VSCC Cadwell Park

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Memories of the dreadful weather at Oulton Park attended the VSCC’s Williams Trophy meeting at Cadwell Park on August 28, for practice was run in what looked like unrelenting rain. But the downpour stopped, and the track, if not the undergrowth where reporters lurk, soon dried out for the racing proper.

Interesting vehicles in attendance included Ken Rees’ ex-Hugh Hamilton MG Montlhèry, on only its second racing outing since 1933, and David Baldock’s single-seater Alta, the sister-car to the Abecassis mount, with 2-litre supercharged twin-cam engine, ENV pre-selector box, and sliding pillar suspension at every corner. Restored, or in DSJ’s terminology “resurrected”, from two-seater wishbone-suspended form, the apple-green car looks like being very quick, though this was not to be driver Paul Jaye’s day.

Nor was it David Fletcher-Jones, who pushed his Lagonda Rapier to the head of the field on lap one of the Spero and Voiturette Trophies race and then spun into the bank negotiating Hall Bends. Jones was thrown out, fortunately without major injury, and the race was stopped while the Rapier, fuel gushing from the tank, was made safe.

On the restart, Freddie Giles managed to head the field despite having only two gears on the Morgan/GN, and for several laps his main challenger was Spence’s A7. Then Salome’s gear-lever began to dangle on the track, leaving Giles with top only, and he was finally black-flagged. But as Giles was sliding back down the order, Peter Hornby had decided that his blown 7 deserved some glory, and muscled his way past car after car to take Spence’s lead to the end. Being a 750cc entrant, he thus collared both Spero and Voiturette Trophies.

Julian Majzub had similar ideas in the eight-lap vintage scratch race: Tim Llewelyn (Bentley 3/8) made a splendid start, dropping Dave Caroline (Morgan Super Aero) and Freddie Giles behind, but Majzub flung the 35B Bugatti round the winding circuit, picking off Giles and Caroline and looking as if he might tackle the Bentley too. But as his line became wilder, Tim’s lead was assured to the flag.

Everything stopped again during the next handicap, when Nick Lees overturned his Riley Special approaching the Mountain, breaking his collarbone. Meanwhile the timing-chain on Jaye’s Alta, which had been going rapidly, had jumped several teeth, and while there was no big bang, some careful dissection is called for.

The big event, the Williams Trophy, was much less exciting: four-time winner Sir John Venables-Llewelyn in Lord Raglan’s Type 51 Bugatti exerted a proprietorial grip from the start, leading an obedient trail of assorted Bugattis from start to finish, in the unchanging order Majzub, Terry Cardy and Martin Morris. Spollon’s Alfa Romeo Monza was fifth, while sixth-placed Smith received the Bruton Trophy for first 1 1/2 –litre car the abrasive-sounding supercharged Nurburg Frazer Nash.

Two ERAs were missing from John Scott and Partners pre-war racing cars race; the engine of Donald Day’s R14B was still in bits, while supercharger problems on E12C sidelined Tony Stephens. But it was an ERA benefit, nevertheless, Anthony Mayman (almost unbeatable this year in R4D) heading Bill Morris, Duncan Ricketts in Sally Marsh’s car, and Brian Classic through ten steady laps, with Gunnar Elmgren fifth in his 6CM Maserati. Bill Summers had to retire the MG KN when top gear disappeared and a camshaft oil-seal went, and at the same moment ET Dunn cruised in with a suspected valve or piston failure in his Riley Falcon Special.

Better luck attended Sayers’ Riley in the next event, which was the first home on the road: after handicap calculations, Hugh Conway took the Melville Trophy away in the 35T, and PW Champion (Frazer Nash Super Sports) topped the 1500cc section to win the Geoghegan Cup. KC Rawlings added another feather to the Riley marque in the last handicap, before the final five-lap race which was dominated by Bruce Spollon’s Alfa Romeo Monza. GC

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