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DRIVERS (B)



A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z

Even with lots of work still do be done this list have reached a state where it must be considered one of the most complete and accurate ever assembled on the subject. This has only been possible due to the tremendous help from people all over the world, each of them experts of their local drivers and events.
Short biographies of drivers with BLUE background, will come up in due time. If you have any information about any driver with GREEN background, please contact me!


Nello Bagnoli (I)


Erik/Eric Bake (S)

      lo Baldo - SEE: Lo Baldo



Renato Balestrero (I)
27 Jul 1898 - 18 Feb 1948
Renato Balestrero born in Lucca but a Genoa resident, was a very busy and successful racer whose career spanned 25 years and included over 200 races. Balestrero started racing in 1924 with an OM. The list of his best placings is exemplary of a solid and quick semi-professional driver of the Italian school, with victories in some of the Italian classic races, such as Montenero, Pescara and Tripoli. He won the 1st Libyan Grand Prix driving a 2.0L O.M. as early as 1925 and then raced Bugattis during1927. He slowed down his racing activity for a while, when he started an import business of American cars in partnership with the great Nando Minoia, which did not go very well. So, Balestrero moved up to international racing in 1933/34 when he drove for Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio, and also raced his personal Alfa Romeo "Monza". From 1935 on he raced an Alfa Romeo Tipo B, entering it among other races in AVUS, Eifel GP and German GP 1937. Then he raced Belmondo's Alfa Romeo 308 in 1938. He came back to Italian races after the war with a third in a Fiat 1100 at Genoa in 1946. Then in 1947 Benevento 3rd (Fiat 1100), Sanremo and Bari 3rd (Alfa Romeo Monza), MM 9th (Fiat 1100) with Bracco. He was 1947 Italian Champion for the unlimited sports car class, winning his class at Vercelli, Aosta-Gran San Bernardo, Voghera, Sanremo hill climb, Piacenza and Varese, all in the Fiat-Stanguellini 2800 8C. Renato Balestrero died in 1948 in an accident near Milan on the Turin Autostrada. Balestrero had obtained from the Alfa Romeo factory a 6C marine engine which he was carrying in his car to bring it to Nardi in Torino to be mounted in a new ND sports car. He had stopped on a road side and had come out of his car to show his load to a police patrol when he was hit by another car, a Lancia Aprilia belonging to sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport. Balestrero fell and received a fractured skull. He died soon afterwards.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva / Hans Etzrodt)




Vernon Balls (GB)
In 1924, Vernon Balls of Fulham, later of Holborn, was a main Amilcar dealer at hammersmith. He was recognised as being the leading Amilcar racing driver at Brooklands in the 1920s. Raced Austin Seven(1930-31) and Amilcar (from 1923 to 1930) cars in 1932 Crossley and in 1933 OM cars and Brooklands and sometimes doing hillclimbs. A leading driver at the Greenford speedway (trotting oval) in 1928 and 1929. Took part in the early midget car meetings in 1934
(Info supplied by Richard A. Salomon)


G Balocci ( )




Marcel Lucien Balsa (F)
1 Jan 1909 - 11 Aug 1984
Born in St Frion (France) Started off with motorcycles. Private Bugatti driver. Raced also Delahayes, and Talbots. After the war he was back with the Bugatti at the 1945 Coup de Liberation and Coup de Prisonniers finishing 5th in the latter. In 1946 he raced a Talbot in Nice, a Bugatti in Marseille and a Maserati in St Just-Andrezieux. In 1947 he raced a Talbot for Henri Marin in Marseille and Nimes. Later he raced a BMW engined special mostly in local events, being fourth in Luxembourg GP 1949. His only World Championship race being the 1952 German GP where he retired.




Sergio Banti (I)
27 Dec 1906 - ?
Born in Florence 1906. Landowner from Tavernelle Val di Pesa in the heart of the Chianti district. Banti was a busy sports car racer in the late 1930s with scuderia Maremmana, a racing team owned by his lifelong friend Jacques de Rham. He made a sporadic come back in 1946/1947. His means of making a living, besides periodically selling chunks of his land, are unknown. Based in Rome, Banti "a natural PR man" held several positions within the Italian Automobile Club (ACI), the last as head of the Karting subcommittee in the early 1960s. Banti died in the early 1970s.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)




Ferdinando "Nando" Barbieri (I)
29 Aug 1907 - 8 Oct 1997
Born in Genua 1907.
Several enthusiasts in Genoa had the good habit of buying fast cars to be driven by otherwise forcedly inactive young prospects. In 1933 a man called Capredoni or Capreolini purchased a 1.1L 4CM Maserati for young Barbieri, who reciprocated by winning the voiturette race at Montenero and finishing second from W. Straight at Pescara. In this way Barbieri came into notice of Scuderia Ferrari, who entered him for the tragic Monza GP and paired him with Comotti for a victory in the gruelling Principessa di Piemonte sports car race, late in the season. Barbieri was kept by the Prancing Horse for 1934, when he won the Parma-Poggio di Berceto hill climb and finished second in the Targa Florio and at the Stelvio hillclimb race. In 1935 Barbieri drove for another wealthy man from Genoa, Franco Sardi, who entered a Alfa Romeo Tipo B and and a 4CM 1.5L Maserati, while in 1936 and 1937 yet another rich enthusiast, the Italo-Swiss Giacomo de Rham, signed Barbieri for his Scuderia Maremmana. After the folding of de Rham's outfit, Barbieri disappeared from rosters. This underrated and forgotten driver was indeed quick and reliable. He made a big impression on the French press for his unlucky forceful showing at Albi in 1935 and was termed a "Grand Champion". Nando Barbieri seems to have quit after 1937, when Scuderia Maremmana stopped racing. Died in Genua 1997.
Not to be confused with Guido Barbieri.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)




Guido Barbieri (I)
28 Aug 1908 - 8 Jun 1984
Well-known amateur from Scandiano, near Reggio Emilia, Guido Barbieri had been the rival of Lurani in the Italian 1500cc sports car class in the mid 1930s driving a Maserati engined Bugatti, then he moved to Italian voiturette racing driving Maseratis. In 1946 he choose to race a 1500cc Maserati sports car, the progenitor of the A6G series, sometimes apocryphally called A6-46 in Maserati literature. It was the first racing Maserati with an unsupercharged engine. Barbieri won repeated victories driving this car. He quit racing around 1949, but remained prominent among the officials of the sport in his home town.
Not to be confused with Nando Barbieri.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva & Richard Copeman)




Frank Stanley Barnes (GB)
16 Nov 1900 - ?
From Stourbridge, West Midlands. Raced from the1920s into the early 1930s. Aldo took part in the 24h Le Mans.


