BRITISH GRAND PRIX
Brooklands special circuit (GB), 1 October 1927 (Saturday).
125 laps x 2.616 mi (4.21 km) = 327.0 mi (526.25 km)
Benoist wins the British Grand Prix
by Hans Etzrodt
The second British Grand Prix -officially the RAC Grand Prix- took place during unpleasant weather with on-and-off drizzle and stormy cold winds. The new 1500 Fiats from Italy and the American Duesenberg did not
appear while the British Alvis broke down in a pre-race test lap. That left nine French cars, comprising six Bugattis and three Delages, plus two English Thomas Specials for the start. Initially Materassi
(Bugatti) held the lead but the Delage team of Divo, Bourlier and Benoist moved to the front after three laps. Before ten laps were over, Scott and Purdy in the Thomas Specials had retired, followed later by
the Bugattis of Prince Ghica, Eyston/Davis and Campbell. The order in the procession-like race ended in a staged Delage hat-trick finish of Benoist - Bourlier - Divo, followed by Chiron in fourth place and
Materassi fifth, both in Bugattis, while the Conelli/Williams Bugatti was still running but was too far behind to be classified. Brooklands was the last race of the 1.5-Liter formula.
The R.A.C. (Royal Automobile Club) staged the 1927 British Grand Prix on the 1st of October at Brooklands, southwest of London near Weybridge, Surrey it designated it the R.A.C. Grand Prix Race. It was the last
event of the 1927 World Championship. The Brooklands outer circuit had been specially prepared for this race, 125 laps around the 2.616 miles circuit, totaling 327.0 miles. Compared to the 1926 race with 287
miles, the race distance was lengthened to 327 miles or 526.250 km. Strangely, and in common with the European Grand Prix, the distance was less than the 600 km minimum distance demanded by AIACR regulations.
No explanation could be found.
The start was at the beginning of the railway straight where the course was wide enough for the eleven cars to line up in one row. The cars travelled anti-clockwise down the railway straight turning left around
the inner circuit. As in the previous year sandbanks had been erected as chicanes on the Finishing Straight. There was a total of six sandbanks, divided in two groups. The first group consisted
of three parallel sandbanks, a left, right, left chicane. After which the drivers passed under a bridge towards a sandbank placed in direction of traffic which had to be passed on the left side. The next
sandbank was placed again transverse to the direction of traffic and had to be passed on the right and the third sandbank forced the drivers to remain sharp to the left.
Originally there were 16 entries of which only 11 cars started. The three Fiats for Nazzaro, Bordino and Salamano were withdrawn a week before the race under the pretext that their mechanics had to prepare the
aero engines for Italy's Schneider Trophy water-planes and as a result could not finish the racecars. On September 25 L'AUTO reported that two 1500 Fiats were entered for Salamano and Bordino under the supervision
of Felice Nazzaro. L'AUTO reported two days later that Fiat had withdrawn their entries. The Duesenberg of Souders was also withdrawn because its gearbox was unsuitable for track racing. The front-wheel-drive
Alvis of Major Maurice Harvey broke its oil pump drive gears during the morning of the race and could not be repaired in time. The 11 cars that were to face the starter included three Delage works entries for
Divo, Benoist and Bourlier with Morel and Sénéchal as reserve drivers. The Delages were fitted with streamlined mud shields behind the front wheels to keep the spray from the drivers' faces.
In his book 'The Roaring Twenties' Cyril Posthumus mentioned the unique rule in Grand Prix racing at Brooklands in 1926 and 1927, regarding the compulsory use of exhaust silencers in the British events.
The exhaust pipes were fitted with a 'Brooklands can', a square muffler, just ahead of the cockpit for the Delages and to the end of the pipe was attached a large flat Brooklands fishtail.
The Bugatti factory also sent three cars for Materassi, Conelli and Chiron. Three independent Bugattis started with Eyston and his reserve driver Sammy Davis in Baron d'Erlanger's car, Campbell and Prince
Jean Ghica Cantacuzino, a Rumanian. Finally, there were two English Thomas Specials for Scott and Purdy. A complete list of entries is at the beginning of this report.
The wearing of crash helmets during the race was mandatory for all drivers. However only six of the 13 drivers wore crash helmets of the approved pattern and four of them were British. During practice some
days before, a Delage and a Thomas Special collided, but the damage was insignificant and could be completely repaired.
It rained hard on Saturday morning. A crowd, estimated at around 18.000, attended the race during the awful cold rainy weather. The eleven cars drove to the beginning of the railway straight which was wide enough
for them to line up abreast. The start was hard to see from the paddock area on the opposite side of the race track.
All cars started their engines except the Delage of Bourlier and three mechanics were frantically pushing it to get its engine started. Just before the flag dropped the engine sprung to life but Bourlier waited
until the others had started. At 12:00 PM during heavy rain which lasted more or less during the entire race, the famous Brooklands starter A.V. "Ebby" Ebblewhite dropped the red starting flag and Materassi's
blue Bugatti shot into the lead which the Autocar described: "The way Materassi jumped into the lead at the start was quite electrifying. He left all other cars virtually standing still".
