THE 1931 EUROPEAN AUTOMOBILE CHAMPIONSHIP

By Hans Etzrodt
The information on hand to study the 1931 European Automobile Championship emanated from three contemporary magazines, one 1931 race program and two books published decades later. None of them provided complete information of the CSI regulations and in some cases was even contradictory but when put together a well rounded picture emerged. Although the available rules and results about the 1931 European Championship appear to be reliable, it should be remembered that the information was not officially published by the CSI or AIACR. AUTOMOBIL-REVUE concluded their many reports in July 1931 by publishing the following outcome of the Championship.

1931 European Automobile Championship Final Classification

 DriverCarItalian
GP
French
GP
Belgian
GP
Total
Points
Total
km
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Minoia
Campari
Divo/Bouriat
Wimille/Gaupillat
Nuvolari
Varzi/Chiron
Ivanowsky/Stoffel
Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo
Bugatti
Bugatti
Alfa Romeo
Bugatti
Mercedes-Benz
2
1
3
4
7
6
4
4
2
4
4
4
1
7
3
6
5
5
2
6
4
9
9
12
13
13
13
15
3935.254
3368.876
3410.319
3242.582
2689.000
2353.600
2740.255


From 28 grand prix races in 1931 just ten were considered major events and only five of these were Grandes Épreuves, meaning great tests. These were the most important events of the year, comparable in importance to the grand prix races of present times. In 1931 the AIACR -Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus- was the established governing body since its creation in 1904. They had put on Automobile World Championships for manufacturers from 1925 to 1930, however, only the first three actually took place while the others were cancelled at the end of each year for one reason or another. For 1931 the AIACR had come up with a replacement to their failed World Championships and initially called the event 'The International Grand Prix'. Since all of the Grandes Épreuves took place in Europe, it was renamed the European Automobile Championship later in the year. There was a European Hill Climb Championship for drivers in 1930 but this 'International Grand Prix' or 'European Automobile Championship' in 1931 was the first drivers' championship in grand prix racing history.
Early Beginnings
The CSI -Commission Sportive Internationale- of the AIACR had formed a sub commission on September 17, 1930, which met on October 10. Except for the German delegate, Mr. Fritsch who was at the road congress in America, all members were present, Baron Nothomb (Belgium), Pérouse (France), O'Gorman (England) and Jules Decrauzat (Switzerland). [1] They decided to bring new life into Grands Prix. Each club was to organize one international race as part of the International Grand Prix, comprising the Grands Prix of Belgium, France, Italy and Spain. These four races were to be held to a 10-hour formula. Two drivers had to be assigned for each car and total freedom was guaranteed on the technical side. The clubs arrived at this temporary solution, to be applied for 1931 only. Each participating country was to deposit 150,000 French francs into a common fund of 600,000 francs, which would pay half a million francs to the driver who had driven the most kilometers in all of the four 10-hour races. [2, 3, 5] It was first intended to mandate the use of a certain fuel, a mixture of gasoline and benzole as an equalizing factor. But then difficulties showed up with the execution of this rule since Italy had no benzole and therefore the fuel regulation was dropped. [3] Since each of the races in question ran over ten hours it was further intended for the general classification to apply the absolute total of the completed kilometers as basic data. After repeated discussions it was decided to abandon this idea and instead competitors would be awarded with points for their achievements in the separate races. [3] The general classification would then amount from the addition of the points. The winner of each race received one point, the second two, the third three, the fourth four, the fifth five, all lower than fifth place six points and non-starters seven points. [3]
      At the end of December 1930 the French AC declared that the regulations for the Grands Prix of France on June 21, of Belgium on July 12, of Italy on September 6 and Spain on October 4 had been accepted in their most important points by the sporting commission presidents of the automobile clubs of France, Italy and Belgium. Only Spain had so far failed to reply. The final classification had 400,000 French francs at their disposal. The winner received 150,000 fr., the second 100,000 fr., the third 75,000 fr. the fourth 50,000 fr. the fifth 25,000 fr. [4]
      Objections from the press to these new regulations came quickly, reasoning that an early warning was better than criticism arriving later. Why hold a 10-hour race, when each race could be decided after four, three or probably only two hours? The field of possibly 30 cars would be shrunk to 15 after two hours racing or to merely six cars after five hours. It would be a boring race with the public leaving before the end. Five hours would be acceptable and would probably be better than a 500 km race because the time of the end would be known beforehand. [5]
      The CSI confirmed in March 1931 the alteration of the Italian Grand Prix date from September 6 to May 24, because of the long race duration. The Italian Club had moved the event forward to 24 May since there were longer daylight hours than on 6 September. The race began at eight in the morning and lasted till six p.m. [7, 8, self] At about the same time Spain declared that there were difficulties with the organization of their event, which made their participation at the International Grand Prix impossible. [7, 8] The sporting commissions of the Belgian, French and Italian clubs then met again to amend the regulations by eliminating the originally planned fourth run in Spain [8] and decided the rules.
