Dreyfus, the young French amateur came home a winner of the second Grand Prix of Monaco, which was run on Sunday, 6th April, at the truly remarkable speed of 53.9 m.p.h. The race proved a duel between his 2.3 litre Bugatti and the 2-litre car of the same make driven by Louis Chiron, one of the official Bugatti team, who finished less than 22 seconds behind the winner. The race proved a Bugatti triumph, for out of the seventeen starters, all six finishers were Bugattis of various types.
The original 22 entries were reduced to 17 when the cars actually came up to the starting line. Among the withdrawals, Caracciola’s Mercedes was not allowed to start by the officials because it was too fast, and Bowes’ Frazer Nash because it was not fast enough; Bourlier’s 1,500 c.c. Grand Prix Talbot, which was one of the cars entered by the Materassi stable, was the car on which the most unfortunate accident occurred to Brilli Peri in Tripoli, and so was not available; while Franke (Steyr) and Ferrari (Alfa Romeo), did not put in appearance. The cars which actually started were as follows:
Williams, Chiron and Bouriat (who formed the official team), Etancelin and Stuber on 2-litre Bugattis.
Dreyfus, Bouriano, Zanelli, Lehoux and Zehender on 2.3-litre Bugattis.
Burggales and Doré on 1500 c.c. Bugattis.
Count Arco on a 7-litre Mercedes-Benz.
Stuck von Villiers on a 3-litre Austro-Daimler.
Borzacchini on a 4-litre 16-cyl. Maserati. Archangeli on a 2-litre Maserati and Biondetti on a 1500 c.c. Grand Prix Talbot.
At seven minutes past one o’clock, Charles Faroux, the famous journalist and racing enthusiast, gave the signal to start, and with a deafening roar the seventeen racing cars shot off down the street. Chiron, a great favourite, immediately took the lead closely followed by the other members of the official Bugatti team, Williams and Bourita, with the most dangerous threat to Bugatti mastery levelled by Borzacchini on the 16-cyl Maserati from fifth place. Chiron completed the first lap of rather under 2 miles from a standing start in 2m. 21s., with the whole pack hot on his heels, scarcely a length separating the cars as they shot past the tribunes.
On the second lap one of the most interesting cars was eliminated for a flying stone broke Count Arco’s goggles, and his inspiring-looking giant Mercedes mounted the curb, hit a house, and was put out of the race, fortunately without injury to its driver. Chiron in the meantime gradually increased his lead over Williams, last year’s winner, and Bouriano who was running fourth after a magnificent lap in. 2m. 11s., in a desperate effort to pass Bouriat hit the sandbanks at the Harbour bend and wrecked his 2.3 litre Bugatti’s steering. In spite of a courageous and much applauded effort to get going again, he was finally forced to retire. Williams drew up at the pits, made some hasty adjustments, and set off again in a wild effort to make up for lost time. After 10 laps the positions were as follows :
1. Chiron (Bugatti), 22m. 19s.
2. Bouriat (Bugatti), 23m. 1s.
3. Bouriano (Bugatti), 23m. 3s.
4. Borzacchini (Maserati), 23m. 4s.
5. Stuber (Bugatti), 23m. 17s.
6. Zanelli (Bugatti), 23m. 18s.
So far therefore Dreyfus, the ultimate winner, had not appeared among the leaders. The withdrawal of Bouriano however was shortly followed by that of Borzacchini, who drew up at his pit, and after working feverishly on his red Maserati, retired from the race. In the meantime Dreyfus, who seemed to be gaining speed with every lap, passed Zanelli and Stuber, and gained third place. The position of the leaders after 20 laps was as follows :
