Lewes Speed Trials

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The Lewes Speed Trials were speed trials held on a defunct course in Lewes, Sussex, England, sometimes known as "The Motor Road."

History[edit]

The first meeting took place on 27 July 1924, on "a private road near Lewes", location unidentified. The event was organised by the Brighton & Hove Motor Cycle and Light Car Club, on a quarter-mile course. Fastest time of the day was set by J.A. Hall, Frazer Nash-GN, in a time of 16.6 secs. [1]

"Speed trials were held on the Race Hill at Lewes three or four times a year from 1925 to 1939, at the instance of the Brighton & Hove MC, the Kent & Sussex LCC, the Bugatti Owners' Club and the Vintage Sports Car Club,..."

[2]

In 1933 The Autocar reported:

"The course bends slightly to the left, is one-third of a mile long, narrow, none too smooth, and slightly uphill. It leads directly off the London-Newhaven road just before reaching Lewes." [3]

Jean Bugatti attended the races on 21 October 1933. [4] Denis Jenkinson, motor racing journalist, attended his first motor sport event here in 1936. [5] The Autocar reported from the meeting on 12 June 1937: "The first appearance in competition of the new four-wheel independent-suspension Atalanta was at Lewes. G.A.T. Weldon drove this 1½-litre model." [6] Bill Boddy, editor of Motor Sport, drove the original HRG sports car, 1,497 c.c., at Lewes on 4 September 1937 with a best time of 27.4 sec, finishing third in the novices class.[7] On 15 July 1939, Sydney Allard took a class win in a time of 22.12 secs. [8]

The Lewes Record[edit]

Comparisons of times recorded at different meetings and by different clubs are problematic. There were differences in the method of timing (the electric Bachelier method favoured by the Bugatti O.C. allowed the competitor to start in his own time) and even differences in the length of the course. [9]

Lewes Speed Trials past winners[edit]

Year Driver Vehicle Time Club Notes
1932 R.G.J. Nash Frazer Nash Terror 20.0 sec R Kent & Sussex LCC [10] 7 May
N.W. Gardiner Delage 22.7 sec Bugatti O.C. [11] 11 June
R.G.J. Nash Frazer Nash Terror 20.2 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [12] 18 June
R.G.J. Nash Frazer Nash Terror 21.0 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [13] 10 September
1933 R.G.J. Nash Nash Special 21.0 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [14] 13 May
R.G.J. Nash Nash Special 21.0 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [15] 25 June
R.G.J. Nash Anzani-Nash Special 21.0 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [16] 9 September
Richard Nash Anzani-Nash The Spook 20.4 sec Bugatti O.C. [17] 21 October
1934 R.G.J. Nash Anzani-Nash 1,496 c.c. 22.4 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [18] 12 May
John Bolster Bolster Special 20.2 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [19] 16 June
R.G.J. Nash Nash Special 21.6 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [20] 26 August
Charles Martin Bugatti 2.3 20.13 sec Bugatti O.C. [21] 8 September
1935 A.G. Bainton Bugatti 1½-litre Kent & Sussex LCC [22] 11 May
S.E. Cummings Vauxhall-Villiers S/C 19.4 sec R Kent & Sussex LCC [23] 15 June
Kent & Sussex LCC 24 August
S.E. Cummings Vauxhall-Villiers S/C 18.13 sec R Bugatti O.C. [24] 7 September
1936 R.G.J. Nash Frazer-Nash-Union Special 19.06 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [25] 9 May
Robin Jackson Alta 1,500 c.c. #17 19.18 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [26] 13 June
A.G. Bainton Bugatti 2.3-litre S/C 20.7 sec Bugatti O.C. [27] 15 August
Geoffrey Taylor Alta 1,488 c.c. 19.81 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [28] 22 August
1937 J. Lemon Burton Bugatti 2.3-litre 19.12 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [29] 8 May
Geoffrey Taylor Alta 19.3 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [30] 12 June
Geoffrey Taylor Alta 2-litre 18.75 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [31] 21 August
Arthur Baron Bugatti 3,300 c.c. S/C 18.4 sec Bugatti O.C. [32] 4 September
1938 Arthur Baron Bugatti 3,300 c.c. 18.61 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [33] 7 May
John Bolster Bolster Special 19.32 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [34] 11 June
H. Whitfield-Semmence Semmence-Special-A.C. 22.0 sec Vintage S.C.C. [35] 9 July
Peter Monkhouse E.R.A. 1½-litre 18.27 sec R Kent & Sussex LCC [36] 20 August
1939 Norman Lewis Bugatti 2,300 c.c. 18.47 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [37] 13 May
Ned Lewis Bugatti 2,300 c.c. 18.88 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [38] 17 June
Stuart Wilton M.G. 21.60 sec Vintage S.C.C. [39] 15 July
Arthur Baron Bugatti 3,300 c.c. 18.75 sec Kent & Sussex LCC [40] 19 August

Key: R = Course Record; S/C = Supercharged.

