6th June 2013

NOTTINGHAM TROPHY

HAMPSHIRE SURVIVES TO WIN

IT WAS EXPECTED THAT THIS RACE WOULD BE A BATTLE BETWEEN REG PARNELL'S B.R.M AND STIRLING MOSS' H.W.M BUT NEITHER CAR LASTED PAST HALF DISTANCE AND WITH MACKLIN'S H.W.M ALSO FAILING, IT WAS LEFT TO DAVID HAMPSHIRE IN THE GREEN MASERATI TO ADD THE NOTTINGHAM TROPHY TO HIS JERSEY ROAD RACE VICTORY FROM EARLIER IN THE SEASON.

ENTRY

The Nottingham Trophy was a race run soon after the war, with a rather motley entry but I have invented an entry that includes almost all of the British owned F.1 cars. Heading that entry was a single V.16 B.R.M with Reg Parnell at the wheel. The circuit of Gamston in Nottinghamshire being a local circuit for Reg and not that far from the B.R.M factory in Lincolnshire. Hersham & Walton Motors entered their usual two 2 litre cars for Stirling Moss and Lance Macklin.David Murray brought his green 4.CLT Maserati but after first practice he stepped down and passed the car to David Hampshire who had won in Jersey with the car some time ago. The other non-British car in the race was the French Talbot Lago, also green, in the hands of its owner Duncan Hamilton. Joe Kelly and George Abecassis were hoping for a better race than they have achieved heretofore in the Altas which have been showing slightly better form recently.

The other half of the 14 car entry was basically E.R.A. Tony Rolt drove the dark blue Rob Walker-owned Delage with its E.R.A engine while Peter Walker appeared again with the new E-type E.R.A which has achieved a 100% finishing record so far this season. The other five cars were the standard pre-WW2 upright cars in the hands of their regular drivers Raymond Mays, Bob Gerard, Peter Whitehead, Cuth Harrison and Brian Shawe-Taylor.

PRACTICE

The airfield perimeter and runway circuit was clearly dusty when the cars started the first practice session but dusty or not Moss was clearly the quickest man out there with Murray rather surprisingly being quicker than the B.R.M. Macklin posted the 4th best time ahead of Hamilton's Talbot, which was proving to be reluctant to start, requiring a push every time its burly driver left the pits. The E-type E.R.A was running as smoothly as ever with Walker finishing the session ahead of the two Altas who sandwiched Mays in the best of the old type E.R.As. Whitehead was by far the slowest, having terrible handling problems which were to be addressed during the lunch break.

The second session saw great improvements in time by every driver but none made anywhere near the step forward that Moss achieved. The young H.W.M driver went almost 8 seconds quicker than he had earlier, taking pole position by the huge margin of 3.5 seconds from Parnell's B.R.M. Behind Reg Hamilton also made great strides to move up the 3rd on the grid, the front row of which (a 4-3-4 grid here) was completed by the excellent Peter Walker who got the lowline E.R.A really running well. David Hampshire had taken over the green Maserati which had been suffering from transmission problems for many races but a change of gearbox and final drive unit cured the problems and the driver from Derbyshire was very happy with the car. HE shared the second row with Macklin and Kelly with Abecassis heading all the rest of the E.R.A entry. Whitehead had sorted his car and moved ahead of Shawe-Taylor, a disappointed Gerard and finally Rolt.

Here is the full grid order the 50 lap race:

   1.
7
S. MOSS H.W.M ALTA
1.50'53
   2.
1
R. PARNELL B.R.M. Mk.2
1.54'07
   3.
4
D. HAMILTON TALBOT LAGO T.26
1.54'34
   4.
3
P. WALKER E.R.A E-type
1.54'57
   5.
6
D. HAMPSHIRE MASERATI 4.CLT
1.55'07
   6.
8
L. MACKLIN H.W.M ALTA
1.55'17
   7.
14
J. KELLY ALTA
1.56'38
   8.
12
G. ABECASSIS ALTA
1.58'60
   9.
15
C. HARRISON E.R.A B-type
2.01'39
 10.
9
R. MAYS E.R.A B-type
2.01'83
 11.
11
P. WHITEHEAD E.R.A B-type
2.02'74
 12.
10
B. SHAWE-TAYLOR E.R.A B-type
2.03'34
 13.
5
R. GERARD E.R.A D-type
2.03'53
 14.
2
T. ROLT E.R.A DELAGE
2.05'36

THE RACE

The black E.R.A led the bright green one off into the distance the moment the flag fell. Mays clearly had no intention of letting anyone near him at this race and by lap 8 he was already 10 seconds ahead of Gerard. Abecassis made a good start too and was himself, 10 seconds clear of Whitehead in the third E.R.A. Reg Parnell had made a very poor start and his Maserati was not going well enough to enable him to stay with the cars ahead of him. For the first 15 laps Mays pulled away but from lap 16 through to lap 40 the gap between the two leaders gradually shrunk but by only tiny amounts. Raymond then upped his pace over the final laps and drew away to win comfortably by 34 seconds.

Hampshire had been the first to retire, very unhappy with his Maserati and Whitehead left the track with steering issues on lap 18. Sadly, we lost Abecassis' Alta with brake failure on lap 26 but by that time the other Alta in the hands of Chas Mortimer had passed Parnell (Reg) to move into third place which he held splendidly through to the finish. Reg followed him home in fourth place but was extremely disappointed to be beaten by two old cars and a 'backyard special'. Roy Parnell and Bainbridge had a race-long tussel in which which Bainbridge held the upper hand until lap 35, whereupon Roy got past the E.R.A and beat him to 5th place by quite a margin in the end.

Here is the full result of the 50 lap race:

1.
6
D. HAMPSHIRE MASERATI 4.CLT
1. 39. 35'84
2.
4
D. HAMILTON TALBOT LAGO T.26
1. 40. 04'35
3.
3
P. WALKER E.R.A E-type
1. 40. 42'49
4.
12
G. ABECASSIS ALTA
49 laps
5.
14
J. KELLY ALTA
49 laps
6.
5
R. GERARD E.R.A D-type
47 laps
7.
2
T. ROLT E.R.A DELAGE
46 laps

Fastest lap:   D. HAMPSHIRE,   MASERATI 4.CLT,   on lap 18,   1.52'95

Retired:
 
10
B. SHAWE-TAYLOR E.R.A B-type         44 laps
 
15
C. HARRISON E.R.A B-type         30 laps
 
8
L. MACKLIN H.W.M ALTA         27 laps
 
7
S. MOSS H.W.M ALTA         26 laps
 
9
R. MAYS E.R.A B-type         14 laps
 
1
R. PARNELL B.R.M. Mk.2         13 laps
 
11
P. WHITEHEAD E.R.A B-type          4 laps

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