The 750 M.C. Relay Race (August 29th)

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The 750 M.C. Relay Race (August 29th)

THE 750 M.C.’s Relay Race at Silverstone, invention of Holland Birkin, has become a keenly awaited annual national fixture, a race run on original and free-and-easy lines which provides the amateur •driver with excellent value for his entrance fee and the novice team manager with plenty to think about during the sixhours when any one of his team of up to six ears may be circulating.

I his year the event was enlivened by a new 2.5-mile circuit of Iiirkett’s devising. which is a 750 M.C. monopoly which they were able to hire to the A.M.O.C. the weekend preceding their own race.

It wee not the organier’s fault that torrential rain fell for the start-and for much of the race, flooding the track to such an extent that the Clerk of the Course’,. Healey required a lower cog than top before it ‘,odd pull it sell hrough the water !

As a result the start was only partially Le Mans style, some drivers running to their ears correctly, others just pressing starters and motoring away from sheltering in their vehicles. In a six-hour race this mattered little, and fortunately no one was hurt in a lively series of incidents Is the field of 40 got away.

It says much for the appeal and club fraternisation of this Relay Race that in spite of the weather a Considerable crowd remained huddled under umbrellas to watch. An up-to-date leader board was kept and Nevil Lloyd gave a model commentary.

.11te changingfortunes of a complex handicap race such :as this and, iodeed, the result itself. Matter perhaps less than the enjoyment and experienee gained by the Competitors, and the interest to spectators -and contestants alikein the feverish activity behind the pits as efforts are made to repair recalcitrant cars. • ‘ss

There is even monetary compensation for bad ” blow-ups ” in this remarkable rare, which makes breakage of a Bugatti crankshaft, as happened to one competitor, a less unhappy occurrence than might otherwise have been the case. Two accidents happened, but in the case of C. ‘I’. Howse his dislocated shoulder was set within 20 minutes of his car overturning, a record, we believe, for any motor race. Dudley Pool unfortunately suffered serious facial damage when his car overturned. ” Enzo ” Buckler was busy controlling Ids team of Bucklers when not driving himself, one Austin Seven team, traditionally, was feverishly building one sound car from the salvable parts of its others, so that the same vivid yellow wheels seemed to be seen on several different vehicles, and Miss Angela Brown, -David Brown’s daughter, drove very well and for a long spell in a DB2 Aston Martin of the A.M.O.C. team. Eason Gibson was noticed advising his son, who was controlling the Aero and Auto College M.G. and Dellow team, which for a while held the lead. As the closing stages of a damp but thoroughly active race were reached the struggle, for victory became exciting in both the main handicap and subsidiary 750 Formula scratch categories. The maximum laps completed each hour were :— Handicap Rare t in hour : Allord J2 team, Iltale silveratune bum 21 (ups 2nd hour Allard J2 team … 50 3rd hour ,• 76 .. 4th hour : Sit bow . 127 bib However. on handicap this was no avail, the winning team being King’s N1.1;.,-. at 51.1n m.p.h.. controlled by II. Ii. Arks?right and including .1. II. King’s 11.1{.(:. NI. D. King’s 11) M.G., backed up by NI.G. f.,:eemol place v,cto inn he NI.G. C.C. team, third

phiee iti the te,t,,,. ••• ••• ••• ••• 153 -• In the 750 Formula scratch race the story looked like this : lot hour : Southern Centre team … … . ••• ••• 2nd hour : .. „ N.W. Centre ” A ” team ••• 3rd hour : ., •• ••• 4.th hour : •• •• 1,1,” •• 9•• 5th hour : Southern Centre team, ‘.W. Centre ” A ” team, Oxford Centre team

6th hour : N.W. Centre ” A ” team … … •:. … …

SO at the last hour the team controlled by Ron Pilgrim and -including Finlow’s Nippy Austin Seven amongst the ” specials,” won by a narrow margin, at 50.8 tn.p.h. 20 laps 38 59 „ 79 „ 99

RELAY RECOLLECTIONS

One of the highlights of the race was the speed of A. H. Baker’s Land Rover, which for a long time maintained the Surrey Sporting Motley in a strong position, lapping at 55/56 m.p.h., until slowed by clutch slip. * *

J. Epstein, who drove an F-type M.G. Magna in the Surrey Sporting Motley team, is the son of the famous sculptor. * * *

Some touching scenes were noted when the pit area became congested. such as a Southern Centre 750 M.C. driver moving a markertub to allow his team-mate to turn directly onto the track, and the rugger-style sash passing by members of the Cresta and Soda team. * *

R. C. C. Palmer contrived to lap at 48.6 m.p.h. in an A40 Austin saloon. • * *

The Lloyd’s M.C. team carried their sashes clipped to their cars. * * * John Illacksley’s XKI20 Jaguar skilfully avoided a spinning car it Woodeotc and drew claps from the sodden spectators—his brakes seemed to trouble hint, for three times he went straight on at this

1.01-ner. * * *

P. Wooxley had the 1952 Le Mans Allard with new gearbox and rear end. • * *

J. Macklin changed a broken half-shaft and W. J. Barbet a wheel buckled at Woodcote on their Austins. * * *

One of the cars of the Rochdale Hounds team ran out of fuel and Appleton’s Buckler shed a back mudguard. * * *

Very brave !—The way in which David Lloyd swung the fully advanced(?) engine of a borrowed 3-litre Bentley for the Non-Vintage team.