I MANNIN MOAR
Douglas - Isle of Man (GBM), 14 July 1933 (Friday).
50 laps x 4.6 mi (7.4 km) = 230 mi (370.1 km)
Lewis wins after duel with Eyston.
by Leif Snellman
The first Mannin Moar race attracted only nine cars. However the race proved to be good with exciting duels and lots of incidents.
Brackenbury held an early lead but soon the race turned into a fight between Eyston and Lewis in their Alfa Romeo Monzas and
Rose-Richards in a Bugatti. On lap 7 Lewis took over the lead from Euston and never lost it again.
Eyston fell back but Rose-Richards challenged Lewis for the lead until late in the race when he lost 3rd gear on the Bugatti.
Shuttleworth crashed into the pit, Lace into a telephone pole and Mathieson into a shop but there were no serious injuries.
When R.A.C. wanted to follow the new fashion with "round the houses" races popularized by the Monaco Grand Prix they faced the problem that it was not
legally possible to close public roads for racing in the British mainland. However, as Isle of Man had their own laws (Acts of Tynwald), plans were
drawn up for a Grand Prix circuit on the streets of Douglas on that island. Two races were to be held, "Mannin Beg" or "Small Man" for voiturettes
on Wednesday July 12th and "Mannin Moar" or "Great Man" for cars over 1.5 litre on Friday, July 14th. However, the R.A.C. could not resist
to put in some extra rules to spoil the fun. The Mannin Beg voiturettes had to be non-supercharged, because possibly supercharged 1.5 litre cars
were to participate together with the Grand Prix cars at the Mannin Moar.
Further, riding mechanics were mandatory for all cars, possibly the last time such a rule was used in Grand Prix racing. However, non
mandatory riding mechanics were to be seen in a few events including the Swedish Grand Prix three weeks later.
The idea was that the mechanics would signal their intention to pass to the flag marshals, who would then flag the car in front to give way.
The rules were considered a joke and an embarrassment and on behalf of the drivers, Earl Howe wrote in an open letter to "The Motor"
magazine. He complained that the rules would turn the races from international events into second rate affairs. However the R.A.C.
stubbornly stuck to their ideas.
The course of the first "round the houses" race to be run in Great Britain was 3.6 miles long and went in clockwise direction. The start line
was near the Villa Marina on the Douglas Promenade. Soon after the start the course reached the Greensills Corner, a sharp right hander that led
upwards from the beach on Church Road, and was almost immediately followed by an equally sharp left hander that led into Finch Road to the downtown
area. The course turned right around the House of Keys and on to a rather fast section over Prospect Hill, Bucks Road and Laurieston Road. Then
followed a series of six sharp bends that took a zigzag course over Ballaquale Road, St. Ninians Road, Dukes Road and Falcon Ter before finally
ending up on Victoria Road that led down towards Governor's Bridge in a fast sweeping left hander. There a right hand turn led onto Governor's
oad towards Onchan, the sharp North corner of the circuit. From there the course continued on Summer Hill Road, a fast steep downwards section
between a wall on the left and houses on the right side, leading back towards the beach promenade and Castle Mona Road back to Villa Marina.
The Douglas street circuit was faster than Monaco. Cars were reaching 115 mph (185 km/h) along the promenade section and 65 mph (105 km/h) over a
full lap compared with Monaco's 96 km/h average speed.
There existed hopes that 15 entries would appear for the Mannin Moar but in the end only nine cars turned up. Of the three Alfa Romeos entered, Noel Rees
& Arthur Fox arrived the red Monza that had won the J.C.C. International trophy for Lewis to drive. Eyston raced a green Bernard Rubin owned Monza.
Don showed up with an ex-Borzacchini stripped four seater "Le Mans type" Alfa Romeo. The trio faced a challenge from five Bugattis and a single Invicta.
Eccles, Rose-Richards and Shuttleworth, the latter with Brackenbury as driver, each entered a T51 (#51155, #51145 and #51140 according to Sheldon).
Mathieson had a 2-litre supercharged car according to "the Motor" (T35C #4457?) even though a picture shows a car with the old type narrow radiator
of the early T35s. Fotheringham probably entered a 1926 ex-works / ex-Campbell T35B (#4996), rebuilt with side exhaust and H-section front axle.
The last of the entries was Lace's 4.5-litre Invicta, looking a bit "square" amongst the elegant Alfas and Bugattis.
Practice took place on Thursday 6th, Friday 7th and Monday 10th of July, each day from 10.30 am. to noon. Voiturette and Grand Prix drivers were
practicing at the same time to learn the track. Because grid positions were decided by ballot the practice sessions were of lesser interest.
The selected hours for practice were criticized by spectators and residents alike because much of the town, including promenade and shore, were
closed and spectator bridges crossing the track were lacking.
Although the sky did not look promising on Friday morning the race was run in fine weather. The drivers Don and Eyston had already taken part in the
Mannin Beg two days earlier. That race had been won by Freddy Dixon in a 1.1 litre Riley.
On the Promenade the cars were arranged into the grid positions drawn by ballot:
When the flag man sent the field off, Brackenbury took the lead followed by Eyston, Lewis, Rose-Richards, Eccles, Fotheringham, Lace, Don and Mathieson.
On Woodbourne Road Eyston, in his green Monza, passed Brackenbury and was followed by Lewis and Rose-Richard. That was the order as they passed the line
after the first lap. On lap two Lewis' mechanic waved to show their intention to try to take the lead from Eyston but they did not succeed. After three
laps Eccles was in the pit with gearbox troubles. He went out again, stalled at St. Ninians, managed to get away again, only to crash into the wall near
the Playing Fields.
After five laps Eyston was leading Lewis by one second and Rose-Richards a further three seconds behind. Brackenbury had lost 37 seconds, Fotheringham
1 minute 10 seconds and Don in sixth position was already 2 minutes behind the leader. Mathieson was in the pits changing plugs and soon afterwards
stopped again for further adjustments. Lewis' mechanic was waving his hands and marshals were waving flags to Eyston indicating Lewis attempt to pass.
But Lewis took the front wheels of his red Monza up level with the rear wheels of Eyston's green Monza on lap six and again he failed to take the lead.
But a lap later Lewis finally found a place to pass Eyston at Bucks Road. With Lewis gone Eyston then faced the challenge from Rose-Richards. After an
abortive attempt the Bugatti driver took over second position at Ballaquayle Road on lap eight. Mathieson was in the pits for a third time with more
technical problems. When Fotheringham's Bugatti was leaking fluid, he went in after nine laps to fill up oil and water.
After ten laps Lewis held an eight seconds lead over Rose-Richards. Eyston had lost four seconds to Rose-Richards and Brackenbury a minute to Eyston.
Don was now almost four minutes behind the leader and Fotheringham had already been lapped as had Lace. Mathieson was two laps behind because of his
pit stops. A lap after Fotheringham had made his pit stop on the uphill sector after Greensills corner, the Bugatti engine gave up in
a thick cloud of smoke and many spectatos rushed to the scene to push the car out of harms way. On lap 13 it was Don's turn to be lapped by the leaders.
Lewis and Rose-Richards continued an exciting duel, setting average lap times of 4 minutes and 14 seconds.
After about 65 minutes Lewis had covered 15 laps. Rose-Richards was still just seven seconds behind in second place but Eyston had lost half a minute.
Brackenbury, who was impressing the spectators with his bold cornering, was the last non-lapped competitor but already over three minutes behind the
leader. During the next five laps Eyston lost another 23 seconds to Lewis, who was now putting in a series of real fast laps while trying to shake
Rose-Richards off his back. Mathieson's problems continued and his fuel stop took 2 minutes 50 seconds. Don probably also made a stop as he lost
two minutes and Lace stalled for two minutes at Governor's Bridge and was now over eleven minutes behind the leader but still in front of Mathieson.
After 20 laps Lewis led by thirteen seconds over Rose-Richards. That gap was kept more or less unchanged until lap 25 when Rose-Richards went in for a
37 seconds fuel stop, handing over second place to Eyston. Brackenbury also made his stop and was passed by the Bugatti of Shuttleworth. Mathiesson,
trying to make up lost time, spun at Finch Road but managed to return to the race.
At 25 laps Lewis, who had not yet pitted, led by 1 minute 10 seconds. Only three cars were now on the lead lap. When Eyston made a 40 second stop on
lap 26, he lost his second position. Don also made his pit stop.
Having watched the others race for over one and a half hours Shuttleworth was possibly a bit overenthusiastic when he finally got the chance to join
as he immediately had the Bugatti up at the escape road at end of the Promenade. However he managed to return to the race.
Lewis stopped for 30 seconds for fuel and came back out just five seconds in
front of Rose-Richards and the intense fight resumed. Eyston was already one minute 15 seconds behind the duo.
Lewis made the fastest lap of the day, 4 minutes 10 seconds, and by 30 laps he had opened up the gap to Rose-Richards to 10 seconds. However, waved on by
the enthusiastic spectators, Rose-Richards responded and managed to cut it down by two seconds during the next five laps.
