COUNT TR011i WIN! AT MONTREUX
ETANCELIN GIVES THE FERRARI TEAM A SHOCK BY LEADING FOR MOST OF THE RACE WHITNEY STRAIGHT FINISHES FOURTH, AND HAMILTON FIFTH.
THE Grand Prix of Montreux is a newcomer to the ranks of roundthe houses races. The circuit measures 3 kilometres 320, and the race was run over 90 laps, or a total distance of 298 kilometres 800. The course abounds in corners, quite as much as Monaco, so that brakes are tested to the full, as is the stamina of the drivers.
The field was rather a small one by recent standards, and this was no doubt due to the fact that the race was not announced until late. However, the dozen ears which actually came to the line Were all capable of making a show, and the inevitable battle between the Ferrari Alfa Romeos, the Whitney Straight Maseratis and Etancelin’S Maserati was a guarantee of the success of the race.
A terrific storm broke out over Montreux a few hours before the race, but the. sun came out again in time to dry the reads, The rain held off until the last few laps, and did not affect the size of the crowd, which was estimated at 30,000. By virtue of his fast practice laps Etancelin (Maserati) was in the front row, and from the fall of the flag he seemed determined not to relinquish this initial lead. At the end of the first lap he came past first, followed by Whitney Straight, while the Ferrari drivers, Moll, Varzi
and Trossi, all on Alfa Romeos, were jockeying for position among the slower cars in the rear. As soon as the field settled clown a bit the Ferrari pit-control decided to send young Guy Moll out in pursuit of Etancelin. But first of all
shoulders of its President, Count Felice Trossi. There was, roughly, 65 kilometres to go, 20 laps, and the red Alfa-Romeo was 70 seconds behind the pale blue Maserati. Normally Etancelin would have been
Moll had to pass Straight, and this proved a more di Moult task than was anticipated.
Meanwhile the wily Etancelin piled up a nice little lead, driving with that dash which has endeared him to most Continental crowds. When Moll was within striking distance he was forced to stop at his pit, and a few laps later he retired with a broken back axle. Then Varzi was signalled to take up the chase, first of all tucking in behind Straight, who was lying second. Straight held Varzi off by a fine display of driving, but eventually had to give way when his supercharger gave trouble and sprayed his face with oil. This caused Straight to stop every two or three laps in order to wipe his goggles. Varzi closed in on the flying Etancelin, and the Ferrari pit people began to feel a little happier. Then Varzi, too, came into the pits, complaining of queer noises in the back axle. The Ferrari mantle now descended in all its weight upon the
able to keep ahead of Trossi, for he is as good a driver, if not better, than the Italian. He may not be so polished, for it is said that he never looks at the revolution counter, preferring to change gear when the car feels like it I But bad luck here crept into the game. The brakes of the Maserati are notoriously its weak point, and although Etancelin had improved them since Monaco, the twisty Montreux course soon revealed their defects. He had to rely more and more on his engine to brake for the corners, and this driving technique gave Trossi the advantage he wanted. But it was not all a gift, and Trossi repeatedly broke the lap record until it was reduced to a final figure of Imin. 52secs.
A word about the other drivers Would not be amiss. We have already mentioned Whitney Straight’s fine display ; H. C. Hamilton was taking it easy, emerging successfully from a duel with Zehender on the 4-cylinder Maserati driven by Taruffi at Monaco ; Sofietti did well with an Alfa until being forced out with the back axle trouble, always so prevalent on a winding course ; Veyron drove neatly and well with a 2.3 Bugatti, and Sommer kept going satisfactorily with a 2.3-litre Alfa-Romeo. Here is the full result :-
1. Count F. Ttossi (Alia Romeo, 3,000 c.c..), 2h. 57m. 25s. 62.91 m.p.h.
2. P. Etancelin (Maserati 3,000 c.c.), 2h. 57m. 33s.
3. A. Varzi (Alfa-Rozneo 3,000 c.c.), 2h. 58m. 18s.
4. W. Straight (Maserati 3,000 c.c.), 2b. 58m. 46s.
5. H. C. Hamilton (Maserati 3,000 c.c.).
6. F. Zehender (Maserati).
7. P. Veyron (Bugatti).
8. R. Sommer (Alfa-Romeo).