And, unfortunately, poor proofreading has allowed this entry to be detailed incorrectly. So we'll correct it:
27. Cyril Tritton (Qld) Wolseley Special 3440cc
Those with AGP 50-race history books should make this correction now...
Now, with all that was going on that weekend, the biggest race meeting (by far!) ever held in Queensland, the furthest one had ever been held from Brisbane, the most crowded, the most fraught (as the QRDA didn't even have a circuit three months before, and they were committed to running the event), the most logistically unweildy and all of that... it's no wonder that the odd competitor might have been missed in the melee... if he didn't start the race.
Here's one car which didn't start, but it did practise! What's more, it practised with a 'riding mechanic', and this 'riding mechanic' is still around today and remembers it well. Bill Kelly had laboured beyond normal working hours to complete the car, and Tritton's promise to him was that he could be 'riding mechanic' in the AGP.
Anyway, here's the car:
Now, I am just busting to know if anyone has a Leyburn snapshot that has this car in the background (or foreground, for that matter...). It would probably be practice day, but the car was still there race day, so you never know...
Without going into more detail in this post, the question to which I refer in the thread heading is this one:
The first three rows of the grid, as compiled by Graham and confirmed by photos and the colour movie I have:
Note that vacancy in the second row? Now Graham poses this question...
Now, I am in now way trying to deride Graham's efforts in sorting this out. I guess I was really lucky to find out that this car practised, because Tritton said he wasn't there!
But somebody else mentioned that Bill Kelly was there and is to be seen in a photo of a lineup of MGs in Toowoomba that accompanies Graham's report, and that Bill was there in the Wolseley... and Bill Kelly was happy to talk about it.
It seems that Tritton's family wouldn't allow him to race, but to honour his promise to Kelly he allowed John Pike to run the car. But after practice, with the loose stones on those wide airstrips that made up the 4.3 mile course, the brand new paint was copping a hammering. Pike withdrew from the race.
So they practised, and obviously would have set a time.
Graham mentions Pearse and Whatmore as practising and having bothers, but they both started the race too. The list of DNFs includes Pearse on lap 2, Whatmore on lap 10... so they would logically have taken up whatever grid position they earned with whatever time they set. If they had problems, it's understandable that their times may have put them at the back of the grid.
Pike, however, had no problems with the Wolseley... it just copped too much stone damage for his liking.
Now the potential of the car to set such a time must come into this... did it have power? Yes, abundant power! Kelly told me, "Kleinig came up behind us onto the main straight and I watched him, once we were on the straight he didn't catch us at all. But he flew past us when we braked for the corner at the end."
So the car on pole was no faster up the straight... it seems quite reasonable to me that this car was eighth on the grid. And it's a more logical answer than Pearse or Whatmore.
Edited by Ray Bell, 19 May 2011 - 23:56.