Rumblings, February 1953

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56

Formula racing

We have recently received a growing number of enquiries about the regulations governing Formula racing  — not 2-litre unblown/500-c.c. blown Formula ll,  not 500-c.c unblown Formula III, and understandably not the declining 4-1/2-litre unblown/1-1/2-litre blown Formula l racing,  but that wholly excellent attempt to offer economical sport fostered by the 750 M.C.

This Club, essentially the Austin Seven enthusiasts’ organisation, recognises one Formula for Austin Seven-base specials and another for Ford Eight and Ten-engined specials, and puts on its own races for such cars, persuading other clubs to do likewise, at Silverstone, Castle Combe and similar circuits.

These Formulae relate to road-equipped cars, so that they may be used by the impecunious for ordinary purposes as well as for highly competitive amateur racing.

The details of these Formulae follow. The Club’s monthly Bulletin  includes very practical articles of the greatest interest and value to builders of such Formula cars, and it only remains to repeat that the 750 M.C. Secretary is K. Welfare, 56, Harrow Road, Bediont, Middlesex.

750 Formula  (For competition cars based on the prewar Austin Seven)

I. The car must comply with the Road Traffic Act and must have been driven to the meeting under its own power.

2. The bodywork must comply with the 1949 R.A.C. Regulations for cars for trials and rallies and in addition must not be less than 32 in. wide inside the cockpit.

3. The following parts must be from the standard range of Sports and Touring pre-war Austin Seven components: Cylinder block, crankcase, gearbox, rear axle complete, main chassis side-members.

4. The engine must have a stroke of 3 in. and a bore not exceeding 2.26 (i.e., 060 in. oversize). Overhead valves and superchargers are barred.

5. The car must carry full electrical equipment including starter, battery, dynamo normally mounted, side and tail lamps and at least one headlamp. There must be at least one aero screen of effective size. Hoods, passenger seats and spare wheels need not be carried. (At meetings held by other clubs it may be necessary to vary these items in deference to the Regulations for these meetings.)

6. This formula is devised for the benefit of the amateur constructor-tuner with very limited resources. The 750 M.C. Committee reserves the right at all times to reject any car which it considers represents an attempt to defeat the spirit of the regulations, even though it complies with the letter of them.

1,172 Formula (For competition cars with Ford Eight or Ford Ten engines)

I. The car must comply with the Road Traffic Act and must have been driven to the meeting under its own power.

2. The bodywork must comply with the 1949 R.A.C. Regulations for cars for Trials and Rallies and in addition must not be less than 32 in. wide inside the cockpit.

3. The power unit is to be based on the standard Ford Eight or Ten engine castings. Modification must not include supercharging, conversion to o.h.v., reversal in function of the inlet and exhaust ports or the dividing of the siamesed inlet ports. The standard stroke of 92.5 mm. must not be exceeded and the bore must not be greater than the Ford Ten standard of 63.5 mm. plus .060 in. rebore allowance. Standard camshafts must be used unaltered.

4. The car must carry full electrical equipment, including starter, battery, dynamo normally mounted, side and tail lamps and at least one headlamp. There must be at least one aero screen of effective size. Hoods, passenger seats and spare wheels need not be carried. (At meetings held by other clubs it may be necessary to vary these items in deference to the Regulations for these meetings.)

5. The complete vehicle, as presented for competition, without occupants, is to weigh not less than 8 cwt..

6. This formula is devised for the benefit of the amateur constructor-tuner with very limited resources. The 750 M.C. Committee reserves the right at all times to reject any car which it considers represents an attempt to defeat the spirit of the regulations, even though it complies with the letter of them. (Note : While it is not a requirement of the Formula, warning is given that it is inadvisable to lighten the standard Ford cast flywheel.)

The Club Scrutineer is John Moon,  21, The Grove, Addlestone, Surrey, who will be glad to answer queries relating to any of the above regulations.

***

The coming season

Trials wane, the excitement of the Monte Carlo Rally fades eventually and spring ushers in the motor-racing season. What a crowded, happy time it is for competitors, officials, marshals and spectators alike ! One week-end Silverstone, wide expanse of the B.R.D.C.’s permanent circuit, next week-end to Goodwood for racing at the B.A.R.C.’s friendly, well-appointed circuit in Sussex. Then, perhaps to the lively, invigorating atmosphere of Boreham circuit, where the West Essex C.C. expands apace. There is breath-taking 500-cc. dicing at the Brands Hatch bowl in Kent, the happy ” Bristolian ” racing at the interesting Castle Combe course, maybe a long run to the Scottish circuits, notably Charterhall, where some exceedingly fine racing closed our 1952 season.

Snetterton is still something of a novelty, this year we are promised racing at Aintree and the cockney Crystal Palace, and when circuit racing at these and other venues palls there are exciting speed hillclimbs, at bracing Bo’ness and the “Continental “-style Rest and Be Thankful, at traditional Shelsley Walsh and at the Bugatti O.C. hill at Prescott, excitement set in the charming Cotswold countryside and a veritable colour-photographer’s paradise.

Brighton retains its speed trials over the famous Madeira Drive motor road in sight of the sea and where real speed is seen. Really the variety is almost endless, without leaving these shores. And you will know this island very thoroughly by next October if you visit more than 50 per cent, of the National fixtures!  

Soon keen drivers in interesting cars will be making for these motor-racing venues with fellow enthusiasts, girl friends, wives and families. The weather provides further diversity and whereas one week-end shorts and sun-tops are the ideal wear, the next you will spend huddled beneath golfing gamp or my lady’s umbrella, debating whether waders and sou’westers shall not in future figure in the race-day travelling kit. Rain spoils racing, making things beastly for drivers and onlookers alike, but although a well-known poet has assured us that:

June fills the scene with tulips and roses

And our eager hands with posies,

you never can tell and the enthusiast is adept at making the best of it, taking heart that, if the race average is lower, at least technique on the corners reaches a new high level.

There will be some exceptionally interesting racing this year, particularly in Formula ll, come rain or shine, and Mike Hawthorn will be a welcome stranger in our midst when Ferrari races, as Dick Seaman was when Mercedes-Benz visited these shores in 1937-38.

***

The R.A.C. National Competition Calendar lists the 1953 fixtures in profusion and enables fascinating week-ends to be planned for months ahead, while the International Calendar is chock-a-block with fixtures to whet the appetite of those taking Continental holidays.

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