Peter Collins/Pat Griffith Aston-Martin DB3 Wins “News of the World” 9-Hour Sports-Car Race. Privately owned Ferraris 2nd & 3rd in Dramatic Finale. Type C Jaguars in Trouble.
Ever enterprising, on August 16th the B.A.R.C. very effectively turned Goodwood into an excellent representation of the Sarthe for the 3 p.m. to 12 midnight sports-car race sponsored by the News of the World. Pits, illuminated after dark, were erected before the Paddock, lights twinkled on the stands and, behind the pits, refreshments were served in true Le Mans style. This, the first race with a night-spell to he run in England, was voted excellent training for Le Mans. Entries were limited to 30 and the Continental element must be written down as disappointing—it was confined to Levegh`s famous Talbot and Hollming’s XK120. What a race it could have been with Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Alfa-Romeo and Gordini sending “works” entries! Perhaps next year? Actually, the only British manufacturers‘ team entries were those of Aston-Martin and Jaguar. But a novelty is always pleasing and that a great race resulted cannot be denied. The organisation was truly first class, with continuous commentary, illuminated scoreboards, and the corners not only picked out by lit signs but by yellow/blue lamps used in lieu of flag signals—Lucas did a splendid job in this sphere of the illuminations. The prizes, including 1,000 gns. for the winner, were presented by Mrs. W. Emsley Carr under floodlights, with fireworks lighting the night sky. All very much in the John Morgan tradition—and we hope for a 12 or 24-hour race next year. This year’s race could hardly have been better staged, or more interesting to the very end. The starters were:—
Up to 1,500 c.c.: Mayers/Keen, Ruddock/Peacock, Leston/Line (Lester-M.G.s) Davis/Coombs, Leonard/Annable (Cooper-M.G.s), Gibbs/Heal, Blakeley/Findlater (Le Mans H.R.G.s). 1,500-3,000 c.c.: Parnell/Thompson, Abecassis/Poore, Collins/Griffith (Aston-Martin D.B.3s), Clarke/Faulkner (Aston-Martin D.B.2), Baird/Salvadori, Cole/Whitehead (2.7 Ferraris), Gerard/Clarke, Mitchell/Scott-Russell, Stoop/Wilson, Crook/Jacobs (Frazer-Nashes), Meyer/Fotheringham Parker (H.W.M.), Lamb/Going, Boston/Shattock (Silverstone Healeys). Over 3,000 c.c.: Moss/Walker, Rolt/Duncan Hamilton, Whitehead/Stewart (Jaguar Cs), Hume/Thomas, Curtis/Fairman (Allards), Levegh/Etancelin (4½ Talbot), Swift/Heath, Hollming/Laurent, Boshier/Black (Jaguar XK120s), Goodhew/Wright (1935 4½ Lagonda). The Parnell D.B.3 was a 2.9, Curtis took the Le Mans Allard. Hume’s Allard had gauze bonnet sides and four intake “funnels,” Hollming’s, Jaguar was left-hand drive.
After a torrential cloudburst had left the scene damp, and the track wet, rain fell sharply again as the drivers lined up for the Le Mans-type start. Clearly a test lay ahead for the Resmat cold asphalt surface of the Goodwood circuit!
Moss handed his goloshes to “Lofty” England, the Union Jack fell, and they were away:—
The three Type C Jaguars were in line, followed by the Le Mans Allard, rapidly passed by Parnell, then Levegh, Hollming, Collins and the rest—save Abecassis, whose Aston-Martin faltered. At the end of lap one the order was: Rolt, Moss, Parnell, Whitehead, Levegh, Fairman, Collins, Cole, Swift, Gerard, Crook, Hume a gap, then Stoop, Hollming, Lamb, Mayers, Mitchell, Baird, Leston, Abecassis Meyer, Davis, Boshier, Ruddock, Goodhew, Clarke, Leonard, Blakeley, Gibbs Boston.
Next time round Parnell’s short-tailed 2.9 D.B.3 was second, and very soon he led Rolt, Moss and Abecassis, averaging 73.75 m.p.h. after three-quarters of an hour. Hume stopped to tighten the Allard’s bonnet-strap. After only 20 minutes Lamb’s Healey (with strip wings) retired with a run big-end. Gibbs mowed down lots of the chicane fence with his H.R.G., Baird was going great guns, Swift had run onto the grass once at Woodcote, and Parnell was doing his best to draw Rolt and Moss into high-speed lappery.
