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INTRODUCTION:

The Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (AIACR), (Note 1) the controlling body of motor sport in the 30s, introduced at 12 October 1932 a new Grand Prix formula for the 1934 season. The main requirements of this formula were:
1. The weight of the car without driver, fuel, oil, water or tyres should not exceed 750 kg.
2. A minimum bodywork width of 850 mm at the driving seat. (Note 2)
3. Free choice of fuel.
4. All races must be over a minimum distance of 500 kilometers. (Note 3)
At the same time AIACR formally accepted the 1500cc cars, known as the Voiturettes, to be the racing class below the Grand Prix formula.

By 1932 it was considered that the racing cars were becoming too fast so the new formula was intended to keep racing on its existing level. The old Alfa Romeo, Bugatti and Maserati GP cars could adopt to the new formula with ease and the twin-engined monsters built by Alfa Romeo and Maserati during the free formula would be outlawed.

However AIACR had not foreseen what modern high technology and new lightweight metallurgy would do to the new 750 kg rules.

Two German companies showed their interest in building a Grand Prix car. Mercedes-Benz had been out of racing during the Great Depression but had not stopped planning racing cars. And the new company Auto Union, an amalgamation of manufacturers DKW, Audi, Horch and Wanderer, was seeking new ways to make their products known to the public. Among their employees they had Prof. Ferdinand Porsche , who enthusiastically called for building a Grand Prix car to the new formula.

The German companies got their full support from Adolf Hitler's new Nazi regime, who saw motor racing as an excellent opportunity for propaganda. Transport Minister Brandenburg offered 500,000 RM yearly subsidy to the manufacturer of a successful GP car plus bonuses of 20,000, 10,000 and 5,000 RM for podium finishes. As both Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz showed their interest the subsidy was divided, each team receiving 250,000 RM. While the sums vary according to sources it has been estimated that the subsidies paid for about 1/5 of the teams' total costs.

The Italian manufactures had not as large budgets as their German competitors. However, while Hitler had no real interest in motor racing except for its propaganda value and never attended any Grand Prix (Note 4), Italian dictator Mussolini was a firm racing enthusiast and Alfa Romeo fan, showing great interest in the teams, their drivers and results. Mussolini therefore organized Alfa Romeo to work under state owned "Istituto di Ricostruzione Industriale (IRI)" and was that way able to put government money into motor racing.

While history was to be made in GP racing during the 1934 season, in the Voiturette class there was still a calm before the storm. The 1500cc class was not all that popular so the race calendar was rather thin. The race organizers still preferred Grand Prix racing and in France and Italy several Voiturette races were still run to the 1100cc formula. Soon however as the Germans started to dominate Grand Prix racing and the costs of racing in the GP class went sky high, more and more people started to show interest in Voiturette racing, first the privateer drivers but later also the Italian manufacturers.

Cancelled events:
the 1934 race calender was well filled but would have been even more so, had not a huge numner of races been cancelled. First event to be cancelled was the Pau Grand Prix, scheduled as early as 18 February as the Automobile Club Basco-Béarnais did not want to risk the financial catastrophy if the race was to be destroyed due to bad weather. Other early cancellation was the Tunis Grand Prix scheduled for 29 April. Both the Swedish Winter Grand Prix and the Swedish Summer Grand Prix, planned for 25 February and 5th August were cancelled due to bad publicity from serious accidents in the 1933 GP race at Vram and a motorcycle race at Saxtorp. Then, around February, the Monza Grand Prix, sceduled for 24 June, the Luxembourg Grand Prix planned for 5th August and the Grand Prix de Villeurbanne, near Lyon, planned to be run sometimes in June, were all cancelled. The Nimes Grand Prix planned for 20 May was cancelled due to financial difficulties and the Budapest Grand Prix sceduled for the 21 May was also canelled. In April the organizers of Lorraine Grand Prix planned for 24 June cancelled the event, as a new circuit could not be completed in time. Grand Prix Lwowa planned for 5 June and Grand Prix de La Baule planned for 12 August and were also cancelled as were the first Circuito Varese planned for 8 July and the Marseille Grand Prix at Miramas, scheduled for 19 August. There were also talk about the Spanish Grand Prix beng cancelled due to political unrest but in the end it was held on planned date.


