Alfa Moment



The VSCC’s Ron Flockhart Memorial Trophy meeting at Donington Park celebrated the popular Scottish double Le Mans winner, who lost his life in 1962 during an attempt on the Sydney-London air record for prop-driven aircraft.

For many, the highlight of the meeting was the first public airing of Tom Wheatcroft’s Alfa Romeo ‘Bimotore’, this particular car being based on the smaller 5.8-litre (2×2.9 straight-eight P3 units) version, which was cut down to more conventional style pre-war by the Hon Peter Aitken to form the Alfa-Aitken. Wheatcroft acquired the remains from New Zealand, and the results of a painstaking five-year restoration by Hall & Fowler were to be seen when Rodney Felton drove the car in the Alfa Romeo race. Handling, not surprisingly, is decidedly quirky, but Felton acquitted himself well and finished fifth in a race won by Paul Grist’s Monza from Duncan Ricketts, having a one-off drive in Jeffrey Pattinson’s ex-Shuttleworth P3. The latter just pipped John Harper (Felton’s 2.9 MM) after recovering from an early spin.

The season-long battle between the ex-Ecurie Ecosse D-type of Frank Sytner and John Harper continued, with Sytner taking the laurels in the Ecurie Ecosse Trophy race, the duo outpacing David Clark’s Lister-Chevrolet after a first-corner accident eliminated three D-types and a Lister.

Julian Majzub dominated the John Holland Trophy in his ex-Campbell Bugatti 35B, any potential challenge disappearing when Tim Llewellyn’s 3/8 Bentley retired with over-heating (in spite of a new radiator and streamlined cowling!). Dave Caroline inverted his Morgan (without injury) on the last lap, handing second to Stuart Harper’s Morgan.

Anthony Mayman in R4D was shadowed for the full distance of the Ron Flockhart Trophy race by Roddy Macpherson’s Cooper Bristol, with Amschel Rothschild’s BRM P25 following. The winner collected his trophy from Gillian Fosler, Flockhart’s widow. Appropriately, R4D and the BRM have strong Flockhart connections.

The Shuttleworth & Nuffield Trophies race was another Mayman/R4D benefit, John Ure collecting the Nuffield Trophy as the first 1.5-litre finisher, bringing Peter Mann’s R9B home in second place.

A Mayman hat-trick was foiled when his ex-Hill Tasman BRM P261 struck gearbox trouble halfway through the poorly-supported Graham Hill Trophy race, allowing close pursuer Martin Stretton (Cooper T51) to take a comfortable win from Steve Griswold’s later T53. Other race winners were: Brooklands Society Trophy Stephen Davie (Dobbs Riley); John Goddard Trophy; John Seber (Wolseley Special); Scratch & Handicaps P.Fleming (1.5-litre Riley): A.Riseley (1.5-litre Aston Martin); J.MacKinnon (1.5-litre Riley). A S D C