The Fourth R.A.C. International Rally
One of the most important British fixtures in March is the R.A.C. International "Rally of the Tests," which counts towards the 1954 Touring Championship of Europe and takes place from March 9th to March 14th. Competitors depart from Blackpool and Hastings at 6.30 p.m. on March 9th, both starting controls having a test at the point of departure. By the Wednesday night (March 10th) Blackpool competitors will have clocked in for a rest at Hastings and the Hastings contingent does the same at Blackpool on the Thursday night (March 11th). On the Friday all competitors follow a common route, take further special tests, and from noon onwards on Saturday March 13th they commence to clock in at the finish at Blackpool, taking a final test there. A Rally Ball will be held on the Saturday evening and the prize distribution starts at noon on the Sunday.
The Rally route goes through Wales, the Peak District, Scotland and the Lake District, and en route tests of navigation, regularity of running and/or consistency will be involved. Entries finally closed on February 15th.
Acceleration and other tests will be held at Silverstone, Prescott hill, Chilton Park and Goodwood, and possibly at Charterhall.
The Rally will be contested by Normal Series Production Touring Cars to F.I.A. definition, divided into five capacity classes up to 1,000 c.c. to over 2,600 c.c., and by Normal Series Production Sports Cars divided into three capacity classes of up to 1,600 c.c. to over 2,600 c.c.
Cash prizes of not less than £1,000, in addition to souvenir awards and finishers' plaques, have to be won.
B.D.C. Eastbourne Rally
The Bentley Drivers' Club will again hold its popular Eastbourne Rally, on April 9th/11 th. This event, which ranks as one of the better and more important non-"Star" rallies, is open to B.D.C. members driving Bentleys, Aston Martin O.C. members driving Aston Martins, Lancia M.C. members driving Lancias, Lagonda Club members driving Lagondas, Metropolitan Police Motor Driving School Sports Club driving approved police cars, V.S.C.C. members driving vintage and post-vintage-thoroughbred cars, and Twenty Ghost Club members driving Rolls-Royces.
The route covers 375 road miles and embraces route-finding, timekeeping, a 3-lap regularity "dice" round Goodwood in the early hours of the Saturday morning, driving tests on Eastbourne front in the tradition of "big" rallies on the Saturday afternoon, and a speed hill-climb at Firle (not open to the public) on the Sunday.
Pump fuel only is permitted, crash-hats are required for the speed sections and competition licences are essential.
This is an excellent rally, to which tone is lent by competition against police teams — indeed, there is a sense of "official blessing" by reason of one of the starting controls being at the Police Driving School at Hendon. Other starting points are Bristol, Mildenhall (which staged a "freeze-record" during the recent cold spell), Fordingbridge, Atherstone and Uckfield.
Entries close on March 15th, but should be made at once as the list will be closed when fully subscribed. The entry fee is £2 12s. 6d. inclusive, and well-indexed supplementary regulations are available now from Lt.-Col. C. H. D. Berthon, Madges, Long Crandon, near Aylesbury, Bucks.
The club began to enroll members in October, 1953, and now has about 500. It is interesting to note that although announcements were made in Army and Fleet Orders most of the entrants first heard of the club through Moor Sport.
In January the final documents associating the club with the R.A.C. were signed, and members are now becoming associate members of the R.A.C. at reduced subscription rates. The formation of a non-profit-making limited liability company to run the club is well advanced and attention is turning to preparation of a social and sporting programme.
Members who would be interested, as helpers or competitors, in a night navigation trial in the Tidworth-Bulford-Larkhill area in April are asked to get in touch with Major H. G. M. Williams, T.D., 15, Lambdown Terrace, Perham Down, Tidworth, Hants.
It is also fairly certain that a rally will take place in the autumn in conjunction with the H.A.C. Particulars are not yet available but members who would like them as soon as they are ready should write to the General Secretary, The Forces Motoring Club, 2, The Mews, Charterhouse E.C.1.
The annual general meeting of the Herefordshire M.C. was held at the Talbot Hotel, Leominster, on January 20th, when it was unanimously decided to invite Alderman A. E. Farr, J.P., Mayor of Hereford, to become president of the club. The keen interest taken by Alderman Farr in the club's major events, together with his long and varied motoring experience and his efforts to bring about major improvements to the roads system, including the proposed Severn Estuary Bridge, makes the Mayor of Hereford a most appropriate choice for this post. The committee and officers were elected as follows: —
President: Ald. A. E. Farr, J.P.
Chairman: Dr. C. W. F. McKean.
Vice-Chairman: J. D. Moon.
General Secretary: J. R. W. Thomas
(also Competition Secretary).
Press Secretary: B. F. H. Banes.
Treasurer: O. P. Felton.
Bulletin Editor: R. M. E. Mayall.
