VIII ADAC EIFELRENNEN
Nürburgring (D), 3 June 1934
15 laps x 22.810 km (14.17 mi) = 342.15 km (212.6 mi)
Mercedes-Benz wins first time out
Mercedes made its debut proper in the Eifel GP at the Nürburgring.
Mercedes-Benz only entered two cars as Caracciola was not yet fit enough to race on this demanding track.
The leading Maserati drivers were also absent.
This is the race when according to Alfred Neubauer in his book "Männer, Frauen und Motoren" the Silver Arrows
legend was born as the Mercedes-Benz cars were stripped of their white paint to clear the 750 kg weight limit.
It is now established that the 1934 race was in fact run as a Formula Libre event with no weight limits and that
Neubauer's story is DEFINITELY fictous.
The start was delayed for several hours because of fog, rain showers and hail. At 3 PM
the race was finally started with 44 cars in 3 classes flagged of after each other.|
A bunch of cars arrived together into the Südkehre on the first lap and Austrian driver Emil Frankl
(Bugatti) touched another car and went, with damaged wheel, into a wild spin just missing
the Mercedes cars, before overturning, killing the unfortunate driver.
After the first lap it was Fagioli in front of von Brauchitsch, Stuck, Chiron, Tadini, Penn-Hughes, zu Leiningen and Pietsch.
Then Neubauer gave order to Fagioli to let the other Mercedes car by and at Bergwerk on the second lap
von Brauchitsch took over the lead from his team mate. On the third lap Momberger was out of the race with fuel pump
failure and the problems for the Auto Union team continued. A flying stone has created a leak in zu Leiningen's
fuel tank and he fell far back while the tank was repaired and refilled.
Von Brauchitsch had opened up a 46 second lead over Fagioli who was ferociously
attacked by Stuck. Nuvolari was out of the race after a series of technical problems.
Order after 7 laps.
|1. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)|
|2. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)|
|3. Stuck (Auto Union)|
|4. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)|
|5. Pietsch (Alfa Romeo)|
|6. Penn-Hughes (Alfa Romeo)|
|7. Tadini (Alfa Romeo)|
Halfway through the race the Mercedes cars came in for tanking and a furious Fagioli started a bilingual verbal fight
with team leader Neubauer over the team orders. Fagioli went off again but then, with one lap to go, simply
abandoned his Mercedes on the track in disgust, giving Neubauer a taste of things to come.
The Alfas did not need to come in for refueling but they were not able to keep up with the superior roadholding of the German cars.
The Nürburgring took its tolls, Maserati drivers Rüesch och Siena were out with engine problems and
zu Leiningen was also out, leaving only one Auto Union in the race. However, Stuck was now in the lead and opened
up a gap of almost one minute to von Brauchitsch. The Mercedes team was worried: Was Stuck trying to
do a nonstop race? Finally Stuck went in for tanking, tyres and new plugs and after a lengthy pitstop he
rejoined the race 87 seconds behind von Brauchitsch. With such advantage the Mercedes driver had no problem to keep the
lead from then on and he went on to win. He could hardly have got off to a better start as a works driver.
Neither could the Mercedes-Benz team have had a better comeback, winning the first time out.
1. Grid reconstructed from pictures (thanks "McRonalds") and video from the start. Additional corrections with thanks to Otto Grabe.
2. Entry list is confusing with Paul Sheldon listing 12 starters in the 1500cc class and 5 in the 800 cc class with Motor und Sport, ADAC-Motorwelt, AAZ and
Rheinisch-Westfälische Zeitung gives 16 starters in the 1500cc class, 8 in the 800cc class. The grid is very speculative but the best that can be reconstructed from
the pictures available. With thanks to Otto Grabe, Hugo Boecker, Lutz Montowski and Michael Müller.
