From the Motor Sport Archive
A Dramatic Race Full of Incidents. Lola Takes Team Prize, Again Vanquishing Lotus
The 1959 R.A.C. Tourist Trophy Race, which ran for a period of six hours and the results of which decided the Sports Car Championship, can be considered either a fiasco or very successful, depending upon the point of view. The ragged start, the disastrous fire in the Aston Martin pit and the fact that Ferrari never put up any opposition to the British cars were unfortunate aspects, but on the other hand the British Aston Martin team won the race convincingly, in spite of their ordeal by flame, thus winning this year's Sports Car Championship and this race, although as one observer said "run round a field instead of over a circuit like pre-war Ards or post-war Dundrod, was as full of incidents as the earlier Ulster races and deserved a better crowd than that which assembled on this summer day.
The full field of thirty cars came to the starting grid at Goodwood on September 5th, consisting of three works Aston Martins, Whitehead's and Dalton's private Aston Martins, Ecurie Ecosse-entered Tojeiro-Jaguar and D-type Jaguar, a lone Lister-Jaguar and the three Ferrari Testa Rossa, these forming the over 2-litre and up to 3-litre class. The class for cars over 1,100 c.c. and up to 2,000 c.c. was made by three works Porsches, all with 1,587-c.c. engines, a single 2-litre Ferrari and 2-litre Lotus as works entries, three more 2-litre Lotus and a Cooper Monaco entered by John Coombs for Jack Brabham and McLaren. This last named car had been lent knock-on wire wheels, to assist tyre changes, by Rob Walker. The smallest class, for cars up to 1,100 c.c. comprised two Team Lotus cars, three works Lolas, three works Elvas and two privately entered Lotus, all Climax-engined.
During practice much of interest happened at Goodwood, not the least of which was the try-out of the Formula 2 Porsche by S. Moss (an augury for next season ?) McLaren and Graham Hill. Moss also tried some modifications to his own Cooper Monaco which, again with 1960 in mind, had a cold air stream taken from forward of the cockpit to the engine and a better cooling system for the brakes. It was noticeable that many people were using quickly detachable wire wheels for this long race, including Piper and Hill (Lotus). Threlfall's Elva had an electrical rev.-Counter, this and another Elva had high set rear view mirrors, and small oil tins had been pressed into service as rear axle breather traps on the Lotus. Wilkie Wilkinson, who had recently become a grandfather, had a new engine for the Tojeiro, but it was net ready in time, so a power bulge had to be fabricated in the bonnet to cover the old engine. The practice Aston Martin had a Maserati gearbox, but the team cars all retained David Brown boxes.