CLASHES ON THE CALENDAR
THE issue of the sporting calendar for 1988 reveals that never before has motor sport been so popular, for there is likely to be a greater number of events than ever–trials, races, speed events, rallies, hill-climbs, and what you will.
One wonders, however, whether this state of affairs is not becoming like a flourishing garden, where so many plants are allowed to thrive unchecked in close proximity to one another that all are in danger of being choked for want of room. This aspect, so far as trials are concerned, is dealt with elsewhere in this issue.
There are more than three hundred events already listed in the British calendar. Club representatives met last month at the R.A.C. to put in their applications for dates in the list now issued, but the list is not by any means closed. It may be noted that of the 335 permits issued during 1937 by the R.A.C. there were no fewer than 135 held on additional or altered dates subsequent to the publication of the calendar.
The practice of applying for additional dates during the season is to be deplored. There are cases where it cannot be helped, but in general the addition-of unchartered events only makes confusion more confused. However, it is confidently anticipated by the R.A.C. that their task in the issue of permits for 1938 will not by any means be limited to the events now announced, so that the 1937 total will be greatly exceeded.
Twenty-one of the British events are International, and are included in the list given, but it must not be forgotten that there are a further sixty-two International events not given in the British calendar, making a truly gigantic total in all.
Even with the comparatively modest total of the international events, it has been impossible to avoid serious clashes. It has to be admitted that a number of the British events concerned are international only in status, and that none would be more surprised than the organisers if a strong foreign entry descended upon them. However, there is always this possibility, especially after the success of the Donington Grand Prix. The first race for the formula cars is at Pau on April 10th, and since this is the day after the British Empire Trophy race, in which the new E.R.A.s are expected to make their debut, participation in both would be difficult. Similarly the Tunis Grand Prix is the day after the International Trophy, and the Eifelrennen the day after the Nuffield Trophy. On the same day as the Eifel •
rennen is the Picardy Grand Prix. A serious clash not involving a British event may be noted, for the French Grand Prix is on July 3rd, and the Vanderbilt Cup in the U.S.A. on July 4th. The probability that the French Grand Prix will,
TO ALL OUR READERS
We take this opportunity of wishing our many readers, both at home and abroad, the compliments of the forthcoming season.
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Here’s Luck for 1938 !
Clashes on the Calendar … 3 A Very Successful Xmas Trial 7 1-Cimber Trophy Trial 8 On a .Visit to Two London Sports-Car
Factories … 9
Rumblings … 13
Club News … 17
1937 Records … 19 Winter in thi: Chilterns 23 The Return of the Lea-Francis 24 Letters from Readers 25 Veteran Types.—.90 hp. Fiat 27 Looking Back on the Continental Season .1.211.1?.C. Motor Derby :32 News from South Africa 33 The Matter Of Minor Controls 35
Trials Out of Joint … 36
most regrettably, be again confined to sports-cars eases the problem, but one camp is already on the horns of a dilemma, for the Ecurie Bleu, which has a contract for the Delahaye racing programme for next year, is likely to support the American race in preference to the chief event of its home country.
There is another clash between the Donington 12-hour sports-car race and the Belgian 24-Hour Race (presumably also for sports-cars), on July 9th and 10th. It is also unfortunate that only six days intervene between the Swiss Grand Prix and the 200-Miles Race, but Richard Seaman has proved in 1986 that it is possible to take part in both Successfully. The 200-Miles Race, as already announced, will be at Brooklands. Now to take the national events, the Brighton Speed Trials will take place on July 2nd this year, instead of in September, since its usual date has been occupied by the Dunlop Jubilee meeting at Brooklands, celebrating the fiftieth year of the pneumatic tyre. This latter, by the way, is an international event. In other years the Brighton Speed Trials have clashed with the M.C.C. Brooklands meeting, and, by a trick of the calendar, in 1938 the altered date clashes with the J.C.C. Brooklands Day. On the same day is a Vintage Sports C.C. meeting at Donington, not to mention a Southport
meeting. On the following day is the second of the Bugatti club’s Prescott hill-climbs, under an open permit. The first Prescott meeting, it will be noted, is on May 15th, under a closed invitation permit. Easter and Whitsun fall very late this year, so that the Land’s End Trial is not till April 15th and 16th, and the Edinburgh not till the beginning of June. A change of date is that for the Northwest London M.C. Team Trial, which, usually in October, is now down for Easter Monday. No doubt the organisers wish to take advantage of the returning
Land’s End competitors. This places the event less than a week before the other big team trial of the year, that run by the ” Sunbac.” The R.A.C. Rally is at a much later date than usual, taking place between April 26th and 30th. The Scottish Rally, which has put one over on the Sassenachs this year by achieving international status, owing to the Empire Exhibition, follows correspondingly late with Whitsun, from June 6th to 10th. The Southsea
Speed Trials, incidentally, will now be found on Whit Saturday, instead of at the end of the season. The Light Car Club, having abandoned the Relay Race, are to hold a new meeting at Brooklands on May 21st, of which much is expected. This date unfortunately clashes with one Of the Crystal Palace meetings. On May 28th, those who wish to watch or take part in the first of the Shelsley Walsh hill-climbs or the popular N.W.L.M.C. Lawrenee, Cup Trial will be in a quandary, as both are on the same date. • The week-end nearest to mid-summer, or the longest day, is always a popular date. On June 18th the Stanley Cup meeting at Donington is to be held, by the Frazer-Nash C.C. This is the same
day as the start of the Le Mans race, and though this is not a serious clash, nor is the International race in Ulster likely to interfere, it is a great pity that the Brighton-Beer Trial should start the same night. This will necessitate much hurried journeying from Wrby towards Salisbury Plain.
At the following week-end the M.C.C. have a new speed event, which at present is wrapt in mystery. As in the case of the L.C.C. event, a clash occurs with another of the Crystal Palace meetings. A clash between the M.C.C. Rally, on July 15th and 10th, and the Welsh Rally has been averted by placing the latter event on July 20th-23rd., but on July 23rd the Midland Centre of the J.C.C. is to run a Donington meeting. •
The Poole Speed Trials are on the same date as one of the Lewes meetings on August 20th, and the Bristol club’s Backwell Hill-Climb is on the same day as the T.T. (September 3rd). The venue of the T.T. is still uncertain, but no doubt many who wish to compete at Backwell would have liked to see the T.T. The same state of affairs occurs at the following week-end, September 10th, when both Shelsley Walsh and the M.C.C. Brooklands meeting are to take place. Trials without number clash with one another, and every week-end the sporting enthusiast can take his choice. There are only fifty-two week-ends in the year, and only about two-thirds of these are
in the greatest demand. But what a demand !