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Bordino (Fiat)Campari (Alfa Romeo)Maggi (Bugatti)

GRAN PREMIO MILANO

Autodromo di Monza, A-circuit (I), 4 September 1927.
4 heats of 5 laps x 10.0 km (6.21 mi) = 50.0 km (31.1 mi)
Final: 5 laps x 10.0 km (6.21 mi) = 50.0 km (31.1 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

1Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmson1.1
2Peter KreisCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-8DNQ - did not qualify
3XXAmilcar1.1DNA - did not appear
4Robert BenoistAutomobiles DelageDelage 15 S 8 19271.5S-8DNS - did not start
5Lionel LipmanL. LipmanSalmson1.1S-4
6Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcar1.1S-6
6Nando MinoiaOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8 DNS - did not start
7Guy d'HavrincourtG. d'HavrincourtSalmson1.1
8George SoudersDuesenberg Motor Co.DuesenbergSpecial1.5S-8DNS - did not start
9Jacques SenjacqJ. SenjacqBNC5271.1S-4
10Earl CooperCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-8DNQ - did not qualify
11Guido CiriaciG. CiriaciBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
12Giovanni (Nino) CirioC. BellottiBugattiT37A1.5S-4
12Giuseppe MorandiOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8DNQ - did not qualify
14Roberto SerboliR. SerboliChiribiri12/161.5S-4
15Pietro BordinoFiat SpAFiat8061.52x6
16Carlo BellottiC. BellottiBugattiT37A1.5S-4car was driven by #12 Cirio
18Antonio ArrivabeneA.ArrivabeneBugattiT37A1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
21VaccariVaccariBugatti2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
22Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35C2.0S-8
23Onigben AlveràO.AlveràBugattiT35A2.0S-8
24Aymo MaggiA. MaggiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
25Giuseppe CampariG. CampariAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8
26Eduard ProbstE. ProbstBugattiT35C2.0S-8
27Carlo RostiC. RostiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
28Filippo TassaraF. TassaraDerby1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
29Antonio BrivioA. BrivioDerby1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
30Pina ContiG.ContiDerby1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
31Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
32Tazio NuvolariScuderia NuvolariBugattiT35C2.0S-8
Note: Race numbers 13 and 17 were considered unlucky numbers, while number 19 and 20 were also not used.


Bordino wins the Milan Grand Prix with the new Fiat

by Hans Etzrodt
The 1927 Milan Grand Prix at Monza is noteworthy for the one and only appearance of the 12-cylinder 1500 Fiat. This new car won its first race with the Italian ace Pietro Bordino at the wheel. The Milan Grand Prix was the supporting race for the important 500 km European Grand Prix which took place on the same day. The Milan Grand Prix comprised four 50 km elimination races, where the first three finishers of each heat qualified for the Final. All races were held throughout intermittent rain showers. The first elimination race for 1100 cc cars was won by Zampieri (Amilcar). Bordino (Fiat) won the 1500 cc race while Maggi (Bugatti) won the 2000 cc event. After these preliminaries the European Grand Prix took place over 500 km, where the result after the first five laps also counted as a qualification for the Milan Grand Prix Final, which was also over 50 km. Cirio crashed on lap two and was injured when his car left the track. Bordino (Fiat) won the race ahead of Campari (Alfa Romeo), Maggi (Bugatti), Zampieri (Amilcar) and Clerici and Lipman in Salmsons. Materassi and Cirio in Bugattis retired as did Kreis in Earl Cooper's Miller. Nuvolari (Bugatti) also retired in his elimination race.
Two races were held on the same day on the Monza Circuit, the European Grand Prix as the main event, and the supporting Gran Premio Milano, which consisted of four 50 km elimination races and a 50 km Final.
      The Commissione Sportiva des RACI and the Società Autodromo di Monza was in charge of carrying out the organization under the supervision of Arturo Mercanti, the Director of the Società who also was President of the Milan AC.
      The first Heat for 1100 cc cars was scheduled for 9:00 AM to be followed at 10:00 AM by the second Heat for 1500 and 2000 cc cars. At 11:00 AM saw the start of the European Grand Prix over 500 km, of which the first five laps, equal to 50 km, counted as an additional qualifying event for the 50 km Final of the Milan Grand Prix, which was started at 4:00 PM to finalize the day's activities.
Entries:
The European Grand Prix included three Americans, Souders that year's winner of the Indianapolis 500 with his Duesenberg, and Cooper and Kreis with front-wheel-drive Millers. All were potential entries for the Milan Grand Prix.
      After a break of several years, Fiat entered their new 1500 cc car with a 12-cylinder supercharged engine, which was the sensation of this event and the dark horse for the race. During early tests at Monza Bordino and Salamano had reached fantastic speeds, however suddenly Fiat withdrew their entry from the 500 km European Grand Prix, supposedly due to tire problems. However it was assumed that the new Fiat racecars were not yet ready and eventually the factory entered only the car which they had tested before at the 50 km Milan Grand Prix.
      The victorious Delage of Benoist was not entered in the Milan Grand Prix to the common disappointment of many. The French cars were evenly matched with the Fiat which had achieved slightly faster times but had done so only over shorter distances. The OM 8-cylinder racecar from the European Grand Prix driven by Minoia was also not entered for this 50 km sprint race after having just completed the 500 km endurance event. A complete list of entries showing many of the great Italian drivers is arranged at the beginning of this report.
Heat 1:
After an entire month of beautiful weather, it began to rain on Saturday before the race. When spectators arrived on Sunday early in the morning it rained and continued to do so until near the end of the race. Despite the bad weather about 50,000 spectators came to watch these popular races.
      The 1100 cc cars started at 9:00 AM. From nine entries only five appeared: Clerici, Lipman and d'Havrincourt in Salmsons, Zampieri's red Amilcar and the BNC of Seujacq. They lined up as follows:
Pole Position
7
d'Havrincourt

Salmson

6
Zampieri

Amilcar

5
Lipman

Salmson

1
Clerici

Salmson

9
Senjacq

BNC

When Felice Nazzaro waved the starting flag it was raining. Clerici's Salmson took the lead, while Zampieri in his fast Amilcar was delayed and lost a few seconds. But after half a lap, when the cars returned to the grandstands, the Amilcar champion had recovered from his initial disadvantage and taken the lead. During the first lap at the Lesmo turn, the Salmson of Frenchman d'Havrincourt slid off the track without any serious consequences though he had to retire.
      Zampieri maintained the lead and pulled away from the small field. His Amilcar and Clerici's Salmson were much faster than the other three opponents. On the third lap the fourth placed Senjacp reached the pits slowly and retired his BNC with engine trouble. Zampieri gained progressively on his opponents until he had an advantage of around half a lap over Clerici after five laps. Clerici, whose Salmson misfired followed in second place with Lipman third.


