Continental Notes and News, September 1936

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By OUR CONTINENTAL CORRESPONDENT The Decider

It will be interesting to see what happens at Monza in the Italian Grand Prix. This is generally the last race of the season in which the works teams meet, and all of them will be making great efforts to/carry off this deciding event. Auto-Unions will start hot favourites, for their reliability in recent races has been astonishing. Curiously enough, their only possible weakness is in their brakes, and these will be tested to the full on the artificial corners of Monza. It is too much to expect that Mercedes-Benz will make a last-minute recovery, unless some very intensive work has been put in .since the Swiss Grand Prix. The new lowered chassis has not been a success. It does not hold the road well at high speed, and the rear springing has given

trouble on several occasions. There is a strong rumour that the MercedesBenz factory is working on a completely new car for next season. A come-back for the firm is certainly due.

The Alfa-Rdmeos will be driven their hardest by the Scuderia-Ferrari drivers, for a victory on their own ground is greatly desired. Reliability has not been a strong point of the Alias lately, but at any rate at Monza they will not be handicapped by their inferior maximum speed. Everything points to a battle royal, with AutoUnions as the more-than-possible winners. His many admirers, both in Italy and .elsewhere, would like to see Achille Varzi pull off the race.

Invalids

The season has been mercifully free from fatalities, but one or two drivers have had narrow shaves. Chiron is almost recovered from his high-speed crash in the German Grand Prix and has been .convalescing at his home in Paris. Driving a car at touring speed at the spot where he .crashed it is difficult to imagine why the Mere. left the road. But one has to double the speed, and more, to visualise the accident properly. The mystery is why -there are not more crashes at the Ring, which surely must be the most difficult .circuit in the world. Hans Stuck had a nasty experience in ‘the Coppa Acerbo when he slid sideways into one of the barriers of a chicane and smashed his elbow. In spite of this he drove at I3erne a week or so later, -enduring great pain in doing so. He had • to be lifted out of the car at the end of the race. Auto-Unions are unorthodox in their road behaviour as well as their design, and it is seldom that you see them sliding on corners in the old manner. Apparently it is dangerous to begin a -slide, because the heavy tail seizes its

.chance to become the head. Only Rosemeyer appears to do it regularly, and his progress round the Nurburg Ring was hectic in the extreme. It was .no fluke, however, and he did the same thing more or less on every lap.

The Coppa Ciano This the Montenero circuit was

This year the Montenero circuit was abandoned in favour of a new course at Leghorn for the annual Coppa Ciano races. The Montenero circuit was long

and extremely tortuous, and its abandonment was not mourned by any of the drivers.

The chief entries were the Auto-Union and Alfa-Romeo teams. Mercedes-Benz were staying on at Nurburg Ring in an endeavour to cure the suspension troubles which have beset them this year. The Auto-Unions were hardly touched after the German Grand Prix-indeed there was not time to do much after the cars had completed the long journey to Italy.

The start of the race was inauspicious from the Italian point of view. On the very first lap Nuvolari’s 12-cylinder Alfa-Romeo broke its back axle, and three Auto-Unions driven by Stuck, Varzi and Rosemeyer were out in the lead. Nuvolari managed to crawl to the pits and was immediately given Pintacuda’s 8-cylinder car. Pintacuda, incidentally, was making his first appearance since his visit to South America.

Inspired by the frenzied enthusiasm of his compatriots, Nuvolari went after the Auto-Unions like one possessed. The circuit was just to his liking, and by dint of the superhuman cornering which only the Maestro can pull out, Tazio crept nearer and nearer to the silver Auto-Unions. ” Faster” signals to the German drivers met with no response, for the brakes of the Auto-Unions, untouched since the German Grand Prix, were well nigh worn out. On the twentieth lap Nuvolari caught Rosemeyer, then Varzi, and finally Stuck, to take the lead. Boy, did those Italians cheer ? They were weeping with enthus

iasin. From that point Nuvolari was never headed, and he came home in front of the Auto-Unions to win one of the finest races of his career.

The 1,500 c.c. Coppa Ciano held all the promise of a really fine race, for Count Trossi’s 6-cylinder independently-sprung Maserati was in opposition to Richard Seaman’s gallant Delage. It was not to be, however, for the latter was in trouble from the very start with his carburetion, and frequent calls at the pits put him right out of the running. Trossi was never pressed, although the Greek driver, N. S. Embiricos, did his best with a grey E.R.A. These two finished in that order, with Seaman still plodding along in sixth place.

