III CIRCUIT DU CAP D'ANTIBES
La Garoupe - Antibes (F), 11 September 1932.
25 laps x 4.070 km (2.529 mi) = 101.8 km (63.2 mi)
Toselli wins a sad event
by Leif Snellman
The fatal crash of Marcel Lister (Maserati) during practice put a gloom on the voiturette race. Only six drivers started. Toselli (Bugatti) led the race from start to finish. Scaron (Amilcar), Martinatti
and Chambost (both Salmson) were competing for second position. Chambost passed Martinatti and Scaron retired leaving Chambost second and Martinatti third. Countess Orsini was the only other finisher.
L'Automobile-Club d'Antibes-Juan-les-Pins organized a motor meeting in September including a rally from Paris to Juan les Pins and a race event with starts for cars in the voiturette and unlimited class.
The race was to be run at the same twisty 4.07 km Circuit de la Garoupe that had been used in 1928 and 1929.
The circuit, that was narrow even by 1930s standards, was raced in clockwise direction and should be circled 25 times by the voiturettes as well as the unlimited class cars.
The voiturette entry list included 13 names: Roger Boucly, Albert Chambost and François Martinatti entered Salmsons, and José Scaron and Emile Dourel Amilcars. Frédéric Toselli and Charles Druck were to
race four cylinder 1.5 litre Bugattis.
Notably there were three female entries. Mme. de la Case entered a Ruby (Austin 7?), Mme. Lagoutte an Automobiles Rally (1,093cc ?), while Italian countess Vittoria Orsini was to race a Maserati 26.
British driver Marcel Lister had also entered a Maserati. Lister had done some good races with his Bugatti T37 including a class victory at the Picardie Grand Prix, and a shared second position at GP de
Lorraine, and he now felt ready for bigger things. He had collected his Tipo 26 (#1515) from the Maserati factory in Bologna only 10 days earlier. According to Venables, it was the last 8 cylinder
voiturette made by Maserati and it differed from the earlier Tipo 26s, having cast iron block and electron crankcase.
Jean Labbay entered a little Mathis car and the entry list also included someone just known as "Tcholopoff", who was to race a Peugeot.
At Saturday morning practice Dourel crashed his Amilcar. The circuit was slippery after an earlier rain. Lister had only made a couple of laps with his new Maserati when he at 8:45 a.m. skidded at the
turn following the bridge past the grandstands and finish and crashed against a wall. It was almost at the same place where baron P. de Rothschild, back in 1929, had crashed his Bugatti while leading and
had walked away uninjured. This time the driver was not so lucky. The Maserati overturned and Lister was thrown out and hit the ground head first. He was in haste brought to the local hospital, where the
doctor first noticed a faint heart beat but the efforts to save the driver proved futile.
An investigation was made by both the organizers and the police but nothing was found that would indicate a technical problem with the car.
Some 30,000 spectators gathered around the course on Sunday afternoon to watch the races.
At 2 p.m the course was opened by Leroy de Presalé, brother of the president of L'Automobile-Club d'Antibes-Juan-les-Pins, who was making a slow lap around the track with his 48hour speed record Voisin car.
Then it was time for the voiturette race. Lister's fatal crash put a gloom on the event and in the end there were only six competitors taking part in the race. Dourel's car was not usable after his
practice crash and Mme. Lagouette and Donna de la Case decided not to start because of Lister.
The official grid looked like this (in reality the cars closed up the ranks):
At 2:30 p.m. Maurice Philippe (Note 1) dropped the flag and the six cars were on their way.
Toselli took the lead and immediately opened up a gap to the others. He was followed by Scaron, Martinatti, Chambost and Labbay. Countess Orsini was last away but before the end of the first lap she had
passed Labbay to take fifth position.
Toselli made the first lap in 3m04.s. On the second lap Chambost passed Martinatti for third. Toselli already held a 15 seconds lead over Scaron, who was chased by Chambost, while Martinatti and Mme.
Orsini were much slower. Slowest in the race, however, was Labbay, who was lapped by Toselli after just four laps and then retired with ignition trouble on the sixth lap. On the seventh lap Toselli went
past Mme. Orsini at Ponte Bacon to put her a lap down and Chambost found a way past Scaron at the curve near the sea.
Order after 10 laps:
|1. Toselli (Bugatti)||30m24s|
|2. Chambost (Salmson)||31m35s|
|3. Scaron (Amilcar)||31m46s|
|4. Martinatti (Salmson)||32m17s|
|5. Orsini (Maserati)||-1 lap|
Scaron was in trouble and made a pit stop on lap 11 for the mechanics to work on the car. He returned to the race only to retire on the 12th lap. So the competitors were now down to four.
On the 14th lap Toselli passed Mme. Orsini at la Gardiote, thus putting her another lap down.
Situation after 15 laps:
|1. Toselli (Bugatti)||46m06s|
|2. Chambost (Salmson)||47m15s|
|3. Martinatti (Salmson)||48m17s|
|4. Orsini (Maserati)||-2 laps|
The race continued with the positions remaining the same. The only thing that the reporters found it worth to write about was when Toselli lapped Mme. Orsini for the third time in front of the grandstand
on lap 19.
