Reports of Recent Events, October 1948



Reports of Recent Events


The 750 Club, aided by the Cemian M.C., held ambitious driving frolics at Sunbury on Aug. 22nd, even laying on a public address apparatus, energised by Philip Turner, most precariously mounted. This was the second round of an interclub contest between the Hants and Berks M.C., N.W. London M.C., 750 Club and Lancia Club, for the L. M. Ballamy bread board (suitably decorated), held by the Hants and Berks M.C. There were seven diverse tests, saloon cars getting five marks handicap, but over 1+-litre cars forfeiting two marks. The placings in the tests were : •

REVERSE CANTER: 1st, V. S. A. Biggs (H.R.G.), 5; 2nd : J. H. Appleton (Allard), 4; 3rd : E. Brandon (it M.G. saloon), 3.

SQUARE-BASHING: 1st: C. Buckler (Buckler), 5; 2nd : G. Matthews (Jaguar), 4; 3rd : L. Leonard (M.G.), 3.

ROPE-TRICK : 1St : L. Leonard (M.G.), 5; 2nd tie : C. Bulmer (Austin Seven) and C. Buckler (Buckler) 3}.

PLUG-CHANGING: 1st: E. Brandon (M.G.), 5; 2nd : W. Clarke (Alvis), 4; 3rd : J. Appleton (Allard), 3.

HA.LaPrN : 1st : V. S. A. Biggs (H.R.0.),.5 ; 2nd ; G. Matthews (Jaguar), 4; 3rd : J. Appleton (Allard), 3.

RommtwouT : 1st : V. S. A. Biggs (H.R.G.), 5; 2nd : H. Birkett (Austin Seven), 4; 3rd; C. Buckler (Buckler), 3.

WIGGLE-WOGGLE: 1st: C. Bulmer (Austin Seven) ; 2nd, D. Wootton (Ford-Austin), 4; 3rd ; R. Yeats (Ford-Austin).

The Hants and Berks M.C. retained the Trophy, with 45 marks to the N.W.L.M.C.’s 40 and 750 Club’s 29. Interesting competing cars included Miss Varley’s early Lancia ” Larnbda ” tourer with a spot lamp under the car, an Austin Seven with a radiator imitating that of an Eric Campbell, another with Singer Junior radiator and Ford Ten engine, Axel Berg’s G.N., carrying an agile passenger in lieu of a reverse gear, Henry’s fine 4+-litre Lagonda and Yeats clever Ford-Austin. Leonard used a T-Type M.G. on this occasion. Amongst spectators’ cars was a 1949 Allard coupe with the new steering-column gear-shift.


Run over 316 miles. this race attracted 65 starters. Sommer’s Ferrari led until two laps from the end, when clutch failure put him out. Villoresi had pursued Sommer until a lap earlier, when his A6G Maserati broke a rear shockabsorber and retired. So Ascari, who had taken over Bracco’s Maserati after his own Maserati had broken a spring on lap one, came home first at 83.26 m.p.h. (in a sports car I), 11 min. 32.6 sec. ahead of the second man, Sterzi, in a Ferrari. Rosier’s Talbot was third, followed by Tatuffi’s Cisitalia, Cortese’s Ferrari and Bernabei’s Cisitalia. Villoresi had valve trouble, Raph’s Talbot a gearbox malady. No one-make domination in sports-car racing, so far !


M. P. Cahill’s 1,267-c.c. M.G. won the 24-mile final of this race at 57.9 m.p.h. from C. Vard’s supercharged 1,250-c.c. M.G. and W. .1. Fitzsimmons’ Ford Eight.


Sand racing in the good old tradition happened at Redcar on August 28th. Richmond’s H.R.G. won both the straightmile sprints, the 1+-litre at 62.07 m.p.h. from Ensoll’s M.G. and Brown’s Riley, the 2+-litre at 62.94 m.p.h. from Bolton’s M.G. and McPhee’s Riley. A 20-mile handicap followed, Bolton’s M.G. winning from Buckley’s B.M.W. and Oscar Moore’s 0.B.M., after Johnson’s Johnson-FordEight-Special had been disqualified for receiving outside assistance.

Two 500-c.c. races were scheduled to be run, but insufficient entries came in.


