GRAND PRIX DU COMMINGES
Saint Gaudens (F), 18 August 1929.
3000cc: 15 laps x 26.3 km (16.3 mi) = 394.5 km (245.1 mi)
2000cc: 14 laps x 26.3 km (16.3 mi) = 368.2 km (228.8 mi)
1500cc: 12 laps x 26.3 km (16.3 mi) = 315.6 km (196.1 mi)
1100cc: 10 laps x 26.3 km (16.3 mi) = 263.0 km (163.4 mi)
Broschek doing fastest lap but Etancelin fastest overall
by Leif Snellman
The race was run in four classes that started together but stopped after varying number of laps. German driver Albert Broschek (Bugatti) won easly the largest class and
made the fastest lap time of the day. However the major interest was in the 2000 cc class where Philippe Etancelin in an all Bugatti field led from start to finish and
was the overall winner of the race while Juan Zanelli and Jean de l'Espee were early retirements and Marcel Lehoux lost a lot of time during the first laps. Lehoux fought
his way up to second position only to crash near the end of the race. Stanislas Czaykowski (Bugatti) was the winner of the 1500cc class and in the cycle car class Pierre
Darroman managed to surprise fellow Amilcar driver José Scaron on the last lap to win by a small margin. A crash into the spectator area by Parizot (Bugatti) on the first
lap that clamed a life put a shadow of an otherwise successful event.
The Comminges Automobile Week Le Grande Semaire du Comminge was organized on the11th to 18th of August by Automobile Club du Midi. It included several events for cars and
The first day was devoted to the 247 km Circuit des stations thermales along the roads in the area.
An one kilometer standing start acceleration test, followed on Tuesday 13th. Marcel Lehoux with his 2 litre Bugatti made the kilometer in 19.1s (188 km/h).
On Friday 16th the series of events continued with the 13 km hill climb from the Col de Peyressourde to Luchon. Lehoux was again fastest with a time of 9m59.8s (78.0 km/h).
The main event was the 5th Comminges Grand Prix raced on the 26.3 km long St. Gaudens course.
There race was run in four classes, 1100cc, 1500cc, 2000cc and 3000cc, that started together. The overall winner was the car with the fastest average speed despite the fact that
the classes raced different distances; the 1100cc class raced 10 laps (263.0 km), the 1500cc class 12 laps (315.6 km), the 2 litre class 14 laps (368.2 km ) and the 3 litre class
15 laps (394.5km).
The distribution of cash prizes was as follows:
Overall race winner 25,000 francs, overall second 10,000 francs.
For each category: 5,000, 2,500, 1,500 and 1,000 francs for the top four finishers.
The prizes of the general classification were not combined with those of the categories.
There were also special prizes including the 10,000 francs Grand Prix Bergougnan offered to the fastest regional rider, i.e. he had to be a member of A.C. du Midi and living in
A.C. du Midi's zone.
The entry list featured several of the best French amateur drivers. In the 3 litre class a 2.3 litre Bugatti T35Bs (#4922) were entered by German Albert Broschek, son of the founder of a
famous Hamburg publishing house. After his win at the Nürburgring Chiron took his part of the prize money to buy two T35B (#4922 & 4938) each FF 80.000. Lepori borrowed #4922 from Chiron for Broschek.
After San Sebastian when Lepori's mother cut off the money supply to her son Broschek bought #4922, still in Swiss red-white colors from Chiron.
Another Bugatti T35B was entered by Jean Raymond Couiteas, world class tennis player, originally from Tunis but living in southwest of France and thus calling himself a local .
He was making his race debut. He had bought the car (#4933) directly from the factory but paid the full list price of FF 165.000 (compare with Chiron's discount above).
A third Bugatti, most probably #4914 owned by Albert de Bondeli, was claimed to have been entered by René Dreyfus but that one never appeared.
Lawyer and amateur driver André Victor Bésaucèle from Toulouse entered a Ballot.
There were five Bugatti T35C entered in the 2 litre class. Favourites for the victory were Philippe Etancelin (#4940), Chilean Juan Zanelli (#4920).
Jean de l'Espée (#4928) , Jean de Maleplane (#4871) and Emilio Eminente, possibly of Italian origin, were the three other entries.
A mysterious case is Marcel Lehoux who is found in all entry and results list in the 2 litre class but ought to have raced his 2.3 litre T35B (#4935).
The 1500cc class was a mixed bunch with Bugattis entered by Polish count Stanislas Czaykowski (#37316) , Honoré Lormand from Toulouse, Jan Bychawski from Paris and Léon Parizot from Bordeaux (#37265).
Alexandre Gauthier from Fleurance raced a Salmson, Nicole from Toulouse an E.H.P. (Établissements Henry Precloux) and Cardeilhac from Montréjeau entered a Bucciali .
Amilcar driver "José" Scaron was the favourite in the 1100cc cycle car class. Amilcar drivers also included Galinié from Toulouse, Catherineau from Tarbes and a driver whom L'Auto called
D'Arroman while in the entry list his name was spelt as Darroman (but then the entry list and all newspapers also had German Broschek listed as "Droschek").
Roger Boucly, Henri Isaia and Victor Marret, all from Nice, raced Salmsons, Auguste Rongieras from Liborne a BNC and Mme. Anne Cécile Rose-Itier, who had limited herself to rallies and
some hill climbs earlier, made her major race debut with a Scap-engined Rally.
(A special thanks for Michael Müller for the Bugatti information.)
Sunday came with gray and threatening weather but in the end it proved to be a beautiful, fairly cool morning, which favoured the spectators that appeared in great numbers. The event started at 9 a.m. with the
motorcycle races in 175, 250, 350 and 500cc categories.
After a long lunch break it was time for the car race. Many more spectators had arrived and the stands, however very large, were now insufficient to contain them all. All the categories raced together and the
25 cars arranged themselves on the grid at the bottom of the Cote de La Garenne with the larger classes in the front and the cars within the classes in number order. The start planned for 3 p.m. got a bit late
but at 3:30 p.m. the start was given by Mr. Le combe de Rigaud, president of the A. C. du Midi,
Grid in number order with largest classes in the front. Exact grid appearence not available|
Couiteas led the field of cars out on the first lap. Soon there came a report that favourite Lehoux had taken over the lead and was pulling away from the rest. But at the end of the first lap it was Etancelin
in the lead followed by Zanelli while Lehoux had fallen back and had to make a pit stop either due to a puncture or to fix a carburation trouble. After the first lap the order was:
|1.||Etancelin (Bugatti)||2000cc||11m59s (131.7 km/h)|
|4.||de l'Espee (Bugatti)||2000cc|
|5.||de Maleplane (Bugatti)||---"---|
|19.||Galinié (Amilcar)||1100cc|| (Note 1)|
A few cars were already missing Henry Isaia had retired on the first lap. The loudspeaker then announced that Parizot had crashed at Villeneuve-de-Rivère but added that the driver was safe. Even when on the third lap the
loudspeaker asked for medical assistance, details of the crash were to be known only after the end of the race and would cast a shadow of the otherwise successful event. Close to the Estup house braking for the
Villeneuve-de-Riviere bend Parizot, possibly due to a tyre failure, lost control of his Bugatti T37. With a speed of 100-110 km/h the car went straight up the embankment, crossed a hedge and crashed into a
bench in the middle of a meadow where five local spectators were sitting. A 14 years old boy, Gabriel Sabin, died immediately. 16 years old Mlle. Toujan got her legs crushed as did 30 years old
Mme Marcelle Sicre, while Mme Sicre's 13 years and 6 years old children escaped with minor injuries. Parizot, who also had escaped with brushes, extinguished himself the Bugatti that had caught fire.
