POINTS OF VIEWNORMAN Il LACK ON TEAM DISCIPLINE
/AM often asked by serious minded persons, who evidently expect some clever answer, the reason I go in for racing, and how I would advise anyone to train for it.
I am afraid I cannot reveal any intriguing secrets ; I race because I like it, and always have liked it, and as far as the “way to win” is concerned, this depends chiefly on two things—having the right car and having the right team management.
Except by the most amazing fluke, the first is of little use without the second, as luck plays too big a part in a single entry. Chance, of course, always has been and always will be a big and untangible factor in any form of contest, and I am fortunate to be able to say that since I took to racing on four wheels I have had my full share of good luck.
I often think that the racing driver’s job is much easier now than it was in the old days ; the main requirement in his plan of campaign is that he shall drive as he is told and not as he would like. To the man of limited experience and abundant enthusiasm the temptation to show another driver what he can do, on being passed, is very great, and in yielding to it, discretion is too often thrown to the winds, and disaster comes in the shape of a wrecked engine or worse. So I would hand on a maxim which I have always regarded as sound—” The team manager knows best.”
I do not expect that everyone will agree with me entirely on this point, but I can only say that, as far as my experience goes, I have never had any cause to alter this idea. I have been merely very pleased to have been picked out sometimes by fate as the man to get home first. At speeds which are possible nowadays it is rather too much to expect an entire team to finish in addition
to providing the winning car. And it is equally too much of a tall order to imagine that one individual driver is going to be lucky over and over again ; so I am quite ready to take a back seat in the coming season !
Such training as I have had for road racing was acquired initially on motor cycles, principally on the Isle of Man circuit. I did, in fact ride in nine different T.T.’s on that wonderful course, and to my mind there could be no finer way than this for anyone who is going to race a car in an event of any sort or kind.
The T.T. course is undoubtedly far more difficult and tricky than the Ards circuit or Phoenix Park, and my apprenticeship in the Island has been, I think, the greatest help to me in my more recent efforts.
This is obvious when I point out that the 1931 season saw my first serious attempt at the sport on four wheels !
I hear that Mr. Cecil Kimber has been suggesting that the I.O.M. motor cycle course should be used for a race for small cars, and I can only say that if this excellent idea materialises I shall be there. If the Manx course is to be utilised at all it would be a great pity, I think, if advantage were not taken of the climb over Snaefell, for if there is anything lacking in the courses at present used it is that they are too flat.
I have noticed that MOTOR SPORT has consistently advocated the return of car races in the Isle of Man, and no one will be more delighted than I shall be to return to that bright little spot—with four wheels instead of two.