RACING ON BRIGHTON FRONT
NEW MEETING ORGANISED BY THE BRIGHTON AND HOVE MOTOR CLUB WITNESSED BY ENORMOUS CROWD: SIR MALCOLM CAMPBELL (SUNBEAM) MAKES FASTEST CAR TIME. FOR some years now the Brighton & Hove Club have held their annual speed meeting on Brooklands Track, but this year some one made the bright discovery that the Madeira Drive, on the Brighton front, being the private property of the Corporation, might be available for speed trials. The necessary permission having been obtained, arrangements were thereupon made for a meeting to be held on September 17th, and as the Drive is very wide, it was decided that the trials should be given the nature of a race by letting cars run in pairs. Incidentally, we were authoritatively informed that
the Madeira Drive was constructed in 1904 for the express purpose of speed trials.
Now all this sounds ideal, and one’s first instinct is to commend heartily the energy of the Brighton & Hove Club in organising such a meeting, to which praise they are justly entitled. But having a bright idea is one thing and turning that idea into a. well-run afternoon’s sport is another—but let us describe the proceedings which have inspired this solemn discourse.
To begin with, the weather was perfect. The sun shone almost fiercely from a clear blue sky, with not a hint of rain anywhere in its blue expanse. The “paddock,” that is to say the West end of the Madeira Drive, had a most cheerful atmosphere, containing a strange mixture of vehicles associated with the Brooklanels Paddock. the Shelsley orchard, and the Lewes Speed Trials field. Here we noticed the first error in the organisation, namely that a rope had been stretched across the road at the entrance to the Drive, without any guards, with the result that the paddock was choc-a-bloc with the general public, making the competitors’ task of last minute tuning a very difficult one. Also, in view of the fact that the proceeds of the meeting were being largely devoted to charity, why was not an extra charge made say 5/for a paddock ticket ? As the time of the start grew near, a terrific crowd assembled round the starting line, and it was obvious then and there that proceedings would be delayed unless some move was made to clear the place, for competing cars had to find a way through this mass in order to reach the line. As it turned out, the crowd got
out of hand at this point soon after the meeting started, and the three or four overworked policemen had a most difficult time, which could have been avoided by clearing the crowd away entirely. The meeting opened badly with a solo run up the course by R. W. Sparrow (Austin Seven,) his competitor having scratched. Here again was a mistake, for in the following class many solo runs were made, which was not what the public, who were promised the spectacle Of cars racing side by side, had come to see. It ought to have been possible to have run these single cars against each other. The
fastest time in this class was made by C. H. Masters, whose ” camouflaged ” Austin Seven went well to clock 37.8 secs. for the half ‘mile.
In the next class J. Eason Gibson’s Riley was an absentee, as it was suffering from a scored cylinder block, so that fastest time was made by E. K. Rayson in 33.4 secs., driving the actual Riley with which C. R. Whitcroft won the T.T . Incidentally, it was surprising what a great distance separated many of the pairs at the end of the run.
The 1,500 c.c. Standard Sports Class produced some interesting battles between Frazer Nashes and Wolseley Hornets, victory in all cases except one going to the former, while fastest time was made by R. H. Ecelt.s (Frazer Nash), in 32.4 secs. second and third places also being taken by Nashes. An interesting scrap was that between Rayson, on the T.T. Riley, and R. C. Porter on an old, but very warm,
4 seater Riley, which was narrowly won by Rayson. The best finish was between two Bugattis driven by K. Hutchison and T. N. Gold, who crossed the line side by side.
The next class, for standard sports cars up to 3,000 c.c. produced many of the same runners, but fastest time was made by Mrs. K. Petre on a black 4it litre Invicta in 28.8 secs. What might easily have resulted in a serious accident occurred when C. G. Dunham roared over the finishing line very fast, and turned straight up the slip-road, in which competitors were lining up to return to the start. A. Rigby ( E.W. Daytona Hornet Special) went very well to beat K. Hutchison’s 11 litre racing Bugatti.