Footnote:
1. President of AIACR (known as FIA from 1946 onwards) was at the time Robert de Vogüé and from 1936 onwards Jehan de Rohan. President of CSI (known as FISA from 1978 - 1993) was former race driver Rene de Knyff. All three from France.

2. The exact measuring point was at the bottom end of the steering wheel.

3. This rule was often broken. For example the Monaco GP had a length of 318 km.

4. Sheldon, Nixon, Venables etc. claim Hitler was present at the 1933 Avusrennen were he had to witness Bugatti taking a double victory. However latest reseach seems to indicate that this is just another false racing myth!




1934 SEASON LINEUP:

GRAND PRIX:

Mercedes-Benz
After a 3 year pause Mercedes-Benz made their comeback to Grand Prix racing in 1934 with their new W25 car with independent suspension and a 3.3 liter engine. As drivers the team signed their former ace Rudolf Caracciola and young Manfred von Brauchitsch, with motor cycle racer Ernst Henne as reserve. However, after having spent almost a year in bed after a serious crash in Monaco 1933 and after having lost his wife in an ski accident, Caracciola was both physically and mentally a complete question mark as driver. Mercedes team manager Alfred Neubauer therefore decided to also sign Italian top driver Luigi Fagioli to take over as first driver if Caracciola's comeback should fail.

Auto Union
Newcomers Auto Union introduced their revolutionary rear engined 4.3 liter Auto Union A, also known as the P-wagen. Ex. racing driver Willy Walb functioned as team manager and Ferdinand Porsche as technical expert. As drivers the team selected a German duo of top driver Hans Stuck and the lesser known Hermann zu Leiningen with August Momberger and Wilhelm Sebastian as reserves.

Both the Mercedes and the Auto Union cars introduced streamlined chassis and independent suspension on all four wheels. Car set up was however in its infancy at that time and the drivers had serious problems during the season trying to come to grips with the unfamiliar and difficult handling of the new cars.

Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo produced a new, more powerful 2.9 liter version of their 1932 Tipo B Monoposto car (popularly known as the P3). For Formula Libre (Note 1) events they retained their old twin-engined Tipo A monsters. The factory cars were raced under the Scuderia Ferrari banner. Ferrari had a very able team lineup including veteran aces Achille Varzi & Louis Chiron, sensational new top driver Guy Moll, and also Count Trossi & Marcel Lehoux. In October 1933 Alfa Romeo announced that they would built Tipo B cars for sale (25 cars!) and orders dropped in from among others Lehoux, Etancelin, Earl Howe and Rose-Richards. But soon afterwards Alfa changed their mind and refused to sell any Monopostos to private owners, who had to rely on the Tipo B 2.6 liter or on the old 2.3 liter "Monza" cars.

Maserati
Maserati retained their 3.0 liter 8CM cars and just increased the chassis width to comply with the new regulations. The Maserati 8CM was the most popular car among the privateers with cars supplied to Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio with drivers Renato Balestrero and Clemente Biondetti, Scuderia Siena and team Whitney Straight. Privateers Tazio Nuvolari, Earl Howe and Philippe Etancelin also had their own Maseratis. Late in the season the new 6C-34 appeared with the 8CM chassis combined with a new hastily built 6 cylinder engine.

The German cars had problems in their early races so for most of the 1934 season Alfa Romeo and Maserati were still able to race for the victory. This was however the last year the Italians could fight on equal terms with the Germans, by the end of the season it was clear to most people what was to come in the future.

Bugatti
Bugatti had introduced their 3 liter Type 59 in 1933. They developed a new 3.3 liter variant of the car in the middle of the 1934 season. Ex. driver Bartolomeo "Meo" Constantini functioned as team manager. As driver they recruited the rather wild young Jean-Pierre Wimille, who had driven private Bugattis with some success. Soon the team found that new Bugatti was both unreliable and outclassed by the German cars and there was not much effort put into any development programme.

