THE B.R. & S.C.C.’s International meeting at Brands Hatch on August Bank Holiday Monday, run over the 2.6-mile long circuit was a pleasant contrast to last year’s event—blessed with very good weather, which a very large crowd thoroughly appreciated while watching an interesting programme.
Entries for the main race of the day, the 50-lap Guards International Trophy race for sports, G.T. and G.T. prototype cars, were certainly varied and pleasingly international, with formidable challengers coming from as far afield as the United States. The Mecom racing team had sent Roger Penske with the beautifully-prepared Zerex Special, a car which had caused a fair amount of bad feeling across the Atlantic at the end of the previous season because of its competition successes (the car was originally an I.C.F. Cooper, and the conversion was generally considered to obey the letter of the law regarding prototypes but certainly not the spirit).
Since then it has been remodelled and is as much a prototype as the 250P Ferrari. Another Mecom entry was a new Ford-engined GT Lola, for Augie Pabst, and Tim Mayer had brought his ex-Penske “fin-tailed” 2.7-litre Cooper-Monaco, another car with a record of success behind it in America. Other drivers were Salvadori (in the Tommy Atkins 2.7-litre Cooper-Monaco), Lucien Bianchi (5-litre Maserati Tipo 151, the car which led at Le Mans for two hours this year), Lloyd Casner (Maserati Tipo 61, a rebodied “birdcage”), Lorenzo Bandini (330LM Ferrari), Carlo Mario Abate (Ferrari TRI/61), Hitchcock (Ferrari GTO), Summers (Cooper-Chevrolet), Coundley (Lotus 19), Maggs (B.R.P. Lotus 19), Sargent, Sutcliffe, Protheroe and Fowler (E-types), McNally (Stingray), Ireland and Kimberly (works Aston Martin DB4 GTs), Charles (D-type), Blumer (Marina Rolls-Royce), Graham Hill, Sears and Piper (GTOs) and Kerrison (250GT).
The field made a clean start, and by the end of the first lap Penske, in the blue and white Zerex, led Salvadori, Mayer and Maggs; and, in fact, the order of the first four cars was not to change for the remainder of the race. Graham Hill worked up to fifth place with the Maranello Concessionaires GTO, ahead of Abate, but went out after 11 laps with a broken throttle, and behind the leaders places kept changing, more through mechanical failure than anything else. Early retirements included Casner’s Maserati (broken fuel pump), Sutcliffe’s Jaguar (a crash at Paddock on the second lap), McNally’s Stingray (brakes), Pabst’s Lola (piston), Blumer’s Marina (oil pressure) and Summers’ Cooper-Chevy (steering), with pit-stops, long or short, also being made by Bianchi (brakes) and Hitchock.
By the 25-lap mark the first eight positions were held by Penske, Salvadori, Mayer, Maggs, Abate, Sears, Coundley, and Ireland, while Bandini, after a slow start, was beginning to deal with the middle of the field; he passed Sargent, Kimberly and Kerrison and began to close up on Protheroe, who was to go out before long with fuel injection problems. Kimberly and Sargent also fell out, the American after spinning and bending the Aston at Dingle Dell and the British driver with faulty ignition.
The second half of the race was comparatively quiet, with only the retirements of Coundley (a spin at Paddock which ended with further damage to Sutcliffe’s nice new lightweight Jaguar) and Abate (who lost a wheel) altering the final order, which was to end as Penske, winning from Salvadori, Mayer, Maggs, Sears, Ireland, Piper, Bandini, Hitchcock, Charles, Fowler and Bianchi. Both Penske and Mayer had impressed their audience greatly, driving very fast and very smoothly indeed.
Rather surprisingly, none of the supporting races were for single-seaters, which may or may not prove something. Jimmy Clark, back from the German G.P. on the previous day, won a 20-lap race for saloon cars in Group II tune with the greatest of ease in an Alan Brown-entered Ford Galaxie, after beating off an early challenge from Jack Sears in a similar car entered by John Willment, which retired half-way through with a puncture. Quite a few of those who say that Clark is only happy in a Lotus must have changed their minds after the Scotsman’s display; but after all, he made his first real impression on the motor racing world in a D-type… Second came Graham Hill, third Salvadori and a very close fourth Mike Salmon, all in 3.8 Jaguars.
In the three remaining supporting events, the Australian Frank Gardner won the 20-lap sports-racing car “Twenty Guards” race in an Ian Walker Brabham, winning easily from Tony Hegbourne’s Normand Lotus 23 and Keith Greene’s similar car, which had had trouble with Rees’ 2-litre Climax-engined Lotus until that went out with fuel feed worries. John Young (1,650 c.c. Anglia) beat Powell (3.8 Jaguar) in a 10-lap “hot” saloon car event and Sir John Whitmore (Stirling Moss-entered Elan) led Graham Warner’s Elan home in the final race of the day, for small G.T. cars over 20-laps for Slip Molyslip Trophy points, though Warner had led until his car went sick. Though not intensely exciting, it had been an enjoyable meeting, and the spectators must have been well satisfied.—J. H.
The Guards International Trophy (50 laps): 1st: R. Penske (Cooper-Zerex-Climax) 1 hr. 28 min. 46.8 sec. (89.55 m.p.h.).
Sports and Prototype GT Cars over 3,000 c.c.: 1st: L. Bandini (Ferrari 330LM) 1 hr. 30 min. 05.2 sec. (82.95 m.p.h.) 47 laps; 2nd: M. Charles (Jaguar D-type) 1 hr. 30 min. 12.2 sec. (45 laps); 3rd: L. Bianchi (Maserati Tipo 151) 1 hr. 29 min. 06.4 sec. (36 laps). Fastest lap: L. Bianchi, 1 min. 52.8 sec. (84.57 m.p.h.) new class record.
Sports and Prototype GT Cars, 2,001 c.c. to 3,000 c.c.: 1st: R. Penske (Cooper-Zerex-Climax) 1 hr. 28 min. 46.8 sec. (89.55 m.p.h.); 2nd: R. Salvadori (Cooper-Monaco-Climax) 1 hr. 29 min. 23.2 sec.; 3rd: T. Mayer (Cooper-Monaco-Climax) 1 hr. 29 min. 41.2 sec. Fastest lap: R. Salvadori, 1 min. 44.0 sec. (91.73 m.p.h.) new class record.
GT Cars over 2,300 c.c. 1st: J. Sears (Ferrari GTO) 1 hr. 29 min. 41.0 sec. (85.10 m.p.h.) 48 laps; 2nd: I. Ireland (Aston Martin DB4GT) 1 hr. 30 min. 32.4 sec. (48 laps); 3rd: D. R. Piper (Ferrari GTO) 1 hr. 29 min. 46.0 sec. (47 laps). Fastest lap: G. Hill (Ferrari GTO) 1 min. 49.2 sec. (87.36 mph.).
The Slip Molyslip Trophy “A” (Touring Cars) (10 laps): Overall Winner: J. M. Young (Anglia 1,650 c.c.) 19 min. 46.2 sec. (80.43 m.p.h.).
The “Twenty Guards” Trophy: Overall Winner: F. Gardner (Brabham-Ford) 35 min. 11.8 sec. (90.09 m.p.h.).
The Slip Molyslip Trophy “B”: Overall Winner: J. Clark (Ford Galaxie) 39 min. 00.6 sec. (81.52 m.p.h.).
The John Davy Trophy: Overall Winner: J. H. D. Whitmore (Lotus-Elan) 38 min. 31.6 sec. (82.54 m.p.h.)