The two badly injured women, one with a fractured thigh, were taken by ambulance to local hospital for x-rays and treatment.
On the 2nd lap. the competitors kept sorting themselves out. De l'Espee passed Couiteas for third position and Broschek de Maleplane for fifth. Further back Marret had stopped at Montrejeau for a few minutes
dropping to 11th.
Etancelin made the second lap in 11m32s for a total time of 23m31s. One newspaper reported that Lehoux stopped at Montrejeau for several minutes, obviously to fix a carburation trouble.
As usual reports contradict each other and the information could have been mixed up with the first lap problem, but while there are no exact times everything indicates that Lehoux lost some 7 to 8 minutes to the leader during the first two laps. Despite that he had moved up to 12th position.
Boucly got stuck in the sand at Villeneuve-de-Riviere but was eventually able to rejoin the race.
After three laps Etancelin was still leading followed by Zanelli, de l'Espee, Couiteas, Broschek, de Maleplane, Eminente, Scaron, Darroman and Lehoux.
On the fourth lap, Zanelli, who had fought courageously with Etancelin for the lead, crashed at Huos. The driver escaped unhurt. Etancelin was now alone in command. Lehoux passed 1100cc driver Darroman for 8th position.
On the fifth lap Jean de l'Espee, who had taken over second position after Zanelli´s retirement, crashed at Valentine. Eminente stopped at Villeneuve and Catherineau at Montrejeau.
Etancelin already started putting the leading 1500cc drivers, Czaykowski and Bychawski, a lap down. The engine on Marret's Salmson failed and the driver had to return to the pit by foot.
After five laps Etancelin was leading with Couiteas, who was doing a stunning race debut, was second. Lehoux had found speed again and was up to fifth position. The race order looked like this:
|1.||Etancelin (Bugatti)||2000cc||58m22s (135.2 km/h)|
|3.||de Maleplane (Bugatti)||2000cc|
|9.||Czaykowski (Bugatti)||1500cc||- 1 lap|
The race order remained the same on lap 6. The seventh lap was done by Etancelin in 11m30s (137.2 km/h). Lehoux passed Broschek and on the eighth lap de Maleplane as well to gain 3rd position. But the gap to the race leader
was still some six and a half minutes making it impossible for Lehoux to challenge Etancelin.
After nine laps Etancelin put Scaron and Darroman, who still were closely fighting for the 1100cc class win, a lap down. Etancelin's lead over Couiteas was still five minutes.
On the tenth lap, Etancelin made a one minute refueling stop and then set off again at full speed. Lehoux was up in second position in front of Couiteas. They were followed by Broschek who had passed Maleplane for fourth.
The 1100cc class was on its last lap. An inadvertently managed yellow flag made Scaron lift on the throttle for a moment and Darroman passed him to take the class victory just 0.2 s in front of a surprised Scaron. Mme Itier
making her major race debut finished third, even if she had lost two laps to the duo and had received well earned applauses from the spectators.
Etancelin continued in the lead to make 11 laps in a total of 2h11m44s (131.8 km/h). Behind him Lehoux was flying making the lap in11m11s (141.1 km/h) closing the gap to the leader down by 3 minutes to only 4m50s.
On the 12th lap Lehoux closed in on Etancelin by another 50 seconds. Meanwhile Broschek with his Bugatti put in the the fastest lap on of the day with a time of 10m54s (144.8 km/h) and passed Couiteas for third position.
But on the 13th lap Lehoux overdid it and crashed his Bugatti at Valentine. The driver got away with a slight injury to his arm.
So Etancelin took the chequered flag after 14 laps as the overall winner and the only remaining competitor in the 2 litre class. Broschek then had to make another lap to win the 3 litre class after 15 laps followed by
Couiteas who had lost 6m25s to him during the last laps.
It was also time to flag off the 1500cc class who had been lapped twice by Etancelin. Czaykowski and Bychawski were respectively first and second. Gauthier was third a lap behind the duo.
André Bésaucèle, having lost a lot of times to the others in the 3 litre class, was flagged off without having done the full distance.
Results (3000 cc)
|1.||74||Albert Broschek||A. Broschek||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||15||3h09m29s|
|2.||90||Jean Raymond Couiteas||J. R. Couiteas||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||15||3h15m54s||+ 6m25s|
Fastest lap: Albert Broschek (Bugatti) in 10m54s =144.8 km/h (90.0 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 124.9 km/h (77.6 mph)
Results (2000 cc)
|1.||70||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||14||2h48m49.2s|
|DNF||78||Marcel Lehoux||M. Lehoux||Bugatti||T35B?||2.3||S-8||12||crash|
|DNF||60||Jean de Maleplane||J. de Maleplane||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||12|
|DNF||64||Emilio Eminente||E. Eminente||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||12|
|DNF||76||Jean de l'Espee||J. de l'Espee||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||4||mechanical|
|DNF||68||Juan Zanelli||J. Zanelli||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||4||oil pipe|
Fastest lap: Marcel Lehoux (Bugatti) in 11m11s = 141.1 km/h (87.7 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 130.9 km/h (81.3 mph)
Results (1500 cc)
|1.||40||Stanislas Czaykowski||S. Czaykowski||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||12||3h12m11.1s|| |
|2.||54||Jan Bychawski||J. Bychawski||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||12||3h14m33.0s||+ 2m21.9s|
|3.||20||Alexandre Gauthier||A. Gauthier||Salmson||12||3h29m10.8s||+ 16m59.7s|
|DNF||46||Honore Lormand||H. Lormand||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||2||crash|| |
|DNF||48||Nicole||Nicole||E.H.P.||2|| || |
|DNF||50||Cardeilhac||Cardeilhac||Bucciali||0|| || |
|DNF||58||Léon Parizot||L. Parizot||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||0|| || |
Fastest lap: Stanislas Czaykowski (Bugatti) in 15m35s = 101.3 km/h (62.9 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 98.5 km/h (61.2 mph)
Results (1100 cc)
|1.||8||Pierre Darroman||Darroman||Amilcar||1.1||S-6||10||2h15m55.0s|| |
|2.||14||José Scaron||J. Scaron||Amilcar||C6||1.1||S-6||10||2h15m55.2s||+ 0.2s|
|3.||16||Anne-Cecile Rose-Itier||Mme. Rose-Itier||Rally-SCAP||1.1||S-4||10||2h42m34.4s||+ 26m39.4a|
|DNF||10||Victor Marret||V. Marret||Salmson|| ||1.1||S-4|| || || |
|DNF||4||Auguste Rongieras||A. Rongieras||BNC-SCAP||527||1.1||S-4|| || || |
|DNF||22||Catherineau||Catherineau||Amilcar|| ||1.1||S-6|| || || |
|DNF||6||Galinié||Galinié||Amilcar||1.1||S-6||5|| || |
|DNF||2||Roger Boucly||R. Boucly||Salmson||1.1||S-4||2|| || |
|DNF||12||Henri Isaia||H. Isaia||Salmson||1.1||S-4||0|| || |
Fastest lap: José Scaron (Amilcar) in 13m07s = 120.3 km/h (74.8 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 116.1 km/h (72.1 mph)
Weather: cloudy, rather cold.
