|1961 BSCC Season|
| File:John Whitmore.jpg|
|No. Rounds||Nine (Nine races)|
|First Round||Lombank Trophy|
|Manufacturers||Alfa Romeo, Austin, Auto Union, BMW, Borgward, Chevrolet, Ford, Jaguar, Morris, Riley, Saab, Sunbeam, Volvo, VW|
|Overall Drivers' Championship|
|First||John Whitmore||63 pt(s)|
|Overall Teams' Championship|
|Jack Sears Trophy|
|Class A||John Whitmore||63 pt(s)|
|Class B||Bill Blydenstein||42 pt(s)|
|Class C||Chris Kerrison||44 pt(s)|
|Class D||Mike Parkes||16 pt(s)|
1961 would be marked as the beginning of the Mini era of the Championship, as the tiny hatchbacks did battle with the huge Jaguar Mk IIs on circuit. It was also the first season to see the use of larger American cars, led into battle by Dan Gurney, as drivers from across the world came to drive in the Championship.
Class-wise, it was a disappointing year in Class C, with only three drivers competing during the season, with Chris Kerrison claiming victory in a smaller engined Jag. Class B was won by Alan Hutcheson in a Riley 1.5, while it was the Class D champion Mike Parkes whom proved to be the closest contender to Class A and overall Champion Whitmore.
Below is information regarding the official regulations and points scoring for the 1961 BSCC season.
For the 1961 season, the BSCC adopted the FIA Group 2 regulations, set by the International body of Motorsport, the FIA. These regulations were designed specifically for Touring Cars, with the four class system previously used by the BSCC reintroduced. The field was split in the following way:
|1961 BSCC Season Classes|
With the introduction of International regulations, there was an element of fear that foreign cars would enter and dominate the series, particularly as Volvo had shown an interest in the championship before. Indeed BMW and Chevrolet began to see their vehicles used in the championship (as did Ford, with the Galaxy making its first appearance that year).
For 1961, the BSCC used a points system which awarded the top four finishers in each class points, with an additional point awarded for the driver who set the fastest lap. The points are shown below:
|1961 BSCC Season Classes|
The Driver's two worst finishes are dropped from their results.
Round by RoundEdit
This section is for a round by round report for each race of the season.
First Round: Lombank Trophy (Snetterton)Edit
1961 began with a meeting at Snetterton, where the BSCC supported a non-championship Formula One meeting, known as the Lombank Trophy. The new regulations saw Class D dominate the race, with a herd of Jaguars (eight in all) leading the field. Former champion Jack Sears and Michael Parkes led the race early on, before it was realised that they did not have enough fuel to complete the race. The pair retired on the penultimate lap, handing victory to Gawaine Baillie, who led future F1 ace John Surtees and Dennis Taylor across the line. Albert Powell completed a 1-2-3-4 for Jaguar, as the Mk II proved to be the quickest car in the series.
The Jags were followed by Alan Hutcheson, who took victory in Class B in his Riley 1.5 from Bill Blydenstein's Borgward Isabella TS. Les Leston completed the Class B podium, although he finished behind the Class A trio of Syd Hurrell, George "Doc" Shepherd and Paddy Gaston. Hurrell was later disqualified from the race, while Class C saw no entries for the season opener.
Second Round: St Mary's Trophy (Goodwood)Edit
One of a number of races held on the 3rd of April at Goodwood, the BSCC race was held on a soaking Goodwood circuit. Once again the Jags led the field, with a number of Formula 1 drivers joining the field (namely Bruce McLaren, Graham Hill and BSCC favourite Roy Salvadori). The first six positions in the race all went to the Jags, with a battle between them lasting for the majority of the race. Parkes ultimately took victory from Hill and Taylor, after contact between Salvadori and McLaren saw them drop down the field.
Blydenstein took the honours in Class B from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta of Karl Foitek and the Riley of Hutcheson. The three of them had a race long battle with the Mini of John Whitmore, whose excellent performance would become a familiar sight in the BSCC field, and the Ford Zephyr of Ellis Cuff-Miller, one of only two Class C entrants. Class A's podium was completed by John Aley and the Austin A40 of George Lawrence, while Class C was completed by Chris Kerrison, in a smaller engined (2.4 litre) Jaguar Mk II.
The season's third meeting at Aintree saw the Jags take the first six places for the second round in succession. Salvadori took victory from Sears and McLaren, as the trio had a private battle at the front of the field. Parkes, Baillie and Taylor completed the Jag zone, while Kerrison took the Class C victory (as the only entrant) in his smaller capacity Mk II.
Hutcheson and Blydenstein continued their Class B battle, with the former taking the victory at Aintree. G. Wood took third in a Volvo P 544, leading the first three Class A cars across the line. Whitmore's Mini once again took the victory from its counterpart driven by John Aley. Nicky Byrne put his Auto Union 1000S on the podium in Class A, after an accident prevented "Doc" Shepherd and Vic Parness (in Class D) from finishing the race.
Fourth Round: International Trophy (Silverstone)Edit
For the fourth round of the season, the BSCC ran in support of the International Trophy, a Formula Two race meeting held annually at Silverstone. As it was supporting an International series, the BSCC attracted more attention than it had before, particularly when Dan Gurney entered his Chevrolet Impala in Class D, taking pole from the charging Jaguars. The Impala proceeded to lead the race, with Hill leading the Jags in pursuit, after Salvadori was black flagged (and later retired) for an open boot. Gurney retired with two laps to go after a wheel came off his Impala, handing victory to Hill (who also took fastest lap).
