HE UGATTI GRAND PRIX.
Second Consecutive Win for Zanelli.
NE has got so used lately to seeing the entry lists of all the big races filled almost entirely by Bugattis, that one is no longer surprised to think that it is possible to run an important race confined entirely to the cars from Molsheim. Rather one was somewhat disappointed at le Mans on 1st June to find that in spite of quite a good entry list, only eight cars actually appeared on the starting line. Probably however the complete exclusion of the professional element left only a few amateurs who could afford to run their cars in the race, in spite of the attractive car and chassis presented as prizes by Ettore Bugatti himself.
The start of the race on the permanent Sarthe roadracing circuit, which is the course used for the Grand Prix d’Endurance was at 11.15 on the Sunday morning. Seven of the competitors went off together, these being first Andre Dubonnet, the winner of the first Bugatti Grand Prix of 1928, who drove a 1500 c.c. unsupercharged car, and had to cover 28 rounds of the circuit, a total distance of just over 286 miles ; while the other six consisted of Tedaldi and Max Fourny on 1500 c.c. supercharged machines, ” Sabipa,” Mademoiselle Helle Nice, Count d’Arnoux and Zanelli, last year’s winner ‘on 2-litre unsupercharged cars, all of whom had to cover 30 laps, a total of 319 miles. Four minutes later Bouriano, the scratch man, whose 2,300 c.c. Bugatti carried the yellow Belgian colours, was sent off to cover 32 laps or 352 miles.
The noise of his engine had hardly died away when the sound of the first car round was heard in the distance and Max Fourny shot past, having completed his first lap in 8 minutes. He was hotly pursued by Tedaldi, d’Arnoux, Zanelli, Mlle. Helle Nice and Andre Dubonnet, but Sabipa came in slowly and stopped at his pit. His car was apparently suffering from some major trouble with the petrol feed, for after some investigation he decided to retire. Meanwhile Bouriano shot past going in great style, having completed his first lap in 7m. 34s., an average of over 81 m.p.h.
On the second lap Tedaldi succeeded in passing Max Fourny, but at the end of the fourth circuit Andre Dubonnet did not appear and it was learned that he had broken down on the Tours road, though he eventually got going again. Bouriano was going very fast and rapidly cutting down his handicap. After ten laps the positions were as follows :—
Tedaldi (1.500 c.c. S.).
Zanelli (2,000 c.c.).
Fourny (1,500 c.c. S.).
Bouriano (2,300 c.c. S.).
Mlle. Helle Nice (2,000 c.c.).
Dubonnet (1,500 c.c.).
Count d’Arnoux had stopped about half a mile from the tribunes, and the withdrawal of his Bugatti was finally announced. Andre Dubonnet again had to stop, this time at his pit, and take his carburettor down. The trouble was apparently with a sticking needle valve, and although he pluckily got going again when about seven laps behind the leaders, he was finally forced to retire. On the twelfth lap Zanelli passed Tedaldi and took the lead, but on the next he was repassed by Tedaldi and also by Max Fourny. Bouriano was running fourth and gradually gaining on the leaders, when, after he had covered a lap at 90 m.p.h., the loud-speaker announced that he had broken down at Mulsanne, a stone having pierced his radiator. Thus the fastest car was out of the race. After 15 laps the order was :—
4. Mlle. Helle Nice.
5. Dubonnet (having covered 8 laps).
The competition between the three leading cars was now very keen. On the sixteenth lap Fourny passed Tedaldi and gained the lead, which he held till the twentyfirst, when he lost it to Zanelli, who had also passed Tedaldi. Then on the twenty-eighth lap, when he had only two more to do, Tedaldi appeared on foot at the grandstands, the hot pace having caused his Bugatti to run a big end. This was indeed an unlucky end to a fine race. Zanelli was not to be caught again, and he finally finished his thirtieth lap, winner of the third Bugatti Grand Prix. Max Fourny was second, some three minutes behind the leader. Mademoiselle Helle Nice at this time had completed 28 laps, but on seeing the winners being congratulated in the Tribunes, she decided that she too might as well stop, and was placed third. The final result was as follows :
1. Zanelli (2,000 c.c. unsupercharged), 3h. 47m. 31 4-5s, Average 80.89 m.p.h.
2. Max Fourny (1,500 c.c. supercharged), 3h. 50m. 56 3-5s. Average 79.7 m.p.h.
3. Mademoiselle Helle Nice (2,000 c.c. unsupercharged).