Motor SportSeptember 1932
AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY AT BROOKLANDS
A DAY OF CLOSE FINISHES.
MOUNTAIN RACE THRILLS.
FOTHERINGHAM-PARKER GOES OVER THE TOP OF THE BANKING.
GREAT MATCH RACE BETWEEN SIR H. BIRKIN AND J. R. COBB.
IN spite of the terrific storm which swept over the South West of London on August Bank Holiday, not a single race had to be omitted from the Brooklands programme for that day, although the order in which the races were run was altered. Fortunately the rain did not descend until just after the match race between Sir Henry Birkin on the 4½-litre Bentley and John Cobb on the 12-cylinder Delage—and what a soul-stirring battle that was! After about an hour's delay, racing was continued, and the rest of the programme run off.
The day was marked by some extraordinarily good handicapping, there being close finishes in every race except one. The mountain races were full of thrills, among which were a wholesale demolition of barriers at the Fork turn, and the alarming disappearance over the top of the banking by the Members' Bridge of Fotheringham-Parker's Alvis. Finally, two class records for the Mountain circuit were beaten, R. O. Shuttleworth annexing the 2,000 c.c. record on his unblown Bugatti at 69.05 m.p.h. and J. H. Bartlett raising the 1,100 c.c. figure to 68.38 m.p.h.
The Hereford Senior Short Handicap.
Distance : About 6½ miles.
1. H. T. H. Clayton (Amilcar 1,093 c.c. S.), 1 min. 3 secs.
2. J. R. Cobb (Talbot 2,970 c.c.), 28 secs.
3. R. J. Munday (Rover 2,950 c.c.), 1 min. 3 secs.
Won by 75 yds. at 91.16 m.p.h. 75 yds. between 2nd and 3rd.
Morris-Goodall (Aston Martin) and E. Farley, whose front-drive Alvis looked
very smart with its new coat of blue paint, were on the limit mark, but they could not hold the lead for long, for the favourite for the race, Clayton's Amilcar, quickly forged ahead. In hot pursuit, however, came Munday's Rover Speed Model, which had started from the same mark, and these two fought out a great battle for the whole race. In the absence of Sir Henry Birkin, who was wisely saving his car for the match race later in the afternoon,
Cobb was on virtual scratch with the single-seater Talbot usually handled by the Hon. Brian Lewis, who was away competing in the Alpine Trial. The car was in splendid form, and soon began to overhaul the field to such good effect that Clayton's lead rapidly dwindled. The little Amilear kept ahead, however, and crossed the line 75 yards in front of the Talbot.
The Hereford Lightning Short Handicap
. Distance : About 6½ miles.
1. C. Brackenbury (Bugatti 1,496 c.c.), 50 secs.
2. H. E. W. Lamplough (Vauxhall 4,234 c.c.), 1 min. 10 secs.
3. H. Widengren (O.M. 1,477 c.c. S.), 34 secs.
Won by 30 yds. at 98.79 m.p.h. 150 yds, between 2nd and 3rd.
In the second race on the programme H. E. W. Lamplough (Vauxhall) made full use of his start and led at the end of the first lap, but several of the back markers were travelling very fast, and the ultimate issue was a very doubtful one. Fotheringham, at the wheel of his new mount, the 8 cylinder 1½ litre Bugatti, once raced by Sir Malcolm Campbell, was lapping very quickly, and another of Sir Malcolm's old cars, the unusual 2.3 litre single seater, was also going well in the hands of J. F. Field.
Meanwhile, Charles Brackenbury had brought his 1½ litre Bugatti into the lead, and stayed there till the end, at the excellent average speed of 98.79 m.p.h. Driscoll on the single seater Austin in spite of a very fast run, was carrying too heavy a handicap, while Cobb lost third place on the Delage by ½ a length.
The August Junior Mountain Handicap.
R. E. L. Featherstonhaugh (Alfa Romeo) chases E.K. Rayson (Riley) round the Fork turn,
in the August Junior Mountain Handicap.
Distance : About 12 miles.
1. V. W. Derrington (Salmson 1,090 c.c.), 1 min. 40 secs.
2. R. F. Turner (Austin 749 c.c. S.), 1 min. 10 secs.
3. M. H. Morris-Goodall (Aston Martin 1,482 c.c.), 1 min. 20 secs.
Won by 30 yards at 58.50 m.p.h. 50 yards between 2nd and 3rd.