VOITURETTE 1500cc:

Maserati
Maserati continued to supply a limited numbers of its 4C-1500 car from 1932. The fields sometimes also included old Tipo 26 cars (from 1926). The strongest Maserati team was the Scuderia Subalpina with Count Lurani, Count Castelbarco and young Giuseppe Farina as drivers.

Bugatti
Bugatti had no time or money for developing their T 51 Voiturettes from 1931. The great days of the Molsheim manufacturer were over and Bugatti drivers like Pierre Veyron and E.G. Burggaller had a hard time trying to come to terms with the Maseratis.

ERA
An exiting newcomer to the scene was the British ERA, a company formed by drivers Raymond Mays and Humphrey Cook The new car made its race debut in May and in October Mays took the car's first international victory.

Other
British newcomer Dick Seaman raced MG's, first for Whitney Straight, later as privateer.
Earl Howe entered his ancient 1.5 liter GP Delage from 1927 in some events.


Footnote:
1. Formula Libre - that means a free formula with neither engine nor weight limits.



IN MEMORIAM:




Star January 1934: Auto Union tested their new "P" car at Nürburgring while Ferrari drivers Varzi and Tadini tested the Alfa Romeo Tipo B at Montenero
Star 28 January 1934: The first Fredenloppet ice race is held on Lake Freden - Västerås, Sweden.
Standard:1. Helmer CarlssonFord11m58.4s (100,2 km/h)
2. Karl-Emil RolanderFord12m45.0s
DNF Allan WesterblomReo-Mercedes
DNA S. WolowskyChrysler
Racer:1. Knut Gustav SundstedtBugatti T35B11m02.4s (108.9 km/h)
2. P-W WidengrenMercedes SSK12m29.2s
3. Harry LarssonFord12m53.0s
Aggregate Results: 1. Sundstedt 2. Carlsson 3. Widengren 4. Rolander 5. Larsson
Star 4 February 1934: Rudolf Caracciola's wife "Charly" (née Charlotte Liesen) dies in an avalance at Urden during a ski-expedition between Arosa and Lenzerheide in the Swiss alps.
Star February 1934: Mercedes tested their new W25 cars at Monza. Manfred von Brauchitsch had a bad crash due to tyre failure.



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I VALLENTUNALOPPET

Vallentunasjön (S), 18 February 1934
10 laps x 4 km (2.49 mi) = 40 km (24.9 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

40Axel JohnssonA. JohnssonBugattiT432.3S-8
41Per-Wiktor WidengrenP-W WidengrenAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
42Karl EbbK. EbbMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6
43Harry LarssonH. LarssonFordSpecialS-4
44Paul PietschP. PietschAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
45Knut Gustav SundstedtK-G. SundstedtBugattiT35BS-8
46L. E. BergströmL. E. BergströmBuickDNA
47Henken WidengrenH. WidengrenMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6
48S.P.J. KeinänenS.P.J. KeinänenChryslerSpecial6.3S-6
49W. A. GustafssonW. A. GustafssonMillerSpecialDNA
50Eugen BjørnstadE. BjørnstadAlfa RomeoMonza2.3?S-8
51Helmer CarlssonH. CarlssonFordSpecial



Pietsch wins on the ice
Entries:
35000 spectators turned up for the ice race held on a lake north of Stockholm. The entry list consisted mostly of drivers from the Nordic countries, Pietsch (Alfa Romeo Monza) being the most notable foreigner.
Race:


