[From "The Circuit Dust, 1935,"]
UNTIL 1929 it seemed improbable that a type of race could be conceived which would be different from anything yet organized. Cars had been run over open roads and over closed circuits, up hills and along flat stretches of sand, over mountain courses and down brief but magnificent stretches of perfect highway, around closed concrete tracks, across beds of dried lakes, and even on lakes that were frozen over.
It was left to the principality of Monaco to conceive a course for racing cars that was entirely new, and early in 1929 they announced an event to be held through the streets of Monte Carlo, over a circuit less than two miles long. The project-like the original idea of the Mille Miglia-appeared to be attended by very dangerous elements, and it certainly promised to be exciting.
Fifteen cars started in the first event, and the race proved much faster and even more stirring than had been anticipated. Every house and hotel overlooking the course was turned into a grandstand, with spectators watching from the windows or crowded on the balconies. The ceaseless hammering of exhausts, echoing from the walls of the buildings, made the race an unusually noisy event, but the spectacle of machines moving under full throttle through ordinary streets was fascinating, and the venture was assured of success from the start.
The race proved a very severe test for the cars; top gear could be used only along the sea front, while corners were approached in such swift succession that good braking power was vital. Equally, the event was a great trial of driving skill, and in later years contestants were able to enter only at the express invitation of the authorities.
The success of the Grand Prix de Monaco was such that it received flattering imitation. The towns of Nimes, Nice, and Pau organized similar events; the Grand Prix de Lwow was run "round-the-houses" of the Polish town, while even Czechoslovakia organized a race of the same type through a town known as Kralovske Hradets, some sixty miles from Prague.
These circumstances had a bearing upon suggestions made by the authorities of the Isle of Man in their efforts to induce the Royal Automobile Club to bring the Tourist Trophy race back to the island, which had been the original setting for the event. In this the Manx authorities were unsuccessful, but in 1933 they proposed a race similar to the Tourist Trophy and run over a shorter course or, alternatively, an event for machines of under 1,500 c.c. on the circuit originally used for the T.T. Failing the adoption of either of these proposals, they suggested that a race after the style of the Grand Prix de Monaco should be run through the streets of Douglas.
The R.A.C. decided that the third suggestion was one which would attract British drivers, and a course was approved. It was decided that two events should be held, one for supercharged cars up to i,1 oo c.c., including unblown models up to 1,500 c.c., and the other for cars of any capacity, the machines in each race starting from scratch. It was decided to call the event for smaller cars the Mannin Beg-"The Race of the Little Man"-while the other event was named the Mannin Moar.
A circuit measuring 4.6 miles was selected, starting from the promenade, and each race was designed for fifty laps-two hundred and thirty miles. The setting was a beautiful one, formed by the arch of Douglas Bay, with the buildings of the town standing out against the green slopes of the heights behind. The grandstand was placed in front of the Villa Marina, with the pits backing on to the sea at the other side of the broad promenade, so that the starting-point became set at the end of a flat, fast stretch along the front, hardly more than two hundred yards from the first turn of the course.
This was an acute right-hand corner entering a short street that led, by a sharp left-hand bend, to the gradient of Finch Road. The circuit then ran, still uphill, between rows of shops, climbing for three-quarters of a mile, ending with a fast turn to St. Ninian's, beyond which were playing-fields where crowds gathered during the races. There followed a series of short straights and abrupt turns, which ended with a half-mile of switchback road to Governor's Bridge. The cars used the new bridge, which stands alongside the old one employed during the motor-cycle T.T. races, and from this point the course ran by a fast stretch to a hairpin turn in Onchan village. Around this the road climbed Summer Hill, narrowing at the crest, then diving steeply to the fast sweep of the promenade and the end of the lap.
The course was excellent for its purpose, and the planning of the race made it evident that the event was primarily intended to attract British drivers, because the regulations were such that they excluded the single-seater, Grand Prix type of car, as all machines had to carry mechanics. Prize money totalled five hundred pounds for each race, the winner receiving two hundred pounds. This was hardly enough to attract crack entries from the Continent, which, however, was not the design of the organizers. They had no intention of trying to rival the Monaco Grand Prix; they wanted to stage an event which would test competing machines in a way in which no race in the British Isles had tried them before, and in this they were completely successful.
The one great difficulty with such races is that during practice, and during the event, the normal life of residents suffers considerable upheaval. In Douglas, part of the town was completely shut off, which made it necessary for people living along the course to abandon their houses before the cars began running, or to remain indoors if they had no interest in the event. Still further, the shore in front of the promenade was closed, which was a disappointment to the holiday-makers, most of whom came from Lancashire and Yorkshire, and who at first regarded the Mannins Beg and Moar as a doubtful contribution to their holiday entertainment.
For these reasons the atmosphere during practice was peculiar. In Monte Carlo everyone accepted the Monaco Grand Prix as of supreme importance; in Douglas there were many who were unfamiliar with motor racing and had very little idea of what it was all about. They viewed practising only as a number of cars going unnaturally fast in places where speed was normally impossible. Not until the events were actually being run off was real interest stimulated, when, although the organizers suffered a loss of over three thousand pounds, the awakened enthusiasm was more than enough to persuade them to the hope that the races might be the first of an annual series.
The Mannin Beg was the next race of importance in which the Magnettes made their appearance. Lord Howe had entered his Mille Miglia car, but the injury which he had sustained in the French Grand Prix made it impossible for him to race. Eyston, however, appeared at the wheel of the machine which he had driven so successfully over Italian roads. E. R. Hall entered the car that had taken second place in the International Trophy, and made his preparations for the race with his usual thoroughness.
While "Jock" Little-the mechanic lent him by Cecil Kimber-was preparing the car at the works, Hall travelled to the Isle of Man with a camera. He drove all round the course, photographing every corner and every bend, taking pictures from the heart of each turn and again of the road as it opened up beyond the corner. These photographs he assembled in an album, forming a complete pictorial record of the course; this, combined with the notes which he had made, enabled him to study the circuit after his return.
He was probably the first driver to make so close an examination of any course, although all men of experience are careful to survey a new circuit before and between intervals of practice. Eyston usually cycles round; many others motor along the straights and walk through the comers; some travel afoot for lap after lap, remarking all the details of road surface and bends; yet others make a survey by car, and after that drive around at the highest possible speed, short of using the actual competition machine.
The methods employed depend entirely upon a driver's ideas. Some men are gifted with a flair for taking a corner with some accuracy at the first attempt, while others acquire the knack only after study. Some believe in motoring fast from the moment they arrive on the course, correcting their positioning of a machine as experience of the circuit demands; they learn the course at speed instead of slowly, arguing that in any case the road always looks different from the cockpit of a fast-moving machine, and that it will have this appearance in the race.
