JAGUARS’ SWEEPING VICTORY IN THE DUNDROD T.T.
Stirling Moss Wins on Distance and Formula, Whitehead Second, Gerard (Frazer-Nash) Third on Formula. Appalling Weather Conditions. THE first post-war Tourist Trophy Race Of the R.A.C., held on the Dundrod circuit. on September 16th, proved this new Course to have enormous possibilities. Although terrible weather conditions prevailed from 11 a.m. that day, no serious accidents happened, which speaks well of the non-skid properties of the road. Torrential rain and a gale made the race a severe task for the ‘drivers and a sorry one for officials and pit personnel. The Press were virtually rendered inoperative, for no Press box was provided and the Press
tent eventually blew over—after Which -drenched Pressmen had to wait. a prodigious tTo I’M’ the final results and were summarily ord.sred out of his caravan by the Press inicer. Ineident ally, the race bulletins had a great many typing, errors. However, it. was all in a day’s work, and MOTOR S PO RI’ arrived at Brands HatcIt just in time the following day, thanks to a Transair .Airspeed ” Cowart,” which would have taken us to Croydon on T.T. night had not Speke airport pat up the shutters and thereby all chance of a refuel was lost. * * *
For a classic niee this year’s T.T. failed to attract foreign entrants, which we hope will not be the case next year, when the race must certainly be run again, preferably over the same eireuit,which should eventually become one of the notable European venues. When this happens the R.A.C. should consider making a grant to the Ulster A.C. so that proper grandstands and official buildings can be erected. The scaffolding and canvas .grandstands used this year were entirely inadequate and most of the seatholders soon decidot to leave for drier places, namely, their cars and homes The organisation, too, was hardly of the -standard one has a right to expect from the R.A.C., although II. J. CatchpolegaVe excellent announcements which came over loud and clear. The Daily Erpress gave a cash prize of £500 to be added to the immortal Trophy and we suppose it was no more than -poetic justice that this went to Tommy Wisdom of the Daily Herald, who had had the foresight to enter Stirling Moss and the XK 120 Jaguar.
The race was largely de-Void Of incident and in any ease the T.T. has always been as interest Mg in broad survey as in lap-bylap detail. Although the absence of Alfa-Romeo, Ferrari, I .ago-Talbot and the smaller Continental cars was disappointhig. (here was clearly going to be a bat I Ie-royal between a number of highly-competitive British sports cars—MG., 11.11. ., and Jupiter in the 1i-litre class, Healey ” Silverstone,” -Aston-Martin DB II and Austin A90 in the 8-litre catagory -and Jaguar ” XK 120 “‘ and J2 Allard in theunlimited c.c. class, Frazer-Nash alone having a class to themselves. It transpired that the Jaguars were to cover themselves with glory. Stirling Moss’ drive under the terrible conditions t prevailed proves him our leading Brit ish driver and the Jaguar a very outstanding sports-car. We knew the “XK. 120” had fantastic performance, this year’s Alpine Rally proved its stamina, and the T.T. has proved that there is no real justifies.tion for fretting about its rattler ‘* touringcar “suppleness of suspension of steering ratio. Not Only did Moss win the T.T. on formula, but. lie covered the greatest distance (225.45 miles) and Jaguar also netted the team prize, Peter Whitehead’s car being second, Leslie Johnson’s third in point of distance covered. Like many Of the other _cars,theJaguars ran through non-stop, the tyre wear experienced during practice, which would have nccessited a pit stop, vanishing in the rain. The Frazer-Nash driven by Gerard offered the only challenge to the Jaguars, being third on formula, but sixth behind two of the Aston-Martins on distance. As to class-battles, AstonMartin convincingly beat the Healey opposition, the DB H Saloons running smoothly and cornering well, whereas the llealeys needed fuel and in at least one instance, experienced rear shock-absorber trouble. The Allards couldn’t get anywhere near the Jaguars, and the team of
1 “TD ” M.G.s, itself not entirely trouble-free disposed of the 1k-litre II.R.G.s. The lone Austin ADO and the Jupiter retired early. A timed section on one of the fastest parts of the circuit revealed that on -the opening lap Allard_ clocked 102.6 m.p.h. to Johnson’s 90.24 m.p.h., but later the best aminunced speeds were Moss’ 120.5 m.p.h and Whitehead’e 120.7 m.p.h.—in A
sideways gale and lashing rain, remember ( me Allard was said by the It.A.C. to be giving 93.61 m.p.g., but in spite of the tail winds we don’t believe it !
