Continental Notes and News, April 1934
All Set for Monaco.
BV the time these lines are read the first Grand Prix race of the 1934 season will have been held at Monaco. This year’s race is the sixth of the series, the previous winners being Williams (Bugatti), ‘Dreyfus (Bugatti), Chiron (Bugatti), Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo) and Varzi (Bugatti). So far no driver has succeeded in winning the race twice, but of the makes Bugatti has won four out of the five that have been run.
The lap record stands to the credit of Achille Varzi (Bugatti) who covered a circuit in the 1933 race in the time of 1 min. 59 secs. The qualifying lap time, by the way, is 2 min. 12 secs. The length of the course is 3 kilometres 180, and 100 laps will give the race a total length of 318 kilometres.
The Monaco Grand Prix is reserved for invited drivers only, and the cars have to weigh not more that 750 kilograms, without water, petrol, oil, tyres and spare wheel. Either single or two seater bodies are allowed, having a minimum width Of 850 mm. and a height of 250 mm.
The list of entrants is now available, and the Bugatti team are fairly certain. starters. Robert Benoist, Rene Dreyfus and jean Pierre Wimille will pilot the new 2.8 litre cars, while Pierre Veyron will drive one of last year’s 2.3 litre veterans. ‘Fazio Nuvolari is more or less certain to drive a “2.8,” but he will be running as an independent.
It is a matter for regret that neither the Mercedes-Benz nor the Auto Union will take part in the race. The Scuderia Ferrari will turn up in full force, anxious to score an initial victory with fully tested cars against competitors running for the first time. Count Trossi, Varzi, Moll, Chiron and Lehoux will drive the Alfas from Modena, while Balestrero will handle a 2.6 litre two-seater on behalf of the San Georgio stable.
Etancelin. and Zehender will appear with single seater Maseratis, and the same can be said for Whitney Straight and Earl Howe. Maseratis will also be driven by Taruffi and Siena. With so many unknown quantities in the field a guess at the winner is a hazardous business, but I should not be surprised to see a Ferrari Alfa-Romeo gain the day.
The Bouriat-TrInitignant Memorial.
The French followers of motor racing are always anxious to perpetuate the memory of racing motorists who are killed in the heat of battle, and monuments of many kinds can be found at the side of the French highways over which Grand Prix races are run.
The Automobile Club de Picardie et 4 l’Aisne have erected a monument whicfi will be unveiled shortly, in memory of two popular French drivers who met their end, last year. Louis Trintignant was killed while practising for the Picardie G.P. and Guy Bouriat had a fatal accident during the race itself. The monument stands at a point where the grandstands are constructed every
year, at the Mons-en-Chaussee corner. It takes the form of two pillars joined by a stone panel. Each pillar carries a pyramid on which is set a bronze bas-relief of the lamented drivers’ features. The central panel carries the simple inscription ” A.C.P..A. In memorium.”
There does not seem much hope of Rudolph Caracciola being seen in a Grand Prix race for two or three months yet. He has just made a very definite step forward, however, when he drove a car for the first time since his accident a year ago. He is still staying down at Lugano, and has not yet been able to give up the use of a stick while walking.
It will be good to see him at the wheel again.
The Ferrari Drivers in Training.
Although the cars at his disposal are of a type that first appeared two years ago, Signor Ferrari is confident that the single seater Alfas will be able to deal with the new opposition of Bugatti, Merc6des-Benz and Auto Union.
He is leaving nothing to chance, though. and the drivers are being put through plenty of training with the cars on the road used in the Parma-Poggio di Berceto hill climb. Some of the Alfas are being enlarged to 2.9 litres, by the way. Louis Chiron has finished a holiday of two and a half months during which he has stayed in various winter sports centres in Switzerland and Austria. Davos wasP his longest stopping place. After a week in Paris he went down to Modena, and from thence to Monaco. He is already at home with the ” mono
posto,” having driven one to victory in several races at the end of last season.
Marcel Lehoux was one of those who put in two days of intensive practice on the Parma-Poggio di Berceto bill. He Was most enthusiastic about the handling of the monoposto, on his return to Paris. Then he spent a week or so in his native Algeria, before attending the rendezvous at Monaco for the great race.
Achille Varzi, Count Trossi and Guy Moll have all been training with the cars, so that the Scuderia Ferrari will be just as dangerous as ever in Grand Prix racing.
Champions only at Tripoli.
The organisers of the Tripoli G. P., which will be held on May 6th, are narrowing down their list of probable drivers to a select few. Some of the qualifications they name are very strict, but they allow a certain freedom by finishing up with a broad requirement that entrants must have been ” placed” in an international race during the past five years. They start off by demanding drivers who have won a world championship, all International Grand Prix, or have held a world’s record. Every National club has been asked for a list of worthy drivers, giving the records of each man in detail.
These requirements are satisfactorily met by the following English drivers : Earl Howe, the Hon. Brian Lewis, and George Eyston. The Tripoli authorities are quite rightly regarding Whitney Straight as an American entry. Eligible French drivers are Chiron, Lehoux, Etancelin, Robert Benoist, Williams, a Avo, Sommer, Moll, Dreyfus and Wimille. A full Italian contingent can be expected, and I hear that a special single seater Maserati is being prepared at Bologna for Nuvolari to drive at Tripoli. I have had many enquiries from readers as to where tickets can be obtained for the Tripoli Sweepstake, details of which
appeared in these columns last month. I rang up the Italian Commercial Counsellor in London, but the reply was not exactly helpful.