Jean Raymond Couiteas had been the fastest regional rider but didn't want his 10.000 francs prize money. This gesture was greatly appreciated by both the local press and the organizers.
On the day of Gabriel Sabin's funeral, Philippe Etancelin laid the winner's wreath of flowers on the coffin of the victim.
As usual the souches differed in their race accounts. La Dépêche's report was helpful as they listed the cars as they passed even if they were listed regardless of the car had been lapped or not.
1. Source of the list is La Dépêche where Nicole (E.H.P.) is missing on lap one, probably by mistake. According to the same paper he was 10th after the second lap.
Teoretically he might have lost a lot of time and been dead last a lap behind as the others (see retrospect above).
Primary sources researched for this article:|
La Dépêche, Toulouse
L'Écho de Paris, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Journal, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
Special thanks to:
GRAND PRIX DE LA BAULE
La Baule (F), 22 August 1929 (Thursday).
20 laps x 5.0 km (3.1 mi) = 100.0 km (62.1 mi)
Etancelin dominates at La Baule
by Leif Snellman
Philippe Etancelin (Bugatti) dominated this minor race on the sands of La Baule beach. Jean de l'Espee finished second and José Scaron in a 1.1 litre Amilcar third. The only notable incident was
when Mme de Gourmont's Bugatti caught fire.
The Grand Prix Automobile de La Baule at the beach of La Baule about 5 km west of Saint Nazaire was organized by the L'Automobile Club de l'Ouest for the sixth time. The 5 km long beach course
comprised of two parallel 2.5 km straights from Pornichet to Le Pouliguen following the beach, joined at each end by hairpin bends. The drivers had to complete 20 laps for a total of 100 km.
5000 francs was offered for the winner with smaller prizes available for the other finishers up till the tenth in the classification. The general classification was made without any
distension of categories.
The cars were divided into three classes. In the class over 1500cc Bugatti T35C entries were Jean de l'Espee (#4923), Philippe Etancelin (#4940), and Mme de Gourmont. Someone named
Patissou entered a 3 litre Ford.
In the 1500cc class Bret entered the Bugatti T37A he had bought when he was 19 years old. Lucy Schell entered a T37A as well as she had done the year before.
In the 1100cc class José Scaron entered his Amilcar and Yves Giraud-Cabantous a Salmson. André Laisne from Nantes entered a car built by Automobiles Harris-Léon Laisne in Douai.
Founded by Léon Laisne back in 1913 and financially supported by Murray Harris about 150 vehicles were made between 1926 and 1931.
Practice took place on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. but no information about participants or times are available.
On Thursday the weather was cloudy but the temperature was decent and some sixty thousand spectators arrived to the beaches to see the spectacle. The cars lined up in front of the casino
four and four with Etancelin on the front row. The rest of the grid is unknown.
The start was given at 11:30 a.m. by the Count of Lapeyrouse, General Counsellor and Mayor of La Baule. Sources don't agree if Lucy Schell took part in the event so there were either eight
or nine cars that went away on the first lap. Etancelin immediately took control of the race and his second lap was the fastest of the race with a time of 2m13s (135.3 km/h).
The lap times for the top three finishers are known but otherwise not much about what happened. Obviously it was a quite uneventful race. Known times after 5 laps:
|1. Etancelin (Bugatti)||11m24s|
|2. De l'Espee (Bugatti)||12m48s|
|3. Scaron (Amilcar)||13m09s|
Patissou retired his Ford on the third lap and Bret his Bugatti on the sixth lap..
The only notable incident was when Mme de Gourmont's Bugatti caught fire on the eighth lap in Hermitage corner. The fire was quickly brought under control, but the driver had to retire.
Known times after 10 laps:
|1. Etancelin (Bugatti)||22m52.4s|
|2. De l'Espee (Bugatti)||25m16s|
|3. Scaron (Amilcar)||26m19s||-1 lap|
Meanwhile Laisne made a slow but sure work with his Laisne car putting in between 3m45s and 3m51s laps.
Giraud-Cabantous retired his Salmson on the 15th lap. Known times after 15 laps:
|1. Etancelin (Bugatti)||34m38.6s|
|2. De l'Espee (Bugatti)||37m49s||-1 lap|
|3. Scaron (Amilcar)||39m36s||-2 laps|
Etancelin took the chequered flag after a dominant race with De l'Espee second and Scaron third. Laisne, the only remaining competitor, had to stop after 15 laps as the spectators invaded the course after Scaron had taken the flag.
De l'Espee's 9th, 14th and 16th lap had been his fastest with a time of 2m28s (121.6 km/h) while Scaron had made his third lap in 2m35s (116.1 km/h).
|1.||22||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||20||46m36.4s|
|2.||14||Jean de l'Espee||j. de l'Espee||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||20||50m27.2s||+ 3m50.8s|
|3.||2||José Scaron||J. Scaron||Amilcar||20||52m51.4s||+ 6m15.0s|
|4.||4||Andre Laisne||A. Laisne||Laisne|| || || ||15|| || |
|DNF||6||Yves Giraud-Cabantous||Y. Giraud-Cabantous||Salmson||14|| || |
|DNF||18||Mme. de Gourmont||Viscomtes de Gourmont||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||7||fire|| |
|DNF||10||Edward Bret||E. Bret||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||5|| || |
|DNF||26||A. Patissou||A. Patissou||Ford||Antoine||3.0||2|
|DNF||12||Lucy Schell||L. O'Reilly-Schell||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||?|| || |
Fastest lap: Philippe Etancelin (Bugatti) on lap 2 in 2m13.0 = 135.3 km/h (84.1 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 128.7 kph km/h (80.0 mph)
Weather: cloudy but decent temperature.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
L'Écho de Paris, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Journal, Paris
Le Petit Courrier
Special thanks to:
GRAN PREMIO DI MONZA
Autodromo di Monza, B-circuit (Oval) (I), 15 September 1929.
3 heats of 22 laps x 4.5 km (2.8 mi) = 99.0 km (61.5 mi)
Final: 22 laps x 4.5 km (2.8 mi) = 99.0 km (61.5 mi)
Varzi wins thrilling race on the Monza oval in record time
by Hans Etzrodt
The 1929 Monza Grand Prix was held in place of the European Grand Prix, which had been cancelled. The Italian race experienced the best diversity of strong entries by manufacturers and the top European drivers
were present for the series of three 99 km eliminating races over 22 laps and the final over the same distance on the Monza oval circuit. In the first race for cars up to 1500 cc, the Talbots of Arcangeli and Nuvolari finished ahead of Ruggeri's
Maserati. The American Duray in the Packard-Cable Miller set the fastest time, led for three laps but dropped out, followed by Beccaria's Maserati.
