WHAT HAPPENED AT PAU A COMFORTABLE TRAINING CANTER FOR THE SCUDERIA FERRARI. BOUCLY CRASHES IN PRACTICE, FINE WEATHER AND GOOD ORGANISATION.
To run a Grand Prix motor race in February, even in the South of France, is a fairly risky business. The last time the A.C. 13asco-Bearnais organised the Grand Prix de Pau a heavy snowfall made the conditions most unpleasant both for drivers and spectators alike. On that occasion Marcel Lehoux piloted his Bugatti to first place in a blinding blizzard, after tragic Guy Moll had led for the first part of the race. That was in 1933. Now, in 1935,
the race has been revived and turned out to be a first-class success.
The circuit of Pau is an interesting one, combining a variety of gradients, corners and curves all in the short space of 2 km. 769—slightly shorter than Mona c Nuvolari said it reminded him of the Naples circuit. The race was held over 80 laps, a total distance of 221 km. 520. Owing to the narrowness of the road only 14 entries were accepted, which resulted in some of the lesser known French amateurs being turned away.
The original entry list consisted of Bugattis in the hands of Boucly, Lehoux, Delorme, Veymn, Cazaux, and Leoz, Maseratis to be driven by Brunet, Ruesch, Etancelin and Soffietti, Alfa-Romeos in the names of Nuvolari and Dreyfus, and a solitary Nacional Pescara entered by Zanelli. About a week before the race, however, Boucly’s 2.3 Bugatti blew up so mightily that he was doubtful of being able to repair the damage in time. His number was therefore issued to the first man on the waiting list, Falchetto (Maserati). At the last moment Bondy managed to get his Bugatti going once more, and the organisers, as a sporting gesture, allowed him to run, bringing the total up to fifteen. The first practice session revealed several interesting features of the competing cars. Nuvolari’s Alfa Romeo, for example, was fitted with reversed quarter-elliptic springs at the rear, a la mode de Molsheim. It seemed to hold the road
slightly better than Dreyfus’s monoposto with normal Alfa springing. Nuvolari, by the way, looked rather nervy, but he made the fastest lap of the clay in 1 min. 53 secs. Dreyfus, the second Ferrari representative, was driving an Alfa for the first time, and clocked 2 mins. 2 secs. Lehoux made second fastest time in 1 min. 58 secs., there being a rumour that his by-no-means new Bugatti had a selfchanging gearbox. Cazaux’s Bugatti had an unusual radiator, which is to be the distinguishing mark of the Cazaux-Girod 4 curie Another Bugatti driver, the Spaniard Genaro Leoz, nearly came to grief when a rear wheel broke away. Zanelli’s Nacional Pescara was a butt for
a lot of criticism, owing to its generally unprepared condition. Flans Ruesch telephoned to say that he would be unable to start in the race, as he had come to a deadlock with the customs authorities on the Franco-German frontier about his Maserati. Entancelin and Veyron both had mechanical trouble. The next day Nuvolari again demonstrated his classic qualities by lapping in 1 min. 53 secs., while Dreyfus got down to
1 min. 55 secs. Etancelin had rectified the misfiring of his ‘Maserati, and equalled prey fus’s time. The engine had been taken down during the preceding night, and it was decided to make still further adjustments On the night before the race. Lehoux went out with the intention of taking things quietly, without attempting to beat his best time of the day before. As it happened, he fell in behind Nuvolari and Dreyfus, and in tailing them round the course he clipped a second off his personal record, clocking 1 min. 57 secs. Soffietti was a second slower, and Falchetto a second slower still. Just before the end of the session Roger Bondy roared down the Avenue du Bois Louis to the corner
in front of the grand stands. He left bralcing until too late and slithered across the road straight into a private car which had been carelessly left there by an official of a French motor club. Boucly was shot out of the cockpit, and was removed to the hospital on an ambulance. Fortunately, he was not seriously hurt, and the doctors said he would be out and about in a few days. There might have been a wholesale
all rushed across the road to Boucly’s crashed Bugatti, regardless of the fact that other cars were approaching at high speed.
On Saturday night the sky became overcast, and a hailstorm broke out over the city. But after heavy rain all night, to the relief of everyone concerned, Sunday the 24th was a beautiful day, and a vast crowd assembled; many corning from Bordeaux and Toulouse. Starting positions were determined by practice times, with the result that Nuvolari and Etanc.elin were placed in the front row. The latter’s mount was the same car with which he raced last season, as the new Maseratis of the Scuderia Sub-Alpina are not yet ready. Behind these two came Lehoux, Soffietti and Dreyfus, with the rest spread out in twos and threes.