The Rules
  • The International Grand Prix was to be decided on the outcome of the Grand Prix of Italy at Monza on May 24, the Grand Prix of France at Linas-Montlhéry on June 21 and the Grand Prix of Belgium at Spa on July 12. [8, 20]
  • The duration of the races was increased from ten to twelve hours. [8] [No official explanation could be found why the organizer reverted to the original ten hour race duration at the first race at Monza.] [7, 8, self]
  • The total purse for the International Grand Prix was 300,000 French francs of which each organizing club contributed one third. [8, 20]
  • The overall winner received 150.000 francs, the second 70,000 Fr., the third 40,000 Fr., the fourth 24,000 Fr. and the fifth 15,000 Fr. [8, 20]
  • Points for the International Championship were awarded as follows:
       1     for first place [11, 19, 20]
       2     for second place [11, 19, 20]
       3     for third place [11, 20]
       4     for fourth place [11, 19, 20]
       4     for completing ¾ race distance [11, 19]
       5     for completing ½ race distance [11, 20]
       6     for completing ¼ race distance [11]
       7     for completing less than ¼ distance [20]
       8     for non-starters [19, 20]
  • The lowest point scorer was the winner. [19]
  • If drivers scored the same points total, the greater total distance driven decided the outcome. [16]
  • For the first four drivers classified, the total distance driven by the car in all three races was also decisive. [8] [The text did not explain in which way it was decisive.]
  • The fifth and next following finishers were awarded points according to how much of the total distance achieved by the winner they had covered during the race (¾, ½ or ¼). [8]
  • Two drivers had to be assigned to each car and total freedom was guaranteed on the technical side. [20]
  • The second driver had to drive with the same starting driver in all three races to be eligible for points. [21]
  • Drivers scored points only in the car they had been nominated for or had started with. [self - by deduction]
The Main Contenders
ARCANGELI, Luigi, 29, born in Forli, near Ravenna, had raced very successfully on two wheels since 1922, and became a champion rider. In 1928 he changed to four wheels with Bugatti, then Talbot-Darracq and Maserati. He was contracted to drive for Scuderia Ferrari and SA Alfa Romeo in 1931. Arcangeli died in a practice crash for the 1931 Italian GP.
BIONDETTI, Clemente, 32, was born in Sardinia. He began racing motorcycles in 1923 and in 1927 raced with the 1100 cc Salmson he had bought from Fagioli. In 1928, he acquired a new Bugatti T35C and a new Salmson. The Italian drove in 1930 one of the former works Talbots and placed third at Tripoli. For 1931 he had a semi-works ride with Maserati.
BIRKIN, "Tim" Sir Henry, 34, was the best driver coming from Britain in the late Twenties and early Thirties. Tim Birkin started driving in 1927 as one of the famous Bentley Boys. With his stripped down 4½-liter Bentley he came second in the 1930 French Grand Prix. For 1931 he had a privately entered Maserati 26M grand prix car.
BORZACCHINI, Baconin, 32, born in Terni, started racing motorcycles, then cycle cars. Since 1930 he was partnered at times with his friend Nuvolari, driving for Maserati with great success. He changed his Christian name after 1931 to Mario Umberto. In 1931, Borzacchini was contracted to drive for Scuderia Ferrari and SA Alfa Romeo.
BOURIAT, Guy, 29, a friend of the Rothchild family, was born in Paris. His first race was the 1926 Paris-Nice Touring event where he came fourth with a 1500 cc EHP. As of 1927 he raced Bugattis and came second 1929 at Monaco. In 1931 Bouriat raced a Bugatti T51 and for the European Championship was teamed up with Divo to drive for Bugatti.
CAMPARI, Giuseppe, 38, born in Lodi, started as mechanic at the original ALFA company and drove for them in 1913. In the Twenties, as one of their lead drivers, he won with ALFA and SA Alfa Romeo. A gifted baritone, his second ambition was to sing opera. In 1931, the popular Italian was contracted to drive for Scuderia Ferrari and SA Alfa Romeo.
CARACCIOLA, Rudolf, 30, born in Remagen, Germany, began driving in 1922 and established himself as the lead driver with Mercedes and Mercedes-Benz. Due to the bad economic situation, Daimler-Benz did not enter the 1931 season officially but supported Caracciola at some races of their interest, where he drove a stripped SSKL sports car.
CHIRON, Louis Alexandre, 31, born in Monte Carlo, arguably the most famous driver at this time, had begun racing in 1923. In the mid Twenties he had established himself as experienced champion driver with Bugatti and by 1928 was the most successful grand prix driver. In 1931 he was contracted to drive for Automobiles Ettore Bugatti.
CONELLI, Count Caberto (Carlo Alberto) from Italy won 1920 at Aosta-Gran San Bernardo. He raced many different cars, and was second at the 1927 Targa Florio. In 1931 he drove for Bugatti and teamed up with "Williams" for the championship. His brother Francesco, who was not as fast, raced sporadically and won in 1922 at Parma-Berceto.
DIVO, Albert, 36, winner of several grands prix and very experienced French driver, raced since 1919 Talbot, Talbot-Darracq, Sunbeam, Delage and Bugatti. Divo, a feared competitor, twice won the Targa Florio but was now past his peak. In 1931, he drove for Automobiles Ettore Bugatti and was teamed up with Bouriat for the championship races.
DREYFUS, René, 26, an up and coming French independent driver who started winning grands prix when he acquired a Bugatti T35B in 1930. He even beat the factory Bugattis 1930 at Monaco by applying superior race strategy. In 1931 he had his first factory contract, driving for Officine A. Maserati where he was teamed up with Ghersi for the French GP.