In brief, the 1950 T.T., a severe threehour test. on a genuine road circuit., was rendered all the more severe by tie weather and was a convincing triumph lOr .Jaguar, with Frazer-Nash and A st on-Martin sharing some of the glory. * * *
Practice produced a few incidents. Nick Haines. erashed a ” X K 120″ Jaguar and deprived Rolt or a drive. Let it go on record that Tony spent his entire time during the race in racing attire in the streaming raja before the Jaguar pit controlling these cars, when many drivers would have gone home. Newton also trashed his Frazer-Nash, Baring’s didn’t start, and the fourth non-starter was Harrison’s Allard. That left-81 runners.
At2 p.m. Sir Basil Brooke, Prime Ministerfor Northern Ireland (all right, we know Clement Attlee has never started a race in Hyde Park !) dropped the flag and the already damp drivers sprinted to their cars, only the AstonMartin men removing their coats 1Leslie Johnson’s white Jaguar was away first, followed by NViitkina’ Allard, Moss’ Jaguar, Warburton’s Allard and Lance Macklin’s Aston-Martin. By Leathemst own corner the order was Johnson, Moss, Parnell, Watkins, Whitehead, Macklin and Abeeassis. Here Wilson’s: Austin A00, running with the hood up, retired with gearbox trouble which made such a noise he reported it as ‘a run big-end-nearly as bad as the B.R.M. After one lap the position was :
1st: .Tabnson (Jaguar) 09.34 =Pit. ‘And Moss (Jaguar) 09.16 „ 3rd Allard (Allard) „ 4th : Parnell (Aston-Martin) 05.59. „
0th: Whitehead (Jaguar) 05.12. 6th : Watkins (Allard) ;.. 64A)2,
When the race was ()Wu quarter of an hour Old Freed provided a story for the “dailies ” by touching the right-hand bank at Ireland’s Corner, .sliding across the road, and wrecking his Healey ” Silverstone “against a post, to the consternation of those following, several ears having very ” near misses.” ” T. Flack,” too, .eliminated his ” TD ” M.G. against a tree. Neitlier driver was injured. After two laps the class leaders were :
: Moss (.1a(tnar).
‘la,: II Parnell (Aston-(tartin).
I lass E : Culpan (Frazer-Xash). : Jacob:, (ILO,).
