THE LAST B.A.R.C. MEETING OF THE YEAR
DISAPPOINTING MOUNTAIN CHAMPIONSHIP RACE WON EASILY BY SIR MALCOLM CAMPBELL : OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES BY MRS. T. H. WISDOM (LEYLAND THOMAS) AND R. T. HORTON (M.G.) : FOUR RECORDS GO BY THE BOARD.
IN spite of the lack of really fast cars (with the exception of John Cobb’s pelage) in the short and long handicap events, and a completely dull Mountain Championship race, the I3.A.R.C. Meeting held on September 10th was nevertheless interesting because of some extraordinarily good individual performances. To begin with, Mrs. T. H. Wisdom completely confounded those officials who for many meetings had considered it unwise for her to drive the Leyland Thomas, by handling the big car to such effect in the Ladies’ Handicap that she broke the ladies’ lap record at the wonderful speed of 121.47 m.p.h. Her performance was all the more creditable in that a very strong wind was blowing, requiring the utmost skill on the part of the driver as the car emerged from the lee of the
. Member’s Hill.
R. T. Horton added still further to the laurels of the M.G. Midget by doing a standing lap at 96.71 m.p.h. and later breaking George Eyston’s flying lap record of 112.93 m.p.h. on the “Magic Midget,” with a hectic circuit at 115.29 m.p.h. Horton has brought his car to a perfect pitch of efficiency, and to see the little red car hurtling round the track at such a terrific pace made it seem incredible that the engine was only of 750 c.c. capacity. A few years ago such a speed would have been considered outside the bounds of possibility—Horton could well call his car the “Miraculous Midget.” Others who found as yet unsuspected horses lurking in the oily interior of their motors were A. F. Ashby, who covered a
lap at 111.92 m.p.h. on his completely ” individual ” flatiron Riley ; W. A. Cuthbert, also on a Riley, who won the first race at 93.32 m.p.h., H. Widengren. and H. T. H. Clayton, both on Amilcars, the former’s car having a neat single-seater body specially made for the’ 500 ‘ ; H. C. Hamilton, who raised the 750 c.c. Mountain record to 69.28 on his fierce little M.G. Midget, and A. N. L.Maclachlan, whose single seater Austin carried off a Mountain race at 62.86 m.p.h.
Finally J. R. Cobb deserved a special prize for his usual masterly handling of the 12-cylinder Delage.
Although the handicap always proved too heavy for him, Cobb provided that thrill of a really fast scratch man thundering after the field which alone makes short handicap races worth while.
The sky was filled with heavy, lowering clouds as the cars were sent down the Finishing Straight to the starting line, but the track was still dry. The depressing effect of grey skies was heightened by the poor attendance in the public enclosure, a fact no doubt due to the unwillingness of those who were drenched in the heavy shower at the August Meeting, to subject themselves to the same discomfiture.
THE YORKSHIRE JUNIOR SHORT HANDICAP.
Distance : About 6f miles.
1. W. A. Cuthbert (Riley 1,089 c.c.), 29 secs.
2. R. J. W. Appleton (Bugatti 1,496 c.c.), 32 secs.
3. V. E. Horsman (Triumph 832 c.c.), 1 mm, 12 secs.
Won by 250 yards at 93.32 m.p.h., 300 yds. between 2nd and 3rd. At the start Victor Horsman got away well on his veteran Triumph, and held his lead strongly from Metcalfe’s ” Abbott Nash,” that weird machine which started life as a 1923 Horstman racing car, and by the addition of a new body has become an “Abbott Nash.” At the end of the first lap, although these two were still in the lead, it was evident that the finish would be between W. A. Cuthbert, whose Riley was travelling very fast, and Appleton’s Bugatti. Derrington was dangerous,
however, on his Salmson, while other good performances were being put up by C. G. H. Dunham (Speed Twenty Alvis) and B. H. Wickens (E.W. Daytona Hornet Special). Cuthbert continued to forge ahead, and eventually came home an easy winner from Appleton, who in turn was 300 yards ahead of Victor Horsman.
THE YORKSHIRE SENIOR SHORT HANDICAP.
