Rumblings, July 1933
mumbiings c,0 OAUERGES
Whitsun at Brooklands.
COMING in the middle of the hot spell, the third Brooklands meeting took place for once in weather almost more sunny than was comfortable. Fortunately the followers of motor racing are not expected to conform to the Ascot tradition of wearing top hats and morning coats, however hot the weather, and short-sleeved jumpers and straw and panama hats were the order of the day. The prize for the most distinctive hat (men’s section) must be awarded to ” Mac ” of Dunlop’s, who wore a very fine Cuban brigand’s outfit quite 12 inches high, with ventilation holes round the top. The best female effort was a purple velvet cottage loaf worn on one side. Pretty hot, one would think.
There have been rumours on several occasions that a swimming pool was to be constructed alongside the River Wey, and on Whit Monday it certainly would have been very popular. The principal difficulty appears to be that the river brings down a great deal of silt when in flood, and that this would fill up any back-water which might be opened out, so that constant dredging would be required to keep it deep.
A River Pageant.
One cannot help feeling that more use should be made of the Wey, which flows under the track at the end of the Byfleet Banking, and continues beneath the famous “bump “coming off the” Home.” Why not a Pageant of Motor Racing ?
The procession would be headed by an outboard motorboat bearing Harry Edwards, secretary of the B.R.D.C. Coming into view through the bridge under the track, he gives audible warning of his approach by sounding a trumpet constructed from flexible exhaust piping, and fitted with a regulation silencer and fishtail (sound effects by two Cicca horns concealed under the half-deck of his craft).
Members of the B.R.D.C. then follow in punts, John Cobb as Neptune standing on the box of the leading one and grasping in his right hand a prop. shaft surmounted by a three armed universal joint. Representatives of the other clubs would then follow, the Junior Car Club wearing Eton suits and top hats, while the L ght Car . Club would justify its name by providing its members with elektron Rob-Roy canoes. For the_M.C.C. one would suggest a river steamer decor
ated with symbols of its various reliability trials, thistles, Cornish granite and so forth, or perhaps a fleet of those water-cycles on which Frenchmen try to cross the English Channel, nobody quite knows why.
Lining the river bank one would have a Guard of Honour of B.A.R.C. gatemen, for whom we suggest plain white overalls, relieved by necklaces of half-conrods and bracelets of caged roller bearings which have shown a liking for the larger life.
At the top of a landing stage Mr. Bradley would receive his guests. There is no precedent to show what sort of costume should be worn in such a case—perhaps the uniform of an Admiral, as worn by the winning Eton coxs on the Fourth of June, seems in keeping.
Then a procession to the Club House, where Gambrinus, god of ale, would be suitably toasted.
The Campari Incident.
The incident of Campari’s much discussed pit-stop in the French G.P. brings up once more the question of how closely the organisers of a race should stick to the letter of the regulations. The A.C.F. seem very wisely to have considered Campari’s action of having a push start by three assistants in the light of its effect on the ultimate issue of the race. They decided that Campari would have won anyway, and accordingly fined him 1,000 francs instead of disqualifying him.
A Record Pit-stop.
I wasn’t at the pits at the time, but I heard an interesting description of one of Campari’s stops from” Berk” Harris (who runs a tuning shop in Lancaster Mews). Campari changed his rear wheels and refuelled, jumped into the cockpit and the mechanic ran to the starting handle. The engine revved up but the car stood still— the rear jack was still in position. Campari bellowed, so back dashed the mechanic and lowered the car with a jerk. The spinning wheels bit into the ground and the Maserati leapt forward like a projectile. In spite of that the stop took only 49 seconds, which, I believe, is an unofficial record.
Eyston’s Fine Drive. “
Berk” Harris was in Eyston’s pit during the race, and he tells me that the Alfa Romeo went through the G.P. of Frontieres and the French G.P. on the same set of plugs !
George Byston’s driving was a model of that consistent, unobtrusive, and polished technique which is characteristic of the best English drivers. That the method has its advantage is proved by the fact that if the race had been a lap longer, Eyston would assuredly have finished second, for Etancelin.’s car was almost undrivable at the end. Incidentally, when the rain came down towards the finish of the race, Eyston’s lap speeds were higher than
any of the competitors still running, including the ternpestuous Campari.
The rumour that John Cobb will have a radio installed in the cockpit of the Napier-Railton during the Empire Trophy Race, so that he can communicate with his pitstaff is given point to by the fact that this was actually accomplished during the Indianapolis “500.”
” Chet ” Gardner used a short wave set on his 16 cyl. Sampson Radio Special, and was in touch with his pit for most of the race. Towards the end the radio shorted out, but on the whole the experiment seems to have been a success.
The Indianapolis Oil-limit.
The slippery surface of the bricks of Indianapolis after the cars have dripped oil onto them for a few hours is;well known, and this year’s rule of limiting the supply of oil to six gallons per car played havoc with four of the favourites owned by Fred Frame and Harry Hartz. All but Spangler’s car, which crashed, were eliminated indirectly by the new rule. Talking of Indianapolis, the Studebakers put up a really magnificent show, finishing 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th,
10th, 11th and 12th. Their performance calls to mind the “Double Twelve” of 1929, when a team of Studebakers created a very good impression at Brooklands, winning Class 13 at a speed of 71 m.p.h.
The bicycle meeting at Brooldands turned out to be quite an exciting affair. Cornering tactics were upset by the rain, which caused many spills on the hairpin in front of the Paddock. What struck me as being particularly different from car racing was that marhsals shouted a warning “Be careful, mind the corner ! ” as the riders crossed the Paddock to rejoin the track. Nuvolari’s reception. of such advice would be worth going a long way to hear.
The enthusiasm of spectators, many of whom had cycled incredible distances to see the race, put motorrace crowds to shame. This is partly due, of course, to the fact that such encouraging cries as” Up, George ! ” are audible to the riders. The finish was really good, and the final sprint up the Finishing Straight after the 60 mile ride showed what amazing stamina is required for this form of sport.
The final list of entries for the Douglas races has closed with a total of 20 cars in the smaller car race and 15 in the event for large cars. Whitney Straight has joined the ranks of drivers in both races by entering a Magnette, while an entry of first-class importance is that of W. L. Handley, the famous motor cyclist, with an Alfa Romeo.