Continental Notes, March 1934



Continental Notes

Etancelin Prepares.

ONE of the very first of the 1934 3 litre Maseratis was supplied to the well known French driver, Philippe Etancelin. Leaving no stone unturned in his preparations for the forthcoming Grand Prix season, Etancelin has taken the car to Montlhery, where he was to be seen last month on the road circuit. His purpose is to get the car tuned to concert pitch well before the opening rate, the Monaco Grand Prix, and to accustom himself fully to handling the car.

Etancelin, or ” Fifi ” as the French enthusiasts call him, has other plans too. He has ordered a sports-type 2,350 c.c. Alfa Romeo with which he hopes to do battle against his old rival Nuvolari in the Ulster T.T. The latter, of course, will be driving an M. G. Magnette.

16 Entries for the French G.P.

A few days before the final closing date for the French Grand Prix some consternation was felt among sporting circles abroad, for no entries had been received. The trouble was that the A.C.F. had made a rule that the sum of 10,000 francs, or a bank guarantee of that amount, must be deposited with each entry. As the race was only open to manufacturers or their nominated drivers, this meant finding 30,000 francs for the team. In many ways, however, the A.C.F. were justified in doing this, because last year there was good deal of difficulty through drivers failing to turn up at the last minute for some reason or other.

The result of all this was that the manufacturers held back their entries in the hope that the organisers, faced with the possibility of having no entries at all, would relent and waive the rule. This went on until the last day of entry, January 31st, and then the manufacturers, seeing the A.C.P. as firm as a rock in their decision, came forward in a body with their entries.

Here is the full list :—S.E.P.A.C. one, Bugatti three, Maserati three, MercedesBenz three, Alfa Romeo three, and Anto-Union three. The S.E.P.A.C. is the new French racing car which is being built by the Societe d.’Etude et de Fabrication cl’Automobiles de Course, under the supervision of Messieurs Emile Petit and Simon Brault. The driver will be Raymond Soznmer.

Although Ettore Bugatti has not made an official pronouncement, it is expected that his cars will be the new 2,800 c.c. jobs. The drivers will be Robert Benoist, Rene Dreyfus and Jean P. Wimille. Maserati has entered two cars of his own, and Philippe Etancelin makes up the third. Mercedes-Benz drivers will be Caraceiola (if fit), Von Brauschitsch and Pagioli. The cars are reported to have been seen tested in Italy. The Alfa Romeo factory has nominated the Scuderia Ferrari to represent it in the race, and the drivers are named as Count Trossi, Varzi and Chiron, with Moll as reserve. Finally, the Auto-Union team, entered at the last moment, will have as its drivers the choice of H. Stuck von Villiez, Prince By HAROLD NOCKOLDS de Leiningen, Alomberger and Sebastien. What a race ! No enthusiast should leave a stone unturned in his efforts to get to Montlhery on July 1st,

Eyston’s Magnificent Hour Record.

The World’s Hour Record is one of the very highest attainments open to a racing driver, and on February 4th George Eyston set the seal on his many fine recordbreaking feats by gaining it for the second time.

The reader may remember that the previous occasion was on April 6th, 1932, when with the 8 cylinder Panhard et Levassor he beat Cesar Marchand’s fiveyear old record, made with a Voisin. A year later, however, the lamented Count Czaikowski beat Eyston’s speed of 130.87 m.p.h. with one of 132.88 m.p.h., driving his 4.9 litre Bugatti on the Avus Track, Berlin.

For some time Eyston and the Panhard et Levassor company have been planning a renewed attack on the record. For this purpose the car was fitted with a new and lighter body, and Eyston himself went into stricter training than usual in readiness for the severe physical strain of holding a car at a speed of close on 140 m.p.h,. for one hour.

When the ideal moment for an attempt arrived, however, Eyston was in bed with a chill, but E. A. D. Eldridge who was supervising the arrangements, deemed it necessary for him to leave his bed and get going without delay.

There was only a small knot of spectators at the Montlhery autodrome when the Panhard et Levassor began to encircle the track. The weather was cold but dry.