A third Magnette had been entered by R. A. Yallop, who was driving in his first big event-like Robin M. Mere, who had put in another Magnette, and whose previous experience consisted of races in Donnington Park. Mere viewed the Mannin Beg with very real enthusiasm, and he went to the length of purchasing a Bentley with which to tow his machine to Liverpool, and for use as a tender on the island. Knowing something of the way in which tools can be lost, he took the precaution of having every item in his equipment cellulosed a cheerful yellow, painting his tow-bar to match.
Bernard Rubin entered the Magnette which Sir Henry Birkin and he had driven in the Mille Miglia, nominating Kaye Don as driver, while a sixth machine was being driven by H. C. Hamilton. He had intended using the M.G. Midget which he had driven at Nürburg, but as these cars would be starting on level terms with the bigger Magnettes, he changed his entry. Whitney Straight was also down to drive but, like Lord Howe, doctor's orders prevented him coming to the line.
The conditions of the race put M.G. Midgets on even terms with the Magnettes, and although there was a great difference between the 746 c.c. of the smaller M.G.s and the 1,087 c.c. of the Magnettes, the disparity was not likely to prove a great handicap. Previous events had proved that the Midgets could corner as fast as much bigger machines, and even a 2,336 c.c. Alfa-Romeo could not gain from them on a winding circuit providing they were well handled, as H. C. Hamilton had proved at Nürburg, and as had been shown in more than one T.T. race.
Ford and Baumer entered the car they had driven at Le Mans, and their method of preparing the machine was a little unusual. They took out the engine and ran it up to the M.G. works on the Mercedes, returning to make an overhaul of the chassis. On the day before they were due to sail from Liverpool, Baumer towed the chassis to Abingdon, where the engine was fitted overnight so that he was able to leave for Liverpool at dawn.
Another M.G. Midget had been entered by Denis K. Mansell, who had raced motor-cycles and had considerable trials experience with sports cars. E. L. Gardner was down to drive the machine which he had raced in the International Trophy, preparing it himself; the late S. A. Crabtree also entered the car which he had driven in the same race. The remainder of the starters in the Mannin Beg consisted of Victor Gillow and Freddie Dixon on Rileys, and T. G. Moore-the only Manxman in the race-was at the wheel of a Frazer Nash. One other car was a Sullivan Special; actually, this entry was a Morris Minor tuned and adapted for racing by its driver.
Robin Mere was the first of all entrants to appear on the course, arriving with half a dozen friends who made up in willingness what they lacked in expert mechanical knowledge. Jacko, who came to the island ready to render all M.G. drivers what assistance they required, found that, during practice and final preparation, he had only to show Mere's companions, or to tell them what required to be done on the car, for them immediately to carry out his instructions to the very letter.
Hall followed Mere into the town, and he had secured an old garage, converted from a stable, as his headquarters. It was in a quiet part of Douglas, well out of the reach of intruders, but the condition of the place was such that he had it renovated, arguing that good work on the car could not be done except in good surroundings. The doors and windows were repaired after the building had been cleaned out; he installed electric light, and covered the old bench with zinc sheeting, as used at the works from which his Magnette had come.
Jacko brought over Hamilton's car, which arrived two days before the driver. Albert Denly appeared with Eyston's machine, and soon all the cars in the Mannin Beg were quartered about the town. The bigger entries for the Mannin Moar arrived at the same time, because cars in both races were to use the circuit together for practice.
The weather was exceedingly hot and all drivers had carburation difficulties, due to the fact that the course was at sea-level, and that all compressions had been raised as an aid to the greatest possible acceleration; good brakes and acceleration were vital points on the difficult course, and everyone strove to make his machine supreme in these features. Gear ratios were all lowered, since there was only one brief straight on the circuit, and even here there was no distance in which to attain really high speeds. The Magnettes would probably be unable to touch more than 100 m.p.h. along the promenade, and the cars in the Mannin Moar would be limited to about 115 m.p.h.
All drivers planned to run their machines with as little extra weight as possible, stripping them to true racing trim. It was due to this that Ford spent a most unhappy morning on the opening of practice. On his first lap his machine developed ignition trouble, and came to a stop at the back of the circuit; all tools had been removed, and there was nothing with which to effect a repair. In his pit Baumer waited anxiously when the car failed to come round, and finally sent a mechanic to find out what had happened. The man discovered Ford standing by the car with a row of schoolboys clinging to the top of a wall immediately behind, all hoarse from making comments and proffering advice to the driver. The mechanic arrived without the necessary tools, and the whole period of practice had frittered away by the time the car was able to move again.
Hamilton found his brakes spongy, and he could not get his carburation right, while, like Eyston, the plug in number six cylinder constantly oiled up, even under full throttle. This was largely due to oil leaking from the bearings of the supercharger, and they overcame it by fitting a "soft" plug. Hamilton also had his brakes relined, but not until all practising had ended was he able to get the Magnette running to his satisfaction.
Mansell broke the shaft of his supercharger during the second day's practice, which involved all-night work for Jacko and the car's personnel. They had effected a repair by dawn, only to be held up by faulty carburation, which, however, was overcome during the following morning. While others were mastering their difficulties, Hall struck an unusual trouble. A new type of sump had been designed for the Magnette engine; it had large cooling fins and was intended for precisely the kind of work which lay before the car. It was not ready when the machines assembled on the island, but Hall ordered one of the new sumps, and it was sent to him by air.
On his first run with it fitted to the engine he discovered that oil was picked up by the big-ends and worked on to the sparking-plugs, while the contents of the sump surged badly at every corner, spurting out through the filler-cap and the crank-case breather, so that a quart was lost on every lap. He and his mechanics took the sump down seven times, trying to fit baffles which would control the oil. In this they failed, and they finally refitted the old sump, adding a scoop which would shoot a cooling stream of air on to it. Later the new sump was standardized by readjusting its baffles and dropping it so that the oil was beyond reach of the big-ends.
It was Kaye Don, however, whose machine presented, at the last moment, a trouble which made it seem for some time as though the car would not start in the race. His chief mechanic was Donald Finlayson, who had originally worked with Sir Henry Birkin and was glad now to lend a hand with the Magnette which Birkin had run in Italy. Although he was unfamiliar with M.G. cars, he showed his skill by the way in which he worked, but at almost the last hour of practice the Magnette's back axle gave out. When the machine had been towed to its garage, it was found that the half-shafts were twisted and the differential damaged.
