Continental Notes and News, December 1934



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Continental Notes and News

Racing in “the Bois.”

In the French sporting calendar for 1935 there appears an entry, “Circuit des Lacs,” on June 9th. Enquiry as to the locality of this race has produced the statement that the lakes referred to are the lakes of the Bois de Boulogne, in Paris. The idea is to run a road race in the Bois, and the organization will be under the control of the A.C. de l’Ile-deFrance.

The race should draw a colossal crowd, but I fear that many Parisien taxi-drivers will overstep the mark that day in endeavouring to emulate the ” Bolides.” Isn’t it a pity we cannot hold a race round Hyde Park ?

A French Casualty.

An unfortunate accident recently befell the Bugatti driver, Delmo. He was supervising the stowing of his beloved car on a ship at Nice, in readiness for the Grand Prix of Algeria, when he slipped and fell heavily to the bottom. of the hold. On being taken to hospital it was found that he had injured himself seriously, and it will take him many months to get back to normal.

The French G.P. at Montlhery Once More.

Montlhery Autodrome seems to be the permanent home of the French Grand Prix. Once again the French Sporting Committee has decided to hold the Grand Prix de l’A.C.F. on the famous circuit near Paris, and the decision has met with the approval of drivers, the press, and French followers of the sport. June 23rd will be The Day.

Will Delage Return to Racing ?

The fund opened by the F.N.C.A.F. for the construction of French racing cars has given a new lease of life to the rumours about Delage returning to Grand Prix racing. M. Pierre Delage, son of the famous Louis, was interviewed recently by a representative of the French paper ” L’Auto,” and he stated that plans for a new racing car have actually been completed by their engineer, M. Lory. Not a penny has been spent on putting these plans into execution, because the Delage concern do not wish to expend the huge sums necessary for a season of racing.

Nuvolari Breaks the Spell . . . .

After his amazingly successful years of racing it has been strange that, at the end of September, Tazio Nuvolari had not won a single race this season. Everyone was particularly pleased, therefore, when he carried off the honours in the Circuit of Modena, a round-the-houses race which owed its organisation to the initiative of Signor Testi. This is the first race, by the way, held at Modena since 1928. The circuit measured 3 kilometres 200 metres, and was full of twists and turns, as is usual with city races. There were two races, one for cars of unlimited By


capacity, and a junior event for 1,100 c.c. machines. The former had to cover 40 laps, which made a total distance of 128 kilometres, while the latter were only required to do 25 laps, or 80 kilometres.

The ” big ” race was marked by a terrific duel between Nuvolari and Varzi. The Scuderia. Ferrari has its headquarters at Modena, and Nuvolari was determined to beat his old rival, as well as his old employers, on their own ground. For over an hour the Maserati and the AlfaRomeo kept the excited crowd right on their toes, and in the end Nuvolari got home first with more than a minute in hand. One or two of the lesser Ferrari drivers were given a chance in this race, the best of them being Tadini, who finished a good third, 5 seconds behind Varzi. Sollietti could do no better than no better than 7th place on Whitney Straight’s Maserati. The fastest lap of the race, incidentally, was accomplished in a hectic 1 min. 43.8 secs (110.980 k.p.h.) by Nuvolari’s new Maserati.

The Junior Race was considered to be a safe thing for Farina, the prodigy who handles a 1,500 c.c. Maserati so well. This time he only had a 1,100 c.c. model to play with, and he found his match in Cecchini’s M.G. Magnette. The two of them had a terrific scrap and entertained the crowd vastly with their ferocious determination to win or burst. Six seconds separated them at the finish. Cecchini’s record lap was made in 1 min. 56.4 secs. (96.966 k.p.h.).