Results (Heat 1)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.6Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcar1.1S-6524m24.6s
2.1Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmson1.1526m02.0s+ 1m37.4s
3.5Lionel LipmanL. LipmanSalmson1.1527m19.0s+ 2m54.4s

DNF9Jacques SenjacqJ. SenjacqBNC5271.1S42engine
DNF7Guy d'HavrincourtG. d'HavrincourtSalmson1.10crash
Fastest lap: Alfonso Zampieri (Amilcar) on lap 5 in 4m42.2s = 127.6 km/h (79.3 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 122.9 km/h (76.4 mph).
Weather: overcast


Heats 2 and 3:
While waiting for the start of the 1500 and 2000 cc elimination heat, it was announced that Bordino would be allowed some test laps. When the famous ace from Turin appeared on the track, he was received with great applause from the spectators in the grandstands crowd. Bordino made two fast laps then stopped at the pits. In the meantime some other competitors, taking advantage of the permission granted to the Turin driver, also completed a few laps.
      The second race for 1500 and 2000 cc cars was scheduled to start at 10:00 AM with both categories racing simultaneously. For safety reasons, at the last minute, the General Commissioner Arturo Mercanti ordered a gap of two minutes to be placed between the starts of the two categories. From the six 1500 cc entries only three started: Bordino (Fiat), Serboli (Chiribiri) and Cirio (Bugatti) while from the nine 2000 cc entries all but one appeared: Campari (Alfa Romeo) and the seven Bugattis of Bona, Alverà, Maggi, Probst, Rosti, Materassi and Nuvolari. The 1500 cc cars lined up as follows:
Pole Position
15
Bordino

Fiat

14
Serboli

Chiribiri

12
Cirio

Bugatti


After a two minute interval the 2000 cc category lined up, ready for the start.

Pole Position
25
Campari

Alfa Romeo

24
Maggi

Bugatti

23
Alverà

Bugatti

22
Bona

Bugatti

32
Nuvolari

Bugatti

31
Materassi

Bugatti

27
Rosti

Bugatti

26
Probst

Bugatti

At 10:10 AM Felice Nazzaro once again lowered the flag and Bordino took the immediate lead while the rain continued to fall. Bordino had no difficulty beating his two opponents in much slower cars. At the exit of the curve of the track, the Turin champion's car was sliding, but he controlled the Fiat into the straight line. At the end of the first lap, Bordino led by about 600 meters from Cirio, with a further gap to Serboli's Chiribiri. After three laps Bordino was about half a lap ahead of Cirio. Bordino won the race after 20m04s, 2m51s ahead of Cirio's Bugatti and 3m54.8s ahead of Serboli's Chiribiri.
      At the start of the 2000 cc category, Maggi took the lead closely followed by Campari and Bona. Next Materassi passed Bona and went after Campari. On lap two Maggi drove the fastest lap of his category in 3m59.8s. On lap three Maggi was still ahead of Campari who was now threatened by Materassi while Nuvolari retired on the third lap with an engine problem. The cars were leaving behind them a heavy spray of rain water thrown up by the wheels. In this condition the track was dangerous and hardly any records were expected to be lowered.
      On lap four Materassi managed to pass Campari for second place and approached Maggi, but the Milanese driver defended his lead. On lap five, Campari was able to repass Materassi. While Bordino won the 1500 category, Maggi was able to stay ahead of Campari, who had Materassi right behind him. Alverà reached the finish after the maximum allowable time and did not classify. Bordino in the 1500 Fiat had been faster than Maggi's Bugatti, the winner of the 2000 cc category.


Results (Heat 2)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.15Pietro BordinoFiat SpAFiat8061.52x6520m04.0s
2.12Giovanni (Nino) CirioC. BellottiBugattiT37A1.5S-4522m55.0s+ 2m51.0s
3.14Roberto SerboliR. SerboliChiribiri12/161.5S-4523m58.8s+ 3m54.8s
Fastest lap: Pietro Bordino (Fiat) on lap 5 in 3m55.4s at 152.9 km/h (95.0 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 149.50 km/h (92.9 mph).


Results (Heat 3)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.24Aymo MaggiCount A. MaggiBugattiT35C2.0S-8520m35.0s
2.12Giuseppe CampariG. CampariAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8520m37.4s+ 2.4s
3.31Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0S-8520m37.8s+ 2.8s

4.22Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35C2.0S-8521m02.6s+ 27.6s
5.27Carlo RostiC. RostiBugattiT35C2.0S-8522m13.2s+ 1m38.2s
6.26Eduard ProbstE. ProbstBugattiT35C2.0S-8523m52.8s+ 3m17.8s
DNF32Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariBugattiT35C2.0S-82engine
DNC23Onigben AlveràO. AlveràBugattiT35A2.0S-8exceeded max. time
Fastest lap: Aymo Maggi (Bugatti) on lap 2 in 3m59.8s at 150.1 km/h (93.3 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 145.74 km/h (90.6 mph).


Heat 4:
At 11:00 AM the European Grand Prix over 500 km was started. The first 5 laps were considered as the fourth Heat to qualify for the Milan Grand Prix Final. After the fifth lap or 50 km the order was as follows:



Results (Heat 4)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.4Robert BenoistAutomobiles DelageDelage15 S 8 19271.5S-8520m30.6s
2.8George SoudersGeorge SoudersDuesenbergSpecial1.5S-8521m35.0s+ 1m04.4s
3.6Nando MinoiaOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8523m18.6s+ 2m48.0s

4.12Giuseppe MorandiOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8523m21.8s+ 2m51.2s
5.10Earl CooperCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-8524m16.2s+ 3m45.6s
DNF2Peter KreisCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-81retired
Fastest lap: : Robert Benoist (Delage) on lap 4 in 3m57.2s at 151.8 km/h (94.3 mph).
Leader's medium speed: 146.3 km/h (90.9 mph)


Final:
The first three finishers of each Heat qualified for the Final, which also counted as a handicap race. Zampieri, Clerici and Lipman started in the 1100 cc category. Bordino, Cirio and Kreis with Cooper's Miller car formed the 1500 cc category. It is remarkable that Serboli who qualified his Chiribiri, did not start. Instead Kreis with Cooper's Miller was allowed to start despite the fact that neither Kreis nor Cooper had qualified, while Benoist, Souders and Minoia, who all three had qualified, declined from starting in the final. These mysterious arrangements remained unexplained. Maggi, Campari and Materassi with 2000 cc cars concluded the entries. The nine cars lined up for the start but a reliable grid could not be established, lacking factual information.


