IV° COPPA CIANO
Montenero - Livorno (I), 3 August 1930.
10 laps x 22.5 km (13.98 mi) = 225.0 km (139.8 mi)
Luigi Fagioli wins at the Montenero circuit in record time
by Hans Etzrodt
The international motor sport week at Livorno ended with the Coppa Ciano race around the difficult Montenero circuit. It proved to be another classic battle between Varzi and Nuvolari in the fastest cars, the Alfa Romeo P2s,
although it was inconclusive because both retired with car ailments. Fagioli (Maserati), Campari (Alfa Romeo), Maggi (Bugatti) and Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo) survived and finished in that order, followed by Fontana (O.M.) and
Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo). The last drivers to complete the race were Moradei and Matrullo in 1100 cc Salmsons, the only small car survivors. The race was characterized as one of high attrition with only eight finishers from a
field of 32 cars.
The races on the Montenero Circuit near Livorno (Leghorn in English) had been held since 1921. From 1922 onwards a 22.5 km circuit was used from Ardenza Mare - Montenero - Savolano - Castellaccio - Romito - Ardenza Mare.
The narrow road circuit twisted through endless curves with steep up and down slopes through the mountains and was a small replica of the Madonie but considerably shorter. The start and finish with the grandstand were at
The 1930 international event counted towards the Italian Championship and was the tenth time that the race was held on the Circuito del Montenero. The organizer named it wrongly the tenth Coppa Ciano but in reality, 1930
was the fourth Coppa Ciano. The Coppa or trophy was donated by Italian Navy hero Costanzo Ciano for a 1927 Montenero sports car race, which was named after him. The Coppa Ciano name was applied for the second time to the
1928 sports car race. As of 1929, when the sports car race was dropped from the program, the Coppa Ciano name was assigned to the racecar event for the first time. The races were held annually and August 3 1930 was the fourth
running of the Coppa Ciano and the tenth race on the Montenero circuit.
The Automobile Club Livorno and Moto Club Livorno staged a motorcycle race, the Coppa del Mare, the week before the automobile race for the Coppa Ciano. The 22.500 km circuit had to be lapped ten times. The cars were divided
into two classes, class A up to 1100 cc and class B over 1100 cc. A special classification was provided for 1500 cc cars for scoring in the Italian Championship.
To be classified the large cars had to finish within 3 hours 20 minutes and the 1100 cc cars in 3 hours 40 minutes. These maximum times were based on 20 minutes per lap for the large group and 22 minutes for the little cars.
The total prize money of 154,000 lire went to the large car class of which 75,000 lire was to go to the victor plus the Ciano Cup, 30,000 to second place and the Mussolini Cup, 15,000 and the Mayor of Livorno Cup to third,
10,000 and the Province of Livorno Cup to fourth, 8,000 to fifth, 5,000 to sixth, 4,000 to seventh, 3,000 to eighth, 2,000 each to ninth and tenth. The first of the small car class received 3,000 lire and a gold medal by HM,
the King, the second 2,000 and third 1,000 lire. There were additional prizes for the leader on each lap, fastest lap and breaking some existing records, totaling 40,000 lire.
Most of the better known Italian race drivers appeared at the start for the Coppa Ciano since it counted towards the Italian Championship. SA Alfa Romeo entered a P2 for Varzi and a 1750 Alfa Romeo for Campari. The newly
established Scuderia Ferrari arrived with a modified 175 hp Alfa Romeo P2 for Nuvolari. According to Luigi Orsini, Enzo Ferrari had arranged to buy back this car from the Brazilian Vittorio Rosa. Upon its arrival in
Milano the Alfa received from designer Vittorio Jano the same modifications as the other two factory P2s, which had raced at Rome. So this third P2 then became part of Scuderia Ferrari's ever increasing arsenal. The
Scuderia Ferrari also entered the more powerful version of the basic 1750 model, the 85 hp Alfa Romeo 1750GS (Gran Sport) for Arcangeli. He was a Maserati driver who had recently won with the 2500 at Rome and Ferrari
had hired him in June to drive in selected events for his team. Another new Scuderia member was Borzacchini, also an ex Maserati driver, in another 1750GS.
Count Aymo Maggi, who returned to racing after two years absence, appeared with a brand new 2-liter Bugatti, which he had picked up in Molsheim. The Maserati factory sent their 2500 Maserati to be driven by Fagioli.
