Louis Chiron won the Comminges Grand Prix by .5 sec. from Yves Giraud-Cabantous. Chiron drove a 4 1/2-litre “Lago Sports” single-seater Talbot, Cabantous a 4-litre Talbot. So far as Chiron was concerned, the race, over 205 miles of the St. Gaudens circuit, occupied 2 hrs. 35 min. 37.4 sec., an average of 78.74 m.p.h. in spite of heavy rain. Chaboud’s 4-litre Talbot was third and the remaining places were taken by de Graffenried’s Maserati, Trintignant’s Delahaye, Ascari’s Maserati, the Scaron-Mouche Talbot, de Costanze’s Darlmat Peugeot, Ferraud’s Delahaye, Louveau’s Delage, Chardonnet’s B.M.W., Meyrat’s Delahaye and Meyer’s Maserati. It seems that crashes and fires put many of the cars out and the E.R.A.s driven by the Ashmores both overturned. Loyer’s Cisitalia won the small-car race from sister cars driven by Manzon, Schell and de Sange.
Trengwainton Speed Trial
Onslow Bartlett again made f.t.d. with his Mercury-Special, in 28.0 sec., winning the over 1 1/2-litre class by a clear second from Potter’s Allard, with Uglow’s far-smaller H.R.G. a good third. Uglow won the 1 1/2-litre class from two. M.G.s, one of them Morrish’s blown car, and Cleve’s Morris beat an M.G. in the 1,100-c.c. class. In the closed-car class, an Austin Sixteen vanquished a 3 1/2-litre Jaguar and one of the new 1 1/2-litre M.G.s.
Circuit of Pescara
This race was for sports cars only this year, but was over 310 miles and was profoundly interesting. Auriechio’s 1,100-c.c. Fiat won at an average speed of 72 m.p.h. (4 hrs. 26 min. 30 sec.), from Cortese, who was handling the new Ferrari and took 7 min. 20 sec. longer. Boneto’s Maserati was 3rd, Lietti’s Fiat 4th, and Branchetti’s Alfa-Romeo 5th — four of Italy’s leading makes in the first five!
Italian Grand Prix
This year’s Italian Grand Prix, run over 214 1/2 miles of the Milan Park circuit, was a walk-over for the Alfettes, but was rendered interesting by a tremendous duel between Count Trossi and Varzi. In the end Trossi won by 1/10th of a second, averaging 70.29 m.p.h. (3 h. 2 m. 25 sec.). Sanesi and Gaboardi brought their 1 1/2-litre Alfa-Romeos in 3rd and 4th, and Ascari’s was the first Maserati to finish, in 5th place, ahead of Louveau’s 3-litre Delage. It is to be hoped that one day we shall see Ascari pilot an Alfa-Romeo, as his late father did. During the great tussle for first place Trossi set up the fastest lap, at 74.16 m.p.h. (1 m. 44 sec.). Only 9 cars out of 22 starters survived. “Bira” went out on lap one with trouble in the boost department of his two-stage supercharged Maserati,Sommer’s Maserati blew up after 20 laps, and Villoresi retired his Maserati after 53 laps, sans decent brakes. Chiron’s Maserati was another that had engine trouble and de Graffenried’s retired with steering difficulties. Ascari’s car had single-stage supercharge and a tubular frame; it finished in sorry form. Behind the Delage came the Delahayes of Pozzi and Chaboud and Pesci’s Maserati. The circuit imposed severe strains on the cars and the leading Alfa-Romeos had their rear wheels changed when they refuelled at half-distance.
