With so little prospect of being able to race at home, many members are planning to take part in at least one Continental event this season, and as their keenness is more than matched by the enthusiasm of race organisers who are all extremely anxious to attract British entries, it. seems quite certain that we shall be well represented in at least some of the more important international races.
Although conditions are by no means normal as yet, many of the difficulties that up to a few months ago faced would-be competitors have now been overcome. For example, transportation is no longer a problem. Cars may be shipped by any of half a dozen different routes to the Continent and, if desired, forwarded to their destinations by rail or, if a suitable truck is available to carry the car, the journey may be made by road, for trucks can now be transported on the pre-war Dunkirk train ferry which, for some considerable time past, has been plying daily between Dover and Calais conveying Military vehicles across the Channel — the falling off in this traffic has made available a limited amount of accommodation to meet civilian requirements. Special racing fuel is readily available, and as for petrol, it is unrationed in Switzerland, visitors to Belgium may obtain coupons for their full requirements (by making application to the Burgomaster, Service des Carburants, at Ostend), and in France, coupons for 33 gallons are issued on disembarkation.
It is possible that a few of our drivers will compete in the Grand Prix des Frontieres on June 9th, but the first major event likely to attract a fairly representative British entry is the Belgian Grand Prix to be run on the following Sunday, June 16th. This will consist of three separate races for sports cars up to 1,100 c.c., up to 2 litres, and up to 4 1/2. litres, and each will be run over 35 laps of a new 3.700 kms. circuit in Brussels (Bois de la Cambre-Avenue Franklin Roosevelt). Superchargers are allowed, but supercharged cars will be rated at double their actual capacity. Probable British entrants include T. A. S. O. Mathieson or Lord Selsdon (4 1/2-litre Talbot), C. G. H. Dunham (2-litre Alvis), and St. John Horsfall, J. C. Elwes and T. G. Clarke (all with 2-litre Aston-Martins).
The following month the Grand Prix Automobile des Nations for 1,500-c.c. racing cars will be run at Geneva over an interesting 1.85 kms. course. Entries are likely to include Raymond Mays, Billy Cotton, Ian Connell, Peter Whitehead, R. E. Ansell, R. M. Cowell and F. R. Gerard, with E.R.A.s, George Abecassis (Alta), R. Parnell (Maserati and Delage, the latter to be driven by R. M. Arbuthnot), and T. A. S. O. Mathieson, with a new Bugatti which he hopes to receive delivery of early in July. It is also probable that “B. Bira” will drive an E.R.A., to be entered by H.R.H. Prince Chula Chakrabongse, K.C.V.O.
It is possible that some of these cars will also run in the Albi Grand Prix scheduled for the previous Sunday, July 14th. Regulations for this event are not yet available, but it is known to be a race for 1,500-c.c. cars as in previous years, and will be run in two heats, each over 18 laps of the fast 8.900 kms. circuit. Prize money is generous, a total of half a million francs being offered, which is equivalent to about £1,050 at current rates of exchange.
Le Mans Fund
It has been decided to close this fund, recently opened by the club for the benefit of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest in response to their appeal for subscriptions to help restore the installations of the Sarthe circuit on which the famous series of Le Mans 24-hour races were run. It will be remembered that these installations were almost completely destroyed during the war, mainly by Allied bombing. First list of subscriptions, amounting to £211 3s. : —
Subscriptions should be sent to D. J. Scannell, Clarendon Court, Maida Vale, London, W.9, cheques being made payable to “The British Racing Drivers’ Club, No. 2 A/c,” and crossed /& Co./
Final list of subscriptions will be published next month.