Finlayson promptly started a search for spares, but none were available. J. R. Temple, the M.G. competition manager, had seen to it that Jacko and his mechanics brought over everything that imagination could suggest as being a likely requirement, but the last thing that anyone expected was that a car should develop back-axle trouble. Temple did all that he could to help, but the parts that Finlayson needed were simply not on the island, and there was no way of getting them over in time. It appeared as if Kaye Don would be unable to start, when the mechanic had an idea.
For the next couple of hours attendants at garages in the town were startled by the sudden appearance of an intent, frowning man who entered their premises, briefly examined the cars, and then went out again, often without so much as a word. It was Finlayson, and he visited the hotel garages, the car parks, and the filling stations in half Douglas before he found what he sought a Magnette. It was not a racing model, but it had precisely the same axle as Kaye Don's disabled machine, and it was the back axle-or certain parts from it-that Finlayson wanted. He inquired for the owner, and by good fortune he proved to be an old friend of both Sir Henry Birkin and of Kaye Don, and he willingly ran his machine across the town to Don's racing camp, telling the mechanic to strip the car to the last bolt if it would help to bring Birkin's former mount to the starting-line. The wheels had hardly ceased turning before Finlayson was attacking the rear of the machine, and before dawn Don's car was running once more.
With the machines brought to racing fettle, drivers completed their arrangements for running the event. Eyston removed the starter-battery from his machine, leaving this at the pit, using a plug and flex connection between it and the starter-motor on the car. The majority of drivers decided to carry only essential tools, and all except Hall discarded their spare wheels; if a tyre should burst on so short a circuit, a machine would be able to run around to the pits on the bare rim. ' Hall decided to carry a spare wheel, copper "clouter," and a jack, because he considered that the extra weight was negligible and that, if by some mischance he had tyre trouble, it was better to be able to rectify it on the spot than to lose time in making a slow run on to the pits where, in any case, the wheel would require to be changed.
On the night before the Mannin Beg no one could guess what its result would be, although the Magnettes were favoured. Dixon's Riley had made the fastest lap during practice, registering just 60 m.p.h., but most of the M.G. cars had been within a few seconds of his time. In any case, the periods of practice were too brief for anyone to offer a considered opinion about the race itself, except that Dixon was the most dangerous rival to a Magnette victory.
The Mannin Beg was due to start at half-past nine on the morning of Wednesday, July 12, 1933- It rained early, and another shower fell from the clouded sky while the machines were lining up and an official car was closing the course; but the rain was not enough to affect the road, and would serve to lessen possible dust from the granite chippings which formed a non-skid surface.
The final preparations for the event made the holiday-makers realize that morning would bring real excitement, and every point around the circuit was crowded by the time that the course was closed. Spectators gathered at the corners, in the doorways of houses, behind the railings of small front gardens, on balconies and at windows, on the entrance steps of buildings, in temporary grandstands, on roofs and wall-tops, with small boys clustered wherever the branches of a tree offered a view of the road.
The course was in perfect condition, and the event had been very well organized. There were five hundred volunteer marshals, all of whom had been sworn in as special constables and whose duty it was to keep the circuit clear. There were three first-aid posts to every mile, and temporary hospitals had been placed at a dozen points in case of accidents. There were thirty-five flag stations-from which drivers could be signalled in the event of any untoward incident-and half a dozen mobile fire stations, while a score of telephones scattered about the course could communicate immediately with one another or with the grandstand. The forethought with which the race details had been completed deserved that the event should be attended by success.
The machines were positioned at the start according to ballot, and were drawn up across the tramlines at the end of the promenade. When the starter's flag was lifted Robin Mere, Eyston, and Hamilton on their Magnettes were in the front row with Freddie Dixon. Kaye Don, Crabtree, and Yallop were in the second row, and the rest were drawn up behind-fourteen cars in all, giving off blued exhaust smoke which a breeze sent drifting over the deserted foreshore.
At the last moment the sun broke through the clouds and lit the whole scene brightly. The flag fell, and the four lines of cars swept forward in the first "round-the-houses" race that the British Isles had yet known.
In a race over a course like that of the Mannin Beg a great deal depended upon the actual start; a driver who found himself crowded by the pack might lose considerable time before he could draw clear and open out. It was an advantage to be in the front row of the line-up, and drivers who held this position knew that they would be pressed in the first few yards by machines immediately in their rear, because the first corner lay close ahead and only the cars which led the way around it would have a clear run under full throttle over the first lap.
As a result, every machine went away with a surging rush. Kaye Don, in the second row, put his foot hard down and pulled well to the side of the road, shooting past Hamilton on one side while Crabtree took his Midget by on the other, the very pace of their start catching Hamilton unawares. Don's Magnette held the lead by a couple of yards when he reached the turn, with Hamilton on Crabtree's tail and Dixon just behind, the rest spread out over the promenade as they placed their machines for the corner. In but a moment the cars had roared into the turn, leaving a thin cloud of smoke as they disappeared.
The first four drivers held their positions on the brief uphill stretch of Church Road, then cornered again, machines in the pack passing and repassing as they chased the leaders up the rise into Buck's Road. Here shop-fronts echoed to the exhausts of the cars, while Hamilton tried again and again to overtake Crabtree and Don, but each time he was checked by a bend. If the watching holiday-makers had any doubt concerning the thrill of motor-racing, those doubts were dispersed as they saw the close-grouped leaders pass, and watched the string of machines bellowing at their tails, still so bunched that there was barely fifty yards between Kaye Don and the last car.
That first lap was as stirring as anything that any race could show, and soon the leaders were scuttling along Ballaquayle Road, to turn by St. Ninian's Church, and then take corner after acute corner before the swinging rush to Governor's Bridge. Here houses were temporarily left behind, and trees flung shadows on the road where machines entered the fast straight to the hairpin at Onchan village.
Hamilton put his Magnette into position to pass Crabtree's M.G. Midget, but the corner was too near for him to make the attempt. Just before the race someone had told him that the sandbags on the hairpin were filled with stones, not sand; whether this was true or not, he took no risk of entering the turn too fast, but the moment that it was left behind he put his foot down, drawing level with Crabtree in the rush towards the crest of Summer Hill. Here the road narrowed, and again he was forced behind, but Hamilton gave his machine full throttle on the drop down to the promenade, coming level once more.
Side by side the cars descended, with houses on one hand and a brick wall-flanked by telegraph poles-on the other. Hamilton slid in front when they reached the promenade, taking second place, and immediately set himself to catch Kaye Don. The leading Magnette was only a little distance ahead, and it gathered speed all the way to the grandstands, so that Don had the honour of being first round, although Hamilton was within range of the smoke that gushed from his exhaust when he changed gear for the corner beyond the pits.
Crabtree clung close to Hamilton-proving that, on this course, the bigger engines of the Magnettes lent little advantage-and a short distance behind was Dixon's Riley. Eyston had his Mille Miglia machine at Dixon's tail, and with him was E. R. Hall; these three were wary drivers, and had made no effort to get the lead. Behind them came Gillow on his Riley, then Yallop and Mere on Magnettes ; the rest were strung out, completing the first lap while Hamilton was chasing Don up Church Road and along the gradient beyond. He closed in still further, and was right on Don's tail when they reached the end of winding Woodbury Road. Hamilton held his position through the sharp turns which followed, pulling out to pass as they roared towards Governor's Bridge, and just before they reached it Hamilton snatched the lead.
He used full throttle as he raced on to Onchan, took the hairpin carefully, then opened up again, and finished the second lap with a clear lead of fifty yards, setting a cracking pace. Hall slowed as he came to the stands, and drew in at his pit to change No. 6 plug. His stop was very brief, but it allowed the rest to get well ahead, and Hall set out to chase them, only to find disaster awaiting him on the corner at the end of the grandstand straight after he had completed his next lap.
As he took the turn his nearside front tyre burst, so that he shot across the corner, just missing the sandbags on the outside and mounting the pavement. The wheel with the deflated tyre had hit the kerb, and when the car stopped the lamed wheel was leaning at an angle; the impact against the kerb had bent the axle beam. Although Hall had jack, spare wheel, and tools aboard, merely changing the wheel would not put the car into the race again. The damage could not be repaired, and he could only back the machine clear of the corner, where it remained until the end of the race. The mishap was due to the one thing which many drivers had feared might occur; the tyre-burst had been caused by the edge of a tramway line cutting the tyre on the second lap.
He was the first to fall out. While he was examining his car, Gillow and then Mere visited the pits, both changing plugs. They restarted, but it was not long before Gillow was in again, this time to retire with valve trouble. Very soon afterwards Moore ran a big-end bearing on his Frazer Nash, and also retired.
Hamilton was now well ahead, setting the pace at an average speed which was hardly less than that of Dixon's record lap. Kaye Don was doing his utmost to hold him, and Crabtree's M.G. Midget was-by virtue of the driver's skill-still in third place, with Dixon fourth and Eyston behind him, both waiting to see what happened to the cars ahead before they made any effort to use all-out speed. Eyston's Mille Miglia machine was running well until there came an abrupt clattering from the engine just as he ran into Ballaquayle Road. He stopped within sight of St. Ninian's corner, and investigation showed a broken spindle in the drive to the overhead camshaft, so that a fourth retirement was announced after the race had run only six laps.
Hamilton, passing Eyston's halted machine on his next circuit, continued at a speed which was greater than before, and during the next four laps he increased his average for the race by a full mile an hour. When he passed the grandstand Don was nearly half a mile behind, with Crabtree still clinging to the Magnette. He had been cornering his Midget with a daring which made the spectators catch their breath at times, so closely did he risk disaster, particularly on the turn into Ballaquayle Road, where again and again his machine pitched into a succession of skids. Freddie Dixon was riding just one second in rear of Crabtree, and on his tenth lap just after Crabtree had straightened his car out at Ballaquayle-the Riley skidded viciously on the next corner, sliding almost broadside across the road, then skating the other way.before the driver brought it under control. The skid meant lost time to Dixon, and he tried to make it up in the rush through Onchan village and down the hill to the promenade. He gained on Crabtree all along the straight, but came to the corner beyond the pits at such speed that he could not get round, and was forced to save himself by taking the escape road.
For a moment it appeared as though Freddie Dixon, whose work on corners was always masterly, had mistimed the turn, but the trouble was more than that. He climbed out with his mechanic, who jerked a short, heavy piece of timber from behind his squab, using this as a prop when Dixon, by virtue of his unusual strength, lifted the back of the car, his companion sliding the wood under the rear axle so that it took the form of a jack. Soon the mechanic went running back to the pits, to return with tools and oil, and Hamilton had covered two more laps before Dixon overcame transmission trouble and got his Riley going again, when he began to drive in characteristic style, clipping the turns and travelling all out, although it seemed impossible that he could have any hope of overtaking the leaders, because his halt had put him far behind.
When he resumed, the three Magnettes were rivalling three Midgets in the first six positions, Hamilton leading them all. One after the other these machines came past the grandstand, Kaye Don dropping down Summer Hill as the leader passed the pits, so that Birkin's old mount was now fully a mile behind. Crabtree held third place, another seven hundred yards in rear, keeping his Midget well in front of Yallop's Magnette. Farther back, in fifth place, was E. L. Gardner, Ford following him.
All continued lapping the difficult and unusual course at high speed until trouble overtook Crabtree. He was striving gamely to close upon Kaye Don, and he came down Governor's Road to Onchan at a tremendous pace, to skid as he entered the hairpin turn, sliding across the road in a thin cloud of spurting dust and hitting the sandbags with a crash. He backed his machine out, to find the fairing over the supercharger buckled and bent; that the car had suffered other damage became clear when he tried to continue, and the engine was spluttering and banging as he slowly climbed Summer Hill, on the descent of which Dixon passed him, driving with the throttle pedal flat. Along the promenade Crabtree's engine failed altogether; he coasted to his pit, and retired.
Hamilton seemed to become more inspired each time that trouble overtook one of the cars which pursued him. His speed went up again after Crabtree's retirement, and soon he had almost doubled his lead from Don. It was then that, surprisingly, stop-watches showed Robin Mere to be lapping at the same speed as the leader, although he lay far behind. He had been delayed by plug trouble, but now his engine found its real tune. After he had equalled Hamilton's rate of travel over one gloriously fast lap, he continued for half a lap more at the same speed, then heard an unnatural sound from the transmission of his machine as he approached St. Ninian's. The Magnette slowed and stopped; Mere and his mechanic got out to investigate, and it was not long before they pushed the car clear of the course, and yet another retirement was announced.
His back axle had developed the same fault as Kaye Don's had done on the eve of practice. This was significant, but no one realized how much it implied.
MANNIN BEG.-In the dash to the first corner after the flag fell, Kaye Don snatched the leap from Crabtree, No. 19.
Hamilton is immediately behind, with meddle Dixon coming up on the inside with car No. 7, The photograph shows the animated setting of the race.
