National Prescott hill-climb
Poore makes fastest time and wins Staniland Trophy
Willis and Collins break class records
Prescott was blessed with fine weather on the occasion of its National Meeting on September 10th. Some of the interest was stolen by the fact that Poore had already obtained an unassailable lead in the R.A.C. Hill-Climb Championship and by the poor entries, some classes attracting only one competitor. However, Raymond Mays and his E.R.A. were present to defend the lower placings. The meeting was run efficiently as usual but the B.O.C., apparently, has no sympathy with the deaf, for, although times were announced promptly, the "scoreboard" at the Esses was not in proper operation. The crowd was moderately large, but the Members' Car Park, for which a charge is now made, attracted but one Bugatti! Something will have to be done next year about the slimy path leading up the hill, for the girls dislike mud on their nylons.
In practice Mays ran out of road going into the Esses and took quite an appreciable nibble out of the inner bank. Only three cars, Mays' E.R.A., Poore's Alfa-Romeo and Fairman's Rolt Alfa-Romeo, contested the new Staniland Trophy for G.P. cars with at least four cylinders and of 1 1/2-litres or over and Poore took this home in his Lancia Aprilia along with f.t.d. Official cars were a 57 Bugatti, Lemon Burton's Bugatti Royale and Major Dixon-Spain's 1934 Austin Ten. Tony Curtis and Douglas Tubbs contributed a comic-commentary on the event.
Sports Cars up to 1,500 c.c., Non-supercharged
Tyres protesting, Gerry Ruddock made no mistakes in the Meadows-H.R.G. Haesendonck used lots of revs. on his neat M.G., Pattendon's Lea-Francis boiled, had "moments" leaving the Esses and a grand rasp of exhaust on the over-run, and Llewellyn's TD M.G. rolled about and bounced its valves, but the wheels remained glued to the ground.
1st: G. A. Ruddock (H.R.G.) ... 53.01 sec.
2nd: E. M. Mackay (Cooper-Rover)... 54.07 sec.
3rd: J. M. James (Bugatti) ... ... 55.06 sec.
Sports Cars up to 1,500 c.c., Supercharged
In the absence of Bowles A.G., Baker's PB M.G., bodied like Haesendonck's larger M.G., couldn't help winning, but was driven very well nevertheless, after incidents in the first ascent.
1st: A. G. Baker (M.G.) ... 52.02 sec.
Sports Cars, 1,501-3,000 c.c., Non-supercharged
Ron Willis missed his first run, but on his second collected the class record, in spite of sliding rather a lot out of the Esses and not changing down until he was half-way to the semi-circle. The B.M.W. beat Newton's Frazer-Nash record by 0.26 sec. Peacock's more standard-looking 328 B.M.W. was second, running without its rear-wheel panties, and Darby skilfully hurled his "Speed Model" 2-litre Aston-Martin upwards, to third place. Rawlings' Vanguard Special sounded surprised at finding itself on a speed instead of a trials hill and Stapleton's "Spa" Aston-Martin was disappointing.
1st: R. C. Willis (B.M.W.) ... 50.48 sec.*
2nd: R. F. Peacock (B.M.W.) ... 52.36 sec.
3rd: R. K. Darby (Aston-Martin) ... 53.16 sec.
* New class record.
Sports Cars, 1,501-3,000 c.c., Supercharged
Record-holder J. Willment with Ayrton's Bugatti was in trouble in the Paddock and the trouble persisted on his only run, which terminated at the Esses with the transmission adrift.
Sports Cars over 3,000 c.c., Non-supercharged
Sydney Allard had this class in his pocket, although the Cadillac Allard didn't seem entirely happy and failed by 2.82 sec. to beat the record of Allard's last-year's Mercury-engined car. Francis, sitting high in his H.R.G. which has a 4-litre Mercury engine under its not-quite-innocent-looking bonnet, slid all corners on a beautiful and brave ascent. Mansell's Allard, with the same sort, but larger, engine, had to give best to it, but was nicely handled. Disney hit the bank at the Esses broadside in his V8 Miles Fraser-Nash. He was nearly thrown out, but as he fell back into the seat he grasped the gear-lever and went on, a brave show. Unfortunately, a wheel and things were too bent for a second display. Peter Walker had great fun rolling, sliding and synchro-persuading an XK 120 Jaguar to the top in 52.18 sec., the same car needing 53.92 when driven by Marshall. Mrs. Allard was 4.48 sec. slower than her husband in the Cadillac-Allard—that atones for Brighton, doesn't it, Sydney? Of the vintage cars, Monro's 4 1/2-litre Invicta, which must know its way up Prescott blindfold, beat Binns' OE "30/98" Vauxhall by 1.75 sec., but the Vauxhall vanquished Pitts' 4 1/2-litre Bentley by 0.45 sec.— more fuel for the "30/98" versus "4 1/2" furnace!
1st: S. H. Allard (Cadillac-Allard) ... 50.78 sec.
2nd: A. W. Francis (H.R.G.-Mercury) ... 51.26 sec.
3rd: G. N. Mansell (Allard) ... 51.78 sec.
Racing Cars up to 500 c.c.
First up was Elt's Elt-Special which skidded at the approach to the Esses, over-corrected and tried to climb the inner bank, falling into the road and shaking its undertray down. As this couldn't be tucked-in, no second run was assayed. Lones showed how it should be done in his new Iota, leaving Cadbury to crackle up far slower in the original front-engined Tiger Kitten, hampered by a short-wheelbase, but having good fun. Record-holder Rogers was quite fearless, but not quite fast enough. Ebdon's Halldon-J.A.P. ran out of road near the finish, Bond made his wheels lift through the Esses, people took cover when they saw how the back wheels of Thomas' Kieft canted over, and Peter Collins did wonders with too-low ratios in his Cooper. Kearon's Cooper was a steady fourth.
1st: H. C. Lones (Iota) ... 48.07 sec.
2nd: A. B. Rogers (Cooper) ... 48.14 sec.
3rd: P. J. Collins (Cooper) ... 49.36 sec.
Racing Cars, 501-1,100 c.c.
Wharton was really masterful in the Cooper 1,000, taking his corners steadily, but using all the gun elsewhere—trials driving, like motor-cycling, seems to be excellent training! He had the Cooper "1,100s" beaten! Christie's Kieft with "1,100" J.A.P. engine was watched with interest and its acceleration from Esses to semi-circle and its speed round the last corner of the former was very instructive. Bradnack lost some moments with his gear-changes in his "1,100" Cooper, Heath, now in a "1,100" Cooper, seemed to get clutch slip and twin rear tyres may have slowed the Heinrich-J.A.P.
1st: K. Wharton (Cooper-J.A.P.) ... 46.87 sec.
2nd: M. A. H. Christie (Kieft-J.A.P.) ... 47.20 sec.
3rd: B. E. Bradnack (Cooper-.J.A.P.) ... 49.00 sec.
Racing Cars, 1,101-1,500 c.c.
Collins' Cooper with the new 1,200 c.c. J.A.P. engine displayed excellent acceleration, and Peter's gear-changes were good to watch. He effectively broke the class record, held by the late A. F. P. Fane's "Shelsley" Frazer-Nash since 1939, by 0.43 sec., but was 0.42 sec. slower than Wharton's Cooper-1,000 in the preceding class. The only other runner was the Norris-Special.
1st: P. J. Collins (Cooper) ... 47.29 sec.*
2nd: C. Heyward (Norris Special) ... 50.00 sec.
* New class record.
Racing Cars, 1,501-2,000 c.c.
Mays got away beautifully on both runs, but lost time on his first by noticeably heavy braking before the corners. On his second run he won the class, but at a time 1.34 sec. below Walker's class record. Norris' Alta Special was a noisy third, easily beaten by Mould's Bugatti, which, even when off-colour, and hitting the bank in its second run, was quicker. Poore did what he could in a rather ragged Cromard-Special, Taylor made a good job of getting himself out of a series of slides at the Esses in the entertaining and accelerative A.C.-engined Caesar-Special. and Sievwright in the ex-Neill Bugatti clouted the bank here really hard, but contrived to motor-on, earth flying violently from the wheels.
1st: R. Mays (E.R.A.) ... 46.67 sec.
2nd: P. Mould (Bugatti) ... 47.84 sec.
3rd: J. B. Norris (Alta-Special)... 49.92 sec.
Racing Cars over 2,000 c.c.
Dennis Poore drove with his usual style and dash to win this, making f.t.d. and netting the Staniland Trophy presented by J. B. Enmott. Allard was neat, but not quite so fast in the Steyr-Allard single-seater. Butterworth slid in mid-Esses, couldn't select a gear and stalled on his first run, but made no mistakes on his second, the A.J.B. being truly accelerative, but a thought slow into the corners. Goodwin's 4.3-litre Alvis-engined Goodwin is a very nicely made car, displaying great acceleration, but seemingly rather light at the front. Fairman was wild, getting into a slide in a really big way at the semi-circle in the Rolt Alfa-Romeo.
1st: R. D. Poore (Alfa-Romeo) ... 45.39 sec.
2nd: S. H. Allard (Allard) ... 45.44 sec.
3rd: A. J. Butterworth (A.J.B.) ... 47.85 sec.
Only two teams were nominated and each had a non-starter. Stubberfield and Mould gained 95.78 against 96.32 by Allard "sports" and Allard "racing."—W. B.
The Six Fastest
R. D. Poore (3.8-litre s/c. Alfa-Romeo) ... 45.39 sec.**
S. H. Allard (3.7-litre non-s/c. Steyr Allard) ... 45.44 sec.
R. Mays (2-litre s/c. E.R.A.) ... 46.67 sec.
K. Wharton (996 c.c. non-s/c. Cooper-J.A.P.) ... 46.87 sec.
M. A. H. Christie (1,098 c.c. non-s/c. Kieft-J.A.P.) ... 47.02 sec.
P. J. Collins (1,200 c.c. non-s/c. Cooper-J.A.P.) 47.29 sec.
**Cup, £150 and Staniland Trophy.