4 p.m.–1st: Parnell (Aston-Martin), 74.06 m.p.h.; 2nd: Rolt (Jaguar); 3rd: Abecassis (Aston-Martin).
Leonard’s Cooper-M.G. sat at its pit, while the steering column support was repaired. HolIming was slow and, puzzled by Wisdom’s vigorous blue-flagging, actually stopped by the chicane. Moss grazed the chicane wall. The gallant old Lagonda lost time while a new water pump was fitted. Abecassis rammed the D.B.2 but both continued. The compulsory changes of driver took place, Collins handing over to Griffith and 15 gallons of fuel going into the D.B.3. The Hollming Jaguar required attention to its throttle linkage and had clutch slip. As Clarke took over Gerard’s Frazer-Nash ten gallons were put in. Hume stopped at Madgwick, and here Jaguar suffered their first blow, for Peter Whitehead crashed badly, escaping injury but damaging the Type C and a spectator. Line took over Leston’s Lester-M.G., five gallons of fuel and some oil going in calmly in 67 sec. Poore had damaged the front of his D.B.3 but seemed untroubled.
5 p.m. — 1st: Moss/Walker (Jaguar), 76.23 m.p.h.; 2nd: Rolt/Hamilton (Jaguar); 3rd: Parnell/Thompson (Aston-Martin).
With two out of the nine hours run the pits began to receive more custom. Findlater took over Blakeley’s H.R.G. after five gallons of fuel had been put in, and Jacobs likewise took over Crook’s Frazer-Nash after it had been oiled and fuelled. Same again as Black took Boshier’s Jaguar. Claps came from the packed stands as Leonard completed repairs to the scrutineers’ satisfaction and his Cooper-M.G. resumed. The Le Mans Allard retired at Levant with a broken drive-shaft, and Stoop’s Mille Miglia Frazer-Nash shed a wheel at Madgwick. The short, tiring circuit was taking its toll! Levegh had been slow in the rain and wasn’t really fast now, with the course dry.
Findlater found oil pressure failing and limped in with the hardsprung H.R.G., and the other Allard required a front wheel aligning and its wing wired up at the change-over. The Lagonda was going again, Wright finding its light tail even more unmanageable than its owner does. At 5.45 p.m. poor Levegh was out, the Talbot breaking a half-shaft. The two remaining Type C Jaguars had pulled out two laps lead over the Parnell D.B.3, which sounded a little unwell, when Thompson brought the car in to hand back to Reg. A mechanic refuelled it with more enthusiasm than discretion and it caught fire in a big way. Parnell jumped clear, Thompson scrambled out, but John Wyer, Sopp and Lownes were removed with bad burns. The blaze destroyed the car before an ugly situation was got under control with small extinguishers and sand. A bitter blow—and we are surprised Aston-Martin did not know how much fuel to put in without filling the funnel, did not use a support for the funnel, and did not have their own fireman standing by. Did they not rehearse refuelling by churn? Somehow the ambulance was got across the course and Parnell took charge of the pit in Wyer’s absence.
6 p.m. — 1st: Rolt/Hamilton (Jaguar), 77.55 m.p.h.; 2nd: Moss/ Walker (Jaguar); 3rd: Baird/Salvadori (Ferrari).
The Aston-Martin situation looked none too healthy, for here was the red Baird Ferrari leading the class by a clear lap, to a high-pitched scream of tyres on the corners, with Abecassis fourth, but Cole’s blue and white Ferrari fifth ahead of Collins’ Aston-Martin. Moreover, at 6.13 p.m., Abecassis’ car, taking on five gallons, was delayed by a jammed starter. In the 1,500-c.c. class Mayers’ Lester-M.G. had two laps lead over Davis’ Cooper-M.G., with Leston’s Lester-M.G. third on the same lap. Gerard resumed his Frazer-Nash at 5.21 p.m. after five gallons had gone in, the resolute Alta-engined H.W.M. took 46 sec. off for some oil, and Collins took over from Griffith at 6.27 p.m., 15 gallons of fuel being put into the D.B.3. The toll-taking continued—Leonard’s Cooper-M.G. stopping amidst the stubble after shedding a wheel. It eventually resumed, only to break a piston. Moss blew his horn. Collins passed inside the H.W.M. into Woodcote Corner, tyres screaming, and Boshier’s bonnet uncatched and his XK120 suffered from front-wheel patter. Baird had nasty moments when a wheel jammed on its hub during a change of all wheels, and replenishment of all fluids, including 15 gallons of fuel. Boston’s Healey needed much oil, Mayers resumed after seven gallons of fuel and other fluids had been put into the neat green Lester-M.G., these cars running for the Team Prize, mostly quite easily in top gear, giving way impeccably to faster cars at the corners. Ruddock’s took rather snore fuel than Mayers’. Blakeley’s H.R.G. threw a rear-tyre tread, which folded up the wing. This was patched, both rear wheels changed and the car resumed. Now Walker came in for Moss to take on the leading Jaguar, 3 min. being lost while the rear wheels were changed and 26 gallons of fuel and fresh oil were put in. Mitchell’s Frazer-Nash was so enthusiastically re-oiled that some had to he drained out! The other Type C Jaguar stopped, also for 3 min., as rear wheels were changed and 33 gallons poured in. The broken headlamp on Gibbs’ H.R.G. was replaced before he took over from Heal.