Distance : About 64 miles. T. Horton (M.G. 747 c.c., S), Widengren (0.M. 1,477 c.c.,S), F. Ashby (Riley 1,089 c.c.),
1. R. 44 secs.
2. H. 36 secs.
3. A. 44 secs.
Won by 300 yards at 104.47 m.p.h., 6 yds. between 2nd and 3rd.
The second race produced a very promising field of 15 starters, the only absentee being J. H. Bartlett (Salinson) whose place was taken by C. S. DicksonGeertz, also on a Sahnson. Horton’s M.G. Midget was a hot favourite. All sorts of rumours were rampant about his terrific speed in practice, and the sight of Horton being carefully inserted into the slim little single-seater body—a process involving the removal of one side of the cockpit—caused a stampede of fortunehunters in the region of the “bookies,” with a corresponding shortening of odds. At the start Horton’s acceleration was astonishing, and he leapt away from Ashby’s Riley to cover a standing lap at 96.71 m.p.h. At the end of the first lap P. J. Urlwin-Smith (Alfa Romeo 2,994 c.c.) led the field, DicksonGeertz having already dropped out. The order was very little altered with the exception of Shuttleworth (Bugatti) who had been passed by both T. H. Wisdom (Leyland Thomas) and H. Widengren (0.M.). Then things began to change, Horton passing six cars in quick succession, so that at the Fork, on the second lap, he led the field from Clayton’s Amilcar, who was followed by Lamplough’s 30/98 Vauxhall,Munday’s Rover, Ashby’s Riley and Widengren’s O.M. T. H. Wisdom stopped on the Bylleet Banking, a broken switch wire on the Ley
land-Thomas being given as the cause, and had to be towed in. With the race well in hand Horton could afford to ease up, but a great tussle ensued for second place, Widengren catching Ashby’s Riley right on the line. Cobb, in spite of a fast run, was never in the picture.
THE RACE FOR THE MOUNTAIN CHAMPIONSHIP. Distance : About 18 miles.
1. Sir Malcolm Campbell (Sunbeam 3,976 c.c., 8).
2. Raymond Mays (Invicta 4,467 c.c.).
3. R. 0. Shuttleworth (Bugatti 1,990 c.c.).
4. Dudley Froy (Invicta 4,467 c.c.).
Won by 700 yards at 68.60 m.p.h., 400 yds. between 2nd and 3rd.
1931, Sir H. R. S. Birkin (Maserati 2,795 c.c., S), 73.51 m.p.h.
Just before the next race, the Mountain Championship, was due to start, a heavy shower of rain fell, so that there was a lull in the proceedings while the track was given a chance to dry. After a considerable delay the patience of the crowd began to give out, and caustic remarks were heard on all sides, in which the Continental view of a little rain on the surface of the road was expounded with considerable violence. However, three happy people from the Brooklands Aero Club came nobly to the rescue—whether intentionally or not it is not known—and amused the waiting crowd with a game of followmy-leader, swooping about in their machines with delightful spirit. Then Woolf Barnato made several laps of the Mountain Circuit in a very magnificent 8 litre Bentley, and the crowd once more turned their attention to the track. Nothing transpired, however, so people thereupon admired Mr. Bradley’s wisdom in supplanting the usual barriers marking the Fork turn, with smart black-andyellow barrels, with knobs of wood stuck on to prevent them from rolling, if perchance they were struck by a member of the notorious barrier-smashing fraternity.
At last the cars were lined up in the Finishing Straight, and after the Hon. Brian Lewis had cured a spot of plug trouble with his Talbot, they were given the signal to start. The entry was poor compared with last year, and with Bartleft’s Salmson and Black’s Maserati (last year’s winning car) both non-starters, the field was composed of Sir Malcolm Campbell on the re-built 12 cylinder Sunbeam, the Hon. Brian Lewis’ Talbot, H. J. Aldington’s Frazer Nash, Shuttleworth’s Bugatti, and Raymond Mays and Dudley Froy on Invictas. On the first lap Campbell led, followed by Mays, Shuttleworth, Lewis, Froy and Aldington, who only completed one lap. Three laps later Lewis dropped out, and from then until the finish the race was merely a procession in the following order, Sir Malcolm Campbell, Raymond Mays, Shuttleworth and Fray. Sir Malcolm, whose best lap was 71.39 m.p.h. was never pushed, and had plenty in hand, while Mays drove with great polish and consistency, his cornering at the Fork being faster than the others.