The large car class comprised 33 numbered entries plus three additional drivers. There were also 13 cars in the class up to 1100 cc. The entire list of 49 entries is shown above.
Official practice took place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 12:30 to 14:30 PM. During these times the trams on the lines from Ardenza Mare, Antignano and Ardenza Terra-Montenero were to be stopped from operating.
Il Telegrafo reported that in Wednesday's practice Maggi turned laps with his Bugatti 2000, also Danese, Cantoni, Fagioli, Mazzacurati with the Scuderia Nuvolari Bugatti 2000 monoposto, Fontana and others. Maggi drove his laps
in less than 17 minutes, but Danese also demonstrated that he was very well prepared. In the morning Franco Cortese had arrived from Milan with his Alfa 1750 and did some test laps. Varzi and Campari were also active as was
Ghezzani in a 1500 supercharged Alfa. Juan Zanelli arrived directly from Paris with a Bugatti 2000 and Tassara with an Alfa 1500. From the small cars Mantovani practiced with his Fiat.
During Thursday's practice Nuvolari was timed with 15m22s, Borzacchini with15m55s and Pieranzi, who did not start in the race, with 15m56s. Campari turned a lap in 16m33s and Maggi in 16m53s. Varzi was timed at 16m09s,
Cortese 16m15s, Fagioli 16m59s, di Vecchio 17m46s, Cantoni 18m23s and Ghezzani 19m07s.
On Friday the following drivers practiced: Nuvolari, Arcangeli, Ghezzani, Gazzabini, Danese, Maggi, Borzacchini, Cortese, Campari, Varzi, Biondetti, Cantoni, Sartorio, Fagioli, Matrullo and others. Varzi improved his speed to
15m27s, while Nuvolari was not that fast with 15m37s, Cortese 15m30s, Borzacchini 15m50s and Maggi 15m52s. Biondetti turned a lap in 16m05s, Campari 16m03s, Danese 16m25s, A. Sartorio 16m43s, Fagioli 17m04s, Cantoni 17m46s,
Ghezzani 18m27s and Matrullo 19m25s.
Varzi and Nuvolari were the favorites. They had been involved in fierce battles, starting at the Mille Miglia in April where Nuvolari had won ahead of Varzi. In early May at the Targa Florio Varzi had been victorious while
Nuvolari had only managed fifth in a lesser car. At the following Rome Grand Prix near the end of May, they were again immersed in a great battle with each other in equal cars but both Alfas broke down. Now, two months
later, there followed the next clash at the Coppa Ciano where the two great opponents met again in equal cars. An exciting battle was expected and talked about, luring a large crowd to come and see the two best drivers
fight it out on the difficult Montenero Circuit, each to prove that he was stronger and better than the other.
A large crowd had come to witness the race and to see the outcome of the duel between Varzi and Nuvolari. At 2:30 PM the Minister of Communications Count Costanzo Ciano di Cortelazzo, the donor of the Cup, countess Carolina and
princess Maria Ciano appeared with a large group of other officials. Before the start a one minute silence was called for remembrance and in recognition of the deceased drivers Brilli-Peri and Benini who had died earlier in the
year. From 13 small cars up to 1100 cc only nine assembled on the grid since Platè and Mantovani did not start while Ramello and Marret did not appear.
|The actual start was late, a bit after 3:00 PM|
A little after 3:00 PM Princess Maria Ciano gave the signal to the drivers, starting the small cars, which left the grid one pair at a time, each pair being separated by 30 seconds. This system was used as a safety precaution since
the road circuit was very narrow and difficult for drivers to pass each other. After Savelli, the last of the small cars, had left the start area, the long anticipated large cars moved forward. Here the field was also severely
reduced since Pieranzi, Tassara and Zanelli did not start. Another ten drivers did not appear, resulting in the class B being down to 23 cars. Many drivers raced with a riding mechanic on board and carried spare wheels, as a
precaution, for this lengthy and treacherous circuit. Two minutes after Savelli's Fiat had departed the class B cars were released in the same manner, including Brivio, a late entry, who was the last to leave the start area.
