29th August 2013

ULSTER TROPHY 2 - DUNDROD

FARINA'S IRISH DOUBLE

HAVING STROLLED TO A COMFORTABLE VICTORY AT BALLYCLARE, NINO FARINA MADE IT TWO OUT OF TWO WITH ANOTHER CONSUMMATE DRIVE IN THE SECOND ULSTER TROPHY RACE AT DUNDROD.

ENTRY

In many respects the Dundrod circuit resembles that at Ballyclare in that it winds through the countryside although the Dundrod circuit is more rectangular than triangular.

The same twenty cars arrived for the second part of the Ulster Trophy with Farina's factory Alfa clearly ensconced as favourite. The entry was exactly the same as for the Ballyclare race with Maseratis driven by Prince Bira, Louis Chiron and Toulo de Graffenried from beyond British shores, plus Davids Murray and Hampshire as well, all five with 4.CLTs. Talbots abounded in the hands of Phi-phi Etancelin, Louis Rosier, Johnny Claes, Yves Giraud-Cabantous and Guy Mairesse along with Duncan Hamilton with his green one. One Ferrari graced the entry - the green Thinwall Special 375 in the hands of the experienced Reg Parnell.

The 'local' entries showed six E.R.As but with a couple of new faces behind the wheels. For the first time this season we saw Ernie Wilkinson about who nothing seems to be known and Philip Fotheringham-Parker from south London. Regular E.R.As were handled by Bob Gerard, Peter Whitehead, Brian Shawe-Taylor, who is actually from the Republic of Ireland and Peter Walker, the latter once again in the much more up-to-date E-type car. One Alta was entered, to be driven, not surprisingly by Irishman Joe Kelly, this car's performance having improved steadily as the season has progressed.

PRACTICE

This time Farina made sure of the fastest time in both practice sessions. In the first session he was over 5 seconds ahead of the next best driver - Rosier - with de Graffenried and Etancelin next up. Bira had a troubled session and was only 10th. Peter Walker went very well in the newer, E-type E.R.A but the pre-war cars were somewhat outclassed, filling five of the last six places on the grid. Rather surprisingly, in amongst these five was found Reg Parnell in the Thinwall Special Ferrari, which simply would not work to it theoretical potential, which seemed remarkable given that Parnell had put the same car on the front row at Ballyclare.

Second practice saw improvements in time by every driver, none more so that Bira who cut a massive 25 seconds from his previous best time to move up tp a front row place on the grid behind Farina and Rosier who retained the first two places with Rosier only 2.5 seconds slower than the Alfa. Etancelin and de Graffenried swapped places while Hamilton was delighted to move up to sixth ahead of Chiron's Maserati and Walker's E.R.A. Joe kelly used local knowledge to post the 12th best time, ahead of a Maserati, a Talbot and the Thinwall Ferrari, the last of who managed to lap faster than all the other E.R.As although a starting position of 15th was hardly anything to get excited about and Parnell certainly wasn't.

Here is the full grid order the 27 lap race:

   1.
9
N. FARINA ALFA ROMEO 159
4.44'00
   2.
4
L. ROSIER TALBOT LAGO T.26
4.46'54
   3.
7
B. BIRA MASERATI 4.CLT
4.51'04
   4.
21
P. ETANCELIN TALBOT LAGO T.26
4.52'45
   5.
15
E. de GRAFFENRIED MASERATI 4.CLT
4.53'01
   6.
10
D. HAMILTON TALBOT LAGO T.26
4.53'86
   7.
16
L. CHIRON MASERATI 4.CLT
4.56'26
   8.
5
G. MAIRESSE TALBOT LAGO T.26
4.59'20
   9.
18
P. WALKER E.R.A E-type
4.59'77
 10.
11
D. HAMPSHIRE MASERATI 4.CLT
5.00'05
 11.
8
J. CLAES TALBOT LAGO T.26
5.00'61
 12.
25
J. KELLY ALTA
5.03'71
 13.
23
D. MURRAY MASERATI 4.CLT
5.06'80
 14.
6
Y. GIRAUD-CABANTOUS TALBOT LAGO T.26
5.09'62
 15.
17
R. PARNELL THINWALL Spl. FERRARI 375
5.10'74
 16.
3
B. SHAWE-TAYLOR E.R.A B-type
5.12'71
 17.
2
R. GERARD E.R.A B-type
5.13'28
 18.
19
G. WHITEHEAD E.R.A B-type
5.13'84
 19.
11
P. FOTHERINGHAM-PARKER E.R.A B-type
5.18'06
 20.
20
E. WILKINSON E.R.A B-type
5.22'00

