Mercedes Wins “1,000 Miles”
Caracciold s Great Victory —AlfaRomeo Second0.M. Third.
WHEN on the morning of Sunday, 12th April, Rudolf Caracciola and Sebastian roared into Brescia on their giant white Mercedes-Benz, travel-stained with all the dust of Italy, they had succeeded for the first time in the history of the event in winning the great Italian 1,C00 Miles Race on a foreign car. Italy had fought hard, but she had to be content with second place, for Campari and Marinoni on a 1,750 c.c. 6-cylinder Alfa-Romeo arrived in Brescia eleven minutes after the German car, and seven minutes later came a 2i-litre side-valve 6-cylinder O.M. driver by Morandi and Rosa. The new 8-cylinder 2i-litre Alfa-Romeos had failed, and the first of them driven by Tazio Nuvolari and Guidotti, could only finish ninth. The 5-litre double-overhead camshaft Bugatti, driven by Achille Varzi, the champion driver of Italy, had fallen by the wayside, and the official team of 12 supercharged Fiat sports models had never started in the race as it had proved impossible to get them ready in time.
As soon as the entry list closed it became obvious that the fifth 1,C00 Miles Race was going to prove every whit as popular and as interesting as its predecessors. In the first place it was evident that this year more foreign competition had materialised. As well as Caracciola’s big white Mercedes, which it was known had been very carefully prepared this year, following its owner’s capture of sixth place in 1930, there was another which Strazza, whose scheme to put a Dilambda Lancia engine into his old racing Lambda chassis apparently never materialised, had agreed to drive in company with its owner, Signor Maino. Three more big Merced s had also been entered, and what promised to be one of the most dangerous foreign cars in the race was one of the new 5-litre Bugattis with two overhead camshafts, driven by Achille Varzi.
Against this foreign competition was ranged a formidable number of Italian cars. Alfa-Romeo had succeeded in getting two of the new 2,3C0 c.c. 8-cylinder cars ready in time for the race, and these were to be driven by Tazio Nuvolari, last year’s winner, with Guidotti, and Luigi Arcangeli with Guatta. They were backed up by the rest of the official team consisting of Guiseppe Campari and Marinoni and Bozacchini and Siena on 1,150 c.c. 6-cylinder cars, and as well no fewer than twenty-four more Alfas of the same type and half a dozen 1,500 c.c. machines had been entered. In spite of the absence of the official team, some seven amateurs had entered new 1,500 c.c Fiats, but after the Alfas, the most dangerous competitors seemed likely to be the 2i-litre 6-cylinder O.M. cars which included among their drivers Morandi, Rosa, and Zaccarini. There were also several Italas, Bianchis, Lancias of both the Dilambda and Lambda types, and Maseritis driven by amateurs.
In the 1,100 c.c. division there figured the only British entry, a 750 c.c. Austin, driven by an Englishman, Goodacre, who could speak no word of Italian, and Trevisan, an Italian who could speak no English. Against it were matched a couple of 1,100 c.c. Maseratis, a number of Model 509 Fiats, and some Salmsons and Amilcars.
