The R.A.C. Annual Club Conference
This year the Annual Meeting between delegates of the motoring cubs and the Competitions Committee of the R.A.C. took place in Pall Mall on March 26th.
That it was a peaceful gathering, whereas these meetings in the past have been inclined to be stormy, indicates that the Competitions Committee is apparently coping effectively with the difficult task of controlling the Sport in this country and serving the best interests of organisers and competitors.
The only points on which delegates did not seem completely reassured were the rather tight time limit set by the R.A.C. for presenting the Competitions Committee with details of events run, the date of the R.A.C. Trials Championship, the hoary problem of over-congested areas and changed fixture dates, and some matters of larger import which are primarily the concern of the B.R.D.C. and F.I.A.
The police have lodged protests about high-speed driving during the R.A.C. Rally, and the whole conduct of public-road rallies must be very carefully reviewed if trouble with authority is to be avoided, although we do hope that legal fast driving on de-restricted roads will not be frowned upon just because cars are taking part in a rally — rally drivers pay the same heavy taxes for their pleasure as ordinary users of the roads.
In order that our readers may appreciate the work and functions of the R.A.C. Competitions Department we append the major portion of its report on 1953 activities.
“The Competitions Committee has met on 16 occasions since the last Conference of Motor Clubs and no less than eight sub-committees have been at work during that period to consider and make recommendations on special subjects, such as matters arising from the International Sporting Commission and the International Technical Commission, the New Policy for 1954, Organising Committees in respect of the International Rally, the Trials and Rally Vehicles and Tyre Regulations, Inspection of Race Circuits, Permits and Observers’ Reports, Official Timekeepers, Official Scrutineers and other appointments. The Press Sub-Committee has also continued its work during the year.
“Lord Howe, Chairman of the Competitions Committee, and the Manager of the Competitions Department have represented the R.A.C. on the International Sporting Commission during the year when several meetings have been called in Paris, Monaco and Reims.
“The main items of discussion during the period have been on the International Racing Formulae, International Regulations for Production Cars in rallies and trials, and certain amendments to the International Sporting Code.
“Much time has been spent by the C.S.I. during this period under review on the International Regulations for Series Production Cars, and it was decided in December last that these regulations should become an additional appendix to the International Sporting Code and that the regulations should apply compulsorily only to those events of rally or trial type which are inscribed upon the International Calendar. At this date, official copies in English and French text have not yet been received from the F.I.A. in Paris, but an abridged rough translation has been available to interested British competitors since January 1st last.
“In addition, the R.A.C. has pressed for further consideration of their suggestions for the future limitation of the International Calendar and this item is to be discussed again during the 1954 conferences of the C.S.I.
“For 1954, the International Sporting Calendar has again been divided into three sections: (1) for races and speed events, (2) for rallies and regularity trials, and (3) for Formula III racing. The total number of inscriptions is no less than 248, of which 124 are racing and 61 are rallies and regularity trials. In addition, there are 63 events inscribed on the International Formula III Calendar.
“The British National Calendar was again printed in booklet form for 1953 and had a wide distribution. 1953 has been a record year for club motor sport in Great Britain and over 800 events of all types took place under R.A.C. Permit. Of these, 87 were race meetings and 38 other speed events, staged on over 40 different courses. Another record figure is that of registered dubs actually promoting competitions, and the total at this moment is 198.
“During the year 14 timekeepers, and 22 Group 1 and 14 Group 2 scrutineers received the R.A.C. official appointment. In both these categories assistant appointments have been made in the following numbers: 12 assistant timekeepers and nine assistant scrutineers.
“At each speed event an R.A.C. steward of the meeting has been appointed and the department would wish to express its appreciation to all who have helped in this direction, both members of the Competitions Committee and members of the Outside Panel who have also kindly given their services.
“A number of new speed courses of various types have been inspected and approved during the year, for which terms and conditions of use have been drawn up.
“The Trials and Rally Sub-Committee spent mach time and effort on the preparation of what is now known as the New Policy for 1954, and this policy has now been in operation since January 1st.
“Printed leaflets of this complete policy, which was brought up to date by including a number of earlier leaflets, has made it possible for the newer club official to have a complete guide of competition promotion in one document. With this policy document the sister bulletin of the ‘Organisation of Race Meetings and Speed Events’ gives a complete guide to the requirements concerning organisation and promotion of all forms of motor competitions.
“The new monthly ‘Motor Sports News Bulletin,’ introduced in November last as a direct news liaison between the R.A.C. and club secretaries, is fully justifying its objectives. The bulletin is also circulated regularly, for information, to British motor sports clubs overseas to appointed officials of the R.A.C. and A.C.U., and to interested sections of the Press.
“Insurance against promotors’ legal liability has been under constant review and the R.A.C. official brokers are still giving the benefit of reduced premiums, which in all cases have been passed on to the promoting clubs.”
In addition, the R.A.C. organised last season the following events (the winners’ names appear in brackets): —
R.A.C. International Rally (Ian Appleyard (Jaguar)).
Sixth British Grand Prix (A. Ascari (Ferrari)).
R.A.C. Tourist Trophy Race (P. Collins and P. Griffith (Aston Martin)).
R.A.C. Trials Championship (R. W. Phillips (Phillips Special)).
R.A.C. Veteran Car Run (148 pre-1905 cars finished on time).
R.A.C. Hill-Climb Championship (K. Wharton (Cooper and E.R.A.)).