Little Marcel Lehoux jumped into the lead at the start, and was still there at the end of the first lap. Then, one after another, Nuvolari, Dreyfus and Etancelin all gradually passed him, until on the eighth lap the Algerian was lying fourth. Nuvolari and Dreyfus were taking it easy, having the measure of everyone in the race. Etancelin continued the chase for twenty laps, when his oil pump gave out and he was forced to retire. On the 18th lap Nuvolari allowed Dreyfus to take the lead, and the two beautifully prepared Ferri cars continued their effortless course. A good battle was being waged for third place. Falchetto had passed Lehoux, but the latter managed to regain the position slaughter of spectators, for they
on the 21st lap. For several circuits they had a wonderful scrap, which quite overshadowed the leading AlfaRomeos, and then Falchetto pushed his Maserati ahead of the Bugatti once more. The duel continued until the 32nd lap, when Lehoux came to a standstill at the Virage du Lycee, on the far side of the course. At half distance (40 laps) the order was:
1. Dreyfus (Alfa-Romeo), lb. 19m. 9s.
2. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo), lb. 19m. I Is.
3. Falchetto (Maserati), lb. Wm. 23s.
4. Brunet (Maserati), lb. 21m. 15s.
5. Soffietti (Maserati), lb. 21m. 42s.
6. Leoz. (Bugatti).
7. Cazaux (Bugatti).
8. Delorme (Bugatti).
9. Mlle. He116-Nice (Alfa-Romeo).
Soffietti was the next man to warrant the attention of the crowd, which, incidentally, was estimated to be 20,000 strong. He set himself the task of catching Brunet, on a similar car, and gradually cut down the distance between the two cars. For a long time Brunet managed to stave him off, but a recent illness began to make itself felt, and the Frenchman showed signs of fatigue. Added to this, his plugs began to wilt. Soffietti nearly caught him, but a bad skid put him right back. On the 56th lap Soffietti achieved his purpose, and set off in pursuit of Falchetto, who was under the impression that he was a safe ” third ” for the rest of the race. Falchetto’S brakes were not too good, due to the rough treatment they always receive at the hands of their brusque owner. Soffietti crept nearer and nearer, but it was not until two laps before the end that he scraped past Falchetto, who had lost one of his shock-absorbers. They were so close together at the finish that they collided after crossing the line, without damage. • Five laps before the finish Nuvolari suddenly put on speed, and passed his team-mate, Rend Dreyfus. Tazio gave the crowd a real thrill for the last five laps of the race, giving of his very best and bringing the lap record down to min. 52 secs. (89.23 k.p.h.). He took the last curve past the stands in that characteristic slide which no other driver can quite equal. ,
Followed the Italian national anthem, wild scenes of enthusiasm, and the usual failure of the gendarmerie to prevent the -crowd from attempting suicide by running all over the road. One day there is going to be such a massacre. . . . A word or two about the remaining competitors. Veyron’s Bugatti got frightfully hot on the very first lap, and he was 71minutes at the pits trying to cure the trouble. On the 13th lap he gave up for good, with a recurrence of the same trouble. Zanelli experienced a complete
some time, while Mlle. Helle-Nice and Jean Delorme were never far apart for the whole race. H.N
failure of his right-hand rear brake, and retired early in the race. Etancelin and Lehoux, those old rivals, both came to an involuntary stop on the same corner. The former had a broken oil-pump, but the Bugatti’s trouble was not so easy to diagnose. These were the only retirements, and all the rest were classed in the final list, albeit some of them were flagged off before completing the full distance. Leoz and Cazaux had a good scrap for
PAU GRAND PRIX. 80 laps of 2 km. 769-221 km. 520.
1. T. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo), 2h. 38m. 19.8s., 83.964 k.p.h.
2. R. Dreyfus (Alfa-Romco), 2h. 38m. 463.
3. G. Soffietti (Maserati), 2h. 42m. 10s.
4. B. Falchetto (Maserati), 2h. 42m. 12s.
5. R. Brunet (Maserati), 1 lap.
6. R. Cazaux (Bugatti), 3 laps.
7. 0. Leoz (Bugatti), 3 laps.
8. Mlle. fiend-Nice (Alfa-Rotneo), 5 laps.
9. J. Delorme (Bugatti), 5 laps.
Record lap : Nuvolari, lm. 52s., 89.23 k.p.h.