THE AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY RACES

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THE AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY RACES

AMUST Bank Holiday was a busy time for racing drivers, their mechanics, motor scribes and spr.tetators. Ott the Saturday the West Hants and Dorset. C.C. ran their meeting at the 2.2.-mile lbsley airfield circuit, kindly

lent to them by the Earl of Normanton and Mr. Simpson who farms there. The Club ran through an ambitious prttgramme very comfortably, race following rave with eontmendable promptitude,

a point remarked on by no less a celebrity that t’llarles Lytle from. the States. Alas. heavy rain fell that morning and the erowd wasn’t, large. Going dowo, most of us luid suffered at the hands of’ holiday (Irk ers motoring neither on the left-It:trot nor on the right-hand side of tin, road, laut going along the middle, at. 20 m.p.h. We thougla. we had been foolish to take the Southampton route to Ringwood, but an N.K 120 Jaguar which turned off to go into Winchester and via Romsey was still behind us as we turned together into the Ihsley car park. The first seven-lap race was for 750 blown, 11-litre tinblown bo/n/es, and Downing’s vintage-like Connaught went into the lead Wile!’ ii. petrol onion came loose on Jim. Nlayers’ Lester-M.G. Downing With comfortably front Allen in the clever Austin Lotus, with Pritchard, after smite slid), cornering, third in a Meadows-1-1.1t.G. Note that the Lotus .eontfortably heat the Iferg I In filet, 74t.was the litstest car up to 1,200 c.e., averaging 65.5 m.p.h. Parrott’s. Buckler

. lost, its coolant.

A seven-lap vintage-car handicap eamt next, Cuff-Miller’s Riley Nine wearing down the big had established by (‘aarlisle-s 1925 0.M., to lead from lap five. AxelBerg’s 16w-chassis -q Invieta failed to dispose of Qttarten t eat te’s ” 30/98 ” Vat t xhall, which finished third to ElwellSmitIt’s 1928 Astnii-Nlartin Behind, Huxhain in his ” new ” 1028-4/ Bentley had a title duel with Copeland’s 1928 61 Bentley, the former having the acceleration, the latter the brakes. Neither closed on Snteliffe’s 1929 4/ Bentley, which took the corners in a vast oversteer.

The bigger modern sports ears now indulged in a seven-lap race. Pitt in Jack Newton’s Frazer-Nash leading throughont, with Winterbottont, using many revs. in DttfCs sister-car, tailing him, after Tony Crook had retired from a packed first-lap with a locking brake. A more cautious Peaeoek, in another Frazer-Nash, was third. More class lap-records, one suspect s ! The 750 Fortnula A I Ni iflti IlOW had their sevenhipper, Clettareat’s Lotus winning, as

most, expect ed. after letting. Grimsley and West play leaders for a while. Only six ran, and Adamson retired. The first. twat (five laps) of the Forum In III race Wt• Wa ill led front the acute hairpia, where a gs(md toll was taken of marker cans. (Itteidentally, unlike Silverstone. lbsley didn’t fit jagged bits of tins to its cans, so the bloodthirsty were disappointed in the prospect of is eitanee

to take home human driver’s ears as souvenirs.) Don Parker Shed a wheel .front his J.I3.S. on the first corner, and Arengo spun atop It Can at ” our ” corner. Carter’s Cooper seized-up while leading, allowing LL-Col. Braid’s CooperNorton to win (and make fastest latch from Ifalin’s .1.13.S.-J.A.P. and John Cooper’s Cooper-Norton. The unblown sports cans Over 3 litres now had their seven-lap go, Sydney Allard’s Ctutillae-Allard standing no nonsense from anyone, winning at over 73 m.p.h.. a fraction slower tll:l11 Par,: earlier will in the ‘Nash. But the ifourse was now a bit wet. Watkin’s lesserAllard was runner-up, Wood’s XI

hew eltamielled ” Lagonda Ion I a great tussle with the inelined-to-rotate Allard of Bassett foal just wen it. Peter Collins won the next 500-e.e. heat from Brandon and Brise, both the winning J.11.8.-Norton and Brandon’s silver Cooper-Norton lapping at 73.3

