Stretton stumped

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Cadwell Park hosted the VSCC’s final race meeting of the year, the event moving from its traditional August Bank Holiday slot to September 20. With the Williams Trophy now having moved to Mallory Park, the main race was for Pre-War Racing Cars, supported by John Scott & Partners. Considerable interest centred on Martin Stretton’s chances of challenging traditional ERA supremacy in this class, with Sean Danaher’s ex-Furmanik Maserati 4CM record car (now fitted with a 1496cc engine). Lack of a limitedslip diff allowed three ERAs to head the Maserati after lap one, but Stretton was quickly up to second, and closing on leader Anthony Mayman in R4D, only for the pipe between the blower and engine to come adrift and end his challenge. Duncan Ricketts (R1B) headed Bruce Spollon (R8C) home in second. Stretton had the consolation of setting a new pre-war lap record of 73.1 mph.

Freddie Giles in the Cognac Special won the Frazer Nash and GN race from son Jon in the AC/GN Beetle. Mark Walker inherited third place in his Ford A-engined GN after a keenly-contested scrap with Chris Chilcort’s Nash, which ended in the latter’s retirement.

The vintage scratch race only ran for half of its scheduled eight laps after David Densham inverted his Aston Martin and precipitated the red flag. At that time Tim Llewellyn’s 3/8 Bentley was keeping Freddie Giles’ Cognac at bay, a long way clear of Alex Boswell in the Bequet Delage. It was pleasing to see Bill Summers record his first finish with the very attractive 1922 Targa Florio Diatto, albeit at the tail of the field.

The race for Two-Seater Racing Cars (a form of substitute for the Williams Trophy) was bedevilled by non-starters and saw something of a walkover for Sir John Venables-Llewelyn in Lord Raglan’s T51 Bugatti, after the Bequet stalled on the grid and got away last. Mark Gillies (Dixon Riley) took up the chase and was rewarded with second place from a subdued Terry Cardy (Bugatti 35B).

The oversubscribed Spero and Voiturette Trophies race merited two heats and a final, heat wins going to the Rileys of Tony Irwin and John Summerfield. Graeme Simpson (Lagonda Rapier), who could only finish eighth in his heat, trounced the opposition to win the final from Irwin and Tony Noble’s Austin 7, the latter winning the Voiturette Trophy.

Ian Bentall (4¼ Bentley) took a narrow win from aeronaut Spencer Flack (4½ Bentley) in the Melville and Geoghegan Trophies race, while young Ben Collings made it a Bentley 1-2-3 driving sister Sally’s 4½ litre.

John Seber (Wolseley) took wins in the short scratch race and one of the handicaps, the other handicap going to Robert Welch (Riley).

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