The first mountain race was devoid of any spectacular incidents in the way of skids, and was therefore marked by some very good driving on the corners. For the first half of the race little change took place in the positions of the cars, although Derrington (Salmson) picked up a couple of places and was lying second at that distance. Incidentally the front axle of his Salmson presented a terrifying spectacle as he braked for the Fork Turn, the wheels leaping about all over the place in a very dangerous "judder," and suggesting that a little attention to the shock absorbers before the race would not have been amiss.
After half distance some of the faster cars began to wipe off their handicaps, notably Morris-Goodall, who in four laps jumped from 7th to 2nd place. Another driver who was handling his car exceedingly well was R. F. Turner (Austin) who was close on Morris-Goodall's wheels, and gaining a few yards every lap. Featherstonhaugh (Alfa Romeo), who started from scratch, retired with a minor engine trouble at the end of 6 laps without having picked up a place, while other back-markers who failed to make any impression on the leaders were W. A. Cuthbert (Le Mans Aston-Martin), W.
Esplen (Talbot) and W. L. Thompson (Austin). Derrington took the lead on the 7th lap, but he was being hotly pursued by Turner, who passed Morris-Goodall on the last lap. Turner could not quite manage it, and Derrington got home a winner by 30 yards. Dudley Froy made his first appearance at the wheel of a Wolseley Hornet, the neat little scarlet E.W. Special owned by Mrs. Petre; he started fifth and held
the same position at the end of the race.
The Hereford Junior Short Handicap.
Distance : About 6½ miles.
1. I. M. C. Hepburn (Talbot 2,276 c.c.), 6 secs.
2. E. K. Rayson (Riley 1,089 c.c.), 6 secs.
3. C. G. H. Dunham (Alvis 2,511 c.c.), 12 secs.
Won by 6 yds. at 92.59 m.p.h. 300 yds. between 2nd and 3rd.
In this race Jack Robinson's old Brescia Bugatti, now fitted with a new cowling over the radiator, was in the proud position of scratch, but at the last minute the handicappers decided that he should be put back even further, and he was accordingly put on the owe 13 secs. mark. At the start W. A. R. Farmiloe got well ahead on his Wolseley Hornet, but it soon became apparent that the winner would be found in one of the bunch of six cars which started together from the 6 secs. mark. The fastest cars of this group were Hepburn's Talbot and Rayson's Riley, which travelled the whole distance with only a length between them. After a terrific struggle, with nothing to choose between the two, Hepburn crossed the finishing line 6 yards in front of Rayson, at the very creditable average speed of 92.59 m.p.h. Dunham (Alvis Speed Twenty) was third.
The Three Lap Invitation Race for 100 sovs.
The winner of the Match Race—Sir H. R. S. Birkin, Bt. (Bentley).
Distance : About 8¼ miles.
1. Sir H. R. S. Birkin (Bentley 4,398 c.c. S.).
2. J. R. Cobb (Delage 10,688 c.c.).
Won by 25 yds. at 125.14 m.p.h.
Sir Henry Birkin and John Cobb have often fought stern battles at Brooklands before, but the presence of other cars on the track has always made the results unsatisfactory to a certain extent. Now
they were to have the course to themselves, and, as far as is possible with two cars so very much faster than the limit of speed for which the track was intended, endeavour to find out who could cover three laps from a standing start in the quickest time. At the same time it would be a good opportunity for both cars to break their existing standing lap and flying lap records, which were held by the Delage at 115.55 m.p.h. and the Bentley at 137.96 m.p.h. respectively.
At the fall of the flag the Delage streaked away on to the Byfleet banking, and at the end of the first lap Cobb led by 3 4/5 secs., having covered a standing lap at 112.17 m.p.h. The high wind made driving on certain parts of the track very difficult, and mitigated the chances of either the standing or flying lap records being broken. On the second lap Birkin got really going, keeping his foot hard down all round the Members' Banking, with the car heaving about in a terrifying fashion as it "took off" on the famous "bump" and roared down the Railway Straight. At the end of the 2nd lap he was only 1 2/5 secs. behind the Delage, and the excitement of the crowd rose to fever heat. Could Birkin possibly catch up on the last lap, and if so, could he pass Cobb on the only available stretch, i.e., the quarter of a mile of Railway straight from the end of the Member's Banking to the finishing line.