A 10-lap racing-car race followed, and most exciting it proved, Merrick’s numx.-tail Cooper, which had a very special 1,132-c.c. Nor.-J.A.P. engine prepared by Robin Jaekson, leading strongly. until the clutch gave out., when MeAlpine’s attractive atanoposla Connaught took the lead, whotitog at not far short of 75 m.p.h. from Barber’s Cooper.1.A,P. 1,000 and Pitt in Newton’s sports FrazerNash, which headed such ears • as Winterbottom’s Frazer-Nash, also sports, Pefiefick’s ‘Nash, ditto, Moore’s 1950 H.t.V.:11., Simpson’s imposillg Rover14.!.V,. Sparrowe’s blown Morgan 4/4, which paused, the sick Merrick Cooper and Dowling’s now-slow Connauglit. Connaught. first and last !

So to the big race of the day, the 20lap over-500 c.c. Ilfteittg Car (“Wilt. Charles Lytle enjoyed seeing stalt old friends as Hamilton’s ex-(*ot LI VII ‘KR .A.. Goodhew’S P3 Alfa-Rotneff. t hte Aymon Bugatti, Poore’s 3.8 Alfa-Ititmeo, the Rob Walker Delage and the Margulies’ Talbot.

Poore and Roll in the Delage had -a fine scrap and Tony led on lap 11, only to stop promptly on lap 13 with valve trouble. The race then straggled a bit, Poore winning at 76.77 m.p.h., although Reit lapped fastest, at 781 m.p.h. McAlpine’s Connaught was second, Winterbottom’s sports-style ‘Nash third. The 500s had their 15-lap Final, in rain-showers, and although Peter Collins spun at the hairpin he recovered splendklly and J.B.S. led Brandon’s Cooper. Then Loerts’ J.B.S.-Norton, in spite of being a bit of a handful, pipped Brandon and red-Erie had to be content, with third place. They do sits, he didn’t care about this and protested that Locus’ little motor-car got in his way. Lots of people spun at the now-slippery hairpin, but Moor’s Wasp contrived to find a path through the earls and R. B. Brown’s Cooper came in fast., possessed of good brakes, likewise John Cooper. Brise, too, took this corner well and Watkins in the Emeryson was as fast, but rougher

on his cogs. Whitehouse spun, and put his tongue Oat at delighted friends; and Cooper just lost his duel with Dryden.

The last race was the fastest, Merrick’s now-revived Cooper Nor.-.1.1.P. winning at 77.16 m.p.h.. from Moore’s 11.W.M. and Downing’s Connaught. Margulies seized-np his Talbot. anil Willis tried to cope with three sticking throttles on his B.M.W.-Bristol with the ignition switch, but came to a standstill. Merrick set theRisley lap-re.cord to 79,83 m.p.h.— and the course was still slippery. Results on page 434. So ended it very enjoyable meether. To get home we followed tom, tr-ooaeltes at 40.m.p.h. for eight Miles tido Sa iSI n ry. After that MO was clear of littlifttty dawdlers and, although we didn’t harry unduly, never exceeding 70 m.p.h., being for once possessed of a oost-race headache, and altlkOngli We had to Itrake hard at times for hogging oneomers and met the traffic again. !laying for groundnuts, front the I tasingst oke It-Pass onwards, the Morgan Phis FUllr contrived to average 48 m.p.h. frkiin Salist airy to !fart:ley 1-trim.; wy. II ei, lentally—and this has even less to do with the Bank I foliday races (!)—why does Salisbury take drivers round its eonotles. fatt•-way iviteuti by admirably clear signs, confront them wit It a ” left. for Shaftesbury, right for Stoekbriilge ” sign and then refrain in any way front indicating the, obscure left-hand turn, which might be a cal-desae, to the latter road ? We circulated twoieeti

Illank Holiday Monday we had an assignment at Brands Hatch. Here the rain started and it. fell all day, so that literally we were soaked to the skin watching the outboard motor-boat, sorry, 500 c.c. car racing at the Stadium.

