Matters of Moment, October 1955

Author

W.B.

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Another Sweeping Mercedes-Benz Victory
The R.A.C. Tourist Trophy Race, which was run off on September 17th at Dundrod, in Northern Ireland, proved another sweeping victory for Germany, with Mercedes-Benz 300SLR cars finishing in the first three positions and Stirling Moss, with Fitch, gaining another decisive win on this excellent road circuit. A contemporary has stated that the continual domination by Mercedes-Benz does not make for thrilling racing, but we have seen one-make domination before — S.T.D. in 1921-24, Delage in 1926/7 and Mercedes-Benz in 1937-9 — and what racing lacks in close-fought battles is at least partially made up by the speed and technical superiority displayed by the leading make of car.

France can be proud of the little D. B. Panhard which finished first in the Index of Performance category, another vindication of air-cooling, which should be standard practice in this enlightened age for all small-capacity motor cars. Having applauded the victors, we offer sincere sympathy to the bereaved parents, relations and friends of the three drivers who were killed during the race — J. C. C. Mayers, W. T. Smith and R. Mainwaring. In extending to them our heartfelt sympathy we would remind them that these young lives were lost in a sport calling for special qualities and the very best type of manliness on the part of the participants. Sports-car racing involving wide variation of speeds and drivers of differing experience is the most hazardous form of racing, but luckily no spectators were involved in the T.T. accidents, perhaps because of the high banks which enclose much of this Irish circuit.

No More “Nine Hours”
The B.A.R.C. announces that the spectator-response to this year’s revived Nine Hours’ Sports-Car Race at Goodwood was so poor that it will never again repeat this interesting and spectacular race. This is to be regretted, for at Goodwood on this occasion Britain has its only taste of after-dark motor-racing, while the short, sinuous Goodwood lap is a tough test of all those qualities which render a car roadworthy. However, lighting the course must involve the organisers in heavy expense and if the “gate” is a disappointment they presumably have no option but to abandon the fixture. This loss of the “Nine Hours” is a pungent reminder that spectators are absolutely vital to the continuance of motor-racing, so that organisers should do everything in their power to encourage good attendances at their meetings. Could it be that this unhappy news-item from the B.A.R.C. is a straw-in-the-wind emphasising last month’s Motor Sport Editorial — “Too Many Races?”

Any More 1955 Races?
Racing hasn’t quite concluded, in spite of the far-reaching effect of the Le Mans disaster. So far as we can ascertain at the time of writing, the French Grand Prix will not be held at Reims on October 9th, but the traditional Coupe de Salon will take place at Montlhèry on that date. The Targa Florio may yet take place on October 16th and the same applies to the sports-car race at Venezuela on November 6th. In America all hope is not lost that the great Pan-American-Mexicana sports and saloon-car road race in December will yet happen.

In this country you have the big Castle Combe Meeting on October 19th, a B.R. and S.C.C. National Meeting at Brands Hatch on October 9th, and, of course, the Boxing Day Brands Hatch races on December 26th, besides various sprints, before the trials, rally and autocross season sets in.

Congratulations, Fangio! 
By becoming Champion Racing Driver of the World for the third time, Juan Manuel Fangio, of the Argentine, creates a special record of his own. Verily, congratulations!

1955 Hill-Climb Championship 
The R.A.C. announces that although Ken Wharton and A. E. Marsh tied for this year’s Hill-Climb Championship they are awarding this to Marsh as having made the better performance — don’t ask us why, ask the R.A.C.

Around Australia Redex Trial
It seems that two Volkswagen cars did extremely well, but after incurring penalties for damage sustained on the route the event was given first to a Standard Vanguard, and, later, reports speak of a Peugeot 203 as outright winner.

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