GRID NOT AVAILABLE



When the flag dropped Pietsch took the early lead followed by Bjørnstad (Alfa Romeo Monza) and Ebb (Mercedes-Benz SSK) but on lap four Pietsch made a mistake in a curve and had to take the escape road leaving over the lead to Bjørnstad. However, on lap five Ebb, who was second, had to retire with engine failure and on the next lap Bjørnstad suffered a puncture. Pietsch was now back in the lead and held it to the finish followed by local driver Johnsson and Finnish driver Keinänen.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.44Paul PietschP. PietschAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-81019m40.9s
2.40Axel JohnssonA. JohnssonBugattiT432.3S-81020m27.9s+ 47.0s
3.48S.P.J. KeinänenS.P.J. KeinänenChryslerSpecial6.3S-61022m22.1s+ 2m41.2s
4.51Helmer CarlssonH. CarlssonFordSpecial5.1S-61022m27.4s+2m46.5s
DNF47Henken WidengrenH. WidengrenMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6
DNF42Karl EbbK. EbbMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6
DNF45Knut Gustav SundstedtK-G. SundstedtBugattiT35BS-8
DNF50Eugen BjørnstadE. BjørnstadAlfa RomeoMonza2.3?S-8
DNF43Harry LarssonH. LarssonFordSpecialS-4
DNF41Per-Wiktor WidengrenP-W WidengrenAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
Fastest lap: N/A
Winner's medium speed: 121.9 km/h, (75.8 mph)
Weather: sunny



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NORGES GRAND PRIX

Mjøsa - Lillehammer (N), 25 February 1934
15 laps x 10 km (6.2 mi) = 150 km (93.2 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

Racing class
1Paul PietschP. PietschAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
2Per-Wiktor WidengrenP-W WidengrenAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
3Eugen BjørnstadE. BjørnstadAlfa RomeoMonza2.3?S-8
4John IsbergJ. IsbergBugatti
?Knut Gustav SundstedtK-G. SundstedtBugattiT35B2.3S-8
?Albert HovdeA. HovdeBugattiT35C2.0S-8
 
Sports class
?C. F. LührC. F. LührBugatti
13Georg LassenG. LassenMG
14Arvid JohansenA. JohansenFordSpecial
?Kolbjørn BreisethK. BreisethFordSpecial
18Oscar AndersenO. AndersenFordSpecialV-8
19G. R. HäselerG. R. HäselerTriumph
?Paul JacotP. JacotVauxhallDNA
?Jac HansenJ. HansenChryslerDNA



Widengren dominant in Norway
The Norwegian Grand Prix or "Mjøsløpet" was run as an ice race on the lake Mjøsa south of Lillehammer. It was the third year in a row that KNA had been forced to use lake Mjøsa instead of the traditional lake Gjersjøen. Barges frozen into the lake served as grandstands for the 15000 spectators. The race was to be run in two classes, a race class and sports class with the top three finishers in each class receiving a prize of 500 kr, 150 kr and 100 kr with an additional 500 kr going to the overall winner.
Entries:
British driver Paul Jacot was unable to start after engine failure during Saturday practice and Jac Hansen with a Chrysler was another non-starter.
      There had been worries before the race that the sharp nails used in ice racing should drop off the tyres and then create a multitude of punctures.
Race:
Sunday at 2.30 p.m. the racing cars lined up in a row with Pietsch starting from pole position and with the sports car in a second row behind .
Pole Position
1
Pietsch

Alfa Romeo

2
Widengren

Alfa Romeo

3
Bjørnstad

Alfa Romeo

4
Isberg

Bugatti


Sundstedt

Bugatti


Hovde

Bugatti


Lühr

Bugatti

13
Lassen

MG

14
Johanssen

Ford


Breidseth

Ford

18
Andersen

Ford

19
Haeseler

Triumph

Pietsch took the start but almost immediately the engine started to misfire and Widengren took over the lead. Hovde had remained on the starting line with a dead engine and it took 4 1/2 minutes before he could start. Pietsch was also standing still for some 5 minutes before he could rejoin. Widengren led followed by Bjørnstad, Sundstedt and Isberg but Sundstedt was soon out with engine failure. On lap three Bjørnstad had to pit with a puncture on the right rear wheel giving Isberg second place in the race that the later held to the finish. After his stop Bjørnstad tried to catch the leaders only to have to retire a few laps later with a new puncture. After stong performances both Pietsch and Hovde also had to retire leaving only two cars left in the racing class with the Swedish driver Widengren in his Alfa taking the flag as the winner. Johansen was the winner of the sports car class.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff (Note 1)