Cobb was driving a magnificent race, using all his vast knowledge of every "groov " of the track to keep the lead. Birkin, too, was straining every nerve to gain on his opponent, and has probably never driven round the Members' banking so fast before. As the Bentley hurtled off the banking a small object flew high in the air, fluttered, and landed at our feet—it was the padded head-rest of the fairing behind Sir Henry's head.
Yard by yard the Bentley gained and by a supreme effort Sir Henry Birkin swept by the Delage to win by 1/5th of a second, or 25 yards, in one of the finest races ever seen at the Track. His final lap was covered at 137.30 m.p.h.
This race was Brooklands at its best, and was a very thrilling spectacle. What a pity it is that the start and finish were so far away from the public enclosure!
Then came the rain, a perfect deluge, while the track became steadily flooded, and pessimists foretold a postponement of the remaining events to a later day. But the sky cleared over towards the Railway Straight, and soon the sun came out. The next race on the programme was a Mountain event, so it was decided to hold this over until later in the day in order to give the track a chance to dry. Accordingly the seventh race was run next.
The Hereford Junior Long Handicap.
Distance : About 9 miles.
1. T. A. S. O. Mathieson (Bugatti 1,496 c.c.), 46 secs.
2. W. A. R. Farmiloe (Wolseley 1,271 c.c.), 1 min. 45 secs.
3. R. J. Munday (Rover 2,950 c.c.), 46 secs.
Won by 10 yards at 93.51 m.p.h. 20 yds. between 2nd and 3rd.
For some time it looked as though this race would be a runaway win for Pariniloe, whose Hornet went very well indeed from the limit mark. Hebeler's Talbot, by virtue of a previous victory, had been rehandicapped, and Bartlett was a non-starter, saving his Salmson for the Mountain race. Mathieson was coming up hand over fist, but it seemed doubtful whether he could catch the speedy Hornet. Eventually, Mathieson swept past Farmiloe right on the line, winning at 93.51 m.p.h.
By this time the track was fairly dry, so the sixth race was run off.
The August Senior Mountain Handicap.
A narrow shave —Fotheringham-Parker hurtles over the top of the members'
banking and escapes without serious injury.
Distance: About 12 miles.
1. C. T. Delaney (Lea-Francis 1,496 c.c. S.), 1 min. 10 secs.
2. R. Mays (Invicta 4467 c.c.), scratch.
3. T. P. Chomondeley-Tapper (Bugatti 1496 c.c.), 1 min. 19 secs.
Won by 3 yds. at 59.49m.p.h. 300 yds. between 2nd and 3rd.
The track, although free from puddles, was still slippery, and it was evident that there would be thrills a-plenty at both corners. On the very first lap Delaney turned completely round at the Fork, but got away after rather a flurry. On the 4th lap Morris-Goodall (Aston Martin), did likewise, but with the addition of crashing through a barrier. This was a pity, for he was leading at the time, and he had to wait for Chomondeley-Tapper (Bugatti) to go by before he could set off in pursuit. Then it was noticed that there was a particularly fierce duel going on between Fotheringham-Parker (Alvis), and a bunch of other competitors. Time and again they slid wildly round the Fork turn, and it was felt that things were becoming just a little dangerous. Finally, Fotheringham-Parker carried this enthusiasm a little too far on the Members' Bridge corner and got into a skid right at the top of the banking. He over-corrected, with the result that the car shot over the top of the banking, plunged down the embankment, and came to rest against the railings bounding the road to the Paddock. Very luckily, the driver was practically unhurt, although considerably shaken. Shuttleworth (Bugatti) who was following, pulled up dead, right at the top of the banking, and ran to Parker's assistance, thereby very chivalrously throwing away his own chance of winning.
Meanwhile, all was not entirely well at the Fork. Dr. E. J. H. Roth (Talbot), proceeded to demolish quite the largest number of barriers ever known with one coup-de-grace. Having skidded sideways into one barrier, he changed to the forward direction, literally carrying all before him until there were no more barriers in his path.
