If sports-car racing ceases to exist in its present form — or something very close to it — we will have nothing between the Formula One prototypes and rallying. Saloon cars produce some very exciting racing, but they are short races which give no hint of endurance. Rallying produces endurance, but of a very different type to sports-car racing, and boils down to the production of the most effective hot hatchback, which has certainly made its mark with the everyday motorist.
If we are to have closed-monocoque Formula One-style racing, we are going to lose the prestige sports-car as we know it, both on the track, and — more importantly — on the road. Competition is about standards, and if the competition ceases to exist standards will inevitably drop. Competition and high standards equal good advertising; there are many more Jaguars on the road today than there were a few years ago, and I cannot be convinced that proper endurance racing has nothing to do with it!
There is certainly a market for the prestige sports-car — Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche, to name but three. But how are they to advertise effectively if they are not allowed to prove themselves in an acceptable fashion on the racetrack, giving them the incentive to improve on technology, reliability and durability, and thereby achieving the highest possible standards?
Petronel Payne, Owslebury, Hampshire
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