Miniature racing at Rushmoor

The introduction of a new motor racing circuit is always something of an event. In the case of Rushmoor the organisers are particularly to be congratulated since they have created one out of a sprint course once condemned by the R.A.C. Eelmoor Plain, between Fleet and Aldershot, used to be the site of an annual sprint meeting and, by taking one leg, the return road and a link road, the enthusiastic officials of the 250 Motor Racing Club have created an 800-yard circuit with a hairpin, three right angles, a “left angle” and a couple of straights. This wiggly course, combined with restriction of the entry to 250-c.c. monopostos, and 328 and 500-c.c. Berkeleys, ensured close, competitive and safe racing. Lap speeds were around 45 m.p.h. and, largely due to the wet, weather, barely a lap was completed without a car or two in a highly unconventional attitude. It rained steadily throughout the entire proceedings and consequently one of the right angles is to be called Canal Bend in perpetuity!

The usual varied selection of 250 c.c. machinery appeared. Engines were Velocette, Rudge, Anzani or Excelsior, and chassis showed the usual half-litre influence, Kieft, J.B.S. and Emeryson being represented. The three departures were strikingly varied, M. Bradley’s Bradley having approximately 8 in wheels with the engine and tank mounted in a frame noticeable for its space, R. B. Pickles’ Angle Iron Special had 19 in. wheels and 3-in. tyres at 12 p.s.i. giving a splendid ancient and modern light car appearance, and L. Scott-Wood’s Pantlin used a rear swing-axle design of phenomenal camber and pronounced understeer. To be fair, almost everyone was suffering from understeering troubles round the sharp, wet bends. Of the Berkeleys, R. A. Jameson’s was the most impressive, until it suddenly stopped with an ominous oil drip from a broken gearbox. The only other severe derangement occurred when Ball’s Ball Special lost a wheel: three people lifted the car bodily on to a trailer and set off home to rebraze it!

The aim was to have eight starters in each of the seven ten-lap races. However, this was not always achieved and, in the case of the 250s, a combination of mechanical failure and unorthodox circumperambulations usually reduced the field to three or four by the end. Paul Emery’s Emery Velo proved the success of the day. Always good value in the wet, the combination took a hard-fought first and second place. In the last race or the day a mixed bag of 250s and Berkeleys competed but Rogers’ Berkeley could not beat the Emery or Pickett’s J.B.S., finishing 8 sec. behind the winner.

The organisers, who put down several tons of concrete to make the circuit raceworthy, are hoping to repeat the event at Whitsun and to make Eelmoor the Club’s home circuit.—J. N.