Why Not a Car T.T. for Amateurs ?
YEAR by year it seems, the number of genuine car road races is decreasing. All the Grands Prix are gradually migrating to the artificial ” road circuit cum race track” courses, which, with their concrete surfaces and banked turns, allow of great speed, but which fail miserably to provide genuine road conditions. I have never seen a car road race, but each year I feel a sharp pang of envy and real excitement when I read accounts of the one surviving event of this nature—the Targa Florio. This race, held over an extremely difficult mountain course in Sicily, never fails to attract a far larger entry than the great International races. The explanation is quite simple. Great speed on the track is only obtainable by the huge factories, backed by a substantial racing allotment, but the Targa Florio shows that many smaller firms and amateur drivers can enter with a reasonable chance of success, since maximum speed is not of paramount importance.
The tremendous speeds attained by one or two concerns on the artificial road circuit is gradually killing the sport of motor racing ; feeling themselves not justified in spending vast sums of money on racing freaks, capable of 140 m.p.h. or so, firm after firm reluctantly decides to abstain from racing. If only the great races would return to the road, where driving, braking and road-holding count for as much as speed, I feel sure that we might some day return to the glorious state of affairs which existed in 1914, when the French Grand Prix attracted over forty starters. This race was run over the famous Lyons circuit, and as a spectacle as well as a test, must have been superb. A comparison of this race with the 1927 French Grand Prix, when seven cars droned mournfully round an uninteresting artificial circuit, should make the racing enthusiast weep tears of regret for the “old days.”
Such regrets are very well, but surely something ought to be done about it. In view of the apathy of the British Trade; nothing much can be expected from them ! The matter then devolves upon the Amateur. The Amateur Motor Cycle T.T. is an established success, thanks to the Manx M.C.C., while the hearty support given to the A.C.U. Tourist Trophy Races should lay once and for all the bogey of the inaccessibility of the
Given an entry of twenty-five, I feel sure a race for Amateur car drivers would be a success, and that an organisation exists which would ” stage ” the race if assured of that support. I should be very glad to hear from any Amateur drivers who would enter in such an event—if sufficient enthusiasm is displayed I am convinced that 1928 will see another Car Tourist Trophy Race.