Motor SportNovember 1931
THE B.A.R.C. CLOSING MEETING
First-class Racing Marks End-of-season at the Track
A Paddock scene, just before the Mountain Championship.
THE Brooklands season was brought to a fitting conclusion on the 17th of last month with an excellent afternoon's racing. There were some good speed; in the straightaway races, while the championship event on the round-the-mountain course was one of the best races staged at the track for years. What a pity we cannot have some more scratch races, so that the winner really wins and no one can afterwards speculate what would have happened if the handicaps had been different ! The massed start of really good cars is one of the finest spectacles in motor racing, and more of them next season will do much to increase the Brooklands crowds.
The first race of the day saw Meeson's Vauxhall a non-starter, having run a big-end, while Horton's "Special" ( a twin) and Papworth's Bugatti also failed to come to the line. At the start, Horsman's Triumph and 'Westbrook's Alvis were going well, but a good race was going on between W. M. Couper's Speed Model Rover and Fotheringham Parker's Alvis. Both these roared through the field, the Alvis winning by a narrow margin at the excellent speed of 90.11 m.p.h. Straight's Riley was third.
A faster race followed, the starters including Cobb's Delage Dudley Froy on the Leyland Thomas, and Sir Henry Birkin's Alfa-Romeo.
Cushman on the single-seater Austin, and Clayton's Amilcar settled down to a good scrap with Brian Lewis on the single-seater Talbot coming up fast behind them. Lewis then went into the lead, but as they came off the home banking Birkin's Alfa swept past him to score an excellent win, having put in a flying lap, at just under 125 m.p.h. Froy was third.
Incidentally, this meeting proved a real " day out " for the firm of Birkin and Couper, for the two members thereof actually collected two firsts, a second, and a third, on four different cars, a very fine effort.
The Mountain Championship.
Undoubtedly the finest race of the day, and probably of any B.A.R.C. this season, was the Mountain Championship which followed.
An historic moment. The first corner in the Mountain Scratch Race, with Campbell leading Aldington and Staniland.
Cushman's Austin (No 8.) is just behind Staniland with Birkin, Penn-Hughes and B. Lewis following.
Mays was a non-starter, but Birkin, Staniland, Lewis, Aldington, Campbell, Howe, Penn-Hughes and Cushman came to the line. The flag dropped, and, with the exception of Earl Howe, whose G.P. Delage suddenly decided to be fractious, the cars shot away for the first corner. Their acceleration was terrific, and the noise most inspiring. At the first bend Campbell's big Mercedes was leading, with Aldington's Frazer-Nash right on his tail, and Staniland's 1½ litre Bugatti close up, followed by Birkin, Penn-Hughes and the rest. The cornering was a stirring sight, and the bunching of the cars at the fork and the Members' bridge gave a fine opportunity for drivers to use their skill in fighting for position. After a couple of laps Aldington had to drop out with fuel starvation, the trouble being later traced to defective filters.
On the third lap, Birkin on the Maserati drew up and passed Campbell and steadily increased his lead for the remainder of the 15 laps. A fine race was now in progress between Campbell's Mercedes and Penn-Hughes on the 2,300 c.c. Bugatti. The latter had pulled up to close behind Campbell, and was making every effort to get by. Lap after lap he tried to pass on the corners, and gradually gained on him, till he managed to get by right on the rim of the track at the top corner. However, no sooner had he got past than his engine began to miss slightly, and he dropped back again to third place, in which order they finished. Brian Lewis found the 4-seater "105" Talbot could not quite hold the supercharged racers, but he put up a wonderful show, and his driving on the corners was terrific. Every time he took the fast bend under the bridge with a steady scream of tyres in a long controlled slide, going within a few feet of the top of the banking. Birkin broke his own lap record, his new speed being 75.21 m.p.h. This event will not soon be forgotten by those who saw it.
The next event, somewhat quiet by comparison, was the Ladies' Handicap, with Mrs. Wisdom on scratch in a 4½-litre Invicta, and Miss Fay Taylour on the 5 seconds mark in one of Messrs. Fox and Nichols' 500 mile race "105" Talbots, which proved the winner. This car was untouched since the "500" and had also been used by Brian Lewis for practising during the week, a good record of consistency.
