Why not a real Versatility Contest ?

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We have remarked before in Motor Sport and we now return to the subject, that one of our more alive clubs should organise a true versatility trial or contest. We are aware that on April 26th the Hants & Berks MC, in co-operation with the Bristol MC & LCC, is again holding its Versatility Trial, which proved successful last year. But this event, excellent in its way, embraces only a high-speed run at Castle Combe, some trials hills to be climbed on normally inflated tyres, and the scoring of points for features of convenience and reliability amongst the Competing cars.

What we would like to see would be an event starting, perhaps, near London, involving a timed lap or laps of Goodwood, Silverstone or Castle Combs, some muddy trials hills, a restart, test on a hard-surfaced but steep gradient, a timed climb up a venue such as Prescott or Shelsley Walsh, a timed sprint of a quarter or half a mile on private ground, and some rally-style driving manoeuvres at the finish, with, perhaps, an examination of competing cars for faults which have developed en route thrown in for good measure.

That would be a real versatility trial and the winning car should be a very good general-purpose vehicle. The driver, too, would have proved his all-round skill and should have been vastly entertained. There would not seem any insuperable difficulties of organisation given generous cooperation between a number of clubs.

In time the event might be extended to our high-faluting long-distance rallies and a piece of additional versatility imported by insisting on sealed bonnets throughout and heavy penalties for replenishing or doing work of any kind on the cars, perhaps reviving “official observers,” one per car, to ensure compliance. Such a rally would surely be more popular with entrants, drivers, spectators and publicists than our present affairs which consist of many hundreds of miles of mostly main and secondary-road motoring—and heaven knows, these attract enough entries ! In a big-stale versatility event a one-hour high-speed trial round one or other of our circuits would form a fitting conclusion.

The recent Lagonda CC 24-hour event seems to have gat quite close to what we have in mind.

We refer to this matter again because one day an enterprising organiser is going to put on just such an event and discover how enormously interesting and successful it will prove. And then we shall be able to enjoy the satisfaction of saying, “We told you so.”–WB.