Reg Parnell (Ferrari) Wins August Trophy Race and Sets a New Lap Record of 75.82 m.p.h. Tony Crook Breaks Sports-Car Lap Record in his Versatile Cooper-Bristol
The B.A.R.C. National Meeting at the L.C.C.’s Crystal Palace Circuit on the afternoon of August Bank Holiday produced some exciting racing, although it is, we think, a reflection on the excessive number of meetings now being held that it attracted a total of only 16 racing cars and 25 sports cars. Mike Hawthorn was not in the programme, as had been promised, but arrived before the meeting started, in his XK120 Jaguar coupe, fresh from his great drive in the German Grand Prix. He did a demonstration run in Reg Parnell’s Ferrari and received a great ovation from the London crowd.
Tony Crook was a busy man, driving in five out of the six races in his Cooper-Bristol.
Parnell’s Ferrari had, as he put it, only just been “nailed together” in time, but went well enough to secure the August Trophy at an average speed only 0.10 m.p.h. slower than his former lap record, which he now improved on by 1.13 m.p.h.
The usual children’s commentary was given, over the Tannoy.
August Trophy Race — Heat 1 (10 Laps). F1.
Parnell led this from start to finish and, although Salvadori came through to second place from a bad start, the issue was never in doubt, Ferrari steadier on the corners than the Maserati. Gould blipped through the corners to a spirited third place, followed by duellists Hall (Cooper-Bristol) and Emery (F1 Emeryson). Dunham was next in the Rover 75-engined D.H.S. and Horace Richards was his habitual last. Only seven runners in a race in which the first six qualified for the Final emphasises our point about there being too many races.
1st: R. Parnell (Ferrari), won by 8.0 sec., at 73.81 m.p.h.
2nd: R. F. Salvadori (Maserati).
3rd: H. Gould (Cooper-Bristol).
Fastest lap: Parnell. 75.36 m.p.h.
August Trophy Race — Heat 2 (10 Laps).
Again, only seven starters! Searles’ Cooper 1,100 lost a lap, stalling on the line as if to show its two cylinders to James Tilling, who commentated that the programme was in error, as it had a four-cylinder engine! Jack (“someone must wave the flag”) Fairman in the Turner and Tony Crook in his very impressive Cooper-Bristol beat Rolt in Rob Walker’s Connaught from the line, but after a lap Rolt led and pulled out an unassailable lead.
Crook. in face mask, was trying enormously hard and got past Fairman on the inside at a corner, leaving his braking very late. The only other interest was to see if Whiteaway in the 2 1/2-litre H.W.M. could catch Fairman, which he just didn’t.
1st: A. P. R. Rolt (Connaugth), won by 17.6 sec.. at 70.78 m.p.h.
2nd T. A. D. Crook (Cooper-Bristol).
3rd: J. E. G. Fairman (Turner),
Fastest lap: Crook, 72.10 m.p.h.
Sports-Car Race A (10 Laps), up to 1,000 c.c., Non-s/c.
Eleven ran. Crook, his Cooper-Bristol now neatly converted into a sports car(!) led from flag-fall pursued by Cliff Davis’ Tojeiro-Bristol. Salvadori then woke up in the Maserati and went after them, passing Davis but failing to catch Crook and, indeed, pranging his expensive Italian motor car on lap nine in attempting to do so. Brooks, in Hely’s Le Mans Replica Frazer-Nash, was driving splendidly and took Davis on the seventh lap.
The race was slowed somewhat after the sixth lap because Crabb spun at Ramp Bend in his Kieft-Bristol, partially blocking the course and doing the front-end of his car no sort of good at all.
Rogers also drove off the course, but resumed, his Cooper-Bristol unwell and Colin Chapman’s much-fancied aerodynamic Lotus-M.G., back from Nurburg and also racing at Brands Hatch on this day, had only two cylinders and retired. De Mattos seemed to find the A.C. Ace rather softly sprung for this circuit and Flower’s Porsche 1,500 super coupé was tail-end Charlie.
1st: T. A. D. Crook (Cooper-Bristol), won by 17,6 sec, at 68.42 m.p.h.
2nd: C. A. S. Brooks (Frazer-Nash).
3rd: F. C. Davis (Tojeiro).
Fastest lap: Crook, 79.80 m.p.h.
August Trophy Race — Final (10 Laps). F.1.
Parnell led from the moment Mike Hawthorn dropped the Union Jack and try as Salvadori might, and did, he was never out of the leading position. Incidentally, the fuel filler cap of the Maserati opened and then fell off — luckily so little fuel was being used that none slopped over. Tony Holt was a discreet third in Walker’s smart Connaught and excitement was maintained by bunching of the rest of the field, Hall’s Cooper-Bristol nearly ramming Crook’s Cooper-Bristol at Ramp before getting by and going on to close with Gould’s furiously-driven and exceedingly quick Cooper-Bristol. On the last lap Whiteaway displaced Crook from sixth place.
1st: R. Parnell (Ferrari), won by 3.2 sec., at 74.59 m.p.h.
2nd: R. F. Salvadori (Maserati).
3rd: A. P. R. Rolt (Connaught).
New lap record: Parnell, 75.82 m.p.h. (1 min. 6 sec.).
Sports-Car Race B (10 Laps), Unlimited, Non-s/c.
Tony Gaze in the H.W.M.-Bristol was chased hard by arm-waving Tony Crook, but kept his advantage by 0.6 of a second, after a truly stirring race. On at least one occasion Crook looked to be troubled by a locking brake, according to the commentary. Rogers held third position ahead of four closely-bunched cars, amongst which Carnegie’a J2 Allard, its boot-lid open, gradually lost places, Head’s C-type Jaguar passing and Stevens’ Vermin Aston Martin DB3. after appearing to be baulked, taking fourth place from Carnegie right at the post. [Incidentally, the B.A.R.C. had billed Jaguars as a special attraction at this meeting. — Ed.]
Both Shale’s and Hampton’s Austin-Healeys slid badly on the corners and the latter’s l.h.d. car slid across the course on lap two and smote the bank on the inside at Ramp Corner, doing its front suspension no good at all. It was rather foolishly pushed across the road to remain very close to the edge of the course for the remainder of the race.
1st.: F. A. O. Gaze (H.W.M.). won by 0.6 sec,. at 69.69 m.p.h.
2nd: A. D. Crook (Cooper-Bristol).
3rd: A. P. O. Rogers (Cooper-Bristol).
New sports-car lap record: Crook. 71.08 m.p.h.
The Glade Trophy Race (10 Laps) — Racing Cars up to 2,000 c.c. Non-s/c., up to 1 1/2 litres s/c.
Nine cars ran, and this was an epic conclusion to a dicey meeting. Hall pulled out a good lead in the blue Border Reivers’ Cooper-Bristol and Gould held second place with Rolt’s Connaught glued to him, trying everything he could to “detach” and go past.
Deciding after about eight laps that this was impossible, Tony dropped back a little — in this he was sensible, for on the hair-raising last lap Hall spun twice and fell from his car, breaking his collar-bone. Although appearing to have no margin of safety, Gould very skilfully avoided the crashed car and eventually continued, but this let him through to win, to the surprise of those at the finishing line.
And so a brisk meeting concluded to the sound of the ambulance-bell.
1st: A. P. R. Rolt (Connaught), won by 13.8 sec., at 71.11 m.p.h.
2nd. H. Gould (Cooper-Bristol).
3rd: T. A. D. Crook (Cooper-Bristol).
Fastest lap: Rolt and Gould. 73.16 m.p.h.