ETANCELIN, Philippe,"Phi-Phi", 34, born in Rouen, was an independent driver by conviction and a hard racer, always driving fast. Characteristically, he drove wearing a tweed cap back to front. Etancelin started racing in 1926, winning the 1930 French Grand Prix, where he beat the Bugatti works team. For the European Championship he teamed up with Lehoux.
FAGIOLI, Luigi, 32, born in Osimo, Ancona, started racing motorcycles before 1925 and then changed to Salmson cycle cars. From 1928 onwards the Italian drove for Maserati and won the 1930 Coppa Ciano. In 1931, the temperamental Italian, very good and fast, was still driving for Maserati where he was teamed up with Ernesto Maserati for the French GP.
FERRAND, René, born in France, drove Bugatti and Peugeot at some grand prix races between 1930 and 1932. With his Peugeot 174S he placed ninth at the 1930 French Grand Prix and fourth in Spain later that year. In 1931 he finished fifth at Casablanca and teamed up with Louis Rigal for the French Grand Prix.
FRETET, Henri was a French sports car driver with Delage and Delahaye. He was a Delage mechanic in the Twenties and acted as Divo's riding mechanic in the 1924 GP de l'ACF in a Delage. In the thirties Fretet became "chief tester" for Delage. In 1931 Fretet teamed up with Robert Sénéchal in his own Delage for the European Championship.
GAUPILLAT, Jean, 40, was a wealthy, independent Bugatti driver. The Frenchman started racing in 1927 only with Bugattis of various types. His first victory came at the 1929 Dieppe Grand Prix with a Bugatti T35B. In 1931 he ordered a Bugatti T51 from Molsheim and teamed up with Jean-Pierre Wimille for the European Championship.
GHERSI, Pietro, 32, had a great career on two wheels as a famous Italian motorcycle rider with his brother Mario, driving for Moto Guzzi and Norton. He did not have the same success when he changed in 1930 to four wheels. In 1931, he was driving a Maserati. For the European Championship he teamed up with Klinger and later also with Dreyfus.
IVANOWSKI, Boris, was born in Russia but lived in Paris after WW I. He was first seen racing a 748 cc Ratier cycle car 1924 in Paris. Ivanowski was a sports car driver and made a name for himself driving Alfa Romeo, winning the 1928 Spa 24-Hour race. He teamed up with Henri Stoffel to drive his SSK Mercedes at the European Championship races.
LEHOUX, Marcel, 43, was born in France but lived in Algeria where he owned a large trading company. He won his first race in 1924 at Casablanca. With a 2-liter Bugatti the independent Lehoux won in 1928 at Algeria and Tunis, with a 2.3-liter Bugatti in 1929 at Algeria and in 1930 at Dieppe. For the European Championship he teamed up with Etancelin.
MINOIA, Ferdinando, 46, born in Milan on June 2, 1884, was generally known as Fernando; but his friends called him Nando. His first major race was the 1907 Targa Florio. Over the years he had driven Isotta Fraschini, Storero, Fiat, De Dietrich, Benz, O.M., Steyr, Bugatti and Alfa Romeo cars. Minoia won the 1927 Mille Miglia in an O.M. sports car. The Italian was very experienced and still fast despite his age. He was past his prime in 1931 but he gave nothing to the young. For 1931, he was contracted to drive for Scuderia Ferrari and SA Alfa Romeo.
MINOZZI, Giovanni, nephew of Antonio Ascari, drove an Alfa RLS at the 1925 Rome Grand Prix and later drove Campari's Alfa at the Italian Grand Prix. He raced with a 2-liter Bugatti in 1928 at Montenero and came fourth in the 1930 Monza Grand Prix. He came second in 1931 at Alessandria. In the European Championship he drove for SA Alfa Romeo.
NUVOLARI, Tazio, 38, born in Casteldario, began racing motorcycles in 1920. As of 1921 he occasionally raced cars, first Ansaldo then Chiribiri, later Lancia, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo and Talbot. He drove his last motorcycle race in 1930 and became one of Italy's greats, a very popular driver. In 1931, he drove for Scuderia Ferrari and SA Alfa Romeo.
RIGAL, Louis, 45, born in Paris, started racing in 1922 with a Panhard. He primarily drove Ariès and Peugeot, also Stutz (1930) in sports car long distance races and was a member of the Il Portello team in 1930. He came ninth in the 1929 Monaco Grand Prix. For the 1931 French Grand Prix he teamed up with Ferrand driving a Peugeot.
SÉNÉCHAL, Robert, 39, started racing in 1921 with his 994 cc cycle car, which he built himself. The Frenchman helped as relief driver in the second placed Delage at the 1926 European Grand Prix. Together with Louis Wagner he won the 1926 British Grand Prix. In 1931 he drove his own Delage and teamed up with Fretet for the European Championship.
STOFFEL, Henri, 50, was another independent French driver who began racing in 1923. His greatest success came at Le Mans and over the years he developed a reputation of a good, reliable long-distance sports car racer. He was seldom seen at grand prix races. Stoffel teamed up with Ivanowski in his Mercedes SSK for the 1931 European Championship.
VARZI, Achille, 26, born in Galliate, began racing motorcycles in 1923 and as of 1928 raced cars, first Bugatti, then Delage, Alfa Romeo and Maserati. He was the most successful driver in 1929 and 1930, also Italian Champion. He had a very smooth driving style. Always very elegantly dressed, he was contracted to drive for Automobiles Ettore Bugatti in 1931.
"WILLIAMS" 28, was born near Paris by a French mother and an English father. His real name was William Charles Frederick Grover-Williams. He started in 1926 with a Bugatti but later also drove Talbot. "Williams" won the first Monaco Grand Prix in 1929 and was contracted in 1931 to drive for Automobiles Ettore Bugatti.
WIMILLE, Jean-Pierre, 23, born in Paris, had begun racing with a Bugatti at the 1930 French Grand Prix. At the beginning of 1931, he had participated at some minor races and came second at the Rally Monte Carlo. With Jean Gaupillat as his co-driver he was ready to contest the European Championship events.
The Italian Grand Prix
24 May 1931, IX Italian Grand Prix, 10-hour race, held on the 10.000 km (6.214 mi) Monza A-circuit.
Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusPoints

1.26Campari/NuvolariSA Alfa RomeoAlfa Romeo8C 23002.3S-81551557.754 km1[11]
2.30Minoia/BorzacchiniSA Alfa RomeoAlfa Romeo8C 23002.3S-81531535.087 km2[11]
3.14Divo/Bouriat/VarziUsines BugattiBugattiT512.3S-81521525.319 km3[11]
4.18Wimille/GaupillatJ. GaupillatBugattiT512.3S-81381386.082 km4[11]
5.22Ivanowski/StoffelB. IvanowskiMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-61341343.255 km4[11]
6.32Pirola/LuraniF. PirolaAlfa Romeo6C 15001.6S-61291290.243 km4[11]
7.38Ruggeri/BalestreroA. RuggeriTalbot7001.75S-81291290.000 km4[11]
8.8Klinger/GhersiUmberto KlingerMaserati26M2.5S-81141140.000 km5[11]
DNF40Di Vecchio/G. FerrariR. Di VecchioTalbot7001.5S-887870.000 km, retired5[11]
DNC20Sénéchal/FretetR. SénéchalDelage15S81.5S-881809.977 km, flagged5[11]
DNF16Lehoux/EtancelinM. LehouxBugattiT512.3S-849490.000 km, con-rod6[11]
DNF12Varzi/ChironUsines BugattiBugattiT512.3S-844440.000 km, differential6[11]
DNF28Nuvolari/BorzacchiniSA Alfa RomeoAlfa RomeoTipo A3.52x631310.000 km, mechanical7
DNF50Caniato/TorliniA. CaniatoAlfa Romeo6C 17501.75S-614140.000 km7
Winner's speed: Giuseppe Campari/Tazio Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo) 155.775 km/h (96.799 mph)
Fastest lap: Giuseppe Campari (Alfa Romeo) on lap 24 in 3m32.8s = 169.173 km/h (105.124 mph)


