THE GRAND PRIX OF THE A.C.F.
BUGATTI FIRST ALFA-ROMEO SECOND
MASERATIS THIRD AND FOURTH.
4011IS CHI RON and Achille Varzi, driving together on
one of the new 2,300 c.c. Bugatti racing cars, won the sixteenth Grand Prix of the Automobile Club de France, which was first held at le Mans 25 years ago. The race this year was held on the road circuit at Montlhery, on Sunday, 21st June, and was a 10-hour event for unlimited racing cars. Guiseppe Campari and Borzacchini on a 24litre Alfa-Romeo were second, and Biondetti and Parenti on a Maserati third. Twelve finished out of twenty-three starters. The original 30 entries were reduced to 23 by the absence, among others, of Andre Boillot, Brisson and Kaye Don. The starters consisted in the first place of the official teams, three Bugattis driven by Chiron, Varzi, Divo, Bouriat, Williams and Conelli ; three AlfaRomeos driven by Campari, Borzacchini, Minola, Zehender, Nuvolari and Minozzi ; and three Maseratis driven by Ernesto Maserati, Fagioli, Dreyfus, Ghersi, Biondetti and Parenti ; with the semi-official Mer
THE GRAND PRIX OF THE A.C.F.
1. Chiron and Varzi (Bugatti), 1,258 km. 820. Average 75.51 m.p.h.
2. Campari and Borzaceldni (AlfaRomeo), 1,215 km. 122.
3. Biondetti and Parenti (Maserati), 1,187 km. 535.
4. Birkin and F,yston (Maserati), 1,185 km. 763.
5. Senechal and Fiettet (D e 1 a g e), 1,142 km. 558.
6. Minoia and Zehender (Alfa-Romeo), 1,126 km. 167.
7. Divo and Bouriat (Bugatti), 1,125 km.
8. Dreyfus and Ghersi (Maserati), 1.108 km. 279.
9. Ferrant and Rigal (Peugeot), 1,070 km. 508.
10. Pesato and Felix (Alfa-Romeo), 1,056 kin. 538.
11. Nuvolari and Minozzi (AlfaRomeo), 1,050 km.
12. Howe and Lewis (Bugatti), 975 km. 938.
cedes driven by Caracciola and Merz. In addition, private entries included another Mercedes driven by Ivanowski and Stoffel ; half a dozen more Bugattis driven by d’Amoux and Max Foumy, Wimille and Gaupillat, Lord Howe:and B. E.
Lewis, Eminente and Bourlier, Grimaldi and Bourgait and Lehoux and Etancelin ; another Maserati driven by H. R. S. Birkin and G. E. T. Eyston ; another AlfaRomeo of the 1,750 c.c. type driven by Pesato and Felix ; three 1,500 c.c. 1927 G.P. Delages driven by Robert Senechal and Fiettet, Scott and Payne, and R. D. Williams and Richards ; a Sunbeam of 1925 G.P. type driven by Dunfee and Appleyard ; and a Peugeot driven by Ferrant and Louis Rigal. The start was given at 8 a.m., and we expected to see a Bugatti or an Alfa-Romeo complete the opening lap first. Instead, as a surprise the leader was Pagioli on the Maserati and the others in order were Dreyfus (Maserati), Chiron (Bugatti), Williams (Bugatti), Lehoux (Bugatti), Divo (Bugatti), Campari (Alfa-Romeo), and Caracciola (Mercedes). For three laps Fagioli led, and then on the fourth Chiron passed him and took the lead. On the seventh lap, however, Fagioli regained it, and’onwthe twelfth proceeded to break the lap record at 85.5 m.p.h. At the end of the first hour the order was as follows :—
1. Fagiola (Maserati), 133 km. 194.
2. Chiron (Bugatti), 132 km. 900.
3. Dreyfus (Maserati), 139 km. 882. 4. Divo (Bugatti), 130 km. 576.
5. Williams (Bugatti), 130 km. 310.
6. Lehoux (Bugatti).
7. Campari (Ma-Romeo). Dunfee’s Sunbeam had fallen out on the first lap with a broken universal joint, and on the thirteenth lap Ivanowski’s Mercedes retired near the Conard bends with supercharger trouble, and was quickly followed by Lehoux’s Bugatti. This last withdrawal let Campari’s AlfaRomeo up into sixth place, and it
was now closely followed by its two companions of the official team. Soon after covering 150 kilometres, Chiron passed Fagioli and captured the lead for Bugatti, which he was never to lose again. At the end of the second hour practically all the cars came in to refuel and to change tyres, but the order of the leaders was unchanged. It was announced, however, that Scott’s Delage had retired. During the fourth hour E. Maserati on Fagioli’s Maserati fell steadily back, and Minozzi on the Alfa-Romeo made a great spurt. At the end of the fourth lap the order was as follow :
1. Chiron and Varzi (Bugatti), 526 km. 806.
2. Dreyfus and Ghersi (Maserati), 518 km. 386.
3. Divo and Bouriat (Bugatti), 515 km. 876. 4. Nuvolari and Minozzi (AlfaRomeo) 515 kin. 482
5. Williams and Conelli (Bugatti) 511 km. 797.
6. Campari and Borzacchini Alfa-Romeo). During the fifth hour Dreyfus’ Maserati fell steadily back to sixth position, and Nuvolari’s Alfa-Romeo passed Divo’s Bugatti and became second. The issue, however, was confused by stops for replenishments, and shortly afterwards the three official Bugattis were in the first three places. At about this time Caracciola’s Mercedes retired,
like Ivanowski’s, with supercharger trouble, and a little later Fagioli’s Maserati was also withdrawn. After five hours’ running, half way through the race, the order was as follows :—
1. Chiron and Varzi (Bugatti), 651 km. 889.
2. Divo and Bouriat (Bugatti), 639 km. 660.
3. Dreyfus and Ghersi (Maserati), 635 km. 635.
4. Williams and Conelli (Bugatti) 634 km. 846. 5. Nuvolari and. Minozzi (Alfa-Romeo), 612
6. MinoIa. and Zehender (AlfaRomeo). During the sixth hour the Bugatti and the Alfa-Romeo both passed the Maserati, and the Bugatti team was again in the first three places. During the seventh hour, however, the Bugatti driven by Williams and Conelli fell out, and was quickly followed by the three privately owned Bugattis driven by Grimaldi and Borgait. Eminente and Bourlier, and d’Amoux and Fourny. Nuvolari’s Alfa thus became third, but shortly afterwards it made a prolonged stop at the pits and fell back a long way. As compensation, however, the Campari-Borzacchini team was creeping up, and at the end of
the eighth hour the order was as follows :
1. Chiron and Varzi (Bugatti), 1,025 km. 632.
2. Divo and Bouriat (Bugatti), 1,016 km. 474.
3. Campari and Borzacchini (Alfa-Romeo), 963 km. 204. 4. 13irkin and Eyston (Maserati), 963 km. 034
5. Nuvolari and Minozzi (AlfaRomeo), 958 km. 992.
6. Biondetti and Parenti (Maserati). During the ninth hour there was no great change in the order, but 40 minutes from the end Divo’s Bugatti failed to reappear and its withdrawal was announced. This let Carnpari’s AlfaRomeo
up into second place, but there was no catching the Bugatti, now driven by Varzi, which finally received the yellow flag of victory amid much applause.
Public interest in the race was enormous, and, held under almost ideal weather conditions, it proved to be one of the best events so far run off this season. One very noticeable feature was the large number of visitors from other countries amongst the spectators including a large contingent from England.