On August Bank Holiday Monday the-Fifth “Daily Telegraph” Trophy Race was held at Brands Hatch; the first race for this trophy was held on August 7th, 1950, on the same circuit, and was won by George Wicken at a speed of 63.56 m.p.h. This year more than 140 entries were received, most of the well-known British 500-c.c. drivers and in addition some French, Belgian, Swiss, Finnish, German and Dutch competitors were present. The programme of events included an open challenge race for 500-c.c. cars first, consisting of three 7-lap heats and a final of 10 laps; the Fifth “Daily Telegraph” International Challenge Trophy race, again for 500-cc. cars, was of four 10-lap heats and a final of 40 laps; the National 1,500-c.c. Sports-Car Championship race of two 15-lap heats and a final of 40 laps; the Rochester Cup race, which is a Formule Libre event consisting of two 20-lap races; and, finally, the Edwardian Trophy race of five laps only.
At 11 a.m. the first race, heat one of the open challenge race for 500-c.c. cars, began. The field was led for several laps by A. V. Cowley in a Cooper, but he was later overtaken by Keen, also in a Cooper, who was the winner with a speed of 68.47 m.p.h. In the second heat Leston’s Cooper was first away but was soon caught by Russell, in a similar car, and Headland in a Martin came up to take second place, leaving Russell to cross the finishing line first with an average speed of 69.46 m.p.h. Again in heat three, a Cooper, driven by Lewis-Evans, won at 70.75 m.p.h., with Don Parker in a Kieft second; this was a very close race all the way and it was extremely difficult to predict the winner, even on the last lap. The tables were turned, however, in the final, when Don Parker won at a speed of 70.88 m.p.h., with Lewis-Evans second.
Race two on the programme was the “Daily Telegraph” International Challenge Trophy. Heat one started with Russell in the lead and Ivor Bueb, of Cheltenham, second, in which order they stayed throughout the race; third came R. G. Bicknell in the spectacular-looking Revis, which sped round the corners with remarkable ease. Heat two was won by A. V. Cowley in a Cooper although Les Leston was first away; D. O. Johnson unfortunately slid off the course. In the third heat Don Parker and Lewis-Evans were again rivals and were neck and neck on the corners until their wheels were nearly touching. They kept this up throughout the race, which resulted in a win for Don at 70.6 m.p.h. At the last meeting Don raised the Formula III record to 72.00 m.p.h. with his Kieft. The fourth heat was won by Headland in a Martin, with Stirling Moss second. (Having flown back from Dusseldorf only a few hours before the race — he had been competing in the Grand Prix of Europe — Moss had to start in the back row of the “grid,” since he had not completed a qualifying practice lap.) The final of this race was longer yet the most interesting. Lewis-Evans started off in the lead, closely followed by Ivor Bueb, who fought valiantly with Stirling Moss for several laps, but they soon dropped back, leaving Russell and Moss in the lead. There were a few retirements as the race wore on, among them D. Latchford’s Iota; Raby’s I.E.R. Midget, which he made himself and which uses a Norton engine, has a very large fuel tank and at present a long pointed nose which is soon to be modified; Caddey’s Emeryson; Naylor’s Cooper and Leston’s Cooper. Davis, the team-mate of Lex Beds, from Holland, deserves an honourable mention for his consistently good, steady driving in this race.
The next event was the National 1,500-c.c. Sports-Car Championship, which was won by Russell driving McAlpine’s Connaught at an average speed of 69,53 m.p.h.; second was a team Lotus driven extremely well by M. Anthony. The Jehu Riley of J. Horridge retired in this race and the H.R.G. of L. Gibbs went off the course. Horridge’a car is a most interesting vehicle — in the recent French Bol d’Or 24-hour race it came in second — consisting of a 1 1/2-litre Riley engine installed in a Jowett Jupiter chassis, with special aircooled brakes and unusual-looking body; it was unfortunate that it had to retire before giving a better account of itself. A new sportscar record was made by Alan Brown in a Connaught at 71.54 m.p.h.
A slight mishap occurred in the second heat of the race, when Peter Gammon in a Lotus went off the road while on his last lap; he received a few bruises and had cut hands but was otherwise unharmed — his car was only very slightly damaged. Gammon had been driving very well indeed and although he was slow in starting he soon managed to get right through the entire field. The final for sports cars was won by Russell in the Connaught. He had a very comfortable lead over all the others and was able to average a speed of 69.73 m.p.h.. Scott-Brown in a Lister-M.G. was second; Naylor in a Cooper and Threlfall in a Turner retired.
Race four, the Rochester Cup race for open cars of any capacity over 500 c.c., was run in two parts of 20 laps each. The winner of part one was Don Beauman, driving a Connaught at an average speed of 72.28 m.p.h.; he also established a new lap record of 73.42 m.p.h., thus beating Whitehouse, who was the previous holder with 71.54 m.p.h. A grand spectacle in this race was the duel between the two old E.R.A.s of Whitehead and Birrell, both very close together for many laps until Spero in his beautiful red Maserati challenged Birrell. The second part of the race was won by Whitehouse in a Connaught.
Finally, came the veteran contingent for the Edwardian Trophy race. There was a wonderful entry for this event and it provided very good entertainment. Kennard’s Itala was the biggest-engined car competing and also the oldest, being a 1907 model. J. Sears’ Sunbeam was running as the scratch car. Dr. W. A. Taylor brought along his beautifully-polished 1912 London-Edinburgh replica Rolls-Royce, John Bolster likewise brought his 1911 model, but probably the most interesting of the veterans was the single-cylinder Sizaire Naudin owned by Sir Francis Samuelson. The car is a 1908 8-h.p. model and has a sliding inlet cam instead of a throttle, independent front suspension and a petrol consumption of about 40 m.p.g. The winner of this event was W. A. Hill, in a 1912 Hispano-Suisa, and the runner-up was J. Sears in his Sunbeam. Last but not least was the Sizaire Naudin, probably the only existing model in original order in the country, which chugged happily round the course, much to the delight of the spectators, who were nearly climbing the barriers to give it a helping hand on the hills.
And so came the end of the big day of the year at Brands Hatch, after over seven hours of motor racing of practically every description. — I. G.