International Prescott Speed Hill-Climb
Sydney Allard – 1949 British Hill-Climbing Champion
Sydney Allard Breaks Course Record (44.26 sec.), Sports-Car Record (47,96 sec.), Wins Three Classes and Final of 1949 R.A.C. Hill-Climbing Championship and Team Prize. Poore’s 3.8-litre Alfa-Romeo Second Fastest. Six Class Records Fall.
As the above heading indicates, Sydney Allard had a field-day at Prescott on September 11th, securing the 1949 R.A.C. Hill-Climbing Championship and much besides. The weather at this charming and colourful venue was perfect, and in the enclosures ultra-smart Bugattis parked side by side with such individualistic cars as an all-white “14/40” Sunbeam and an early “11.4” Citroën tourer.
The Final of the Hill-Climb Championship was expected to lie between Allard, Fry and Poore, but unfortunately the Freikaiserwagen sheared its flywheel key in practice, as it had done on its first run at Brighton. Methodical work was immediately put in progress to replace it, supervised by David Fry and Robin Jackson and many sympathetic friends. Alas, on its first run the car only got as far as Pardon Hairpin. Everyone thought that was the end, but apparently the trouble was carburetter-flooding and Fry tried again in the Team Event, but again the Freikaiserwagen had trouble, this time with the magneto, and Fry, who was a mere point behind Allard for the Championship, was unable to take his second run in the 1,100-c.c. racing car class. The sympathy of everyone on the hill went out to him.
So Allard clinched the deal and broke his old course record by 0.78 sec., on a run during the Team contest, in the Steyr-Allard which occupied a mere 44.26 sec. On his third assault on the twisty hill he might well have clocked an even better time, but he skidded badly in the Esses and, although skilfully held, it reduced his time to 44.49 sec.
Poore fully deserved his second place, which also gave him second in the Championship. He flung the big Alfa-Romeo fearlessly through the bends, holding a slide under the brakes into Orchard Corner on his first run and doing his best time, 44.60 sec., on his Team event run. Young Stirling Moss, home again after seeking fresh laurels abroad, was right on form, making third fastest time, 44.77 sec.. in his white Cooper 1,000, on a run when he momentarily locked a wheel braking for the last bend of the Essex, which he took wide, and then fairly flung his little car up to the Semi-Circle. This earned him third place in the Championship.
Brandon’s Cooper 1,000 was fourth, in 45.82 sec., but an encounter with the straw bales at Orchard increased his second run to 47.09 sec., and just how fast and meritorious these four — Allard, Poore, Moss and Brandon — were is proved by the fact that no one else clocked under 47 sec. Mays and Hutchison, although they had dropped out of the championship, were enthusiastic spectators.
Sports Cars Up to 1,500 c.c., Unsupercharged
Delingbole’s H.R.G. easily won this class from Willis’ special B.M.W. and Ruddock’s nicely-handled H.R.G., while Christie’s M.G., braked hard for Orchard, tied with Dargue’s M.G. for third place.
1st: K. C. Delingpole (1,496-c.c. H.R.G.) … 51.19 sec.
2nd: R. C. Willis (1,490-c.c. B.M.W.) … 52.12 sec.
3rd: G. A. Ruddock (1,496,c.c. H.R.G.) 52.39 sec.
Also ran: Christie (M.G.) and Dargue (M,G.), both 53.71 sec.; Thompson (H.R.G.), 54.50 sec.; Buncombe (H.R.G.), 55.44 sec.; Phillips (M.G.), 57.16 sec.; Scott (Morgan), 57.50 sec.; Holt (H.R,G.), 57.61 sec.; Buckler (Buckler), 57.93 sec.; Line (MM.), 59.56 sec.
Sports Cars Up to 1,500 c.c., Supercharged
Finch’s Amilcar Six beat Hern’s sister car, and Bowles’ much-used Austin Seven, a lower gear engaged for the run up to the Semi-Circle, was a creditable third.
1st: O. A. F. Finch (1,100-c.c. Amilcar) … 51.07 sec.
2nd: V. J. Hern (1,100-c.c. Amilcar) … 52.00 sec.
3rd: J. V. Bowles (747-c.c. Austin) … 53.14 sec.
