Jet petrol in the Eagle-Weslakes
I have long been an enthusiastic reader of D.S.J.'s excellent articles in Motor Sport, but I was brought up short last month by a strangely-biased statement towards the end of his account of the "Race Champions" at Brands Hatch.
He affirms that although the victorious Eagle team stated officially that they raced on Jet fuel, his guess was that they were in fact using Esso Golden – this after he had contacted Team Manager Bill Dunne and been given the full facts after the race.
I am biased too, because Jet Petroleum Ltd. (whom God preserve) provide my daily bread, and I have a very soft spot for a firm who market a first-rate product without squandering a large proportion of their profits on futile advertising campaigns and gimmicks, thus being able to pass on the benefit to their customers in the form of lower retail prices. I was never one for keeping a tame herd of Advertising Executives in a way to which they weren't previously accustomed – I've seen a bit too much of such capers in my time. But I digress.
As it stands, D.S.J.'s inaccurate statement can do Jet's name precious little good, and must leave a nasty and quite unwarranted taste in many readers' mouths from the quality of fuel angle.
I feel that in all fairness you should now publish the true facts. The two Eagle-Weslake V12s were initially tested, then practised, and eventually put up their impressive performance at Brands Hatch on March 12th on perfectly standard Jet 100 octane fuel, obtained from the pump at Peter Berthon's Jet station at Rye and transported to Brands Hatch in drums. No special treatment – just normal pump Jet which you or I can buy at any time.
As an expanding Company, Jet is particularly careful of its quality control. If Jenks is honestly dubious. I would be happy to arrange for him to visit our laboratories, where in addition to regular checks on our own fuels we also continually analyse random specimens of all competitive products. Results were sometimes most instructive in the days before the recent introduction of the badly needed "Star" system of grading, and could well cause D.S.J. to revise a few of his previous and deeply rooted conceptions.
Teffont Magna. Anthony Stamer.
[ D.S.J. comments: – "My apologies! I had no intention of belittling Jet petrol but the A.A.R. team were very non-committal and wanted to emphasise the fact that Esso, Shell and B.P. had given all their competition spending money to teams who did not win at Brands Hatch, and no one was eager to sign them up before the race.
"I did not know designer Berthon had turned garage owner, I was merely told 'a wayside petrol station, Jet or somesuch.' I am not the least bit dubious about Jet petrol as I often use it in the E-type and applaud strongly their cutting of costs by eliminating Tigers, Blondes, Knives and Forks and Personalities and just getting on with the job of selling petrol at competitive prices."]