The Italian held on to first place with Divo's Delage right behind him and the others passing the pits after the first lap in the following order:
Bourlier's Delage was leading after the second lap with Divo right behind, followed by Materassi and Benoist racing side by side through the corner, ahead of Campbell, Eyston and Conelli. After three laps the three
Delages were in the lead, leaving the Bugattis more and more behind. Eyston headed for the pits with a misfiring engine for the first of many plug changes. Scott retired his Thomas Special complaining about lack of
power and a slipping clutch after he had completed eight laps. His teammate Purdy followed on the next lap with gearbox trouble after having stopped three times to replace oiled plugs. This left the battle between
Delage and Bugatti. Divo held the lead at an average speed of 85.61 mph with the first six cars in the following order after 10 laps:
After 20 laps the order had not changed, but Divo's average speed had increased very slightly to 85.75 mph. After 30 laps, about one quarter distance, Conelli had passed Chiron for fourth place and Divo was leading at
an average speed of 86.08 mph with the order as follows:
Prince Ghica's Bugatti seemed to lack speed and after 28 laps he retired with the intake manifold disintegrating. Materassi was delayed by a leaking radiator joint and had to stop three times to replenish water.
After 44 laps Divo stopped to refuel, top up with oil and change one front wheel, dropping from the lead to third place one lap behind Bourlier, the new leader. Benoist was timed in the measured kilometer at 102.61 mph,
Bourlier and Divo at 101.5 mph. Bourlier held the lead at an average race speed of 87.05 mph with the positions as follows after 50 laps and remained so after 60 laps and at half distance.
After around half distance, most drivers headed for their pits to refuel. Bourlier stopped on lap 69 to add fuel, top up with castor oil and changed goggles, all in 1m36s. In the meantime, Benoist had taken the lead.
Conelli, who held fourth place, ran out of fuel on lap 65 due to a carburetor problem and was stranded on the circuit. He pushed the car unaided over one-and-one-half miles from the Byfleet banking, two-thirds of a lap.
He was accompanied by a motorcycle with sidecar following behind his Bugatti. With wind and lashing rain it took him about half an hour to reach the pits where he collapsed completely exhausted. After the faulty
carburetor was repaired, the reserve driver Williams had to take over and continued with a great time loss. As a result, Chiron, Campbell and Materassi had improved their positions after a troublesome first third of
the race. Chiron made his refueling stop on lap 63. Eyston made about eight stops for spark plugs in the first half of the race and was relieved by Davis. Benoist made his refueling stop on lap 72 where he also
changed tires and had the brakes adjusted, all in 2m22s. During his stop he was passed by Divo and Bourlier. On lap 89 Divo stopped at the pits to have his tires examined. Chiron in fourth place was nearly 16
miles behind the leader at three quarter race distance when Divo held the lead at 85.52 mph average speed with the cars in the following order:
Davis in Eyston's Bugatti had to make a pit stop on lap 95 when his supercharger seized. Campbell retired on lap 97 with a stuck valve which could not be freed. The Motor reported: At this stage there seemed to be a
three-cornered fight between Benoist, Bourlier and Divo, the three members of the Delage team. Indeed, to those unfamiliar with team tactics there was plenty of excitement, in watching Benoist gain gradually on the
other Delages, passing them dramatically after sitting on their tails through the chicanes. In actual fact, Monsieur Louis Delage wanted the cars to finish in numerical order - 2, 3, 4 - which, as later events proved,
they did to perfection. And it was in order to let Benoist pass him that Divo came into the pits on the somewhat flimsy pretext that he wished to examine the tires. Divo showed this sudden interest in his tires on the
108th lap, which enabled him to drop, unobtrusively, from first to third place, while Benoist, who had been running third, passed Bourlier and took the lead. After lap 110 the positions did not change.
At the end of 125 laps Benoist crossed the finish line as victor at 85.59 mph average speed. Benoist had, like no other driver before him, won all the European Grands Prix of the season. He was victor with his Delage
in the Grands Prix of France, Spain, Europe and now Britain. Bourlier in the second Delage was 100 yards behind with Divo in the third Delage one-and-a-quarter laps behind. The Motor reported: Sénéchal, who was there
as reserve driver, was so carried away with excitement that he rushed out to stop Divo a lap too soon. As the Frenchman stopped there were sudden, alarmed cries of "Extincteur!" Yellow tongues of flame were shooting
through the bonnet louvres. However, after a second or two the flames ceased, of their own accord, Divo was just getting out of the car when an official rushed up and told him he must do another lap. Hence the rather
longer interval at which he finished.
Chiron followed in fourth place, seven laps behind the leader, and kept driving to complete the full distance of 125 laps. However, he stopped at the end of his 124th lap under the impression that his race had ended.