After about a quarter of an hour a keen wind sprang up, and. the onlookers began to feel really cold. The track is situated on the plateau of Saint F,utrope, and is exposed to the coldest winds. The attendants had difficulty in changing the numbered discs which marked the number of laps the car had covered, owing to the wind blowing them out of their hands.

Eyston’s speed was extremely consistent. After 45 minutes the first record fell, the 100 miles world’s and Class B at a speed of 132.98 m.p.h. Now began the most anxious part of the whole attempt. Eyston himself was feeling the cold intensely, his hands being almost frozen to the wheel. The driving position of the Panhard et Levassor, while making for positive ositive control, is an extremely exposed one.

The onlookers anxiously watched the tyres, and listened to the note of the car’s engine. Neither gave any trace of cracking up, and Eyston’s speed was maintained with the utmost regularity. After 56 minutes the second record fell, the world’s and Class B 200 kilometres at 133.04 m.p.h. but everyone was too excited to take much notice of this. The minutes ticked off slowly, far too slowly. and still the big car swept round.

At last a man walked out on to the track with a yellow flag. He waved it as the car came past and the World’s Hour Record fell to Eyston and Panhard et Levassor! The new record is an average speed of 133.01 m.p.h. The fastest lap was covered at 136.512 m.p.h. It is worth remembering that the distance is measured by the middle line of the track. In practice Eyston had to lap high on the banking, so that his actual speed was something like 138/9 m.p.h. for the lap during the whole hour of the record. The Dunlop tyres withstood the strain magnificently, and all were in good condition at the end of the ordeal. Castro!

oil and Ferodo brake linings also played their part.

That same afternoon Eyston., in company with Eldridge (himself an ex-holder of the record) and Monsieur Letory, he Clerk of the Course at Montlliery, motored out to the cemetery at Houville, near Cluitres. There he placed a wreath on the grave of the late Count Czaikowski, the previous holder of the record, who met his death in an accident at Monza track last September. A very tine gesture.

Caracciola’s Loss.

It is with very great regret that I have to record the death, on February 4th, of Frau Rudolf Caracciola. In company with her husband, two friends and a guide, Fran Caracciola had gone on a ski-ing expedition from Arosa to Lanzerheide. On the slopes of the Urdenfurkel a small avalanche descended on the party, burying three of .them.

Caracciola managed to extricate himself, and the third person was uninjured, but poor Fran Caracciola was pinned beneath six feet of snow. When at last they reached her she had ceased to breathe. Caracciola was slightly injured himself, but I hear that he has almost recovered.

To the bereaved driver we offer our most sincere condolences. The death of his wife has shocked the racing circles of all Europe, for she accompanied the German champion to every race, and was greatly liked by all with whom she came in contact. She always personally superintended the management of his pit.

Ferrari programme includes Isle of Man Race.

A very full programme has been planned by the Scuderia Ferrari for the coming season. Only one English event is on the list, namely the Mannin Moar at L ouglas, Isle of Man, on June 2nd. Thus, in spite of splendid prize money, the Empire Trophy Meeting has failed to attract a Ferrari entry. The ‘moral seems to be that the Italians dislike handicap racing. Here is the full list of their engagements :

Mar. 29 France. La Turbie Hill-climb.

April 2 Monaco. Monaco G.P.

„ 7-8 Italy. Mille Miglia.

22 Italy. Bordino G.P.

29 Italy. Parma-Poggio di Berezto.

6 Tripoli. Tripoli 0.1).

20 Morocco. Casablanca 0.13.

20 France. Nimes G.P.

20 Sicily. Targa Florio.

20 Hungary. Budapest G.P.

26 Germany. Avus race.

26 Italy. Tour of Italy.

2 England. Mannin Moar.

2 Germany. Eifel race.

17 Germany. Kesselburg hill-climb.

17 Spain. Penya-rhin G.P.

1 France. French G.P.

8 France. Marne G.P.

8 Italy. Varese race.

15 Maly. Circuit of Elena.

15 Germany. German G.P.

22 France. Dieppe G.P.

22 Austria. Gaisberg hill-climb.

29 Italy. Copps Ciano.

29 Austria. Poeschen race.

29 Belgium. Belgian G.P.

5 Sweden. Summer Swedish G.P.

5 Switzerland. Klausen hill-climb.

12 France. Nice GP.

12 Italy. Targa di Abruzzi.

15 Italy. Copps. Acerbo.

19 1rauce. Marseille 0.1′.