The race leaders were now Hamilton, Kaye Don, and Yallop-all on Magnettes-then E. L. Gardner and Ford on Midgets. Far behind them Dixon was driving as he alone could handle a Riley, never for one moment easing his pace or relaxing his efforts. He demonstrated his belief in the adage that a race is never lost until it has ended, and he maintained a speed which evoked skids every time he ran over the tramlines along the promenade. Always he straightened out safely, and his fine efforts roused applause from the crowds on the corners all around the course.
Soon Gardner drew his Midget in for replenishment, and his halt put Ford automatically in fourth place. His pit signalled the news to him, and he stared in astonishment at the chalked board, disbelieving the information, not realizing how many machines had fallen out of the race. For all that, he opened up a little more, while behind him Gardner got away from his pit and put his foot down, determined to regain the place that he had lost. The verve with which he drove brought a miscalculation at St. Ninian's, where he skidded violently, and his narrow escape was such that he had to cover half a lap before he could regain his former dash.
Ford was now called in for fuel, and Baumer took over the car. Before he left he was told that Dixon had passed Gardner, and Baumer realized that he would have to drive hard and fast to stave off the attack which the Riley driver was launching. The Midget was in good trim, because Ford had been handling the car consistently, and Baumer was lapping at speed when, roaring up Finch Road, he sighted Kaye Don's Magnette
halted just clear of the turn. He had a glimpse of the driver and his mechanic bending by the uplifted enginecover; when Baumer came round again the car was still there, but now the overalled figures were walking along the footpath. A duplicate of the spindle which had broken in Eyston's machine had sheared, and Don was out of the Mannin Beg.
As if celebrating the fact that another of his pursuers had cracked, Hamilton set up the fastest lap speed of the race, covering the course in 4 min. 41 sec., which was equivalent to 58.93 m.p.h., and immediately afterwards he came in for fresh fuel. He and his mechanic lost no time over the pit stop, and as they left they passed E. L. Gardner, who had slowed to a crawl; he had run a big-end, and the race was over so far as he was concerned.
At that time just twenty-five laps-half the distancehad been completed, and of the fourteen entrants only five machines were now running. No one had expected anything like this, and it demonstrated the severity of the course. Hamilton, however, was still averaging 58 m.p.h., coming round to time on each lap. Yallop lay behind him, and he had not lost second place although he stopped for fresh fuel, so smartly was the work completed. Dixon soon overtook Baumer, gaining third position, so that the M.G. which had done so well at Le Mans now lay fourth, and fifth was Denis Mansell's Midget.
Two Magnettes and two 746 c.c. M.G.s alone were representing those which had started, and of rival marques only Dixon's Riley remained. The five continued at unabated speed, the machines maintaining their order for six laps more; then Yallop stopped at St. Ninian's, the spot which had already seen so many other machines brought to a halt. News was telephoned through that, like Robin Mere, his car had developed back-axle trouble.
Only four machines were now left, and Dixon had taken second place, although he was a full two laps behind Hamilton. He had been driving hard, but now he found still greater speed; and the men in his pit glanced time and again at the rain clouds which threatened in the sky. They knew that their driver would not slow even if rain fell, and they feared the outcome should the tramlines grow wet and slippery under a shower. But the sun continued to shine, while Dixon continued to thrill the crowds with his cornering, his tyres screeching as he went through the turns.
Presently Hamilton slowed a little. It was not discernible to the onlookers, but stop-watches marked it. On his thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth laps he had become aware of a difference in the running of his machine; it shuddered on the corners, and the transmission was no longer smooth. As he commenced his thirty-seventh lap, his pit hung out a signal ordering him in next time round; the crew wanted him to take on sufficient fuel to complete the race, and they also wanted to tell him his exact position.
Hamilton acknowledged the signal and handled his car carefully after passing the pits, trying to diagnose the fault, but he travelled as fast as ever down the switchback of Victoria Road; then, as he took the corner at Governor's Bridge, there came a crash from the back axle. The engine revolutions mounted until he slipped his foot from the throttle pedal and the car free-wheeled on, although it was still in gear. The trouble which had overtaken Mere and Yallop had been visited on Hamilton. His back axle had given out, and his retirement left only three machines running.
He had led for thirty-five out of the thirty-seven laps which he had run, and had driven with never a skid and never a fault. It was bad luck to be put out of the race when the watching crowd had already marked him as the winner, and now Dixon took the lead, which in a great measure he deserved.
He saw Hamilton walking to the pits, and waved to him as he passed. News that the leader had fallen out had been telephoned ahead, and when Dixon roared down the promenade the men in his depot knew that Hamilton had retired. Dixon, now ahead in the race, had no need to travel so fast, and his pit crew signalled vigorously, exultant mechanics and attendants waving anything that lay to hand in an effort to convey instructions for him to ease his pace.
The excitement was such that the driver appeared to mistake their intentions, and he continued , under the impression that they were urging him on. He covered the next lap absolutely flat out, overhauling Baumer near the end of Buck's Road, passing him in a series of skids which looked as if they must send the machine off the course. For another lap Dixon continued at so great a pace that it appeared as though his speed-if he maintained it-would make it impossible for the other two cars left in the race to finish the course in time; they had to cross the line within fifteen minutes after the winner had arrived. Baumer was ten minutes behind, while Mansell, who held third place, had fallen twelve minutes in rear of the new leader.
On that same lap, and absolutely without warning, Baumer's engine went dead as he cleared St. Ninian's corner, the car coming to a stop near the spot where Ford had halted for so long on the first morning of practice. Only ignition trouble could have brought about so abrupt a check, and while the mechanic snapped the bonnet straps clear, Baumer dived headfirst into the cockpit on the chance that he might find a loose wire. He found several; the instrument-board still carried the lighting-switches which had been used at Le Mans, and vibration had jarred all the wires clear, while one of those to the ignition-switch had also broken loose. The wires had become tangled, and, it was impossible for Baumer to tell which one belonged to the ignition; it was this breaking away that had cut out the engine.
He could discover it only by trial and error, and he tested wire after wire against the switch-terminal while, each time, his mechanic pressed the starter-button; when the correct wire completed the ignition circuit, the engine would fire under the impulse of the starter-motor. Some wires were dead, some spluttered weakly, and others evoked stinging, startlingly livid sparks. Eventually, Baumer found the right wire, and the engine roared momentarily. He attached the wire hastily and continued, but the delay had cost him a complete lap, and Mansell had gone into second place.
