* The official FICM papers mention at the beginning of 1930 that there were 24 countries represented within the FICM: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, British Empire (sic), Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia.
* After six consecutive wins of the British team in the Six Days’ World Trophy, the Italian team clinched its first ISDT victory, on courses in France and Italy (among the Italian riders were Miro Maffeis and Luigi Gilera).
* For the 1930 FICM European Grand Prix, the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps was on the programme again, this time with more riders entered. Irish Henry George Tyrell-Smith won the 500cc and British Ernie Nott won the 350cc, both on Rudge, while Syd Crabtree won the 250cc for the second time, on a Excelsior JAP.
* On the subject of world records, the following procedure was adopted: requests for ratification should be examined by the Secretariat and, if everything was satisfactory, they would be published as provisional records. After three months, if no protest had been lodged, then these records would become official and definitive.
1931: The first European Championship
* The sub-committee entrusted with drawing up the regulations for the European Mountain Climb Championship met at the Royal Automobile Club de Belgique. The categories were the following: motorcycles up to 350cc, motorcycles up to 1000cc and motorcycles with side-car up to 1000cc. The calendar was set with eight rounds from May until October. It was obligatory for participants to take part in at least two thirds of the events. The following points would be awarded: 6 points for the winner, 5 for 2nd, 4 for 3rd, 3 for 4th, 2 for 5th and all other riders who finished the race and 1 point for all who started the race but did not finish. Each of the three Champions would receive a certificate and a gold medal.
* The 24th CSI meeting was held at the headquarters of the Automobile Club de France in Paris in October. The secretary general reported that only ten entries had been received for the European Mountain Championship and that it had been difficult to receive reports from the various organisations. The experience of 1931 made supervision of the 1932 Championship easier and everyone agreed that it should continue.
* The report of the Six Days, held in Italy, was received with enthusiasm by all delegates including those who had been present at the event. The Italian team clinched its second win in the Trophy, and the Dutch team its first in the Silver Vase. A decision was taken to publish the basic regulations applicable to all future Six Days wherever they were held and whoever was the organiser. They could be complemented by special regulations drawn up by the national organising motorcycle union in conjunction with the local and national circumstances. This is the first official mention of a system which permitted FICM regulations to be complemented by a particular rule, which is a possibility still in force today for Championships not managed by an individual promoter.
* The Dutch delegate, Mr Nortier, revived the subject of a European Speed Championship, arguing that his proposal would encourage entries and make the larger races truly international. Several delegates took the floor and declared themselves against such a project. The record states that the time was not right for such a project which was postponed sine die.
* The use of the titles Grand Prix and Tourist Trophy came up for discussion once more. Agreement was reached to add indications to differentiate a Grand Prix or a TT from one another with the exception of the Isle of Man TT.
* The creation of a Technical Committee was also again discussed. The Swiss delegate explained the proposal and underlined the necessity for such a committee, which the British delegate formally contested. Finally the proposal was accepted for a Technical Sub-Committee under the aegis of the CSI. The eternal struggles for power and control…
* The secretary general then reported on the contacts he had had with the Federacion Deportiva National del Ecuador, although a formal request for membership had not been received.
* The FICM Grand Prix was held in France, on the circuit of Linas-Monthléry – which had been built in 1924. The 175cc race was won by landspeed record holder Eric Fernihough on an Excelsior-JAP, the 250cc by Graham Walker and the 350cc by Ernie Nott (both on factory Rudge), and the 500cc by Percy Hunt.
1932: What type of fuel should be authorised?
* The regulations for motorcycle football were studied and compared with those of the British and the UMF. Finally Baron Ricci announced that the Reale Moto Club d’Italia was offering a permanent trophy for the best overall performance in a race by a national team from an FICM member state.
* The Bulgarian Motocycle Racing Club was officially admitted as a new FICM member. The British delegate, Mr Marians, requested that permission be granted to the Sports Motor Cycle Club of Montreal (Canada) to be able to accept riders licensed by the American Motorcyclists Association in the races it ran, even if the AMA was not currently recognised by the FICM. After discussions, it was decided to consider this matter as an internal issue to be adjudicated by the ACU who would present a report at the end of 1933.
* After the Italian wins of 1930 and 1931, the British team hit back in Merano and won the World Trophy and the Silver Vase. The FICM Grand Prix was also held in Italy, in Rome, on the little (3,277 metres) “autodromo del Littorio”. The Italians showed a strong presence, winning the 175cc (Carlo Baschieri on a Benelli), the 250cc (Riccardo Brusi on a Guzzi), and the 500cc (Piero Taruffi, on a Norton), the 350cc winner being French rider Louis Jeannin, riding an Italian motorcycle Jonghi TJ4.
* The autumn Congress took place in Paris at the beginning of November. On the agenda were the elections for members of the central board. Count Albert Bonacossa remained as president with the Swiss Marcel Haecker, the German Ewald Kroth, the Englishman Low, the Belgian Lamborelle, the Frenchman Augustin Pérouse and the Swede Thomasson as vice-presidents. The honorable Arthur Stanley was treasurer with Tom Loughborough of course remaining as secretary general. Mr Longuemare was elected honorary president.
