HADLEY'S GREAT WIN AT THE PALACE

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36

11ADLEIF’S GREAT WIN AT TILE . PALACE

IT was too much to expect that everything would be absolutely normal at the Crystal Palace onSaturday,August 26th—the day many people believed to be zero hour for the Second World War. The demands of national service of some or other thinned the crowd down to a shadow of the usual attendance, and there were absentees among the competitors, too.

There were eight starters in the first ten-lap heat of the Imperial Trophy. Hadley (Austin) easily out-distanced his fellow limit-men, and on his practice times was obviously going to win. He was assisted still further towards this goal when three out of the four scratch men got themselves into difficulties. Aitken, his most likely rival, had a misfiring engine as lte Nvaited for the flag, and at the last moment the engine stopped altogether. Abecassis (Alta), skidded and crashed into the new pallisade at Stadium Dip, snapping the top tube of his front axle in two and wrenching off a back wheel. This left Brooke and Kenneth Evans to continue the chase, but Brooke dropped back with a misfiring engine. Evans managed to push his green AlfaRomeo past Esplen and Parnell, but could not catch Stuart-Wilton, who finished second about half a minute behind the utterly irrepressible Hadley. W. D. Castello (Austin), I. H. Nickols and J. H. T. Smith (M.G.$) and E. Winterbottom (Alta) were the limit men in the second heat, but it was difficult to fancy their chances against Mays, Dobson, and .Maclure, the scratch trio. Maclure made

the quickest getaway of the scratch men, but once Mays had got the 2-litre properly on the move, all he had to do was to tread on the accelerator and sail past into the lead. Dobson made a wretched start— this part of the business does not seem his strong point—and was left on the line for a clear second or two. On the second lap he caught Maclure, and a lap later he was on the tail of the black 2-litre E.R.A., coming right up on the corners and only falling back on the straights through sheer lack of the necessary “urge.” Mays and Dobson both passed Nickols on the seventh lap, after which it was all over bar the shouting, Mays crossing the line 4.6 secs. in front of the smaller E.R.A. Sixteen cars lined up for the Imperial Plate. A. W. Jones led off with the Singer and looked as though he might win for

the first few laps. Then it became apparent that L. G. Johnson (FrazerNash-B.M.W.) and Abecassis, on the 2litre Alta he recently acquired from Cowell, were both tnakirg rapid headway, and on the last lap he succumbed to them both. Abecassis drove an extremely well-judged rare and got home in front of Johnson by about 3 secs. H. C. Hunter was disappointingly slow with the famous red 2.9-litre Alfa-Romeo. Then the Vintage vehicles took the track, six of them in all, varying from C. W. Rowe’s single-cylinder Swift to R. G. J. Nash’s 15-litre Lorraine-Dietrich. This time there was a splendid finish, Nash bearing down on Rowe and Hampton (Bugatti) at great speed and

just failing to catch the -latter, who thus won the Vintage Cup Race for the second time in succession. The final of the Imperial Trophy was Hadley all the way. In fact the venenous-sounding little green Austin became quite ’embarrasing, and actually caught and passed Evans’s Alfa-Romeo and Maclure’s ‘Riley who were supposed to be giving it a start ! The car has never gone better, and Hadley has never driven. more brilliantly, which is saying a good deal. Once again Mays and Dobson had a good scrap, but neither of them were lapping fast enough to catch Hadley with his seven seconds a lap start. Their duel came to an end when Mays came in, slowly, gesticulating and pointing downwards to a rear wheel, which had appar

ently suffered a puncture. Dobson carried on, driving splendidly, and passed the whole field with the exception of Hadley, who finished 1 mm. 13.9 secs. in. front—an astonishing performance.

In view of the multiplicity of passes available at the Palace, it would he much better, in our opinion, if the Continental system of checking them were adopted. A notice board is placed at the entrance of every enclosure — pits, paddock, starting grid, etc.—bearing a copy of all the passes which grant admittance to that particular enclosure.

If this too much trouble—in actual fact it is very simple—please, Mr. Edwards can we have a little politeness from your minions ?