THE G.P. OF SUPERCORTEMAGGIORE
MERANO, September 6th.
Some idea of the trend of sports-car racing could be gained from the race held over the 18-kilometre circuit at Merano, in Northern Italy, for it was of the category that the Germans so aptly described as” racing sports cars.” Sponsored by the A.G.I.P. petrol company, in collaboration with the Automobile Club of Milan, and named after their latest brand of petrol, Supercorternaggiore, the race attracted an exciting entry of factory cars that are no more than thinly disguised Grind Prix cars. LanCia were out in full force With two B24 cars and two 1323 models, the first two being 3.3-litres, driven by Titruffi and Bonetto, Manzon and Castellotti being in the earlier 3-litres. In direct opposition was Fangio with an open version of the Mille Miglia Alfa-Romeo, with 3-litre engine, the cars of Sanesi and Gezira being withdrawn at the last motnent. Maserati produced four 2-litre sports A6G models, driven by a collection of young Italians, Mantovani, Musso, Giletti and Stagnolii while the rest of the field was made up of private owners with varying degrees of factory cars. Bordoni was on his 2.3-litre Gordini, Cabianea with the 1,450-c.c. Osca, Ruesch a 4.1-litre -Ferrari, Maria Bianca with a 3-litre Ferrari couptS and so on, the whole entry being of that brand of sports car that only Italy seems to consider as ” sports,” most other people viewing them as out-and-out racing cars.
Held over 15 laps of the new circuit that abounded in corners and gradients, Taruffi led away from the start, followed by Manzon and Fangio, with Bonetto close behind. Before the end of the first lap Manzon was out with gearbox trouble and Fangio was content to let Bonetto get past, so that the order at the end of the first lap was Taruffi, Bonetto, Fangio, Castellotti, de Oliviera (open 3-litre Ferrari) and Mantovani with the leading Maserati, the rest of the field pounding along behind. Before the lap was completed a crash occurred which affected the race severely for Ruesch spun off into the crowd and caused Cortese to crash also, both drivers being injured, and then when Taruffi arrived on the following lap he skidded on the oil from the Ruesch incident and crashed also, but without injury. This left Bonetto in the lead and with Castellotti in trouble with weak brakes the swarthy Felice was left alone to battle with Fangio. This he did in a ‘grand manner until the 12th lap when his gearbox gave up and he was forced to retire, and as. Castellotti had withdrawn on the seventh lap. Fangio was now quite unchallenged and completed the race to record the first win for the new sports Alfa-Romeo. Having started as a lone hand against the full force of Scuderia Lancia he had won due to their misfortune, just as Ascari and Farina had done at Nurburgring the week before. There is no doubt that the sports Laneins are formidable maehines, but they have yet to shake off all the little errors that creep into the best organised teams. When they do it is pretty obvious that the Scuderia Lancia will be a powerful force in racing.
Behind the giants was Mantovani, a promising new young Italian, driver, leading the rest of the field, and who naturally moved up into second place as the Turin cars fell by the wayside. Results s
C.P. SUPERCORTEMAGGIORE-SPorrs-270 Kilometre.
Isi J. M. Fangio tAila-J(onwo 3-litre) 2 hr. 07 min. 23.8 see. -1.24:16,4.p.h. S. Maid ovoid (Nlitzieruti … 2 Inc. 13 min. 57.2 ore., ‘rd : P. Nngheira (Ferrari 3•Iiire) .. 2 hr, 117 atirk._45.4 lalrliellind