THE BRIGHTON SPEED TRIALS
Raymond Mays (E.R.A.) Breaks His Course Record. Gerard (E.R.A.) Makes Second Fastest Time and Mrs. Gerard (E.R.A.) Best Ladies’ Time. Many New Class Records. Much Improved Organisation. usual, the speed trials along Brighton’s historic sea-front formed
a most interesting feature of a crowded sprint season, and this year, apart from starting rather late, were excellently organised. This time no motor-cycles competed and the entry was somewhat smaller than in 1946 or 1947, so that two runs per competitor were possible and the whole thing was most .enjoyable. Officials and Press representatives were issued with armbands and were allowed to do their respective jobs unmolested. The rain kept off and the wind neither favoured nor hindered the cars. Not only did Mays in his E.R.A. reduce his course record by 0.41 sec., to 23.86 sec., but 12 new class-records for the kilometrelong course were established. Since the demise of Brooklands, Brighton offers the only opportunity the British have of seeing cars going at full-bore-Mays must have been doing over 160 m.p.h. over the finishing line-and this Massie venue is deservedly popular. We are already looking forward to the 1949 event. The course was rather bumpy beyond the finish this year but the worst spots had been patched successfully.
Standard Sports Cars up to 1,300 c.c.
Philip’s M.G. won from Lester’s M.G., and Lucas’ M.G., beating. Lester’s old record by 4.61 sec. after breaking a half-shaft on its first run. Havart’s M.G. ran well, as did Monica N’Vhineop’s Balilia F.I.A.T.
1st : 0. E. Phillips (1,250-c.c. MAIO35.20 sec. 2nd : H. Lester (1,086-c.c. M.G.) 6.. 36.17 „ 3rd : I. C. Lucas (1,250-c.c. M.G.) … 41.04 „ Also ran : Havart (M.G.), 41.10; Mrs. Whbieop (P.I.A.T.), 41.31 ; Mayers (M.G.), 42.0; Croyedill (Riley), 42.00; Coles (M.O.), 42.50; Miss Lambert
(MM.), 44.4 (F.I.A.T.), 45.0; Higgins (M.G.). .15.6.
Standard Sports Cars, 1,301-1,500 c.c.
Uglow’s H.R.G. was in magnificent form and lowered Newton’s record by 0.93 sec. 1st: W. P. liglow (1,496-c.c. H.R.G.) 35.79 see. 2nd : T. W. Dargue (1,433-c.c. M.G.)… 37.23 „ 3rd : B. Brock (1,496-c.c. H.R.G.)… 37.87,, Also ran : Ruddoek (H.R.G.), 38.27,• Roberts (H.R.G.), 39.6; Palmer (Frazer-Nash), 41.82: Moorlield (M.G.), 43.4; Rowlands (Bugatti), 44.0
Standard Sports Cars, 1,501-2,000 c.c.
Only four ran, Way’s special B.M.W. comfortably beating Tony Crook’s notexactly-standard 828 B.M.W., Way bettering his own record by 1.37 sec. 1st: B.. Way (1,971-c.c. B.M.W.) … 32.39 sec. 2nd : T. A. D. Crook (1,971-c.c. B.M.W.) 33.20 „ 3rd : Miss Haig (1,972-c.c. B.M.W.) … 85.89 „
Also ran : Woods (Fraser-Nash), 39.6 sec.
Standard Sports Cars, over 2,000 c.c.
Walker’s Delahaye went splendidly, beating Matthew’s Jaguar with which it was paired, although the latter held a momentary lead. The Delahaye bettered its old record by 1.47 sec. Parker’s Jaguar had no difficulty about dis
posing of its partner, Jay’s J.B.M. Boothby won a duel with Mrs. Allard, who , kept her Allard’s screen erect, and Price’s Price Special caught Wick’s Allard. Symondson’s Type 57 Bugatti beat Dryden’s Jaguar very easily. Metcalfe’s ex-Barnato Hassan was 2nd.