|The actual start was late, a bit after 3:04 PM|
The little Salmson of Moradei was the first car to appear at the end of the first lap, followed by Bucci, Matrullo, Rondina, Lunghi, Arzilla, Jeroniti and Savelli while Pratesi retired his Salmson. However, it is easier to show
the order of the drivers by their individual times. Nuvolari was the first big car to appear with a lap in 15m06s ahead of Varzi in 15m10s. Despite a standing start, both had beaten Varzi's existing lap record of 15m10.4s from
the year before. The fight between Fagioli and Maggi looked exciting when comparing lap times but on the road Fagioli was half a minute ahead of Maggi since he had started before him. There were other duels amongst several
drivers with equal times. Borzacchini and Razzauti were two minutes apart on the road but had the same time in different cars. Mazzacurati and Avattaneo had almost equal lap times but due to different starting times, were
one minute apart on the road. Cantoni overturned his Alfa without serious consequences for driver and mechanic. Toti (Maserati) and Ghezzani (Alfa Romeo) retired on the first lap.
In the small group Moradei took the immediate lead, closely followed by Matrullo, both in Salmsons with the rest of the field spread out. Pratesi did not complete the first lap. The order was:
|1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||15m06s|
|2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||15m10s|
|3. Fagioli (Maserati)||15m30s|
|4. Maggi (Bugatti)||15m30s|
|5. Arcangeli (Alfa Romeo)||15m31s|
|6. Cortese (Alfa Romeo)||15m45s|
|7. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||16m01s|
|8. Razzauti (Bugatti)||16m01s|
|9. Biondetti (Bugatti)||16m05s|
|10. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||16m09s|
|11. Sartorio (Maserati)||16m13s|
|12. Mazzacurati (Bugatti)||16m25s|
|13. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||16m26s|
|14. Peri (Itala)||16m52s|
|15. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||16m57s|
|16. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||17m21s|
|17. Fontana (O.M.)||17m24s|
|18. Meoni (O.M.)||18m01s|
|19. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|20. Di Vecchio (Bugatti)||?|
|1. Moradei (Salmson)||18m10s|
|2. Matrullo (Salmson)||18m37s|
|3. Bucci (Fiat)||19m00s|
|4. Arzilla (Amilcar)||19m26s|
|5. Lunghi (Fiat)||20m15s|
|6. Rondina (Fiat)||20m27s|
|7. Savelli (Fiat)||20m48s|
|8. Jeroniti (Salmson)||20m54s|
During the second lap Nuvolari established a new record lap in 14m54s which placed him nine seconds ahead of Varzi. In third place followed Maggi who was ahead of Fagioli. Both were separated by just one second but on the
road Fagioli was 29 seconds in front since he had started half a minute before Maggi. Avattaneo and Sartorio stopped at their pits. When Razzauti retired his Bugatti the large class was down to 19 cars.
Bucci retired his Fiat on lap two. Lunghi and Savelli appeared to have a close battle with same lap times but were 90 seconds apart on the road. The small group order was as follows:
|1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||30m00s|
|2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||30m09s|
|3. Maggi (Bugatti)||30m51s|
|4. Fagioli (Maserati)||30m52s|
|5. Arcangeli (Alfa Romeo)||30m07s|
|6. Cortese (Alfa Romeo)||31m10s|
|7. Biondetti (Bugatti)||31m52s|
|8. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||32m00s|
|9. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||32m06s|
|10. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||33m18s|
|11. Mazzacurati (Bugatti)||?|
|12. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||33m35s|
|13. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||34m42s|
|14. Fontana (O.M.)||34m48s|
|15. Peri (Itala)||35m18s|
|16. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|17. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||35m31s|
|18. Meoni (O.M.)||38m52s|
|19. Sartorio (Maserati)||39m44s|
|1. Moradei (Salmson)||36m10s|
|2. Matrullo (Salmson)||37m18s|
|3. Arzilla (Amilcar)||38m17s|
|4. Rondina (Fiat)||40m28s|
|5. Lunghi (Fiat)||40m35s|
|6. Savelli (Fiat)||40m35s|
|7. Jeroniti (Salmson)||41m37s|
During the third lap the fierce battle between Nuvolari and Varzi continued. They both raced the same model cars and were leading the fastest Maserati by over a minute. By driving a new record lap in 14m43.2s at an average
speed of 91.710 km/h Varzi had passed Nuvolari. They were just one second apart in time, yet at the finish line the distance between them was 59 seconds because Nuvolari had started one minute ahead of Varzi. The time
battle between Fagioli and Maggi came to an end when Maggi stopped for nearly two minutes to change plugs on his new Bugatti. Maggi was just one second ahead of Borzacchini but on the road they were separated by 91
seconds. Sartorio retired his Maserati on lap three.