Also ran: Lusty (M.G.), 55.79 sec.
Sports Cars, 1,501 to 3,000 c.c., Unsupercharged
Newton, getting much wheelspin, many revs., and blipping through the Esses, not only won the class in his “Le Mans Replica” Frazer-Nash, but beat the class record held by Tyrer’s lightened “328” B.M.W. by .07 sec. Tyrer, not up even to his former-record form, was second, sliding at the Esses, but beating Peacock’s more ordinary “328” B.M.W. The Healey was slow but consistent.
1st: E. J. Newton (1,971-c.c. Frazer-Nash) … 50.74 sec.*
2nd: G. Tyrer (1,071-c.c. B.M.W.) … 51.34 sec.
3rd: R. F. Peacock (1,971-c.c. B.M.W.) … 54.71 sec.
Also ran: Goodhew (Healey), 57.12 sec.
Sports Cars, 1,501 to 3,000 c.c., Supercharged
Young Fry (not Joe) did a prodigious run in his road-equipped Type 51 Bugatti, hard suspension making this beautiful car bounce on its large-section tyres, not only breaking his class record by 0.43 sec., but the absolute sports-car record as well-but Sydney Allard hadn’t yet run! Alas, trying even harder next time, Fry spun at the Esses.
1st: J. S. Fry (2,270-c.c. Bugatti) … 48.72 sec.*
2nd: K. E. Carter (2,600-c.c. Alfa-Romeo) 53.60 sec.
Also ran: Young (Bugatti), 55.28 sec.
Sports Cars Over 3,000 c.c., Unsupercharged
With sheer concentration in his face, Sydney Allard convincingly won back the sports-car record with the J-type Allard, in 47.96 sec., an improvement on his own class record of 0.96 sec. Mrs. Allard brought the same car up in 52.31 sec., but had to give best to Warburton’s pointed-tail Allard and Matthews’ potent Jaguar. Mansell drove the special sports Allard which Sydney used immediately prior to the advent of the J-type. Warburton spun at the Esses on his first ran.
1st: S. H. Allard (4,375-c.c. Allard) … 47.96 sec.*
2nd: G. Warburton (3,917-c.c. Allard) … 50.76 sec.
3rd: J. E. Matthews (3,485-c.c. Jaguar) … 50.82 sec.
Also ran: Mansell (Allard), 51.84 sec.; Mrs. Allard (Allard), 52.31 sec.; Sir David Gamble (Invicta), 54.04 sec.; Monro (Invicta), 54.50 sec.
Racing Cars Up to 500 c.c.
After some excitement, Marwyn running up the Underwood’s inside bank entering the Esses and losing a chain, Tye’s Cooper stopping with its usual over-flooding and Truman and Kearon proving that they had brakes when approaching Orchard, Reece won the class on a model ascent, his Cooper breaking Brandon’s class record by 0.49 sec. Strang, his pioneer Strang 500 for once really on form, if wildish out of the Esses, was second and Kearon third. May was troubled by gear-selecting maladies on the ex-Moss Cooper.
1st: J. G. Reece (497-c.c. Cooper) … 48.18 sec.*
2nd: C. Strang (498-c.c. Strang 500) … 48.87 sec.
3rd: M. C. Kearon (497-c.c. Cooper) 49.51 sec,
Also ran: Truman (Bardon 49.66 sec.: May (Cooper), 49.75 sec.; Tipper (Monaco), 50.0 sec.; Collins (Cooper), 50.15 sec.; Lones (Tiger Kitten), 50.26 sec.; Breese (Iota-Zephyr), 50.28 sec.; Carter (Cooper), 50.61 sec.; Ebdon (Halldon-J.A.P.), 51.37 sec.; Habin (Cooper), 51.45 sec.; Cox (Cooper), 51.74 sec.; Cutler (Cutler), 52.31 sec.; Gibbs (M.A.C. 500), 54.60 sec.; Tye (Cooper), 60.56 sec.; Underwood (Marwyn), 64.84 sec.
Racing Cars, 501 to 1,100 c.c.