The town of Brescia on the morning of Saturday, 11th April, closely resembled an inferno. Of the 150 entries, no less than 98 had actually come to the starting point, and as well as them, some thousands of touring cars had poured into the town. Everywhere competitors and others were opening out engines wide or dashing about with unsilenced exhausts blowing ” pip-squeak ” horns. Italy, in fact, was preparing for a great motor race. From Brescia these 98 competing cars were going to be sent by Cremona, Parma, Bologna, Florence, Poggebonzi, Sienna and Viterbo to Rome ; then doubling back they would cross the peninsula by Terni Perugia and Macerata to the Adriatic at Ancona ; and thence they would strike North again by Pesaro and Foili back to Bologna, to turn East again to Rovigo, Padua, Treviso and Feltre before returning West again by Primolano and Vicenza back to Brescia. A great figure of eight course over half Italy—racing for one thousand miles over ordinary roads more or less unguarded except in the towns and villages ! As the hour of one o’clock in the afternoon approached the excitement, in Brescia grew more and more intense, until at last the first car, a Fiat driven by Dilitto, which was running in the ” Utility ” class, was sent away on its long journey. The others followed at two minute intervals, and so the long line of cars gradually moved up to the starter and were despatched in what is the greatest road race since Paris-Madrid. The ” Utility” cars consisting chiefly of Fiats and Bianchis went first, and then came the 1,100 c.c. machines, including the little Austin, which was painted yellow and carried a G.B. plaque on its tail. Finally came the big cars, and the excitement reached a crescendo of intensity. We watched the burly Campari shoot off on his little red Alfa, and then with a shrill whine Rudolf Caracciola’s giant white Merced s was despatched hot on his heels. Immediately afterwards came Arcangeli on one of the new 2,300 c.c. Alfas, and shortly afterwards .Morandi and Rosa on the fastest of the 0.M.’s. Nuvolari on the second big Alfa was followed away from the start
by the big Mercedes driven by Mainolwith Strazza by his side, and behind them came Borzacchini on the second official 1,750 c.c. Alfa. Finally towards the end Achille Varzi was despatched on his big Bugatti, amid considerable excitement. The day before the race the camshaft drive of his new racer had broken and Varzi had spent the night before the race fitting a new engine. Worn out he had then gone to sleep in a cafe and had been awakened only just before he was due to be sent away. Then on the very starting line, the engine refused to start, until the mechanic had leapt out and done something beneath the bonnet, and at last the big French car got away. Twelve miles from Brescia it had broken down by the roadside with a broken water pump drive.
The Merc’s Getaway.
From Brescia to Bologna the road runs dead level over the plains of Northern Italy, for the most part dead straight, and it was on this section that the fastest speeds in the race were expected to be made. Caracciola’s great white Mercedes started off like the wind, and it was soon apparent that in the matter of sheer speed it had the measure of all its competitors. The car was a special light edition of the famous 38/250 h.p. model, developed its full power at 3,400 r.p.m. and was capable of nearly 130 m.p.h. At Cremona, some thirty miles from Brescia, Caracciola led, at Parma he was still in the lead and had covered 115 kilometres at over 95 m.p.h., Reggio still saw him _ahead, and finally he roared into Bologna, having covered the first 128 miles of the race in 1 hour 21 minutes, or at an average of 95.7 m.p.h., and had beaten last year’s record set up by Arcangeli on a Maserati by eight minutes. The Italians had evidently got to fight hard, and already their chief hope, the new Alfa Romeos, had begun to suffer from tyre troubles. Arcangeli’s car had cast two treads on the way to Bologna, and it was Morandi and Rosa on the 6cylinder side-valve 0.M, who were second seven. minutes behind the Merced.?s, with Campari third on the 1,750 c.c. Alfa in 1 hour 29 minutes, Nuvolari on the first of the straight-eights fourth in 1 hour 30 minutes with Borzacchini and Arcangeli fifth and sixth. Almost as soon as Bologna is left the road enters to Apennines, and in some thirty miles climbs to the wild summit of the Raticosa Pass. and then drops down before climbing again to the Mita Pass whence starts the descent into Florence. It was on this section that the smaller cars hoped to catch the big Merces:Ps, but at Florence Caracciola still led, and Nuvolari on the big Alfa had moved up into second place. The order at this point, after some 200 miles was as follows :—
1. Caracciola (Mercedes), 2h. 45m. 2. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo), 2h. 50m,
3. Morandi (0.1VI.), 2h. 51m.
4. Campari (Alfa-Romeo), 2h. 52m.
5. Arcangeli (Alfa-Romeo), 2h. 58m.
In the 1,100 cc. class Tufanelli on the Maserati was leading, but the little Austin was running second and arousing universal admiration. From Florence to Rome the road is again mountainous, but as far as Sienna, Caracciola still held the lead, and Nuvolari was still some five minutes behind. As they were sent away again, darkness was falling, and its effect on the race was immediate. There was no doubt that Caracciola was happier in the light, but the Italians did not seem to mind the darkness in the least and on the winding roads leading into Rome, Nuvolari passed the German and took the lead. The order when the capital was reached after 372 miles was thus as follows :
