Tightening up

It seems my comments about those that bend or break the rules in historic racing have struck some kind of chord. At the prize-giving dinner for the RAC Woodcote Trophy last month, I was surprised by the number of racers who took the time to say that it was what they had been thinking all along. I was delighted, too; for voicing the concerns of the community is one thing those who read Motor Sport should be able to count upon this magazine doing.

But what pleased me more was that just before handing out the prizes, Motor Racing Legends boss Duncan Wiltshire announced that an FIA eligibility scrutineer will attend each round next year with the authority and ability to measure a whole range of compliance factors from engine size to car weight. It was a brave thing to do in front of his clients, some of whom may well now be considering some minor modifications to their cars over the winter, but instead of being greeted by a room full of people staring into their soup, his remarks elicited a spontaneous round of applause.

There is a real feeling out there that things have gone too far. Wonderful original cars are being left in their de-humidified garages because their owners know they stand no chance against heavily modified machinery. People feel they are being penalised for preserving their cars while others are rewarded for going down a path which, if allowed to reach its natural conclusion, would result in silhouette racing. Wiltshire rightly pointed out that what he sought was not a witch hunt, but simply an attempt to secure an even playing field for his customers. It is a sentiment I am sure will find resonance with everyone involved in the organisation of historic motor sport from the MSA down.

This will be the last time you’ll have to put up with my face on this page. It has been one of greatest pleasures of my professional life to be involved once again with the editorial direction of Motor Sport and take the credit for everyone else’s hard work. Sadly, however, the many other commitments of my day job driving road cars have meant I have only been able to devote a small portion of my time to the magazine when what it needs is a full-time editor.

The good news is that, as from the next issue, that is precisely what it will have, with a new senior editorial team taking control. Now that the editorial tone and direction of Motor Sport has been set, the brief for the new team will be to continue down this path but improve further the way it looks and, above all, the way it reads. I am quite sure the job will be in the best possible hands. Meanwhile I will continue writing about road cars and,

I hope, still be allowed behind the wheel of a few racers as well.

Truly, the future of this iconic title has never looked brighter.