Arthur Baron (GB)
13 Feb 1909 - 24 Nov 1998
Born 1909 at Norwood Middlesex. Son to a garage owner. Did some hill climb racing in the 1930s and 1940s. Died 1998 at Frimley Surrey


Claude "Barowski" (Claude Bossu) (F)


Guido Barsotti (I)
Italian driver who took part in Mille Miglia 1930-33 sharing car with Secondo Corsi.




John Hastings "Jack" Bartlett (GB)
25 Aug 1904 - 19 Aug 1983
Born in Rotherhithe, London. Car dealer. Died in Jersey 1993.




Giuseppe "Pino" Baruffi (I)
Not to be confused with Piero Taruffi, this Italian voiturette driver from Como raced a 1500cc Maserati 6CM in voiturette races.




Ciro B. Basadonna (CH/I)
30 June 1906 - 7 Oct 2009
Basadonna was born in Turin, but was a Geneva resident and the holder of a Swiss licence. He had been behind many differently named racing outfits from that city . In 1938 he had founded Ecurie Helvetia with Quadri, Hug and de Graffenried. He delt in cars in Geneva, where he imported in different times Maseratis, Altas, Cisitalias and Lancias. Basadonna often acted as a middleman between organizers and drivers/teams and was the Penya Rhin official representative from 1948 to 1954. Started racing in 1928. Not a particulary quick driver he became known in 1937 when he raced a Maserari 4CM Voiturette under the Ecurie Helvetica banner. In 1946, he continued racing a Maserati 4CL entered by the Swiss Ecurie Autosport and finished second at the Penya Rhin GP that year. He was a great friend of Dusio and his associate in pre-war years ? he acted as Dusio’s textile business agent in Argentina - and would later be involved in the 1.1 litre Cisitalia project early in 1947, quitting racing after that for many years. Basadonna's main achievements as a driver would come much later, with victories in the 1954 Monte Carlo Rally (with Chiron) and the 1958 Acropolis Rally (with Gigi Villoresi), both in Lancia Aurelia GTs. Died at Geneva in 2009.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva & Hans Etzrodt)




Giovanni "Gianni" Battaglia (I)
9 Aug 1893- 28 Mar 1949
Battaglia, mainly a hillclimb specialist for what car racing is concerned came from Luino, Varese near the Lago Maggiore. Formerly a bicycle and motorcycle racer, he picked up motor car racing in 1927. In that year he had been proclaimed Italian National Champion for the 350cc motorcycle class, topping the likes of Nuvolari, Varzi, Gnesa and Moretti. He scored good results in the Mille Miglia driving his personal Alfa Monzas: 4th in 1933 and 1934, 3rd in 1935. He later drove borrowed Maserati voiturettes until retirement in 1938, although Battaglia's best achievement in the 40 car races he entered, is considered his victory in the 1931 Aosta-Gran San Bernardo hill climb, with an impressive record time. Sied at Varese in 1949.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)




Attilio Battilana (I)
Most of the Genova racing drivers, with the exception of N. Barbieri, Bianco and Berrone, organized themselves into a racing outfit called the Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio for the 1934 racing season. The driving force behind this endeavour was Renato Balestrero and the finance was in charge of an inevitable wealthy enthusiast, Cesare Sanguinetti. Sanguinetti owned a score of 8C Alfa Monzas, but raced sporadically. Balestrero had resumed with serious racing in 1933 and pooled his Monza with those of Sanguinetti. The other drivers involved were Luigi Beccaria, Arnaldo Sciutti and Attilio Battilana and also probably Clemente Biondetti. Battilana hailed from Chiavari, near Genova, and had purchased in 1933 a 8C Alfa which he co-raced with Balestrero in the Milla Miglia and in other local races before selling it at the end of the year. He also owned, very likely in partnership with Beccaria, one or maybe two GP Bugattis. He raced one of Sanguinetti's Monzas in 1934, while in 1935 he partnered Beccaria in racing the latter's very fast Fiat Balilla 508 Spider, in long distance and in voiturette races.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)


Azzigio Battista ( )




Anton "Toni" Bauhofer (D)
25 Jan 1892 - 10 Jan 1968
Motorcycle racer Toni" Bauhofer was known as a fair sportsman, and a good driver with excellent technicial ability. he was born in München (Munich) in 1892. During World War I he served as a volunteer flying reconnaissance and later fighter planes. Continues as a ppilot after the war. Participated in the development of Megola motorcycle engine. Started his career in 1921 with a Megola. Won the 1000-cc class of the German Road Championship in 1924. From 1925 to 1929 he raced BMW motorcycles as works driver and won the 1000cc class of the German Championship in 1928. From 1929 - 1935 he raced for DKW winning the 500cc German Championship in 1930 & 1932. he also raced DKW cycle cars. Ended his racing career after a crash duing practice for the 1935 Feldberg hillclimb where he broke his tight. Then managed the DKW racing department for two years. Recieved the ADAC sports badge with diamonds in 1961.


