THE SIGNIFICANCE OF DIEPPE
THE Circuit de Dieppe has given concrete form to
a movement which has been gradually spreading this season. In attracting an entry of twenty-seven cars the z,soo c.c. race has shown that voiturette racing is embarking on a genuine revival. The exciting nature of the race demonstrated the accepted theory that speed is purely relative, and that the primary requisite for a good race is that the cars should be evenly matched.
It would be as well to make it plain that we do not regard 1,500 c.c. racing as a substitute for the International Formula. There is no denying the lessons learnt from such machines as the Mercedes-Benz, the Auto-Union, and the Alfa-Romeo, and it is our opinion that a ” Grand Prix ” represents the sport of motorracing in its highest form.
The benefits derived from voiterette racing lie in a different direction. First of all it provides the finest possible training-ground for drivers. Many famous aces graduated to Grand Prix racing by way of a 1,500 C.C. car, and the revival of this junior form of racing finally dispels the doubts of those who fear that recruits are not forthcoming to handle the bigger machines.
Secondly, the more good races the public sees the greater becomes the popularity of the sport. More races of the type seen at Dieppe will inevitably give an impetus to public interest and support, without which motor-racing cannot exist. It is indeed an ironic fact that, although motor-racing hardly ranks as a sport in Britain, the revival of 1,500 c.c. racing has been largely brought about by the British enterprise behind the construction of the E.R.A. When the car was first planned the chief argument against it was the dearth of races for which it could be
entered. Now most of the Continental organisers are considering running 1,5oo c.c. races. Production has created a demand.
How is Britain reacting to the movement ? Our only scratch-race for 1,50o c.c. cars is the Mannin Beg, which for a variety of reasons has not enjoyed a large measure of success. In England scratch-racing is taboo for some peculiar reason. What is quite obvious is that motor-racing will never take a grip of the public imagination so long as complicated handicap systems are used. Unfortunately many of our race-organisers frankly admit that they do not want the man-in-thestreet as a spectator, even if his half-crown would make it possible to run a British Grand Prix with a field of the best cars and drivers in the world. But we digress. The reason why there is no longdistance scratch-race for 1,500 c.c. cars is that our organisers are afraid that 1,100 c.c. cars would not enter, and that without the participation of the latter an adequate entry would not be obtained. Dieppe supplies the answer, for Fairfield’s i,ioo c.c. E.R.A. won quite easily against his 1,500 c.c. rivals, What we should like to see—and we feel sure that we voice the opinion of thou
sands of enthusiasts—is a revival by the J.C.C. of their classic zoo Miles Race. No other long distance race has ever had quite the same prestige as the ” Two Hundred,” and we feel sure that its resuscitation would be a triumphant success. Let it be run in two classes, 1,500 c.c. and 750 c.c. with special prizes for unsupercharged cars and the first “eleven-hundred ” to finish, reserving the main prize and interest of. the race to the fastest car on the track. Finally, let there be a vast scoreboard, so that everyone can see who is winning. What about it, Mr. Dyer ?