Victory at Albi went to Luigi Villoresi, who, driving a new low -chassis 4 CLT-48 2-stage Maserati, won both heats. This all-conquering combination, which,. however, had yet to meet the Alfettes, actually averaged a higher speed for both the races (the placing in which determine the final placings) than Mays’ lap-record. Whereas this lap record stood at 99.06 m.p.h., Villoresi won the first race, from Comotti’s Talbot and Leslie Brooke, also handling the latest ” works ” Maserati (!), at 100.17 m.p.h., and the second race at 99.38 m.p.h., ahead of Chiron’s Talbot and Etancelin’s Lago Talbot. This gave Villoresi the outright victory at 99.88 m.p.h., from Etancelin and Rosier’s Lago Talbot. In the first heat Baird’s Emeryson cooked its magneto, Fabsegas’ Maserati spun off the road, ” Bira’s ” Maserati retired with a too-warm engine, and many others retired. Brooke led the whole race for six laps, after Villoresi needed a plugchange, but was slowed when an oil-pipe broke, smothering him in lubricant and starving his engine. Villoresi pushed the lap-record to 104.42 m.p.h. in chasing Brooke. Chiron’s Talbot limped in with a broken push-rod.

Brooke again led, passing Villoresia great show !—until he overdid things and had to motor into a handy gap beside the course. Pringe Igor crashed his Ferrari and was taken to hospital, while Raph’s Talbot later overturned, the driver being removed unconscious to hospital. Comotti, who had been straining every nerve to catch Villoresi, skidded on some oil, and his stalled engine wouldn’t restart, while Brooke retired after a grand drive with severe mechanical maladies. Villoresi finished 1 min. 1 sec. ahead of Chiron.


Tyrer’s Bugatti made f.t.d. at Ellesmere, in 28.4 sec., while Warburton’s Allard was fastest sports-car, in 29.6 sec. Class victors were Clapp’s 1,100-c.c. H.R.G., Gee’s 11-litre Ailey, Warburton’s Allard, Bradley-Hurt’s Austin Seven, Penn’s Riley and Tyrer’s Bugatti. Messrs. Tyrer, Warburton and Kieron, who drove a Bugatti, netted the team award.


The Italian Grand Prix at Turin proved the most intense G.P. race since the war, the only snag being the heavy rain. Wimille, it is true, won at 70.38 m.p.h. after a miserably wet drive lasting 8 h. 10 m. 42.4 sec., in a high-boost 158 Alfa-Romeo. But behind him Villoresi in the latest low-chassis Maserati and Sommer in the single-blower V12 Ferrari fought an epic duel, ending in the somewhat-spent Maserati crossing the line 2 m. 41.2 sec. ahead. Moreover, so hot had been the pace set by the duellists that for once the Alfettes cracked-up, Sanesi bending his front axle after 41 out of the 75 laps and’s car, taken over by Sanesi, retiring with blower trouble after 53 laps. The new Ferrari went magnificently, finishing with nothing more serious amiss than weakening brakes, but Farina poked a straw barrier with his and damaged the radiator, while ” Bira ” suffered transmission trouble in his Ferrari after 66 laps. The Maseratis were not entirely trouble free, for Villoresi probably wouldn’t have been able to run much further and Cortese’s was out early, and Taruffi’s later, both with tinderbonnet maladies, while Parnell, who finished 5th, did so sans clutch and Brooke gamely pushed in to the 11th and last place after losing oil pressure and stalling after overshooting a corner. However, Ascari’s Maserati was 4th, de Graffenried’s 9th, the other placings being Rosier 6th, Comotti 7th, and Etancelin 8th, all on Lago Talbots and Chaboud’s Delahaye 10th. Wimille made fastest lap at 75.41 m.p.h., although on a dry course in practice he had done 78.61 m.p.h. Gordon drove his B-type E.R.A. down the St. Bernard Pass after his lorry broke down, but was just too late to qualify.

Other retirements were : Giraud Cabantou’s Simca and Manzon’s Simca with engine trouble, and Chiron’s Talbot which blew its gasket. Alfa-Romeo and Maserati used Lodge plugs.


J. Clegg’s 1,172-c.c Clegg-Special won the Trophy, K. R. Bailey’s Riley making best performance in the opposite class. Thompson’s Ford Ten took the Novices’ Award, and Wise, Mosby and Wilde, of the Yorkshire S.C.C., the Team Challenge Trophy. Club awards went to Hankins (Ford Ten—Lancashire A.C.), Hunt (Gil. Special—L. and C.C.C.), Holt (G.R.H. Special—M.G.C.C.), James tHassfordS. and H.M.C.) and Wise (C.W.8— Y.S.C.C.).


W. P. Maidens’ Austin ” Princess ” won the Prix d’Honneur. Class winners comprised Hutton Stott’s 1913 Lanchester, Wilkinson’s 1920 Mercedes, Dunham’s Alvis Fourteen, Battersby’s Type 57 Bugatti, Define’s Sunbeam-Talbot 90 and Salmon’s Beckenham Special.