1. Nuvolari (2,300 c.c. Alfa-Romeo). 6h. lm. 49s. (Average speed 62.5 m.p.h.).
2. Caracciola (Mercedes), 6h. 3m.
3. Campari (1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo), 6h. 6m.
4. Borzacchini (1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo), 6h. 8m.
5. Arcangeli (2,300 c.c. Alfa-Romeo), 6h. Ilm.
6. Morandi (0.M.). Between ‘Brescia and Rome, Arcangeli and his mechanic had changed nine tyres and in the capital it was decided to change over to Dunlops. Then in the darkness the cars were despatched once more for the second crossing of the Apennines, this time from West to East. In this nighttime crossing of the mountains the particular ability of Borzacchini began to be shown, and he worked his way up until he had passed Nuvolari, who like Arcangeli had begun to suffer from tyre troubles. At Terni, some 440 miles from Brescia, he held the lead and Caracciola was falling steadily back at Spoleto ; some 455 miles from the start the order was as follows :
1. Borzacchini (1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo).
2. Campari (1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo).
3. Arcangeli (2,300 c.c. Alfa-Romeo).
4. Morandi (0.M.). 5. Nuvolari (2,300 c.c. Alfa-Romeo):
6. Caracciola (Mercedes). Now it was Campari’s turn, and on the next stage he passed Borzacchini to take the lead, the latter continued to fall back and Caracciola was working his way up again. At Ancona on the Adriatic, after 583 miles of the race had been covered, the order was as follows :
1. Qampari (Alfa-Romeo).
2. Arcangeli (Alfa-Romeo).
3. Caracciola (Mercedes).
4. Borzacchini (Alfa-Romeo).
5. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo).
6. Morandi (0.M.). From Ancona the road runs Northwards, dead straight along the shores of the Adriatic, and it was here that Arcangeli began to use the full power of his straight-eight Alfa. He passed Campari to take the lead in the race, and when Bologna was reached for the second time, after 752 miles of the race had been covered, the order was as follows :
1. Arcangeli (Alfa-Romeo), 12h. 7m. (Average speed 62.1 m.p.h.).
2. Campari (Alfa-Romeo), 12h. 12m.
3. Caracciola (Mercedes), 12h. 15m.
4. Borzacchini (Alfa-Romeo), 12h. 20m.
5. Morandi (0.3/1.), 12h. 27m.
6. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo), 12h. 29m. Three quarters of the race gone, and the Alias seemed to have the matter well in hand ; but as the cars were sent away from Brescia one major factor in the race was changed, for dawn was breaking. Immediately Caracciola seemed to come to life again : a low mist hung over the plains across which the road runs to Terni, but the German driver seemed to disregard it and his great white car roared past both Campari and Arcangeli to recapture the lead which it had lost when darkness fell. At Padua, 774 miles from the start he was leading, having averaged 61.9 m.p.h. At Treviso, at Vicenza and at Verona he was still ahead, and first on time he was despatched on the last stage to Brescia. In vain the Italians tried to reply, but both Arcangeli and Borzacchini skidded on the wet streets of Verona and wrecked their Alfa-Romeos, and Nuvolari’s car had been held up with clutch troubles. Alone Campari was left to chase the Mercedes, and in the daylight his little Alfa could not live with the big German car. As Caracciola roared into Brescia he had won the fifth 1,000 Miles Race, having covered the distance in 16 hours 10 minutes, 10 seconds, or 8 minutes 49 seconds faster than last year’s record, and having averaged 62.85 m.p.h. Campari on his little red Alfa was second, and Morandi on the O.M. third. Of the 98 starters, 57 finished, and the final order was as follows :
1. Caracciola and Sebastian (Mercedes), 161i. 10m. 10s.
2. Campari and Marinoni (Alfa-Romeo), 16h. 21m. 17s.
3. Morandi and Rosa (0.M.), 16h. 28m. 35s.
4. Klinger and Saccomandi (1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo), 17h. 7m. 57s.
5. Gerardi Brothers (1,750 c.c. AlfaRomeo), 17h. 8m. 6s.
6. Scarfiotti and Bucci (1,750 c.c. AlfaRomeo), 17h. 27m. 36s.
7. Tadini and Siena (1,750 c.c. AlfaRomeo), 17h. 39m. 50s.
8, Gazzabini (1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo saloon), 17h. 47m. 8s.