1st : It. R. C. Walker (3,557-e.e. Delahaye) 31.41 sec. 2nd : I. MeteaLfe (8,000 Bentley) … 31.64 „ 3rd: G. E. Matthews (3,486-c.c. Jaguar) $2.60 „
Also ran : D. Parker (3,485-c.c. Jaguar) 32.85; Symondson (Bugatti,), 82.95; Dryden (Jaguar), 34.4; Boothby (J.B.M.), 84.8′ Finch (Jaguar), 35.18; Mrs. Allard (Allard), 35.20; Jay (J.B.M.), 35.4; Price (Price-Special), 85.72; Hogg (Bentley), 35.87; Wick (Allard), 86.0; Wright (Lagonda), 36.16 ; Tipper (Healey), 36.5 ; Goodhew (Luganda), 36.6; Sir David Gamble ( hivieta), 37.37 ; Cookson (Allard), 39.4 ; Charr“,(.1c (Alvis), 41.0.
Supercharged Standard Sports Cars up to 1,200 c.c.
Owen Finch’s exceedingly potent Amilcar Six dominated the nine runners, breaking Kermington’s old record by 6.82 sec.. There was at first some bother about the rear wheels being larger than those at the front but the International ruling now permits this, and another protest anent methanol also fell flat when fuel and jets were inspected. These cars were sold as sports models and raced as such when new, so this fuss was rather odd. Hanman’s ” PB ” M.G. (Finch’s old 750-c.c car re-built) gained a huge advantage over Orlebar and Hobbs’ very smart M.G., likewise vanquished Marshall’s M.G. Thomson’s odd Morgan 4/4, with front-end converted to L.M.B. split-axle, and with a hand clutch-control, beat Barnes’ M.G. away but was caught. 1st : O. A. F. Fineh (1,086-c.c. Amilcar ) 31.76 sec. 2nd : T. D. Hanman (939-c.a. M.G.) … $4.21 „ 3rd : F. .T. A. Hobbs (1,087-c.c. M.G.) 34.60 „
Also ran : Marshall (M.G.), 34.78′ Barnes (M.G.), $7.61 ; Orlebar (Orlebar), 87.8 ; Christmas (M.G.), 38.27; Thomson (Morgan), 46.8; Render (Austin Seven), 53.6.
Supercharged Standard Sports Cars, 1,201-1,500 c.c.
It was nice to see a Continental visitor, Hubert. Pathey, in his smart ” TC ” M.G.,. win from two other ” TCs.” He beat Collin’s M.G. record by 1.09 sec.
1st : H. Patthey (1,250-e.c. MM.) …
2nd : C. R. Wood (1,250-c.c. MM.) …
3rd : J. Rowe (1,250-c.c. M.G.) …
35.06 sec. 35.91 „ 36.40 „
Also ran : Jacobs (MM.), 37.04.
Supercharged Standard Sports Cars, Unlimited.
Tony Crook’s Alfa-Romeo really got into its stride, breaking Oliver’s Bugatti record by 1.32 sec. In spite of Sedgwick’s approving glances at the ribbed blower of Smeed’s 44 Bentley, this car was no match for Ayrton’s beautifully handled Type 55 Bugatti with Type 51 engine, Ayrton clad in a fine white suit. • Lewis’ “2.8” two-seater Alfa-Romeo, with Continental registration, sounded fine and Gilbey’s sleek ” 2.6″ Alfa-Romeo was more than a match for the Bartlett-entered ” 2.3 ” four-seater of this make. James’ fabulous ” 4.9 ” Bugatti beat Mann’s ” 2.6 ” Alfa-Romeo, which spun its wheels too much on getaway. Met e:Ilfe’s fine 8-litre Bentley still suffered from clutch bothers, but achieved 3,800 r.p.m. in top, using 7.00 by 19 rear tyres. 1st : T. A . D. Crook (2,904-e.e. Alfa-Romeo) 30.26 sec 2nd : It. 0. Ayrton (2,262-c.c. Bugatti)… 30.89 „ 3rd : J. M. James (4,840-c.c. Bugatti) 30.01 „
Also ran : Metcalfe (Bentley), 31.64; Lewis (AlfaRomeo), 31.66; Imhof (Allard), 81.80; Bartlett (Alfa-Romeo), 32.2’2′ Mann (Alfa-Roxneo), 32.37; 1311bey (Alfa.-Romeo), 32.39′ Parker (Jaguette Spe lap, 33.2; Sneed (Bentley), 33.8 ; Bartlett (Alfa-Romeo), 37.8.
