IN the German Grand Prix, which was held last month at the famous Nurburg Ring, we had another readymade argument against those people who maintain that road racing can never hold public interest sufficiently to make the staging of such events a profitable undertaking for their promoters.
This race was held during the greatest financial crisis in history, when attendance might be expected to suffer badly, and when people are hardly likely to spend money on entertainment. In spite of this over 100,000 spectators paid for admission, and the gate money was well in excess of £15,000.
This is probably the finest example of an artificial course in the world, as natural surroundings were such as to make it possible to introduce every variation of gradient and corners. The cost of such an undertaking is, of course, very high, but it would seem that we have facilities in this country which could be developed in a similar way, and that a road-racing circuit on private ground, if combined with other amenities, should prove to be a commercial success, as well as being of great benefit to the motor industry of this country. It is essential to have a fast course, and also one of
considerable difficulty, as then the continental star drivers would be encouraged to compete, and the public of this country might begin to appreciate motor racing as a fine art. At present the average man, assisted by the ridiculous motor race accounts in the daily press, has no real idea of the sport, as he has no opportunity of seeing it. Many suggestions have been made about turning private estates into motor racing courses, but the owners of such estates not infrequently have other ideas on their correct use, and unless they can see something for themselves out of the enterprise, they can hardly be blamed for failing to sup
port the scheme.
On the other hand, attendances at recent Grand Prix races, where the admirable ” free-for-all ” rule allows real racing cars to compete, whatever their capacity, shows that the financial prospects of a special road-race course are a great deal better than its opponents will admit.
One big project of this kind is already on foot, and if the difficulties can be overcome satisfactorily we may yet see Britain holding once again a race in the European championship series, as well as numerous smaller events. Let us hope these plans will soon mature.