The TT of tyre changes
Moss (Ferrari) beats the Aston Martins. Porsche and Lotus Elite win their classes. Team Lotus dominate BARC FJ Championship.
The TT, reduced to three hours round the 2.4-mile Goodwood circuit, but restored to a race for “catalogue cars”, turned out to be a splendid contest full of incident. Once again pit-stops became of vital importance, for tyres were consumed at an alarming rate. The spectators, kept au fait of race and class positions, and the reasons for pit-stops, by a first-class commentary led by Tony Marsh and an up-to-the-minute scoreboard, received excellent value for money, so that it was ironic that the crowd was modest, only some two-thirds that at a well-supported Brooklands Bank Holiday Meeting pre-war.
This race for GT cars, which was allowed to include Elvas with their hoods up, was contested in the big class between six V12, 3-litre GT Ferraris, of which Moss, Colin Davis, “Loustell” and Seidel/Mairesse had short-chassis disc-braked cars, Schlesser, from Madagascar, a long-wheelbase drum-brake version, the 3.7-litre Aston Martin DB4GTs of Salvadori and Ireland, and two Austin Healey 3000 Sixes for Riley and Bekaert. The 1,300-2,000-cc Class fielded five Porsche Carreras, two of them works cars driven by G Hill and Bonnier. Hill’s car, like Koch’s, having the Abarth body, the twin-cam MG-As of Foster and Bridger. both with disc, not wire wheels, an AC.Bristol, Lawrence’s Morgan Plus Four, and a team of Elva Couriers. The up-to-1,300-cc Class was composed of eleven Elites—in spite of which the official programme carried an article which stated “if Lotus ever make 100 such cars they will become accepted as GT cars ! These were to have been challenged by Simson’s Sprite hard-top but a blower elevated this entry to the higher class.
A truly intriguing battle developed between 3 pm and 6 pm, but in the space available it can be reported only in brief. Moss beat everyone at the Le Mans start (in which Mairesse ran to the wrong side of his Ferrari) and at the end of lap one his blue Ferrari led, with Salvadori sitting on its tail. Moss managed to shake off the Aston Martin as they negotiated the “traffic” and after four laps these two were out of sight of the rest, Schlesser, “Loustell, Whitehead, all in Ferraris, and Ireland.
Moss, spotlamps blazing, hooted his way round, a sort of circuit “Col Trumpington”, Salvadori only 0.6 sec behind on lap 18. Mairesse then led, pulling out in front of the two leaders, and this seemed to rattle Moss, for Salvadori was level past the pits on this lap, to pass and draw away. Obviously Stirling wouldn’t rest at that and he was soon only 0.9 sec in arrears, and when Salvadori went wide in error at St Mary’s Moss resumed his lead..
The battle of tyres now began. On lap 25 Moss, with a 4-sec lead, came in for fresh rear wheels, which took 40.5 sec. Salvadori’s lead was short-lived because his car required four new Dunlops, the stop occupying 57.5 sec. These stops enabled Ireland to temporarily lead Moss while Schlesser lost 74 sec at his pit when the jack refused to cope easily with a rear tyre change. In contrast Bonnier’s tyres were inspected and the Porsche permitted to continue sans a wheel change.
Ireland’s lead was short-lived, as his Aston Martin came in and was stationary for 56.4 sec. While all the Dunlops were changed—Reg Parnell was in charge and works mechanics administered to these privately-entered Astons.
So Moss led again, never thereafter to be in any danger of not winning the TT. Whitehead came in to hand over to Fairman, the rear wheels being changed and 10 gallons of fuel going in in 70 sec.
This was indeed a race of pit-stops. A half-shaft was changed on Meek’s Elva, these cars never really out of trouble, Bekaert’s Healey boiled, and Lawrence, who was driving very fast without fireworks to keep his Morgan between the two works Porsches, had wretched luck when, having made a quick routine stop, the starter refused to function and had to be changed, ruining a magnificent run.
That tyre-life would decide the race was emphasised when Mairesse drove in along the grass, his o/s rear Dunlop in ribbons, although he had changed rear wheels previously and refuelled, in 70 sec.
Moss now led Salvaduri by 181/2 sec, and it was Roy’s turn. His o/s rear Dunlop burst and he had to limp in, the pit warned what to expect by Ireland. The stop cost 58 sec, and Salvadori’s chances were extinguished . . .
An Elva was out with run big-ends and “Loustell” drove his Ferrnri round on the grass-to retire. Collin Davis was hoping to move up by reason of making only one stop, trusting his Pirelli tyres to cope, and he duly took on new rear wheels. fuel. out and water.
