Taking place on September 15th, the Annual Brighton Speed Trials failed to live up to expectation, despite an increased entry of 247, including most of the leading hill-climb and sprinting exponents. The onus was not with the competitors but with the general organisation, which to many appeared to be non-existent, except when the event had finished and the Brighton Constabulary were given a free hand to clear the sea-front of spectators and competitors alike in the shortest possible time! The litter blowing about the kilometre straight, the congestion around the starting area and the presence, for a considerable period in the afternoon, of spectators lining the unprotected side of the course did little to give one confidence.
Despite the forecast in the 1s. 3d. programme, Sydney Allard with the 5.7-litre Allard Dragster did not break the kilometre record; in fact he was beaten by the intrepid motorcyclist George Brown on his supercharged Vincent Special “Nero,” which did only one run, clocking 20.99 sec., to beat Basil Key’s NortonJ.A.P. record’ by 0.60 sec. Chris Summers’ 4.7-litre Cooper-Chevrolet broke the car record with a best run of 21.69 sec., while Tony Marsh’s 2.5-litre 4-cylinder B.R.M. was second at 21.77 sec., and was also under the late Jim Berry’s record of 23.21 sec.-, set up with the 2-litre E.R.A. Special. The Allard Dragster set people wondering by a first-time run of 22.30 sec., and the second attempt was little better at 22.04 sec. However, the opposition was such that Allard took third fastest time of day from Patsy Burt, driving Arthur Owen’s 2.5-litre Cooper-Climax, Owen just being beaten by 0.01 sec. for fifth place.
The use of traffic lights seemed to present difficulty for many drivers, the number of false starts almost equalling the actual number of runs-one competitor making a total of seven false starts, to the obvious detriment of the driver in the other lane.
The brilliant sunshine brought a large crowd of spectators to line the promenade and by the afternoon coats were off and the summer fashions were given their last airing before being put away for the winter.
The vintage side of motor racing was represented by Nigel Arnold-Forster’s 5.3-litre 1922 Delage, the V12 ex-Seagrave Sunbeam driven by Jack Smith, and Naylor’s F.I.A.T. “Mephistopheles” of 21.7-litres, the revolution counter of which only reads to 2,000 r.p.m.!
With many exciting new sprint machines, including a V8 Buick engined Formula Junior Cooper, a turbine car and other big American-engined cars being planned for next year, one has the inkling that sprint events such as Brighton will become an important part of motoring sport, providing they are not spoilt by niggling officialdom.-E. L. W.
The Fastest Dozen
Outright course record: George Brown (Vincent Special), 20.99 sec. Outright car record: Chris Summers (4.7-litre Cooper-Chevrolet), 21.69 sec. 3, Tony Marsh (2.5-litre B.R.M.), 21.77 sec. 4, S. H. Allard (Allard Dragster), 22.04 sec. 5, Patsy Burt (2.5-litre Cooper-Climax), 23.70 sec. 6, Arthur Owen (2.5-litre Cooper-Climax), 23.71 sec. 7, Jack Cordingley (2.5-litre J.B.W.-Maserati), 23.96 sec. 8, Jack Epstein (2.5-litre Cooper-Connaught), 24.26 sec. 9, Josh Randles (2-litre Cooper-Monaco), 24.92 sec. 10, Peter Westbury (2.6-litre Cooper-Daimler), 25.2 sec. 11, T. Gibson (Jaguar C-type), 25.79 sec. 12, S. H. Richardson (Jaguar 3.8), 25.95 sec.
Dragsters should be the mostest but the Allard Dragster was beaten by two normal racing cars. It was running this year on 9.00 x 16 Racemaster Dragster rear slicks made by the M. & H. Tire Co.
Nice to see Charles Goodacre, the pre-war Austin “works” racing driver, competing. He drove a 3.4 Jaguar.
Very dazzling-the unpainted A.C. Ace coupé of S. H. Richardson, powered with the 3.8 Jaguar engine out of the late Roy Bloxham’s Lister:
Big squeeze-Mike Eyre inserting himself into the Cooper’s cockpit.-W. B.