On lap 35 Shuttleworth decided to pit but he came in far too fast, lost control, spun and went tail first into the wooden pit structure. The air was full
of bits of wood, spare tyres, pit equipment and leaking fuel cans but most people, including Shuttleworth and his mechanic, managed to escape without any
injury. Only Mannin Beg winner Freddy Dixon and a Dunlop employee were slightly injured by wood splinter. However the Bugatti was wrecked as were several
Lace had a five minute stop for refueling and brake repair on the Invicta. Soon afterwards when he was putting the brakes to test coming
down Summer Hill, he crashed hard into a telephone pole luckily escaping without injuries but totally wrecking the car. The pole and a lot of
wires came down on the track but did not hinder the rest of the competitors too much.
The duel for the victory was over as Rose-Richards lost 3rd gear and fell back fast, losing 30 seconds to the leader by lap 40 and another 55 seconds by
the next five laps. Lewis could thus ease up and took the flag after 50 laps over two minutes in front of Rose-Richards. Eyston came third another minute
The race continued for Don and Mathieson who had 15 minutes time to do the remaining laps. On his 43rd lap Mathieson lost the brakes before
Greensills Corner and had to take the escape road. The escape road ended with a barrier behind which stood a big crowd of spectators. Mathieson decided
to deliberately crash the Bugatti into a nearby shop to avoid a catastrophe. The car spun by the force of the crash and the rear end hit four spectators,
who were sent to hospital with minor injuries. Meanwhile Don completed his 49th and last lap to finish
fourth in the race.
Soon after the race was finished the sky went dark, the beginning of a long storm.
|1.||6||Brian Lewis||N. Rees & A. W. Fox||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||50||3h34m52s|
|2.||9||Tim Rose-Richards||T. E. Rose-Richards||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||50||3h36m57s||+ 2m05s|
|3.||11||George Eyston||G. Eyston||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||50||3h38m57s||+ 4m05s|
|4.||14||Kaye Don||K. Don||Alfa Romeo||8C-2300||2.3||S-8||49||3h57m04s|
|DNF||10||T.A.S.O. Mathieson||T. Mathieson||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||42||crash|
|DNF||1||Bob Lace||A. C. Lace||Invicta||4.5||S-6||37||crash|
|DNF||3||C. Brackenbury/R. Shuttleworth||R. O. Shuttleworth||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||35||crash|
|DNF||5||Tim Fotheringham||T. Fotheringham||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||10||connecting rod|
|DNF||12||Lindsay Eccles||A. H. L Eccles||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||4||crash|
Fastest lap: Brian Lewis (Alfa Romeo) in 4m10.0 = 66.2 mph (106.6 km/h)|
Winner's medium speed: 64.2 mph (103.4 km/h)
Weather: sunny/overcast, dry
The field had been weak since only nine cars participated but the race had been a success with exciting racing and lots of incidents. It opened up the way for further Isle of Man races. The organizers had in fact been lucky as several of the incidents could have ended up very badly.
Next year the riding mechanics would be gone and improvements made to the spectator arrangements but the non-supercharged voiturette rules would remain.
14-15 July 1933: Pierre de Viscaya, the famous Spanish racing driver, who belonged to the official Bugatti-Equipe from 1921 to 1924, was killed in
a traffic accident in Paris. He was with Count Trossi of Scuderia Ferrari on Friday evening when his car collided at high speed with another car driven
by a parisien hotel keeper. Trossi got away with lighter injuries, while de Viscaya was very seriously hurt and died during the night..
V GRAND PRIX de DIEPPE
Dieppe (F), 16 July 1933.
3 hour race , 48 laps x 8.05 km (5 mi) = 387.7 km (240 mi)
Lehoux' private Bugatti beats the factory team
by Leif Snellman
The 3-Hour Dieppe Grand Prix provided a terrific battle between Lehoux , "Williams" and Dreyfus. After "Williams" Bugatti left the road,
the battle was between the Bugattis of Lehoux and Dreyfus but Lehoux prevailed and led from start to finish. Because the organizers did not
pay starting money, 11 international drivers boycotted the race. Therefore the Grand Prix field dwindled to five cars with 13 cars of the
2-liter class, which raced simultaneously
The town of Dieppe on the channel coast is a place with Grand Prix traditions. The road race between Paris and Dieppe was held as
early as in 1897. Dieppe was also the place for the French Grand Prix in 1907, 1908 and 1912 on a 78.96 km long course near the town. In
1929 racing returned to Dieppe with the Automobile Club l'Ouest organizing a race south of the town on a new, some 8.15 km long, exciting
race circuit with several dangerous sections.|
The circuit included a long uphill and downhill straight on road D915 leading southwards
to Paris with pits and paddocks positioned at the northern end of the straight. At the southern point the straight ended at Virage du Val
Gosset, a sharp right hand turn that sent the cars into a twisty downhill section towards St. Aubin-sur-Scie. After another sharp right-hand
curve, the course joined the road from Rouen in a twisty uphill section northwards until finally coming to its north end at Maison Blanche
(not to be confused with the famous Le Mans curve with the same name).
For 1933 the Automobile Club l'Ouest decided that the event should be a three hour race to be run in 2 classes, one for cars restricted
to 2 litre engine capacity and a Grand Prix class for cars with engines over 2 litre. Unfortunately the Dieppe Grand Prix was to suffer
from a disagreement between organizers and drivers. A total of 158.000 franc had been reserved for prize money, including 50.000 franc for
the winner, 30.000 franc for the second placed in the Grand Prix class and 14.000 franc for the 2 litre class winner. In those days that
would have been a considerable sum even for a major Grand Prix. To be able to attain such huge sums the organizers had decided not to pay
out any starting money to the drivers, a decision that proved not to be popular by the drivers. Consequently there were negotiations
between the drivers and the organizers but they turned fruitless. A few days before the race eleven drivers released a joint written communiqué
announcing that they would not participate in the Dieppe Grand Prix. The drivers who boycotted the race were Nuvolari, Borzacchini, Campari,
Zehender, Chiron, Etancelin, Sommer, Wimille, Moll, Falchetto and Braillard.
Because of the disagreement between organizers and drivers the final entry list suffered and was almost entirely composed of Bugattis.
With Clifton Penn-Hughes (Alfa Romeo Monza) and Jean Gaupillat (Bugatti) failing to appear, the entries in the Grand Prix class were down
to only six. Unlike the French Grand Prix, this race was supported by the factory Bugatti team, which sent "Williams" and 1929 Dieppe
winner Dreyfus in T51 cars. The factory cars were beautifully painted with race numbers in silver surrounded by yellow. However racing again
a week after having taken part in the Belgian GP it is doubtful there had been time for much other preparation to the cars. The
official Bugatti team was challenged by the 1930 event winner Marcel Lehoux and by Pierre Bussienne in their private twin overhead cam
Bugatti T51s, Spanish driver Jean-Marie de Texidor in a single overhead cam T35B and Ferdinand Montier in a Ford V8 engined "Montier Speciale".
In the 2 litre class the entry field looked much better with no less than ten Bugattis challenging a Maserati and a Delage. Earl Howe had
recovered from his eye injury suffered by a stone at the French Grand Prix and raced his eight years old 1.5 litre Grand Prix Delage
while André Vagniez, industrialist from Amiens, raced a Maserati 26.
Among the ten Bugattis Pierre Veyron was to race a works entered T51A voiturette and 2 litre T35Cs were entered by Eminente, Jakob,
Domenici, Scaron, Renaldi, Catteano and Mlle "Hellé-Nice". Former Amilcar driver José Scaron raced Mme. Rose-Itier's T39A voiturette
and French driver Louis Abit (not Léoz-Abad) a 4 cylinder T37A while Count Czaykowski had changed his usual T54 monster for a 2 litre T51C.
Apart from races for motor cycles and cars the event also included a rally, a concours délégance and a driving skill competition. The rally
was won by Brémond in a Mathis, who had started from Strasbourg, while countess Czaykowski, who used to follow her husband to the
races as time keeper, won the Concours Délégance with a Bugatti T55 coupé.
Even with a thin Grand Prix field the spectators did not fail the organizers but turned up in great numbers. A lot of them came from England.
The short trip with a ferry across the channel had made the Dieppe race a favorite for British spectators, who at that time were unable to see
real Grand Prix racing in their own country.
As the flag dropped and the 19 cars were released, Lehoux in his private Bugatti took the lead from the works entries of Dreyfus and
"Williams". They were followed by Bussienne, Czaikowski, Scaron, Howe and Veyron. Right after the start Texidor was excluded because
of some technicality. As a result the Grand Prix class was down to five competitors. Jean Delorme also had an early retirement because
of technical problems.|
Lehoux held his overall lead, easily controlling the field and not giving his opponents any possibility to pass. In the smaller class
Czaykowski had a much harder time because his lead was challenged furiously by Earl Howe. Emirente crashed and lost a wheel during one of
the first laps but did repairs for almost an hour and then enthusiastically rejoined the race. However, he was soon afterwards disqualified
because he received illegal assistance when extracting the car after the crash. Ignoring the organizers signals to withdraw, Emirente raced
on only to crash for a second time in a curve, fortunately escaping with only minor injuries.
When Lehoux had opened a gap, the works Bugattis swapped places, "Williams" passed Dreyfus for second. Dreyfus and "Williams" then went on
to have an excellent duel for second place while at the same time they continued to pursue the fleeing Lehoux. The battle continued until
"Williams" went off the road at St. Aubin Village and the car got trapped, either in some straw bales or in the sand. Whatever the reason,
"Williams" was unable to get the car extracted without outside assistance and had to call it a day. That allowed Czaykowski to take over
third place and Lord Howe was fourth ahead of Bussienne.
After one and a half hours of racing the leading Lehoux had completed over 24 laps with a medium speed of 130.2 km/h.
Dreyfus in the works Bugatti followed some 2½ minutes behind. In the smaller class Czaykowski still led over Howe.
After 2 hours five cars were out of the race. "Helle-Nice'" had given over the Bugatti to her civil law husband Marcel Mongin but he had been
forced to retire with an engine failure. Lehoux kept his lead over Dreyfus during the short refueling pit stops, which were executed without
any trouble. Lehoux went on to a convincing win, having led from start to finish and having beaten the factory team with some ease. He had
managed to cover 48 laps in three hours.
During the last part of the race Dreyfus made a spurt and succeeded in closing the gap to Lehoux, but he was still 26 seconds behind at
the finish. Bussienne, who lost a lot of time towards the end of the race, finished 4th overall and third in the Grand Prix class. The last
of the GP class entries, Ferdinand Montier, finished 11 laps behind the winner and was classified 13th overall.
The 2 litre class winner Czaikowski was third overall, three laps behind Lehoux. Earl Howe had been unable to find a way past Czaykowski and
had to settle for second in his class. Veyron in the works Bugatti voiturette finished third.
Just after the race a heavy storm reached the Dieppe area.
Perhaps the works Bugatti team had hoped for an easy morale boosting victory after a miserable season but it would prove to be a hard weekend
for the team. On Friday 14 July Count Trossi, accompanied by Pierre de Vizcaya, was driving through Bois the Boulogne in Paris when they
crashed into another car. While Trossi escaped unhurt, Pierre de Vizcaya received serious injuries led to his death a few hours later at a
Pierre de Vizcaya had not only been a works Bugatti driver but also a very good friend of the Bugatti family. It was Pierre's father Augustin
de Vizcaya who back in 1909 had found a fitting empty building at Molsheim for Ettore Bugatti and had financed the creation of the Bugatti
factory there. So when the bad news reached Dieppe the team naturally was shocked.
1. Race numbers according to French newspaper "Le Matin" which was sponsor of the race (with thanks to Marc Ceulemans). Sheldon has #32 & #42 as Scaron and #48 as Vagniez.
It seems Scaron started with Mme Rose-Itier's car and that she later took it over (?).
22 July 1938: Alan Hess' M.G Car Club , cars driven by C. Martin, G.W.J. Wright and A. Hess wins the L.C.C. International Relay at Brooklands.
23 July 1938: The German Grand Prix, planned for 23 July at the Nürburgring, was postponed until 1 October and relocated to the Avus as the Preis von Berlin, since the new German
race cars under construction would not have been ready to race by July. The AVUS was given preference, because it was expected that the German cars would find it easier to win at the Avus.
But by 8 August the newly formed DDAC of Germany had decided to cancel due to insufficient entries being anticipated.
VII° COPPA CIANO
Montenero - Livorno (I), 30 July 1933.
Over 1100cc: 12 laps x 20.0 km (12.4 mi) = 240.0 km (149.1 mi)
Below 1100cc: 8 laps x 20.0 km (12.4 mi) = 160.0 km (99.4 mi)
|Class over 1100 cc:|
|2||Julio Villars||Equipe Villars||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||DNA - did not appear|
|4||Secondo Corsi||S. Corsi||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8|
|6||Piero Taruffi||C. Pellegrini||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8|
|8||Giovanni Minozzi||G. Minozzi||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8|
|10||Gianni Battaglia||G. Battaglia||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8|
|12||Renato Balestrero||R. Balestrero||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8|
|14||Clemente Biondetti||C. Biondetti||MB||Speciale||3.0||S-8|
|16||Giuseppe Tuffanelli||G. Tuffanelli||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8|
|18||Mario U. Borzacchini||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8|
|20||Luigi Pages||L. Pages||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8|
|22||Franco Cortese||F. Cortese||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8|
|24||Horst von Waldthausen||Equipe Villars||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||DNA - did not appear|
|26||Antonio Brivio||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8|
|28||Capredoni||Scuderia Capredoni||Alfa Romeo||DNA - did not appear|
|44||Pietro Ghersi||M. Angelo||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8|
|32||Giulio Aymini||G. Aymini||Maserati||26M||2.5||S-8|
|34||Giuseppe Campari||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||4CM||2.0||S-4|
|36||Eugenio Fontana||E. Fontana||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8|
|38||Mario Tadini||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8|
|40||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||DNS - did not start|
|40||Tazio Nuvolari||T. Nuvolari||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8|
|42||Vittoria Orsini||signora V. Orsini||Maserati||26C||1.5||S-8|
|Class below 1100 cc|
|50||Marcel Boucly||M. Boucly||Miller||1.1|
|52||Gigi Platè||G. Platè||B.N.C.||1.1||S-4||DNA - did not appear|
|54||Earl Howe||Earl Howe||MG Magnette||K3||1.1||S-6||DNS - did not start|
|56||Ferdinando Barbieri||F. Barbieri||Maserati||4CM 1100||1.1||S-4|
|58||Giuseppe Furmanik||G. Furmanik||Maserati||4CM 1100||1.1||S-4|
|62||Emile Dourel||E. Dourel||Amilcar||1.1||S-6|
|64||Guido Landi||G. Landi||Maserati||4CM 1100||1.1||S-4|
|66||Victor Marret||V. Marret||Miller||1.1|
|68||Raymond Chambost||R. Chambost||Salmson||1.1|
New victory by Nuvolari with the Maserati monoposto.
by Hans Etzrodt
The 1933 Coppa Ciano on the Montenero circuit was a two-way battle between Alfa Romeo and Maserati, since Bugatti had not sent an official representation to Italy. Nuvolari was the favorite from among the 19
Italian drivers who started in the large car class. He had an Alfa Romeo and a Maserati at his disposal and decided to race the latter, winning the race in record time, heading Brivio in the fastest Alfa Romeo
of the Scuderia Ferrari by a margin of over eight minutes. Campari in a brand new works 2000 cc Maserati monoposto finished third, followed by seven drivers, almost all in Alfa Romeos. The race for the eight
small cars, which was run concurrently, went to Barbieri who passed the finish line first, one minute ahead of Landi with Furmanik in third place; all three were driving Maseratis. Earl Howe crashed his MG
during practice and could not repair it in time for the race.
The Montenero circuit races outside Livorno ('Leghorn' in English) had been held since 1921. From 1922 onwards a 22.5 km circuit was used, which in 1931 was shortened to 20 km and routed from Ardenza Mare - Montenero -
Savolano - Castellaccio - and back to Ardenza Mare. The 1933 event was the 13th time that the race was held on the Circuito del Montenero and the organizer had named it misleadingly the 13th Coppa Ciano, but in reality,
1933 was the 7th Coppa Ciano. The Coppa or trophy was donated by the Italian Navy hero Costanzo Ciano for a 1927 Montenero sports car race, which was named after the trophy. The Coppa Ciano name was applied for the second
time to the 1928 Montenero 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
1933 was the seventh running of the Coppa Ciano and the thirteenth race on the Montenero circuit.
Earl Howe described the circuit in his memoirs, published in October 1933 in The Motor: "This circuit is a long triangle over a very narrow road, with an immense number of hairpin bends, rising to a height of about 3,000 to
4,000 ft. and dropping back from that height to about sea level. The road is very narrow all round and extremely bumpy. There are many very severe corners with a drop of several thousand feet on one side; in fact, there
are plenty of parts of the circuit where any mistake would be the last."
The R. A. C. I. (Reale Automobile Club Italia) together with the Moto Club Livorno organized the Coppa Ciano race, which counted towards the Italian championship. The participating cars were divided into classes up to 1100 cc
and over 1100 cc, whereby the small cars had to drive eight laps of the 20 km long circuit, a total of 160 km, and were to race together with the large cars completing 12 laps or 240 km.
The victor of the race would receive 40,000 Lire and the Coppa Ciano, the second 20,000 Lire and the Coppa Mussolini, the third 10,000, fourth 8,000, fifth 7,000, sixth 6,000, seventh 5,000 up to tenth place with a total of
105,000 Lire prize money for the large car class and a total of $8,000 Lire for the first three places in the small cars.
