Crystal Palace

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Team Lotus scored yet another Formula Junior victory at the B.A.R.C. Crystal Palace meeting on September 2nd, when Trevor Taylor won the September Trophy and made a new F.J. lap record in so doing.

The first heat, however, did provide some variety, for Dennis Taylor’s Lola led throughout with Hine’s team Lola firmly in second place and four seconds behind at the finish. Peter Arundell came third with the works Lotus, his engine being not quite an point either in practice or in the race itself. Arundell was very closely followed by John Rhodes with a Midland Racing Partnership Cooper, who actually broke Mike Parkes’ Whitsun record in trying to take Arundell’s third place away from him.

Rhodes’ new record was equalled a few minutes later, however, by Dick Prior’s Lola; again in pursuit of a works Lotus and again the pursuer had no joy, for Trevor Taylor stayed as far ahead as his namesake in the first heat. Peter Ashdown, conducting the Motor Racing Stable Superspeed-Lotus, came third, ahead of Attwood’s Cooper. The New Zealanders, Hulme and Hyslop, found the competition at this meeting a lot fiercer than at the Continental races they have been attending this season, and the best Hyslop could do was sixth, just behind Pitcher.

The final of the September Trophy, over 25 laps as opposed to the ten of the heats, saw Dennis Taylor off in the lead at the start, Trevor staying well within striking distance of the Lola. Arundell occupied third place, but not for long. Peter Ashdown got past Hine’s car at the beginning of the fourth lap and got to grips with the team Lotus, succeeding on the next round. For a time, indeed, it looked as if he was going to have a go at the two in front, but after a bit they drew away slightly and Ashdown settled for third.

Dennis was driving his Lola as hard as he could, but he couldn’t keep off the Lotus and by the eighth lap it was practically breathing down his neck. Trevor finally took him on the inside and then turned on the heat, breaking Rhodes’ nice new record on his 10th round and finally leaving it at 1 min. 00.8 sec. on his 13th, 82.30 m.p.h. Not had considering that Salvadori’s absolute record is only 1.2 sec. faster. So things ended, with Frank Gardner, the Australian Jim Russell school pupil, taking fourth place from Arundell on the 15th lap and John Rhodes trying to do the same thing but not succeeding on the last lap.

The up-to-1,100c.c. race for sports cars showed, this time, the usual Lola domination of the opposition. Peter Boshier-Jones led all the way from the start, finally ending up 13 seconds in the lead. Two other Lolas, in the hands of Nicholson and Harrison-Hansley, had quite a battle for most of the 10 laps for second place, Harrison-Hansley finally succeeding in acquiring this on the ninth round. Keens’ Lola, however, didn’t get any change out of Garbett’s Lotus Seventeen, which kept fourth place in 0.2 sec.

R. A. V. Staples continued his run of success in his A.C.Bristol in the Marque sports car race, setting a new Marque record in the process. After Braithwaite’s Morgan Plus Four spun and later retired, no-one could come near Staples and he cantered home to his win, with J. R. Olthoff’s fast but smoky MG.-A twin-cam in second place.

In the pre-war racing car race, two E.R.A.s led all the way: the red 2-litre supercharged version of Gahagan making fastest lap of the race and drawing steadily away from Cottam’s beautifully-prepared 1 1/2-litre car until three laps from the end, when the car began to smoke. Cottam closed up behind it and on the ninth lap took the lead. Although no particularly savage dicing took place, this was one of the afternoon’s most enjoyable races, the beautiful turn-out of the cars and the hard, clean noise of the engines making the most colourful and interesting of all. Behind the two E.R.A.s came H. S. Clifford’s supercharged Alta, with Bugatti, Darracq, Derby-Maserati, Aston Martin, Invicta, and Alfa-Romeo also being represented among the finishers.

The last race of the day, an invitation handicap, saw, J. G. Bloore’s Elva fox the handicappers, having no trouble in winning after taking the lead on the seventh lap. The fast car present, Boshier-Jones’ Lola, didn’t manage to close on the leading group, the driver possibly feeling that he had rather too much leeway to make up.

On a beautiful early September day, in the heart of London, only 5,000 spectators turned up. Possibly the prospect of seeing Sidney [correct spelling Sydney] Allard’s dragster in action drew a good number to Brighton, but even so 5,000 are not many for a National meeting.

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