FOLLOWING the remarks on the Senechal car appearing in another part of this issue, its performance during the course of the Victory Cup Trial is rather interesting. After our preliminary test the petrol feed trouble was obviated temporarily by fitting a hand pump to the petrol tank, but otherwise the car was in just the same condition as when it was tried out over our ordinary test route.
Starting from London on the evening before the trial, the run up to Birmingham was quite uneventful, and on the following morning we found our way to the starting point at the King’s Heath Horse Show Ground, which was an ideal place for the purpose. Even at an early hour on the morning of the 6th of March, there was great excitement, and a large number of spectators had gathered to witness the start. Nearly everybody of importance in the motor cycle competition world was on the spot and the arrangements as carried out by the Birmingham Motor Cycle Club were excellent.
On perusing the Supplementary Regulations, a formidable four sheet document, it was evident that the trial was not intended in any way to be a walk-over for any competitor and the route card also showed that it was the easiest thing in the world to lose marks. As usual, rumours of torrential rains, the slimy condition of the hills, the dreadful gradients and so on, were spread about, but those who knew the course did not seem much upset on that account.
As things turned out the Victory Cup Trial lived well up to the reputation for severity of which the Midland Clubs are justly proud, and though we did not figure with any conspicuous success, we managed to complete the course in schedule time and enjoyed a very good day’s sport, incidentally gaining a little experience of the kind of thing that is expected of competitors who take part in this and similar sporting events.
After having our stop watch duly sealed in a neat little tin case provided for the purpose, we drew up to the starting point, and passing under the eagle eye of Herbert le Vack, who was acting as scrutineer, set off on our journey, not any too sanguine of getting much in the way of medals in the company of the local experts, who as a rule have things quite their own way in their own part of the country.
An Early Brake Test.
At six miles from the start we were pulled up to undergo a brake test, which was quite a good idea, seeing the nature of the hills encountered later on the journey. This was held on Weatheroak Hill, which has a fairly steep gradient, but a good hard surface. On drawing up to the first line, we were required to accelerate hard for a distance of 58 yards, which had to be covered in six seconds, or less, then apply the brakes and come to rest as quickly as possible. Here the Senechal brakes held well, but the smooth tyres caused the car to slew round broadside and thus prevented pulling up within the shortest possible distance. From then on our minds were kept occupied with the number of marks lost at each of the special tests and observed hill climbs. Swan’s Hill and Gravel Pit Hill were both observed and our hopes ran somewhat higher as both these were taken in our stride with the little engine turning over merrily, emitting sudden squeals as it revved up when the wheels got into momentary spins on the muddy surfaces.
Trouble at Noah’s Ark.
Things had been going quite well thus far and our spirits were rising, only to receive a shock on reaching Noah’s Ark Hill. If Noah had as much trouble in getting his flock into the Ark as some of the marshals