Only one driver has been definitely engaged by the Maserati factory, namely Freddie Zehender. His contract has been signed and sealed, and he will take part in all the big races this season. Taruffi may be signed up any day. This is not the limit of Maserati representation, however, for Etancelin has planned his usual full programme of races, running as an independent with his ntonoposto Maserati. He is to be seen often at Montihery, using both the track and. road circuits, and will be trained to concert pitch for Monaco.
Then Nuvolari will also be driving a Maserati in a good many races, as an independent, Whitney Straight will be running several Maseratis, Earl Howe has one too, and the Grosch-Siena-Minozzi team have two at their disposal.
Siena and Company.
Eugenio Siena is an Italian driver of considerable merit who will be seen competing in most of the big races this year. He has joined forces with Giovanni Minozzi, Walter A. Grosch, Pedrazzini and Sotietti, and these drivers will run as a team. Their headquarters are at Como, and their ” stable” consists of two single seater 3 litre Maseratis, two 2.6 litre 2 seater Alfa Romeos, a ” Mule Miglia” 2.3 litre Alfa Romeo, and a single seater 1,100 c,c. Maserati.
Siena used to be head of the tuning shops in the Alfa Romeo factory, afterwards joining Ferrari. He has performed consistently well during the last few years, winning the 1932 Belgian 24 Hour Race in partnership with Brivio, leading the field for some distance in the 1932 Milk Miglia, and Making the fastest time in the 1933 Kesselburg Hill Climb, all on Alfa Romeos. Minozzi has chiefly raced a 2 litre Bugatti, with which by good driving he has sometimes beaten modern 2.3 litre racing cars. Grosch raced last season with a 2 seater 2.3 litre Alfa Romeo, but has no successes to his credit so far. Ped.razzini and Sofietti are both keen Italian drivers who are well known in their native country.
The Scuderia Siena has come to an arrangement with the great Nuvolari whereby the latter will race under their colours in the Mille Miglia. He will be partnered by Siena, and these two should be favourites for the Italian classic on April 7th and 8th.
An Historic Occasion.
An event of importance to all students of automobile history was celebrated last month at the Berlin Motor Show, on the occasion of the Gottlieb Daintier centenary. Daimler was born on March 17th,
1834, and at the age of 50 invented the first internal combustion engine and the first motor-cycle. An assembly of well known figures in the motor industry gathered together in the main entrance of the Hall. in which the Exhibition takes place, where there is a bust of the famous Daimler. The life and work of the inventor were described by Herr Schippert, managing director of the Daimler-Mercedes-Bent concern, and
speeches were also made by Herr. Bradenburg, on behalf of the Minister of Communications and Commandant Hiihnlein for the Automobile Corps. Then laurel wreaths were placed at the foot of the monument. On the evening of the same day a most interesting item was broadcast from Stutt gart. TO begin with a group of famous German racing drivers, among them Lautenschlager, Salzer and Sailer, told anecdotes of their exploits with Mercedes racing cars. Next came a description of Daimler’s pioneer research work, which he carried out in collaboration with his friend Maybach in their small workshop at CannStadt, persecuted by the police for
making too much noise in the middle Of the night ! This work resulted in the first motor-cycle, and later the great race Paris-Rouen-Paris in 184, covered in 5 hours 50 minutes.
Finally Herr Jellenik came to the microphone, and described how he gave the name of Mercedes to the cars made by Daimler, because that was his daughter’s name !
Disagreement at Nimes.
Following on the abandonment of the Grands Prix of Pau, Tunis, Luxembourg and Monza comes the confirmation of the
news that the Grand Prix de Nimes will not take place. The race was booked on the International Calendar for May 21st, but financial difficulties have beset the organisers.
It is the usual procedure in organising a Grand Prix in or near a French town for the initial cost of preparing the circuit, erecting grandstands and providing appearance and prize money to be borne by three parties, to wit, the local Automobile Club, the Town Council, and the Association of Hotel and Shop-keepers. There is always the possibility of the gate-money covering all expenses, but even if there is an adverse balance this is more than met by increased trade during the week of the race.
At Nimes exactly the same thing has happened as occurred at Pau. The Town Connell unanimously agreed to renew titeir subsidy, and so did the Auto Moto Club du Gard, but the Commercial Association would not do likewise. Unfortunately the contribution Of the latter group is essential, so there is nothing for it but to abandon the race.
The absence of the Grand Prix de Nimes Will inevitably result in increased entries for the Grands Prix des Frontieres, de Casablanca, and Hungary.
A 10,000 kilo. German “Circus.”
With the idea of demonstrating the reliability of German automobiles, and of displaying their ” range” to other European countries, eleven cars set off recently on a 10,000 kilometre tour of Europe.
In order to attract as much attention as possible some well known drivers took part in the tour, notably Ernst Henne, the holder of the world’s record on a motor cycle and member of the new MercedesBenz racing team, and Hans Burggaller the famous Bugatti driver.
The full list Of ears and drivers was as follows : Henne (Mercedes-Benz), Kapier (MercedesBenz), Burggaller ( Ho rch) , Simons (D.K.W.), Fr au Lerch (Hattomag) , Haberlo (Iktuornag), Von Guille mime (Opel), Von Krohn (Opel), Bahr (Adler), Brenner (B.M.W.) and Niess Rohr). The ” circus ” started from Vriebourg, and travelled in easy stages by way Of Besancon, Lyons, Avignon, and then through Italy and Austria back. to Ger Man y. (continua on page 282)