AVERAGE SPEED RAISED. DRIVING SKILL COMPETITION REPLACES MONT DES MULES HILL CLIMB.
THE thirteenth Monte Carlo Rally will be held as in other years during the last week of January, and will no doubt attract its usual quota of hardy motorists from the British Isles. The starting places are the same as those of last year, but two of the routes have been revised.
As will be seen, Athens still commands the highest marks, since no one has been able to get through on time for the past two years. Bucharest also defeated all those who started last year, owing to the heavy snow drifts round Jassy. Tallinn has been deposed from its second place, as the cars which started from there last year got through without much difficulty and secured the first 14 places in the general classification.
Two routes have been altered. Competitors from Stavanger and Umea, whose routes join at Helsingborg, turn off from Hamburg to Hanover instead of going straight through to Brussels. The other alteration is in the route followed by those who start from England. Instead of taking the direct route from Bordeaux to Toulouse, they swing west to Bayonne and then return east through Toulouse over the same route as the Spanish competitors. The organisation at the intermediate controls is the same as last year, and
competitors are permitted to arrive as early as they like, leaving their roadbooks until their starting time for the next stage arrives. Late arrival is penalised with a loss of one mark per minute, but unlike other years, this late arrival does not affect the starting time at subsequent conrols. Marks once lost cannot be regained by early arrival at subsequent controls. The average speed to be maintained is 40 km. (25 m.p.h.) except for the last 1,000 kilometres where it is increased to 50 km. (31.25 m.p.h.). Last year 40
km. per hour was required over the whole distance.
The frame and engine have to be sealed. Cars with engines over 1,500 c.c. have to carry four passengers but ballast of equivalent weight may replace two of them. Cars under 1,500 c.c. need only carry two passengers.
The entry fee for large cars is 750 francs and 600 francs for small ones. Entries may be made from 1st November to 24th December. After the usual inspection on arrival, at Monte Carlo, where marks will be deducted for electrical and other equipment which is not functioning, an acceleration and braking test will be held. The acceleration will be carried out over a
distance of 110 metres, and the car is given 15 seconds in which to get going before crossing the line. At the end of the distance a line is marked across the road and the cars then have to be stopped as rapidly as possible, and are penalised half the marks of the test if any of the wheels crosses two lines 4 metres apart which are drawn at right angles to the braking line. Marks are awarded on a formula which takes into consideration the speed and braking distance of the car, and also allows for those who try to improve their braking figure by easing up before the braking line. The formula is as follows :500 + 5d 5= dxTxt2
Where d is the braking distance, T is the time for the first 100 metres, and t the time for the last 10 metres.
Last and not least the first-. prize is 50,000 francs (about £600) with 20,000 and 15,000 for second and third places. There are also numerous cups, some of them for drivers from the individual starting points.
After a day of rest the Driving Skill Competition for the Monte Carlo Cup takes place and replaces the Mont des Mules Hill Climb. It is intended to show up the best points, easy manoeuvring and so forth of the cars which take part, but seems to favour unduly a small car with a self changing gear-box, such as the M.G. Magnette, as the test calls for three changes from a forward ratio to reverse.
The car starts from rest, and has to describe a figure-of-eight in the rectangle, then drive 250 metres and go half round a mark, change direction by reversing, cover a further 400 metres, then reverse back over the finishing line. The time required for the complete series of evolutions decides the winner.
The Comfortable Car Competition will also be held, and points are awarded for accommodation, accessories, fitting of tools and other matters which are of importance for long-distance touring.
The time table is as follows :20th January, leave starting points. 24th January, arrive Monte Carlo. 26th January, Monte Carlo Cup. 27th January, *Comfort Competition. 28th January, Prize distribution. The Monte Carlo Rally British Competitors Club (I hope I have got its title correct) is again functioning strongly under the able direction of H. B. Browning, and arrangements have been made with Messrs. Autocheques to provide transport across the Channel, five days
accommodation at Monte Carlo and hotels going home for about eleven guineas, and facilities for getting luggage quickly from London to Monte Carlo have also been put through. Several works teams have already been made up, and the Triumph Company have got together a particularly strong personnel. Donald Healey, who is now the competition manager, is taking a 10 h.p. saloon and will probably start from Bucharest. As usual his car will be fitted with enormous tyres which give it a peculiar appearance but a useful groundclearance. Hobbs will be going from Umea and Ridley from Athens, while
Mr. and Mrs. Montague-Johnstone will probably start from John o’ Groats. These drivers will have the new Triumph Glorias.
The Riley contingent will be seven or eight strong, but the only member who has settled his place of departure is Rupert Riley, who is going from Athens.
The Essex team is expected to consist of Norman Black, H. B. Symons, S. C. H. Davis and Miss Cordery. Black is thinking of Umea, Symons will try once more to get through from Bucharest, while Davis will probably start from John o’Groats. Several Singers will take part, and Hole
expects to go from John &Groats and Barnes from Stavanger. Sandford is also mentioned as a possible starter.
S.S. cars may be driven by Clease. Needham and Rimciman, while Burge and Mann may possibly take Lagondas, the former on a new 41 litre car.
Norman Garrod hopes to take one of the new rear-engined Crossleys, from Bucharest.
The Rally Club are holding their dinner at the beginning of December, and no doubt many more plans will be made at that function.
The R.A.C. incidently now have copies of the Regulations in English.