By this time everyone was completely weary of the constant exhortations by the loud speaker announcer (a) to the crowd to stop crossing the road between runs, and (b) to policemen and marshals to keep back the crowd between a delightfully named point, the Banjo Groyne, and the Black Rock. This continual pleading gave us cause to consider the true function of loud speakers at motor race meetings, and we decided that they are primarily intended for the increased entertainment of the assembled spectators. In this case an occasional news item was sandwiched in among a continual stream of appeals to the crowd. In our opinion when officials see that the crowd is obstructing the course at any point, or generally misbehaving, they should quietly dispatch a marshal, or marshals, to the point to restore order, without any haranguing by loud speakers. The class for standard sports carsiof unlimited capacity was opened by a tussle between R. Marker’s Le Mans 4i litre Bentley and J. W. Whalley’s V Eight Ford. As the flag fell the Ford shot ahead and led for some time, but the Bentley succeeded in getting home first by a narrow margin. Two 30!98’s driven by Alan May and R. Hughes, fought a great battle all the way up the course, the former just winning, while another one-make heat between Donald Healey and R. Morgan, both on Invictas, resulted in a fairly easy win for Healey, who made fastest time, 28.8 secs. in the class. The
class was closed with a fine victory for T. B. Andre’s V Eight Ford coupe over J. Wells’ 30/98 Vauxhall. Fastest time in the racing class was made by A. N. L. Laclachlan, on his little single seater Austin Seven, who provided one of the best races of the day with J. C. Elwes, who also drove an Austin. For once H. C. Hamilton’s twin rear wheel M.G. Midget was out of form, and the
car held proceedings up somewhat while it was being started. Then Clayton’s Amilcar carried off the 1,100 c.c. racing class, in 29.2 secs., one of the best races in this class being between Moor’s Wasp III and the Bolster Special, which crackled up the course in great style. The 1,500’s opened with a fine scrap between Dick Nash on the ” Terror ” and J. L. Burton’s Bugatti, but although the ” Terror ” won, it did not seem to be going quite as well as usual, and did not appear again. This was followed immediately by a close fight between Jcvon’s Bugatti, ” the Snag” and H. J. Aidington’s Prazer Nash, which provided a very good finish in favour of the former. In the next heat Von de Becke started by himself, hut had only travelled a short
distance when the flywheel of the Becke Powerplus disintegrated, one of the pieces flying over the heads of the spectators. on the beach side, and injuring a young man who was taken to hospital with a fractured skull. This unfortunate occurrence delayed the programme still further, but the rest of the class was eventually run off, outstanding performances being made by
A. F. P. Pane’s Nurburg Frazer Nash and T. S. Pothringham’s 1 litre Bugatti.
By this time the programme was a long way behind schedule, and it was found necessary to abandon the next class in order to give the bigger cars a chance to run. In addition, half the crowd had gone home, and a general air of depression descended on the proceedings. This was a pity, for the run between Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Sunbeam and John Cobb’s Delage was well worth watching. The Delage obtained an initial lead, but the Sunbeam drew level, and then got by just before the line was reached, both cars travelling at great speed at the end, and flames coming from the exhaust pipe of the Delage as Cobb cut out. H. J. Aldington (Frazer Nash) beat
J. L. Burton’s Bugatti, and Hamilton’s Midget beat R. F. Oats (Maserati), the latter car proceeding up the course to the accompaniment of resounding explosions. Donald Healey (Invicta) easily beat Hughes (30-98 Vauxhall), and Pane (Frazer Nash) beat Whalley’s V8 Ford without being extended.
Right at the end, R. W. Storey, on the very same Brough Superior motor cycle on which the late H. le Vack set up a world’s speed record in 1923, made an awe-inspiring run in 22 1/5 seconds, after a false start caused by some dangerous spectator allowing a dog to stray in the path of the bike as it left the line.
STANDARD SPORTS CARS.
UP To 850 c.c.-1, C. IL Masters, 750 c.c. Austin, 37.8 secs., 74.62 m.p.h. ; 2, C. Mann, 750 c.c. Austin, 38 secs., 47.37 m.p.h.; 3, R. W. Sparrow, 750 c.c. Austin, 40 secs., 45 m.p.h.
