EDITORIAL VIEWS, August 1934

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EDITORIAL VIEWS

yOOD for thought can be found in the announcement that in spite of an attendance of 30,000 paying spectators, the Grand Prix de la Marne was a financial failure. The reason is not far to seek, for prize and appearance money to the value of $00,000 francs was offered to the drivers. A little co-operation is obviously required.

That drivers and entrants should be adequately recompensed goes without saying. In a sense they are performers hired by the organisers to give a show of sufficient interest to attract a large number of spectators. Without the drivers there would be no race, no organisers and no show. Granted this fact, it is only natural that drivers should be attracted by races offering the greatest reward foi their energies ; and it is in this respect that Grand Prix racing is reaching a. stage requiring discussion and revision. The ” bidding ” for entries by rival organisers, whose dates are in close proximity will inevitably reach a pitch when, as has already happened at Rheims, the financial position becomes unsound.

The victory of R. E. L. Featherstonhaugh in the Grand Prix d’Albigeois marks an important point in the advance of British motor racing prestige on the Continent. Following on the splendid performances of H. C. Hamilton, also a member of the Whitney Straight Syndicate, this first British victory in a Continental road race gives reality to the statement that, given the opportunity, our drivers would be able to hold their own with the famous Continental ” aces.” At Dieppe, too, the British contingent composed of Earl Howe, C. Penn Hughes, T. E. Rose Richards and C. S. Staniland all drove with an admirable blend of skill and dash. In some cases their cars were by no means as fast as the Continental representatives, and yet they were always a danger to the leaders should the latter have experienced the slightest delay. The Dieppe meeting was particularly well attended by British followers of motor-racing, and left one with a profound regret that some means cannot be found of building a team of British cars to compete in the Continental Grand Prix races. To judge by the

It is easy to say that there are too many races, hence the scramble to ensure sufficient entries. But the remedy does not lie in this direction, for the unalterable fact remains that all the races held this year have been well supported. What is needed is a sensible degree of co-operation between the organisers themselves which will put the whole business on a sound footing. There can be no danger of the drivers refusing to fall in with any reasonable arrangement, for it is in their interests that there should be as many races as possible.

experience of other countries, Governmental support seems to be the only way that allows the cars to be developed without the hairclicap of restricted finance.

There remains the problem of a home circuit, or circuits, where the cars and drivers can acquire the tremendous amount of practice necessary for their perfection. If the enthusiasm evinced by British spectators at Dieppe is anything to go by, motor racing could become just as popular in England as it is on the Continent.

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