COMPETITIONS MANAGERS

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COMPETITIONS MANAGERS

INTRODUCTION

The Competitions Manager of a racing team carries a load

of responsibility. His is the task of organising all the hundredand-one details that accompany the entry of a manufacturer’s team of cars in international racing contests.

Primarily the Competitions Manager has to plan his race strategy and pit-work for long-distance races, such as Le Mans, giving orders to both drivers and mechanics and making sure that these are obeyed, forming decisions about speeding-tip or slowing-down his cars in relation to the data his chart-keeper is able to give him, deciding what (and how) emergency repairs can be carried out when unforeseen factors intrude and whether or not a stricken car can proceed. lie also has to understand the local regulations, find hotels for his staff and accommodation for his ears, look after those in distress, such as sick drivers or bereaved wives, and take responsibility for the enormous stock of tools, tyres anti spares which accompany a team of racing ears on its travels.

Clearly, a Competitions Manager has a responsible job. Yet if all goes well, and his cars and drivers rise to the occasion, he tastes joy and elation unknown to those in mundane trades. ” Mort ” Morris Goodall was in that happy position at Le Mans, as his victorious Jaguars came safely past the chequered Hag, just as, on that particular occasion, poor John Wyer saw his Aston Martins retire one by one.

Pit-work alone demands a good manager—and they are about as rare as real Grand Prix drivers. Years ago at Brooklands Argyll set a standard a efficient depot-replenishment and signalling which had its effect on subsequent races, Le Mans in particular, during the great Bentley days. Even in modern Grand Prix races, which are of only three hours’ duration or less, pit-work retains its vital importance on race results, and in the long-distancesports-car races, which are growing in number and significance, it is even more important. Below we introduce sonic well-known Competitions Managers, for whom we feel a lot of sympathy while the race is in progress and whom we recognise as playing an important part in the plate their teams occupy in the results sheets. These gentlemen carry on a fine tradition laid down a long time ago by Competitions Managers such as Perrot (of Argyll), T. Gillett (of A.C.), Lionel Martin, Kensington Moir, S. C. H. Davis, Alfred Neubauer and others.—W. B.

PETER AVERN OF THE MONKEY STABLE

Peter Avern was born on June 17th, 1926, in Middlesex, and was educated at Bradfield College, From 1944-19111 he served in the R.A.F. His hobby at this time was motor racing (” interest,” he remarks, rather than ” hobby ” as he tOok no part in it). In 1951 he met Jim Mayers and his first active part was when Mayers asked him to run his pit in the 1951 T.T. The results will show that this

was a failure, due to engine troubles. At the end of 1951 Jim, Pat Griffith and Gerry Ruddoek formed the Monkey Stable and asked Avert’ to become manager as a spare time job. This season was fairly successful, as the records will show. In September, 1952. he left his job in the textile trade and after a short spell with Kieft Cars at Farnborough, took on the job of managing the Monkey Stable of Mayers’ Kieft-M.G.s full time.

M. H. MORR1S-GOO1MLL, OF JAGUAR “

‘• Mort ” Morris-Goodall, who so ably brought Jaguars to their

conviming vietory at Le Mans, informs us 1 very much regret that it is the policy of this company to stop their employees obtaining publicity of any kind.”

T. V. SELBY, OF BRISTOL

T. V. Selby used to race G.P. Bugattis at Brooklands with a fair degree of success as long ago as 1929-1935. fle also drove the M.G. Midget at the time when this newcomer took the J.C.C. ” Double Twelve” flour Race by storm. He drove one of these M.G.s with Freddie de Clifford in the Mille Miglia of 1932.

Later he drove for Austin in the works Sevens, notably on the occasion when the Austin team won an LC.C. Relay Race at the Track. Selby also competed in the Belgian 24-Hour Sports-Car Race at Spa with an M.G. at this time.

lie has had considerable experience of the Monte Carlo Rally, in which before the war he usually started from Stavanger. After the war Selby joined the Car Division of the Bristol Aeroplane Company as Sales Manager. He transferred to the position of Racing Manager in January of this year and was responsible for the and of building and running of the fir-I Bristol racing cArs, thc

Type ISO coning, which failed at Le Mans—not surprisingly as they had been built in about six months—hut one of which won its class in excellent style at Reims.

JOHN WYER OF ASTON MARTIN

Mr. Wyer originally commenced his association With the motor industry as an apprentice engineer iii lo: o•ti Sunbeam Motor Co. He spent six years with that company, aml in 1933 he joined Solex Carburetters as .a technician. He was on the production side of this company from 1939-1915. In 1947 he became a director of Monaco—in 1950 this company

was sold to Spot:ling. About this time he was approached to join Aston Martin and Lagonda as Raring Manager for six months— by August, 1950, he was put on the permanent staff. Mr. Wyer thinks that 1953 should be a good year for Aston Martin as they have now got a very much faster 3-litre car,

He has done quite is bit of competitive hill-climbing, and at present drives the 1951 prototype ‘Algot-ids sal000.—,j, M.

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