Social Secretary: C. C. Warburton.
Awards Secretary: E. W. Lindsay-Jones
Committee members: H. E. Ramsey and P. J. Taylor.
The annual general meeting of the Cemian M.C. was held on January 26th at the Lotus Restaurant, Haymarket, at which 30 per cent. of the members attended what turned out to be a lively but pleasant meeting. The members take a keen interest in the club's activities and were glad to note that, although a comprehensive calendar of sporting events included a closed rally, an invitation rally, a closed driving test meeting, an invitation driving test meeting, and the Eight Clubs Silverstone meeting and Eastbourne were arranged, the social side was not being neglected. The previous officers of the club were re-elected, the hon. secretary being R. L. Sadler, the hon. competitions secretary G. T. Wilby, and the hon. treasurer E. C. Vreins. A new office of assistant hon. secretary was created and filled by F. L. Rourke. The club's president is A. Bolsom. All inquiries with regard to membership should be addressed to R. L. Sadler, 8, Beaumont Mews, Weymouth Street, W.I. (WEL 8091.)
Alvis Owner Club Kentish Rally
The Alvis Owner Club (Southern Section) held their Kentish Rally on January 31st, starting from Halstead, at 1.30 p.m., under excellent weather conditions — there being just enough snow to add interest to the event. Competitors were expected to average 24 m.p.h. over about 50 miles of narrow hilly lanes, one of the lanes proving impassable to many drivers due to ice.
From Halstead, cars were sent to a point near East Grinstead where the marshal was hidden. The fact that he was disguised as a sailor caused much confusion, and this, added to the icy hill, made many cars late at the final control near Knockholt. A test, consisting of a slow hill-climb, was held here — best times being set up by Chace (Firefly) and James (Speed Twenty).
1st: R. Brearley (Speed Twenty, 1933).
2nd: F. Byers (Speed Twenty-five, 1937).
3rd: A. James (Speed Twenty, 1935).
London M.C. Little Rally
The London M.C. Little Rally, which proved so popular last year with an entry of 240, is again being held on a Saturday and will be run on similar lines. Briefly: It will start and finish near London and will be open to members of the L.M.C. In contrast to the London Rally, which is being held on September 3rd and 4th, it is not intended to make this a "tough" event but to provide some first-class motoring over little known roads and through interesting country — Surrey and Hants. There will be special tests en route, all of which will be suitable for the ordinary type of car, and a lunch stop of one hour. The first car will start at approximately 8 a.m., Saturday, April 10th, and finish about 6 p.m., when there will be a dinner and music until midnight for competitors, officials, other club members and their friends. There will be no difficult map reading as all competitors will be provided with a detailed description route card.
This event is intended to be suitable for any type of car and it is hoped that members who do not regularly compete because they consider their car insufficiently potent will enter as well as the usual rally types, to all of whom an enjoyable but not too expensive event is promised.
Details and regulations will be shortly available from Mrs. Nina Imhof, Robin Hill, Coombe Hill Road, Kingston.
The Mercédès-Benz Club is holding its annual dinner-dance on March 6th at the Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, W.1, at 7.30 p.m. Tickets coat 35s. each, exclusive of drinks, and friends and non-members may join in, although we believe reservations may now have closed. Apply to R. H. Johnson, "Chequer Trees," Limpley Stoke, Bath, Somerset.
The 750 M.C. announces that its first Silverstone Meeting this year will be a joint M.G. C.C./750 M.C. event on June 12th. A three-hour Relay Race for 750 Formula, 1,172 Formula and M.G. cars in four-car teams is contemplated, with supporting short events. The Six-Hour National Relay Race at Silverstone on August 28th will not include a separate race for 750 and 1,172 Formula cars.
The 750 M.C. will hold a Grass Track Speed Meeting on March 7th confined to members, with classes for open and closed standard Austin Sevens, formula and trials Austins, 1,172 Formula and trials cars, and classes for associate members, divided into engine capacities. From experience gained at this meeting, if successful, it is hoped to hold others later, both closed and invitation. The clerk of the course and secretary of the meeting is Lionel West, competitions secretary of the club, 71, Oakwood Road, Brisket Wood, St. Albans, Herts.
The secretary of the Welsh Counties C.C. is now W. G. Woodruff, 16, Morlais Street, Rooth Park, Cardiff.
The address of the B.M.C.R.C. is now 34, Paradise Road, Richmond, Surrey.
The Cumberland Sporting C.C. will hold its Keswick Rally on March 20th/21st instead of on March 6th/7th, to avoid a clash with the R.A.C. Rally. The event is open to various Northern clubs and to all classes of V.S.C.C. membership, i.e., in modern as well as vintage cars. Details from H. I. Saul, Alfa Gate, Houghton Cheshire.