I GRAND PRIX DE MONTREUX
Montreux (CH), 3 June 1934
90 laps x 3.320 km (2.063 mi) = 298.8 km (185.7 mi)
Street circuit specialist Trossi takes up the chase
by Leif Snellman
Etancelin led 88 of the 90 laps of the race. The independent Maserati driver dominated the first part of the race while Scuderia Ferrari drivers Varzi and Trossi were biding their time behind Straight (Maserati). The third
Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo of Moll had to make an early pit stop that destroyed any chances of a good result. Once past Straight, Varzi and Trossi closed in on Etancelin, who started to suffer from brake trouble. Varzi
had to make a pit stop losing a lap and dropped to third but Trossi caught Etancelin near the end of the race and passed him to win the race by 7 seconds.
The Montreux "round the houses" street race was a new addition to the GP calendar. The race was run to the new international 750 kg formula. Organized by the Sektion Waadt (Canton of Vaud) of the ACS together with the
Montreux traffic club 100,000 Swiss francs was invested in the project. 885 persons assisted in organizing the race and 22,000 bags of sand were used to build protecting walls for the spectators.
The race start was at the market place with the pits on one side and the grand stand and time takers' box opposite. Following Grand' Rue with its tramline tracks westwards the twisty and narrow track made a left 90 degrees
curve at the Palace-Hotel followed immediately by a 90 degrees right hand curve to the right that led to the quay. Following the quay the straight ended with the Mirabeau hairpin curve that lead back towards the town
centre. Here again tram lines created a hazard. The S-curve at the New Apostolic Church was considered the hardest place of the circuit. The Avenue des Alpes was a fairy straight section that passed the railway station.
A left hand curve followed by a series of right hand curves led the circuit back downhill to the start. The race distance was 90 laps on the 3.320 km long circuit for a total distance of 298.8 km.
Prizes were: 15,000, 9,000, 5,000 and 3,000 Swiss francs for the top four positions, 2000 Swiss francs for the fastest lap and 200 Swiss francs for the leader of every 10th lap.
Unfortunately the event was run the same weekend as the Eifelrennen.
Ferrari entered three Tipo B/P3s for Achille Varzi, Guy Moll and Count Trossi while they sent Chiron and Tadini to Eifelrennen. All three cars were of the new 1934 type. Varzi's car had a one part side panel different from
the other two cars on which the panel was in two parts (as can be seen on the car picture above). Unusually for Scuderia Ferrari in that era the cars had the name of the driver written in white letters on the side.
The Maserati works team sent an off-site 2.5 litre car (#2012) that had been used by Taruffi at Monaco for Goffredo Zehender. Whitney Straight entered two white-blue Maserati 8CMs for himself and for Hugh Hamilton
(#3016 & #3012). Straight's car was of the wide type, rebuilt with a triangular radiator, while Hamilton's car had a narrow chassis and aluminium wings level with the driver's seat to make his car to comply with the
1934 Grand Prix minimum width rule.
Philippe Etancelin raced his own light blue Maserati 8CM (#3010) also of the narrow chassis type with side panels. Falchetto raced his Maserati (#3015 - known as "No2") bought to him on 11 May by Nelly Braillard as part
of the Ecurie Braillard team. The team also entered a Bugatti T51 for Nelly's brother Louis Braillard. Those two cars were painted in the Swiss national colours of red with a white bonnet and Falchetto's car
featured Ecuire Braillard's bird logo on the side. Raymond Sommer's Alfa Romeo Monza was as well entered by Ecurie Braillard but Sommer kept his light blue colour on the car.
Luigi Soffietti raced a red Monza which Luigi Chinetti initially had planned to race. Pierre Veyron raced a Bugatti T51 (#51156), light blue with white race numbers.
There were three practice sessions, Thursday 8-9 a.m., Friday 2-3 p.m. and Saturday 8-9 a.m.
The Thursday session was spoiled by rain but four drivers took part with Etancelin setting the fastest time. Soffietti did only 6 laps due to spark plug trouble.
The second practice session was run in sunny weather. Apart from Hamilton crashing at the Palace curves without damaging his Maserati the session was free of any incidents. Soffietti and Zehender were the most diligent drivers
both doing over 20 laps.
Lap times differ a bit between the sources but the following should be fairly correct: Moll 1m57s, Etancelin 1m58s, Trossi, Straight and Hamilton 1m59s, Soffietti 2m02s, Varzi 2m03s, Zehender and Veyron 2m05s and Sommer 2m09s?
|Etancelin (Maserati)||2m09.6s||13 laps|
|Straight (Maserati)||2m13.2s||14 laps|
|Veyron (Bugatti)||2m16.2s||10 laps|
|Soffietti (Alfa Romeo)||2m29.0s||6 laps|
During the night between Friday and Saturday a heavy thunderstorm hit the Lake Geneva and the circuit was only half dry when the final session began. Etancelin dominated the session to take pole position. The session was
incident free even if Varzi had an exciting moment after hitting the right curb as he passed the grandstand.
|Etancelin (Maserati)||1m54s||11 laps|
|Straight (Maserati)||1m57s||9 laps|
|Falchetto (Maserati)||1m58s||14 laps|
|Hamilton (Maserati)||1m59s||12 laps|
|Soffietti (Alfa Romeo)||2m00s?||20 laps |
|Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||2m00s||9 laps|
|Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||2m02s||8 laps|
|Moll (Alfa Romeo)||2m03s||7 laps|
|Braillard (Bugatti)||2m04s||5 laps|
|Veyron (Bugatti)||2m05s||8 laps|
|Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||2m07s||17 laps|
There was thunder and lightning again the night before the race and on Sunday morning a heavy storm hit the city with strong winds and rain that even turned to hail. The race was in doubt and only by noon the bad weather was
replaced by bright sunshine and the spectators rushed to the stands.
Not only every stand but also every window and balcony of downtown Montreux was filled with spectators. The cars were lined up on the grid 2 and 2 according to their practice times.
When the Dr. Edwin Mende, president of the ACS, dropped the flag at 2 p.m. Etancelin took the lead followed by Straight, Moll, Falchetto, Trossi, Hamilton, Varzi, Soffietti, Zehender, Veyron, Sommer, and Braillard.
It proved to be quite hard to pass on the narrow and twisty circuit but after a few laps Zehender found a way past Soffietti for 8th position. Etancelin started to pull away from the rest of the field. After five laps
he was leading Straight by 6 seconds. Varzi also advanced passing first Hamilton and then his teammate Trossi for fourth position. Falchetto had to make a pit stop due to brake trouble and dropped to last. Moll
managed to get past Straight advancing to second place. After 10 laps the race order was:
|2.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)||20m08s|
|4.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||20m25s|
|5.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||20m37s|
|8.||Soffietti (Alfa Romeo)|
|10.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
Moll did not stay in second position for many laps as the Alfa Romeo started to suffer from oil feed problems. On the 11th lap Straight repassed him and then Moll had to do a lengthy pitstop to try to solve the problem,
dropping last and spoiling any chances for a good position in the race.
The first retirement was Braillard, who retired his Bugatti after 15 laps because of mechanical trouble. Etancelin was by then leading by 35 seconds. Falchetto's brake trouble continued and he made a pit stop on lap 19
After 20 laps Etancelin, who had done consistent laps around 1m58s, had opened up a gap of 41 seconds to Straight, who was doing laps around 2 minutes flat. Neither Varzi nor Trossi seemed to have been keen to challenge
Straight at that time but rather preferred to follow behind him matching his pace.
The race situation after 20 laps:
|3.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||40m23s|
|4.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||40m40s|
|7.||Soffietti (Alfa Romeo)|
|9.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
|11.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)|
After 21 laps with no improvements of the brakes Falchetto decided to retire from the race. The race did not go too well for the Swiss Ecurie Braillard team as that was their second retirement.