 
Grid not available


When the starter Belloni gave the signal, Maggi leaped into the lead followed by Campari. Both were almost side by side while Bordino was slightly behind but ahead of Materassi and Cirio, who was followed by the other four cars. Kreis who had already had difficulty to adjust his engine settings for the European Grand Prix, moved forward, then his car stopped after a few meters. The car was pushed from the track directly to the pits and the American was out of the race. After half a lap, Campari appeared first, followed by a tight group consisting of Maggi, Bordino and Materassi. At the end of the first lap, Bordino had passed Campari and taken the lead, and his red Fiat was welcomed by enthusiastic applause. The order was Bordino, Campari, Materassi and Maggi.
      After a lap and a half Bordino had increased his lead over Campari, who was now threatened by Materassi while Maggi had fallen behind. At the end of lap two, as Cirio, was leaving the oval at the large South Turn just before the straight, he first drove towards the inside, then swerved and left the track. His Bugatti crashed violently against the outside barbed wire fence with the back of the car, mowing down about twenty meters of fencing in a cloud of dust and smoke, ending in the ditch. Cirio was trapped in the car against the barbed wire. An ambulance transported him to the Monza Hospital where his injuries were reported to be very slight, only bruises on his head and some lacerations on his body.
      On the third lap, Materassi, who for several laps had driven wheel to wheel with Campari's Alfa Romeo, had to retire with a broken carburetor and retired at his pit. Bordino gradually increased his lead. He finished the fifth lap in 19m42.6s at an average speed of 152.205 km/h. Campari followed after 42 seconds, Maggi 1m40s, Zampieri 4m22s, Clerici 5m36s and Lipman after 7m29s.

Results (Final)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.15Pietro BordinoFiat SpAFiat8061.52x6519m42.6s
2.12Giuseppe CampariG. CampariAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8520m24.0s+ 41.4s
3.24Aymo MaggiCount A. MaggiBugattiT35C2.0S-8521m22.4s+ 1m39.8s
4.6Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcars/s1.1S-6524m04.0s+ 4m21.4s
5.1Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmsons/c1.1525m18.2s+ 5m35.6s
6.5Lionel LipmanL. LipmanSalmson1.1527m11.8s+ 7m29.2s
DNF31Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0S-82carburetor
DNF12Giovanni (Nino) CirioC. BellottiBugattiT37A1.5S-41crash
DNF10Peter KreisCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-80mechanical
Fastest lap: Pietro Bordino (Fiat) on lap 4 in 3m51.6s at 155.4 km/h (96.6 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 152.2 km/h (94.6 mph).
Weather: raining, wet.
The general classification over 100 km was the sum of the times in the individual Heats and the Final.
1. Bordino (Fiat)39m46.6s
2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)41m01.4s
3. Maggi (Bugatti)41m57.4s
4. Zampieri (Amilcar)48m28.6s
5. Clerici (Salmson)51m20.2s
6. Lipman (Salmson)54m30.8s

The Final also included a handicap classification based on the time spent in the eliminating Heats.
1. Clerici (Salmson)26m35.2shandicap 1m17.0s
2. Bordino (Fiat)26m57.6shandicap 7m15.0s
3. Zampieri (Amilcar)26m58.4shandicap 2m54.4s
4. Campari (Alfa Romeo)27m05.6shandicap 6m41.6s
5. Lipman (Salmson)27m11.8shandicap 0
6. Maggi (Bugatti)28m06.4shandicap 6m44.0s
In retrospect:
Fiat withdrew from racing on order of Senator Giovanni Agnelli after their defeat in the 1924 French Grand Prix. Therefore the surprising appearance three years later of a new 1500 Fiat 806 racecar at the 50 km Milan Grand Prix was a great sensation to the unknown public. The designers Carlo Cavalli and Tranquillo Zerbi were responsible for the 806, a remarkable modern design, on a narrow frame with a neat streamlined body. The top and the bottom of the steering wheel had flat segments so to lower the cockpit. As a result the 806 was lower than the main rivals, the 1500 Delage an 1500 Talbot. With 187 hp the 806 extracted more power from its 12-cylinder supercharged engine of two parallel six cylinder blocks on a common crankcase. At 700 kg the 806 weighed the same as the Talbot but was 21 kg lighter than the Delage. The 806 Fiat had a top speed of 240 km/h versus 210 km/h quoted for the Delage and Talbot.
      Cyril Posthumus wrote in his book The Roaring Twenties, "Benoist in the 1500 Delage had entered for the Milan Grand Prix but elected not to run. That way Delage evaded possible defeat. Only one car was ever actually built, and legend, unconfirmed, has it that Fiat chief Agnelli, returning from a long American tour, was furious at the work put into the racing car at a time when the economic depression was already being felt, and ordered it to be broken up, together with all spares and patterns. Certainly no car or parts ever survived."
      Doug Nye wrote in his book Motor Racing Mavericks, "In Fiat's experimental shop the prototype 806 lay under wraps until the new year, and on January 14 Guido Fornaca -Fiat's very pro-racing managing director- died. As a new regime took over under Agnelli so racing fell from favour, and then came the inexplicable order to destroy the last Grand Prix car, to destroy its engines and all existing parts, and even its detail drawings. This orgy of destruction spelled the end to Fiat's noble Grand Prix career, and their ultimate racing car became just so much molten metal, bubbling in a cauldron in a Fiat foundry."


Primary sources researched for this article:
ADAC-Motorwelt, München
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Automobil-Motorsport, Budapest
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'AUTO, Paris
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
L-Impero, Roma
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Omnia, Paris
R.A.C.I. giornale, Roma
Rivista ACI, Roma
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Signora Paola Masetta



Benoist (Delage)Morandi (OM)Cooper/Kreis (Cooper-Miller)

GRAN PREMIO D'EUROPA

Autodromo di Monza (I), 4 September 1927.
50 laps x 10.0 km (6.214 mi) = 500.0 km (310.7 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Peter KreisCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-8
4Robert BenoistAutomobiles DelageDelage 15 S 8 19271.5S-8
6Nando MinoiaOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8
8George SoudersDuesenbeg Motor Co.DuesenbergSpecial1.5S-8
10Earl CooperCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-8
12Giuseppe MorandiOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8
..Pietro BordinoFiatFiat8061.52x6DNA - did not appear
..Carlo SalamanoFiatFiat8061.52x6DNA - did not appear
..Emilio MaterassiAutomobile Ettore BugattiBugattiT39A1.5S-8DNA - did not appear
..Louis ChironAutomobile Ettore BugattiBugattiT39A1.5S-8DNA - did not appear
..Caberto ConelliAutomobile Ettore BugattiBugattiT39A1.5S-8DNA - did not appear


