Matters of moment, September 1986

The Hungarian Grand Prix

Quite apart from the Hungarian Grand Prix’s success as an event, it had a deeper success. The ethics which govern Formula One and those of a Marxist regime could hardly be more dissimilar, yet FOCA and the Hungarians cooperated superbly. It was using sport as it should be used, as a unifying element.

We have so often seen the reverse. The Commonwealth Games is a recent example of sport being used to divide, but there have been many other instances, not least the last two Olympic Games.

With the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Eastern Bloc could appreciate a sport which is uniquely of the West, while we could admire the way in which the Hungarians, with no previous experience of staging such an event, built a circuit, organised a race, and televised it to the world.

The race didn’t resolve the deep differences which continue between our two ideologies, but it was at least a friendly handshake between them. At best, sport is about the celebration of excellence and achievement which can be appreciated without regard to race, creed or politics, and the Hungarian Grand Prix was an example of this, a small bridge between nations.

We congratulate everyone involved in this event and hope we may look forward to it becoming a permanent fixture in the calender.

More Records by Peugeot diesels

Last month we referred to some splendid new British class records set at MIRA by some rather aged MG cars, a fuller account of which will be found in the MGCC’s magazine Safety Fast. Now comes news of some more such records, this time broken by modern Peugeot diesel-engined cars, also at the MIRA high-speed banked track.

Diesel-powered cars have shown much improvement in recent years over the concept as first applied to private cars and it is fitting that Peugeot should use a record-breaking bid that was notably successful to draw attention to its very worthy compression-ignition saloons. What Peugeot has done is to set 20 new British diesel-class records from five kilos to 24 hours in Class D (2,001-3,000 cc) at speeds of from 99.06 mph to 104.10 mph, the 24-hour record going to over 2,367 miles at 98.64 mph, and 28 fresh Class-E (1,501-2,000 cc) records, at speeds ranging from 49.02 mph (for the ss 1/2-kilo) to 100.40 mph, the 24-hour figure being 97.29 mph for nearly 2,335 miles. These commendable records were made with Peugeot 505 and 309 diesel-powered saloons, running on Shell diesel fuel and Michelin tyres, the drivers changing over every two hours, as is required at MIRA. At one time the Peugeot 505 was permitted to have a “tow” from its faster companion, which was not permitted in pre-war days. The cars used no oil.

The diesel-class for record attacks was not officially recognised when that great “record man”, the late G.E.T. Eyston, demonstrated the 8.85 litre AEC (omnibus-engined) saloon at Brooklands in 1933, but later such records were given their rightful place in the record books, and the AEC’s 104.84 mph for the two-way kilo and R.J. Munday’s “flatiron” Thomas Special which he had turned into the Munday-Diesel by installing a Perkins c.i. power-unit of 2,744 cc, had their demonstration runs recognised as records, Munday with the f.s. kilo at 94.7 mph and the hour run at 88.23 mph, over fifty years ago. A weekly motor journal, reporting on the fine new records made by the diesel Peugeots, claimed that one of them had exceeded 2,000 miles in 24 hours in the c.i.-engine class for the first time. It did a grave injustice to the Eyston/Denly AEC saloon which, in 1937, covered over 2,324 miles in that period of time at Montlhéry, setting this record at 97.05 mph. Reverting the new Peugeot diesel records, when averaging around 98 mph the 505 GTD returned 21.38 mpg, the 505 SRD 19.04. mpg, the 309 GRD 28.93 mpg, and a 205 XLD gave a consumption of 32.48 mpg while averaging 92.16 mph. Bravo, Peugeot…