The M.C.C. at Silverstone
BEFOR1.?, the war t lie Motor Cycling Club’s Members’ Meeting at Brooklands was one of the high-lights of the clubman’s season. The day was devoted to One-Hour High Speed Trials round the outer-circuit for cars and motor-cycles, in contrast to the similar events of the J.C.C., which were for cars only and cnbraced artificial corners. This year the M.C.C., a club that is nearly as old as the sport itself, decided to revive its Members’ meeting but, Brooklands being no more, had corners forced on it, at Silverstone. That rain varying from a Scotch •mist to a downpour fell almost all the time on September 9th wasn’t ” Jackie ” Masters’ fault. Everyone
enjoyed themselves enormously in spite of the damp and a rather surprising keenness under the circumstance’s was displayed by the spectators-one young lady, in particular, was noticed at Copse corner during the first High Speed Trial and before the. next event she had walked to Stowe corner, a distance of over a mile, where she spectated for the remainder of the day, holding an umbrella up almost the entire time. Is your girl-friend as keen ?
In the first One-Hour run, in which competitors had to beat the Club’s speed schedules rather than themselves, but seemed to prefer to do the latter, eighteen ears were entered, divided into six classes. We rode as passenger to Derek Buckler in his Sltorrock-blown Ford Ten-engined Buckler, for passengers were compulsory whereas they are usually banned for safety reasons. Personally, we welcomed this chance of a ride. Especially as the run to the circuit from Reading refreshed our memory of Buckler road holding, braking and stability, at a 50-1m.p.h. average over wet roads. In an event of this sort the first few laps are crowded with incident, the reniainder of the time devoted to driving on what appears almost a deserted track. Mrs. Stapleton’s ” Spa ” Aston-Martin boiled on I he line attd Buckler got away briskly. ill 1_10111p:toy with C. F. Crossby”s blidwn Vitt dxhall-Speei;d1 for some laps. Mrs. Willis was motoring well and to some purpose in the neat. B.M.W., but we saw little of the others. except when passing on the inyide of Valls’ A 90 Attain at
• Copse. The Buckler was effectively rapid round the corners, the brakes could be applied really hard before them, and my driver insisted, every so often, on demonstrating ” hands-off ” steering at 75,80 along the straights. Altogether it was a convincing tribute to rigid tubular chassis construction and
correctly-designed divided-axle It. was sherdhad luck that after nine laps the bottom wat er hose becittne unelipped ; even Mr. Ford’s essentially-reliable engines will ccl run for long NO110: :ill coolant . We drew int I ” pits,a inotor-eyele rider proffered an assortment of screwdrivers, and while driver fixed clip “icicel ccl ” fetelied a buelot. wai em from the refreshment tent, asking permission to cross the track of ” Jackie ” himself, to t M.C.C. Secretary’s obvious amusement. We went on for the re mainder of the hour, but all chance of an award had evaporated, although Buckler demonstrated his car’s stability as never before, lapping at over 54 m.p.h. The others fared as under : FIRST-CLASS AWARDS: Mrs. Willis 60.13
; .1. V. S. Brown (H. 57.61 ; A. V. Gosncll (11.11.(:.), 57.55 m.p.h. ; C. 4.0idisby (Vauxhall Special sie.), 56.13 m.p.h. ; .1. i. Barrow (Barrow Special), 55.37 m.p.h. ; J. 11. Sing (H. R.(4.), 55.16 m.p.h. ; Mrs. Stapicton (Aston-Martin), 54.52 M.p.h., 1). Bolton; (Riley), 54.52 m.p.h. ;1.. Morrisid (FIAT.), 52.26 m,p,11.
SECoNn-CI.A88 AWARDS: Nil.
