THE THIRD DONINGTON MEETING
THE TIE D DONINGTON MEETING
A DAY OF RECORDS. SUCCESSFUL INCLUSION OF 3-LITRE CARS AND GOOD PERFORMANCES BY H. C. HAMILTON (M.G. MAGNET’TE), A. H. L. ECCLES (BUGATTI), IVAN WALLER (ALVIS) AND R. F. TURNER (AUSTIN). THE three objections to the races at Donington Park, namely limit of capacity to 1,500 c.c., a dusty surface, and delay in carrying through the programme, have now all been dealt with, and the result was that the meeting held on the 19th August was a most successful affair. ” Donington Weather,” as Mr. Crauer, the active secretary, calls it, prevailed, and a large
number of entries provided sufficient runners even for the last event of the day. The only thing which marred the pleasure of either day were two serious accidents, one of which occurred in practice and -both due to errors of judgment on the part of the drivers, and liable to happen at any time when ambitious drivers. on fast cars are competing on a difficult course.
The first, and most serious accident occurred during the practice period in the morning of the race-day. P. J. Warren, driving a 11 litre Bugatti owned by the Junior Racing Drivers Club, covered his first lap quite safely and came down the hill past the paddock at a great pace. Over-correction of a skid on “Hairpin Corner” resulted in the car striking a tree on the opposite side of the road, and this caused the machine to turn over, pinning the crew beneath it. Warren was uninjured, but the unfortunate passenger, J. Gordon, died in the ambulance before reaching hospital. The races were all scratch events and cars were lined up in one or more rows with engines running. Proceedings opened at 2 p.m. with a 5 lap race for sports cars up to 850 c.c. In this and other sports events incidentally, only petrol-benzol was allowed. Mont1h4ry M.G. Midgets and supercharged cars were not eligible. Simister and Masters (J2 Midgets) got away ahead of the others, but when they
Everitt on the fast j2 which drives in Brooklands Mountain Races passed the other two. He increased lead to quarter of a mile on the second with the second and third cars close The leader’s speed was about 54 m.p.h. Simister fell out in the third lap and Grice came up into third place. Masters gained slightly in the last lap but Everitt comfortably retained his position.
850 c.c. Sports Oars. 5 laps. 1. Mr. G. Everitt (847 c.c. M.G. Midget), 12m.
1. Mr. G. Everitt (847 c.c. M.G. 12m. 44 2/5s. 51.5 m.p.h.
2. C. H. Maters (847 c.c. M.G. Midget), 12m. 48 4/5s.
3. J. R. (‘.rice (847 c.c.112.G. Midget), 12m. 49 4/5s.
4. H. Metchens (742 c.c. Austin), 13m. 50 1/58.
S. R. A. Jenson (McEvoy Morris Minor), 15m. 41 1/5s.
The second race was a similar event for Magnas, Hornets, Singer Nines and Rileys, other than Brooklands models.
Baker and Langley (Singers) were first away, closely followed by Derrington, who had made a last-minute entry on a two-seater McEvoy Hornet. These three reappeared in the same order, but errington had an unpleasant slide at Hairpin Corner. He was making great efforts to overhaul Langley, and did so on his second lap. The speed was given as approximately 54 m.p.h. He was again unsteady at the beginning of his third lap, but seemed to have steadied on his next circuit. He passed Baker on his 4th lap, but Baker regained the lead, and the McEvoy Hornet only just scraped in ahead of the second Singer.
RESULT. 1,250 c.c. Sports Cars. 5 laps. 1. J. R. H. Baker (972 c.c. Singer), 12m. 14 4/5s.
c.c. 53.5 m.p.h.
2. V. W. Derrington (1,250 c.c. Mc.Evoy Wolseley Hornet), 12m. 21 1/55.
3. A. H. Langley (972 c.c. Singer), 12m. 228.
4. D. W. Whiston (1,250 c.c. M.G. Magna), 13m. 35 1/5s.
Event 3 for cars supercharged or unsupercharged up to 850 c.c. attracted eight starters. R. F. Turner (Austin), who competed with some success in the first two Donington meetings, took the lead from Langley, now driving a supercharged M.G. Midget, followed by Tom Simister, on a J.2 Midget. R. R. Jackson lost over a minute through his car failing to start, but set off in pursuit at a great pace. When the ‘cars came round again, Tur ner was well ahead of Langley, and from then on this brilliant Austin driver was never challenged. His cornering was an object lesson in this difficult branch of racing technique, being in the nature of
slides perfectly controlled by means of the throttle. Simister retired after four laps, and Jackson was unable to catch Langley, finishing in third place.
