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By OUR CONTINENTAL REPRESENTATIVE Plans for the Season Continental motor-racing plans are now almost complete for the coming season, several teams having been already formed and great activity is being made in the various camps. Merckies-Benz having fixed their first three drivers in Caracciola, Lang and Seaman. Of Caracciola, enough is already known. Lang was definitely one of ” the ” finds of last season, and those who were at Nurburg will never forget his superb driving in last year’s Grand Prix. His car was well placed, being second, when he was called in to allow Caracciola to take the wheel, in an effort to overcome the Auto-Unions. Even the typical German crowd boo’ed their own Caracciola, whereas in actual fact the reason for the replacement of the drivers was that Lang had a broken finger, Richard Seaman his earned all the praise that he can ever receive by being included in the official team. This, surely must be one of the greatest compliments ever paid to an English driver, to be included in one of the three crack Grand Prix teams. His fine driving, coolness, and
his charming personality have certainly been repaid. The Meracks-Benz track for cadet drivers, at which seventeen appeared for selection, proved Seaman the outstanding driver of those who were tested both at Nurburg and Monza. The four next best drivers chosen seem to be Christian Kautz, the Swiss driver, who has appeared several times in England, H. Hartmann, at one time a mechanic, Baumer, the Austin specialist, who has driven at Shelsley Walsh on numerous occasions, and that very cheery individual, Brendl, incidentally a great humorist, and a great
hater of publicity. These four drivers were all at Monza recently undergoing strenuous trials, under the supervision of Neubauer, the Merc&les-Benz chief of staff. The four cadets did not seem the slightest overawed by the presence of the great man himself, and all seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely. So perhaps, this year, the tense atmosphere, which seemed to dominate the team last year, will give way to little more of the friendliness, which the Auto-Union drivers seemed to enjoy.
We visit Italy When at Milano, our good friend, Massa of the Biffi Restaurant, once again looked after us in his own perfect way, and found
everyone we wanted to see, including Count ” Johnny” Lurani, who was only in the town for twenty-four hours, breaking his journey from St. Moritz to Contina for the winter sports.
The “Crazy Gang” Count Lurani and Cortese have formed the Scuderia Ambrosiana for this season
together with Villoresi. He calls the outfit the “Crazy Gang.” They will be driving 1,500 c.c. and 1,100 c.c. Maseratis. And in all probability will be appearing in England for the Isle of Man race. The season has started remarkably well for them, with Villoresi
winning the small car class in the Monte Carlo Rally. The car he drove was a standard 1.500 c.c. Fiat saloon. Ferrari and Maserati are both busy with different plans for the year. Maserati is building 1,500 c.c. cars only this year but are contemplating a very fast ‘car for the next Grand Prix formula. Ferrari deny any plans for 1,500 c.c. cars, but Nello Ugolini is very interested in the E.R.A. The new Alfa-Romeo is definitely ‘more than on paper, and it is hoped that two of the new machines will be prepared in time for the Avus race in May. The cars will be built with a lower body, more in keeping with the Mercedes-B(11Z and Auto-Unions, new engines of increased power, and different suspension and braking system. Maserati have prepared a team of three cars for Austin Dobson. Dobson is also acquiring one of the famous Ferrari
B imotore Al f a-Romeos. It has been modernised in many ways. A famous Organiser Ugolini of Ferraris must be a great organiser to be able to arrange all the details for such a well known firm for thirty-six events in just over six .months, which is the Ferrari calendar for 1937, on circuits as far distant as Los Angeles, and Brazil, in addition to those meetings all over Europe. Very seldom does one find a hitch anywhere in this efficiently run team. Donington is also considered in their plans. If Ferraris do decide to Continued on page 142
send a car to Donington and Seaman has a Mercedes-Benz it should be a red letter day for the organisers of this popular venue. Convado Filippini, the well known Italian journalist and R.A.C.I. official, who travelled with the Ferrari people to U.S.A. for the Roosevelt race, told us an astounding fact as regards Nuvolari’s car, which is not generally
known. Namely, that the car never fired on all twelve cylinders during the race, but was so easily superior to all others, that it was decided to allow it to continue on ten or eleven whichever ease it was. What a car !
Assirelli of the R.A.C.I. t Florence was another helpful Italian to us during our Italian trip, and very kindly took us around the circuit he has evolved for the 1,500 c.c. Grand Prix which is being held in a Park at Florence on June 13th. Although the corners of the course are exceedingly slow, the very long straight will make it a fast circuit. Incidentally there are large sums of money to be won in prize money.
Assirelli’s driving was sufficiently quick in the Fiat saloon during our trial laps to cause a certain amount of trouble with the police, but all was well in the end. The following are the personnel of the teams. Mercedes-Benz
Caraceiola, Lang, Seaman.
Cadets. Kautz, Brendl, Baumer and Hartmann. Auto-Union
Rosemeyer, Stuck, von Delius and Hesse. Alfa-Rameo
Nuvolari, Brivio, Pintacuda, Tadini, Seven i and probably Farina. Miasma::
(1,500 c.c. team). Trossi, Tenth and Bianco. Scuderia Ambrostana
(1,500 c.c. Maseratis). Lurani, Cortese, and Villoresi.