Vintage Sports Cars, Unlimited.
This class produced some of the most exciting duels of the day. Alan May beat Cook’s 4/-litre Bentley fairly easily on his first run, and was then paired with Srneed’s blower 4i-litre Bentley for his second run. This time May went over the line at nearly 8,800 r.p.m. in top, equal to about 97 m.p.h. and Smeed was .6 sec. slower, flame showing from the region of his supercharger as the fuel feed dried up. Sedgwick’s smart 4i-litre Bentley was paired with Quarterrnain’s lowered 80/98″ Vauxhall and easily beaten on its first run, but, kept in 3rd gear over the line the next time, it vanquished the Vauxhall by 0.17 sec. Another fine duel was that between Pitt’s blower 44-litre Bentley and Butterworth’s unblown litre Bentley, the former just ahead. Finch’s Amilcar, now with larger rear tyres and using ” methanol, again dominated the class and broke Grain’s Bugatti record by 2.72 sec. Crozier’s Mercedes Benz, its blower whining enthrallingly, was very fast in spite of its heavy coupe body. It was good to see a 8-litre Sunbeam in action and Abbott’s Mercedes ran very consistently ;
we would like to see the Edwardian class re-introduced in 1949.
1st: 0. A. F. Finch (1,100-e.e. sic Amilcar) 30.66 Sec. 2nd : A. May (4.225-c.c. Vauxhall) … 32.40 „ 3rd : W.G. Smecd (4,500 .c.c. sic Bentley) 32,96 „
Also ran : Pitts (Bentley), 34.4; Cook (Bentley), 34.6; Crozier (Mercedes-Benz), 35.0; Butterworth (Bentley), 36.0; Quartermaine ( Vauxhall), 37.89; Sedgwick (Bentley), 38.03; Cothns (Bentley), 40.01; Jane (Lancia), 41.8; Richmond (Sunbeam), 41.8; Gabagan (Bugatti), 42.6; Abbott (1904 Mercedes), 55.0.
Racing Cars up to SOO c.c.
The 500s tended to false-start, but were generally highly impressive in action. George Hartwell, in the Norton-engined, very abbreviated Monaco, broke Cooper’s record by 0.46 sec., somewhat air-borne in the process. Competition was keen, for Dryden’s Cooper was second, Lord Strathcarron’s Marwyn third. Brandon drove Saunders’ Cooper but lost his .duel with Truman’s Marwyn, and Moss, his Cooper placed at the start clear of others’ wheelmarks, its fuel filler cap opening as the car got away, wasn’t quick enough for once, suggesting that sheer good driving may have accounted for his earlier successes. The Smith wasn’t running well and its transmission came adrift. 1st : G. R. Hartwell (498,e.e. Monaco)… 32.1Isec. 2nd : R. M. Dryden (498-c.c. Cooper) ..-. 33.04 „ 3r1 : Lord Strathcarron (497-c.c. Marwyn) 33,35 ..41s,, ran : Moss (Cooper), 34.14 ; Sir F. Samuelson, lit. (Cooper), 34.34 ; Thum,’ ( Ma INV yr!), 34.97 ;
Brandon (cooper), 35.2 Spa (r? (SparrOwc). 36.0 ; White (White 1.11 ?-? ) , 36.8 Coldham
(Cooper), 37.4; Smith (smith).
Racing Cars, 501-750 c.c.
