Porsche Triumphant in 1,101-2,000-c.c. Category. Team Lotus Win Up-to-1,100-c.c. Class. Moss sets Sports Car Lap Record to 93.3 m.p.h.
Some of the interest vanished from this year’s R.A.C. Four-Hour T.T. race, held at Goodwood by the B.A.R.C. under the sponsorship of the News of the World, when Ferrari withdrew his entry and, because they then lacked transport facilities, Equipe Nationale Beige couldn’t bring their 3-litre Ferrari. In addition, Ecurie Ecosse withdrew one entry, leaving only their D-type Jaguar, the Equipe Nationale Beige’s Lister-Jaguar was withdrawn following mechanical maladies and the little Osca was crashed on test in Italy, while to this list of absentees was added Tavano’s 2-litre Ferrari, of which nothing had been heard. Consequently, although the weather on September 13th was perfect, with hot sun, the attendance wasn’t impressive—one heard it estimated at 20,000.
During practice the main anxiety was how long tyres would last, while drivers found some of the resurfaced sections of the course on the slippery side. On lap times the team of three DBR1/300 Aston Martins could dispose of the lone Lister and Jaguar opposition and interest centred on whether the smaller cars would he able to heat them on pit-stops, the race being on a scratch basis. On the Friday, in hot sunshine, it was thought that the smallest cars might go through without a tyre change, whereas the “middle class ” would stop at least once, maybe twice, and the Aston Martins were expected to come in for fresh Avons three or, perhaps, four times.
Before the start Aston Martin changed their driver combinations to Moss/Brooks, Shelby/Lewis-Evans, Salvadori/Brabham. Moss had already unofficially broken his old sports-car lap record, doing 1 Min. 32 sec. against 1 min. 33.4 sec. Salvadori had been but 0.2sec. slower. Hill’s 2-litre Lotus-Climax did 1 min. 34.4 sec, beating the works 550A/1500RS Porsches, and fastest 1,100 was Stacey’s Team Lotus, in 1 min. 37.6 sec.
On the Saturday morning the cars began to fill the Goodwood car parks and visiting aircraft to alight on the air-strip. In the Paddock previous T.T. cars were on view—Sir F. Samuelson’s 1914 Sunbeam, Rootes’ 1922 straight-eight Sunbeam, Powell’s ex-Caracciola Mercedes-Benz and Sargent’s. C-type Jaguar. The 1908 Hutton went one better, Mr. Watson, who drove it to victory in the “Four-Inch” T.T. (50.25 m.p.h.), doing a fine demonstration lap. the back-wheel judder when it tried to stop being startling to behold. Also on show was the Napier-powered Golden Arrow, which lifted the Land Speed Record to over 231 m.p.h. in 1929—it was disappointing to discover that its present owners. C. C. Wakefield & Co. Ltd., cannot spell correctly the name of the driver on that occasion, the late Sir Henry Segrave. The News of the World had its own drinking enclosure, in recognition of having presented a fine trophy and over £1,550 in prize money.
As the drivers sprinted to a Le Mans start Moss got away first and they returned past the pits in the order, Moss, Shelby, Salvadori, chased by Bueb’s Lister-Jaguar. “Dunlop Mac” was installed by the chicane with a field telephone in anticipation of tyre problems— in fact, these didn’t materialise, two changes, of seven Avons and six or eight Dunlops, sufficing for the faster cars, one change, sometimes of one wheel only, on the other ears.
This made the race a foregone conclusion for the Aston Martin team, whose only opposition came from the Buebs/Belford Lister, and when, on lap 10, this car was involved in a shunt, interest waned. Moss had already set the sports-car lap record to 91.14, then to 91.33 m.p.h., and the three green Astons were comfortably out in front, building up time against Future pit-stops. Salvadori came in for inspection after 12 laps, his car bearing signs of a shunt, and, although its back tyres were well worn, they were not changed. Jean Behra, savagely pushed out at the chicane on one lap by Salvadori, was fourth in the Porsche, which was going extremely well and showing the British public how much horse-power it was possible to air-cool satisfactorily on this hot afternoon.
Poor Shale, having got no farther than Levant Corner on lap one with a broken differential on the Trimble Lotus, set about fitting a new one before 6 p.m. came. Gammon was early in tyre trouble. with Broadley’s unlucky Lola, but this was due to a split-pin puncture, and lost them 9 min.
