GUY MOLL (Alfa Romeo) WINS MONACO GRAND PRIX
CHIRON’S MISTAKE COSTS HIM THE LEAD. DREYFUS (BUGATTI) THIRD. WHITNEY STRAIGHT AND EARL HOWE FINISH 7th AND 10th RESPECIWELY.
THOUGH lacking the terrific duel of makes and men which made last year’s race such a thrilling spectacle, the famous” Race in the City” retained its reputation for last-minute surprises. Chiron who had led the race from the start, had a momentary lapse in the last few laps, and hit the Sandbags at the railway station. Guy Moll, until this year only seen as a private entrant, replaced his fellow-driver of the Senderia Ferrari, and won his first important race with comparative ease.
Quite apart from its appeal as a spectacle, the Monaco Grand Prix of 1934 was of great interest as being the first one of a new era. It was run under the International Formula which limits the weight to 750 kg. or 14+ cwts., while many of the drivers, picked men every one of them, were seen on cars other than those on which their reputations had been made. The transfer of varzi, Lehoux and Moll to the .Scuderia Ferrari was one of the major changes, while Nuvolari was seen as an ” independent ” driving one of the new Bugattis.
On the technical side it was disappointing not to See the new Mercedes team, which was not yet ready, and the Auto Union cars, which were considered too long for the twistine Round the Houses” race. The new Bugattis were certainly things of beauty, with their low-hung chassis and tremendous brakes. The engine differs principally from the ” 2.3″ type in having the timing gear at the rear, with two down-draught carburetters feeding the blower. Gear-box and transmission follow normal Bugatti practise, with the driver sitting alongside the transmission in the usual way. The front axle is a built-up unit.
A novel type of wheel is used. The Side of the rim is supported by an alloy disk, while radial spokes are used on the outside. The brake-drum is secured to the disk and the wheel is carried on a Rudge serrated hub in the normal way.
Veyron was driving a normal “2.3 “, brought down to the weight limit by careful weight saving all round.
All the Alfa Romeos, with the exception of the one entered by Balestrero were 2.9 litre Type B single-seater cars. The last mentioned was a two-seater Grand Prix car bored out to 2.6 litres. Here again careful weight-saving had brought the total weight below the limit.
The Maseratis displayed their usual variations of type. Lord Howe had the latest model with a chassis 30 inches wide and radius rods on the front springs. Straight on the other hand had the narrow type, only about 20 inches in width. The car was fitted with a self-changing box of the same size as that used in the 20 h.p. Armstrong Siddeley, and also a re-inforced fuel tank. 1,?.taticelin’s car also had the 20 inch chassis and was so narrow that small aluminium wings, which counted as ” carosserie,” were fitted at a level with the driver’s seat to comply with the regulations. All these cars were fitted with
Earl Howe (Maserati 2.9).
Whitney Straight (Maserati-Straight 2.9).
R. Dreyfus (Bugatti 2.8).
J. P. Wimille (Bugatti 2.8).
P. Veyron (Bugatti 2.3).
P. Etancelin (Maserati 2.9).
L. Chiron (Alta Romeo 2.9).
M. Lehoux (Alta Romeo 2.9).
G. Moll (Alfa Romeo 2.9).
Count F. Trossi (Alfa Romeo 2.9).
A. Varzi (Alfa Romeo 2.9).
R. Balestrero (Alfa Romeo 2.6).
T. Nuvolari (Bugatti 2.8).
E. Siena (Maserati 2.9).
P. Taruffi (Maserati 2.3).
straight-eight 2.9 litre engines giving some 250 h.p. Siena had a narrow twoseater car while Taruffi, the works entry, completed the confusion by having a four-cylinder 2.3 litre engine in the normal Monoposto chassis.
Unlike other years, the first day of practise produced really fast times. Count Trossi who usually drives fast and steadily rather than at maximum Speed, equalled Vares record time of 1 min. 59 secs., and Nuvolari on his 2.8 litre Bugatti was one second slower. On the Saturday Trossi took another second off the record time. Benoist hit the sandbags at St. _Devote, thus depriving Bugatti of one of its official cars. On the final
Race run on April 2nd, 1934.
100 laps of 3 km. ISO circuit.
Total length of race, 318 kilometres. Lap record during race : 1 in. 59s., mu* by
A. Varzi (Bugatti) 1933.
W. Williams m.p.h. (Bugatti 2.3), 50.12
1930. R. Dreyfus (13ugatti 2.3), 53.94
1931. L. Chiron (llugattf 2.3), 54.41 m.p.h. 1932. T. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo 2.3), 56.13 m.p.h.
1933. Varzi (Bugatti 2.3), 57.38 m.p.h.
day Etancelin struck the tail of his car on the sand-bags at the Gas Works Hairpin without damaging any vital part. Straight hit the kerb coming out of the tunnel and turned round twice, damaging a back wheel and a brake-drum, and Lord Howe’s petrol tank split at the seams.