Italian Aftermath
About a week later, a change in the results was announced (which is already included in the above results). Upon completion of the tenth hour, drivers who already had begun the lap were allowed to finish it, as long as the lap was completed in less than five minutes and the fraction of that lap, counted until the end of the tenth hour, was included in the results. But since the Talbot team Ruggeri/Balestrero had used more than five minutes, its fractions for the last lap was dropped so the initial result of 1290.534 km was changed to 1290.0 km. Ruggeri/Balestrero was thus demoted from sixth to seventh place and seventh place finisher Pirola/Lurani, who had scored 1290.243 km, moved up to sixth. [10]
      Campari led the European Championship with one point, followed by Minoia with two. The Divo/Bouriat pair had three points and Wimille-Gaupillat four. Ivanowski-Stoffel, Pirola-Lurani and Ruggeri-Balestrero also had four points since they had covered more than ¾ of the distance. Five points went to Klinger-Ghersi, Di Vecchio-Ferrari and Sénéchal-Fretet who covered more than ½ of the distance. The Lehoux-Etancelin and Varzi-Chiron teams completed only ¼ of the distance and received six points. When Varzi drove for over 40 laps in Divo's Bugatti, he received no points for this effort but instead six points for driving his originally assigned car with Chiron.
      Nuvolari who finished first with Campari received the winner's rewards but seven points because he had retired after 31 laps, less than ¼ distance, in his originally assigned car. Likewise, Borzacchini, who finished second also in another car than his own, received the prize for second place but would have received eight points because he had not yet driven at all in his originally assigned car, which Nuvolari had retired after 31 laps. Since both drivers had been contenders for the outright win, the Alfa Romeo factory reassigned them to the other two of their cars after their own had broken down. While Nuvolari took over Campari's car on lap 40, replacing Marinoni who was the nominated driver, Borzacchini drove with Minoia, replacing the originally assigned Zehender. Because of these driver changes, differently than planned before the start, Marinoni and Zehender both did not get a chance to drive at all and would each have received eight points. Drivers could only score points with the car they had been nominated for or had started with in the race. [self]