After 25 laps Etancelin's lead had grown to 52 seconds. After 27 laps Soffietti retired his Monza as well for the same reasons as Falchetto, the circuit putting a great strain on the brakes.
The order after 30 laps was as follows with Etancelin leading by 1m04s:
|1.||Etancelin (Maserati)|| 59m17s|
|3.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h00m26s|
|4.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h00m37s|
|8.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
|9.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)|
Around laps 32-33 there seems to have been a duel between Veyron and Sommer, the latter managing to pass the Bugatti driver for 7th place only for Veyron to retake his position on the next lap.
It is claimed that oil from a leak sprayed over Straight's goggles and that he had to stop twice to clean them (in a curve I assume rather than in the pits as his lap times were not much affected). Anyway that might
have been the reason he was passed by Varzi around lap 38 and soon afterwards by Trossi as well, dropping to fourth position.
After 40 laps Etancelin still doing his 1m58s laps held a 72 seconds lead over Varzi with Trossi a further 11 seconds down but after having found a way past Straight the Scuderia Ferrari duo was finally speeding up,
matching Etancelin's pace:
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h20m12s|
|3.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h20m23s|
|8.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
|9.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)|
Moll stopped again due to the oil feed problem. He returned to the race once more only to retire after 42 laps.
By half distance Etancelin held a 65 seconds lead over Varzi with Trossi a further 13 seconds behind. Varzi and Trossi were now clearly closing in on the leader doing 1m56s -1m57s laps while Etancelin kept his earlier 1m58s pace.
After 50 laps the gap was 54 seconds:
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h39m42s|
|3.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h39m57s|
|8.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
Etancelin was now responding to the new challenge improving his lap times by 1-2 seconds. But Varzi now went down to 1m55s laps and after 55 laps the gap was down to 48 seconds. On the next five laps it shrank a further
8 seconds. The race situation after 60 laps:
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h58m55s|
|3.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h59m20s|
|8.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
After 65 laps the gap was just 29 seconds to Varzi and 1m03s to Trossi. But at lap 69 Varzi had to make a pit stop due to oil feed problems. Varzi also changed goggles and took a sip of water before returning to the race.
He had lost 2 minutes and dropped to third position being lapped by Etancelin. With 20 laps still to go Etancelin led Trossi by 67 seconds.
The order after 70 laps looked like this:
|2.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||2h18m56s|
|3.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||2h20m16s|
|8.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
The next five laps were significant as Trossi closed in 28 seconds on Etancelin. Either Etancelin made a mistake or started to suffer from brake troubles and had to rely on the engine more and more during the braking. His
medium lap speed for those five laps was 2m01s against Trossi's 1m55.4s . Last positioned Sommer had to make a pit stop but was able to return to the race. During the next five laps Etancelin was down to 1m58s laps again
but his lead went down from 39 to 31 seconds. The situation after 80 laps:
|2.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||2h38m15s|
|3.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||2h39m43s|
|8.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
Varzi was going fast as well after his pit stop and had caught Etancelin and passed him around lap 81 putting himself back on the leading lap.
With five laps to go Etancelin was still leading Trossi by 13 seconds but an inspired Trossi, always at his best on street circuits, was catching him fast, making faster laps than the pole time and on the last but one lap
he passed the Maserati to take the flag as the winner. Those last five laps were his fastest with a medium speed of 1m54.4s and with a fastest lap of 1m52.8s. Etancelin finished 7.3 seconds behind him. Those two were the
only ones to finish all 90 laps (but see below) while the rest of the field was flagged in one or several laps down.
