GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA
Autodromo di Monza (I), 6 September 1925.
80 laps x 10.0 km (6.214 mi) = 800 km (497.1 mi)
|1||Emilio Materassi||SA Autocostruzioni Diatto||Diatto||GP s/c||2.0||S-8|
|2||X||Duesenberg Motor Co.||Duesenberg||122||2.0||S-8||DNA - did not appear|
|3||Albert Divo||Automobiles Delage||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12||DNA - did not appear|
|4||Albert Guyot||Ets Albert Guyot et Cie||Guyot||Special||2.0||S-6|
|5||Giuseppe Campari||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8|
|6||Alfieri Maserati||SA Autocostruzioni Diatto||Diatto||GP s/c||2.0||S-8||DNS - did not start|
|7||Tommy Milton||Duesenberg Motor Co.||Duesenberg||122||2.0||S-8|
|8||Robert Benoist||Automobiles Delage||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12||DNA - did not appear|
|9||X||Ets Albert Guyot et Cie||Guyot||Special||2.0||S-6||DNA - did not appear|
|10||Peter DePaolo||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8|
|11||Peter Kreis||Duesenberg Motor Co.||Duesenberg||122||2.0||S-8|
|12||René Thomas||Automobiles Delage||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12||DNA - did not appear|
|13||X||Ets Albert Guyot et Cie||Guyot||Special||2.0||S-6||DNA - did not appear|
|14||Gastone Brilli Peri||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8|
|15||Paul Torchy||Automobiles Delage||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12||DNA - did not appear|
|16||X||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||DNA - did not appear|
|17||Ettore Santoleri||Chiribiri & Co.||Chiribiri||Monza GP||1.5||S-4|
|18||Ernest Eldridge||E. Eldridge||Eldridge||Anzani||1.5||S-4|
|19||Meo Costantini||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8|
|20||Luigi Platè||Chiribiri & Co.||Chiribiri||Monza GP||1.5||S-4|
|21||Pierre de Vizcaya||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8|
|22||Jules Goux||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8|
|23||Fernand de Vizcaya||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8|
|24||Giulio Foresti||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8||replaced Carlo Masetti|
Brilli Peri wins the World Championship for Alfa Romeo
by Hans Etzrodt
From 24 entries only 15 made the start. The race was between the three Alfa Romeos of Campari, Brilli Peri and DePaolo and the two Duesenbergs of Milton and Kreis. The remaining ten cars played a
minor role in the outcome, including Materassi (Diatto) and Guyot (Guyot Special) in the 2-Liter category and the 1500 cc cars, comprising 5 Bugattis, 2 Chiribiris and 1 Eldridge. For the first
25 laps Campari and Brilli Peri were in the lead, except for two laps at the beginning of the race when Kreis led. However, he spun off the track on lap four, ending his race. When the Alfa Romeos
stopped to refuel, Milton's Duesenberg held the lead for a few laps but he dropped behind with mechanical problems. The Alfa Romeos were in the first three positions until lap 73 after which
DePaolo dropped from second to sixth place with carburetor problems. Meanwhile, Brilli Peri held the lead ahead of Campari and Costantini (Bugatti) who had climbed to third place. Milton was
fourth, and DePaolo advanced to fifth followed by the three remaining Bugattis. The Guyot, Diatto, Eldridge and one Chiribiri retired while the other one overturned without injuries to its driver.
The Gran Premio d'Italia was held for the fifth time and was the fourth event in the World Championship, which required mandatory participation in the Italian Grand Prix. The Commissione Sportiva
des RACI and the Società Autodromo di Monza carried out the organization under the supervision of Arturo Mercanti, the President of the ACI. The race took place on the famous 10-km Autodromo di
Monza A-circuit, comprising the original 4.5 km high-speed oval track and the 5.5 km asphalt circuit. The 80-lap race over a total of 800 km was held simultaneously with a race of the same distance
for 1500 cars, the Gran Premio delle Voiturette.
As a result of the unfortunate experiences at the French Grand Prix, the Monza Circuit made some improvements to protect the race drivers. At the two Lesmo turns the angle of the road ditch was
changed and the inside of the turns was now bordered by a banked 60 cm wide strip of sand. The fastest turn at Monza was the South Turn of the Oval circuit just before the stands. To prevent cars
leaving the bend at high speed, a low banked and curved wall was added to the rim. This was designed to slow the wheels of the car but without the wheel hub or any part of the body making contact.
Another change affected the time keeping with the installation of a chronograph from Brille-Leroy which had been approved by the CSI. It was now possible to time the cars at Monza to one
hundredth of a second.
The winner received an art object worth 8,000 lire and a cash prize of 100,000 lire. The second received a gold medal from the Italian AC worth 2,000 lire and 30,000 lire; the third 20,000 lire;
each of the other competitors from fourth to twelfth received 10,000 lire each.
On July 21, it was reported that there would be an American entry, the American Championship leader Peter DePaolo was said to be starting at Monza. Americans had not contested a European race
since 1923. The American Automobile Association, the premier automobile organization in America, had prohibited their drivers from participating in European races, because the AAA had not been
officially recognized by the AIACR. Instead, the ACA (Automobile Club of America) delegate Wm. S. Hogan represented the United States at recent AIACR meetings, as other ACA Delegates had done
before him even preceding the AIACR foundation in 1904. The now dominant AAA strived to end this and only on the Italians' assurance that they would intercede for the admission of the AAA at the
next AIACR meeting, was DePaolo allowed to start at Monza. This deal was probably contrived by the active journalist W.F. Bradley, who since 1911 had been the AAA delegate representing their
interests in Europe. DePaolo's acceptance acted as the prelude to further American entries by Milton and Kreis. On August 11 it was reported that the three American Duesenbergs with spare parts
should arrive in the Italian seaport of Genova on August 22. DePaolo and Milton were expected to arrive at Cherbourg on August 10.
Alfa Romeo wanted to entrust one of their cars to the motorcyclist Nuvolari, who was regarded in Italy as one of the greatest motorcycle racers but he was also no beginner in automobile contests.
Nuvolari was also the Alfa Romeo agent for the Province of Mantua. However, during official practice he crashed. The Alfa Romeo reserve drivers Giovonni Minozzi and Carlo Sozzi were under consideration.
Count Giulio Masetti was also mentioned as a driver for Alfa Romeo, but on August 28 newspapers reported that he was already committed to drive for Sunbeam at the 200 Mile Race at Brooklands with a
1.5-liter car and also at the Grand Prix of San Sebastian. Accordingly, he had to turn down Alfa Romeo's offer. There was also the American Peter DePaolo. When he had learned about Ascari's death,
he had offered to drive in the Grand Prix of Italy with an Italian car, but Alfa Romeo did not respond to his offer. Although DePaolo's attitude was described as absurd, it was understandable
considering that he was Italian by birth. On September 1, five days before the race, the newspapers reported that DePaolo would not, as was originally reported, start with a Duesenberg but would
drive the third Alfa Romeo as teammate to Campari and Brilli-Peri. After negotiations with Giulio Masetti and Bordino had proved fruitless Engineer Nicola Romeo accepted De Paolo's offer.