Lancashire A.C. Davis Trophy Trial
The Davis Trophy was won by J. Clegg’s Ford Ten, after 13 of the 57 entrants had taken the special test with full marks on the other hazards. Guy Warburton’s Ford V8 was 3 sec. slower than Clegg in the special test, but won the opposite class. Clough’s 1 1/2-litre Singer took the Old-Favourites Award, Edwards’ Ford Ten the Novices’ Award, and other award winners were Hankins (Ford Ten), Hunt (Jeep), Bateman (Allard), Bold (Riley), Phillips (Fairley), and Couzens (PB M.G.). Sunbac won the Team Award. Mallock had forsaken his Austin Seven for a Ford Ten with doorless Ford Eight saloon body.
The French Grand Prix
With the two Alfettes non-starters, Chiron’s unblown 4 1/2-litre Talbot won the G.P. at Lyons at 77.93 m.p.h. (4 hr. 3 mm. 40.7 sec.) for the 314 miles. Louveau’s 16-valve Maserati, delayed by pit-stops, was 2nd, and Chaboud’s 4-litre unblown Talbot 3rd. Chiron drove magnificently and won very easily, actually by 1 min. 37.9 sec., in spite of refuelling. Rosier’s Talbot, Pozzi’s Delahaye, Comotti’s Talbot, the Whitehead/Connell B-type E.R.A. and Varet’s Delahaye followed the place-men in, in this order. Of the others, Sommer’s C.T.A.-Arsenal retired in 50 yards with a broken back-axle, Chinetti’s Talbot retired on lap 1, as did Brooke, whose E-type E.R.A. started on five cylinders, less one con-rod and piston. Villoresi’s 16-valve Maserati fell out on lap 4 while leading, and after making a record lap at 82.4 m.p.h., later equalled by Raph’s Maserati. Levegh’s Maserati hit the crowd, killing two and injuring 15, and Ascari, Louveau and de Graffenried were delayed by troubles in their Maseratis, Ascari retiring with a broken piston. Parnell’s E-type E.R.A. seemed still to have unsuitable rear suspension and shot off the road when Wilkinson was driving it, with a sheared steering pin.
In the Coupe de Lyon race no one could catch Eugene Martin’s Martin-B.M.W., which won at 77.87 m.p.h. (1 hr. 37 min. 31.1 sec.) for the 126 3/4 miles. “Bira’s” Simca-Gordini was 2nd, 14.5 sec. behind, with Wimille’s Simca-Gordini 3rd, followed in by de Costanze’s Peugeot, Peter Monkhouse’s K3 M.G., Prince Igor’s Simca-Gordini, Trintignant’s Simca-Gordini, Robert’s Cisitalia, Louveau’s 328 B.M.W. Flahaut’s Simca-Gordini and Duval’s B.M.C. “Bira” made fastest lap, at 79.22 m.p.h. Braid’s Emeryson got within .5 sec. of “Bira’s” fastest lap, but retired with valve trouble.
Cayla’s Simca-Gordini won, covering 1,970 kilometres in the 24 hours. The class winners were: Molin’s 500-c.c. Simca, Jeef’s 750-c.c. Amilcar, Cayla’s 1,100-c.c.Simca and Le Jamtel’s 1,100c.c. racing Amilcar.
V.C.C. Southport Event
The Veteran Car Club had the blessing of Southport Corporation in holding their rally and speed event and have been asked to make this an annual fixture. 17 veterans and 25 Edwardians entered; all the veteran starters arrived on time, but two Edwardians retired and four were late. Gregory’s 1904 Darracq came 280 miles, beating John Hampton’s 1904 Oldsmobile by 63 miles for this prize, and Fitzpatrick’s 1906 Wolseley-Siddeley won by grace of its age and a 236 mile run from Wilcock’s 1912 Talbot, that had come 275 miles. Oldest car prize went to Bradshaw’s 1898 Daimler, which came 33 miles. In the 1/4-mile sprint Abbott’s 1904 Mercédès made fastest veteran time, in 30.8 sec. and Taylor’s 1911 Stanley Steamer fastest Edwardian time, in 27.8 sec. A huge crowd attended and over 1,500 programmes were sold.
Vintage Postbag, August 1964
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Continental Notes, July 1957
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