The VSCC returned to the traditional August Bank Holiday date for its final race meeting of the year, at Cadwell Park, and while the entry for the Vintage and Pre-War Racing car events were lacking many of the regular front-runners, the Spero & Voiturette Trophies race attracted sufficient interest to warrant two heats and a final. The first heat resulted in an easy win for David Fletcher-Jones (Lagonda Rapier) from Richard Wills (Riley) and Ian Davidson’s rapid supercharged 750cc MG while Frank Hernandez (Austin 7 s/c) never came under pressure to take the second heat from Barry Foster’s supercharged MG and Tony Irwin’s Riley. Much of the interest for the final evaporated when Hernandez failed to make the start, leaving Fletcher-Jones with a relatively easy run to take the Spero Trophy (for up to 1100cc), the race being red-flagged and results declared at 4 laps. Runner-up spot went to the Riley of Richard Wills who just managed to hold off the similar car of Tony Irwin, with yet another in the hands of Clive Temple filling fourth place. The Voiturette Trophy (for up to 750cc supercharged) fell to Tim Myall (Austin 7) in fifth place overall.
As always, the race for Frazer Nash and GN chain-driven cars was well supported and whilst Andrew Smith decided to set off well before the starter raised his flag it was brother Simon who led the opening lap (Andrew having incurred a penalty) and Jon Giles in the GN ‘Beetle’. Andrew Smith dropped back to fourth at half-distance as James Knapp began to pressure Giles in second place who was displaced a lap later by Knapp and Steve Roberts. Simon Smith ran out an easy winner from Knapp, Roberts, Andrew Smith and Giles. Martin Stretton appeared to have the Melville & Geoghegan Trophies race well in hand, dictating the early laps in Simon Bull’s lnvicta, whilst behind, Ian Bentall (Bentley 4 1/4), James Knapp and Julian Bronson (Riley) were scrapping merrily over the places until the leader began to slow as a brand-new rear tyre punctured and he pulled in, leaving Bentall ahead of Bronson and the Frazer Nash of Knapp, this trio outdistancing the Talbot of John Guyatt and Bruce Riches (Riley).
Stretton took up his second pole of the day, for the Pre-war Racing Car race in Dan Margulies’ 4CL Maserati but was swamped by the field as he lost first gear, getting away in ninth. By the end of the first lap he was up to second behind Sir John Venables-Llewellyn (ERA R4A) and ahead of Paul Jaye (Alta) and Stuart Harper (Morgan). After changing a cracked piston after practice, Duncan Ricketts’ efforts were rewarded with a broken half-shaft on Sally Marsh’s ERA RI B as he left the line. Mark Gillies was past Harper on the second lap, and one lap later Stretton’s bad luck continued with a broken gearbox halting progress, allowing Venables-Llewelyn to progress to an untroubled win. Now fitted with a 2-litre ERA engine, Gillies’ Brooke Special pressed on and soon was up to second while Paul Jaye spent the remainder of the race holding off Stuart Harper. Forsaking his regular ERA, Tony Stephens was rewarded with a well-earned fifth driving Duncan Ricketts 1 1/2-litre Riley running the full distance with James Crocker’s misfiring Lagonda the only other finisher some two laps adrift.
Freddie Giles and Stuart Harper entertained with a spirited battle for the lead of the Vintage race, Giles leading from the flag with the AC/GN and whilst Harper harried in his Morgan, he never had the power to take the advantage. On lap 7, however, Giles’ race came to an abrupt end when he pulled off with apparently dead electrics with the Morgan cruising to an easy win. James Knapp claimed his third placing of the day in taking second with his ‘Nash after early challenger Jon Giles retired the GN Beetle, while Randall Stewart just held on to third in his 4.4 Bentley closely followed by Gary Caroline in the second Morgan. Caroline also took one of the 4-lap Handicaps from David Leigh’s Frazer Nash, with the first Handicap going to Peter Cobb’s Frazer Nash, just pipping Geoff Toms’ Riley by 0.2s. Phil Walker took the final Scratch race with his MG from Len Thompson’s Lagonda, Walker also wrapping up the Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy after a most consistent season. ASDC
Matters of moment, April 1973
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