Barlow stopped just before the Fork corner with fuel starvation trouble on his Bugatti. Delaney was now lapping steadily and fast, and on the 7th lap took the lead from Cholmondeley-Tapper, while Raymond Mays (Invicta) was driving with his usual polished skill from the scratch mark and had picked up to 3rd place. Pane was another driver who was perfectly safe on both corners, in spite of the wet surface, and the acceleration of his Nurburg Frazer Nash from the Fork turn was really terrific.
The finish of the race was very exciting, Mays just failing to catch Delaney by 3 yards, after a superb exhibition of driving.The Hereford Lightning Long Handicap.
Distance: About 9 miles.
1. R. O. Shuttleworth (Bugatti 1,990 c.c.), 1 min. 5 secs.
2. Sir H. R. S. Birkin (Bentley 4,398 c.c. S.), scratch.
3. J. R. Cobb (Talbot 2,970 c.c.), 42 secs.
Won by 50 yards at 101.42 m.p.h. 150 yds. between 2nd and 3rd.
The single-seater Austin was on the limit mark, but did not hold its lead for long, owing to misfiring, so Shuttleworth, who has got his 2 litre unblown Bugatti into wonderful tune, then went ahead. Meanwhile, the back markers were going great guns, Cobb on the single seater Talbot and Fothringham's 1½ litre Bugatti gaining on Shuttleworth rapidly, themselves being overhauled by Sir Henry Birkin on the red Bentley. Once again there was a close finish, Birkin sweeping past Fothriugham and Cobb, but just failing to catch Shuttleworth by 50 yards.
The August Lightning Mountain Handicap.
Distance : About 12 miles.
1. R. Mays (Invicta 4,467 c.c.), 49 secs.
2. R. O. Shuttleworth (Bugatti 1,990 c.c.), 1 min.
3. J. H. Bartlett (Salmson 1,090 c.c. S.), 45 secs.
Won by 600 yards at 69.50 m.p.h. 200 yds. between 2nd and 3rd.
The last race of the day, apart from the veteran car event, produced 12 starters, the most notable absentee being Sir Malcolm Campbell, who was down to drive the rebuilt 12 cylinder Sunbeam. E. L. Bouts (Sunbeam) and Esson-Scott (Bugatti) were the first away, but it soon became apparent that the race was going to be an easy win for Raymond Mays. Handling his white Invicta with masterly skill, he quickly passed all his rivals and assumed the lead on the 4th lap, never to be headed. There were several retirements, Featherstonhaugh (Alfa Romeo) dropping out with engine trouble, while Mathieson (Bugatti) and Dudley Froy,
who was driving Field's single seater Bugatti, both toured back to the Paddock. There was a great scrap going on between Fothringham, Spottiswoode and Shuttleworth, all on 2 litre unblown Bugattis, the standard of driving of all three being first class. It was interesting to observe the different methods used on the Members Bridge corner, Spottiswoode holding his car in a skid low down, without using the banking, while Pothringham and Shuttleworth soared to the top. Bartlett was driving a splendid race on his Salmson, and succeeded in passing Spottiswoode and Pothringhatn, but he had to be content with 3rd place behind Shuttleworth. N. W. Gardiner made a very good job of handling the 5 litre Delage, a car primarily built for track work.
The "Daily Sketch" "Old Crocks" Handicap.
Distance : About 2½ miles.
1. F. L. Wiginton (1902 Wolseley), 2 min. 27 secs.
2. K. P. Tweedie (1903 De Dion), 3min. 57 secs.
3. R. C. Porter (1900 De Dion), 3 min. 57 secs.
Won at 28.08 m.p.h.
The meeting closed with the "Old Crocks" Handicap, organised by the "Daily Sketch" newspaper. Throughout the day the competing cars were lined up in a special enclosure in the car park, where it was noticed that many entrants, with rather more pedantry than courtesy to the organisers of the race, had altered the wording on the number cards attached to their cars to "Veteran Cars."
There was a tremendous entry, providing a very representative array of the cars of the pre-1904 period. An unnecessarily long time was taken in marshalling the cars in order at the starting line, while the wretched drivers worried anxiously about the rising temperature of their chuffing and clattering vehicles. At last they were sent away on their difficult climb up to the Members' Bridge, a feat which proved too much for some "old bones."
Finally F. L. Wiginton crossed the finishing line on his 1902 Wolseley, 8 seconds in front of Tweedie's old Dion, having averaged the worthy speed of 28.08 m.p.h.