ONE’S remembrances of last year’s Speed Trials at Brighton are chiefly confined to drenching rain, squalls and general discomfort, amid which the cars splashed their way up the course in a shower of spray. But what different conditions prevailed on the 1st of last month ! A glorious September day, brilliant sunshine, a cool breeze, a huge crowd, and everybody happy.
A tremendous entry had been received, so an early start was made at 10.30. Even then a good crowd lined the terraces above the Madeira Drive, the people on holiday at Brighton turning out in force and augmenting those enthusiasts who always come from far and near whenever anything in the nature of a motor race is being held. The beach side of the Drive was screened by a tall canvas “fence,” which effectually prevented a crowd from assembling too near the road. The morning’s programme consisted of the Sports Classes and the special events for Brighton and Hove Club members. A. Ashton-Rigby started with an enterprising series of victories, his well-tuned
I,. type M.G. Magna making a crisp getaway on every run. He first of all won the Members Only 1,100 c.c. class from Macdermid’s Midget, and then the 1,500 c.c. class from R. Gardner’s Frazer Nash and E. Quero’s Single Le Man’s. In both cases his speed was exactly 54.22 m.p.h. The unlimited “Members Only” produced a well-deserved win for Forrest Lycett’s black 8-litre Bentley. This magnificent car was 5 m.p.h. faster than Robert Strang’s Railton Terraplane, which in turn beat D. L. S. Shilcock’s 4i-litre Lagonda. The Hon. Jock Leith’s Hispano Suiza was not in good form, and was unplaced.
There were no fewer than 20 entrants in the 850 c.c. blown, and 1,100 c.c. unblown class, open to all corners. Ashton-Rigby’s Magna was quite the best of the bunch, but there was an interesting tie for second place between J. Eason Gibson’s Riley and F. W. Carr’s Singer Le Mans. The Special Lagonda Rapier driven by Lord de Clifford scored a “third.” The heavier metal of the 1,500 c.c. unblown cars proved too much for Rigby, but he nevertheless tied with G. Casswell’s Frazer Nash for third place. This was quite a Frazer Nash party, for S. E. Cummings was first on his greatly-lowered model at 56.96 m.p.h., and Roy Eccles was second.
Lycett’s Bentley was again a safe tip for the unlimited unblown class, and he was a shade faster than his previous run in clocking 64.7 m.p.h. He beat R. R. K. Marker’s Railton Terrapla.ne by 6 m.p.h , with Eccles gallant little if litre 1:razer Nash third. There were some close finishes between various pairs as they raced up the half-mile, a particularly near thing being when Cummings beat Leith by a fraction’ of a bonnet. The supercharged 1,100 c.c. class produced a victory for Geoffrey Taylor’s Alta, Ashton Rigby again being in the limelight by scoring a “second.” The morning programme concluded, so far as cars were concerned, with the unlimited supercharged class, which went to Major
Gardner’s beautiful 2.3 1 tre Alfa-Romeo after a close tussle with E. K. Rayson’s Mercedes coupe. Lunch, in some cases of a completely liquid variety, was then partaken, and proceedings re-commenced at 2 o’clock. The afternoon classes, being for racing cars, were not sub-divided into blown or unblown. The ” 850’s ” took the field (or front) first, and provided a most worthy winner in A. H. Samuel, handling R. R. Jackson’s M.G. Midget. Jackson has had bad luck with his Midget at Brighton in previous years, but this time it was in great shape and recorded the record speed for its class of 64.29 m.p.h. No less creditable was the time of the
second man, J. C. Elwes, with an AustinSeven, which has seen much competition work. R. Morgan’s bronze single-seater Austin was a shade slower. Many of the 850’s also entered for the 1,100 c.c. class, and Samuel actually succeeded in tieing for first place with G. R. Hartwell’s M.G. Magnette. There was another tie for third place between
J. L. Ford (M.G. Magnette), and E. K. Rayson (Riley). The 1,500 c.c. class went to J. C. Davis’s 8-cyl. G.P.Delage, humorously described in the programme as being of 14,800 c.c. capacity. Competition was again very keen, and there were ties for both second and third places. Harker’s Special and Rayson’s Riley both clocked 65.69 and R. G. J. Nash on the ” Spook ” and Hartwell’s Magnette were third with 64.29 m.p.h. The” Spook” was, of course, the favourite for this class, but it preferred to be sulky at Brighton.
The 3-litre class proved to be an allBugatti victory, for R. 0. Shuttleworth was first at 73.77 m.p.h. with his neat and fleet twin-camshaft car, once driven by Chiron in the Monaco G.P., Charles Martin was second at 72.58 m.p.h. with his black single-camshaft job ; and Mrs.
K. Petre scored a fine third at 71.43 m.p.h4 on a similar car.
The unlimited class was likely to produce ” fastest time of the day,” and Oliver Bertram was obviously out to carry off this honour if he possibly could. He had fitted twin-wheels to the 10-litre Delage, but on his run with Lycett’s Bentley, he made a poor getaway and could do little more than keep ahead of his rival all the way up the course. His speed was 69.23 m.p.h. Shuttleworth ran by himself, and got off the mark like the proverbial stag, snaking from side to side as ” the rear wheels tried to pass the front ones,” as someone remarked. His time was correspondingly fast, 75.63 m.p.h., but not quite so quick as Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 76.27 m.p.h. in 1932.
Martin was a tiny bit slower than before, but his 72.00 m.p.h., was good enough to get him a comfortable “second.”
Mrs. Petre won the Ladies’ Class quite easily, being some 11 m.p.h. faster than Miss I. C. Schwedler on Dunham’s Speed Twenty Alvis. Miss Wyn Hilder had difficulty in persuading Dobson’s Bugatti to leave the line, repeated efforts to restart a stalled engine giving the announcer an opportunity to be humorous at the expense of the vast and quaintly-attired Andrew Leitch.
After some of the motor bikes had hurtled up the Drive, Bertram asked whether he might have an unofficial run, against Martin’s Bugatti, for which purpose he discarded a pair of wheels. Martin had no objection, and gave everyone a lesson in the art of getting a racing car on the move. Bertram lost appreciably on the getaway, and not all the might of his 10-litres could prove him to be right. His speed of 72 m.p.h. was 3 m.p.h. slower than Cobb’s time with the same car in 1932. An enjoyable meeting closed with a race between the fastest car and fastest motor bike. Accordingly, Shuttieworth’s Bugatti and Noel Pope’s Brough lined up, and in due course roared away into the
distance, seemingly side by side. Shuttleworth just got it, equalling his previous speed of 75.63 m.p.h., but in fairness to Pope it must be recorded that his motor was not firing as regularly as it might have been.
Fastest run of the day : R. 0, Shuttleworth (2.3litre Bugatti S), 75.63 m.p.h.
Open to Brighton and Hove M.C. Members only, 1,100 c.c. sports •. 1, A. Ashton Rigby (M.G. Magna), 54.22 m.p.h.* ; 2, R. A. Macdermid (M.G. Midget), 47.87 m.p.h. ; 3, C. A. Hall (Singer), 45.92 m.p.h.
1,500 c.c. sports : 1, A. A. Rigby (M.G. Magna), 54.22 m.p.h. ; 2, R. Gardner (Frazer Nash), 49.18 m.p.h. ; 3, E. Quero (Singer Le Mans), 44.33 m.p.h. Unlimited sports : 1, F. Lycett (8-litre Bentley), 64.29 m.p.h. *; 2, R. N. Strang (4-litre RaiIton I:a/Mane), 59.60 m.p.h. ; 3, D. L. S. Shileock (44-litre
onda), 54.88 m.p.h.
1,100 c.c. sports : 1, A. Ashton Rigby (M.G. Magna), 53.57 m.p.h. ; 2, tie between J. Eason Gibson (Riley) and F. W. Carr (Singer Le Mans), 50.00 m.p.h. ; 4, Lord de Clifford (de Clifford Lagonda Rapier Special), 48.13 m.p.h.
1,500 c.c. sports cars : 1, S. E. Cummings (Frazer Nash), 56.96 m.p.h. ; 2, R. H. Eccles (Frazer Nash), 55.56 m.p.h ; 3, tie between A. Ashton Rigby (M.G. Magna) and G. Casswell (Frazer Nash), 53.57 m.p.h. Unlimited sports : 1, F. Lycett (8-litre Bentley), 04.75 m.p.h. ; 2, R. 12. K. Marker (4-litre Raiiton
Terraplane), 58.44 ; 3, R. H. Eccles (14-litre Frazer Nash), 56.96 m.p.h.
1,100 c.c. Supercharged sports : I, G. Taylor (Alta S), 54.88 m.p.h. ; 2, A. Ashton Rigby (M.G. Magna WS), 53.63 m.p.h. ; 3, J. Athelstan Elliott (Crossley S), 49.18 m.p.h.
850 c.c. Racing : 1, A. R. Samuel (M,G. Midget S), 64.29 m.p.h.*; 2, J. C. Elwes (Austin S), 61.64 m.p.h.; 3, R. Morgan (Austin S), 61.64 m.p.h. 1,100 c.c. Racing : 1, tie betaeen A.. H. Samuel
(M.G. Midget 5), 65.22 m.p.h.; and G. R. Hartwell (M.G. Afavette 5); 3, tie between J. L. Ford (MG. Magnette S), and E. K. Rayson (Riley S), 63.83 m.p.h.
1,500 c.c. Racing cars: 1, Capt. J. C. Davis (14-litre G.P. Delage S), 66.18 m.p.h. ; 2, tie between W. E. Harker (Harker Special S) and E. K. Rayson (Riley S), 65.69 m.p.h. ; 4, tie between G. R. Hartwell (M.G. Magnette 5) and R. G. J. Nash (Anzani Nash, “The Spook “), 64. 29 xn.p.h.
3-litre Racing : 1, R. 0. Shuttleworth (2.3-litre Bugatti 5), 73.77 m.p.h.* ; 2, C. E. C. Martin (2-litre Bugatti 5), 72.58 m.p.h. ; 3, Mrs. K. Petre (2.3-litre Bugatti 5). 71.43 m.p.h.
Unlimited Racing : 1, R. 0. Shuttleworth (2.3-litre Bugatti S), 75.63 m.p.h. ; 2, C. E. C. Martin (2-litre Bugatti S), 72.00 m.p.h.; 3, 0. Bertram (101-litre Dotage), 69.23 m.p.h.
Ladies’ Class (unlimited racing cars) : 1, Mrs. K. Petre (2.3-litre Bugatti S), 69.77 m.p.h.; 2, Miss I. C. Schwedler (Alvis Speed Twenty), 58.44 m.p.h. ; 3, Mrs. Tolhurst (Riley Nine S), 54.55 m.p.h. (*Indicates new class record,)
Round the Clubs., December 1925
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