Weighing in proved an anxious time for many of the entrants and tyres were removed, sumps, gear-boxes and even back axles were drained in the effort to get below the weight limit. The Maseratis had to resort to alloy wheels before they could get through, and in the case of Etancelin the officials even had to take into account the weight of the blocks used for supporting the wheels. The Mouoposto Alfas got through without difficulty, with their tyres still in place. Weather conditions on the morning of
Easter Monday were as unfavourable as they could be, and showers and heavy rain followed one another from a grey sky. However by eleven o’clock there were signs of clearing and at midday the sun was blazing down in an endeavoui to make amends. Swarms of people of all nations converged on the stands around the course, and the houses and the hill of Monaco seemed to carry even more people than usual.
By 12.30 the cars were lined up in front of the pits, and there was no one missing except Benoist, who had damaged the back axle of his Bugatti. The tank of Lord Howe’s car had been repaired by artificers from H.M.S. Delhi, a light cruiser which at the minute swung in the narrow harbour of Monte Carlo, her yard arms and control tops alive with men. Straight had received the spare parts for his car from Sommer in Paris, and after 36 hours of continuous work it was ready to take its place with the others.
A short time before the start the cars were lined up three abreast in the Boulevard Albert I, with Trossi, Dreyfus and Etancelin in the front row, by virtue of their practise lap times. Beind them were Chiron, Nuvolari, and Varzi, an uncomfortable trio to have at one’s back ! Pandemonium broke out as the cars were started up, and mechanics ran hither and thither in the clouds of exhaust smoke. M. Charles Faroux raised his flag, the roaring increased, and the whole jostling crowd was released. Chiron by some remarkable driving dodged his way between the three cars in front of him, and had a clear lead from Dreyfus as they streaked up the Avenue de Monte Carlo. Etancelin was thirty yards behind, followed by Varzi, Witnille, Moll and Nuvolari, all some distance in the rear. After a single lap Trossi came into the pits to change plugs and was off again like the wind. Chiron and Dreyfus were setting a fast pace, and Varzi made strenuous efforts to pass Etancelin. This he did in a few
laps. Wimille soon lost his speed and was passed by Straight on the Quai de Plaisance. Lord Howe was slow and came in. to fit a smaller jet and to change plugs. His car ran badly during the whole race and he could effect no improvement despite frequent pit stops. Varzi had to do some very hard driving to catch Etancelin, and lost two minutes in adjustments to brakes, magneto and plugs. This put him back to 10th place, the order after 20 laps being :
1. L. Chiron (Alfa Romeo), 41m. 32s. Average speed 57.2 m.p.h.’
2. R. Dreyfus (Bugatti), 41m. 37s.
3. P. Etancelin (Maserati), 41m. 50s.
4. G. Moll (Alfa Romeo), 42tn. 10s.
5. T.Ntivolari (Bugatti), 421n. 28s.
6. P. Taruffi (Maserati), 42m. 31s.
7. W. Straight (Maserati), 42m. Ss.
8. M. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo), 43m. 3s.
9. E. Siena (Ma.serati), 43m. 45s. ICI. A. Varzi (Alfa Romeo), 44m. 24s. II, R. Balestrero (Alfa Romeo), 44m. 31s.
12. P. Veyron (Bugatti), 45m.
Straight was seventh at this stage, and his steady driving was remarked on by the spectators.
Chiron.’s average lap speed was less than most of those put up in the practises and it seemed that he was playing a waiting game. Judging by the soot on the tails of the cars the Alfa engines were running rich, as though the Ferrari stable were afraid of a general blow-up. However, Dreyfus could not catch Chiron, while Wintille, the other driver of a 2.8 Bugatti, retired at the Gas Works hairpin with seized rear brakes. Nuvolari, it seemed, was also going steadily in. the first twenty laps, but later had a terrific scrap with Taruffi driving the four-cylinder Maserati. The latter was little if any slower than the Bugatti and. got past the great “As du Volant,” only to be overtaken after a tail-to-bonnet struggle which lasted several laps. The Ilaserati then started misfiring and Taruffi, in a moment of absent-mindedness,
drew in at the near side of the pits only to be flagged away furiously.
The four-cylinder crackle of the Maserati was actually the most penetrating of all the exhaust notes, but the noise, when any of the cars were passing between the Gas Works and the St. Devote corner, was almost incredible. Fortunately Alfa Romeos had forsaken their” boot polish” fuel and the passage down by the station was less choked with fumes.
Trossi caused some excitement in his efforts to regain the time he had lost, and spun round in the road just after the tunnel. He actually succeeded in passing Chiron in. the stretch past the grand stand and went round St. Devote corner in an unpleasant series of broadsides. He was of course some five laps behind in actual order. Chiron was drawing away from Drey
fus, and Etancelin was hot on his heels for some time. He tried to pass Dreyfus just after the Gas Works as Dreyfus was passing Straight, and succeeded in doing so on the hill up to the Casino. The Maseratis seemed much easier to
hold than last year, though Etancelin did some snaking up near the Casino, and blue smoke always came from his tyres as he accelerated away from the Gas Works Corner. Their brakes were not always too happy, and the front of Straight’s car bounded up and. down for nearly 100 yards along the Quai Albert leading to the Hairpin. The Alfa Romeos were also a little unsteady under heavy braking, while the new Bugattis seemed steady and easy to control under all conditions.
