The Latest News from the Continent.
THE closing months of a year are always full of startling news as to the plans of racing-drivers for the coming year. If a famous ace happens to look into the window of a car manufacturer in Paris, this innocent act finally turns up in some paper in the form of : " Ferrolari, the winner of the majority of this year's Grand Prix races has been engaged by the Delatti factory to drive their new 24-cyl. hush-hush car.",,, Being used to such exaggerations I was nevertheless surprised to read in one Continental automobile paper that Varzi had contracted to drive one of the crack French trains for the coming season! No doubt he had been seen at the controls of one of Bugattis new rail-cars.
However, things are now pretty well definitely fixed up with the majority of Factories, Drivers, etc., and I append below a table which is at least based on facts and not on rumours. FACTORY DRIVERS Bugatti Benoist, Dreyfus, Wimille, Divo and Brivio
MercedesFagioli, von Brauchitsch, 2,900 and 3,800 c.c. Benz Henne and Bernet Mercedes-Benz AutoStuck, Sebastian, Prince von Union Leiningen Maserati Taruffi, Tufanelli PRIVATE STABLES DRIVERS Scuderia V arzi , Chiron, Tadini, Trossi, Ferrari Barbieri, Comotti and Ghersi Gruppo Balestreto, Biondetti, 13atti San lana and Palmieri Giorgio Scuderia Count Lurani, Castelbarco Brianza Scuderia Della Chiesa, Farina, Apnini, Alfa-Romeo. Mostly Subalpina Dusio and Bona for mountain racing
Whitney Straight and Paul Maserati 3,000 c.c. Straight Remistall Brainard, Palchetto and 3,000 c.c. Maserati Brainard Robert and 2,300 c.c. Bu gatti FREE-I,ANCE 1 /RIVER'''. Nuvolari b.,"tancelin Siena and Grolich Moll CARS
Nlaserati and Bugutti. 3,000 c.c. Maserati. Maserati and Alfa-Romeo. 2,300 c.c. Alfa-Romeo. CARS 2,800 and 3,000 c.c. Bugattis 3,500 c.c. P-wagen (Porschewagen) 000 c.c. Maserati CARS 2,600 and 3,000 c.c. Alfa-R.otneos 2,600 c.c. Alf a Romeo, 3,000 Maserati and 2,300 Bugatti 1,500 and 2,500 c.c. .Maserati and 1,500 c.c. Bugatti
Lord Howe 3,000 c.c. Maserati.
Zattelli 4,000 c.c. National Pescara 16 cyl.
Broscheck Mercedes-Benz. Sommer ... Rumour says new French car with
8 ryl. 2,800 c.c. motor.
As regards the plans of Carraciola. the German champion, these are not definitely fixed. A friend of mine met him as Arosa, in Switzerland, where he is convalescing, and " Carratsch " said he hoped to be at the wheel again (presumably of a Mercedes-Benz) by the middle of the season.
Ski-ing and bob-sleigh racing naturally attracts motor-racing enthusiasts. Chiron and Carraciola are confirmed adherents of les sports de neige et de glace and they claim that their muscles and nerves are kept in training through the winter in this way.
Many Englishmen have made famous names in Switzerland, among them being Col. Warwick Wright and Capt. "Archie "Nash. the Cresta Run being their happy hunting ground.
A great ski-ing enthusiast is Temple, the M.G. Competition Manager, and he recently conceived the brilliant idea of forming an M.G. Ski-Club. The result was that a party was gathered together and departed for the Alps, among them being C. Martin, who finished second in the" 500, "C. A. Watkinson, a member of the Alpine Trial team, M. Tounilin, a well known trials man, and J. C. Elwes, who has raced a good deal at Brooklands and Shelsley. Altogether a splendid idea.
Hitler and Mussolini.
The inclusion of Luigi Vagioli, champion of Italy for 1933, in the Mercedes-Benz team rather gives the lie to the report that none but German drivers are to drive the new cars, by the express order of Chancellor Hitler.
When one remembers the wave of intense nationalism which is sweeping Germany it certainly seems curious that an Italian should be given a place in the team, especially in view of the fact that Burggaller and Broschek are available. It is probable that Fagioli will only drive until Carraciola is fit again. Then there is Mussolini's reaction to the affair. Nationalism is just as rife in Italy, and I should have
thought II Duce would have had something to say about Fagioli going to Germany. And what about Chiron in the Ferrari team ? Perhaps Hitler and Mussolini take a broader view of sporting matters than they are credited with. I hope so.
Not for sale to foreigners.
There is a rumour that Bugatti and Mercede.s-Benz have followed the example of Alfa Romeo in refusing to sell their new models to foreigners. I do not know at the moment how many cars Mercedes-Benz intend to build, but in Bugatti's case a dozen of the new 2,800 c.c. machines are being constructed, so that sales will be Made—but to whom ?
The Belgians take Action.