The 1933 Coppa Ciano was an international race since the large car class entries comprised two cars from Switzerland and the class up to 1100 cc included five drivers from France and Earl Howe's MG from Great Britain.
Scuderia Ferrari arrived with four Alfa Romeo 2600 cc Monzas for Nuvolari, Borzacchini, Brivio and Tadini. However Nuvolari had also reserved the right with the promoter to possibly drive his own 3-liter Maserati
monoposto, in which he had won the Belgian Grand Prix three weeks prior, depending which of the two cars would be better suitable for the race. Enzo Ferrari however insisted that Nuvolari, as contracted driver,
had to drive the Scuderia Alfa Romeo.
The Maserati works entered a brand new car, a 4-cylinder 2000 cc Monoposto for Campari. Further Maseratis, but all independent entries, appeared for Corsi, Tuffanelli, Aymini and Signorina Vittoria Orsini. Biondetti
arrived with his 3000 cc MB-Speciale, a Maserati-Bugatti hybrid. Minozzi and Ghersi were to race 2300 Bugattis. The remaining ten entries consisted of independent Alfa Romeo Monzas from the Italians Taruffi, Battaglia,
Balestrero, Pages, Cortese, Fontana and Vico, plus those who did not appear, Capredoni and the Swiss drivers Villars and Waldthausen.
In the small car class up to 1100 cc ten entries were received, six came from France, one from England and three from Italy.
In 1933 the predominance of Alfa Romeo had been somewhat unsettled by Maserati with victories at the Grands Prix of France and Belgium, and now the old rivals were again to do battle against each other on their own soil.
The race at Livorno was limited to a duel between Alfa Romeo and Maserati, and the battle was awaited by all with feverish anticipation. The main interest focused on whether Nuvolari would drive one of the proven 2600 cc
Alfa Romeo Monzas from the Scuderia Ferrari or his own new Maserati Monoposto. Nuvolari's test on the Montenero Circuit was acceded with incomparable significance. On the fast road course of Spa the Maserati had proven
its efficiency, now it had to show that it could also dominate with the extraordinary difficulties of this very dangerous and demanding Italian circuit. Nuvolari himself looked forward to the race with trepidation because
he was not completely convinced about the suitability of the Maserati monoposto for a circuit of this kind. Until shortly before the start it was uncertain which car Nuvolari would decide to use for the race. Finally he
chose the Maserati, a decision which was to prove correct with great success.
Of course Nuvolari might have won also with the Alfa, in which case we would be saying that this was the correct choice. But it was not so certain that Nuvolari would have won in a 2.6-liter Scuderia Monza, not only were
these cars now obsolete but because those cars were also prone to break their differential when being driven hard. Evidently Nuvolari needed to have the fastest car to assure victory, he also demanded reliability plus he
might not have objected earning more money for a victory than the tight Enzo would give him for winning a race.
Nuvolari's association with Enzo Ferrari had developed into an acrimonious relationship since the Belgian Grand Prix when the Mantuan entered a loaned Maserati instead driving the Alfa Romeo for the Scuderia where Nuvolari
had signed a contract. Valerio Moretti stated in "When Nuvolari Raced..." that on August 2, 1933 both parties were accusing each other in opposing statements at the Livorno magistrate relating to breach of contract. Later
attorneys represented each party's interests and kept the two litigants in touch since Ferrari and Nuvolari met only at race meetings.
On Friday, the second practice day, Campari put in some laps with the brand new 2000 cc Maserati monoposto in 14m48s and then lowered this to 14m 42s. Nuvolari's first lap with the Alfa Romeo took 15m13s but he then improved
with one lap in 14m13s. Thereafter he changed over to the Maserati monoposto and was straightaway below the 14 minutes mark at 13m46.4s. Further practice times were announced, that of Biondetti (MB-Speciale) in 15m21s,
Brivio (Alfa Romeo) in 16m39s, Balestrero (Alfa Romeo) in 17m20s, Battaglia (Alfa Romeo) in 15m2s and Ghersi (Bugatti) in 15m31s. The small cars of up to 1100 cc practiced simultaneously. Furmanik (Maserati) drove a lap
in 16m33s, the two Frenchmen Chambost and Jourdan were timed respectively at 18m31s and 17m15s.
On Saturday the circuit was again closed between 12:30 and 2:30 for the last practice session. Campari was able to lower his time with the 2000 cc Maserati to 14m04s, Battaglia to 14m15s and Ghersi to 15m13s. Borzacchini
recorded his fastest lap with the 2600 cc Alfa Romeo in 13m59s. In the small car class Barbieri (Maserati) lapped in 15m04s.
Earl Howe had entered in the small class and became a non starter after his Thursday accident when he crashed his MG in the middle of the village of Quatro Palme and received light injuries on the forehead, nose and one hand.
He described his misfortune in the October 1933 issue of The Motor: "Unfortunately, during my third practice lap I got into a skid at a corner, owing to sand having been thrown on the tarred surface of the road by other cars;
the car hit a ditch
and turned a complete somersault, landing on top of me. I managed to crawl out, fortunately sustaining only superficial damage, but to my bitter regret the car was severely damaged and it was impossible for me to take part in
that race, as I had hoped, or in the Coppa Acerbo, in which I had intended to take part with the same car at a later date. This was all the more regrettable as the car was running really beautifully, and I am quite certain
would have been able to give a good account of itself. I did not stay to see the race as I thought I ought to receive special medical attention if I was to get fit again at an early date. I therefore left Livorno."
While in the past the cars were started in small groups, the 1933 Coppa Ciano changed to their first mass start. This departure put the Coppa Ciano on the same level with other primary international races. Race numbers were
drawn by lots and the cars assembled on the starting grid in order of their numbers, with four cars per row. Nuvolari in the Maserati monoposto was the favorite for the race but the number he had drawn placed his car in the
last row. The 19 cars of the large class were released at 3:30 in the afternoon, and when the cars took off with loud thunder, Biondetti's Special remained motionless while his mechanic cranked the engine until the car finally
took off. Three minutes after the large cars had been dispatched, the eight cycle cars of the 1100 cc class started their race.
Right from the beginning Nuvolari showed his dominance in the Maserati monoposto. Starting from the last row, he passed the entire field, 16 of his opponents, so that at the end of the first lap he was leading with an advantage
of 12 seconds over Borzacchini in the fastest Alfa Romeo Monza. Vico with his Alfa Romeo had already disappeared on lap one and Taruffi's race was nothing special since he had dropped almost seven minutes behind the leader.
The standings after the first lap were
|2.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||14m13s|
|3.||Battaglia (Alfa Romeo)||14m55s|
|6.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||15m04s|
|7.||Cortese (Alfa Romeo)||15m09s|
|9.||Tadini (Alfa Romeo)||15m21s|
|10.||Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)||15m22s|
|11.||Taruffi (Alfa Romeo)||20m52s|
Already on the second lap Nuvolari's lap time was down to 13m42.2s thereby breaking his own lap record, which he had established the year before in the Alfa Romeo monoposto.
On the third lap he again improved on his new best time with a lap of 13m33.0s and on the fourth lap he established what was to be the fastest lap of the race in 13m27.8s at an average speed of 89.130 km/h. The 2600 cc Alfa Romeo
Monzas were unable to match the speed of the Mantuan. The new Maserati monoposto had thus proven itself as an extraordinarily strong machine from which a good deal could still be expected, not only on a fast track but also on
an uneven, twisting and in every way difficult road surface. So after four laps the positions had slightly changed as follows:
|2.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||56m03s|
|4.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||58m36s|
|5.||Battaglia (Alfa Romeo)||59m04s|
Borzacchini had been unwell a few days before the race with a stomach congestion due to Livorno's heavy food, based on sea-food. He had to retire after four laps because he did not have the strength to carry on, parked his car
at the pits and fainted. At the same time Tadini retired on the fourth lap with a broken back axle and then took the wheel of Borzacchini's car on the fifth lap. Minozzi (Bugatti) and Tuffanelli (Maserati) were also early
retirements. When signora Orsini, the only woman in the race, retired her Maserati after five laps, the field had shrunk to 14 cars.
Chambost crashed his 1100 cc Salmson on lap five. It was the only accident in the race. He heavily skidded on a sharp turn at Osteria, just after Castellaccio, and after gyrating, his Salmson left the road and fell into a
ravine. The daring driver suffered a broken collarbone.
