In perfect September weather the Goodwood season came to a close on September 12th. As we journeyed to the last of these enjoyable B.A.R.C. Members’ Meetings for 5964, the prospect was whether Foley Pittard in his 1,650-c.c. Willment Ford Anglia, prepared by Mike Broom and shod with Goodyear Sports Car Special LW tyres, could maintain his lead in the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest from J. Nicholson’s Ford-Lotus Cortina. It seemed appropriate to be driving to the circuit in a GT Cortina consuming Total fuel!
Pittard had a 3-points lead over Nicholson and one race to go— Nicholson was entered for a handicap as well as a scratch race. They raced together in the 7-lap “Spring Grove” Saloon Car Scratch Race, the second on the programme. Pittard led, Nicholson close behind him, but pulling out a most impressive lead. Then, on lap 3, Nicholson’s Ford threw a rod, and the Willment entry, easing up slightly, won with complete assurance, at 86.65 m.p.h., its best lap at a rousing 87.98 m.p.h. Someone sportingly lent Nicholson a Cortina GT for the handicap, but his allowance was unchanged, and the car therefore not quick enough to be placed, although Nicholson had its back tyres smoking as he accelerated from the chicane. Meanwhile Digby, in the fabulously fast Cave Austin A40, had won the fourth race, so finished the contest a point up on Nicholson—the final placings being Pittard 23, Digby 17, Nicholson 16. Mrs. Winifred Soddy presented the Trophy and £150 prize money while her husband helped to consume the champagne, saying how nice it was to see these old standard Anglias still winning races!
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The meeting opened with a so-lap scratch race for F.3 and Formule Libre cars. Irwin’s Merlyn-Ford, very well driven, led all the way, from O’Sullivan’s Brabham-Ford in smart blue finish. Porter’s Lotus-Ford, Bunting’s Lotus-B.M.C. and Baker’s Brabham-Ford fought hard for 3rd place, Baker spinning at Madgwick and Porter staying ahead by 2/5 of a second. So the F.3 cars triumphed, the F.L. category being won by de Lautour’s Lotus-Ford, 5th overall, after a dice against the Lanfranchi Elva-B.M.W. in the hands of Veness, who isn’t nearly as quick as the owner.
Next came the first of the two 7-lap “Spring Grove” saloon car races, won so convincingly by Pittard from Drury’s 1,650-c.c. Anglia and Fletcher in Coundley’s Lotus-Cortina. Equally impressive was Jones’ mastery of the 1,000 c.c. class, in Nathan’s Hillman Imp, which vanquished Ross’s 998-c.c. Mini-Cooper by over a lap.
The 5-lap Marque Scratch Race was good value, for Entwhistle (T.V.R.), Campbell (Elva) and Unett (Sunbeam Alpine) led in a tied-together trio, until the wily Entwhistle managed to take Hurrell’s far slower Elva in the chicane on lap 4, whereas his adversaries had to drop behind. Then Campbell’s M.G. engine lost its oil pressure on the last lap and he retired, leaving Entwhistle to win by 4/5 a sec. from Unett, Sharp’s M.G.-B third.
The second 7-lap” Spring Grove “saloon car race was similarly enlivened by the duel for the lead between Digby in the Cave A4o and Lawrence’s 1,098-c.c. Mini-Cooper S. The Mini had more power at the top end, and would take the Ago along Levant Straight, but Digby would repass before Woodcote. They swapped places twice here on the last lap! In the end Digby got over the line ahead by 1/5 of a sec. Fincher, whose 1,100-c.c. Mini-Cooper S took Faure’s 1,07i -c.c. Mini-Cooper S on the inside of Woodcote on lap 3, only to be repassed at that point on lap 6, finally beat his opponent into third place by 2/5 of a sec.—close racing!
The 10-lap sports-car scratch race produced more tension, after Lanfranchi in the Elva-B.M.W. had won by no less than 21.4 sec., reflecting T.T. form with a duel between the Lotus-Fords of Hine and Gethin for second place. Gethin would lead, only to be out-braked by Hine, but on lap 9 Hine did this less skilfully at Woodcote, “grassing” in a big way, to lose to Gethin by 5.2 sec. But he was not disqualified—I am delighted to report that the B.A.R.C. has scrapped the stupid “no going on the grass” rule.
In contrast, the 10-lap GT race went on too long, a procession ably led by Lacey’s odd-looking Merlyn-Ford, which won by 8.6 sec. from Moore’s Diva-Ford, Burnard’s Elan third. Turner’s 3.7-litre Aston Martin, which won its class, was 5.32 m.p.h. slower than the 1,098-c.c. Merlyn-Ford! A fine afternoon’s sport concluded with two close-fought 5-lap handicaps, Cave in the A4o coming through splendidly from the 10 sec. mark in the first, but failing to catch Woodfield’s “limit” Mini-Cooper S by 5.6 sec. The Spring Grove” Trophy was presented by Mr. R. Nies of Spring Grove Laundries to Harry Digby (A40), Pittard being second. The Curtis Trophy in memory of Tony Curtis was presented by Nancy Curtis to Tony Cooper for hard work on his Mini.
Sad Note.—On the final lap of practice B. Clarke pranged his Ferrari at St. Mary’s. He escaped with bruises but the car was a sorry sight. “Never mind,” said Clark; “it was due to go back to Modena anyway!”