UP TO 1,100 c.c.-1, E. K. Ra,vson, 1,089 c.c. Riley, 33.4′ 53.89 m.p.h. ; 2, K. C. Porter, 1,089 c.c. Riley, 36.2 secs. 49.72 m.p.h. •, 3, R. A. Mitchell, 1,089 c.c. Riley, 47.4 secs., 48.13 m.p.h. UP TO 1,500 c.c.-1, R. 11.Eccles, 1,496 c.c. FrazerNash, 3’2.4 secs., 55.56 m.p.h. ; 2, D. A. Aldington,
1,496 c.c. Frazer-Nash, 33 secs., 54.55 ; 3, H. Dawbarn, 1,496 c.c. Frazer-Nash, 33.2 Sees., 54.22 m.p.h.
UP TO 3,000 c.c.-1, Mrs. K. Petre, 4,460 c.c. Invicta, 28.8 secs., 62.05 m.p.h.; 2, A. EssontScott, 1,990 c.c. Bugatti, 29.8 secs., 60.04 m.p.g.; 3, C. G. Dunham, 2,511 c.c. Alvis, Miss K. Brunnell, 2,950 c.c. Rover, ‘1’. S. Fothringham, 2,276 c.c. Talbot, 31.2 secs., 57.69 m.p.h.
thsrunrrlio.-1, Donald Healey, 4,460 c.c. Invicta, 28.8 secs., 62.05 m.p.h.; 2, R. ‘Morgan, 4,460 c.c. Invicta, 31.2 secs., 57.69 m.p.h.; 3, S. 1.”,. Cummings, 1,496 c.c. Frazer-Nash, 31.8 secs., 56.06 m.p.h.
UP To 850 c.c.-1, A. N. Maclachlan, 750 c.c. Austin (S)k 30.8 secs., 58.44 m.p.h. ; ‘2, 3. C. ElWeS, 750 c.c. Austin (S), 31 secs., 58.06 m.p.h. ; 3,E. J. W. Noaks, 747 c.c. M.G. Midget (S), 31.4 secs, 57.32 m.p.h.
UP TO 1,100 C.C.-1, H. T. H. Clayton, 1,094 c.c. Amilcar (5,), 29.2 secs.,61.64 m.p.h.’ 2, C. S. DicksonGeertz, 1,087 c.c. Salmson (5), 30.4 secs., 59.21. m.p.h. ; 3, R. C. Bolster, 1,086 e.e. G.N.’ 3. A. Driskell, 1,098 c.c. B.N.C. (8), 33 secs., 54.55 m.p.h.
UP TO 1,500 c.c.-1, R. 0. J. Nash, 1,496 c.c. Frazer-Nash (8), 25.6 secs., 70.31 m.p.h. ; ‘2, T. S. Fothringham, 1,496 c.c. Bugatti (5), ‘26.2 secs., 68.70 m.p.h. ; 3, J. D. Jevons, 1,496 e.e. Bugatti (S), 26.4 secs., 68.18 m.p.h.
UP so 3,000 c.c.-1, T. S. Fothringham, 1493, c.c. Bugatti (S), ’26 secs., 69.23 m.p.h. ; 2, J 14. Jevons, 1,466 e.e. Bugatti (5), 26.4 secs., 68.18 m.p.h. ; 3, H. J. Aldington, 1,496 c.c. Frazer-Nash (S), 27.6 secs., 65.22 m.p.h.
UNLIMITED.-1, Sir M. Campbell, 3,976 c.c. Sunbeam (S), 23.6 secs., 76.27 m.p.h. ; 2, John Cobb, 10,688 c.c. Delage 12-cyl., 24 secs., 75 m.p.h.; 3, T. S. Fothringham, 1,493 c c. Bugatti (S), 25.9 secs., 70.31 m.p.h.
FASTEST TIME OF THE DAY.
R. W. Storey, 988 c.c. Brough Superior solo motorcycle, 22.2 secs., 81.08 m.p.h.