PRIVATE CHALLENGES AND THE GREAT RACES.
RACING enthusiasts cannot fail to have observed a considerable darkening of the winter sky, caused by a veritable hail of down-flung gauntlets, gages, or whatever superfluous handwear it was that our ancestors used, to signify a quarrelsome state of mind.
We refer to the crop of private challenges and wagers which seems to have sprung up during the last few months as a result of varying beliefs in the capabilities of different cars.
The ball Was set rolling by M. Weyrnann, who wagered 25,000 dollars that an Hispano-Suiza would go further than a Stutz (backed by Mr. Moscovic), in a period of twenty-four hours. This dispute is scheduled to be settled at Indianapolis on April loth, and from our experience of both cars should prove a closely fought-out duel. Next to enter the lists was Captain Woolf Barna to, that staunch champion of Bentley’s, who has challenged the winner of the above contest to a match with a 41-litre Bentley—to take place, it is said, during the C rand Prix d’Endurance at Le Mans. It is not clear yet whether this latter challenge has been taken up but, in the interest of the Le Mans entry list, it is to be hoped
Next we have the 24-hour rage between George Duller, on a 3-litre Bentley, and J. P. Turner, on an Austro-Daimler, each driver to remain at the wheel for the whole period of the race.
Finally, we have Mr. S. F. Edge’s broadcast challenge to any stock car for a 15,000 mile race with a 6-cylinder A.C.
Now, all these challenges show a real enthusiasm on the part of the various owners and manufacturers concerned, and it seems strange that this enthusiasm so often fails when it comes to the point of entering in any of the classic racing events. Surely, if it is desired to display genuine confidence in a car, the field of open competition is the place to do it. These private matches are all very interesting to the participants, but the results can easily be dis
torted or hushed-up if necessary, and how much more interesting it would be if all could be set off against each other with the Le Mans scenery as a background.
Surely Stutz and Hispano-Suiza have sufficient confidence in their cars to allow them to perform on the road, and surely an A.C. can perform as creditably over 24 hours as it can over 15,000 miles.
However, it seems unlikely that these private affairs will be combined in any one event, but let us beg that Mr. Edge, Captain Barnato and the other captains of industry concerned, will retain some of their enthusiasm for open competition, so that 1928 may see really ” bumper ” entry lists.
The Proprietors of Motor Sport wish to announce that the present issue is a combined January-February number. Owing to recent reorganisation the Magazine has been published behind time, but henceforward Motor Sport will appear on the first of each month.