REVENGE FOR MASERATI AT NAPLES FARINA WINS UNINTERESTING BIG CAR RACE
The 1,500 c.c. battle continues. At Turin it looked as though the E.R.A.s were slightly faster than the Maseratis, and Bjornstadt’s victory seemed to confirm this impression. Nor even in the hands of such a masterly driver as Rene Dreyfus could the Italian cars compete with Britain’s racers.
As if to upset all form, however, Count Trossi thoroughly trounced the E.R.A.s in a race at Naples the following weekend. So that nothing is proved except that Trossi seems to have a peculiar flair for 1,500 c.c. racing.
It happened like this. The course was of the figure-eight pattern, but the middle bits did not actually touch. It was two and a half miles in length, and had to be covered thirty times, giving a total race distance of seventy-five miles.
Like all small circuits, the course took a deal of learning, but as the drivers were .only allowed one day’s training, their knowledge of it was correspondingly meagre. Starting positions were based on practice speeds, and resulted in poor positions for the three E.R.A.s, which were lined up together with two rows of Maseratis in front of them. The E.R.A.
drivers were Birabongse, Tongue and Bjornstadt.
When the Prince of Piedmont lowered the starting flag it was Cortese’s Maserati which leapt to the front, with Trossi (Maserati), Birabongse (E.R.A.) and Bianco (Maserati) hot on his heels. Bianco was soon outdistanced, but Cortese clung to his precarious lead for five laps. Then Birabongse scraped past both the Maseratis, and Cortese dropped back with a faulty plug.
Then Trossi decided to show what he could really do, and with surprising ease he passed the Siamese and proceeded to draw steadily ahead. He was gaining clear seconds on every lap, try as the E.R.A. driver might to keep pace, but the latter was at least holding second place securely from Bianco. All British hopes faded as Reggie Tongue’s E.R.A. began to mis-fire owing to defective plugs, but some consolation was to be had in the sight of Bjornstadt thrusting his E.R.A. ahead of Bianco to form a sound support for Birabongse’s effort. After twenty laps Trossi had built up a half-minute lead over Birabongse, who nevertheless perserved manfully. Bjornstadt was a secure third, but Bianco was dropping right back and was passed by
Prosperi (Maserati). So it went on until the finish, with
Trossi a splendid winner on his merits.
Result of 1,500 e.e. Race (77 miles)
1. Trossi (Maserati), lh. 14m. 41.48. 51.40 m.p.h.
2. Birabongse (E.R.A.), lb. 15m. 40.6s.
3. Bjornstadt (E.R.A.), lh. 1Cm. 10.6s.
4. Prosperi (Maserati).
5. Bianco (Maserati).
6. 1)e Gratfenreld (Maserati).
The race for big cars was completely uninteresting, being a procession of Alf aRomeos led with consummate ease by the Ferrari driver, Guiseppe Farina. Some idea of the race can be gained by the fact that Farina’s fastest lap was 68.52 m.p.h., as compared with Trossi’s 62.5 m.p.h.
Result of Over 1,500 c.e. Race (128 miles)
1. Farina (Alfa-Romeo), 211. 4m. 28.8s. 51.41 m.p.h.
2. Illondettl (Alfa-Romeo), 2h. 6m. 11s.
3. Villoresi (Alfa-Romeo), 2h. 6m. 502s.
4. Arzana (Alfa-Romeo).
5. Siena (Alfa-Romeo).
6. Saruba (Alfa-Romeo).