Subsequently he was informed of his error and was permitted to cross the finishing line under power to finish fourth. As soon as he had passed the finish line, the race was officially declared to be at an end and the
race was stopped. All other places were calculated on the number of laps completed. Materassi who was still running when the race ended was fifth with 118 laps, but Conelli/Williams with 106 laps were too far behind
to be classified. The Bugattis of Campbell, Eyston/Davis and Ghica retired as had both Thomas Specials of Purdy and Scott.
|1.||2||Robert Benoist||Automobiles Delage||Delage||15 S 8 1927||1.5||S-8||125||3h49m14.6s|
|2.||3||Edmond Bourlier||Automobiles Delage||Delage||15 S 8 1927||1.5||S-8||125||3h49m21.6s||+ 7s|
|3.||4||Albert Divo||Automobiles Delage||Delage||15 S 8 1927||1.5||S-8||125||2h52m20.0s||+ 3m05.4s|
|4.||12||Louis Chiron||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39A||1.5||S-8||125||4h17m50.0s||+ 28m35.4s|
|5.||11||Emilio Materassi||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39A||1.5||S-8||118|
|DNC||10||C. Conelli / "Williams"||Automobiles Ettore Bugatti||Bugatti||T39A||1.5||S-8||106|
|DNF||5||Malcolm Campbell||Captain M. Campbell||Bugatti||T39A||1.5||S-8||97||stuck valve|
|DNF||1||G. Eyston / Sammy Davis||Leo d'Erlanger||Bugatti||T39A||1.5||S-8||95||supercharger|
|DNF||14||Jean Prince Ghica||Prince Ghica Cantacuzino||Bugatti||T39A||1.5||S-4||28||intake manifold|
|DNF||7||Harold Purdy||H.W. Purdy||Thomas||Special||1.5||S-6||9||gearbox|
|DNF||6||Bummer Scott||W.B. Scott||Thomas||Special||1.5||S-6||8||clutch|
Fastest lap: not available|
Winner's medium speed: 85.59 mph (137.7 km/h).
Weather: intermittent rain showers, windy and cold.
The time keeping went awry and individual times in hours, minutes and seconds were not issued. Instead, the R.A.C. released only individual speeds in mph to cover up the deficiencies of their time keeping.
The press was probably included in this cover-up, did not complain and was happy to publish the individual speeds instead of times.
The fastest lap during the race was not published. All of this happened in a World Championship race, displaying the incompetence of the R.A.C. time keeping experts. However, the three Delages were easily the
fastest cars in the race. Benoist was timed at 102.61 mph over the flying kilometer and the other two Delages at 101.67 mph, while none of the Bugattis could exceed 100 mph.
Delage with 10 points was the sole survivor of the 1927 World Championship. None of the other manufacturers classified since they had not participated in the obligatory three races.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Automobil Motorsport, Budapest
Motor Sport, London
The Autocar, London
The Motor, London
The Observer, London
The Scotsman, Edinburgh
The Sunday Times, London
The Times, London
Special thanks to:
CIRCUITO DEL GARDA
Circuito del Garda - Salo (I), 9 October 1927.
25 laps x 12.236 km (7.603 mi) = 305.9 km (190.1 mi)
Nuvolari and Minoia win their classes at the Garda Circuit
by Hans Etzrodt
A field of 24 cars appeared at this minor event over 25 laps where most drivers started with Bugattis. From the beginning Maggi and Nuvolari in 2000 Bugattis battled for the lead, followed by Minoia and
Bona in 1500 Bugattis, Borzacchini and Tonini in Maseratis, plus Zampieri's fast Amilcar. After five laps seven cars had retired and after 10 laps five more had disappeared including the leader Maggi with
a sick engine and Bona who crashed without serious consequences. Thereafter Nuvolari dominated the remaining 15 laps unchallenged ahead of Minoia's small Bugatti, the Masperi/Rosa (OM), Nenzioni (Bugatti),
Zampieri (Amilcar), Franchini (AlfaRomeo), B. Ferrari (Fiat), the Tonini Maserati with the constructor Alfieri as relief driver, Donna d'Avanzo (Maserati), Maganzini (Bugatti), Munari (Fiat) and Martinelli
(Bugatti), which was the order in which these 12 cars finished. The 12 retirements included Borzacchini in the latest version of the 2000 Maserati for which there had been great expectations.
The Garda Circuit race near Salò at the western shores of Lake Garda was important because this year it counted towards the Italian Automobile Championship. The Reale Automobile Club Brescia organized
this seventh race on Circuito del Garda, 25 laps over a 12.236 km course, a total of 305.900 km. The event was first held in 1921. With the start in Salò the circuit headed south, snaking up the curves
of the Zette hill reaching Cunettone after 4.3 km. From here the twisting course headed north-west past Villa for 4.5 km to Tormini, where the road dropped leading east back to Salò after 3.4 km. Before
the race a specialized company had resurfaced the more worn out sections of the dirt roads. The grandstand, which had previously been in Salò, was now in Cunettone because for the 1927 race the Brescia
AC had changed the start from Salò to Cunettone. This was all part of the ongoing arguments and conflict between the organizers, the Brescia AC and the Garda Committee including financing.
The regulations divided the entries into two classes, one up to 1500 cc and the other over 1500. The 1100 cc cars had to fight with the 1500s for the class win. However, there was a special prize for
the first 1100 car finishing, which would result in a fight between the smallest. The timekeeping service was performed by the unparalleled great Ottolini and Radice, solicitors, Messi and Mazier.
The prize money was the same for the class up to 1500 and over 1500 cc: first place 10,000 lire, second 5,000 and third 3,000. A large gold medal was awarded to the driver who established the fastest lap
during the race.
