This Month on the International Racing Scene
Although it is not on the racing calendar, nor on the International list, one event that must surely make itself felt on the International scene is the voyage of 43 "chain-gang" Frazer Nashes from the Crystal Palace in London to Bolzano in the Italian Dolomite country. As if the journey alone was not enough they are going to disport themselves up and down the Alpine passes used in the Alpine Rally of 1932/33, during the first week in July. Needless to say it is the Frazer Nash Section of the V.S.C.C, who are doing this. The more serious business will be happening at Clermont-Ferrand, where the French Grand Prix is being held. Personally I like corners, but it is easy to have too much of a good thing, and to my mind the circuit in the hills above Clermont-Ferrand is a good example of this for it is all corners, and straights are virtually non-existent. However, on July 6th the Grand Prix "circus" will be racing round the Auvergne circuit, and I hope they can stand heights, for over the edges of some of the corners there are some long drops down to Clermont-Ferrand. On the same day, far over to the West, in Portugal there is a long-distance sports-car race at Vila Real, by all accounts a proper road-racing circuit and one which I would enjoy. Unfortunately I have never been able to get to a race at Vila Real, due to clashing of dates, as with this year, and there are times when I wish I did not like Grand Prix cars so much.
The International saloon-car drivers have their 6-hour race on the Nurburgring on this weekend and, as if that isn't enough, they are due to have a 24-hour race on the Spa circuit, in Belgium, on July 26th/27th. The Formula Two contestants have two races due in July, one on the aerodrome at Tullen-Lingenlebarn in Austria on the second weekend in July and the other at Zandvoort in Holland on the last weekend of the month. In America the Watkins Glen circuit in the New York state is really going to be used on the weekend of July 12th/13th, for on the Saturday there will be a six-hour race for prototypes and sports cars, and on Sunday there will be a race in the Canadian-American Challenge Trophy series, or Can-Am as people are wont to call it, though it looks as if Can-Am can again be spelt M-c-L-a-r-e-n.
On Saturday July 19th we have our own Grand Prix race, this year at Silverstone, and with 130 m.p.h. laps being recorded last Spring at the B.R.D.C. International Trophy before everyone was really in the swing of 1969 Formula One, the practice session on Friday July 18th should not lack excitement. I am sure it will not lack spectators for it is always amazing how many people can avoid work on a Friday if it is a question of getting to Silverstone for a Grand Prix practice. The British Grand Prix should be a terrific event this year.
Once the European mountain passes are free of snow and ice the mountain hill-climb boys do not miss an opportunity and July will see two events being held. On July 13th there is the Italian event on the Trento-Bondone mountain pass, and on July 27th there is the famous Fribourg hill-climb in the German Black Forest. It is held on the Schauinsland mountain pass that climbs up from the pleasant old town of Fribourg. This event has the distinction of being a combined car and motorcycle meeting and I well remember a friend taking part in this event on a 350-c.c. motorcycle. He arranged to ride the same machine in the 500-c.c. class so the organisers laid on a return trip down from the top of the mountain for him, complete with motorcycle, on a cable-car rope-railway. He said it was intriguing to travel in the cabin and look down on his chums still riding up the mountain road.—D. S. J.