19 Germany Montagne Gs.

26 France. Conn:Wages G.P.

26 Italy. Stelvio hill-climb.

26 Switzerland. Swiss G.P.

Sept. 9 Italy. Italian G.P.

„ 16 Italy. Cremona circuit. 16 France. Mont Ventouz

„ 16 Austria. Circuit of Viels.

„ 22 Spain. 500 Miles Race.

„ 30 Czechoslovakia. Masaryk G.I’.

Oct. 7 Austria. Arlberg hill-climb. The Ferrari drivers are, of course,

Varzi, Chiron, Lehoux, Moll, Tadini, Comotti, Ghersi , Barbieri, Rosa , :Nlarinoni , Carraroli and Aldrighetti.

More Bugatti Records.

At the end of January Pierre Veyron went out at Montlhery for an attack on records in Class F. In spite of bad weather he succeeded in breaking six records with his 1,500 c.c. supercharged eight-cylinder Bugatti. The old records are given below in parenthesis :

200 miles: 116.51 in.p.h (Bugatti, 116.49 m.p.h.). 500 kilos : 114.89 m.p.h. (Riley, 112.37 m.p.h.1• 3 hours : 114.27 m.p.h. (Riley, 112.42 m.p.h.). 500 miles: 114.04 m.p.b. (Riley, 110.53 ut.p.h.)• 1,000 kilos : 113.09 m.p.h. (Bugatti 107.60 m.p.h.).

hours : 112.72 m.p.h. (Bugatti, 107.52 m.p.h.).

: King Albert’s Interest in Motor Racing.

The late King Albert of Belgium, whose tragic death cast a gloom over Europe last month, was keenly interested in motor-racing. In 1912 he gave a beautiful trophy, known as the King’s Cup, to the R.A.C. de Belgique, and this has been competed for each year in the Belgian 24 Hours Race. It is the team prize, and for several years now has been held by the F.N. marque.

All Eyes on Robert Benoist.

A question which everyone is asking now is “Will Robert Benoist be as fast as he used to be, and how will he shape against Nuvolari, Varzi and Chiron ? ‘ Luring the years 1926-1928 Benoist occupied a unique position among racing drivers in Europe, in much the same way as Nuvolari does now. He used to win practically every race for which he entered, and was the idol of all France.

Since 1928 he has not touched a racing car. His motoring has been confined to driving into Paris every day from his home at Rambouillet taking his daughter to school and then going on to the Banvile Garage, where he occupied an important position.

The employees of this garage, by the way, arranged a little ceremony recently. A speech was made by one of the foremen, regretting the fact that they were no more to have the privilege of working under the direction of Benoist. Then he presented the champion with a souvenir, suitably inscribed. Benoist was greatly touched by this expression of loyalty on the part of his employees, and assured them that their feelings were reciprocated.

On March 1st Benoist starts work with the Bugatti factory, and he declares himself confidant of settling down to his old occupation without effort. He is 38 years of age, is in splendid physical health, and has no nerves.

English racing followers will remember seeing Benoist at Brooklands both with Salmson and L elage cars. His duel with Segrave during the 1927 British Grand Prix is not easily forgotten. It will be good to see him in action once more, cool, calm and precise in his driving. I wish him the best of luck.

An Italian Merger.

Negotiations are nearly completed for an amalgamation of the Alfa Romeo and Isotta Fraschini concerns. Sports and racing cars will form a large part of their programme for 1935.

More plans for a Dutch Roadcircuit.

Last July it was reported in MOTOR SPORT that plans were afoot to construct a special road-racing circuit in Holland.

At that time the location under discussion was in the province of Gueldre, near Arnheini, and the length of the proposed circuit was 30 kilometres. This idea has now been abandoned in favour of a plan to build a course near the town of Limbourg, in the Municipality of Heerlen, 28 kilometres from Maastricht. Several schemes were submitted to the Royal Automobile Club of Holland, and this is their final choice. The circuit will be constructed by the Municipality of Heerlen, and will be 8 or

9 kilometres in length. The intention is for the Minicipality to build the course and grandstands out of their own funds, and then to lease the whole place to a private concern which will run races there, including a Grand Prix of Holland.

