Continental Notes, September 1973
Zandvoort Aftermath Looking back on the whole sad and unfortunate affair of the Dutch Grand…
By OUR CONTINENTAL CORRESPONDENT
HOW THEY WILL LINE UP
Most of the manufacturers and Scuderias have completed their teams for the coming season, and we are now able to take stock of the position. One or two well known drivers are still disengaged, but it is generally agreed that the constitution of the various teams will be as follows:
Mercedes-Benz: 1, Rudolf Caracciola; 2, Herman Lang; 3, Richard Seaman; 4, Manfred von Brauchitsch. Reserves : Baumer, Brendel, Hartmann, Kautz, Zehender
Auto-Union: 1, Bernd Rosemeyer; 2, Hans Stuck; 3, Luigi Fagioli; 4, von Delius. Reserve: Hasse.
Scuderia Ferrari: 1, Tazio Nuvolari; 2, Marchere Antonio Brivio Sforza (Brivio to you); 3, Guiseppe Farina. Reserves: Carlo Pintacuda, Clemente Biondetti, Mario Tadini, Severi, Eugenio Siena, Raymond Sommer, and, occasionally, Count Carlo Trossi.
1,500 c.c. and Sports
E.R.A. 1, Raymond Mays; 2, Pat Fairfield.
Maserati: 1. Amobono Tenni; 2, Ettore Bianco; 3, Count Carlo Trossi; 4, Rene Dreyfus (last two only occasionally).
Scuderia Ambrosiana: 1, Count Giovanni Lurani; 2, Luigi Villoresi; 3, Eugenio Minetti.
Scuderia Impero: 1, Mario Colini; 2, Agostino Prosperi.
Scuderia Volta: 1, Piero Taruffi; 2, Luciano Uboldi; 3, Luigi Carnevali; 4, Emilio Carnevali. Reserves: Orsete Cortese, Franco Ghioldi, Guelfo Parravicini, Angelo Marelli, Gigi Soffietti.
Scuderia Helvetia: 1, De Graffenreid; 2, Armando Hug; 3, Leonardo Quadri. Reserves : Pietro Durio, Georgio Bellia, Ciro Basadorma.
Scuderia S.R.G.: 1, G. Hummel; 2, E. Troeltsch; 3, H. Wimmer; 4, H. Kessler.
Talbot: 1, Albert Divo; 2, Raymond Sommer; 3, Rene Le Begue. Reserve: Alfred Morel.
Ecurie Bleu: 1, Rene Dreyfus; 2, L. Schell; 3, Rene Carriere.
Bugatti: Jean-Pierre Wimille.
It will be seen that the most recent team news is that Manfred von Brauchitsch has renewed his contract with Mercedes-Benz, after a good deal of discussion, and that Fagioli the Burly has switched over to Auto-Union. His retirement to a farm has apparently been postponed for at least a year.
Two famous names are absent from this list, Louis Chiron and Achille Varzi. It was hoped that Chiron would return to Ferrari, but the rumour came to nothing. Apart from his energetic bicycle rides in the Bois, and his equally energetic winter-sporting, there is no real news to report of the French as du volant. His plans are largely dependent at the moment on the decision of Delage, who is probably going to return to racing with some twelve-cylinder sports-cars. If this plan matures, I think we shall see Louis Chiron leading the Delage attack. As for Varzi, his future is even more undecided. Italians do not seem to thrive in the atmosphere of a German team, perhaps because they are not allowed to. Anyway, Varzi has not been in the limelight for the last year or two, and this has given rise to the usual talk about his being “finished.” This is not so, as an occasional meteoric lap in some of the Grand Prix races last year revealed. The old fire is there, and Varzi at his best is, in my opinion, as good as Nuvolari. (That will bring some letters, Ed.)
The number of 1,500 c.c. teams is most satisfactory. So long as cars are reasonably fast and are evenly matched it does not matter whether they are big or small (“heresy!” did I hear you say?). Anyway, there are going to be some real battles in the 1,500 c.c. races this year, which is just what everybody wants. In addition to the official team, E.R.A. will have various independent drivers in the field, such as Prince Birabongse, Ian Connell, P.N. Whitehead, and possibly Earl Howe.
Hans Stuck, of course, wanted to race a small Maserati occasionally, but what with his contract with Auto-Union, and the difficulty of getting money out of Germany, he has had to abandon the project. There is just a possibility that Varzi may tire of “spectating” and do some dicing with a Maser.
Reverting for a moment to the G.P. teams, it appears that Auto-Unions have been taking precautions against the Mercedes-Benz challenge to their maximum speed supremacy. More power has been extracted from the already extremely potent engines which are now 6-litres, and the trials at Monza have been completely satisfactory. The gearbox has been docked of one speed, and now provides four gears, and the rear tyres are bigger than ever. Rosemeyer, Stuck and Fagioli make a formidable team, and I should not be surprised to see Auto-Union capturing most of the big prizes again this year.