Italian Grand Prix points scoring application: [self]
First four finishers, 155 or less laps (1557.754 or less km)= 1, 2, 3 and 4 points
Completion of at least ¾ distance, 155-117 laps (1557.754-1168.317 km)= 4 points
Completion of at least ½ distance, 116-78 laps (1168.316-778.877 km)= 5 points
Completion of at least ¼ distance, 77-39 laps (778.876-389.439 km)= 6 points
Completion of less than ¼ distance, 38 or less laps (389.438 or less km)= 7 points
Non-starters= 8 points


The French Grand Prix
21 June 1931, XVII French Grand Prix, 10 hour race, Montlhéry: 12.500 km (7.768 mi) circuit.
Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusPoints

1.32Chiron/VarziUsines BugattiBugattiT512.3S-81001258.825 km (125.882 km/h)1
2.18Campari/BorzacchiniSA Alfa RomeoAlfa Romeo8C 23002.3S-8971215.122 km (121.512 km/h)2
3.46Biondetti/ParentiOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati26M2.5S-8941187.535 km (118.753 km/h)3
4.40Birkin/EystonTim BirkinMaserati26M2.5S-8941185.763 km (118.576 km/h)4
5.36Sénéchal/FretetR. SénéchalDelage15-S-81.5S-8911142.558 km (114.255 km/h)4
6.4Minoia/ZehenderSA Alfa RomeoAlfa Romeo8C 23002.3S-8901126.167 km (112.616 km/h)4
7.28Divo/BouriatUsines BugattiBugattiT512.3S-8901125.000 km, oil pipe4
8.20Dreyfus/GhersiOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati26M2.5S-8881108.279 km4
9.24Rigal/FerrandR. FerrandPeugeot174S4.0S-4851070.508 km4
10.48Pesato/FelixJean PesatoAlfa Romeo6C 17501.8S-6841056.538 km4
11.44Nuvolari/MinozziSA Alfa RomeoAlfa Romeo8C 23002.3S-8841050.000 km4
12.30Howe/LewisEarl HoweBugattiT512.3S-878975.938 km4
DNF38Wimille/GaupillatJ. GaupillatBugattiT512.3S-871893.162 km, suspension5
DNF42"Williams"/ConelliUsines BugattiBugattiT512.3S-865817.524 km, drive shaft5
DNF34Eminente/BourlierBourlierBugattiT35B2.3S-859741.887 km, fire5
DNF22d'Arnoux/FournyFournyBugattiT35C2.0S-858729.013 km5
DNF50Grimaldi/BourgaitGrimaldiBugattiT35C2.0S-849616.362 km6
DNF10Fagioli/E. MaseratiOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8C 28002.8S-845566.474 km, brakes6
DNF58Caracciola/MerzDaimler-BenzMercedes-BenzSSKL7.1S-639490.836 km, supercharger6
DNF2Scott/Armstrong-PayneW.B. ScottDelage15-S-81.5S-822276.800 km, rear axle7
DNF52Lehoux/EtancelinEtancelinBugattiT512.3S-815188.288 km, mechanical7
DNF26Ivanowsky/StoffelB. IvanowskiMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-611149.665 km, rear axle7
DNF12Dunfee/AppleyardJack DunfeeSunbeam1925 GP2.0S-600 km, rear axle8
Winner's speed: Louis Chiron/Achille Varzi (Bugatti) 125.883 km/h (78.223 mph)
Fastest lap: Luigi Fagioli (Maserati) 5m29.00s = 136.778 km/h (84.994 mph)


French Aftermath
After completion of the second race the positions of the top drivers in the European Championship had not changed. Campari kept the lead with three points and Minoia remained in second place with six points. Bouriat and Divo continued in their third place but were now joined by Chiron and Varzi; all with seven points. Next was the Sénéchal/Fretet pair with nine points, followed by Nuvolari, Biondetti and Parenti, each 11 points. Pirola, Ruggeri, Birkin, Dreyfus, Ferrand, Pesato and Howe had 12 points. Klinger, Di Vecchio, Lehoux and Caracciola with 13 points had no chance to win. Campari evidently had the best chance to win the championship since he only had to finish in the Belgian Grand Prix to become European Champion.
      The entries for the French Grand Prix had been fantastic, the best since 1914. It was also the first time since 1914 that a German car showed up, Caracciola in a Mercedes-Benz.

French Grand Prix points scoring application: [self]
First four finishers, 100 or less laps (1258.825 km or less km)= 1, 2, 3 and 4 points
Completion of at least ¾ distance, 100-75 laps (1258.825 -944.118 km)= 4 points
Completion of at least ½ distance, 74-50 laps (944.117-629.412 km)= 5 points
Completion of at least ¼ distance, 49-25 laps (629.411-314.706 km)= 6 points
Completion of less than ¼ distance, 24 or less laps (314.705 or less km)= 7 points
Non-starters= 8 points


The Belgian Grand Prix
12 July 1931, III Belgian Grand Prix, 10 hour race, Spa-Francorchamps: 14.915 km (9.268 mi) circuit.
Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusPoints

1.4"Williams"/ConelliUsines BugattiBugattiT512.3S-8881320 km (132.200 km/h)1
2.10Nuvolari/Borzacchini SA Alfa RomeoAlfa Romeo8C 23002.3S-8881309 km2
3.2Minoia/MinozziSA Alfa RomeoAlfa Romeo8C 23002.3S-8851274 km3
4.16Birkin/LewisTim BirkinAlfa Romeo8C 23002.3S-8831240 km4
5.8Ivanowski/StoffelB. IvanowskiMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6811206 km4
6.24Pesato/FelixJean PesatoAlfa Romeo6C 17501.8S-6731088 km4
DNF18Wimille/GaupillatJ. GaupillatBugattiT512.3S-865968.5 km, gearbox5
7.22C. Montier/DucolombierC. MontierMontier2.8S-458864.2 km5
DNF20F. Montier F. MontierMontier2.8S-456retired5
DNF6Divo/BouriatUsines BugattiBugattiT512.3S-851differential5
DNF12Varzi/ChironUsines BugattiBugattiT512.3S-844655.6 km, magneto drive5
DNF14Campari/ZehenderSA Alfa RomeoAlfa Romeo8C 23002.3S-840596 km, fire6
Winner's speed: "Williams"/Caberto Conelli (Bugatti) 131.252 km/h (88.129 mph)
Fastest lap: Louis Chiron (Bugatti) 6m18.6s = 141.823 km/h (88.129 mph)


