Your enthusiast cannot help feeling a trifle depressed, for his personal motoring is seriously curtailed by fuel rationing essential to the conduct of hostilities, and, since this strangest of wars commenced, the competitive side of motoring has been completely in abeyance in this country, save for two speed events and a few trials held over in Ireland. Consequently, that a group of enthusiasts in London is going very seriously into the prospects of holding a war-time motor race, is the best news we have had in our world in the past six months. At present these ambitious sportsmen prefer to remain anonymous, but optimism is lent to the venture because of the sensible approach which they have made to the problem, and because all three are well-known competition motorists who are closely associated with a club which not only has a most encouraging membership, but is one which has become famed for the excellent organisation of its events, for which these three gentlemen have been largely responsible. They sensibly ask that undue optimism should not be associated with what they are now attempting to bring about, because opposition from the dead-from-the-neck-up brigade is expected and to be very heavy and may even prove overwhelming. Indeed, when the R.A.C. was first approached about the holding of a short war-time sports-car race, it argued that public opinion would be likely to be outraged and that rumours would probably get about that the competitors were unlawfully making use of extra business rations of “Pool” to enable them to compete at all.
In answer to this, the organisers remark that an afternoon’s racing, properly conducted, need use no more, and would probably absorb less fuel, than would a two hours’ potter for the purpose of airing Auntie, Ma-in-Law, the little dears, and the parrot, on a Sunday afternoon.
However, to place the proposed race on an unassailable basis, the would-be organisers have, with good common sense, placed their scheme before the Department of Mines, in an endeavour to gain official approval of the race, which, of course, might involve some unsuspected matter of policy.
The Memorandum which has been forwarded to the Department of Mines is quoted in full in “Rumblings” in this month’s issue, and we may say that we fully agree with all the arguments advanced therein in favour of a race to enliven this strangest-of-wars, and we do sincerely hope that the event will come to pass.
More than that, we hope that it may become the forerunner of a series of such race meetings, staged until such time as the war may interfere too greatly with the everyday life of this country to make the holding of such meetings desirable—which, up to now, it has mercifully shown no sign of doing. Horseracing, dog-racing, football, boxing and other sports involving expert organisation and the mustering of crowds, have been resumed, so why not motor-racing? The running of true racing cars may savour of too intricate organisation, and the owners and drivers of such cars may have other matters to attend on behalf of H.M. Government, but a sports-car race of short duration is all that is craved.
Everything depends on the official reply to the Memorandum submitted to the Department of Mines, and we hope to be able to quote this in “Rumblings” if it comes to hand before it is necessary to close this issue for Press. Whether the venture is approved or not, the warm thanks of every motoring sportsman will be extended to those who have had the initiative to attempt to hold this wartime motor race.A