Generally speaking, any moves to promote old-car racing are to be welcomed, but I do see a worrying trend developing. I note that a 100-mile race is proposed for pre-1958 GP cars at Donington Park this year; what will be achieved by this?
A few years ago I was a spectator at an HSCC meeting at the same track. One of the races was a one-hour affair for pre-1965 sportscars. It was desperately dull. After a few minutes there was no racing to speak of and the winner won by several miles. The competitive situation can usually be established within 10 laps of a short circuit, particularly in old cars driven by amateurs of varying ability.
Old-car race meetings now seem to be trying to emulate Goodwood and become ‘society events’, attracting a ‘more sophisticated’ (higher priced?) audience, the corporate entertainment crowd and chic sponsors. The cash generated permits prize and start money, attracting the more professional old-car owners, who push for longer races to attract fee-paying guest drivers.
All this is simply an escalation of cost and effort with which the amateur paying his own way cannot hope to compete. No-one cares who wins; winning is not the point of old-car racing, though there are unfortunates who cannot grasp this.
Event organisers, with one exception, now seem to be going down this ‘professional’ route. I fear it’s the road to nowhere. I’m sure that the VSCC has much more sense…
Pete Graham, Blyth, Northumberland