Despite its success the race was a 50,000 Swiss francs economic loss and as the Bremgarten circuit started organizing the Swiss Grand Prix the Montreux race was never repeated.
|1.||6||Carlo Felice Trossi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||90||2h57m25.6s |
|2.||16||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||90||2h57m33.0s||+ 7.3s|
|3.||4||Achille Varzi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||89||2h57m18.2s||see below|
|4.||10||Whitney Straight||Whitney Straight Ltd.||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||89||2h58m46.0s|
|5.||12||Hugh Hamilton||Whitney Straight Ltd.||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||88||2h57m47.2s|
|6.||8||Goffredo Zehender||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||26M||2.5||S-4||88||2h58m48.0s|
|7.||14||Pierre Veyron||P. Veyron||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||86||2h59m21.0s|
|8.||22||Raymond Sommer||Ecurie Braillard||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||84||2h57m52.0s|
|DNF||2||Guy Moll||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||42||oil feed|
|DNF||24||Luigi Soffietti||L. Soffietti||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||27||brakes|
|DNF||20||Benoît Falchetto||Ecurie Braillard||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||21||brakes|
|DNF||18||Louis Braillard||Ecurie Braillard||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||15||mechanical|
Fastest lap: Carlo Felice Trossi (Alfa Romeo) in 1m52.8s = 106.0 km/h (65.8 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 101.0 km/h (62.8 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 104.8 km/h (65.1 mph)
Weather: sunny, dry after rain.
Varzi's curious race results.
During his pit stop Varzi was lapped by Etancelin but around lap 81 Varzi unlapped himself. With five laps to go Varzi was thus on the leading lap 1m44s behind Etancelin and 1m31s behind Trossi. In the results however
Varzi was given 2h57m18.2s and 59 laps. That time is mentioned by both by Automobile Revue (with an extensive report) and by Echo de Paris, so the time is not a (printing) error, while other papers gave 2h58m18.2s.
The problem is that the first mentioned time is 7.4 seconds less than Trossi's winning time
and one cannot take the chequered flag before the winner.
There are then three possibilities:
1. Automobile Revue mentions that the streets were black with people within a minute after Trossi had taken the flag. Varzi was one of the last still racing and failed to take the flag for 90 laps as the finish line
was already blocked by people by the time he arrived. The time keepers thus gave him the results for the last time he had passed the line, i.e. after 59 laps. (Veyron however seems to have managed to take the
flag at about the same time.)|
2. Varzi passed the line doing 59 laps just 7.4 seconds before Trossi finishing the race. Varzi's Alfa Romeo #4 was mistaken for Trossi's Alfa Romeo #6 and was flagged off as the winner.
3. The time 2h58m18.2s is correct. Varzi had a problem and lost a minute during the last four laps being lapped by both Trossi and Etancelin. There is no record in any newspaper or book of a problem however.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Echo de Paris, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
IL LITTORIALE, Roma
Motor Sport, London
Adriano Cimarosti: "Grand Prix Suisse"
10 June 1934: Stuck (Auto Union) wins the Felsbergrennen hillclimb in Germany.
V° GRAN PREMIO DE PENYA RHIN
II COPA AUTOBILISTA BARCELONA
Circuit de Montjuïc - Barcelona (E), 17 June 1934
70 laps x 3.791 km (2,356 mi) = 265.37 km (164.89 mi)
A Scuderia Ferrari parade
by Leif Snellman
The German teams did not enter the Penya Rhin, so the race developed into another battle between the Scuderia Ferrari team of Varzi, Chiron and Lehoux, and Nuvolari in a Maserati.
When Nuvolari, still not fit from his Alessandria crash started to struggle the race turned into a Ferrari parade the trio lapping the rest of the field three times. Varzi was the winner
while Chiron had made the fastest lap of the race.
The fifth Penya Rhin also known as the second Copa Barcelona was held on a renovated Montjuïc circuit. The narrow downhill section after the chicane past Font del Gat to the Palace of Agriculture had proved to be troublesome
during the 1933 race but as the event otherwise had been a great success the organizers had managed the convice the city to pay for the rebuilding of the section for the 1934 race. The width of the section had been only 5 meters
but was now rebuilt to a width of 9 meters. (See the 1933 race for a circuit description and also the 1933 footnote about the circuit length).
