DESTRUCTION AT MONZA
STUCK (AUTO-UNION) WINS A WELL-JUDGED RACE, WITH PIETSCH THIRD. ALL MERCEDES-BENZES PERISH AFTER A HECTIC CHASE. NUVOLARI MAKES THE RECORD LAP ON THE NEW ALFA AND FINISHES THE DAY ON DREYFUS’ MONOPOSTO. ONLY FIVE FINISHERS OUT OF SIXTEEN
Once again Monza was the scene of the Italian Grand Prix. and following the precedent established last year, the authorities decided on a ” gymkhana ” course. This time a faster course was chosen, taking in the northern loop of the road-circuit, and chicanes formed of the usual straw hales were placed at four points in order to keep down speeds
to within saf4t limits. The race was much improved as a spectacle, but the constant braking and acceleration from 40 m.p.h, through the obstacles to 169 m.p.h. On the straight sections proved too much for most of the lightly-built cars built under the 750 kg. rule and produced the same result as the more sinuous course in 1.934. The greatest surprise of all was the defeat by their less manageable German rivals of the Mercedes-Benz cars, which
were hot favourites for the race. At first sight it seemed incredible that not one of four cars so well tested in previous races ,Should be in ‘action after the fiftieth lap. The answer lay very largely in the skilful way in which the AutoUnion seam was managed. Varzi, who had put Up the fastest laps in practice, was sent off from the drop of the flag to make the pace, and the Mercedes people fell into the trap. First .Fagioli and then Caracciola met with trouble in trying to hold the impetuous Galliatese, Brauchitsch crashed and Lang went out with engine trouble. The large
engines and reliable though less powerful brakes of the Auto-Unions had told, and Stuck was able to finish without being pressed.
Nuvolari got the new Alfa going at incredible speed in reply to Varzi’s early challenge, and actually made the fastest lap. The 8-cylinder engine unfortunately was not quite up to the task, but when the new 12-cylinder appears, the Germans will have to look to their laurels.
The sun was shining brightly on the day of the race but a light breeze prevented conditions from being too oppressive. Thousands of spectators made their way by cars, trams and on foot to the gates of the royal park and streamed off in all directions to vantage points near the curves or to one of the twelve stands which overlook the pits and the start.
Once again we saw the impressive parade which precedes the race. To the sound of the Italian National Anthem the Alfa-Romeos were wheeled On past
the stands preceded by a white-clad standard-bearer with the Italian tricolour, and with the cars their drivers Dreyfus, M-arinoni and Nuvolari. Tazio wears his usual yellow juniper and the crowd yell themselves hoarse as they recognise him. Then came the four Auto-Unions whose pilots are Stuck, Rosemeyer, Pietsch and Varzi, who was received almost as well as his rival in the yellow jumper.
kVimille and Taruffi are driving Bugartis, Etancelin a VS Maserati, while Zehender and Ghersi, who is taking the place of Siena, are mounted on the 6-cylinder cars. Last and not least the Mercedes team, with their national flag, all dressed in white except Fagioli, who is faithful to his racing blue, the other drivers being Caracciola, von Brauchitsch and Lang.
After the parade the cars were lined up in front of the grand stand. Promptly at 11 o-clock the blue starting flag dropped and there was a concerted wail and roar as the cars stremned away led by Caracciola, followed by Stuck, Wimille, Varzi and Dreyfus. In an amazingly ,short time the first car came into view again, and proved to be Caracciola On the Mercedes-Benz. He had completed his first lap in 3 minutes 9 seconds, with Stuck and Varzi close on his heels. .Further back came Fagioli, Nuvolari, Dreyfus, Wi in iUe, Rosemeyer, Bratichitsch and Etancel in.
Once again the howling mob disappeared from view, Caracciola again was the first to come into sight at the far end of the pits, with Varzi and Stuck pressing him closely. The lap-speed of the Merc&les was now 2 minutes 58 seconds, a figure which no one had anticipated so early in the struggle.