The signals from Dixon's pit had become effective, and he had eased his speed, but only a little. Mansell's pit gave the M.G. driver the "all out" signal, and the same order was flown to Baumer who, in his eagerness to finish, misjudged the turn at Governor's Bridge and was forced into the escape road, from which he backed and raced on. The two Midgets were travelling at the utmost speed of which they were capable when Dixon entered his last lap, and on this circuit he suddenly lost all his former pace and toured slowly round. His speed was very low when he finally appeared along the promenade running towards the checkered flag, which dropped as he passed, signalling him in as the winner. He ran on for a hundred yards, then came to a stop; during his last lap his engine oil had run very low, and he had slowed to prevent a seizure which, however, occurred just after he crossed the line. Had there been another lap necessary to finish the race, he might never have completed it, and her average speed for the race was 54.4 m.p.h.
The crowd swarmed round the halted car, and officials found it difficult to keep the road clear for Mansell and Baumer, both of whom were driving furiously in the hope of arriving before the fifteen minutes passed. Mansell managed it with barely sixty seconds to spare, but Baumer failed; the time limit had expired when he had completed his forty-ninth lap, and he was flagged off the course. Only two machines actually finished the race, but as Baumer had been still running it was decided to award his car the third prize, which came as a consolation for the effort which he and Ford had made.
MANNIN BEG.-H. C. Hamilton making the fastest lap of the race-58 .93 m.p.h.
At this time he held the lead, and the pace he set had eliminated nine machines, so that only five cars were then running.
No one had imagined that the Mannin Beg could end as it had done, or that only three cars would be running at the finish. No one had thought it even remotely possible that the machines which had proved themselves in the Mille Miglia and the International Trophy would fail in this new race. Of the six Magnettes which had started, not one finished, although something of their true ability was proved by the performance of Hamilton's car.
Freddie Dixon had been playing a lone hand against the Magnettes, which were running without any team control, striving one against the other. Dixon had guessed how the race would run, and had obviously intended lying in wait until he saw what had happened to the machines ahead. Except for his enforced stopwhich had cost him two laps-he must eventually have been on Hamilton's tail in the later stages of the race, and would undoubtedly have given the M.G. driver a hard fight. As events turned out, Hamilton was eliminated, and Dixon's plans brought him first to the finishing flag.
The Mannin Beg was the race destined to reveal to Cecil Kimber the one last fault in the new racing machine that he had designed. Hall's Magnette had retired through an accident, but neither Kaye Don's nor Eyston's had been stopped through any defect of their engines or transmission; the trouble was that the spindle which formed the drive between the dynamo and the overhead camshaft had sheared in each case. This spindle had been bored too near its shoulders by the manufacturers of the dynamo, and at this point it had cracked; it was a weakness that was invisible, and one that could not easily be checked.
In the case of these two Magnettes and Hall's car, retirement was nothing to do with the machines themselves. Robin Mere, Yallop, and Hamilton, however, had all been put out by back-axle trouble, and this arose largely from the very advantages of the pre-selector gear-box with which the machines were fitted. It was possible to make use of any gear without attempting to co-ordinate the speed of the car with engine revolutions, and this gave tremendous braking power, but at the same time it placed a very great strain upon the gear-box itself and on all parts of the transmission.
Even allowing for this, however, there still remained the fact that actual retirement of the cars was caused by the failure of a pinion, the design of which was inadequate for harsh work. As Cecil Kimber saw, if this pinion were remodelled, and if steps were taken to cope with harsh driving methods, then the transmission would stand up to anything short of deliberate misuse.
It was not a pleasant thing to have six of his machines start in a race, and one by one fall out. Yet there was some consolation in what the M.G. Midgets had done. Two of them at least had wiped out the blot of their performance in the International Trophy, where they had been as unfortunate as the Magnettes in the Mannin Beg.
In a very large measure, Kim had been forced by circumstances to allow his Magnettes to enter races at a time when, could he have done as he wished, he would still have been working to perfect them. Yet it was only in events like the one just concluded that a car could be thoroughly tested; the Magnettes had done well in Italy and at Brooklands, and their failure now would be only a step towards complete readiness for other and greater races which lay in the months ahead.
To spectators for whom a motor race had no technical interest the closing stages of the Mannin Beg must have lacked excitement, and the event which followed two days later had the disadvantage of a still smaller field. Fifteen cars had been entered, but only nine appeared for the start, and judging from what had happened in the Mannin Beg there appeared a likelihood that, out of so small a number, no machines would complete the Mannin Moar course at all.
There was no denying the fact that, from the un-instructed onlooker's point of view, the first day's racing had been anything but a spectacular success after the first few laps, and Friday dawned with half the holidaymakers in the town grumbling because the foreshore was barred to them once more, while the residents on the course viewed with misgiving the fact that the circuit would be policed by marshals who were in duty bound to restrict their movements.
Added to all this, the dawn of Friday brought heavy rain, but fortunately it stopped some little time before the cars began to assemble at the starting-line. The crowds were slow in gathering, and many of the grandstands scattered about the course remained with empty seats. It was in this depressing atmosphere that the machines appeared by the pits, but the event proved to be all that the organizers had hoped, and more.
The only British car in the race was an Invicta driven by A. C. Lace, and the remainder of the machines were Alfa-Romos or Bugattis. Eyston was at the wheel of one of the Italian cars, which had been painted green and which Birkin had run in the Monaco Grand Prix earlier in the year. Lewis was driving a similar car, and Kaye Don was handling the Alfa-Romeo with which Borzacchini had taken second place in the Tourist Trophy race of 1932, when he had broken all records for the course.
Another car which had once appeared at Monaco was a Bugatti, the wheel of which R. O. Shuttleworth and Charles Brackenbury were sharing. Louis Chiron had driven this machine at Monte Carlo, but in contrast to his experienced hands one of the two Mannin Moar drivers-Brackenbury-was now taking part in his first road race, although he had done a great deal of fast work at Brooklands.
Rose-Richards had entered another Bugatti, and two more of these machines were in the hands of A. H. L. Eccles and T. A. S. O. Mathieson. The entry list was completed by yet another Bugatti driven by T. S. Fothringham, and which had once been owned by Sir Malcolm Campbell. Such fine and fast machines, ranged in a scratch start, promised a magnificent race, and they formed a splendid picture as they waited on the line.
Eyston, Brackenbury, and Rose-Richards were in the front row with Brian Lewis; behind them were Kaye Don and Lace, the rest of the starters forming a third row of three. The cars were spread wide across the road, allowing each plenty of room for the opening rush to the first corner, and as the flag fell Brackenbury shot into the lead.