Over 30 entries were received from Italian drivers since the race was the last one counting towards the 1927 Italian Championship. The main contenders included the Bugatti drivers Maggi, Minoia and
Nuvolari. The latter still raced motorcycles with a Bianchi contract. Maggi had won the race in 1925 and 26 while Minoia and Nuvolari had prior experience with good finishes at Garda. Minoia was
considered a serious contender even though he raced a slower supercharged 1500 Bugatti. As a contracted driver for the Bugatti works, it is likely that he started with strong factory support. Maserati
entered the latest version of their 2-liter type 26B for Borzacchini and Baroness Maria Antonietta d'Avanzo drove a 1500 Maserati which she had bought from Conte Diego De Sterlich. The 2000 OM of
Masperi was shared in the race by Archimede Rosa. A complete list of the numbered entries is at the beginning of this report.
A large crowd had come to witness the outcome of the duel between the most famous drivers, Maggi and Nuvolari. Enthusiasts occupied all the seats of the new grandstand in Cunettone's attractive
valley. The finish line was near the curve that connected two main roads. There was a special stand for the authorities, including the Prefect of Brescia, comm. Siragusa, the Federal Political
Secretary of Brescia, comm. Dugnani, Count Gallenga the Vice-President of the ACI, and many others. At 11:20 AM Franco Mazzotti and Count Gallenga began a tour of one lap closing the circuit.
Ten minutes later the drivers moved their cars onto the grid. From 32 entries, only 24 cars appeared for the start. The 1500 class which included the 1100 cc cars was to start first,
lined up in pairs.
Finally, the officials' car returned having closed the circuit. The band played the Marcia Reale, the national anthem of the Italian Kingdom, with everyone standing. The deafening roar from the race
cars' engines drowned out every other noise. Then at 11:50 the starter, the Federal Secretary of Brescia comm Dugnani, lowered the flag to release the first pair of drivers, Biondetti and Avanzo. The
public applauded the lady dressed flamboyantly in red overalls. Biondetti immediately stopped and retired. After 30 seconds the next pair of Serboli and Testi started with the same gap to each following
pair until Nuvolari and Borzacchini were the last to leave.
At the end of the first lap, Serboli's Chiribiri was the first to arrive ahead of Tonini, Nenzioni, Zamperi, Ferrari and Maganzini who took the bend in a skid. Maggi appeared next, who also skidded
through the turn. Arrivabene had a brief stop at the pits while Togni and Pastore retired.
After lap two Maggi was leading the large field, followed by Nuvolari. On the road the cars were in the order: Serboli, Minoia, Valpreda and Tonini. Zampieri overtook Ms. Avanzo as they crossed the
start line while Maggi was close behind both of them.
On the third lap Romano retired but the race positions remained the same. Minoia went past Serboli near the grandstand. Borzacchini had passed Nuvolari who tried to repass the fast Maserati on the
straight. Borzacchini's best lap was 8m10s while Nuvolari could do no better than 8m15s. Due to the disparate starting procedure, this may have been the only genuine on-track duel for race position.
Arrivabene retired with an engine problem.
On the fourth lap, Maggi extended his lead, looking like the winner. Testi retired on lap four. On the fifth lap, Borzacchini's race ended when he retired his Maserati at his pit with a broken gear
that drove the camshafts. Maggi's average lap time for the first five laps was 7m50.8s. His lead over Nuvolari was two minutes and Minoia was a further two minutes behind Nuvolari when the order
after five laps was as follows:
|9.||Franchini (Alfa Romeo)||46m36.6s|
|11.||Ferrari (Fiat)||47m15s||1 lap behind|
|12.||Maganzini (Bugatti)||47m45s||1 lap behind|
|13.||Avanzo (Maserati)||49m00s||1 lap behind|
|14.||Munari (Fiat)||50m46s||1 lap behind|
|15.||Sansoni (Bugatti)||51m03s||1 lap behind|
|16.||Martinelli (Bugatti)||51m51s||1 lap behind|
|17.||Valpreda (Chiribiri)||55m23s||2 laps behind|
On lap seven Serboli retired. At the end of lap nine Maggi, who was by now several minutes ahead of Nuvolari, was about to start lap 10, but he took the curve slowly and toned down the engine before his
pit since its beat was irregular. He made an impatient gesture to the mechanic and then Maggi jumped out of the car which was pushed inside the fence with a broken connecting rod. When Nuvolari learned
from his pits about Maggi's demise, he slowed his pace since there were still many laps to go. Meanwhile Sansoni, who had stopped at the pits earlier, retired due to clutch failure. Nuvolari's average
lap time for last five laps was 8m04.2s. The order was as follows after 10 laps:
|4.||Tonini (Maserati)||1h30m21s||1 lap behind|
|5.||Zampieri (Amilcar)||1h30m54s||1 lap behind|
|6.||Nenzioni (Bugatti)||1h32m05s||1 lap behind|
|7.||Valpreda (Chiribiri)||1h32m10s||1 lap behind|
|8.||Masperi (OM)||1h32m22s||1 lap behind|
|9.||Franchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h32m55.6s||1 lap behind|
|10.||Ferrari (Fiat)||1h34m00s||1 lap behind|
|11.||Avanzo (Maserati)||1h36m00.2s||1 lap behind|
|12.||Martinelli (Bugatti)||1h41m00s||2 laps behind|
|13.||Maganzini (Bugatti)||1h41m17s||2 laps behind|
|14.||Munari (Fiat)||3 laps behind|
After the tenth lap Minoia had to change a tire along the course and on the following lap he replaced the bad tire with one of the stock in his pit, falling further behind Nuvolari. On lap 11, Valpreda
retired his Chiribiri at the pits. On the twelfth lap Masperi, who was aching from leg cramps, stopped and handed over the cockpit of the OM to Rosa, who immediately started to make up lost time.
