kri)’umblings OAIWERGES MAN
WELL, Brooklands has opened once more, and everyone is hoping that this season will be one of the best ever. The first meeting was hardly particularly exciting, but the opening meeting very rarely is, and it was certainly interesting. A forecast of the probable trend of events this season was given by the large number of small cars in the Mountain race. The smaller entry fee of 2 guineas produced an entry far in excess of the 15 starters allowed, and a good many of the regular performers of last year had to stand down for this event. It is significant that whenever Brooklands prices are reduced, the number of people prepared to pay the increased price is encouragingly large. All of which points to the fact that the real way to make Brooklands popular is to reduce prices all round. At one time the argument was used that if the price of admission, or of entry for races, was reduced, the revenue of the club would fall off. The occasions on which experiments
were tried in this direction have shown that this is far from the case, and now that a sign has been given of entry fees being lowered, the impecunious amateur is beginning to sit up and take notice. If motor racing is really going to spread, it must be made reasonably cheap. In the old days there were plenty of wealthy men of leisure, who spent all their time, and much of their money, on the sport, but these days have gone, and the future of the sport depends on the enthusiasm of amateurs. However, enthusiasm is no good alone when the actual cost is high, and the only thing to do is to encourage fresh entries by making them financially possible. To the wealthy minority who can who can pay a large sum for a car, and an even larger sum on having it prepared for races, an entry fee of 5 guineas for a race lasting only a few minutes, is nothing. To the man who does his own tuning, and who reckons to make a few pounds cover a large amount of work and special parts, the entry fee is a very considerable item, and may:” easily make the
difference between being able and not being able to race.
The hill climbs and speed trials of the old days were the real happy hunting ground of the amateur, but these events faded out with the last unfortunate climb at Kop Hill, and we now have to depend on the generosity of owners of drives and parks. Forbes, the energetic and efficient secretary of the Cambridge Club, hopes to get one or two more events later in the season of this type, and he can rest assured of enthusiastic support for anything he manages to stage.
I may seem to be harping rather on this money business, but I cannot help feeling the whole future of motor racing depends on keeping it open to as large a field as possible. By this means we shall automatically get the best drivers in the various teams by the simple process of elimination.
All honour and thanks is due to those who have, by spending money freely, kept amateur drivers in the limelight, but as the supply of wealthy amateurs is limited and precious, their ranks must be amplified by their less affluent brethren.