THE GRAND PRIX of casablanca


The Grand Prix of Casablanca.


ing one of the new 2,300 c.c.

supercharged Bugatti racing cars with the double overhead camshaft engine, won the Grand Prix of Casablanca, which was run on the 17th May, 1931. Second place was captured by Philippe Etancelin, winner of the French Grand Prix last year, on an old type 2-litre Bugatti racer, Jean de Maleplane was third on a similar car, and Scaron secured fourth place on his little 1,100 c.c. Amilcar which thus easily won the 1,500 c.c. class.

The race was run over what is known as the Circuit of Ada, which consists of certain streets of the town of Casablanca, and thus somewhat resembled the Grand Prix of Monaco. The circuit, which had to be covered fifty-five times proved considerably faster than had been expected, and in spite of twenty-two starters there was at no time undue crowding of the competitors. In the class for cars above 1,500 c.c., the competitors numbered ten, and consisted of Czaikowski on the new Bugatti racer, with Lehoux, Etancelin, Fassi, Fleccia, Grimaldi and de Maleplane on older cars of the same make, Ferdinand and Charles Montier on their special Fords and Ferrant with his veteran Peugeot racer. In the smaller class were seven more Bugattis, driven by Roux, Veyron, Galba, Hiercourt, Pao, Saint-Genies and Madame Itier, two Alfa-Romeos driven by Capello and Plate, Scaron. and Dourel on Amilcars, and Schlumberger on a

Rally. . The start was given at 2.30 p.m. in the presence of the Sultan of Morocco and the Resident General, the cars being drawn up in rows of three in front of the grandstands. The whole pack got away with a terrific roar, and from the start an intense duel developed between Lehoux, who is a native of North Africa and immensely popular, and Count Czaikowski, who was favoured by the possession of one of the new Bugattis and the training given him by Friedrich, the veteran Bugatti driver. Etancelin clung close to their heels, and after the first ten laps had been covered the order of the leaders was as follows :

1. Lehoux (Bugatti), 29m. 18s.

2. Czaikowski (Bugatti), 29m. 19s.

3. Etancelin (Bugatti), 30m. 16s. 1,500 c.c.

1. Galba (Bugatti). 32m. 34s.

2. Scaron (Amilcar), 33m. 9s.

3. Veyron (Bugatti), 33m. 27s. The duel between Lehoux and Czaikowski continued unabated, the first setting up the record for the circuit in 2 minutes 50 seconds, and the other driver promptly equalling it. After twenty laps had been covered Lehoux still had a lead amounting to no more than 4 seconds over Czaikowski, and in the 1,500 c.c. class Galba led Scaron by just over half a minute. Galba is a local driver who was taking part in a big

race for the first time, and his performance was one of the features of the day. At about half distance Lehoux stopped to refill, and then got going again at great speed, having lost the lead to Czaikowski, who it was known did not intend to make a stop for replenishments. The effort however, was too much for his car and he was forced to retire with engine truble. This let Etancelin up into second place, and de Maleplane who was driving with remarkable regularity, became third. The order in the 1,500 c.c. class remained the same until after the 30th lap when Galba fell back behind Scaron, and Veyron passed both of them to gain the lead in his class. Shortly afterwards, however, the latter was forced to retire and thc lead went to Scaron. Towards the end of the race Etancelin lost the use of his third speed, but he continacd nevertheless very nearly as fast, and retained second place. The final result was as follows : 1. Count Czaikowski (Bugatti), 2h. 41m. 52 1/5s. (Average speed, 85.6 m.p.h.)

2. Philippe Etancelin (Bugatti), 2h. 45m. 33 2/5s.

3. Jean de Maleplane (Bugatti), 2h. 51m. 58 4/5s. 4. (1) Scaron (Amilcar), 2h. 58m. 45s. (Average speed, 77.49 m.p.h.)

5. Ferrant (Peugeot), 2h. 58m. 50 1/5s.

6. (2) Galba (Bugatti), 3h. Om. 25s.

7. Grimaldi (Bugatti), 3h. 15m. 26 2/5s.

8 (3). Plate (Alfa-Romeo), 3h. 24m. 40 1/5s.

9. (4) Dourel (Amilcar).

10. F. Montier (Ford-Montier). 11 (5) Cappello (Alfa-Romeo).

12. Fleccia. (Bugatti).

13. (6) Saint-Genies (Bugatti).

14. (7) Hiercourt (Bugatti).

The positions of the finishers in the 1,500 c.c. class are shown in brackets.