From the torrential rain of Shelsley Walsh to the brilliant sunshine of Prescott, the last hill-climb to qualify for the R.A.C. British Championship. Under the auspices of the Bugatti Owners’ Club, Prescott once again produced a record crop of entries, more entrants for the Bugatti Handicap, won by V.S.C.C. President Kenneth Neve (2.3-litre Type 35B) at 58.65 sec. (61.85 see. actual), and an additional class for Historic Racing Cars being provided by the V.S.C.C.
With Ray Fielding’s 2.5 B.R.M. four points behind Arthur Owen’s 2.5 Cooper-Climax, Fielding had an almost impossible task to catch up, Owen on the other hand had only to gain third place or better to he assured of the British championship for 1962. This he managed, only being beaten by Marsh’s 2.5-litre B.R.M. and David Good’s Formula Junior Cooper, which appeared for the first time with the 1.5-litre 4-cylinder Coventry-Climax engine, taken from Tony Marsh’s Formula One Lotus. First of the Cooper-J.A.P. cars was the Jersey driver Mac Daghorn, who made a. mess of his first Championship run and relied on his second run of 50.63 sec. to give him fourth place. Peter Westbury’s Daimler-engined ex-F.2 Cooper had its gear selector locking nuts come loose at the crucial moment on the first of the class ascents, Westbury going straight on into the sand banks at the Pardon Hairpin, no damage being done.
The V.S.C.C., who had been invited by the Bugatti O.C. to nominate ten suitable Historic Racing Cars, made an admirable choice, providing something of everything; the E.R.A.s of Dudley Gahagen (R7D) and Gordon Chapman (R2A), Stanley Sears’ 1914 T.T. Sunbeam, the oldest car present, Nigel Arnold-Forster’s 1922 5.1-litre Delage, the largest car in the class, Bernard Harding’s 1926 Amilcar, sounding beautifully on form, Ronnie Syrnondson in Sir Ralph Millais’ 1925 Sunbeam “Tiger,” H. W. Begley in the ex-Falkenhausen B.M.W. single-seater of circa 1939, John Goodacre’s 1934 M.G. Midget and the Singer Spikins’ Special of H. V. Murray, which, by reason of extremely generous handicapping, won from Chapman’s E.R.A., the latter being on scratch.
Owen’s 1962 Championship win could not have been decided at a more fitting venue, or in better circumstances, the Bugatti O.C. once again showing how eleven classes can be run off quickly and still leave time to take an hour off for lunch! The 2s. programme fee was justified, being informative, interesting and providing an excellent line-drawing of a Type 51 Bugatti by Godfrey Eaton, well worth adding to one’s collection, even if the event was missed.—E. L. W.
Final placings in British Hill-Climb Championship, 1962: 1st A Owen (Cooper-Climax), 72; 2nd R. Fielding (B.R.M.) 67; 3rd A. E. Marsh (Marsh-B.R.M. and B.R.M.) 50; 4th L. McLaughlin (Cooper-J.A.P.); 5th M. Daghorn (Cooper-J.A.P.); 6th J. Randles (Cooper Monaco) 33.
R.A.C. Championship Class: 1st A. E. Marsh (B.R.M.) 49.67 sec., also F.T.D.; 2nd R. Good (1.5 Cooper-Climax) 49.95 sec.; 3rd A. Owen (2.5 Cooper-Climax ) 50.50sec.; 4th M. Daghorn (Cooper-J.A.P.) 50:63 sec.; 5th R. Fielding (B.R.M.); 6th I. McLaughlin (Cooper-J.A.P.) 50.96,sec.
Bugatti Handicap: K. Neve (Type 35B) 58.65 sec. (61.85 sec. actual).
Historical Racing Car Handicap: H. V. Murray (Singer Spikins’ Special) 55.76 sec. (72.1.6 Sec. actual).