THE GRAND PRIX D’ITALIE.
COUNT BRILLI-PERI WINS INTERNATIONAL RACE ON HIS ALFA-ROMEO.
THE BUGATTI TEAM SCORES ANOTHER SUCCESS IN THE VOITURETTE CLASS.
y-F,T another classic event has added laurels to the famous Alfa-Romeo cars, which now occupy the premier place among the world’s fastest cars. On Sunday, September 6th, a vast concourse of 140,000 spectators were assembled at Monza, near Milan, to witness the fifth race for the Grand Prix d’Italie ; members of the Italian Royal Family, Signor Mussolini and Gabriel d’Atinunzio being present. As is well-known, the Monza circuit, which includes the great Italian race track, is 800 kilometres in length, the total distance comprising eighty laps of roads which had been specially prepared for the event. In spite of the enormous crowds and some ii .00° cars gathered at
different portions of the route, the organisation was so admirable that no traffic congestion was experienced, whilst the control of the course assured the safety of the spectators and competitors alike. Indeed, it seemed as if every official available had been called in to assist in making the great Italian road race a complete success as a national festival of premier importance.
In accordance with the regulations covering International Grand Prix contests, the engine capacities of the cars did not exceed 2 litres, with a minimum unladen weight of 650 kilos. Two-seater bodies were stipulated, but only one driver was permitted for each car, and adequate provisions for preventing the escape of oil on the track were insisted upon.
The Competing Cars.
Special interest was evinced by the entry of the Dusenberg track racing cars, which in the hands of Kreiss and Milton were expected to extend the AlfaRomeos, the latter being piloted by Brilli-Peri, Campari and the American, de Paolo. A Diatto driven by Materassi ; a Guvot Special with Guyot at the wheel, completing the list of starters for the Grand Prix classification which was run off simultaneously with the race for the Grand Prix des Voiturettes de L’ A. C. d’Italie, in which the following cars participated :— Five Bugattis, driven respectively by Constantini, P. de Viscaya, F. de Viscaya, Gottx and Foresti ; two Cheribiris, with Plate and Santoleri as pilots ; and the Eldridge-Special, with its owner at the wheel. It was an understood thing that the Bugatti team was out to give
a demonstration of reliability, but, at the same time, one cannot but remark how the car handled by Constantini with its 1,500 c.c. engine ran in to win its class at a higher average speed than that of the 2 litre supercharged Dusenberg, which finished third in the Grand Prix proper. The latter car was fitted with a blower revolving at the enormous speed of 3,000 r.p.m., whilst those of the Alfa-Romeos were of the Rosto type with a two-speed gear. At rom o’clock, the signal for the start was given by the Crown Prince Humbert of Savoy, and amid extraordinary scenes of enthusiasm, the cars were sent off on their journeys. Campari on his Alfa-Romeo set the pace, closely followed by de Paolo, Kreiss, Milton and Brilli-Peri ; but after some magnificent driving, Kreiss began to challenge Campari for the lead. His success was short-lived, however, for on. the third circuit he suffered a severe skid, which,, though he escaped un
injured, forced him to retire. After 50 kilometres, the three Alfa-Romeos held the lead, Campari and Brilli-Peri holding first and second places respectively until the thirtieth circuit, after which Milton on the Dusenberg forced his way to the front, with his compatriot, de Paolo, on the Alfa-Romeo, following close behind in the second place. At this stage, it looked as th.o ugh the Dusenberg had found its legs, and the spectators began to fear the victory would be wrested from the AlfaRomeo team, which appeared very possible until Milton lost several circuits owing to the loss of oil from a fractured pipe. For a large part of the race Milton was obliged to use his top gear owing to a mishap to his gear-box soon after the start. When running second at 300 kilometres, de Paolo’s Alfa-Romeo came to a standstill, and the driver had to change his carburettor, but he afterwards made up time in a splendid fashion and took up his position behind Milton. At 400 kilometres, Brilli-Peri assumed the lead, the field now being reduced to four with the retirement of Materassi on the Diatto, and for the next 300 kilometres the order of the race was Brilli-Peri, de Paolo, Campari and Milton. After the 70th circuit the position changed, Campari and Milton both overtaking de Paolo, and near
the end the Dusenberg made another great attempt to get on terms with the leader, but without much hopes of success. The four cars were now travelling at terrific speeds, and with so close an issue at stake the drivers were exercising every conceivable effort to outdrive each other ; nevertheless, the order did not change, and Brilli-Peri came home a winner with an average speed of 94 m.p.h. followed by Campari, Constantini in the Voiturette class, Milton and de Paolo.
The Grand Prix des Voiturettes.
The story of this race is soon told, the Bugattis and Constantini, the brothers de Viscaya and Foresti outclassing their rivals in an unmistakable manner. Eldridge retired early in the race with magneto trouble ; Plate, on the Ch,eribiri, fell out at 150 kilometres ; Santoleri skidded and turned over three times, only escaping serious injury by the merest chance ; and Goux (Bugatti), after holding the lead from the tenth to sixty-fifth circuit, was forced to retire owing to a damaged petrol tank. Constantini’s time for the 800 kilometres was 5 hours 44 mins. 46 secs., his team mates running in, as a regular procession at very short intervals.