On the third lap Matrullo and Arzilla, who had started as a pair, had a true battle and raced next to each other as they passed the finish line, while Lunghi and Savelli in their Fiats were 91 seconds apart on the road.
Rondina retired his Fiat. The order was:
|1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||44m52.2s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||44m53s|
|3. Fagioli (Maserati)||46m08s|
|4. Cortese (Alfa Romeo)||46m37s|
|5. Arcangeli (Alfa Romeo)||46m46s|
|6. Biondetti (Bugatti)||47m28s|
|7. Maggi (Bugatti)||47m41s|
|8. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||47m42s|
|9. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||47m49s|
|10. Mazzacurati (Bugatti)||49m10s|
|11. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||49m22s|
|12. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||50m17s|
|13. Fontana (O.M.)||52m02s|
|14. Peri (Itala)||52m37s|
|15. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||54m02s|
|16. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||55m09s|
|17. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|18. Meoni (O.M.)||?|
|1. Moradei (Salmson)||54m05s|
|2. Matrullo (Salmson)||55m34s|
|3. Arzilla (Amilcar)||55m34s|
|4. Lunghi (Fiat)||1h00m53s|
|5. Savelli (Fiat)||1h00m54s|
|6. Jeroniti (Salmson)||?|
During lap four Nuvolari and Varzi continued their wild battle. Varzi increased his speed and did a lap in 14m39.0s while Nuvolari had the same idea and drove a new record lap at 14m38.4s at a speed of 92.211 km/h, which
was to be the fastest lap of the race. Their lap times were just 1/5 of a second apart, yet on the road they were still separated by one minute. Gazzabini lost a lot of time, which put him at the end of the field.
Cortese (Alfa Romeo) and Meoni (O.M.) retired on this lap.
The small car field had shrunk to five cars after Jeroniti retired his Salmson. The order was:
|1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||59m31.2s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||59m31.4s|
|3. Fagioli (Maserati)||1h01m24s|
|4. Arcangeli (Alfa Romeo)||1h02m22s|
|5. Biondetti (Bugatti)||1h03m11s|
|6. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h03m19s|
|7. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h03m46s|
|8. Maggi (Bugatti)||?|
|9. Mazzacurati (Bugatti)||?|
|10. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||1h07m13s|
|11. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||1h07m17s|
|12. Fontana (O.M.)||1h09m25s|
|13. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||1h13m22s|
|14. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h18m59s|
|15. Peri (Itala)||1h27m04s|
|16. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||1h28m11s|
|1. Moradei (Salmson)||1h12m00s|
|2. Matrullo (Salmson)||1h13m32s|
|3. Arzilla (Amilcar)||1h17m24s|
|4. Savelli (Fiat)||1h20m37s|
|5. Lunghi (Fiat)||1h21m02s|
During lap five Varzi appeared with a clear lead as Nuvolari had slowed with a clutch problem. As a result, Fagioli was promoted to second position but he was 2m20s behind the leader. Biondetti and Campari had very close
lap times, yet were three minutes apart on the road due to their different starting positions. Arcangeli retired his Alfa Romeo with a broken clutch at Castellaccio in the mountains and Peri retired his Itala on the same lap.
On the fifth lap Moradei stopped at his pit to refuel his car, losing much of his advantage. The five small cars order was:
|1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h14m24s|
|2. Fagioli (Maserati)||1h16m44s|
|3. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h17m20s|
|4. Biondetti (Bugatti)||1h18m47s|
|5. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h18m49s|
|6. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h19m29s|
|7. Maggi (Bugatti)||1h20m17s|
|8. Mazzacurati (Bugatti)||1h22m31s|
|9. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||1h23m54s|
|10. Fontana (O.M.)||1h26m45s|
|11. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||1h31m55s|
|12. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h37m43s|
|13. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||1h45m14s|
|14. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|1. Moradei (Salmson)||1h30m00s|
|2. Matrullo (Salmson)||1h30m59s|
|3. Arzilla (Amilcar)||?|
|4. Savelli (Fiat)||?|
|5. Lunghi (Fiat)||?|
At the end of lap six there was another big change when Fagioli found himself in the lead. At the beginning of lap six Nuvolari stopped at his pit with a burned clutch and did not leave again. He received large applause from
the spectators. Half way into the sixth lap, while chasing after victory, Varzi was forced to retire when a broken differential brought him to a stop. When Biondetti, Mazzacurati and Brivio also retired on this lap, the large
car field had shrunk to nine cars.