Order at 50th lap.
1. I,. Chiron (Alfa Romeo), 111. 44m. 6s., 56.9 m.p.h.
2. P. Etancelin (Maserati), 1h. 44m. 52s.
3. R. Dreyfus (Bugatti), lb. 45nt.
4. 0. Moll (Alfa Romeo), lb. 45m. 20s.
5. T. Nuvolari (Bugatti), lb. 46m. 43s.
6. P. Taruffi (Maserati), lb. 48m. 27s.
7. A. Varzi (Alfa Romeo), lb. 48m. 38s.
8. W. Straight (Maserati), lh. 48m. 48s.
9. E. Siena (Maserati), lb. 49m. 42s.
10. M. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo), lh. 50m. 37s.
The stress of the course was telling on some of the cars, and Balcstrero retired just beyond the Casino with a damaged differential. Trossi stopped for brake adjustment, likewise Varzi, as the result of a Scuderia struggle between these two and the more fortunate Moll. In spite of the reduced efficiency of the brakes, no driver even looked like being dangerous down the steep slopes to the station and the cornering there was a joy to see. Straight handled his car very neatly at this point and made good use of his selfchanging gear-box in getting away. Apart from skill in handling, one needs to watch the driving mirror, as was shown when Moll and Varzi came down the hill together to pass a third car before the hairpin.
Varzi at this stage was actually smoking a cigarette. Chiron was driving superbly in the lead while Etancelin was not so steady in his efforts to catch him. A hump in the road outside the Hotel de Paris proved his undoing, and he shot across the road into the sandbanks, and retired with damaged steering. Dreyfus stopped to rectify a
slipping clutch, and Moll moved into second place. Nuvolari, who had been occupying an unaccustomed fifth place, then made a tremendous effort and drew up to third. This proved too much for his brakes, however, and he lost four minutes at the pits adjusting them.
Order at 80th lap.
1. 14. Chiron (Alfa Romeo), 21i. 47m. 0.6s., m.p.h.
2. G. Moll (Alfa Romeo), 2h. 48m. 38s.
3. R. Dreyfus (Bugatti), 211. 50m. 59$.
4. P. Taruffi (Maserati), 2h. 54m. Us.
5. M. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo), 211. 54m. 30s.
6. T. Nuvolari (Bugatti), 2h. 54m. 44s.
7. W. Straight (Maserati), 2h. 55m. 9$.
8. A. Varzi (Alfa Romeo), 2h. 55m. 12s.
9. E. Siena (Maserati), 2h. 58m. 24s.
10. P. Veyron (But,latti), 2h. 59m. 44s.
11. Count F. Trossi (Alfa Romeo), 3h. 7m. 14s.
12. Earl Howe (Maserati).
The average speed this year was slightly lower than Varzi’s time last year, in spite of the lightness and increased power of the cars taking part.
The interest of the crowds was still unabated, and they followed eagerly every movement of their champion, Chiron, and of Nuvolari, who seemed equally popular. Of the single-handed entries, Taruffi was still going great guns and Veyron, whose 2.3 Bugatti seemed as strong as ever, got an occasional cheer. Straight’s white car with blue chassis emitted sheets of flame from its exhaust pipe on several occasions and marshals stretched nervously for fire extinguishers but the driver continued undisturbed.
The times of the 90th lap had gone up then with Chiron nearly a lap in front, and at the 98th round his car failed to appear.
With only two laps to go he had misjudged the Station Hairpin and charged the sandbags, loosing 3 minutes through this accident. This gave Moll a one minute lead, and he roared over the line in company with Varzi before the crowd had realised that Chiron had missed the first place.
The Monogasque must have been a little compensated in coming in second and gaining all but one of the prizes for leading each ten laps. Taruffi was even less fortunate, retiring in the last lap when running in fourth place.
1. Guy Moll (Alfa Romeo), 3h. 31m. 31s. Average Speed, 55.86 m.p.h.
2. L. Chiron (Alfa Romeo), 31i. 32m. 33 (55.8 m.p.h.).
3. R. Dreyfus (Bugatti), 3h. 32m. 39$. (55.’2 m.p.h.), 99 laps.
4. M. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo), 3h. 33m. 18s.,98 laps.
5, T. Nuvolari (Bugatti), 3h. 33m. 35s., 98 laps.
6. A. Varzi (Alfa Romeo), 3h. 33m. 38s., 98 laps.
7. E. Skim Maserati), 3h. 32m. Os., 96 laps.
8. W. Straight (Maserati-Straight), 3h. 32m. 47s. 96 laps.
9. P. Veyron (Bugatti).
10. Earl Howe (Maserati).
Fastest lap, Trussi, 2m. 0.2s.-59.7 m.p.h.