motor sport

Rally control in 1957 Mobilgas Economy Run. Collin Dowset extreme right. Loris Goring (donor of photograph) co driver with folder checking in at one of the control

Any motor sports fans out there recall the good ‘ol days of rallies and racing? Our donor Loris Goring shared the following with us (via email):

I was  heavily involved in the  Singapore Motor Club  in this period overseas with the British Air Ministry and thoroughly enjoyed our Rallies and the Mobilgas Economy Runs of that period. In particular though I remember the rallies where we were not allowed to even have a boiled sweet in the car in case Chin Peng popped out of the jungle to either shoot u or lob a hand grenade into the car.

In this days motorways were not even though of and the main roads though they had well maintained surfaces by the Public Woks department were narrow and tortuous. In particular, a rally that took us through Slim River was a drivers nightmare  encompassing I think some 26 miles of hairpin bends with a huge drop on one side and high jungle cover on the other.  If taken at a leisurely pace it was no problem but in our rallies we were give precise speeds and expected to arrive at any hidden checkpoint within plus of minus  fifteen or thirty seconds,  The problem was the speed we were expected to complete those miles. Not, I may say a frantic racing speed but  modest but extremely difficult to keep knowing that breaking on every hairpin added time and accelerating out onto yet another short straight made navigation  a nightmare. Often these rallies involved not only night driving but  twelve hour stints before any food or sleep. Quite hard when you remember that cars in those days were not air conditioned the first ones only appearing in Malaysia  around  1960.

The Mobilgas Economy event drew excellent entries but the rallies far less but perhaps because they were too grueling and folks still had to go to work on Monday.