CHAIN CHATTER, November 1951
bY “CA RROZZI NO”
AFTER the rather severe beating that our road-racing men and machines suffer gl at Monza, it was very gratifying to see Our trials men more than make up for it by winning the International Six Days Trial In view of’ the fact that the speed schedules and going generally in the trial throughout the six days favoured the smaller capacity machines, it is all the more meritorious that Messrs. Rist, Vines’, Stocker, Alves and Ray completed the event without a single mark lost. These five riders, mounted CM 13.S.A., A.J.S., Royal Enfield, Triumph and Arid, respectively, formed our Trophy Team and put up a superb demonstration of this vountry’s ability in this type of event. It is interesting that all the machines in the winning team were vertical twins of 500 cat. capacity, with the exception of the B.S.A. and the Triumph, which were 650 ex.
The two-stroke engine was predominant in this event, the Austrians who were runners-up using Puchs and the Vase winning Dutch team (three riders) being mounted on 250-e.e. .lawns, while scores of scooters and small capacity motor-cycles all wing two-stroke engines completed the arduous six days of cross-country motoring. The Italian Vespas, replicas of which are made in this country under licence by Douglas, were outstanding, ten starting and nine of them gaining Gold Medals, having lost no marks.
According to the rules the event should be held in this country next year, run by our governing body, but if they do not wish to take the job other countries can make application. It appears that the Swiss were contemplating running the 1952 event, until they saw what it entailed, but Austria are very keen, and as their Trophy Team was runner-up this year I hope the A.C.U. decide to let them take on the job.
It was good to see solos and sidecars at Shelsley Walsh once again, after a lot of unnecessary gefuttle by the paperwork sidt.. ot t lie motor-cycle movement. Without a doubt. these mixed meetings now and again are a very good thing and everyone enjoyed Shelsley. Although record-man George Brown made fastest motor-cycle time in 38.15 see., he could not approach his earlier record. On the Other hand Peter Harris set up a new sidecar record with 42.05 see, on a very spirited run that was applauded by all. Outstanding was the riding of D. K Bennett, the Norton Motors’ prot.60, who won both 850 and 500-c.c. classes on Manx Nortons. The regular end-of-season feast of speed organised by the B.M.C.R.C. on the Silverstone G.P. circuit proved one of the most outstanding events of all time. Run in perfect weather conditions the full day’s racing saw some brilliant riding, especially by World Champions Erie Oliver and Geoff. Duke. Geoff. walked away with the 350 and 500-e.e. solo events, showing his mastery over all, while Oliver NVaS the undisputed star of the day. Riding his ” works ” Norton sidecar outfit, with his ltali.in pagsetrer,,I.OreriZO I/61)01i, he won the scratelt race, the sidecar handle: to race from scratch, and not content tt ith that he ran in a third event. This was a handicap for solos and sidecars toget tier, to count for the Melina() Trophy, decided on a sealed handicap, each rider being handicapped for the race and also handicapped on his season’s performance, these latter being kept secret. The rider improving on his sealed handicap by the greatest amount is counted the winner. This event was open to all classes of machine and after his World Championship exploits Oliver’s handicap must have been pretty severe. lie not Only ran right through the field to win the ;ulna( event, bat. also improved on his sealed speed by the greatest amount, winning the great Hutchinson ” 100 ” Mellano Trophy. Anyone who saw the NN orld Master overtaking the mixed field of se lo and sidecar machines and drifting the corners on full power must have realised they were seeing the greatest sidecar rider of all time. Similarly, the ease with which Geoff. Duke left the solo field behind in the scratch races bore ample testimony to his exceptional ability, whether he had the fastest machine or not. While congratulating Ourselves on this tine demonstration of men and machines we ‘must not forget that at the last of the Championship meetings, in Italy, both riders were beaten by superior machines ridden by ” above-average ” riders, if this country is to stay on top in the road racing world some pretty intensive work will have to be done this winter in a certain Midlands factory, if it has not already been done. We have the finest riders in the world without question, but to remain on top they must lutve bicycles equal to the best. An example Of this over the past season has been Les Graham, who left A.J.S. to ride for the Italian NI. V. concern. These new four-cylinders never really got going the whole of the season and Graham’s record for 1951 in the 500-c.e. class has been poor. On the other hand he has been riding better than ever before, throughout the season, as shown by his performance on a standard
350-e.e. Velovette. Time and again Les has done things in the 350-e.e. class against superior machines that did not Seem possible. No matter what circuit he has ridden on he has been outstanding, even though he only finished behind the ” works ” riders. Although he lets not been the victor during the season he has undoubtedly been the moral-victor every time, showing that he is still one of the top riders; not only of this country but of the world. It appears likely that he will next year be interested in car racing, and if this is so it will mean the loss of one of the best riders from the game, which will indeed ke a great pity.
Now that racing is finished or this year, the A.C.(I. held a meet it tg between themselves, the manufacturers and riders to discuss any matters arising front the 1951 racing season. It was lamentable (hit no riders availed themselves of this opportunity to help improve the sport. I, for one, will tell any rider who complains of conditions in 1952 just what is what, and I shan’t blame the A.C.I t. if they do likewise. What a pity it is that so many people are ready to complain and s few are ready to help v. lien the opportunity arises. It was not only a matter of not attending the meeting, but no one even bothered to write a note and have a say. Yet any evening in any clubroom you can meet riders who will complain for hours on end of what is wrong with our sport.
From November 10th until the 17th motor-cyclists will be flocking to Earls Court for the Annual (or should it be bi-Anntutl) Motor Cycle Show. Just what the manufacturers have in store for the riding public remains to he seen, but. I feel sure that scooters. bicycle attachments and small machines will be very much to the fore, and, of’ course, one of the greatest joys of the Motor Cycle Shows, there will be a number of over-the-cotmter thoroughbred racing machines on view, which are always an indication of the health both of the sport and the Industry in this country. No one can be active in racing and remain stagnant. Progress and racing go hand in hand and it is the ordinary user who benefits in the long run. 44411140.•
A club for D.K.W. owners is being formed and an inaugural meeting was arranged last month. Enquiries to Mrs. Hastings, 27, Copley Park, S.W.10, or by telephone after 0.30 p.m. to Mr. Middleton, Reliance 8811.