On reading July’s Motor Sport, I noticed a portion of column space titled “Noise”. I found the subject matter within this column somewhat infuriating. Surely, part of the attraction of motor racing in all its forms is the exciting and sometimes beautiful music that racing engines produce.
I would be intrigued to discover what the RAC Motor Sport Division Race Cornmittee, our governing and protecting body hope to achieve by silencing racing cars as I don’t seriously believe that they do any harm or even create a public nuisance. Certainly spectators cannot be really harmed by an exposure of about ten seconds per lap, can they? As to the people who are exposed for a considerable time, such as entrants, drivers, mechanics, startline marshals and the like, I would say that this is a hazard they accept gladly, as the teenagers who regularly visit discotheques accept the hazards of loud popular music.
As a matter of interest, my car was subjected to a noise test during a race meeting at Brands Hatch in May. Our Escort BDG gave 124 dBa which is certainly a very high noise level. However, this reading was obtained with the decibel meter probe held about eighteen inches away from the exhaust pipe orifice which is not a position one would expect to find many people watching racing cars from.
As to the contention that the noise level of Saloon and sports cars are the worst, I suggest that the Race Committee wait at least until July 16th to arrive at a decision, as by that time they will have had a chance to refresh their memories as to the noise that Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Matra engines produce. They may then be able to come to a fair assessment of relative noise levels.
Coleshill, J. W. B. Jones