Race order after 20 laps:
|1. Toselli (Bugatti)||1h01m17s|
|2. Chambost (Salmson)||1h03m15s|
|3. Martinatti (Salmson)||1h04m12s|
|4. Orsini (Maserati)||-3 laps|
Nothing more happened except that Toselli passed Orsini once again on lap 22 at the curve near the sea. So Toselli won the race over a lap in front of Chambost, who beat Martinatti by 71 seconds, while
Mme. Orsini was flagged off after doing 23 laps.
|1.||12||Frédéric Toselli||F. Toselli||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||25||1h16m29.6s|| |
|2.||5||Albert Chambost||A. Chambost||Salmson||1.1||S-4||25||1h19m24.2s|| + 2m54.6s|
|3.||6||François Martinatti||F. Martinatti||Salmson||1.1||S-4||25||1h20m35.2s|| + 4m05.6s|
|4.||3||Victoria Orsini||Signora V. Orsini||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||22||1h21m32.0s|
|DNF||9||José Scaron||J. Scaron||Amilcar||MC0||1.1||S-6||11||mechanical|| |
|DNF||1||Jean Labbay||J. Labbay||Mathis||0.75||5||ignition|| |
Fastest lap: Federico Toselli (Bugatti) on laps 10 & 14 in 3m00.0s = 81.4 km/h (50.6 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 79.8 km/h (49.6 mph)
III CIRCUIT DU CAP D'ANTIBES
La Garoupe - Antibes (F), 11 September 1932.
25 laps x 4.070 km (2.529 mi) = 101.8 km (63.2 mi)
Falchetto wins when the faster ones retire
by Leif Snellman
Zehender (Alfa Romeo) and Dreyfus (Bugatti) were early leaders in the unlimited engine class but then Wimille took over the lead and dominated the event until he crashed (Alfa Romeo). With Zehender
also retiring, Dreyfus again led the race but he had to give up due to an injured arm and in the end Falchetto (Bugatti) led comfortably to win from Sommer (Alfa Romeo) with Gaupillat, Trintignant and
Fourny (all in Bugatti) taking the next positions.
Many of the drivers that had taken part in the French races during the season appeared at Antibes as well. Not unexpectedly, apart from Zehender and Mme. Schell they were all French.
Alfa Romeo Monzas were entered by Jean-Pierre Wimille, Raymond Sommer and Goffredo Zehender. The main challenge came from Benoît Falchetto's, René Dreyfus' and Jean Gaupillat's T51 Bugattis backed up by a multitude of
older type Bugattis, entered by regular drivers Louis Trintignant and Max Fourny and amateurs Moulin, Marcel Mongin, Pierre Rey and "Ralph".
There were also two Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 entered by lady drivers Lucy Schell and Mme. Odette Siko and finally there was Calmels racing a Paulot, driver and car equally unknown.
Before the race both Mme Siko and Lucy Schell announced that they would not take part. The reason given was that, being slow, they might hinder the other competitors. Of course, neither of them could be
considered as really slow (remember Siko being 4th at Le Mans) and one can assume that, as with the voiturette drivers, Lister's accident had a part in the decision. Thus in the end four out of
five lady drivers refrained from racing.
At 4.30 p.m. Maurice Philippe again dropped the flag sending off the 13 cars.
Zehender took the lead followed by Dreyfus, Gaupillat and Wimille. Zehender made the first lap in 3m04s, already breaking the lap record. Behind him the order was Dreyfus Wimille, Gaupillat, Falchetto,
Sommer, Fourny, Trintignant, Mongin, Ralph, Rey, Moulin and finally Calmels, much slower than the others. Mongin pulled into the pit at the end of the lap.
On the second lap, doing uphill towards Notre-Dame, Dreyfus passed Zehender to arrive first as the cars again came visible for the spectators as they passed behind the grandstand. Wimille soon afterwards
also passed Zehender, putting him down to third. Behind them the Bugattis of Gaupillat and Falchetto had swapped positions with Falchetto now up in fourth position. Dreyfus lowered the lap record to 2m56s.
On the third lap Wimille took over the lead from Dreyfus and lowered the lap record by another two seconds and then by yet another two on the next lap. Zehender in third position was under attack from
Falchetto and on the fifth lap Zehender retired at the hairpin with a damaged engine bearing on his Monza.
Order after 5 laps:
|1. Wimille (Alfa Romeo)||14m35s|
|2. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||14m45s|
|3. Falchetto (Bugatti)||14m54s|
|4. Gaupillat (Bugatti)||15m16s|
|5. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||15m20s|
|6. Fourny (Bugatti)||15m22s|
|7. Trintignant (Bugatti)||15m25s|
|8. Ralph (Bugatti)||16.35s|
Rey stopped his Bugatti at La Salis on lap 5 and retired. "Ralph" also retired on lap 7 with a mechanical problem.
The nature of the race changed as Wimille (either on the 5th or the 7th lap depending on the source) skidded and overturned his Monza at the curve near the sea. He had made the previous lap in 2m48s and
that proved to be the fastest lap of the day. Wimille was transported to hospital to be treated for face wounds.
With Wimille missing, Dreyfus was now leading the race again but Falchetto was closing in on him. Sommer was third and further down Fourny had found a way past Gaupillat to take fourth position.
Order after 10 laps:
|1. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||29m21s|
|2. Falchetto (Bugatti)||29m30s|
|3. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||30m25s|
|4. Fourny (Bugatti)||30m29s|
|5. Gaupillat (Bugatti)||30m34s|
|6. Trintignant (Bugatti)||30m35s|
|7. Moulin (Bugatti)||-1 lap|
|8. Calmels (Paulot)||- 1 lap|
Dreyfus was still suffering from his injury at the Comminges Grand Prix a month earlier, his injured shoulder getting more and more painful as the race went on. After the 13th lap Falchetto was just four
seconds behind and he passed Dreyfus on the sea section on the 14th lap. Meanwhile Moulin retired into the pit. Carmels also had had enough and retired his troublesome Paulot.
Sommer was third, holding off Fourcy, Gaupillat and Trintignant, who were having a fierce fight for fourth position.