Maurice H. Baumer ( )




Walter Bäumer (D)
17 Oct 1908 - 29 Jun 1941
Born in Bünde, Westphalia, Bäumer took on motorcycle racing in 1928. He showed great promise as driver winning 12 races but after an accident he turned to racing cars instead, racing 0.75 litre Dixi and BMW against his main rival Kohlrausch. Bäumer was also called "Walter von der Wartburg" because he used to drive the BMW Wartburg. From 1932 to 1935, Bäumer dominated that class in mountain races with an Austin 747 cc racing car and sports car 0.75 litre class in German sports and mountainclimbs. In 1935, he raced also a MG K3 Magnette. In 1937, he took the class victory at Shelsley Walsh and Freiburg. A test drive for Mercedes-Benz made him a reserve driver for the team between 1937 and 1939. Tested a Mercedes-Benz W125 during practice for the German GP 1937. During this period, there was little activity for him so that his true potential was never revealed. His greatest moment came at the 1940 Mille Miglia when he won the race together with von Hanstein. Bäumer died 1941 in a freak accident on the road between Herford and his hometown Bünde at an age of 32. Bäumer was being kissed by a female passenger when the car door opened in a corner and Bäumer fell out on a field, receiving fatal wounds in his neck from a sharp wooden object.
(Info supplied by Hans Etzrodt and Walter Bäumer (Jr.))


Werner Bäumer (D)
4 Dec 1909 - 20 Apr 1972
Werner Bäumer was a motorcycle racer alongside his older brother Walter. Later he became Walter's manager and business adviser.

      "Bauru" - SEE: Amaral jr.

Francis Bayard (F)


Anthony H. Beadle ( )


Luigi Beccaria (I)
Yet another driver in the long list of amateurs from Genova of this era. Beccaria had started in the early 1920s, driving Ceiranos and a Lancia Lambda. A Maserati T26 followed and then the inevitable 8C Alfa Romeo. Beccario is better known for the very fast Balilla spider which he raced in voiturette and long distance races in 1934/35.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)


Adolf William Karl "Bill" von der Becke (GB)
18 Apr 1907 - 7 Mar 1979
Born 1907 at Handsworth, Staffordshire. Died 1979 at Cropthorne, Worcestershire.

      Bègue - SEE: Le Bègue

Marquis de Belleroche (GB)




Luigi Bellucci (I)
19 Mar 1905 - ?
Amateur driver from Naples, he raced Maserati voiturettes and after the war Lancia Aprilia specials and Maseratis A6GCS until the late 50s. A successful driver in local hillclimbs and Italian road races, his major international achievements are probably his 3rd positioons in the 1948 F2 and 1954 sportscars Naples GPs on a Lancia Aprilia Spl. and on a Maserati A6GCS respectively.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)




Vittorio Belmondo (I)
Maserati Voiturette driver 1936-37. Raced an Alfa Romeo in Grand Prix races 1937-38.


Paul Benazet (F)
Paul Benazet shared a Delahaye 135 CS with "Jacques Seylair" for the 1937 season .


Luigi Benazzi ( )




Aldo Benedetti (I)
23 Sep 1901 - 6 Jan 1975
Born in Firenze (Florence) in 1901 garagiste Aldo Benedetti was a builder of Fiat-engined specials. Benedetti's workshop was the Garage Bologna in Via Fiesolana. His brother Elio was a builder of Specials as well, one of his cars winning the 750cc class at the 1950 Mille Miglia. Aldo would be the winner of the 1949 Tour of Sicily, co-driving a Ferrari with Clemente Biondetti. Died at Firenze in 1975.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)


Jean Bénéjean (F)
French, living in Algeria. Bought a ex-Marcel Lehoux Bugatti T51. Only raced once, at the 1934 Picardie GP where he lost control when braking for the sharp Chicane de Brie. The car rolled over and the luckless driver was thrown out, suffering injuries that made him lose a leg.
(Info supplied by Jimmy Piget)


Jan Benes ( )


Gunnar Bennström (S)




Sven Olof "Olle" Bennström (S)
16 May 1904 - 3 Jun 1969
From Vikarbyn, in the county of Dalarna. The family moved to Västerås in 1914. Winner of the 1932 Swedish Winter Grand Prix. Retired from racing after a crash at the infamous 1933 Swedish Grand Prix. Started in 1934 with a capital of 5000 kr a car company that would later employ 40 persons. Died in Västerås in 1969.






Robert Benoist (F)
20 Mar 1895 - 12 Sep 1944
Having been a fighter pilot during WW1, Benoist started racing in 1921 in rallies. Raced Salmson cycle cars. Works driver for Delage 1924-27. Benoist will forever be associated with the Delage and the 1927 season. Taking the 1.5-litre car to victory in the French, Spanish, Italian and British GPs he claimed the constructors championship for the French team and the Légion d'Honneur for himself. Raced Bugatti and sports cars 1928-29. Made a comeback in 1934 and raced as Bugatti works driver during the 1934-37 seasons. Retired from racing and became manager for the Bugatti showroom in Paris. Too old for the air force when the next World War he instead became an active member of French resistence. Arrested by Gestapo and executed in Buchenwald in 1944.




Herbert Berg (D)
9 Jun 1910 - Oct 1938
Born at Altena, North Rhine-Westphalia, in 1919. One of the most active German privateers in the late 30s, Berg started off with a Mercedes-Benz SSK. Later he drove Alfa Romeo and Maserati and participated in many sport car races in his 2-liter BMW. He did some racing for Süddeutsche Renngemeinschaft in 1937. On 5 August 1937 he bought a Maserati 6CM Voiturette. Raced a Scuderia Altona Maserati both in Voiturette and GP races during the 1938 season. In late October 1938 Berg fell on the street in Düsseldorf and died in the aftermath of a concussion.
(Info supplied by Hans Etzrodt)




Tore Berg (S)
2 Oct 1910 - 31 Jan 1982
Born at Nedre Ullerud, Värmland. Engineer, living in Lindesberg, Västmanland, near örebro. Bought Eugen Bjørnstad's Alfa Romeo Monza #2111041. Won the "Finlandsinsamlingen Karlskoga" ice race in 1940. Died at Guldsmedshyttan, Lindesberg, in 1982.