After six laps Nuvolari held a comfortable lead of over five minutes ahead of Campari's 2000 cc works Maserati in second place. The order was
|3.||Borzacchini/Tadini (Alfa Romeo)||1h27m32s|
|4.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h27m20s|
|5.||Battaglia (Alfa Romeo)||1h28m20s|
|7.||Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)||1h30m32s|
|8.||Cortese (Alfa Romeo)||1h30m33s|
|9.||Fontana (Alfa Romeo)||1h31m10s|
Campari, who for some time had held second place behind Nuvolari, brought his new Maserati monoposto in for a one minute pit stop to fill up with water. Thus Brivio inherited second place and Campari rejoined the race in
third position. Ghersi had to retire his Bugatti. After the eighth lap the order was:
|2.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h55m46s|
|4.||Borzacchini/Tadini (Alfa Romeo)||1h57m25s|
|5.||Battaglia (Alfa Romeo)||1h57m38s|
Near the end of the race Nuvolari stopped several times to take water for an overheating engine. Nevertheless, nobody could pose a threat to him and after ten laps Nuvolari had extended his advantage to 7m51s
|2.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2h24m42s|
|4.||Borzacchini/Tadini (Alfa Romeo)||2h26m25s|
|5.||Battaglia (Alfa Romeo)||2h27m01s|
|6.||Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)||2h30m11s|
|7.||Cortese (Alfa Romeo)||2h30m55s|
|8.||Fontana (Alfa Romeo)||2h31m43s|
|9.||Taruffi (Alfa Romeo)||2h31m44s|
After the twelfth lap it was still Nuvolari in first place, a very popular victor, over eight minutes ahead of Count Brivio in second place in the fastest of the Scuderia Ferrari Monzas. Campari finished third with the new 2000 cc
Maserati, followed by the Alfa Romeo Monzas of Tadini (in Borzacchini's car), Battaglia, Balestrero, Cortese, Fontana and Taruffi. Biondetti in his hybrid car arrived last. Corsi, Pages and Aymini exceeded the maximum time
limit and were not classified.
The cycle car race was run only over 160 km distance. From ten entries only eight made the start of which just three cars were classified. Boucly and Marret entered old 1.5-liter Miller single-seat cars. These 1927-1929
racecars had been designed for American oval track racing and had found their way to Europe, with the engines reduced to 1100 cc. These cars were entirely unsuitable for European road courses and also very unreliable.
Both Millers retired; that of Boucly on lap five and Marret on lap six. Jourdan retired his Salmson on lap three and on lap five Chambost badly crashed his Salmson when the Frenchman broke his shoulder. Barbieri won the
race in the 4CM 1100 Maserati in 2h1m38.8s at an average speed of 76.404 km/. Two Maseratis followed; that of Landi in 2h2m32.2s and Furmanik third in 2h16m15.6s. Dourel with a 6-cylinder Amilcar in 2h28m56.4s exceeded
the maximum time limit. The fastest lap was put up by Landi on lap seven in 14m57.6s at an average speed of 80.214 km/h.
|1.||40||Tazio Nuvolari||T. Nuvolari||Maserati||8CM||3.0 ||S-8||12||2h45m08.4s|
|2.||26||Antonio Brivio||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||12||2h53m29.8s||+ 8m21.4s|
|3.||34||Giuseppe Campari||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||4CM||2.0||S-4||12||2h54m08.4s||+ 9m00.0s|
|4.||18||M. Borzacchini/M. Tadini||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||12||2h54m58.0s||+ 9m49.6s|
|5.||10||Gianni Battaglia||G. Battaglia||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||12||2h56m25.4s||+ 11m17.0s|
|6.||12||Renato Balestrero||R. Balestrero||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||12||3h00m39.4s||+ 15m31.0s|
|7.||22||Franco Cortese||F. Cortese||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||12||3h01m52.4s||+ 16m44.0s|
|8.||36||Eugenio Fontana||E. Fontana||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||12||3h01m54.2s||+ 16m45.8s|
|9.||6||Piero Taruffi||C. Pellegrini||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||12||3h03m17.4s||+ 18m09.0s|
|10.||14||Clemente Biondetti||C. Biondetti||MB||Speciale||3.0||S-8||12||3h06m52.6s||+ 21m44.2s|
|DNC||4||Secondo Corsi||S. Corsi||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||11||exceeded max. time|
|DNC||20||Luigi Pages||L. Pages||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||11||exceeded max. time|
|DNC||32||Giulio Aymini||G. Aymini||Maserati||26M||2.5||S-8||?||exceeded max. time|
|DNF||30||Pietro Ghersi||M. Angelo||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||7|
|DNF||42||Vittoria Orsini||signora V. Orsini||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||5|
|DNF||8||Giovanni Minozzi||G. Minozzi||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||3|
|DNF||38||Mario Tadini||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||3|
|DNF||16||Giuseppe Tuffanelli||G. Tuffanelli||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||2|
|DNF||44||Vico||D. Vico||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||1|
Fastest lap: Tazio Nuvolari (Maserati) on lap 4 in 13m27.8s = 89.1 km/h (55.4 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 87.2 km/h (54.2 mph)
Weather: sunny, hot
|1.||56||Ferdinando Barbieri||F. Barbieri||Maserati||4CM 1100||1.1||S-4||8||2h01m38.8s|| |
|2.||64||Guido Landi||G. Landi||Maserati||4CM 1100||1.1||S-4||8||2h02m32.2s||+ 53.4s|
|3.||58||Giuseppe Furmanik||G. Furmanik||Maserati||4CM 1100||1.1||S-4||8||2h16m15.6s||+ 14m36.8s|
|DNC||62||Emile Dourel||E. Dourel||Amilcar||1.1||S-6||8||2h28m56.0s exeed. max. time|
|DNF||66||Victor Marret||V. Marret||Miller||1.1||5|| || |
|DNF||68||Raymond Chambost||R. Chambost||Salmson||1.1||4||crash|| |
|DNF||50||Marcel Boucly||M. Boucly||Miller||1.1||S-8||4|| || |
|DNF||60||Jourdan||Jourdan||Salmson||1.1||2|| || |
|DNS||54||Earl Howe||Earl Howe||MG Magnette||K3||1.1||S-6||-||practice crash|
|DNA||52||Gigi Platè||G. Platè||B.N.C.||1.1||S-4||-||did not appear|
Fastest lap: Guido Landi (Maserati) on lap 7 in 14m57.6s = 80.214 km/h (49.8 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 76.4 km/h (47.5 mph)
Weather: sunny, hot
For many years the race numbers were incorrectly quoted, except those numbers where photo evidence was available. Eventually, after a three years search by the author the correct numbers were found in an Italian newspaper
and are published here for the first time since 1933.
The starting grid displayed is based on six photographs in conjunction with the now correct race numbers.
Alfa Romeo had won most races from the beginning of the 1933 season but then Maserati won the French Grand Prix with Campari, the Belgian Grand Prix with Nuvolari and now another Maserati victory at the Coppa Ciano.
To offset these defeats the Alfa Romeo factory in Portello decided to release their famous 1932 monoposti to the Scuderia Ferrari, which then acted as their racing arm. The transfer was done rather quickly to be
implemented at the upcoming Coppa Acerbo race.
Drivers swopping teams: The Coppa Ciano race brought about the definite break between Tazio Nuvolari and Enzo Ferrari of the Scuderia. At the same time Fagioli left the Maserati team to drive an Alfa Romeo for Scuderia
Ferrari, and Campari was soon to follow. Borzacchini, who was a fraternal friend of Nuvolari, left the Scuderia to join the Mantuan at Maserati.
Primary sources researched for this article.|
Manifesto by the Royal AC of Italy & Moto Club Livorno
The Motor, London
Special thanks to
Alessandro Silva, Biblioteca Labronica 'F.D. Guerrazzi', Dott.ssa Alessandra Stoppa, John Humphries
I SVERIGES SOMMAR GRAND PRIX
Vram (S), 6 August 1933.
12 laps x 29.7 km (18.5 mi) = 356.4 km (221.5 mi)
Multiple crash casts dark shadow over first international Swedish race.
by Leif Snellman
The race was completely overshadowed by a horrifying accident on the first lap. Mercedes SSK driver Dahlin crashed and created a
chain reaction involving seven cars. As a result Swedish riding mechanic Erik Lafrenz was fatally injured, two drivers were hospitalized and
a crashed car started a fire that burnt a house down to the ground.
The race continued while rescue went on and Alfa Romeo Monza drivers dominated with Brivio taking the victory for Scuderia Ferrari.
The first Swedish automobile race was held in 1904 but for many years racing in Sweden was then mostly restricted to endurance type competion while
GP style racing took place as ice races during the winters. When the Swedish Royal Automobile Club / Kungliga Automobil Klubben (K.A.K.), choose
to hold a Grand Prix in 1931, they decided to do it as a winter Grand Prix near the Lake Rämen.|
Two years later the K.A.K. announced that they would go the full step and finally organize Sweden's first Summer Grand Prix at Norra Vram. A road section
near Billesholm in the southern corner of Sweden in the county of Skåne (Scania county) had been selected. The course was
located some 15 km east of Helsingborg and just some 40 km NE of Copenhagen in Denmark (across the Öresund strait).
The course went along ordinary roads that even today look mostly the same. The start was at the beginning of a 1200 meter long straight at Norra Vram.