Situation after 15 laps:
|1. Falchetto (Bugatti)||44m00s|
|2. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||44m15s|
|3. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||45m20s|
|4. Fourny (Bugatti)||45m44s|
|5. Gaupillat (Bugatti)||45m45s|
|6. Trintignant (Bugatti)||45m50s|
The gap between Falchetto and Dreyfus was growing bigger each lap and after 18 laps Dreyfus had had enough and retired. That meant that Falchetto was leading by a huge margin. After 20 laps the gap down to
Sommer was 1m23s. Sommer in his turn had managed to open up the gap to Gaupillat.
So Falchetto took the victory with Sommer second and Gaupillat finishing third. Trintignant was fourth and Fourny dropped back during the last laps to finish fifth.
Falchetto's 2m52s lap was announced as the new circuit record. Oddly it was claimed that Wimille's 2m48s lap was not considered a record as he had retired from the race.
|1.||21||Benoît Falchetto||B. Falchetto||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||25||1h13m25.0s|
|2.||27||Raymond Sommer||R. Sommer||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||25||1h14m52.0s||+ 1m27.0s|
|3.||31||Jean Gaupillat||J. Gaupillat||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||25||1h16m15.0s||+ 2m50.0s|
|4.||18||Louis Trintignant||L. Trintignant||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||25||1h18m41.4s||+ 5m16.4s|
|5.||24||Max Fourny||M. Fourney||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||25||1h19m15.4s||+ 5m50.4s|
|DNF||15||René Dreyfus||R. Dreyfus||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||18||driver injury|
|DNF||17||Pierre Rey||P. Rey||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||7||mechanical|
|DNF||26||Jean-Pierre Wimille||J-P. Wimille||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||5||crash|
|DNF||28||Goffredo Zehender||G. Zehender||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||4||engine|
|DNF||22||Marcel Mongin||M. Mongin||Bugatti||T35||S-8||0||mechanical|
Fastest lap: Jean-Pierre Wimille (Alfa Romeo) in 2m48.0s = 87.2 km/h (54.2 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 83.2 km/h (51.7 mph)
1. A member of the organizing commitee, not his namesake, the Lotus/Tyrrell engineer of course!
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Le Echo de Paris, Paris
L'Eclaireur de Nice, Nice
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
Le Petit Nicois, Paris
Motor Sport, London
14 September 1932: Piero Taruffi (Alfa Romeo 8C-2300) racing for Scuderia Ferrari wins the Coppa Gran Sasso sports car race
in Italy from Carlo Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo 8C-2300) and R. de Bernardinis (Alfa Romeo 1750).
24 September 1932: Ron Horton/Jack Bartlett (M.G. Midget 0.7 litre) wins the B.R.D.C. 500 Mile handicap race at Brooklands.|
Clive Dunfee had a fatal accident when, approaching the Members Bridge, his big 8 litre Bentley went over the banking and hit a tree, resulting in a horrifying crash what was caught on film.
I GRAND PRIX DE MARSEILLE
Circuit de Miramas - Marseille (F), 25 September 1932.
80 laps x 5.0 km (3.11 mi) = 400.0 km (248.6 mi)
Surprising victory by Sommer with Alfa Romeo
by Hans Etzrodt
The Marseille Grand Prix on the Miramas circuit was held for the first time, bringing together an excellent number of Bugatti, Maserati and Alfa Romeo entries. The race started with a fierce
high speed clash between Nuvolari, Varzi, Fagioli, Lehoux and Gaupillat in an excitingly fast chase. Varzi, Lehoux, Dreyfus and Chiron retired early and when Fagioli encountered steering box
problems, Nuvolari's last serious opposition had fallen behind. But then Le Mans winner Raymond Sommer sprung a big surprise during pit stops by degrading Nuvolari to second place, which was
only possible due to confusion in time keeping. Moll, the new upcoming driver, finished third. Of the 17 cars only seven completed the race, which had been extremely hard on tires because of
the rough concrete track surface. When the crowd flooded the race track near the end, the last five drivers had to be stopped early at the finish line.
The first Marseille Grand Prix took place at the very end of the racing season. In the same week, the International Sporting Commission of the A.I.A.C.R. met in Paris for their traditional first
fall conference on September 23. The A.C. de Marseille as organizer had planned for some time to arrange a large circuit race in Marseille. Last year it had been proposed to hold a similar
race like the ones in Monte Carlo, Nice and Nîmes. It would have taken place in Marseille at the Parc Borély, but an agreement with the governing body could not be realized. The A.C. de
Marseille decided then to use the Miramas circuit as venue, situated north-west of the large seaport Marseille, located just a few kilometers north of Miramas town.
The race track had been built at great expense for the 1924 Provence Grand Prix. These races took place annually until the devastating1927 fiasco, after which the course had remained dormant
because the promoting company had collapsed. The venue never advanced to the prominence that it deserved. The A.C. de Marseille wanted to create once more a shining operation. The flat
5.0 km oval track easily allowed speeds of up to 200 km/h, which made it one of the fastest events of 1932. The wide corners were slightly banked and the rough concrete surface was heavy
on tires. The drivers had to complete 80 laps of the oval without the chicanes, resulting in a complete distance of 400 km. The total prize money of 105,000 French francs allotted the
winner with 20,000 Fr. and the second 10,000 Fr. From the tenth lap onwards, after every lap the respective leader would receive a prize of 700 Fr. and the second 300 Fr. apiece. If a
driver would be able to lead from the tenth lap onwards until the finish, without losing the lead, he would receive altogether not less than 69,000 French Fr.
