THE RECORD ROAD OF GYON

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THE RECORD ROAD OF GYON

SOME DETAILS OF THE CELEBRATED HUNGARIAN RECORD-BREAKING VENUE

During the past ten years the world’s Land Speed Record has been raised from 150 m.p.h. to just over 301, and class records have been contested no less fiercely. Circular tracks such as Brooklands and Montlhery reduce considerably the speeds obtainable over short distances, so that a driver who is going out for a kilometre or mile record usually prefers to make his attempt on a straight road or beach. The road is usually preferred to the beach since the surface is more stable, but the choice of road is limited by the International Rules for recordbreaking, which lay down that on straight road courses , the gradient must not exceed 1 per cent, for one kilometre on either side of the measured mile or kilometre over which the attempt is being made. Stretches of road answering to these requirements are difficult to find, but in Hungary, which lies for the most part on the’ level Danubian plain, two suitable places have been discovered. The first near Tat came into prominence with standing start mile records in 1932 and 1933 by Hartmann and Liechtenstein on Bugattis. During 1933 a great programme of road building was undertaken on the road from Budapest to the Jugoslavian frontier at Szeged, which forms part of the .great international highway from London to Constantinople. For miles the gradient of this new road does not exceed the essential 1 per cent., and c. in 1934 the record-breaking meeting was held for the first time on one of its endless straights. Caracciola at his first attempt achieved no less than 300

k.p.m. (188 m.p.h.) on his MercedesBenz, while early this year Bobby Kohlrausch raised the 750 c.c. record to the no less fantastic speed of 130.48 m.p.h. The course is known to few English drivers, and we are indebted to the Royal Hungarian Automobile Club for some interesting details. The Gyon record stretch is situated in the Gyon district between Budapest and Kecskernet, 4.3 kilometres from Budapest. The length of the straight stretch is

about five kilometres, and at each end of this are gentle curves which can be taken at 70 m.p.h. Straight runs a kilo

metre in length lead up to each of these curves. The total width of the road is 36 feet, of which 18 feet 6 inches is concrete. This of course is newly laid and perfectly smooth and free from waves. The centre joint is continuous, while the transverse joints run diagonally, preventing any

chance of a resonance with the period of the road springs. The centre joint is an excellent guide to the driver, running straight ahead as far as the eye can see.

The road is only a few feet above sea level, being situated, as has been said, in the low-lying Danubian Plain. In still weather no more perfect course could be found, but difficulty is sometimes experienced when wind is blowing, as the woods which fringe the road give place occasionally to open stretches where unexpected side winds make the lighter cars hard to control. Several record attempts take place there each year, while a special meeting is organised in October or November at

which foreign drivers compete. Apart from that the road can be closed at the request of individual drivers. When the road is specially booked in this way the record stretch remains available at the disposal of the driver from daybreak to dark, and ordinary traffic is diverted over ot optroads. l’he first rem d attempts at Gyon took place on the 11th October, 1934, and no less than 6 world records, 2 international records and 20 Hungarian records went by the board. Some days later the motor-cyclists Winkler Moritz and Geiss put up motor-cycle records, while Rudolf Caracciola captured the standing and flying kilometre and mile records, the latter at 196.8 m.p.h. Henne on the B.M.W. took the world record for

motor-cycles solo and side-car. These attempts lasted with little interval until the 4th November.

In May this year Kohlrausch captured the 750 c.c. mile record, and it is understood that he will again make an attempt on them with the car completely enclosed.