Big Crowds Watch His Maserati and Cooper-Norton Wins at International “Daily Dispatch” Meeting
Lap Record Elevated to 85.4 m.p.h.
Oulton Park circuit deserved the big crowds which flocked to it on August 7th for the International Meeting, because its sponsors really do try to provide value for money. This time the lap distance had been extended to 2.75 miles, the new “Krusel-curve” loop at the end of the lake being in operation. Here is a really fine road circuit, winding through woodland and past a beautiful lake, on the banks of which hundreds of spectators can picnic as the racers roar past them. The setting must be a colour-photographer’s paradise.
The commentary included a French interlude for the benefit of visitors and competitors from across the Channel, and a real attempt had been made to attract Continental entries, so that it was unfortunate that the Italian G. du Riu (Maserati), Harry Schell (Maserati), Manzon (Ferrari), Pilette (Gordini) and Hawthorn (Ferrari) were absentees, leaving only Behra, deputising for Pilette, Etancelin (Lago-Talbot) and the Dutch F. III men, Beels and Hutchinson, to meet the usual British entry. Incidentally, the programme gave the nationality of the drivers, which isn’t strictly correct.
Moss, using the Maserati which Villoresi had intended to drive at Nurburg, won both the F. II and Formula Libre races with extreme ease and impeccable style, waving his thanks as lesser drivers gave way to him. Any possible opposition vanished with the clutch failure of Parnell’s hard-worked Ferrari and a crash which eliminated Salvadori’s Maserati but, miraculously and fortunately, not Salvadori. Stirling put Oulton’s lap record to 85.4 m.p.h. and won the F. III race by “miles” in the Valspar-finished Francis Beart Cooper-Norton. He got a splendid ovation from the Northern crowds. It was surprising that B.R.M. failed to enter for the Formule Libre race.
The pre-race period included such excitements as Bolster trying the new Lister-Bristol and spinning off in this exciting machine at the new loop, Beart grappling with magneto-naughtiness on the Moss Cooper-Norton, and the fuel tank of Wake’s Alta-Bristol exploding while it was being welded, luckily without taking any personnel with it. Heavy rain on Friday and on Saturday morning fortunately gave way to showers, then cool sunshine, on race-day.
25-Mile (9-Lap) Race For Formula III Cars
This opened the programme and in a big field there were two four-cylinder cars, Burgoyne’s Kieft and Monk’s M.B.M.G., the former with the new twin o.h.c. Turner power unit and the latter a conventional linered-down M.G. which has been seen at Silverstone. Alas, the Turner revved high but was erratic, and the M.B.M.G. seemed too heavy.
Dickson’s Staride led until the last lap, early opposition from Higham’s Ecurie White Rose Kieft fading away. But, a lap from home, Anderson’s Staride challenged strongly amid great excitement and passed, to win by 1.2 sec. Bloor’s yellow Cooper was third. We noticed G. H. Brown trying hard in the J.P. and Philipson holding bad slides in his Staride.
100-Mile (36-Lap) -Race For Formula 1 Cars
In a field of 18, Moss, not having practised, had to start from the back row of the grid. It took him a lap to get into second place behind Parnell’s Ferrari and by lap four he led Reg. Salvadori’s Maserati also swept by the Ferrari on lap five, and thus the three Italian cars circulated, until, on lap 14 Salvadori’s throttle stuck wide open going into David’s Corner, the ignition-switch proved faulty, and the car ran head-on into a tree. Salvadori was merely crest-fallen but we fear the Gilby Eng. Co. will require at least a new Maserati frame and front suspension. Parnell was thus automatically reinstated in second place, but Moss was well out of reach.
The race was still absorbing, however, for Bob Gerard was throwing his immaculate Cooper-Bristol round the circuit in his inimitable, daring style, holding third place from Beauman, who was driving very well indeed in Sir Jeremy Boles’ Connaught.
Alan Brown had the Chase Cooper-Alta in fifth place going strongly considering that a front brake was locking-on before the corners. He had held third place, then this fifth position, courageously, but fuel pump trouble eliminated him. Cheery Jean Behra took third place, but after only four laps his Gordini succumbed to ignition trouble and there was Gerard leading Beuman.
The F. 1 Emeryson had a cracked cylinder liner, and was not impressive
75-Mile (27-Lap) Race For Formula III Cars
For three laps Russell’s Cooper led Moss’, and we wondered if the Brands Hatch order would again prevail. Then a light shower fell and many one-lunger pilots became extra busy, with Stirling, holding vivid tail-slides, pulling out his customary big lead.
Don Parker’s Kieft occupied third place for a while, was displaced by Bicknell’s Revis, got by two laps later, and was then chased by Russell, who took Parker on lap 26 in a 27-lap race! They crossed the line only 0.4 sec. apart, Parker having set a new F. III lap record.
The rain-shower saw Keen’s Cooper spin at Old Hall Corner, where Tyrrell’s Cooper also came unadhesed, as did Allison’s Cooper, while the Hon. E. G. Greenall’s Cooper slid sideways-on and Allison later held a slide with great aplomb. We look, forward to future Russell/Moss duels.
55 Mile (20-Lap) Race For Formule Libre Cars
Only Formula Libre competitors of note, in view of no B.R.M. entry, were Etancelin’s Lago-Talbot and Duncan Hamilton in the imposing H.W.M. with C-type Weber-carburetted Jaguar power unit. Fairman, having broken the Turner’s half-shaft coming out for the F.1 race, had rushed to Wolverhampton for another, and elected this time to start.
The fiery Gerard — and there must be those who envy him his smart, be-trousered, two-female escort as well as his driving elan — led for four laps before Moss came into the lead from the back row of the grid. Parnell’s Ferrari retired almost at once with clutch slip.
Thereafter the race was a high-speed procession, with the efficient scoreboard, which gave the time separating the leaders as well as the laps run, showing Marr in the Connaught to be doing his best to displace Gerard. But Bob, or Rob, really had his car motoring, being simply terrific at the corners, and he finished 10.4 sec, ahead, but 43.4 sec. behind the flying Moss.
On lap one Young’s Roebuck Eng. Connaught spun and ran backwards into the bank at Old Hall Corner and he rather thoughtlessly called to the crowd to invade the danger area to push, while an observer raised three fingers to remind about possible disqualification. Richardson’s R.R.A. disposed of Boulton’s Connaught (which dented its tail!) and Hamilton fought another private duel with Whitehouse’s Connaught, eventually losing by a lap, and at one time having Beauman’s Connaught right on his tail, until ignition trouble intervened. Keen, in Chase’s Cooper-Alta, led Hamilton for a while.
Moss went faster and faster, setting a new lap record of 85.4 m.p.h. a lap from the end. His Maserati had a tail oil tank and was transported in the Rootes Group Commer van.