Then followed some curves before the store at Södra Vram where the course turned left. In those days the road passed closely to the store, rounding the house
corner and continuing towards Kågeröd. This part of the course was quite winding with some decent straights but with only a few sharp corners. It
was a fast sector for those who dared to keep the speed up and had had the car to do it. About one kilometer after the store in Södra Vram there was a
somewhat wrongly banked right hander and once into Kågeröd there was a sharp left curve. That turn had been noticed to possibly cause problems and the house at the entry of
the curve had been clad with bales of hay just in case. But the first corner had not been considered to be a dangerous one. In the middle of Kågeröd the
course turned left and then after 50 meters again left rounding the church. After that began a long rise of several kilometers up Söderåsen (the
Southern Ridge) all the way to Stenestad. Here the asphalt ended and the gravel road continued until the finish. The whole sector consisted of long and
fast turns with long straights between them. In Stenestad there was a 90 degree left curve towards Norra Vram that led downhill from Söderåsen. That twisty
section through beautiful nature, including a big beech wood, put great demands on the driver.
When the course eventually emerged on the plains via a few sharp corners, there were sweeping turns over the
fields and meadows to the road crossing in Norra Vram and a 75 degree left corner into the start straight and finish of the lap. The course was mostly
asphalt and oil-gravel and on some places ordinary gravel road. The difference between the lowest and highest point of the course was 158 m.
The roads had a width of at least 6 meters and the road condition was very good. There were 160 policemen and 60 marshals who kept order on the track. The pits were placed on the inside of the track near the starting line with places for organizers,
press and a restaurant on the other side of the course, between the road and the nearby railroad.
The race created very great interest among the public as well as among potential competitors. The total prize amount was the lagest offered at
any Nordic event so far. The winner was to receive 10,000 SEK, the second 5,000 SEK, the third 3,000 SEK the fourth 2,000 SEK, the fifth 1,500 SEK and so on.
The race was restricted to 40 entries and the final entry list consisted of a rather mixed bunch of 26 cars. From those 11 entries classified as supercharged
racing cars and 2 as un-supercharged racing cars while 13 standard cars made up the rest of the list.
Amongst the racing car entries the clear favorite was surely the Scuderia Ferrari 2.6 litre Alfa Romeo Monza for Mario Umberto Borzacchini. However, on Monday
July 31st, the team sent a note that Borzacchini was unable to participate due to illness and was to be replaced by Count Antonio Brivio.
Louis Chiron entered his 2.6 litre Monza under the Scuderia CC name. Whitney Straight was to race an ex-Birkin Monza entered by Bernard Rubin
while Straight's own Maserati was being prepared for the Coppa Acerbo. Bjørnstad and Widengren entered private Monzas.
Other Nordic entries were Finnish drivers Ebb (Mercedes SSK), Keinänen
(Chrysler Special) and Wallenius (Ford) while two Danes, Hansen and Tholstrup, each entered a Ford 8.
There where cars of all sizes. Swedish driver Dahlin, who had been disqualified at the Finnish GP, brought his Mercedes-SSK while Wistedt
entered a MG Midget.
Five Bugattis were entered by Swedish drivers: Wihlborg, Wickberg (T30/4230), Sundstedt (T35B/4922) , Åke Johansson (a recently bought T37A/37318)
and Axel Johnsson (T43).
The list included several Swedish specials. One was entered by
yet another Johansson: Carl-Gustaf Johansson.
He and Sven Olof Bennström appeared with a couple of lookalike special light bodied Ford V-8s built by Swedish Ford.
Walter Görtz, a car dealer from Örebro (where a certain Ronnie Peterson
would be born 11 years later), entered "Guldpilen" (Golden Arrow), an A-
Ford with a new gold colored body and a 4 cylinder B-Ford engine with
an Italian "Silvano-top" and Scintilla magnetic ignition. "Mas-Harry"
Larsson entered another 4 cylinder Ford and Forsberg had a home built Ford with a long narrow tail.
Rookie driver Helmer Carlsson entered a 1928 type four wheel de Soto
straight eight, rebuilt with a red painted wooden body. He planned to
drive the car on its own wheels the 500 km down from Västerås in central
Swedish Chevrolet drivers Askergren and Strömberg, and Lind in a Hudson
completed the list.
Interestingly six drivers decided to use the old-fashioned idea to bring riding mechanics with them. They included Börje Dahlin (Erik Lafrenz
who had participated in Swedish ice racing himself) , Helmer Carlsson (Yngve Hedlund who was Helmer's brother's brother-in-law), Åke Johansson
(motorcycle racer Rolf Gülich), Gösta Askergren (J. Pettersson), Asser Wallenius (Lahtinen) and Karl Ebb (Ekberg?).
The drivers had their first chance to test the track on Wednesday.
Widengren and Ebb managed to do some 17 minute laps. Chiron and
Straight, both still waiting for their racing cars to arrive, also put in several
laps with ordinary cars. Both of the top drivers found the track fast, a bit
tricky, but fun.
More cars arrived during Thursday and especially Chiron impressed both
the spectators and the local drivers with his driving style. One who was not
present was Keinänen, who on his way from Finland was struck in Ödeshög
near lake Vättern with a technical failure of his Chrysler and was waiting
for expertise assistance from Stockholm.
Practice started as early as 4 a.m and went on to 6 a.m. to avoid blocking the traffic and continued during the next days. Brivio
proved to be fastest with a lap of 13m59s.
Practice was not incident free. Askergren went into a ditch at Södra Vram and overturned his Chevrolet.
Askergren broke a collar bone and his riding mechanic Pettersson injured his legs.
Other non starters were Lind with a faulty piston
and Sundstedt because of injuries received in a hill climb race earlier that summer.
On Saturday morning Widengren had an engine problem and Keinänen's car
refused to start at all. Widengren was able to continue practice after completing repairs.
Straight managed to correct a trouble with the drive shaft on his Alfa Romeo. Keinänen however,
became a non starter because of a faulty piston.
On Sunday there was a tremendous turnout at the racetrack even if the estimation of 100,000 spectators made by a Finnish newspaper perhaps is a
bit too high.
There was a problem as some of the veteran drivers were not satisfied
with the start order decided by ballot with the race cars and the standard cars mixed up.
However the organizers were of the opinion that "the faster cars do not need the favor of standing in the front rows"
and no changes were made. That meant that the 22 cars were lined up on the starting straight in a zig-zag pattern
with Börje Dahlin (Mercedes SSK) and Bennström (Ford V8) on the front row and with the last cars at the end of the corner. Brivio was down to
19th and Straight to 22nd.
The track at the start straight was made of asphalt but when the flag dropped
there was still a big cloud of dust and smoke. Some of the drivers like
Carlsson and Ebb decided to take the first lap calmly and wait for the cars to sort themselves
out. Bjørnstad however had no such plans and was soon past the two cars in
front of him to lead the race as it headed for Södra Vram. Behind him Dahlin
and Bennström were racing more or less side by side blocking the track for
the rest of the field.|
After four kilometers the cars reached the wrongly
banked right hand curve. Exactly what happened there and in which order is
not easy to sort out, especially after 73 years. It seems that both Dahlin
and Bennström came into the corner too fast, both unwilling to give in.
Obviously Dahlin then pushed himself into the front but went wide and the left wheels of the Mercedes went
into the ditch. When the big SSK looked like rolling over, Dahlin's mechanic Lafrenz, according to witnesses, decided to jump
rather than risk to be crushed under the 1700 kg heavy car.
Bennström tried to make avoiding action but the Ford spun (the left front wheel of the Ford possibly touched the right rear wheel of the SSK),
ran over Lafrenz and rolled over throwing out Bennström, who received a serious brain concussion.
Lafrenz ended up fatally wounded lying in the middle of the road with arms stretched out.
The Mercedes, with Dahlin still behind the wheel, continued over the ditch and straight through a hedge on the left
side of the track into a garden and ended up against a house. Bennström's
car crashed upside down on the right side of the track and
the fuel tank split open, fuel running down towards another house. Seconds later the car was in flames and the fire spread
through the dry grass to a house.
With a barn hindering the sight of the disaster where Lafrenz was lying in the middle of the
track and Bennström standing on the right side holding his hands to his
head until he was finally taken care of, the potential for further catastrophes
Widengren in a Monza was first to arrive. He managed to brake and keep
to the right and hit Bennström's Ford at only slight speed.
Next on the scene arrived Finnish driver Wallenius, who decided to pass
Lafrenz to the left by putting his left wheels down in the ditch. But
Wallenius had not realized that the ditch almost immediately disappeared
into a culvert. The front wheel hit the end stone of the culvert hard and the
Ford made a somersault forward, cut off an electrical pole at a height of 3
meters and then flew over the hedge before crashing into a fruit tree, causing the
fruit to drop down (sources differ whether it was apple or pear). Wallenius
broke his left hand and injured his back.
Next Chiron arrived and went for the right of the track but missed the
braking and crashed hard into Widengren's car, still standing where it had crashed to a stop.
