THE ENTRIES FOR LE MANS
THE entry lists for the famous Grand Prix d’Endurance, to be run at le Mans on 21st and 22nd June, were definitely closed on 3rd May, with thirtythree entries.
In the final of the Sixth Biennial Rudge-Whitworth Cup there are three 6-cylinder Bentleys, a Lea Francis and a couple of Tractas. These cars are also entered for the Eighth Grand Prix d’Endurance and the eliminating test for the Seventh Rudge-Whitworth Cup, in which, of course, the entries are considerably more numerous. As well as the big Bentleys, there are H. R. S. Birkin’s team of three 4i-litre supercharged cars, and the other large cars entered are Caracciola’s Mercedes, and a team of four 4-litre Spanish Nacional Pescaras. These latter cars, which have ten cylinder in line engines are very interesting, but unfortunately it is almost certain that they will not be ready in time to start in the race. Parks also has entered a 5-litre car of which the make is not disclosed, while another ” mystery” car has been entered by Brisson.
In the 2-litre class there are two Alfa-Romeos and two Talbots with the Scotsman-Sara and an M.G. the Alvis’s which are entered having been withdrawn. In the 1500 c.c. class the Lea-Francis will be matched against a Bugatti, to be driven by two French lady amateurs, while the small cars consist of the Tractas, a B.N.C. and an M.G. Midget.
This entry list discloses the curious fact that the race, which is by way of being the classic French road race of the moment, has been entirely neglected by the home manufacturers. There are plenty of firms in France such as Lorraine-Dietrich, Delage, Bugatti, Voisin and the rest who have the sporting spirit all right, but who do not appear to be interested in the Grand Prix d’Endurance. The French usually set the fashion in motor racing, and it looks very much as if the swing of the pendulum had set in again, and that that country’s manufacturers are again going to turn their attention to the real Grand Prix races. The rules governing these races for 1931 stipulate that cars shall have engines of under 5 litres capacity, unsupercharged except in the case of 2-strokes, and with a minimum weight varying with the capacity of the engine. This formula seems to be finding considerable favour, and we should not be surprised to see a recrudescence of interest in these races next year.
In the meantime the curious situation has arisen that in the Grand Prix d’F,ndurance this year there are entered 14 British cars, 4 Spanish, 2 Italian, 1 German and only 4 French, while the only real competition for the six Bentleys may be expected to come from the single Mercedes to be driven by Caracciola.