The organizer received a splendid list of 21 entries. An entertaining race could be expected because some of the season's sharpest opponents were once more going to meet, this time at
Miramas. Varzi arrived with his red 2.3-liter Bugatti, while Chiron's similar car was painted blue. Both drivers might have experienced some sort of factory support. Further Bugattis were
entered by Falchetto, Dreyfus, Gaupilat, Lehoux, the Swiss, Stuber and Braillard, in 2.3-liter types, while the only woman, Mlle. Hellé Nice, the upcoming young driver Moll, and Fourny
had 2-liter Bugattis. Bouriat who had also placed an entry with his Bugatti, withdrew a few days before the race because of indisposition. When it was found that he had a severe
appendicitis, he was operated on immediately. With great probability, the unused race number, 34, had been assigned to his car and not Wimille's Alfa. This 12-car Bugatti phalanx was
opposed by two Maserati works cars for Fagioli with the impressive 16-cylinder 5-liter car and Ruggeri in the 3-liter biposto with an independent entry from de Maleplane in an older
2.5-liter Maserati. There were five Alfa Romeos, a 2.6 liter monoposto works entry for Nuvolari and four independent 2.3-liter Monzas for Félix, Le Mans Winner Sommer, Zehender and Wimille,
whose Monza was not yet repaired after his crash six weeks ago at Comminges. Foucret arrived from Marseille with a white Mercedes-Benz SSK, the owner of which was V. de Tatarinoff,
administrator of the Thermes at Paris and the Belgian, Stoffel, might have also been behind this entry.
During practice, Nuvolari, with the 2.6-liter Alfa Romeo monoposto had established the fasted recorded lap at a speed of 200.8 km/h and was the favorite in this race besides the 5-liter
Maserati 16-cylinder in the hands of Fagioli.
After the motorcycle races in the morning, the racecars were started in the afternoon of an extremely hot day, with the sun shining most of the time. A large crowd arrived, estimated above
40,000, coming mainly from nearby Marseille. At 2:00 PM the cars were paraded in front of the grandstand but Stuber, Bouriat, Fourny and Wimille were absent, which reduced the field to 17
cars. Charles Faroux had arranged the grid positions by drawing of lots, forming rows of four cars each.
Dr. Ribot, the Mayor of Marseille, dropped the flag, in the colors of the town, at the 2:34 PM start. Chiron wiggled his way through from the third row to lead the pack away, closely followed by Nuvolari.
But at the end of the first lap Nuvolari was leading ahead of Lehoux. Ruggeri retired with broken rear axle. After three laps Varzi passed Nuvolari into first place, with Fagioli third and Lehoux fourth.
Mlle Hellé Nice, in last place, was passed on lap six by the leading cars. On the seventh lap, Fagioli took first place from Varzi. On his ninth time around, Zehender drove the fastest lap in1m34s at
191.489 km/h. Foucret retired his Mercedes-Benz with a leaking fuel tank. Chiron had fallen behind with tire problems, while Lehoux and Hellé Nice encountered oil line trouble. The field had shrunk
already to 15 cars. The lead was severely contested between Nuvolari, Varzi and Fagioli. Lehoux, Gaupillat, Dreyfus and Zehender were watching right behind in their draft. After 50 km Nuvolari
was leading at 179.462 km/h average race speed with the order after 10 laps as follows:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||16m43s|
|7.||Zehender (Alfa Romeo)||16m51s|
|8.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||17m11s|
|10.||Félix (Alfa Romeo)||17m42s|
On lap 11 de Maleplane retired due to lack of oil pressure. On the following lap Fagioli took first place from Nuvolari. On lap 15, Varzi headed for his pit where he retired with a broken leaf spring. Zehender
was the first to stop at the pits for new tires. Chiron had now moved to ninth position but appeared to have problems. After 17 laps, Nuvolari had regained the lead. The struggle at the front was superb. Lehoux
had been with the leading group since the beginning but had slowly fallen behind to retire after an oil pipe broke. On lap 20, Dreyfus retired when a tire blew out causing his car to leave the track and end up in
the ditch without him sustaining injury. The field was now down to 12 cars. After 100 km Fagioli was leading at 178.483 km/h average race speed with the order after 20 laps as follows:
|2.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||33m38s|
|3.||Zehender (Alfa Romeo)||33m39s|
|6.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||34m27s|
|8.||Moll (Bugatti)||35m34s||1 lap behind|
|9.||Chiron (Bugatti)||35m56s||1 lap behind|
|10.||Braillard (Bugatti)||37m15s||2 laps behind|
|11.||Félix (Alfa Romeo)||?|
On lap 25 Nuvolari was leading once again ahead of Fagioli and Gaupillat. These drivers put up a stiff fight and all three were separated by just a few meters.
After 150 km Nuvolari was leading at 179.609 km/h average race speed with the order after 30 laps as follows:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||50m36s|
|4.||Sommer Alfa Romeo)||51m43s|
|5.||Chiron (Bugatti)||53m15s||1 lap behind|
|6.||Moll (Bugatti)||53m55s||2 laps behind|
|7.||Zehender (Alfa Romeo)||55m30s||3 laps behind|
|8.||Braillard (Bugatti)||57m31s||4 laps behind|
|10.||Félix (Alfa Romeo)||?|
Falchetto retired after 31 laps. When Gaupillat headed for the pits to change tires after 32 laps, Nuvolari and Fagioli were the only ones left at the front. After Félix and Falchetto retired, the field had further
shrunk to now 10 cars. At mid race, Nuvolari was still in the lead while Fagioli had fallen behind when he stopped for three minutes to refuel, change tires and check a steering problem. Sommer now found himself
in second place. After 200 km Nuvolari was leading and his race average speed was 178.527 km/h with the order after 40 laps as follows:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h07m13s|
|2.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||1h08m34s|
|3.||Gaupillat (Bugatti)||1h09m57s||1 lap behind|
|4.||Fagioli (Maserati)||1h10m53s||2 laps behind|
|5.||Moll (Bugatti)||1h12m06s||3 laps behind|
|6.||Zehender (Alfa Romeo)||1h17m13s||6 laps behind|
|7.||Lehoux (Bugatti)||1h18m51s||7 laps behind|
Chiron and Hellé Nice, who had struggled with tire problems and an oil leak, disappeared on lap 41, reducing the field to seven cars. Fagioli was no longer able to fight at the front due to his Maserati's damage to
the steering box, causing delays with another pit stop and falling further behind. When Zehender made his refueling stop he lost several positions because he was unable to restart his Alfa Romeo. Race management
briefly stopped Zehender because his mechanics had push-started him after the pit stop. Toselli then took over Zehender's car. After midrace the crowds had started to break through the enclosures at the fast corners
and invaded right to the edge of the actual track, which was then closely surrounded by spectators. These enthusiastic onlookers had an excitingly good time, unaware of the fact that they had placed themselves in
grave danger while the cars were skidding through the concrete turns in crab-like style right in front of them. On lap 48 Nuvolari stopped to refuel, change wheels, plugs and have a drink. This leisurely stop lost
him the little advantage he had to Sommer. Apparently, Nuvolari was under the wrongful impression that he was well in the lead while in fact he was only 1m20s ahead. When Sommer headed for the pits, he only filled
up with fuel and as a result moved into first place.