This International Meeting was sponsored by the Dully Telegraph and a big crowd attended. Most of the spectators stuck it out, too, to the bitter end, the prudent beneath umbrellas of various lutes and sizes, the rest getting wetter and wetter, but at least no more so than those on the holiday beaches. The route out of the car park became a trials ” section ” and the racing, in the absence of a Press box or tent, almost impossible to ” log.”

In the initial heat Street’s C.R.M. spun off at Paddock bend, the tirst of many (!) and gradually 1)on Parker’s .1.11.5. wore down lien Carter’s Cooper And passed, to win at the wet-day average of 52.08 m.p.h. In the

next heat. Loens established such a big lead in his .1.B.S. that he did not kifie it even when he rotated at Paddock bend.

EeeleStone made a bid to hold hint early on, but spun off on the lower straight.

The Arengo displayed great acceleration here, but went MT at the ettmer, Rogers’ Cooper finishing second, Blane’s J.P. third. The rain increased and Cars spun off at all points of the one-mile circuit, some even on their warming-up lap I The loose earth bordering the course pulled them up quickly in every case arid miraculously even those spinning in mioltrack were avoided by the drivers behind them, so no accidents happened, although the number of incidents and “phenomena avoidanees ” must have been an alltime record. Big Bill Whitehouse built up a big lead in heat three, Lewis-Evans second, Nurse third, and in heat four Pelting, whose over-steer cornering in the f.w.d. Emeryson-J.A.P. was a feature of the meeting, the car very stable, won at as much as 51.44 m.p.h. from Brandon and Leston. Eric let Leston by for a lap to please the sodden public and then got pipped himself by Pelting. Pepperson got his smart Effyh into fourth place. The massed starts were hectic and on this occasion Dryden’s J.B.S. went right round, narrowly missed by those behind,

As usual, however, the Continentals were no match for our lads, although the f.w.d. Dila cornered steadily in understeer style like the Emeryson.

The 10-lap heats were run with commendable promptitude, but the programme ran late, due to the lower speeds, and to meet B.B.C. timing the 40-lap Final of the Daily Telegraph International Trophy Race was run off with two heats of the Open Challenge Race annul. AS this was an International event, and to let John Bolster get over his preliminary words, this had to be held back to start exactly as billed—the Brands Hatch public showed that it knew nothing of International regulations and blew a cacophony on its cars’ horns. The race itself was rather dull, a pool of water on the course affecting engines, more cars spinning off, including Parker’s .1.13.5., and the field stringing out into a cautious procession. Pelling’s Emeryson shed a suspension rubber early on. This was smartly retrieved by Barclay Inglis. The car appeared to do quite nicely without it. Pelting passing others at speed, until he finally had a super gyration near Paddock bend. Through it all Whitehouse motored his official team Cooper-Norton to a welldeserved victory, Rogers’ Cooper-J.A.P. second and Pugh’s Cooper-J.A.P. third. Under the circumstances Big Bill’s average of a mere 501 m.p.h. cannot be criticised. The celebrations were of the kind you see only at Brands Hatch, and great fun, too.

After which racing was abandoned at the suggestion of R.A.C. Steward, S. C. Davis, as the course was waterlogged. It had been a day which showed who can and who cannot control 500-c.c. racers in rain, so the results on page 434 are of especial interest.

So for home. We put the Morgan’s hood down. When you cannot get any wetter, why not ? A colleague went to Gamston and reports as follows •

Organised by the Nottingham Sports Car Club, the races at Garrtston, on the two-mile triangular circuit on the aerodrome, received an entry of a high standard, and in spite of the wet weather a large crowd of spectators turned out to watch. The meeting was interesting in the way the various events were made up, for the first two were for sports ears, events 8 and 4 for racing ears and events 5 and 6 handicap events for the successful cars in the previous scratch races. By dividing the sports cars into two classes, the first

up to 1,050 c.c. and the second from 1,951 c.c. onwards, it meant that fasterthan-average 2-litre cars, in particular 13.M.W.s and Frazer-Nashes of 1,971 c.c., ran with the larger ears, and the arrangement proved very satisfactory.