9. Nuvolari and Guidotti (2,3C0 c.c. Alfa-Romeo), 17h. 48m. 25s.
10. Cornaggia and Premoli (1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo), 17h. 48m. 50s.
11. Boni and Seven i (1,750 c.c. AlfaRomeo), 17h. 49m. 5Gs.
12. Cortese (1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo saloon), 17h. 59m. Is.
13. Rusca (1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo), 17h 59m. 29s.
14. Caniato and Sozzi (1,500 c.c. AlfaRomeo), 18h. 30m. 34s.
15. Facchetti and Maffezzoni (2f-litre Itala), 19h. 2n. 23s.
16. Zaccarini and Cicognani (2i-litre 0.M.), 19h. 14m. 44s.
17. Cobianehi and Pagani (1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo). 19h. 27m. 47s.
18. Gilera and 3.1anzoni (5-litre Fiat), 19h. 28m. 29s.
19. Gatti and Crivelli (Alfa-Romeo), 19h. 32m. 2s.
20. Faccioni (5,000 c.c. Fiat), 19h 40m. 22s.
21. Giavosa (Lancia Dilambda), 19h. 42m. 51s.
22. Tuffanelli and Bertocchi (1,100 c.c. Maserati), 19h. 48m. 40s). (Winner 1,100 class. Average 51.4 m.p.h.).
23. di Liddo and Rucceri (1,500 c.c. Fiat), 20h. 12m. 10s. (Winner Utility class. Average 50.3 m.p.h.). 24. Restelli and Sieri (1,500 c.c. AlfaRomeo), 20. 15m. 50s
25 Pelizzari and Adorn° (5-litre Fiat), 20h. 33m. 52s. 26. Bruno and Rabbi (1,75(1 c.c. AlfaRomeo), 20h. 35m. 46
27. Crotni (Fiat), 20h. 37m. 50s.
28. Ferrari and Bertosio (1,500 c.c. Fiat), 201i. 41m. 7s.
29. Biagioni Brothers (1,500 c.c. Fiat), 201i. 43m. 37s.
30. Kehler and Raggeri (1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo), 20h. 46m. 50s.
31. Mignini and Manzonani (1,500 c.c. Fiat), 20h. 46m. 55s.
32. Lamperti and Bartoli (1,500 c.c. Fiat), 21h. 22m. 16s.
33. Rognoni (Graham), 21h. 43m. 18s.
34. Goodacre and Trevisan (750 c.c. Austin), 21h. 40m. 34s.
35. Moalli (Fiat), 211i. 49m. 36s.
36. Gagna (Fiat), 21h 54m. 42s.
37. Zamoran.i and Colla (2i-1itre 0.M.), 21h. 57m. 3s.
38. Ramella and Cantini (1,500 c.c. Fiat), 21h. 57m. 455.
39. Bramhilla (1,500 c.c. Alfa-Romeo), 22h. 31m. 1 Is.
40. Coda and Caligaris (Lancia Lambda), 22h. 34m. 16s.
41. Apinzzi and Marino (1,500 c.c. Fiat), 22h. 36m. 24s.
42. Romoli (Fiat), 22h. 43m. 6s.
43. Olimpico and Calderato (Bianchi), 22h. 44m. 6s.
44. Brughera and Cipelli (2-litre Itala), 2211. 47m. Os.
45. Mosti and Pellerano (1,750 c.c. Alfa-Romeo), 221i. 53m. 50s.
46. Carnervalli and Conconi (1,100 c.c. Rally), 23h. 7m. 2s.
47. Forth and Crosti (1,500 c.c. Fiat), 23h. 8m. 32s.
48. Prini and Lufani (Bianchi), 23h. 33m. 24s.
49. Mazza (Fiat), 23h. 55m. 27s.
50. Spallanzani (Fiat), 23h. 56m. 18s.