After 250 km, Sommer was leading ahead of Nuvolari, Gaupillat and Moll. However, IL LITTORIALE reported that in the opinion of some observers Sommer had already been lapped.
The average race speed had gone down to at 173.439 km/h with the order after 50 laps as follows:
|1.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||1h27m20s|
|2.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|4.||Zehender/Toselli (Alfa Romeo)||?|
Notwithstanding, it took the Alfa Romeo crew and team manager Aldo Giovannini some time to grasp the precarious situation they were in. The Alfa pits excitedly signed Nuvolari to go faster but the Italian did not
respond and Sommer was able to increase his advantage with every other lap. Eventually, Nuvolari stopped at his pit to find out about all the excitement. When he was told, the Mantuan set off after the Frenchman,
lapping at a frightening pace. During his chase after Sommer, the Italian set up a new lap record on lap 53 at 199.741 km/h which was not surpassed. In surprisingly short time Nuvolari was reducing Sommer's advantage.
After 60 laps at 300 km Sommer was leading in 1h42m43s, a speed of 175.239 km/h. Nuvolari was second with 1h44m49s. On lap 68 the Frenchman was forced to stop but the tire change went quick enough, so that he did
not lose the lead.
After 70 laps at 350 km Sommer remained in first place at 2h1m39s, now only 46 seconds ahead of Nuvolari. Lap after lap Nuvolari got closer and he would have caught up with Sommer but, five laps from the end, a tire
burst, forcing a renewed stop to change rear tires in very quick time but it threw Nuvolari further behind. By then, Sommer had gained so much advantage that he would not lose victory.
At the finish, it was Sommer first and Nuvolari followed 42.2 seconds behind. As soon as the first two cars had passed the finish, the uncontrollable crowd flooded the race track on which five cars were still racing
at very high speeds. During this rather dangerous situation, the circuit personal tried as hard as possible to prevent serious accidents. The five drivers, still in the race, were stopped immediately at the finish
line. They were the young newcomer, Moll, finishing third ahead of Toselli in Zehender's Alfa Romeo, then Gaupillat, Fagioli and Swiss driver, Braillard, last.
Tazio Nuvolari who had been the great favorite for winning the race, would have needed just a few more laps to catch up with Raymond Sommer who was racing with a considerably slower car. Despite his tough break, the
Italian must have been happy since he had collected much of the lap awards money and also established the new lap record.
The fastest lap was first established by Dreyfus (Bugatti) at 189.397 km/h, then by Zehender (Alfa Romeo) at 191.489 km/h and finally by Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo) at 199.741 km/h.
After the race, Alfa Romeo team manager, Aldo Giovannini lodged an appeal, claiming that the time keepers had made a mistake and that Nuvolari was actually one lap ahead at the finish. After examining the official
time sheets, Giovannini agreed with the time keepers final results.
|1.||26||Raymond Sommer||R. Sommer||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||80||2h17m58.4s|
|2.||22||Tazio Nuvolari||S.A. Alfa Romeo||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.6||S-8||80||2h18m44.6s||+ 46.2s|
|3.||40||Guy Moll||G. Moll||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||76|
|4.||32||G. Zehender / F. Toselli||G. Zehender||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||76|
|5.||14||Jean Gaupillat||J. Gaupillat||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||75|
|6.||8||Luigi Fagioli||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||V5||5.0||V-16||75||steering box problem|
|7.||38||Louis Braillard||L. Braillard||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||71|
|DNF||4||Louis Chiron||L. Chiron||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||39?||tires|
|DNF||16||"Mlle Hellé-Nice"||"Mlle Hellé-Nice"||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||35?||oil pipe|
|DNF||18||Marcel Lehoux||M. Lehoux||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||33?||broken oil pipe|
|DNF||2||Benoît Falchetto||B. Falchetto||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||31?|
|DNF||10||Pierre Félix||P. Félix||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||30?||mechanical|
|DNF||6||René Dreyfus||R. Dreyfus||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||19||tire burst, ditched car|
|DNF||30||Achille Varzi||A. Varzi||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||14||broken leaf spring|
|DNF||20||Jean de Maleplane||J. de Maleplane||Maserati||26M||2.5||S-8||10||loss of oil pressure|
|DNF||12||Michel Foucret||M. Foucret||Mercedes-Benz||SSK||7.1||S-6||5?||leaking fuel tank|
|DNF||24||Amedeo Ruggeri||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||8C 3000||3.0||S-8||0||rear axle|
Fastest lap: Tazio Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo) on lap 53 in 1m30s = 199.7 km/h (124.1 mph).|
Winner's medium speed: 175.7 km/h (109.2 mph).
Weather: very hot, overcast/sunny and dry.