In the small group there was another big surprise when Matrullo took first place as Moradei encountered more trouble.
|1. Fagioli (Maserati)||1h31m58s|
|2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h34m20s|
|3. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h35m08s|
|4. Maggi (Bugatti)||1h35m33s|
|5. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||1h40m06s|
|6. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||1h40m25s|
|7. Fontana (O.M.)||1h43m59s|
|8. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||1h52m10s|
|9. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||2h04m23s|
|1. Matrullo (Salmson)||1h48m12s|
|2. Moradei (Salmson)||1h49m03s|
|3. Arzilla (Amilcar)||1h45m47s|
|4. Savelli (Fiat)||2h02m16s|
|5. Lunghi (Fiat)||2h04m12s|
On lap seven Fagioli led Campari by over two minutes, followed by Maggi and Borzacchini who appeared to have a battle going with similar lap times, yet 88 seconds separated them on the road. Avattaneo stopped his Bugatti at
his pit to refuel while Danese retired his Alfa Romeo at Romito while occupying fifth position.
In the small group Moradei had regained his lead ahead of Matrullo.
|1. Fagioli (Maserati)||1h47m24s|
|2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h49m52s|
|3. Maggi (Bugatti)||1h50m45s|
|4. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h50m47s|
|5. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||1h57m29s|
|6. Fontana (O.M.)||?|
|7. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||2h11m27s|
|8. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||2h21m10s|
|1. Moradei (Salmson)||2h06m07s|
|2. Matrullo (Salmson)||2h06m30s|
|3. Arzilla (Amilcar)||2h15m12s|
|4. Savelli (Fiat)||2h25m23s|
|5. Lunghi (Fiat)||2h44m22s|
On lap eight Fagioli was driving regularly in the lead, while Campari and Maggi were battling for second place but were eight seconds apart on the road. The order was:
The small group order remained unchanged: Moradei (Salmson), Matrullo (Salmson), Arzilla (Amilcar), Savelli (Fiat) and Lunghi (Fiat).
|1. Fagioli (Maserati)||2h02m50s|
|2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||2h05m30s|
|3. Maggi (Bugatti)||2h05m52s|
|4. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||2h06m26s|
|5. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||2h14m49s|
|6. Fontana (O.M.)||2h18m45s|
|7. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||2h34m07s|
|8. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||2h38m34s|
On lap nine Fagioli still held the lead, while Di Veccio retired his Bugatti.
The order of the small group remained unchanged with Moradei first ahead of Matrullo, Arzilla, Savelli and Lunghi.
|1. Fagioli (Maserati)||2h18m14s|
|2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||2h20m56s|
|3. Maggi (Bugatti)||2h21m02s|
|4. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||2h21m55s|
|5. Fontana (O.M.)||2h36m11s|
|6. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||2h55m34s [estimated time]|
|7. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||2h58m10s|
There were no position changes during lap ten. Fagioli slightly slowed his pace on this last lap, winning in 2h33m59.6s at 87.666 km/h, beating the previous course record from 1929 by Varzi with 2h34m51.6s at 87,173 km/h.
Fagioli was received with great applause while the band played the Marcia Reale Italiana. Campari in second place trailed over two minutes behind but improved upon the time with the Alfa Romeo 1750 compared to the previous
year with the same type of car. Conte Maggi, who had returned after a two years absence from racing, finished with his new Bugatti in third place and Borzacchini ended up fourth, his first drive with an Alfa Romeo after
leaving Maserati. Fontana, Gazzabini,Moradei and Matrullo had been lapped and drove another round to complete the required distance. Avattaneo (Bugatti) Arzilla (Amilcar), Savelli (Fiat) and Lunghi (Fiat), were not
classified because they exceeded the maximum time allowed.
Antonio Brivio with his 1500 Alfa Romeo was a late entry and was quoted of having started last. His race number was not published with the other numbers on Friday. He probably had number 82, which had been issued to an
unknown Alfa Romeo.
