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The 1929 season is almost totally the work of Hans Etzrodt and once again I'm very fortunate to be able to present the results of his methodical and extensive research on my web site.
I think he has once again been able to set a new standard regarding detail and correctness and we'll try to keep up that standard in the future. In contrast to a book, Internet has no deadline, so the
pages will remain "living" and corrections will be done when needed and research will continue to solve any doubtful details.
All the major races of the season has now been dealt with. Reports for a few minor races remain to be made.
It has been some hard work but a joy seeing it all come together step by step. I hope you as reader will enjoy the work as well.
The information within these pages was derived primarily from contemporary magazines and newspapers. I am indebted to all those outstanding journalists and reporters
for their diligent reporting. Without their stories, we would not have learned about what happened at these
events. Secondary sources have also been helpful occasionally but to a much lesser extent. Several others have given valuable advice and corrected errors. I extend my
appreciation to all those helpful specialists and enthusiasts. My thanks include Tony Kaye for patiently editing the text and catching my occasional blunder.
Lastly I am especially grateful to Leif Snellman, not only for his wonderfully vivacious drawings but also for providing the foundation in the attempt
to have another look at these long ago races, bringing them back to remembrance as factual and elaborate accounts.
The regulations were: limiting consumption to 14 kg/100 km of fuel and oil; minimum engine capacity of 1.1-liter, no max. limit; minimum weight 900 kg; two-seater body with minimum width of 100 cm; two mechanics
in addition to the driver(s) allowed to assist at pit stops; minimum race distance 600 km - 372 mi. The CSI (Sporting Committee) of the A.I.A.C.R. had produced a formula that was unacceptable.
Formula Libre however seemed to work well and produced good racing in 1929.
The fascist Italian government saw a national task in promoting motor sport in Italy which resulted in the most successful racing season in Europe. France in comparison still suffered for some years now a noticeable
racing tiredness. Germany held their very limited races for sports cars, as did Belgium and Ireland. Racing in Great Britain was restricted to Brooklands. Spain assumed a high ranking in the international motor
sport calendar with their race at San Sebastian. America held on to the 1927 formula of 1.5 liter engines but applied to pencil-thin single-seat racecars, specialized for oval racing.
Grand Prix racing remained the pinnacle of motor sport with most of the major events staged in Italy and one each held in Monaco, France, Spain and Tunisia, making 1929 a good year of racing. Practically all race
organizers ignored the A.I.A.C.R. International Formula regulations and instead adopted Formula Libre. The planned 1929 World Championship did not come about due to the unpopular formula which was compulsory for
seven races in seven countries. The French Grand Prix held Grande Epreuve status and was an established major event but had lost its importance of the past. Some individual races gained more in importance than
this one Grande Epreuve, which had lured only French entries and not more than two of the top racecar drivers. So it was not the international event it once had been in the mid-twenties. The Monaco Grand Prix,
Targa Florio, Rome and Monza Grand Prix attracted significantly better entries from manufacturers and drivers than did the only Grande Epreuve in France. These events achieved significance of international character
because the top drivers from various countries participated, as did factory teams from Alfa Romeo, Bugatti and Maserati, also Scuderia Materassi and O.M. The success of those races became only possible because these
events were organized to Formula Libre, the free formula or to engine capacity restrictions. The race at Alessandria had more of a provincial character; however the Mugello Circuit, Coppa Ciano, San Sebastian
Grand Prix, Cremona Circuit and Tunis Grand Prix appealed to factory teams and should be included in this group, bringing it to 11 major races.
An additional 15 lesser events for Grand Prix cars took place that year. The Tripoli Grand Prix was a small but somewhat important race with some top drivers present. The Antibes Grand Prix and Riviera Circuit
in France preceded the Algerian Grand Prix. More racing during May took place in France and Belgium at the Burgundy and Frontiers Grands Prix. The Marne Grand Prix, was more like a Bugatti club meeting with mainly
French drivers participating. The remaining races were even less important. They were national events or had a club type nature. The organizers did not have the finances to attract factory teams and drew mainly
privateers, the independent race drivers. In all there were 26 circuit races where grand prix cars participated. The Indianapolis 500 and the Grand Prix Bugatti, a handicap race, were not part of this group.
The 1929 World Championship :
The World Championship for constructors was organized by the CSI (International Sporting Commission) of the AIACR. It comprised seven international races in seven different countries.
Since the 1929 European Grand Prix had not taken place, the 1929 World Championship title was not awarded.
The Belgian Grand Prix on July 6-7 was held as a 24-hour endurance sports car event. The German Grand Prix was run for sports cars on July 14. The Spanish Grand Prix on July 28 was also held for sports cars.
The British Grand Prix on August 17 was not held. Instead the Tourist Trophy for sports cars took its place. The European Grand Prix at Monza on September 7 did not take place. Instead the promoter held the popular
Monza Grand Prix on September 15.
1929 SEASON LINEUP:
Factory Racing Teams:
SA Italiana Ing. Nicola Romeo (Portello in Milano, Italy)
Cars: The 6C-1750 was introduced in 1929 at the Mille Miglia, several types were available and raced as stripped versions. Alfa Romeo had sold their factory P2 Grand Prix cars at the end of the 1925 season
when the newly introduced 1.5-liter formula rendered these 2-liter cars useless. In 1929 these old P2s were in private hands of Varzi and Brilli Peri who both enjoyed factory support. Surprisingly,
the P2 was the most successful car of the year.
Drivers: Giuseppe Campari (I), Gastone Brilli-Peri (I), Achille Varzi (I) and Tazio Nuvolari (I).
Races entered: Tripoli Grand Prix, Alessandria Circuit, Targa Florio, Rome Grand Prix, Mugello Circuit, Coppa Ciano, Monza Grand Prix, Cremona Circuit and Tunis Grand Prix.
Automobiles Ettore Bugatti (Molsheim, France)
Cars: Bugatti T35B and T35C.
Drivers: Louis Chiron (MC), Albert Divo (F), Guy Bouriat (F), "Williams" (GB), Caberto Conelli (I), Ferdinando Minoia (I), Louis Wagner (F), Count C. Conelli (I). (F), "Philippe" (F), Team Manager Meo Costantino.
Races entered: Targa Florio, Rome GP, French GP and San Sebastian GP.
Officine Alfieri Maserati (Bologna, Italy)
Cars: Maserati 26 (8C-1500) 1 factory car and 9 cars in private hands.
Maserati 26B (8C-2000) 1 factory car and 5 cars in private hands.
Maserati 26R (8C-1700) 1 factory car from 1928 and one in private hands with Aymo Maggi.
Maserati V4 (16C-4000) 1 factory car from 1928 raced only at Tripoli, Monza, Cremona and Tunis.
Drivers: Baconin Borzacchini (I), Ernesto Maserati (I), Luigi Fagioli (I), Team Manager Alfieri Maserati.
Races entered: Tripoli GP, Alessandria Circuit, Targa Florio, Rome GP, Mugello Circuit, Coppa Ciano, Monza GP, Cremona Circuit and Tunis GP.
Officine Meccaniche (Brescia, Italy)
Cars: O.M. 665 and 665S sports cars in race trim were entered by the factory only twice, at Pozzo and Mugello. O.M. cars were also entered at many minor events but in private hands.
Drivers: Giuseppe Morandi (I), Archimede Rosa (I).
Races entered: Pozzo Circuit, Mugello Circuit.
Independent Racing Teams:
Scuderia Materassi (Florence, Italy)
Cars: Talbot 700, 3 cars available, mostly 1500 cc engine but also 1700 cc.
Drivers: Count Gastone Brilli-Peri (I), Luigi Arcangeli (I), Carlo Pintacuda (I) and Tazio Nuvolari (I).
Races entered: Tripoli GP, Alessandria Circuit, Rome GP, Mugello Circuit, Coppa Ciano, Monza GP, Cremona Circuit.
After Emilio Materassi's tragic accident 1928 at Monza, the Scuderia Materassi estate was acquired by Count Gastone Brilli-Peri, but it kept its name and participated in 7 events during 1929.
Team manager was Scaletti. The 8-cylinder single-seater cars had one of their original 1500 cc engines bored out to 1.7-liter, giving 155 hp.
VICTORIOUS DRIVERS and Nuvolari's rise to the top:|
Achille Varzi, a 25-year old Italian, who was still racing motorcycles, was the most successful driver in 1929, winning four major events out of his eight starts, victorious with his Alfa Romeo P2 at
Alessandria, Rome, Montenero and the Monza Grand Prix final. He received factory support from Alfa Romeo.