Both Alfa Romeo Monzas went airborne and were out of the race.
Next up was Forsberg (Ford) who repeated Wallenius' maneuver with the
culvert and also somersaulted over the hedge before he crashed into Dahlin's
car. Forsberg was lucky to walk away with minor injuries. Behind him
Wickberg also put his Bugatti into the ditch but as he managed to brake earlier he missed the
culvert. His car overturned but was less damaged than the other crashed cars.
Somehow the rest of the field managed to pass the scene of the accident
without further damage. Carlsson remembers that he hesitated but that
someone had taken control and waved him by. Luckily now there were about
15 minutes time to clear things up with seven cars to be removed, one dead
and three injured drivers to take care of and a major fire to handle.
Despite all that the race continued and during the next laps the racing cars shared the
course with ambulances and fire engines. The fire continued to burn
during most of the race. The smoke and flames could be seen from a
At the end of the first lap the field had stretched out with the remaining Alfa
Romeos already in a class of their own. Bjørnstad, who of course had
missed the crash, was leading by 18 seconds over Brivio, who had
advanced all the way from 19th position. Straight was third, a further
27 seconds back. Ebb was 42 seconds behind Straight and behind him
followed Johnsson, Å. Johansson, Tholstrup, Hansen, C.-G. Johansson,
Strömberg, Larsson, Görtz, Carlsson and Wihlborg. Wistedt had retired with
clutch problems so with the seven retirements in the accident only 14
competitors were now remaining.
At the end of the second lap Brivio and Bjørnstad were almost side by side but now with the Italian leading; this
duo had a 17 seconds gap to Straight. Before the race Ebb had explained he would not have any chance against the
Alfas, and he had already lost 2m14s. Danish driver Hansen had advanced
to sixth while Åke Larsson had dropped back to eighth.
At the end of the third lap Brivio led by 24 seconds over Straight. Bjørnstad had to make a
two minute stop and dropped to third. Hansen and Tholstrup passed Axel
Johnsson for fifth and sixth positions and C.-G. Johansson dropped to 11th
while Larsson passed Strömberg for 9th.
On the fourth lap there were no changes in the race order, Brivio was still
leading with half a minute over Straight with Bjørnstad a further three
Åke Johansson passed Tholstrup for sixth and Strömberg passed Görtz for
The clutch broke on Carlsson's De Soto and due to lack of routine he
decided to pull into the pit and retire rather than to try to continue. Axel
Johnsson and Carl-Gustaf Johansson retired as well so there were just 11 competitors left, six
racing cars and five standard cars.
After six laps Brivio led by 40 seconds. Tholstrup had retired
with steering trouble.
On the next lap Brivio still kept the distance to Straight while Bjørnstad was
already over five minutes back and Ebb yet another two minutes
behind. Then followed Hansen, Åke Johansson, Strömberg, Larsson, and a
struggling Görtz, while Wihlborg had been the next retirement.
After that the competitors more or less settled down in their places
apart from the fact that Strömberg retired with engine failure from seventh position.
Not much happened during the remaining laps. Brivio opened up his
lead by 10-25 seconds per lap. On the 12th and last lap he did the fastest lap
of the race (128.7 km/h) to take the flag almost three minutes in front of
Straight with Bjørnstad making it an Alfa Romeo 1-2-3. Hansen lost a fine
fifth position on the last lap when his car failed him. Görtz' Ford, which had been the slowest car on the track for the
last eight laps stopped a kilometer before the end and had to be pushed over the finish line.
Bennström and Wallenius were hospitalized while Forsberg after treatment
was able to return to the hotel for the night. Bennström's brain concussion proved to be serious as was
Wallenius' hand injury with a broken wrist and injured tendons while Wallenius'back injury proved to be just a minor
The house burned down to the ground. The accident was a heavy blow for
any plans of further Swedish Grand Prix racing and the organizers were
rightly criticized for mixing racing and standard cars in the grid order.
Dahlin was also heavy criticized for his driving style and the unanimous opinion was that he was the sole person responsible for the accident.
Thereafter Dahlin decided to retire from racing. Bennström also retired as he already had an earlier head injury from a motorcycle race accident at Brunnsviken
back in 1929, that had made him unconscious for 21 hours and hospitalized him for five weeks, and he did not want to tempt the fate for a third time.
After the race Carlsson managed to drive his car in the same clutch-less
condition all the way back to Västerås, where it was rebuilt back to standard
specs and sold. Seventy years afterwards Carlsson still regretted his decision to retire.
I'm very grateful to Bengt Alsed, son of Helmer Carlsson-Alsed, for permission to use his track description
and for many details about the cars and the race. A great thanks to Tomas Karlsson who was able to provide me with
a more correct lap chart than the one I had and a grid picture and for his assistance in clearing up several questions.
Also a thanks to Sten Sundström for further corrections.
II GRAND PRIX de NICE
Nice (F), 6 August 1933.
95 laps x 3.214 km (2.0 mi) = 305.3 km (189.7 mi)
New Victory by Nuvolari with the Maserati Monoposto
by Hans Etzrodt
During the early laps Etancelin and Nuvolari were involved in an intense struggle, exchanging the lead several times. When the Frenchman's Alfa broke
down after the first half of the race, Nuvolari was no longer challenged and had an easy win with his Maserati. The Bugattis of Dreyfus and Varzi
never posed a real danger to Nuvolari's Maserati monoposto. Due to the slow nature of the circuit, which contained two hairpin turns, great demands
were made especially on brakes and transmissions. Half of the 16-car field retired, most of them with various brake problems. The battle ended as it
had been predicted, with a victory for Nuvolari.
The first circuit race through the streets of Nice in 1932 had been a small affair. In 1933 however Nice experienced a real Grand Prix, which led
again right through town following the example of the Monaco Grand Prix. The course went along the best known roads of the famous holiday resort,
up and down the Promenade des Anglais, then Avenue Verdun, around the Place Masséna, Avenue des Phocéens and Quai des Etats Unis. The 3,214 km long
street circuit had to be covered 95 times; a total of 305.330 km and 665 corners had to be mastered. Despite the difficulties of the course, owing
to the width and the excellent condition of the roads, speeds of over 200 km/h could be reached along the straight of the Promenade des Anglais,
which measured 1,400 meter. The A.C. de Nice et Côte d'Azur was again organizing this event.
The entries at any of the international Grands Prix could not have been more outstanding than those at Nice. Apart from Chiron and Borzacchini,
practically all of the best known European drivers had placed their entries with the A.C. de Nice, which guaranteed that the Grand Prix de Nice
would become a remarkable international event. The local driver René Dreyfus appeared with a blue factory Bugatti, while Achille Varzi came in his
own red Bugatti. Algerian Marcel Lehoux had a similar blue car and practiced also
in his brand new Alfa Romeo Monza. Earl Howe had entered his green Bugatti, but his start was uncertain after a crash in his MG the weekend before
during practice at Livorno. The second factory entry was a specially produced small 2-liter 4-cylinder Maserati monoposto with offset steering for
Giuseppe Campari, the same car he had raced a week earlier at Livorno. Private Maserati entries came from Tazio Nuvolari and Goffredo Zehender in
monopostos. Nuvolari and Borzacchini had now officially left the Scuderia Ferrari and the Mantuan entered as an independent driver, a status Zehender
had maintained since the beginning of the season. Giovanni Minozzi started in an older 2-seat model Maserati.
The second half of the entries comprised Alfa Romeos, headed by the entry of Luigi Fagioli in his first race for the Scuderia Ferrari replacing Nuvolari
as team captain. Independent Alfa entries came from the Frenchmen Raymond Sommer, Jean-Pierre Wimille, Philippe Etancelin and Pierre Félix, the
Algerian Guy Moll, the Austrian Charlie Jellen and Brian Lewis from Great Britain. Although entries had been received from Laszlo Hartman with a
Bugatti and Clemente Biondetti in his Maserati-Bugatti hybrid, they both failed to appear.
During the practice days the difficulty of the circuit placed great demands upon the cars. Along the circuit bales of straw and the light wattle
fencing, which was so much in style at the French races, protected the walls of buildings, lamp posts, fences, trees and of course the spectators.
Nuvolari was again the fastest man during practice and he seemed to feel very confident in the Maserati monoposto. Etancelin and Wimille in Alfa Romeo
Monzas were also very fast. These three cars formed the first row of the starting grid, as this was the third race in Europe after Monte Carlo and
Reims where the cars started according to their practice times.
A huge crowd had assembled along the well barricaded course. The setting bore a close resemblance to Monte Carlo. Hours before the start all balconies
and windows of hotels and private houses overlooking the circuit were filled with spectators. Fences, steps and even trees were crowded enthusiastically
as vantage points. At 4:15 PM after a possible delay caused by spectators overcrowding and thereby damaging a footbridge over the track, former racing
driver Felice Nazzaro flagged off the 16 cars on the starting grid. The enormous thunder and roar of the engines surged along the walls of the houses
and was the right music for this wild race.
