NEWS FROM THE U.S.A.
By our American Correspondent T. MERIWETHER-SMITH.
Ernie Triplett Injured.
ERNIE TRI PLET TT the brilliant Los Angeles racing star, won the Pacific Southwest Divisional A.A.A. Championship for both 1931 and 1932. This year Triplett held a magnificent lead for this honour over all contenders until the night of July 26th when he was the victim of a terrible crack-up on the Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles, barely escaping with his life.
Al Gordon, the sensational Jewish racing driver, was giving Triplett a stiff fight for the lead in the feature race when the accident occurred. The two cars were attempting to pass a third, driven by Carl Ryder, when Gordon lost control Of his mount, skidded into Ryder, careered off, and smashed into the rear of Triplett’s speeding red Miller. Triplett was hurled from the car as it heavily smashed into the guard rails, turning end over end in wild, grotesque somersaults. Gordon struck the railings, also, but was ininjured, vaulting from his Seat, and running across the track to Triplett’s assistance.
Triplett landed on his head and shoulders when catapulted from his Miller, and the fact that he has recently adopted use of an English crash-helmet is credited with saving his life. He suffered .concussion of the brain, and a fractured collarbone, but is said to be improving nicely at this writing.
Revised Indianapolis Rules. to in
Looking to greater safety in the annual Indianapolis 500-mile race, speedway officials announced several important changes in the rules governing the classic recently. A group of speedway officials, A.A.A. Contest Board members, representatives of various works, and a board of race drivers met in :Getroit in July to discuss proposed amendments to the existing regulations. The drivers were represented by Leon Duray, Harry Hart; and Fred Frame.
The most important revision is the limiting of the starting field to the thirtythree fastest qualifying machines. In recent years forty-two cars have been allowed to compete. A board of the three prominent, experienced race drivers, Harry Hartz, Leon Duray, and Dave Evans, was appointed
to pass on the ability of each novice driver entered at the race. These men will test the drivers under various conditions on the speedway, then report to a Committee composed of Lee Oldfield, automotive engineer, Charles Merz, former race star and now member of the A.A. A. Contest Board. and Louis Schwietzer, chairman of the race’s technical board. These men will give the final decision as_ to the new driver’s ability.
The rule calling for only 6,1 gallons of oil for the entire race was retained, while another measure calling for a limit of 45 gallons of petrol for the event was tabled for further consideration. Petrol tanks will remain at a 15-gallon capacity.
Car weights remain at seven pounds for each cubic inch of piston displacement, with the maximum set at 366 cubic inches. The qualification rules remain unchanged, each car being required to circle the oval 10 times, for a total of 25 miles, at better than 100 miles per hour. Entry blanks will be mailed to all prominent American and foreign race drivers on October 1st.
Race experts and enthusiasts whole heartedly agree that the new revisions will add to the safety element, without detracting from the interest of the race, but many still maintain that re-construction of the curves at the giant speedway would prove a far greater safety measure.
The Elgin Cup Road Race.
The Elgin Cup Road Races, once a high spot on the National sporting calendar in this nation, will be revived again on August 26th this summer. Entry blanks have already been issued, and officials are busily engaged in preparing the old course at this writing. The revival will celebrate the Century of Progress Exposition at Chicago, now being held. The course measures approximately 8 miles, and is all hard surfaced, featuring many hairpin bends, fast straights, and ” round-the-town ” race feature. The
race will be open to all stock cars, irrespective of piston displacement.
Store owners, county and city officials, and the heads of the Century of Progress Exposition have sanctioned the event, which bids fair to rival Indianapolis in its colourful revival. Dario Resta, Ralph De Palma, and Johnny Aitken were among the former winners of the old Elgin Cup races, held from 1910-1920.
Officials of the Elgin Watch Company, who will time the event with a new electrical timing device, A.A.A. authorities, and Indianapolis Speedway directors co-operated in working out the details of the event. The Joseph Weidenhoff Trophy race Will be held the morning of the same day, will be open to all American stock cars of less than 231 cubic inches piston displacement.
A total of $8,750 in prize money has been posted for these two road events.
No A.A.A. Championship races were held during the summer months, but several smaller tracks scheduled races that proved of exceptional interest. Wilbur Shaw was the winner of a 100-mile race at Milwaukee, beating Chet Gardner handily. Johnny Hannon captured a feature race at Woodbridge, while Billy Winn defeated Fred Frame in a close event at York, Pennsylvania. Winn also won the feature at Harrington, Delware, beating Jim. Patterson. Vern Ornduff and Jerry Rice were injured in a crash at Pottsville, Pennsylvania, but only slightly. Patterson won the race.
Gar Wood gets ready.
Gar kVood’s crew of mechanics are preparing his giant Packard-motored speedboat for defense of the Harmsworth Trophy at Detroit in September. Wood expects keen competition from the English challenger, Hubert Scott-Paine, Wood will also defend his 22 foot speedboat record, having received a challenge from William Hoy, of Concord.
Egbert ” Babe ” Stapp, popular race driver of Los Angeles, is recuperating in a hospital following an operation for appendicitis recently.