Mercedes-Benz have also been down at Monza again, and this time it was Seaman’s turn to invert a car. Fortunately he did not hurt himself, and no doubt his driving will benefit by the experience, as he will know just how far to go before things begin to happen. I think the outstanding member of the team this year will be Herman Lang – even though he will probably finish behind Caracciola in accordance with team tactics. Seaman will not reach the top of his form until he has had a full season with the team. Then we shall see. The cars are now 6-litres in size, with oval tubular frame. Weight saving everywhere has been carried out, coil springing in front, torsion bar at rear.
The Alfas, too, have been searching hard for a little more speed. The compression ratio of the twelve-cylinder engines has been raised to 7 to 1, the alltime high in Alfa history, I believe. The bolides now develop 370 h.p. at 5,800 r.p.m., which seems to be good, but not good enough to beat the Germans. Accordingly a V16 engine is being planned for the Italian Grand Prix.
There is a strong rumour that the amazing Dr. Porsche will shortly leave Auto-Union to go to Mercedes-Benz. In contradiction of this; however, there is an equally strong rumour that he is at present hard at work designing a car to beat the flying mile and kilometre records at present held by Sir Malcolm Campbell, and that this car will carry the name of Auto-Union.
As one would expect the car will not depend upon brute force in order to achieve a speed higher than 300 m.p.h. It will in all probability be an enlarged and completely enclosed version of the present G.P. car. Two points on which Dr. Porsche is concentrating are a small frontal area and low weight – the latter in order to simplify the tyre problem.
News from Everywhere
Eifelrennen sports-car race to be international, thanks to efforts of “Aldy” who will drive a 2-litre B.M.W. Last year’s race was a B.M.W. field day.
Old-timers will be glad to hear that C.henard-Walehers are returning to racing with 1,100 cc. model. Three cars have been tested at Montlhery, where they lapped track circuit at nearly 100 m.p.h. Destined for Bol d ‘Or and Le Mans, in which race Chenards used to be regularly victorious a decade or more ago. (How time flies !) May -go out for 1,100 c.c. records up to 24 hours. A Frenchman named Rocati is building three racers for 1,500 c.c. events. Advance
details mention eight cylinders and independent suspension, with Decaroli as one driver.
France is full of new ears in the process of being constructed. Violet, previously associated with Simca, is building a team of new A:V.A.s for A.C.F. Sporting Commission Cup. The more the merrier.
Not to be ontdone, Italy has her new car too. Count Castelbarco (I believe there are several of their ilk) is building a composite car from sundry bits and pieces. Engine will be on lines of famous Talbot-Darracq straight-eight 1,500 c.0., and car will have independent suspension. Entries for French ” G.P. ” on July 4th: one Amilcar, one Delage, four Talbots,
two Bugattis, three Delahaycs. A.C.F. Sporting Commission Cup has attracted three Rileys, three A.V.A.s, one Singer, one Aston-Martin, and one Amilcar. Only One British driver, Collier with the Aston.
Tunis, being French colony (geography, very good), has changed its erstwhile Grand Prix into a race for sports-cars, with French G.P. rules. Three heats of si t v -t wo miles on 7.8 mile circuit.
78 000 francs to be won. Wimille ( B igatti ) and Sommer (Talbot) will compete with various Delahayes, Talbots and Bugs. Le Mans perennially popular. Fifty one entries at time of scribbling. IN
tended maximum from fifty to sixty. Approximately one-third are British. Frontieres Race to be held on May 16th, at Chimay. Classes for racing and sports,
over and under 2-litres. Fifteen laps. 102 miles in all. So Wimille has won that 400,000 francs for Bugatti, after all. First attempt at lapping road circuit at Montlhery for 124 miles at 91 m.p.h. was quickly ended by broken rear axle. Time limit for attempt extended, and next time
Wimille was successful. An extraordinarily tine effort, because speed represents a shade under G.P. record, made With two artificial chicanes.
Delahaye, another twelve-cylinder convert, with new 44-lltre sports model to rim at Miramas 3-Hour Race and French G.P. nrm is .allied to Delage, so design may be similar. Farther. ahead, Talbot is planning six cars for 1938 G.P. formula. Idea is to have alternative engines for same chassis. power-units will be 3-litre blown and 4flitre unblown. Both will have twelve
cylinders. Present ears to continue for 1937 unchanged, and will be seen at Tunis, Montlhery, Miramas, Reims and anywhere else where they fit the rules.
Scheme for running meetings of short races at Montlhety, on lines. of B.A.R.C., is still under discussion. Delorme, young French independent, tried hard to inaugurate regular series some time ago.
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