TWO hundred miles, equal to the distance from
London to Liverpool, on a sidecar with a power unit of only 350 c.c., in just over three hours, is an achievement which provides unanswerable data as to the efficiency of the type for passenger work. It was accomplished by W. D. Marchant on a Blackburne engined Chater-Lea at the Ealing Club’s triple-race meeting at Brooklands, when three events, each of two hundred miles, were decided. Marchant’s ride was undoubtedly the best of the day, for he practically led throughout, and was always marked as a winner so long as he could last the distance.
The same is not to be said of the men who won the 600 c.c. or the 1,000 c.c. races, for in the former, Tucker was beaten, on sheer speed, by Cyril Pullin, who retired at about 150 miles, and in the latter, Humphreys was outstripped by Le Vack, Temple, Dixon and Allchin, all of whom, however, failed to win. Humphreys is a newcomer to racing at Brooklands, and deserves very great credit for his successful debut. Whatever happened to his opponents, the fact remains that he averaged practically seventy miles an hour for two hundred miles, and he beat record for three hours. He rode steadily and had no trouble at all, and since reliability is as important a factor as speed in long distance racing, the faults developed by competitive machines do not in the least detract, but rather enhance, the success of the Harley Davidson.
From the spectacular point of view, the racing was disappointing. It could not be otherwise with so many failures amongst the fastest of the riders, and there was not even the thrill of a close finish in any of the races. The nearest approach to excitement was toward the end of the 1,000 c.c. race, after Temple had come in to the replenishment depots and restarted about two laps after Humphreys. There was just about time for Temple to overhaul the leader, but a seized camshaft eliminated him before the chase developed.
A very fine team performance was achieved by the Norton riders, who, in the 600 c.c. race, were the only competitors to finish, five of them passing the timekeeper.
Worters, on the Toronda, had an experience which might have been serious, but actually was only comical. After making an adjustment at the Byfleet end of the track, he pushed his machine off, slipped on the wet track, and had the mortification of seeing his sidecar jazzing along the track with the sidecar occupant frantically seeking to gain control. Eventually the sidecar toppled over the inside of the track and came to rest without anybody getting hurt, but the possibilities attaching to a machine “running amok” during a race are rather terrifying. Tabulated, the results of the races were as follows :-
Two HUNDRED MILES RACE FOR THE ” 350 ” CUP.
I. W. D. Marchant (Chater-Lea Blackburne) 61.71 m.p.h.
2. F. J. Youngs (O.K. Blackburne) … 57.05 m.p.h. 3. R. J. Piper (Montgomery J.A.P.) ••• 44.67 m•P•h•
Marchant, subject to confirmation, beat the following records in the 350 C.C. class : too miles at 62.63 m.p.h. ; 200 miles at 61.7 m.p.h. ; Two hours with 123 miles i6oz yards ; three hours with 184 miles 114 yards.
Two HUNDRED MILES RACE FOR THE” 600″ CUP.
T. G. H. Tucker (Norton) •a• R W9 65.7 m.p.h.
2. R. Lawson (Norton) … 62.32 m.p.h.
3. R. Dequin (Norton) … 58.32 m.p.h.
Tucker beat the following records in the 600 c.c. class : too miles at 64.18 m.p.h. ; zoo miles at 65.71 m.p.h. ; two hours with 131 miles 31 yards ; three hours with 197 miles 237 yards. Two HUNDRED MILES RACE FOR” 1000″ CUP. I. R. E. Humphreys (Harley Davidson) 2. T. R. Allchin (Zenith J.A.P.) 3. S. E. Longman (Indian) … •••
Humphreys beat the three hours record in class with 204 miles /318 yards.
69.66 m.p.h. 62.87 m.p.h. 54-46 m•P•h• the I•000 c,c.