Pseudo Sports-cars of ” ” in

The farce of ” sports-car ” racing in France came to a climax in the Grand Prix du Comminges. The rules permitted cars to run with equipment stripped, and the result was a joke. The Bugattis discarded their streamlined bodies and came out in their true guise, Grand Prix cars less superchargers. The sight of them so infuriated the Delahaye drivers that they threatened to strike, and the organisers had a tricky time negotiating a settlement. At the start of the first heat Wimille shot ahead on his Bugatti, fiercely pursued by the Talbots. Benoist managed to work his way into second place on the remaining Bugatti, and he and Wimille were lapping at something over 95 m.p.h. After that the order remained practically the same throughout the race, and the cars finished with the Bugattis in front, followed by the four Talbots,

and then a pack of Delahayes. The reliability of the cars was most marked, and there were sixteen finishers out of seventeen starters. In the second heat Benoist fell out, leaving Wimille to defend the Bugatti colours-which he did with his usual efficiency. Once again the Talbots chased him hard, but he had their measure and kept safely out of harm’s way. Rend Dreyfus was lying second when he lost a wheel while travelling at high speed. He kept the car in its proper direction and position, and pulled up without damage. Heide thereupon took his place on another Talbot and continued to harass Wimille. The results of the two heats were as follows :

RESULTS let Heat 1. Wimille (Bugatti) 1h. 2(3m. 4s. Speed 95.32

1. Wimille (Bugatti) 1h. 2(3m. 4s. m.p.h.

2. Benoist (Bugatti) lh. 27m. 31s.

3. Dreyfus (Talbot) lb. 27m. 358.

4. Heide (Talbot).

5. Raph (Talbot).

6. Morel (Talbot).

7. Le Begue (Delnhaye).

8. Montan (Delahaye).

9. Brunet (Delahaye).

10. Soulie (Delahaye). 2nd Heat

1. Wimille (Bugatti) 2h. 53m. 6s. Speed 94.81 m.p.h.

2. Heide (Talbot) 2h. 56m, 58.

3. Rapti (Talbot) 2h. 58m. 8s.

4. Mongin (Delahaye).

5. Brunet (Delahaye).

6. Chaude (Bugatti 3-litre).

7. Kleppurt (Bugatti 3-litre).

British Success in Germany

A sports-car race on a circuit near Munich was a much more satisfactory affair. The cars were divided into classes for supercharged and unsupercharged cars, with the usual sub-divisions. Fastest time of the day was made by H. J. Aldington on a works 2-litre B.M.W. Aldy’s average was 85 m.p.h., a remark

ably fine performance. The 1,500 c.c. unblown class was won by a B.M.W. at 70 m.p.h. with cars of similar make in second and third places. A Fiat 13alilla won the 1,100 c.c. unblown class at 68 m.p.h. with an M.G. second. Among the supercharged cars an Alfa-Romeo won the unlimited class at 78.5 m.p,h., and an M.G. Maguette was first in the 1,500 c.c. class at 80 m.p.h.

The new B.M.Ws. are rumoured to be capable of 115 m.p.h., and assisted by superlative road-holding, and steering are unbeatable in their class. Brooklands has seen little activity amongst the record-breakers this season, but on August 27th, Major A. T. G. Gardner brought out his ex-Horton single-seater M.G. Magnette. He was out to break R. T. Horton’s one-hour record, and completed his standing-lap at 106.19 m.p.h. The track then proceeded to go to pieces just beyond the Members’ Bridge, which resulted in a cut rear tyre, a thrown tread and the finish of

BROOKLANDS RECORDS

the attempt. In the meantime Major Gardner had established a new 1,100 c.c. outer-circuit lap record at 124.40 m.p.h. beating Horton’s existing M.G. record by .82 m.p.h. The Maguette, which has re-faired front-works, was holding 6,500 r.p.m. (137 m.p.h.) along the Railway Straight. On the following day Gardner went out again, and again the concrete broke up, cutting a front tyre, but not before the M.G. had taken the fiftymile British class G record at 119.6 m.p.h., and the fifty kilos. British class G record

at 118.90 m.p.h. It seems likely that Gardner will try for the class G hour record held by Horton, before the season is over, and his existing records are very creditable, though the gap between the fiat-out speed and record-lap speed is interesting. But what will Percy Bradley do about the surface for September 19th?

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