Poole Open Speed Trials
Many Exciting Incidents on Excellent New Course. Hutchison’s Alfa-Romeo makes F.T.D. Allard the Fastest Sports Car.
The West Hants & Dorset C.C. put on Open Speed Trials at South Lytchett Manor, near Poole, on September 6th, the excellent new 1/2-mile course being loaned by Sir J. V. E. Lees, Bt, D.S.O., M.C. The event was run for charity and the Mayor of Poole was one of the stewards, which is absolutely the spirit we all want. The course has a good surface and will, we hope, become an annual venue. That more excitements and phenomenal avoidances happened than at any previous event, at the “S” bend, was due to no practice being allowed coupled with the high speed possible out of the preceding gentle left-hand bend, and not to the course being in any way of “circus” aspect. Drivers had to walk the entire length of the course, but everyone seemed to survive! Curiously, the only accident occurred to a patrol motor cyclist, who broke his collar bone in falling from his Vincent H.R.D. “Rapide,” and not to a competitor. Great pains had obviously been taken over organisation, to the credit of John Jesty. Unfortunately, times were not given out very promptly or accurately and as the afternoon merged into evening cars were run very haphazardly. Whereas the 500-c.c. racing cars got four runs apiece, those entered in the sports-car classes and also in the racing classes were only permitted to run in the former, nor did their times count in the latter. Moreover, in the early racing classes only one run was allowed, but in later racing classes both runs were permitted. All this seemed a trifle unfair to certain drivers. If only the R.A.C. could send a technical steward to such events, the organisers could confer with him as to the best procedure in cases such as this.
A walk round the pleasant Paddock was interesting. Couper’s “PB” M.G. had an odd, drilled front axle with divided track-rod, and Lester’s six-cylinder M.G. had its racing number neatly attached to its radiator cowl, and was a very light car. Gibbs had meticulously reversed the tiny headlamps on his Riley, Sparrowe’s old T.T. Crossley was seen to have a gear-gate like that of a Meadows-H.R.G., and the Croysdill Special was a smart car based on Croysdill’s old “Brooklands” Riley Nine with two S.U. carburetters, in an M.G. frame with Lancia front-end. Uglow’s well-known H.R.G. had forsaken its Meadows engine for a 1940 Riley “12/4” engine and gearbox unit, which it also had at Brighton. Smith’s Jaguar used two outside flexible exhaust pipes which went back into the normal exhaust system, and the double tubular arms supporting the brake pedal on Sydney Allard’s o.h.c., 4-carburetter sports Allard were noted. Very beautiful was Lee’s road-equipped Type 35C G.P. Bugatti, tennis shoes ready in the cockpit, polished torque arms to its front axle and a battery by the passenger’s feet. The sports Cooper 500 had twin Amals and twin Amals were also used on the Triumph “Speed Twin” engine in the Marwyn 500, which had apparently no means of taking brake torque except through its front springs, its shock-absorbers being transverse. Its rear axle possessed a single brake drum within the sprocket and exposed drive shafts. The Monaco 500 had been painted green since Brighton. J. G. Martin’s M.G. was a J2 now mostly converted to J3/J4 specification, with a No. 9 Powerplus blower driven via a universal joint from the front of the crankshaft, the drive also incorporating a bearing. Boost pressure is 18-20 lb./sq. in. and Martlett pistons and Q-type valve gear are used, the fuel being 75 per cent. methanol, 25 per cent. petrol/benzole. A pre-selector gearbox is fitted and the car ran sans body, an Austin Seven fuel tank over its rear axle. The engine apparently stands up to 6,000 r.p.m. and sounds very clean. George Ansell was driving R. E. Ansell’s E.R.A., which was jacked up to warm its transmission.
The meeting opened with the sports classes and we saw D.C. Pitt. in crash-hat. drive his M.G. very well indeed to win one class and get third place in another. Uglow’s went really fast to clock 39.87 sec., but, running in the next class, went straight on at the “S” bend and bent its front axle. This gave Newton (H.R.G.) his chance and, in spite of a rather rough gear-change, he won the class, beating Crook’s 328 B.M.W. and Miss Haig’s B.M.W., both of which were faster than the 328s of Moss and Rowland. Although somewhat slower on its second run, Crook’s B.M.W. won the up-to-3-litres unblown, up-to-1 1/2-litres blown class from Measures’ and Jacobs blown T-type M.G.s, although Measures drove in spirited manner and Jacobs’ brakes obviously worked well, in spite of his front wheels flapping as he cornered. Render used immense numbers of r.p.m. as he changed down for the “S” in his Morgan “4/4,” Huxham’s sister car was off colour, the Crossley Ten, although very slow, entered the bushes at the “S,” and Robbins’ “Ulster” Austin experienced back-axle judder under the brakes, but somehow got round the fatal “S.” Burleigh slid the bends in his special Morris Ten and deserved his third place. Dew, in Taylor’s first Alta, was slow, the car smoking and pinking. Lee did something dreadful, his beautiful G.P. Bugatti taking to the escape road, we believe through the driver selecting neutral, while Rivers Fletcher had had moments on his first run in Doland’s blown A.C., which snaked under furious braking. Mathews’ Jaguar was in trouble, and Parker’s Jaguar used its brakes for the first bend, but Onslow-Bartlett did a prodigious run in the Mercury, going through the “S” at unbelievable speed, as we have come to expect of him.