Gastone Brilli-Peri, a 36-year old Italian driver, won three major races, Mugello, Cremona and Tunis with his Alfa Romeo P2 and with his 1500 Talbot. After Emilio Materassi's tragic 1928 accident
Brilli-Peri had acquired the Scuderia Materassi estate, which included the 1927 Talbot grand prix cars. According to Simon Moore, Brilli bought an Alfa Romeo P2 at the end of 1928, which he raced for the
first time in 1929 at Tripoli. Like Varzi, he enjoyed factory support from Alfa Romeo.
"Williams", his real name was William Grover-Williams, a 26-year old British born 'Frenchman', entered in only two events, the Monaco and French Grands Prix. He won both, driving a factory Bugatti at Le Mans
and with factory support at Monaco.
Albert Divo, the 34-year old French Bugatti works driver, took part in three major races. He won the difficult Targa Florio, finished third at Rome behind the P2 Alfa Romeos of Varzi and Brilli-Peri and
came fourth at the French Grand Prix at Le Mans.
Louis Chiron, the 30-year old Monegasque, no longer the top Bugatti factory driver, went to Indianapolis to race a 1500 Delage and elected to skip the Monaco Grand Prix. Bugatti entered him only in Spain
where he drove splendidly and won.
Tazio Nuvolari, the 37-year old Italian, was still racing motorcycles and had formed his Scuderia Nuvolari with a Bugatti T35C. Later during the year Jano offered him an Alfa Romeo drive at Mugello and
Montenero. Then he got an offer from Scuderia Materassi to race their 1500 Talbot grand prix car at Monza and Cremona where he performed well and as a result Jano offered Nuvolari a 1930 contract with Alfa Romeo.
Baron Ernst Günther von Wentzel-Mosau, a well-known German Mercedes driver crashed with his Mercedes-Benz SSK at the unimportant Kilometer Flat Sprint in Stendal within Saxony-Anhalt, Germany on April 28,
1929. He had just driven the fastest time of the day after he passed the finish line at 173 km/h average speed. About 300 meters further down at the run-off stretch the car suddenly began to skid, heading to the
left side of the road where it knocked down a guard stone. Behind the stone stood a bicycle rider who was hurled with broken shinbone into the road ditch. The car, with only the right wheels still on the road and
with the left driving on the slope, ripped out a further six guard stones breaking its front axle, returned again onto the road then rushed towards the right side of the road where the car ran over a spectator who
was immediately killed. In the meantime the tires of both rear wheels had separated while the car ran further against a tree and tipped over into the road ditch. The riding mechanic was hurled far into a field
whereas Baron Wentzel-Mosau lay on the road next to his car, which already had caught fire when on the left side of the road. It had been observed, that first a tall jet of flame had shot up from the small spare
tank in front of the driver seat and the rear main tank started to burn only when it broke open as the car without rear tires was sliding into the road ditch and quietly burned out. The driver remained fully
conscious when he was dragged away from the burning car. He had injuries on his head but then it was realized that he had severe burns on his back. After the victim still had given directions for his car, he
had a taxi drive him to the Stendal hospital. The burns he had suffered were however so severe, that Baron von Wentzel-Mosau passed away the following morning. Baron Ernst Günther von Wentzel-Mosau was laid to
rest in the afternoon of May 3, 1929 in his Silesian homeland. The funeral service was held in the little church of Mosau, too small to accommodate all those many who had arrived. The coffin was carried from the
church to the Castle Parc of Mosau into the family tomb. Born August 20, 1882, the wealthy aristocrat Baron von Wentzel-Mosau raced as independently since 1924 with Benz, Mercedes and Mercedes-Benz sports cars.
Next to Caracciola, he was the most successful Mercedes driver in Germany.
Ray Keech, 29, born in 1898, winner of the 1929 Indy 500, died on June 15 1929 at Altoona Board Track Speedway. Keech was about to lap Bob Robinson's Duesenberg, which spun ahead of him into the upper
guardrail, tearing loose a section of the steel railing, which swung across the track. Keech was at full speed when his Miller collided with the loose guardrail, flipped over several times, caught fire and rolled
down to the bottom of the track. Ray Keech also held the one-mile record set at Daytona on April 22, 1928 at 207.552 mph average speed.
Freddy Charlier or actually Frédéric-Charles J. F. Charlier, a Belgian driver, crashed his Bugatti T43 at the Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race on July 6, 1929. After having raced for two hours, his
car left the road and hit the fencing at the second high speed corner after Malmedy. Charlier was ejected head first and was immediately killed. He did not wear a crash helmet in this race. Charlier was born in
Brussels on June 24, 1890 and as a wealthy amateur began racing cars independently before WW 1, first with Hispano Suiza followed after the war with Ballot, Alfa Romeo and Bugatti, also in1925 for the Excelsior
factory. He had raced in the 24-Hours of Francorchamps since 1924.
René Cozette, 34, famous French supercharger designer and driver, died on August 20, 1929 in a fatal crash during a Montlhéry test drive. Cozette was testing his two-stroke cycle car which he had been
enlarged to 1500 cc. The car skidded sideways for a short distance before leaving the oval track at a speed of about 190 km/h. There were no eye witnesses.
Frank Clark, the British O.M. race driver died following his accident at the August 24, 1929 Irish TT. During the last half hour of the race, Clark's O.M. drove into a hedge at Ballystockart and damaged a wheel.
While the car was being extracted from the hedge, a Triumph car arrived and skidded into the O.M. Frank Clark and his young riding mechanic John Kelli died following injuries received in this crash.
Vladimir Horák, the young Prague wholesaler, crashed seriously in Czechoslovakia with his Bugatti T35B on September 21, 1929 during Saturday afternoon practice for the Ecce Homo hill climb on Sunday.
Two men died and one person was seriously injured. The accident was set in motion when Horák during his uphill drive stopped his car along the course. He was followed a bit later by motorcycle rider Edmund Müller
from Sternberg on his AJS bike, who as the slower one had wisely been started later, but because of Horák's stop had passed the stationary Bugatti on the course. When Müller finished his run with his AJS bike, he
turned the bike around about 70 meters past the finish line. At that moment the Bugatti of Horák passed the finish line at a speed of a reported 160 km/h. At this high speed Horák was unable to slow the car in
time and drove directly into the motorcycle. The AJS bike flew up into the tree tops, turned over twice and finally ended up hanging from a tree. Horák's riding mechanic Fröhlich was thrown from the overturning
car and received serious but not life threatening injuries. The bike rider Müller was terribly knocked about. He suffered several complicated leg fractures, a serious head injury and interior injuries. He was
brought to the Sternberg hospital, where he passed away. Horák sustained a fist-sized head injury. His condition was reported as very serious and the doctors hoped to keep him alive but he later passed away.
During the following year at the 1930 Ecce Home event after Saturday practice, the race promoters and drivers assembled in a dedication ceremony for Horak. A memorial stone was unveiled at the place of the
accident. After a short commemorative address by MSAC vice president Storek, he placed a wreath at the foot of the memorial.
Horák's Bugatti T35B #4868 was the same in which the Prague race driver Cenek Junek had a fatal crash in the 1928 sports car Grand Prix at the Nürburgring and Horák later bought the car from Junek's estate.
Back to the 1929 fatal crash, something else of immense proportions was avoided in the last moment, when officials succeeded in bringing the following car, the Mercedes-Benz SSK of Count Max Arco von Zinneberg,
to a stop before he reached the senseless crowd of people blocking the road at the accident scene.
GRAN PREMIO DI TRIPOLI
Tagiura Circuit (I), 24 March 1929.
16 laps x 26.2 km (16.28 mi) = 419.2 km (260.5 mi)
1100 cc class: 14 laps x 26.2 km (16.28 mi) = 366.8 km (227.9 mi)
Brilli Peri victorious at the Tripoli Grand Prix
by Hans Etzrodt
The 1929 season opened with the Tripoli Grand Prix on the old 26.2 km Tagiura circuit. The entry consisted of 18 Italian drivers with racecars, which were split into three classes. Varzi (2000 Alfa Romeo) held the
early lead ahead of Nuvolari (2000 Bugatti), Borzacchini (1700 Maserati) and Brilli Peri (1500 Talbot). When Varzi fell behind with a tire problem, Nuvolari gained first place until Brilli Peri moved to the front
on lap five. After Brilli refueled on lap seven he encountered problems restarting. That elevated Borzacchini into the lead until lap 13 when Brilli Peri in the faster Talbot retook first place and kept it until
the finish ahead of Borzacchini, Nuvolari who had lost time with ignition problems, Ruggeri (Maserati) in fourth place, followed by Cleto Nenzioni (Maserati), Giampiero Nenzioni (Bugatti) and Cucinotta (Maserati).
Varzi and Arcangeli (Talbot) retired as did three other drivers. The 1100 cc class was won by Biondetti ahead of Fagioli both in Salmsons. There were four retirements in the 1100 cc class.
