Brands Hatch international

August 6th

For the Guards Trophy meeting this year the B.R.S.C.C. decided to hold the race for sports cars and Prototypes and arrayed an interesting collection of cars for this 50-lap event, a huge crowd turning up to witness the four-event programme in foul weather. First race of the day for the Peco Trophy Saw a fascinating array of G.T. cars line up on the grid. No less than six of the latest Ferrari 250G.T.O.s were taking part and they took over the first two rows of the grid along with Graham Hill’s E-type Jaguar which was on the outside of the front row. At the drop of the flag Hill managed to out accelerate Mike Parkes who was next to him on the grid hut as he pulled across in front Parkes bumped into him and Hill hail to swerve out again, dropping back to Sixth place as the cars swooped down Paddock Bend. John Surtees took the lead with the Howmaker/Maranello Concessionaires G.T.O. from Parkes, Salvadori, Ireland, and David Piper, all in differently coloured Ferraris. Parkes wasted little time in getting past Surtees and soon opened out a gap while behind Surtees, Salvadori and Ireland kept close station while David Piper managed to hold off Graham Hill for a couple of laps, but when Hill got past he could not close the gap on Ireland. On lap seven Ireland got past Salvadori and appeared to be moving away quite easily but Salvadori spurted again and closed right up, regaining third place on lap 16. On lap 18 Colin Davis lost the Scuderia Venezia Ferrari at Druids and damaged the front end quite severely hut escaping unharmed himself. By now it was raining heavily and on lap 21 Surtees lost his safe second place when he spun at South Bank bend, letting Salvadori and Ireland past before he rejoined the race. Although he pressed on hard once again and closed right up to Ireland the heavy traffic of small cars held him up and he had to be content with fourth place. Despite the rain Parkes averaged 80.78 m.p.h. for the 25 laps. In the classes Chris Lawrence won the 2½-litre class in his Morgan, Les Leston just held off Clive Hunt’s Elite in the 1600-c.c, class and in the 1,000-c.c. class Andrew Hedges drove -superbly to win the class in one of Dick Jacob’s special bodied Midgets, winning easily from team mate Alan Foster and in fact finishing well in front of Leston in the class above.

The Molyslip Trophy race for saloon cars followed in torrential rain with a whole collection of 3.8 Jaguars leading away from the start, Graham Hill leading Parkes, Salvadori and Jack Sears. Nicky Byrne lost his 226SE in the first lap melee down Paddock Hill and collected Christabel Carlisle, who then proceded to motor very swiftly on the soaking track to try and catch the rest of her class rivals. Parkes took the lead from Hill on lap five and proceded to motor away into a safe lead. Peter Pilsworth’s Sunbeam subsided into the ditch at Paddock on lap two and remained there and John Aley spun at South Bank bend on the following lap while Byrne called into his pit for some attention to bodywork. On lap nine Graham Hill’s foot slipped off the brake pedal as he was braking for a bend and before he could get it back on again the Jaguar had bent itself badly against the bank, giving Hill a bruised knee. On the same lap Kelsey in the Chevvy 11, who had dropped back as the rain increased, retired, saying that he had the wrong tyres fitted. Peter Dodd retired his Jaguar from sixth place with braking troubles and Roy Salvadori lost his third place to Sir Gawaine Baillie, coming round with a distintegrating exhaust system.

Christabel Carlisle had been motoring very quickly in the teeming rain, moving up from twentieth place on lap two to eighth on lap 11 within striking distance of Bill Blydenstein in the works Cooper-Mini which was second in the class behind John Love’s similar car. Aware of the threat Blydenstein pulled out all the stops to stay ahead of Miss Carlisle and in doing so repeatedly made the fastest time in the class. In the 2-litre class Bill Aston in Ids quick Vauxhall VX 4/90 harried Peter Jopp’s Sunbeam Rapier for much of the race and held off Peter Harper’s works car right to the end. Roy Salvadori closed up on Baillie again and passed into third place behind Parkes and Sears on the penultimate lap while Baillie spun at Clearways in his efforts to get past Salvadori again.

