Matters of moment, May 1988

Flying the standard high

As you read this, Motor Sport will be celebrating its sixty-fifth year of publication, an event that very few other magazines can boast about.

Published in the summer of 1924 as the Brooklands Gazette, the first issue carried reports on the fourth London Rally of Motorists, “in the Paddock”, an article on the fascination of motor racing and, naturally, motor racing reports from Brooklands. There was also a road test of the 3-litre Bentley in the series “Sporting Cars on Road and Track” (the latter half of which sounds like good name for a magazine). All this was backed up by results from various events located throughout the magazine.

It is by taking lessons from the past that one can progressively move forward. Motor Sport is in the unique positon of being the only monthly magazine devoted to the sport. Rather than concentrate on events as they happen, which is the function of our weekly sister publication Motoring News, this magazine is capable of filling wider roles, which will become apparent in coming months.

Obviously one of its prime duties is to give an account of motor racing events as they occur, but it also has scope within that to analyse matters in far greater detail and give a greater insight into the sport.

Although great emphasis should be laid on Grand Prix racing, it is not the only form of motor racing, as sports car and rally enthusiasts will testify. The World Sports Car Championship and the World Rally Championship are both at the pinnacles of their respective branches of the sport and will be treated accordingly.

Motor Sport, however, should not only be concerned with World Championship events, for week in and week out there are motor sporting activities occurring across the world, and all are of interest in their own way. Obviously there is not room to write about every single event or even every championship, but those that are of major interest will be reported periodically.

Within this category fall single-seater racing, such as Formula 3000, Formula Three, the American CART and IMSA series, European and British touring cars and also the British rally scene. Within a new “Grassroots” page, we are also allocating space for those lesser events that take place the length and breadth of the country every weekend, attract a huge number of spectators and competitors and upon which the foundation of Britain’s motor sporting pre-eminence is based.

With its strong historical roots, and with its access to photographic archives that are the envy of the publishing world, it is natural that the historical aspect of motor racing should play a very important role. The “Veteran to Classic” section is able to utilise to maximum effect the expertise within the magazine to put into perspective modern racing activities. Other historical features of motor racing interest, where experts are given the chance to write about particular topics of the recent past, also have their place.

Motor Sport is also in a position to express its views on road cars old and new which are of relevance to the magazine especially as, once again, it is able to write about such matters with authority, bearing in mind that it is likely that the classic cars tested were being driven by the magazine when the cars were new. This historical perspective is denied most other publications.

Finally, going back to the first issues, Motor Sport was a tremendous reference magazine filled with results from events of the day. This is a tradition it is not only continuing but also extending with results from the world championships being given in far greater detail, alongside those from other important national and international events. Motor Sport will thus become once again an invaluable source of information.

As its name implies, the thrust of the magazine is leaning towards the coverage of motor sport, but its role as the historical motor racing standard-bearer will never be undermined.

Club news

Full regulations for the HSCC’s Historic formula One series, now an official championship, can be obtained from the new office at Coldharbour, Kington Langley, Wiltshire SN15 5LY. Mechanically-injected Cosworth DFVs and 1.5-litre turbocharged engines are permitted (as well as an approved alternative–the 3.5-litre Rover V8), but not 3.5-litre pukka F1 power-units. Competitors are being encouraged to run their cars in original livery.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year is the Triumph Sports Club, which caters for Spitfires, GT6s, Heralds and Vitesses, the address of its membership secretary is 121B St Mary’s Road, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7DT and its magazine Turning Circle is a glossy production.

The Severn Sevens Group of the Pre-War A7 Club will hold its Attingham Park Rally off the A5 on June 12. Entry fee for the event, which will be divided into five classes, is just £1, and forms are available from P Richard, Graylands, Weston Avenue, Oswestry, Shropshire SY11 2BH. There will be a barbeque the previous evening, camping facilities, and an auto jumble on the day itself.

Woburn Spring Rally “for old and new classic vehicles” on May 28-29 will be trying to raise money for a new heart-and-lung machine for Papworth Hospital. Amongst the weekend’s events will be the Spring Run, a night rally for cars up to and including G registration. Enquiries should be addressed to “Rally” 1 School House, Hadrian Avenue, Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU5 4SR.

More than 120 cars will be lapping Castle Combe on Club Lotus Jamboree day, Saturday May 14, from 10am until dusk. Trade stands, auto jumble and concours are also on the programme, and there will be a technical seminar on Lotus products in Chippenham the following day. Telephone 0362-694459 for further information.

Railton Owners Club’s National Meeting this year will take place in Coventry on the weekend of June 24-26. Contact Barrie McKenzie, “Fairmiles”, Barnes Hall Road, Burncross, Sheffield S30 4RF for full details.

Morgan Sports Car Club’s MOG ’88 weekend will now kick off with a test day on the Brands Hatch club circuit on Friday June 17. The scene will then switch to Burford in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds.