VSCC Cadwell Park Meeting

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A lasting memory of the 1986 VSCC Cadwell meeting on August 24th was an incident which took place just after the Williams Trophy race when the winner, Martin Morris in John Marks’s Type 51 Bugatti, invited pre-war Bugatti driver “Taso” Mathieson to accompany him on his lap of honour. “Taso”, who will be 80 next year, got in and then turned his cap back-to-front just as the old photographs show he had done in 1932 at the age of 25 when he first raced a Bugatti at Brooklands. He now lives in France, at Vichy, and as he is medically unfit to drive, had travelled to Cadwell by aeroplane and trains. That must be enthusiasm!

The first race of the day, the Spero and Voiturette Trophies for cars up to 1100 cc, was initially led by Richard Campbell in his vintage single-seater Austin with later 1089 cc Ballila Fiat engine, from Nev Farquhar’s ex-Dixon Riley and John Giles’s G. N. Morgan. However, David Fletcher-Jones came up from the back of the grid in his Lagonda Rapier to show that Tim Ashworth’s twin ohc design can hold a candle to Percy Riley’s earlier brilliance, and, in an excellent drive, he won the race from Campbell and Farquhar, the latter’s engine sounding a bit flat towards the end so that he lost the second place he had been holding. Peter Hornby’s very fast Austin 7 won the Voiturette class, an MG getting a look-in on the traditional Austin dominance for a change, as Barry Foster finished second in his crisp sounding unblown Montlhéry Midget.

For once the Frazer Nash Section could not provide a full field for their annual handicap race, so the grid was made up with other makes. Fortunately, honour was satisfied with chain-drive cars filling the first three places, the winner being Freddie Giles in his AC-engined GN “Beetle”, with very smart monoposto bodywork, from Mark Walker’s Model A Ford engine GN two seater. These were both Specials, and the first “propper” Frazer Nash to finish was Philip Selwyn-Smith’s Meadows engined Interceptor in third place, with Drewitt’s Riley Special fourth.

The 8 lap Vintage Scratch Race promised to be a duel between Tim Llewellyn’s 8 litre-engined Bentley 3 litre and Ron Footitt’s AC-engined GN, the Cognac Special. Tim made a slow start (“The car won’t perform at all below 2,000 rpm today” he complained), and Ron went into the lead. However, he was eventually passed by Tim and then, just before the halfway stage of the race, did not reappear after entering the wooded section of the circuit between the paddock and the start due to breaking his gear lever. Ron is obviously getting much too strong for the Cognac Special, and ought to invest in a Bentley instead, as they are provided with levers like those seen in railway signal boxes. Stuart Harper had been doing wonders holding second place in his Morgan 3-wheeler, the only competitor besides Llewellyn and Footitt to lap in under 2 minutes, but, alas, he disappeared from the scene on his very last lap, leaving another Bentley to take second place, the wooden bodied 3/4-1/2 of Randal Stewart. Tom Threlfall’s Ford engined American McDowell Dirt Racer was third from John Howell’s blown 3-litre Sunbeam.

Lou Wickham’s smart beetleback 12/50 Alvis on limit held the lead for at least half of the next 5 lap handicap before being overwhelmed. The handicappers were much kinder to Fox and his Delahaye which won by over half a minute from Brownridge’s Wolseley Hornet, and 4 secs behind came Walder’s 12/50 Alvis and Graham Harper in Peter Graham’s handsome Riley 16 Special, also known as “The Atblo” as it was made from All The Bits Left Over after a clearout of Riley spares. These cars went over the line almost together, with the Alvis just in front. Rathbone’s Talbot 105 went noticeably well in this race, though it was not “in the money”.

