Rain Compels Postponement of Solo Events.
ADRIZZLING morning, coining at the end of almost a full week of rain, looked like causing postponement of the British Motor Cycle Racing Club’s Championship Meeting, on Saturday the irth inst. A temporary cessation of the rain, at about noon, raised hopes, however, and, notwithstanding the fact that water was standing on certain parts of the track, notably along the railway straight, a start was made on the sidecar events at the appointed time, one o’clock.
There was considerable disappointment when it transpired that such notable exponents of the art of track racing as Marchant and Le Vack were absent, providing treats for Continental enthusiasts, and the first event, for sidecar machines of 350 c.c., in which there were 15 entrants, was notable for the undue proportion of non-starters, from that and other causes. Besides the riders already named, R. N. Judd, who should have ridden C. G. Pullin’s Douglas. was missing from this race, As also were Emerson (0. K. Bradshaw), J. H. Simpson (A. J. S.), H. Collins (j. E. S. Blackburne) and G. H. Tucker (Zenith-Blackburne). They were off at six minutes past the hour, and the first lap saw Spikins, the only private owner to enter for this event, leading, on his Zenith-Blackburne, followed closely by Wright, on a Zenith-J.A.P., with V. Baxter, (Rex-J.A.P.) in third place. By the end of the second lap Baxter had won his way to the front, with Wright following closely, and Spikins third. Worters, on the Toronda-Blackburne, was in close pursuit, in company with E. S. Prestwich, (Zenith-J.A.P.) All were, however, bunched very closely, and as the starting line was crossed for the second_ time, Spikins was observed to be overhauling Wright. The third
lap found Baxter still holding his own, with Worters next, followed by Prestwich and Wright, and in that order they ran to the finish, with hardly a couple of lengths to cover the bunch. The winner’s speed was 65.61 m.p.h. Notable absentees from the second race, for sidecar machines of 600 c.c. capacity, were D. R. O’Donovan, (Norton), L. P. Driscoll, (Norton), P. E. D. Cooper, who was to have ridden Tucker’s Norton, and V. Anstice, the Douglas rider, who did so well in the recent Doncaster speed event. Out of 14 entrants there were ten starters. G. H. Tucker and Freddie Dixon got well away at the start, but Tucker was soon in difficulties, so that when they appeared for the second time, Dixon was leading, with Horsman right on his tail, and Pullin, on the Douglas, in close pursuit. The Douglas machines in this race, however, were dogged by as persistent a run of bad luck as could possibly be imagined. Out of the three which started, not One ran to the finish. Freddie Dixon was the first to drop out, and he. was followed by Newitt, both in the second lap, at the end of which Horsman was leading, and going well. Pullin was second, but obviously in trouble, and R. M. N. Spring, A private owner, on a Norton, third. The third lap saw Horsman well ahead, and rapidly increasing his lead. Spring was second, and Tucker third. During the fourth lap an extraordinary accident happened to Spring, who up to that point had every prospect of being placed. The rim of the wheel of his sidecar parted company with the hub and spokes, just as he was leaving the Byfleet banking. Nothing but skilful driving of a very high order, aided to some extent by a providential skid, prevented a nasty spill, and in
actual fact he was able to draw in to the near side and come to rest on the inside of the track. As his speed at the time of the accident must have been in the region of 75 miles an hour, the providential nature of his escape is self evident. Horsman ran home an easy winner, at 75.34 m.p.h., with Tucker second. There were three absentees in the race for the big chaps, (x,000 c.c. sidecar event), Le Vack, (Brough Superior J.A.P.), H. A. Johnston, (Zenith J .A.P.) and R. M. N. Spring, the victim of the unfortunate accident in the previous event, being missing. H. J. Knight, a private owner of a Zenith J .A.P., got away quickly, as also did Baragwanath, (Zenith J.A.P.) and Temple, (Montgomery British-Anzani). Longman had difficulty in starting, and his helpers had to run very nearly to the permitted limit before his engine could be persuaded to fire. The end of the first lap found the majority pretty closely bunched, with Temple leading,
followed by Riddoch, on a Zenith-Blackburne ; Dixon, (Harley-Davidson) , Longman, (Harley-Davidson) , D. Fitzgerald, (private owner, on a Zenith J.A.P.), H. J. Knight, another private owner, also riding a Zenith J.A.P., and Baragwanath. At the end of the second lap, Temple was still leading Riddoch by a good length, but there was a considerable gap between the latter and Longman, who followed in close company with Dixon. A further gap separated these two from Fitzgerald and Knight, while Baragwanath brought up the rear a good half lap behind the leader. The same order prevailed when the line was crossed for the third time : Riddoch seemed to be in difficulties, his engine missing occasionally, but he still kept his place close on Temple’s rear, and it was pretty obvious that, if he could right matters, he would run in an easy winner. Longman had increased his lead on Dixon, who did not seem at all happy. The fourth lap saw the whole field strung out at great length, and Riddoch overhauling Temple, whom he actually passed on the short banking, running home a good winner at 80.46 m.p.h. Temple was second, and Longman third, followed at long intervals by Dixon, Fitzgerald, Knight, and Baragwanath, in the order named. Fitzgerald, as the first private owner home, is awarded the special Gold Medal on that account.
By this time the ” weather ” had set in again in earnest : a heavy Scottish mist was coming over from the Byfleet end of the track, and, by the appearance of the sky, there was plenty more of it in store. The entrants for the cyclecar race, G. N. Norris and H. Beart, both riding Morgans, decided not to run, and event four, for which there were only two entrants, of whom only C. W. Johnston (Verus-Blackburne) was present, was a walk-over. Johnston rode the distance, in order to ensure that the event should count in his aggregate for the season.
A temporary postponement of the remaining events for half an hour, to give the weather a chance of relenting, proved fruitless, and the solo events were therefore postponed till the following Wednesday at z p.m. A full report of them will appear in our next issue.