There really should be a prize for the pot-boiler of the year. If there were,…
Ferrari’s fourth successive victory
Entries for the R.A.C.’s Tourist Trophy, organised by the B.A.R.C on the 2.4-mile (3.86-kilometre) Goodwood circuit, on Saturday, August 24th, were as well up to the expectations of a race that has now lost much of its colour and importance with the passing of time.
Ferrari were represented by two 250 GTO cars for Mike Parkes and Graham Hill from the John Coombs/Maranello Concessionaires combine; Parkes’ car being the slightly older, off-white liveried machine, that he has used with considerable success throughout the season, whilst Hill’s car was the later GTO which made its debut at Goodwood only a few months ago and bore the works’ colours and insignia. Other Ferraris came from David Piper (GTO), the White Russian, Prince Zourab Tchkotoua, who entered a 250 GTO for the American Tony Hitchcock to drive, Roger Penske (250 LM) and Chris Kerrison’s Drogo-bodied 250 GT Speciale.
Aston Martin were represented by two David Brown entries for Bruce McLaren and Innes Ireland, with Bill Kimberley as the reserve driver. Both cars were the 3.8-litre DB4GT machines used at Le Mans; McLaren’s reputed to be the one bent by Kimberley at the Brands Hatch race and still not handling as well as its stablemate. Four Jaguar E-types actually started with two other E-types entered by Peter Sutcliffe and the German pair, Lindner and Nocker, non-starting. The John Coombs’ and Tommy Atkins’ E-types were both fitted with the ZF 5-speed gearbox and were driven by Jack Sears and Roy Salvadori respectively. The remaining two E-types were Peter Lumsden’s (reserve driver: Peter Sargent) and Dick Protheroe’s fast-back model, “CUT 7.”
The two Willment-entered A.C. Cobras, for whom drivers were to be nominated fell foul of the R.A.C. scrutineers on the grounds of there being too little clearance between the steering arms and the wheels although Jack Sears did take out one of the Cobras during the Thursday practice session; recording a time of 1 min. 31 sec.
The two Aston Martins also had scrutineer trouble and the statement released by their press agents a few days after the race is given in part form below: “When Dunlop introduced the new R6 racing tyre they advised Aston Martin that the width of the wheel rim must be increased. Accordingly all the wheels were rebuilt to the new specification and the cars were raced in this condition at Le Mans and at Brands Hatch. No difficulty arose in either case with the Scrutineers.
At the scrutineering prior to the Tourist Trophy the same R.A.C. scrutineer, Mr. S. R. Proctor, who had been responsible for accepting the cars at Brands Hatch on August 6th ruled that the cars were now ineligible.
It has been possible to fit wheels of the earlier pattern but the result of this is that the track of the car is reduced by four inches compared with the specification quoted on the form of homologation. The position therefore is that the Scrutineers have refused to accept an increase of one inch in the width of the wheel rim but were prepared to overlook a reduction of four inches in the track. It is necessary to stress that this is against the recommendations of Dunlop which were made in the interests of safety and progress.”
However, Ireland practised with the large section wheels and Equalled Graham Hill’s best time of 1 min. 27 sec., a speed of 99.31 m.p.h., but he was moved to the second row of the grid as a result of using these larger tyres; the first two rows of the grid therefore containing Graham Hill, Mike Parkes (1 min. 27.4 sec.), Bruce McLaren (1 min. 27.6 sec), Innes Ireland and Roy Salvadori (1 min. 29 sec).
Briefly, the up to 2,000 c.c. class consisted of the following cars and drivers: Lotus Elans: J. Whitmore, G. Warner and Frank Gardner. Lotus Elites: C. Hunt, M. Beckwith and J. Derisley. Morgan Plus Fours: C. J. Lawrence, P. H. Arnold, and A. Dence. M.G. Midgets: S. A. Fox and A. P. Hedges. Porsche Carrera 2-litre: J. R. Stoop. T.V.R.-M.G.: T. Entwistle. Turner-Ford GT: Wing Commander K. W. Mackenzie. In addition four reserves were allowed to start, these being the Lotus Elites of T. J. Threlfell, M. Johnson and R. Nathan and the Lotus Elan of C. A. C. Hodgson, thus making a field of 31 starters.
The 1.45 p.m. grid start lacked the excitement of the hustle and bustle of the Le Mans start, now banned by the R.A.C., but nevertheless the whine of the 12-cylinder Ferraris and the harsher blasts of the 6-cylinder Aston Martins and Jaguars mingling with the screams of the 4-cylinder cars augured for an exciting three hours of racing as the field streamed out into the countryside towards Fordwater and St. Mary’s. In the lead was Graham Hill with Mike Parkes in close company but as soon as the cars appeared again Ireland’s Aston Martin had split the two Ferraris and McLaren had moved up to complete the Ferrari-Aston-Ferrari-Aston sandwich. The two E types of Sears and Salvadori trailed a short distance behind whilst David Piper (GTO), Roger Penske (250 LM), Peter Lumsden (Jaguar E), Dick Protheroe (Jaguar E) and John Whitmore in Stirling Moss’s Lotus Elan, fitted with an unusual-looking hard-top, followed through in tight formation.