Eason Gibson, who gave a pithy earnmentary, sympathised with Issigonis who was held rather long at the start. The Lightweight lot top gear on its first run, and made its next run with no third gear, the revs, in second phenomenal and the gap between this ratio and top quite somet hi n, as the driver sadly observed. However, 1.1w Lightweight gained a much deserved victory from Jarvis’ blue Austin Seven, which actually coasted over the line and then only got halfway on its second run, and Brandon’s ex-Harvey Noble M.G. The last-named lost some time pumping up pressure as he left the line, while poor Bowles received much hot water in his face from his Austin’s radiator. Owen’s Austin was not on form and Bradley Hurt’s ex-” Mrs. Jo Jo,” Broadhead Austin misfired before the finish. Issigonis failed to beat his own record. 1st : A. Issigonis (748-c.c. sic Light . weight Special) 29.90 sec. 2nd : K. C. Jarvis (749-c.c. sic Austin)… 32.40 „ 3rd : E. Brandon (740-c.c. sic M.G.) … 34.92 „ Also ran : Owen (Austin), 35.86; Bowles (Austin),
36.2: Bradley Hurt (Austin), 38.99.
Racing Cars, 751-1,100 c.c.
David Fry found gear seleetion a trifle difficult so busy was he as the Freikaiserwagen accelerated from the start and it weaved about somewhat at the finish in spite of its excellent rubber suspension. But it easily beat the Lightweight’s old record, by 1.53 see. John Cooper’s Itnblown V-twin Cooper. having to suck in its own sea-air, did splendidly to finish second, and Spike If hiando, that decorative American, was third in the other V-twin Cooper. Burton’s Riley had trouble, being beaten by Folland in the ex-Weir Monaco-prepared M.G., Kennington’s M.G. Was really motoring, not far behind Fry-it now has a new Mar
shall blower supercharging at 22 lb/sq. in., and its head coolant is cleverly isolated from that in the block-while, in spite of a difficult change-up, Richards’ Riley went very well. lie Lissa, in the ex-Bellevue unblown single-seater M.G. Magnette, now with Newton front shock-absorbers, coasted in, Southon in the Becke, now called t Wolseley, broke a rocker in its aged engine, which Gibson said is a Stellite but which is surely an old Wolseley ” Moth ” unit, nor did Thornson’s very special Sahnson pull out its 1947 form.
1st : D. Fry (1,097-c.c. .sic Freikaiserwagen) 27.01 see. 2nd: J. Cooper (996,c.c. Cooper) … 27.93 „ 3rd : S. Rhiando (1,000-e.e. Cooper) … 28.93 „
Also ran : Kennington (M.G.). 29.8 ; Folland (M.G.), 31.95 ; Richards (Riley), 33.07 ; Tuohy (Riley-0.N.), 36.07 ; Rivers Fletcher (M.(4.), 36.53 ; Thomson (Sal inson), 37.4 ; Southon –(Wolseley), 38.8 ; Sir (‘live Edwards (11.11.0.), 39.0; de Lissil (7,1.( ). 2.56 ; Burton (Riley), 79.4.
Racing Cars, 1,101-1,500 c.c.
This class confirmed that Parnell’s 16-valve Maserati has changed hands, for the new owner, D. Murray, driving it splendidly, won by a narrow margin from Baring’s 6C Maserati and Richardson’s E.R.A.-Riley, the last-named stopping beyond the line with a burst fuelpipe after its second run. Poor Fotheringhatn.-Parker, making a welcome re-appearance in the ex-Parnell Delage, found the clutch tricky and had to be towed in with ominous noises from the back axle. Salvadori’s four-cylinder Maserati and Leonard’s M.G. were distinctly quick, Foster’s and Blomfield’s Bugattis sounded very nice, but Gilbey’s CC Maserati was slightly troubled by misfiring, having only been prepared in the small hours, and Buckler’s unblown Buckler displayed admirable front-suspension over the bumps. Spikins drove his latest Spiking Special, consisting of the ex-Rose, ex-Sommer Amilcar Six with one of the new four-carburetter i,(II-Francis competition engines installed.
