Ersatz heroes?



Under this heading in the daily paper for which she writes, Mrs. Kay Petre had an article some time ago, which we consider to be in distinctly bad taste. She suggested that the German racing drivers might need all the “glitter and glamour” of the race-course to inspire them to death-defying deeds, and that they might find fighting for the Fatherland in the air, in U-boats, or awaiting zero hour behind the Siegfried Line, less to their liking. Less to everyone’s liking, we should say, but the racing drivers of both countries should make good soldiers. Quite why Mrs. Petre should take it on herself to suggest that the slow, methodical German temperament is not suited to motor-racing, and that the German drivers have “nerves of steel” only in a racing-car, we do not know. She conveniently forgets Lang, Caracciola and Stuck as drivers and quotes Nuvolari, Kautz, Baumer and Seaman as “foreign” drivers who were found essential to the German teams—whereas we all know that so specialised is the job of driving a Modern G.P. car, that no one country can produce more than a few first line drivers, and Germany has produced more than most. Mrs. Petre mentions that Caracciola has “fled to Switzerland for safety during the war,” and so has Hans Stuck. Nevertheless, we believe other German drivers have been serving just as our drivers have, and substantiation is given by the recent announcement that racing personnel are to be excused military service now that Korpsfuhrer Huhulein is contemplating racing in Germany and Italy this year.