With financial backing from the Spanish state sports fund, backing from the Catalonian regional goverment and extras from organizing club memnbers own pockets the event was on solid financial ground.
The usual grandstands and a bridge over the track to get access to the park were installed for the event.
According to Il Littoriale, the organizers also asked Commission Sportive Internationale (CSI) of AIACR for the race to be run to the new formula, getting the event officially an international status.
Prizes for the race were as follows: 12.000, 7.000, 4000, 2.500 and 1.500 pesetas for the top five with 1.000 pesetas each for best Spanish driver and car if they were positioned outside top five with half the amount if they
were positioned 3rd-5th.
Entrance fee for the spectators was one peseta for practice and three for the race with 6 pesetas for an unnumbered and 9 for a numbered place on the stands and 60 pesetas for a seat at the main grandstand.
(A peseta was about 13 US cent or six and a half pennies back then).
The German teams did not enter the Penya Rhin (they were at the Kesselberg hillclimb). Their international debut would be in France a fortnight later.
The Penya Rhin also clashed with the 24 Heures du Mans, thus losing potential entries like the Bugatti team and Philippe Etancelin.
Scuderia Ferrari entered three P3 Alfa Romeos for Achille Varzi, Louis Chiron and Marcel Lehoux. Lehoux was possibly selected as he was familiar with the circuit after the 1933 race.
The main challenger was Tazio Nuvolari in his own 3 litre Maserati (#3018). Nuvolari's leg was finally out of plaster, but he was still not fully fit after his leg fracture from the Alessandria crash on 22 April.
The new team "Vipal" (Villapadierna-Palacio) had ordered two new 3 litre cars, a wide bodied and a narrow bodied one, from the Maserati factory, so for their debut race the team had a brand new yellow painted Maserati (#3019)
to be driven by Joaquín Palacio. It looks like the Maserati factory, unable to get the other ordered car ready, had lent their red painted four cylinder 2.5 litre car (raced by Taruffi in Monaco) to the team for
de Villapadierna to drive.
American Peter de Paolo, who had tried a Miller at Tripoli and Avus, had obviously come to the conclusion that he might be more successful in a European car, so he had recently made arrangements with Nelly Braillard
to do a full European GP season for Ecurie Braillard. He was to drive one of the team's white-red Maserati 8CMs (#3015) at Penya Rhin, Benoit Falchetto driving the team's other car (#3009).
Hugh Hamilton was to race the white-blue Maserati (#3016) for Whitney Straight Ltd.
Just like in 1933 local driver Esteban Tort entered a Nacional Pescara. The Nacional Pescara was a government supported Spanish car factory. The yellow 610 kg heavy race car had a 3 litre straight 8 engine reported to give 160 hp.
Chilean Juan Zanelli had the option to race either his 1933 race winning Alfa Romeo "Monza" or another Nacional Pescara.
Two French drivers entered T51 Bugattis, André Delom, racing under the pseudonym "Delmo", and Robert Brunet with his ex-Wimille car.
Austrian Edgar de Morawitz had entered a Bugatti as well but seems not to have appeared.
There were three practice sessions, afternoons 5 -7 p.m. on Thursday 14th and Friday 15th and on morning 10-12 a.m. at Saturday 16th. Practice did not have any signinficance on the grid as the positions were determined by the race
During Thursday practice the Ferrari team immediately proved the speed of the monopostos, Varzi with a time of 2m11s and Lehoux with 2m13s, both going under Nuvolari's 2m13.1s lap record from 1933. Chiron did some fast laps as well
and Palacio was able to do 2m16s with the new Maserati.
On Friday Hamilton, Falchetto and Nuvolari joined practice as well. Nuvolari was fastest with his Maserati equalling Varzi's Thursday time of 2m11s. Varzi and Chiron did 2m12s laps with their Alfas, Falchetto did a 2m14s lap with
the Ecurie Braillard Maserati and Hamilton also in a Maserati managed to do a time of 2m15s.