The fifth running of the Grand Prix outside Tripoli in the Libyan Desert comprised 16 laps around the fast 26.2 km Tagiura dirt road circuit Sghedeida - Fornaci - Sidi el Messri - Porta Tagiura - Suk el Giuma - Mellaha
- Sghedeida. Libya had been under Italian rule as a colony since 1911 and the Tripoli Grand Prix was a national event, counting as the first race towards the 1929 Italian Automobile Championship. The Automobile Club
di Tripoli organized the 419.2 km race for the 2000 cc and 1500 cc classes, while the 1100 cc cycle cars had to do only 14 laps or 366.8 km.
The Fascist Party had declared March 23 as Election Day and sporting events were cancelled with the exception of the Tripoli Grand Prix since elections were not held in the Tripoli province. Thanks to the initiative of
Pietro Badoglio, the Governor of Lybia, the race could take place at all, after overcoming all sorts of problems.
Preceding the Gran Premio Tripoli was the Touring Grand Prix Tunis-Tripoli over 760 km, organized by the Tunisian AC on Thursday before the race. The event ended with the victory of the Italian Mazzacurati in a 1500 cc
Lancia at an average speed of 85.262 km/h. Levani in an Alfa Romeo finished second at 75.005 km/h, more than one hour and ten minutes behind.
Tazio Nuvolari, the 1928 winner, was one of the favorites with his T35C Bugatti from 1928. Achille Varzi, who had finished third in 1928 also in a T35C Bugatti, appeared for the 1929 race with an 8C-2000 Alfa Romeo P2
which he had bought from Campari at the end of the previous year. AUTOMOBIL-REVUE reported that Scuderia Materassi with its 8C-1500 Talbot race cars had been bought by Conte Brilli Peri from the estate of Emilio Materassi.
Two cars were entered, one for the Count the other for Arcangeli. The Maserati factory sent a tipo 26R, with 8C-1700 engine for Borzacchini, which had been last raced at Monza in 1928. Independent 8C-2000 Maserati tipo
26Bs were entered by Cleto Nenzioni, Federico Fisauli and Letterio Piccolo Cucinotta. Tripoli was the first grand prix race for Amedeo Ruggeri, a champion motorcycle rider, who arrived with an 8C-1500 Maserati tipo 26.
Fagioli and Biondetti raced supercharged 4-cylinder Salmsons while Castelbarco drove a 6-cylinder Amilcar. A complete list of entries is shown above.
Practice was held on Saturday from 10:00 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon. The bumpy dirt circuit was in fair shape but not perfect. The favorites like Varzi, Nuvolari, Brilli Peri, Arcangeli and Borzacchini
all hoped for absolute victory.
On Sunday it was warm and overcast. The 18 cars lined up in order of their engine size with the six slower cycle cars forming the rear of the grid. Photographs showed that the Maseratis of Fisauli and Cleto Nenzioni
carried spare wheels on the right side and both drove with a riding mechanic on board. There could have been others with a riding mechanic since only seven out of 18 cars could be identified with photographs.
At 2:15 in the afternoon Donna Maria Rava, Secretary General of the colony, gave the starting signal for the fifth Gran Premio Tripoli. The start brought a surprise because Arcangeli, ready for battle from the front
row, released the car for the start and broke the Talbot's differential while Nuvolari and Varzi shot into the lead.
After the first lap, as the cars came past the finish, Varzi appeared first and completed the lap at an average speed of 129.276 km/h. The field was already strung out. Fagioli's speed in the little Salmson was
impressive, as he passed some of the larger Bugatti and Maseratis. Bisighin stopped his Lombard at the pits. The order was as follows:
|1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||12m09s|
|2. Nuvolari (Bugatti)||12m13s|
|3. Borzacchini (Maserati)||12m17s|
|4. Brilli Peri (Talbot)||12m25s|
|5. Cleto Nenzioni (Maserati)||13m10s|
|6. Cortese (Bugatti)||13m18s|
|7. Fisauli (Maserati)||13m40s|
|8. Fagioli (Salmson)||14m05s|
|9. Cracchi (Bugatti)||14m06s|
|10. Ruggeri (Maserati)||14m16s|
|11. Cucinotta (Maserati)||14m33s|
|12. Castelbarco (Amilcar)||14m44s|
|13. Biondetti (Salmson)||14m54s|
|14. Gian Nenzioni (Bugatti)||15m02s|
|15. Moradei (Salmson)||16m17s|
|16. Premoli (Salmson)||16m53s|
At the end of lap two, Varzi had lost his lead when he punctured one tire and was passed by the Bugatti of Nuvolari who set a record time of 11m41s, an average speed of 134.625 km/h. Varzi lost about seven minutes
with his tire problem and had fallen near the end of the field. After the retirements of Arcangeli, Bisighin and Moradei, the field was down to 15 cars.
|1. Nuvolari (Bugatti)||23m53s|
|2. Borzacchini (Maserati)||24m04s|
|3. Brilli Peri (Talbot)||24m14s|
|4. Cleto Nenzioni (Maserati)||26m14s|
|5. Cortese (Bugatti)||26m20s|
|6. Fisauli (Maserati)||26m34s|
|7. Cracchi (Bugatti)||27m03s|
|8. Fagioli (Salmson)||27m27s|
|9. Ruggeri (Maserati)||27m29s|
|10. Cucinotta (Maserati)||27m35s|
|11. Biondetti (Salmson)||28m10s|
|12. Castelbarco (Amilcar)||28m15s|
|13. Gian Nenzioni (Bugatti)||29m03s|
|14. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||30m30s|
|15. Premoli (Salmson)||33m16s|
After three laps Nuvolari passed the grandstand in new record time of 11m31s at 136.385 km/h average speed, followed by Borzacchini and Brilli Peri. Cleto Nenzioni and Cortese held fourth and fifth place. Fagioli
was leading the 1100 cc class, ahead of Biondetti and Ruggeri, who had passed Cracchi, who was fourth in the 1500 class, then Castelbarco. After Premoli retired on lap three, Varzi was last.
|1. Nuvolari (Bugatti)||35m26s|
|2. Borzacchini (Maserati)||35m46s|
|3. Brilli Peri (Talbot)||35m50s|
At the end of lap four Nuvolari still held the lead but just a few meters behind his car lurked Brilli Peri and Borzacchini, ready for attack. Brilli Peri's lap speed was 137.467 km/h in the 1500 cc class ahead of
Cortese and Ruggeri while in the 1100 cc class Biondetti was now first. Cracchi retired his 1500 Bugatti.
After five laps Brilli Peri completed the lap lowering the record to 11m03.2s at an average of 142.227 km/h. He was 13 seconds ahead of Nuvolari and 41 seconds ahead of Borzacchini. The order was as follows:
|1. Brilli Peri (Talbot)||58m05s|
|2. Nuvolari (Bugatti)||58m18s|
|3. Borzacchini (Maserati)||58m46s|
|4. Cleto Nenzioni (Maserati)||1h04m45s|
|5. Cortese (Bugatti)||1h05m07s|
|6. Fisauli (Maserati)||1h05m53s|
|7. Ruggeri (Maserati)||1h07m02s|
|8. Castelbarco (Amilcar)||1h07m52s|
|9. Biondetti (Salmson)||1h07m59s|
|10. Fagioli (Salmson)||1h08m40s|
|11. Gian Nenzioni (Bugatti)||1h10m29s|
During the fifth and sixth laps, Brilli Peri increased his pace and set a new fastest lap of 11m00.6s at 142.749 km/h. In the 1100 cc class Fagioli stopped briefly at his pit, while Castelbarco and Biondetti were
able to pass him for the class lead. In the 1100 cc class Biondetti moved into first place on lap six, demoting Castelbarco to second.
On lap seven Brilli Peri stopped at his pit to refuel and had problems restarting the Talbot's hot engine. Borzacchini, who stopped on the same lap for fuel, rejoined the race in first place. Nuvolari also had a
delayed stop due to a breakdown. Eventually Brilli Peri was back in the race, but only after he had lost two minutes to Borzacchini and 30 seconds to Nuvolari. Varzi, who had been driving at the back of the field,
retired with a fractured fuel tank, caused by the bumpy road.
After ten laps Borzacchini held what looked like a secure lead of 1m42s in his fast Maserati. But Brilli Peri with the even faster Talbot was posing a serious threat. He had already passed Nuvolari who was dealing
with ignition difficulties on his Bugatti. Cortese in eighth position made the first of a series of pit stops attending to engine problems before finally retiring. Biondetti was leading the 1100 cc class ahead of
Fagioli, while it was learned that Castelbarco had encountered trouble of some sort. The order was:
|1. Borzacchini (Maserati)||1h58m05s
|2. Brilli Peri (Talbot)||1h59m47s
|3. Nuvolari (Bugatti)||2h00m42s
|4. Fisauli (Maserati)||2h10m17s
|5. Cleto Nenzioni (Maserati)||2h11m46s
|6. Ruggeri (Maserati)||2h12m08s
|7. Gian Nenzioni (Bugatti)||2h18m02s
|8. Cortese (Bugatti)||pit stop
|9. Biondetti (Salmson)||2h19m27s
|10. Fagioli (Salmson)||2h24m47s
After the eleventh lap Borzacchini was still 1m20s ahead of Brilli Peri who had made up 22 seconds. Nuvolari in third place had to stop at his pit losing seven minutes to attend to ignition problems with his Bugatti.
