A REVIEW OF THE CRYSTAL PALACE MEETING OF AUGUST 13TH.
SOME very excellent racing resulted at the Composite Meeting held at the Crystal Palace circuit on August 13th. For once we watched the racing from the public enclosare and found that a . really excellent view is obtainable, as the road comes close to the palisades. From the hill by Fisherman’s Corner it is possible to find a place at which to see the cars take the interesting bends up Fisherman’s Rise, and still, by a little hasty hiking, see the leaders sweep round Stadium Dip and Stadium Curve to the finish. Aided by the shortness of the races, the Crystal Palace score-boards work very efficiently, and the broadcast commentary is also good, though synchronisation is open to improvement. Before the first race the announcer gave us a lecture on goggles, raising a point new to us, namely, that nervous riders lower their goggles too early, and find that they
mist over. This pre-race commentary effectively worked up interest amongst the onlookers. The public did not appear very intelligently versed in the sport it was paying :1:-a head to attend. The first event was the 10-lap 20-mile solo motor-cycle race, won by K. Bills (365 c.c. Norton) at 54.67 m.p.h. A 10mile 3-lap sidecar race followed, won by Ratcliffe’s 490 c.c. Norton at 48.91 m.p.h. —incidentally, it is noteworthythat motor-bicycle racing is healthy enough in spite of Norton Supremacy. We then had the very interesting 20-mile sportscar race, handicapped on the class system—another Harry Edwards in novation Rolt’s 2-litre Aston-Martin, and Wakefield’s 31-litre Delahaye were non-starters, leaving the field as follows : Miss Stanley-Turner’s famous PB M.G., with white painted tyres, Cooper-Harewood’s M.G. Midget, A. C. Dobson’s fourcylinder 11-litre Riley, Miss Morel’s blown M.G. Midget, Peter Clark’s Le Mans H.R.G., Shaw’s blown M.G., Warnes’s 11-litre Aston-Martin, Pane’s Frazer-Nash-B.M.W., Abecassis with a blown 11-1itre Alta, Aitkens’s new Type 328 B.M.W., Gammon’s blown 2-litre Alta—a Most imposing road Motor— Loader and Mitchell with 21-litre S.S. 100s, Freddie Clifford with ” Taso ” Itlathieson’s 3.3-litre Type 57 13ugatti, Lewis’s blown 2.3-litre Monza .Alf a, and Hawley’s blown 2.3-litre Alfa. Drivers had to run to their cars, lower hoods, and start on the ” electrikery.” Miss Turner beat HarewoOd in an excellent start, and of the other groups Shaw led Miss Morel, Aitken led the Alta, and the Thugatti led the big stuff. After a lap the order was : HarewoodCooper (M.G.), Miss Turner (M.G.) and Shaw (M.G.). Soon Miss Turner’s and Miss Morel’s cars went sick. After fontlaps Dobson led Shaw and Pane, but Pane turned round at the Ramp bend and by lap five Abecassis had Bennett’s Alta in third place. Fane was doing all he knew how, the B.M.W. sliding out of the bends, but Dobson steadily increased his lead. :Mitchell’s SS., with big black cat mascot, was slow and the big fellows were having an immense scrap, Hawley leading Lewis, who indulged in the most furious cornering tactics, while the Bug, just could not get through along the straights. On lap 6 the Alta was second, and Pane third. On the last lap but one the B.M.W. passed the Alta, but at Stadium Curve a rear tyre burst and Pane
was out. So Arthur Dobson won with the .very businesi-like Riley, which he droveto the course, at 51. t9 m.p.h., Abecassis and the Alta being second at 50.81 m.p.h. and Aitken’s B.M.W. third, Shaw’s M.G. fourth, Clark’s H.R.G. fifth, and Hawley’s Alfa, sixth. The Crystal Palace Cup Race for racingcars over 30 miles was a truly great scrap. Appleton ran his newly modified 1,089 c.c. Appleton-Special, Stuart Wilton the blown M.G., Cud.don-Fletcher the Parnell M.G., J. H. T. Smith his M.G., Aitken the Maserati Six, Arthur Dobson his famous white E.R.A., :1.4aclure his unblown
1,987 c.c. Riley, Rolt his E.R.A., Hanson the Maserati, Abecassis his 11-litre Alta with twill rear wheels, Tongue his E.R.A., Beadle in his new 2-litre Alta, as described in MOTOR SPORT last month and still unpainted, Avelmrv his older 11-litre Alta and Wakefield his new E.R.A. The nature of the struggle is clearly told by the lap positions of the leaders :-
Lap 1. Appleton, Fletcher, Smith, Wilton, Dobson, Abecassis, Rolt.
Lap 2. Appleton, Fletcher, Smith, Wilton, Abecassis, Dobson, Rolt.
Lap 3. Appleton, Fletcher, Smith, Wilton, Abecassis, Dobson, Rolt.
Lap 4. Appleton, Fletcher, Smith, Wilton, Abecassis, Rolt, Dobson.
Lap 5. Fletcher, Smith, Wilton, Abecassis, Rolt, Dobson, Appleton.
Lap 6. Fletcher, Smith, Wilton, Abecassis, Rolt, Dobson, Appleton.
Lap 7. Fletcher, Smith, Wilton, Abecassis, Rolt, Dobson, Wakefield.
Lap 8. Fletcher, Smith, Wilton. Abecassis, Rolt, Dobson, Wakefield.
Lap 9. Fletcher, Smith, Rolt, Abecassis, Wilton, Dobson, Wakefield.
Lap 10. Roll, Abecassis, Fletcher, Smith, Wilton, Dobson, Wakefield.
Lap 11. Rolt, Abecassis, Fletcher, Smith, Wilton, Dobson, Wakefield.
Lap 12. Rolt, Abecassis, Fletcher, Smith, Wilton, Dobson, Wakefield.
Lap 13. Rolt, Abecassis, Fletcher, Smith, Dobson, Wakefield, Wilton.
Lap 14. Abecassis, Rolt, Wakefield, Dobson, Smith.
Last round : Abecassis, Rolt, Wakefield, Dobson, Smith. Those who know the Palace circuit will appreciate what a titanic battle it was. Appleton, whose car poured out fuel at the start, lost a push-rod and retired. The M.G.s were close bunched for a long while, Smith doing hectic passing at times. The above positions were checked just beyond Big Tree Bend. Abecai3is used hill-climb tactics with his twin rear wheels to great effect, and it was good that Alta won. The average was 56.69 m.p.h. Rolt, however, drove magnificently and it was wretched hick that his E.R.A. went sick on lap 13.. We have it from Geoffrey Taylor that he gave Abecassis all the room he needed, and it is possibly this desire not to obstruct that led him to hang onto third gear as long as possible, which may have caused the trouble. Abecassis was quite wild at times, as were several others. Beadle turned his Alta round at Big Tree Bend on lap 13, stalling the engine. Officials were none too prompt in removing the car, and afterwards pushed poor Beadle about the course in what looked rather a risky manner. Abecassis had time to acknowledge Beadle as he passed. Rolt pulled away from the Alta on the straights and it is possible that twin tyres on the
Alta were of less value then. Rolt actually passed the Alta inside on a bend, quite permissibly. Machtre vanished for a long Utile, afterwards driving fast. At the start there was little to choose between Dobson and Abecassis, but the E.R.A. finally drew away.