1.2Per-Wiktor WidengrenP-W WidengrenAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8151h19m39s
2.4John IsbergJ. IsbergBugatti151h29m19s+ 9m40s
3.14Arvid JohansenA. JohansenFordSpecialV-8151h41m59s+ 22m20s
4.18Oscar AndersenO. AndersenFordSpecial151h43m48s+ 24m09s
5.?Kolbjørn BreisethK. BreisethFordSpecial151h43m48s?
6.10G. R. HäselerG. R. HäselerTriumph152h06m49s+ 47m10s
7.13Georg LassenG. LassenMG152h10m36s+ 50m57s
DNF1Paul PietschP. PietschAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-813engine
DNF?Albert HovdeA. HovdeBugattiT35C2.0S-813
DNF?C. F. LührC. F. LührBugatti9puncture 
DNF3Eugen BjørnstadE. BjørnstadAlfa RomeoMonza2.3?S-87puncture
DNF?Knut Gustav SundstedtK-G. SundstedtBugattiT35B2.3S-81engine
Fastest lap: Widengren (Alfa Romeo)
Winner's medium speed: 113.0 km/h, (70.2 mph)
Weather:

Footnote:
1. My main sources for the race, Öistein Bertheau's "Bilsport i Norge" and Paul Sheldon's "A Record of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing", don't agree on neither start numbers, grid, nor results. I have tried my best to make the correct choice. Johansen's time is confirmed by the Polish contemporary magazine "Auto" (thanks Andrzej Jakubaszek) but there is confusion with Bertheau's times for Andersen/Breiseth so I have included results from both Bertheau and Sheldon.

Star March 1934: Fagioli was called in to continue the Mercedes-Benz tests at Monza.
Star 3 March 1934: The B.A.R.C. Opening Meeting was held at Brooklands.
The handicap races were won by G. Shapley (Bugatti 2.3 litre), D. N. Letts (M.G. 0.7 litre), M. P. Simpson (Riley 1.1 litre), O. Bertram (Delage 10.7 litre) - 2 races, A. Baron (Bugatti 3.0 litre), L. Eccles (Bugatti 2.3 litre) - 2 races, R. F. Oats (Maserati 2.5 litre), Mrs K. Petre (Bugatti 2.0 litre) and L. Robinson (Bugatti 1.5 litre).
Star 6 March 1934: Auto Union tested at AVUS - Berlin. Stuck made three new world records on the fast track.
Star 19 March 1934:Bob Lea-Wright (Singer) wins the Australian GP handicap race at Phillip Island.
Star March 1934: Mercedes tested at Nürburgring. Henne had a heavy crash.



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VI GRAND PRIX DE MONACO

Cicuit de Monaco (MC), 2 April 1934 (Monday)
100 laps x 3.180 km (1.976 mi)= 318 km (197.6 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Earl HoweEarl HoweMaserati8CM3.0S-8
4Whitney StraightW. StraightMaserati8CM3.0S-81933 model
6Robert BenoistAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-8DNS - crash in practice
8René DreyfusAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-8
10Jean-Pierre WimilleAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-8
12Pierre VeyronP. VeyronBugattiT512.3S-8
14Philippe EtancelinP. EtancelinMaserati8CM3.0S-81933 model
16Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
18Marcel LehouxScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
20Guy MollScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
22Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
24Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
26Renato BalestreroGruppo Genovese San GiorgioAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
28Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariBugattiT592.8S-8
30Eugenio SienaScuderia SienaMaserati8C-30002.5S-8
32Piero TaruffiOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati4C-25002.5S-4