Caracciola was not able to stave off the attack of the Auto-Union drivers, and on the third round Stuck took the lead with a lap of 2 minutes 55 seconds (88.5 m.p.h.). The unfortunate ” Rudi” was then bottled between his two rivals, but Fagioli moved up to support him. Nuvolari was biding his time, lapping comfortably in an even three minutes. while GherSi, whose car had been definitely off colour at the start, retired at the pits on his fourth lap. Taruffi called in to clean a choked jet on his Bugatti, a trouble from which the car Suffered throughout the race. On the fifth lap Varzi overtook Caracciola with a splendid lap in 2 minutes 531 seconds, which was particularly good considering the cars were running with almost full fuel-tanks. The pace showed no signs of slackening, and the leading cars were lapping at 2 minutes 67 seconds. Varzi then
spurted up to 2 minutes 55 seconds and passed Stuck, and continued at the same pace for three laps in succession, building up his lead second by second. On the eighth lap the first cars had already lapped Zehender, who had stopped to adjust a shock-absorber, and at the tenth Fagioli pulled in to his pit with one of the back brakes out of action, and retired.
The furious pace was already taking its toll.
Order after 10 Laps (43 miles).
Varzi 29m. 3118.• Stuck 29m. 39h.; Caracciola 29m. 411s. ; Nuvolari 29m. 5818. ; Fagioli 30m. 0718.; Dreyfus 30m. 071s.; ltosemeyer 30m. 151g.’ Brauchitsch 30m. 211s.; Lang 31m. 07.48.; Pietsch 31m. 22.10.; Wimille 31m. 37.4s.; Etancelin 31m. 42.2s.; Taruf11 32m. 44.3s.; blarinoni 32m. 57s.; Zehender 37m. 02.40. Any feelings one may have had about
the road-holding of the rear-cngined cars were dissipated as Varzi hurled his AutoUnion through the chicanes, but his furious driving was more than the engine could stand. On the thirteenth lap he slowed down passing the pits and waved Stuck into the lead, and came to a rapid standstill a little further on where a broken piston caused the car to catch fire. The two forcing (and foreign) pilots of the German teams were now out of it, and we waited to see if Nuvolari would join battle with Stuck and Caracciola. The methodical Stuck had no intention of allowing the others within striking distance however, and as the fuel tank emptied he quickened his pace, his best lap being one in 2 minutes 52 seconds. Caracciola could not compete with this and slowly dropped astern, while Tazio on the new Alfa was gaining ground, and drawing away from Dreyfus on the Monoposto. Meanwhile a report came through that Rosemeyer (Auto-Union) was unsteady coming through the chicanes, and he ended up with a skid which broke the back axle. At the same time news came of Etancelin, who had not been seen since the fourteenth lap. The throttle had
jammed as he was taking the chicane just after the tunnel, and he hurtled through at tremendous speed, wrecking the car completely, and being fortunate him
self to escape with a broken collar-bone. Order after 20 Laps.
Stuck 58m. 55s. (Speed 85.7 m.p.h.); Caracciola 59m. 06s. ; Nuvolarl 59m. 29.2s.; Dreyfus 59m. 45a.; Brauchitsch 69m. 49s.; Lang lh. 2m. IN.,. Much lh. 2m. 1304 Wimille lb. Sin. 16.8s.; Marinord lb. 4m. 25.4s.; Tarufn lb. 5m. 26.4e.
Nuvolari it will be seen had only lost 33 seconds in the first 86 miles, which says something for the man and the car. On the twenty-first lap Pietsch pulled in to the Auto-Union pits and handed over to Rosemeyer, losing only 20 seconds in the change, while Taruffi was once again in changing plugs. Caracciola received orders to speed up and gained some ground, but Stuck replied with a lap which clipped off one-fifth of a sec
ond from Varzi’s record, indicating quite definitely that the rear-engined car was still in perfect tune. The Bugattis had not so far distinguished themselves and on the twentyseventh lap Witnille’s car burst in the most decisive way, a con-rod breaking and knocking out large chunks of crankcase, which lay scattered all over the track ; this lap was memorable too for the opening of Nuvolari’s attack. From a time of just under three minutes he speeded up to 2 minutes 54 seconds and then 2 minutes 53 seconds. This move was not lost on Caracciola and Stuck, who depressed their accelerator pedals with a will. On the twenty-sixth lap the Italian was only 39 seconds in the rear of the leader and at the thirtieth had reduced this by five seconds. Meanwhile Brauchitsch had overhauled Dreyfus, and everything was set for a pitched battle between the leading men of the
German teams and the Italian champion. The crowd, needless to say, were wild with excitdment.