RESULT. 850 c.c.8UPERCHARGED and UN8UPERCHARGED. 1. R. F. Turner c.c. S), Urn. 16
1. R. F. Turner (747 c.c. Austin, S), Urn. 16 4/5s. 58.1 m.p.h.
2. A. H. Langley (752 c.c. M.G., S), Urn. 42 1/5s.
3. R.. R.. Jackson (828 c.c. M.G., 5), l’2m. 36s.
4. J. R. Grim (847 c.c. M.G.), 12m. 55s.
5. P. B. Tanner (746 c.c. J3 M.G. Midget, S), 13m. 333.
The fourth race was a popular one, and two heats were run, with the faster cars in the first part.
Eccles, Moore, and Casswell, all on Frazer Nashes arrived at the Hairpin together, with Everitt (M.G.) and Smithson (Frazer Nash) just behind. They were even closer at the end of the first lap, and Smithson had passed Everitt. Yet again the bunch came round, with Moore, who had missed his gear at Coppice Corner, now third.
The cornering all round the course was hectic, and Casswell took the grass after Starkey’s corner without losing much ground, and Jucker also went wide.
Eccles maintained the lead, lapping at 56.2 m.p.h. Casswell was wild before the stands, and Smithson was overtaken by Everitt. Moore came in slowly and retired with plug trouble.
Eccles was going strongly and about to start his fourth lap when the pipe to his oil gauge broke, flooding the pedals and making it impossible to drive. Casswell thus took the lead, a comfortable distance ahead of Smithson and Everitt and held it to the finish.
The second heat was much less exciting. Langley (Singer) got away well, followed by Grice (32 Midget) and Holbrow (Riley). The next round Derrington (Wolseley Hornet) had overtaken the Riley and kept
his place on the following circuit. Langley’s mechanic was leaning well out and the car was excellently handled. The Riley retired, and the order remained unchanged.
The final order, as in the other events in the Donington meeting is determined by time, without running a final, and the place winners all came from the first heat.
RESULT. Unsupercharged Sports Cars up to 1,600 c.c. Slaps. 1. Gordon Casswell c.c. Frazer
1. Gordon Casswell (1,496 c.c. Frazer Nash), Urn. 9 2/5s. 58.8 m.p.h.
2. J. 0. Smithson (1,496 c.c. Fraser Nash), 12m. 3/5s.
3. W. G. Everitt (746 c.c. M.G.), 12m. 1 2/5s.
4. A. H. Langley (972 c.c. Singer), 12m. 6 3/5s.
5. J. B.. Grice (746 c.c. M.G.), 12m. 35s.
In the 5th race unsupercharged cars up to 1,100 c.c. were matched with supercharged ” 850’s ” Jackson had got his M.G. going properly, but Turner (Austin) and Langley (M.G.’) were close behind. The pace was too much for Langley who
got into a skid at Starkeys Corner. The car swung broadside then overturned and rolled over three times. The ambulance was quickly on the spot, and it was found that Langley was not badly hurt but that the mechanic, R. 0. Wilcoxson, a director of the Vale Motor Co., Ltd., was severely injured.
Undeterred by this Turner was making great efforts to pass Jackson, literally on two wheels on some of the corners. He got ahead on his second lap. Baker (Singer), Grice (M.G.) and Turner (M.G. J3) were keeping up the chase. Turner increased his lead in following
laps, and finished about 200 yards ahead of Jackson, the next two cars a long way behind.
RESULT. Up to 1,100 c.c. Unsupercharged 850 c.c. Supercharged. Slaps.