At the same time, speculation centered on the three manufacturers with a real chance to win the Automobile World Championship. Alfa Romeo and Delage both came into the race one point ahead of
Duesenberg. During an August 10 interview, Robert Benoist told Italian journalists that Delage intended to stay away from Monza because the newly built cars could not be completed in time. By
August 20 it was official that Delage would not start. In a letter to Arturo Mercanti, President of the ACI, Louis Delage blamed his withdrawal on insufficient time to restore the cars back to
race-worthy condition between the Grands Prix of Italy and San Sebastian. Delage's answer to Mercanti clearly implied that the Spanish race was more important to him than both the Italian GP and
the World Championship. Since Alfa Romeo had made no entries for the Spanish race, a Delage win there was almost assured and he would sell more production cars by winning in Spain than by being
beaten in Italy. But he avoided that criticism by putting the blame on the AIACR, which had decided that the two races would be only two weeks apart.
After Delage had withdrawn, only Duesenberg and Alfa Romeo had a chance to win the title and the Italian make started with one-point advantage over the Americans. Should Alfa Romeo win the Grand Prix,
it would automatically secure the championship. Should Duesenberg win this race and the Italian machine finish second, there would be a tie. In the event of a tie at the end of the Italian Grand Prix,
an extra 200-km race on the Monza race track would be staged within 48 hours after the Italian Grand Prix for the same vehicles to produce a final decision.
The race was open to all comers in order to attract manufacturers not seen before in Italy. Two Guyots were entered. Albert Guyot drove one, but the car that Foresti was planned to drive did not appear.
The car was based on a modified Rolland-Pillain chassis, equipped with a six-cylinder Burt McCollum sleeve valve engine, very similar to the one used in the Schmidt of 1924.
There were also entries of two 8-cylinder Diattos but only Materassi's started. Alfieri Maserati, who was to drive the second car, was definitely going to be present but he did not start because the
lifting of his 1924 disqualification was not complete.
Alfa Romeo arrived with three P2 models, all of which had the long, streamlined tail from the French Grand Prix shortened by 15 cm, though it still included the three elongated vent holes at the blunt
rear edge. A new 5½ gallon fuel tank was added under the scuttle, which was needed because of higher fuel consumption with two vertical Memini carburetors, using a special more potent alcohol fuel.
The additional fuel tank was also dictated by the longer race distance and higher anticipated average speeds. The ten-gallon oil tank under the scuttle was now moved to a new location under the
passenger's seat. Giuseppe Campari and Gastone Brilli Peri were again the drivers, while Peter DePaolo was nominated as the third driver only a few days before the start. The reserve drivers were
Giovonni Minozzi, Carlo Sozzi, Angelo Bruno and Attilio Marinoni.
The single-seat Duesenbergs of Kreis and Milton were modified to two-seat body configurations as required by the race's regulations. In spite of that, they still did not conform to the regulations,
which stated that the body had to have two seats next to each other. Both Duesenbergs had a body width according to regulations but the steering wheel could not be relocated and remained in the middle.
For this reason, the seats were not next to each other. This gave rise to the opinion that the Americans had an advantage compared to the European drivers. The Americans distinguished themselves
with a staggeringly painstaking preparation. They had brought complete workshops across the ocean, and had special tires and barrels of their "own" gasoline. None of the reports mentioned a third
Duesenberg being present for DePaolo.
The Delage team with four cars had withdrawn their entry, but is listed among the entries at the beginning of this report. Mercedes, who had raced here in 1924, did not enter in 1925. Christian
Werner, who had raced a 2-Liter Mercedes at the 1925 Rome Grand Prix and at two German events, watched the race from the Bosch pits. Werner explained that Mercedes did not enter because his car was
the only one which Mercedes had available and with only one car they did not want to start.
The Voiturettes included five Bugattis. According to H. G. Conway, the model first appeared at the Touring Grand Prix at Montlhéry on 19 July 1925, fitted with high-sided two-seat bodies conforming
with race regulations. Five cars were entered and they won the first four places. A few weeks later they repeated their success at Monza, now fitted with normal GP bodies. Meo Costantino was
team captain, with Goux, Pierre de Vizcaya, Count Carlo Masetti and Count Aymo Maggi. The latter was to replace Fernand de Vizcaya, who arrived late from Barcelona. The new 8-cylinder 1500 cc
from Molsheim had the same specifications as the two-liter Lyon cars. When Carlo Masetti could not start due to a leg injury,
Giulio Foresti took his place in the race.
The Eldridge-Special, built by the British driver Ernest Eldridge, was his first small car, a very low-built chassis with a 1,496 cc, 4-cylinder, Anzani side valve supercharged engine, giving 80 hp
at 5,500 rpm. He arrived just one day before the race and failed to drive a single practice lap.
The two 1500 Chiribiris were early entries, but were subsequently withdrawn. However, shortly before the race they were entered again. Both were of the Monza Grand Prix type.
Thanks to Giuseppe Prisco who at my request researched La Gazetta dello Sport to find out more about the early practice when Giuseppe Campari had an accident. During unofficial practice on Wednesday,
August 26, only Alfa Romeo was on the track practicing with two cars for Campari, Brilli Peri, Minozzi, Marinoni and Nuvolari. The engineers Rimini, Jano and Memini supervised the tire and carburation
tests as well as normal practice by the drivers. In the morning Campari and Brilli Peri were the most active drivers. In the afternoon, shortly before the end of practice at 4:00 PM, Campari left to
drive some more laps. On Campari's second lap in the wide left Roggia Curve that precedes Lesmo, the right rear tire burst at 150 km/h. The car went out of control and Campari held on tightly to the
steering wheel as the car spun around twice. During the second spin the left tires hit the root of a tree which sent the car into another spin that brought it back onto the track. The impact with the
tree slammed his face and chest into the steering wheel breaking his goggles and giving bruises to his upper body.
When Campari did not reappear again in front of the pits, a car with some mechanics was sent to assist Campari, believing that it was a simple failure. Instead, shortly afterwards the car returned to
the pits with Campari bleeding from some cuts to his face. He was attended by Dr Picollo and his assistant Dr. Calvi for minor cuts in the region of his left eye, which were caused by the broken goggles,
plus bruises to the right of his chest caused by the steering wheel, and bruises to his shoulder and left elbow. Engineer Rimini then drove Campari to the clinic of Dr. Bagozzi in Milan, where Campari
was kept for two days for further tests and to speed up the healing of the cuts and bruises.
The Press Office, in regard of the Campari incident, stated: "With regard to the causes of the incident, it was understood with certainty that it happened due to the displacement of the moving lateral
flange of the wheel, due to no reason. This caused the exit of the inner air tube and its consequent burst. The tire cover was found perfectly intact."
On Thursday, August 27, Alfa Romeo and Diatto were testing again. Diatto practiced with his drivers Rubietti and Garcia. Alfieri Maserati was satisfied with the tests and hoped to be on track with
two race cars. As for him driving one of the Diatto cars nothing had been definitely established. It was hoped that Alfieri Maserati could be at the wheel of one car, but it was not certain because
no decision by the central powers had been made to annul the disqualification of the driver, who managed the technical preparation of the cars.