Moris Bergamini (I)
1911-1965
Bergamini's racing career spanned only three years. He had started racing at the 1935 Mille Miglia, crashing his Fiat Balilla and spending two months in a hospital as a consequence. He kept on, nonetheless, with the Balilla, purchasing a 4CS 1.1L Maserati for the next racing season. The 4CS was joined by a single-seat 4CM for 1937, in which he graduated National Champion for the 1.1L racing car class. Later in that year a 1.5L 6CM Maserati was purchased in view of the 1938 racing season. Of large independent financial means, Bergamini's racing stable comprised three Maseratis, a transporter and a full-time mechanic had been hired when abruptly he quit racing at the end of 1937.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)




Clemens Bergström (S)


L. E. Bergström (S)




Walter Bergström (FIN)
13 Dec 1909 - 1985
Motorcycle racer in the 1930s and 50s. Winner of the Eläintarha 500cc class 1958 & 1959. Also raced 500cc "Effyh" F3 cars after the wars.


Ricardo Bernasconi (F)
Garage owner at rue Paradis, Marseille. He bought a Bugatti T35C c/n 4871 ex-Jannine Jennky on 2 March 1932, painted it red!? and entered it in local races. The 1932 Monza GP was the high point of his career. Reported racing a Bugatti T35B! he finished last in his heat and next to last in the repechâge but that didn't really matter. That day he had raced at Monza against Nuvolari, Taruffi, Fagioli, Chiron, Brivio... There are men who from a single event can draw enough inspiration to last for the rest of the life. Bernasconi owned his Bugatti until 1958.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)




Ippolito Berrone (I)
1901 - 1972
Quite a long list of prominent Italian amateurs of the 1930s was born in Genova (Genoa). One distinguished among them was Ippolito Berrone. Berrone raced a series of good cars, mainly Maseratis after teething seasons with a 6C 1500 Alfa Romeo. One of Berrone's greatest achivements was the victory the Gaisberg-hillclimb in Austria in 1933. In 1933 he raced the ex-Lurani 4CS c/n 1516 followed in 1934 by the 2L 4CM c/n 2011 and by the 1.5L 4CM c/n 1528 in 1936. Berrone was a reasonably good driver and his cars were well prepared, providing him with a win in Modena in 1935. He certainly was one of the Maserati's brothers most valued customers so they loaned him a 1100cc works OSCA for a one-off return in 1950 for the dearest race to drivers from Genova: the Pontedecimo-Giovi hillclimb. Died at Sestri Levante, near Genoa in 1972.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)




Franco Bertani (I)
8 Jan 1913 - 28 Oct 2006
From Reggio Emilia. He raced mainly a 1938 FIAT 1100 Special, prepared by Stanguellini with body by Torricelli, leaving very soon the 1500 voiturette class. This excellent driver-car pairing was hugely successful in the hard fought 1100 class in Italian racing from 1938 to 1947. Their more important victory was at the Belgian GP for sports cars on June 16th 1946. He was a very good driver who never had the chance of, or was not interested in, moving to higher classes in racing. In fact he was a solicitor in a big law firm owned by his family in Reggio Emilia. Always very close to Vittorio Stanguellini, he acted as his counselor for many years after he quit racing. He was also behind the short lived project of Ala d'Oro, a racing bodyshop in Reggio Emilia in the late 40s. To everybody's surprise he appeared at the wheel of his everyday Alfa Romeo 1900 TI during 1954, entering several Italian races and thereby showing that the old fire was not quenched at all, getting very close to yet another Italian Italian class Championship. Died at Reggio Emilia in 2006.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)


Umberto Berti (I)
8 Jul 1893 - ?
Born at Terni, Umbria in 1893.




Oliver Henry Julius Bertram (GB)
26 Feb 1910 - 13 Sep 1975
Educated at Cambridge Oliver Bertram became a barrister at law practising in London. He started racing in 1929 and was much a Brooklands specialist, known for his record attempts with the huge Barnato-Hassan special. He became the Brooklands outer lap record holder in August 1935 only to loose it two months later to Cobb (Napier Railton ). Bertram was awared the 1935 and 1938 Gold Star. Got married in 1943 and had two children.


Beugnies ( )


Aldo "Tino" Bianchi (I)
Tino Bianchi - a well known mechanic from Milan - worked for Luigi Castelbarco before the war. He modified the latter’s Maserati 1500 mounting an independent suspension with which Castelbarco won the 1934 Eifelrennen. During 1946 he raced the ex-Bellucci Lancia Aprilia. In 1948/49 he built a couple of Cisitalias D46 with Lancia Aprilia engine. In the early fifties he worked for Gastone Crepaldi, importer of French cars in Milan, and then Ferrari concessionaire. Bianchi built for Crepaldi a series of extremely successful small sports cars with Dyna Panhard engine and with bodies made by the best coachbuilders such as Colli or Zagato, which were raced under the banner of Italfrance. Around 1956 Bianchi opened a new workshop called Autocorse. He associated once more with Crepaldi to build a rear engined FJ car in 1960. This car, the Bianchi-Jano-Crepaldi, showed some promise but was never developed. It was one of legendary Vittorio Jano's last endeavours .
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)


Giuseppe Bianchi (I)
Rqaced Salmson and Fiat cars.




Ettore Bianco (I)
3 Jun 1900 - ?
Born at Savona, Liguria in 1900. Works Maserati driver in 1937 driving 6CM cars. Became Italian Champion 1937 ahead of Trossi.




Ulrich "Ulli" Bigalke (D)
1 Jul 1910 - 12 Aug 1940
Born in Essen, Bigalke studied in Berlin-Charlottenburg for an engineering's degree. He came to sudden fame when he entered a 2000 km race in 1934 in a 1 litre Fiat Ballilla sports car and won. In the summer of 1935, Bigalke joined Auto Union as Willi Walb's assistent. He also drove a 2-liter Audi in local races. He made himself generally useful to the team doing the travelling arrangments, reservations, being a truck driver, timekeeper, pit helper etc. He made all of Auto Union's racing reports, which served as information for the firm's management. His hobby was photography and he made two films about the team both in 1936 and 1937. He worked as assistant engineer in chassis and brake research. His ability as a race driver was noticed at the 1937 Vanderbilt Cup as he made some competitive lap times when he had to break in the cars. After a test drive he was selected as reserve for the 1938-39 seasons. His only start for the team was the 1939 Eifelrennen as the team prefered Meier as driver. In Italy the ladies called him "Vesuvio". At the war Bigalke joined Luftwaffe and died during the Battle of Britain.
(Info supplied by Hans Etzrodt)


Mario Billotti (I)
A driver from Cosenza, active before and after WW2.