THE LADIES’ HANDICAP. Distance : About 9 miles.
1. Miss P. Naismith (Salmson 1,090 c.c.,S), I min, 42 secs.
2. Miss F. Taylour (Talbot 2,970 c.c.), 30 secs.
3. Mrs. A. G. Gripper (Frazer Nash 1,496 c.c.), 1 min. 57 secs.
Won by 20 yards at 86.30 ni.p.13.,, 350 yds. between 2nd and 3rd. The only alterations from programme were that neither Miss Paterson nor Mrs. Petre had qualified to drive the Austin and Invicta respectively, so that the latter car was a non-starter, and Mrs. Petre by virtue of previous track experience at the wheel of a Hornet, drove Miss Paterson’s Austin. At the start the field was well strung out, and Mrs. Gripper kept her lead for some time on the Frazer Nash, driven by her husband through the Alpine Trial in which he gained a Glacier Cup. Meanwhile the back markers got going, and were soon speeding round the track in pursuit. Both Mrs. Wisdom and Miss Taylour were driving with great skill, the .Talbot whistling round high at the top of the banking looking just as fast as the quiet Leyland-Thomas, although the
latter was actually lapping at some 8 m.p.h. faster. Miss Naismith took the lead, and it was doubtful whether the green Talbot could catch her. In turn, Mrs. Wisdom was gradually overhauling Miss Taylour, and on one circuit actually did 121.47 m.p.h. beating Mrs. Scott’s record on the 2 litre Sunbeam in 1928. In spite of a great spurt, Miss Taylour failed to catch the Salmson by 20 yards in one of the best finishes of the day. The Talbot’s fastest lap was 113.97 m.p.h. Mrs. Wisdom, in spite of her lap record failed to obtain a place, so that her handicap was hardly kind.
THE YORKSHIRE JUNIOR LONG HANDICAP.
Distance : About 9 miles.
1. H. Widengren (Amilcar 1,093 c.c., S), 24 secs.
2. C. le S. Metcalfe (Abbott-Nash 1,496 c.c.), 1 min. 36 secs.
3 R. J. Munday (Rover 2,975 c.c.), 34 secs.
Won by 20 yards at 103.61 m.p.h., mile between 2nd and 3rd. Widengren’s Amilcar, carefully prepared for the 500 Miles Race, and fitted with a neat little single-seater body on the lines of the Thomas Special, was favourite, and this confidence was not misplaced, for the little car looked a winner right from the start. At the end of the first lap Tenbosch’s Austin, the limit man, still led, followed by Low (M.G.), Metcalfe (Abbott-Nash), Horsman (Triumph), Searle (Austin), Farley (Alvis), Widen gren (Amilcar), Munday (Rover), Robinson (Bugatti) and the scratch man, Shuttleworth (Bugatti). The exhaust note of the Amilcar was car-splitting and seemed to be accentuated by the sharp bursts as Widengren cut in and out all round the Member’s Banking. On the second lap, Metcalfe went into first place, ahead of Low and Tenbosch, while Widengren, with a lap at 107 m.p.h. moved up two places, passing Searle and Farley. Shuttleworth was unable to pick up any places at all. On the last lap Widengren went ahead and caught everyone but Metcalfe, who led all down the Railway Straight
and was only passed right on the post by the Amilcar. Third place was taken by R. J. Munday (Rover) who overhauled Low and Tenbosch on the last lap.
THE SEPTEMBER JUNIOR MOUNTAIN HANDICAP.
Distance : About 6 miles.