He was only a yard in front of Eyston when he took the turn, with the others packed at Eyston's tail. They were still scrambling for position as they entered Finch Road, the drivers making full use of their throttles in the rush up the rising gradient before the turn. In Buck's Road they swung through the bends, with Eyston watching his chance to pass Brackenbury and taking it with a rush as he cleared the turn that marked the start of Woodbury Road. Lewis was close upon him, and he too went by Brackenbury, then RoseRichards came up with a roar and slid into third position just before Eyston reached St. Ninian's.
Eyston's Alfa-Romeo now led; Lewis was not half a dozen yards behind, riding with Rose-Richards's blue Bugatti. In close formation these three led the rest through the quick turns to the rush before Governor's Bridge, and all the machines bunched again as they took the corner. They came pell-mell down to Onchan village, slid through the hairpin, charged the crest of the rise ahead, and then spilled one after the other over the brow of the hill to the promenade.
Eyston touched 110 m.p.h. along the curve of the bay, clocking 60.2 m.p.h. for the lap from a standing start, and as the three leading cars roared at the corner beyond the pits Brackenbury pulled out and made an effort to pass them. He maintained his speed until the last moment, then used his brakes to the full; the car skidded outwards, but although he held it safely he failed to pass.
Lewis made an effort to take the lead from Eyston as they raced up the hill to Buck's Road, and he drew almost level, Eyston riding with his near-side wheels in the gutter to give his rival room. Lewis could not manage it, and his howling red machine dropped back, so that Eyston still led when the cars wakened wild echoes in the town's shopping centre. The leader was now travelling with his foot hard down on the throttle pedal in an attempt to shake off the Alfa-Romeo and the Bugatti which pursued him so closely, matching his speed with their own, and when the three appeared along the promenade and passed the pits again stop-watches registered Eyston's pace on that second lap as 63.2 m.p.h.
The others still followed close on the rear wheels of the three, forming a marvellous spectacle of speed and power, until Eccles brought his Bugatti to a stop at his pit, paused briefly, then got away and completed a fast lap in an endeavour to catch up with the rest. He stopped again at St. Ninian's, but restarted and came flying down the promenade to commence his fifth lap. His splendidly tuned Bugatti roused snarling echoes around the course as he. chased the rest, desperately making up time; he passed the corner at St. Ninian's safely and, with the machine slowed by the turns
beyond, took the opportunity to pump up fuel pressure. This distracted his attention, and he came to the corner by Duke's Road faster than he expected. He tried to get through it but failed, and charged head-on at the wall around the Douglas Corporation playing-fields. At the last moment he managed to wrench his machine round so that, although it struck the obstacle solidly enough, he escaped injury. The only damage was to a front spring, but that was enough to enforce the car's withdrawal.
Eccles was the first casualty of the race, but Eyston's fierce pace was telling. Mathieson stopped for plugs, and Fothringham brought his Bugatti in to cure a radiator leak, the delay dropping him to the tail of the eight machines which were now stringing out around the circuit. In the laps which immediately followed Eyston was forced to a tremendous pace by Brian Lewis, who was not twenty yards behind him, with RoseRichards only a little further in rear.
Pit signals began to fly from the depots, and Lewis made another effort to take the lead, repeating the attempt that he had already made in Finch Road on the second lap. Once more Eyston pulled over until his wheels were touching the rim of the gutter, with Lewis coming almost alongside, and Rose-Richards placing his Bugatti's radiator between their tails. The sight of those three machines, so close together and filling the air with their roaring, was one to amaze the onlookers, but as the corner drew near Lewis dropped back again, and the three cars maintained their former order for the remainder of that circuit.
On the next lap, in the same place, Lewis made a third effort, holding his position almost to the corner, then shooting past as they entered Buck's Road, taking the lead for the first time, drawing away from Eyston when the machines raced around the back of the course. By the time that they passed the pits again Lewis held a lead of fifty yards, and Rose-Richards's blue Bugatti was pressing Eyston's green Alfa-Romeo.
During the following circuit Lewis increased his lead to two hundred yards, while Rose-Richards made ready to pass Eyston, and Finch Road once again saw two machines hurtling wheel to wheel as the Bugatti tried to get by, and failed. Not until they had gone through St. Ninian's corner did Rose-Richards have another opportunity, then he slid in front, putting Eyston in third place after the cars had covered ten laps.
Brian Lewis, now well in the lead, had averaged 63.47 m.p.h., and as he came down the promenade again he overtook Fothringham's Bugatti. The machine was smoking badly, clattering as it approached the corner where Hall had fallen out in the Mannin Beg. There the Bugatti came to a stop with a hole in its sump caused by a broken connecting-rod, forming the second casualty.
Rose-Richards and Eyston chased the leader past the halted machine, bursting through the smoke which it gave off, and when they had gone Brackenbury thundered by. He had been driving with all the dash of a man widely experienced in such racing, although this was his first road event, but he had been hampered by the fact that the reverse gear-catch had become loose on his gear-box. This necessitated careful work on the critical approaches to corners, and presently he pulled in at his depot for adjustments. While he was halted Lewis opened the gap between himself and RoseRichards to almost the quarter of a mile, breaking all records by lapping at 65.19 m.p.h. The announcement of the record lap was made as Brackenbury left the pits, and after one more circuit he equalled the record set up by the leader, so that, although his delay had dropped him far behind, he still held fourth place.
In fifth position was Kaye Don, with Lace's Invicta well in the rear. This machine was outpaced, but its driver was doing his utmost to pick up ground. Presently he was lapped first by Lewis, then by Rose-Richards and Eyston. He opened wide as he followed them down the promenade, holding the pace that Eyston set through the corner at the end, with the result that the big car pitched into a double skid as it came from the turn, sliding crabwise up the slope to the next bend, when Lace brought the tail straight, stamped on the throttle pedal, and flung the machine on into Finch Road.
At the end of twenty laps the positions remained the same, and although Eyston had now fallen half a mile behind Rose-Richards, because his brakes had lost much of their efficiency, he leaped into second place again when the Bugatti's driver stopped for refuelling. RoseRichards remained in his seat, and a stretch of canvas was flung over him in order to guard against his being splashed by the fuel as it was poured into the tank. Thirty-five seconds after he had stopped he was moving again, to regain second place when Eyston paused for replenishment two laps later, making his halt as brief as that of his rival. Eyston left just as Mathieson took his Bugatti past; he had been at the pits more than once, and he was now driving under full throttle. Eyston came up behind him into Finch Road, and Mathieson cleared the corner in a terrific skid which flung the car across the road, all but mounting the footpath and missing a lamp-post by no more than an inch. Eyston avoided him very narrowly as he passed the sliding car.
