THE ‘CLAUSEN HILL CLIMB.
THIS annual event has, in the last five years, risen from an open club event to the status of an International Grand Prix. It is quite the most finportant event in Switzerland. It occupies two days, and there are classes for motor-cycles, novice and expert, and for cars, touring, sports and racing.
This year there was a record entry of about 180. The course is easily the most arduous in use. It is 131 miles long, and contains 24 hairpins and innumerable other bends and corners. The difference in altitude between start and finish is over 4,000 feet. The average gradient is 1 in 16, and the maximum 1 in 11. About half way up the course there are 4 kilometres almost straight, and in the middle of this a flying kilometre is timed for each competitor. Also, the course is nearly flat for this kilometre.
The lack of English support was really deplorable. The British Grand Prix unfortunately clashed with this event, but that is no excuse for the lack of support by motor-cycle manufacturers. Motor-cycles are quite popular in Switzerland, and in competitions the Motoracoche has matters practically all its own way. It is up to our manufacturers to challenge them on their own ground.
Unfortunately the event was marred by very bad weather, as it rained and snowed for practically the whole of the two days. In spite of this, however, several records were broken, although the record made last year by the late Count Masetti still stands (it was made on a 2-litre G.P. Sunbeam, the time being 17 mins. 28.8 secs.). He also holds the record over the flying kilometre, his speed being 156.52 k.p.h.
On the Saturday the chief feature was the fight between Guiseppe Franconi on his Motoracoche and Pietro Ghersi on the Guzzi in the 500 c.c. Experts Class. The former held the record for the course in 18 mins. 21.8 secs. In spite of the conditions he beat his record by 33 secs., his time being 17 mins. 48.6 secs. Ghersi, however, could do no better than clock 18 mins. 18 secs. It was announced that he had had two crashes en route, and so it was really a very fine performance. In the same class Dom on a Scott was third : it will be remembered that he made fastest time in the recent Dutch T.T. when he won the 750 class. Evans, an Englishman, on a four-valve Triumph, was fourth.
In the 1,000 c.c. class Franconi’s old record was beaten for the third time by Ceresole on a HarleyDavidson, his time being 18 mins. 11.8 secs.
In the Novices classes Hanselinann made fastest time on a Scott, but was disqualified later, as his machine did not comply with the rules.
Franconi on the 500 c.c. Motoracoche made fastest time in the flying kilo., his speed being 136.842 k.p.h. The fastest in the Novices class was Piazza on a 500 c.c. Sunbeam, his speed being 135.242 k.p.h.
In the 1,000 c.c. Sidecar class Gex on his Motoracoche established a new sidecar record, his time being 21 mins. 23 secs.
In the Sports Car classes under three litres, small French cars had matters all their own way.
In the Racing Car classes fastest time was made by Kessler on a 2-litre Alfa-Romeo. He made a very neat climb in 18 mins. 42.8 secs. Another Alfa-Romeo made fastest time over the kilometre at a speed of 149.245 k.p.h.
Extract: how I fell in love with racing
In an extract from his new book, Jenson Button describes the moment he knew what he would do with his life ‘The racing line’, we call it. The fastest way…
One of the technically brilliant but ill-stared 'twin-chassis' JPS Lotus 88 Formula One cars, banned from the world championship by the FIA in mid-1981, is to race for the first…
Book Reviews, February 1974, February 1974
"The Guinness Guide to Formula 1 Motor Racing", by Jose Rosinski. 246 pp., 10 ¾ in. x 8 in. (Guinness Superlatives Ltd., 2, Cecil Court, London Road, Enfield, Middlesex, EN2…