The Belgian authorities are doing their share of tightening the regulations governing production car racing with considerable effect. It is safe to say that ears are burning in Milan. Here are some of their new rules : Cars must be catalogued on January 1st this year, and must be on sale regularly to the general public. Those of a special design called "Type Sport" in the catalogue will only be allowed if the engines have the same number of cylinders, valves and plugs, and are fitted with the same induction system as the standard models in the catalogue. Finally, superchargers are barred, and no car may have more than one overhead camshaft. The italics are mine. Of course the Belgians will be accused of favouring their own cars, such as the F.N.,s. But can you blame them.? The F.N.,s are normal production cars, carefully
prepared, and every year they put up a wonderful team performance on the exacting Spa circuit. But they gain little credit for a show which is characterised mainly by regularity and the fact that the cars are of normal design and sell at a low price, while phoney production cars costing many hundreds per cent. more run away with all the glory.
A Daring Experiment.
The Sporting Commission of the A.C.F. have made a daring experiment with the rules for the 1934 French Grand Prix. Only manufacturers, and private owners nominated by them, up to a maximmn of three cars per make, will be allowed to enter I If you refer to list at
the beginning of these notes you will see that there are only four manufacturers eligible. The position of Alfa Romeo is a doubtful one. I suppose they will be able to nominate three of the Ferrari cars, but against this, of course, is the fact that they have officially renounced racing for this year. Otherwise it looks like an answer to the Alfa ban on foreign purchasers. Leaving Alfa Romeo out, that leaves 12 possible entrants. In France the new 2,800 c.c. car to be driven
by Sommer is still in an early stage, as are the similar sized cars contemplated in England by H. W. Cook and his associates.
At the time of writing no entries at all have been received. The trouble is partly due to the clause in the regulations which requires the sum of 30,000 francs (roughly 240) to be sent with each entry. This will be returned if the car comes to the starting line.
In theory this method of ensuring that the public will see a good race is splendid. On the other hand, it is a little hard on manufacturers to be forced to part with £120 for 6 months, with the possibility of losing this sum if the cars should develop mechanical trouble in practice.
Entries close on January 31st, and if the entry seems insufficient to guarantee a good race, the A.C.F. have the power to cancel the event, up to February 15th.
The Jenkins Case.
There is no definite news yet about the Pierce-Arrow records. You probably remember that Jenkins Was reported to have broken a lot of Worlds long distance records, including the 24 hours, driving single-handed a 12 cylinder Pierce-Arrow on the dried lake-bed of Murock.
Well, those records haven't been confirmed. The A.I.A.C.R. has maintained a discreet silence on the subject, but I believe there has been a fairly good scrap going on between that august body and the A.A.A. I hear that some of the necessary papers have been sent over, but not all of them.
It would be a thousand pities if the Jenkins case should cause a split between the A.A.A. and the A.I.A.C.R., because records lose a lot of their value if certain countries are not included.
" Road-circuiting " on Brooklands.
One of the most successful circuits of recent years at Brooklands was that devised by the J.C.C. secretary, L. F. Dyer, for the International Trophy Race. The use of this original course was quite deservedly given exclusively to the J.C.C., and it has prompted other clubs to think of ways and means of obtaining road conditions at Brooklands.
The B.R.D.C. have now come forward with a circuit for the British F,mpire Trophy Race, which as a track event failed to draw a good entry last year. The cars will travel in an anti-clockwise (or normal) direction. Starting at the Fork, the cars will go round the Members Banking to a fast S 'bend wher. the Finishing Straight joins the outer circuit. Halfway down the Railway Straight will be a set of ' 8 ' bends, acute ones this time, and then the cars will proceed straight round the Byfleet Banking to the Fork, where a course used in the J.C.C. 200 miles race many years ago will be followed, i.e., up the Finishing Straight a little way, round a " tub " hairpin, back to Chronograph Villa and so on to the outer circuit again.
Lord Nuffield has generously donated £1,000 as prize money, so that the race will have a sound basis and should attract a first-class entry. June 23rd is the date. Better make a note of it.
More Speedway Plans.
L Mr. Jean Reville, of Palmer Reville & Co., the B.S.A. people, has sent me some details of his activity in the
formation of a Speedway Racing Drivers' Club. The idea is to run the first meeting on Easter Saturday at the Crystal Palace. I understand that R. G. J. Nash, Victor Gillow, Gordon Norchi, and H. R. Taylor have already promised to compete, and that the services of two Australian drivers, Tommy Sulman and F. Hare, have been enlisted. Reville says that Austins, Vale Specials, M.G.'s, Singers and B.S.A.'s are quite suitable for the work. Frazer Nashes will be allowed in the handicap events only, the scratch races being confined to 1,100 c.c. cars.
The first meeting is to be primarily a try-out for the cars and drivers, and if it is successful the Club hopes to form a League, with various tracks all over the country, limiting the cars to 1,100 c.c. It is intended to have teams of six drivers and two reserves.
The Club subscription will be one guinea for drivers who own cars, and ten guineas for those who don't. From what I have heard about speedway racing, the Crystal Palace will need a lot of its loose cinders taken away, otheriwse there will be a danger of cars turning over instead of sliding.
Meanwhile " Spike " Rhiando is also going ahead with his plans. Greenford has been abandoned, owing to the cost of putting it into order and the disadvantage the track possesses of only having accommodation for spectators on one side. Instead, " Spike " hopes to start a mile-track somewhere in Kent, round the outside of an aerodrome.