1. R. F. Turner (747 c.c. Austin, S), 11m. 9 3/5s. 58.9 m.p.h.
2. R. R. Jackson (832 c.c. M.G., S), 11m. 18 3/5s.
3. J. R.. Once (847 c.c. M.G.), 14m.
4. P. R. Turner (746 c.c. J3 M.G., S), 14m. 20s.
The lap record of 2 min. 10 3/5 secs. or 60.3 m.p.h. put up by Hutchison on the Bugatti at the first meeting had not yet been beaten, but the array of cars entered for the sixth race suggested that it might be. 22 cars appeared on the programme, but a number of them were already laid low, one of the most spectacular ” bothers ” being that of the Cooper Special which had a six inch hole in the crank-case, and a connecting rod we saw was coiled into a rather tight S bend. 15 vehicles were available, and after a considerable delay the cars in the first heat appeared on the road.
Turner on the Austin got away at a great pace, pursued by Hamilton on a Magnette, Jackson on the grey Midget and Casswell (Frazer Nash). After a pause came another mob of cars, and finally Martin’s Bugatti, which even at this stage of proceedings was only firing on three cylinders. Hamilton fell out after one round, and Mere, also on a Magnette, slipped into third place with Hutchison (Bugatti) in hot pursuit. The two leaders drew away from the third and fourth men. Hutchison made great efforts to pass Mere, but lacked the speed. Turner was driving as furiously as ever, and put up a lap of 2m. 10 1/5s., beating the record by 2/5 secs., a mar
vellous performance on the part of car and driver. The former holder of the record continued in fourth place, but at Starkey’s Corner he stopped and the carburetters took fire, luckily without much damage.
The second heat was well bunched, led by J. G. Smithson (Frazer Nash). Vickers and Mazengarb on Lea Francis cars were close together, the latter being wild on Coppice Corner. Behind thena were Brayshaw on the H.F.B. Special and Moor of Shelsley fame on the latest Wasp, a Brescia Bugatti. The crowd was followed by Wagstaff on the ” fire engine” red Lea Francis, now deprived of its step at the back.
Mazengarb retired after 1 lap so that Vickers and Brayshaw were second and third. On the third lap Vickers had gained on the leader while Wagstaff nearly came to grief at Coppice through his brakes locking. Coming up to Coppice Corner on his last lap, Smithson missed his gear, and it looked as though he might be overtaken by Vickers, This actually happened later at Coppice Corner, the Lea Francis crossing the finishing line about 30 yards ahead.
RESULT. Up to 1,500 c.c. Supercharged or Unsupercharged. 5 laps.
1. R. F. Turner (747 c.c. Austin, S), 10m. 59 1/5s. 59.8 m.p.h.
2. R. R. Jackson (832 c.c. M.G., S), Jim. 1 2/5s.
3. R. M. Mere (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnette, S), Ilm. 16s.
4. R. C. Vickers (1,496 c.c. Lea Francis, S), Jim. 32 3/Sc.
5. J. G. Smithson (1,496 c.c. Frazer Nash), Jim. 34 4/5s.
6. Gordon Casswell (1,496 c.c. Frazer Nash), lint. 35 4/5s.
7. H. F. Brayshaw (1,496 c.c. H.F.B. Special), 12m. 48s.
8. C. H. Wagstaff (1,500 c.c. Lea Francis, S), 13m. 5s.
9. C. E. C. Martin (1,496 c.c. Bugatti), 13m. 26s.
Event 7 allowed unsupercharged cars up to 2,500 c.c. to compete but as the last event had suggested, the extra capacity did not counterbalance the liveliness of the smaller cars. There were six starters, Ferranti’s bored out 2 litre straight-eight Bugatti, Brackenbury’s familiar 2 litre” Bug.” and Ivan ‘Waller’s Silver Eagle being in the large category.
Hamilton (Magnette) took the lead from the start, and was 50 yards ahead at Coppice Corner. Then came Jackson and Ferranti a car’s length apart, Brackenbury and Waller’s four-seater Alvis. On the second lap the order was the same, but Brackenbury’s Bugatti sounded unhappy and soon retired.
Hamilton was cornering very fast and with perfect judgment, and it was obvious that Jackson could not catch him. Ferranti too was dropping back, but made a great effort on the last lap, nearly colliding with Jackson at Coppice Corner, and finished a few yards behind.
RESULT. Up to 1,500 c.c. Supercharged and 2,500 c.c. Unsupercharged. Slaps.