At third practice on Saturday morning Nuvolari lowered the best time to 2m10.0s. Next up were Varzi 2m10.2s, Lehoux, 2m11.8s. Hamilton 2m12s, Palacio 2m14s and de Paolo 2m14s. "Delmo" with 2m17s was the fastest Bugatti driver.
With just five minutes remaining of the practice session de Paolo lost control of his car in the curves before Poble Espanyol. It has been claimed that he had tried to avoid some children, who had run onto the track. The Maserati
went straight into a lighting column and pulled it out of its fundament. The car ended up upside down without its left front tire. De Paolo was rushed to the Corachan hospital from where the initial reports were grim. Apart
from injuries to his right forearm the driver had a skull fracture and was unconscious.
After having been unconscious for two days de Paolo eventually recovered but the crash put an end to his career as racing driver. Peter de Paolo was the 1925 Indy 500 winner and nephew of the famous Ralph de Palma. He returned
to racing as car owner and team manager for the 1935 Indy 500 champion Kelly Petillo and in the 1950s he run a succesful NASCAR team.
The race was announced for 10:30 on Sunday morning and about that time the track was closed off for traffic. The park was filled with spectators, including Catalonian president Lluís Companys (who would be executed by Franco
After a little delay to correct something on the circuit, the cars and drivers were lined up and ready to go about 11 a.m. The cars were lined up according to their drawn race numbers with gaps for de Paolo and de Morawitz,
but for some reason the two first lines were lined up from left to right and the next two from right to left.
Zanelli, not satisfied with the Nacional Pescara, obviously made a last minute decision to race his Monza instead. A rough "6" was added with white paint to each side of the car.
|* 14 de Paolo (Maserati) DNS|
** 24 de Morawitz (Bugatti) DNS
Hamilton had his front wheels over the line before the flag dropped but it was Nuvolari from the right of the grid who took the start to lead after the first lap followed by the Alfa Ferraris driven by Chiron, Varzi, and Lehoux.
Behind the Alfas followed Zanelli, Falchetto, Palacio, Brunet, "Delmo", Villapadierna and Tort. Hamilton, already in trouble with his Maserati, came in to the pit.
On the second lap Chiron passed Nuvolari to take the lead of the race. They were followed by Varzi, Lehoux and the others. There were no changes in the top positions on lap three. Nuvolari's injured leg was already giving him
pain and after a brave fight he was forced to let the Ferrari duo of Varzi and Lehoux by on lap four. The order was now: Chiron, Varzi, Lehoux, Nuvolari, Falchetto, Palacio, Brunet, de Villapadierna, Zanelli, "Delmo",
Tort and Hamilton.
Zanelli had to make a pit stop after four laps for adjustments and was back in the pit again a lap later. Tort also had to make a pit stop.
At the front Chiron had opened up a small gap by soing the 8th laps in 2m08s but Varzi answered on the next lap by putting in 2m08s as well to catch the Monégasque. To the disappointment of the spectators Tort had to retire his Nacional Pescara on the same lap.
After 10 laps the classification at the top was:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||21m44.2s|
|2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||21m45.2s|
|3. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo)||21m48.4s|
|4. Nuvolari (Maserati)||21m53s|
After 11 laps Hamilton, after having done a new pit stop, retired the oil leaking Whitney Straight Maserati. After 14 laps Nuvolari stopped in the box for 2m15s to refuel and to adjust the spark plugs, returning to the
race in seventh position. After 18 laps "Delmo" retired his Bugatti.
On the 19th lap Varzi took over the lead from his team mate Chiron.
The order after 20 laps:
|1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||42m32s|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||42m34s|
|3. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo)||42m54s|
On the 23rd lap there was an incident when Villapadierna spun his Maserati 180° at the turn before the grandstand in front of Lehoux with Nuvolari following right behind. A serious crash seemed to be unavoidable but somehow both Lehoux and
Nuvolari managed to squeeze by with millimeters to spare. Nuvolari had climbed back to fourth position, having passed Brunet, Palacio and Falchetto.
