BULLETIN INT common with the majority of motor sporting organisations, the activities of the British Racing Drivers’ Club were automatically suspended on the out of war, Many of our members on Navy, Army and. Air rOreC reserves were mobilised in advance of that historic Sunday whilst others attached to various A.R.P. organisations were also called
out for service. One of the first to be mobilised was the Club’s President-the Rt. Hon. Earl Howe, P.C., c.B.E., V.D., who holds the rank of Commodore in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. With the restrictions on private motoring it is very unlikely that any motor sporting events—rallies, trials and the like—much less motor races can be run until the war is over. Much, naturally -depends on its length, but if hopes that it will be short are fulfilled, then motor racing at the end of the war will be resumed without great difficulty where it
left Off. One hears on all Sides of ears being carefully packed up and evacuated to places of safety so there should be no dearth of machines. In neutral Italy, a motor racing programme to include Grand Prix and Voiturette events has already been _announced for 1940, but they will, of necessity, be little more than national races and a duel for honours between
Alfa-Romeo and Maserati. As the repercussions of the war are bound to be felt in that country, it is unlikely that there will be any real development in the design of either marque. It is rather interesting to consider the situation which existed twenty years ago, after the Great War. Then the outstanding feature of the position was the dearth of racing Cars. None had been built for four or five years and the factories had been so gravely disorganised that few of them were in a position immediately to turn out new racers. Although one or two European cars went to Indianapolis in 1919, it was not until 1921 that sufficient new racing ears could be assembled to justify running an International event such as the French Grand Prix. Brooklandsraces had got going earlier, but they were greatly handicapped by the shortage of suitable
cars. Many of the pre-war track cars had disappeared and of those which remained, some had not been improved by five year’s neglect. Moreover, whilst chassis design in the interval had been more or less neglected, the development of the internal combustion engine had been fostered by intensive research on the part of aeroplane constructors. As a result while manufacturers were still prepared after the war to build even racing cars with brakes on the rear wheels only, in spite of the use of four-wheel brakes by enterprising makers such as Peugeot in 1914, drivers were no longer satisfied with machines powered with
engines of pre-war design. Since none others were immediately available, however, motor racing was presented, especially at Brooklands, with such freaks as ” Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang,” in which an enormous aero engine was piled on to a chassis and the whole contraption made to proceed in a manner fit to raise the enthusiasm of the awed spectator.
With the development of the touring car over the last twenty years, the construction of racing cars has become more than ever the job of the specialist manufacturer such as our own E.R.A. and Alta and there is little doubt that both these marques will figure prominently in racing as soon as it is resumed.
In so far as the Club is concerned it is hoped to keep in touch with members from time to time and resume normal activities as soon after the end of the war as possible.