At the end of April, Italy ran her famous 1,000-mile Brescia-Breseini sports and touring car race under dreadful weather conditions. There was a record field of 383 and of them all, Giannini Marzotto’s Ferrari, with its V12 engine enlarged to 2,340 c.c., and a Supperleggera coupé body, gained a convincing victory at 76.57 m.p.h. Ferrari themselves had put in Ascari and Villoresi in the new 3-litre Ferraris and Alfa-Romeo were running their 2 1/2-litre cars in special short-chassis coupé form with swing-axle i.r.s. They were driven by Fangio, Rol and Bonetto, backed up by Sanesi’s car with experimental 3-litre engine. Biondetti, who had won this race four times previously, had an XK 120 Jaguar and Britain was further represented by the XK 120s of Johnson, Wisdom and Hume, Haines and Haller, and Ideb and Gaboardi, and the Healey “Silverstones” of Healey, Wood and Monkhouse, Richards and Lord, and by the pre-war Aston-Martin of Stapleton and Buffo. Healey’s car had a Nash engine.
The roads were extremely slippery and very soon Prince Lanza’s Cistalia coupé had rolled down an embankment, the occupants escaping with minor injuries. Before the car had been towed away, Wood crashed at the same spot, and his co-driver, Peter Monkhouse, sustained fatal head injuries, Wood a broken leg. Richards ditched his Healy and broke a leg and Sanesi crashed at the same place, damaging his arm.
Crashes dominated the race, but Marzotto’s Ferrari was away in front, leading Villoresi and Serafini. The best placed British car was Biondetti’s Jaguar, running seventh.
Later Villoresi’s bigger engine enabled him to overtake Marzotto, and for the first 375 miles he averaged 92 m.p.h. Serafini’s 2,340 c.c. Ferrari was third. Ascari’s 3-litre troubled by losing tyre treads, fourth. Then the new Ferrari engines broke up the transmission and Rol’s brakes failed at an awkward spot. Healey left the road and lost the overdrive gear of the Nash-Healey. Fangio had his Alfa-Romeo up to third place, ahead of Cortese’s Frazer-Nash, followed by five Jaguars, in spite of the fact that Johnson’s screen-wiper had packed up and Biondetti had been delayed over half an hour by a broken back spring. Later Wisdom’s Jaguar, which had been delayed by a loose wheel and sticking throttle, retired with transmission trouble. Haines’ Jaguar hit a wall. So British hopes faded and the best our cars could do was fifth by Johnson’s Jaguar. Ferraris were first and second, Alfa-Romeo third and a Ferrari fourth, but a British Frazer-Nash was second to Bracco’s Ferrari in the 2-litre sports-car class.
One of the new twin o.h.c. Oscas driven by Fagioli won the 1,100-c.c. sports class, and was as high as seventh in the general classification. F.I.A.T.s dominated all the other classes not won by Ferrari except for an Alfa-Romeo victory in the International Grand Touring category and in the over 1,100-c.c. touring-car class, in which a Lancia Aprilia was second.
1ST : Giannino Marzotto (3.3-litre Ferrari), 13 hrs. 38 mins. 20 secs., at 76.79 m.p.h.
2ND : Dorino Serafini (3.3-litre Ferrari), 13 hrs. 46 mins. 53 secs.
3RD : Juan Fangio (Alfa-Romeo), 14 hrs. 2 mins. 5 secs.
4TH : G. Bracco (2-litre Ferrari), 14 hrs. 7 mins. 23 secs.
5TH : L. G. Johnson (Jaguar XK 120), 14 hrs. 29 mins. 27 secs.
6TH : Franco Cortese (2-litre Frazer-Nash “Le Mans”), 14 hrs. 33 mins. 59 secs.
7TH : Luigi Fagioli (1,100-c.c. OSCA), 14 hrs. 34 mins. 20 secs.
8TH : Clemente Biondetti (3.5-litre Jaguar XK 120), 14 hrs. 38 mins. 39 secs.
9TH : Vittorio (Ferrari), 14 hrs. 39 mins. 2.6 secs.
10TH : Schwelm (Alfa-Romeo), 14 hrs. 45 mins. 51.2 secs.
750-C.C. SPORTS.–Leonardi (F.I.A.T.), 15 hrs. 55 mins. 40 secs. (65.6 m.p.h.).
1,100-C.C. SPORTS.–Fagioli (OSCA), 14 hrs. 34 mins. 20 secs.
2-LITRE SPORTS.–1st : Bracco (Ferrari), 14 hrs. 7 mins. 23 secs. ; 2nd : Cortese (Fraser-Nash), 14 hrs. 35 mins. 2 secs.
750-C.C. : Piodo (F.I.A.T.), 18 hrs. 43 mins. 57 secs. (55.8 m.p.h.)
1,100-C.C. : Mancini (F.I.A.T.), 17 hrs, 8 mins. 28 secs.
OVER 1,100-C.C. : Moroni (Alfa-Romeo), 15 hrs. 50 mins. 34 secs.
G.P. DE PARIS
In this race at Montlhéry on April 29th, Georges Grignard won at 93.37 m.p.h. in a Lago-Talbot, four laps ahead of the nearest rival. Louis Gerard, in a Delage. Another lap away was the third and only other finisher Versini’s Delage. Grignard was racing for 2 hr. 5 min. 88.8 sec. The H.W.M.s went over but, alas, Abecassis and Moss both retired. The 500-c.c. race was especially interesting because the Panhard-engined H.B.s, of which we are likely to see more, met the Coopers for the first time. Ken Carter upheld British honours, after a 48 min. 19.9 sec. drive at 63.62 m.p.h., but Elie Bayonne’s D.B. chased him hard, finishing second, 18.1 sec. behind, and 1 min. 6.1 sec. ahead of Coldham’s Cooper, which was third.
The National Speed Hill-Climb at Shelsley Walsh which commences at 1.30 p.m. on June 10th is the first event counting towards the R.A.C. Hill-Climb Championship. It is confined to racing cars but lady drivers are eligible. Fastest time wins a prize of £100 and a Challenge Trophy. Competitors’ cars will be subdivided into up to 500, 1,100, 1,500, 3,000 c.c., and over 3,000-c.c. classes, and there are special prizes for Shelsley Specials and non-supercharged cars, and a Team Prize. Entries have closed ; practice takes place on the Friday.