1. A. H. L. Eccles (Bugatti 1,496 c.c.), 26 secs.
2. H. C. Hamilton (M.G. 747 c.c., S), scratch.
3. Dr. E. J. H. Roth (Talbot 2,276 c.c.), 33 secs.
Won by 200 yards at 63.25 m.p.h mile between 2nd and 3rd. This race marked the very welcome return of H. C. Hamilton to the fray, at the wheel of an M.G., after his crash in practice for the Ulster T.T. Race. There were seven non-starters, so that 12 cars wete finally sent away. Goodson’s Austin led for a couple of laps, when it passed away, while other retirements were R. E. L. Featherstonhaugh (Alfa Romeo) and PowysLybbe (Alvis), both on the 1st lap. Eccles (Bugatti) was driving with great spirit, and on the 3rd lap took the lead, followed by Cochrane, on an ancient but none the less speedy Frazer Nash. Hamilton whose black Midget, with twin rear wheels, was showing extraordinary acceleration away from the Fork, and waa by far the fastest car past the Paddock, had picked up to third place from scratch ! Hamilton could not quite do it though, and Eccles came home 200 yards ahead of the M.G. After the race it was no surprise to hear that the wonderful little
tidget had raised the 750 c.c. lap record to 69.28 m.p.h., two miles an hour faster than Horton’s previous record, also on an M.G.
THE YORKSHIRE SENIOR LONG HANDICAP.
1. H. T. H. Clayton (Amilcar 1,093 c.c., S), 1 min. 22 secs.
2. H. Widengren (0.M. 1,477 c.c., S), 48 secs.
3. R. T. Horton (M.G. 747 c.c., S), 48 sees.
Won by 100 yards at 99.03 m.p.h.„ 125 yds. between 2nd and 3rd.
At the end of the first lap Munday’s. Rover led, followed by Clayton, whose Amilcar was going very fast and had picked up four places already, LloydRoberts (Talbot 90), Lamplough (Vauxhall), Cuthbert (Riley), who had been rehandicapped back to 1 min. 14 secs. from 1 min. 34 sees., Widengren (0.M.), Horton (M.G.), both of whom started on the 48 secs. mark, Shuttleworth (Bugatti) and Cobb (Pelage). On the second lap, Clayton went comfortably into the lead, but Widengren and Horton were creeping up. Once again Cobb was handicapped right out of it, and he was never a danger to the leaders. The Amilcar stuck to its guns, and after a good run came home 100 yards ahead of Widengren, who was 125 yards ahead of Horton. The race was noteworthy for the fact that Horton covered a flying lap at 115.29 m.p.h., a simply amazing feat, and one that will take a lot of beating.
THE SEPTEMBER SENIOR MOUNTAIN HANDICAP. Distance : About 6 miles.
1. A. N. L. Maclachlan (Austin 749 c.c., S), 28 sees. 2. R. 0. Shuttlewoth (Bugatti 1,990 c.c.), 7 secs. (Continued on page 664)
3. L. T. Delaney (Lea Francis 1,496 c.c., S), 28 secs.
Won by 10 yards at 62.86 m.p.h., 200 yds. between 2nd and 3rd. T. P. C. Tapper, on Miss Ellison’s white Bugatti, led the field for two laps, but he was then passed by Maclachlan and Delaney, who starting from the same mark, had a great dog-fight for the whole race, Spottiswode (Bugatti) and Rayson (Riley) both fell out after two laps, while Hamilton’s M.G. was misfiring as it came up the straight. The fight between MaclachIan and Delaney continued, first one then the other leading, but they were being seriously threatened by Shuttleworth, who was driving magnificently, on one lap breaking his own 2,000 c.c. lap record by 3/5ths of a second, at a speed of 69.74 m.p.h. Dickson-Geertz was cornering a little wildly at the Fork turn, taking it close in and then skidding outwards, a process which once brought him right in the path of Cuthbert’s Le Mans
type Aston-Martin. Finally, Maclachlan crossed the line 10 yards ahead of Shuttleworth, who was 200 yards in front of Delaney.
The meeting was brought to a close with a demonstration of the Dynasphere, by its inventor, Mr. J. A. Purves. After an energetic start, in which the driver was swung up and down inside the sphere of rubber with distinct emphasis, the machine bowled merrily up and down the Finishing Straight for some time.