René Biolay (F)
- 3 Mar 1945




Clemente Biondetti (I)
18 Aug 1898 - 24 Feb 1955
After having started as motorcycle driver in 1923 Biondetti turned to car racing in 1927. After racing for Talbot he became works Maserati driver during 1931-1933. In 1934, he raced a private Maserati T26M. He sat out 1935 as his international license hadn't been renewed, probably due to political reasons. He continued as privateer in 1936, raced Alfas for Ferrari in 1937 and then as works driver for Alfa Corse during the 1938-40 era. After the war he raced on, winning the 1947 Mille Miglia in an Alfa Romeo. In a Ferrari sports car he won both Mille Miglia and Targa Florio in 1948 and 1949. Biondetti had for a long time been suffering from cancer and he decided to retire from racing in 1954. He died the next year.




"B. Bira" (Prince Birabongse Bhanutej Bhanubandh) (T)
15 Jul 1914 - 23 Dec 1985
A member of the Royal Thai family, Birabongse came to England in 1927 to study at Eton and Cambridge. He started racing in 1935 with a Riley and a MG Magnette and showed such promise that his cousin and supporter Prince Chula Chakrabongse bought him a ERA for his 21st birthday. Entered under the pseudonym "B. Bira" for Chula's "White Mouse Stable", Birabongse became one of the top names in the Voiturette class in 1935-1936, with a record including three victories. In 1937, the team unsuccessfully tried to rebuilt Seaman's old Delage with a limited budget. As a result car preparation suffered and "Bira" won just one race. For 1938 and 1939 "Bira" raced a ex works ERA-C and once again proved to be victorious as he raced mostly in Britain, the car being no match against the latest Italian Voiturettes. "Bira" also raced in some GP races but his origin made him unsuitable for a works drive by the top teams. After the war "Bira" continued racing Maseratis and Simca-Gordinis. He raced Maseratis and Maserati-OSCAs for Enrico Platé from 1949 onwards. He also raced for Gordini and Connaught teams and as a privateer Maserati driver before retiering in 1955. His Formula 1 record includes 19 championship starts and 8 points. Extremly short sighted and always racing with glasses or special built goggles, "Bira" was considered to be a good driver if not among the very fastest. He was also an accompished sculptor and his art works can be seen on the base of a fountain at the Silverstone track.


Théophile Bircher (CH)
From Lausanne.




Sir Henry Ralph Stanley "Tim" Birkin 3rd Baronet (GB)
26 Jul 1896 - 22 Jun 1933
Birkin was a small man that stuttered badly and had a car wrecking driving style. Still for the 1920s British racing enthusiasts Birkin became the prototype for the heroic British driver, a fearless guy with a a blue white spotted scarf around his neck. Birkin was one of the "Bentley Boys".
Tim Birkin was born into a wealthy Nottingham family in 1896. During World War he joined the Royal Flying Corps, ending up as a Lieutenant. In Palestine he contracted malaria that he was to suffer from for the rest of his life. Tired of civilian office work he tried motor racing in 1921 as a relief, racing a DFP at Brooklands. However business forced him to give up serious competition until 1927. Racing a Bentley with Jean Chassagne he finised 5th at the 1928 Le Mans 24h race. The next year Birkin and Woolf Barnato won Le Mans in a Bentley "Speed Six". Birking became a supercharger enthusiast and backed up by Dorothy Paget he sat up a factory at Welvey. The 4.5 litre supercharged "Blower Bentley" made its debut in the 1930 Essex Six hours at Brooklands. Birkin persuated Bentley to produce a series of 50 supercharged cars to quality the model for Le Mans. However the model while spectacular proved fragtile and Birkin had to retire the 1930 Le Mans. Birkin finished second in the 1930 French GP. at Pau. He also set a series of speed records at Brooklands that year.
In April 1931 Tim Birkin became Sir Henry Birkin. For 1931 he raced Maseratis in Grand Prix races and Maseratis in sports cars events. He came fourth at the Belgian GP and with Earl Howe won Le Mans for a second time. In 1932 he continued setting lap records at Brooklands, won at Phoenix Par in a Alfa Romeo and won a famous duel against Cobb's Delage at Brooklands. For 1933 took delivery of a 3 litre Maserati. He came third at Tripoli but during his race he burnt his hand against the exhaust-pipe. The wound turned septic and combined with malaria the illness proved fatal. Birkin died at the Countess Carnavon Nursing Home in London 22 June 1933.




Eugen Bjørnstad (N)
12 Dec 1909 - 1992
Norwegian car dealer who started racing with a Bugatti and later bought an Alfa Romeo Monza. In 1937 he raced a ex-works ERA before giving up car racing in 1938 and concentrating on his car business. Later he moved to USA. He died in the summer of 1992. While good natured and highly respected outside the car Bjørnstad was known for his very aggressive driving style. His usual tactics was to immediately grab the lead and keep it with every means available, creating discussions about false starts and blocking.




Arthur Norman Black (GB)
17 Nov 1894 - 23 Feb 1973
Left shool at age 13 to work in his Father's Boot Factory in Leicestershire. Was a stretcher bearer and later MC orderly during WWI. In the 1920s he raced motorcycles and competed in eight Motor Cycle TT's and in many 6-day Trials, Speed Trials, Hill Climbs. Won many cups & trophies on motor cycles during 1920-31. Turned to car racing in 1931. He won the 1931 Phoenix Park GP and the Tourist trophy at Ards and was awarded the 1931 Gold Star. He continued racing hillclimbs, sports cars (Including Le Mans 1932-37) and rallies (including the Monte Carlo Rally) until 1950. During WW2 he worked as a factories inspector.


