THE FUTURE OF RELIABILITY TRIALS.
FOR some time past there has been a growing feeling of opposition among the general public against motor reliability trials. Complaints of inconsiderate behaviour on the part of competitors have been lodged with increasing frequency with the police all over the country. This opposition has inevitably come to the notice of the Home Office, and we understand that the whole position is receiving close investigation with a view to a possible termination of these events.
It cannot be denied that there is often justification for complaints. We ourselves have seen several examples of reckless driving during the course of our work in reporting trials, and one or two fatal accidents during the winter, fortunately involving no one but trial’s competitors, have given this recklessness unwelcome prominence in the daily press. In defence of followers of motor sport in general, and of trials drivers in particular, we can safely say that the offenders are composed of a very small minority. The average trials com
petitor is distinguished by a steadiness in his driving in keeping with the ethics of decent behaviour, and in accordance with the rules of reliability trials. As is so often the ease, the harmless majority are likely to suffer at the hands of the irresponsible few. The chief cause of complaint seems to lie in the habit of certain people of driving at high speed on winding side-roads, between observed hills. In actual fact this procedure is never called for by the regulations of trials ; time lost through delays at the foot of hills is always allowed for in calcu
ating the results. Why then, do certain competitors drive as though Nuvolari were on their heels, and their very life depends upon keeping ahead of him ? The answer, we regret to say, can only be found in an unbridled but one-sided imagination, only found as a rule in children of tender years. A spirit analagous to games of cowboys and red Indians. To the fevered mind of the driver, his small sports car, with windscreen folded fiat, is transmuted into a Grand Prix racer, hurtling round the bends of the ‘rarga Mario. To complete the illusion he dresses for the part in white overalls, a flying helmet of thin linen, and goggles. Unhappily, with the blindness of immaturity, his imagination does not allow him to picture the possibility of meeting an oncoming motorist. The result is that his progress is punctuated by a series of hair-breadth escapes which leave him completely unmoved, but which send the righteously indignant oncomer to the nearest police station, there to register a comprehensive complaint against all competitors in motor trails.
Only one thing can save the position. No opportunity whatsoever must be given to the general motoring public for complaint. From now on let every competitor go out of his way, by personal example, to win for trials drivers the reputation for safe driving which they really deserve. Offenders must be dealt with summarily by organisers, whose task would be facilitated if any recklessness were always reported by other competitors who happened to witness it.
. Reliability trials can be a completely harmless and inoffensive pastime. It is up to drivers to prove it.