Although the 1,767-c.c. Connaught of W. Lee proved uncatehable in event 1, a very fine scrap ensued for second place between an interesting group of 1,230-c.c. M.G.s and a wider” variation on a theme” would be hard to find. This group consisted of Reece (Cooper-M.G.), Dalton (ex-Phillips ” Le Mans ” ” Tc M.G.) and Shipside (” TD ” M.G. Special), the result being three ears of identical ability and they finished in that order, closely bunched.

Due to a large entry, the over 1,951-e.e. sports ears were divided into two separate events and the first, won by Peter Collins (Cadillac-Allard), was notable for Walton’s ” Le Mans” Fraser-Nash keeping well ahead of three XK120 Jaguars and Ifitching’s Cadillac-Allard, the actual Le Mans car. The first Jaguar to finish, in third position, was that of C. H. Swain, The second part of this event saw a good race between Holt, Howarth and Swift with ” fast ” Jaguars, with Newton’s ” Le Mans” Fraser-Nash mixing in with them until he spun. Highlight was undoubt edly provided by Greenall, who kept his 35C Bugatti comfortably on the tail of the leading group, and finishing ahead of Newton, after his incident. From the start at Gamston the return leg along the main runway is visible, and it was interesting to see that the Bugatti was losing nothing on speed to the Jaguars.

The first of the purely racing-car events was for ” 500S ” and gave Peter Collins a runaway win in his J.B.S.-Norton, while Bob Gerard drove a typical Gerard race into second place with his CooperNorton. Much of the spice of this event was gone by the non-appearance of Dryden, Brown and Brandon, who were featured in the programme. Event 5 was the big race of the day for the Percy Andrew Trophy and 1100 for racing cars Formula Libre, and a very fine collection of out-of-date machinery came to the line to provide a stirring event. Reg. Parnell, driving Raymond Mays’ 2-litre E.R.A,, was uncatehable, proving that old R4D can still compete effectively in events of more than 40 seconds’ duration, while Gerard in his

E.R.A. beat Poore’s Alfa-Romeo. Walton on the 1949 model H.W.-Alta had a good scrap with Tyrer’s ” Mille Miglia” 13.M.W., now entered as a racing car and arriving by Van, and both Of these cars kept in front as did Ashmore driving the ex-Bira E.R.A.” 11a.nnuman.” Merrick was going well on the 1,132-c.c. Jackson-Special Cooper, until a pit stop caused him to drop back, and Booker (1,100-e.e. Cooper-J.A.P.) kept in sight of Hampshire (13.1A E.R.A.) and Graham Whitehead (E.R.A.). Parnell’s driving of the E.R.A. was most consistent and his speed down the hill to the start most impressive. He had tried to persuade a B.R.M. out of Bourne for this race but, though ” they had done their best, it was not possible,” to quote official annou neements !

The big race of the day had been put in the middle of the meeting deliberately to allow spectators to leave early if they so desired, and for those who stayed, which was a very large number, two handicap events were run. The first consisted of the 10 fastest cars up to 1,950 e.e. and the IQ fastest over that capacity, handicapping being on lap times in the scratch races. Newton was given a rather generous start and, making full use of it, he romped through the field. There was such a mixture of ears circulating, from ” TC ” ;11.G.S to CadillacAllards, that. the official R.A.C. timekeeper had his work cut out to keep pace ; however, everyone was eventually flagged in and the results sorted out.

The Second handicap event and last race of the day was for the 10 fastest ” 500s ” and 10 fastest. Formula Libre cars. Admittedly the rain was very steady but in view of the number of spectators who remained, one would have thought the faster ears would have made an appearance. As it was Only four of the Formula Libre ears started, these stalwarts being Poore, Whitehead, Tyrer and Walton, the remainder of the field being ” 500s,” though not including the star men, Collins and Gerard. With the leading ” 500s” over one and a half laps in front, Poore was still on the line and when he eventually got away it was obvious that he had little hope of winning, and it is a tribute to his tine sportsmanship that he drove as hard as he could, eventually finishing fifth. Without a doubt Poore was the hero of the very wet day even though he was beaten by two E.R.A.s in the scratch event. To watch the big Alfa passing Coopers along the runway, silhouetted on the skyline, was as fine an impression of speed as anyone could wish for, and those who stayed to the end must have been well satisfied.