The first lap saw Miss Schwedler's 12-60 Alvis in the lead going very well, though with the rear shock absorbers apparently rather slack. On the second lap the Talbot and Invicta came right through the field, Miss Taylour winning at the good speed of 98.37 m.p.h. Mrs. Wisdom was slow off the mark and could not catch the Talbot.
The Junior "Long" fell to Major Gardner's very swift Monthlery M.G., which lapped at just over 100 m.p.h, with Horsman's Triumph second, and Metcalfe's veteran Horstman third.
Campbell (Mercedes-Benz) and Penn-Hughes (Bugatti) had a great tussle in the Mountain Championship until the latter had the bad luck
to develop plug trouble. Our top picture shows these two engaged in their scrap. In the bottom photograph is seen Brian Lewis
high on the banking in pursuit of Staniland.
The Senior Long saw Birkin's Bentley at scratch and Clayton's Amilcar on the limit mark. On the second lap Widengren's O.M., now supercharged once more, and going great guns, went into the lead and scored an easy win at the remarkable speed of 110.43 m.p.h., having lapped at 117 m.p.h. Not bad for a 5-year-old 4 litre car ! Birkin was travelling really well on the Bentley, and ran into third place, afterwards going on for two laps in an attempt on the lap record. He came very near sucess, for his lap speed was 136.82 m.p.h., less than 1 m.p.h. below record.
The final event, run in semi-darkness, was a mountain race, chiefly remarkable for the speed of the winning M.G. (a fairly normal Midget), driven with great verve by H. C. Hamilton of University Motors, and also for the fearsome crackle of Horton's twin cylinder Special, which showed remarkable acceleration when firing on both cylinders, but was a trifle "spluttery" on occasion. Maclachlan's Austin was also very fast on the corners, and managed to get third place.
This brought the meeting, and another Brooklands season, to a close.
Left - Birkin (Maserati) taking the lead from Campbell on the 3rd lap of the Championship, and right - leading
Earl Howe's Delage round the track.
JUNIOR SHORT HANDICAP.-
1, P. Fotheringham Parker, Alvis, 1,991 c.c. (33 sec.) ;
2, W. M. Couper, Rover, 2,565 c.c. (33 sec.) ;
3, W. Straight, Riley, 1,089 c.c. (39 sec.).
Won at 91.11 m.p.h.
SENIOR SHORT HANDICAP.-
1, Sir H. Birkin, Alfa-Romeo (S), 2,354 c.c. (15 sec.) ;
2. B. E. Lewis, Talbot, 2,970 c.c. (38 sec.) ;
3, D. Froy, Leyland-Thomas 8,297 c.c. (15 sec.).
Won at 114.61 m.p.h.
1, Sir H. Birkin, Maserati (S), 2,795 c.c. ;
2, Sir M. Campbell, Mercedes (S), 7,020 c.c. ;
3, C. Penn-Hughes, Bugatti (S), 2,263 c.c. ;
4, C. S. Staniland, Bugatti (S), 1,496 c.c.
Won at 73.51 m.p.h.
1, Miss Fay Taylour, Talbot, 2,970 c.c. (5 sec.) ;
2, Mrs. T. H. Wisdom, Invicta, 4,467 c.c. (scratch)
3, Miss I. C. Schwedler, Alvis, 1,645 c.c. (1 min. 10 sec.).
Won at 98.37 m.p.h.
JUNIOR LONG HANDICAP.-
1, Major A. T. G. Gardner, M.G. (S), 746 c.c. (1 min. 11 Sec.);
2, V. E. Horsman, Triumph, 832 c.c. (2 min. 8 sec.) ;
3, C. Le Strange Metcalfe, Horstman, 1,496 c.c. (2 min. 12 sec.).
Won at 92.99 m.p.h.
SENIOR LONG HANDICAP.-
1, H. Widengren, O.M. (S), 1,496 c.c. (51 sec.) ;
2, J. R. Cobb, Delage, 10,688 c.c. (4 sec.) ;
3, Sir H, Birkin, Bentley (S), 4,398 c.c. (scratch).
Won at 110.43 m.p.h.
1, H. C. Hamilton, M.G., 847 c.c. (1 min. 57 sec.) ;
2, R. R. M. de Belleroche, Austin, 749 c.c. (2 min. 7 sec.) ;
3, A. N. L. Maclachlan Austin, 749 c.c. (1 min. 49 sec.).
Won at 60.99 m.p.h.