Le Mans Entries now total 47.

The second closing date for Le Mans entries resulted in a total of 47, two more being received during the second period. These were from Mr. Charles, of London, and de Gavardie, both of whom did not specify their cars. The full list of entries was published in MOTOR SPORT last month. Here is the list of marques :—Alfa Romeo 5, Amilcar 3, Aston Martin 4, Argo 1, Bugatti 3, Lerby 1, Lorraine 1, Maserati 1, M.G. 4, Riley 5, Salmson 1, Singer 3, Tracta 2, Unspecified 13.

Entries will be accepted, at increasing rates, until May 15th by the A.C. de l’Ouest, 16, Rue d’Athenes, Paris 9e, or at 34, Place de la Rdpublique, Le Mans.

The Tour of Italy.

One of the most interesting and exciting events of 1934 promises to be the 1st Tour of Italy, or Mussolini Gold Cup. A route of 6.000 kilometres, or roughly 3,750 miles, has been planned, and this will be covered in three stages, with a rest between each. The first stage will be from Rome to Villa San Giovanni, round Sicily and finishing at Messina ; the second will be Messina, Calabria, Lecce, Bologna, Milan ; and the third Milan, Trieste, Trentino, Turin, Genoa and so back to Rome.

10 The race will start on May 27th and finish on June 2nd. Only stock cars will be eligible, and there will be classes for 1,100, 1,500, 2,000, 3,000 and unlimited c.c. cars. No car made before 1929 will be allowed to compete. Two persons will be on board, the driver and his reserve. At the end of each stage the cars will be parked in a guarded garage, so that all repairs will have to be executed en route.

The prize money is terrific, totalling 650,000 francs, in addition to the extremely valuable Cup presented by 11 Luce. ‘1 he work of organising has been carried out by Signor Parisi°, the head of Italian motor sport, and Signor Mercanti.

Getting Ready for Monaco.

To all intents and purposes the 1934 racing season will open with the Monaco Grand Prix on April 2nd. The new international formula as to weight of the cars and their coachwork will be used, but the section dealing with the length of the race has been ignored. The organisers are of the opinion that a race of 500 kilometres would be too long on the twisty ‘Monaco circuit, where lap speeds are under 50 m.p.h. Accordingly the distance will be. 318 kilometres, or 100 laps.

Entry for the Monaco G. P. is by invitation only, and probably not more than 15 cars will be allowed to start. Drivers will have to prove their ability to lap in 2m. 12s. during practice in order to qualify. Varzi’s 1933 lap record stands at 1 m. 59s.

Messieurs Dureste and Noghes are up to their eyes in work just now, for the race marks the culmination of a week of motor sport. On the 29th March the competitors in the Paris-Nice trial arrive at the Riviera, and on the same Thursday the hill-climb of La Turbie takes place. The intervening days before Sunday, the 2nd April, will be occupied in practice for the race.

No official entry list is so far available, but it is believed that four Ferrari cars will start, piloted by Varzi, Chiron, Trossi and Moll. Whitney Straight and Earl Howe are also possible starters.

Three Grand Prix Cancelled. that

Notice has Prix of Monza, the Grand Prix of Villeurbanne, and the Grand Prix of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg will not take place. The Monza race appears on the International Calendar under the date of June 24th, the Villeurbanne event had not yet booked their date, while the G.P. of Luxembourg was to have been held on August 5th.

These three cancellations, added to those of Pau, Tunis and Sweden, make six races which will not take place. There is a certain amount of doubt about the Nimes and Marseille Grand Prix, but so full is the Calendar that the sport will not suffer in any way by the absence of these races.

Two Ferrari Recruits.

Last autumn orders were placed by Marcel Lehoux and his protégé, Guy Moll, for two Type B Alfa Romeo single-seaters. Then came the ban on foreign purchasers of these cars, and their deposit money was returned to the Algerian drivers.