Benoist with Delage wins the European Grand Prix

by Hans Etzrodt
The 1927 European Grand Prix at Monza offered neither a great participation of racecars nor the classical nice weather of earlier events. As the fourth race of the 1927 World Championship, it was held to the international 1.5-Liter formula and took place during continuous rain. Since Bugatti withdrew their entry and Fiat would not start with their new model, only six cars appeared at the start. Half of them were American cars: Souder (Duesenberg) plus Kreis and Cooper in front-wheel-drive Cooper Specials judged as "Millers" for the championship. The other half comprised one French Delage for Benoist and two Italian 8-cylinder OM racecars for Minoia and Morandi. At the start Benoist immediately took the lead which he increased continuously, unchallenged until the end of the 500 km race. The Americans, from whom one had expected so much, failed substantially. Kreis in the Miller retired with engine failure, not even finishing half of his first lap. Souders who held a leisurely second place with his Duesenberg, retired on lap 12. Benoist increased his advantage constantly and on lap 40 was four laps ahead of Morandi in second place. The OM drivers Minoia and Morandi held alternating second and third positions, while Kreis who relieved Cooper in his Miller was last but raised his pace during the final five laps to overhaul Minoia's OM. The monotonous race in miserable weather lacked excitement. Besides the repeated stops of the OM cars and the passing maneuver of Kreis overhauling Minoia's OM on the second to last lap, nothing dramatic happened.
The Gran Premio d'Europa was held for the fifth time and was part of the 1927 World Championship. It was also the eighth Italian Grand Prix counting towards the Italian Championship. The Commissione Sportiva des RACI and the Società Autodromo di Monza carried out the organization under the supervision of Arturo Mercanti. It was the 5th time that the European Grand Prix took place and was the fourth event of the 1927 World Championship at Monza over 50 laps of the 10 km circuit, a total of 500 km. Strangely, this distance was less than the minimum 600 km demanded by AIACR regulations which was reduced to 500 only at the last moment in view of the bad weather.
      This year's race at Monza was not achieved without difficulties, although Bugatti was expected at the start and Fiat's entry was uncertain. After the promoters accepted the entries of the three Americans, Souders this year's winner of the Indianapolis 500 with his Duesenberg and Cooper and Kreis with front-wheel-drive Millers, Ettore Bugatti declared that he would only participate in pure road races, because of his cars' excellent road holding. Clearly his cars had more chance of winning in those races than in the more or less pure speed adjusted race tracks. With these remarks Bugatti avoided another confrontation, this time in Monza.
      Then Fiat had not completed the preparation of their racecars and the date for closing entries had silently been extended to just before the race to enable Fiat's participation. Eventually the organizers had to deny the postponement of the race. The Americans had declared that they were committed to a race on September 28 in America and therefore could not agree to a postponement. Fiat had assured their participation only if the race was postponed from September 4 to the 18th, but now had to forgo the start but entered the only car they finished for Bordino to race in the 50 km Milan Grand Prix. Although Bordino had practiced in length with the new Fiat and attained average lap speeds of 168 km/h, the Turin factory withdrew their entries from the European Grand Prix. Their reason was that it was not possible to complete any other cars and with only one car the risk would have been too great at such a difficult race.
      The Automobil World Championship was being held for the third time in 1927. Participation at the European Grand Prix at Monza was mandatory. The competitors also had to participate in two of the following races: The Indianapolis 500, the French Grand Prix, the Spanish Grand Prix and the British Grand Prix. The reward for the first place finisher was 1 point, the second 2 points and the third 3 points. All classified from fourth place back received 4 points. Those who did not finish received 5 points and those who did not start 6 points. The present standings were: Delage with 8 points, Duesenberg 13 points, Miller and Bugatti equal with 14 points, Talbot 16, Halford and Maserati both with 17.
Entries:
All six cars that took part in the race had supercharged 8-cylinder 1500 cc engines with magneto ignition. The 1927 regulations allowed single-seater cars and as a result three Americans had entered. When the cars arrived in Milan they stayed in town at the Officine Isotta-Fraschini factory to carry out changes to widen the cars. Although single-seater cars were allowed in 1927, they had to have a minimum width of 80 cm - 31.5 in - at the seat area and over a minimum height of 25 cm - 9.8 in. For that reason the three beautiful pencil-thin single-seat American racecars had to be widened to 80 cm by adding a rounded sheet metal box at the seat area to each side of the frame. Besides those revisions they also reduced the compression to extend engine life of the Millers. But the results were not satisfactory during tests in Monza.
      George Souders, the 24-year old native of Indiana with his Duesenberg Special had won the 1927 Indy 500, which was also the first race of the 1927 World Championship. Souders was a dirt track driver and an unknown newcomer to the AAA racing scene with no experience in long distance racing. He was considered a dark horse and his victory at Indianapolis was a big surprise. He placed third in the 1927 AAA championship. The small Cooper Engineering Co. team entered Earl Cooper and Peter Kreis with their Cooper-Miller racecars which were modified front-wheel-drive Millers.
      Two Delage racecars arrived at Monza but only one was entered for Robert Benoist. He had already won the Grands Prix of France and Spain. The very low Delage was known to be the fastest and most reliable car and Benoist was the absolute favorite.
      Two OM 8-cylinder racecars from the Brescia factory were entered for Nando Minoia and Giuseppe Morandi. Previously only one car had raced in 1926 at the German Grand Prix in Berlin where Minoia failed to finish but had claimed the fastest lap at 161 km/h. After the 1927 European Grand Prix in Monza, one car plus at least one spare engine was sold to R.F. Oats in England to be raced at the JCC 200 in Brooklands where the car was primarily raced until 1933.
      The dark horse for this race was the new Fiat with a 12-cylinder 1500 cc supercharged engine. During early tests at Monza Bordino and Salamano had reached fantastic speeds, however suddenly Fiat withdrew their entry, supposedly due to tire problems but it was assumed that the new Fiat racecars were not yet ready. Eventually the factory had one of their cars entered at the 50 km Milan Grand Prix.
Practice:
At the end of August the Fiat race drivers Bordino and Salamano had been driving for days at Monza. To the surprise of everyone, Fiat decided one week before the race not to take part in the European Grand Prix as their cars were not yet ready to run in a long race. Although the new car proved able to reach a good speed there was concern about the tires. Also at the end of August two Delage race cars with a group of mechanics had arrived at the Milan railroad station.
      During practice on Tuesday before the race Souders had an accident. He had driven several laps at a good speed and when he arrived too fast at the notorious Lesmo turn, he locked the brakes and spun, followed by a rollover. He ended up at the inside of the turn, removing a few meters of a fence. But Souders suffered a severe shoulder contusion while his Duesenberg was just slightly damaged.
      On Thursday the Autodromo di Monza was quiet. Fiat, had left on Wednesday for Turin and announced their return for Thursday evening and on Friday was expected to be back on the track. The American Souders was resting and the condition with his shoulder improved, so his presence at the start on Sunday was assured. Kreis with his Miller practiced on Thursday, as did Minoia and Morandi with O.M. All left the racetrack pleased with their results.
Race:
After an entire month of beautiful weather, it began to rain on the Saturday before the race. When spectators arrived on Sunday early in the morning it rained and continued to do so until near the end of the race. Despite the bad weather about 50,000 spectators came to watch the popular races. Amongst the crowd were the German race drivers Rosenberger and Caracciola. In view of the bad weather, the reduction of the race distance from 600 km to 500, which was arranged shortly before the start, was certainly not consistent with the sporting regulations, nevertheless it was very welcome. Four different races were held on Sunday, starting with two 50 km heat races for the Milan Grand Prix, the first at 9:00 AM for the 1100 cc cars followed at 10:00 AM by the race for the 1500 cc and 2000 cc cars. At 11:00 AM the European Grand Prix over 500 km was started and at 4:00 PM there was the Final for the Milan Grand Prix over 50 km. It was generally expected that the French driver Benoist would win the European Grand Prix.
      At 10:50 AM in pouring rain six cars lined up on the starting grid, which was determined by drawing lots. The drivers were greeted by the Marcia Reale and the American and French National anthems. The grid shows how the cars lined up as seen in photographs. Souders was ready to start despite his injured shoulder.
Pole Position
6
Minoia