On Monday, 31 August, the first official practice, Alfa Romeo did not appear on the track. Drivers and mechanics instead worked in the workshop to prepare the racecars with which they were to practice
on Tuesday for the final set-up.
On Tuesday, 1 September, Brilli Peri drove several laps at around 3m45s and 3m46s. Marinoni, the reserve driver lapped in 3m50s. Kreis in a Duesenberg drove in 3m45s. The Bugattis were also on the
track with Pierre de Vizczya, Costantini and Count Maggi with a 2-liter type. Ettore Bugatti, who attended Monday's practice, designated Aymo Maggi and Filippo Tassara as reserve drivers for his team.
During the lunch break at 1.30 pm Nuvolari, who was a contracted rider for Bianchi, was present in a nearby pit, in motorcycle gear and helmet. With permission from Jano, the Alfa Romeo engineer,
Nuvolari started his test with a view to becoming the third Alfa Romeo driver. He made his first lap in 3m38s, his second in 3m37s, his third in 3m37s and his fourth in 3m36s. He was timed on the
500 m straight in 8.5 seconds, the equivalent of an average speed of 212 km/h. On the fifth lap at the entrance to the south curve just before the stands Nuvolari's car suddenly went over the edge.
All those present, immediately rushed across the fields to reach the site of the accident while the engineers Rimini and Jano left the pits with two cars together with Dr. Calvi and the commissioner
of the race, engineer Carnelli. The unfortunate Nuvolari was found lying on the ground a few meters from the car, beyond the wire fences and about three meters below the edge of the curve. He was
groaning loudly because of the lacerations caused by the barbed steel wires on his arms, legs and buttocks. Fortunately, he had no concussion or fractures. He lost consciousness and was immediately
transported to the Monza Hospital. Two days later, on Thursday, Nuvolari released himself from Hospital despite the vain attempts of the doctors to prevent him from leaving. At the Gran Premio delle
Nazioni held one week after the Grand Prix, Nuvolari rode his 350 Bianchi with lots of bandages around his body and a soft cushion for his stomach. He had to be lifted onto the motorcycle. When he
stopped at the pits to refuel, the mechanics had to hold the machine upright because he could not manage it on his own. He won the 350cc class in record time, driving even faster than the 500s.
Several decades later, Peter Hull wrote that the transmission seized on Nuvolari's car, but this could not be confirmed. Immediately after the Nuvolari accident, the car, which only had a dented tail and
cockpit cowling, made another lap on the track with Minozzi at the wheel. Jano wanted to make sure that there was nothing abnormally wrong with the car. Left without any practice cars on the track, Alfa Romeo
stopped testing. Campari, who was now fully recovered, returned to the track with the hope of restarting his practice which was postponed until the next day.
Wednesday's practice had Minozzi, DePaolo and Brilli Peri complete several laps each at a steady pace of 3m45s per lap. DePaolo, who drove during the hot hours, clearly demonstrated his familiarity
with the car and completed a series of very consistent laps in accomplished style. Milton in a Duesenberg was able to lap below 3m40s or at an average of 163 km/h per lap. Kreis did not practice,
as his car was dismantled for scrutineering. While the racetrack was deserted at breakfast time, Tassara, one of the Bugatti reserve drivers, made a few laps with a 2-Liter car and afterwards Count
Maggi the other reserve driver drove several laps.
Towards evening the five Bugattis entered the track with Costantini, Goux, the brothers de Vizcaya and Carlo Masetti behind the wheel. They all did very fast laps and the best time was scored by
Costantini with 4m11s. Fernand de Vizcaya and Masetti were already at their ease on what was a new course to them and lapped in 4m 20s and 4m16s.
Thursday's practice saw Milton on the track who had already achieved excellent times. He practiced in the morning and just before noon he did eight laps starting with a 3m54s at 155 km h; and
then 3m52s, for two consecutive laps, 3m48s for two consecutive laps, 3m41s and finally 3m37.4s at an average of 166 km/h. The Duesenberg single-seaters had their bodies widened to 80 cm, as required
by the regulations. The question of the American body modifications was the subject of discussion by the General Commissioner Mercanti who insisted that the Duesenberg bodies should be further
modified in the back, albeit only slightly. Kreis made several laps with his Duesenberg in 3m36s, 3m35s, 3m34s, and then one in 3m31.8s equal to 169.97 km/h. In comparison, Ascari's fastest lap
in 1924 was 1m34.2s. Emilio Materassi made a brief appearance with his Diatto, returning later to Turin where the company had its headquarters.
A crowd of 150,000 spectators was present on a sunny Sunday morning. At the last moment Foresti replaced the ailing Count Carlo Masetti, who could not start due to a leg injury. After 9:00 AM the cars
were pushed from the pits to the starting grid where they lined up in numerical order.
P. de Vizcaya
F. de Vizcaya
Five minutes before the start, while the drivers started their engines, the Italian Crown-Prince Umberto came down from the timekeeper's stand to the starting line. He was given a flag of blue silk decorated
with the crests of the A. C. of Milan and of the S.I.A.S.to start the race. Exactly at 10:00 AM, to a sign from President Mercanti, the Prince lowered the flag and the cars shot away with a loud roar.
Campari immediately took the lead followed by Kreis, Brilli Peri and DePaolo. From the first row Guyot trailed a dense cloud of oil fumes making it difficult for the following drivers to see. Eldridge took
off very slowly and Milton lost 35 seconds when he stalled his engine. The American started quietly, while the public waited for the first cars to arrive back.
At the end of the first lap Campari passed after 3m58.86s, 3 seconds ahead of Kreis 4m01.72s, DePaolo 4m04.82s, Brilli Peri 4m07.21s and Milton in 4m40.61s. After a short gap, followed Costantini,
P. de Vizcaya, Platè, Goux, Materassi, Foresti, F. de Vizcaya, Santoleri, Eldridge and Guyot.
On the second lap the Duesenberg of Kreis passed Campari at Lesmo and took the lead with a lap of 3m36.73s at 166.105 km/h ahead of Campari. The Duesenberg was definitely the fastest car in the race and on
the straights pulled away while the Alfa Romeos gained time in the turns. After the second lap Eldridge stopped at his pit after a time of 11m33s for his two laps. His mechanic worked on the car which
would not restart and it was retired.