The second Heat for cars up to 3000 cc had twice as many entries, totaling 10 cars. The Alfa Romeos of Brilli Peri and Varzi finished first and third, while the Maseratis of Borzacchini and Toti ended up in
second and sixth place. The three Bugattis of Biondetti, Foresti and Decaroli wound up fourth, fifth and seventh. Duray in the second Miller, Zanelli (Bugatti) and Nenzioni (Maserati) retired. Only four
cars competed in Heat three for cars over 3000 cc. Momberger's Mercedes beat Alfieri Maserati's brand new 16-cylinder car by a hair and Caflisch (Mercedes-Benz) was third while Rosenberger (Mercedes)
retired on lap three.
The Final comprised the first three finishers of each Heat. Varzi's Alfa Romeo won ahead of Nuvolari's Talbot, Momberger's Mercedes and Brilli Peri in the second Alfa. Caflisch placed fifth with Alfieri's
Maserati sixth. He had led from lap two to lap 10 before he ran into trouble. Borzacchini, who held second and third places early on, also encountered problems and finished seventh with Ruggeri eighth, both
in Maseratis. The unfortunate Arcangeli (Talbot) had driven superbly for eight laps in second place only to retire one lap from the end.
For the first time since last year's tragic event, the Monza autodrome was used again for an automobile race by running the Monza Grand Prix. In order to improve spectator safety, 400,000 Lire were spent in total,
on protective 90 cm high armored concrete walls which had been built along the two edges of the straight between the grandstands and pits. The trench in front of the grandstands was extended, deepened and enlarged
to four meters in width. Additionally a 15 meter wide area was created, which was restricted to spectators. To accommodate this, the grandstands were raised and moved some distance from the edge of the track.
The Monza Grand Prix was the most important event on a motor racing circuit in 1929. Count Vincenzo Florio was not only a CSI (International Sporting Commission) member of the AIACR but he also held the post of
RACI (Reale Automobile Club d'Italia) President of the Sporting Commission. In his function he refused to put on the European Grand Prix held to the international formula at Monza, which had been scheduled for
September 7 and cancelled that event. Instead he organized the second international Monza Grand Prix on September 15. By doing so he eliminated the unpopular international formula, replacing it with the free
formula for this event without weight, fuel or engine capacity restrictions. The Commissione Sportiva des RACI and the Società Autodromo di Monza carried out the organization under the supervision of Commentatore
Conte Vincenzo Florio and Cavaliere Renzo Castagneto, the Race Director.
The organization of the race including the agenda was similar to the 1927 event with three eliminating heat races and a final. The races were held solely on the fast banked speed oval while the course through
the wooded area was not included. The eliminating races were carried out separately, divided into three categories by engine capacity, up to 1500 cc for Heat I, 1501 to 3000 cc for Heat II and over 3000 cc
for Heat III. The first three finishers of each heat were allowed to advance to the final. The track was driven clockwise over 22 laps of the 4.5 km oval, a total of 99 km with the Curva Nord first and the
Curva Sud just before the finish. The maximum time allowed to be classified was 45 minutes. The race counted towards the Italian Automobile Championship. The participating cars had to be painted in the color
of the entrant's nationality. The drawing of lots for the race car numbers was to take place on September 12 at 6:00 PM. Due to progressive even numbers, first to be drawn were lots for cars of Group I, next
Group II and finally Group III. For each start the cars had to line up in order of their numbers. The arrangement of the grid for the final was determined by a separate drawing of lots. A change of drivers
was allowed only at the pit and had to be in the presence of an official.
The prize fund of the Monza Grand Prix was very good with a total of 450,000 Lire. The winner of each category received 40,000 lire, the second 20,000, the third 15,000 and the fourth 10,000. The winner of
the final received 50,000 lire, the second 20,000, the third 12,000, the fourth 10,000 and the fifth 8,000 lire. Besides the monetary prizes there were also trophies and medals.
The 1500 class was dominated by two of the fast low Talbots from Scuderia Materassi to be driven by Arcangeli and Nuvolari. There were also the independent drivers Beccaria and Ruggeri with Maseratis and
Cortese in a Bugatti. One of the great attractions was the American George Stewart who went under the pseudonym Leon Duray. He also called himself 'the Black Devil' and was dressed fittingly in black overalls
and helmet. He had raced at Indianapolis and later shipped two of the fast Packard-Cable Front Wheel Drive Millers to Europe. The purple-painted single-seaters, carrying race numbers 18 and 21, were first
tested at Montlhéry where Duray established a series of international records with speeds of over 220 km/h, which was unheard of in Europe at that time for a 1500 cc car. Thereafter the two Millers were sent
to Monza, where they had never raced before. The number 21 car was the 1492 cc Miller that Duray had driven at the Indy 500, while the number 18 car had a slightly bored-out engine to 1558 cc according to
Duray. This was never substantiated by Monza officials, who simply accepted. Duray had entered this car for Edmond Bourlier to drive in Heat II. One might wonder if Duray entered the cars in separate heats
to increase the likelihood of both of them getting to the final, in which case he would depart with more Lire.
In the class over 1500 cc, the Alfa Romeo factory arrived with two of their 1925 P2 models. The engine of Brilli Peri's car had been bored out from 1987 cc to 2006 cc, which enabled Brilli to start in the
next higher class, as he did at the Rome Grand Prix. Alfa Romeo no longer built grand prix cars, but they assisted Varzi and Brilli Peri who were in possession of the extraordinary race cars. Vittorio
Jano and Luigi Bazzi, the two experienced Alfa Romeo engineers, were responsible for the improvements that went into those two P2 models. There were three Maseratis for Nenzioni and Toti, both independent drivers,
while the third was a faster factory entry for Borzacchini. The Bugatti factory did not send their works team and instead was represented by a large group of independent drivers with 2-liter and 2.3-liter cars.
There was also the second Miller renamed as a Packard-Cable, which with only 1558cc would have a hard time against the two fast Alfa Romeos.
For Group III over 3000 cc the race promoters had invited Daimler-Benz and Caracciola to participate but the German had decided to race at the Nürburgring 8 hour race later that week. Instead, the Stuttgart
factory sent Momberger with his modified Mercedes-Benz SSK sports car in racecar trim with external straight exhaust pipe and a changed hood opening to improve cooling. A second factory car was entered for
Rosenberger, the car which Salzer had driven at the Targa Florio in 1922, and was called 'Großmutter' or 'Grandmother'. It had a 1921 Targa Florio chassis with a 4.5-liter 4-cylinder 1914 grand
prix engine, which was later augmented with a supercharger. Another Mercedes-Benz was a 4-seat S model in race trim, which was entered by the independent Swiss, Fritz Caflisch, who lived in Naples as a
One of the main attractions was Alfieri Maserati's brand new design, the 4,000 cc, 16-cylinder 280 hp Maserati V4, which he had tested for the first time on the Monza oval circuit at the end of August. The
Monza Grand Prix was to be the long-awaited debut of the new Maserati.
Unofficial practice took place over one week before the race, when every day various cars were tested around the track, preparing for one of the greatest circuit races in Europe. When the American Duray
arrived with his Packard-Cable Miller, he did not know the oval but after just one lap he circled the oval, taking the turns sideways like on a dirt track, in the remarkable time of 1m22.0s at 197.500 km/h,
surpassing Bordino's official record and was thus considered favorite. None of the Alfas, Maseratis or Talbots had ever reached such speeds on Wednesday before the race. Duray was called insane and a
reckless daredevil. Some even threatened to boycott the race. Eventually the President Count Florio, who approved of Duray's skill, was able to calm down the excitement.