References[edit]

  1. ^ T.R. Nicholson, Sprint - Speed Hillclimbs and Speed Trials in Britain: 1899-1925, Page 236, David & Charles, 1969.
  2. ^ T.R. Nicholson, Sprint - Speed Hillclimbs and Speed Trials in Britain: 1899-1925, Page 241, David & Charles, 1969.
  3. ^ The Autocar, 27 October 1933, Page 853.
  4. ^ The Autocar, 27 October 1933, Page 853.
  5. ^ D.S.J. letter to Motor Sport, November 1939, Page 308.
  6. ^ The Autocar, 18 June 1937, Pages 1196-1197, including picture.
  7. ^ Motor Sport, October 1937, Pages 433-434; Bugatti Owners' Club Lewes Speed Trials, Saturday 4 September 1937, Results.
  8. ^ Motor Sport, August 1939, Page 232.
  9. ^ Autocar, 28 August 1936, Pages 396-397.
  10. ^ Motor Sport, June 1932, Pages 358-359. For an interview with R.G.J. Nash see Motor Sport, December 1958, Pages 825-826.
  11. ^ The Autocar, 17 June 1932, Pages 1020-1021; Motor Sport, July 1932, Page 431. For N.W. Gardiner see also: Great Auclum National Speed Hill Climb.
  12. ^ Motor Sport, July 1932, Pages 431-432.
  13. ^ Motor Sport, October 1932, Page 556.
  14. ^ Motor Sport, June 1933, Page 388.
  15. ^ Motor Sport, August 1933, Page 467.
  16. ^ Motor Sport, October 1933, Pages 554-555.
  17. ^ The Autocar, 27 October 1933, Page 853.
  18. ^ Motor Sport, June 1934, Page 374.
  19. ^ The Autocar, 22 June 1934, Page 1089. For an obituary of Richard Bolster, brother of John Bolster, see: Motor Sport, September 1941, Page 240.
  20. ^ Motor Sport, September 1934, Page 526.
  21. ^ Motor Sport, October 1934, Page 572. Two runs by Martin were "unofficial" and FTD went to A.H.L. Eccles in 21.28 sec.
  22. ^ The Autocar, 17 May 1935, Page 984.
  23. ^ Motor Sport, July 1935, Page 417.
  24. ^ Motor Sport, October 1935, Page 553.
  25. ^ Motor Sport, June 1936, Page 314; See also: J.V. Hewes, "The Lewes Races," The Motor, 22 November 1944, Pages 228-290.
  26. ^ The Autocar, 19 June 1936, Page 1150. 586.6 yard course.
  27. ^ Motor Sport, September 1936, Page 428.
  28. ^ Motor Sport, September 1936, Page 435.
  29. ^ Motor Sport, June 1937, Page 257.
  30. ^ Motor Sport, July 1937, Page 308.
  31. ^ The Autocar, 27 August 1937, Page 394 (see Page 386 for photograph); Motor Sport, September 1937, Pages 376-377.
  32. ^ Bugatti Owners' Club Lewes Speed Trials, Saturday 4 September 1937, Results.
  33. ^ Motor Sport, June 1938, Page 226.
  34. ^ The Autocar, 17 June 1938, Page 1109.
  35. ^ Motor Sport, August 1938, Page 296.
  36. ^ The Autocar, 26 August 1938, Page 389. For an article on Peter Monkhouse see: Motor Sport, February 1947, Pages 35, 38.
  37. ^ Motor Sport, June 1939, Page 184.
  38. ^ Motor Sport, July 1939, Page 221.
  39. ^ Motor Sport, August 1939, Page 232.
  40. ^ The Autocar, 25 August 1939, Page 319; Motor Sport, September 1939, Page 281.

Bibliography[edit]

  • John Bolster, Specials, G.T. Foulis & Co Ltd, Reprinted 1971.
  • Jeremy Wood, Speed on the Downs: Lewes Speed Trials 1924-39, JWFA Books, ISBN 0-9522766-1-5

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 50°53′10″N 0°01′39″W / 50.88622°N 0.02738°W / 50.88622; -0.02738