EDITORIAL NOTES. A Plea for a Brighter Brooklands.
TFIE month of August, 1926, will long be remembered as the time when the first great International car race was held in this country. Whatever measure of success attends the organisation of the R.A.C. Grand Prix, the running of the race may be said to constitute a definite step in the right direction, the thin end of the wedge which may eventually, we hope, lead to a better recognition of the sport of motor racing in this country. The R.A.C. Grand Prix will be followed by other similar events, utilising different variations of the Brooklands Track ; the motor-cycle clubs will follow suit by organising semi-road races over a similar course, and perhaps by 1927, the track authorities can be persuaded to construct a road circuit within the Brooklands estate, on the lines of the J.C.C. high speed trial course, and utilising some of the existing roads. This form of track has been successfully used at Monza and Montlh.ery already and it is high time that the Weybridge track was brought into line with modern requirements.
Nothing could be worse from a spectacular point of view than the ordinary B.A.R.C. meeting with its invisible starting and finishing lines and its herd of uninformed spectators in the paddock and on the Members’ Hill. Motor-cycle meetings at least base the virtue of concentrated interest at the fork, where are situated paddock, pits, start and finish, though here again the back wall of the Grand Stand quite spoils one’s view of the distant side of the track.
Given that even under these miserable conditions, Brooklands does definitely attract a not inconsiderable gate, it seems sheer folly to neglect improvements which might easily lead to doubling of the present normal attendance. A road circuit if carefully designed to have good visibility at interesting points and with well thought out advertisement should bring thousands from all over the country, and what is more they would not Journey in vain. Fast cars or motor-cycles on a difficult course provide one of the most intensified forms of e?zcitement, far surpassing any other sport and even rivalling the fantastic stunts of the cinematograph acrobat.
The next step, having shown the public that road racing is really worth watching, and incidentally demonstrating how very safe a motor vehicle really is, even at high speeds, the next step is to continue to foster the interest created by the Brighter Brooklands until a body of public opinion is created that will look upon sporting motorists with more favour than is at present bestowed.
It should not then be a difficult matter to get the long delayed and by now almost abandoned Road Race Bill through the House of Commons.
The introduction of a few well organised road events should do more to popularise motoring generally, until the present spirit of smouldering hostility is finally quenched. completely, and the general public made to realise that motors and motorists are not after all such utterly deadly and unpleasant things.
The natural outcome of this would be a general relaxation of the present police persecution that is practised in some parts, together with the drafting of a really fair system of legislation and taxation for motorists.
Castles in the air ? Perhaps—but, large oaks from little acorns grow, etc. !