As memories of the Great war recede, motor racing becomes ever more popular. In Britain a new magazine aims to report events at Brooklands
Driver: Tazio Nuvolari
Review of 1931 season
The earlier races wiwtnessed a succession of duels between the new Bugattis and Alfa Romeos, both of 2300cc, in which the Bugattis proved slightly the faster and the Alfa Romeos perhaps a little more reliable.
The conflict between the marques has been rendered all the more exciting by the fact that Achille Varzi, late of Alfa Romeo, has been a member of the Bugatti team, while his former Alfa team-mate Tazio Nuvolari has remained faithful to the Milanese firm. These two drivers can undoubtedly both lay claim to being the greatest ‘ace’ at the moment of Italy if not the world, and although they are the best of friends, the keenest rivalry exists between them. They form an interesting contrast, for Varzi is as cool as a cucumber at the wheel and combines soundness with real brilliance, while Nuvolari seems always to be overcome with nervous excitement and is surprisingly regular nevertheless. At all events, though one hears varying opinions, it is hard to choose between them for the better driver.
Mussolini: racing enthusiast
Il Duce has always been interested in motor racing and has owned personally the finest sportscars produced in Italy. Now this interest has been given public notice by his reception of the famous Italian drivers, Tazio Nuvolari and Baconin Borzacchini. Signor Mussolini congratulated both of them on their successes, and in particular made special reference to Nuvolari’s wonderful series of wins this season.
1932 Italian Grand Prix
In following up his successes at Monaco and in the Targa Florio, Nuvolari has firmly established himself as the finest driver in the world this season. Tough and wiry, and never showing the slightest sign of fatigue, he possesses to the full that valuable quality of being able to combine daring and dash with cool skill.
The new Alfa has proved itself a complete success on its first public performance, and is another feather in the already full cap of Signor Jano.
1932 Marseilles GP, Miramas
When Nuvolari made his first stop he was under the impression that he had thrown off his nearest rivals, and that he had the race well in hand. In fact, however, he was only lmin 20sec ahead of Sommer, and as the Italian driver made no effort to hurry, changing plugs and tyres, refuelling, having a drink and generally taking his ease, his pitstop of 3min cost him the lead. Sommer made a quick stop and set off at the same time as Nuvolari, who thought he was at least a lap ahead of Sommer. Actually, he was a lap behind!
When the Alfa Romeo equipe realised the true state of affairs, they hung out the ‘go faster’ signs — but the confident Nuvolari made no effort to obey. Frantically, the pit staff urged him to increase his speed, at which point Nuvolari came in to find out what was the cause of the bother.
He was told. Nuvolari’s expression changed from one of confident enquiry to one of intensified energy, and straightaway he set off in pursuit of the flying Sommer. His daring was a sight to behold. Holding his car in the series of lightning skids which is so characteristic of this master-driver’s methods, he lapped at a terrifying pace and immediately set up a new lap record at 199.741kph. In an astonishingly short space of time he had cut Sommer’s lead to pieces and was within striking distance of victory.
Then came the coup de grace. A tyre punctured, and the unfortunate Nuvolari ran into his pit. The wheel was changed in less time than it takes to tell, and once again he took up the chase. But the delay had widened the gap to an irrevocable degree, and in spite of the most valiant efforts on the part of Nuvolari, Sommer secured a well-deserved victory by the narrow margin of 46sec.
Nuvolari — Stop Press!
Elsewhere within this issue our Continental Correspondent reports that Nuvolari has been offered a large sum to race a new Fiat sports model. He now tells me that Nuvolari has joined the racing stable of Ferrari and that the world’s finest racing driver will be seen at the wheel of a 2.6-litre biposto Alfa Romeo this season.
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