On lap 15, Alfieri Maserati, the car's designer, relieved the indisposed Tonini at the steering wheel. On the same lap it was learned that Bona had crashed his Bugatti at Villa. While overtaking another
car, Bona slammed into an iron trellis, crushing the big bars with the front of his Bugatti. The accident could have had serious consequences due to the violence of the crash but it ended with only a
slight wound to the driver's nose and a fractured rib of the mechanic. Rosa who had taken over Masperi's O.M. did some determined driving and worked the car from eighth to fourth place within four laps.
Nuvolari's average lap time for last five laps was 8m24.2s with the order after 15 laps as follows:
|3.||Zampieri (Amilcar)||2h15m46s||1 lap behind|
|4.||Masperi/Rosa (OM)||2h18m05s||1 lap behind|
|5.||Nenzioni (Bugatti)||2h18m16s||1 lap behind|
|6.||Franchini (Alfa Romeo)||2h18m48s||1 lap behind|
|7.||Ferrari (Fiat)||2h21m30s||2 laps behind|
|8.||Avanzo (Maserati)||2h23m31s||2 laps behind|
|9.||Maganzini (Bugatti)||2h27m48s||2 laps behind|
|10.||Tonini/Maserati (Maserati)||2h30m39s||3 laps behind|
|11.||Munari (Fiat)||2h32m52s||3 laps behind|
On lap 19 Nuvolari who led Minoia by 4m13s, made a quick pit stop. When Zampieri's Amilcar dropped two places, Rosa and Nenzioni were able to advance. Alfieri Maserati gained ground in Tonini's car by
moving past Maganzini's Bugatti into ninth position. Minoia stopped on lap 20 for fuel and water. Nuvolari's average lap time over the last five laps was 8m21s. The order after 20 laps was:
|3.||Masperi /Rosa (OM)||3h01m45s||1 lap behind|
|4.||Nenzioni (Bugatti)||3h02m50s||2 laps behind|
|5.||Zampieri (Amilcar)||3h03m21s||2 laps behind|
|6.||Franchini (Alfa Romeo)||3h05m39s||2 laps behind|
|7.||Ferrari (Fiat)||3h10m42s||3 laps behind|
|8.||Avanzo (Maserati)||3h10m55s||3 laps behind|
|9.||Tonini/Maserati (Maserati)||3h15m48s||3 laps behind|
With a lead of more than six minutes, the fight was now settled between Minoia and Nuvolari, who made another pit stop at the end of lap 21. Since Nuvolari started four and a half minutes after Minoia,
Nuvolari must have overtaken him, quite possibly during Minoia's last pit stop. The demoralizing effect of this meant that at the beginning of the last lap Minoia slowed his pace considerably causing
him to fall one lap behind.
After 25 laps, Nuvolari crossed the finish line, eleven minutes ahead of Minoia's 1500 Bugatti and was greeted by the Giovinezza, the Fascist national anthem. The records from the 1926 race were all
broken. Rosa in Masperi's OM finished a further five minutes behind, followed by Nenzioni's 1500 Bugatti and Zampieri's fast 1100 cc Amilcar in fifth place. Minoia and Masperi/Rosa were both one
lap down. Nenzioni, Zampieri and Franchini were two laps behind, while Ferrari, Tonini and d'Avanzo had fallen three laps back. Maganzini, Munari and Martinelli were four laps behind. The officials
actually stopped Munari and Martinelli and accredited them respectively with 4h11m36s and 4h12m58s. A group of sports fans carried Nuvolari in triumph. There was also much celebration for Minoia,
Zampieri and Donna Avanzo.
Incredibly the time keepers, obviously by mistake, used a course length of 13.236 km instead of 12.236 km when doing their calculations! Thus the official results looked like this:
Fastest lap of over 1500 cc category: Aymo Maggi (Bugatti) on lap 1 in 7m51.2s = 101.120 km/h.|
Fastest lap of up to 1500 cc category: Ferdinando Minoia (Bugatti) on lap 14 in 8m16s = 96.067 km/h.
Average speed of over 1500 cc category winner: Tazio Nuvolari (Bugatti) at 94.675 km/h.
Average speed of up to 1500 cc category winner: Ferdinando Minoia (Bugatti) at 90.019 km/h.
Average speed of to 1100 cc category winner: Alfonso Zampieri (Amilcar) at 86.384 km/h.
Correctly calculated the speeds should look like this:
Fastest lap of over 1500 cc category: Aymo Maggi (Bugatti) on lap 1 in 7m51.2s = 93.5 km/h (58.1 mph).|
Fastest lap of up to 1500 cc category: Ferdinando Minoia (Bugatti) on lap 14 in 8m16s = 88.8 km/h (55.2 mph).
