In his report on the Spa 1000 Kms Race (October MOTOR SPORT) your correspondent, M.L.C., says that some of the sports cars are going too quickly for the tracks. This statement begs the question, “How quickly is not too quickly?” Has M.L C some sort of figure or yardstick in mind? He also says that cars are going too quickly down the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans and supports his contention by pointing out that a tyre bursting at even 150 mph can be like a bomb going oft under the car – what could it he like at 220 mph? Of course such an occurrence could be very dangerous but again I find myself wanting to ask M L.C , “How fast do you think the maximum should be down the Mulsanne Straight?”
Sports racing cars have certainly become quicker over the years — it would be disappointing if they had not. In most ways they have also become safer to such a degree that some drivers fearlessly indulge in bumping and boring. Such tactics would have been considered murderously dangerous in the days when cars were open-bodied and had neither roll cages nor safety harnesses. lf, in order to effect a reduction in power and speed, new rules were introduced they would be unlikely to result in a decrease in “nerfing”. Indeed, lower speeds would reduce the risks of “nerfing” and it would probably become even more frequently used. If further rules were written to control drivers’ behaviour on the track, satisfactory enforcement would be practically impossible and recriminations would be endless.
Now that big money seems to have chased some of the sportsmanship away from international sports car racing, perhaps the only way to prevent reckless aggression in the heat of competition is by ensuring the element of danger is still present and cruel consequences await those who indulge in callous forcefulness. This would not be achieved by lowering speeds.
Birmingham. USA R.D. HODGSON (We would welcome more reader comment on this issue and Group C in general. Ed )