Even faster, to win the 4-litre sportscar class from Bartlett, was Sydney Allard, the so-called sports Allard, enveloped in a smoke cloud, making best sports-car time. Lowrey ceased to motor in his 1,100-c.c. H.R.G. on his first run, but was neat on his second. The Price Special patently possessed no damping on its front, axle, Measures went straight on when he wanted to go through the “S” on his second run, but just made it, and Leonard Potter’s Allard spun through 180 degrees and came to rest in a record cloud of dust. In the big sports-car class Lewis’ very fine “2.3” Monza Alfa-Romeo failed to beat the unblown Allard and Mercury; it had to use the escape road at the “S” on its first run, Crook’s “2.9” Mille Miglia Alfa-Romeo doing exactly the same thing. Leslie Allard, in the same Allard that Sydney drove, was really immense, his back tyres all but on fire under heavy braking, but he could not beat Onslow-Bartlett’s Mercury Ken Burgess’ blown Allard was 4th. The “S” continued to be good value from the spectators’ point of view, Appleton just getting his Allard through in clouds of rubber-dust. Butterworth sliding his Bentley through 180 degrees, McAlpine’s Allard going into the corner with wildly juddering front axle, Doland evoluting his A.C. at low speed, and Parker spinning his Jaguar on its second run. Potter just held his Allard on run two, while Price, and Haesendonck in Measures’ M.G., were very careful and Westcott’s Mercury-engined Frazer-Nash lost chains.
The 500-c.c. racing class was interesting. Strang nearly went off the road high up the course when a gearbox selector failed him, leaving Eric Brandon to win in the Cooper from the Tiger Kitten, with John Cooper 3rd. Hartwell and Bosisto suffered from floating feet. In the 750-c.c. class Cooper retrieved lost honour, beating a spirited Lones and Brandon. Bowles handled his Austin neatly, but only beat the Marwyn 500, and George Hartwell calmly used the escape road.
So well did the Cooper “500s” driven by Cooper and Brandon go that they also won the 1,100-c.c., and 1 1/2-litre racing-car classes, Cooper doing 40.10 sec. in the latter. Rivers Fletcher took the first bend very nicely in his M.G. on each of his runs, but had wild moments going into the “S” on his first run, being beaten by the M.G.s of Pitt and Lester. He was 3rd in the 1 1/2-litre class, however, in which Martin’s M.G. sounded very healthy.
In the 2 -litre (1,100-c.c. blown) racing-car class Fry’s rebuilt Freikaiserwagen did a magnificent first run in 37.15 sec., just managing to negotiate the “S” after a prodigiously fast approach and showing fine acceleration. On his second run Fry spun round at high speed. Martin’s M.G. now turned the tables on Rivers Fletcher. The Norris-Special tended to go straight on when it came to the “S” but was 3rd in the class for racing machinery up to 4-litres unblown or 1 1/2-litres blown, in which category the Steyr-Allard, truly bunching itself up for the “S” was fastest in 38.75 sec., and Lowrey’s Mercury-Nash 2nd fastest. Lowrey took to the grass before the “S” on his first run, front end tramping madly; had Onslow-Bartlett’s sports-class time been allowed he would have displaced Lowrey. George Ansell drove the E.R.A. well, clocking 41.86 sec, on his second run, in spite of a wandering tail and front axle tramp at the “S.” Foster used lots of r.p.m. but was cautious (42.52 sec.) in his Bugatti.
In the unlimited racing car class Ken Hutchison really kept his foot down. His Alfa-Romeo came out of the first bend in a real slide and accelerated fiercely towards the “S” slowing in a wild application of lower ratios and brakes. Thereafter the acceleration was of a high order and this brave drive gave Hutch. f.t.d., 36,69 sec., after a first run in 37.51 sec. Poore, like Fry, didn’t bother to dress up, but he was second fastest, nevertheless, in the big Alfa-Romeo, improving vastly on his second run to clock a safe-looking 36.97 sec. McAlpine, who has improved so much this season, clocked 37.96 sec. in his Maserati, after a bit of excitement at the “S.” He was slower on his second run, when he had a really nasty slide at the “S.”