Bernard Blancpain (SUI)


Robert Blondiaux (F)


Jean Blot ( )


Pierre la Boissière (F?)




Felice Bonetto (I)
9 Jun 1903 - 21 Nov 1953
Born in Brescia 1903 Bonetto raced a Alfa Romeo Monza 1933-35 without bigger success except for a 3rd place in the infamous 1933 Monza GP. Bonetto's greast successes came later in his career, in the late 40s and early 50s. In 1948 he raced for Cisitalia in Formula 2, winning the Nuvolari Cup at Mantua. In 1949 he raced for Scuderia Ferrari both in Formula 1 and Formula 2 and with Carpani he took a Ferrari to 2nd place at the 1949 Mille Miglia. In 1950 he raced Maeratis for Scuderia Milano and in 1951 he signed for Alfa Romeo. In 1952 he raced some F1 for Maserati and sports car for Lancia taking the the victory at the Targa Florio. In 1953 he did a full GP season for Maserati and continud racing Lancia sports cars. He won the Portuguese GP at Lisbon but at the Carrera Panemericana, passing the village of Silao, he crashed the Lancia into a lamppost with fatal results. Bonetto was known as a fearless and aggressive driver. He took part in 15 World Championship GP starts and collected a total of 17.5 points. Interestingly Alessandro Silva has pointed out to me that it is impossible to find contemporary Italian sources mentioning the name "Il Pirata" (the Pirate) often seen in post war racing litterature.




Claude Bonneau (B)
- 1942?
Raced a MG cars in 1938 and 1939 at Le Mans and Spa. Died during the war.


Bonnefon/Bennefons ( )




René Bonnet (F)
27 Dec 1904 - 13 Jan 1983
Bonnet was a central figure in French racing in the middle of the 20th century. He was the son of a cabinet-maker and had been always very keen on mechanical things. In the 1930s he moved to Champigny-sur-Marne to help in his sister’s family garage. There he met Charles Deutsch, a gifted engineer who had put his mechanical shop for sale and Bonnet had shown up for the purchase. The two became friends and partners in a business which specialised in tuning engines and building special parts. Deutsch was very interested in front wheel drive so it was natural that their attention turned to the Citroën Traction Avant when they decided to build a sports car in 1938. Their cars were going to be called DB-Citroën. Chassis 1 was ready for the Monthléry 12 hours race in 1938. A total of nine racing cars with Citroën engines, out of which up to 75 bhp were extracted, were built until 1949. DB switched to Panhard engines in 1950. The achievements of the tiny and ingenious DB-Panhard in the World Constructor Championship and in several single-seater feeder formulae are well known. In 1962 René Bonnet struck an agreement with Renault while Deutsch did not seem any longer interested in the good functioning of the DB partnership. Matra purchased Bonnet’s works at Champigny in 1964.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)


Carlo Bonomi (I)


Sven Börjesson (S)




Baconin / Mario Umberto Borzacchini (I)
28 Sep 1898 - 10 Sep 1933
He was known most of his life under his baptized name. This did not seem well with the fascist government of the time and after 1931 he changed his first name to Mario-Umberto. Borzacchini was born 28 September 1898 in Terni, a small town about 80 km north of Rome. He had started racing motorcycles in his early years and changed to four wheels with a 1.1-liter Salmson in 1925 when he came second at Perugia, beating the fiery Fagioli in a similar car. The following year, he won the Targa Florio Junior, the Camaiore and Montenero Circuit with the Salmson, beating Fagioli again to second place in the latter event. (to be continued)

      Bossu - SEE: "Barowski"



Léon Boucard (F)
Drove a Salmson before and after WW2.


Marcel Boucly (F)
A man from Nice in France, Bouchy raced Salmson sports- and racecars in the late 1920s and the early 1930s. At the end of 1932 he recognized, that the Salmson was no longer competitive, and bought a Miller monoposto. He raced the Miller during the 1933 and 1934 seasons without any greater successes, and so he disappeared from the racetracks at the end of 1934.

      Bouillin - SEE: "Levegh"



Georges Bouriano (R/B)
Bouriano was a Romanian emigré who started racing in Italy in the early twenties, before moving to Belgium where he initially raced a "Speedsport", a Special with a model T Ford engine with a 16-valve special head built by Jean Bartsoen.
He drove this car in speed trials at Ostenda, Spa, Chimay, during 1926. He later raced a EHP, a French cyclecar, together with the Speedsport. In 1929 he acquired a T35C Bugatti, which he extensively raced in Italy, France and Spain, taking second place in the first Monaco Grand Prix behind "Williams", probably the best achievement of his career. It is clear that at this stage Bouriano was considering taking up a professional career, so he bought a Type 35B Bugatti new from factory in March 1930. He raced without luck at Monaco, Alessandria and Dieppe, suddenly disappearing from records afterwards. The Bugatti T35B was sold to Legat in 1934.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)




Guy, Comte Bouriat-Quintart (F)
16 May 1902 - 21 May 1933
Born in Paris in 1902. Third driver for the Bugatti team. While he never scored a major win the highly popular Bouriat had made many fine races for the team and was the moral victor of the 1930 GP d'Europe. Died in crash at the 1933 Picardie GP




Charles Edgar Brackenbury (GB)
1 Feb 1907 - 2 Nov 1959
Born in South Elkington, Lincolnshire 1907. Charles Brackenbury had a garage near the Brooklands racetrack, and he started his racing career there in 1929 with an old French BNC. From 1930 - 1933 he drove a red Bugatti T37, and 1933 - 1934 a MG Midget. From 1935 on he raced with an ex-Mme. Hellé-Nice Bugatti T35C. Sometimes he raced others cars such as Dixon's Riley or Martin's Alfa Romeo in 1936-37, and at Brooklands he could sometimes be seen in a a 11-year-old Sunbeam!
In 1938 he started with different Bugattis (T37A, T35C and T51) and in 39 with an ERA and a works-Lagonda. After the war he continued entering races and hillclimbs until 1953, when he retired. He died ten years later. His greatest successes were third places at the Le Mans 24h in 1935 and 1939. Died in Woking, Surrey 1959.
(Info supplied by Jörg Bensemann)


Alfredo Braga (BR)




Louis Braillard (SUI)
25 Dec 1906 -
Born in Renens, Vaud. Started racing in GP events in 1932 with a private Bugatti T35B. In 1933 he changed to a Bugatti T51, winning at Albi. The same year, he formed a racing team with his brother in law Benoit Falchetto, financed by Louis' sister Nelly. In January 1934, the team bought two Maserati 8CM and endered them under the name Ecurie Braillard. Braillard drove this car the following years and had some good races but no major wins. When Braillard stopped racing in 1934, Robert Brunet replaced him. Ecurie Braillard carried with the same drivers and cars till the end of 1935.