Having chalked up two wins already Mike Parkes was on the front row of the grid in the Guards Trophy race with a works rear-engined 2.4-litre V6 Ferrari and with the rain still teeming down he looked to stand a good chance of getting a hat-trick. Innes Ireland was in pole position with the U.D.T.-Laystall wire-wheeled Lotus 19 having lapped at 1 min 44.4 sec. in practise and next to him was Roger Penske, the well-known American Porsche driver in his Telar Special which is actually the ex-Salvadori Cooper-Monaco with sharp tail fins. Having sorted out aggravating fuel and tyre problems during Wednesday practice he lapped in 1 min 45.0 sec. looking very smooth and unflurried while Parkes who did 1 min 46.4 sec. was really throwing the Ferrari around. Jim Clark only had three laps in the Essex Racing Stable’s Lotus 23, now fitted with a pushrod 1½-litre Ford Classic engine but did an easy 1 min 46.6 sec and reckoned he could do 1 min. 42 sec. with more practice. Tony Hegbourne showed that his splendid drives in club races have been no fluke by making fifth fastest dine in his 1100 c.c. Lola Climax in 1 min, 48.0 sec.

An impressive array of sports cars lined up on the grid and the huge crowd obviously appreciated Nick Syrett’s efforts to get a field of big sports cars on the grid although it looked as though the Lotus 23s might skate round the big cars in the wet. A last minute disappointment was the withdrawal of the 4-litre Maserati 151 to have been driven by Lucien Bianchi which broke an oil pipe in the Paddock as it was warming up. At the drop of the flag Parkes went straight into the lead from Ireland, Clark, Penske, Bonnier in the Venezia V12 Ferrari, Carlo Abate in the Venezia V12 Ferrari “station wagon,” Frank Gardner in the new AD Sportive-Climax and Dizzy Addicott in the works Elva Mk. VI. They maintained this order first time round with Parkes opening up a 4 sec. gap in a single lap while Kilburn left the track at South bank bend in his Lotus and Lord Clydesdale went off at Paddock in his Lola. Parkes began opening up a huge gap over Ireland while Clark looked quite comfortable in third place. Penske held fourth place for five laps but Bonnier and Abate overwhelmed him on lap six and Abate moved ahead of Bonnier on the following lap as the engine of Bonnier’s car was overheating due to the piece of cardboard the mechanics had put in front of the radiator. He pulled into the pits to have it ripped out and resumed the race, having dropped behind Penske. Jimmy Clark dropped out on lap 12 when his clutch and/or flywheel disintegrated and shortly afterwards Bonnier got back past Penske into fourth place. Further down the field a tremendous eight-car battle was going on for tub place with Doug Graham just holding off a gaggle of Lotus 23s led by Bob Hick’s 1½-litre version. Jack Fairman driving the Ecurie Ecosse Le Mans Tojeiro was holding a lowly 17th place and called in for a check of the front suspension but was sent out again only to leave the circuit for good at South Bank shortly afterwards. Jimmy Blumer held a quiet sixth place for a long while then pulled off at Paddock with no drive left, allowing Sutcliffe’s D-type to move up, ahead of a two car battle between Dizzy Addicott and Bruce Halford’s Lister-Jaguar. Paul Hawkins made a long pit stop with the Lotus 23 stuck in third gear and eventually rejoined the race at very reduced speed.

The track began to dry slightly as the race progressed and Parkes reduced his lap times rapidly, eventually making the fastest lap of the race in 1 min. 50.0 sec. putting himself three-quarters of a lap in front of Ireland by the end of the race. Abate had got in front of Bonnier, the two Ferraris booming round in impressive fashion, but Bonnier got back into the lead again and held on to third place to the finish while Bruce Halford got past Sutcliffe for sixth place behind Penske who took exception to being lapped by Ireland in the last few laps and held on doggedly right to the finish. Parkes was met by a crowd of excited Italians at the finish including engineer Fogheri. Parkes thoroughly deserved their congratulations for his third win of the day and the second in a Ferrari had been gained in appalling conditions against fairly considerable opposition. His chances of a permanent position in the Ferrari team must have been enhanced by this performance.

The rain commenced again in earnest for the Formula Junior race but it looked as if Peter Arundell in a works Lotus would win from Spence’s Ian Walker Lotus, however John Love in a Tyrell Cooper caught them on lap 11 and went into the lead on lap 18 only to lose his lead to Arundell who promptly spun back into third place. Spence then passed Love to take the lead and Tony Maggs in the other Tyrell Cooper moved right up behind the leading trio and slipped past into the lead on the last lap when Love spun off on the sodden track. Arundell finished-second ahead of Spence and Hine’s Lola.

The chaos on the surrounding roads after the race and the havoc wrought in the sloping grass car parks by the rain shows that some intensive development must go into Brands Hatch before this excellent circuit can stage the British G.P. in 1964.—M.L.T.