It caught fire in the paddock and gave Spikins a rough ride, but should be impressive later. Gerard’s record remains intact. 1st : D. Murray (1,400-c.c. sic Maserati) 28.32 sec. 2nd : A. A. Baring (1,406-c.c. sic Maserati) 28.35 „ 3rd : G. N. Richardson (1,488-c.c. sic E.R.A.-Riley) 28,60 „ Also ran : Salvadori (Maserati), 28.84; Waxy (Maserati), 29.46; Spikins (Spikins), 30.2; Leonard (M.G.), 31.01; Bradnack (Frazer-Nash), 344; Blornlield (Bugatti), 344; Buckler ( Buckler), 38.0; Foster ( Bligatth, 38.8; Fotheringham-Parker (Delage),
Racing Cars, 1,501-3,000 c.c.
Raymond Mays, in characteristic garb, is still absolutely the sprint maestro. His first run was made in ‘24.34 sec., the E.R.A. being eased up before the end because oil-pressure vanished. Its second run, steady and clean-cut, occupied a mere 23.86 sec., breaking the courserecord, set by the sant(‘ driver and car last year, by* 0.41 sec. It was a performance of which Mays must be very proud. Gerard, out again after a spell in bed, was 1.14 Sec. slower and, unlike Mays, slower again on his second run. McAlpine really got the ex.” Bira ” Maserati going, to take third place, making 3rd fastest time of the day. Bolster broke a chain and stayed at the start on his first run and wasn’t fast enough On his second. Stubberfield was hampered by twin 5.25 by 17 rear tyres and his Prescott axle, and by having to pump pressure, but Hutchison got the Alfa-Romeo really thundering over the finishing line, with Norris’ Alta clinging on most creditably, looking as if it would like to pass. Bell’s 2-litre E.R.A., the ex-Darbishire car, lost a plug as _it got away and Merrick’s Alta had to be retrieved by lorry.
18t: R. Mays (1,980-c.e. sic E.R.A.) … 23.86 sec. 2nd : F. R. (tyrant (1,943-e.e. sic 25.03 „ 3rd : K. McAlpine (2,992 -ca’. sic Maserati) 25.60 „ Alge ran. Iliiteliisoii (Alfa-Romeo), 26.13 ; Allan A mold ( Rugatti), 26.35 ; Bell (E.R.A.), 26.57 ; Norris (-Vita ), 26.6 : Merrick (Alta), 28.17 ;
StAbbertivici lillotti), 28.4 •, Bolster (Mary), 28.8 ; Hiikins (Bugatti), 30.2; Mond (Bentley Special), 32.6.
[Photo by Guy Griffdhs
FRUITS—OR PENALTY ?-017 VICTORY.—Mrs. Gerard receives her cup after a very fine run up the Brighton kilometre in 25.80 sec.
Racing Cars, Unlimited.
Everyone wondered if Poore would take the course record, but cool and confident as he was and magnificently as he drove his very fast car, it just was not quick enough, and Mays’ course and class records were unmolested. Allard was second, aided by his new de Dion rear axle, while Butterworth did very well to finish third, his A.J.B. only completed in the wee hours, and devoid of handbrake and losing a bit of gear-lever en route. It has a multi-Amal Steyr air-cooled engine in a half-ellipticallysuspended four-wheel drive chassis. As lag year Shortt’s Bentley Jackson was very sick, but Hay’s ex-Embiricos aerodynamic saloon 41-1itre Rolls-Bentley, forced by the Regulations to run in this class, went very well, bouncing somewhat over the bumps—a wonderful car this, used daily in London, yet that with which Eyston covered over 114 miles in an hour on Brooklands in 1939. It went over the line at Brighton at a three-figure speed in third gear. 1st : R. D. Poore (3,800-c.c. s/c Ails Romeo) 25.72 see. 2nd: 8. H. Allard (3,500-c.c. Allard) … 28.61 „ 3rd : A. J. Butterworth (4,425-c.c. A.J.B.) 31.23 „ Also ran : Hay (Bentley), 36.47 ; Shortt (Bentley),
