MATTERS OF MOMENT, February 1951

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MATTERS OF MOMENT

TWO MEETINGS AT THE R.A.C.

Two important meetings took place at the R.A.C. during January. The first of these was the postponed Meeting of the Chtbs, which has blossomed into an all-day affair and for which club representatives arrived very punctually, possibly because the invitations carried the wrong starling time ! Wilfred Andrews represented the R.A.0 and Earl Howe took the Chair, giving us a welcome opportunity onee again to pay tribute to his for the he does British motor sport on every

possible occasion.

This year the Meeting of the Clubs passed off sinoOt lily and it was evident that delegates were either satisfied with, or resigned to, the attitude of the Competitions Committee to their Sport.

Col, Barnes said that last year 456 R.A.C. permits were issued, of which over 100 applied to speed events, awl 11 new speed courses were inspected.

Two delegates remarked that it, was inconvenient for cc»npetitors to be eleared from Silverstone by 8 p.m. after club race meetings and Col. Barnes promised a possible extension to 9 p.m., but said overnight camping could on no account be allowed under the terms of the present. lease. The usual lack of full co-operation between the A.C.U. and R.A.C. was was

touched on, but Earl Howe emphasise( this and other difculties by pointing out that this year s National Calendar contains 547 fixtures, twelve on one day in one instance. The M.A.C. representative drew attention to clashes whereby probable Slielsley Walsh entries were drawn elsewhere and said he felt that the smaller clubs usurped a field covered adequately Iii’ more important bodies ; he was countered by Desmond Scannell (11.R.D.C.) remarking I hat the dubs offering the greatest attraet ions to drivers naturally get the best entries and by Pa ” Moss, who felt that entry fees should be returnable to starters, which was not the ease at ShelsIcy Walsh. This turned the focus on racing finance. J. B. Jesty (W. [Tants and Dorset C.C.) said his Club lost £800 on the 1949 Blandford Meeting and made £575 last year which, however, was spent half on the Army and the rest on the hill-climb. It was revealed that the Brighton Corporation loses V500-.4:600 on the Brighton Speed Trials due to the prevailing savage Entertainments Tax. The desire to return entry fees is largely defeated by this tax. Various ways of getting round it were discussed, none very hopeful. It would require an Act of Parliament to rescind it, but

the R.A.C. would continue to light, particularly for a reduction of tax to football match level. The 13.R.D.C. paid over g21,000 in Entertainments Tax during the past two seasons. Bob Gerard feared entries must decline with rising costs ; he was out of pocket to the extent of some £1.000 during the last two seasons. The Lords Day Observatteo Society was another irritant, touched upon. Earl Howe then drew attention to irregularities in races in S. America, where drivers competed without. sanction from their National clubs, rind said that the would be obliged to deal drastically’ with 81101 breaches under Article 70 of the

International Sporting Code. Col. Barnes announced some notable improvements in the regulations governing the 1951 R.A.C. Hill-Climb Chainpimiship, notably that no separate entry fee is piyable and marks will be based on ;mural placings Of all cornpAitors. Ile re-introduced the Silverstone Supporters Club as a means of Obtaining reduced car park fees at “private ” Silverstone race meetings.

Earl Howe revealed that medical standards as enforced in the Monaco Grand Prix regulations are likely to apply to all races before the first 1951 Grand Prix and that crash hats will be compulsory in racing by 1952. The racing season ended on a surprise note, when Wilfred Andrews took a speaker to task for referring a

to vast crowds at Silverstone. He said there had never been even 80,000–whielt is surely la variance with ollicial bulletins issued during past races ? The trials and rally session seems to have passed oft even more smoothly and thereafter it was the pleasant duty of the CompAitions Committee to present the 1950 R.A.C. HillClimb Championship Award to Roger Dennistoun Poore, the 1050 R.A.C. Trials Championship Prize to Ken Wharton (thrice winner of this title !), th’.! Alpine Plaque to Ian Appleyard and to show the Guild Of Motoring Writers’ Silverstone The ;Alter meeting was called to discuss the 1954 Grand Prix Formula, in order to guide Earl lIowe when lie represents this country at the C.S.I. debate on this subject in Brussels oil February 17th. The R.A.C. Coatpetitions and Technical Committees called on racing-car manufacturers, organisers, fuel, oil and tyre technicians and the Technical Press to express their views. 14.R.M., ERA.. 11.W.NL, Alta, Connaught, Dunlop, Shell-Mex and Anglo-American, the S.M.M.T., B.R.D.C., B.A.R.C., Ulster A.C. and R.A.S.C., and the Aulocar, Motor and MoTou SeoaT sent representatives. Unfortunately, the meeting was so divided among itself that Earl lIowe will go to Brussels more to Soul ii the views of other countries than to. express Britain’s desires ;lie will endeavour to stave off an international decision on the Ft rn oda wit il the General Assembly in Paris next October. In this resin-et Desmond Scannell felt that Germany, France and America would probably vote for ‘imisuiperehargeci engines al)d two of Italy’s three leading racing-car firms likewise. Earl Howe favoured a fuelconsumption limit of 6 m.p.g. allied to the existing Formula I, to kill present ” highly-supercharged monstrosities.” The S.NI.M.T_ had no views to express and in consequence received a stern rel mkt. from Mr. Wilfred. Andrews, who described this lack of interest as an insult to the R.A.C. The desires and opinions of’ other speakers, of necessity drastically con densed, follow :—

