Brighton Speed Trials

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Motor-Cycles Beat Cars

The racing season wouldn’t be the same without the Brighton Speed Trials, run this year in splendid weather on September 6th after the great storm of the preceding night.

The organisation was efficient in spite of an entry of 279, with two runs each. But the Brighton timing system which requires competitors to start on the ” go ” signal instead of in their own time finds disfavour and many competitors were held far too long on the starting line – if anyone doubts this, let them ask George Brown, Tony Marsh or F.J. Mays. A new course record was established by C. W. Rous, who covered the s.s. kilometre in 22.05 sec. (101.5 m.p.h.) on his 998-c.c. Vincent streamliner – a magnificent performance. Best car time, which wasn’t a record, was put up by Berry in his E.R.A. Special with ex-Richards all-independent tubular chassis. in 24.79 sec. (90.3 m.p.h.).

Betty Haig won the Club Handicap in a Turner. The 1,100 c.c. Sports-Car Class saw Elva s vanquish Lotus. The Hume-Lotus led the 1.5-litre sports cars, breaking the class record. Sir Clive Edwards’ Cooper with ex-Wharton Bristol engine fractionally vanquished Rudd’s A.C. in the next class. Gillie Tyrer beat Wick’s unlimited sports-car record in his C-type Jaguar, beating Alexander’s potent Cadillac-Allard, which suffered too much wheelspin on its first run but was fastest Brighton & Hove M.C. competitor. Allard’s aircooled Steyr-Allard with Lotus front wheels-and very compact body was third-although a sports car, it was started by means of an external battery. Abecassi’s Facel-Vega was a non-starter. Jean Curtis did well on her first essay in competition to come second in a Cooper 1,100 to Sheila Park’s 3-litre Tojeiro in the Ladies’ Sports-Car Class, Rosemary Seers had to be content with third place in her Cooper-Zephyr. Austin-Healey’s dominated the Marque Class.

The classes for blown sports cars were poorly patronised but the Bentley D.C. put in one of every sort of Bentley except a 4-litre and there was the fine sight of Stanley Sears and Harry Rose’s blower 4.5-litre team cars accelerating away together. Forrest Lycett demonstrated that his 8-litre is still one of the finest sports cars by winning the Bentley Class from Burton’s de Dion 4.5-litre and Batten’s 8-litre and, later, the Vintage Sports-Car Class from Raven’s 3-litre racing Bugatti. Of the Bentleys, Mertens’ standard low-compression 4.5-litre has run 350,000 miles, Grafton drove a 1939 overdrive 4.5-litre Vanden Plas tourer with Arnott blower and a new note was struck by Llewellyn, whose 3-litre had a fibreglass body shell, fabric covered.

After the 250 and 500.c.c. racers had deafened us. Marsh won the 1.100-c.c. Racing-Car Class in his V-twin Cooper with plated suspension, from Manton’s Lotus. The rear-engined Mitchell-J.A.P. was on one cylinder, as Baragwanarth himself noticed, and Instone’s Djinn was absent. Marsh’s F.II Cooper beat Patsy Burt’s Cooper in the 1.5-litre class. Berry’s 2-litre E.R.A. Special made f.t.d. in winning the 2-litre category from attractive Eunice Griffin, who used ” bags of revs.” getting Marsh’s Cooper 1,500 away. She beat Bond’s E.R.A., which made only one appearance – prior to export to America ? Miss Griffin also drove a Porsche 1600 Super, in an earlier class.

Competition was bleak in the racing-car classes. Berry, slower, nevertheleas took the Unlimited c.c. Class from Woozley’s stripped Hinton-Allard with tubular ladder frame and Chrysler engine having Fire Power heads and Hillborn fuel injection. Gahagan made much noise in the stripped fuel-injection Emeryson-Jaguar, but was slower than Count Ouvaroff’s 1.5-litre Cooper.

The B.M.C.R.C. livened matters up, Rous shattering the course record in beating Keys’ streamliner Norton-J.A.P., which reeked of ” boot polish.” Brierley’s side-by-side-seater Methamon and Hal’tt tandem-seater Hake three-wheelers beat the combinations, in that order. Only two girls drove racing cars this time. Patsy not surprisingly beating the revs.-loving Eunice, both in Coopers. Of ” specials,’ it was nice to see the Hardy-Annual, with Centric-blown ex-Baragwanarth V-twin J.A.P. engine, Norton gearbox and Morgan i.f.s in the ex-Meo G.N. chassis going well. It took third place in the Vintage Class, in 30.0 sec., just beating Wall’s blown “2.3” Bugatti with which it was paired. – W. B.