Behind the Jag/Impala battle, Class B was led home by Peter Harper, who overtook Hutcheson (who had a long duel with Kerrison's 2.4 litre Jaguar Mk II, before Kerrison fell away) in his Riley 1.5 and Ellis Cuff-Miller in the closing stages of the race. Behind Class B, a three way duel between Whitmore, Aley and Bill Aston resulted in a one-two-three for the Mini, with Aston beating the other two for the victory. Behind them came Kerrison, once again the only entrant in Class C.
Fifth Round: XI London Trophy (Crystal Palace)Edit
Another week and another support meeting for the BSCC. Once again supporting a non-championship Formula One meeting, the Ninth London Trophy, with Classes A, B and D entered the race. The 22nd of May proved to be Salvadori's day, as he took the honours on the BSCC race (having also won the London Trophy race) from Albert Powell and Baillie.
Blydenstein took the honours in Class B from Hutcheson, after Peter Pilsworth retired from the race. Behind them came "Doc" Shepherd, who returned for the first time since race three, Aley and Whitmore, while Edward Lewis finished fourth as the Minis took the first four positions in Class A.
Sixth Round: British Empire Trophy (Silverstone)Edit
The BSCC once again returned to Silverstone, supporting another Formula Two meeting known as the British Empire Trophy. Although the BSCC race started in dry conditions, a sudden storm sent the majority of the field off, as the powerful Jags lost control and the lighter Minis skidded off the suddenly slippery surface. An "astonishing" race was won by Micheal Parkes from Graham Hill in their Jags as they avoided the crashes suffered by Salvadori and McLaren after the pair hit the bank at Club. They were joined on the podium by Herbert Linge in his Class A BMW 700 CS, who took the first class victory for a BMW on its debut.
Behind Linge came Whitmore, who recovered from a spin to finish second in Class A, and Aston in their Minis. Kerrison finished sixth overall, taking victory in Class C from David Haynes' Ford Zephyr, while Class B was hard hit by the storm. With only half of the entrants finishing, Cuff-Miller took the Class B honours from Lewis and Pilsworth, after the rain claimed Class B leaders Blydenstein and Hutcheson.
Seventh Round: Redex Trophy (Brands Hatch)Edit
Yet again, the Jags led the field, with Sears taking an early lead in the race at Kent's home of motorsport. Parkes and Salvadori overtook Sears in the closing stages, taking victory from the former champion. McLaren (who suffered a spin early on) and Baillie rounded off the Jag zone up at the front of the field.
Hutcheson resumed his familiar position at the front of the Class B, beating Lewis and Blydenstein, leading the duelling Class C pair of Kerrison and Haynes (with Kerrison claiming Class C honours). Whitmore suffered a gearbox failure towards the end of the race, meaning that Frank Hamlin took Class A honours in his Morris built Mini. He was followed by Mick Clare and Aston across the line.
Eighth Round: VIII International Gold Cup (Oulton Park)Edit
The BSCC again supported a non-championship Formula One race, this time held at Oulton Park. The touring cars proved to be a major attraction for the day, with the usual scrap between the Jaguars thrilling the spectators alongside the battles throughout the lower Classes. Salvadori, Parkes, McLaren and Hill were in a duel for the lead for the majority of the race, before engine failure caused Parkes to retire. Salvadori claimed victory from McLaren and Hill, with Peter Dodd completing the leading group of Jaguars.
Behind them came Class B, with Peter Harper's Sunbeam taking the honours from Hutcheson and Lewis' Rileys, while they were stalked by the Mini of Whitmore, in a land of his own in Class A. Vic Elford made it a one-two for the Don Moore Minis, with Christabel Carlisle becoming the first woman to finish on the podium in any BSCC class finishing third. Whitmore looked to have the title wrapped up, although a failure to finish at the final meeting, with Parkes winning his class with fastest lap would see him claim the title instead.
Ninth Round: SnettertonEdit
Snetterton hosted the final race meeting of the season, with the Jags aiming to make it a clean sweep of victories for the season. Parkes held up his end of the championship battle, as he took victory and fastest lap from Salvadori and McLaren in their Mk II Jaguars. The victory ultimately proved fruitless, however, as Whitmore won his class (after a race long duel with Carlisle), becoming the first driver to take a Mini to the title. Parkes finished runner up, despite having won four races outright.
Class B followed the Jaguar dogfight across the line, with Harper beating Lewis and Blydenstein in the race. This left Blydenstein and Hutcheson (who retired from the race after battling with the trio for most of the race distance) tied on points in Class B (and overall), although Hutcheson was placed ahead. Class C saw no runners for the second race in succession, meaning that Chris Kerrison won the Class title, meaning Jaguar won two of the four classes in 1961.
A table of entrants may be entered here, using the following table:
|1961 British Saloon Car Championship Standings|
John Whitmore became the fourth different winner of the BSCC, and the third to use an Austin manufactured car to win the championship. In Class B Alan Hutcheson and Bill Blydenstein tied for the unofficial championship, although Hutcheson was considered the winner on account of his results in non-championship races. Class C was won Chris Kerrison on account of his fastest laps, while Mike Parkes claimed the Class D title, as Jaguar finished runner up in the championship once again.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1961_British_Saloon_Car_Championship_season
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.39 2.40 2.41 2.42 2.43 2.44 2.45 2.46 2.47 2.48 2.49 2.50 2.51 2.52 2.53 2.54 2.55 2.56 2.57 2.58 2.59 2.60 http://touringcarracing.net/Pages/1961%20BSCC.html