17th December 2018

DAILY EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL TROPHY RACE, Silverstone

GREGORY BEATS THE B.R.M.s

Disappointingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, there was no sign of factory F.1 cars from Maserati or Ferrari when the paddock begun to fill up with cars for the Silverstone International Trophy race. May be a little more surprising was the absence of Vanwalls, missing out on a chance to bask in Stirling's Championship success.

However, B.R.M. partially made up for it with a three car entry, spearheaded by the two former Maserati works drivers, Behra and Schell who had both signed to drive the Bourne cars next season. These two were backed up by Scotsman Ron Flockhart and given the paucity of the F.1 section of the entry it appeared that a B.R.M. steamroller looked very likely. Five Maseratis offered the only serious threat to the B.R.M.s; the two Centro Sud cars of Masten Gregory and Jo Bonnier were joing by three British-owned 250.Fs belonging to Bruce Halford, Horace Gould and the Gilby Engineering car of Ivor Bueb. Barely a ripple of excitement greeted the knowledge that there would be Ferrari in the race, because it was the old 500 of Frenchman Marc Rozier and anyway, it was only a Formula 2 car. As was the entire rest of the 25 car field.

Graham Hill was entered in the very rare Willment Climax while Henry Taylor and Cliff Allison had Lotus 12s. Allesandro de Tomaso brought an OSCA from Italy - one of the unusual special bodied sports cars with the front wheels exposed. Which brings us to the Coopers.... of which there were no less than a dozen. Two factory-entered cars for Jack Brabham and Roy Salvadori, two Rob Walker cars for Tony Brooks and Jack Fairman and self-run cars for Les Leston, Brian Naylor, Innes Ireland, George Wicken, Ian Burgess, Jim Russell, Dick Gibson and Tony Marsh. The field would have looked pretty thing without the F.2 cars!

The race was to be run as two 15 lap heats, with half of the entry in one heat and half in the other with a final run over 35 laps. As the two heats would only have 12 and 12 cars in them, it seemed very likely that everyone who finished their heat would get to run in the final. Naturally, two of the B.R.M.s were in one heat - Behra and Flockhart, along with Gregory's Maserati. Schell only really had Bonnier as serious competition, and so it proved. Gregory was too quick for the B.R.M.s, which came as quite a surpise. Heat two was a cruise for Schell in his B.R.M. but it was significant that his time for the 15 laps was over 30 seconds longer than Gregory managed in heat 1.

The writing was on the wall after the heats and the final ran to form. Masten Gregory's 250.F Maserati was simply too quick for the best of Bourne and his victory never looked in any doubt. The B.R.M.s ran reliably and came home second, third and fourth, all on the same lap as the winner, as was Bonnier in the second Centro Sud 250.F. Schell beat Behra into third place with Roy Salvadori winning the Formula 2 section with a 6th place overall.

HEAT WINNERS 15 laps:

   1.
2
M. GREGORY MASERATI 250.F
26.35'20

   2.
7
H. SCHELL B.R.M. Type 25
27.08'15

HERE IS THE RESULT OF THE THE 35 LAP RACE:

   1.
2
M. GREGORY MASERATI 250.F
1.02.36'36
   2.
7
H. SCHELL B.R.M. Type 25
1.02.55'23
   3.
6
J. BEHRA B.R.M. Type 25
1.03.52'00
   4.
8
R. FLOCKHART B.R.M. Type 25
1.04.21'11
   5.
1
J. BONNIER MASERATI 250.F
1.04.37'90
   6.
35
R. SALVADORI COOPER CLIMAX T.43
34 laps
   7.
26
J. FAIRMAN COOPER CLIMAX T.43
34 laps
   8.
15
H. GOULD MASERATI 250.F
34 laps
   9.
19
L. LESTON COOPER CLIMAX T.43
34 laps
   10.
29
B. NAYLOR COOPER CLIMAX T.43
33 laps
  11.
40
A. de TOMASO OSCA
33 laps
  12.
37
I. IRELAND COOPER CLIMAX T.43
33 laps
   13.
28
G. WICKEN COOPER CLIMAX T.43
33 laps
   14.
32
H. TAYLOR LOTUS CLIMAX 12
33 laps
Fastest lap:   M. GREGORY, MASERATI 250.F,   on lap 14,   1.43'25

Retired:
36
G. HILL WILLMENT CLIMAX
Final - 27 laps
17
B. HALFORD MASERATI 250.F
Final - 12 laps
10
T. BROOKS COOPER CLIMAX T.43
Final - 11 laps
14
J. BRABHAM COOPER CLIMAX T.43
Final - 11 laps
24
R. GIBSON COOPER CLIMAX T.43
Final - 4 laps
25
T. MARSH COOPER CLIMAX T.43
Final - 0 laps
38
J. RUSSELL COOPER CLIMAX T.43
Heat 2 - 13 laps
31
C. ALLISON LOTUS CLIMAX 12
Heat 1 - 10 laps
9
I. BUEB MASERATI 250.F
Heat 2 - 9 laps
33
I. BURGESS COOPER CLIMAX T.43
Heat 1 - 8 laps
16
M. ROZIER FERRARI 500
Heat 2 - 1 lap

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