THE BRIGHTON SPEED TRIALS
Good Sport in Spite of Torrential Rain. Whitney Straight makes
Fastest Time, Earl Howe and Oliver Bertram Equal Second. AFTER the consistently fine weather of this summer, it was appallingly bad luck for the Brighton and Hove Club that Saturday September 16th, should have been a day of driving, tor
rential rain. Last year, it will be remembered, a crowd considerably in excess of all anticipations assembled on the terraces above the Madeira Drive, and a certain amount of difficulty was experienced by marshals and the police in keeping them under control. With great thoroughness the Club Committee set about the business of making the 1933 meeting an assured success, and arrangements were actually completed for dealing with a crowd of
150,000. This diligence was not rewarded by the ” O.C. Weather,” and the number of spectators who bravely defied wind and rain to shift them from their positions on the terraces was naturally small. The sport began at 10.30 in the morning, with an event for standard sports cars of 1,100 c.c. capacity. Whitney Straight’s Magnette, the favourite, did not start, but R. R. Jackson on a similar car was surprisingly beaten by 2/5ths of a second by V. W. Derrington’s unblown Salmson. A. D. Langridge (Austin, S.) was third,
although his time of 39 4/5 secs. was slightly slower than J. A. Driskell (B.N.C.), who was disqualified for jumping the starting line. The next class, for Standard 1,500 c.c. sports cars produced a battle between M.G.’s (handicapped on account of their
small engines), Frazer Nashes, Aston Martins and Wolseley Hornets. In the end R. R. Jackson, whose Magnete was now functioning according to plan, and Comdr. R. T. Grogan, with his neat black supercharged Frazer Nash, tied for first place with a time of 311/5 secs. R. Eccles
did extraordinarily well to record 31 4/5 secs. with an unblown Nash. This trio was also running in the 3,000 c.c. class, against Major Gardner’s blown 1,750 c.c. Alfa Romeo, three Bugattis, an Aston Martin, and H. J. Aldington (unblown Frazer Nash). The result was a clean sweep for Frazer Nashes, Grogan being first with 30 1/5, Eccles second in 311/5, and” Aldy ” third in 31 3/4 secs. Gardner’s Alfa was suffering from clutch slip. Grogan again did his stuff in the unlimited class, getting down to “evens,” or 30 seconds exactly. Jackson’s smaller
Magnette was 4/5 seconds slower, while Aldington did 31 2/5 secs. Thus the first three places fell to cars of under 14 litres, against an opposition composed of two 30/98 Vauxhalls, Raysons supercharged 38/250 h.p. Mercedes-Benz and Marker’s 44 litre Bentley. Incidentally these last
two cars made a fine spectacle as they howled and rumbled (respectively) up the rain-soaked course. The morning’s programme closed with some classes confined to members of the organising club and. the Bristol and West of England Clubs. The 1,100 c.c. prize went easily to Ashton Rigby on a smart and obviously well-prepared M. G. Magna, the second man, W. A. Sparling on a similar car being 6 seconds slower. Aldington won the 14 litre award in 31 4/5 secs., Rigby being second in 34 3/5 secs. By this time all those concerned in
watching, organising and coniFeting in the event were fairly well soaked with rain, so the luncheon interval which followed was exceedingly welcome. At 2.30, having fortified the inner man, positions were taken up once more for the rest of the meeting. This year, instead of trying to condense a full programme into an afternoon, the sports cars were run in the morning and the racing cars in the afternoon.
Donald Letts pulled off the 850 c.c. class with his green stub-tailed M.G. Midget with a time of 31 4/5 secs. K. W. Marten was second with a blown Midget. Donal Glegg caused some amusement by the skeleton appearance of his Dorcas 1, the car being devoid of a vestige of coachwork. The 1,100 c.c. class also gave the crowd an idea of the result of enthusiasts’ labours in the search for speed, and J. Justice (J.A. P. Special), G. L. Glegg (Dorcas II) and E. J. Moor (Wash In) all gave rise to varying degrees of amusement and admiration. Justice’s machine ” Tallulah ” noisily expired before the end of the course, and was pushed back to the start by way of the arcade under the terrace. The class was won by Miss Peggy Altham, driving Whitney Straight’s M. C. Magnette, with a time of 31 4/5 secs., beating Noble’s Salmson by 4/5th second. As the cars grew larger so speeds went up, and the 1,500 c.c, class produced the fastest time so far when J. C. Davis shot
up the half-mile course in 27 4/5 seconds. His beautiful little Delage was completely steady on the slippery road, and the engine made a .powerful ” G.P.” noise. Grogan showed the capabilities of his standard Frazer Nash by clocking 29 3/5 secs. for second place, beating Dick Nash’s ” Spook” by 1/5th second—but the latter car was misfiring slightly as it got away.