Moll's sensational Ferrari debut
It was the first race to be run under the new formula. At the start Chiron (Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo) immediately took control followed by Dreyfus (Bugatti), Varzi (Alfa Romeo) and Etancelin (Maserati). Varzi fell back with technical problems, Etancelin crashed after 62 laps and Dreyfus had a slipping clutch. That put Scuderia Ferrari recruit Moll into second position but almost a lap behind his team mate Chiron. With just two laps to go Chiron crashed into the sandbags and it took three minutes before had managed to continue. That meant that Moll took a sensational victory. Chiron managed to finish second with Dreyfus third.
The Monaco Grand Prix, raced on Easter Monday, 2nd April, was the opening of the season proper and also the first race to be run under the new 750 kg formula.
Entries:
Entries were by invitation only. Drivers were expected to do a 2m12s lap during practice to be permitted to race and the grid was limited to 15 cars. The German teams were not yet ready. Scuderia Ferrari entered no less than five Alfa Romeo P3s. The team retained Louis Chiron and Scuderia Ferrari president Carlo Felice Trossi as drivers. Achille Varzi moved to Ferrari after three seasons as works Bugatti driver. Moll and Lehoux were doing their first race for the team. Several of the P3s were rebuilt 1933 cars, now also known as Tipo Bs, with the engine volume increased from 2.6 to 2.9 liter and side panels fitted around the cockpit to increase the body width to the 85 cm demanded by the new rules. Those rebuilt cars can easily be identified by the slotted skirts hanging down outside the chassis side rails at the rear of the car. At least Lehoux's, Moll's and Trossi's cars were of that type and possibly also Louis Chiron's. (Note 1). Oddly all the Scuderia Ferrari cars seem to have raced at Monaco without any rear view mirrors. During the early season the junior drivers would go on using the rebuilt cars while the senior members used the new pukka Tipo Bs.
      Automobiles Bugatti appeared with three blue 2.8 liter T59 cars, rebuilt with new drilled chassis frame to save weight, for their drivers Robert Benoist, René Dreyfus and Jean-Pierre Wimille. Former top driver Benoist, who had not raced since 1929, was making his comeback to Grand Prix racing. A fourth red T59 was on loan to Nuvolari and entered under his name even if it was supported by the teams mechanics as was a T51 entered under Veyron's name. Vertical metal strips had been added to the sides of the frame of the T59s to increase the width of the cars from 80 cm to 85 cm.
      The Maserati works team entered a single monoposto 4C car with the engine upgraded from 1.5 to 2.5 liter for Taruffi.
      The rest of the entry list consisted of Balestrero's old Alfa Romeo Monza entered by Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio with the engine bored out to 2.6 liter, and a few private Maseratis. Siena entered the narrow 8C two-seater #3001 while Etancelin entered his new narrow chassis light blue #3010. Etancelin had to fit small aluminium wings level with the driver's seat to make his car to comply with the new minimum width requirement. Whitney Straight entered the narrow chassis #3011 or #3012, white with blue chassis and with a Wilson pre-selector gearbox. Earl Howe had the new type #3013 with wide chassis and radius rods to the front springs. It was painted dark blue.
      The lightweight Alfa Romeos had not problems passing the scrutineering, the team did not even care to remove the tyres. The Bugattis also passed without problems, even if the team would face problems with the 750 kg limit with non-Gallic scrutineers later during the season. All the Maserati drivers however were in trouble because of overweight. Sumps, back axles and gearboxes were drained of oil and eventually alloy wheels were fitted to come under the weight limit.
Practice:
Trossi made the fastest lap of the first day with a time of 1m59s with Nuvolari doing 2m00s, Chiron 2m01s, Dreyfus 2m02s, Varzi 2m03s, Etancelin 2m03s, Lehoux 2m04s, Benoist 2m06s, Veyron 2m07s, Howe 2m11s and Balestrero 2m13s.
      On Saturday Trossi went down to 1m58s. Benoist spun at St. Devote, bending the rear axle on his Bugatti T59 and became a non starter.
      No one managed to improve on Trossi's time during Sunday last practice but there were several incidents. Etancelin crashed at the Gasometre without any damage to his Maserati. Howe split his fuel tank. As a former naval officer he got assistance with the repairs from the light cruiser H.M.S Delhi, docked in the harbour. Straight hit a kerb coming out of the tunnel, made a 720° spin, and destroyed the rear brake drum of his Maserati. Spare parts were flown in from Paris and the mechanics worked flat out to get the car repaired.
Race:
Monday came with heavy rain showers but at 11 a.m. the weather started to improve and at 12:30, when the race was to begin, the sun was shining. It is claimed that 35,000 cars were parked in the town and an estimated 100,000 spectators had turned up including Swedish and Spanish royalties. Before the start of the race Caracciola, who had crashed in Monaco the year before, did a slow lap of honor around the track under applauds from the spectators.
     