The organization of the race went almost without a hitch. The only failure was the control of the public, which flooded the track. Nevertheless, the first Grand Prix de Marseille was considered a great success.
Pit stops and retirements were abundant in this race and were reported in each of the various accounts researched. Unfortunately, almost every story disagreed from the other describing incidents like retirements
and pit stops differently or unclearly, some better than others, and hopefully this account here is more accurate in showing how the event evolved.
The starting grid and most race numbers were lent from Maurice Louche's book, some also from Paul Sheldon's fine records.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Éclaireur de Nice, Nice
El Mondo Deportivo, Barcelona
Il Littoriale, Roma
Le Figaro, Paris
Motor Sport, London
The Motor, London
Special thanks to:
Nancy Etzrodt for editing,
Maurice Louche "Grand Prix de Provence et de Marseille",
Paul Sheldon "A Record of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing",
Robert van den Plasken,
I MUNKKINIEMENAJO / MUNKSNÄSLOPPET
Munkkiniemenrata (FIN), 25 September 1932.
68 laps x 2.206 km (1.371 mi) = 150.0 km (93.2 mi)
Widengren scores first time out with his new Monza
by Leif Snellman
The Finnish Automobile Club (Suomen Automobiili Klubi - SAK) had decided not to participate in the arrangements of the first Finnish Grand Prix
at the Eläintarha Park in May, because they were afraid of economic loss and unable to come to an agreement with the Helsinki Motor Club (Helsingin
Moottorikerho - HMK). However, after they realized that the race was a great success they did not hesitate to arrange their own event in September.
It was SAK's first attempt to arrange a motor race of this type. When they requested from the city council usage of the same Eläintarha circuit used
for the Grand Prix in May, they received a negative answer and the club had to look elsewhere. |
They found their replacement five kilometers northwest of the city center and right outside the city border in the suburb of Munkkiniemi/Munksnäs
(a literal translation would be "Monk's Isthmus") in the Huopalahti/Hoplax rural district where their request was accepted. Even if there were advanced
building plans back in 1932 the area consisted mostly of fields intermixed with woods. There were a few wooden houses and just two stone buildings
including the Cadet School on top of a hillock that dominated the area. A narrow wooden bridge for cars and a tram bridge further northwards connected the
isthmus with the city.
The nearly rectangular track consisted of four straights and four corners. It had a length of approximately 2206 m (see "in retrospect") and was to be run
anti clockwise. Only some 600 m was clad with asphalt, the rest was just gravel road. The start was near the beginning of the main straight on the north
side with the finish line further forward. The straight was followed by a left hand curve and then the shortest of the straights that went up a hillock
with the Cadet School to the left side and the tyre depot on the right. The track then went down to the hotel Golf Casino on the beach where the
sharpest corner on the track, a hairpin of just 20 m radius, was located. It was followed by the asphalt part that led over the isthmus to the beach on
the other side and a rather fast corner near the bridge. The last 450 m straight along Ramsay Beach led up to the tram bridge and the corner
before the start line. There was one grandstand at the main straight the other on the inside of the Golf Casino hairpin. There were
tram tracks next to the road on almost all places except for the hairpin section and the main straight where the tram track ran on its own avenue along
the road. The track had new asphalt and had been widened. Attempts had been made to prepare the gravel sections as good as possible. Learning
the lessons about the disastrous information system at the Finnish Grand Prix, numbered results tables were put up at three sites and loudspeakers at six
places. The prizes were high for a Finnish sports event. The winner was to receive 30,000 FIM, with 15000 FIM, 8000 FIM, 5000 FIM and 2000 FIM
going to 2nd to 5th position.
It was an exclusive Nordic event with six Finnish drivers being challenged by four Swedes and one Norwegian. Ebb entered his Mercedes-Benz SSK and
Keinänen his six year old Chrysler. Baron Ramsay, whose ancestors once had owned the land on which the track was situated, drove another Chrysler.
Vasarainen entered an Essex. Jaakkola had a home-built Reo that local news reporters found "beautiful" while the appearance of Wallenius' high, more
and less standard four door Ford V8 with low placed headlights was less to their taste.
From five foreign cars three were Bugattis: Sundstedt had a T35B, Norwegian Bjørnstad the T35C that he had bought in 1931 (#4928/4696) and hill climb specialist
Ranch a T38A with registration number 0 11619, complete with mudguards and backwards turned headlights, possibly to bring down the air resistance.
Dahlin had taken over Widengren's old Mercedes-Benz SSK while Widengren himself had a brand new blue painted Alfa Romeo Monza, that he had just driven
home from the factory across Europe.
The foreigners arrived from Stockholm on Thursday with the passenger steamer Oihonna. While unloading the cars there was an incident when the crane
dropped Ranch's Bugatti, but luckily the car came down on four wheels and was not damaged. The cars formed a small convoy and moved to a garage at
Vuorikatu street in downtown. In the evening the drivers had time to inspect the track using ordinary cars.
It was raining on Friday. A practice session had been arranged between 3 and 4 p.m. Sundstedt and Bjørnstad impressed with their Bugattis. Sundstedt
was fastest, making 1m30s laps before stopping with transmission problems. Bjørnstad and Keinänen were a few seconds slower. Ebb and
Widengren's cars were under repair and they did not turn up before official practice had ended.
Heavy rain filled clouds hid the sun on Sunday morning. At 10 a.m. things looked very bad but as time passed things got better and soon the clouds broke up.
In fact it proved to be an unusually sunny and warm day for Finland in late September. Hordes of spectators arrived on foot, in cars, taxis, buses, boats
or in a special, seven car tram that departed from downtown. The organizers put on a small air show between 11.30 and noon, trying to get the spectators
to arrive early. Directed by 350 policemen about 35,000 spectators tried to cross the narrow bridge and find a place on the side of the track.
