Fagioli's Plans Settled.
One by one the leading Continental drivers are finally settling their plans for the coming season. As soon as it is known that one of them is "in the market," so to speak, Rumour gets to work and whispers a different tale in every car.
A good example of this can be found in that tough Italian driver, Luigi Fagioli, champion of Italy for 1933. First it got round that he had left Ferrari, and this was naturally followed by an announcement that he had joined 1VIaserati. Then it was said that he would handle a new Bugatti, but Molsheim put a stop to this story. Now we hear on good authority that Fagioli has signed up with Mercedes-Benz, and that he will drive his first race under German colours on April 2nd, in the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Spanish Representative.
There is no further news of the Nacional Pescara which Juan Zanelli is supposed to be going to drive during the coming season. Details so far to hand say that the car will have a 16 cylinder, 4 litre engine, weighing in all about 700 kilograms. Its probable maximum speed will be 160 m.p.h.
Two other cars are also reported to be in course of preparation, having four-wheel-drive. June is given as the completion date.
The Tour of Italy.
Plans are well advanced for the great new Italian Race, the Tour of Italy. Signor Arturo Mercanti, the invaluable assistant of Signor M.
Parisio, President of the Royal Automobile Club of Italy, paid a visit to Paris recently to attend a meeting of the A.I.A.C.R., and he took the opportunity of telling a gathering of French journalists the latest news about the race.
In Italy the race will be known as the " Coppa d'oro del Duce," and will take place from May 26th to June 2nd. The total distance will be 6,040 kilometres, divided into three stages. Although called a "Tour," it will in actual fact be a race for production cars, and the huge sum of 500,000 liras has been subscribed for prize money.
It is the intention of Freddie Zehender to break the World's Hour Record, and he has been trying to put this into execution for many months. At Montlhery it became a regular thing for the Italian to announce a definite attempt for 11 o'clock the next morning, but alas ! something always prevented him from doing so.
At last, after repeated false alarms, owing to snow, ice, and rain he actually set off on December 30th. The Maserati made several preliminary warming-up laps, and then there was a loud explosion, a cloud of black smoke—and another attempt had failed !
Bugatti v. Riley.
Pierre Vevron is now ready to try for the three records in Class F held by the 4 litre Riley driven by Eyston and McClure. Veyron's Bugatti will take to the Montlhery track any day now, and he is confident of success.
The Pau G.P. not to be held.
In spite of having received every indication of support from drivers and the Press, the A.C. BascoBearnais has decided not to run the Pau Grand Prix. This race was scheduled for February 18th on the International Calendar, and keen disappointment has been felt in France at its cancellation. The reason seems to be that the Club do not feel that they should run the entire risk of running the race at a season of doubtful weather conditions, especially as the town benefit so largely from the influx of visitors drawn to the race.
Pierre Felix gives up G.P Racing.
Pierre Felix, that enthusiastic French amateur, has given up Grand Prix racing. Instead, he has decided to devote himself to sports car events, and has already ordered a four seater 2.3 litre Alfa Romeo from the Milan factory. His first race will be at Le Mans.
What will he Drive ?
So many stories have been circulated as to the plans of Tazio Nuvolari for 1934 that it would be safer to say nothing at all. However, here is the latest news of the Italian drivers preparations.
The only car so far at his disposal is a single seater 1VIaserati, and it is this car which will undoubtedly be mostly used by Nuvolari. It is evident, however, that some arrangement has been entered into with the Bugatti and Mercedes-Benz factories, but whether Nuvolari will form part of a team, or drive one of these cars occasionally in an independent capacity is at present unknown. The latter course seems more probable. In addition, he is definitely engaged to drive an M.G. 1Viagnette at Ulster.
The inevitable Indianapolis rumour has gone the rounds, of course, but Nuvolari has stated that much as he would like to race in America, the only condition on which he would appear at Indianapolis would be if he could handle a car specially suited to American tracks.
