The II Richmond Trophy was a non-championship Formula One race held at the Goodwood Circuit. The race was held on the same day as another non-championship event, the 1950 Pau Grand Prix. The Richmond Trophy was won by Reg Parnell racing for the Scuderia Ambrosiana team.
With the Pau Grand Prix being held on the same weekend, the Richmond Trophy saw very little international interest in the event. The field for the event mainly consisted of Britain's top line racing drivers although the race did have international presence with the attendance of Thai prince B Bira and Swiss driver Emmanuel de Graffenried racing for Scuderia Enrico Platé. Scuderia Ambrosiana was fielding Reg Parnell and David Hampshire in the team.
The rest of the field was made up of British privateers. Peter Whitehead in his private Ferrari was a leading contender whilst his brother Graham Whitehead entered an old B-Type ERA. Also entering a B-Type ERA was Brian Shawe-Taylor. Cuth Harrison entered a C-Type ERa while Peter Walker entered the latest ERA, the E-Type. The chassis had lately proven to be unsuccessful, Walker being the only driver to be able to master the car.
Driving in old pre-war Maserati C6M's was Philip Fotheringham-Parker and Colin Murray. George Abecassis also entered a Formula Two specification HWM-Alta as did Gordon Watson. Tony Rolt entered a Delage under the Rob Walker outfit whilst Archie Butterworth entered a car of his own design for the race.
Due to the low grid entry and the tight schedule the Richmond Trophy was running in regards to other racing categories being held on the same day. The Formula One practice results would not determine the grid order. The grid was instead to be determined at random.
The driver's of the bigger international teams were unsurprisingly the quickest cars during the practice sessions. The Scuderia Ambrosiana entered Maserati car of Reg Parnell duelled the Enrico Plate entered car of Baron de Graffenried. Parnell eventually set the fastest time with a 1:40.4. However the worringly fast times of De Graffenried convinced Parnell to go out late in the session. Whilst pushing hard to improve his time, Parnell overshot the Lavant corner and crashed into the straw bales. Parnell suffered a few minor cuts to the face, but otherwise emerged unscathed. Parnell was wearing a sandal to cover his foot due to burns, the sandal had slipped which Parnell deemed the cause of the crash.
Two cars did not even make it out on track for practice. Archie Butterworth's self built car failed to be made ready in time for practice whilst the Rob Walker entered Delage of Tony Rolt had a loose cylinder. By failing to complete practice, Butterworth and Rolt were forced to withdraw from the event. Then whilst out on track Peter Walker suffered an oil leak and Peter Whitehead had engine problems. As the two could not repair their cars before the race they were forced to withdraw. With Parnell's crash late in practice, Parnell took teammate, David Hampshire's car for the race. Forcing Hampshire to withdraw.
Five cars had withdrawn from the race in practice and as a result, the race would start with a meager 10 cars on the grid.
|3||22||Reg Parnell||Scuderia Ambrosiana||Maserati|
|8||32||Colin Murray||Charles Murray||Maserati|
|9||21||B Bira||Scuderia Enrico Platé||Maserati|
|11||23||David Hampshire||Scuderia Ambrosiana||Maserati|
|12||5||George Abecassis||John Heath||HWM-Alta|
|13||20||Emmanuel de Graffenried||Scuderia Enrico Platé||Maserati|
|DNA||30||Tony Rolt||Rob Walker Racing Team||Delage|
Before the Formula One race, a number of drivers participated in the Formula Libre race in the Chechester Cup with their Formula One cars. De Graffenried took the Formula Libre race win ahead of Prince Bira. The Formula One race was reduced to a meagre support race to the Chechester Cup due to the fact that it would only have ten competitors in the race. As a result, the event would run for only a short eleven laps of the Goodwood Circuit.
The race began with a light rain hitting the circuit in time for the race start. Parnell made a poor start and could not get by the man at the head of the grid, Cuth Harrison, before the first corner. Prince Bira made the best start to shoot into the lead from ninth on the grid. The other Enrico Plate entered Maserati shot up from last place to move into second position. The two Enrico Plate cars like they had been in the Chechester Cup seemed to be the fastest cars. Parnell moved past Harrison to take third but was being hounded by Brian Shawe-Taylor's ERA.
Bira and De Graffenried seemed to have the race in hand, however as the rain increased, the Enrico Plate Maserati's began to struggle. Bira who initially held a massive lead began to struggle as his goggles began to fog up, making it near impossible for the short-sighted Siamese Prince to see. On lap 8, Bira withdrew from the race. Parnell in the Ambrosiana Maserati had elected to use a full-width visor before the race which was working far better than new race leader, Emmanuel de Graffenried who like Bira had opted to use goggles in the race.
Parnell reeled De Graffenried in and going into Woodcote corner, Parnell passed to take the lead. From thereon Parnell was never challenged and took a significant 46 second win over De Graffenried. Brian Shawe-Taylor took third place in his ERA, the highest of the British made cars. Cuth Harrison and Graham Whitehead were the only other two cars to finish the race.
The small field had largely disintegrated throughout the race. Gordon Watson in his ERA had retired after one lap whilst Philip Fotheringham-Parker and George Abecassis had both withdrawn like Bira due to poor visibility. Colin Murray spun off the circuit on lap 7, Murray elected to retire his car upon returning to the pits.
|1||22||Reg Parnell||Scuderia Ambrosiana||Maserati||11||20:14.4||3|
|2||20||Emmanuel de Graffenried||Enrico Platé||Maserati||11||+ 46.0s||13|
|4||28||Cuth Harrison||Privateer||ERA||10||+1 lap||8|
|5||25||Graham Whitehead||Peter Whitehead||ERA||10||+1 lap||5|
|6||5||George Abecassis||John Heath||HWM-Alta||8||Withdrew||12|
|7||32||Colin Murray||Charles Murray||Maserati||7||Accident||8|
|Ret||21||B Bira||Enrico Platé||Maserati||4||Withdrew||9|
|DNS||26||Peter Walker||Privateer||ERA||0||Oil Leak||4|
|WD||23||David Hampshire||Scuderia Ambrosiana||Maserati||0||Withdrew||11|
|DNP||30||Tony Rolt||Rob Walker Racing Team||Delage|
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