Bugatti O.C. Prescott Speed Hill-Climb (Sept. 8th) and European Hill-Climb Championship Events

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68

Fastest time of the day was made by Dick Henderson at the wheel of his Cooper, the third occasion on which he had achieved this, having won at Craigantlet and SheIsley Walsh in previous weeks.

Tony Marsh succeeded in retaining his title of Hill-Climb Champion of Great Britain, with 41 points against his nearest rivals, Henderson and Mike Christie. who were equal second. W. G. Sadler, the Canadian, was present with his unusual Sadler Special, a Chevrolet Corvette-engined car, which succeeded in making f.t.d. at the recent Brighton Speed Trials. Perhaps the most inspiring cars to watch at Prescott are the Bugattis, some of which must indeed know their own way almost to this hill-climb venue. In the Bugatti Handicap six cars came to the line, representing most of the principal Bugatti models which have achieved fame; the class winner was J. M. Perkins in his 35B, which stormed up the hill in fine style.

Of the ladies, Jean Bloxarn took her DB3 Aston Martin away from the line very well on her second try, but for f.t.d. in this class Pauline Brock improved on her previous record with a time of 45.80 sec. F. de Gallais, from Jersey, arrived with a strange Jaguar-engined car resembling a Cooper. The large engine was also rear mounted and twin rear wheels were added for more traction. It made a time of 45.63 sec. on its second run.

Another favourite at Prescott is Shutler’s enormous Invicta sports saloon, with preselector gearbox; the car surges forward in a most impressive manner when the cogs are automatically swapped and enabled it to record a time of 53.40 sec. on its second trip, which is not unreasonable for so large a car.

In the over 300-c.c. sports-car class, J. Forbes Clark and R. F. Bloxam came up to the start with D- and C-type Jaguars respectively, but both found it difficult to get away from the starting line without too much wheelspin, although the D-type was not very far from equalling the class winner’s time.

Chain trouble dogged many of the smaller cars such as Coopers and the Farley Special, but Pauline Brock in her Cooper 500 made better time than the male competitors in this class, recording 45.80 sec. on her first run.

In the sports-car classes R. D. Jennings stole off with the honours with his A.C., taking only 49.08 sec. to reach the summit on his first run. Unfortunately, Ken Rudd was a non-starter in this class for 1,601-3,000-c.c.-engined cars, the nearest best time to Jennings being B. Phipps in his Morgan with a time of 50.08 sec.

In the up-to-1,100-c.c. cars Pauline Mayman did well in her Cooper, taking second fastest time for a lady driver, but E. Lewis succeeded in winning the class record with a Lotus.

Other class winners were Parker with his Jaguara in the over 3,000-c.c. class and T. A. Roberts in the 300SL Mercedes-Benz, which came first in the Grand touring-car category, taking 52.74 sec. for its seemingly unhurried ascent.

Other well-known racing machinery which was to be seen at this event was J. P. G. Horton’s early Connaught, with which the owner made some very smooth ascents, although he was not amongst the fastest timed competitors. J. T. Stuart also turned up with his Cooper-Bristol, making a creditable run with 45.27 sec., only 1.30 sec. behind the class winner, Michael Christie, driving Rob Walker’s Cooper.

The E.R.A. Special driven by J. Berry appeared to need some holding at the corners, which it took in large bites. D. R. Good was another who took corners wide but ended up spinning round against a bank halfway up the course.

Tours of honour were made in true Prescott style by the garlanded winner of trophies and awards. Only very slight rain fell during the second runs but this was insufficient to make any material differences on the timed ascents. — I. G. 

Results:

Fastest Time of the Day: Dick Henderson (Cooper), 43.32 sec.

Second Fastest: Michael Christie (Cooper), 43.51 sec.

Fastest Sports Car: T. E. B. SopwIth (Cooper), 45.75 sec.

Fastest Time by Lady Driver (racing cars):  Miss Pauline Brock (Cooper 500) 45.80 sec.

Second Fastest Time by Lady Driver (sports cars):  Mrs. P. Mayman (Cooper) 48.34 sec.

Staniland Trophy: Michael Christie (Cooper) 

John Broad 1,500-c.c. Trophy: W. F. Moss (E.R.A.).

Rivers Fletcher Trophy: W. F. Moss (E.R.A.), 47.27 sec.

David Porter Trophy (G.T. saloons): T. A. Roberts (Mercedes-Benz) 52.74 sec.

Foreign Drivers’ Trophy:  L. V. Rainwater (U.S.A.) (Lotus), 46.16 sec.

 

Results of Recent Hill-Climbs

Gaisberg (Austria) (Aug.15th)

1st: W. Daetwyler (Maserati 200S)

2nd: H. Herrmann (Borgward 1500RS)

3rd: R. von Frankenberg (Porsche 1,585-c.c.)

4th: G. Cabianca (Borgward 1500RS)

5th: H. von Hanstein (Porsche 1,585-c.c.)

6th: B. Ruffo (Maserati 200S)

An unusual thing about this mountain hill-climb was that the results were obtained by adding together the times of the two runs, the official classification being given as a total time. The two works Porsche Spyders with enlarged engines should have been driven by Maglioli and Barth, but they were involved in an accident on the road prior to the meeting, while practising in a Porsche Carrera.

Lenzerheide (Switzerland)  (Aug. 25th)

1st: W. von Trips (Porsche 1,680-c.c.)

2nd: R. von Frankenberg (Porsche 1,585-c.c.)

3rd: W. Daetwyler (Maserati 200S)

4th: H. Herrmann (Borgward 1500RS)

5th: P. Monteverdi (Ferrari 750S)

6th: T. Sopwith (Cooper F2)

This short mountain hill-climb was the Swiss part of the Championship and Porsche were able to get von Trips to take the place of Maglioli, while von Frankenberg drove the other works car, Barth also still being in hospital following the Austrian accident. For this event a bigger and better Spyder engine was built.

Aosta-Gran St. Bernard (Italy) (Sept. 1st)

1st: W. Daetwyler (Maserati 200S)

2nd: W. von Trips (Porsche 1,680-c.c.)

3rd: H. Herrmann (Borgward 1500RS)

4th: R. von Frankenberg (Porsche 1,585-c.c.)

5th: G. Cabianca (Borgward 1500RS)

6th: G. Munaron (Porsche Spyder)

This was the Italian round in the European Championship, over the long and tortuous Gran St. Bernard pass from Italy into Switzerland, the top part of which is loose shale. With a total length of 33.9 kilometres, the contestants had to work really hard to get down into the 22-min. class of time. The fact that the same few drivers dominate all the European hill-climbs is similar to the British Hill-Climb Championship, and shows that this specialist type of racing calls for consistent running in such events, though von Trips rather upset things by joining in halfway through the season and doing remarkably well. Only his accident back in May, at the Nurburgring, prevented him from taking part in all the events towards the Championship.