THE results of the Monte Carlo Rally make interesting reading. Exactly what combination of car and driver is necessary for a real chance of winning the premier award ? Careful preparation of the car is obviously of paramount importance, both as to roadworthiness and suitability for the final tests. The driver, for his part, must be really adept at handling his car in the eliminating test, and in this connection it is worth noting that the French ” works ” drivers practiced assiduously at Montlhery for weeks before the event.
It all boils down to thoroughness. The winning Renault and the wonderful Triumph, which finished second and won the Junior Class, were both examples of serious endeavour, and thoroughly deserved their successes. Experience, too, plays its part, and we are glad to see that enthusiastic and persevering couple, M. and Mme. Schell, at last figuring in the first three after so many previous Rallies disappointments and trials. ” Ifs ” count no more in motor sport than they do in any other, so it is useless to modify the success of the actual winners by raising such provisos as “if the
brakes of the Alfa-Romeo had not locked,”and ” if that train had not arrived at the level crossing exactly when Healey was passing.” At the same time the greatest Sympathy will be extended to these unfortunates, and none the less to Symons for his extremely bad luck right at the end. It would have been a most auspicious debut for the supercharged M.G. Magnette N type, but its failure was all in the luck of the game. The Rally continues to emphasise our paucity of big cars. Graham-Paige, Invicta, Hotchkiss, and now
Renault—it evidently, takes a big car to win the Rally. If a little Triumph can finish second in the general classification, surely a British big car could win the premier award—given reasonable luck. Our horsepower tax is largely to blame, Of course, and under the present circumstances it seems that we must leave it to the French and the Americans. The northern starting points provided all the leading finishers. Out of the first ten, five came from Stavanger in Norway, three from Tallim in Esthonia, and two from Umea in Sweden. The Bucharest and Athens routes were this year impassible, and it is more than probable that the former will be cut out of the Rally altogether next year. No one has got through from the Roumanian capital for several years now, and to enter a car for
this starting control has now become a much too risky undertaking, with but a small chance of even reaching Monte Carlo. The route from Athens is an uncertain one. Really deep snow can bring the stoutest car and crew to a standstill, and the competitor has to deal with the additional hazards of floods, landslides and morasses. Although it was impassible
this year, it has been conquered in the past a sufficient number of times to warrant a continued onslaught in the future.
The revised route from Palermo was thought by many to be the easiest and therefore most likely to provide the ultimate winner. As so often happens, the weather conditions were by no means ideal, and those who actually started from Sicily, while being the object of envy by many of their rivals, had by no means an easy task.