After the fourth lap Campari had regained the lead when Kreis left the track at the first Lesmo turn. As the American approached the turn at high speed he braked so hard that his car spun around and left
the track onto the adjoining grass area. Since outside help was not allowed, he could not bring his car back onto the track and was out of the race. After 50 km, the leading group was in the following
order after five laps:
|1.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||19m09s|
|2.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||19m23s|
|3.||DePaolo (Alfa Romeo)||19m38s|
After Campari had regained the lead, no further battles were expected because Milton, in fourth place, drove in steady style. During the following laps Milton increased his pace and was just eight seconds
behind DePaolo. Materassi had also made up some time as the last of the 2-Liter cars. When Guyot retired after the seventh lap, the field was down to 12 cars. Campari's average lap time for the last
10 laps was 3m49s. After 100 km Campari led at an average speed of 157.164 km/h with the field in the following order after 10 laps:
|1.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||38m10.62s|
|2.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||38m28.76s|
|3.||DePaolo (Alfa Romeo)||39m10.43s|
|6.||Goux (Bugatti)||43m27.61s||1 lap behind|
|7.||P. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||43m58.60s||1 lap behind|
|8.||F. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||44m03.24s||1 lap behind|
|9.||Foresti (Bugatti)||44m20.68s||1 lap behind|
|10.||Costantini (Bugatti)||44m37.71s||1 lap behind|
|11.||Platè (Chiribiri)||45m03.82s||1 lap behind|
|12.||Santoleri (Chiribiri)||50m10.30s||2 laps behind|
After the tenth lap Milton increased his pace behind DePaolo. Both drivers were involved in an exciting battle until the 13th lap, when Milton succeeded in passing DePaolo just before reaching the grandstand
to gain third place. On the same lap Platè, who was near the tail of the field, retired the Chiribiri with a broken clutch. Santoleri in the second Chiribiri drove steadily at an average of 5m10s per
lap at 116 km/h. On the 14th lap, Materassi had an accident and was forced to stop at the pits with a broken fuel tank that was leaking. In addition, he had troubles with his supercharger. The Diatto
mechanic immediately started to make the necessary repairs.
After 15 laps Campari led at 157.630 km/h in 57m05.68s ahead of Brilli Peri in 57m24.27s, Milton in 58m29.64s, DePaolo in 58m36.52, followed by Goux, Costantini, F. de Vizcaya, P. de Vizcaya, Santoleri
and Materassi, who was in the pits. Campari's average lap time for the last 10 laps was 3m47s. After a quarter of the race the field was down to 11 cars with the times as follows after 20 laps:
|1.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h16m02.67s|
|2.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||1h16m22.84s|
|4.||DePaolo (Alfa Romeo)||1h17m52.61s|
|5.||Goux (Bugatti)||1h25m47.61s||2 laps behind|
|6.||P. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||1h27m15.36s||2 laps behind|
|7.||F. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||1h27m19.59s||2 laps behind|
|8.||Foresti (Bugatti)||1h27m33.14s||3 laps behind|
|9.||Costantini (Bugatti)||1h27m41.15s||3 laps behind|
|10.||Santoleri (Chiribiri)||1h39m44.18s||6 laps behind|
|11.||Materassi (Diatto)||no time recorded|
Materassi was still in the pits where the mechanic changed the fuel tank on his Diatto. Brilli Peri drove very regularly, maintaining the gap behind the leader, Campari. He was followed by Milton and
DePaolo. Goux led the other Bugattis by more than one minute. Campari's average speed increased slightly to 157.804 km/h. For the third time Costantini stopped at his pits, changing plugs in two minutes.
Materassi restarted having lost a lot of time in the pits, but on the 21st lap he stopped again, changing plugs and topping up with oil before he rejoined the race. On lap 21 Costantini made the fastest
lap of the small cars in 4m05.71s at an average speed of 146.508 km/h. The race had now settled into a period of stagnation. Campari, Brilli Peri and Milton drove in 3m46s and 3m47s. After 25 laps,
Campari led in 1h34m54s followed by Brilli Peri in 1h35m06s, Milton in 1h36m06s and DePaolo in 1h37m11s. On the 28th lap, Materassi retired in the pits, numerous laps behind. DePaolo stopped at the
pits for two minutes to refuel and change rear wheels and was relieved by Marinoni. On the 30th lap the positions remained unchanged and Campari's race average was close to 158 km/h. His average lap
time for the last 10 laps was 3m47s. After 30 laps the times were:
|1.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h53m56.48s|
|2.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||1h54m09.86s|
|4.||Marinoni/DePaolo (Alfa Romeo)||1h56m33.25s|
|5.||Goux (Bugatti)||2h07m54.83s||3 laps behind|
|6.||P. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||2h09m40.58s||4 laps behind|
|7.||F. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||2h09m53.04s||4 laps behind|
|8.||Foresti (Bugatti)||2h10m27.86s||4 laps behind|
|9.||Costantini (Bugatti)||2h11m27.31s||4 laps behind|
|10.||Santoleri (Chiribiri)||2h28m48.50s||9 laps behind|
From the 32nd lap the leaders began to make their pit stops. Brilli Peri was the first to stop on that lap. He changed his rear wheels as a precautionary measure, filled up with fuel and oil and left
after three minutes. Meanwhile, Milton had moved into second position. A minute after Brilli Peri restarted on lap 33 Campari stopped for 3m18s to refuel and change his rear wheels. He was relieved
by Minozzi, his reserve driver. Milton was now in the lead, followed by DePaolo and Brilli Peri. Minozzi (for Campari) had just completed half a lap in front of the grandstands on the straight opposite
the pits. He slowed down in front of his pit and the reason for the bad engine operation was understood by his team. After completing the lap, he stopped at the pits for over three minutes due to a
loose compensation pipe to the two carburetors. To add to his problems, Minozzi left with the gearbox no longer working perfectly. On lap 32 Santoleri skidded and left the track at the first Lesmo
bend, where Kreis had his accident earlier in the race. The Chiribiri overturned three times. How Santoleri escaped injury was a miracle. He owed this to his readiness with which he perceived the
danger, which kept him safe. He crouched down on his seat and sheltered his head with the steering wheel and the screen. The car was badly damaged but the driver escaped without being injured.
On the 35th lap Milton was in the lead after 2h14m14.40s at 155.786 km/h average speed ahead of Marinoni (for DePaolo) 2h15m56.80s, Brilli Peri 2h16m05.20s and Minozzi (for Campari) 2h17m12s. However,
the American held the lead only briefly as he also stopped to refuel, top up with oil, change his rear wheels and take a drink from a bottle. His pitstop lasted four and a half minutes. Meanwhile
Minozzi (for Campari) stopped and was replaced by Sozzi. Brilli Peri, who was now in the lead, had an average lap time for the last 10 laps of 4m04s. After 40 laps with the field down to nine cars,
the times were as follows:
|1.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||2h34m51.34s|
|2.||Marinoni/DePaolo (Alfa Romeo)||2h38m25.57s|
|3.||Milton (Duesenberg)||2h39m41.16s||1 lap behind|
|4.||Goux (Bugatti)||2h50m10.64s||3 laps behind|
|5.||Sozzi/Campari (Alfa Romeo)||2h51m16.24s||4 laps behind|
|6.||Costantini (Bugatti)||2h52m23.46s||4 laps behind|
|7.||F. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||2h52m24.13s||4 laps behind|
|8.||P. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||2h52m26.57s||4 laps behind|
|9.||Foresti (Bugatti)||2h53m48.01s||4 laps behind|
After 40 laps Brilli Peri was no longer challenged at 154.982 km/h average speed. On lap 41 Milton was forced to stop with a broken oil pipe that lubricated the distributor head for the spark plugs.