Manfred Georg Rudolf von Brauchitsch (D)
15 Aug 1905 - 5 Feb 2003
Known as "der Pechvogel", von Brauchitsch had the speed to win GP races but was more famous for losing them by bad luck. But sometimes he seemed to have created his own misfortune because his driving style was not known to be polished. It included violent braking, hard working with the steering wheel and he was infamous for destroying both engine and tyres.
Nephew to Generalfeldmarschall Walther von Brauchitsch, commander in chief of the German army during WW2, the aristocratic youngster started racing in his cousin's Mercedes in 1929. Raced private Mercedes cars in the early 30's, winning the AVUS GP with a SSKL streamliner. Works driver for Mercedes-Benz 1934-39. Had a bad crash at the German GP 1934 and was out for several races with fractured skull.
Was rejected for military service and spent the war doing paper work in Berlin. Organised motorcycle races in the late 40's. Due to East German contacts arrested for suspicions of high treason in the early 50's but fled to East Germany. Worked at the East German Ministery of Sports. Turned up 1997 at the McLaren show in the Alexandra Palace together with Häkkinen, Coulthard & Spice Girls!

Most famous Losses: German GP 1935 (puncture) / German GP 1938 (fire) / Coppa Ciano 1938 (disq).


Josef Brázdil (A/CS)
1899 - 27 Sep 1934
Brázdil from Bratislava loaned money to buy a Maserati 6C-34. Died in a bizarre accident at Czech GP 1934.


Jean Breillet (F)
Raced a team Gordini Simca at lemans 1938 & 1939.


Kolbjørn Breiseth (N)


Heinz Brendel (D)
16 Jan 1915 -
Supported by his father, who also was a racing driver, Brendel started racing at an age of 17. In 1935, he started in his first major race, the Eifelrennen, finishing second in the 1.1-liter sports car class. More victories came with a 1.1 litre Fiat in local events before Brendel was invited to the Mercedes "driver school" at the Nürburgring. There he crashed a W25 GP car, suffering minor injuries while the car started burning. For 1937, Neubauer selected him to join in the tests at Monza and he signed for the team as a reserve driver. Tested the Mercedes-Benz W125 during practice for the German GP 1937. Entered the German GP 1939 as fourth driver. He made a sensational practice session and started 5th on the grid. During the race he was asked to come in to give over the car to Lang but instead he continued and crashed. When he phoned for someone to pick him up, Neubauer replied that Brendel could start walking. That proved to be the only race of his GP career. Shortly after the race during a training session at Nürburgring, the saddle tank caught fire at Döttinger Höhe. Brendel just had enough time to steer into the low bushes and jump from the moving car, waking up the next day at hospital. He was nominated as reserve driver for the Swiss GP. After the war, Brendel raced an 1.1 litre Porsche.
(Info supplied by Hans Etzrodt)

      von Breslau - SEE: Adolf Brudes

Andrea Brezzi (I)
31 Jul 1910 - 21 Dec 1940.
Born in Ollomont in Val d'Aosta in the Western Alpes. Voiturette Maserati driver who lived in Torino (Turin). Died in action over Albania in late 1940 when his plane went down in flames. (An Internet site gives: 17th September 1940 Lieutenant Andrea Brezzi, 96 Gruppo (JU87 Stuka) were killed by enemy fire. Possibly an other person?)


Douglas Lewis Briault (GB)
20 May 1901 - 13 Jul 1976
Born in Hampstead, London 1901. Voiturette ERA driver. In March 1942, commanding torpedo motor launch ML 341 he was assigned to take part in the famous St Nazaire raid but the launch struck engine trouble and had to return to England. Died 1976 in Surfers Paradise, Australia.


Willi Briem (D)
Briem owned a driving school in Ludwigsburg, Germany. During 1933, he raced a 1928 model 1.1 litre Amilcar in mountain races with good results. In the autumn of 1936, he took part in the Mercedes "driver school" at Nürburgring but proved to be too slow in the GP car. In the late thirties, Willi drove a few races with a BMW 328 and took part in the shortened 1940 Mille Miglia, finishing 5th. Briem did not race after the war.
(Info supplied by Hans Etzrodt)


L. R. Briggs GB )
From Whiteabbey, Northern Ireland. Raced Rileys, MGs and Ford V8 cars.




Marquis Antonio "Tonino" Brivio Sforza (I)
27 Dec 1905 - Feb 1995
Antonio Brivio, Marquis Sforza was born in the family of the Milan rulers of the XVth and early XVIth centuries. Started racing in 1927. Raced Talbot-Darracq 1928. Joined Scuderia Materassi. Alfa Romeo sportscar driver 1932-33. Works Bugatti driver in 1934. Scuderia Ferrari from authumn 1934 - 1937. Took part as a bobsled racer in the 1936 Winter Olympics. Retired from racing after his marriage in 1937. A consistent driver, he turned down an offer from Auto Union in 1936 to stay with Ferrari, with whom his main successes were scored in Alfa Romeo sportscars. A Spa 24hrs race, two Targa Florios, a Mille Miglia and two minor international Grands Prix are his main victories. His decision to quit met with Ferrari's sarcasm. Brivio was, after the war, chairman of the Sporting Commission of the Italian Autoclub and, with Lurani, Filippini and Aymo Maggi, gave a big help to the re-birth of Italian racing and to regain a world-wide prominence. Some source say that Brivio, as a member of FIA since 1948, had made the initial proposal for a WDC early in 1949. If this fact could be proved, it would make Brivio one of the more important personalities in the history of motor racing. It is certain, however, that Brivio was the FIA representative at WDC races for many years.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)


Noel S. Brocklebank ( )


Henry Leslie Brooke (GB)
12 Sep 1910 - 9 Nov 1967


René Brooke (F)
From Nice. Raced motorcycles in 1934.