slims J (-MESON : Up to 41-10 res unsupercharged, fuel restricted to 80-90 octane, to lower expense. Bodies to be all-enveloping.

050505 AIIRcASSIS : Prefers no Mange, but if unavoidable, let present Formula ii become I and present Formula III become 11. No fuel restriction.

Possibly a minimum weight limit. but not set too low or expense of cars will ‘wrens,.

KOWKRI’ TAYLOR : 2-lit ITS unsupereharged and 750 c.c. supereharged with minimum weight limit of 050 kg. No fuel restrictions of any kind. Would i,xpeet 25 per cent. saving In cost of air from Ms mininenti weight limit..

N. W. IL FREIMAN : No change. commenting On the effect of all-envelophai bodies on tyres Said : ” There is a limit to what cotton and rubber can be expected to do.” JOHN WVER: Grand Prix MS should lead passenger-car design. .No production car uses ateohof fuel or is ever likely to (Barley J. Earl

doesn’t agree So allow any size and type of engine, biltimpose a Mel•eonstunpticin limit and restriet fuel to zi5-90 octane ; iniforce all-enveloping isslies, to encourage research On low-drag forms and brake and tyre cooling.

NITRE ‘SERMON : SpectatOra want speed, so retain existing Formula I until 1950, but after 1952 introduce fuel-consmoption limit. Retain Formula II :ind III. Racing and touring ears never have run pantile’. but limit on quantity of Owl would drive oil alcohol to sonic extent. Petrois already exist. wile% conal alcohol octane ratings.

I Msmos SI:Al.:NEU.: Opposed to co ipercharging, as too few drivers able to cope with even presentrlaY Weds. Tended to an unblOwn 2-litre formula. Expeets to see new, ver)–high-octane fuels.

SHELL MRX ICEPRESENTATIVR : 240 res imblown, to bring racers into line with production ears, perhaps with fuel restriction Of 50.90 octane. No knowledge of Scannell’s ” alchemy.” Roswell on raving filels does not assist fuel development. “iii the ‘swims-4.”

NOLO-A ER fr.4 N RP:PRESENTATIVE : Rest Het Mel to hydro-carborgroups. MIKE, 01.ivER : Keep MI three ,sistimr formulae. Grand Prix ears will never resemble ordinary cars, anyway, while l,?alluila II and ill cater for pri Val I. oNVIKTS ttiiit MOS it OM DU 1.olill BRA isvZoN : ;Supercharging and multi, c3linders full for State subsidies-no use for us sons cooemi : Ban superelutrger to Mince exismse of racing, Is against any form of fuel restriction, but If Octane-limit is used, do not restrict engine capacity. Would, riot oppose minimum wewlit lin.it, but sees no value in MAXIMUM Una, It. W a i,muSttmity : No racing if no public sjactacie. SO retain supercharging as it Is inexpensive power. Cited cost of pump-petrol nublown T.T. motor-cycles. Reminds us Nierced2-8 have three pre-war 3-litre cars ready. Keep Continental craral Prix-minded ! A real Ilyde-Parker, this ! (Johnson eonuliented thiblown engines brains, ingenuity, blue ers moneY. Former provide just as good it spectuele, more drivers Qin drive them_ closer iinIstieS.)

Ftr.-Issrs. CRAMPTON, D.F.C.: Don’t stop blown engine research. Suggesta Dlltre supercharged, 3-litres taisupercliarged1 expecting both to give 300 blip. Competitive racing better spectacle IWO sheer speed. M. Itetnass: No limit on engine size, but restriet air intake. (Cooper and Berthon said, lit different wars, “too compaeated.-)

JOHN DIOIMAN : Keep existing Formula I, but if change urutvoldable, make existing Formula 11 serve.

Earl Howe touelled on the turbine.. which could be accommodated tinder a fuel-litriitation formula, Scannell OD 1,10N111 diesels. ‘the meeting did some sonfused voting, but seemed to favour no restriction on fuel and no tnininnun weight limit. What would you do, claims ?