Average speed of over 1500 cc category winner: Tazio Nuvolari (Bugatti) at 87.5 km/h (54.4 mph).
Average speed of up to 1500 cc category winner Ferdinando Minoia (Bugatti) at 83.2 km/h (51.7 mph).
Average speed of to 1100 cc category winner Alfonso Zampieri (Amilcar) at 79.9 km/h (49.6 mph).
Primary sources researched for this article:|
ACI - rivista, Torino
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
Special thanks to:
Giancarlo Cavallini, for his book Circuito del Garda
JUNIOR CAR CLUB 200 MILES
Brooklands special circuit (GB), 15 October 1927 (Saturday).
73 laps x 2.767 mi (4.453 km) = 202.0 mi (325.1 km)
Campbell wins the 200 Mile race
by Hans Etzrodt
There were 30 entries at the international 200 Mile race of the Junior Car Club, comprising 15 British cars, 14 from France and one from Italy. They were racing over a special road course at
Brooklands, including hairpin bends and fast S-turns. Campbell (1500 Bugatti) was leading after the first two laps with Eyston (1500 Bugatti) in first place on lap ten. Both drivers had very equal
cars which resulted in Campbell and Eyston having a fierce duel with constant lead changes. After 20 laps Eyston was in the lead but Campbell slowed on lap 24 after losing 3rd and 1st gears.
Nonetheless the Eyston-Campbell duel carried on unchanged until Eyston's retirement on lap 39, which handed the win to Campbell. The 1100 Amilcars maintained top places in the general classification
throughout the race with Morel finishing second, followed by Balls and Martin ahead of the remaining 1500 cars led by Purdy (1500 Thomas Special) and Urquart-Dykes (1500 Alvis), who were fifth and
sixth. The 1100 Salmsons of Casse and Goutte finished seventh and eighth. In the 750 cc class the Austin Sevens of Chase, Wilson and Boyd-Carpenter finished in that order, although none of
them could complete the distance within the time limit.
The JCC 200 race took place 15 days after the R.A.C. British Grand Prix. The first 200 mile race of the Junior Car Club dated back to 1921 and this race was the seventh in the series. The race was
held on October 15 at Brooklands, southwest of London near Weybridge, Surrey. It used the Brooklands outer circuit which had been specially prepared for this race at a lap of 2.767 miles, totaling
73 laps. The start was at the fork end of the finishing straight from where the cars proceeded anti-clockwise down the finishing straight in which the cars followed a serpentine course through five
sandbanks, the last of which was on the outer circuit of the track. From there they proceeded down the railway straight and round the Byfleet banking. A short distance past the fork, still on the
outer circuit, cars had to make a hairpin turn back to the fork where there was another hairpin turn on to the finishing straight where they began another lap.
There were 30 entries of which the main contenders were to be found amongst the 13 cars of the 1500 cc class. These were the 1500 straight-eight Bugattis of Campbell and Eyston, the latter driving
Baron Leo d'Erlanger's Bugatti. The 1100 cc cycle car class comprised 10 cars of which the supercharged 6-cylinder Amilcars of Ball, Morel and Martin were fast enough to compete with the 8-cylinder
1500 Bugattis. The four supercharged Salmsons were handled by Goutte, Casse, de Marnier and Newman, while Dr. Benjafield raced a Salmson SS. There were seven entries in the 750 cc class, all
called "Specials", making a total of 30 cars. Samuelson had a new 4-cylinder 750 cc Ratier from France while the cars in this class were Austin Sevens.
Much hope was placed in the British 1500 cc class entries, most of which, it turned out, were not convincing. T.G. John entered two 8-cylinder FWD Alvises for Major Harvey and George Duller. Archie
Frazer-Nash drove his 4-cylinder Frazer Nash and entered a second car to be driven by Brian Lewis. The 8-cylinder Thomas Special was handled by Harold Purdy. The other entries played an
inconsequential role in the race.
Johnstone replaced his entry of a Thomas Special by a 1500 Brescia Bugatti at the last moment. J. Osborn with the Talbot Special had withdrawn during Saturday morning. The prize money amounted to
£700 in cash. A good crowd of about 20,000 attended the race during fine but dull weather on Saturday morning. There was little wind and from the drivers' point of view, the conditions were ideal.
The 29 cars lined up at the fork end of the finishing straight.
At 2:00 PM when the starting flag fell, the two Alvises of Duller and Harvey shot to the front, chased by Archie Frazer-Nash's Frazer
Nash and Johnstone's Brescia Bugatti followed by Campbell's 8-cylinder Bugatti.
At the end of the first lap Campbell was in the lead ahead of Duller and Harvey in the two FWD Alvises and the 1100 Amilcar of Morel in fourth place. The Marendaz Special experienced engine maladies
and retired. On the second lap Campbell was still in the lead while Eyston had moved his Bugatti into second place and Morel's Amilcar was third followed by the two Alvises. Scott's Bugatti and
Johnstone's Brescia Bugatti retired both with engine maladies. Hendy's Austin broke its crankshaft on the second lap and the driver pushed the stricken car for 1½ miles to the pits.
