RUMBLINGS, September 1932





The Alpine Trial.

FjVERYONE was unanimously agreed that the Alpine Trial was quite the most enjoyable affair it is possible to imagine. To begin with, people were so extremely courteous and helpful to the competitors. The Italian customs officials and police treated the whole trial as a race, and villages and towns could be taken at what would have been a disgraceful speed had not smiling and delighted policemen been holding up all cross traffic.

The officials themselves were simply magnificent. Signor Mercanti, who was in charge of the Trial, had a most difficult job, but never once did a hitch occur. Herr -Fritz, of the German Club, who so ably directed the German Grand Prix on the Nurburg Ring was another who endeared himself to the British contingent, at all times going out of his way to solve the hundred and one little difficulties which are so apt to crop up abroad.

Better Late . . .

What was nearly a tragedy occurred when H. J. Aldington overslept one morning, and instead of getting up at 5 a.m., slept peacefully on until 6.30! He roused his companion, rushed downstairs, stuffing his shirt into his trousers, and dashed to the Frazer Nash. Some policemen mistook the dishevelled pair for vagrants and tried to prevent them from leaving. Aldington’s reply to this was to rev. up to 4,000 r.p.m., whereupon they scattered in all directions. Knowing ” Aldy,” I can well imagine that he did not lose much time in catching up the rest of the field, and on one ocasion he actually overtook 21 competitors in the course of climbing a single Pass!

Racing Aspirants—Please Note !

I was talking to a well known driver the other day about the proposed clubs for budding racing motorists, and we got on to the subject of the ideal course on which to train. Speaking from a personal experience of many Continental road-circuits he was of the opinion that it would be difficult to find a better course than the Nurburg Ring. The circuit is so long, and so varied, embracing ascents and descents of every conceivable gradient, and curves of every radius, that it calls for the finest qualities of physical and mental fitness in a driver.

Of course, the same thing applies to cars on thelRing. Although there are no particularly long straights, high speeds can be obtained, and combined with terrific climbs and descents, necessitate a car with a fairly low back axle ratio, with an engine capable of withstanding overdriving occasionally on every lap. Another point, it is essential that the driver should sit fairly high, so as to have complete command of his car. Needless to say, brakes and gear boxes are tested to the full.

The” Monoposto “Alfa Romeos were simply amazing in the German G.P. The drivers showed no mercy either in practice or in the race, yet the cars kept their time perfectly.

The Amateur Shelsley.

A rainy day has become so usual for the Amateur Shelsley that everyone concerned is fully prepared for a thorough drenching on September 3rd. Anyway, there is a splendid entry, and I am told that the Glegg brothers hope to have their interesting front wheel drive twocylinder J.A.P. Special in good form in time for the great day.

The Call of the Air.

I hear that Penn-Hughes has become one of the latest recruits at the Brooklands Aero Club, and is already well on the way to getting his “A ” license.

The “500.”

The trophies for the 500 Miles Race on September 24th, make a most impressive array. Lord Wakefield’s donation is a beautiful piece of work, and I was particularly struck by the model of a section of the Brooklands banking used as a plinth for the Follett Trophy, presented by Charles Follett, Ltd., the Alvis people of Berkeley Street, W.1. It would be interesting to know who was responsible for this original design.

Count Czaikowski.

I was very pleased to hear that Count Czaikowski is coming over for the “500.” The Count has regularly competed in most of the Continental events for some years now, and can always be relied upon to put up a good show. Incidentally, his cars are prepared by the veteran driver Friederich, and as I hear that the Bugatti

entered for the ” 500 ” is a special 2 litre double-cam*shaft model, Count Czaikowski will be well worth watching on September 24th.

That Dotted Line . . .

Talking of foreign drivers at Brooklands reminds me of an amusing incident which occurred some time ago. A certain Continental driver came over for a race, and On his first practice at Brooklands the few people down at the Track became distinctly worried when he immediately took his car right to the top of the banking, above the dotted line, with his offside wheels almost over the edge, and stayed there for lap after lap.

As his car was by no means the fastest in the race it was felt that some tactful suggestion should be made to him on his return to the Paddock “that it was not, perhaps, always necessary to go right to the top, etc., etc.”

Accordingly, this remark was casually put to him, and elicited the charming reply, ” But the dotted line— may I go below it ? “

ThelT.T. Handicaps.

The T.T. race has resulted in the usual discussion about handicaps. It certainly seems that the bigger cars are rather too heavily burdened, the Alfa Romeos and Talbots being quite unable to get really into the picture—in spite of going much faster than last year. On the other hand, there is no denying that the 750’s and 1100’s have made terrific strides in the last two years, and deserved to win.

• So there you are. The handicap system will always be an equivocal one, but there are two alternatives. One is to run the race in separate classes, but then the .difficulty crops up of securing sufficient entries in each -class,–and there is precious little encouragement for manufacturers to enter cars in a class composed entirely of their own make. Alternatively, two .races could be run, say under 2000 c.c. and over, both on a separate handicap basis.

The Invalids.

The latest news of H. C. Hamilton and Major A. T. G. Gardner is satisfactory. Hamilton recovered sufficiently from his crash to witness the race, riding in state in a bath chair. The latest news about Major Gardner is -that his progress has been steady, and that no complications or set-backs have been encountered. All our readers will join me in wishing both of them a speedy recovery.

Racing at Phcenix Park, Dublin.

I have before me the regulations for the Junior and Senior “Fifties,” to be run off on Saturday, September 17th.

The dividing line between the two classes has not been fixed, and will depend on the number of cars entered. Entry fees close on September 7th at 5 guineas, earlier entries being at a cheaper rate. The race will be open to any type of car, except saloons.