RESULTS. Unlimited Race. 1. T. Nuvolari 1h. lOna. 54s., 108.321

1. T. Nuvolari (Maserati), 1h. lOna. 54s., 108.321 k.p.h.

2. A. Varzi (Alfa-Romeo), lh. 12m. 20.4s.

3. M. Tadini (Alfa-Romeo), lb. 12m. 25.6s.

4. Barbieri (Alfa-Romeo), 38 laps in lb. 10m. 46s.

5. Ghersi (Alfa-Romeo), 38 laps in lb. Ilm. Is.

6. Sandri (Maserati), 38 laps in 111. 12m. 19s.

7. Soffietti (Maserati), 37 laps in 1h. 12m. 27s.

8. Cornaggia (Alfa-Romeo), 35 laps in l h. Ilm. 45.6s.

9. Corsi (Maserati), 35 laps in lb. I ha. 46.6s.

1,100 c.c. Race.


1. Ceechini (M.G. ?flagnette), 50. I2.6s. 95.593 k.p.h.

2. Farina (Maserati), 50m. 18.4s.

3. Malaguti (Maserati), 24 laps in Shin. 18.4s.

4. Panzacchi (Rocca), 22 laps in 51m. 18s.

5. Mantnillo (Maserati), 22 laps in Sim. 24.6s.

6. Lauri (P.E.), 22 laps in 51m. 29.4s.

and Wins Again at Naples.

The last event on the Italian calendar for the 1924 season was the meeting held at Naples on October 21st. City races have suddenly become popular in Italy, and the circuit at Naples measured 4 kilometres in length. The winding nature of the course was, to a certain extent, mitigated, however, by the width of the road, which was about 50 feet. The event was run in the form of two heats of 100 kilometres and a final of 200 kilometres. There were 18 entries, and after a rousing day’s sport the final was won by Nuvolari on the new 3,326 c.c. Maserati. Two Ferrari-owned AlfaRomeo s were second and third, driven by Brivio and Tadini respectively, so

that Tazio scored two victories over the famous stable on successive week-ends. Brivio was making his first appearance under his new contract with Ferrari, and celebrated it by beating his team-mates Tadini and Comotti. He also made the fastest lap of the day in 2 min. 25.8 secs. (98.765 k.p.h.).

most remarkable performance was put up by Guiseppe Farina with his wonderful little 1,500 c.c. Maserati. • He finished fourth, actually ahead of Comotti’s 3-litre rnonoposto Alfa-Romeo, Soffietti, on one of Whitney Straight’s Maseratis, another Maserati and two more Alfas. We are going to hear a lot more about this young man next season. It is not too much to say that he will be another Varzi or Nuvolari before long.


I. Nuvolari (Maserati), 2h. 10m. 23.4s., 91.337 m.p.h.

2. Brivio (Alfa-Romeo), 2b. 10in. 2s.

3. Tadini (Alfa-Romeo), 2b. 12m. 59.6s.

4. Farina (Maserati), 49 laps in 2h. urn. 9.4$. S. Comotti (Alfa-Romeo), 49 laps in 2b. 12m. 0.4s. 6. Soflietti (Maserati), 47 laps in 2h. lffin. 0.6s. 7., Minozzi (Maserati), 47 laps in 2h. 10m. 49s.

8. Premoli (Alfa-Romeo), 46 laps in 211. urn, 31.8s.

9. Cornaggia (Alfa-Romeo), 46 laps in 2h. 11m. 34.4s.

The French Fund.

At a meeting of the F.N.C.A.F., on November 6th, the organisation was put in train for launching the National Fund for the construction of a team of racing cars. Three committees were formed, and an intensive propaganda campaign is being planned to give the Fund a national importance.

At the time of writing the Fund amounts to 240,000 francs, but this is growing daily. The F.N.C.A.F. started the ball rolling with 50.000 francs, to which was quickly added 100,000 francs from the A.C.F. Several clubs in the provinces have come forward with donations, notably the A.C. de Nice et de la Cote d’Azur, with 40,000 francs.

Meanwhile the position of Bugatti grows more and more equivocal. Is he to proceed with his 3.3-litre cars, or can he expect to have sufficient funds for completely new cars-with the now essential independent springing ?

To Drive for Ferrari.