Friday's practice was conducted under the watchful direction of Vincenzo Florio and Race Director Renzo Castagneto. The RACI President Senator Crespi also made a brief appearance, attended by the
entire RACI Board. Brilli Peri with the Alfa Romeo P2 was the first car out. After a few moderate laps he was timed at 1m24s. Borzacchini in his quick Maserati set the fastest time of the day 1m23.6s.
Arcangeli, Nenzioni, Decaroli, Nuvolari, Fagioli, Zanelli and Biondetti completed laps during morning practice, recording some good times. In the afternoon there was again much activity. Alfieri Maserati
with his much admired 16-cylinder, drove medium high through the turns, achieving a best lap of 1m24.4s. At the same time Momberger's Mercedes was slower, unable to lap in less than 1m29.6s. Borzacchini,
Nuvolari, Ruggeri and Toti tried their cars without too much vigor. Varzi was last and drove a lap in 1m24s. The American Duray did not drive on Friday; perhaps he considered his cars to be perfect ready
for the race.
On Saturday competitors were allowed to practice until 12 noon after which further practice was disallowed, except in cases of exceptional circumstances with the consent of President Vincenzo Florio.
He had ordered competitors not to run more than one at a time on the track and the drivers were disciplined and complied. Only the French Edmond Bourlier in the second Miller Packard Cable car was allowed to
run longer after noon, given that in recent days he had been very busy with the development of the car and had not had an opportunity to familiarize himself sufficiently with the track. He turned several
laps, of which his best was 1m27.6s, but could not reach the times set by the quickest drivers in recent days. If he could not improve this time on Sunday, he would be down behind in his heat, against
drivers like Varzi, Brilli Peri and Borzacchini. The American Duray, who was considered the favorite, could corner faster than all the others by virtue of the magnificent stability of his cars due to front
wheel drive. The only uncertainty with the "Miller" was the fact that it was believed to be rather fragile and an incident was quite possible. The Alfa Romeos of Varzi and Brilli Peri were proven machines,
rather old and had performed successfully in many races.
In the meantime there was confirmation of some drivers who planned to take part and others who did not wanted to start. The first were Castelbarco and Pallavicini, the second were Clerici and Platè who did
not appear. It would not have been safe to have their small cars in front of the racing cars that reached 200 km/h per hour. Chiron was expected to arrive with a 1927 grand Prix Delage but did not appear.
Unexpected and disappointing news was heard about Cortese, the popular driver from Livorno. Although he could not trouble the leaders, he arrived with his 1500 Bugatti race car but did not start. Thus the
participants for the race would be down to 19 cars; five in the first group up to 1500 cc, ten in the second from 1501 to 3000 cc and four in the third over 3000 cc.
Heat 1, cars over 1100 up to 1500 cc:|
The day had started with sunshine and blue sky but was too hot for September. An immense crowd, albeit probably below 100,000, came spreading around the course a long time before the actual race started,
with little regard for the tragedy in 1928. A few minutes after 10 A.M. the first heat competitors entered the track, pushing their cars to the start area in front of the timekeeper's cabin, where the
five contenders lined up in a single row. All cars had been assigned even numbers except Duray's Miller #21 which had raced with that number at Indy and was part of a very nicely painted car in violet
and yellow. Evidently the car, colors and number, remained unchanged since Indy and was allowed like that to race in Monza.
At the 10:15 start Arcangeli took the immediate lead, followed by Beccaria, Ruggeri, Nuvolari and Duray, who was rather slow departing. At the end of the first lap they chased past the grandstands in this order:
On the second lap Duray passed Beccaria for third position. The two Maseratis had fallen to the last places. After two laps the cars returned in the following order:
|1.||Arcangeli (Talbot)||3m09.2s||1m28.4s lap time|
On the third circuit Duray went even faster with his Miller, driving the lap in 1m25.2s at 190.141 km/h, which was to be the fastest lap of the race. He had closed up to the tail of Nuvolari's Talbot,
and was soon to pass him in front of the grandstands to the applause of the spectators.
|1.||Arcangeli (Talbot)||4m37.0s||1m27.8s lap time|
Lap four showed the American Duray less than one second in front of Nuvolari. The Mantuan stuck to the Miller and had to raise his pace in doing so. While the front three drivers were covered by less
than five seconds, the two Maseratis had visibly fallen behind. Ruggeri passed Beccaria, who had slowed down and was heading for his pit.
|1.||Arcangeli (Talbot)||6m05.4s||1m28.4s lap time|
On lap five there were no position changes. Nuvolari fell behind but held a strong third place, which was all he needed to proceed to the final. Beccaria stopped at the pits to change spark plugs and
was lapped by everyone, twice by the leading trio.
|1.||Arcangeli (Talbot)||7m33.2s||1m27.8s lap time|
After six laps, the first quarter of the race, the positions remained the same. Everyone had settled down, except Nuvolari, who started to speed up a little with a lap of 1m27.8s.
On the following two laps, the order remained the same. Arcangeli lapped Ruggeri. Beccaria drove his fastest lap of the race in 1m27.6s. Duray drove like clockwork, three laps at the same
time of 1m29.0s.
During lap nine, Duray had made up time and was now just two seconds behind Arcangeli. The question was when would he pass the leading Talbot?
After ten laps, the battle between Arcangeli's Talbot and Duray's Miller continued as an exciting bumper to bumper battle. When they passed the grandstands, the Miller was just four tenths
behind the leading Talbot, ready to overtake.
|1.||Arcangeli (Talbot)||14m56.6s||1m27.8s lap time|
On lap 11, at mid-race, the first great change took place in the battle for the lead between Arcangeli's Talbot and Duray's Miller. The fight was decided in favor of the American. His time was
16m24.4s at an average of 182.850 km/h.
|1.||Duray (Packard-Cable)||16m24.4s||1m27.4s lap time|
During lap 12 the American edged further ahead, leading Argangeli by 2.6 seconds. There were no changes on the next round when everybody was holding station.
On lap 14 came the big turn of events, when Duray's Miller slowed down with a problem and was put a lap down by the two Talbots, who also had lapped the Maseratis for the second time.
Eventually Duray's slender Miller appeared slowly on the track and soon stopped. Duray got out and pushed the car by hand close to the pits while the crowd erupted into thunderous applause to the
unfortunate display. Duray's disappointing retirement was due to alleged engine bearing damage. Duray later said that he was not able to get the special oil which his car needed.
|1.||Arcangeli (Talbot)||20m52.2s||1m29.8s lap time|
During lap 15 the leading Talbots were ten seconds apart. Ruggeri held third place while Beccaria slowed down with a problem and stopped at his pit.
|1.||Arcangeli (Talbot)||22m22.6s||1m30.4s lap time|
On the sixteenth lap Arcangeli still held the lead. Nuvolari appeared to be content with second place, knowing he would start in the final if he finished the race. Beccaria stopped at his pit where
he retired the Maserati with failure of an oil line.
From lap 17 to 22 the three remaining cars drove the last five laps without changing position and advanced into the final. Arcangeli finished first in 33m09.8s at 179.113 km/h average speed, less than
two seconds ahead of Nuvolari. Both of them were greeted by the crowd with much enthusiasm while Ruggeri in third place still had to drive two laps to complete the required distance. Arcangeli's fastest
lap, which he drove on lap 3, 5, 10 and 13, was in 1m27.8s at 185 km/h, while Nuvolari drove his fastest on the ninth lap in 1m27.4s at 186 km/h. The Materassi team mechanics had the front brakes of the
Talbots removed to lighten the cars, which had helped to produce very good results.