Then came the 3 litre class, and speeds went up with a bang or rather a roar. The ” Spook” Oat down to 27 3/5 secs., but was soon beaten by Earl Howe’s 2.3 Bugatti with a time of 25 3 5 secs. This time was improved upon by Whitney Straight, driving the Maserati with which he recently gained the Mont Ventoux record. Twin rear-wheels helped to give the car a grip on the wet surface, and the self-changing gearbox reduced the time lost in this process to a minimum. After Straight had disappeared from sight in a cloud of spray the crowd eagerly awaited his time. At last it came through25 2/5 secs., 1/5th faster than Earl Howe. In this class, incidentally, Miss Sedgwiek drove H. J. Aldington’s Frazer Nash, making the good time of 31 2/5 secs.
For a moment there was a lull in the downpour of rain, and the sun struggled weakly through the scudding clouds.
But a dark mass loomed up on the horizon, and down came the rain once more. Earl Howe did not enter for the unlimited class, but Straight had a worthy opponent in Oliver Bertram, driving the 10 litre Delage. Lick Nash opened the class with a good run in 26 2/5 secs., and then Straight ‘gave a wonderful demonstration of accelerative driving with a time of 24 1/5. Bertram, making his first run up the course, did well to clock 25 3/5 secs., equalling Earl Howe’s time in the previous class.
Finally, to wind up a really good day’s sport, Earl Howe, Straight and Bertram all made a last effort to improve on their previous times. But the state of the road was all against better times, and all three were appreciably slower. Thus Straight made fastest time of the day, with Earl Howe and Bertram tieing for Second place. The Brighton & Hove Club are to be heartily congratulated on the efficiency of their organisation. Spectators were kept dear of the start and the course generally, there were no tiresome delays, results Were quickly announced, and the programme was well arranged. Given a fine day the meeting would have been a tremendous success. That their event should have coincided with the worst
day of the summer was extraordinarily bad luck.
Standard Sports Cars.
1,100 c.c.-1, V. W. Derrington (Salmsou), 27 sec. ; 2, R.. R. Jackson (M.G. Magnette, S.), 27.2 sees.; 3, A. D. Langridge (Austin, S.), 39.8 secs.
1,500 c.c.-1, R. R. Jackson (M.G. Magnette, S.) and Comdr. R. T. Grogan (Frazer Nash, S.), 31.2 sees.; 3, R. Eccles (Frazer Nash), 31.8 secs.
3,000 c.c:-1, Comdr. R. T. Grogan (Frazer Nash, S.), 30.2 secs.; 2, R.. Eccles (gram Nash), 31.2 secs.; 3,11. J. Aldington (Frazer Nash), 31.6 secs.
Unlimited.-1, Comdr. R. T. Grogan (Frazer Nash, S.), 30 sees.; 2, R. R. Jackson (M.G. Magnette, S.), 30.8 sees.; 3, IL J. Aldington (Frazer Nash), 31.4 secs.
secs. Standard Sports Cars for members of B. & H., Bristol 111. and W. of England Clubs only.
1,100 c.c.-1, A. Rigby (M.G. Magna), 35.2 secs.; 2, W. A. Snarling (M.0. Magna), 41.2 secs. ; 3, J. A. Driskell (B.N.C. “S “), 45.6 secs.
1,500 e.e.–1, H. J. Aldington (Frazer Nash), 31.8 sees.: 2, A. Rigby (M.G. Magna), 34.6 sees.; 3, G. B. Harrington (M.G. Magna), 44.6 secs.
Racing Cars. 31.8 secs.;
850 c.c.-1, D. Letts (14.0. Midget, S.), 31.8 secs.;
2, K. W. Marten (M.G. Midget, S.), 38.4 sees.; 3, 0. B. C. Sumner (Austin, S.), 39.2 secs. 1,100 c.c.-1, Miss P. Althorn (M.G. Magnet tc, S.), 31.8 sees.; 2,0. H. Noble (Salmson, S.), 32.6 sees.;
3, A. Rigby (M.G. Magna), 34.8 secs.
1,500 e.c.-1, J. C. Davis (Delage, S.), 27.8 sees.; 2, Comdr. R.. T. Grogan (Frazer Nash, S.), 29.6 secs.; 3, R. G. J. Nash (Anzani-Nash, S.), 29.8 secs.
3,000 c.c.-1, Whitney Straight (Maserati, S.), 25.4 secs.; 2, The Earl Howe (Bugatti, S.), 25.6 sees.: 3, R.. G. J. Nash (Anzani-Nash, S.), 27.6 secs.
Unlimited.-1, Whitney Straight (Maserati, S.), 24.2 sees.: 2, The Earl Howe (Bugatti, S.), and 0..1 • Bertram (Delage), 25.6 secs.