THE Mile Miglia in recentyears has become an established ” picnic” for the official Alfa-Romeo team, whether it be Scuderia Ferarri or the

present Alfa Corse. The 1088 race, twelfth of the series, was no exception to this rule, and the first two places were filled by Alfa Corse cars, with a privatelyowned Alfa in third place.

This year a new and faster circuit was used, much of it following the old route, but taking in more stretches of autostrada, including a new mountain pass, and making a detour to the coast between Florence and Rome. The result was a big increase in the average speed, and the winning car put up the magnificent speed of 84.45 m.p.h. The usual animated scenes were witnessed at the start, which took place at

Brescia in the early hours. Actually, the first car was sent away at 2 a.m., the rest following at one-minute intervals. Hordes of small Fiats and Lancias started first, and the big stuff was kept back to the very last. Stupendous averages were made over the fast stretch from Brescia to Bologna, and it was here that the disaster occurred which rather marred the race After maintaining a high speed all the way from Brescia, Mignanego Bruzzo failed to reduce his speed sufficiently on entering the town. His Lancia skidded on a bend, mowed its way through densely packed spectators at the side of the road, and finished up against a tree. When the ambulance men eventually cleared up the mess, it was found that nine people had been killed—three men, three women and three children—and at least twenty

injured. Bruzzo himself was taken to hospital seriously hurt.

No other accidents involving spectators were reported, but many drivers Mcidded off the road at various points. Some, like Pintacuda, were able to continue after a delay, but others, like Farina, damaged their cars badly, and had to retire.

As the race wore on, it was seen that the final issue would be decided between Pintacuda and Biondetti, both members of the Alfa Corse team. No quarter was asked or given, and the team spirit was entirely absent from the struggle. Both drivers realised that the possibility of their being given regular mounts in the forthcoming Grand Prix races would depend largely upon their showing in this race, and they went at it for all they were worth.

Pintacuda, who has won the race twice previously, was in the lead until an error of judgment landed him off the road on a tricky corner. A moment later Biondetti roared past. Pintacuda and his mechanic, Nlambelli, worked like furies to get the car back on the road, but eight precious minutes had elapsed before they got going again. Driving with all his considerable skill, Pintacuda managed to gain steadily on his rival, gradually cutting down his lead

from eight minutes to two minutes. But by this time Brescia was reached once more, and Biondetti ran out a fine winner by 1 minute 52 secs. Two French cars, a Talbot driven by Carriere and Lebegue, and a Delahaye driven by Dreyfus and Varet, ran with the utmost reliability but were unable to match the speed of the supercharged

Alfas. They finished fifth and fourth respectively. The only British driver in the race was A. F. P. Pane, and he drove in masterly fashion to win the 2-litre class for the German B.M.W. team. He outdistanced all his team-mates with ease, and averaged the high speed of 74.05 m.p.h. Like Biondetti and Pintacuda, Fane drove single-handed throughout the race, and he was accompanied by an English mechanic. The B.M.W. team made very thorough preparations for the race, and the whole team m-tde a 13ractice ” lap”

of the 1,000 miles c:-cuit. Pane had originally intended to drive his own Type 828 car, but eventually he was given Bernie’s place and car in the official works team.

One of the most remarkable performances in the whole race was made by Taruffi, who drove a 1,100 c.c. Fiat into third place in the “General Class” and won his “National Sports Car Class” at an average speed of a shade under 70 m.p.h.—an astonishing feat by both driver and car.