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WOMAN AUTO DRIVER SCORES TWO VICTORIES

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Pre-WWII Racing

WOMAN AUTO DRIVER SCORES TWO VICTORIES

The New York Times
August 27, 1905

Popular Cheers for Mrs. Fitler on Cape May Track.

NEW RECORDS ESTABLISHED

Campbell Runs Into the Sea and Is Blinded by Surf — New Italian Car Shows High Speed.

Special to The New York Times.

CAPE MAY, N. J., Aug. 26.—Plenty of excitement, a narrow escape from accident, the establishment of two new world's records, and a double victory by Mrs. Clarence C. Fitler marked the close of the second day of the Cape May automobile track tournament.

The high-powered Italian Fiat car that won second place in the recent Gordon Bennett cup race in France, when driven by Nazzari, made its first appearance in America.  Chevrolet, the holder of the track mile record in this country, piloted the car, and succeeded in making a new world's record from a standing start in competition.  He covered the distance in 0:51 4-5, beating A. L. Campbell, who drove S. B. Stevens's eighty horse power Darracq, the latter doing 0:57.

Mrs. Fitler scored her triumphs in two of the mile contests for touring cars.  She drove her twenty-eight-horse-power Packard car, her best time being 1:13 for the mile.  Mrs. Fitler was loudly cheered by the thousands of spectators who crowded the Boardwalk.  She deserved her honors, for she drove with skill and judgement, and won merited approval from the racing sharps.

Campbell's car narrowly escaped destruction in trying to pass Chevrolet in one of the heats toward the end of the racing, and ran out into the ocean, sending up clouds of foam as Campbell to swing it back to the track.  The spray momentarily blinded Campbell, and before he could regain control of his car, it toppled over on two wheels and its collapse seemed imminent.  In a second Campbell shut off the power and put the brakes down hard, bringing the machine to a quick stop, and it did not race any more during the day.

Chevrolet's efforts against the mile straightaway Cape May track record of 0:38, established a few weeks ago by Walter Christie in his 120-horse power car, were not successful.  The rivalry to break this record afforded the spectators lots of excitement.  Campbell was the first to make the trial, and he finished in 0:39.  Then Henry Ford, in his new medium-powered racer, started off, but finished in the unexpectedly high time of 0:43.  Campbell made another try, and this time succeeded in beating Christie's figures, as he finished in 0:38 flat, thus giving him the thousand-dollar silver cup offered by the Cape May Club for new records on the track.

This aroused Chevrolet's sporting blood and he sent the powerful 120-horse power Fiat car over the course twice, but to no avail, his times being 0:40 3-5 and 0:39 2-3.  Campbell then did 0:38 again, which was received with cheers.  Ford made two more attempts, doing 0:40 and 0:39 4-5, and Christie made one trial, but only did 0:40, his car not being in good racing trim.

Cedrino, driving the 24-horse power Fiat Junior, established a record for medium weight cars by doing a mile in 0:51 3-5.  The summaries:

The mile event for touring cars up to fifty horse power was won by J. N. Wilkins, Jr., in his forty horse power Winton.  The time was 1:31.  J. H. Thropp in his forty horse power Winton was second, 1:38.  The mile event for touring cars up to forty horse power driven by owner from a moving start was won by J. N. Wilkins, Jr., in his forty horse power Winton.  The time was 1:16.  J. H. Thropp, in his Winton machine, was second.  Time, 1:22 2-5.  J. A. Depew, in his forty horse power Winton, was third, half a length behind Thropp.

The one-mile event for gasoline touring cars up to 30-horse power, driven by owner, from a moving start was won by Mrs. Clarence C. Fitler in her 28-horse power Packard in 1:15 3-5; George Jones, driving his 16-20-horse power Jones-Corbin, was second, in 1:00 2-5 seconds.  The one-mile event for touring cars up to 20-horse power, driven by owner or chauffeur, from a moving start, was won by Thomas Becker, in his 20-horse power Pope-Toledo, driven by Sweeney.  Time—1:25 3-5.  George Jones was second in his Jones-Corbin 16-20-horse power machine.  Time—1:32.

The one-mile event for touring cars up to 40 horse power, to carry driver and three persons, driven by owner or chauffeur, from a moving start, was won by Charles J. Swain in his 40 horse power Winton in 1:24.  J. N. Wilkins, Jr., in his 40 horse power Winton, was second, in 1:24 3-5, and J. A. Depew got third in his 40 horse power Winton in 1:24 4-5.

In the final mile event Mrs. C. C. Fitler finished first in her 28 horse power Packard, in 1:13; C. J. Swain in his 40 horse power Winton was second, his time being 1:16.

The one-mile event for heavyweight cars from 1,432 to 2,204 pounds, with a standing start, was won by Louis Chevrolet in his 120 horse power Fiat, in 0:51 4-5; Campbell, in his 80 horse power Darracq, was second, in 0:57.

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