THE FUTURE OF THE 500-MILE RACE
In our April issue we commentt d upon the fate and future of the 500-Min Race at Brooklands, which for various rtasons has suffered from declining entries of recent years. It now appears that the race may be reduced from 500 miles to 500 kilometres this year, which, on the face of it, seems a curious move for the British Racing Drivers’ Club to take. But the matter goes deeper than that. It is difficult to understand why. this new distance of approximately 811 miles should improve tht existing situation. Obviously it will be inclined to raise the general speed of the race, we imagine quite materially, and that can only result in further loss of entries both from owners of slower cars than formerly hoped to put up a good showing on the score of reliability and also from drivers of road-racing type cars the reliability of which is liable to suffer from running at any increase of lap speed. The race will still be primarily a track-car event and cars of this type are limited in number. Indeed, shortening the distance makes it even more a race for this class of machine. Nor can we see any pros to balance up the cons. Entry-fees will presumably remain much the same, and the only people who will materially benefit by the saving of fuel, oil plugs and to a lesser extent tyres, will be the makers of these commodities, because practically every entrant in the ” 500 ” is well established enough to command
free supplies. Bad mechanical trouble is likely to be more rife than before. Passing difficulties might very well be accentuated if the faster cars were all to stay in for the whole distance. The spectators might possibly find the race somewhat more satisfactory, as presumably it would start about 2.30 p.m. and finish around 6 p.m., but we have found that for those who really understand what is happening the 500 miles invariably contain much of interest
and that for them the race retains its hold until the very end.
Consequently we sincerely hope that the B.R.D.C. will this year stay its hand and let us have another 500-mile outercircuit race on September 18th. Last month we remarked on some
possible runners. Richard Marker’s 6i-litre Bentley was not mentioned because, as with the twelve-cylinder Delage, we felt it had rather aged, but since its monkey-glad treatment at R. R. Jackson’s, which includes a new chassis frame, it should be a very likely car, while the Bimotore Alfa-Romeo might also run, though we believe that to do so it would need to carry some 11 cwt. of ballast located in the right places.
At all events, let us hope that if the B.R.D.C. does decide to forget kilos. they will receive good entries for this year’s “500 “—the ninth race of a very important and classic series.