Rumblings, July 1931
SUPPOSE that the day will come, in some distant millenium, when all the cars for a race will be ready in plenty of time, but it seems unlikely. It is certainly not current practice, and I don’t suppose it ever will be, as it is not always so good
when the cars are ready in time. For one thing, it gives people too long to break things, and so cause more last minute work. The Irish Grand Prix gave a few examples of frantic efforts to get things ready, the winner being one of the shining examples.
At the end of practice, Norman Black’s M.G. Midget, for no apparent reason, seized up its gear-box, all the more surprising on a model which has not had any trouble before in this department, so a new box arrived by air and was fitted in time. In very good time, too, judging by his performance in the event itself.
The Maseratis had their due share of rebuilding to be got through, and unfortunately could not all be got ready in time. However, Campari and Eyston made up for it by doing their stuff in a most exhilarating manner on those that were ready. Even so, it was only Birkin’s very sporting action in lending Campari some very essential bits that enabled us to see the wonderful scrap that ensued.
It was certainly a pity that some date which was freer of other events could not have been found, and so encouraged a bigger entry, but that could not be helped, and the race was generally admitted to be the best for years.
At the very jolly dinner given afterwards to the drivers and others connected with the race everyone was most emphatic that they simply must come back to Phrenix Park next year.
Of course, it still remains to be seen whether the organisers will see their way to running the race next year, as although everyone over there is very keen indeed that it should be run, it must be remembered that such affairs cost money, and this year’s figures (marred somewhat by the weather) will have to be carefully considered first. The organisation was absolutely first-rate, and the competitors were given a great time, and made to feel that Ireland was really glad to see them.
I don’t know offhand who first thought of the score board used in this race, but it is certainly the finest method of indicating the progress of a handicap race that has ever been, and someone deserves a special award for thinking of it.
Sir Henry Birkin seems to have hit on a winnerInow all right, and when he followed up his Irish success by cleaning up at Le Mans with Earl Howe, those who have been wondering where are the great English drivers, if any, will have had the question effectively enough answered. There are a good few more of our drivers who could keep up with the best if they were on suitable cars, but until we have more opportunity of real road racing in these islands, there is little chance of us turning out an English ” Bug ” or “Alfa.”
British Makers and Racing.
It is not that we cannot build cars over here, but simply that manufacturers are not going to go in for building something for which there will be no demand in this country. Some of our sports cars, as opposed to racing vehicles, are as good as anything made anywhere, and the performance of cars like the Talbot at Le Mans show what can be done.
However, Talbots, Aston-Martins, and so on, are not racing cars, in the sense that the new 2,300 c.c. double overhead camshaft Bugatti is a racer, and, what is more they were never intended to be. Therefore, there is nothing to be gained by comparing one with the other, as they are different types for different purposes.
Most readers of MOTOR SPORT will have more use for the sports car than the full racer, and when they want to race on the Continent and elsewhere, then let them follow in the footsteps of Earl Howe and Sir Henry Birkin and buy a pukka racing car—and let them be even half as successful and they will be doing very well.
It was a pity that the Bugattis had to withdraw, as their speed was terrific, and they looked like keeping in front. Tyre trouble dogged them, however, and also caused Rost’s unfortunate crash.
They revenged themselves effectively in the French Grand Prix with the 2,300 c.c. car, however, having changed over to Dunlop tyres, and they had no further trouble in this department.
There has been a lot of argument lately about handicaps, and I am very glad to see that the new handicaps for the B.R.D.C.’s 500 miles race has been revised in such a way as to make it extremely likely that the fastest car will win.
Everyone has the greatest respect for the speeds put up by the small cars of to-day, but it always seems wrong to me that the absolute winner of a big race should be any but the fastest car in that race.
The right idea seems to be that which prevails at Le Mans, where the big event is the Grand Prix d’Endurance, with the Rudge-Whitworth Cup, which is the handicap event, taking second place.
By the time these words appear it will be almost too late to enter for Shelsley, but most people will have entered by now, and we ought to have a really good afternoon’s sport. Let’s hope that the weather will be better than the Amateur climb last year. One thing we can be sure of, that is the efficiency of the M.A.C. organisation, so, wet or fine, everyone should go to Shelsley Walsh on the 11th of this month.
The Inter-Club meeting at Brooklands on June 20th was a very cheery affair, and as so often happens at comparatively informal events, produced as good or better racing than the more important affairs. Purdy on the Thomas-Special won a race at 111 m.p.h., Aidington won another on an unblown Frazer Nash at 88 m.p.h., while the Relay Race—won by the Basingstoke Club—and the hill climb gave variety to the entertainment. Another race produced a particularly good scrap between Munday’s Vauxhall and Field’s Invicta. The winners were as follows :— THE RACING SHORT HANDICAP.-1, J. H. L. Bartlett, 1,090 c.c. Salmson (S), 55 sees.; 2, A. H. L. Eccles, 1,990 c.c. Bugatti, 36 sees.; 3, C. G. M. Boote, 1,083 c.c. Riley, 1 Min. 25 sees.— THE SPORTS SHORT HANDICAP.-1, A. B. Gilbert, 749 c.c. Austin (8), 1 min.; 2, V. S. Balls, 2,276 c.c. Talbot, 43 sees.; 3, G. L. Baker, 5,954 c.c. Min.erva, 1 min. 11 secs.—THE RACING LONG HANDICAP.-1, H. W. Purdy, 1,493 c.c. Thomas Special (S), 10 sees.; 2, C. G. M. Boote, 1,083 e.e. Riley, I min. 53 sees.; 3, R. J. 1V1un,day, 2,976 c.c. Sunbeam, 1 min.. 14 secs.—THE NOVICES’ HANDICAP.-1, J. L. Daltylirple, 4,275 c.c. Chrysler, 6 sees.; 2, A. W. Smith, 3,498 c.c. Humber, 22 sees.; 3, A. C. Pahllough, 749 c.c. Austin, 1 min. 48 sees.—THE SPoRTs LONG HANDICAP.-1, R. J. Munday, 4,310 c.c. Vauxhall, owes 5 sees.; 2, G. L. Baker, 5,954 c.c. Minerva, 1 min. 38 sees.; 3, A. B. Gilbert, 2,276 c.c. Talbot, 52 secs.—THE FIVE-LAP HANDICAP.— 1, H. J. Ald,ington, 1,496 c.c. Frazer-Nash, 1 min. 40 sees.; 2, P. Fotheringham Parker, 1,991 c.c. Alvis, 1 min. 20 secs. ;
3, G. L. Baker, 5,954 c.c. Minerva, 2 nuns. 32 secs.—THE TEAM RELAY HANDICAP.-1, Basingstoke M.C. and L.C.C., 26 sees.; 2, Brighton and Hove M.C., 23 sees.; 3, Junior Car Club, scr.— Hru,-Ciamu.-1, C. H. Livesey, 1,271 c.c. Wolseley, 11 3-5 sees.; 2, J. L. Dalrymple, 4,275 c.c. Chrysler, 12 secs. ; 3, R. E. L. Featherstonhaugh, 1,271 c.c. Wolseley, 13 secs.—SPECIAL HANDICAP.-1, J. Bennett, 2,565 c.c. Rover, 16 sees.; 2, R. S. L. Boote, 1,954 c.c. Lagonda, 28 sees.; 3, R. S. C. Beresford, 3,740 c.c. Fiat, 6 secs.