Etancelin in his Alfa Romeo made the best start, followed by Wimille. Nuvolari's car hesitated on the line causing a chain reaction in which Sommer on
the second row was partially blocked. This in turn allowed Lehoux to chase off behind the two leaders, closely followed by Moll from the third row, who
had a clear road before him. On lap two Nuvolari went into the lead, having passed four cars, but Etancelin stayed close behind attacking him constantly
to finally pass him on lap five. Lehoux, Wimille, Varzi, Dreyfus, Moll and Campari followed with great regularity without changing positions. Varzi,
who had been regarded as the greatest threat to Nuvolari, had to stop several times to replace oiled plugs after he emptied the secondary oil reservoir
into the crankcase of his Bugatti too early and thereafter drove a hopeless race. Time and again Nuvolari and Etancelin changed the lead. On lap 12
Nuvolari again took first place but on the following lap the Frenchman once again passed the Italian. The spectators were caught up in the excitement
of this thrilling duel and especially cheered the wild driving Etancelin.
Zehender in the Maserati stopped early in the race with overheating problems. After taking on water he stopped again to have the brakes adjusted.
Earl Howe in the Bugatti had also fallen back with pit stops and shortly afterwards he retired as did Zehender and Sommer. On lap 16 Nuvolari again
went into the lead and the following circuit he drove the fastest lap of the race in 1m47s, at an average speed of 108.31 km/h.
Nuvolari could not distance himself from Etancelin and was unable to gain any great advantage because the determined Frenchman always remained close
behind the Italian. The battle for first place raged on continuously to the delight of the excited crowd. On lap 23 Etancelin again took the lead.
His chances appeared to be really great when Nuvolari had to stop on lap 24 for a front brake adjustment, which dropped him back into third place, 34
seconds behind Lehoux and 59 seconds behind Etancelin. On lap 26 the Frenchman had an advantage of 20 seconds to Lehoux in second place. On lap 30
Lehoux's Bugatti went into a skid and lost an awful lot of time so that Nuvolari moved into second place, only 30s behind Etancelin. More and more
the Italian was speeding up and on lap 37 the deficit had come down to only 17 seconds.
At the Place Masséna hairpin bend Etancelin's Alfa Romeo went into a skid and his car spun round twice. The Frenchman lost precious time and gave
Nuvolari the opportunity to take the lead again. In the meantime the Bugatti of Varzi had recovered and sped around the circuit with great regularity
but without any chance for victory. On lap 44 Lehoux changed the brakes on his Bugatti after he lost time with a slide in one of the turns. After
the first half of the race Nuvolari was 28 seconds ahead of Etancelin, who was followed by Dreyfus, Wimille, Moll, Lewis and Lehoux, who after two
stops at his pit was too far back to regain his good earlier position.
Slowly the race became monotonous until the great sensation on lap 56 when Etancelin retired at the Gambetta corner after a brake rod broke on his
Alfa. Disappointed and visibly tired the driver walked back to his pit while the spectators gave him well-earned applause. After Etancelin's
retirement, Nuvolari did not have to fear any attacks and his victory was assured. Varzi retired with a brake defect on lap 64.
Dreyfus in second place near the end was followed by Wimille and Moll. Wimille hung on very closely to Dreyfus for ten laps and they had a very tense
battle for second place until a brake rod broke on Wimille's Alfa, forcing him to retire near the end of the race. Fagioli, who drove a 2.6-liter
Alfa Romeo for the first time at Nice, proceeded carefully, made pit stops to have the shock absorbers adjusted and came fourth. Campari in the
4-cylinder Maserati drove a regularly steady race, but could not keep up with the speed of the front runners. Nuvolari finished as the loudly cheered
victor, demonstrating again the newly gained power of the Maserati with which he had now achieved three successive victories. The crowd invaded the
track and a group of about 20 enthusiastic Italian seamen carried the victor shoulder high along the Promenade des Anglais.
|1.||2||Tazio Nuvolari||T. Nuvolari||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||95||2h56m17.6s|
|2.||14||René Dreyfus||Automobiles E. Bugatti||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||95||2h57m47.2s||+ 1m29.6s|
|3.||8||Guy Moll||G. Moll||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||94|
|4.||16||Luigi Fagioli||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||93|
|5.||10||Marcel Lehoux||M. Lehoux||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||92|
|6.||30||Brian Lewis||B. Lewis||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||92|
|7.||32||Pierre Félix||P. Félix||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||91|
|8.||20||Giuseppe Campari||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||4CM 2000||2.0||S-4||91|
|DNF||6||Jean-Pierre Wimille||Sommer/Wimille||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||?||brake rod|
|DNF||24||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||55||brake rod|
|DNF||22||Achille Varzi||A. Varzi||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||?||brakes|
|DNF||18||Giovanni Minozzi||G. Minozzi||Maserati||8C 2800||2.8||S-8||?|
|DNF||28||Goffredo Zehender||G. Zehender||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||?||overheating|
|DNF||12||Earl Howe||Earl Howe||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||?||carburetor control|
|DNF||4||Raymond Sommer||Sommer/Wimille||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||?||rocker arm|
|DNF||26||Charly Jellen||C. Jellen||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||?||fuel pipe|
Fastest lap: Tazio Nuvolari (Maserati) on lap 17 in 1m47.0s = 108.1 km/h (67.2 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 103.9 km/h (64.6 mph)
Weather: sunny, dry
Giovanni Minozzi's Maserati entry at Nice could not be identified from the Maserati sources. Most likely he drove a 1932 model, which would have been
a tipo 8C 2800.
The exact numbers of laps completed by the eight non finishers could not be accurately established, except that of Etancelin. Varzi retired on lap 64
but how many laps he truly completed, considering his many pit stops, remains a question. The other retirements are similarly unreliable in the amount
of laps completed and time lost during pit stops.
At the beginning of August major news was announced that Nuvolari and Borzacchini had left Scuderia Ferrari at the end of July to race as independent
drivers. Former Maserati driver Fagioli was made the new team leader at Scuderia Ferrari, now driving Alfa Romeos. There were different versions
about the cause of this quick separation. Not only Enzo Ferrari but also Nuvolari and Borzacchini had expressed their views in public, each laying
the blame on the other. According to a general version, differences in the interpretation of individual regulations arose especially out of the
starting money distribution. The differences of opinion were not only of financial nature but reached significantly further. Nuvolari, who of
course knew his own worth very well, may have demanded to have the upper hand within the Scuderia and to change the name into Scuderia Nuvolari-Ferrari.
Enzo Ferrari maintained in his letter published in La Gazetta dello Sport that solely sporting differences formed the basis of the breach. He quoted
above all Nuvolari's demand for supreme power of the Scuderia. Naturally this could never have been granted because it was not in the nature of the
Scuderia to connect with the name of a single driver. Ferrari accused both drivers of breach of contract, which was revoked on July 30 and in reality
should have gone up to December 31. For this reason Ferrari declared that the whole matter would be presented to the sports governing body.
The explanations of both drivers were in marked contrast to these statements. The spokesman was obviously Nuvolari behind whom Borzacchini stood
unconditionally. They disputed vigorously any breach of contract on their part and placed all blame at the Scuderia. Some time ago a complaint from
both drivers was put forward regarding the contract and the Scuderia was given a certain time-limit to come up with an answer. The Scuderia in turn
answered with an immediate breach of relations, by engaging Fagioli as team leader, who, as was well known, never got along well with Nuvolari and
thereby driving away Nuvolari and Borzacchini. "Who," asked the irritated daredevil Nuvolari "did now breach the contract?" Additionally, both
disputed Enzo Ferrari's allegations according to which the differences were in the sporting area and declared to the contrary, they were solely of
an administrative nature. Nuvolari had not demanded supremacy, although both drivers together had basically always possessed it in a sporting way
and only through their victories had they made the Scuderia what it was today.
After Spa and Montenero, the Nice Grand Prix was the third race in a row that Nuvolari won for Maserati. It had not gone unnoticed at the Alfa Romeo
factory that their cars were now being beaten almost regularly by Nuvolari's Maserati. This resulted in the release of their successful 1932 tipo B
monopostos from the Portello factory to the Scuderia Ferrari in an effort to stem the victorious streak of Maserati. This was exactly what was
going to happen. Between Fagioli and Chiron the newly released Alfa Romeo monopostos would win the last six races of the season they entered.
7 August 1933: The B.A.R.C. August Meeting was held at Brooklands.
The handicap races were won by A. C. Kelway (M.G. 0.8L), D.A. Aldington (Frazer-Nash 1.5L), O. Bertram (Delage 10.7L),
R. H. Eccles (Frazer-Nash 1.5L), T. Cholmondeley-Tapper (Bugatti 1.5L), C. le Strange Metcalfe (Abbot-Nash 1.5L), R. K. K. Marker (Bentley 4.4L),
S. G. Cummings (M.G. 1.1L) and John Cobb, introducing the Napier Railton 24.0L