1. H. C. Hamilton (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnette, 8), 10m .35 4/5s. 61.8 m.p.h.
2. R. R. Jackson (832 c.c. M.G. Midget, S), 11m. 5 2/5s.
3. D. L. de Ferranti (2,021 c.c. Bugatti), urn. 5 4/5s.
4. Ivan Waller (2,148 c.c. Alvis), 12m. Ss. In the last of the 5 lap events, cars up to 21 litres supercharged and 3 litres unsupercharged were allowed. From the opening of Donington one always wondered what speed the larger blown cars
could put up, but unfortunately the only one to start was Eccles’ 2.3 Bugatti. Mathieson did not arrive and Noel Carr reached Donington too late to practice, and was not allowed to run.
As one expected the first car round was the “2.3,” then Houldsworth (2 litre Bugatti) and Mere (Magnette), a gap, then Smithson and Waller, and finally Wagstaff’s red Lea Francis. Next lap Mere picked up a place, Waller was close behind Houldsworth, and Smithson was going slowly. Apparently he had lost a chain. Eccles and Mere maintained their position, but to everyone’s delight Waller on the 4 seater Alvis was actually challenging Houldsworth’s 2 litre Bugatti. He slid it round the corners in an astonish
ing way, once going off the road at the ” S ” bend between Coppice and Starkey Corners, without losing much distance. Houldsworth was still leading when they passed Starkey’s Corner on the last lap, but Waller had taken the corner much faster and passed the Bugatti, crossing the finishing line a few seconds ahead.
RESULT. Up to 3 litre Unsupercharged and 21 litre Supercharged.
I. A. H. I,. Eccles (2,263 c.c. Bugatti, S), ‘Ont. 53 1/5s. 60.3 m.p.h.
2. R. M. Mere (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnette, S), Ilm. 32 3/5s.
3. Ivan Waller (2,148 c.c. Alvis), 11m. 38 2/5s.
4. J. Houldsworth (1,955 c.c. 13ugatti), 11m. 401/5s.
5. C. H. Wagstaff (1,496 c.c. Lea Francis), 12m. 35g.
The last event of the day was a ten lap race with the same limits as the last and seven useful competitors lined up for it.
Once more Eccles led the way, followed at short intervals by R. R. Jackson (M.G.), Martin (Bugatti),Vickers (Lea Francis) and Hamilton (Magnette). The leader’s standing lap time was 2m. 8.2s., a new record, the previous one being made by Hamilton during the afternoon in 2m. 8.4s.
Hamilton’s second lap must have been pretty hectic, for he was close behind and it transpired that he had broken his own flying lap record with a time of 2m. 4s. or 63 m.p.h. Houldsworth (Bugatti) was next, having picked up three places, then Jackson and Waller. Hamilton was driving magnificently, absolutely steady on the corners, but Eccles realised the danger and increased his speed. Waller was still distinguishing himself by his inspired broadsiding. The car is of course not a Speed Twenty, but one of the older Silver Eagle type, and Waller’s magnificent driving was therefore all the more creditable. The race continued with Hamilton chasing Eccles, but at a slightly slower pace as he realised he could not catch the
Bugatti. Both drivers were using the grass at the beginning of Starkey’s Corner. Houldsworth by this time had dropped out, and Jackson and Waller had moved up into third and fourth places. Vickers (Lea Francis) was, however, close behind, and had caught the Alvis by the seventh lap. All the !drivers maintained their speed to the end, but there was no change in leadership.
Hutchison’s flying lap record was beaten by the two leaders on nearly all if not all the laps, a great performance, especially for Hamilton and his 1,100 c.c. Magnette. Jackson also drove extremely well, and like the other two beat the 10 lap record which stood at 22 min. 28 1/5 sec:
RESULT. 10 lap ram for cars up to 3 litres Supercharged v Unsupercharged.
1. A. Ir. L. Eccles (2,263 c.c. Bugatti, 8), 21m. 14 3/5s. 61.7 m,p.h.
2. H. C. Hamilton (1,086 c.c. M.G. Magnette, S), 21m. 26 1/5s. 2834. /R5s..R. Jackson (832 c.c. M.G. Midget, S), 22m.
4. R. C. Vickers (1,496 c.c. Lea Francis, S), 22m. 58 4/5s.
5. Ivan Waller (2,148 c.c. Alvis), 23m. 35s.