40.6. Racing Cars, Lady Drivers.
Joan Gerard was the heroine of this category, her handling of the 2-litre E.R.A. fearless and faultless—except that she lost a lot of time at the line. It is possible that she forgot that, at Brighton, the timing apparatus is actuated by the start-lights, the “spoons” merely registering false-starts. However, she broke her own record by 1.15 sec., and
was tremendously pleased. This fine performance earned for her ordeal by television-camera and microphone. Miss Sadler was third after bumpy rides in the ex-Dunham “Speed Twenty” Alvis and Mrs. Folland kept going when smoke from the ex-Weir M.G.’s exhaust filled the cockpit, to get second place. She was quietly confident and we look forward to seeing her in future events. 1st : Mrs. Gerard (1,943-c.c. sic E.R.A.) 25.80 sec. 2nd : Mrs. Folland (M.G.) 32.6 „
Also ran : Miss Sadler (2,511-c.c. Alvis), 33.20.
After this prizes were presented to Messrs. Mays, Gerard, Poore, Rhiando and Mrs. Gerard, Rhiando getting easily the biggest cup for the best International performance. The Mayor of Brighton was rightly thanked for his co-operation and a very well-run meeting concluded with expressions of satisfaction on all sides. The Brighton and Hove M.C. has certainly fully retrieved any ” blacks ” earned by unfortunate oversights at earlier meetings.
The Mayor of Hove arrived with Charles Follett and spectated all day. Earl Howe and his lady came down in a F.I.A.T. Balilla saloon. It was good to hear and smell real ” Brooklands ” atmosphere again and to see headlamps set at all angles to defeat drag—less pleasant to encounter other deflected lamps along the Brighton road on the way home. Tyre wear : Mays used 7.00 by 16 rear tyres, as did the Parnell and Gerard
E.R.A.s. McAlpine used 6.15 by 19, Salvadori and Allard 6.50 by 16, the old Delage 7.00 by 17. Only Southon and Stubberfield used twin rear wheels. Bolster’s smooth tyres are apparently essential to ” Mary’s ” safe control.
Render’s ” Ulster ” Austin Seven had transverse hydraulic front shock-absorbers and Manxed tail. Owen’s Williamsbuilt Austin had a long tail, alloy head with inclined plugs, 5.00 by 16 tyres on Big Seven wheels, a Marshall blower with S.U. carburetter, lowered chassis, 4.9 axle, Bowenex brakes, four-speed box with clever 1.h. lever, outside exhaust and a coil-ignition engine converted to Marelli magneto ignition. Phillip’s successful M.G. had twin S.U.s and a Scintilla Vertex magneto, while Goodhew’s 41-litre Lagonda was an old team car with twin Scintilla Vertex, and Brooldands’ exhaust system. Imhof ran his new light blown AllardSpecial and left Crook’s Alfa-Romeo on initial acceleration. Poore carefully warmed his transmission before running— his Alfa’s engine was quite dirty externally. Meisl’s number was carried on a Hillman Minx saloon, but it did not essay a run I The fastest unblown car was Cooper’s V-twin Cooper, the fastest sports car Crook’s Alfa-Romeo, the fastest unblown sports car Walker’s Delahdye, although Finch’s Amilcar, on methanol in the vintage sports-car class, was quicker than the Delahaye I * *
Nine drivers bettered 27 seconds— Mays 23.86; Gerard 25.03; McAlpine 25.60; Poore 25.72; Mrs. Gerard 25.80; Hutchison 26.13; Allan Arnold 26.85; Bell 26.57 and Norris 26.60 seconds.
Mays averaged 98.75 m.p.h. ; he used Dunlop tyres and Lucas ignition.
Vintage Postbag, May 1981
"The McKenna Duties" Sir, Further to your article on "The McKenna Duties", I can confirm that vintage American cars' "mudguards, radiators and lamps" were usually black a la Henry Ford,…
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