This period was mainly one of routine refuels and changes of driver, preparatory to speeding up as much as possible before the light went.
7 p.m.–1st: Moss/Walker (Jaguar), 77.3 m.p.h.; 2nd: Rolt/ Hamilton (Jaguar); 3rd: Collins/Griffith (Aston-Martin).
The Lester-M.G.s now dominated their class. Delayed by the jammed wheel, the Baird Ferrari now lay third in its class, Collins and Cole ahead of it. Poor Hollming lost 4 min. 40 sec. while his XK120 was treated for clutch slip, Boston’s Healey developed an oil leak, the front tyres of Blakeley’s H.R.G. were now changed. Mayers, leading his class from his team-mates, had a rear wheel changed after inspecting all tyres. The surviving Allard stopped for 3 min. 5 sec. for front brake adjustment, and 15 gallons of fuel and oil. Goodhew got back into his grand old Lagonda. Still Hollming’s clutch slipped. Then another casualty—Crook’s Frazer-Nash retired with a broken back-axle casing. This handed the Team Prize to the Lester-M.G.s, providing they all finished!
8 p.m. — 1st: Moss/Walker (Jaguar), 77.87 m.p.h.; 2nd: Rolt/ Hamilton (Jaguar); 3rd: Collins/Griffith (Aston-Martin).
Davis was in trouble with the Cooper-M.G. but, a half-shaft from Leonard’s retired car saved the situation and the compact silver car eventually resumed. The Lagonda needed fresh front tyres and the opportunity was taken of inspecting its water pump. Gradually the light faded, the fairy-lamps twinkled round the grandstands and one by one headlamps came on, in this setting so novel to Britain. One of the first to “switch on” was Gibbs, whose yellow lamps bobbed up and down, a reminder that his H.R.G. is definitely “cart-sprung.”
The race now seemed to be something of a foregone conclusion, the Jaguars safe for first and second places, Aston-Martin leading the 3-litre class, the Lester-M.G.s the 1½-litre category. In actual fact, drama lay ahead, and there were immediate complexities to mar this complacent picture. Thus, as Poore took over the D.B.3 its clutch was useless and the same trouble assailed Mayers’ Lester-M.G., only less serious in his case as he was remaining mostly in top gear. Indeed, gearbox failure eliminated the D.B.3 at 8.35 p.m., leaving only one David Brown entry intact. Rolt’s Jaguar had its front wheels changed, Hamilton taking over, and 14 min. later a plug-lead fell off and had to be replaced. Salvadori was going great guns in the Ferrari, back in third place, flames jabbing from its twin exhausts in the dusk, and Cole was pouring on the coal, giving way to no one through the chicane, in the other Ferrari. After much work Mitchell’s Frazer-Nash rejoined the race but was merely touring to finish. The Allard called for three more wheels, fuel and oil.
9 p.m. — 1st: Moss/Walker (Jaguar), 77.87 m.p.h.; 2nd: Rolt/ Hamilton (Jaguar); 3rd: Baird/Salvadori (Ferrari).
Gibbs’ H.R.G. stopped to rectify a sticking cut-out as real darkness cloaked the B.A.R.C.’s gay scene. Cole changed his front wheels, replenished, and set Graham Whitehead to pursue Collins’ D.B.3, the Ferrari sounding extremely healthy, whereas the Aston-Martin emitted odd noises from its exhaust and was far slower at this stage than the Baird Ferrari. Baird now took over, a lamp having to be repaired as well as fresh fluids put in. Soon Salvadori was on again—all credit to Baird for using the faster driver in the dark. Thirty seconds sufficed for Leston to repair his tail-lamp, a job also done on Blakeley’s H.R.G.