There was a somewhat depleted field for the ever popular Williams Monaco Trophy race for two seater GP cars, Lord Raglan’s Type 51 Bugatti having rear axle bothers and Chris Mann’s Monza Alfa still had not fully recovered from a broken crankshaft in the Mille Miglia. The race had to be stopped on the first lap, with Richard Pilkington’s Lago Talbot in the lead, due to Alain de Cadenet hitting a kerb and overturning his Type 51, blocking the course in the process. Alain was slightly hurt, but did not have to go to hospital. In the re-run, Martin Morris in the Marks Type 51 made a much better start and was soon leading the race from Rodney Felton’s Monza Alfa Romeo and Pilkington’s Talbot. The Talbot then passed the Alfa, but could not overhaul the Bugatti, holding its second place until the flag, despite going on to five cylinders. Fourth was Dutton in Heimann’s T.51, with Cardy fifth in the ex-lan Preston T.358.

The 5 lap handicap which followed saw Duncan Ricketts excelling himself in his Riley 12/4 Special and winning from Scratch. Paul Jaye, in the Aston Martin engined Attenborough Special, also went well and managed fourth place. Second was Seber in The Fastest Wolseley Hornet in the World, and John Harris in his big 4-1/2 Lagonda once more performed miracles on the twisty circuit and finished third.

The 10 lap Pre-war Historic race saw Martin Morris score his second big race win of the day, this time in his 2-litre ERA R11B, which he has been racing continuously for 25 years, virtually always with success. Second, some 5 secs behind was Rodney Felton’s P3 Alfa, and Bill Morris was a splendid third in his 1-1/2-litre ERA R12B, with Brian Classic a close fourth in his Tecnauto-suspended 1-1/2-litre ERA R2A.

Peter Hornby’s Austin 7 had no trouble winning the penultimate handicap from Lees’s 1-1/2-litre Riley Spl by some 17 secs, with Johnson’s Colmore ‘Nash third. In the last race of the day, held in rain, David Morris, Martin’s son, drove R11B magnificently to win from the scratch mark, being accompanied by Paul Jaye till the latter retired after 3 laps. Black’s Aston Martin/Riley was second from Harper on the Riley and Harris on the Lagonda.

A great day for the Morrises! — P.M.A.H.

***

Results:

Spero & Voiturette Trophies — 8 Laps Scratch.  1. D. Fletcher-Jones (Lagonda Rapier), 65.43mph;  2. R.J. Campbell (Austin Fiat);  3. A.N. Farquhar (Riley Brooklands).

5 Lap Handicap.  1. F.G. Giles (GN/AC Beetle), 62.55mph;  2. M. Walker (GN/Ford); 3. P. Selwyn-Smith (Frazer Nash Interceptor). 

Vintage Scratch Race — 8 Laps.  1. T.C. Lewellyn (Bentley 3/8), 69.59mph; R.M de C. Stewart (Bentley 3-1/2); 3. T.J. Threlfall (McDowell Dirt Racer).

5 Lap Handicap. 1.  W.D.Fox (Delahaye), 58.50mph; 2. J.N. Brownridge (Wolseley Hornet Spl); 3. N.T. Walder (Alvis 12/50).

Williams Monaco Trophy — 10 Laps Scratch.  1. J.G. Marks (M.Morris)(Bugatti T51), 58.16mph; R.A. Pilkington (Talbot Lago T26 SS); 3. R.Felton (Alfa Romeo 8C Monza).

5 Lap Handicap.  D. Ricketts (Riley 12/4 Spl), 63.81mph; 2. J.A. Seber (Wolseley Hornet Spl); 3. J.F.Harris (Lagonda Rapide Spl).

10 Lap Scratch Race for Pre-war Racing cars.  1.  M.H. Morris (ERA R11B), 71.55mph; 2. R. Felton (Alfa Romeo P3); 3. W.R.G. Morris (ERA R12B).

5 Lap Handicap.  1.  P.C. Hornby (Austin 7 Ulster) 63.43; 2.  N.H.S. Lees (F. Cockman) (Riley Spl);  3. D. Johnson (Frazer Nash Colmore).

5 Lap Handicap.  1.  M.H.Morris (D.R.O. Morris) (ERA R11B), 68.76mph;  2. R. Black (Aston Martin Riley); 3. A.G. Harper (Riley 16).

“Motor Sport” Brooklands Memorial Trophy Contest.   (5th Round): N. Mason 65 points;  D. Ricketts 62 points; M.H. Morris 54 points.