other end of the wale the 750 Club’s own Austin 7 equipe started with an impressive 128 laps in hand. In order to ensure that only one car from each team is on the circuit at any one time, a coloured sash has to be transferred from car to car in the Pitt during a changeover, although in fact the “sashtakes the form of a strip of velem-backed fabric, each car being equipped with a corresponding velcro panel on its side. Should a car stop on the circuit, the relief driver must stop and collect the sash before continuing.
The grid was flagged away at midday, and a clue to the story of the race was given at the first corner where Barry Robinson’s Porsche RSR lust led from Richard Dodkins’ Chevron. But it was only seven minutes later that we saw the first visitor to the pits — the Firenza of Tony Davies Which had a loose plug cad. Almost immediately after, the first E-typc pulled in. oil spraying onto the screen, and its place was taken by David Duffy’s D-type. Out on the track. Chmon and Porsche Players as opposed to Gentlemen, were setting the pace, with the very rapid Turner ‘if Dave Broom and Chris Kingwell’s Alfa GIV Providing the spectacle. Half-hour results showed Turners ahead on handicap.
It was under braking into Becketts that the first coming-together happened — Peter Clark hit the Mallock he was following, luckily without dramatic results. Meanwhile. Dorle’s Dino It, come to a halt on the circuit after sounding for several laps, and, although it restarted, it was only to make its way to the pits. Bentley Drivers Club were pleased to find themselves second behind the Turners. chased by “Oxford Rats-, whose effort was spearheaded by the Autoctivan Golf. A shortage ot rear brakes
temporarily sidelined the Stratus of David Scheldt, slowing the team, while poor Davies’ Firenza was again in trouble — this time a plug-top disintegrated. The ‘Nash team manager was disconcerted to see Tim Walton arrive minus a rear wing, after his TT Replica was struck from behind approaching Maggots, and the missing fender had to remain by the side of the track, in sight but out of reach. By 1.30, the Porsche-Chevron tussle had gained a third party — Aston Martin Post-War, who were now third on the road coder handicap. Had there been a concours prize, their Hyde Vale DBS V8 must surely have won it. as well as being one of the fastest entries. CCC’s Rover made a splendid sight leaving Copse sideways, but Dave Newman had the same problem on two successive laps, twice spinning his Mk 6 Bentley Special at Becketts, where John Foster did likewise in his lightweight E-type. He commented later that the
car was not at its best and was probably no faster than his XK 150! A further problem for Jaguar hit their fastest car, Sinuous 4.2 E. which threw a rod on Club Straight.
For a while it looked as if the Aston challenge might diminish, because a routine inspection on Prater’s V8 discovered a cracked disc, but hurried ‘phone calls to nearby Newport Paged! resulted in a replacement being obtained and fitted before the end of the race. Even worse trouble afflicted the London CC; after suffering a blown gasket, a bent valve, and a disintegrating piston, they were left with only one car, which, although not healthy, did complete three hours solo racing. Some of the cars looked as it they had come straight from the showroom, and it was rumoured that Bill Cowling had pinched his secretary’s XR3 for the day! Amongst pure competition cars, the Clubman’s team lost a lap when Kevin Buley, sent out to take over from David Orchard’s stationary Centaur, missed the sash and had to go round again. By this time. the Astons had taken the lead. followed by Lancia and TR, the Porsche Players having lost time when Robinson’s RSR ploughed into the catch-fencing at Woodcote, although there was still only a lap between them and Chevron on the road after five hours racing. Peter Millward, carried away perhaps by the prospect of victory, had to be signalled throe times before he brought in the Lola-Aston in the closing stages, but attention was by then focussed on Sadler’s attempt to fight off the Chevrons, both vying for overall victory. This struggle saw Sadler have a moment at Woodcote. but only after seeing Morgan’s Chevron pass him and immediately blow its clutch. On the stroke of 6 p.m. it was Sadler who took the flag by yards, but it was not enough to regain the laurels. Aston held their first place on handicap, as well as third overall, with the TR Register only a few laps behind, closely followed by the Oxford Rats. — G.C.
RESULTS 7130 MC fl-hour ‘ Relay: _ am
‘ _ rwon,ere”‘ am l’as 3, Aston Manin OC Postwar, 335 laps Handicap: 1, AMOC, ms Ispa aps T01:47,71171cs..33T8Ilaos