Albert Broschek (D)




Luis Enrique Brosutti Fantini (RA)


Adolf Brudes (D)
15 Oct 1899 - 5 Nov 1986

      Brune - SEE: Maillard-Brune

Charles Brunet (F)
Charles Brunet mainly drove in the West of France from 1927 to 1934. He was seen at La Coupe Florio in 1927 (Talbot), then in a Sport Bugatti in 1930 - 1931 - 1932, concentrating in hillclimb (Lisieux, La Valette, Harfleur, Torigni, Château Thierry, Bagneux) or sprint (Vernon). Charles Brunet was in the entry list of the La Baule GP but was replaced by Matile. In 1934 he bought a new Bugatti 55 and took part in the 24-Hours of Le Mans race with "Renaldi" (André Carré).
(Info supplied by Marc Ceulemans)




Robert Brunet (F)
8 Mar 1903-1986
Two accidents during Robert Brunet’s boyhood had the consequence of two trepanations of his skull. It is difficult to say if this fact had influence on Brunet’s personality, but it is certain that he looked rather extravagant and sometimes a bit screwy. Women were the main interest of Brunet’s entire life; in this matter he could undoubtedly put to effect his good looks. Of modest birth, Brunet married a young and very rich noblewoman, the Countess of Choisel, in 1926. After some sporadic starts in a Bugatti in the circuits held in fashionable resorts at the beginning of the 1930s, he started racing seriously in 1933, having purchased the ex-Wimille T51.
He raced among other for Ecuire Braillard replacing Louis Braillard. Then he raced a Maserati 8CM until 1936 and switched to a Delahaye sports car for 1937, showing good competence at the wheel of all these cars. During the war Brunet became the owner of a factory which built accumulators for motorcars. He was totally inept at business, but this factory just fell into his hands. Business was so prosperous - thanks to contracts with the French Army - that Brunet’s factory had 400 employees by 1947. Still, women and parties were his main concerns, so the firm, left by itself, folded rapidly and declared bankruptcy in 1950. Meanwhile Brunet had given a down payment for the 12th and last chassis of the Talbot Lago T26 Grand Prix car and was expecting it for late 1948, but the car was not ready for the last race at Monza. Brunet never took delivery owing to his worsened financial situation, so this car was sporadically raced by the works. Two further bankruptcies marred Brunet’s professional life in later years, but beautiful women were never missing from his side until the last days of his life.
(Info supplied by Alessandro Silva)

      Brusles - SEE: Du Brusles



Konrad Bryde (NOR)
6 Nov 1912 - 19 Mar 1984
Norwegian racing driver and top FIA administrator. Took part in ice-, dirt track- and road racing in the 1930s. Won the 1932 Norgesløpet in an Studebaker but usually raced a Wanderer. Took a class victory at the 1933 Monte Carlo Rally being 11th overall. Retired from the 1934 Monte Carlo Rally after someone had put sugar in the fuel tank. Also took part in the 1952-53 Monte Carlo Rallies.
Bryde's organizational abilities were soon discovered and he became a member at the sports committee of the Royal Norwegian Automobile Club (KNA) at an age of 22. After the war he became fully committed to KNA and FIA. He worked as member (and also vice president) of CSI in 1948-60 and remained listed as deputy member into the 1970s. In 1981 he was appointed FIA "Vice-Président d'Honneur". Was also vice president of FIA traffic committee. He became vice president for KNA in 1947 and worked as president in 1963-67. Honorable member in 1974. Became member of KNA sports commission in 1957 and led it from 1962-80. Later President d'Honneur. Was one of the founders of "Nordisk Bilsportkomite" in 1949. Chairman for KNA delegates 1969-73. Also worked for several years as chairman of the national motor sports court of appeal and was member of the international court of appeal. Also worked on several race organizational committees. Knight of the Grimaldi order (Monaco), NAF, NMK & KNA gold medals of honor. Died in 1984. One of his pet projects, Rudskogen Motorsenter, Norway's first real race track became reality six years after his death.
(Info supplied by Anne Karine Bryde)


Bubois ( )

      "lo Bue" - SEE: "Lo Bue"


Buffy (F)


George Bulteau (F)




Ernst Günther Burggaller (D)
21 Mar 1896 - 2 Feb 1940
The stocky built Ernst Burggaller from Berlin was a quiet, confident and reliable but also fast driver. He had been a fighter pilot and member of the famous von Richthofen's "Circus" during WW1. After the war he started a driving school in Berlin. In 1922, Burggaller started racing motorcycles winning 24 times in 3 1/2 years. In 1928 he started car racing with a Bugatti T37. The next year he changed to Emil Bremme's T35B sports car, finishing second to Caracciola in the 1930 European Mountain Championship for Sports Cars. From 1930 to 1932, he formed the German Bugatti Team with H.J. von Morgen and Price zu Leiningen. With a T51 engine in a T35B chassis rebuilt to monoposto, Burggaller proved to be the top German driver of the 1933 season, finishing second 3 times in the Voiturette class. He was offered an Auto Union contract for 1934 but refused as he did not belive he was good enough. On a special arrangement he took part at the German GP when Prince zu Leiningen was ill. After some further Voiturette racing he joined Luftwaffe again as a Major in 1938. Leading Jagdgruppe II / JG51 he was doing target practicing on Bodensee, some 4 km east of Meersburg, on 2 Feb 1940, when his Messerschmitt 109E went too low, touched the water and after that crashed into a retaining wall.
(Info supplied by Hans Etzrodt)


Alphonse de Burnay ( )


Pierre Bussienne ( )


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© 2013 Leif Snellman - Last updated: 16.04.2013