WE ARE TAKEN TO TASK.
To the Editor of MOTOR SPORT.
DEAR SIR,—In your July issue your editorial article deplores the principle of handicapping, in general, in motor racing, and deplores the fact that handicapping is practised at Brooklands meetings, and was used also in the R.A.C. Grand Prix, run in Ulster this year.
Handicapping, though tiresome in some ways, has at Brooklands one great advantage, which in the eyes of the average amateur, with whom MOTOR SPORT is undoubtedly in sympathy, outweighs all other disadvantages. It enables a man of limited means who cannot afford an up-to-date racing car (and this is the case with 90 per cent. of us) to run his car, whatever it may be, with a sporting chance of success. To exclude this class of entrant would be hard on those concerned, would rob Brooklands meetings of support which they can ill afford to lose, and would tend to eliminate that “racing for the sport of the thing ” feeling which is such a valuable part of English motoring sport, and is largely kept alive by these enthusiastic, if impecunious, amateurs.
, In the case of the Ulster R.A.C. T.T., the elimination of the handicap would reduce the number of entries by probably 50 per cent., which would in turn lessen the interest of the contest and reduce the possibility of a fine race resulting.
The statement that ” the only important reward (the ‘Tourist Trophy ‘) is decided by an arbitary handicap” is hardly fair. The following valuable trophies were won by the class winners :-5,000 c.c., “The Motor Trophy “; 3,000 c.c., ” Sir Chas. Wakefield Trophy 2,000 c.c., ” SolexTrophy “; 1,500 c.c., “The Motor Trophy,” “The Ulster White Cinema Club Trophy ” (for second place) ; 1,100 c.c., ” The Motor Trophy.”
At the same time I agree with MOTOR SPORT insomuch that I consider more importance should be attached to these class winners than was the case this year. The present position is to some extent due to the lay press. Your editorial thinks that the handicap will “mar our one great road race.” The result was one of the finest races ever run, quite unmarred by anything. The handicapping proved just ; the Riley Nines might have won had they had a no-trouble run. The .AustroDaimler driven by Masar, although driven quietly, put up a higher average than the winner, and Birkin’s Bentley a faster time still, in spite of trouble which robbed him of a possible victory, all of which goes to disprove
the prophesy the article makes that ” it is doubtful if a car of some five litres capacity can lap as fast as a nippy 1,500 c.c, supercharged car.” Incidentally, there is nothing to prevent the five-litre car from being supercharged also, thus enabling it to have an even greater superiority in speed over the small car than that shown by the Bentley.
That two firms withdrew entries does not condemn the rules ; when so many compete it is inevitable that the regulations must disatisfy some, and often these complaints are quite unjustified. For instance, one entrant of 1,500 c.c. ears complained bitterly before the race, through the columns of a contemporary motor journal, of the unfair handicap for the 1,500 c.c. class. And yet two 1,500 c.c. cars were first and second ! The whole question of handicapping is an interesting and important one ; the opportunity given by the article in question to raise the discussion is valuable ;
I hope others interested will give their views. I am, Sir, etc.,