THE JUNIOR AND SENIOR ” FIFTIES ” IN PHOENIX PARK
THE ,Irish Motor Racing Club is to be congratulated on introducing a motor race meeting of a type which, although very much in demand, has never before been staged in the British Isles. The Junior and Senior ” Fifties ” held in Phoenix Park, Dublin, on Saturday, September 17th, made no pretence at being classic races of the Grand Prix type, but were organised purely for the benefit of the Club members. The result was a handicap meeting in which owners of perfectly normal sports cars had an opportunity of experiencing the thrills
of a real road race against cars of a similar calibre, without any overwhelming ” works ” opposition to negative their chance of winning.
The grand stand used for the Irish Grand Prix has been demolished, and only temporary structures were used for pits, but in spite of this an enormous crowd turned up to watch. The weather was fine, although some rain fell at about 1 o’clock, and the road was dry except under the trees. All of the 14 entrants in the Junior Race were starters, but Housset (Austin) was virtually a non-starter, for he was 4 laps late in getting away, and soon
retired. There were 3 M.G. Midgets, all 850 c.c. standard models, 1 McEvoy Morris Minor, 3 Austin Sevens, two of which were “blown,” 5 Rileys, one a Brooklands model, and a ” Surbaisse ” 4 cyl. Amilcar.
At half distance A. Potterton (M.G. Midget) was already in the lead, by dint of very good driving, followed by F. W. Barney (Amilcar 4 cyl.), “Dun Donald” (M.G. Midget), W. Sullivan, on the fast McEvoy tuned Morris Minor, S. R. Sheane (M.G. Midget) and C. Bradley (Riley). However, D. C. Maclachlan on the Brooklands Riley, was coming up very fast from scratch, his cornering being of a rather lurid nature.
Finally Potterton crossed the line first, followed by Maclachlan on the Riley, and Sullivan.
The Senior race produced a goodly array of vehicles, ranging from T. J. Dowling’s 1926 bull-nose Morris-Cowley to J. A. Dolan’s 2,270 c.c. Bugatti. Among the more interesting we were particularly interested in J. Dolan’s Dolan-Special, which proved to be a combination of Cowley and Humber, but unfortunately the car was not allowed to start as its hand and foot brakes worked on the same shoes. Incidentally the brake test held on the day before the race in the Police Barracks Square was most amusing. Cars were supposed to stop in 30ft. from 35 m.p.h., a tall order, and one quite beyond the capabilities of some of the old stagers in the race, who lacked front wheel brakes, notably the 30/98 Vauxhall and one of the 3 litre Bentleys.
A certain amount of bother was caused by J. F. Field’s Bugatti, which was found to be debarred from taking part in the race through being a single-seater. Field tried to get over this by wedging someone in behind him, but the luckless man protruded about 3 feet above the car, so this idea was abandoned. Finally, it was suggested that the car should run in the race, but not for a prize, to which all the competitors agreed. For some time after the start the limit car, Dowling’s old Morris, led, putting in occasional laps at the very creditable speed of 59 m.p.h. It was somewhat difficult to follow the race, as indeed it is with all handicap races, but this did not detract one whit from the interest of the race. Some of the cornering was rather too enthusiastic at times, but at any rate gave the spectators a thrill, Dolan’s Bugatti being particularly hectic, while we saw one ” beauty ” executed by the Statham Ford Special, a sort of Pronty-Ford effort. The two M.G. Magnas, driven by McFerran and Beattie both were going well, while an old M.G. Six Mark I, running with full equipment,
was putting up a good show. For sheer speed, however, the palm went to Ivan Waller, on his veteran “Silver Eagle” Alvis, and Sullivan’s T.T. Lea Francis, and it soon became evident that the ultimate victory would be with one of these cars. A very smart” blown” Alfa Romeo driven by “Sixty Six” was not too well handled, while the Lancia in the hands of Kinlay, in spite of acrobatic efforts on the part of his mechanic, was also slow. On the other hand Field on the single seater Bugatti, was very fast, putting in occasional laps at 82 m.p.h.
The handicapping was excellent, and a (Continued on page 576).
very close finish resulted in Waller getting home first at the excellent average of 77.87 m.p.h. with McFerran and Beattie on M.G. Magnas second and third.
Altogether a most enjoyable meeting, which provided a thoroughly good afternoon’s entertainment for competitors and spectators alike.
1. A. Potterton, 847 c.c. M.G. Midget, 2 laps, 1 min., 58.55 m.p.h.
2. D. C. Maclachlan, 1,087 c.c. Riley, scr., 70.05 m.p.h.
3. W. Sullivan, 847 c.c. Morris McEvoy, 1 tap, 3 mins., 45 secs., 59.00 m.p.h.
4. S. R. Sheane, 847 c.c. M.G. Midget, I lap, 4 mins., 58.11 m.p.h.
5. F. W. Barney, 1,087 c.c. Amilcar, 2 laps, 2 mins., 51.65 m.p.h.
6. “Dun Donald,” 847 c.c. M.G. Midget, 2 laps, 2 mins., 51.2 m.p.h.
7. C. Bradley, 1,087 c.c. Riley, I lap, 3 mins., 55.6 m.p.h. SENIOR FIFTY.
I. Ivan Waller, 2,148 c.c. Alvis, 1 lap, 45 secs., 77.87 m.p.h.
2. H. C. McFerran, 1,250 c.c. M.G. Magna, 2 laps, 1 min. 10 secs., 68. 49 m.p.h. 3. G. A. Beattie, 1,250 c.c. M.G. Magna, 2 laps,
2 mins., 66.41 m.p.h.
4. W. Sullivan, 1,496 c.c. Lea-Frauds, 2 mins. 30 secs., 78.67 m.p.h.
5. M. J. Hynes, 3,285 c.c. Ford Special, I lap 1 min. 20 secs., 76.69 m.p.h.
6. T. Stewart, 2,468 c.c. M.G., 2 lam 1 min. 10 secs., 60.88 m.p.h. 7. T. J. Fowling, 1,550 c.c. *Iorris-Cowley, 2 laps,
3 mins., 45. secs.. 57.67 m.p.h.
Irish Motor Racing Club Cup : D. C. Maclachlan Riley).
Joyce and Brady Cup : W. Sullivan (Lea-Francis). Royal Irish Automobile Club Cup : I. Waller (Alvis). 1st, 2nd and 3rd cars in both races were fitted with Dunlop tyres.