The plans of the Scuderia Ferrari for 1935 are now fairly complete-so far as drivers are concerned. Count Trossi remains the President, and will drive in many races. Varzi and Chiron have renewed their contracts and will be supported by Dreyfus in the big events. Brivio has given a good account of himself in the few races in which he has represented the stable, and will undoubtedly be given many mounts next season. The only other certainty is Comotti, winner of the G.P. du Comminges.

There have been rumours of Nuvolari returning to Ferrari, but no announcement has been made. The ban on foreign drivers has put a stop to his Auto Union plans, and he has now only the Maserati at his disposal. It would probably pay him to return to the fold.

French Drivers Combine.

The pooling of resources has much to commend it, and two French drivers who have taken this course are Armand Girod and Cazaux. The former is well-known as a Salmson driver, and won the 1,100 c.c. class of the G.P. de France at Montlhery this year. Cazaux is the owner of a fast 2.3-litre twin-camshaft Bugatti, and this is being increased in capacity to 2,600 c.c. and fitted with a single seater body. The other cars of the stable are a 2.3-litre Maserati, two 1,500 c.c. 8-cyl. Maseratis fitted with the Cotal electro-magnetic transmission, and a brace of 1,100 c.c. 4-c yl. Maseratis.

Quite enough for two drivers !

German Drivers for German Cars.

With typical Teutonic thoroughness a school for young drivers has been started at the Nurburg Ring. They are given a chance to show their paces on actual race cars, and are to be pitted against the team drivers as a further test. At the first “lesson ” seven “pupils ” were present, Simons, Pietsch, Steinweg, Soenius, Rosmeyer, Winckler. Simons has many good performances to his credit with a 4-litre Bugatti ; Pietsch has raced a 2.3-litre Alfa-Romeo for two seasons ; and Steinweg has a very fast 2-litre Bugatti to which he has fitted a Monoposto body. The rest of the men are well-known German motor-cyclists.

These seven drove an Auto Union for two laps of the Ring, against the stop watch. At the end it was found that Pietsch and Rosmeyer were the fastest. I am rather surprised to see Burggaller omitted from the list. He is a splendid driver with his own Bugatti. On the other hand, he was extremely slow when given the wheel of an Auto Union at the German G.P. Admittedly it was the first time he had driven the car, and no one can blame him for avoiding anything like a crash. In fact that seems to be the chief difficulty of this form of training. The driver h2s to bear in mind the whole time the thought that his chances will be ruined if he should ditch the car or damage it in any way ; whereas the owner of a car can develop his driving technique to the limit without this fear.

The following week another group of drivers turned up for practice, these being Tissling, Ley, Kirchberg and Tragner, all of them motor-cyclists.

Meroedes-Benz or Auto Union ?

The fact that the training of drivers at the Nurburg Ring has only been carried out on an Auto Union is unpleasantly significant. At the beginning of the season I was informed that official support was to be given to both Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz for one season, after which the more successful of the two would alone benefit by the subsidy. Mercedes-Benz won more races than Auto Union, although I believe the latter is considered to be the finer car by many drivers. Their respective record-breaking achievements are about equal in merit. Of course, there is always the possibility that even though the subsidy be given to Auto Union, the Mercedes-Benz factory

will continue to race. They have been doing tremendous business lately. In addition, there is plenty of money to be made at motor racing by a successful team, as witness Ferrari, and in spite of those pessimists who always say that there will be no money about next year, there is every reason to suppose that conditions will be very much the same when the season actually arrives.

Italian Champions.

The Italian National Championships are based on events won in Italy. The 1934 list has now been announced, and shows Achille Varzi at the head with 6 points. Tadini is second with 3 points, while Nuvolari, Fagioli and Barbieri tie for third place with 2 points. In 1933 Fagioli was champion.

In the junior category the champion is Cecchini, and it is worth noting that his mount throughout the season has been a ” K 3″ M.G. Magnette.

Next Season’s Alfas.