The position remained unaltered at the front until 10 laps had been completed and then Ireland, who was really in form with the Aston Martin, attempted to overtake Hill’s Ferrari at Woodcote; the Aston Martin spun completely round several times, forcing Hill to motor several yards on the grass to miss the rotating Ireland. Whilst this was taking place Parkes, who had dropped back some 30 yards by this stage, came through to lead. Hill managed to regain the circuit without dropping any more places and Ireland was away again in third place but still as determined as ever that neither of the Ferraris should get away. The narrow section tyres were not helping very much and this early spin had worn flats on the Aston Martin’s tyres, necessitating all four wheels being changed. Ireland’s unscheduled pit-stop cost him 59 sec. and dropped him to 10th place. Somebody started the rumour that the wide section tyres had been replaced on Ireland’s car and the flock of officials, scrutineers and nosey parkers had to be seen to be believed when Ireland made his next pit-stop!
Other visitors to the pits included Chris Kerrison’s slow 250 GT Speciale which had one plug lead adrift and other ignition troubles which dogged Kerrison for much of the race. The one and only incident occurred at 2.15 p.m. when Tony Hitchcock’s GTO Ferrari left the circuit at Madgwick and overturned, Hitchcock being removed to hospital although the badly damaged Ferrari remained embedded in the bank as a grisly reminder to other drivers. Pip Arnold’s Morgan came into the pits at 2.07 p.m. and lost nearly 14 min. while a water leak was traced and repaired.
Ireland continued his rapid motoring with the Aston Martin and soon came upon Parkes’ second-place Ferrari which had a lap up on Ireland. However, this did not stop Ireland from having a go at passing Parkes, thus getting back onto the same lap and the two cars were side by side into the chicane with Parkes trying to force Ireland off his line. The canny Scot was not putting up with this and kept his line, Ferrari and Aston Martin coming through together at so slow a pace that smaller cars, overtaken in the heat of the battle were left queuing at the entrance. It was Ireland who had the better of the dispute, coming out of the chicane just that little bit quicker to storm away down the straight. Ireland was really going motor racing and treated the spectators, of whom there were fewer than for several years, to some thrilling if not hairy motoring which produced two more spins at Woodcote before the Tourist Trophy finished.
Leading the up to 2-litre class was Whitmore’s Elan but his race ended when the car lost a front wheel at Madgwick and Graham Warner took up the 2-litre leadership, but his luck lasted little longer than Warner; the Elan expired in a cloud of smoke at Fordwater with a seized differential allowing Mike Beckwith to come through to lead in Chris Barber’s Elite and eventually to win the class.
Hill brought his Ferrari into the pits on his 46th lap and took on 10 gallons of fuel and a large quantity of water, leaving after 1 min. 23 sec. in fifth place. Parkes made the shortest pit-stop of the race just before Hill’s refuelling stop to replace a radiator cap in six seconds flat.
When the leading car had completed 50 laps the position was as follows: Parkes, Hill, McLaren, Sears, G. Hill, Penske, Piper, Ireland, Protheroe, Lumsden, etc., the first five drivers all being on the same lap. Joining the retired list were Chris Lawrence’s Morgan Plus Four (bent exhaust valve and ignition trouble), Jon Derisley’s Lotus Elite (lack of oil pressure) and Frank Gardner’s Lotus Elan (rear axle).
At half distance the positions changed somewhat with all the leading cars making their scheduled pit-stops but still ahead was Parkes with some 30 sec. in hand from Graham Hill, then Salvadori, Sears, McLaren, Piper, Protheroe and Ireland. The slow 250 GT Speciale Ferrari of Kerrison had changed hands as a result of Kerrison receiving a burnt foot and was now circulating with Peter Sutcliffe at the wheel.
Although the Aston Martins had the speed to stay with the Ferraris, in respect of Ireland equalling the lap record in the early stages of the race, they lacked the staying power and McLaren’s Aston Martin was visibly slowing and sounding off-tune. At 4.02 p.m. McLaren brought the Aston Martin into the pits and two gallons of oil had to be poured into the car before the oil pressure gauge began to show signs of life. Twenty minutes later McLaren was in again, this time for good.
Graham Hill slowly pulled back those 30 sec. on Parkes and by the 107th lap he was only a matter of yards behind and on the 109th lap as the two Ferraris slowed for some slower cars the reigning World Champion moved into the lead, where he stayed until the finish of the race with Parkes close behind in good team order. Salvadori did well to finish on the same lap as the leaders in third place although well behind.
Supporting and preceding the Tourist Trophy was a 21-lap Formula Junior Race led from start to finish by Peter Arundell in the Ron Harris-Team Lotus Lotus 27, who also set up a new lap record above 100 m.p.h. for the first time. Second was Richard Attwood’s M.R.P. Lola-Ford after a race-long scrap with Dennis Hulme’s Repco-Brabham-Ford. Tim Mayer’s Cooper collided with the chicane when a brake caliper sheared, the young American being knocked unconscious by the impact. The delay in removing him to hospital was notable. Not a memorable event by any means and rather spoilt for me by the poorly organised catering facilities and extortionate prices charged for foodstuffs.—E. L. W.
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