OM

4
Benoist

Delage

2
Kreis

Miller

12
Morandi

OM

10
Cooper

Miller

8
Sauders

Duesenberg

At 11:00 AM the RACI president, senator Silvio Crespi, gave the starting signal by lowering the flag when Benoist immediately shot to the front, followed by Minoia, Souders, Kreis and Cooper while Morandi was delayed for about 15 seconds as he had stalled the engine of his OM.
      After the first lap Benoist arrived at the grandstands in the lead, 300 m ahead of Souders who was followed after about 200 m by Minoia. Kreis did not complete the first lap; he retired after only 4 km, driving slowly at the exit of the inner circuit near the grandstands with a seized piston or a broken crankcase of his Miller. At the end of lap two, Benoist had increased his lead over Souders to 500 m. The OM of Morandi who finally caught up with Cooper's Miller on lap three, was able to pass the American in front of the grandstands to the ovation of the crowd. Cooper with his front-wheel-drive Miller was severely handicapped by the rain since his rear wheels tended to skid sideways. On lap four Benoist drove the fastest lap of the race in 3m57.2s at an average speed of 151.770. After 50 km the leading group was in the following order after 5 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)20m30.6s
2.Souders (Duesenberg)21m35.0s
3.Minoia (OM)23m18.6s
4.Morandi (OM)23m21.8s
5.Cooper (Miller)24m16.2s

After the fifth lap the drivers had qualified for the Final of the Milan Grand Prix, a regulation that had been decided by the organizers in the last moment. In other words, the first 50 km of the European Grand Prix counted as a special heat race for participation in the Milan Grand Prix. Ironically, only Kreis in his Miller, who hadn't completed the mandated 50 km, would start in the Final of the Milan Grand Prix. The car qualified and the driver must have been less important. The sky remained dark and the drivers had a hard time while it rained in a downpour. After 100 km Benoist was still in first place at an average speed of 147.441 km/h with the cars in the following order after 10 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)40m41.6s
2.Souders (Duesenberg)45m47.4s1 lap behind
3.Minoia (OM)45m55.2s1 lap behind
4.Morandi (OM)47m41.2s1 lap behind
5.Cooper (Miller)47m56.2s2 laps behind

After lap 12, Souders, whose engine had started to run irregularly, retired somewhere on the circuit after holding second place with his Duesenberg. After having lost the cap of the fuel tank during the race, water from the continuous rain had entered unchecked into the tank causing incurable carburetion problems and forced his retirement. Minoia now advanced into second place. Of the three Americans only Cooper remained in the race. When it began to rain heavily, Cooper slowed down to a lap in 4m45s, equal to 126 km/h average speed. On lap 15 he stopped at his pit and the rain soaked Cooper was relieved by Kreis. With only four cars, the race would have been a complete bore, except that the two OMs were separated by less than three seconds. After 150 km the leader, Benoist, held an average speed of 147.937 km/h with the field down to only four cars after 15 laps.
1.Benoist (Delage)1h00m50.2s
2.Minoia (OM)1h09m13.8s2 laps behind
3.Morandi (OM)1h09m16.4s2 laps behind
4.Cooper /Kreis (Miller)1h17m47.6s4 laps behind

On lap 17 Minoia stopped his OM for three minutes at his pit with a defective valve. Despite the long pit stop, Morandi lost little time to his team mate. On lap 19 Morandi stopped to refuel and re-joined after a short time. Benoist maintained a steady pace in these difficult conditions with continuous rain and hindering strong west winds. He had passed the two OMs yet again. After 200 km the order had not changed and Benoist led at 147.002 km/h average speed after 20 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)1h21m37.8s
2.Minoia (OM)1h35m01.6s3 laps behind
3.Morandi (OM)1h35m07.6s3 laps behind
4.Cooper/Kreis (Miller)1h43m18.8s5 laps behind

On lap 24 Benoist had three laps or 30 km advantage to Morandi who in turn had passed Minoia when he stopped to refuel. At mid-race, after 250 km, it would soon be time for Benoist's refueling stop. His average speed had slowed to 146.484 km/h with the four cars in the following order after 25 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)1h42m23.8s
2.Morandi (OM)1h58m15.2s3 laps behind
3.Minoia (OM)1h59m41.2s4 laps behind
4.Cooper/Kreis (Miller)2h07m03.8s6 laps behind

The race carried on in a procession while Benoist, who was never challenged, stopped after lap 28 for the first time to refuel within one minute; neither the hood nor tires were touched. On lap 30 Minoia stopped for the third time with one valve spring broken and the engine down on seven cylinders. Minoia also had to change plugs continuously but he was sent away very quickly not to be caught by Kreis in the Miller. After 300 km Benoist's average speed had further dropped to 144 km/h after 30 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)2h05m21.6s
2.Morandi (OM)2h20m30.6s3 laps behind
3.Minoia (OM)2h27m34.2s5 laps behind
4.Cooper/Kreis (Miller)2h31m21.2s6 laps behind

Benoist maintained his pace which was so much faster than his closest opponent Morandi who had now fallen four laps behind. After 350 km Benoist's average speed was 144 km/h with the same order after 35 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)2h25m36.6s
2.Morandi (OM)2h42m12.0s4 laps behind
3.Minoia (OM)2h50m43.6s6 laps behind
4.Cooper/Kreis (Miller)2h56m08.6s7 laps behind

The situation had not changed after 400 km with everyone settled in their position and Benoist leading at an average speed of 144.144 km/h after 40 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)2h46m30.0s
2.Morandi (OM)3h06m51.8s4 laps behind
3.Minoia (OM)3h13m51.4s6 laps behind
4.Cooper/Kreis (Miller)3h19m20.0s7 laps behind

The end was nearing and the cars proceeded in their settled places. The only passing was done by Benoist when he lapped one of his three opponents. His victory looked very likely because a failure on his Delage was not expected since the car had proven its reliability before. Minoia progressively slowed down with his stricken engine. His lead over Kreis in the Miller, which had been over five minutes, was now less than two minutes and Kreis received signs from his pit to attack. After 450 km Benoist's average speed was 144.529 km/h with the standings after 45 laps as follows:
1.Benoist (Delage)3h06m48.6s
2.Morandi (OM)3h27m51.4s4 laps behind
3.Minoia (OM)3h39m16.4s8 laps behind
4.Cooper/Kreis (Miller)3h41m03.8s8 laps behind

