A GREAT RACE AT ZANDVOORT
” Bird s” Maserati Just Holds Off Rolt’s Alfa-Romeo
E-Type E.R.A. Non-Starts G.P. Alta Retires
S01VIE 100,000 spectators watched the impeccably organised racing at Zandvoort. Ironically, in this invitation event for British drivers, with an entry of over 50 per cent. British cars, Italian cars took the first four places, and the race was won by a Siamese driver. ” Bira ” drove in his usual stylish, confident manner and won both his heat and the final, the latter after a titanic struggle to keep ahead of Roll’s unblown 3.4-litre Maserati. Although ” Bira’s ” 16-valve ii-litre Maserati did not sound quite 100 per cent. fit, its driver’s skill gained it the race. Johnson’s E-type E.R.A., nonstarted after shock-absorber trouble and sand in the supercharger, Parnell drove his Maserati instead of his E-type, while the G.P. Alta had valve trouble in its heat. Heat 1 went to Parnell’s Maserati at 74.63 m.p.h., Roll’s Alfa-Romeo being 3.7 sec. behind and Bolster’s E.R.A. third, Bolster making fastest lap, at 79.54 m.p.h. Hutchison, Ansell, Baring and Bear all qualified, but Harrison’s E.R.A. retired with a half-shaft broken, and Abecassis° G.P. Alta NA ith valve trouble. Heat 2 was ” Bira’s,” at 74.44 m.p.h. and he also set fastest lap of the day, at 81.84 m.p.h. Hampshire’s E.R.A. finished second, 59.2 sec. behind, Duncan Hamil
ton’s ex-Abecassis Maserati third, while Ashmere, Brooke, Watson, Chorlton and Salvadori all qualified. Salvadori’s 4-cyl. Maserati and Walker’s E.R.A. with gearbox trouble, failed to finish, the latter after a magnificent drive.
Already some cars were feeling the strain, Chorlton’s Bugatti having carburation difficulties, Brooke’s E.R.A. no oil pressure. All lined up, however, for the 108-mile final. Parnell’s 4CL Maserati, Rolt’s Alfa-Romeo and Bolster’s ex-” Bira” B-type E.R.A. were in the front row, ” Bira’s ” 4CL Maserati with Hutchison’s Alfa-Romeo, Hampshire’s A-type E.R.A., Hamilton’s 6C Maserati and Ashmore’s A-type i.f.s. E.R.A., Ansell’s B-type E.R.A., with Brooke’s B-type E.R.A., Baring’s 6C Maserati, Bear’s ” 3.8 ” Bugatti and Watson’s Alta behind, with Chorlton’s i.f.s. Bugatti last of all. As the flag fell Rolt led away, Parnell and “Bira” close behind him. “Bira” was second ere lap one was over, and he took the lead on lap three. Thereafter a classic struggle ensued, ” Bira ” apparently not entirely happy about his car, for he slowed, Rolt, driving as well as if he had never spent years in a prisoner of war camp, not having quite the speed, certainly not enough braking power, to pass “Bira.” Behind, Brooke held third place, then came in for oil, Bolster retired with engine trouble, Chorlton’s Bugatti clearly wanted to stop. At 22 laps ” Bira ” had 8 sec. lead, at 23 only sec. advantage. After the 24th lap Rolt was within 5 sec. The crowd simply loved it. This was motor-racing
as it should be The Maserati was faster along the straights, but just could not pull right away—not even with the Alfa-Romeo a mere 8 see. behind. So it continued to the end, when the two cars were virtually level. “Bira,” not daring to change up and appreciably exceeding his rev limit, just poked the Maserati over the line first, by what the impartial judges declared was a length’s lead. In sober fact ” Bira ” was 1/10th of a sec. ahead, his average 73.24 m.p.h., Rolt’s given as exactly the same ! Stupendous ! ” Bira ” made fastest lap at 77.86 m.p.h. Freddie Dixon must be very proud, for the unblown 8-carburetter Alfa-Romeo all but held the blown Maserati and is said to go as fast now as when it was supercharged. Parnell came strongly into third place, 1.1 sec. after Rolt. Watson’s Alta retired. Hutchison had only top gear for most of the race. Ferodo brake and clutch linings, Lodge plugs and Dunlop tyres were used by the place-men.