Belgian Aftermath
The outcome of the European Championship was a great, unexpected surprise. Campari's point advantage had been so great that even a place in mid-field would have secured him the title of European Champion. Unusually bad luck had a stone flung from a car ahead through the oil sump while Zehender was driving the car, which put an end to Campari's chances. His car completed only 596 kilometers and his fall to last place earned Campari six penalty points, which placed him equal with Minoia at nine points total. A special rule in the regulations determined in this case that the higher total distance driven would decide the outcome.
      Minoia in comparison came off well in this case, so that the Italian opera-singer suddenly realized that his almost secured victory in the championship had vanished. In his book Full Throttle, Tim Birkin wrote about Campari that he accepted his disappointment in a very sporting way, consoling himself by partaking of a huge meal and exclaiming between bites, "It could not be helped - it could not be helped." While Campari had excellent finishes in Monza and Montlhéry but was followed by misfortune in Spa, Minoia came off in mid-position every time. Thus, fate toppled a great driver and put the constant element in its place. The reward was significant: on top of his prizes in the individual races, Minoia received 150,000 francs as the European Champion. [16, 17]

Belgian Grand Prix points scoring application: [self]
First four finishers, 88 or less laps (1322 or less km)= 1, 2, 3 and 4 points
Completion of at least ¾ distance, 88-66 laps (1322-991.5 km)= 4 points
Completion of at least ½ distance, 65-44 laps (991.4-661.0 km)= 5 points
Completion of at least ¼ distance, 43-22 laps (660.9-330.5 km)= 6 points
Completion of less than ¼ distance, 21 or less laps (330.4 or less km)= 7 points
Non-starters= 8 points


Epilogue
It was hardly imaginable that the formula for the 10-hour races would again see resurgence. The drivers, to the greater extent, opposed these regulations since the length of the races called for too great a demand on them and enormous endurance was required. Their opinion carried a lot of weight and was heard by the commissioners. [18] In addition, the long races had not been popular with the spectators either. Never again were there 10-hour grand prix races and the races for the 1932 European Championship would run for five hours. The championship had been unpopular also with the manufacturers. Therefore, the AIACR made sure to include the manufacturers in a modified 1932 European Championship.

 DriverCarItalian
Grand Prix

24. May
French
Grand Prix

21. June
Belgian
Grand Prix

12. July
Total
Points
Total
km
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
Minoia
Campari
Divo/Bouriat
Wimille/Gaupillat
Nuvolari
Varzi/Chiron
Ivanowsky/Stoffel
Williams/Conelli
Birkin
Pesato/Felix
Sénéchal/Fretet
Biondetti/Parenti
Pirola/Lurani
Ruggeri/Balestrero
Dreyfus
Rigal/Ferrand
Howe
Klinger
Di Veccio/Ferrari
C. Montier/Ducolombier
F. Montier
Eminente/Bourlier
d'Arnoux/Fourny
Lehoux/Etancelin
Grimaldi/Bourgait
Fagioli/E. Maserati
Caracciola/O. Merz
Scott/Armstrong-Payne
Caniato/Torlini
Dunfee/Appleyard
Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo
Bugatti
Bugatti
Alfa Romeo
Bugatti
Mercedes-Benz
Bugatti
Maserati/Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo
Delage
Maserati
Alfa Romeo
Talbot
Maserati
Peugeot
Bugatti
Maserati
Talbot
Montier
Montier
Bugatti
Bugatti
Bugatti
Bugatti
Maserati
Mercedes-Benz
Delage
Alfa Romeo
Sunbeam
2nd
1st
3rd
4th
DNF
DNF
5th
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNC
DNS
6th
7th
DNS
DNS
DNS
8th
DNF
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNF
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNF
DNS
2
1
3
4
7
6
4
8
8
8
5
8
4
4
8
8
8
5
5
8
8
8
8
6
8
8
8
8
7
8
6th
2nd
7th
DNF
11th
1st
DNF
DNF
4th
10th
5th
3rd
DNS
DNS
8th
9th
12th
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNF
DNF
DNF
DNF
DNF
DNF
DNF
DNS
DNF
4
2
4
4
4
1
7
5
4
4
4
3
8
8
4
4
4
8
8
8
8
5
5
7
6
6
6
7
8
7
3rd
DNF
DNF
DNF
2nd
DNF
5th
1st
4th
6th
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
7th
DNF
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
DNS
3
6
5
5
2
6
4
1
4
4
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
5
5
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
9
9
12
13
13
13
15
14
16
16
17
19
20
20
20
20
20
21
21
21
21
21
21
21
22
22
22
23
23
23
3935.254
3368.876
3410.319
3242.582
2689.000
2353.600
2740.255
2137.524
2425.763
2144.538
1952.535
1187.535
1300.000
1290.534
1108.279
1070.508
975.938
1140.000
870.000
864.200
835.240
741.887
729.013
678.288
616.362
566.474
490.836
276.800
150.000
0.000
Information for 1 to 7 drivers originates from 1931 AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, while data for drivers 8 to 30 was compiled in 2008.

