George Bainbridge

George Bainbridge

1/2/1916 - 2/4/2002

George Bainbridge prepared and sometimes raced cars for Bob and Geoffrey Ansell of the Ansells Brewery family.

The Ansells were from the Ansells Brewery family. Bob and Geoffrey, his cousin, were well-heeled and very enthusiastic. Their Maserati and ERA cars were prepared for them and sometimes driven by George Bainbridge.

Britain's first post-war race meeting, at Gransden Lodge on 15 June 1946, followed on naturally from the pre-war tradition but showed the potential of airfield circuits for motor racing.

They used two runways and part of the perimeter road to make a 3.4 km track. All the races were kept short, just 3 laps, with no handicaps and as many different classes as there were cars to fill them. There were even a scratch race organised for the fastest cars on the day. As if to set the tone of post-war British motor racing, the rain pelted down during practise, but it dried up somewhat during the day.

It was quite amazing how many cars had been resurrected, many of them pre-war racers. Ian Nickols turned up with Reg Parnell's old MG Magnette K3 and Alec Issigonis - later to become famous as the designer of the Mini - with his Lightweight Special.

The 1,500 racing car event had a remarkably good entry with the three ERAs of Bob Gerard (R4A), Peter Whitehead and George Bainbridge (R9B), two Altas for George Abecassis and Charles Mortimer, and the two Maserati 4CLs of Reg Parnell and David Hampshire. Roy Parnell, Reg's nephew, was also entered in the Delage 15S8.

In the Gransden Lodge Trophy race Reg Parnell had a battle with Bob Gerard, but Gerard spun and Parnell went on to win with Bainbridge finishing 3th.

On 5 August, 1946, he won Le Val des Terres hillclimb (850 yd / 777 m) St Peter Port, Guernsey. Setting a time in his ERA R9B that was comfortably quicker than George Yates in a Maserati 8CM and Frank le Gallais in his supercharged 1.3 litre Wolseley-engined M.G. Special.

In 1947 he competed in the Jersey International Road Race and the British Empire Trophy on the Isle of Man where, sharing ERA B-Type R9B with Brian Shawe-Taylor, they finished 6th. Bob Gerald won followed by Peter Whitehead, Bob Ansell, Leslie Brooke and B.Bira.

In 1948 he drove in the British Grand Prix in a Maserati 4CM. He shared the car with Bob Ansell, they finished 12th. The race was won by Luigi Villoresi in a Maserati 4CLT/48.

He also had a fairly big crash in ERA R9B in a Jersey hill climb.

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