Carlo Gazzabini was classified with 2h56m02.8s as sixth finisher. This time is seriously flawed and should have been around 3h12m or more, which is based on his lap times of 16m57s, estimated 18m32s, est. 18m33s,
34m09s, 17m03s, 19m09s, 16m47s, 17m24s, est. 17m, est. 17m = 3h12m34s. He finished well within the maximum allowable time of 3h20m and why he was given the wrong time as stated by seven different sources remains a mystery.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Automobile Club Livorno Manifestazioni
AZ - Motorwelt, Brno
IL TELEGRAFO, Livorno
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
La Domenica Sportiva, Milano
LA STAMPA, Torino
Manifesto by RACI & Moto Club Livorno
RACI settimanale, Roma
Special thanks to:
Biblioteca Labronica "F.D. Guerrazzi"
I CIRCUIT DU DAUPHINÉ
Circuit du Dauphiné - Grenoble (F), 10 August 1930.
Class D: 45 laps x 5.3 km (3.3 mi) = 238.5 km (148.2 mi)
Class C: 44 laps x 5.3 km (3.3 mi) = 233.2 km (144.9 mi)
The tragic story about Edouard Grammont
by Leif Snellman
The main race was run in two classes, with 12 Bugattis altogether taking part. Etancelin held an early lead until Lehoux took over. Promising newcomer Edouard Grammont racing under the anagram "Eddoura"
put in the fastest laps in the race and took over the lead when Lehoux made a pit stop. Then, after opening up a 40 seconds gap to Etancelin, "Eddoura" crashed fatally when lapping a slower car. Lehoux
retired and Etancelin went on to take a joyless victory.
The Circuit du Dauphiné was organized by the A.C and M.C Dauphinois. The circuit selected for the event was south of the Grenoble town center and was triangular in shape. Pits, a grand stand for 1000
spectators and terracing for another 1000 spectators were positioned at the start of the 2010 meter long straight on Teisseire road. A sharp right turn was followed by a 1010 meter section from Poisat
to Eybens which included a left bend in the middle. Another sharp right turn was followed by a 140 meter section which led to Route d'Eybens (or CGC no 5 - nowadays known as Avenue Jean Perrot). A 500
meter long section next to the road was reserved for spectators. Route d'Eybens had had tram lines since 1897, always a hazard for race cars. The total length of the circuit was 5300 meters.
The event included motor cycle races and car races. The first car race was a combined cycle car race for class A, 1100cc un-supercharged, which had to cover 35 laps, and class B, 1100cc supercharged or
1500cc un-supercharged, which had to do 40 laps.
The second race, the main event, had two classes as well; class C for 1500cc supercharged, and 2000cc -3000cc un-supercharged cars and class D for cars over 1500cc supercharged or over 3000cc supercharged.
The race length for class C was 44 laps and for class D one lap more, i.e. 45 laps.
All the cars that actually took part in the race were Bugattis. In the 1500cc supercharged category there were two starters, Michel Doré and Henri Aime-Martin, each entering T37As. In the same class there
were five un-supercharged 2 litre T35s or T35As to be raced by Pierre Rey, Aimé Vassiaux from Cannes, "Savora", Benoit Falchetto and Veyrat.
There were five starters in the class over 1500cc supercharged as well. Philippe Etancelin raced his two litre T35C (#4945). Marcel Lehoux raced his usual 2.3 litre T35B (#4935). Motorcycle driver Edouard
Grammont racing under the anagram "Eddoura" was doing his second Grand Prix start, having made his debut at the Lyon GP. Between the two GPs he had shown his talent by winning the La Baraque hill climb at
Clermont-Ferrand. He was again racing an ex Baron de Rothschield car now owned by Marcel Rousselet from Villeurbanne (#4920). Aristide Lumachi from Marseille raced the T35B (#4942) he had bought from
Guy Bouriat back in October 1929. Giorgio Faggioli completed the entry list.
A large number of spectators turned up for the Sunday event. It started with motor cycle racing and shortly after 12 noon, the 10 racing cars in the 1100-1500 cc class started. Boissotte (Caban) was the
winner of the A class and Scaron (Amilcar) the winner of the B class.