The defeat of the Black Devil left some disappointment with the spectators, because Duray had not only shown to be a very strong opponent in the beautiful purple car, but also his driving style and conduct
in the race impressed, by passing the opponents in front of the grandstands as a tribute to the spectators, or that is how the crowd perceived it. In reality it was probably easier to pass on the straight
than in the turns. The crowd appreciated this display and his early retirement deprived the race of the greatest interest and to be eliminated from the final was, in essence, the unpleasant surprise of
the day. He was the most favored in the first elimination heat. Duray had taken the lead on lap 11 and recorded the fastest time of the class at an average of over 190 km/h but then had to retire with
allegedly damaged engine bearings. The bearing issue as retirement cause is not convincing. At Indianapolis in 1929, Duray had no bearing trouble and at Monza his bearings were shot after 39 miles.
Results (Heat 1)
|1.||12||Luigi Arcangeli||Scuderia Materassi||Talbot||700||1.5||S-8||22||33m09.8s|
|2.||16||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Materassi||Talbot||700||1.5||S-8||22||33m11.2s||+ 1.4s|
|3.||14||Amedeo Ruggeri||A. Ruggeri||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||22||37m58.0s||+ 4m48.2s|
|DNF|| 2||Luigi Beccaria||L. Beccaria||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||15||27m41.2s||oil line|
|DNF||21||Leon Duray||L. Duray||Packard-Cable||Miller 91||1.5||S-8||14||23m42.0s||engine bearings|
Fastest lap: "Leon Duray" (Packard-Cable) on lap 3 in 1m25.2s at 190.1 km/h (118.1 mph).|
Winner's medium speed: 179.1 km/h (111.3 mph)
Heat 2, cars over 1500 cc up to 3000 cc:|
After a half hour interval, the heat II competitors entered the track. The two Alfa Romeo P2s of Brilli Peri and Varzi were facing the second Packard-Cable Miller, supposedly to be conducted by little Bourlier
but instead driven by Duray. Since the American was not able to classify himself in the first heat, he wanted to try his luck once more in heat two. The spectators were happy to see that the 'Black Devil'
had replaced the slower Bourlier, with the firm intention of taking a sensational rematch. The cars lined up as follows:
When the checkered flag was waved at 11:27 AM, Varzi shot into the lead, followed by Brilli Peri, Zanelli and Biondetti. At the end of the first lap, Brilli Peri was leading Borzacchini and Varzi third, who
slowed down and pulled towards the pits, while the field followed in this order:
|1.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||1m36.0s|
|3.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1m40.4s|
On lap two, Varzi had fallen from third to last place after he stopped at the pits where he had to have the radiator cap closed which had been negligently left open. The delay was short but Varzi did not lose
heart and picked up the chase. Duray moved from last to fifth position. Decaroli and Zanelli passed Toti. The standings after two laps were:
|1.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||2m58.6s||1m22.6s lap time|
|10.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||3m36.2s||1m55.8s|
During the third lap Duray passed Nenzioni's Maserati for fourth place. Varzi was pressing hard to regain the lost ground. He had overhauled Toti for ninth position and was level with Zanelli as they
passed the grandstands with Decaroli just two tenth of a second in front.
|1.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||4m20.4s||1m21.8s lap time|
|9.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||5m06.2s||1m29.0s|
On lap four the first five cars had held their positions but Varzi advanced from ninth to sixth place while Zanelli gained eighth place by passing Decaroli.
During the fifth lap Varzi kept on pushing, determined to catch up with the leading drivers ahead and passed Nenzioni for fifth place.
After six laps, Varzi had climbed to fourth place after passing Duray. Foresti had overhauled Nenzioni for sixth place. Toti at the end of the ten car field was chased down by the leading Alfa Romeo of Brilli Peri.
On lap seven Varzi captured third place by passing Biondetti's Bugatti. Brilli Peri lapped Toti and Decaroli while Zanelli was his next prey, only seconds ahead.
During the eighth lap everybody had settled down and there were no position changes. Varzi gained ground by driving a lap in1m26.6s while Brilli Peri in the lead did 1m30.2s.
After the ninth lap the order had not changed except when Biondetti slowed his pace and Duray was able to pass him and take fourth place. Nenzioni's Maserati started to slow down. Brilli Peri lapped Zanelli
On lap ten the first three drivers held their position but Duray in fourth place slowed down with a problem. Nenzioni ran into trouble and fell to last place, probably heading for the pits, but this was not
reported in our sources.
|1.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||14m32.4s||1m30.4s lap time|
|3.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||15m09.4s||1m26.2s|
During lap 11, at midrace, the first retirement was recorded when Nenzioni's Maserati pulled out of the race. The reason for his demise was not reported in the available sources. Duray slowed down even more
but held on to fifth place.
|1.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||15m58.4s||1m26.0s lap time|
|3.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||16m35.6s||1m26.2s|
On lap 12, Duray was forced to retire his beautiful Miller. Like its sister car it likewise succumbed to alleged engine bearing trouble. What a great disappointment by a car from which so much had been expected.
|1.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||17m31.0s||1m32.6s lap time|
|3.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||18m04.2s||1m28.6s|
On Lap 13, Bozacchini's Maserati had finally caught up with Brilli Peri's Alfa, which had slowed its pace after lap five, while Borzacchini had maintained a steady speed and was able to get within fractions of a
second to the leader. This was exciting stuff. The field was now down to eight cars and looked like a procession, the two leading cars excluded.
During lap 14, the expected battle for the lead never happened because Brilli Peri just put his foot down once more while Borzacchini maintained his pace. Zanelli started to slow down and fell from sixth to
seventh place. Brilli Peri lapped Foresti.
Lap 15 was an extension of the procession. Zanelli fell to last place because he probably stopped at his pit, which could not be confirmed in the available sources.
Another retirement happened on lap 16, when Zanelli disappeared with his Bugatti, the reason for his exit was not reported in the sources.
From lap 17 to 22 the seven-car field was circling the oval in a dull procession. Toti passed Decaroli's Bugatti to gain sixth place while Varzi drove a record lap in 1m21.0s at 200 km/h average speed on lap 20.
Brilli Peri in the Alfa Romeo P2 finished first in 32m9s at an average speed of 184.861 km/h, 12 seconds ahead of Borzacchini in the 2-liter Maserati. Varzi in third place was 36 seconds behind the winner.
Biondetti and Foresti still had to drive one lap while Toti and Decaroli had to complete two laps to wrap up the required distance. Brilli Peri's fastest lap, which he drove on lap three, was in 1m21.8s, while
Borzacchini drove his fastest on the ninth lap in 1m25.4s but Varzi was credited with the fastest lap of the race on lap 20. Duray had taken the place of Bourlier behind the wheel of the second Miller but
despite that, the American could not advance from fourth place or even finish the race.
Results (Heat 2)
|1.||38||Gastone Brilli Peri||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||22||32m09.0s|
|2.||26||Baconin Borzacchini||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||26B||2.0||S-8||22||32m21.0s||+ 12.0s|
|3.||30||Achille Varzi||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||22||32m45.0s||+ 36.0s|
|4.||24||Clemente Biondetti||C. Biondetti||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||22||34m23.4s||+ 2m14.4s|
|5.||46||Giulio Foresti||G. Foresti||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||22||34m27.6s||+ 2m18.6s|
|6.||32||Raffaelo Toti||R. Toti||Maserati||26B||2.0||S-8||22||36m22.2s||+ 4m13.2s|
|7.||34||Louis Decaroli||L. Decaroli||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||22||36m54.0s||+ 4m45.0s|
|DNF||28||Juan Zanelli||J. Zanelli||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||15||29m43.0s|
|DNF||18||Leon Duray||L. Duray||Packard-Cable||Miller 91||1.6||S-8||11||17m12.3s||engine bearings|
|DNF||36||Cleto Nenzioni||C. Nenzioni||Maserati||26B||2.0||S-8||10||22m08.4s|
Fastest lap: Achille Varzi (Alfa Romeo) on lap 20 in 1m21.0s = 200.0 km/h (124.3 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 184.8 km/h (114.8 mph)
Heat 3, cars over 3000cc:|
The third eliminating round could not offer great interest except for the debut of the new 16-cylinder Maserati driven by its designer Alfieri Maserati. None of the three Mercedes were expected to win the race unless the Maserati ran into trouble.
The starter Arnaldo Mussolini, the brother of Il Duce, released the cars at 12:30 PM, when Rosenberger took an immediate lead but was soon passed by Maserati. After the first lap Maserati held a two second
lead over Rosenberger's Mercedes, followed by Momberger and Caflisch.
|1.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||1m42.0s|
On lap two Maserati drove a lap in 1m29.0s at an average speed of 182.082 km/h, which was to stand as the fastest lap of the race. He was leading Rosenberger, Momberger and Caflisch.
|1.|| A. Maserati (Maserati)||3m11.0s||1m29.0s lap time|
After three laps the Maserati was still in first place but Rosenberger headed for the pits and was passed by Momberger.
|1.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||4m41.0s||1m30.0s lap time|
On the fourth lap Maserati held the lead ahead of Momberger and Caflisch, while Rosenberger in the pits worked on his car. After changing plugs, he was unable to start the car by himself, gave up the struggle
|1.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||4m41.0s||1m31.4s lap time|
After five laps Maserati was leading Momberger by 13.6s followed by Caflisch, who had slowed down a bit. The order remained while Maserati increased his advantage to Momberger to 14.4s on lap six, 15.8s on
lap seven, 17.4s on lap eight, 17.8s on lap nine and 18.0s on the tenth lap.
On lap 11, midrace, Maserati had advanced his lead to over 19 seconds over Momberger.
|1.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||15m24.2s||1m31.8s lap time|
After lap 12, Maserati was 20.6s ahead of Momberger, after lap 13 it was 21 seconds and 22 seconds after lap 14. This was Maserati's largest lead over Momberger.
From lap 15 onwards, Alfieri Maserati, who had controlled the race up to this point, began in his cautious style to slow his pace, every lap a little bit, first one or two seconds or none at all. But on
lap 20 he slowed by three seconds, then four and on the last lap over eight seconds. During those last eight laps, his opponent, Momberger, had maintained his earlier pace of 1m33s or 1m32s laps and only
on lap 22, the last lap, did he drive his personal fastest lap of the race in 1m31.2s, while Maserati's last lap was 1m39.4s, three-tenth too slow for victory. Alfieri Maserati was relying too much on his
advantage, feeling confident of success. He underestimated his rival and was not aware of the white Mercedes before the last 50 meters when Momberger pounced like a 'jockey' a few meters before the finish
line, snatching a lucky victory -by one car length- from the cautious Alfieri, who was caught by surprise and unable to give the defending final thrust. The spectators were at first surprised, then started
to whistle at Maserati and those having placed bets at the totalisator shouted that the race was fixed, thinking they had been cheated. The innocent Alfieri was heartbroken. Caflisch, the Swiss driver who
was living in Naples, finished in third place, after slowing in the last two laps supposedly due to a tire problem, while Rosenberger had retired after the third round.
Results (Heat 3)
|1.||52 ||August Momberger||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||SSK||7.1||S-6||22||34m16.6s|
|2.||48||Alfieri Maserati||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||V4||4.0||2x8||22||34m16.8s||+ 0.2s|
|3.||50||Fritz Caflisch||F. Caflisch||Mercedes-Benz||S||7.1||S-6||22||35m22.0s||+ 1m05.4s|
|DNF||54||Adolf Rosenberger||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes||4.5||S-4||3|| 4m56.2s||spark plugs|
Fastest lap: Alfieri Maserati (Maserati) on lap 2 in 1m29.0s = 182.0 km/h (113.1 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 173.3 km/h (107.7 mph)
The first three finishers from each of the preceding eliminating heats were eligible for the final race, totaling nine cars.
The spectators appreciated the almost two-hour interval to the final race so that they had sufficient time to eat. There were crowds everywhere, not just in the grandstands, but the edges of the track on each side
were teeming with people, who flocked to see the last act of this great sporting occasion. Just before 3 PM the nine contestants paraded on to the track towards the starting line to position the cars in two rows,
according to lots drawn.
The final was started at 3:00 PM when Varzi took the lead. After the first lap, as they passed the grandstands in close order, the first 5 cars flew by within less than three seconds: Varzi, Borzacchini, Maserati,
Arcangeli and Nuvolari. Further behind chased Brilli Peri, who had started with deliberate calm and battled with Caflisch's Mercedes, followed by Momberger and Ruggeri last.
|1.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1m38.0s|
|3.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||1m40.0s|
|6.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||1m45.0s|
On lap two, Alfieri Maserati, who obviously had been terribly dismayed by his bad luck in the heat race, now drove like a devil. He propelled himself into the lead with a lap of 1m21s, equal to 200 km/h. Varzi,
Borzacchini and Arcangeli followed behind. Brilli Peri passed Nuvolari to gain fifth place. The two Mercedes sports cars in race trim of Caflisch and Momberger could not keep up with the pace and fell behind but
were still ahead of Ruggeri.
|1.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||3m01.0s||1m21.0s lap time|
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||3m03.0s||1m25.0s|
|5.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||3m07.2s||1m22.2s|
On the third lap, Alfieri Maserati retained the lead, ahead of Varzi and Borzacchini. Brilli Peri passed Arcangeli to gain fourth place. Nuvolari was sixth, followed by the two Mercedes and Ruggeri's Maserati.
|1.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||4m24.0s||1m23.0s lap time|
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||4m26.0s||1m23.0s|
|4.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||4m30.0s||1m22.8s|
After lap four, Alfieri Maserati headed the leading pack by 3.6 seconds to Varzi, 5.4s to Borzacchini and 5.6s to Brilli Peri. Arcangeli and Nuvolari formed the second group, followed by the two Mercedes and
During lap five, Alfieri Maserati's lead was down to 2.8s, ahead of Varzi and Brilli Peri, who had passed Borzacchini for third place, followed by Arcangeli, Nuvolari, Caflisch, Momberger and Ruggeri's Maserati,
who had been lapped by Alfieri Maserati, Varzi, Brilli Peri and Borzacchini.