Abecassis, in the “3.3” Bugatti, beat McAlpine, clocking 37.16 sec. on his second run, but seeming to brake early. Salvadori really made use of the escape road at the “S,” but, unlocking his Alfa-Romeo’s wheels, found a gap in the hedge and regained the course beyond the corner — curiously, he was credited with a time for this novel run. On his, second run he did 38.20 sec. Taylor’s 2-litre Alta clocked 38.54 sec. on its first run, very steady, its i.f.s. working effectively under really heavy braking, as in the case of Poore’s Alfa-Romeo. Hutchison’s average speed for the course was in the region of 49 m.p.h.
Sports Cars up to 850 c.c. Un/Sc.: 1st, G. Coles (M.G.) 45.36 sec.; 2nd, J. Bowles (Austin) 48.96 sec.
Sports Cars up to1,100 c.c. Un/Sc.: 1st, D. Pitt (M.G.) 42.26 sec.; 2nd, H. Lester (M.G.) 44.02 sec.; 3rd, C. Burleigh (Morris) 45.04 sec.
Sports Cars up to 1,500 c.c. Un/Sc. and 850 c.c. S/c.: 1st, W. Uglow (H.R.G.) 39.87 sec.; 2nd, E. Newton (H.R.G.) 42.08 sec.; 3rd, D. Pitt (M.G.) 42.84 sec.
Sports Cars up to 2,000 c.c. Un/Sc. and 1,100 c.c. S/c.: 1st, E. Newton (H.R.G.) 41.53 sec. ; 2nd, T. Crook (B.M.W.) 42.06 sec.; 3rd, Miss Haig (B.M.W.) 43.97 sec.
Sports Cars up to 3,000 c.c. Un/Sc. and 1,500 c.c. S/c.: 1st, T. Crook (B.M.W.) 43.10 sec.; 2nd, M. Measures (M.G.) 43.56 sec.; 3rd, R. Jacobs (M.G.) 43.98 sec.
Sports Cars up to 4,000 c.c. Un/Sc. and 2,000 c.c. S/c.: 1st, S. Allard (Allard) 39.55 sec.; 2nd, L. Onslow Bartlett (Mercury) 40.73 sec.; 3rd, D. Parker (Jaguar) 42.18 sec.
Sports Cars Unlimited: 1st, L. Onslow Bartlett (Mercury) 39.75 sec.; 2nd, L. Allard (Allard) 40.83 sec.; 3rd, D. Lewis (Alfa-Romeo) 41.13 sec.
Racing Cars up to 600 c.c. Un/Sc.: 1st, E. Brandon (Cooper) 40.26 sec.; 2nd, H. Lones (Tiger-Kitten) 40.93 sec.; 3rd, J. Cooper (Cooper) 42.78 sec.
Racing Cars up to750 c.c. Un/Sc.: 1st, J. Cooper (Cooper) 40.20 sec.; 2nd, H. Lones (Tiger Kitten) 40.45 sec.; 3rd, G. Hartwell (Monaco) 40.73 sec.
Racing Cars up to 1,100 c.c. Un/Sc.: 1st, J. Cooper (Cooper) 40.31 sec.; 2nd, E. Brandon (Cooper) 40.47 sec.; 3rd, D. Pitt (M.G.) 42.55 sec.
Racing Cars up to 1,500 c.c. Un/Sc and 750 c.c. S/c.: 1st, J. Cooper (Cooper) 40.10 sec.; 2nd, E. Brandon (Cooper) 41.62 sec.; 3rd, A. Rivers Fletcher (M.G.) 41.74 sec.
Racing Cars up to 2,000 c.c. Un/Sc and 1,100 c.c. S/c.: 1st, J. Fry (Freikaiserwagen) 37.15 sec.; 2nd, J. Martin (M.G.) 40.52 Sec.; 3rd, A. Rivers Fletcher (M.G.) 44.62 sec.
Racing Cars up to 4,000 c.c. Un/Sc. and 1,500 c.c. S/c.: 1st, S. Allard (Steyr-Allard) 38.75 sec.; 2nd, J. Lowrey (Mercury-Nash) 40.20 sec.; 3rd, F. Norris (Norris-Special) 41.40 sec.
Racing Cars Unlimited: 1st., K. Hutchison (Alfa-Romeo) 36.69 sec.; 2nd, R. Poore (Alfa-Romeo) 36.97 sec.; 3rd, G. Abecassis (Bugatti) 37.16 sec.
F.T.D.: K. Hutchison (Alfa-Romeo) 36.69 sec.
Fastest Sports Cars: S. Allard (Allard) 39.65 sec.
Fastest Blown Sports Car: D. Lewis (Alfa-Romeo) 41.13 sec.
Fastest Lady Driver: Miss Haig (B.M.W.) 43.97 sec.
Fastest Unblown Racing cAr: S. Allard (Steyr-Allard) 38.75 sec.