Lewis had now come in for, fuel, and Rose-Richards was driving to gain as much distance as possible when the race leader halted. At Lewis's pit everything was in readiness, and his crew had been well trained. The car came racing along the promenade, with the driver halting in exact position. The replenishment work was carried out faultlessly, and was faster than anything that the other cars in the -race had accomplished; he took on twenty gallons of fuel, adjusted his shock-absorbers, and the car was moving again in thirty-one seconds.
He had left as Brackenbury came in for petrol and for attention to the reverse-catch. His pit crew was in a state of excitement, contrasting strongly with the cool orderliness which had been shown at Brian Lewis's depot. The work occupied over a minute and a half; then the car went off with R. O. Shuttleworth at the wheel, who sent the machine away with a leap and a roar, overshooting the first corner and running into the escape road.
With replenishments ended, Rose-Richards began a real fight for the lead. He was almost a minute behind the leader, representing a distance of just over a mile, and now he came down the tramlines along the promenade at a speed which was visibly greater than anything that his Bugatti had touched before. Stopwatches showed that he had broken the lap record with 65.98 m.p.h., and he made his next circuits at virtually the same speed, while the control in Lewis's pit timed him closely, reluctant to signal the leader to open out until it became absolutely necessary, and half expecting Rose-Richards's machine to crack under the strain.
The Bugatti held its pace, and presently the car appeared along the straight barely a hundred yards behind Lewis, whose pit then signalled him to open out. He promptly obeyed. His foot went down, and the Alfa-Romeo drew away from the challenging Bugatti, covering the next lap at 66.24 m.p.h., setting up another record, achieved by the sheer excellence of Lewis's driving. He clipped the corners so closely and showed such exact judgment that he seemed to be running over his former tyre-marks when he took a turn, except that he was always a little closer in, cutting each bend a shade more every time he went through it.
Rose-Richards managed to hold Lewis when a gap of three hundred yards had opened between them, and by that time Eyston had fallen half a lap in rear, while Shuttleworth was trying to climb forward from fourth place, driving all out and creating excitement on every corner until, on his thirty-fourth lap, he pulled over to the pits, braking hard as he came in. He saw that he was overshooting his depot and wrenched on the handbrake, when the Bugatti turned completely round, skimming tail first along the front of the pits, then sliding into them sideways, shattering the counters of three. Tools, petrol-churns, filler-funnels, and smashed woodwork flew high, while pit attendants leaped backwards for their lives, with Shuttleworth striving, amidst the flying debris, to control the car and draw it back to the road.
Freddie Dixon, who was in one of the depots, was hurt by a billet of broken timber which struck his leg, and an attendant in the Dunlop pit was similarly injured, although their hurts were not serious. By a miracle, no one else was harmed. One rear tyre was torn off the machine, the side of the car was badly battered, and the bonnet was smashed by falling timbers.
The three pits had to be evacuated, and the car, of course, retired.
Lewis and Rose-Richards went past while the excitement was at its height. Richards had managed to reduce the space between the Alfa-Romeo and the Bugatti to hardly more than a couple of hundred yards, and both now showed an average of 64 m.p.h., which was much faster than any record lap set up during practice. While the leaders fought on, and while the wreckage at the pits was still being cleared away, the Invicta's run came to an abrupt end.
Lace had been in for brake adjustments and replenishment, and now the car got out of control as it descended Summer Hill. The machine swept broadside to the road, then slewed the other way and rammed one of the telegraph poles standing by the wall flanking the steep descent. Instantly the wires came down, rattling over the slithering machine, draping the crew, and hanging out across the road.
Kaye Don was not very far behind, and for a minute officials and spectators worked in frantic haste to clear the course before the following Alfa-Romeo should arrive. Don appeared and went hurtling past only a few seconds after the road had been cleared for him, when Lace and his mechanic walked on to the pits, leaving behind them a machine which was badly damaged about the radiator and front axle.
It was soon after this that the duel between Brian Lewis and Rose-Richards was brought to its conclusion. The Bugatti began misfiring a little, and when this had been overcome Rose-Richards discovered that his third speed was out of action. That robbed him of his former acceleration, slowing him considerably; when Lewis's pit saw this they signalled their driver to ease his pace.
He obeyed at once, and he had only six more laps to cover to complete the distance when T. A. S. O. Mathieson found that his brakes were ineffective as he approached the turn at the end of the promenade. He was travelling at high speed, and it was impossible for him to take the corner. He made skilful, lightning gear changes to slow the Bugatti, but he was still travelling fast as he shot into the escape road, hurtling towards the barrier at the end. The spectators scattered, but many remained in the car's path, and Mathieson did the only thing possible to avoid them. He forced his Bugatti to the side of the road, where it mounted a cleared space of the footpath, ramming the stonework by a shop window, and coming to a stop.
As he swung the car round, its tail caught a barrier; some spectators were knocked down, and the incident might have been much more serious but for the driver's control of the machine. This car was too damaged to continue even if the brakes could have been adjusted, and its retirement left only four machines in the race. Lewis drove steadily on, to complete his fiftieth lap and pass the checkered flag, winner at a speed of 64.23 m.p.h. Rose-Richards came in just two minutes behind him, and Eyston took third place, with Kaye Don fourth, although the latter completed only forty-nine laps, being flagged off when the time limit expired.
MANNIN MOAR-Captain G. E. T. Eyston leading in the opening stages of the race, with the
Hon. Brian Lewis watching for a chance to pass.
Later, Eyston pulled down into the gutter of the narrow road, when Lewis went ahead and eventually won.
The moment that the first "round-the-houses" races in the British Isles came to an end, workmen began to remove barriers and sandbags, and to demolish the temporary grandstands. The normal life of Douglas was immediately resumed, and by the evening only a few traces of the events remained.
As a financial venture for the town, the Mannins Beg and Moar were a failure, because the races produced a loss. As a spectacle the Mannin Moar was a fine event, while the Mannin Beg was far more interesting technically. The organizers, despite their losses, resolved to try to hold the races again, but on the next occasion not so near the peak of the holiday season; they decided to date them earlier in the year, when the majority of people comng to- the town would be attracted by the excitement of motor-racing as an addition to holiday relaxations.
Some drivers had won prize money, and others had gained still more valuable experience, but possibly the man who benefited most was Cecil Kimber. Immediately after the races, he set to work to investigate every detail of the fault which had eliminated three of the Magnettes from the Mannin Beg, determined that when they ran again only bad racing luck should prevent them fighting through to the finish.
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