Moll was the first to settle his difficulties by joining the Ferrari stable, thus being able to drive the car he desired without actually owning it. He has a programme of about 20 races mapped out, and hopes to do big things this season. I believe he will, for Moll is one of the most brilliant of the younger school of drivers. He owes much to the guidance and advice of Marcel Lehoux.

Lehoux himself was undecided what to do. His Bugatti has seen two seasons of hard racing, while-his:two seater. 2,300 c.c. Alfa Romeo is not fast enough to compete with the 1934 G. P. cars. Finally, he has joined up with Ferrari, and will race under the colours of the fatuous Modena stable during the coming season. Pew drivers on the Continent are more

popular than Marcel Lehoux. He is always cheerful and smiling, is obviously intensely fond of racing, and drives with a determination that endears him to the French crowd. He is equally popular with organisers, for he always keeps his word and once he has entered, can be depended upon to start without a lastminute quibble.

This popularity was put into material form recently at a luncheon in Paris given by the motor-clubs of l’Ouest, Nice, Marseille, Tunis, Heppe and Comminges, in his honour. At the conclusion, M. Charles Faroux presented to the Algerian a gold medal, inscribed” A Marcel Lehoux pour sa vaillance et sa loyaute sportive.”

Tripoli Plans.

The Grand Prix of Tripoli is unique in motor-racing, for on its result is run a vast sweepstake. This enables the already large prize-money to be swelled to a tremendous figure, and this in turn ensures an entry of the first order. The winner

at a first-class hotel. They will have special seats reserved for them in the tribune d’honneur.

Five English drivers will take part, including Whitney Straight and George Eyston, five Germans, among them probably Caracciola and Von Brauschitsch, seven Frenchmen, including Lehoux, Etancelin, Chiron, Benoist, Wimille and Dreyfus, and the rest will presumably be Italians.

Big Money at Rheims.

The A.C. de Champagne are determined that the 1934 Grand Prix de la Marne shall be one of the best races of the year. Altogether the sum of 235,000 francs has been subscribed for prize-money, and this will be divided as follows : 1st, 100,000 francs ; 2nd, 50,000 francs ; 3rd, 25,000 francs ; 4th, 15,000 francs ; 5th, 12,000 francs ; 6th, 10,000 francs ; and so down to the 10th man, who will receive 3,000 francs. A special prize will be given to anyone who can break Nuvolari’s 1932

will receive 26,000, second man 24,000, and third about 23,000. In addition to 7 place-prizes, 27,000 will be distributed among all drivers taking part in the race. Governor Italo Balbo is in charge of the organisation of the race.

The race is a short one, 100 kilometres, and will be run on May 6th. Previous winners have been 1926 Eyersnaann (Bugatti), 1927 Materassi (Bugatti), 1928 Nuvolari (Bugatti), 1929 Brilli Peni (Talbot), 1930 Borzacchini (Maserati), 1933 Varzi (Bugatti).

In past years there has been some trouble with owners of tickets getting in touch with drivers, for the purpose of “phoney business.” This year this will be avoided by drawing duplicate numbers at the first draw, and postponing the final draw until 2 hours before the race. There will be 30 entries, and each of the 60 ticket-holders of the first draw, with a wife or one friend, will be invited to Tipoli, from any country, all fares paid, and will stay as guests of the organisers

lap record of 156 km. 538 per hour— roughly 97 m.p.h.

The race will be run on July 8th, over 64 laps of the 7 km. 826 circuit, giving a total length of 500 km. 864. The event will be run under the fortatile libre.

run Details of the Morocco Meeting. On 13th a car race will

On May 13th a production car race will be held in Morocco, over the following circuit : Casablanca, Azenmour, Mazagan, Tleta, El Had, Marrakech, Medionna, and so back to Casablanca. Classes for 1,100 c.c., 1,500 c.c., 2,000 c.c., 3,000 c.c., 5,000 c.c. and unlimited capacity cars mwioll nebye. available, with 10,000 francs prize

A week later, on May 20th, the Grand Prix of Casablanca will be run. The new circuit of .Anfa will be used, 60 of the 63.70 kilometre laps giving a total distance of 362,200 km, The first man home will receive 50,000 francs, second 25,000 francs, third 12,000. francs, fourth 6,000 francs, and seventh 5,000 francs.