Letters: August 2018

I would walk 500 miles

I’ve just got back from attending my second Indianapolis 500. The cars look and sound great, the drivers are engaging, the event is geared up for the fans and it’s affordable. Even though this year’s edition was not considered a classic, there was some amazing racing. Alexander Rossi’s move on numerous cars at the outside of turns 1 and 2 was probably the bravest piece of driving I have ever seen in 25 years of watching motor sport.

I’ll defend Formula 1 until I’m blue in the face, but after experiencing Indy again, then watching the Monaco Grand Prix, I have to admit that I am slowly switching off from F1. Let’s hope the plans Liberty Media have in place are successful; they could learn a lot from Indycar.

Gareth Holt, Purley, Surrey

Honourable trade

Thank you for the review of A Passion for Speed, the biography of the Hon Mrs Victor Bruce, as it solved the question of to what to give my Dad on Father’s Day. When my Dad was a young mechanic working at Wall’s Central Garage (previously the Corn Market!) in Warminster he worked on Mrs Victor Bruce’s Rolls-Royce. He and Mrs Bruce’s car can be seen in the accompanying photographs. My Dad can be seen looking back on the right in one photo [top] and third from the left in the other. Mrs Victor Bruce owned a glove factory in Warminster hence the opportunity to work on her car.

Many thanks for the excellent magazine.

Robin Sims, Kenilworth, Warks

Memory laps(e)

Congratulations on an interesting approach to your Le Mans coverage in the July edition, focusing on Brits at la Sarthe. One thing that puzzles me, however, is why Lagonda’s outright victory in 1935 seems to constantly be forgotten from history? In Simon Arron’s piece he talks about Bentley’s series of wins in the 1920s, Woolf Barnato’s straight hat-trick, and mentions that Howe and Birkin won in an Alfa Romeo 8C in 1931 but goes on to say that that was the last British victory before the successes of Jaguar and Aston Martin during the 1950s.

So, to put the record straight, in 1935 the winner was a British Lagonda M45R powered by a British 4½-litre Meadows engine, driven by two British drivers, Johnny Hindmarsh and Luis Fontes (yes, he was British) and entered by the Fox & Nichols racing team from Tolworth, Great Britain!

The Lagonda is now displayed in the Louwman Museum in the Netherlands. Both drivers were also aviators, and both were sadly killed in flying accidents.

Richard Branch, Hampshire

The pits at Monaco

The most talented racing drivers in the world. The most sophisticated racing cars ever created. The most well-resourced race teams ever. The most atmospheric racing circuit in the world. The Monaco Grand Prix. The experience – beyond despair.

Chris Daw, Mollington, Oxon

It ain’t easy

I’ve read some negative comments about Fernando Alonso’s ‘easy’ victory (along with team-mates Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima) in this year’s Le Mans but surely a win is a win, and a win at Le Mans is some achievement even if you’re in the best car. You don’t criticise Hamilton for winning the 2017 title in the best car.

Watching on TV at least it seemed like a real battle between the two Toyotas, and Alonso’s catch-up sprint in the night showed his real racer quality.

Congratulations to him and his team, and I for one will be cheering him on at Indy next year as he aims for the Triple Crown whether he’s in a McLaren or not.

Gerry Hutchins, Bridgnorth, Shropshire

Show of Hans

I have just spotted a small mistake in your latest issue on my tablet. The photo depicting Ian Scheckter in his March 771 and Hans Heyer was taken at the 1977 Dutch Grand Prix (easily recognisable by the ‘Marlboro-sponsored’ kerbs), but it is not Hans Heyer in the photo but Hans Binder of Austrian origin.

Hans Heyer tried to qualify the ATS-Ford at the German GP but failed. Nevertheless he started from the pitlane, only to be disqualified immediately. It’s been his only participation in a Grand Prix.

What about portraying Hans Heyer in Motor Sport? He truly is a Touring Car legend, a double champion in the German Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft, winner at the 24 Hours of Spa, winning in TWR-Jaguars, Lancia Montecarlos, a 12-time Le Mans-participant (12 non-finishes!) – and remember him wrestling the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 around the Ardennes in 1971?

Lothar Wiegand, by email

Two-way street

My subscription copy of the June edition has just arrived, and I was surprised to find that there has been a change of editor.

Welcome to Joe Dunn, and I am pleased to see that he’s keen to encourage the increased interaction with the readership. That was what got me on board, and in particular the podcasts where the Motor Sport team discussed each new edition. I’d love to see those podcasts return as the context really brought the magazine to life.

All the best to the Motor Sport team, and keep opening up those opportunities for us readers and subscribers to interact.

Jim Walker, Rolleston, New Zealand

The issue preview podcasts are back on our website HERE. Ed.

Continuing the racing line 

A fantastic track test last month of the Brabham trio, but I noticed something in the photo on page 67 of David Brabham and Dickie Meaden. If you cover the bottom half of David’s face up to the bottom of his nose, there for all to see is ‘Black Jack’s steely-eyed stare vapourising something out of shot. Like father like son, indeed!

Rob Gent, Spalding, Lincolnshire