British Racing Drivers

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Sir,—I was very interested in the letter from Mr. Fleming, published in the March issue of MOTOR SPORT referring to Tazio Nuvolari, and whilst I endorse your correspondent’s opinion of that great driver,

I feel that I cannot let his fourth paragraph go unanswered, for I am quite sure that England could provide a driver of equal ability if only our men had the opportunity.

Mr. Fleming must bear in mind that English racing drivers are, in the main, composed of wealthy amateurs. We have no full time professional racing drivers such as the Continental firms employ, and provided with super racing cars with which to build up their experience and reputation.

Nuvolari in the past has been outridden, at a time when he was a motor cycle champion, by some of our own men, particularly W. L. Handley, and I recall that in your notes ” Rumblings” of one of last year’s issues, a contributor drew attention to the fact under a par headed “Watch Handley.” To the lay mind this driver, fresh to car racing, attained no particular success last year, but to those who study our sport deeply ” W.L.H.” put Ilp some grpat performances, spoilt by fickle fate only. Whilst writing I recall to mind the 1927 Motor Cycle Lightweight T.T. Race, when the Italian Guzzi machines were hot favourites, except that the critics again said “Watch Handley.” Among the Guzzi drivers were two men who have since been classed as “Aces of Aces” in the car racing world. I refer to Varzi and the late L. Archangeli, The Italians decided that Archangeli should drive No. 21 Guzzi. Handley was on No. 22 Rex-Acme, and thus would start the race 30 seconds after Archangeli had left the line, and a most exciting duel was promised—” England versus Italy.” The press said that they feared that Archangeli would set such a pace that” W.I..” would crack up in an effort to catch No. 21, thus leaving Archangeli or Varzi to win for Italy. To the unbounded delight of the crowds Handley caught and passed Archangeli before the end of the first lap— so that the “leading, astray” was reversed. Neither did Handley fail, but continued to win at record speed by a clear 8 minutes from Archangeli who finished second. Our men have proved supreme in one field of road racing and given the opportunities

I am sure they would repeat this success in car racing. I contend that our leading car drivers would be found amongst the rather exceptional few motor cycle aces. Our own Tourist Trophy Race of last year, when Dodson, another motor cycle crack, won, at his first attempt, from our own leading drivers, I think vindicates my viewpoint. I am, Yours etc.,

THE LAP.

Birmingham.