EDITORIAL VIEWS, September 1934

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EDITORIAL VIEWS

THE question of supercharging for standard cars still crops up whenever motorists meet, and two events of last month have added a stimulus to the discussion. First of all, the unsupercharged AlfaRomeos in the Italian 24-Hour Targa Abruzzo Race actually beat their supercharged rivals, covering a greater distance without a handicap. The fastest of the blown Alfas experienced trouble, but that does not affect the argument—for reliability is an all-important point in fast motoring. The second occurrence is the wonderful entry received for the R.A.C. Tourist Trophy, which has completely confounded those critics who foretold the utter failure of the race if superchargers were banned. The T.T. will be a good deal more interesting this year from the general point of view owing to the competition among large sports cars. Such British cars as Talbot ” 105,” 4i-litre Lagonda and 3i-litre

cars as Bentley are the most up-tothe-minute specimens of their type, and the banning of blowers gives them a chance to compete in the T.T. with every chance of success. In previous years they have had to contend with thinly-disguised racing cars built on the lines of present-day Grand Prix machines. The team of V8 Fords will make a useful comparison, and it would be still more interesting if they could be supplemented by a team of large American cars such as Graham, Studebaker, Packard, Hudson or Hupmobile.

The Alpine Trial provided Talbots and Triumphs with a convincing proof of their excellence, while the numerous winners of Glacier Cups all deserve praise. There is one point about the Trial, however, which we venture to suggest would give greater value to a good performance. At present nearly every competitor wins some kind of award, no matter how often his car boiled on the Passes, how late he was at controls, and how badly his car behaved under the prevailing conditions. What we should like to see would be a re-naming of the awards. Alpine Cups for teams and Glacier Cups for individuals finishing with a clean sheet are good, but all other awards should be called secondclass or third-class, as the case may be. The man-in-thestreet could easily believe that a Glacier Silver-Gilt Plaque is about the finest thing you can win ! Only the finest performances should receive real recognition. The suggestions made by Obergruppen fiihrer Hiihnlein were the subject of a good deal of discussion. The day-of-rest in the middle of the trial used to be most welcome in the events a few years ago, and would be worth while reviving. After all, there is not much point in making the trial too strenuous for the drivers, because the affair is primarily a test of the cars. The proposed lunch-stop every day does not seem to be popular. The set average speeds can be exceeded by most people, and allow time for lunch without prolonging the

day.