Now drama, fate, call it what you will, took a turn. The Rolt/ Hamilton Jaguar failed to come round. Yes, axle trouble had set in, a back wheel had fallen off and caused retirement.
10 p.m. — 1st: Moss/Walker (Jaguar), 77.66 m.p.h.; 2nd: Baird/ Salvadori (Ferrari); 3rd: Collins/Griffith (Aston-Martin).
Then, scarcely had the spectators digested the fact that the rapid Ferrari was second than a horrid scrunch came from the Moss/Walker Jaguar and it slowed at once, to limp round at a mere crawl in the darkness. Consternation! The car which had been first or second for 224 laps, in trouble! “Lofty” England stood stolidly out before the pit, board to mark position, hoping for Stirling to appear. The car did so, after an interminable delay. The “A”-bracket of the special Type C suspension had broken. That from the crashed car was removed and fitted to Moss’ machine but that cost Jaguar 36 minutes, during which the surviving D.B.3 and both Ferraris were burning up the miles. Griffith came in, 15 gallons went in and a front wheel was changed and Collins roared off, the car seeming to be faster than it had been. A. G. Whitehead paused for 54 sec. to hand over to Cole, after a rear-wheel change. The closing hours were going to be exciting.
How exciting we did not know! For at 10.23 p.m. Salvadori stopped, a lap in the lead from Collins, who was three laps ahead of Cole, to change rear wheels. Whether the battery was abnormally tired or whether a hot V12 is tricky to start, the fact remains that not until a new battery was installed could Baird continue. The lead passed to Collins’ D.B.3, compensation for loss of A.M.’s biggest car and injury to their team manager early on, as the spectators were quick to appreciate. Poor Baird waited for the Ferrari to fire; when he did get away, to hand back, in 7 sec., to Salvadori a lap later, the car was three laps behind the D.B.3 and only just ahead of Cole. Hume was getting an oil bath from the Allard, the Lagonda’s front brakes needed further adjustment, and Hollming had further trouble with the Jaguar’s throttle linkage. Salvadori, going all he knew how, spun off at Madgwick and apparently needed outside help to restart. Cole came past, reversing the Boreham positions of these Ferraris, although, as at Boreham, Cole was almost without brakes.
11 p.m. –1st: Collins/Griffith (Aston-Martinu), 75.72 m.p.h.; 2nd: Cole/Whitehead (Ferrari); 3rd: Baird/Salvadori (Ferrari).
Mayers was managing well sans clutch, continuing to lead his class. The Allard drivers found oil a bad thing on a vizor at night and Gibbs’ H.R.G. split a water pipe and had to stop for H2O. A last minute worry for Mayers was a broken lead to the rear lamp, which delayed him 5 min. 10 sec., but still he led his class, these Lester-M.G.s an object lesson in how to go motor-racing on a comparatively moderate expenditure. The two privately-owned Ferraris had shown up remarkably well too, but could not catch the smaller D.B.3, which, sounding a bit “popply,” nevertheless came by as regularly as clockwork. Gerard had his Frazer-Nash in fourth place and, drive as he did, Moss couldn’t catch it.
John Morgan, deservedly satisfied with a highly successful experiment, held out the chequered flag at midnight and the crowd, Ingger than at the start, proclaimed young Peter CoIlins, ably partnered by Pat Griffith, winner of our first day/night race. To the News of the World goes every credit for making possible this delightful spectacle and instructive event.
1st: P. Collins/P. W. C. Griffith ( Aston-Martin D.B.3), 283 laps 75 42 m.p.h
2nd: T. Cole/A. G. Whitehead (2.7 Ferrari), 281 laps 74.80 m.p.h.
3rd: R. Baird/R. F. Salvadori (2.7 Ferrari), 278 laps 74.09 m.p.h.
4th: Gerard/Clarke (Frazer-Nash); 5th: Moss/Walker (Jaguar); 6th: Mayers/Keen (Lester-M.G.).
Up to 1,500 c.c:
1st: J. C. C. Mayers/M. J. Keen (Lester-M.G.), 250 laps 66.65 m.p.h.
2nd: G. A. Ruddock/R. F. Peacocke (Lester-M.G.), 250 laps.
3rd: L. Leston/T. Line (Lester-M.G.), 244 laps.