There is no truth in the statement that he has been invited to go to Hollywood for a long-term film contract.
Satisfactory Tests of the Tipo B."
A couple of new Type B Alfa Romeo single seaters (fully described in the January issue of MOTOR SPORT) have been delivered to the Scuderia Ferrari. They were immediately taken to the Montenero Circuit, on which the Coppa Ciano is run every year, and were put through their paces by Achille Varzi and Tadini, two Ferrari drivers for 1934. Both men declared themselves fully satisfied with the way in which the machines handled.
" Gruppo San Giorgio."
Racing stables seem to be the order of the day. A new one in Italy is blessed with the title of " Gruppo San Giorgio," and is headed by the well known driver Renato Balestrero, w th Biondetti, Battilana and Palmieri. Their mounts will be selected from a 2,600 c.c. Alfa Romeo, three 3 litre Illaseratis, a 2,300 c.c. Bugatti and a 2 litre Bugatti fitted with a single seater body. An extensive raid on French races is planned. "
An Ambitious " Independant." The name of Delorme is
name Jean familiar to all followers of the sport in France, for this young man has competed regularly in races and hillclimbs at the wheel of a 2-litre Bugatti For 1934 Delorme has more extensive plans, and his first step has been to buy one of the actual doublecamshaft Bugattis raced by the
Molsheim factory during 1933. Thus equipped, it is his intention to enter for a number of races in France, and his presence should prove dangerous to the hopes of rival entries.
As foretold in a previous edition of MOTOR SPORT, a Winter Grand Prix will be held by the Royal A.C. of Norway on February 25th. The distance will be either 200 or 250 kilometres, and the course will be laid out on the frozen lake of Mjoren. Scandinavian enthusiasts are already preparing their cars, and it is hoped that some of the famous " aces " will be induced to enter.
The grandstands will be of a most unorthodox nature. Huge barges have been anchored in the lake before it froze over, and will serve as tribunes for the race.
Dieppe will be Magnificent.
There is every prospect of Dieppe being the scene of some of the most exciting motor-racing of 1934. Up till now, it has been the custom of the organisers to hold a series of motor-cycle races in the morning, and the 3 hours Circuit de Dieppe in the afternoon. This was good value, but the 0:Smite have decided to improve on this next July, and a totally new programme has been planned.
Only one motor-cycle race will be held, and the Grand Prix has been altered to an event of two heats and a final. The motor cycle Grand Prix will take place immediately before the final car race.
The result will be that spectators will be able to witness a full progranune of exciting racing from 10 o'clock in the morning until 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Meanwhile, Monsieur Hamiaux, the able secretary of the Comite is proceeding apace with his work of bringing the circuit to a state of perfection.
More News of the " Porschewagen."
The new racing car designed by Dr. Porsche made its first appearance at the Nurburg Ring in November. There it was examined by the drivers, but no trials were actually carried out. The next stage of its development has been to fit an engine of sorts into the chassis for tests of its roadholding qualities, steering and
brakes. Nurburg Ring was found to be unusable owing to the icy state of the road surface at this time of the year, and so the " Porschewagen," or "P," was taken to the Avus circuit.
A photograph of the car published in a French newspaper shows it to be of extremely low build. It is about 13 feet in overall length, and has a cowled radiator. The driver sits slightly towards the front of the car, immediately behind the petrol tanks, and his seat is only 15 inches from the ground. At present the car only has a single engine, placed at the rear, but the two 8 cylinder racing engines will be installed shortly. The car has independent springing fore and aft, and the gear box provides 5 forward ratios.
The final tests of the car will be carried out at Monza, owing to the difficulty of closing the Avus circuit for long periods of time.
These early preparations of the " Porschewagen " indicate that the cars will be in concert pitch in plenty of time for the drivers to become thoroughly used to handling them.
A Formidable Combination.