At first this class refused to get going, for Spollon’s rear-engined, V-twin MertonSpecial had a G.N. rear wheel collapse at the Semi-Circle, the course being blocked for some time. Then Turner’s Turner-Special spun as it entered the Esses, returning down the hill, and Webb’s M.G. lost its cooling water and stopped at Orchard Corner. After Fry’s unfortunate retirement it was left to Moss and Brandon to dominate the class, Moss relieving Fry of his class record to the tune of 0.99 sec. Heath’s rear-engined V-twin Special was third.
1st: S. Moss (996-c.c. Cooper-J.A.P.) … 44.77 sec.*
2nd: E. Brandon (994-c.c. Cooper-J.A.P.) … 45.82 sec.
3rd: C. Heath (995-c.c. Special) … 48.31 sec.
Also ran: Jarvis (Austin), 49.52 sec.; Richards (Riley), 50.15 sec.; Symonds (Austin), 50.64 sec.; Turner (Turner Special), 52.21 sec.; Webb (M.G.), 67.26 sec.
Racing Cars, 1,101 to 1,500 c.c.
Handling his gear-changes neatly, Ansell’s E.R.A: won this class in non-record time from Heyward, who was careful but fast in the Alvis-engined Norris-Special, Norton’s Alta, using twin rear wheels which clouted the sleepers at Pardon on its first run, being third.
1st: R. E. Ansell (1,488-c.c. E.R.A.) … 48.10 sec.
2nd: W. A. Heyward (1,482-c.c. Norris-Special) … 48.85 sec.
3rd: G. W. P. Norton (1,496-c.c. Alta) … 49.10 sec.
Also ran: de Mattos (Spikins Special), 49.53 sec.; Reece (Bugatti), 49.73 sec.; Dargue (M.G.), 54.16 sec.; Blomfleld (Bugatti), 64.83 sec.
Racing Cars, 1,501 to 2,000 c.c.
Peter Walker made one of his usual spirited climb in the 2-litre E.R.A. to win this class, but failed to approach his class record. The stub-exhaust, twin-rear-wheeled Bugatti, driven respectively by owner Mould and ex-owner Rowley, filled second and third places, slightly faster than the Caesar-Special, which someone described as an “armchair preceded by a smoke-screen.”
1st: P. D. C. Walker (1,979-c.c. E.R.A.) 47.67 sec.
2nd: P. Mould (1,990-c.c. Bugatti) … 49.55 sec.
3rd: J. W. Rowley (1,990-c.c. Bugatti) sec.
Also ran: Taylor (Caesar Special), 60.01 sec.; Sir Clive Edwards (H.R.G. Special), 50.60 sec.; Toole (R.B.L.), 50.93 sec.
Racing Cars Over 2,000 c.c.
It was in this class that Allard, looking safe and steady in the quiet V8 air-cooled Steyr-Allard, set the seal to the championship and lowered his class record by 0.62 sec. Poore was second, and Butterworth, now using 6.00-16 tyres on his A.J.B. but craving different ratios, was third. Stubberfield’s Type 35 Bugatti went in its usual excellent manner, but Dutt’s “2.9” Maserati was slow.
1st: S. H. Allard (3,700-c.c. Allard) … 44.42 sec.*
2nd: R. D. Poore (3,800-c.c. Alfa-Romeo) … 45.54 sec.
3rd: A. J. Butterworth (4,425-c.c. A .J .B.) … 47.11 sec.
Also ran: Stubberfield (Bugatti), 47.61 sec.; Dutt (Maserati), 61.61 sec.
In this category Allard got down to his magnificent 44.26 sec., but he was slower than before in the sports Allard (it is a bit of a rush going straight from one car to another!), but Mrs. Allard got down to a splendid 51.70 sec. run. Poore did his 44.60 run and Stubberfield one in 47.56 sec., but Allard’s team won.
Formula I Class (former runs count)
1st: S. H. Allard (Allard) … 44.42 sec.
Formula II Class (former times count)
1st: S. Moss (Cooper-J.A.P.) … 44.77 sec.
2nd: E. Brandon (Cooper-J.A.P.) … 45.82 sec.
3rd: B. G. P. de Mattos (Spikins Special) 49.53 sec.
* Class record.
Photographs appearing in this article are Motor Sport copyright.