Milton worked feverishly to repair it, but when he tried to restart the car after almost half an hour, the engine refused to start and he lost several more minutes until his car got going. The
departure was not easy because Milton could only use one gear, which was the direct drive. Finally, after losing 22 minutes, Milton started slowly. Although the race had now become hopeless for
him, he carried on.
Meanwhile, P. de Vizcaya complained of gearbox failure and on lap 42 he stopped at the pits. On lap 43 Brilli Peri beat Campari's earlier lap time of 3m44.54s, reaching 3m37.49s at an average of
165.524 km/h. However, this was not as fast as Kreis' record on the second lap. After 45 laps Brilli Peri held first place in 2h53m14s, followed by Marinoni (for DePaolo) in2h59m07s, Sozzi
(for Campari) in 3h11m24s, Milton in 3h20m55s, Goux in 3h11m16s, F. de Vizcaya in 3h13m12s. Foresti in 3h17m29s, Costantini in 3h18m30s, and P. de Vizcaya in 3h32m18s. Brilli Peri's average
lap time for the last 10 laps was 3m48s. After 500 km Brilli Peri led at 156.396 km/h average speed with the times as follows after 50 laps:
|1.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||3h11m49.26s|
|2.||Marinoni/DePaolo (Alfa Romeo)||3h19m30.09s||2 laps behind|
|3.||Sozzi/Campari (Alfa Romeo)||3h31m31.10s||5 laps behind|
|4.||F. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||3h34m16.04s||6 laps behind|
|5.||Goux (Bugatti)||3h35m22s||6 laps behind|
|6.||Foresti (Bugatti)||3h39m27s||7 laps behind|
|7.||Costantini (Bugatti)||3h41m10s||7 laps behind|
|8.||Milton (Duesenberg)||3h41m33s||7 laps behind|
|9.||P. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||3h49m48s||10 laps behind|
Brilli Peri continued in the lead unchallenged lapping between 3m40s and 3m45s. In comparison, Milton lapped at around 3m55s. The Bugattis made their refueling stops, Foresti on lap 51, Costantini
on lap 52 and F. de Vizcaya on lap 53. On lap 58, Marinoni (for DePaolo) stopped to change the left tire, refuel and top up with oil. He handed the steering back to DePaolo. F. de Vizcaya made a
brief stop to replace the fuel cap. On lap 57, Sozzi stopped at the pits and Campari took it over again. Brilli Peri's average lap time for the last 10 laps was 4m09s. The times at lap 60
were as follows:
|1.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||3h53m22.56s|
|2.||DePaolo/ Marinoni (Alfa Romeo)||4h02m57.32s||2 laps behind|
|3.||Campari/ Sozzi (Alfa Romeo)||4h14m40.00s||5 laps behind|
|4.||Goux (Bugatti)||4h16m51.28s||5 laps behind|
|5.||Milton (Duesenberg)||4h23m07.81s||7 laps behind|
|6.||F. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||4h23m26.47s||7 laps behind|
|7.||Costantini (Bugatti)||4h23m49.08s||7 laps behind|
|8.||Foresti (Bugatti)||4h26m46.73s||8 laps behind|
|9.||P. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||4h33m33.95s||9 laps behind|
At the 61st lap Brilli Peri passed in front of the grandstand at a reduced speed with the right front tire flat. At the pits both front tires were changed which took about six minutes because they
also refueled the car. The Bugatti of Goux was only 2 minutes behind Campari. Costantini in seventh place was gradually gaining ground. The Alfa Romeos, now confident of victory, slowed their
pace considerably and Brilli Peri, who was still the fastest, made laps in 3m46s and 3m48s. Milton was no longer a threat, because his times in the Duesenberg were considerably slower than those
of the Italians.
After 65 laps, Brilli Peri's time was 4h16m21.47s, DePaolo 4h22m49.74s, Campari 4h34m37.55s, Goux 4h39m14.34s, Costantini 4h44m07s, Milton 4h44m23s, F. de Vizcaya 4h44m28s, Foresti 4h51m22s,
P. de Vizcaya 4h57m42s. Costantini was over one lap ahead of Milton and F. de Vizcaya, while P. de Vizcaya occupied the last position. On lap 67 Goux retired at the pits with a broken valve, so Campari
no longer had a threat, because the next car, the Bugatti of Constantini, was two laps behind him. Brilli Peri's average lap time for the last 10 laps was 4m10s. After 700 km the average speed of
Brilli Peri was 152.328 km/h. After Goux's retirement the field was down to eight cars with the times as follows after 70 laps:
|1.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||4h35m03.17s|
|2.||DePaolo/ Marinoni (Alfa Romeo)||4h42m53.57s||1 lap behind|
|3.||Campari/Sozzi (Alfa Romeo)||4h54m36.51s||4 laps behind|
|4.||Costantini (Bugatti)||5h04m12.06s||6 laps behind|
|5.||Milton (Duesenberg)||5h05m09.59s||7 laps behind|
|6.||F. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||5h05m44.57s||7 laps behind|
|7.||Foresti (Bugatti)||5h10m43.91s||8 laps behind|
|8.||P. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)||5h17m48.00s||10 laps behind|
On lap 74 DePaolo who held second position, made a short pit stop. Two laps later he stopped again with a carburetor problem, which required changing the complete carburetor. This caused him to
lose his second place and he fell to sixth. Brilli Peri's average lap time for the last 5 laps was 3m55s. After 75 laps Brilli Peri still held the lead in 4h54m36.89s followed by Campari in 5h15m04.42s,
Costantini in 5h24m27.07s, Milton in 5h25m26.27s, F. de Vizcaya in 5m24m26s, DePaolo in 5h28m37s, Foresti in 5h34m45s and P. de Vizcaya 5h37m22s in last place. During the last laps, DePaolo was able to
pass F. de Vizcaya for fifth place.
Brilli Peri completed his last lap and crossed the finish line to much applause from the huge crowd, who waved their hats and clapped their hands. The Italian flag was placed around his shoulders and
enthusiastic friends tried to carry him on their shoulders but he was too heavy so they dragged him around. He was escorted by engineer Nicola Romeo who also invited Kreis and Arturo Mercanti, President
of the ACI to the Royal grandstand to receive congratulations from the Crown Prince. As the second-place finisher, Campari completed his race to no lesser applause. The improved 1925 cars had not
beaten the records established in 1924 by Ascari in an Alfa Romeo. This was due to the fact that in the second half of the race the Alfa Romeo team had slowed their pace. Nonetheless, Alfa Romeo, as
the winners, became the indisputable 1925 World Champion with seven points. For winning the title, Alfa Romeo was awarded the trophy, a sculpture of a young girl running, symbolizing speed. To mark
their winning of the World Championship, an encircling laurel wreath was added to the radiator badge on all Alfa Romeo models from 1926 onwards.
Gran Premio d'Italia Results
|1.||14||Gastone Brilli Peri||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||80||5h14m33.33s|
|2.||5||Campari/Minozzi/Sozzi||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||80||5h35m30.19s||+ 20m56.86s|
|3.||19||Meo Costantini||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8||80||5h44m40.91s||+|
|4.||7||Tommy Milton||Duesenberg Motor Co.||Duesenberg||122||2.0||S-8||80||5h46m40.46s||+ 32m07.13s|
|5.||10||DePaolo/Marinoni||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||80||5h48m10.27s||+ 33m36.94s|
|6.||23||Fernand de Vizcaya||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8||80||5h50m49.39s||+ 36m16.06s|
|7.||24||Giulio Foresti||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8||80||5h55m18.55s||+ 40,45.22s|
|8.||21||Pierre de Vizcaya||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8||80||6h01m37.07s||+ 47m03.74s|
|DNF||22||Jules Goux||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8||64||valve|| |
|DNF||17||Ettore Santoleri||Chiribiri & Co.||Chiribiri||Monza GP||1.5||S-4||38||crash|| |
|DNF||1||Emilio Materassi||SA Autocostruzioni Diatto||Diatto||GP s/c||2.0||S-8||19||supercharger|
|DNF||20||Luigi Platè||Chiribiri & Co.||Chiribiri||Monza GP||1.5||S-4||13||clutch|| |
|DNF||8||Albert Guyot||Ets Albert Guyot et Cie||Guyot||Special||2.0||S-6||7||mechanical|
|DNF||11||Peter Kreis||Duesenberg Motor Co.||Duesenberg||122||2.0||S-8||3||spun off track|
|DNF||18||Ernest Eldridge||E. Eldridge||Eldridge||Anzani||1.5||S-4||2||engine|| |
Fastest lap: Peter Kreis (Duesenberg) on lap 2 in 3m36.73s = 166.1 km/h (103.2 mph).|
Winner's average speed: 152.6 km/h (94.8 mph).
Weather: warm, dry
Gran Premio delle Voiturette Results
|1.||19||Meo Costantini||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8||80||5h44m40.91s|| |
|2.||23||Fernand de Vizcaya||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8||80||5h50m49.39s||+ 6m08.48s|
|3.||24||Giulio Foresti||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8||80||5h55m18.55s||+ 10m37.64s|
|4.||21||Pierre de Vizcaya||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8||80||6h01m37.07s||+ 16m56.16s|
|DNF||22||Jules Goux||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8||64||valve|| |
|DNF||17||Ettore Santoleri||Chiribiri & Co.||Chiribiri||Monza GP||1.5||S-4||38||crash|| |
|DNF||20||Luigi Platè||Chiribiri & Co.||Chiribiri||Monza GP||1.5||S-4||13||brakes|| |
|DNF||18||Ernest Eldridge||E. Eldridge||Eldridge||Anzani||1.5||S-4||2||mechanical|| |
Fastest lap: Meo Costantini on lap 61 in 4m00.68 s at 149.6 km/h (92.9 mph).|
Winner's average speed: 139.3 km/h (86.5 mph).
Weather: warm, dry
The Alfa Romeo relief driver changes as reported in La Gazzetta dello Sport
Campari started in car #5 until pit stop on lap 33 = 32 laps|
Minozzi relieved Campari on lap 33 until lap 40 = 7 laps
Sozzi relieved Minozzi on lap 40 until lap 57 = 18 laps
Campari relieved Sozzi on lap 57 until lap 80 = 23 laps
DePaolo started in car #10 until pit stop on lap 28 = 27 laps
Marinoni relieved DePaolo on lap 28 until lap 58 = 31 laps
DePaolo relieved Marinoni on lap 58 until lap 80 = 22 laps
Primary sources researched for this article:|
A.C.I. Rivista, Torino
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
La Domenica Sportiva, Milano
La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Special thanks to:
GRAN PREMIO de SAN SEBASTIAN
Circuito de Lasarte - San Sebastián (E), 19 September 1925 (Saturday).
40 laps x 17.7 km (11.0 mi) = 708 km (440 mi)
|1||Albert Divo||Automobiles Delage||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12|
|2||Diego De Sterlich||SA Autocostruzioni Diatto||Diatto||GP s/c||2.0||S-8||DNA - did not appear|
|3||Vladimir Rachewsky||V. Rachewsky||Ballot||2LS - 1922||2.0||S-4||DNA - did not appear|
|4||Jean Graf||J. Graf||Soriano-Pedroso||Graf CIME||1.5||S-4|
|5||Count Giulio Masetti||Sunbeam Motor Car Co Ltd||Sunbeam||2.0||S-6|
|6||Ernest Eldridge||E. A. D. Eldridge||Eldridge||Special Anzani||1.5||S-4|
|7||Albert Guyot||A. Guyot||Guyot||Special||2.0||S-6||DNA - did not appear|
|8||Meo Costantini||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8|
|9||Robert Benoist||Automobiles Delage||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12|
|10||X||SA Autocostruzioni Diatto||Diatto||GP s/c||2.0||S-8||DNA - did not appear|
|11||X||A. Guyot||Guyot||Special||2.0||S-6||DNA - did not appear|
|12||Jules Goux||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8|
|13||Paul Torchy||Automobiles Delage||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12|
|14||Pierre de Vizcaya||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8|
|15||René Thomas||Automobiles Delage||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12|
|16||Fernand de Vizcaya||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8|
|17||X||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||DNA - did not appear|
|19||Marcel Lehoux ||M. Lehoux||Bugatti||T35A||2.0||S-8|
|20||Jules Ferry||J. Ferry||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||DNA - did not appear|
Albert Divo with André Morel wins the San Sebastian Grand Prix
by Hans Etzrodt
The San Sebastian Grand Prix was the last major race of the 2-Liter formula. A great event was expected due to 20 entries but on race day only 13 cars started. The race was rendered less important
due to the absence of Alfa Romeo. Due to their superior speed the Delages won easily and only Pierre de Vizcaya in an un-supercharged Bugatti could almost keep up somewhat with them. The Delage of
Divo and Morel won ahead of their teammates Benoist and Thomas. The fourth Delage crashed early in the race and its driver Torchy was killed. The Vizcaya brothers Pierre and Fernand finished fourth
and fifth. Goux and Lehoux were flagged off and did not classify. Costantini drove the fastest lap but subsequently crashed. There were five other retirements.
The Automobile week of San Sebastian, which was organized by the Real Automóvil Club de Guipúzcoa, began on Thursday, September 17 with the II Gran Premio de Autociclos for 1100 cc cycle cars. On Saturday,
September 19 the III Gran Premio de San Sebastian for race cars took place over 708 km, and on Sunday the 12 hour III Gran Premio de Turismos for touring cars occured. The races were held on the
17.70 km Lasarte circuit, south of the Atlantic seaside resort of San Sebastian. The grand prix cars had to lap the course 40 times, a total of 708 km. It was a natural road circuit, winding
counterclockwise through the foothills of the Pyrenees with a Macadam surface which was not free of dust. At the start and finish, between the villages of Lasarte and Oria, there were tram lines.
The road then led through Andoain after 5 km, Urnieta at half distance, Hernani after 11 km, and Lasarte only 1.3 km before the start and finish. Many corners had been improved to reduce lap times
in view of the upcoming European Grand Prix to be held on the Lasarte circuit in 1926. On the straights, beginning after km 5 and up to km 10.7, there were several opportunities to go full throttle.
The winner would receive 50,000 pesetas, second 15,000 third 8,000 and fourth 5,000. The driver who made the fastest lap would receive 1,000 pesetas.
Louis Delage was present with Louis Wagner who now was his team manager. They had four cars for Albert Divo, Robert Benoist, René Thomas (the former head of the racing department at the European
Grand Prix) and Paul Torchy. Edmond Bourlier and André Morel were their official reserve drivers. Wagner was also designated as a reserve driver and could relieve Thomas if necessary.
Ettore Bugatti was present with four T35 models for the team leader Meo Costantini, Jules Goux, the brothers Pierre and Fernand de Vizcaya. Jules Ferry, Marcel Lehoux and Fouchet were independent
The Sunbeam of Masetti was the same car that competed at Montlhéry since when it had been improved. Two weeks ago Masetti had won with it at the Klausen mountain climb from where it was shipped
unchanged to San Sebastian.
Diatto initially planned to start with De Sterlich, but this had become questionable since the Spanish AC had added the condition to Alfieri Maserati's disqualification that Italian drivers had to
participate at the 1925 San Sebastian Grand Prix. However, Maserati himself and the Italian AC dismissed such an unusual demand. The reason for the Diatto withdrawal was also believed to be because
the car was old and was unlikely to make a strong performance in the race.
The Guyot entries had not been seen before at San Sebastian and nothing had been heard of them since their departure from Milan.
The participation of the Eldridge was confirmed, with the British driver Ernest Eldridge again at the wheel after his disappointing outing at the Italian Grand Prix. It was his first small car, a
very low-built chassis with a 4-cylinder, 1,496 cc, Anzani side valve supercharged engine, giving 80 hp at 5500 rpm.
The Soriano-Pedroso was the latest car of Jean Graf (not to be confused with Jean Gras) who produced only two cars. Graf himself was driving it and was optimistic about its performance. The car
had a 4-cylinder 1500 (68 x 103 mm), CIME engine, with a shaft driven o/h camshaft without supercharging.
Tuesday was the last day of practice. At Delage everyone was active, Thomas, Divo, Benoist, Torchy and Wagner. In the Bugatti team Pierre de Vizcaya achieved the best times. Masetti also practiced in
the Sunbeam which had arrived late. The changes made to the circuit permitted higher average speeds for the race than those achieved in the previous San Sebastian Grand Prix since Divo with the Delage
made a lap at 126 km/h, beating last year's record by Costantini of 115 km/h.
The huge grandstand was packed and large crowds gathered around the circuit. The royal family was present with King Alphonso XIII of Spain and the Queen Victoria. Several foreign journalists were present,
including Charles Faroux the editor of L'Auto and many representatives of the press from Madrid and the provinces. While the officials supervised the 13 cars which lined up in numerical order on
the starting grid, King Alfonso XIII drove round the circuit in a Hispano Suiza before the start at nine o'clock. He was accompanied by Mr. Manuel Rezola, president of the RACG, the secretary of
the Municipality of Dinostia, the Queen Victoria, Ms. Cristina and the children. The Hispano of the King acted as the pilot car announcing the immediacy of the race.
The royal Hispano Suiza was leading the rolling start given at nine o'clock. Divo's Delage jumped into the lead, closely followed by Masetti's Sunbeam and Benoist in another Delage. They finished the first
lap with Divo leading after 8m49s, 100 meters ahead of Masetti with another 100 meters to Benoist, then Costantini, P. di Vizcaya, Thomas and Torchy in the initial pack. After a gap the independent Lehoux
followed in an old Bugatti. Graf in the Soriano-Pedroso was much delayed. Goux stopped at the pits and lost 10 minutes. Eldridge also stopped at his pit and announced his retirement due to clutch and
ignition problems. Fouchet retired even before the end of his first lap, but there was no explanation for his retirement. Divo covered the first lap at 120 km/h average speed, beating the previous record
for the circuit.
On the second lap Divo increased his lead and was followed by Masetti, Benoist, Thomas, Costantini, Torchy, P. and F. de Vizcaya, Lehoux and Graf. Goux arrived very late and stopped again at the Bugatti
pits. Divo improved his average after the second lap to 123 km/h.
On the third lap Divo continued in the lead ahead of Masetti's Sunbeam which was now under attack from Benoist, who was followed by Thomas, Torchy, Costantini, who stopped at the pits to change wheels and
started a repair, P. and F. de Vizcaya, Lehoux and Graf. Goux stopped for a long time at the pits but started ahead of Costantini, who was unable to recover from the amount of time lost in the pits for
After the fourth lap the order was Divo, Benoist, Thomas, Masetti, Torchy, P. and F. de Vizcaya, Lehoux, Graf and Costantini in the pits. Benoist made a new fast lap in 8m36s at 123.488 km/h. Then Divo
beat Benoist's record with 8m30s at an average of 124.941 km/h.
On lap five after 13 km at the Aurte bend, at the descent of Hernani, Paul Torchy was trying to pass Masetti's Sunbeam whom he was following closely. Torchy passed on the right, but ran over the edge of
the road into loose soil at which point he lost control. At full speed the car went into a skid to the other side of the road where it crashed against a tree bouncing off and colliding with another tree
which it uprooted. The impact threw Torchy violently against the steering wheel, crushing his chest. He died seconds later. An ambulance took him to the hospital in San Sebastian but it was in vain.
Torchy's wife attended the race but for the moment the sad reality and consequences of the accident were hidden from her. On the fifth lap Lehoux passed F. de Vizcaya who stopped at the pits to change
spark plugs. With Torchy, Eldridge and Fouchet out of the race, the field was down to ten cars. Divo's average lap time for the first five laps was 8m40.8s. He kept the lead at 124.8 km/h average
speed with the field in the following order:
|1.||Divo (Delage)|| 43m24s|
|2.||Benoist (Delage)|| 44m13s|
|3.||Thomas (Delage)|| 44m31s|
|4.||Masetti (Sunbeam)|| 44m51s|
|5.||P. deVizcaya (Bugatti)|| 46m01s|
|6.||Lehoux (Bugatti)|| 48m48s|
|7.||F. deVizcaya (Bugatti)|| 49m14s|
|8.||Graf (Soriano-Pedroso)||1h00m16s||1 lap behind|
|9.||Goux (Bugatti)||1h09m51s||2 laps behind|
|10.||Costantini (Bugatti)||1h55m05s||8 laps behind|
At the end of lap six Benoist stopped at his pits to tell them about Torchy's accident while Divo set another fast lap at 126.500 km. On the seventh and eighth laps the three Delages remained
in the lead, and Masetti in fourth place posed little danger. Goux was two laps behind and Costantini lost many laps while in the pits. On the ninth lap Divo lapped Lehoux who changed wheels in the pits,
falling behind Fernand de Vizcaya in the process. Divo's average lap time for the first 10 laps was 8m36.8s. He kept the lead at 123.500 km/h average speed with the field in the following order after 10 laps:
|5.||P. deVizcaya (Bugatti)||1h31m30s|
|6.||F. deVizcaya (Bugatti)||1h36m09s||1 lap behind|
|7.||Lehoux (Bugatti)||1h40m28s||1 lap behind|
|8.||Goux (Bugatti)||1h55m15s||3 laps behind|
|9.||Graf (Soriano-Pedroso)||1h59m19s||3 laps behind|
|10.||Costantini (Bugatti)||2h38m22s||8 laps behind|
On lap 11 Benoist was closing up to Divo in the lead, beating the lap record in 8m19s at 127.695 km/h. Costantini who at this time was only on his fourth lap stopped again at the pits. Laps 12 and 13 brought
no changes in the order and on lap 14 Benoist beat the lap record again at 127.800 km/h. The interesting duel between Divo and Benoist continued as Costantini resumed the race by pressing hard. Divo regained
the lap record with 8m06s at an average of 131.11 km/h.
After 15 laps Divo held the lead with a time of 2h00m06s, leading Benoist by 15 seconds, while Thomas in the third Delage had fallen three minutes behind. The order of the first eight places did not change.
On lap 17 the Vizcaya brothers made their pit stops. Graf with the Soriano-Pedroso in ninth place retired after lap 19 with a lubrication problem. He was three laps behind and completed only16 laps. On lap
19 Divo and Benoist stopped at the pits for the first time and Divo handed over his car to André Morel. Thomas was momentarily leading on lap 19 but on the next lap he also stopped at the pits. Benoist and
Morel (for Divo) were again in the front. At some stage, either in the pits or on the track, Benoist overtook Morel and was no longer in second place and was now leading the race. Costantini was seven laps
behind after he regained a lap during the pit stops of the leaders. Benoist's average lap time for the last 10 laps was 8m46.1s. After mid-race, 354 km, he led at 121.750 km/h average speed. The order was
as follows after 20 laps:
|5.||P. deVizcaya (Bugatti)||3h02m39s|
|6.||F. deVizcaya (Bugatti)||3h13m59s||2 laps behind|
|7.||Goux (Bugatti)||3h31m43s||4 laps behind|
|8.||Lehoux (Bugatti)||3h42m00s||5 laps behind|
|9.||Costantini (Bugatti)||4h04m39s||7 laps behind
After Masetti lost two screws of his steering gear, he retired the Sunbeam on lap 22, with the field now down to eight cars. With the British Sunbeam gone, the battle was now solely between the two French
teams. However, the Bugattis were not fast enough to be in front and the question was which of the three Delage drivers would win the race. Since the triumph of Delage was certain, the race had lost its
interest. After his early delays, Constantini was now driving very fast and on lap 25 he drove a new record lap at 131 km/h.
After 25 laps Benoist was leading with a time of 3h37m 32s, with Morel (for Divo) in second place 38 seconds behind. Thomas followed five minutes behind the leader but ahead of the Vizcaya brothers Pierre
and Fernand, Goux, Lehoux and Costantini, who maintained his very fast pace. On Lap 27 he drove at 133 km/h and on the 28th lap he established the absolute lap record in 7m57s at 133.584 km/h. The public
applauded Costantino, whose race was impressive despite his difficulties at the beginning of the race.
On lap 29 Morel stopped at the pits and Divo returned to the wheel of his car as Benoist also stopped to refuel. Divo, now rested, increased his lead over Benoist, who was followed by Thomas, the Vizcaya
brothers, Lehoux and Costantini. However, the latter, who continued at a formidable pace, did not finish his 30th lap. When trying to pass Thomas he failed to make a tight turn and left the track, causing
his retirement. The news of the crash produced excitement amongst the spectators who calmed down when it was announced that Costantini suffered only slight contusions. Although he retired after lap 29,
Costantini had completed only 22 since he was seven laps behind. Benoist's average lap time for the last 10 laps was 8m44.8s. Divo held the lead after 531 km at an average speed of 121.9 km/h with the
field down to seven cars after 30 laps:
|4.||P. deVizcaya (Bugatti)||4h32m13s||1 lap behind|
|5.||F. deVizcaya (Bugatti)||4h40m03s||2 laps behind|
|6.||Goux (Bugatti)||5h06m19s||5 laps behind|
|7.||Lehoux (Bugatti)||5h22m32s||7 laps behind|
After 619.5 km, 35 laps, the positions remained the same with Divo in the lead after 5h02m57s, 3m16s ahead of Benoist and 8m41s ahead of Thomas with the four Bugattis trailing behind. Eventually the race
ended a few laps later and the victors were applauded. Morel who had helped with the victory of Divo was also acclaimed. The King congratulated the winners and Mr. Delage kissed his drivers Divo and Benoist.
The race had been exciting however it was overshadowed by the unfortunate accident of Torchy. At the end of the race the official Speaker reminded the spectators about his death asking for a minute of silence
to memorialize Paul Torchy the latest victim of motorsport.
|1.||1||Albert Divo/André Morel||Automobiles Delage||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12||40||5h45m01s|
|2.||9||Robert Benoist||Automobiles Delage||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12||40||5h55m43s||+ 10m42s|
|3.||15||René Thomas||Automobiles Delage||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12||40||5h56m26s||+ 11m25s|
|4.||14||Pierre de Vizcaya||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||40||6h01m45s||+ 16m44s|
|5.||16||Fernand de Vizcaya||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||39||6h18m39s|
|DNC||12||Jules Goux||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||37||flagged|
|DNC||19||Marcel Lehoux ||M. Lehoux||Bugatti||T35A||2.0||S-8||35||flagged|
|DNF||8||Meo Costantini||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||22||crash|
|DNF||5||Count Giulio Masetti||Sunbeam Motor Car Co Ltd||Sunbeam||2.0||S-6||21||steering|
|DNF||4||Jean Graf||J. Graf||Soriano-Pedroso||1.5||S-4||13||lubrication|
|DNF||13||Paul Torchy||Automobiles Delage||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12||4||fatal crash|
|DNF||6||Ernest Eldridge||E. A. D. Eldridge||Eldridge||Anzani||1.5||S-4||1||clutch & ignition|
Fastest lap: Meo Costantini (Bugatti) on lap 28 in 7m57s at 133.6 km/h (83.0 mph). |
Winner's average speed: 123.1 km/h (76.5 mph).
Weather: Sunny and hot
The intermediate times and final classification times published in newspapers and magazines deviated often by only fractions of a second but at times by as much as minutes between the different
sources. We hope that we have selected the correct times.
Contradictions: Costantini retired when his car left the road in a tight turn. Others stated that he crashed and that his car was completely destroyed. Some even reported that his car retired
with a mere radiator leak.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
Madrid Automovil, Madrid
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
L'Esport Català, Barcelona
Special thanks to:
Angel Elberdin, his book Circuito de Lasarte, Kutxa fundación, Bilbao, 1998