On lap 29 the miserable weekend for Ecurie Braillard ended when Falchetto after having done a good race gave up as he was feeling ill.
Classification after 30 laps:
|1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h05m17s|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h5m39s|
|3. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo)||1h5m51s|
After 32 laps Nuvolari gave up with this leg in bad shape. That gave Palacio fourth position behind the three Ferrari Alfas. Only seven cars were still in the race. Varzi was pulling away doing
2m12s laps against 2m14s laps for Chiron with Lehoux in third position holding Varzi's speed. As the rest of the drivers were doing laps around 2m20s or slower it is no wonder they became lapped for the second time.
At mid-race after 35 laps the order was:
|1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h16m06s|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h16m52s|
|3. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo)||1h16m53s|
|4. Palacio (Maserati)||1h21m29s|
|5. Brunet (Bugatti)||1h21m36s|
|6. Zanelli (Alfa Romeo)||1h21m52s|
During the next laps Varzi continued even faster doing laps around 2m10s against his team mates' 2m13-2.14s After 50 laps the situation was thus:
|1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h48m35s|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h50m08s|
|3. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo)||1h50m32s|
|4. Palacio (Maserati)||1h56m34s|
With one and a half minute lead Varzi could well afford to slow down to times around 2m13s but with ten laps to go the gap was still 1m21s:
|1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||2h10m45s|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h12m06s|
|3. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo)||2h12m51s|
Varzi slowed down by another second a lap but he led the Ferrari parade home to the flag with the trio lapping the rest of the field three times. Varzi was the winner while Chiron had made the fastest lap of the race.
|1.||16||Achille Varzi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||70||2h33m02.0s|
|2.||12||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||70||2h34m10.2s||+ 1m08.2s|
|3.||2||Marcel Lehoux||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||70||2h35m15.5s||+ 2m13.5s|
|4.||6||Juan Zanelli||J. Zanelli||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||67||2h36m00.0s|
|5.||10||Joaquín Palacio||Conde de Villapadierna||Maserati||8C||3.0||S-8||67||2h37m24.8s|
|6.||20||Robert Brunet||R. Brunet||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||66||2h36m36.0s|
|7.||26||José de Villapadierna||Conde de Villapadierna||Maserati||26M||2.5||S-4||65||2h36m24.0s|
|DNF||8||Tazio Nuvolari||T. Nuvolari||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||32|
|DNF||22||Benoît Falchetto||Ecurie Braillard||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||29||driver|
|DNF||28||"André Delmo"||A. Delom||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||18|
|DNF||4||Hugh Hamilton||Whitney Straight Ltd.||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||11||oil|
|DNF||18||Esteban Tort||E. Tort||Nacional Pescara||3.0||7|
Fastest lap: Louis Chiron (Alfa Romeo) in 2m06s = 108.3 km/h (67.3 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 104.0 km/h (64.7 mph)
Primary sources researched for this article:|
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
Le Figaro, Paris
IL Littoriale, Roma
La Stampa, Torino
Motor Sport, London
The Motor, London
Special thanks to:
16-17 June 1934: The Les 24 Heures du Mans sports car race is held at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France:
|1. Etancelin/Chinetti||Alfa Romeo 8C 2.3L|
|2. Sébilleau/Delaroche||Riley 9MPH|
|3. Dixon/Paul||Riley 9MPH|
|4. Eccles/Martin||MG K3 "Magnette"|
|5. van der Becke/Peacock||Riley 9|
|6. Newsome/Maclure||Riley Ulster Imp|
17 June 1934: Stuck (Auto Union) wins the Kesselbergrennen hillclimb in Germany.
23 June 1934: Eyston (MG Magnette) wins the B.R.D.C. British Empire Trophy handicap race at Brooklands, England.