These cars won the Team Prize.
1st: P. Collins/P. W. C. Griffith (Aston-Martin). 283 laps 75.42 m.p.h.
2nd: T. Cole/A. G. Whitehead /Ferrari), 281 laps.
3rd: R. Baird/R. F. Salvadori (Ferrari), 278 laps.
Over 3,000 c.c.:
1st: S.Moss/P. Walker (Jaguar), 267 laps 71,09 m.p.h.
2nd: B. Swift/C. Heath (Jaguar), 241 laps.
3rd: S. J. Boshier/W. B. Black (Jaguar), 238 laps.
Retirernents: Lamb (Healey), 9 laps, big-end; Leonard (Cooper-M.G.), 24 laps, piston; Whitehead (Jaguar), 56 laps, crash; Fairman (Allard), 56 laps, drive’ shaft; Stoop (Frazer-Nash), 61 laps, lost wheel; Clarke (Aston-Martin D.B. 2), 65 laps, engine; Levegh (Talbot), 81 laps, half-shaft; Parnell (Aston-Martin D.B.3), 92 laps, fire at pit; Meyer (H.W.M.), 147 laps, split oil tank; Crook (Frazer-Nash), 152 laps, split axle,casing; Abecassis (Aston-Martin D.B.3), 162 laps, clutch; Rolt (Jaguar), 206 laps, axle.
Still running: Hollming (Jaguar), Hume (Allard), Goodhew (Lagonda), Mitchell (Frazer-Nash).
Motopr Sport wishes to express sympathy to those affected by the Devon flood disaster, which has had such sad consequences in an area well known to motoring tourists and sportsmen and for which “Lands End” competitors have a particular affection.
In case anyone was sceptical of the fuel consumption figures quoted last month for the Buckler Special, we took the opportunity of making another check. The car was in the same trim as before except for two 1⅛ in. S.U.s on the new Buckler manifold; it used a mild petrol/benzole mixture, Essolube oil and did 0-50 m.p.h. in 11.2 sec.
At an average of 40 m.p.h., the m.p.g. was 48. At an average of 46 m.p.h., the m.p.g. was 40.
Although the race was shorter and run at a lower speed than Le Mans, there was a high proportion of retirements. Goodwood is obviously a tough circuit for cars and drivers, and brakes and transmission had a thorough testing. The winning Aston-Martin relied on Mintex-lined Girling brakes with Al-fin drums, and was using the David Brown five-speed gearbox.
We owe a great deal to the big newspapers which sponsor motor-races. This News of the World race was spectacular as well as interesting and the 1,000 gns. prize something of a record. Mr. Asher of the Daily Express, Wm. Courtnay of the Daily Mail, and other representatives of papers which sponsor motor-racing were present—shall we see a 12-hour Boreham race or a 24-hour Silverstone contest next year, or will Goodwood scoop on this too?
Most of the cars used Lucas lamps of equal efficiency and reliability—it is not Lucas’ fault, sir, if you motor your headlamps through pallisades and straw bales!
The commentators—Tony Curtis, Nevil Lloyd, James Tilling and C. S. Watkinson—contributed much to the enjoyment of the meeting via the Antone equipment. Raymond Baxter did an exciting series of broadcasts for the B.B.C., which continued after midnight for the purpose. Raymond kept his own lap-chart—good show!
Minor grumble—pit-work was invisible from the Press-box roof.
The Falkner D.B.2 carried a cine-camera on its back shelf, firing through the passenger’s side of the windscreen. It also had a “fly-deflector” on its bonnet. The car left the road on several occasions before the engine packed up. The stark H.W.M. went well until Fotheringham Parker drove it into the Paddock and retired with a split oil tank.
This was surely the world’s first motor race with electric “flag marshal” control.
The light signals were designed, constructed, wired and installed by Joseph Lucas Ltd. The signals were based on a couple of standard headlamp light units, one coloured amber and the other blue.
Lucas also sponsored the 114 track markers with reflex reflectors. Lucas lighting and electrical equipment was fitted on all the winning cars except the Baird/Salvadori Ferrari. In the case of Tom Cole’s Ferrari Lucas changed the foreign lamps to Lucas DF 770 Headlamps and auxiliary driving lamps, after Cole complained of being unable to see on the first night’s practice.
Lucas also supplied a lot of “lighting sets” (headlamps, etc., with batteries and switchgear) which the B.A.R.C. used to light up and floodlight various things, such as scoreboards, etc.