GRAND PRIX de la BAULE.
Etancelin, Wimille and Zehender on 2.3 Alfas, and Guerin on one of the old 2-litre Guyot Specials.
FOR some years now the Grand Prix de Is Baule has attracted considerable attention among French motorists, but only once has it been won by an Englishman, in 1927, when G. E. T. Eyston was victorious at the wheel of a Bugatti.
The race is similar to the Southport 100 Mile Race, and is run off over a 6 kilometre circuit on the sands at the French sea resort of La Baule. The distance to be run was 300 kilometres, divided into two stages, held on August 16th and 17th. This year there were 35 entries, ranging in size from Stoffel’s 8-litre Mercedes to Desbois’ Rosengart of 750 cc. Interesting entries were a 61-litre Montier Special, with two engines mounted in tandem, Williams at the wheel of a 4.9 Bugatti,
Passing was difficult owing to showers of sand and spray sent up by the back wheels of cars in front, and in this way, of course, Williams scored over his rivals. Bouriat pushed ahead of Fourny, and began to chase Williams, but although he gained considerably on the corners, the superior acceleration of the 4.9 car kept Williams comfortably in the lead.
Etancelin retired with gear-box trouble, and Fourny began to drop back, letting Benoit (Bugatti) and De Makplane (Maserati) up into 3rd and 4th places. Only mechanical trouble could stop Williams now, but his 4.9 Bugatti continued to lap with amazing regularity at about 144 k.p.h., once going up to 147
k.p.h., a new record for the course. he flag was waved once more, and Williams came home a winner, 2i minutes ahead of Bouriat (Bugatti), who in turn led Benoit (Bugatti) by 2 minutes. The first Alfa Romeo to finish was that driven by Mme. Siko, who drove a very good race to finish 7th, breaking the Ladies’ record set up in 1931 by Mlle. HeIle-Nice.
1. Williams (Bugatti 4,900 c.c.), lh. 1m. 57s. Averaging 145 km. 270.
2. C. Bouriat (Bugatti 2,300 c.c.), 1h. 3m. 25s.
3. F. Benoit (Bugatti 2,300 c.c.), lh. 5m. 15 2/5s.
4. J. de Maleplane (Maserati 2,800 c.c.), lh. 5m 45 3/5s.
5. Ducouret (Bugatti 2,300 c.c.), lb. 13m. 30 3/5s.
6. F. Montier (Montier Special 6,450 c.c.), lh. 14m. 26 2/5s.
7. Mme. Siko (Alfa Romeo 1,750 c.c.), 112. 23m. 1 4/5s.
The Coppa Acerbo.
An unlooked for excitement was included this year in the race for the Coppa Acerbo by some enterprising burglar lift
ing the valuable Coppa itself a few days before the race. This little incident did not deter the participants, however, and a fierce struggle over a course of 306 kilometres resulted in a win for the invincible Nuvolari, who averaged 139 k.p.h. on his ” Monoposto ” Alfa Romeo.
Only 14 seconds behind came Caracciola, on a similar car, and he was 2 minutes ahead of the third man, Chiron. For the first time, an Englishman took part in the race, Earl Howe driving his 1i-litre Pelage. As there were only two classes, unlimited and 1,100 c.c., the Pelage had to compete against considerably heavier metal, but in spite of this
it was the first 1 i-litre car to cross the line.
The course is the usual triangular shape, with one mountainous stretch and two very fast “legs,” on which Earl Howe informs us he was able to use 5th gear on the Pelage.
RESULTS. UN LIMITED .
UN LIMITED .
1. T. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo 2,650 c.c.), 2h. 11m. 18 3/5s.
2. R. Caracciola (Alfa Romeo 2,650 c.c.), 2h. urn. 33$.
3. 1,. Chiron (Bugatti), 2h. 13m. 13 2/5s.
4. Brivio (Alfa Romeo). 5. Fagioli (Maserati). 1,100 c.c.
1. Scaron (Minicar), 51m. Ils.
2. Chambost (Salmsou).
3. Matruelo (Maserati). 4. Perarrin. (Maserati).
As it turned out, a violent storm swept over La Baule on the first day, inundating the sands, so that the organisers wisely decided to cancel the day’s racing and add the prize money to that for the following day’s sport.
Luckily, the 17th was a fine day, and before an immense crowd Maurice Benoist, winner of the race in 1924, gave the signal to start.
From the first it was apparent that Williams, with the only 4.9 Bugatti in the race, was going to take a lot of beating, and at the end of the first lap led from Lehoux, Fourny, Bouriat, all on Bugattis, and Etancelin (Alfa Romeo). Lehoux had a spot of trouble, and dropped back to 4th place, and on the 6th lap retired. Continued on page 522