Moss had just passed Johnson. Allard was third, sandwiched between Johnson and Whitehead and Macklin and Abecassis were well behind Parnell, but ahead of NVilk inson’s Healey. Wisdom had the Jupiter in seeond place in Class F. A lap later Wisdoni had la .seconds lead over Jacobs’ M.G. Fun and ‘games now happened at the Hairpin. when Sydney Allard did some trials motoring in a field. After examining, his car he decided to continue’ and so many spectators pushed him back on the road that marshals told his pit he was virtually disqualified, Scrutineers also an-vied to inspect the car only to discover that Sydney and Lush had done this and the Allard had departed. It was soon in again, however, and the off-aide rear wheel was changed, although the tyre was intact, Warburton’s Allard apparently having been in contact with Sydney’s—Guy going up the escape road at Wheeler’, Carnea—the gearbox top was removed because second gear had jammed in and some five gallons of fuel were put in, all of which put paid to Allard challenging Jaguar. Sydney .remained calm and cheerful, complained that his feet were now wet, and raised a laugh by saying tt)a group of officials who were observing the stop, “What, are you -all watching ‘me, why, you’ll get wet By 2.30 p.m the position on formula .was
1st : loss (jaguar) … 74.16 m.p.h. 2nd : Johnson (Jaguar) … 72.43 „ 3rd : CuIpan (Frazer-Nash) … 69.71 „ Ilti: Whitehead (hew) … 71.65 „ fith : Purnell (Astort-linftin) … 69.56 „
Moss had done a lap at 76.5 m.p.h… Culpan was fastest in Class E, with 72.16 m.p.h., Macklin in Class 1) at 72.16 m.p.h., Wisdom in Class F, at 64.18 m.p.h. Buncombe paused for a few minutes at Jordans Cross. Wisdom then departed
01:1 the escape road at Leathemstown and retired the Jupiter with that ageadd trouble, a blown gasket. Johnson, pressed by Whitehead, skidded badly at Quarry Corner and Peter Clark abandoned his 11.1t.G. near the I fairpin for the adequate reason that the handbrake ratchet wouldn’t free. Why he was using his banbrake. isn’t known ! Heaslett brought his ” TC ” M.G. into his pit to discard cap and replace it with a leather helmet.
Jacobs now led Class F in the absence Of Wisdom. Wilkinson’s .cornering impressed the marshals at Ireland’s Corner and over the timed section his Healey did 108.1 m.p.h., against 106.8 m.p•h. for Gcrard’s Frazer-Nash. Still the wind blew and the rain fell in torrents. Clearly, the Allards were going to be hampered by refuelling, Odell Watkins did after nearly 1 hours’ riteing. resuming in two minutes. It was said
that at Ireland’s Corner the only remaining spectators were a lady And gentleman and small boy under a large umbrella—as a soaked Pressman said, at least they had an umbrella ! After 14 laps the Aston-Martins were in ” flotilla-formation ” at the head of Class 1), Partial a second ahead of Maeldin, both lapping at 73.75 m.p.h., and Abecassis4 bone-dry in shirt sleeves and yellow pullover, nine seconds behind in third place, these ears often keeping their sidelamps alight, for the rain was reducing visibility seriously and mist obscured the high parts of the circuit. Abeeassis had one nasty broadside skid at Quarry. Jtieoba was well ahead in.Class F, fidhaved by team-mate Lund, the leading M.G. lapping at 69.49 m.p.h. .After two hours’ racing Whitehead had passed Johnson and Moss was comfortably ill t he lead. Indeed, the leading .Jaguar had averaged 14.99 m.p.h. to Whitehead’s 73.74 and Johnson’s 73.57 m.p.h.. and whereas Johnson was 27 sec. behind NVItitellead, Moss had a lead of 1 in. 59 see. over Peter. Culpan’s Frazer-Nash, which achieved its reputaion at Le Mans last year, was the Jaguar’s nearest rival, followed by Gerard’s. Jacobs kept well ahead of Lund, Parnell two seconds away from Abecassis, who had passed Macklin and
put 81 seconds between them. Wilkinson’s Healey was hardly Challenging, delayed, too, by a refuelling stop.
