EASY FOR FERRARI
Alfa-Romeos Fill First impresses The Critics Three Places At Nice. Shuttleworth
The Alfa-Romeos of the Scudc.ria Ferrari gave as pretty an exhibition of superiority in the Nice G.P. as has ever been seen in motor-racing. True, they had no organised opposition to contend with, for one cannot really call the two Maseratis raced by Etancelin and Zehender a team. For the rest, the leading independents made a good showing but were outclassed by the drivers, cars and organisation of the Scuderia Ferrari. The first practices were lacking in great interest owing to the fact that most of the good drivers competed in the Coppa Acerb° three days before the Nice race. However, ten drivers were to be seen in action on the Friday, and some fast times were put in by Lehoux (Maserati) and Sommer (Alfa-Romeo) 1 minute 46 seconds, Raph (Alfa-Romeo) 1 minute 49 seconds, Farina (Maserati) 1 minute 50 seconds, Chambost (Maserati), Martin (Bugatti) and Brunet (Maserati) 1 minute
52 seconds, Lewis (Maserati), Shuttleworth (Alfa-Romeo) and Villapadierna (Maserati) 1 minute 53 seconds. The final practice opened with an amusing match race between two veteran cars, a Clement of 1898 and an 1897 Gladiator, which was narrowly won by the latter. When the Ferrari drivers went out to play the lap times went down with a bang. Nuvolari got round in 1 minute 43.3 seconds, which compared favourably with the lap record of 1 minute 43 seconds established by Dreyfus last year. Chiron’s best was 1 minute 47.9 seconds, Etancelin and Zehender, the Subalpina drivers, docked 1 minute 48.2 seconds and 1 minute 48 seconds respectively, Farina did 1 minute 47.1 seconds, Lehoux 1 minute 48 seconds, Barbieri (Alfa-Romeo) 1 minute 48.3 seconds, Sommer 1 minute 48.5 seconds, Shuttleworth 1 minute 50.8 seconds, Villapadierna 1 minute 51.4 seconds, Brunet 1 minute 51.9 seconds, Martin 1 minute 52.1 seconds, Chambost 1 minute
53 seconds, Ruesch 1 minute 53.9 seconds Lewis 1 minute 57.8 seconds, and Soffietti 2 minutes 4 seconds.
The sky was slightly cloudy on the day of the race, which was just as well, for the Riviera sunshine at this time of the year is inclined to be overpowering. The grandstands filled up long before the start, the spectators being distinctly more fashionable than at Grand Prix races in the French hinterland. Many celebrities were present, ranging from the YugoSlavian Consul to Maurice Chevalier.
Then the cars were pushed to the starting line, with Lehoux (Maserati), Sommer (Alfa-Romeo) and Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo) in the front row. Shuttleworth was in the fifth row, Martin in the sixth and Lewis in the last, alongside Ruesch and Soffietti.
When the flag fell Farina shot into the lead from the second row, closely followed by Chiron and Etancelin. Chiron got in front before they passed the stands at the end of lap one. On the following circuit Marcel Lehoux pulled into the pits. In five laps the Order had settled down to Chiron, Farina, Shuttleworth, Nuvolari, Dreyfus, Etancelin, Barbieri, Sommer, Martin, Zehender, etc. Soffietti had charged into the straw at the Gambetta corner. Chiron was driving splendidly, and by the eighth lap had a 15 seconds lead over Farina. Dreyfus had displaced Shuttleworth, but the latter was well up wIth the leaders and giving them all a
shock. At this stage he was actually leading Nuvolari ! Farina overstressed his car in trying to catch Chiron, and on the eleventh lap he stopped at the pits, eventually. retiring. Raph also retired, after crashing at Gambetta. He was feeling far from fit, with a bad throat and high temperature. Lehoux had also retired On the fourteenth lap Chiron was still leading, but Dreyfus. was now second, Nuvolari third, Etancelin fourth and Shut tleworth fifth. On the eighteenth lap
there was only 20 seconds between the first four, so the race was full of interest. Barbieri passed Shuttleworth, but two laps later the British driver was back in fifth place, for Barbieri had to stop to
adjust his brakes. How close together was the field can be seen by the fact that he lost five places through stopping for 23 seconds! On the twenty-second lap Nuvolari worked his way into the lead, but five laps later he was back in third place, behind Chiron and Dreyfus. Two more retirements were announced, Brunet and
Martin. Lewis was already out, so Shuttleworth was now our sole hope—and a very good one, too. Now it was the turn of Dreyfus to lead, at the thirtieth lap. All three Ferrari drivers wanted to win, Nuvolari because of his previous victory in 1933, Chiron because he has been the most successful driver this season, and Dreyfus because he is nicois. At the same time
they were all too experienced to risk destroying a 1, 2, 3 victory. Etancelin was scrapping with Nuvolari, and passed him for a lap. Shuttleworth was following the duel, driving coolly and consistently, although he was apt to take the pavement on the Gambetta corner. Nuvolari decided to lead for a bit, and roared past Chiron and Dreyfus on the
thirty-eighth lap. Etancelin stopped to refuel, and Shuttleworth promptly became fourth. Villapadierna added to the growing list of retirements when his yellow Maserati developed incurable steering trouble. At half distance the order was 1, Nuvolari, 2, Chiron, 3, Dreyfus, 4, Shuttleworth, 5, Etancelin, 6, Sommer, 7, Chambost, 8, Soffietti, etc. Shuttleworth was
keeping ahead of Etancelin, much to the latter’s astonishment. He had an anxious moment when Ruesch’s Maserati, a 4 cylinder 4-litre model, caught fire just in front of him. The Swissydriver pulled up hurriedly and leaped out, but the car was too damaged to continue.
The pits now showed great activity as the drivers came in one after another to refuel. Shuttleworth lost valuable seconds here. These were the times : Nuvolari 28 seconds, Chiron 27 seconds, Dreyfus 36 seconds, Shuttleworth 47 seconds.
Etancelin had now passed Shuttleworth, but he lost the battle for good when he had to stop at the pits to adjust his brakes, an operation which took him 4 minutes 21 seconds. He was so fed up that he handed the car over to Zehender, who had previously retired with ignition trouble. Both the Subalpina Maseratis incidentally, had 3.7 six-cylinder engines in independently sprung chassis.