* The first meeting of the technical Committee took place at the Automobile-Club de France. The main subject of this meeting was once again whether the use of fuel should be restricted or not. Agreement was finally reached on the following definition: each national motorcycling union should, before 1 March every year, declare which fuel(s) could be used in open international races (apart from hill climbs or record attempts) held on their territory.
1933: Make way for bilingualism
* The FICM council of delegates met on Thursday 5 May. The discussion on the subject of fuel arose once again and revealed serious divergences. Countries against any restriction, in particular Germany and Italy, confirmed they were willing, within certain limits, to accept various types of fuel, which according to the opposite side, was in contradiction with the recommendations adopted by the technical commission.
* Estonia’s admission was completed in a rather uncommon way: the Moto-Club was still waiting for a recognition letter from the Auto-Club. Not only had the Auto-Club not provided this letter but it had also created its own motorcycle division. So it was the Eesti Auto-Klubi, Motorrata Sektsioon which was admitted to the FICM and the Moto-Klubi’s request was rejected.
* Finally a formal request was made to the secretary general in future to publish all reports in both French and English. The report from this session is in fact the first in the FIM archives to be written entirely in both languages. At this time the French text of the statutes was the legal version in the event of a discrepancy, but Mr Loughborough’s reports were legally valid in English.
* The autumn congress was held in Rome. The 1934 calendar and the international code for flags for car and motorcycle races were established in agreement with the AIACR. Each flag had to be of a reasonable minimum size, around one square metre. The yellow flag meant “stop completely and immediately”; a motionless blue flag meant “stop at the nearest side (left or right)”; a moving blue flag meant “danger”; a black flag with a number meant the same as it does now: “immediate stop for the bike bearing this number”.
* In the sporting area, the Six Days were held in Llandrindodd Wells (Wales), a famous place in the history of the ISDT for the quite difficult tracks and the weather…
Despite riding at home the British team lost the battle against Germany for the World Trophy (but retaining the Silver Vase). The FICM European Grand Prix was held in Sweden, on the circuit of Saxtorp. British rider Charlie Dodson won the 250cc race riding a New Imperial. The 350cc offered a fight between the Norton factory riders Jimmy Simpson and Jimmy Guthrie, Simpson winning with 0.7 seconds ahead of Guthrie, both left the Husqvarna squad ten minutes back. The Swedish victory came in the 500cc class with Gunnar Kalen on the Husqvarna, one minute ahead of Belgian Leopold Demeuter on the FN.
* Belgium suggested creating a special license for competing in classic events abroad; thus the international racing license was created. It was also decided by six votes to two to include oil among the accessories which had to be declared for international races. The brand had to be available on the market and supplied by the promoter.
* Concerning moto-ball, the French and Belgian delegates found agreement on the rules which corresponded more or less to the English version except in terms of the size of the ball and the number of players (!!). The French motorcycle union rules date from 26 April 1933.
* Palestine was officially accepted as a member of the FICM.
1934: Romania, the First National Federation
* The developments in transport during the Thirties produced new situations, notably in terms of bureaucracy. A customs sub-committee was formed within the FICM and met in Brussels on 7 March. After examining the procedures applied for delivering customs documents in the 18 countries represented at the FICM, it was concluded that close co-operation with the AIACR was required to resolve the problems in harmonising procedures. This report was adopted during the Congress held in Geneva.
* A crisis had arisen in Luxembourg between the affiliated club MUL and another recently-formed association. A crisis was also looming in Switzerland where clubs separate from the UMS had organised their own events.
* An incomplete application for membership had been received from the Moto Club Valparaiso in Chile. Lithuania’s membership was confirmed and the uniting of various Romanian motorcycle clubs under the banner of Romanian Motorcycle Federation was accepted (it was the first mention of a national federation member, instead of a particular motorcycle or automobile club). In Germany, a letter signed by the Obergruppenführer Hühnlein, the president of the ONS, requested that this organisation should replace the DDAC as member of the FICM since the latter had become a part of the ONS. The ONS also issued an invitation to the FICM to hold the 1935 Spring Congress in Berlin.
* The CSI meeting raised the issue of the total distance covered during the international Six Days: 2,500 km which was around 800 per day. The roads had to be negotiable in any kind of weather and by any kind of motorcycle. It was also decided to change the starting order on each day. The Six Days, held in Partenkirchen (Germany), again saw a victory of the German team in the World Trophy and of the British team in the Silver Vase.
* The 1934 FICM European Grand Prix took place in Assen, on the old 16.5 km circuit. German rider Walfried Winkler, on the twin-cylinder supercharged DKW, won the 250cc race, and Jimmy Simpson (Norton) the 350cc. Belgian riders won the two other classes: Yvan Goor (Benelli) won the 175cc, and Leopold Demeuter (FN) won the 500cc ahead of his colleague Eric “Noir” Haps.
Photos FIM Archives - Caption from top to bottom:
1- NSU, 1930
2- Trial, 30's
3- ISDT, 1931