Silverstone, August 17th
The pleasant circuit of Silverstone took on a different appearance on August 17th for the Six-Hours Relay Race. For this event, a revised course is used taking advantage of the various different runways and perimeter roads to make a circuit of 2.5 miles.
Again organised by Holland Birkett the race this year took place in dull cloudy weather but with no rain, fortunately. The object of each team is to convey a sash around the circuit as many times as possible in the six hours, handicaps being arranged by the award of a number of credit laps depending upon the merits of the team.
Thirty-eight different teams made up the total number, an increase of 13 over last year, the most amusing titles being “The Enlightened Minority” — Morris Minors, “Sheep’s Clothing” — A35’s and “L.M.B. Popsie” — Ford Populars and vans.
Last year the event was won by an M.G. Magnette team with Triumphs second. On this occasion “The Individualists” won, this team being composed of Elva, Jupiter, A40 Special, and Buckler 90. The second crowd home were the “Sheep’s Clothing” A35’s, with the “Powermasters” a very close third on Prefects, Anglias and “hotted” Thames vans.
During the first hour proceedings began in a leisurely fashion although the leading cars of M. Charles, D-type Jaguar, and Dalton in the Austin Healey cruised round rapidly. J. P. Turner in the 1938 7Y model Ford car diced happily with Mackay in a Ford Thames van leaving Stevens’ Lagonda 4½-litre tourer, fitted with long carburetter intake tubes, to smoke its own way round the course. Jameson’s Berkeley was out doing its stuff at this time but had not warmed up to its task, Graham’s model later clocking 2 min. 32 sec., a speed of 59.21 m.p.h. for the circuit, whereas Charles was lapping at 77.59 m.p.h. in the D-type.
Adamson’s Ford van made an appearance towards the end of the first hour and tried hard to catch Dr. MacCarthy who was pushing his D.K.W. Sonderclasse round at quite a speed even for a D.K.W. At the same time Wolfe’s Goggomobil was cruising round at 45.45 m.p.h. with puffs of white smoke appearing from the exhaust at the corners.
Peter Mould in the C-type Jaguar then took over from Charles in the D-type and kept up a steady pace, being accompanied by Brown’s XK120 coupe as Dalton’s Healey retired with tyre trouble, at which time Fletcher in the A.C. Ace Bristol was leading with Marriott in second place driving his Mk. VI Lotus.
By half time “The Individualists” were holding first place and the A.C. Owners’ Club were next. After a 1 p.m. start, 3.30 p.m. saw the arrival of the Jupiter of the leading team, this driven by Brierley while soon after the big Alvis of Richards and the Rees’ Austin were seen to emerge behind a breakdown lorry from “No Man’s Land” in between the two legs of track leading to Club corner. By 4 p.m. Charles replaced Mould in the Jaguar team, Robin Richards in his A30 and Coakley in the Mk. XI Lotus appeared after which things began to brighten up a little as regards speed but the telling pace found Ballemy limping back to the pits in his Popular with big end gone, being replaced by Turner in the 1938 Ford saloon.
Six p.m. saw Prior spin his Lotus at Becketts and Shepherd cornering wide at Club in the A30. The M.G. team this year did not achieve a great deal of success being credited with only 20 laps at the start but still came fifth in general classification. The Berkeleys, however, came 14th being able to keep pace “on points” with larger rivals even though they started with 45 credit laps!
— I. G.