7th June 2010

GOODWOOD TROPHY

EASY WIN FOR THE THINWALL

Here we go with the first race for Titans cars in Britain. There were several events at Goodwood in 1950-51 but I have decided to call my event the Goodwood Trophy. Being a race run in the early days of the Sussex circuit, the famous Goodwood Chicane had not been added to the circuit by then, so I had to modify my normal Goodwood to create a chicane-less track. I had nothing to confirm the way the road went after Woodcote so I have just added a little left-hand bend to lead onto the start-finish straight.

The entry is a really mixed bag of pre and post WW2 cars with no less than seven of the fifteen having their first race of the season. Pride of place goes to the evocative V.16 B.R.M, which Reg Parnell is going to try to hang on to in its first run out. Peter Whitehead will drive the lovely Thinwall Special (Ferrari 375) and this must be favourite with its Italian pedigree. Further cars from Italy are two Maseratis for Toulo de Graffenried and David Murray, with Prince Bira hoping for better results than he has managed so far with the OSCA.

Stirling Moss and Lance Macklin are giving debuts to the new H.W.M cars - which are actually 2 litre machines but will make up for lack of capacity by virtue of good handling - they hope! No blue French cars are entered but there are still two Talbot Lagos; one green one for Duncan Hamilton and Belgian musician Johnny Claes with his yellow version.

The remainder of the entry is British. Joe Kelly gives the Alta its first outing, while there are no less than five E.R.As present, four of them being D-types but by some distance the most interesting is the E-type. This is a pre war car (as are the D-types, of course) but it is MUCH more like a modern racing car, being low, long and sleek. It will be driven by Peter Walker.

Two practice sessions have given us a varied and interesting grid. With only seven seconds covering the whole field it looks like a really competitive race. A narrow pole position was taken by Whitehead in the Thinwall Ferrari with Parnell's B.R.M close behind; Moss and Claes complete the front row of the 4 x 3 grid. Moss did not find the H.W.M going very well in the first session but the car got better and better in the second. The two Maseratis share the second row, sandwiching Hamilton's Talbot. And the E-type E.R.A proved quicker than all the other English Racing Automobiles and Bira's OSCA.

THE RACE

Peter Whitehead can seldom have had an easier race victory. Right from the start he drew away from the field and although Reg Parnell gave valiant chase, the Thinwall Special (nee Ferrari 375) was just too quick by some margin. When the B.R.M stopped on lap 18 the elder of the Whitehead half-brothers was able to cruise away to lap everyone else in the race and take an extremely comfortable victory. Following the retirement of the B.R.M, Stirling Moss assumed 2nd place, driving the little H.W.M with great gusto but in the end, supercharged Italian horsepower won the day when David Murray passed the Formula 2 car to take a very creditable 2nd place. The Scot had run as low as 6th at one point but passed Bira, then Graham Whitehead, who drove a superb race in the old E.R.A, before finally pipping Moss by less than three seconds.

The aforemention Graham Whitehead and the Siamese Prince retained 4th and 5th places to the end, while Fred Ashmore kept his E.R.A going very nicely to finish 6th. Peter Walker drove a steady race in the long E-type E.R.A and made it to the finish, the car seemingly handling very well but lacking straight line speed.

Both Talbots went out very early, Claes spun off while Hamilton came in with the rear end of the car flapping about loose following a chassis breakage. A disappointing retirement was that of de Graffenried, the Swiss driver's engine failed after just 15 laps. The other retirement was Gerard's E.R.A which had a steering arm fail.

Here is the full result of the 40 lap race:


   1.     8 P. WHITEHEAD THINWALL Spl. FERRARI 375     1. 05. 57'87
   2.     4 D. MURRAY MASERATI 4.CLT         39 laps
   3.   17 S. MOSS H.W.M         39 laps
   4.     9 G. WHITEHEAD E.R.A D-type         39 laps
   5.     2 B. BIRA OSCA         39 laps
   6.   14 F. ASHMORE E.R.A D-type         39 laps
   7.   10 J. KELLY ALTA         38 laps
   8.   18 P. WALKER E.R.A E-type         38 laps
   9.   16 L. MACKLIN H.W.M         38 laps
 10.   15 B. SHAWE-TAYLOR E.R.A D-type         38 laps
Fastest lap:   P. WHITEHEAD,   THINWALL Spl. FERRARI 375,   on lap 28,   1.35'44

Retired:
      1 R. PARNELL B.R.M V.16         17 laps
      3 E. de GRAFFENRIED MASERATI 4.CLT         15 laps
      7 R. GERARD E.R.A D-type         13 laps
      6 J. CLAES TALBOT LAGO T.26           8 laps
      5 D. HAMILTON TALBOT LAGO T.26           6 laps

RACE NOTES:

  • Following dominant Ferrari wins at Pau and Syracuse, this race underlined the fact that the 375 will be very hard to beat this season.
  • The next race, at San Remo, will see a serious Alfa Romeo effort as Fangio is entered for his first Alfa race.
  • The E.R.As continue to impress. Their drivers have to treat cornering with caution but the upright cars do go extremely well.
  • As indeed did the E-type car from the same stable. How often it will appear is not yet certain.
  • After very competitive practice times it was very sad to see the Talbots retire so early. As it was the car's first race, Hamilton cannot understand
        how the chassis of his car could have broken so soon.
  • De Graffenried was just getting up to speed when his engine failed. A great pity as he felt second was a real possibility.
  • There was a marginal improvement in the performance of Prince Bira's OSCA but the car is still handling very poorly with huge oversteer.
  • The San Remo race has a very strong entry with four works Ferraris as well as the Alfa, plus cars from Maserati, Talbot and H.W.M.
  • Lance Macklin will be hoping for a much better handling H.W.M around the twists and turns of the Ospedaletti circuit.

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