Rumblings, October 1933



P’umblings OliffERGES

Lap-Scoring in the T.T.

THE Ulster race rarely fails to produce a good finish, though as in most handicap races, only the mathematical wizards who record the laps of every car on a numbered chart can tell how things are going in the intermediate stages of the race. This year it even contrived to defeat the experts of the R.A.C., and the press information lagged considerably at one period of the race. In the Irish Grand Prix races an ingenious score-board with climbing numbers used to record the progress of the cars and Mr. Ball of the Southport Club has evolved a similar device for showing the progress of the 50 and 100 mile races. Unfortunately at the Ards circuit the score-board is situated on a slope and the extra height of the lap-recording mechanism would make the upper numbers difficult to reach and read.

Round the Course.

Pit-work of course decided the winner of the race, and Hamilton’s delay of over seven minutes was a handicap which the most inspired driving could not overcome. Hugh McConnell, better known as a Brooklands scrutineer, was Nuvolari’s chef d’equipe, and maintained an efficient Eason between the driver, who spoke Italian, and everyone else, who didn’t.

Of the big cars which finished, Rose-Richards’ Alf a lost some time with a petrol pipe which came adrift, while Lord Howe’s car was unaccountably slow, being comfortably passed by Nuvolari on the straight. Lord Howe had some interesting things to say about the new 1,100 c.c. 4-cylinder Maseratis which are very fast. They only weigh at cwt., so the Magnettes next year will have some worthy opposition on the Continent.

After the Race.

The prizes were presented at the Plaza Ballroom by the Duke of Abercom, Governor of Northern Ireland before a gathering of pretty women (very) and handsome men (fairly). Nuvolari was given a great reception and replied suitably in Italian. Freddy Dixon, who was disqualified owing to trouble with his exhaust system, had everyone’s sympathy, and Sir William Morris put it into practical form by presenting a further 2100 as a consolation prize. I thought it was a pity that the reason for disqualification was not announced at the

prize-giving. One got the impression that instead of a trivial fault which the driver had done his best to remedy, some deliberate breach of the regulations had been committed.

The Future of the T.T.

The people of Northern Ireland are as keen as ever on their race, and I learnt from a prominent public official who has a great deal to do with the public and police facilities that make it possible to organise the T.T., that another race would take place next year. He told me that the R.A.C. had been offered the use of the roads even up to 24 hours if they thought that this form of race would be popular.

The charm of the T.T. to most people lies in the fact that it is not too long for sustained interest, and it seems doubtful that the organising club would contemplate a night and day race. Apart from that, a damp September night spent in the open at the Ards circuit would be a very different proposition from the perfect conditions which usually prevail for the Le Mans race.

Donington News.

The season is drawing to a successful close but one of the few good things left is the last meeting this year at Donington. Apart from the normal short races, a ten or fifteen lap event will be staged in which several prominent drivers, new to the circuit, including RoseRichards and Whitcroft, will take part.

• I am glad to hear that the question of carrying mechanics has been under review, and that new regulations anent passing are to be shortly issued. Fatalities must be avoided at all costs, and dropping the mechanic seems to be the obvious way to begin.

The Hour Record. . . .

That hectic record, the World’s Hour, held by the deeply lamented Count Czaikowski, is likely to be attacked early in October by Tazio Nuvolari. When you come to think of it, it is rather strange that Nuvolari, acknowledged to be the world’s champion racing driver, does not hold a single World’s or Class record. Montlhery is to be the scene of his attempt, and the car will be the single seater 3 litre Maserati with which he has been so successful this year.

. . . And the 24 Hours.

The 24 Hours Record is at the time of writing held unofficially by Jenkins’ Pierce-Arrow at 117 m.p.h. Confirmation of this figure will no doubt be shortly forthcoming. Before Borzacchini’s untimely death at Monza it had been planned to launch an attack on the record with a Maserati, to be driven in turn by Borzacchini and Nuvolari. Miramas was mentioned as the location, but did not seem too suitable to me because of its heavy wear on tyres.

Straight’s Record.

I am full of admiration for Whitney Straight’s performance at Mont Ventoux. Caracciola’s previous record with a monoposto Alfa was considered by such a competent judge as Philippe Etancelin to be tmbeatable. And yet Straight coolly chips off 40 seconds ! Perfectly astounding.

The Monza Catastrophe.

The appalling accidents at Monza resulting in the deaths of Campari, Borzacchini and Count Czaikowski have cast a definite gloom over us all this month. I personally first heard of the accident on the wireless, and could hardly believe it was true. One felt that some mistake must have been made somewhere.

And of course there was a mistake. When Moll reported his own terrifying skid on the oily track the second heat should have been held up until an expert committee had seen that the oil had been properly removed. A fatal omission, which cost the lives of two of Italy’s three leading drivers, through no error of judgment of their own, and that charming sportsman, Count Czaikowski.

” Shellway.”

Visitors to Brooklands for the first time must be very impressed by the pleasant appearance of the new road to the Paddock from the entrance gates. Now I notice that this fir-lined avenue with its bridge has been reserved by the Shell people and in future it will be called ” Shellway.”

Well Done, Hall ! ” “

E. R. Hall’s victory in the ” 500 ” marks the first big reward for a long and fine career in motor-racing. I remember Hall years ago at Shelsley making rapid climbs on 30/98 Vauxhalls. Then he turned to 4i litre Bentleys — he came in second with Dr. Benjafield in the ” 500 ” of 1930. In the same race in 1931 he was third with a Midget, averaging 92 m.p.h. single handed, and since then he has been a consistent M.G. performer.

This year opened well with a “second “in the International Trophy with his Magnette, and now comes the long awaited ” first” in the ” 500 ” last month.

No one could have been a more popular winner.