SO WE "BLEAT," DO WE?

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TWO months ago the subject of these columns was the advisability of barring passengers from racing cars. Briefly, our contention was that a mechanic’s duties are now solely confined to warning his driver that another car wishes to pass, and that this can be accomplished equally well (as has been proved on the Continent) by means of flag-marshals placed at intervals round the course. Finally, we stressed the importance of avoiding unnecessary fatalities in motorracing in order to deprive the Daily Press of an opportunity of scare-writing about the dangers of the sport.

All this has proved very much to the disgust of a certain writer in a weekly contemporary. This “exracing mechanic,” to give him his full title, has made the unforgivable errors of (a) misquoting the words of our article, and (b) completely failing to assimilate certain points of our thesis.

His first mistake consists of the sentence “he says that at Donington the flag-men never fail to wave their flags furiously, etc.” Our actual words were “The Conti ne nt a 1 alternative .

. . . an use flag-marshals.” His inability to assimilate the main points of our argument is illustrated in many ways. He accuses us of putting “the jolly old wagon in front of the gee-gee” (I say, you cads !) and that the proper course is to train drivers to stay on the road. If he had taken the trouble to read our article he would have found the following words : “We agree that experienced drivers do not come to grief at Donin.gton . . . but the point is that few come under this category.” And further : “beginners

. . . are the standard by which safety regulations must be formulated.” You might just as well say it is absurd to wear crash-hats—you must train drivers to keep their cars the right way up !

Equally futile is his statement that ninety-nine ” meehs ” (mechanics ?) out of a hundred love riding just as much as drivers love driving. Countless spectators would love to stand on the edge of the road, but they are not allowed to because their deaths would be injurious to the sport of motor-racing.

We of “MOTOR SPORT ” stand for the larger interests of motor-racing. If it is not to have a bad name in public opinion, its organisers must make themselves known as people of common-sense. And so, to his “this bleating about danger makes me sick,” we counter: this ranting about heroism leaves us cold. But younger and fresher minds are beginning to make themselves felt in British motor-racing, and we are at last following the example set by the Continent in dropping mechanics. The Donington authorities are fortunately unfettered by any romantic thoughts

example to all organisers, present and potential, of common-sense conduct of motor-races. On few road circuits have such adequate steps been taken to avoid accidents to spectators. Their next concern has been to obviate accidents to mechanics. At the recent Donington meeting passengers were barred, a very fair vindication of our article “Passengers must be barred,” which caused such a sickening sensation to our die-hard “ex-racing mechanic.” about the sport, and • in their own way have set an

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