By 3 p.m., with a quarter of the race over, Moss led his team mates at 90.52 m.p.h.. Bueb, now in the other Lister, was fourth, a lap behind, followed by Behra’s Porsche, a lap ahead of Masten Gregory’s Jaguar. Allison had the Team Lotus between the Porsches in the 2-litre class and Stacey’s Team Lotus led Mackenzie-Low’s Elva in the 1,100-c.c. category.
By now the race was taking toll of various Lotus, and Baby had been removed in the ambulance after his Elva-Climax had seized-up on Levant straight, hitting the bank and overturning. Behra continued to drive the Porsche really fast and came in to ask if his rear tyres were worn out. He was-sent on for four more laps, before they were changed. Duncan Hamilton, taking over from Blond, began to throw his jaguar about, to his satisfaction if not Dunlop’s, and moved into fourth place ahead of Behra. Moss had lapped at 93.3 m.p.h., the new sports-car lap record, Behra at 90.76 m.p.h. When Hill handed the works Lotus Fifteen to Allison time was lost because the engine wouldn’t start, and eventually the car retired.
Came the first Aston Martin pit-stop, all four Avons being changed and fuel put in, in 1 min. 19 sec., Brooks taking over. The other Astons soon made similar stops, Lewis-Evans swapping with Shelby after 1 min. 5 sec.
At half-distance the leading Aston Martin had averaged 88.9 m.p.h. and the remarkable 1,100-c.c. Lotus of Stacey/ Hall was fifth, a lap behind Behra. Listers unlucky day was complete when Halford’s broke a wishbone, fortunately just after the chicane, the car coming to rest on the grass with the off-side front wheel leaning out at the top Previously the leading Aston Martin was a lap ahead of the others but the pit-stop put all the team on the same lap, and at 4.30 p.m., with the leading Porsche two laps behind, the result was a foregone conclusion, tyre stops notwithstanding. The twin-cans M.G.-A motored steadily round, but its drivers must have tired of waving others by. The A.C.-Bristol, from being third in its data, began to lose water and was passed by the M.G. Shale gamely started his race after fitting a now differential unit.
After Behra had driven for nearly three hours the Porche was refuelled, its back (bolt-on) wheels changed, and Barth took over. The Aston Martins now made their second pit-stops, for rear and near-side front wheels and fuel. The A.C. lost another 9 min. with a broken water hose.
At 5 p.m. the leading Aston had covered 110 laps, at 88.29 m.p.h., the second Aston was on the same lap, the Salvadori car a lap down, the Porsche safely fourth, three laps behind Brooks. Before the finish all three Astons were on the same lap, finishing the race virtually line-abreast, to the embarrassment of Barth, who was about to pass, in the order Moss/Brooks, Salvadori/Brabham, Shelby/Lewis-Evans. The only interest remaining was whether Gregory’s Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar could beat Blond’e Jaguar, which eventually it did.
As this dull T.T. drew to a close, Aston Martin having put up a high-speed demonstration rather than having won a race. the LC. went out to finish, and Lola came over the line on the starter-motor. Alas, the fine run of Stacey’s Lotus ended when a back main bearing failed but Team Lotus won the small class with their Ashdown/Jones car, ahead of the Lotus shared by the MOTOR SPORT Brooklands Memorial Trophy duellists, Greene and Taylor. Beaumont’s Porsche suffered front a broken carburetter mounting towards the end and circulated erratically, bonnet top open. However, although nine laps behind the Behra/Barth car, it was eight laps ahead of the reliable but staid twin-Cam M.G., a car hardly suited to an Appendix C T.T.—W. B.
It was indeed fortunate that Porsche sent two cars to Goodwood., otherwise the 23rd R.A.C. T.T. would have had an all-British field. Proper Continental support is essential if next year’s T.T. is to be a success. As it was, the faster Porsche put in a lap at 90.76 m.p.h.. compared to the winning Aston Martin’s record lap of 93.3 m.p.h.
As in 1928, so in 1958, the T.T. was won on Avon tyres.
Scoreboards were conspicuous by their absence and although the programme had a chart for placings down to six places, every half-hour, we believe that at no time did the p.a. give the first six places.
Apparently it was a penalty of having newspaper sponsorship that a souvenir edition of the Evening Standard was on sale at Goodwood with the front-page headline reading : THE “KILLER” RACE WILL BE SAFER TODAY, by ROBERT WALLING:
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