The Times/1920/News/Captain Geachs Narrow Escape
MOTORING AT BROOKLANDS.
CAPTAIN GEACH'S NARROW ESCAPE.
(FROM A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.)
A most successful meeting at Brooklands on Saturday came near to being marred by tragedy. Driving the scratch car, the six-cylinder Sunbeam, in the fifth race, Captain C. L. E. Geach had a narrow escape from death. At the further end of the railway straight, just opposite the aeroplane sheds, his car, which was probably doing over 100 miles an hour, swerved violently off the banking, skidded right across the track, turned completely over—according to some accounts twice or three times—and pitched its driver into the sewage farm, where his fall was, fortunately, well broken. Captain Geach suffered nothing worse than bruises, and a slight concussion, and at the close of the meeting declared himself fit to drive home.
The cause of the accident is not yet known, although the probabilities point to a burst tire. Spectators who were watching the race from the members' bridge saw the car skid badly from high up on the banking across the track. Captain Geach, however, regained control, and emerged on the railway straight apparently going well. A few seconds later the car again was seen to skid broadside to the track, and then to overturn in a cloud of dust. It was a great relief to the spectators when, later, the rescue car drove into the paddock carrying the driver unhurt.
Fate was unkind to two others of the four fastest cars engaged to race. The 400-h.p. 12-cylinder Sunbeam, which was to make its first appearance under Mr. H. G. Hawker's hands, came to grief on Saturday morning at practice, when, owing to a burst tire, it swerved across the track and carried away about 25ft. of iron railing, ending up in a deep ditch. No damage of any consequence was done to the car, which will probably appear at the next meeting. The driver escaped unhurt. The huge Benz-with a four-cylinder engine of 185 by 200mm.-which was to have been driven for its owner against the Sunbeam by Mr. Hornsted, who won so many sensational races before the war with a similar Austro-Daimler beat Captain Campbell's Peugeot by a narrow margin, after a good finish. The last race of the day was won by Captain Frazer Nash's remarkable little G.N. cycle-car, which beat Lord Grimthorpe's Sunbeam and Captain Campbell's Peugeot. The highest average speed for a race was attained in the match which took the place of the fourth race, the Sixth Lightning Short Handicap-99½ miles an hour. This was won on a six-cylinder Sunbeam by Mr. Hawker, who beat Mr. Lees's Vauxhall after a great race. The results were :-
THE SECOND LIGHT CAR SHORT HANDICAP.-Mr. E. B. Ware's Morgan, speed 64½ m.p.h.
THE 20TH 100 M.P.H. SHORT HANDICAP.-Captain Campbell's Peugeot, speed 89½ m.p.h.
THE NINTH 75 M.P.H. SHORT HANDICAP.-Mr. W. Barnato's Calthorpe, speed 69½ m.p.h.
MATCH. - Mr. H. G. Hawker's Sunbeam beat Mr. Lees's Vauxhall, speed 99½ m.p.h.
THE 19TH 100 M.P.H. LONG HANDICAP.-Mr. Foresti's Austro-Daimler, speed 89½ m.p.h.
THE NINTH 75 M.P.H. LONG HANDICAP.-Mr. Beadle's Waverley.
THE JUNE SPRINT RACE (TWO MILES).-Captain Frazer Nash's G.N., speed 72½ m.p.h.