to see how these standard models perform in what is undoubtedly the hardest road race of the year, and to compare them with the Spanish Ricart cars, if the latter firm uses its standard model of a very similar specification.
O.M. is engaged on the production of a new 8-cylinder racing car of 2,300 c.c. which will probably be used in the Targa, while Maserati has announced his intention of adding his two 11 litre racers, which appeared in last year’s Italian Grand Prix, to the list of these already entered for the race. These cars will also start in the Grand Prix of Tripoli on 6th March and the Grand Prix of Rome. Incidentally this year’s race will probably be the last over the traditional circuit, as the Chevalier Vincent° Florio is intending to reduce the length of a lap of the
1,500 c.c. the bore is increased to 49 mins. The cylinders are cast in two blocks of six, set at an angle of 60 degrees. Each cylinder has two valves, set on the same side at right angles to the vertical axis of the cylinder. The cam-shaft is mounted between the two cylinder blocks, and carries 12 cams, each of which operate two opposite valves. This camshaft is driven from the crankshaft by three pinions, one on each shaft and one intermediary, and is actually contained in the crankcase.
The unusual arrangement of the valves natiirallv introduces special problems in the matter of cylinderhead design, and it has been found necessary to make the piston heads of a special shape, which resembles that used in most 2-stroke engines. These engines use both forced induction and exhaust systems. A Roots type blower is driven through a
course from 671to 371 miles for the 1928 race. This will be done by constructing a new section of road starting half way between Cerda and Caltavuturo, and rejoining the old course at Scillato.
This proposal has aroused considerable adverse criticism in Italian sporting circles, as it will do away with much of the most difficult part of the course. The idea behind it is, however, probably to make the race more interesting for the spectators, as at present each car only passes the tribunes once in an hour and a half.
The 12-Cylinder Ita1as. It is sincerely to be hoped that the new 1,100 c.c. and 1,500 c.c. 12-cylinder Itala racing cars will make their appearance this year as their design shows many interesting features. The engine is of 45 x 55 mms. bore and stroke in the case of the 1,100 c.c. unit, while for the
flexible coupling from the rear of the crankshaft and drives air through a filter direct to the cylinders, entering by a port which is uncovered by the piston when it reaches the bottom of its stroke. At the conclusion of the induction stroke, therefore, compressed air is added to the mixture already contained in the cylinder, while after the power stroke, the air from the blower forces the burnt gases out through the exhaust valves.
An aluminium box on which is mounted the radiator, is bolted to the front of the engine, and contains the clutch, gear box proper and transmission. Thence the drive is taken to the front wheels by lateral shafts, which terminate in spherical joints.
The adoption of front wheel drive allows of a very low build, the highest part of the car being only 86 cms. (about 2ft. 10ins.) above the ground, while the weight of the complete car is only 560 kilogrammes.