A really perfect summer day arrived on August 3rd for the Bentley Drivers’ Club sprint and race meeting at Silverstone.
In this, the 21st birthday year of the club, the glamorous silver-covered programme depicted famous cars and their drivers while listing the well-known names of those present in the officials’ list, not the least of whom was W. O. Bentley himself.
The ¼-mile standing start sprints were run off with alacrity, the smaller models starting at noon. Bradley and McCosh made excellent times soon after the commencement of festivities, a number of the short chassis 4½’s not starting, however, perhaps their owners were saving their mounts for later dicing.
Racing began in earnest at 2.30 p.m. with some scratch races. The first five-lap event was a Bradley v. McKenzie contest to the former’s advantage at 62.11 m.p.h. There then followed two races run concurrently for the Gordon Alexander Memorial Trophy, these being ten-lap scratch events for short and standard chassis cars. Hollis and Burton dashed along together for some laps with McDonald in third place after a very fine start. Hollis eventually took the lead gaining the Trophy and also fastest lap at 72.36 m.p.h.
In the Lagonda Handicap it was the day for the 2-litre models. The big team cars of Michael and Lord Dunleath were not quite able to overcome the handicap given to the small cars of which a fine selection appeared, in fact most Lagonda models of much repute were present in this race from the big 4½’s down to Bartleet’s 14/60 which had a most charming body and contrived to come in second behind Ayre’s well-known 2-litre.
The five-lap Bentley Handicap which followed went to the two limit men, Burton, who won at 72.33 m.p.h. and Hollis. M. H. Morris produced his fine 6½-litre model finished in blue and aluminium but the 6½’s of Bailey and Kramer were regrettably not up to the same standards of finish. Mrs. Mountfort started off well in first place but on the first lap she had to retire at Woodcote with smoke billowing from the cockpit.
Mason succeeded in winning the vintage handicap with his Bentley 4½ accompanying Bader’s Brooklands Riley and the 1908 Itala driven by Williamson which unfortunately burst a tyre at Becketts and had to give up. Elwell Smith’s Aston Martin won the five-lap Aston Martin Handicap run concurrently with the vintage car race. Mrs. Bloxham reached third place with the DB2.
MeCosh took the honours in the “All Types” Bentley race with McDonald a close second. R. P. Bradley’s 4½ came to grief at Becketts when its big ends took large bites out of its crankcase depositing bits of mangled piston into the sump at the same time.
The “All-comers” race resulted in a stirring win for Bader’s Brooklands Riley with Michael’s big Lagonda second. — I.G.