Letters, October 2019

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Letters

In Word on the Beat (Motor Sport, July) you mentioned that teams will not be able to take their usual motorhomes to the revived Dutch Grand Prix next year, due to the limited amount of space in the paddock.

I attach a photograph of how they used to manage (above).

Dirkjan De Widt, via email


Are the negotiations to extend the British GP contract Silverstone’s gamble (Motor Sport, August)? Up to a point I suppose but, as you suggest, Liberty’s gamble was or might still be of a different order. Those of us involved with BRDC issues over the last 20 years were fully aware the previous contract with FOM could never run to its full term without bankrupting the club. If one assumes Liberty were aware of this when they bought CVC’s rights, then the loss of the British GP was never in doubt and they were simply playing hardball.

On the other hand, if they were not properly aware of it, things might well get trickier. You will doubtless recall the US conglomerate IPG’s foray into UK motor sport that included hosting the BGP and leasing Silverstone; it ended with them shouldering big losses and walking away.

Mike Knight, via email


I felt a response was needed to the concept (Motor Sport, June) that the Wales Rally GB needed to be moved to ‘somewhere more accessible’.

How is Wales any less accessible than Kielder? I recall the furore when it was announced that Rally GB was to move to Wales, citing the same argument that it was difficult to access – mainly because some people wanted the event to remain somewhere inaccessible that happened to be closer to them.

I agree that it is a good idea for the UK’s major rally to be run in other parts of the country, but to say that Wales is a difficult location is a poor excuse. The idea of rotating locations is good enough on its own, surely?

Neil Davey, Newport, South Wales


The eagerly awaited arrival of Motor Sport continues a run of great pleasures that for me dates back to 1961. However, some odd inaccuracies did creep into the September edition. Your justified praise for the Brabham BT7/Dan Gurney overstates their illustrious record.

In 1964 the combination almost achieved the mark you set (either winning, leading or starting on the front row at each Grande Epreuve) with the exception of Gurney’s home GP, where he still ran well. But 1963 was a different, more mixed season. I feel no need to labour the point, just don’t ‘over claim’.

While I have your attention, you are  surely way off the mark in imagining that the fourth iteration of the Zerex Special ‘must have had 500bhp’. At the time, and dependent on which of the two Traco-Oldsmobile Bruce McLaren used, Motor Sport gave more realistic figures of 315bhp and 380bhp.

But keep on the noble traditions of Motor Sport and tolerate your loyal readers occasionally querying the statements of younger authors.

John Drew, Wanstead, London


I would like to praise the editorial team for your work on every issue of  Motor Sport magazine. I’m a long-time buyer and avid reader, so please keep up the good work!

But in the interests of achieving as near to perfection as possible for the magazine, I would like to point out one small error in the very interesting “Lunch with Michèle Mouton” article (Motor Sport, August)…

The picture of the speeding Audi Quattro on pages 62/63, whose caption reads: “The madness of the Group B era: spectators scurry to avoid the winning Audi, Sanremo 1981” should read “The madness of Group B era: spectators scurry to avoid the Cinotto & Radaelli Audi, Sanremo 1981”.

Granted the picture in question doesn’t shows us the car’s rally number, but we can read the registration number, in this case IN-NL 77, the car driven by Michele Cinotto. As an aside, the winning Mouton & [Fabrizia] Pons quattro was registered IN-NL 88, while the third works car, assigned to [Hannu] Mikkola & [Arne] Hertz, was the IN-NM 61.

Carles Bosch, Barcelona

Ed: Quite right, Carles. Great spot. Michele Cinotto and Emilio Radaelli set seven fastest stage times before crashing out on SS26.

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