"Oh Dear" department

IN THE adjacent reports on the VSCC Wessex and Welsh Trials on page 572 last month P.H.J.W. had it that in the first of these events that enthusiastic competitor Branislav Sudjic drove a Tracta (and captioned a picture as such) and W.B. said in the second event, a week later, Sudjic drove a Tatra. We know that he has a Salmson and an Alvis and other cars, but this was rather too much even for such an enthusiast and, of course, he drove his Tatra in both events. The Asst. Ed. has been made to write out 100 times “The Tracta was a front-wheel-drive, mainly four-cylinder car made in Asnieres, Seine from 1926 to 1934. The Tatra was built in Koprivnice and is remembered as a flat-twin, backbone-chassis small car designed by Hans Ledwinka, which is what Sudjic has been using”.

In last month’s Editorial, about Endurance Racing, the impression may have been given that the Nürburgring marathon and the Spa 24-hour (not 1,000 kilometres as stated) races are defunct. What it was intended to convey was that sports-car racing is no longer like it used to be, even at these venues. But both races have survived. The Nürburgring race (which began as the 1,000 kilometres in 1953 and in the years when it was purely for sports-cars was won three times by Aston Martin and Maserati and twice by Ferrari) and the Spa 24 hours (which dates back to 1924, a year after the first Le Mans, and which was won in its “touring-car” years seven times by Alfa Romeos and once each by Bignan, Chenard-Walcker, Peugeot, Excelsior, Mercedes and Aston Martin) are Endurance races scheduled respectively for May 30th and June 10th this year, as stated in the January MOTOR SPORT. — Ed.

In fact, clangers seemed to breed last month and I was responsible for some more of my own, when I said on pages 545 and 562, that the last Mille Miglia race was won by Mercedes-Benz when I knew perfectly well that there were two more proper races after that. Castelloti’s Ferrari winning in 1956 and Taruffi, again for Ferrari, in 1957. In the 1957 race the Marquis de Portago had the serious accident which led to the end of the Mille Miglia race, although it was run a regularity event in 1958 and 1959 and there have been rather pale commemorations since, including an enactment this year. What I should have said was that Mercedes-Benz are well remembered, not just for such victories as that in the 1903 Gordon Bennett and in the 1908 and 1914 French Grands Prix, but in respect of the fastest-ever Mille Miglia of 1955, when Moss passenger-navigated by D.S.J., won at 97.96 m.p.h. in a 300SLR. — W.B.