Warburton refuelled his Allard, letting it roll too far from the hose but his mechanic pushing it back under the instructions of It. J. Canham who was managing the Allard pits. The gale, if anything, increased, and threatened to bring the pits down, the rain was as heavy as ever, and at the Hairpin visibility was down to 80/100 yards. Parnell, finding Abeeassis a second away from him, took the timed section at 113 m.p.h. Ileaslett needed the escape road at CochraneStown, Masters refuelled his Healey neatly in two lunatics, Moss pushing his raceaverage up by over one mile per hour. At 4.30 p.m., after 2 hours a the three hours’ racing, the order was :
1st: Moss (Jaguar) … 76.02 m.p.h. 2nd : Whitehead (Jaguar) … 73:97 „ 3rd : ( Pr:tow-Nash) … 71.63 „ 4th : Parnell (.Astrai-Martia) … 72.25 5th : bei.assis ( Aston-Martin) … 72.21 „ Thus the situation became most interesting. Clilpan’s Frazer-Nash had slowed up, yet Gerard, always behind it until then, was third on formula and the Aston-Martins, penalised on handicap by larger engines, had also displaced
Johnson’s Jaguar, and were third and fourth on distance. The Jaguar team was still intact, So was the Aston-Martin team, so was the M.G. team, although Lund’s ” TD ” which was ratified in one minute, sounded
to have an enlarged bearing in its engine. Crook’s Frazer-Nash was splitting up the Gerard, Cullum, Murray team in Class E, Crook being third. Allard was still circulating to keep the Allard team intact but had been told he might be disqualified because people had pushed his car, which he took very philosophically. So the miserable but highly instructive 1950 T.T. drew to a conclusion. The irrepressible Moss, who was flying back to Brand’s Hatch the following day and celebrating his 21st birthday that evening, having been signalled by his father to slow, was suddenly speeded up, because his pit were not at all sure that Gerard had lint caught hint on formula. Watched by Norman Freeman, ” Dunlop Mae,” whose advice had not been needed after all, although a stack of spare wheels were ready, the irrepressible Stirling set it last lap of 77.81 m.p.h., a Dtindrod T.T. record. In all he covered 225.45 miles
non-stop at 75.15 m.p.h. W. B. The final result of the T.T. was :
bit: S. Mosa (Jaguar); handicap peroentage, 97.47; .speed, 75.15 m.p.h.
2nd : 1′. N. Whitehead (Jaguar); handicap-percentage, 96.I5 ; speed, 74.13 m.p.h.
3rd : F. It. Gerard (Frazer-Nash); handicap percentage, 94302; speed, 71.02 m.p.h.
4th : It. Paulen (Aston-Martin): handiCap percentage, 05.93; speed, 72.72 m.p.h.
StIl G. Abecaasis (Aaton-3Iartin): handicap percentage, 95.49; speed, 72:143 mph.
‘I’. II. Wisdom appears to have won .1:800 lu, inish on the T.T. results. as well as the Tourist Trophy. Class Trophy, Special Award for greatest distance and the S.M.M.T. TCaIlt Trophy. lioes this compensate for that gasket, Tommy ?
” Pa ” Most flew back to London iss t he gale by RE.. that night, so as to be able to drive Stirling to Brands Dutch the next day. Stirling only massaged to get a seat. in an early aircraft ors the Sunday because John (journalist) Cooper gave gave up his. Stirling arrives! on t hue-also in a gale, as did John, a bit later. How did the senior R.A.C. officials contrive to keep so dry ? Col. Barnes obviously knows of a caravan which doesn’t leak I * sit *
Will the reader of Moron SPORT who gave the Editor and Photographer a lift to the circuit after our taxi had been “arrested ” for not having a windscreen label, please accept our thanks ? Did he and his lady enjoy the race ? And did they get as wet as we did ? * *
Did ” Lofty ” England enjoy his drive in the winning Jaguar after the race to the airport, where the ears that had to be scrutineered on the morrow were garaged ? And is it trite that it takes 2i hours to remove the cylinder head of a Fraz.er-Nash. If so, how long does it take to put it back ? We don’t realty want to know, Aldy !
We hope Col. Barnes -and his.assistants were not blown away by the gale. Certainly not one senior -official of the R.A.C. CoMpetitions Department was in the London otlice on the Monday morning after the race, and no one there knew who had -won the T.T. * * *
So mucli for the 1950 ‘I’.’ I’.–.) won con vineingly and must have gained much worthwhile prestige thereby. Mr. Lyons, Jaguar Managing Direetor, flew over in a private aeroplane and used a Jaguar saloon to motor into Belfast.