The following seven drivers were excluded from scoring points due to rules infringement.
Borzacchini
was co-driver w. Minoia (Italian GP), Campari (French GP), Nuvolari (Belgian GP), therefore rules excluded him from scoring.
Eyston was co-driver w. Birkin (French GP) and Birkin drove w. Lewis (Belgian GP), therefore rules excluded Eyston from scoring.
Ghersi was co-driver w. Klinger (Italian GP) and w. Dreyfus (French GP), therefore rules excluded him from scoring.
Lewis was co-driver w. Howe (French GP) and w. Birkin (Belgian GP), therefore rules excluded him from scoring.
Marinoni was the original co-driver of Campari (Italian GP) but then Nuvolari took over the car instead on lap 40. In all probability Marinoni received no points because he did not drive at all.
Minozzi was co-driver w. Nuvolari (French GP) and w. Minoia (Belgian GP), therefore rules excluded him from scoring.
Zehender was co-driver w. Minoia (French GP) and Campari (Belgian GP), therefore rules excluded him from scoring.

The above table with remarks shows all 54 assigned drivers whose cars started in the three championship events.


Bibliography
1.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1930, Oct 17, No. 88, pg. 1-2: The October 10 CSI meeting and the sub commission.
2.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1930, Nov 25, No. 99, pg. 3: The CSI special committee on international 10-hour races.
3.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1930, Dec 16, No. 105, pg. 3: The CSI international prize and preliminary regulations.
4.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1930, Dec 23, No. 107, pg. 3: International Grand Prix 1931.
5.MOTOR und SPORT 1930, No 50, pg13: Suggestions of a 10-hour Grand Prix.
6.Allgemeine Automobil Zeitung (Austria), 1930, No.23, pg.5: CSI October conference: no World Championship for 1931.
7.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1931, No.22, pg.3: Spain's cancellation from the International Grand Prix.
8.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1931, No.42, pg.3: Changes of the International Grand Prix 1931; Italy & Spain changes.
9.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1931, No.44, pg.3, 5, 6: Italian Grand Prix, results in km.
10.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1931, No.46, pg. 5: Italian Grand Prix, additional changes to place 6 and 7.
11.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1931, No.48, pg. 19: International Grand Prix 1931 point standing.
12.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1931, No.52, pg. 15: French Grand Prix, results in km.
13.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1931, No.54, pg. 19: International Grand Prix 1931 point standing.
14.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1931, No.57, pg. 3: Belgian GP and European Championship preview.
15.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1931, No.58, pg. 3: Belgian GP results in km.
16.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1931, No.59, pg. 16: European Championship 1931 final point standing.
17.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1931, No.60, pg. 15: European Champion, Fernando Minoia.
18.AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1931, No.79, pg. 3: CSI regulating the 1931 and 1932 Grands Prix rules.
19.Court, William: Power and Glory, Macdonald, London, publ. 1966 (European Championship, p189, p193).
20.Delsaux, Jean-Paul: 50 Grands Prix de Belgique 1925-1992, publ. 1993 (1931 Belgian Grand Prix; The International Championship).
21. On March 8, 2001 Boniver contributed at TNF the following information: "The rule states that the co-driver had to drive with the same driver in all three races to get points". The source is the program of the "III De Grote Prijs van België" (III GP of Belgium) 12 July 1931. The European Championships regulations by the Koninklijke Automobielklub van Belgie - Brussel (Royal Automobile club of Belgium - Brussel/Belgium)
Note: Information about the 1931 championship found in other magazines did not explain any details about the regulations.





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© 2012 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 16.06.2012