On the sixth lap, Varzi closed up on the leading Maserati and was less than a second behind. The order of the following cars remained the same, except Momberger passed Caflisch. During lap seven the order of
the field did not change.
On lap eight, Maserati was still in the lead, ahead of Varzi, Brilli Peri and Borzacchini, who had a tire throw a thread at the left front wheel in front of the grandstand and slowed to reach his pit.
During the ninth lap, Maserati led Varzi by 1.6s, while Brilli Peri lost 32 seconds as a result of the thrown tread which forced him to slow down. Borzacchini spent a lot of time at his pit to change a wheel,
falling to last position, two laps behind.
|1.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||12m47.4s||1m23.0s lap time|
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||12m49.0s||1m24.0s|
|3.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||13m20.8s||1m54.6s|
On lap ten, Maserati led Varzi by 1.2s, while Brilli Peri lost over one minute in the pits to change the wheel and fell back four places. Caflisch, Brilli Peri, Ruggeri and Borzacchini had been lapped by Alfieri
|1.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||14m13.0s||1m25.6s lap time|
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||14m14.2s||1m25.2s|
|7.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||15m59.6s||2m38.8s|
There was a big surprise at midrace. After 11 laps, Varzi had taken the lead while Alfieri Maserati, now in second place, headed for the pits. Arcangeli kept third spot ahead of Nuvolari and Caflisch, who
had passed Momberger for fifth place. Brilli was seventh and lapping fast, in fact, 5 seconds faster than anyone else, followed by Ruggeri and Borzacchini.
|1.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||15m42.2s||1m28.0s lap time|
|2.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||15m45.0s||1m32.0s|
|7.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||17m23.4s||1m23.8s|
During lap 12, Alfieri Maserati fell to seventh place while he was at his pit replacing several spark plugs that had failed. Brilli Peri passed the two Mercedes to gain fourth place, while Borzacchini overhauled
Ruggeri for eighth place. Only Arcangeli and Nuvolari were on the same lap with Varzi, all others were lapped at least once, Borzacchini and Ruggeri twice.
|1.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||17m07.0s||1m24.8s lap time|
|4.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||18m47.0s||1m23.6s|
|7.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||19m29.0s||3m44.0s|
At the end of lap 13, the positions had not changed. Varzi was 43 seconds ahead of Arcangeli and 1m5.2s of Nuvolari.
On lap 14, there was only one change when Momberger passed Caflisch. The two Mercedes drivers provided good entertainment.
During lap 15, there were no changes and the only close racing was seen between the two Mercedes drivers, who were now 2.4 seconds apart. On lap 16, Caflisch passed Momberger and the 16-cylinder Maserati
came chasing from behind. During lap 17, the two Mercedes drivers carried on their battle, while the faster Alfieri Maserati was now only 2.4 s behind the two German cars. After lap 18, Varzi was 52.6s
ahead of Arcangeli, followed by Nuvolari, Brilli Peri and Alfieri Maserati, who had passed the two Mercedes drivers to gain fifth place. Borzacchini and Ruggeri brought up the tail. During lap 19, Arcangeli,
who had held second place since lap 12, began to slow down with ignition problems. The two Mercedes drivers were still battling. When Caflisch slowed down, Momberger went past him.
On lap 20, Varzi lappeded Nuvolari in second place, while Brilli Peri was only two seconds behind and closing in on Nuvolari to take his position. Arcangeli slowed even more, he probably was heading
for his pit and dropped from second to seventh place.
|1.|| Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||28m43.4s||1m26.4s lap time|
|3.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||30m13.0s||1m25.6s|
|4.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||30m55.0s||1m29.0s|
During lap 21, Varzi maintained his lead. Brilli Peri did not pass Nuvolari as expected, instead he slowed down with a loose exhaust. Alfieri Maserati also reduced his pace as he had done in heat III. Arcangeli
retired the Talbot with a broken ignition wire.
|1.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||30m09.6s||1m26.2s lap time|
|3.||Brilli Peri (Alfa Romeo)||32m12.0s||1m59.0s|
|4.||A. Maserati (Maserati)||32m33.4s||1m38.4s|
At the end of lap 22, the last lap, Varzi finished first which amounted to a very Italian victory and he simultaneously won the Italian Championship. The crowd greeted him with delirious applause, while the
remaining contenders had to drive another lap to complete the required distance. Nuvolari finished second in the Talbot, over one minute ahead of Momberger's Mercedes-Benz. Brilli Peri had fallen to fourth
place on the last lap, when he again stopped at the pits, this time to remove the exhaust pipe that had come loose. Caflisch in the second Mercedes finished fifth, while Alfieri Maserati slowed even more with
a lap in 2m15.0s and dropped to sixth place. His fight in his new 16 cylinder during the early laps, leading from lap 2 to 10, was a great debut. The brilliant Borzacchini with the 2000 Maserati was delayed
only by a tire breakdown and demonstrated once more the excellence of his Maserati. The two Talbots, although Arcangeli was forced to retire near the end, showed to be well developed and the impressive race
of Nuvolari could not have shown a better result. The barriers and fences could not prevent the excited crowd from invading the track and to grab Varzi and carry him around in triumph.
|1.||30||Achille Varzi||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||22||31m38.4s|
|2.||16||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Materassi||Talbot||700||1.5||S-8||22||33m15.0s||+ 1m36.6s|
|3.||52||August Momberger||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||SSK||7.1||S-6||22||34m17.4s||+ 2m39.0s|
|4.||38||Gastone Brilli Peri||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||22||34m18.6s||+ 2m40.2s|
|5.||50||Fritz Caflisch||F. Caflisch||Mercedes-Benz||S||7.1||S-6||22||34m20.0s||+ 2m41.6s|
|6.||48||Alfieri Maserati||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||V4||4.0||2x8||22||34m48.4s||+ 3m10.0s|
|7.||26||Baconin Borzacchini||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||26B||2.0||S-8||22||35m17.2s||+ 3m38.8s|
|8.||14||Amedeo Ruggeri||A. Ruggeri||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||22||37m14.0s||+ 5m35.6s|
|DNF||12||Luigi Arcangeli||Scuderia Materassi||Talbot||700||1.5||S-8||20||31m22.0s||ignition wire|
Fastest lap: Alfieri Maserati (Maserati) on lap 2 in 1m21.0s = 200.0 km/h (124.3 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 187.8 km/h (116.7 mph)
Weather: sunshine, very hot
The fastest lap was established by Alfieri Maserati in 1m21.0s, equal to an average of 200 km/h, and this was equalled by Varzi some time earlier. The same time was claimed for Momberger's Mercedes by a
German source which was total nonsense; Momberger's best time in 1m30.0s was on lap 15.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
Gran Sport, Firenze
Kölnische Zeitung, Köln
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
Lo Sport Fascista, Milano
Münchner Neueste Nachrichten, München
RACI Monza GP Announcement
Tutti gli Sports, Napoli
Special thanks to:
21 September 1929: The B.A.R.C. Autumn Meeting was held at Brooklands.|
Handicap races were won by Gardner (Amilcar), Spero (B.C. Austin),
John Cobb (Delage), Grant (Bugatti 2.0 litre), Cyril Paul (Benz), Marendaz (Graham-Paige 5.2 litre), Jack Dunfee (Ballot) and Jack Dunfee (Sunbeam).