An interesting partnership has been formed between Walter A. Grosch, the Swiss driver, and Siena. The former has driven an Alfa Romeo during the past season, while Siena is of course one of the finest drivers on the Continent. He has performed conspicuously in the Mille Miglia, and won the Kesselburg
Hill Climb for the Ferrari stable in 1933. Incidentally Siena has held a responsible post in the tuning department of the Scuderia Ferrari for some time, so that their mounts for 1934 should not give trouble for lack of expert preparation.
The cars so far acquired by Grosch and Siena are a 2,600 c.c. Alfa Romeo, a 3 litre Maserati, a 2,300 c.c. sports type Alfa Romeo and a monoposto 1,100 c.c. Maserati. It is hoped to obtain the use of a 16 cylinder Maserati some time in May.
Advice to Organisers.
The business of organising and running a Grand Prix race over public roads is a very complicated one, and contains any number of difficulties which previous experience can do much to mitigate.
Now that motor racing is booming in France and many new events are being held, the Sporting Commission of the A.C.P. has decided to appoint a sub-committee who will be at the disposal of prospective organisers. Primarily the function of this committee will be to inspect suggested courses, but the full scope of grandstand and " pelouse " accommodation will, of course, be considered, in addition to general advisory work.
Another Ice-Lake Meeting.
The race on the frozen L?ibsee is well known in this country, and will take place this year on February 17th. It will form the concluding phase of the Gamisch-Partonkirchtn Rally, competitors arriving at Gainisch, in Bavaria, between 2 and 3 o'clock.
Another New Race.
The Vaudoire Section of the A.C. of Switzerland is planning a roadrace. Their intention is to hold the race at Montreux, and to invite the leading drivers of the moment, up to the number of 12 or 14.
The Bugatti Campaign.
After many rumours, the personnel of the Bugatti team has been finally settled. Typical of all Ettore's actions, it contains a great surprise, for the first-string will be none other than the famous Robert Benoist. He will be supported by Rene Dreyfus, Antonio Brivio and Jean P.
with Albert Divo as reserve.
Benoist has been in retirement for many years, and it will be extremely interesting to see whether his long rest has had any effect on his driving. A few years ago, of course, Benoist was the " Nuvolari " of the motor racing world, and his series of wins at the wheel of the 1-1 litre Delage earned for him one year the Championship of the World. He graduated on Salmsons, and has appeared at Brooklands both on Salmson and Delage cars.
Antonio Brivio drove for the Ferrari stable last year. He is a fine driver, and won the 'rarga Florio in 1933, although the opposit:on was not very strong.
Three of the new 2,800 c.c. Bugattis are ready for the fray, and it is intended to produce in all a dozen machines.
Ruesch to try again.
The young Swiss driver, Hans Rusch, sprang into prominence last year by breaking the World's standing kilometre record at Montlhery.
It will be remembered that he only held the record for a week or so, because John Cobb slightly improved on his time at Brooklands.
In December Rusch decided to have another attempt, so he set off for Tat, near Budapest, only to find that the road was covered with snow. Now he is back in Zurich again, and he has made an application to use the road from Ginbiasco to Cadenzzo, which has previously been used for records over a short distance.
Failing permission to make the attempt there, Rttesch intends to try again in February either at Montlhery or Brooklands.
An Entirely New French Racing Car. The
The rumours of a new French racing car, to be manufactured by a private syndicate, have now been transformed into definite news. Details of the car so far to hand state that it will have an 8 cylinder engine arranged in two parallel banks of 4, with dimensions of 68 x 90 mm., a cubic capacity of 2,600 c.c., and a hoped-for power output of 240 h.p. at 6,500 r.p.m.
The drivers will be Raymond Sommer and a new comer, Andre Parant. The new car will be in normal production, however, and will be obtainable by any Frenchborn racing driver.
The designer's name is being kept secret for the moment, but he is reputed to have had great experience of racing work. He is being helped by M. Simon Brault, who was intimately connected with the Lombard car a few years ago.