AUTOCAR 2l March 1968

21 MARCH 1968 Vd 128 No3762

Edhor D.B!lfy Edro, Aaalnant Edhor F.rtlr.. Edlb,

Spo.tr Edhor

A..l.tot T.cholcll Edltol

Edltorlal

TIIAURICE A. SIIITH,

PET:A GANHIER LEOT{AFO AYTOil STUART II.ADOil tNlrtEE tSEtAilO OEOFFREY XOWAFD,

'FC

SSdEns), ACGI, GlMochE

JOHN DAVEY GRAHAM ROBSON, MAlOxon) MARTIN LEWIS MICHAEL SCARLETT WARREN ALLPORT

Mldland Edhor

Art Edhor

M.nci.rt r Otnca

EDWARD EVES

HOWARO VYSE

HAROLD HOLT. AMIMI, AMA€T

Spacial Contributorr

RONALD BARKER BOGER HUNTINGTON, A SAE ( DctmiI) EOIN YOUNG lsponl

Mln.glng Dlr.cror ll. N. PRIAULX. it8€

MAI]U FEATURES CAMPING AND CARAVANNING :

fEO IS AMPLE CAMPING GEAR HIEING THE GEAR TEST: IOTUS EI-AN +2 A SPRINT TO THE SUN AUSTIN AMERICA THE NEW TYRE REGS RACE OF CHAMPIONS NEW Fl CARS NEW FORD PROTOWPE GENEVA SHOW REPORT

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31

2 6 8 11 19 24 -36 42 46 48 60

REGULAR ITEMS NEW PRODUCTS DISCONNECTED JOTTINGS DETROIT NOTEBOOK THE SPORT STRAIGHT FBOM,THE GRID NEWS AND VIEWS TRADE AND INDUSTRY CORRESPONDENCE NEW CAR PRICES

2A 30 37 39 60 63 65 66

Last pagoe bofore back cover ilExT WEErS TSSUE FEATUBES-P68

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ackrcwledgomont.

SIMPLIFICAT!ON

BRITAIN'S lnternational motor racing season opened at Brands Hatch last weekend with the Daily Mail Race of Champions-traditional curtain-raiser to the World Championship season, when the new season's Grand Prix cars make their European debut. As' ever, our motor racing calendar is bursting at the seams, with 13 lnternational dates (compared with eight in 1960) and 180 club meetings (compared with 72l,-indicating beyond doubt the increasing interest in the sport.

For several years we have advocated a general simplification of motor sport-a standardization of racing car classes on both sides of the Atlantic to make the sport more truly international, and a reduction in the number of too-similar single-seater formulae. Much has 'been achieved in the past couple of years, but much remains to be done.

Formula 2 has virtually disappeared from the British calendar-to the relief of the promoters and the benefit of the drivers whose scarcity value, and consequent crowdpulling power, were being reduced by too-frequent appearances. ln saloon car racing, British organizers have wisely run events to the free-for-all Group 5 regulations, whereas on the Continent they have stuck to the near-standard Group 2. Rather than build cars to two sets of rules, British manufacturers have kept out of the European Saloon Car Challenge. But this situation, too. has changed and Continental organizers have come round to our way of thinking.

The somewhat wild Sports-Prototype class which, with engines of up to 7 litres, was reaching over 22O mph, has been tamed-with "an engine capacity limit equal to that of the current Grand Prix formula 1" (3,000 c.c.). This means a standardization of engines between the two most costly classes, and a widening of public interest. Finally, for better or worse, the Group 7 racing-sports cars (indistinguishable from Sports Prototypes for most people) have been banished from the European scene-though they still flourish in the States, and in this country they provided some extremely exciting racing and were popular with the drivers and spectators.

But in Britain we still have formula 1, the remains ol 2, and formulae 3, 4, Ford and Vee. lt is good that British enthusiasm can support so many single-seater formulae, but can British spectators comprehend them? The lesser classes serve two purposes, as training grounds for future GP drivers. so that the jump-up mustn't be too great, and as outlets for club-level enthusiasm, from which the future stars will emerge. With formula 2 virtually lost to rising British drivers, we feel that the training ground aspect is not being properly served. And at club level, we are convinced that there arc fil too many classes for real competition and spectator appeal to develop in any; and. after all, it is the spectators who ultimately call the tune.