The 54th Brighton Speed Trials attracted 280 entries this year and showed no sign of losing its popularity in spite of the attraction of the T.T. at Goodwood. The weather was perfect all day and apart from a number of false starts and a fire in some canvas screens the long meeting was concluded without incident.
Some of the more interesting entries did not materialise or had mechanical troubles, including the Freikaiserwagen, Semmence Special, Jack Brabham’s Cooper (he was otherwise engaged at Goodwood), and Sidney Allard’s [Correct spelling: Sydney Allard] twin-engined sprint car which we described last month.
As usual, the sports cars occupied the morning runs and the main interest lay in the large engined machines. Both Michael Anthony and Ron Brightman had entered their Lister-Corvettes, but only Anthony arrived. These cars have been disappointing in circuit racing this season but in a straight line he managed to cover the standing kilometre in 25.03 sec. at an average speed of 89.3 m.p.h., to break Gillie Tyrer’s record which he held in a C-type Jaguar. Not far behind came P. J. Sargent (C-type Jaguar) and P. W. Woozley (Hinton Allard) who tied at 25.76 sec.
In the smaller capacity classes J. Randles broke the 2-litre record in his Lister-Bristol with a run of 28.7 sec., while in the Marque sports car classes the Austin Healeys were slightly faster than the Triumphs (as they should be, of course), while the TRs were generally faster than the Twin-Cam MGs., Rudd’s potent Ace-Bristol was beaten by his own and another Austin Healey, while K. S. Richardson’s Porsche was over a second faster than Swayne’s Twin-Cam M.G.-A.
A new class this year was for ladies driving sports cars. Mrs. Sheila Park won this class in her husband’s Aston Martin-engined Tojeiro with a run of 27.74 sec., at an average speed of 80.6 m.p.h. Second was Margaret Hockenbull in a 5½ -litre Cadillac-Allard in 28.28 sec. The Bentley D.C. class went naturally enough to Forrest Lycett’s 8-litre which covered the kilometre in 29.45 sec., an average speed of 76 m.p.h. The enormous difference between a standing and a flying kilometre can be gauged from the fact that this car recently covered a flying kilometre at 141.667 m.p.h.
During the racing car classes in the afternoon Arthur Owen proved to have the fastest car present by streaking down the Madeira Drive in 23.50 sec., an average speed of 95.1 m.p.h. But Ken Wharton’s record of 23.34 sec., which he made in the supercharged E.R.A. is still intact. Miss Roberta Cowell arrived late with the newly completed Cooper-Connaught but managed to obtain third fastest time in the unlimited class with a run of 27.45 sec. Patsy Burt beat both Alan Brown and Ken Tyrell who had brought along the Formula II Coopers which have been used by Gregory and McLaren this season. They were also beaten by Mike Hatton’s 1,100-c.c. Cooper and George Keylock’s supercharged F.II Cooper.
The day was concluded with the motor-cycles runs which once again proved to be the fastest vehicles present. Basil Keys took his Norton-J.A.P. down the kilometre in 21.59 sec. — an average speed of 103.5 m.p.h., breaking the course record previously held by C. W. Rous. — M.L.T.
S.T.D. Register October Fixtures
The S.T.D. Sunbeam Register is taking steps, in conjunction with the Rootes Group, to celebrate both the anniversary of the old Sunbeam Company and the 50th anniversary of Louis Coatalen joining that famous organisation. On October 17th a rally will be held to Rootes Ryton-on-Dunsmore Sunbeam factory, near Coventry, when Rootes will entertain members to a cocktail party, lunch and tea and driving tests will be held in the factory grounds for Wolverhampton Sunbeam, Roesch Talbot and S.T.D. Darracq cars. On the following day the annual Wolverhampton Rally will take place, with a Navigational Run in the morning and a Pride of Ownership Contest in the afternoon (of October 18th) at West Park, following the usual parade of Sunbeams through the town. The prize-giving will be held at a Civic Reception and Afternoon Tea Party given by His Worship the Mayor Alderman of Wolverhampton at 4.30 p.m. in the Town Hall, to which ex-Sunbeam employees, S.T.D. Register members and famous Sunbeam personalities will be invited. It is hoped that Louis Coatalen may be the Guest of Honour.
On October 4th the annual Sandhurst Rally, Concours d’Elegance and Driving Tests will be held, members forgathering for lunch at the Hawley Hotel, Blackwater, Surrey, and arriving at the Royal Military Arademy, at 2 p.m. Details and entry forms from Councillor Mrs. Winifred Buddy, Carmel, Fleet. Hampshire.