In some quarters when anything has seemed amiss with the Sport the “old gentlemen” of the R.A.C. Competitions Committee have been advanced as the scapegoat. We of Motor Sport have always kept faith with Capt. A. W. Phillips and the Competitions Committee. Recently, when Raymond Mays, anxious to ensure a square deal for British Motor Racing, asked the R.A.C. to state its policy, we confess to becoming rather disturbed by some of the replies made by Capt. Phillips to Mr. Mays. It almost appeared that the Competitions Committee had become as apathetic as some persons have wished to prove it. Consequently, we are glad to report that on August 22nd the R.A.C. announced that its Competitions Committee had met, that Earl Howe was elected chairman for 1946, and that the resolution which the committee passed in 1940, which banned motoring competitions for the period of the war, was rescinded. Thus, even if atomic bombing had not forced Japan to surrender last August, permits would have been issued forthwith by the R.A.C. for approved contests. Permits will be granted for sprint events and reliability trials, but until tyres suited to high speed over appreciable distances are again available, the R.A.C. will not sanction any other events — which is sensible enough, surely. Apart from this official sanction of competitive events, the Competitions Committee has been active in other ways. It has set up a small sub-committee to investigate the recent report on national parks in England and Wales in relation to the possible effect on trials and rallies, so that recommendations can be made to the R.A.C. as to what action should be taken to protect the interests of the sporting motorist. It has discussed the future of the T.T. with representatives of the Northern Ireland Government, with results it regards as highly satisfactory, and these discussions will be pursued. Finally, at the suggestion of Earl Howe, representatives of all the motoring clubs and other interested organisations were invited to attend a meeting at the R.A.C. on September 28th, so that a general discussion on the prospects of Motoring Sport in the immediate future could be held. Surely no one will any longer maintain that the R.A.C. Competitions Committee is apathetic, far less that it should be replaced by a new controlling body! Motor Sport desires above all to see the Sport given fair treatment and to see it flourish, and editorial criticism will continue to be made to that end, as it has always been. Under the circumstances, we can safely back the R.A.C., and we are extremely pleased at the trend of events, because it would seem that our faith in the Competitions Committee has not been misplaced. That Earl Howe is chairman is most gratifying. He has long been our greatest ambassador at home and abroad, he is a fine sportsman and he has the interests of the Sport very much at heart. He is also a racing driver of the first rank, able to handle racing cars of the calibre of the E.R.A. better than many far younger men, and his experience of different cars, as of different circuits, is extensive. Sir Algernon Guinness, Bt., is vice-chairman, and the committee now comprises: L. A. Baddeley, W. Bemrose, Dr. J. D. Benjafield, A. Percy Bradley, Lt.-Col. T. B. Browne, Eric Giles, Sir Algernon Guinness, Bt., Earl Howe, Lionel Martin, H. J. Morgan, A. K. Stevenson and Leslie Wilson. We would have liked Raymond Mays to have been included and would have been glad to have seen the names of some of the younger generation, such as Rivers-Fletcher, Clutton or Heal. But it is a very sound committee and, under its new chairman, it should serve us well.
Another Step Forward
We were promised an important announcement at the J.C.C. Cocktail Party on September 5th, and this related to the formation of a British Motor Sport Fund. This fund has been started “to assist the early re-establishment of Motor Sport in Great Britain” The .J.C.C.’s announcement of it reads as follows :—
“The J.C.C. Council, which met regularly during the war years, frequently discussed the future of Motor Sport. At a meeting held several months ago it was agreed that some practical effort was needed to assist the early re-establishment of Motor Sport in Great Britain. Mr. W. Lyons, of Jaguar Cars, Ltd., who was the guest of honour at the Lunch where the discussion took place, offered to give the sum of £100 to the Club towards a special fund which he suggested the J.C.C. should organise and administer for the benefit of Motor Sport.