THE RACE

In an almost identical fashion to what had happened in the first of the Northern Irish races, Dr. Farina was away and gone from the very start of the race and the only time any of the other cars saw him was when he lapped them. Quarter distance saw him 15 seconds ahead, which became 45 seconds by the half way point. Seven laps later it was a minute and from then on the Alfa cruised around to win by a fraction over that minute. All was not so serene behind the Alfa because although de Graffenried held second place for most of the race he was initially headed by Bira who made an excellent start but overcooked it on lap 5 and left the road, posting yet another retirement for the very talented but sometimes rather wild Siamese Prince. Chiron moved rapidly into 3rd place and held it until two laps from the end when he too had an accident and failed to finish.

A splendid drive was put in by David Hampshire who brought his green Maserati through to finish a magnificent third albeit two and a half minutes behind de Graffenried. Hamilton was a fine 4th although probably rather disappointed not to be the first green car home especially since Hampshire only passed him on the final lap and beat him by less than 3/10ths of a second. Guy Mairesse and Giraud-Cabantous in their Talbots completed the top six. Kelly beat all the E.R.As although rather unusually, the E-type posted a rare retirement this time, as did Whitehead who crashed on the first lap; Wilkinson did the same on the 17th. The Thinwall Ferrari lasted until lap 11 before Parnell had to stop with a sick engine. Claes was involved in Whitehead's crash and also retired on the first lap while Rosier's car handled worse and worse until the Frenchman stopped to investigate the problem on lap 21, only to find that the back end of the chassis had broken thus requiring Louis to withdraw from the race.

Here is the full result of the 27 lap race:

1.
9
N. FARINA ALFA ROMEO 159
2.12.24'77
2.
15
E. de GRAFFENRIED MASERATI 4.CLT
2.13.25'85
3.
11
D. HAMPSHIRE MASERATI 4.CLT
2.15.54'75
4.
10
D. HAMILTON TALBOT LAGO T.26
2.15.55'03
5.
5
G. MAIRESSE TALBOT LAGO T.26
2.17.05'68
6.
6
Y. GIRAUD-CABANTOUS TALBOT LAGO T.26
26 laps
7.
25
J. KELLY ALTA
26 laps
8.
23
D. MURRAY MASERATI 4.CLT
26 laps
9.
3
B. SHAWE-TAYLOR E.R.A B-type
26 laps
10.
2
R. GERARD E.R.A B-type
26 laps
11.
11
P. FOTHERINGHAM-PARKER E.R.A B-type
25 laps

Fastest lap:   N. FARINA,   ALFA ROMEO 159,   on lap 10,   4.46'54

Retired:
 
16
L. CHIRON MASERATI 4.CLT
25 laps
 
21
P. ETANCELIN TALBOT LAGO T.26
23 laps
 
4
L. ROSIER TALBOT LAGO T.26
20 laps
 
20
E. WILKINSON E.R.A B-type
16 laps
 
18
P. WALKER E.R.A E-type
14 laps
 
17
R. PARNELL THINWALL Spl. FERRARI 375
10 laps
 
7
B. BIRA MASERATI 4.CLT
4 laps
 
19
P. WHITEHEAD E.R.A B-type
0 laps
 
8
J. CLAES TALBOT LAGO T.26
0 laps

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