ROAD RACING IN MINIATURE.
RIGHT in the midst of that rather noisy amusement park in the Haymarket, is a model road racing circuit that is causing something of a sensation.
All day long, fine little motorcars can be seen racing round, encouraged by the shouts of their excited drivers, who are controlling them by means of buttons arranged along the side of the track. The course is so built that each car travels exactly the same distance although, due to the arrangement of the bends, one car is often in front on one bend, and some way behind on another.
At the start of a race, the drivers line up along the side of the track opposite their respective buttons, and the cars are started from half way along one of the straights. At the word ” Go” all five buttons are depressed, usually with much unnecessary force, and the cars shoot off. The first bend can usually be taken without cutting out, due to the standing start, but if subsequent bends are approached ” all out” the rear wheels slide outwards until they touch the centre rail, causing a “short.” This stops the car for a moment, allowing the others to get ahead, after which the race proceeds.
A really skilful competitor can control his car so that the rear wheels are just sliding all the way round the bends.
These little road circuits are manufactured by Messrs. Henry Birkin and Cooper, of Welwyn, and look like becoming a great craze.
By far the most skilful competitor at present is Kensington-Moir, the famous Bentley pit manager, who smites his button with a skill that makes it hard to believe that he was not once a telegraphist.
A visit to this little centre of speed is well worth while.