NEWS FROM THE U.S.A.
Ar an American Automobile Association Contest Board meeting in late January plans were perfected for the 1934 Indianapolis race and the Championship season. The 45-gallon petrol tank rule was adopted for the 500mile race, being the only major change from rules announced last year.
The limit on petrol is intended to bring improved design in streamlining, more efficient carburation, and provide an element of sustained interest in the latter stages of the long grind, often lacking in previous races. A driver can quite easily lead the field for the first 400 miles, and then be cheated of victory in the last 100 because of allowing his desire to lead the field rob his motor of precious drops of petrol. The element of uncertainty in the last 100-miles is expected to be the chief feature of this year’s contest, from the spectators’ viewpoint.
Harry Miller, famous designer of the racing cars that carry his name, has been signed as chief engineer of the Marmon Motor Company, Indianapolis, according to an American magazine of recent date. This firm was purchased by a group of business men who announce their intention of manufacturing “the Marmon 16cylinder passenger car, marine and airplane motors, and racing machines.” According to the journal, Miller is now in Indianapolis preparing two cars for the 500-mile race, May 3th.
Al Gordon, 1933 Pacific South West Champion, continued his brilliant driving in the two January races at the Ascot speedway, Los Angeles. In the first event, 200-laps, Gordon shattered the 200-lap record for this track, leading from start to finish. Chet Gardner was second, Kelly’ Petillo, third, and Herbert Balmer, fourth. The 100-lap race in late January was the first 1934 event in which the new Pacific Southwest rules were in sway. Machines were single-seaters, with maximum displacement of 205 cubic inches,
BY Our American Correspondent T. MERIWETHER-SMITH
not more than 7 to 1 compression ratio, and weighing at least 1,450 pounds. These rules proved surprising to the experts on the coast for the Ford motored machines were able to perform on practically even terms with the hitherto invincible Miller 4’s. Gordon managed to win the race after a hectic duel with Woody Woodford and Thomas Cosman, the last two driving Ford machines, with many highspeed accessories.
In the 100-lap race, Harris Insigner, young Philadelphia driver, sustained a broken shoulder in a terrific wreck on the south curve. Speeding along directly behind ” Sweede ” Smith, Insinger was forced to turn his Miller into the upper rails to avoid Smith’s car when it threw a right rear wheel. The Philadelphian sustained a broken shoulder and other injuries. a
Al Gordon, with the 1933 Pacific Southwest championship safely tucked away with his numerous motor racing trophies, will begin an intensive campaign in J anuary to retain that title, and to add to his fame in races in the Midwest and Eastern sections of the United States. Gordon ended his 1933 campaign with one of th most sensational winning streaks ever seen on the Pacific Coast tracks. He piloted the little Gilmore Special No. 5, to six consecutive main event victories, defeating in each instance, a very fine field of first rate drivers. Gordon has been known as a fearless, determined driver for five years, but it has been only in the last six or seven months that he has added keen ability to judge pace, skill in ” nursing” frayed tyres, and the temperament that goes with the really crack pilot. The latter requisites proved the difference between just an
other driver and a champion. Gordon is the only Hebrew driver to win a major American racing title.
The management and A.A.A. officials in charge of the Ascot and Pacific Coast races recently announced changes in the specifications for cars designed to bring anout safer conditions. Cars will be limited to 210-cubic inches displacement, one carburetter, and must weigh 1,450 pounds, without fuel and driver.
The hazardous south turn at Ascot has been changed, also. Tons of dirt have been placed outside the curve, doing away with the 35 foot drop beyond the retaining wall. This dirt is soft, acting as a” cushion” for cars that might smash through the railings. •
U.S. officials at Langley Field, Virginia, have announced the construction of an airplane intended to wrest the world’s one mile record from Italy, with a theoreti-‘ cal top speed of 544 m.p.h. The plane, of which all details are kept secret, other than it will have slightly tapered wings and a rectractable landing gear, is to be constructed immediately.
Ted Horn, youthful Pacific Coast driver, is soon to attempt records for cars in Class C, with a rotary-valve 4-cylinder, specially streamlined machine. ‘1 he present record is 152.101 m.p.h. and is held by Harry Hartz. The attempt will be made at Dry Lake Maroc, California, where preliminary tests have already been completed.
According to word from California, the proposed revival of road racing in that state will find only stock cars, of the smaller classes, competing in the 200-mile race on February 18th. Present indications are that the scheduled 200-mile race for championship type racing cars will be cancelled because of the officials inability to secure sufficient entries to assure an interesting event.