Cleto Nenzioni was fourth ahead of Cortese and Ruggeri. Biondetti was leading the 1100 cc class ahead of Fagioli, while Fisauli passed Gian Nenzioni.
After lap 12, Borzacchini's lead was down to 40 seconds, since Brilli had made up 40 seconds in one lap. On lap 13 Brilli Peri established a new fastest lap in 10m56s, an average of 143.736 km/h, which proved to be the
fastest lap of the race.
At the end of 14 laps, Brilli Peri led Borzacchini by eight seconds, followed by Nuvolari, Ruggeri, Cleto Nenzioni, Fisauli, and Gian Nenzioni. On this lap Cortese retired with engine problems.
After 15 laps, Brilli Peri passed the finish as the certain victor -as long as his car held together-, ahead of Borzacchini and Nuvolari. Ruggeri followed in fourth place, Cleto Nenzioni fifth already one lap behind
and Gian Nenzioni who drove regularly at the rear. Last was Cucinotta (Maserati) in fourth place in the 2000 cc class.
After 16 laps Brilli Peri finished first to great applause by the cheering crowd. Part of his success was due to the fuel used, pure alcohol mixed slightly with oil. Borzacchini in the Maserati 1700 followed in
second place and was winner of the 2000 cc class, while Nuvolari in his tired Bugatti finished third, ahead of Ruggeri and Cleto Nenzioni, both in Maseratis.
Near the end Biondetti and Fagioli had a close battle and arrived together at the finish where they were only one fifth of a second apart.
|1.||24||Gastone Brilli Peri||Scuderia Materassi||Talbot||700||1.5||S-8||16||3h07m45s|| |
|2.||14||Baconin Borzacchini||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||26R||1.7||S-8||16||3h08m39.4s||+ 54.4s|
|3.||2||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Nuvolari||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||16||3h14m31.4s||+ 6m46.4s|
|4.||18||Amedeo Ruggeri||A.Ruggeri||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||16||3h22m05.4s||+ 14m20.4s|
|5.||12||Cleto Nenzioni||C. Nenzioni||Maserati||26B||2.0||S-8||16||3h34m26.4s||+ 26m41.4s|
|6.||22||Giampietro Nenzioni||G. Nenzioni||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||16||3h41m32.6s||+ 33m47.6s|
|7.||10||Letterio P. Cucinotta||L. Piccolo Cucinotta||Maserati||26B||2.0||S-8||14||3h40m17.4s||flagged|
|DNF||8||Federico Fisauli||F. Fisauli||Maserati||26B||2.0||S-8||13||retired|
|DNF||16||Franco Cortese||F. Cortese||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||12||engine|| |
|DNF||6||Achille Varzi||A. Varzi||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||7||fractured fuel tank|
|DNF||20||Enrico Cracchi||E. Cracchi||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||3||retired|| |
|DNF||4||Luigi Arcangeli||Scuderia Materassi||Talbot||700||1.5||S-8||0||differential|
Fastest lap 1500cc: Brilli Peri (Talbot) on lap 13 in 10m56.2s = 143.7 km/h (89.3 mph)|
Fastest lap over 1500 cc: Borzacchini (Maserati) on lap 7 in 11m10.2s = 140.7 km/h (87.4 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 134.0 km/h (83.2 mph)
Winner's medium speed over 1500 cc: 133.3 km/h (82.8 mph)
Weather: overcast, dry, warm.
|1.||36||Clemente Biondetti||Scuderia Materassi||Salmson||1.1||S-4||14||3h27m05.0s|| |
|2.||26||Luigi Fagioli||L. Fagioli||Salmson||1.1||S-4||14||3h27m05.2s||+ 0.2s|
|DNF||32||Luigi Castelbarco||L. Castelbarco||Amilcar||1.1||S-6||10||retired|| |
|DNF||38||Luigi Premoli||L. Premoli||Salmson||1.1||2||retired|| |
|DNF||34||Mario Moradei||M. Moradei||Salmson||1.1||1||retired|| |
|DNF||30||Ruggiero Bisighin||R. Bisighin||Lombard||1.1||S-4||1||retired|| |
Fastest lap: Fagioli (Salmson) on lap 7 in 13m03.2s = 120.4 km/h (74.8 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 106.3 km/h (66.0 mph)
Weather: overcast, dry, warm.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
A-Z Motorwelt, Brno
Gran Sport, Firenze
IL LITTORIALE, Bologna
La Stampa, Torino
Lo Sports Facista, Milano
Tutti gli Sportz, Napoli
GRAND PRIX D'ANTIBES
La Garoupe - Antibes (F), 1 April 1929 (Monday).
75 laps x 4.070 km (2.529 mi) = 305.25 km (189.67 mi)
Lepori wins the Antibes Grand Prix
by Hans Etzrodt
The Antibes Grand Prix on the Côte d'Azur was an international event with 16 drivers at the start. Philippe was the early leader in his 2.0 Bugatti until he crashed just before mid-race, when Lepori
with another 2.0 Bugatti took over the lead until the end. Dreyfus in a 1.5 Bugatti was second and briefly led when he also crashed out of the race. Then Zehender's 1750 Alfa Romeo held second position
but lost many places during a late fuel stop, which elevated Rigal's 1500 Alfa Romeo into second place. Dauvergne's Bugatti finished third ahead of Scarron's 1100 cc Amilcar, Isaia (Salmson),
Zehender (Alfa Romeo), Marret (Salmson) and Sandri (Maserati) in eighth place. Eight drivers retired, amongst them Bouriano, Esterházy and Etancelin in Bugattis and Ghersi with a 1.5 Alfa Romeo.
The Circuit International du Cap-d'Antibes was organized by the Automobile Club d'Antibes-Juan-les-Pins and L'Auto, under the patronage of L'Eclaireur de Nice et du Sud-Est.
This race had been organized for the first time in 1927 and again in 1928, in both years as a national race for Bugatti and some cycle cars. This year was expected to be a great success with entries
from Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium. The Commission Sportive decided on three classes of 1100 cc, up to 1500 cc and over 1500 cc. At the Côte d'Azur east of Cannes lay Antibes and just
to the south was the Garoupe road circuit. All drivers had to complete 75 laps through the La Garoupe pine forest along the 4.070 km Circuit du Cap d'Antibes, a total of 305.250 km.
This international race was divided into three racecar categories. The 1500 cc class had entries from Dreyfus and Gaupillat in Bugattis, the Frenchman Rigal and the Italian Ghersi in Alfa Romeos, also the two
Italian Maserati drivers Sandri and de Sterlich. The 2 liter category comprised two of the new 1750 Alfa Romeos for the Italians Laly and Zehender, who were opposed by 10 Bugattis, driven by Bret and Lamy,
who had a few victories in this region, the Belgian Bouriano, who came second in the 1928 Spanish Grand Prix for sports cars. "Philippe" was the pseudonym for Baron Philippe de Rothschild, who appeared with
his Bugatti. Then there was Etancelin in his Bugatti, winner of the 1927 Marne Grand Prix, Grimaldi, the Hungarian Prince Esterházy, the Austrian Count Zichy, the Swiss champion Lepori and the late entry of
the Frenchman Dauvergne. The 1100 cc category comprised two supercharged Amilcars from Scaron and de Joncy, two Salmsons also with superchargers for Marret and Isaia plus one Rally driven by Boucly and Fashion
in another Amilcar. Additional entries were received for the Prix du Conseil Général, restricted for cars without supercharger, comprising T35 Bugattis by Zanelli, Decaroli, Barraque and Etancelin, the German
Hans Stuck with a 3-L Austro Daimler and several smaller cars.
The Prix du Conseil Général was held on Sunday, while the Antibes Grand Prix took place on Easter-Monday. Practice for both events started on Wednesday, motorcycles from 3:00 to 4:00 PM and cars from 4:00 to 5:00 PM.