“The Club has agreed to set up such a fund, which is to be known as the British Motor Sport Fund, and several other sportsmen and business men, hearing of the scheme, have already ensured its success by sending donations. “With the splendid total of £1,200 already subscribed, the J.C.C. now formally announces the existence of the fund, and acknowledges donations, each of £100, from the following individuals and concerns: W. Lyons (Jaguar Cars, Ltd.); R. G. Sutherland (Aston-Martin, Ltd.); G. H: Leek (Lea-Francis Cars, Ltd.); Guy R. Fountain (Guy R. Fountain, Ltd.); H. R. Godfrey and G. H. Robins (H.R.G. Engineering Co., Ltd.); Jack Olding (Jack Olding & Co., Ltd.); W. J. Darby (Lewis Berger & Sons, Ltd.); Dr. G. Tugendhat (The Manchester Oil Refineries, Ltd.); Richard Watney (Lagonda, Ltd.); the Proprietors of the Sporting Life; Dunlop Rubber Company, Ltd.; Joseph Lucas, Ltd.
“The object of the fund will be to stimulate the re-creation of motor club life, and it will be utilised, as and when possible, for events which have as their object the development of the Sport for the benefit of motoring and motorists.
“The British Motor Sport Fund is now open for general support, and contributions, of any sum, are invited from all those individuals and concerns who are interested in one of the grandest of all sports. Donations should be sent to the General Secretary, Junior Car Club, 14, Lime Grove, Ruislip, Middlesex, made payable to ‘J.C.C. Fund Account.’
“The J.C.C. Council, which has been intimately connected with Motoring Sport in this country for many years, will give full and careful consideration to the various ways in which the sums contributed to the fund can best be used, and announcements will be made, as necessary, regarding the application of the fund.
“When making his offer of £100 to the Club, Mr. Lyons said: ‘I agree that something ought to be done to get Motoring Sport on to its feet with the least possible delay. We owe it to the enthusiasts who have been serving in the Forces and elsewhere, and although many of the old hands will not, unfortunately, return, we have a duty to perform to the youngsters coming along, who have never had the opportunity of competing in a motoring event.’
“It is in this spirit that the J.C.C. launches the fund, the progress of which will be announced from time to time, together with the names of additional donors.”
No decision has yet been reached as to how the money will be spent, but it is in good hands and will, presumably, assist the most deserving causes when the time comes — assisting in rebuilding existing courses, as prize money for events, and so on. Other funds have been formed in the past to help Motoring Sport. We once sounded readers on the subject of a fund to assist in financing a British G.P. car, and the E.R.A. Club collected quite a reasonable sum and handed it to E.R.A., Ltd. France also had a fund to promote a National G.P. car. The British Motor Sport Fund is rather different, as the manner in which the money will be spent can be quite flexible, and some of it might even be used to back a series of publicity lectures, or perhaps the shipping abroad and demonstrating of British racing cars, like the E.R.A. or o.h.c. Austin. Whatever the outcome, the cause is a most worthy one, particularly so after the long cessation of our activities. Please give it your ardent support.
The best news we have had for many a long day is that the M.C.C. intends to resume its classic trials with the “Exeter” next January, the fuel rationing situation permitting. This will, it appears, be the first post-war long-distance trial, and is scheduled for January 2nd and 3rd, 1946.”Jackie” Masters is to be congratulated on not wasting any time in resuming the activities of the M.C.C. at the earliest possible opportunity, and we hope he will be rewarded with an encouragingly large motor-cycle and car entry. The trial is due to start from a point near London on the Friday night, terminating in the West Country on the Saturday. We can expect to see scenes reminiscent of 1919, as enthusiasts meet again for the first time since the war on familiar ground. Although Irving suits will have replaced R.F.C. Sidcots, we are sure that a good time will be had by all and that everyone who can will be eager to get his or her name in the programme of the first big post-war fixture. Car entries will cost £2 per car; details from J. A. Masters, 26, Bloomsbury Way, London, W.C.1.