Order at the 30th Lap.
Stuck lb. 27m. 56s. (88.2 m.p.h.) ; Caracciola 111. 28m. 17.4s.; Nuvolari lb. 28m. 30s.; Brauchitsch lb. 281n. 60.48.; Dreyfus 1h. 28m. 56.2s.; Rosenteyer lb. 321n. 38.2s.; Lang lb. 33m. 6.2s. ; Marinoni lb. 38m. 24s.; Tarufli 111. 45m. 358. N uvolari ‘s performance was loudly cheered by the crowds round the course. He had done two successive laps in 2
minutes 52 seconds, and was now close on Caracciola’s tail. He surpassed himself on the thirty-third lap covering the 6.9 kilometres circuit in 2 minutes 49 4-5 seconds (91.3 m.p.h.) a whole second faster than Stuck’s record, but then on the chicane preceding the south banking skidded completely round losing 14 seconds in so doing. Now came the time for re-fuelling, where precious seconds are so easily lost. Caracciola was the first to stop. Two back wheels were changed and the car got away in 1 minute 44 seconds, now with Fagioli at the wheel. Dreyfus and Brauchitsch pulled in together, but the -Ferrari man gained 7 seconds on the
operation. The Mercedes pit-staff were not functioning at anything like their usual efficiency. In contrast to this Stuck’s tank was filled and two of his wheels changed in the amazing time of 45 seconds, and Rocemeyer’s car was dealt with with
equal rapidity. Nuvolari was for the minute first in the race, but on the thirty-ninth lap came his turn at the pits. The crowds watched breathlessly hoping to see some lightning pit-work which meant his advance into second place, but the Ferrari organisation could not do better than 1 minute 17 seconds, which included adjusting the brakes. All the pit stops had been completed by the forty-first lap and the order then was Stuck, then Nuvolari 58 seconds behind with Dreyfus third. Fagioli was fourth, but on the next lap he came into the pits to retire with damaged transmission. To complete the tale of misfortune, von Brauchitsch found his brakes failing as he came up to a chicane, shot through and turned round three times and shot off the road. Rosemeyer was now fourth in the race, Lang
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on the last surviving Merc6des fifth, followed by Marinoni and Taruffi.
Everyone was watching for a renewal of the struggle between Nuvolari and St uck, but the Alfa proved difficult to andle with a full tank, and before the wiry Tazio had really got into his stride there was a burst of smoke from under the bonnet and the car was out with a broken piston. Lang dropped out soon afterwards with engine trouble. Only five cars were now left on the track. Nuvolari came in slowly to his pits amid sympathetic cheering from the spectators, and took over Dreyfus’ car in a last effort to catch the Auto-Union. Stuck, however, was on the look-out and drew away easily, and any further hope
which Nuvolari may have had disappeared when a valve broke and left him to finish on seven cylinders. At any rate the honour of Italy was vindicated, and when the chequered flag was hung out the crowds showed their approval of the race by greeting Stuck with the plaudits Jin deserved. Tactics and a reliable car had won the day.
1. Trans Stuck (5.5-litre Auto-Union), 3h. 40m. Os. 86.2 m.p.h.
Dreyfus and Nuvolari (4-litre Alfa-Romeo), 314. 41m. SOS. RS m.p.h.
3. Bietseh and Rosetneyer (5.5-litre Auto-Union), 311. 40m. 13s. (70 laps).
4. Marinoni (4-litre Alfa-Romeo). 68 laps.
5. Tarudi (4-litre Bugatti) 59 laps.
The race was held over 73 laos of a 0.89 kilometer circuit trial distance 314.5 mile.