The cars completed lap after lap at high speed. Philippe (Bugatti), Dreyfus (Bugatti), Count Esterhazy (Bugatti), who had several Hungarian records to his credit; Scarron (Amilcar), the winner of Boulogne-sur-Mer in
1928, Lepori (Bugatti) and Bohrer drove some very fast laps. Philippe successfully turned one lap in 3m15s. Dreyfus drove regularly at 3m20s and 3m21s. Rigal, the team leader of Alfa Romeo was also practicing on
Wednesday. Mathieu, the official ACF timekeeper was also present. Charles Faroux, the director-general of the event, arrived on Wednesday. A number of cars were again practicing on Thursday after 4:00 PM, as
there were Philippe, Esterhazy, Dreyfus, Marret, Scarron, Signoret, Martinatti, Tritter and Stuck, the winner from La Turbie on March 17. Friday practice took place before a considerable crowd, foreshadowing the
upcoming races. Scarron, Bouriat, Philippe, Zehender, Rigal, Etancelin, Isaia, de Joncy, Signoret and Stuck were active. On Saturday there was the weighing of the cars and scrutineering at 2:00 PM.
The Prix du Conseil Général:|
The event was held on Sunday, March 31 after the motorcycles had raced earlier in the morning. This race was reserved for cars without superchargers and was over 25 laps or 101.75 km. Martinetti,
Signoret and Jourdan all with Salmsons, were entered in the 1100 cc class, also Boucly (1100 cc Christophe), Durand (1100 cc Darmont-Morgan) and Muraour. Bohrer (Bugatti) and Sirignano (Alfa Romeo) were the only
drivers in the 1500 cc class. Zanelli, Decaroli Barraque and Etancelin, all in Bugattis, entered in the 2000 class. The German Hans Stuck seriously damaged his Austro Daimler during a practice crash late
Saturday and was unable to start in this event. Automobil-Revue reported that the German driver escaped unhurt, when his brakes failed entering a hairpin turn. His Austro Daimler was heavily damaged,
prematurely ending his stay at the Côte d'Azur. Strangely, both local newspapers chose not to report about the seriousness of Stuck's accident. But more than three years later on September 12, 1932,
Le Petit Niçois on page 5 stated that in 1929 during Saturday practice, a tragic accident had happened to the German driver Stuck, when he drove into a group of peaceful spectators, killed an older lady
on a parapet wall and injured her daughter, wife of Mr. Tinteri, hairdresser in Antibes. The 1929 magazine AAZ in No. 8, page 37 reported differently: "like a wonder Stuck remained uninjured, although
the accident happened at a speed of about 160 km/h. The report in the daily newspapers, that a woman was killed by Stuck's car, is false. An older lady was present in the proximity of the accident scene
and suffered a heart attack in the moment of Stuck's crash. Stuck's car remained stranded on the road and did not make contact with the spectators which had arrived in great numbers for practice."
Only six cars appeared for the 3:15 PM start, where Zanelli took the lead ahead of Etancelin and Decaroli, all three in 2000 Bugattis, followed by Bohrer with a 1500 Bugatti and the two Salmsons of Signoret and
Jourdan. Zanelli, spun his car a few times when cornering and lost much time, which allowed Etancelin to take the lead and finish first in 1h22m52.4s at 73.661 km/h. Zanelli was second in 1h27m39.8s and Signoret
placed third in 1h28m18s. Jourdan finished fourth. Etancelin and Zanelli both drove the fastest lap in 3m13s at 75.917 km/h average speed. Decaroli retired with ignition trouble while Bohrer and Jourdan did not
finish in time to be classified.
Beautiful weather prevailed on Easter-Monday in the presence of huge crowds to watch the first confrontation of the new 1750 Alfa Romeo with the 2-Liter Bugatti. The location of the grandstands, which were 500 meters
in length, was unique in the pine tree forest and spectators had a great view of two impressive hairpin bends and the two straights connecting the turns. Among the non-starters were Bret who had sprained a wrist and
Lamy who also did not start. The race-director Charles Faroux gave the drivers the latest instructions before the race and asked if they would allow their comrade Dauvergne, who had no license, to start in the race.
All the drivers gave their approval, a great gesture of camaraderie.
The 10:30 AM start was postponed until 11:00 AM. The 16 cars assembled behind the starting line in the order indicated by the draw, the 1100 cc, 1500 cc and over 2-liters, two cars per row. In the first row was
Philippe's blue Bugatti on the right side with Zehender's red 1750 Alfa next to him. Behind them seven rows of cars ready for the race.
|Rest of grid unknown.|
The engines were started and began to fire up and rumble. The race was further delayed but at exactly 11:07 AM, Mr. Bourreau, Mayor of Antibes, gave the starting signal by lowering a small French flag. It was not an
absolutely perfect start for everyone but within a cloud of smoke, the growling pack darted away.
Philippe finished the first lap in the lead after only 3m14s at 75.525 km/h average speed, with Zehender behind him, followed by Lepori, Dreyfus, Bouriano, Etancelin, Dauvergne, Rigal, Ghersi, Esterházy, Marret, Sandri,
de Joncy, Scarron, Isaia and Fashion.
Philippe remained in the lead on the second lap with a lap of 3m11s, 200 meters ahead of Zehender, Lepori and Dreyfus who was dangerously close with his 1500 cc car in fourth position, followed by Etancelin in fifth
place. Bouriano spun his car around on the second lap, damaged his Bugatti and had to retire. The loudspeaker announced a prize of 500 francs to the driver who would lead at the end of the tenth lap.
On the third lap, Philippe increased his lead. Behind him Lepori attacked Zehender and after a thrilling neck to neck race in front of the grandstands, the Swiss Champion passed him at the beginning of the fifth lap.
It was announced that Prince Esterházy beat the lap record with 2m59s, but this was a mistake. Prince Esterházy indeed drove his 2.0 Bugatti very fast but he disappeared on the seventh lap. Philippe continuously
increased his lead and on the eighth circuit lapped de Joncy's little Amilcar. A great struggle was going on between Alfa Romeo and Bugatti with impressive side by side racing when Dreyfus passed Zehender on the
eighth lap and took third place. After half an hour, only 8 seconds separated Dreyfus, Zehender, Ghersi and Etancelin; good close racing! After ten laps, Bouriano and Esterházy were out of the race and the field
was down to 14 cars. It was announced that Philippe was now 500 francs richer after he covered the ten laps in 31m57s with the field in the following order:
|4.||Zehender (Alfa Romeo)||33m25s|
|5.||Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)||33m27s|
|8.||Rigal (Alfa Romeo)||34m30s|
|10.||De Joncy (Amilcar)||36m31s|
In a corner near the sea, Rigal made a full spin with his Alfa Romeo, losing a few laps before he was able to get going again. On the fifteenth lap, Fashion's Amilcar broke a rocker arm in the cylinder head and
had to retire. There were now thirteen cars in the race. Philippe completed the fifteen laps in 48m15s at an average speed of 70,516 km/h, ahead of Lepori, Dreyfus, Etancelin, Zehender and Ghersi.
After twenty laps Philippe was still leading with 1h04m46s but now was only 14 seconds ahead of Lepori, when in the tenth lap his advantage had been more than a minute. Dreyfus was third, followed by Ghersi and
Etancelin, who during the previous ten laps had battled for fourth place. Rigal drove a waiting race, running very regularly behind Zehender. Scaron seemed to do the same behind De Joncy in the 1100 cc category
where Marret was leading by over three minutes. The order after 20 laps was as follows:
|4.||Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|6.||Zehender (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|9.||Rigal (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|10.||De Joncy (Amilcar)||?|
As lunchtime arrived, the spectators began their picnics under the old pine trees along the picturesque coastline. Thousands of spectators enthusiastically unpacked their provisions as they watched the cars pass
by. In the meantime the race continued. Philippe remained in the lead and left a great impression while lapping one car after another. Marret, driving a Salmson 1100 cc, also gave an excellent impression.
Thirty laps were completed by Philippe in 1h36m38s without much change in the order of the other cars. The spectators followed the race resting under the pine trees of La Garoupe while the drivers had a tough task
under hot sun, with the tar, which was softened by the heat, flying in their faces. After 30 laps the standings were:
|6.||Rigal (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|7.||Zehender (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|9.||Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)||?|
Philippe appeared as the eventual winner. Since the beginning, he had displayed exceptional qualities by maintaining the lead. But fate decided differently when on lap 36 at the turn following the bridge past the
grandstands and finish, Philippe skidded, his car hit a rock and overturned. He was not hurt, but the right front wheel of his Bugatti was broken and the axle distorted. The car was no longer drivable, so he was
forced to retire. Philippe walked back to the grandstands and Lepori was now in command. Scaron and Isaia who were second and third in the cycle car class were separated by only a second. They had been racing for
almost two and a half hours and passed the grandstand almost side by side. With Philippe out of the race and the field down to 12 cars, the order after 40 laps was:
|4.||Zehender (Alfa Romeo)||2h17m14s|
|5.||Rigal (Alfa Romeo)||2h17m24s|
|6.||Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)||2h20m21s|
|11.||De Joncy (Amilcar)||2h31m45s|
At the end of the fortieth lap, Ghersi retired his Alfa Romeo with a broken clutch and Etancelin disappeared with the same problem on his Bugatti. Dreyfus inherited second place, 2m9s behind the leader Lepori,
who stopped to refuel and left moments before Dreyfus passed him. The latter had taken the lead, but on the fiftieth lap, Dreyfus took a corner too fast, with the asphalt softened by heat, his car spun and stopped
on some rocks. Dreyfus was not injured but his Bugatti had broken wheels and he was out of the running. Marret, who for a long time had held the lead in the 1100 cc class, stopped several times at the pits and
Scarron eventually passed him for the first place. Isaia, who at the beginning of the race was somewhat unnoticed, now held second place in the 1100 cc class due to his consistency. After 50 laps, two thirds of
the race, with nine drivers remaining, Lepori continued in the lead in a time of 2h45m46s, ahead of Zehender and Rigal while Scaron headed the small cars. The order after 50 laps was as follows:
|2.||Zehender (Alfa Romeo)||2h50m15s|
|3.||Rigal (Alfa Romeo)||2h51m21s|
|7.||De Joncy (Amilcar)||3h07m25s|
The race was now in its last third and interest had not diminished. All attention focused now on the duel between Lepori, Zehender and Rigal. Once more a great battle ensued between the two famous Italian and
French brands, Alfa Romeo and Bugatti. Who would win? Lepori completed 60 laps in 3h19m05s, followed by the Alfa Romeos of Zehender in 3h24m20s and Rigal in 3h25m16s. Dauvergne who had driven a very consistent
race found himself in fourth place. Lepori stopped to refuel but left immediately without refueling. The order after 60 laps was as follows:
|2.||Zehender (Alfa Romeo)||3h24m41s|
|4.||Rigal (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|8.||De Joncy (Amilcar)||?|
On lap 61 Lepori stopped again and left rather quickly. Zehender refueled on lap 63 but left without much
determination. He must have encountered some sort of a problem because he constantly fell behind, ending up in sixth place. The remainder of the race brought little change. De Joncy retired on the sixty-eighth
lap. From the beginning he had a problem with his fuel pressure. After 70 laps Lepori held the lead at 76,280 km/h race average speed.
|3.||Rigal (Alfa Romeo)||4h04m28s|
|6.||Zehender (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|8.||De Joncy (Amilcar)||?|
Lepori's last lap was a tour of the victor, who was greeted by a huge ovation. He had lapped the entire field several times, maintaining his fast pace throughout the race. Lepori's total time for the 75 laps was
4h 9m38.2s. Last years' time by Louis Chiron was now beaten by one minute forty seconds with an average speed of 73,366 km/h. Rigal in second place, won the 1500cc category, Dauvergne came third, followed by
Scaron, who won the 1100 cc class. The three class winners did a lap of honor, while the remaining drivers finished the race, completing the required 75 laps to be classified. Sandri's Maserati, the slowest car
in the field, ran out of petrol 100 meters from the finish.
|1.||25||Mario Lepori||M. Leporio||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||75||4h09m38.2s|
|2.||9||Louis Rigal||L.Rigal||Alfa Romeo||6C-1500||1,5||S-6||75||4h22m55.2s||+ 13m17.0s|
|3.||26||Christian Dauvergne||C. Dauvergne||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||75||4h24m43.4s||+ 15m05.2s|
|4.||4||José Scaron||J. Scaron||Amilcar||1.1||75||4h32m31.8s||+ 22m53.6s|
|5.||3||Henri Isaia||H. Isaia||Salmson||1.1||75||4h32m42.0s||+ 23m03.8s|
|6.||19||Goffredo Zehender||G. Zehender||Alfa Romeo||6C-1750||1.8||S-6||75||4h38m18.0s||+ 28m39.8s|
|7.||2||Victor Marret||V. Marret||Salmson||1.1||75||4h46m08.8s||+ 36m30.6s|
|8.||11||Guglielmo Sandri||G. Sandri||Maserati||26||1.5||S-6||75||4h51m32.0s||+ 41m53.8s|
|DNF||5||Henny de Joncy||H. De Joncy||Amilcar||1.1||67||fuel pressure|| |
|DNF||7||René Dreyfus||R. Dreyfus||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||49||crash|| |
|DNF||24||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Bugatti||T35A||2.0||S-8||40||clutch|
|DNF||10||Pietro Ghersi||P. Ghersi||Alfa Romeo||6C-1500||1.5||S-6||40||clutch|| |
|DNF||21||Georges Philippe||Baron P. de Rothschild||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||35||crash|
|DNF||6||Fashion||Fashion||Amilcar||1.1||14||rocker arm|| |
|DNF||18||Anton Esterházy||Prince A. Esterházy||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8|| 6||mechanical|
|DNF||17||Georges Bouriano||G. Bouriano||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8|| 1||crash|
Fastest Lap: Mario Lepori (Bugatti) in 3m09.0s = 77.5 km/h (48.2 mph).|
Fastest Lap (1500 cc) René Dreyfus (Bugatti) on lap 3 in 3m13.0s = 75.9 km/h (47.2 mph).
Winner's medium speed (Lepori): 73.4 km/h (45.6 mph).
Winner's medium speed 1500 cc (Rigal): 69.7 km/h (43.3 mph).
Winner's medium speed 1100 cc (Scaron): 67.2 km/h (41.8 mph).
Weather: warm, sunshine, dry.
There was controversy over whether there were seven or eight finishers. Some sources did not show Marret (Salmson) in seventh place and instead published Sandri (Maserati) as the seventh and last finisher.
There was disagreement about the fastest lap by Lepori in 3m09s as published by L'Eclaireur de Nice, while Le Petit Nicois quoted 3m07s and IL LITTORIALE showed Philippe doing the fastest lap in 3m05s.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
A-Z Motorwelt, Brno
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
IL LITTORIALE, Bologna
L'Eclaireur de Nice, Nice
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Petit Nicois, Nice
Special thanks to:
1 March 1929: The B.A.R.C. Easter Meeting was held at Brooklands.|
Handicap races were won by Wallbank (Benz 21.5 litre), Crickmay (R.L.B. - Aston Martin ),
Horsman (Triumph), Bouts (Sunbeam), Eyston (Bugatti), Turner (Delage), John Dunfee (Ballot) and John Dunfee (Sunbeam 2 litre).
Circuit de la Riviera - Super-Cannes (F), 7 April 1929
3 heats of 6 laps x 3.4 km (2.113 mi) = 20.4 km (12.7 mi)
Final: 10 laps x 3.4 km (2.113 mi) = 34.0 km (21.1 mi)
Edward Bret wins the Riviera Circuit at Super-Cannes
by Hans Etzrodt
From the 13 cars entered, 11 appeared at the start of this minor race at Cannes. The event was divided into three short sprints and a final. The first race was won by Signoret in a Salmson ahead
of Deruy (Bugatti). Dreyfus (Bugatti) was the winner of the second race, followed by Marret, Bohrer and Isaia. In the third race for the large Bugattis, Edward Bret came first ahead of Caisson,
while Zanelli and Prince Esterházy retired. In the final race Bret had an easy win, followed by Dreyfus, Marret and Caisson, while Signoret crashed out of the race.
The Automobile-Club de Cannes under its president M. G. Gallice and its Commission sportive with support from the sports committee of l'Automobile-Club de Nice were responsible for organizing this
minor event for the first time the year before and again on April 7, 1929, the second edition of the Circuit de la Riviera at Super-Cannes. Holding this event one week after the Circuit of Antibes
and preceding the Monaco Grand Prix, it was expected that all the fast cars currently at the Côte d'Azur would remain on location. The 3.4 km undulating circuit, which wound through about 30 bends,
was located in the hills just north-east of Cannes in the Super-Cannes suburb. The position of the start was not stated in the available sources but was possibly located on the Grand Boulevard de
Super-Cannes. The course then continued in an anti-clockwise direction onto the Boulevard Saint-Antoine, the Boulevard Beau-Soleil and back onto the Grand Boulevard de Super-Cannes. In the first
three races the sports and race cars had to complete the circuit six times, a distance of 20.4 km. The final race was to take place over ten laps or 34 km. The original plan was to start cars at
20 seconds intervals, but on the day of the race it was changed to 30. There were five classes, three for race cars, up to 1100 cc, 1100 to 1500 cc and over 1500 cc, and two for sports cars, up to
1100 cc and over 1100 cc. The weighing and scrutineering took place on Saturday at 2:00 PM at the office of the Cannes A. C. Prizes for the first three finishers in each of the racecar classes
were 1500, 1000 and 50 francs and 1000, 500 and 200 francs for both of the sports car classes. In the general classification of the Final race, prizes were 10,000, 3,000 and 2,000 francs for the
first three finishers.
Six of the drivers who had raced the week before at the Antibes Grand Prix remained at the Côte d'Azur and arrived with their racecars in Cannes. Marret, Isaia, de Joncy, Dreyfus and Bouriano used
their previous race numbers, while Esterházy changed his. Last year's winner, Chiron, was in America to race at Indianapolis, but Ed Bret, who finished second in 1928, could expect serious competition
at the Circuit de la Riviera. Additional entries were made by Bohrer, Caisson, with both a sports car and a racecar, Zanelli, Signoret and Deruy. A complete list of entries is at the beginning of
The first race was limited to sports cars. It started at 2:00 PM in the order of Signoret (1100 Salmson), Deruy (1500 Bugatti) and Caisson (1500 Bugatti). The race consisted of six laps of the
3.4 km circuit. On the first lap Signoret completed the circuit in 3m22s, Deruy in 3m42s and Caisson in 4m15.2s. Signoret kept increasing his lead, lapping Caisson. His fourth lap was accomplished
in 3m16s, the fastest of the race, and he eventually finished first. He was an easy winner, more than a minute ahead of Deruy.
|1.||21||Henri Signoret||H. Signoret||Salmson||1.1||6||20m11.8s|| |
|3.||R. Caisson||R. Caisson||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||6||24m20.0s||+ 4m08.2s|
Fastest Lap (1500cc): Deruy (Bugatti) in 3m28.6s = 58.7 km/h (36.4 mph).|
Fastest Lap (1100cc): Henri Signoret (Salmson) in 3m16s = 62.4 km/h (38.8 mph).
Winner's medium speed (1500cc): 57.2 km/h (35.6 mph).
Winner's medium speed (1100cc): 60.6 km/h (37.7 mph).
The second race was limited to 1100 cc and 1500 cc racecars. At the start the cars were released at 30 seconds intervals. Dreyfus (1500 Bugatti) started first, next Bohrer (1500 Bugatti), then
Marret (Salmson) and Isaia (Salmson) last. Dreyfus completed the first lap in 3m10s, followed by Marret in 3m13s. On the fourth circuit Dreyfus established the fastest lap in 3m06s and then went on
to win the race. Marret finished second, followed by Bohrer and Isaia, all without incident.
|1.||9||René Dreyfus||R. Dreyfus||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||6||18m48.2s|| |
|2.||2||Victor Marret||V. Marret||Salmson||1.1||6||19m55.2s||+ 1m07.0s|
|4.||3||Henri Isaia||H. Isaia||Salmson||1.1||6||21m39.6s||+ 2m51.4s|
Fastest Lap (1500cc): René Dreyfus (Bugatti) in 3m06s = 65.8 km/h (40.9 mph).|
Fastest Lap (1100cc): Victor Marret (Salmson) in 3m18.2s = 61.8 km/h (38.3 mph).
Winner's medium speed (1500cc): 65.1 km/h (40.4 mph).
Winner's medium speed (1100cc): 61.4 km/h (38.2 mph).
The third race was restricted to racecars over 1500 cc and Edward Bret won without much difficulty. The starting order was not described. At the end of the first lap, Bret was 30 seconds ahead of Zanelli.
The latter retired at that time, since his Bugatti engine was working badly. Bret completed the first two circuits in 3m06s and 3m05s. On the third lap Prince Esterházy retired following the failure of
a part on his car. Only Bret and Caisson went on to finish the race. Bret established the fastest lap at 3m05s. The record for that category was established the year before by Ed Bret and Chiron, both
with a time of 2m59s.
|1.||84||Edward Bret||E. Bret||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||6||18m56.2s|
|DNF||12||Anton Esterházy||Prince Esterházy||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||2||mechanical|
|DNF||4||Juan Zanelli||J. Zanelli||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||1||engine|
Fastest Lap: Edward Bret (Bugatti) in 3m05s = 66.2 km/h (41.1 mph).|
Winner's medium speed: 64.6 km/h (40.2 mph).
The final race over 10 laps or 34 km saw five cars at the start. They were released at 30 seconds intervals in the order of Bret (Bugatti), Dreyfus (Bugatti), Marret (Salmson), Signoret (Salmson) and
Caisson, who started in this race with his other Bugatti. Bret drove the first lap in 3m03s while Caisson's time was 3m10s. Early on the second circuit, fifty meters from the timekeepers' stand,
Signoret's Salmson veered into a small groove, causing the car to bounce against a wall, severely bending one of the wheels and ending his race. On the third circuit Bret recorded a time of 3m02s and
lapped Caisson. To be fair to Caisson, he had started 2 minutes after Bret, who had presumably made up 'only' a little more than a minute on him, not a whole lap. On the next circuit Bret's time was
3m01s, establishing the fastest lap of the race. On the fifth circuit Dreyfus, the closest competitor to Bret, also lapped Caisson. On the eighth circuit Bret lapped Marret's Salmson. Bret won by
almost 25 seconds ahead of Dreyfus, followed by Marret and Caisson, who were both a lap down.
|1.||84||Edward Bret||E. Bret||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||10||30m51.4s|| |
|2.||9||René Dreyfus||R. Dreyfus||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||10||31m16.2s||+ 24.8s|
|3.||2||Victor Marret||V. Marret||Salmson||1.1||10||33m43.0s||+ 2m51.6s|
|4.||1||R. Caisson||R. Caisson||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||10||35m03.2s||+ 4m11.8s|
|DNF||21||Henri Signoret||H. Signoret||Salmson||1.1||1||crash|| |
Fastest Lap: Edward Bret (Bugatti) on lap 4 in 3m01.0s = 67.6 km/h (42.0 mph).|
Fastest Lap (1500cc): René Dreyfus (Bugatti) in 3m04s = 66.5 km/h (41.3 mph).
Fastest Lap (1100cc): Victor Marret (Salmson) in 3m18.2s = 61.8 km/h (38.4 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 66.1 km/h (41.1 mph).
Winner's medium speed (1500cc): 65.2km/h (40.5 mph).
Winner's medium speed (1100cc): 60.5 km/h (37.6 mph).
Weather: warm, sunshine, dry.
Unbelievable are the incredibly slow speeds. All of the races were won at less than 64 km/h or 40 mph. Just imagine this was a race in which the police couldn't have stopped the cars for speeding.
The conditions must have been appalling, however since rain was not reported to have an effect on the pace, more likely was the incredibly serpentine circuit. These must have been some of the slowest
races ever held.
Another observation was the poor quality of the racing. There were only four or five cars in each race and to cap it, they started at 30 second intervals. This virtually ensured that any spectators
would never see two cars pass together. Most likely the cars were started at intervals to assure safety on this narrow, possibly dusty undulating circuit, as was common practice during this
period in racing.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
LE LITTORIAL, Cannes
Le Petit Nicois, Nice
L'Eclaireur de Nice, Nice
Special thanks to:
GRAND PRIX d'ALGERIE
Staouéli Circuit, Alger (F), 7 April 1929.
50 laps x 7.2 km (4.47 mi) = 360 km (223.7 mi)
|Category 1 - Cars up to 1100 cc engine capacity:|
|Lucien Desvaux||L. Desvaux||Amilcar||1.1||S-4|
|Guy Cloître||G. Cloître||Amilcar||1.1||S-4|
|Category 3 - Cars up to 1500cc engine capacity:|
|Rudolf Eberhardt||R. Eberhardt||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4|
|Bouville ||Bouville (also Bonville)||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4|
|Emile Dupont||E. Dupont||Amilcar||1500||1.5||S-6|
|Category 3 - Cars over 1500cc engine capacity:|
|16||Marcel Lehoux||M. Lehoux||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8|
|Janine Jennky||Mme J. Jennky||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8 DNA - did not appear|
|E. Meyer||E. Meyer||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8 DNA - did not appear|
|Boyriven||Boyriven||Omega||2.0||S-6 DNS - did not start|
|François Miquel||F. Miquel (also Bignel)||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8|
Lehoux wins Algerian Grand Prix with his Bugatti
by Hans Etzrodt
From an entry of 12 cars, nine appeared at the start of the Algerian Grand Prix over 50 laps on the Staouéli circuit. The local hero and previous winner Lehoux led the race in his Bugatti from start to finish.
Miquel crashed his Bugatti early on, while Avon retired his BNC after nine laps. Dupont (Amilcar) held second place till his car broke down on lap 18, when Eberhardt (Bugatti) inherited second place until his
engine failed a few laps before the end. Jaquin (Amilcar), Bouville (Bugatti) and Cloître (Amilcar) held third place at various times. In the end Lehoux finished many laps ahead of Cloître, Jacquin and last
placed finisher Desvaux in the slowest of the Amilcars.
Algeria in 1929 had been an important colony of France for almost 100 years. The sports committee of l'Automobile-Club d'Alger under its president Mr. Robert Brosette had organized this minor event for the first
time the year before and 1929 was the second edition of the Grand Prix d'Algerie. It took place on the 7.2 km triangular dirt road circuit at the town of Staouéli, which was situated several kilometers west of
Algiers. The entries were divided into three categories, up to 1100 cc, up to 1500 cc and over 1500 cc. All cars had to complete 50 laps bringing the total distance to 360 km. A Touring Car Grand Prix was
held on Saturday, while the Grand Prix for racecars took place on Sunday.
Lehoux was the best known driver, having won the previous year's race and also the Tunis Grand Prix. He entered his 1928 winning car, a s/c 2000 cc Bugatti for Sunday's race and a 3.4-liter Lorraine-Dietrich for
Saturday's race. Francois Miquel also drove a 2000 cc Bugatti. Bouville came from Constantine, a large town in Eastern Algeria. He arrived with a 1500 Bugatti for the Grand Prix on Sunday and a Lorraine-Dietrich
to race in theTouring Car Grand Prix. Emile Dupont and Jacquin had 1500 cc Amilcars, while Rudolf Eberhardt entered his Bugatti 1500. The 1100 cc category comprised Lucien Desvaux and Guy Cloître with Amilcars,
while Avon drove a BNC.
The Grand Prix de Tourisme:|
The event was held on Saturday over 40 laps, a distance of 288 km. Present at the 2:00 PM start were Lehoux (Lorraine-Dietrich), Ducastaing (1100 Ariès), Dupont (Amilcar); Klare (1500 Chenard), Pérez (Chenard),
Boyriven (Oméga-Six), Jacquemont (Amilcar), Pao (Amilcar), Gallay (Bugatti), Vincenti (Bugatti), Joly (Bugatti), Rallo (Bugatti), Trottier (1100 Amilcar), Bouville (Lorraine-Dietrich), Seyfried (1100 Salmson) and
Only seven of the 16 starters finished with Joly (Bugatti) first in 2h55m35.4s at 98.400 km/h average speed followed by Bouville (Lorraine-Dietrich) in 2h58m19s at 97.300 km/h, Vincenti (Bugatti) in 2h59m7.6s at
96.500 km/h, Klare (Chenard) in 3h17m43.8s at 87.550 km/h, Seyfried (Salmson) in 3h21m46.4s at 85m720 km/h; Ducastaing (Ariès) in 3h38m18.8s and seventh Trottier (Amilcar).
On Sunday at 10:00 AM the motorcycles raced and the Grand Prix cars had their turn in the afternoon. More than fifty thousand people attended the race on Sunday, including the Governor and other important government
officials. The timekeeping was professionally managed by Mr. Stanislas, the official timekeeper of the Automobile Club of France. Charles Faroux, Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur and editor of "L'AUTO" and "La Vie
Automobile" had come to Algiers for the direction of the Grand Prix, giving his qualified advice. Three of the drivers, Lehoux, Dupont and Bouville, had raced the day before in the Touring Car Grand Prix, as had
Boyriven who retired with engine trouble and could not start in Sunday's Grand Prix. Thirty minutes before the start, nine cars began lining up on the grid. Devaud (Amilcar); Cloître (Amilcar); Eberhardt (Bugatti);
Jacquin (Amilcar); Dupont (Amilcar); Avon (BNC); Lehoux (Bugatti); Bouville (Bugatti) and Miquel (Bugatti).
The race started a 2:00 PM. The timekeeper announced the last five seconds by closing the fingers of his raised hand. At the final signal Lehoux took off like a whirlwind and his opponents followed in pursuit.
Lehoux was first at Bridja Turn, very closely followed by Dupont. At the end of the first lap the cars passed the finish in the following order:
On the third lap Bouville passed Eberhardt. Dupont was not able to stay with Lehoux, driving at 180 km/h at times. Lehoux was two seconds a lap faster than Dupont, who was consistently falling behind. On lap five
Dupont followed 11 seconds after Lehoux and Bouville now in fourth place while Miquel seemed to be in trouble, stopping at the pits and immediately restarting. Jacquin in the1500 Amilcar had an ongoing battle
for third place with Bouville's 1500 Bugatti; just two seconds separated the cars. After five laps the cars passed the finish in the following order:
Miquel continued to have trouble on the sixth lap when he spun in the Bridja Turn but recovered and carried on. On lap eight Lehoux was leading Dupont, now with 14 seconds between them. The announcer reported that
Miquel had broken down after passing Staouéli and was out of the race. L'AUTO reported that a connecting rod bearing failed. Avon stopped at the pits to add oil to his BNC but on lap ten pitted again and retired at
his pit with magneto troubles. On his tenth lap Lehoux drove a lap in 3m30s at an average speed of 123,400 km/h, setting the fastest lap of the day. After ten laps with Miquel and Avon out of the race, the cars
passed the finish in the following order:
On lap 15 Bouville retired when his Bugatti broke down with connecting rod bearing failure. While Lehoux completed his 17th lap, Bouville arrived at his pit on foot and announced his retirement. The speaker announced
that Lehoux had skidded in Staouéli, but restarted immediately. He completed the same lap in 3m40s at an overall average of 122 km/h. Meanwhile, Dupont pitted, restarted and then stopped again. The race was finished
for him as his engine had expired with a magneto problem. The fight was then confined between Lehoux, Eberhardt, Cloître, Jacquin and Desvaux. Lehoux with a lead of 1¾ laps over Eberhardt, his closest competitor, continued
until the end of the race. After 25 laps, at mid-race, Lehoux led at an average speed of 121.480 km/h with the field down to five cars in the following order:
L'AUTO published the order after 30 laps:
|4.||Jacquin (Amilcar)||2h03m05s [sic]|
L'AUTO reported that Lehoux stopped at the pits refueling in 1m47s while Jacquin changed one wheel, adjusted the clutch and refueled in 12m47s. Desvaux made two stops, costing him 2m39s and Cloître refueled and changed
spark plugs which took 9 minutes. L'AUTO also published the following order after 40 laps:
|3.||Cloître (Amilcar)||2h09m04s [sic]|
|4.||Jacquin (Amilcar)||2h03m05s [sic]|
In the second half of the race, Eberhardt kept second place until his 47th lap, when his engine began to stammer. The announcer reported on the 49th circuit that his Bugatti was down at Staouéli, having lost all hope
of finishing when a valve broke. After more than three hours the race ended for Lehoux as the victor, 25 minutes ahead of Cloître, Jacquin and Desvaux, each of whom carried on to complete the required 50 laps to be classified. Amilcar
had a great day, finishing second, third and fourth, also winning category one and two.
|1.||16||Marcel Lehoux||M. Lehoux||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||50||3h02m55.0s|
|2.|| ||Guy Cloître||G. Cloître||Amilcar||1.1||S-6||50||3h27m56.0s||+ 25m01.0s|
|3.|| ||Jacquin||Jacquin||Amilcar||1500||1.5||S-6||50||3h29m26.4s||+ 26m31.4s|
|4.|| ||Lucien Desvaux||L. Desvaux (also Devaud)||Amilcar||1.1||S-6||50||3h39m39.0s||+ 36m44.0s|
|DNF|| ||Rudolf Eberhardt||R. Eberhardt||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||48||broken valve|| |
|DNF|| ||Emile Dupont||E. Dupont||Amilcar||1500||1.5||S-6||17||magneto|| |
|DNF|| ||Bouville||Bouville (also Bonville)||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||14||connecting rod bearing|
|DNF|| ||Avon||Avon||BNC||527||1.1||S-4|| 9||magneto|| |
|DNF|| ||François Miquel||F. Miguel (also Bignel)||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8|| 7||connecting rod bearing|
Fastest Lap: Marcel Lehoux (Bugatti) on lap 10 in 3m30.0s = 123.4 km/h (76.7 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 118.04 km/h (73.35 mph)
Weather: warm, sunshine, dry.
Reports published by L'Echo d'Alger referred to François Miquel as "Bignel" while Lucien Desvaux was mentioned as "Devaud".
The available European press reported this North-African event in little depth. The local Algerian paper 'L'Echo d'Alger' was better but their published information was limited. Most helpful, but not available at this
time, would have been the reports by Charles Faroux, editor of "L'AUTO" and "La Vie Automobile". Race numbers and a starting grid might have been published there. The number 16 of Lehoux is known from a photograph
published in 'L'Echo d'Alger'.
The report from L'AUTO became available through Galliaca two years after this report was written. It was published on 8th of April on page 2, as a rather condensed report without race numbers or photos.
Individual lap times were not always correct.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
IL LITTORIALE, Bologna
La Presse, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
L'Echo d'Alger, Alger
Special thanks to:
Robert van der Plasken