Tii110)4.:LASS AWARDS: A. Valls (Austin A 00), 53.77 m.p.h. NosFINISHERS ; .1. G. Searle (Riley), 99.37 m.p.h.; I!. 0. F. Buckler (Buckler
The motor-cycle One-Hour run followed, many riders footing at the bends on Silverstone’s decidedly slippery surface. Hunting’s Super Sports Morgan looked tail-heavy, but was appreciably faster than Harris’ Vineent-11.R.D. with airship sidecar, and Praill contrived not to drop his very Yankee Harley-Davidson; in spite of changing down on the apex Of Stowe corner. Fastest time was made by G. 1′. Douglass’ 998-c.c. Vincent II.R.D., at 60.21 m.p.h., with a lap at, 62.13 m.p.h., a fine show, in the rain. The five-lap Scratch Race for cars followed. As the ears were flagged-off a motor-cyclist was seen to be turning slow circles in the middle of Chapel straight, with a marshal sitting unconcernedly on his pillion ! The flag marshal at Stowe waved the ” oil-on-track ” flag, which seemed only premature, and everyone yelled, but, the wretched inan proceeded to ride down the course. Mrs. Willis, leading the field in the B.M.W., took skilful avoiding action, passing within a hairsbreadth of his nearside flank, while the field passed on the other side. No doubt the titan was suitably shaken. Whether this caused Mrs, Willis’ throttle to stick isn’t known, but this trouble enabled Goodings’ Jaguar to beat her to Stowe corner, after which she fell right back. Holt’s threeseater 2i-litre Riley slid round at Stowe, as did Goodings Jaguar. After two laps Molyneux’s very-bored-out T-type M.G., rumoured to have a whole eighth of an inch removed from its head, convincingly took the lead, to win from Stapleton’s Over-geared Aston-Martin and Brown’s II.R.G., Mrs. Willis fourth. The final negotiation of Stowe was exciting, as Moly-nen x and Stapleton were neck and neck, until the M.G.’s brakes won the duel. Buckler’s overheated gasket blew and Parrott’s unblown Buckler spun at Stowe :titer .a valve spring had broken. NV inner’s speed : 62.09 uu LI cii. For the second One-Hour run Air cars, sixteen entrants had been divided into five classes. Goodings had a dual with Molyneux, whose crash-hat tried to fall off, and the Jaguar removed a straw-bale at Stowe early in the proceedings. The !widen: sp:irts Lea Francis was disappointing. I luxliatn was pressing-on hard in a Le Alatis 5lcrgacc ” 4/4,” but had the disadvantage or losing his off-sidle front wheel before the finish Fudsr-ctAss AwA nos : .1. It. Got)dIngs (Jagnalt 60.98 m.p.h. ; R. E. X1,1yneux (51.0.), 60.84
; Bioniw (flarrow Special). 5O.sii (11.11.(1,), 57.23 m.p.h. ;
I). C. C. Roberts (Jaguar), 57.19 mph.; B. R. A. ()nicks (M .G.), 56.83 ; spirittiron (Riley), 55.91 mph.; J. H. Ring (11.11.0.), 55.90 m.p.h. ; R. C. C. (‘aliner (Frazer-Nash), 55.79 m.p.h. ; A. U. M. Edney (MG.), 55.53
; W. W . S. Ben nett (M.O. sic.), 54.47 mph.; 11. G. 1′. die Mathis (M.G.), 63.01 ni.p11.
SECOND-CLASS A w : H. Thornton (Lea-Francis), 51.26 /11.1).11. The five-lap car handicap saw both Bucklers just reach the line in time to start, a credit to the mechanics who had been working on them. On the first lap, which the A 90 Austin led from Clare’s G.P. 11-litre Bugatti and the Barrow Special, Parrott’s Buckler again spun at Stowe and Molyneux, in a distinet hurry, slid backwards into the straw. Nevertheless, he gained two places during the next lap, while the Barrow had caught the Bugatti. Barrow passed inside at Stowe and led at tlu. end of lap three from the A 90, Palmer and Spiridiron fighting for third place. The latter’s Riley was firmly established there by lap four. Mrs. Gibbs seemed to find the gearbox of the ex-Scott Le Mans II.R.G. difficult and Mrs. Willis, front scratch, was hopelessly out-handicapped. The Barrow-Special won at 57.78 m.p.h. and the 1 min. 56 see. mark from Valls’ A 90 (2 min. 26 see. Itandieap) and Spiridiron’s Riley Sprite (1 min. 36 see.). The winners’ five-lap handicap, composed of the first four from the preceding scratch and handicap races, was Molyneux’s after the first lap. The A 90 held on for three circuits, then Stapleton’s Aston-Martin took second place and held it, Mrs. Willis a creditable third in that effective B.M.W. Spiridiron’S Riley and the A 90 crossed the line in close eoinpany, the Barrow looked slow in this race, and Goodings tried to bring a straw-bale with hint from Stowe to
the finish on the last lap. Molyneux averaged 60.21 m.p.h.
Considering the weather the standard of driving and riding was high and the competitors, Illityslials and spectators very cheerful. This meeting is an obvious ” must ” for 1951, ” Jackie ” !-W. B.