Moss, firmly in the lead, and driving calmly, came in again after 54 lap’s, got out, saw all wheels changed and 15 gallons of fuel put in, and returned after 78 sec. Hill now brought the class-leading Porsche to its pit and had the bolt-on rear wheels changed and the car fuelled in 2 min– Graham working the jack, in spite of looking very hot. The same jobs on Bonnier’s car took 1 min 56 sec. Schlesser’s Ferrari had fresh rear wheels on in 1 min 55 sec.
Nothing it seemed could now stop Moss from winning, unless his final pit-stop went wrong. There was a moment when Koch’s Porsche spun in front of Stirling out of Woodcote but he appeared hardly to notice one more incident in his adventure-packed career.
Foster’s MG had been going splendidly. It needed no tyres only fuel (36 sec), then was slow to re-start. Salvadori stopped for four more wheels and fuel (1 min 22 sec). Bridger’s MG for fuel only, but later burst a tyre. Ireland was in for 15 gallons of fuel and four fresh wheels, in 1 min 22 sec, and Mairesse replaced Seidel after their Ferreri had been given three new wheels and fuel in 1 min 23 sec.
So this race of pit-stops continued. All eyes were on pit No 7 as Moss made his third and last stop. Only the rear wheels were changed, no fuel was needed, and the blue Ferrari left in a mere 29 sec, and was driven with plenty in hand to the chequered flag. Poor Ireland, however, was black-flagged for a trailing exhaust system, which took 1 15 sec to secure, and Salvadori made a final stop for rear wheels (28.5 sec).
Hill was leading the middle-class cars in his battered Porsehe and was fifth overall. and after Dickson had run out of tarmac at Woodcote. Parkes’ Elite, coming out of the chicane on three wheels, led the 1,300-cc cars and the nearside rear Donlop burst. Warner then took the lead but, right at the end, Lumsden pushed past at the chicane, causing Warner to lose control momentarily. The s/c Sprite cheekily took Whitehead’s Ferrari between Woodcote and the chicane and an incident-packed TT ran its course. Moss, driving an Italian car on a US competition licence, had proved yet again that he is the best driver on the circuits today. As befitted the World Champion, Brabham was content to watch what a fine race the GT cars made of the 1960 TT.
As a curtain-raiser to the TT there was the BARC FJ Championship (another Championship 1) run in two 7 lap heats and a 21 lap Final. Trevor Taylor won the first heat for Team Lotus from Prior’s Lola-Ford. Johnson of the Russell School, moving up well to third place in his Lotus-Ford. Jimmy Clark and Mike McKee led the second heat for Team Lotus, from Ashdown’ts Lola. In the Final Lotus-Fords showed their unchallengeable supremacey when Taylor won by 2.2 sec, at 90.08 mph from Clark, with McKee third. The first two sharing a new lap record of 92.5 mph. Bill Lacy crashed at the chicane in the Fitzwilliam Lola and broke his nose. He walked to the Paddock streaming blood when he should have received medical aid on the spot.
The TT has become but a poor shadow of its former self. Originally it was essentially a long race over lengthy road circuits: the following table shows the extent of its decline, although as a GT sprint the 1960 race at Goodwood was eminently satisfactory :—
In the official programme Peter G Riviere of The Autorcar stated that “No classic motor race in history has undergone so many changes of circuit as the Tourist Trophy–Isle of Man, Ards, Donington, Dondrod, and now Goodwood.” Does he, then, not consider the French Grand Prix, run at Le Mans, Dieppe, Amiens, Lyons, Strasbourg, Tours, Montlhery, Miramar, Comminges, Pau, Reims, and Rouen to be a classic motor race ?
The News of the World sponsored the TT for the RAC. Well, well !– one might have thought that “never the twain shall meet.
Before the start someone remarked that the “withdrawns” stood as good a chance as any. He was referring to the Scuderia Serenissima Ferraris anal Camoradi Corvette, all of which were described thus in the official list of entries.
It seems likely that even if the Aston .Martins had not been so hard on tyres Ferrari would have won, aided by Moss’ skill, although the delays experieneed by Salvadori and Ireland enabled Moss to nurse his car for the second half. The o/s rear tyres of both makes took heavy punishment at the Chicane. British cars were not disgraced. The Elites went fast for the full distance and the manner which the comparatively inexpensive twin-cam MG and Morgan (until a faulty starter spoilt the latter’s fine run) challenged the Porsche Carreras was highly praiseworthy.—WB.