On lap four Walther overturned his Austin at the fork of the starting line straight. The driver was pinned underneath the badly smashed car and on being extracted from the wreck it was discovered
that his main injury was a fractured collar-bone. Dr. Benjafield retired his Salmson with a broken supercharger. On lap six Oates stopped his 8-cylinder OM at the pits but soon rejoined the race.
On lap seven, Duller brought the 8-cylinder Alvis to his pit to change plugs. On lap eight Archie Frazer-Nash stopped at the pits for water with dense clouds of steam rising from its
After ten laps Eyston held the lead at 75.8 mph average speed ahead of Campbell at 75.7 mph and Morel's Amilcar maintaining third place at 74.89 mph, followed by Martin at 71.66 mph and Balls at
71.56 mph. The two Bugattis constantly passed and repassed each other. On lap 11 the Salmson of George Newman broke the coupling on the supercharger drive and retired. L. de Marmier retired his
Salmson Special after 13 laps with a seized supercharger.
The OM driven by R. F. Oats was belching forth so much smoke each time when accelerating at the hair-pin bends at the Fork that following drivers could not see the banks, and in view of the potential
danger the stewards called the car off the track on lap 15. The problem had started laps earlier after Oats broke a piston, causing a large cloud of smoke from his exhaust. The Frazer Nash made
another stop to refill with water and tighten the shock absorbers.
On lap 18 an exciting incident happened when Turner's Gwynne Special encountered a carburetor fire. As Turner was coming off the Byfleet banking at great speed, the engine backfired. When he saw
that his car was alight, he stopped and jumped out at the finish of the Byfleet banking. As soon as Turner was clear, the flames extended to the rear of the car and when the fire caught the fuel
tank it burst into flames. The blaze could be seen from all parts of the track. The car was on fire for about 10 minutes and the 12 foot flames were extinguished only when men were rushed from
the paddock with chemical fire extinguishers. But so furiously had the fire blazed that the neat little car was entirely destroyed before the fire fighters could reach it.
After 20 laps the order in the 1500 class was Eyston at 76.9 mph ahead of Campbell, Harvey and Purdy. The order in the 1100 class was Morel at 75.27 mph, followed by Balls, Casse and Martin, the
latter having changed plugs and taken on fuel after 20 laps. The 750 class was led by Chase at 58.02 mph, followed by Wilson, Boyd-Carpenter and Samuelson. On lap 24 Campbell made a brief pit
stop to report that he had lost 3rd and 1st gears. On lap 25 Major Harvey surprisingly retired the Alvis, which had never given gave any trouble before. Martin made another pit stop with his
Amilcar to change front wheels.
After 30 laps, Archie Frazer-Nash's car was still overheating and had to be retired from the field. Densham's Bugatti Brescia retired with a broken con rod. On lap 35 Eyston made his fuel stop.
He also changed the plugs and adjusted the carburetor, but three laps later he broke a valve and retired.
After 40 laps Morel led the entire field with his fast 1100 Amilcar at 75.44 mph followed closely by Campbell's Bugatti at 75.3 mph, ahead of Balls, Martin and Casse in the other Amilcars, followed
by the other 1500 cars of Duller (Alvis 8-cyl.), Dykes (Alvis 12/50) and Purdy in the Thomas Special. The slow 750 cc cars of Chase, Wilson, Boyd-Carpenter and Samuelson formed the end of the field.
On lap 50 Purdy stopped at the pits to change plugs on the 8-cylinder Thomas Special. After 52 laps Duller retired the second FWD Alvis with the same engine problem that had beset Harvey's car.
"El Bolivar's Austin also retired, after problems with his driving seat, spark plugs, magneto and carburetor controls. His number of laps completed was not reported in the available sources.
After 60 laps when Campbell was leading at 76.25 mph, 15 competitors had left the track. Purdy (Thomas Special), was second in the 1500 class, followed by Dykes (Alvis 12/50) and Lewis Frazer-Nash.
However, Morel (1100 Amilcar) held second place overall at 75.4 mph, ahead of the remaining Amilcars of Balls and Martin, followed by Goutte's Salmson. The 750 cc class was still headed by
Chase, Wilson and Boyd-Carpenter.
By lap 70, Campbell had slightly increased his lead despite his gearbox problem and he had lapped Morel. After 73 laps, Campbell finished first at 76.62 mph average speed after a run of 2h38m13.4s.
The win gave him £250 in cash prizes, besides a replica of the cup, which he was to hold until next year's race. He also secured the T. B. André Gold Challenge Cup and the manufacturer of the car
received, this year for the first time, the Designer's Cup, which was also presented by Mr. T. B. André. Morel (Amilcar) crossed the line after 2m56.6s in second place at 75.17 mph, which gave him
the second prize in the main race and as winner of the 1100 cc class a prize of £100. Balls (Amilcar) was third at 74.78 mph, followed by Martin Martin (Amilcar) at 71.15 mph, Purdy (Thomas Special)
at 68.31s who received £40 prize, for the second place in the 1500 class; Dykes (Alvis 12/50) 65.91 mph, Casse (Salmson) 64.88 mph and Goutte (Salmson) 63.44 mph.
