Last weekend was the Brooklands Double Twelve, as ‘Regie’ the Renault had been to press day we were asked to take him back to compete in the driving tests and so Mario had to stay at home again.
We only went on Sunday (Saturday had been the sprint part of the event for original Brooklands Cars. First stop was scrutineering, pretty basic and once we got seen it only took a few moments, lots of entrants had forgotten to secure their batteries and were sent off to sort them. We met up with several friends including Walter Heale in an Amilcar. After coffee and a pastry our class – short wheelbase saloon cars – was the first off on the tests on the museum site. First test was the Test Hill, this is the view at the start. Regie had no trouble making the hill and the marshall at the top said we were ‘spirited!’There were four tests in the morning, one after another on the banking and finishing straight. The pics here show the forth test which is the parking test, involving taking the quickest route into five ‘garages’, you can see our marked up and corrected instructions as we decided on the best route, we thought we’d done quite well but a friend said he didn’t think we went far enough into one garage so we might have got a penalty – we wont know until we get the results in the post. Other competitors tried some very odd routes including starting and finishing in reverse.After the tests we parked up to be judged for the concours part of the proceedings, it didn’t seem to serious but then we weren’t a serious contender. After lunch the next three tests were held over at Mercedes Benz World. Test four involved a ‘Le Mans’ start with James having to stand behind a straw bale and then sprint to the car, start the engine and go, Regie was quite good for this with the suicide doors an advantage and we could have the keys turned on in the ignition so all James had to do was press the start button. Not sure he put all that much effort into the sprint though! The final test was called the Rabbit Warren, I’ll say no more but you can see the instructions. As we were out early on the tests we came back and watched some of the vintage competitors doing the museum tests, including a beautiful Alfa Special which had come from Italy for the event, look at the fabulous pedels. We then had a chance to wonder around the museum, including the aircraft and look at some of the other entries before the awards. The results of the individual classes and competitions are not released on the day but the top twelve overall scores are brought into the main paddock and the team of judges debate and award the overall Double Twelve Prizes. The 1935 Aston Martin MK II of David Bracey was victorious following consistently strong performances in the Driving Tests and Concours. Fellow VSCC member, Mark Garfitt took second in his 1937 Frazer Nash/BMW 319/55 Sports, a Brooklands winner in 1937 whilst the 1962 Jaguar E Type of Neil Manley came third. Unfortunately more Mario had to stay at home again but he was cheered up with a present, we found this lovely set of original 60’s unused luggage in a matching shade to Mario’s interior. The two hard cases, lined in quilted and frilled cream fabric (James thought they looked like an italian coffin!), shoebox and wash bags mean that Mario will arrive at Goodwood in style in September.
PS THE RESULTS The results for the event have just been published online and once you manage to decipher them we (well James) and Regie did very well, especially in the driving tests. We won our combined 5/6 class and by my reckoning we were 16th overall in the Driving Tests which is amazing considering the cars we were up against and we did get a penalty on the garages and they only counted 6 of the 7 tests, ignoring the Rabbit Warren which we were very quick on. In the Concours we didn’t do as well but then we’ve never had concours type cars and we were in the Grand Tourer Post War class alongside the Bentley Continental and the overall third placed E-type, we had a score of 66 (HIghest score of the day 89). In the overall competition for the Double Twelve award, we came a very respectable 24th, high up the leader board and only a few points behind the winners, so a result to be proud of.