The Alfa-Romeo factory has always been a most secretive place, shunning visitors and prying pressmen. (For the latter they can hardly be blamed !—Ed.) Definite information is now available, however, about the cars to be raced next season.

Work has just been begun on nine cars, having 4-litre 12-cyl. engines, and independent springing fore and aft. They are only just beyond the drawing-board stage, and may not be ready for racing until next June.

A New Bugatti Record.

At Le Mans last month a Bugatti set up a new world’s record—but on the railway instead of the road. Between Cornerre and Le Mans the line is remarkably straight, although not allowing much room for gaining speed before the timed section is entered. For the purposes of this record, by the way, a stretch of 10 kilometres has to be used.

The Bugatti Railcar already held the speed record for this type of vehicle at a speed of 108 m.p.h. On this occasion, however, certain modifications had been carried out, and official timing gave the speed as 118.7 m.p.h. The rail-car was driven by officials of the State Railways, but Jean Bugatti travelled in the ” cockpit ‘ while the record was made. Ettore looked on.

Jenkins’ Records.

A slight hitch has occurred in the confirmation of the remarkable records claimed by Ab. Jenkins. The Paris office of the A.I.A.C.R. has discovered a discrepancy in the figures given for 1 lap of the circuit used, and although this only amounts to .01326 miles, it must, of course, be checked once more by the A.A.A. It does not materially affect the records, for on the total distance covered the difference only represents 632 metres.

The Fruits of Victory.

In Italy a list has been made of the money won by the chief drivers in races

this year. Here it is : Varzi, 780,000 francs ; Chiron, 526,000; Moll, 470,000; Stuck, 364,000; Trossi, 240,000; Fagioli, 230,000; Etancelin, 210,000; Dreyfus, 125,000; Straight, 112,000; Comotti, 101,000.

It will be seen that the Scuderia Ferrari has collected, by way of Varzi, Chiron, Moll, Trossi and Comotti the princely sum of 2,117,000 francs. At the present rate of exchange this works out at £28,225; and remember that Tadini and Barbieri were also racing for Ferrari in smaller events.

Trossi’s New Car.

Count Trossi has actually begun testing his new car, which is an enlarged version of the little Monaco which appeared two seasons ago. It has a 4-litre 2-stroke engine, with two pistons per cylinder. The design is the ,work of Dr. Zoller, whose supercharger is used. A tremendous power output is claimed, as much as 130 h.p. per litre being talked of.

Remembering Guy Moll.

On the day after the G.P. de Algerie a party of racing motorists paid a visit to the grave of Guy Moll, in the MaisonCarree Cemetery. it had always been the ambition of the lamented driver to win the Algerian G.P., for all his exploits had taken place in Europe. His tomb was still piled high with wreaths.

No Targa Florio Next Year.

After the difficulty in running the Targa Florio this year, it is small wonder that the organisers have decided to abandon the race. Instead, a new event called the Targa Primavera Siciliana will be held next spring, but no details as to its nature have yet been revealed.

One cannot fail to deplore the passing of the Targa Florio, the most arduous road race in the world, redolent of many historical cars and drivers. At the same time, the Targa was hopelessly impracticable. Sicily is off the map for most people, both drivers and spectators, and the gate money is negligible. Still, it’s a pity.


People lacking the pioneer instinct must find it difficult to understand the intention of Sir Malcolm Campbell to make a bid next January or February on his own flying kilometre record of 272.46 m.p.h. No one has got within 40 m.p.h. of his present speed, and no challenger has appeared to contest his position as the ” fastest man in the world.”

But Sir Malcolm is a true pioneer, and possesses that urge towards fresh conquests which has always distinguished outstanding personalities. His new aim is the magic figure “300,” and it is with this end in view that ” Blue Bird “is now being fitted with a new body, incorporating the latest ideas in streamlining. Minor modifications to the car itself are being carried out, and, all being well, Sir Malcolm will make his attempt at Daytona on January 20th or 21st—or a ilionth later if the sands should be in an unsuitable condition. The good wishes of all sportsmen will attend him.