THE BELGIAN 24-HOUR RACE
WALK OVER FOR ALFA ROMEO
BRIVIO AND SIENA WIN AT 72.13 M.P.H.
THE BELGIAN 24-HOUR RACE
SO overwhelming has been Alf aRomeo’s series of victories this season, that it would have been a daring prophecy indeed to have foretold anything but another win for the Milanese firm. in the Belgian 24-hour race. The greatest opposition to the official team was likely to come from Sommer, winner at Le Mans, Earl Howe and Sir Henry Birkin on another Alfa-Romeo, and Prince Djordjadze on the white Mercedes he raced at Brooklands last year in the 500 Miles Race.
The race is a straightforward affair, run in three classes, which makes it easy to follow, but rather centres interest on the fastest cars. All the classes were well filled, and so in spite of an almost certain win for Alfa-Romeo in the 3-litre class, and for the honour of travelling the greatest distance of any car, there was every prospect of an interesting race.
Strangely enough, the Alfa-Romeo team did not immediately assume the lead, which was taken by Sommer, followed by Djordjadze. This state of affairs did not last for long, however, for soon after, the two official Alfas, driven by BrivioSiena and Taruffi-D’Ippolito shot ahead, closely followed by Earl Howe and Sir Henry Birkin. For some time little alteration was made in this position, the Mercedes leading in the largest class, a Lancia being first in the second, Brivio-Siena (Alfa-Romeo) in the 3-litre class, a Bugatti in the 1,500
c.c. class, and a D.K.W. in the 1,100 c.c. division. Great disappointment was felt among the crowd when Vasselle, the popular Hotchkiss driver, and winner of this year’s Monte Carlo Rally, fell out, but a very favourable impression was being made by the three eight-cylinder F.N.’s, which although overshadowed by the faster machines, were lapping with great regularity.
Retirements were numerous. All through the night and the next morning cars were constantly dropping out. Sommer, who had hoped to bring off “the double” with the Le Mans Race, retired, as did the Mercedes of Prince Djordjadze, the Bugatti, the Ford, the Mathis, the Lancia which led its class, Lord. de Clifford’s M.G., after a gallant run, a B.N.C., an Amilcar, and a d’Yrsan. Brivio-Siena and Taruffi-D’Ippolito had kept close company for a certain time, but now the former team drew steadily ahead, until at mid-day on Sunday they were 6 laps ahead of their team mates, who were in turn 1 lap in front of the car driven by Earl Howe and Sir Henry Birkin. The race was not a good one as a spectacle ; but there was plenty to interest -those who make a study of the relative performances of standard cars. For
example the three 8-cylinder F.N.’s were lapping in formation at about 62 m.p.h.—a wonderful speed on the twisty, winding, hilly Francorchamps circuit. By this time retirements had
materially reduced the strength of the classes. The largest class was now non-existent, and in. the 4-litre class, after the withdrawal of the Lancia, after a very fast run, the lead was taken by a veteran of the game, a six-year-old Alfa-Romeo of 3,600 c.c., which was once driven in the Targa. Florio by the late Count Masetti. This old car, in the hands of Texi and Narishkine, was going splendidly, having a comfortable lead over the de Soto driven by the brothers Nothomb.
From then on little change took place, and Brivio and Siena came home comfortable winners on their 2,336 c.c. Alfa-Romeo, covering a distance of 1,731 miles. Before the race there had been some speculation as to whether the record for the race, set up in 1929 by Benoist and Marinoni, would be beaten, for owing to the large entry, many of which were slow cars, the faster machines would have difficulty in maintaining a high schedule, especially as the road twists a lot, making passing difficult. However, the record was comfortably beaten, and the Italian firn scored a virtual walk over. Second place was taken by Taruffi and D’Ippolito, driving a similar car, while third came those splendid sportsmen Earl Howe and Sir Henry Birkin, on their privately owned A/fa-Romeo of similar type.
In the various classes, the old Targa Florio 3,600 c.c. Alfa-Romeo won the 4-litre, from the de Soto, while as reported above, Brivio and. Siena won the 3-litre class. In the 1,500 c.c. class, a 1,300c.c. Rally, driven in turn by Danne and Gergaud, was first, followed by a Belgian Imperia. Finally in the 1,100 -c.c. class, Dove and Treunet piloted their B.N.C. to victory, an Amilcar being second, and a little D.K.W. third. A performance of outstanding merit was that of the three eight cylinder F.N.’s, which finished 4th, 5th and 6th behind the all-conquering AlfaRorneos in the 3-litre class. The drOtie past the finish in line
ahead formation, only 300 yards separating the three cars, and they very deservedly won the Coupe du Roi.
Other special awards were the Coupe de Buck, which was won by the Alfa-Romeo team, the Coupe Matthys, which went to the Alf aRomeo driven by Brivio and Siena, and Coupe de la Commission Sportive for the most courageous performance which was won by Evrard (Bugatti).
The winners of the 3-litre, 14-litre and 1,100 c.c. classes all used Engelbert tyres.
1. Texi-Narischkine (Alfa-Romeo 3,000 c.c.), 2,048 km. 720.
2. Northomb brothers (de Soto), 1,981 kin. 130. 3-litres.
1. Brivio-Siene (Alfa-Romeo 2,336 c.c.), 2,786 km. record.
2. Taruffi-D’Ippolito (Alfa-Romeo 2,336 c.c.), 2,681 km. 890.
3. Earl Howe-Sir H. Birkin (Alfa-Romeo 2,336 c.c.), 2,636 km. 230.
4. George-Mathot (P.N.), 2,323 km. 923.
5. Lecomte-Salmon (11.N.), 2,323 km. 720.
6. Jochems-Grisay (F.N.), 2,323 km. 620. 1I-litres.
1. Danne-Gergand (Rally 1,300 c.c.), 2,160 km. 159.
2. Hardy-lltimotdin (Imperia), 1,460 km. 119. 1,100 C.C.
1. Dore-Treunet (B.N.C.), 2,066 km. 132.
2. Vanhove-Havelange (Amilcar), 2,052 km. 960.
3. Vandertnissen-Roberfroid (1).K.W.), 1,979 km. 439.
4. De Lavilatte-Luys (d’Yrsan), 1,529 km. 022.