Jean Pierre Wimille wins at 96.18 m.p.h. from Varzi and Trossi. Sommer’s Maserati follows them home.
The story of this year’s Swiss Grand Prix, run over the 4 1/2-mile circuit in the forest of Bremgarten, is soon told. Two heats were run off before the final. In the first Varzi’s 1 1/2-litre Alfa-Romeo, a Type 158 with two-stage supercharging, won at 85.8 m.p.h. from Trossi of the same team, Raymond Mays bringing his D-type E.R.A., for which Harrison had loaned a cylinder head, 3rd ahead of a string of Maseratis.
The Alfa-Romeos got far ahead of the field and, in heavy rain, more or less toured in. Varzi did fastest lap in practice, in 2 m. 42.9 s., and Trossi pulled out a circuit in 3 m. 2.3 s., during the race. “Bira” retired with back axle trouble in his new 16-valve Maserati and Watson had the fuel tank split (as he feared) in the newly-bodied 1 1/2-litre (ex-2-litre) Cowell Alta. While doing a lap of honour Varzi most unfortunately killed a boy who ran out on the course.
Heat Two saw Wimille win easily at 94.5 m.p.h. from Sanesi, who was fourth member of the Alfa team. The divers Maseratis and Delage and Rosier’s Talbot followed the winner in, but it was Sommer’s 16-valve Maserati which made fastest lap of the day, in 2 m. 46.6 s., equal to 97 3/4 m.p.h. Leslie Johnson, in his Darracq, which was in Jersey trim, had a brake lock on and slid on to the grass, killing two spectators who had no right to be there, having defied the police. It is a thousand pities this happened to Johnson who, a decent chap, retired at once. The Final saw Whnille a comfortable victor, at 96.18 m.p.h., Varzi finishing 44.7 s. behind him, with Trossi 3rd — Alfas 1, 2, 3. Wimille did one lap at 98.06 m.p.h. (2 m. 47 s.) and averaged 96.18 m.p.h. The crowd, alas, pressed closer than before. Sommer’s Maserati was 4th, Sanesi’s Alfa-Romeo 5th, Villoresi’s Maserati 6th, Pagani’s Maserati 7th, “Bira’s” Maserati 8th. The only Englishman to get home was Ansell (Maserati) who came in 11th. Before the big race two sports car races were contested, Bergas’ Alfa-Romeo winning the big-car race, Heeb’s M.G. the up-to-1 1/2-litre event. The Alfas in the big race were much as last year, but with smaller air-intake bigger rear blower and some-what modified transmission and rear suspension.
1st: Wimille (Alfa-Romeo), 1 h. 25 in. 9.1 sec., 96.18 m.p.h.
2nd: Varzi (Alfa-Romeo), 1 h. 25 m. 53.8 sec.
3rd: Trossi (Alfa-Romeo), 1 h. 27 m. 27.5 sec.
Rose Unblown F.W.D. Car Wins at Indianapolis
Average speed 116.338 m.p.h. One fatal accident
Before a crowd estimated as 125,000 Mauri Rose won the second fastest Indianapolis 500-Mile Race yet run, at 116.338 m.p.h. Had accidents not slowed the cars down at times, he would probably have beaten the 117.2 m.p.h. average made by Roberts’ Miller in 1938. [The fastest British “500” was won at 121.28 m.p.h. in 1935. — Ed.] Rose drove a 4 1/2-litre, 4-cylinder, unsupercharged, F.W.D. Blue Crown Special and a similar car, driven by Bill Holland, was 2nd, at 116.097 m.p.h. These cars were designed by Lou Moore, of Ventura, and easily beat Ted Horn’s Maserati, disguised as a Bennett-Special. Rose netted $23,500 prize money, Holland $24,200 by reason of leading for much of the race.
Unfortunately, there was some confusion at the end of the race, when Holland, who was leading, was flagged down and let Rose through to win, the sign being displayed by the Blue Crown pit and intended for both drivers. The 1 1/2-litre Mercédès-Benz went out with piston trouble. Even more unfortunate, at one point Holland skidded into the in-field and to avoid him Cantlon swerved and was fatally injured by his steering wheel when his car hit the retaining wall. Of the 16 retirements one was due to a broken front axle, five due to accidents, one to a broken fuel line, one with transmission trouble, one to a broken timing gear, one by oil pressure loss, two by magneto failure, two by transmission failure and one by a broken piston. The finishing order was:
Mauri Rose, Blue Crown Special … 116.338 m.p.h.
Bill Holland, Blue Crown Special … 116.097 m.p.h.
Ted Horn, Bennett Special … 114.799 m.p.h.
Cliff Bergere, Novi Governor Spec … 113.404m.p.h.
Jimmy Jackson, Jim Hussey Special … 112.834 m.p.h.
Rex Mays, Bowes Seal Fast Special … 111,056 m.p.h.
Walt Brown, Permafuse Special … 101,744 m.p.h.
Cy Marshall, Tattersfield Special … *+99.212 m.p.h.
Fred Agabashian, Ross Page Special … *+99.611m.p.h.
Duke Dinsmore, School Special … *84.616 m.p.h.
Les Anderson, Kennedey Tank Special … *No time
Pete Romcevich, Camco Ford Special … *No Time
* Flagged off.
+ Marshall went 196 laps, Agabashian 191.