1. Chiron (Bugatti), 44m. 17s.
2. Bouriat (Bugatti), 45 m. 44s.
3. Dreyfus (Bugatti), 45m. 49s.
4. Zanelli (Bugatti), 46m. 5s.
5. Stuber (Bugatti), 46m. 6s.
6. Zehender (Bugatti), 461n. 29s.
The Bugattis by this time had got things all their own way. Stuck von Villiers, whose Austro-Daimler has proved itself a champion in hill-climbs, and who was expected to be their most dangerous rival, was suffering from ineffective brakes and at about this point they gave up working altogether, and the Austrian was forced to retire while occupying twelfth place. His example was quickly followed by Biondetti, whose Talbot, however, had never figured prominently in the race. Archangeli drew into the pits and worked on his Maserati, finally getting going again, a long way in the rear. In the meantime Dreyfus, who seemed to get continually faster managed to pass Bouriat, and threatened Chiron from second place. After 30 laps the order was as follows :-
1. Chiron (Bugatti), 1h. 6m. 183.
2. Dreyfus (Bugatti), 1h. 8m. 20s.
3. Bouriat (Bugatti), 1h. 8m. 22s.
4. Stuber (Bugatti), 1h. 8m. 37s.
5. Zane (Bugatti), 1h. 8m. 45s.
6. Etancelin (Bugatti), 1h. 9m. 9s.
Just behind the leaders, Stuber and Zanelli were having a grand duel on their own. Archangeli again had to stop at the pits, and his Maserati was definitely out of it before he actually had to retire. Williams was also in trouble, and finally abandoned his Bugatti near the Harbour turn. Then Lehoux drew in at the pits and lost considerable time before he was finally put out with back-axle trouble. Zanelli repassed. Stuber, and Zehender also began to creep up. After fifty laps (half distance) however, the position of the leaders was quite unchanged. Thereafter however Dreyfus began to gain on Chiron and by the 56th lap, the latter had only a lead of lm. 13s. over him. The position after 60 laps was as follows :
1. Chiron (Bugatti), 2h. 12m. 33s.
2. Dreyfus (Bugatti), 2h. 13m. 58s.
3. Bouriat (Bugatti), 2h. 15m. 39s.
4. Zanelli (Bugatti), 211. 16m. 33s.
5. Zehender (Bugatti), 2h. 18m. 17s.
All eyes were now concentrated on the Chiron-Dreyfus duel. On the 72nd lap, Chiron, realising the proximity of his young rival, proceeded to beat the lap record in 2m. 8s., an average of 55.9 m.p.h. Dreyfus however clung close to his tail and there was no shaking him off. Etancelin who had forced his Bugatti into fourth place, was obliged to retire with a broken petrol pipe.
Everyone was asking, ‘Could Dreyfus do it?” On the 83rd lap Chiron drew in at the pits, and lost 50 seconds. This gave Dreyfus his chance, and two laps later, amid a buzz of excitement, he passed Chiron and gained the lead. Not content with this on the 88th lap he broke the lap record in 2m. 7s., an average of 56.3 m.p.h., but in spite of this effort he could not shake Chiron off, and at the 90th lap, but ten from the finish, only 2 seconds separated them.
During the last few laps the duel between the two leaders was as thrilling a piece of racing as one could wish to see.
Chiron’s speed up the hill past the post office was terrific, but gradually Dreyfus was drawing ahead. Bouriat stopped for a moment at his pit, but got going again without losing third place. Zanelli, however, was most unlucky and within a few miles of the finish drew up at the pits and was forced to retire. Stuber was also in difficulties, and was passed by Doré, whose 1500 c.c. Bugatti had been running with remarkable regularity.
Amid enormous applause, Dreyfus crossed the finishing line, victor in the second Monagasque Grand Prix, followed at a few seconds interval by Chiron. Dreyfus has certainly made his reputation for good by his victory in this most difficult race, which is almost more a test of the driver than his car. The race itself was definitely a great success, and the courage of those who suggested racing motor cars round a difficult circuit of town streets, has been amply rewarded by the results.
1930 Monaco Grand Prix result
1. Dreyfus (2,262 c.c. Bugatti), 311. 41m. 2 3-5s., 53.9 m.p.h.
2. Chiron (1,989 c.c. Bugatti), 311. 41m. 24s.
3. Bouriat (1,989 c.c. Bugatti), 3h. 49m. 20 2-5s.
4. Zehender (2,262 c.c. Bugatti), 311. 51m. 39 3-5s.
5. Doré (1,500 c.c. Bugatti), 4h. 12m, 2 2-5s.
6. Stuber (1,989 c.c. Bugatti).