The light was fading fast when the course was cleared at the predetermined closing time of 5:15 PM. The stragglers were flagged off, consisting of Lewis who had covered 71 laps, Chase 68,
Wilson 67, Boyd Carpenter 65 and Samuelson 53 laps. Chase was declared winner of the 750 cc class at 58.17 mph, followed by Wilson at 57.74 mph and Boyd-Carpenter at 55 mph. Although the750 cc
cars had not completed the full distance, an exception was made and the three 750 cc cars counted as finishers. Eight cars completed the course and three Austins qualified.
|1.||6||Malcolm Campbell||Captain M. Campbell||Bugatti||T39A||1.5||S-8||73||2h38m13.4s|
|2.||23||André Morel||V. S. Balls||Amilcar||C6||1.1||S-6||73||2h41m10.0s||+ 2m56.6s|
|3.||22||Vernon Balls||V. S. Balls||Amilcar||C6||1.1||S-6||73||2h44m16s||+ 6m03s|
|4.||24||Charles Martin||V. S. Balls||Amilcar||C6||1.1||S-6||73||2h50m20s||+ 12m07s|
|5.||5||Harold Purdy||H.W. Purdy||Thomas||Special||1.5||S-8||73||2h57m25s||+ 19m12s|
|6.||9||Bill Urquart-Dykes||W. Urquart-Dykes||Alvis||12/50||1.5||S-8||73||3h03m52s||+ 25m39s|
|7.||18||Georges Casse||SM Salmson||Salmson||VAL||1.1||S-4||73||3h06m48s||+ 28m35s|
|8.||17||Pierre Goutte||SM Salmson||Salmson||VAL||1.1||S-4||73||3h11m02s||+ 32m49s|
|DNC||14||Brian Lewis||Captain A. Frazer-Nash||Frazer Nash||Special||1.5||S-4||71||flagged off|
|9.||31||C. Chase||F. Boyd-Carpenter||Austin||Seven||.75||S-4||68||flagged off|| |
|10.||28||J. Wilson||J. Wilson||Austin||Seven||.75||S-4||67||flagged off|| |
|11. ||30||Frances Boyd-Carpenter||F. Boyd-Carpenter||Austin||Seven||.75||S-4||65||flagged off|| |
|DNC||27||Frances Samuelson||F. Samuelson||Ratier||Special||.75||S-4||53||flagged off|| |
|DNF||29||"El Bolivar"||A. E. S. Walter||Austin||Seven||.75||S-4||?||magneto, carburetor|| |
|DNF||2||George Duller||T.G. John||Alvis||FWD||1.5||S-8||52||engine|| |
|DNF||3||George Eyston||Baron Leo d'Erlanger||Bugatti||T39A||1.5||S-8||38||valve|
|DNF||4||Archie Frazer-Nash||Captain A. Frazer-Nash||Frazer Nash||Slug||1.5||S-4||29||overheating|
|DNF||7||Patrick Densham||P. Densham||Bugatti||T22||1.5||S-4||29||connecting rod|
|DNF||1||Maurice Harvey||T.G. John||Alvis||FWD||1.5||S-8||24||engine|| |
|DNF||20||C. Turner||C. Turner||Gwynne||10||1.1||S-4||17||fire|| |
|DSQ||10||Dick Oates||L. C. Rawlence||OM||GP||1.5||S-8||15||excessive smoke|
|DNF||19||Lionel de Marmier||A. Bovier||Salmson||VAL||1.1||S-4||12||supercharger|| |
|DNF||16||George Newman||A. Bovier||Salmson||VAL||1.1||S-4||10||supercharger drive|| |
|DNF||15||Dudley Benjafield||Dr. J. D. Benjafield||Salmson||SS||1.1||S-4||3||supercharger|| |
|DNF||26||C. Walther||C. Walther||Austin||Seven||.75||S-4||3||crash|| |
|DNF||25||Gordon Hendy||G. Hendy||Austin||Seven||.75||S-4||2||crankshaft|| |
|DNF||8||Charles Johnstone||C. Johnstone||Bugatti||T22||1.5||S-4||1||connecting rod|
|DNF||11||Bummer Scott||W.B. Scott||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||1||connecting rod|
|DNF||12||Donald Marendaz||D. Marendaz||Marendaz||Special||1.5||S-4||0||engine|
Fastest lap: not available|
Winner's average speed of 1500 class: Malcolm Campbell (Bugatti) at 76.6 mph (123.3 km/h).
Winner's average speed of 1100 class: André Morel (Amilcar) at 75.2 mph (121.0 km/h).
Weather: fine weather but dull.
The time keeping went awry and individual times in hours, minutes and seconds were not issued, except for the first two finishers. The fastest lap time during the race was not published.
The R.A.C. released only individual speeds in mph to cover up the deficiencies of their time keeping. The other times shown here were calculated by Richard Armstrong using a lap length of 4870 yards
for a total race distance of 201 miles 1750 yards. We are aware that the lap length is the same as for the normal Outer Circuit, as Richard Armstrong has suggested it might have been done deliberately
so that the existing speed tables could be used.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Motor Sport, London
The Daily Telegraph, London
The Sunday Times, London
The Times, London
Special thanks to: