RAIN MARS BRIGHTON SPEED TRIALS G. TAYLOR (ALTA) MAKES FASTEST TIME. A. N. L. MACLACHLAN’S FINE DRIVING.
BAD weather arrivci I just at the most inopportune moment for the Brighton Speed Trials, and not man y records were broken on the Madeira Drive on September 25th. R. 0. Shuttleworth’s car record of 22.08 secs. (79.36 m.p.h.) which was set up in 1935—the last year it was fine—with his AlfaRomeo, remained unbroken, though Geoffrey Taylor, during a comparatively dry spell between the showers, demonstrated yet again that the Alta is an increasing force in speed events. Taylor’s time of 22.84 secs. with the 2-litre Alta handsomely beat Raymond Mays’s class record with the 2-litre E.R.A. in 1935, and has indeed only been surpassed by Shuttleworth, for Cummings, who made fastest time last year with the VauxhallVilliers, only managed 22.89 secs.
One has somehow come to associate rain with the Brighton Speed Trials, perhaps because when it does rain, with the wind driving off the sea, the fact is so memorable. Actually, examination• of the records shows a fairly even balance since 1932, the year when the present series began.
1932,. Very fine. 1935. Fine.
1933. Very wet. 1936. Wet.
1934. Fine. 1937. Wet.
It may be noted that the Brighton Speed Trials were first held as long ago as 1903, still on the Madeira Drive, but in the reverse direction of the course. Sir Algernon Guinness, R.A.C. steward in the modern series, once held the record, with a short flying start, at nearly 110 m.p.h., which was good going in those days. Hectic braking was involved to avoid finishing up in the Albion Hotel !
In spite of the clash of events, for the M.C.C. High Speed Trial was held on the same day, as for several years past, a big entry had been secured at Brighton. Some competitors had sufficient enthusiasm to dash from one event to the other. Indeed, G. M. Denton, who always officiates at the microphone at the Brighton Speed Trials, with unfailing humour and unsuspected sources of information, was absent from his usual post in the morning, as he was competing at Brooklands. An able deputy took his place in the person of Eric Fernihough, holder of the world’s speed record for solo motor-cycles, and also holder of the record for the course at Brighton, at no less than 90 m.p.h. (20 secs.) for the standing half-mile, a staggering performance. After lunch, Denton had arrived, and the two announcers carried on a lively
back-chat over the loudspeakers, much to the amusement of the crowd. Fernihough was unable to compete this year, as his arm was still in a sling as a result of an accident in a Continental race. Cars were, as a :general rule, started off in pairs, though later in the day, owing to the slippery surface, it became necessary to allow some Of the fastest
cars to run singly, Brigadier-General Loughborough’s timing apparatus was in use, with a starting system by lights.
In the morning the sports-cars had their runs, and a persistent drizzle at the start left the road in no condition for fast runs. R. R. Jackson is now too busy tuning other people’s cars to race himself, but his wife, Mrs. Jean Jackson, beat the field almost by a clear second in the 1,100 c.c. class, driving the M.G. which Ashton Rigby used to run. This car still holds-the record for the 1,100 c.c. sports class, set up by Rigby in 1934. Rigby is another who has disappeared from racing, and is reputed to be busy at golf. After a time the rain ceased, and the road slowly dried, but at no time was it in ideal condition for fresh records. The first record went, however, when Mrs. R. M. Strang brought out the Hudson Century in the Ladies’ unlimited class, beating the time made by Mrs. Petre’s
Alvis in 1935. Miss Patten scored a good second with her British Sahnson. A splendid run by P. R. Monkhouse’s M.G., one of the =supercharged T.T. cars, now increased in size to 1,430 c.c., also set up a new record in the 1,500 c.c. class. A pictureof elegance in this class was H. L. Pownall’s black Bugatti, with
polished chromium wings. Pane was expected to do well with his =blown Frazer-Nash, but was beaten into fourth place. The system was that each car should have one run only in each class, but any number of classes of higher engine capacity &mid be entered, and thus there was strong competition in the unlimited class. The star was undoubtedly Forrest Lycett in his 4k-litre Bentley, who averaged exactly 60 m.p.h. from a standing
start The usual “41 ” Bentley is not exactly in its element in a Short speed. event, but Lycett’s cars are different. He holds the sports record for the course with his 8-litre model, but this was being kept in reserve for the racing classes this year.
It was a great effort by I.ycett to beat Pane’s Frazer-Nash-B.M.W. by .31 secs. for first place. Many fine duels were seen, and none finer than that between Windsor Richards. and R. Hughes, driving ” 30/98 ” Vauxhalls. So keen was this that later in the day the drivers asked to have another go, and the courteous and efficient Brighton organisers
agreed. Windsor Richards led at the start, but eventually Hughes passed his rival to win the match by a length. Then came the supercharged sports-cars. . N. Innes won both the 1,100 c.c. and 1,650 c.c. classes with his M.G., and his nearest contender, R. D. Poore, suffered several misfortunes. First, his rev. counter broke, and the hand stuck uncompromisingly at 7,000 r.p.m., though Poore would not have it that this showed any undue zeal. Then, just as he was :about to start, it was pointed out that one of his rear tyres was subsiding rapidly, and this had to be changed, and the run
taken at another time. When he got going, Poore upset a premature announcement of the results by annexing second place, running through his gears beautifully. In the big class, Poore registered a time (31.19 secs.) that would have won either of the previous classes if made at the right time. It was not enough, however, to beat the heavy metal, and fastest blown sports car time also went to Alta, A. H. Beadle recording 28.73 secs. with his 2-litre model. C. R. Craig drove
the beautiful black and white 4.9 ” Bugatti two-seater, once the property of the late L. G. Bachelier, and still looking as polished as “Bach.” himself would have liked to see.
The Ladies’ racing class was won by Mrs. R. Eccles, who seemed quite at home in Sumner’s huge Delage. Miss Richmond appeared in the four-wheel-drive Puzzi, but her run was spoilt by a gear selector rod snapping. The morning runs closed with a demonstration run by Carlo Silva in a sports Delahaye, which made the creditable time of 31.66 secs.
A. N. L. Maclachlan sprang several surprises when the racing cars appeared. Starting off without any fuss, but as though propelled by a catapult, his Austin, which, as most people know, started life as a ” Chummy ” model, actually beat the works o.h.c. ;:ob driven by Hadley, causing a great sensation in the paddock. The small cars dominated the racing classes up to 1,500 c.c., and up to this point none of the bigger cars got a look in, try as they might. Hadley got his own back in the 1,100 c.c. class, setting up a new record, while Denis Evans
slipped in front of Maclachlan. The latter came back with a vengeance in the next class, however, and, beating all previous times for 750, 1,100 and 1,500 c.c. classes, got the better of both Evans and Hadley, to finish the day .14 secs. ahead of the works job, a splendid effort, for a private owner. In the class for the gigantic veteran cars-the c.c. of four out of the five entered ran into five figures !-Heal with the 1910 Chain-driven Fiat, once raced at Brooklands by War& and otheri, beat the 22-litre Benz. 1,yeett’s 3,600 c.c. 1913 Hispano-Suiza seemed small by comparison
There was lust time for Geoffrey Taylor with his 2-litre Alta to put up his time of 22.84 secs., leaving his opponent standing on the getaway, before the rain began to fall again. The big cars were thus handicapped, but Lemon Burton put in several nice runs on his ” 2.8″ Bugatti, and R. G. .1. Nash, after some uncertain starts on ” Terror II,” managed to make one fast rim. Sumner made a most impressive start in the big Delage, with little spin, but could not get a pace.
RESULTS Unsupercharged Standard Sports (B. & H. F
Handicap (B. & H. M.O.)• 1, F Lyeett (Bentley), 29.98s.; 2, P. R. Monkhouse.(M,G..), 30.58s.; 3, It. M. Strang (Hudson Century), 31.07s. 1.100 c.o. • 1, Mrs. .1. Jackson (M.G.), 33.54s. ;
2, F. T. An.drews (Fiat), 36.4s.; 3, R. J. Chase (Riley), 36.8s.
1.500 c.c. • 1, P. R. Moukhouse (M.G.), 30643*. 2„). clarke (.Frazer-Nash). 31.65s.; 3, Cl. Bagratouni (M.(;.), 31.88. Unlimited : 1, F. Lyectt (Bentley), 30.0s. ; 2, A. F. P. Fane (Fraser-Nash-B.M.W.), 30.31s.;
3, P. R. Monkhouse (M.O.), 30.9s. Unlimited, Ladies : I, Mrs. It. M. Strang (Hudson Century), 31.04.s.* ; 2, Mrs. L. Gandhi (Bentley),
33.74s.; 3, Miss M. D. Patten (British-Salinson), 34.96s.
Supercharged Standard Sport%
1,100 c.c. : 1. trines ( M 1.), :038s.; 2, R. 1). Poore (M.G.), 3 .84s. 3, (1. Ei•i(1 (M.O.), 32.275.
1,650 c.c.: 1, .1. N. lore’s (M.G.), :31.15s. ; 2. R. I). Poore (M.0.), 31.64s. ; 3,0. l’ogratouni (A1.1.1.) 32.2815.
Unlimited : 1, A. H. Beadle (Alta), 28.7:3s. ; 2. 0. Bagratouni (Alfa-Romeo), 29.34s. ; 3, C. R. Craig (lIttgatti), 29,58s.
Unlimited : I. A. S. Hull (1910 ilat 1, 31.568. ; 2, J. N. Morris (1913 Benz). 33.68s. : 3, F. Lyeett (1913 HIspittio-suiya). 4:3.498.
Racing Cars A. N. L. Nlaclachlan 25.91s.
850 cc. : I, A. N. L. Nlaclachlan (Austin), 25.91s.
2, H. L. Hadley (Austin). 26.47s.; 3, D. G. Evans (M.G.). 26.59s.
1,100 c.c. 1, H. L. Hadley (Austin), 25.70s. ; 2, D. (; , EVans (M.( ), 25.80s. ; 3. A. N. L. Madachlan (Austin), 25.9.1s.
1,500 c.c.: 1. A. N. 1.. Malachi:In (Austin), 25.56s.*; 2, 1). G. Evans (M.G.), 26.08.; 3, H. L. Hadley (lust in), 26.02e.
8,000 c.o. : 1, G. Taylor (Alta), 22.84s.*t ; 2, J. L. Burton (Bugatti), 24.02s. ; 3, J. H. Bartlett (Alta), 25.08s. Unlimited : 1, .J. L. Burton (Bugatti), 24.49s.;
2, G. Taylor (Alta), 25.22s.; 3, R. 0. J. Neal) ((‘nionSpecial); 25.284. Unlimited, Ladies : 1, Mrs. R. Eccles (Delage), 26.01g.; 2, Mrs. A. T. 1)arbishlre (Bugatti), 26.82s.:
3, Miss Hope Rod. rick (M.G.), 29.59s.
*Class RpeoD fiFaatest car time.