Great Auclum (August 11th)

Great Auclum, the eighth qualifying event for the R.A.C. Hill-Climb Championship, saw the Jersey/Italian Renato (Tico) Martini backing up his phenomenal Bouley Bay win with an outright win in the Championship category, breaking the hill record on both his ascents and beating Arthur Owen’s 2½-litre Cooper-Climax by 0.47 sec. Martini’s car, if one could give it that name, is based on go-kart principles with all-round independent suspension by single wishbones and scooter-size damper units, the power being supplied by a 650-c.c. vertical Triumph twin engine. Almost shadowed by the excitement of the struggle for the major places was the performance of Peter Westbury, who spent most of the afternoon rebuilding the gearbox of his Daimler V8-engined ex-F.2 Cooper, just coming to the line in time to qualify to compete in the Championship runs. Westbury’s best run of 20.78 sec. earning him sixth place. So close were the performances of the ten drivers that after two ascents of the 4-mile hill (actually the first part is downhill) that only 1.46 sec. separated Martini’s winning midget car from Ray Fielding’s 2½-litre ex-Dan Gurney B.R.M. which finished last! Peter Boshier-Jones’ Lotus-Climax 23 tied with Mac Daghorn’s ex-David Boshier-Jones’ 1,100 -c.c. Cooper-J.A.P. for third place, both clocking 20.63 sec. Brian Eccles’ supercharged Cooper-J.A.P. took fifth place with 20.74 sec. Although after some haggling Martini has now been found to be eligible to claim points in the Hill-Climb Championship (the doubt arising from his nationality), the 1962 season is too far advanced to give him any chance of wresting the title from Owen, Fielding or McLaughlin, the current leaders.-E. W.