When the bridge was closed for car traffic at 12.30 the jam was already complete. The decision was then made to delay the 1 p.m. planned start a bit but
at 13.17 engineer Thornwald Tawast dropped the Finnish flag and the race was on.
Widengren, who had luck with the ballot when drawing a first row position, immediately took the lead with his blue "Monza" but Ranch who was next to
him stalled. Behind them Wallenius got his big Ford going and Sundstedt moved out to the left edge and managed to squeeze by Ranch for second
position. Widengren who was still not used to his new car, came down to the bridge too fast into the corner and slid sideways hitting the tram track
hard with the right rear wheel. That admitted Sundstedt to go up side by side with Widengren but he was unable to pass. It was a worse
experience for Vasarainen who managed to get his right front tyre jammed into the tram track. His Essex rolled over and bent the suspension so badly
that Vasarainen had to call it a day.|
At the end of lap one Widengren led, followed by Sundstedt, Wallenius, Keinänen, Bjørnstad, Ebb, Dahlin, Jaakkola, Ramsay and Ranch. Ebb did a great
second lap passing three cars climbing to third. A lap later he went by Sundstedt for second and started the chase after the fleeing Widengren.
On lap four Dahlin only just managed to hinder the SSK from ending up in a ditch. Sundstedt had a troublesome ride and was going backwards in the field.
The road soon started to break up badly and the air was thick of stones and gravel when the cars passed. Especially the hairpin proved to be troublesome
and the drivers took that sector at very slow speed to the huge disappointment for the spectators at the Golf Casino grandstand who had paid the most
expensive tickets. On the seventh lap Bjørnstad went wide in the curve after the main straight and hit the tram track protection so hard that he lost
his right rear wheel. Luckily he was able to stop the car and then crawled on three wheels to the nearby tyre depot but ended up with a 9 minutes 4
After eight laps Widengren led at 11m49s. Ebb was two seconds behind, Keinänen 21s, Wallenius 38s, Sundstedt 1m03s, Dahlin 1m10s with Ramsay right behind
him. Jaakkola and Ranch had already been lapped and Bjørnstad had already lost five laps to the leader. While the leading duo was making lap times around
1m26s, Keinänen was three seconds slower per lap but after eight laps he lost his clutch and his lap times went up to over 1 1/2 minutes. This was the same
pace made by Wallenius as the latter did a magnificent job holding the fourth place, beating all the Bugattis. Behind them Sundstedt, Dahlin and Ramsay
were fighting for fifth position with lap times around 1m37s. Ramsay was clearly able to go faster but found it impossible to pass Dahlin's big Mercedes.
On the twelfth lap Widengren and Ebb came up to lap the above mentioned trio Widengren lost about eight seconds and Ebb put the front wheels of the SSK
up next to the "Monza" but was unable to find a way by. Bjørnstad, back in competition, was now the third fastest competitor on the track. He just managed
to avoid another incident with the tram tracks and went on to reel in the gap to Ranch in ninth place. During the next twelve laps Ebb was chasing
Widengren. There was never more than a five seconds gap between the cars but Widengren seemed to have the situation fully under control, just going
fast enough not to be passed.
After 18 laps Widengren at 26m35s was leading Ebb by a second. Keinänen was 38s behind and Wallenius 1m11s. Sundstedt, Dahlin, Ramsay, and Jaakkola had
all been lapped, Ranch had lost three laps and Bjørnstad five. On lap 22 the top duo was lapping Sundstedt, Dahlin and Ramsay for the second time. There
was a cramped situation as six cars were fighting for room in the same corner and when Ebb went wide, he almost hit a tree. Ebb managed to rally and reel
in Widengren, only to lose contact once again as Widengren decided to put in some fast laps including a 1m23s on lap 28. Ebb had started with the radiator
partly covered with a piece of cardboard and the engine was now overheating. Ramsay had finally found a way past Dahlin and soon afterwards took care of
Sundstedt as well and started to pull away.
After 28 laps Widengren at 41m22s was leading Ebb by 12 seconds. Keinänen was 58s behind. Wallenius had lost a lap, Ramsay two, with Sundstedt distanced
15 s and Dahlin a further 22s. Jaakkola who earlier had been some 20s behind Dahlin had now caught him and soon passed Dahlin, whose SSK went on
five cylinders, for seventh position. Even if not mentioned in the newspapers the lap tables clearly show that Widengren between the 31th and
37th lap got trapped behind Bjørnstad. The Norwegian's Bugatti was just marginally slower than Widengren's Alfa and Bjørnstad, who later got a
reputation for fierce driving, was obviously not too keen to give room for the leader even when being five laps behind. Anyway, that was enough for Ebb
to bring down his ten seconds gap to two seconds. However, once Widengren managed to pass Bjørnstad the gap immediately opened up again.
At 38 laps Widengren was leading at 56m16s with Ebb 7s behind. Keinänen and Wallenius had lost a lap. Ramsay, Sundstedt and Jaakkola three laps,
Dahlin four, Bjørnstad six and Ranch, who had had his windscreen broken by a stone and didn't seem to enjoy the race at all, seven laps behind.
Widengren continued calmly doing laps around 1 1/2 minutes with Ebb ten seconds behind and unable to catch. On the 43rd lap Ramsay went missing as in the hairpin a stone flew up and cut a brake pipe. Sundstedt had to do a pit stop for water and fell back. At 48 laps Widengren lead at 1h11m21s with Ebb 11s behind. A lap back Wallenius was 1m05s behind Keinänen. Jaakkola had lost three laps, Sundstedt four, Dahlin five and Bjørnstad six. Keinänen had lost the radiator cap
and on lap 49 the water was boiling and spattered into his face forcing him to pit for water and oil and giving over third position to Wallenius.