After 3 p.m. the competition of racing cars with larger content began. Class C was to race for 44 laps and class D for 45 laps.
|Rest of grid unknown
As the flag dropped Etancelin was first away. He made the first lap in 2m43s (117 km/h) and was followed by "Eddoura" and Lehoux. Lehoux soon moved past "Eddoura" to take second position and on the fourth lap
he took over the lead making the lap in 2m33s (125 km/h). "Eddoura" however was doing an impressive race and soon bettered Lehoux's lap time with a time of 2m30.7s (126.6 km/h). On the 6th lap he again improved
the time to 2m30s (127.2 km/h) passing Etancelin for second position. On the 7th lap Lehoux made a pit stop and "Eddoura" was sensationally now up in the lead.
The newcomer gradually increased his advantage over Etancelin, and after 20 laps he had built a forty-seconds lead. On the 22nd lap however while he was trying to lap "Savora" on the Route d'Eybens, the two cars
hooked their wheels up. Savora's car ended up across the tram line, the driver unhurt. "Eddoura's" Bugatti slid sideways, hit the tram rails, and rolled over three times before crashing into the wall surrounding
the property of M. Delamarche. Aft of the engine the car was a total wreck (think Alonso, Australia 2016). The unfortunate driver was trapped between the car and the wall and the car had to be turned over to
release the driver and give him first aid but it was already too late. Edouard Grammont's racing career is one of the shortest of a promising talent in the Grand Prix history.
On the 25th lap Lehoux retired with a broken piston putting an end to the remaining interest of the race. Etancelin took his car to the chequered flag and the victory with Lumachi second ¾ laps behind. Doré was
the winner of the C class.
|1.||3||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||45||2h00m47s|
|2.||32||Aristide Lumachi||A. Lumachi||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||45?||2h02m39s||+ 1m52s?|
|3.||38||Michel Doré||M. Dore||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||44||2h09m34s|| |
|4.||16||Pierre Rey||P. Rey||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||40|| || |
|DNF||41||Veyrat||Veyrat||Bugatti||T35(A)||2.0||S-8||29||rear axle|| |
|DNF||1||Marcel Lehoux||M. Lehoux||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||25||piston|
|DNF||15||"Eddoura"||E. Grammont||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||22||fatal crash|
|DNF||25||"Savora"||Rons Soignat||Bugatti||T35(A)||2.0||S-8||crash|| |
|DNF||34||Giorgio Faggioli||G. Fagioli||Bugatti||T35B?||2.3?||S-8|
|DNF||26||Benoit Falchetto||B. Falchetto||Bugatti||T35(A)||2.0||S-8|| || || |
|DNF||24||Henri Aime-Martin||H. Aime-Martin||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4|| || || |
|DNF||17||Aimé Vassiaux||A. Vassiaux||Bugatti||T35(A)||2.0||S-8|| || || |
Fastest lap: "Eddoura" (Bugatti) on lap 7 in 2m30.0s = 127.2 km/h (79.0 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 118.5 km/h (73.6 mph)
Born in 1906 Edouard Grammont, son of a wealthy tyre industrialist, started racing motor cycles at an age of 15. He was successful enough to earn a factory ride. In 1930 Grammont switched to racing cars and
immediately showed his talent there as well. He made his race debut at the Lyon GP on 15 June, fighting for the lead on the early laps before retiring. He then won the 10 km hill climb of La Baraque (Clermont-Ferrand)
on 20 July before his fatal crash on 10 August at the Dauphine Grand Prix while leading. After his death a monument was erected at the place of the crash (some 30 meters south of the corner Avenue Jean Perrot/Avenue Littré)
Sadly it has been hard to find details about this race. According to L'Auto "Eddoura" took the lead when Lehoux stopped on lap 7 for new goggles. According to Paul Sheldon he took the lead only when Lehoux stopped
for refuelling on lap 14.
Also Sheldon has Lumachi down in third position doing only 42 laps. It is hard to understand why he would have been flagged off then while leaving Doré to continue racing for another 7 minutes (unless the former had to retire).
Newspapers (Figaro & Le Matin) gave Lumachi's result as "¾ laps behind" (Etancelin).
Primary sources researched for this article:|
L'Automobil sur la Cote d'Azur, Nice
Echo de Paris, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Journal, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
Madrid Automovil, Madrid
Antonie Raffaëlli: "Memoirs of a Bugatti Hunter."
Special thanks to: