ON ROAD RACING.

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ON ROAD RACING.

THE R.A.C. Ulster Tourist Trophy Race is a thing of the past, and whatever the financial results may be, the race must be counted a great success from the sporting point of view.

However lamentably the lay Press may have ” boosted ” the event with the usual inaccuracies, and imbecilities, the fact remains that no motor race —not even Le Mans itself—has aroused so great a popular interest. The whole British public was made to realise that a motor road race was to be held, and came to grasp the fact that cars racing on ordinary roads can happen even within our own islands, with perfect safety both to the competitors and the general public.

Despite the fact that the inhabitants of Ulster were quite unused to car road-racing, and that the competitors were all strangers in their midst, and notwithstanding the fact that motoring in Northern Ireland has not reached such an advanced stage as in Southern England, yet the whole populace, from the Governor downwards, was heart and soul in favour of the race, and full of exuberant Irish enthusiasm.

The organisers discovered that they met with ready help on every side, particularly from the police, and that, far from any hostile feeling, the general public desired the furtherance of the scheme, realising the great advantages accruing from the race, with the corresponding influx of visitors and business.

The question now arises : why should it be impossible to hold such an event in England itself ?

The advantages of such a scheme are overwhelming and obvious, and if the R.A.C. can organise a race with success in Ulster, they are perfectly able, and we feel sure, willing, to do the same in this country.

The choice of a course presents no difficulty save that of an embarras de choix, but the seemingly insuperable barriers are hostile feeling–the motorphobia which seems inherent in the English mind—police indifference, and, above all, the legal side of it all. Why on earth Parliament cannot pass through a perfectly simple Bill which would render possible the holding of road races in this country we fail to see.

It is incredible to us that racing on roads is impossible from this cause, and inconceivable that what would Prove beneficial to the nation, ‘,o a national industry, and to a fine sport, should be disregarded in this bland and blat.-int manner.

A Bill dealing with horse-racing and betting can go through without a hitch, but when it comes to motoring, the eighteenth-century mentality of our ruling classes is invincible.

Before anything savouring of Modernity and Progress can be made law, years of increasing agitation are necessary. We all know that a road race can be held with safety to entrants and public alike, without inconveniencing anyone, and with great commercial advantage to many. Yet the realisation of this dream is as far off as ever.

Let there be a tremendous campaign, from the vast body of motorists, from the Motor Press, and from all who have an interest in the future of motor-racing, and in perhaps ten years’ time, Parliament will realise that this is the twentieth century, that motoring is not a nefarious pastime of the rich, that motor racing is not rampant murder, and then, perhaps, we shall have legalised road-racing.

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