Around lap 50 the brakes on Ebb's SSK started to fail badly and he lost several seconds per lap to Widengren. When Keinänen on lap 53 arrived to the curve
near the bridge he found no gear. The clutch has disintegrated and the Chrysler rolled and hit a tree near the beach. The driver was thrown out but
survived with minor bruises. The car was upside down with badly bent chassis and on fire but the flames were extinguished with a hand held device even
before the fire truck arrived. If Keinänen had problems finding a gear the situation was opposite for Sundstedt. On lap 57 he stalled at the
hairpin with both first and second gear selected and was pushed aside for repairs.
With ten laps to go Widengren had opened up a 31s gap to Ebb. Wallenius had lost three laps, Jaakkola six and a minute behind him came Bjørnstad, now the
fastest driver on the track and closing ranks by 11 seconds per lap. On the 65th lap Bjørnstad passed Jaakkola for fourth.
At the flag Widengren's winning margin was 45 seconds.
Suddenly Sundstedt, who has lost over 20 minutes on gearbox repairs, was also back and made his last laps solo.
Widengren was given the victory laurel from engineer Tawast's wife and went out on a lap of honour. Spectators were
running out on the track while cars were still racing and police had a hard time to keep order.
Later that evening the drivers received their prizes at hotel Kämp from General Mannerheim in front of 150 invited guests.
|1.||2||Per Viktor Widengren||P.V. Widengren||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||68||1h41m40.2s|
|2.||10||Karl Ebb||K. Ebb||Mercedes-Benz||SSK||7.1||S-6||68||1h42m25.2s||+ 45.0s|
|3.||4||Asser Wallenius||A. Wallenius||Ford||Special||3.6||V-8||68||1h47m35.6s||+ 5m55.4s|
|4.||5||Eugen Bjørnstad||E. Bjørnstad||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||68||1h52m18.2s||+ 10m38.0s|
|5.||6||Niilo Jaakkola||N. Jaakkola||Reo||68||1h52m57.1s||+ 11m16.9s|
|6.||8||Börje Dahlin||B. Dahlin ||Mercedes-Benz||SSK||7.1||S-6||68||1h56m14.2s||+ 14m34.0s|
|7.||1||Uno Ranch||U. Ranch||Bugatti||T38A||68||2h03m18.3s||+ 21m38.1s|
|8.||3||Knut Gustav Sundstedt||K-G. Sundstedt||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||68||2h14m46.0s||+ 33m05.8s|
|DNF||7||S.P.J. Keinänen||S.P.J. Keinänen||Chrysler||Special||56||Crash|
|DNF||9||Johan Ramsay||J. Ramsay||Chrysler||Special||43|
|DNF||11||E. Vasarainen||E. Vasarainen||Essex|
Fastest lap: Per Viktor Widengren (Alfa Romeo) on lap 28 in 1m23s = 95.7 km/h (59.5 mph) |
Winner's medium speed: 88.5 km/h (55.0 mph)
Widengren had found the track too bumpy to take advantage of the Alfa's full resources and said that on a fully asphalted track the gap would have been
much larger. Regardless of the bad track conditions the event had been a great success and plans were immediately made for a 1933 re-run.
But times were economically bad and in the end SAK decided to cooperate with HMK to organize the Eläintarhanajo instead, making the Munkkiniemenajo
a one-time event. Munkkiniemi was fully developed in the 1930s and became part of Helsinki in 1946.
For this account I had the luck to have access to reports from four local papers and complete lap records for 5 top finishers. I have some doubts that
the track was exactly 2206 m. Rather it's a result achieved by dividing 150 km by 68 laps. Some questions remain. A report claims that Dahlin used a
riding mechanic but I have been unable to confirm it. There are also conflicting reports about car colors, especially for the SSKs. I have even seen
reports of "Ebb's yellow car"!!! Dahlin's car was reported gray but earlier reports says both "grey" and "white" when the car was still owned by Widengren.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Helsingin Sanomat, Helsinki
Suomen Urheilulehti, Helsinki
Uusi Suomi, Helsinki
2 October 1932: Piero Taruffi (Alfa Romeo) wins the Circuito di Bolsena sports car
race around lake Bolsena in Italy from Luigi Fagioli (Maserati) and Clemente Biondetti (MB Speciale).
In the class under 1.5 litre the fiishing order is: 1. Francesco Matrullo (Maserati), 2. Albino Pratesi (Salmson), 3. R. Galeazzi (Bugatti)
9 October 1932: The "Union Motocycliste Française" holds the Grand Prix de l´U.M.F. for different motorcycle and car classes at the Montlhéry Paris (F) track in France.|
All the races are 8 laps x 12.5 km = 100 km.
1500cc s/s & >1500cc u/s:
1 Pierre Félix (Alfa Romeo) 41m23.4s
2 "Sim Devil" (Bugatti) 43m05s
3 Cochin (Bugatti) 44m14.4s
1100cc s/s & 1500cc u/s:
1 Louis Decaroli (Salmson) 43m59.4s
2 Armand Girod (Salmson) 45m48.4s
3 Pierre Félix (Lombard) 49m05.6s
750cc s/s & 1100cc u/s:
1 M. Dhome (Darmont) 46m08.2s
2 Yves Girod-Cabantous (Girod-Cabantous) 48m53.0s
3 R. Pegulu de Rovin (Rovin-Jap) 50m54s
7 December 1932: Amedeo Ruggeri has a fatal crash at Montlhéry while testing a 16 cyl Maserati with Luigi Fagioli for the World Hour Speed Record.
Going low on the west banking Ruggeri lost control. The car turned over five times and went through a fence.
Ruggeri was thrown out and hit the concrete track hard. He died in the ambulance on the way to hospital.