At the end of 50 laps Benoist crossed the finish line after 3h26m59.8s. He had now won three races of the World Championship and was looked upon as the 1927 World Champion despite the fact that it was a World Championship for makes and not for drivers. After Benoist had passed the finish line as victor, the remaining drivers were still many laps behind and carried on driving to complete the full distance to be qualified. Morandi in second place was 5 laps behind while Kreis and Minoia were each 8 laps behind. During these last laps Kreis in the Miller improved his pace and closed upon the ailing OM of Minoia. For two laps both drivers raced close together. Could Kreis catch Minoia before the end? He managed it with only one lap to go on lap 49 when Kreis was able to pass the Italian on the finish straight to capture third place. That was probably the most exciting aspect of a dreary race.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.4Robert BenoistAutomobiles DelageDelage 15 S 8 19271.5S-8503h26m59.8s
2.12Giuseppe MorandiOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8503h49m32.6s + 22m32.8s
3.10E. Cooper/P. KreisCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-8504h02m05.8s + 35m06.0s
4.6Nando MinoiaOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8504h02m28.6s + 35m28.8s
DNF8George SoudersDuesenberg Motor Co.DuesenbergSpecial1.5S-813water in fuel
DNF2Peter KreisCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-81engine
Fastest lap Robert Benoist (Delage) on lap 4 in 3m57.2s at 151.8 km/h (94.3 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 144.9 km/h (90.1 mph).
Weather: raining, wet.
In retrospect:
The individual lap times published in newspapers and magazines deviated by fractions of a second and we hope that we have selected the correct ones.

Delage led the World Championship after the European Grand Prix, with 9 points ahead of Miller with 17 points and Duesenberg with 18. These were the only manufacturers who were still in a position to claim the World Championship because they had participated in at least two races up to this point.
      All other manufacturers were no longer eligible for the World Championship, since none of them had appeared in at least two mandatory races of the four events (Indianapolis, French Grand Prix, Spanish Grand Prix and European Grand Prix). Delage had an eight point advantage over Miller and nine over Duesenberg which was enough for Delage regardless of the outcome in the British Grand Prix. Even if Miller or Duesenberg were to win the last race it would raise their total to 18 or 19 points and even if Delage failed to appear at the British Grand Prix, it would still give Delage 15 points and victory. Therefore the Championship was effectively decided after the European Grand Prix.

Primary sources researched for this article:
ADAC-Motorwelt, München
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Automobil-Motorsport, Budapest
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'AUTO, Paris
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
L-Impero, Roma
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Omnia, Paris
R.A.C.I. giornale, Roma
Rivista ACI, Roma
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Signora Paola Masetta


Campbell (Bugatti)Sabipa (Bugatti)Eyston (Bugatti)

GRAND PRIX DE BOULOGNE

Boulogne-sur-Mer (F), 10 September 1927.
12 laps x 37.375 km (23.224 mi) = 448.5 km (278.7 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

Voiturettes 1100 cc - 12 laps
31Georges CasseSM SalmsonSalmsonGP1.1S-4
32Pierre GoutteSM SalmsonSalmson GP1.1S-4
33Lionel de Marmierde MarmierSalmson 1.1S-4
34George NewmanG. NewmanSalmson 1.1S-4
35André MorelSNA AmilcarAmilcarC61.1S-6
36Charles MartinC. MartinAmilcarC61.1S-6
37Arthur DurayA. DurayAmilcarC61.1S-6
38Ed CooperE. CooperG.A.R.1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
39Jack DouglasJ. DouglasDerby1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
40Jean GaupillatJ. GaupillatBNC5271.1S-4
 
Light Cars 1500 cc - 12 laps
42Archie Frazer-NashA. Frazer-NashFrazer NashSlug1.5S-4
43George EystonG. E. T. EystonBugattiT391.5S-8
44Basil EystonB. EystonBugattiT371.5S-4
45"Sabipa"Louis CharavelBugattiT37A s/c1.5S-4
46Prince Petru GhikaP. Ghika CantacuzinoBugattiT371.5S-4
47Donald MarendazD. MarendazMarendazSpecial - Anzani1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
48Malcolm CampbellM. CampbellBugattiT39A s/c1.5S-8
 
Grand Prix de L'U. M. F. - 3-wheel Cycle Cars - 4-7 laps
1VillardVillardVillard.35S-1  350 cc - 4 laps
2EgoEgod'Yrsan .75S-2  750 cc - 6 laps
3Raymond SiranR. Sirand'Yrsan 1.1S-41100 cc - 7 laps
 
Grand Prix de L'U. M. F. - 4-wheel Voiturettes - 5-7 laps
10Michel DoréM. DoréSima-Violet0.5S-4  500 cc - 5 laps
11Raoul de RovinR. de RovinRovin0.5S-2  500 cc - 5 laps
12Marcel VioletM. VioletDeguingnand.74S-4  735 cc - 6 laps
14Paul TreunetP. TreunetSima-Violet.75S-4750 cc - 6 laps
15ChoteauChoteauSima-Violet1.1S-41100 cc - 7 laps
35André MorelSNA AmilcarAmilcar1.1S-61100 cc - 7 laps raced also in the GP
36Charles MartinC. MartinAmilcar1.1S-61100 cc - 7 laps raced also in the GP


Malcolm Campbell wins the Boulogne Grand Prix

by Hans Etzrodt
The Boulogne Grand Prix for light cars (1500 cc) and Voiturettes (1100 cc), was a minor international event with 23 starters. It took place in rainy weather, which caused poor road conditions. As a result several early retirements happened including crashes by de Marmier and Prince Ghika. Eventually Bugattis were the only finishers in the 1500 class, with Campbell ahead of Sabipa and G. Eyston. Duray in the fast 1100 Amilcar won his class followed by the Salmsons of Casse and Goutte. Charles Martin who had dominated the 1100 class was forced to retire one lap from the end.
The annual week at Boulogne-sur-Mer had been held since 1905 while the first Boulogne Grand Prix took place in 1921. This year's race, which was the seventh in the series, was organized by the A.C.N.F. (Automobile Club du Nord de la France), la Société des Etablissements et le Syndicat d'Initiative du Touquet-Paris-Plage in combination with L'AUTO. In 1927 the week at Boulogne began with an international rally followed by several races from September 6 to 11. The more important events were the following:

On Thursday, September 8: 3.0 km and 1.1 km speed trials on Avenue François-Godin.
On Friday, September 9: 1.0 km hill climb on the Wimille hill (on National Road number 1) with a standing start and a 0.5 km speed trial with a standing start and a standing finish on the route de Calais.
On Saturday, September 10: in the morning, the Grand Prix International des Voiturettes and des Voitures légères. Simultaneously a race for cyclecars and voiturettes was held by L'U. M. F., the Union Motocycliste de France. In the afternoon there was the weighing of cars for the Coupe Boillot.
On Sunday, September 11: The Coupe Georges Boillot, an international handicap race for sports and touring cars.
      The Boulogne Grand Prix on Saturday was held on the same 37.375 km road course which had been used since 1921, 12 laps had to be driven, making a total of 448.5 km. The famous Boulogne circuit was considered one of the best road circuits. From the start at Croix-Botte it led to Fourche de Saint-Martin, then along National Road 42, via the Blanc-Pignon, Huplandre, La Capelle and the forest of Desvres. Before Le Waast there was a right turn on highway 127 that ran through Alinethun. In Desvres there was the last right hand bend on to highway 96 via Wirwignes, Bainethun, until Mont Lambert. Then it was back to the start and finish at Croix-Botte. The race was restricted to 1500 cc light cars, the current Grand Prix cars, and Voiturettes, the1100 cc cycle cars. The U.M.F. held their race for 10 starters simultaneously but over a shorter distance and although Morel and Martin had also entered in this race, our report only deals with the 17 Boulogne Grand Prix cars and ignores the U.M.F. entries.
Entries:
A list of the 27 entries is shown at the beginning of this report, including U. M. F. entries which were racing to different regulations. Some reports claimed wrongly that the German Baron Ernst Günther von Wentzel-Mosau supposedly entered his Mercedes-Benz SS in the Grand Prix. In fact, Wentzel only took part in speed trials and the hill climb but withdrew from the Coupe Boillot, a sports car handicap race, because Wentzel did not agree with the handicap formula.
      The 1500 cars were all independent entries, the fastest were the 8-cylinder Bugattis of Captain Malcolm Campbell which was supercharged while George Eyston's T39 had no supercharger and his brother Basil Eyston drove a 4-cylinder T37 Bugatti. The fourth British driver was Archie Frazer-Nash, the design engineer of the Frazer Nash Company. Prince Ghika, a Romanian living in Paris, drove a 4-cylinder Bugatti and the only Frenchman in this class, Louis Charavel, entered under the pseudonym "Sabipa" with a 4-cylinder supercharged Bugatti. In the 1100 cc class the 6-cylinder Amilcars driven by the Belgian Albert Duray and Charles Martin were a bit faster than the Grand Prix Salmsons.
Race:
At the planned 9 AM start, it was raining heavily, which caused a delay. Finally at 9:30 AM, Mr. Hector Franchomme, President of the Automobile Club du Nord de la France gave the start while it was still raining and unbelievable morning fog was present. There were 22 cars at the start of which the 14 Boulogne Grand Prix entries were in front.
 
Grid not available

The narrow road with the cambered wet asphalt was mirror-like and slippery and passing was dangerous. Sabipa and Eyston in 1500 Bugattis were involved in a lively battle, similarly Casse's Salmson with Duray's Amilcar in the 1100 class.
      During the first lap the rain alternated with the mist. George Eyston and Sabipa were in the lead, just one second apart. Despite the rain, the fog and the slippery circuit, the English driver made an average of 110.4 km/h. Campbell followed in third place. De Marmier (Salmson) led the 1100 class while Casse stopped his Salmson for a few seconds at the pits. After a long pause the Amilcar duo of Martin and Duray arrived with Gaupillat's BNC following a bit later. Prince Ghika and Basil Eyston in 1500 Bugattis appeared next, both having lost more than five minutes due to unspecified incidents. Goutte's Salmson, had stopped for a long time on the circuit. As Morel and Frazer-Nash did not pass the finish area, it was assumed that they had retired somewhere on the circuit and later it was learned they were halted with unknown problems. They were immobile for a long time and only after the leading drivers had covered four laps, did Morel's Amilcar surprisingly pass the grandstand completing his first lap. Frazer-Nash eventually left Fort-Mahon and appeared after the leading group had completed five laps, and stopped at the pits for two minutes. Newman gave up when his Salmson caught fire on the straight before Waast. He was able to extinguish it himself. The order was as follows after the first lap:
1.G. Eyston (Bugatti)20m21s1500 cc
2.Sabipa (Bugatti)20m22s1500 cc
3.Campbell (Bugatti)21m48s1500 cc
4.De Marmier (Salmson)22m28s1100 cc
5.Casse (Salmson)22m29s1100 cc
6.Martin (Amilcar)24m13s1100 cc
7.Duray (Amilcar)24m14s1100 cc
8.Gaupillat (BNC)24m51s1100 cc
9.Ghika (Bugatti)27m05s1500 cc
10.B. Eyston (Bugatti)29m07s1500 cc
11.Goutte (Salmson)29m47s1100 cc
12.Morel (Amilcar)1h36m23s1100 cc
13.Frazer-Nash1h54m51s1500 cc

Sabipa passed Eyston on the second lap with an average race speed of 113 km/h. In the 1100 class, Duray stopped at the pits to change a wheel. Goutte also stopped at the pits with some delay before rejoining the race. Gaupillat had fallen behind. Morel who had dropped four laps behind, had no problem on his second lap but Frazer-Nash, who had fallen five laps behind, retired on his second lap at Fort-Mahon but without an accident. The field was down to 12 cars in the following order after the second lap:
1.Sabipa (Bugatti)40m11s1500 cc
2.G. Eyston (Bugatti)40m24s1500 cc
3.Campbell (Bugatti)42m25s1500 cc
4.Casse (Salmson)43m06s1100 cc
5.De Marmier (Salmson)43m11s1100 cc
6.Martin (Amilcar)47m04s1100 cc
7.Duray (Amilcar)47m08s1100 cc
8.Ghika (Bugatti)49m21s1500 cc
9.B. Eyston (Bugatti)55m21s1500 cc
10.Goutte (Salmson)1h01m11s1100 cc
11.Gaupillat (BNC)1h37m38s1100 cc
12.Morel (Amilcar)1h59m22s1100 cc

After three laps Sabipa led in 1h00m40s ahead of Eyston 1h01m02s, Campbell 1h02m09s, Casse 1h03m32s, Martin 1h08m46s, Duray 1h09m54s, Ghika 1h10m46s, Basil Eyston 1h20m28s, Goutte 1h25m51s and Gaupillat 2h34m35s. Campbell drove a lap in 19m44s, the fastest lap of the race, while Sabipa had turned his fastest time in 19m49s on his second lap. After Morel retired his Amilcar at Blanc-Pignon and De Marmier (Salmson) ended his race at Waast, the field was down to ten cars.
      On lap four there were no position changes amongst the first six drivers. Casse took a long time with refueling at his pit. Prince Ghika, who had a big spin on the first lap, causing a great delay, spun his Bugatti again on lap four and overturned into a ditch. He lifted his car up and put it back on the road. But a short stretch further at Waast he overturned again, but this time it was more serious. The doctors were summoned in haste and ascertained that Ghika had some broken ribs, so he was brought to the Boulogne hospital. After Ghika and Gaupillat retired, the field was down to eight cars in the following order after four laps:
1.Sabipa (Bugatti)1h21m02s1500 cc
2.G. Eyston (Bugatti)1h22m09s1500 cc
3.Campbell (Bugatti)1h23m10s1500 cc
4.Casse (Salmson)1h25m17s1100 cc
5.Martin (Amilcar)1h30m27s1100 cc
6.Duray (Amilcar)1h33m43s1100 cc
7.B. Eyston (Bugatti)1h45m40s1500 cc
8.Goutte (Salmson)1h46m51s1100 cc

After lap five Sabipa's time was 1h41m10s, G. Eyston 1h42m40s, Campbell 1h43m32s, Casse was fourth, followed by Martin, Duray, Goutte and B. Eyston in last place.
      On lap six Campbell passed G. Eyston for second place and was just over two minutes behind the leader while Eyston was 3m23s behind. Martin was now leading the 1100 cc class and Casse had dropped from fourth to sixth place and battled with Duray. After B. Eyston retired his Bugatti at mid-race, the field was down to seven cars in the following order after six laps:
1.Sabipa (Bugatti)2h01m56s1500 cc
2.Campbell (Bugatti)2h04m01s1500 cc
3.G. Eyston (Bugatti)2h05m19s1500 cc
4.Martin (Amilcar)2h12m00s1100 cc
5.Duray (Amilcar)2h14m14s1100 cc
6.Casse (Salmson)2h14m15s1100 cc
7.Goutte (Salmson)2h37m36s1100 cc

During lap 7 were no position changes. Sabipa still held first place, 1m48s ahead of Campbell and 3m46s ahead of G. Eyston. Martin was leading the 1100 class one minute ahead of Duray, four minutes ahead of Casse while Goutte was way behind. After seven laps Martin finished with his Amilcar in the lead of the U.M.F. 1100 class, which he also had entered, finishing in 2h34m27s at 101.5 km/h average speed.
      After lap eight Sabipa still held the lead, but Campbell had closed the gap by half a minute and was only 1m 36s behind. Duray had climbed to the top of the 1100 class and was one minute ahead of Martin. The order was as follows after lap eight:
1.Sabipa (Bugatti)2h43m41s1500 cc
2.Campbell (Bugatti)2h45m17s1500 cc
3.G. Eyston (Bugatti)2h48m30s1500 cc
4.Duray (Amilcar)2h57m53s1100 cc
5.Martin (Amilcar)2h58m53s1100 cc
6.Casse (Salmson)3h01m01s1100 cc
7.Goutte (Salmson)3h30m39s1100 cc

On lap nine the leading trio remained the same but Campbell continued to put pressure on Sabipa, covering the lap at 112.5 km/h. He reduced the gap to Sabipa to 1m05s while G. Eyston was over five minutes behind. In the 1100 class, Martin regained the lead and headed Duray by 24 seconds with Casse and Goutte further behind.
      On the 10th lap Sabipa, who had responded with a faster lap in 20m19s, led Campbell by 1m41s, with Eyston 4m6s behind. Martin was still leading the 1100 class just 20 seconds ahead of Duray. The order was as follows after 10 laps:
1.Sabipa (Bugatti)3h24m25s1500 cc
2.Campbell (Bugatti)3h26m06s1500 cc
3.G. Eyston (Bugatti)3h30m12s1500 cc
4.Martin (Amilcar)3h42m15s1100 cc
5.Duray (Amilcar)3h42m35s1100 cc
6.Casse (Salmson)3h46m53s1100 cc
7.Goutte (Salmson)4h16m54s1100 cc

On lap 11, Sabipa stopped to refuel but his car refused to restart before he eventually rejoined the race. It was also reported that Sabipa adjusted his clutch, which had been slipping. In any event, he not only lost more than five minutes but he lost first place to Campbell, who had taken the lead. Martin's Amilcar broke down and he retired, handing the 1100 class lead to Duray. The order at the end of lap 11 was Campbell 3h47m14s, Sabipa 3h50m16s, Eyston 3h51m03s, Duray 4h03m45s, Casse 4h10m16s and Goutte 4h42m01s.
      On lap 12 there were no position changes and Campbell finished as the smiling winner. Sabipa and Eyston crossed the finish line four tenths of a second apart in a very exciting fight for second place. Duray in the Amilcar finished fourth ahead of the Salmsons driven by Casse and Goutte, the last finishers.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.48Malcolm CampbellM. CampbellBugattiT39A1.5S-8124h08m41.2s
2.45"Sabipa"Louis CharavelBugattiT37A1.5S-4124h12m57.4s+ 4m16.2s
3.43George EystonG.E.T. EystonBugattiT391.5S-8124h12m57.8s+ 4m16.6s
4.37Arthur DurayA. DurayAmilcarC61.1S-6124h24m39.6s+ 15m58.4s
5.31Georges CasseSM SalmsonSalmsonGP1.1S-6124h34m25.0s+ 25m43.8s
6.32Pierre GoutteSM SalmsonSalmsonGP1.1S-6125h00m58.0s+ 52m16.8s
DNF36Charles MartinC. MartinAmilcarC61.1S-610mechanical 
DNF44Basil EystonB. EystonBugattiT371.5S-45
DNF40Jean GaupillatJ. GaupillatBNC5271.1S-43  
DNF46Prince Petru GhikaP. Ghika CantacuzinoBugattiT371.5S-43crash
DNF35André MorelSNA AmilcarAmilcarC61.1S-62mechanical 
DNF33Lionel de MarmierL. de MarmierSalmson 1.1S-42crash 
DNF42Archie Frazer-NashA. Frazer-NashFrazer NashSlug1.5S-41magneto
DNF34George NewmanG. NewmanSalmson 1.1S-40fire 
Fastest lap: Malcolm Campbell (Bugatti) on lap 3 in 19m44s = 113.6 km/h (70.6 mph).
1500 cc class winner's average speed, Campbell: 108.2 km/h (67.2 mph).
1100 cc class winner's average speed, Duray: 101.7 km/h (63.2 mph).
Weather: raining with fog in morning.
In retrospect:
Fastest lap calculation of Sabipa (Bugatti)
1.20m22s20m22s
2.40m11s19m49s
3.1h00m40s20m29s
4.1h21m02s20m22s
5.1h41m10s20m08s
6.2h01m56s20m46s
7.2h23m00s21m04s
8.2h43m41s20m41s
9.3h04m06s20m25s
10.3h24m25s20m19s
11.3h50m16s25m51s
12.4h12m57s22m41s

Fastest lap calculation of Campbell (Bugatti)
1.21m48s21m48s
2.42m25s20m37s
3.1h02m09s19m44s
4.1h23m10s21m01s
5.1h43m32s20m22s
6.2h04m01s20m29s
7.2h24m48s20m47s
8.2h45m17s20m29s
9.3h05m11s19m54s
10.3h26m06s20m55s
11.3h47m14s21m08s
12.4h08m41s21m27s

Fastest lap calculation of Ghika (Bugatti)
1.27m04s27m04s
2.49m21s22m17s
3.1h10m46s21m25s

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
L'Auto, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
L'Ouest-Éclair, Rennes
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Omnia, Paris


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© 2017 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 14.11.2017