Pole Position
8
Dreyfus

Bugatti
1m59s

14
Etancelin

Maserati
1m59s

22
Trossi

Alfa Romeo
1m58s

16
Chiron

Alfa Romeo
2m00s

28
Nuvolari

Bugatti
1m59s

24
Varzi

Alfa Romeo
1m59s

10
Wimille

Bugatti
2m00s

32
Taruffi

Maserati
2m00s

20
Moll

Alfa Romeo
2m00s

30
Siena

Maserati
2m05s

4
Straight

Maserati
2m02s

18
Lehoux

Alfa Romeo
2m00s

2
Howe

Maserati
2m08s

12
Veyron

Bugatti
2m06s

26
Balestrero

Alfa Romeo
2m05s

Trossi had put his Alfa Romeo on the pole position but when Charles Faroux dropped the flag Dreyfus was first over the line. But Chiron was even faster and came from the second row to take an early lead. He was followed by Dreyfus, Etancelin, Varzi, Moll, Taruffi, Nuvolari and Straight. Trossi did not have much use of his pole position. After the first lap he was already in to the pit for new spark plugs. Soon afterwards Wimille made a pit stop to fix a carburettor problem and Howe then came in to get new spark plugs. After ten laps the order was:
1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)20m58s
2. Dreyfus (Bugatti) 21m00s
3.. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)21m01s
4. Etancelin (Maserati)21m14s
5. Moll (Alfa Romeo)21m19s
6. Nuvolari (Bugatti)21m24s
7. Taruffi (Maserati)21m32s
8. Straight (Maserati)21m43s
9. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo)22m01s
10. Siena (Maserati)22m10s
11. Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)22m25s
12. Veyron (Bugatti)22m50s
13. Wimille (Bugatti)23m50s
14. Trossi (Alfa Romeo)23m56s
15. Howe (Maserati)

The hard fight between Varzi and Etancelin then ended when the former had to make an over two minutes stop because of plug, brakes and magneto problems. A fierce fight over sixth position between Nuvolari and Taruffi in which Taruffi managed to find a way past Nuvolari only to be immediately re-passed, ended when Taruffi's Maserati started to misfire. Taruffi got confused and tried to enter the pits from the wrong direction. Then trying to regain the lost time he overdid it and spun his Maserati as he came out of the tunnel, but he was able to continue the race. Wimille retired on lap 18 when the rear brake shoe broke and jammed the wheel at the Gazometres hairpin. On lap 19 Trossi, far back in the field, suddenly found a gap and made a 2m00s lap, which proved to be the fastest one of the day.
      The order after 20 laps was:
1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)41m32s
2. Dreyfus (Bugatti) 41m37s
3. Etancelin (Maserati)41m45s?
4. Moll (Alfa Romeo)42m10s
5. Nuvolari (Bugatti)42m28s
6. Taruffi (Maserati)42m31s
7. Straight (Maserati)42m51s
8. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo)43m03s
9. Siena (Maserati)43m45s
10. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)44m24s
11. Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)44m31s
12. Veyron (Bugatti)45m

Chiron, making steady laps around 2m04s - 2m05s, was opening up a little gap while Etancelin in third position was closing up on Dreyfus. Lehoux made a pit stop for new plugs, dropping further down the field.
      Situation after 30 laps:
1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)1h02m17s
2. Dreyfus (Bugatti)1h02m33s
3. Etancelin (Maserati)1h02m34s
4. Moll (Alfa Romeo)1h03m07s
5. Nuvolari (Bugatti)1h03m32s
6. Taruffi (Maserati)1h03m41s

Etancelin caught Dreyfus and then took the Maserati past the Bugatti for second position on the way uphill towards the Casino. Etancelin continued his high speed advance trying, not too successfully, to catch Chiron's Alfa. Moll was still fourth keeping about the same pace as those in front of him, but Nuvolari in fifth position was struggling with the Bugatti and falling back. Further back, and already a lap down, Varzi passed Taruffi for sixth. Howe was struggling with the Maserati and was in for another set of plugs and Balestrero took the Monza in for a scheduled fuel stop.
      Positions at 40 laps:
1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)1h23m14s
2. Etancelin (Maserati)1h23m24s
3. Dreyfus (Bugatti)1h23m56s
4. Moll (Alfa Romeo)1h24m25s
5. Nuvolari (Bugatti)1h25m22s
6. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h26m31s

Chiron in the lead continued to open up the gap with Moll being the only other driver to keep his pace. Etancelin was losing over three seconds a gap to the leader and Dreyfus and Moll were closing in on him. Chiron had caught Nuvolari and was ready to put him a lap down and the "Flying Mantuan" turned to the side waving the leader past. Taruffi was back up in sixth position.
      The order at half distance:
1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)1h44m06s
2. Etancelin (Maserati)1h44m52s
3. Dreyfus (Bugatti)1h45m00s
4. Moll (Alfa Romeo)1h45m20s
5. Nuvolari (Bugatti)1h46m43s
6. Taruffi (Maserati)1h48m27s
7. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h48m38s
8. Straight (Maserati)1h48m48s
9. Siena (Maserati)
10. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo)
11. Veyron (Bugatti)
12. Trossi (Alfa Romeo)
13. Howe (Maserati)

Balestrero retired his Monza beyond the Casino with a damaged differential. Dreyfus was suffering from a slipping clutch and Moll passed him for third position. Etancelin had found new speed but was still losing to the leader who now held almost a half a lap lead.
      Positions after 60 laps:
1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)2h04m56s
2. Etancelin (Maserati)2h05m50s
3. Moll (Alfa Romeo)2h06m15s
4. Dreyfus (Bugatti)2h06m17s
5. Nuvolari (Bugatti)2h07m50s
6. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)2h09m46s

After 62 laps Etancelin, who was 46 seconds behind the leading Alfa, overdid it at Hotel de Paris, crashed into the sand bags and had to retire with a broken steering. The other Maserati cars were unable to challenge the Ferrari Alfa Romeo duo of Chiron and Moll. On lap 65, when Dreyfus made a stop to attend to his slipping clutch. Straight made a stop for fuel and Trossi was in to adjust his failing brakes. That meant that Nuvolari was up to fourth in his red Bugatti but almost three minutes behind leading Chiron, who was just securing his position and had slowed down his laps by a second.
      The order after 70 laps:
1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)2h25m56s
2. Moll (Alfa Romeo)2h27m25s
3. Nuvolari (Bugatti)2h28m51s
4. Dreyfus (Bugatti)2h29m48s?
5. Taruffi (Maserati)2h32m16s
6. Straight (Maserati)2h33m01s

Both Trossi and Varzi had made further pit stops. Varzi had clearly given up any hope for a good position and was now cruising around with a cigar in his mouth!
      Nuvolari got into serious brake troubles and Dreyfus caught him and passed him for third. Nuvolari had to make a lengthy stop for brake adjustments, losing several minutes. Chiron, in full control of the situation, was slowing down by another second per lap, doing 2m07s' lap times, but still being as fast as Moll and Dreyfus behind him.
      Situation at 80 laps:
1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)2h47m06s
2. Moll (Alfa Romeo)2h48m38s
3. Dreyfus (Bugatti)2h50m59s
4. Taruffi (Maserati)2h54m11s
5. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo)2h54m30s
6. Nuvolari (Bugatti)2h54m44s

Chiron could afford to slow down still another second a lap without Moll being able to close in on him. Now it was Dreyfus turn to make a fast stop for brake adjustments. He lost a minute but still held a secure third position.
      Order after 90 laps:
1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)2h47m06s
2. Moll (Alfa Romeo)3h08m25s
3. Dreyfus (Bugatti)3h10m01s
4. Taruffi (Maserati)3h13m32s
5. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo)3h15m53s
6. Nuvolari (Bugatti)3h16m15s

With just a few laps to go Chiron held almost a one lap lead and everything seemed like the Monegasque would renew his 1931 victory but on the 98th lap he made a mistake and run into the sandbags at the station hairpin (Loews). It took three minutes before Chiron had managed to dig the Alfa out of the sandbags and restart. He returned to the race in second place behind Moll and it was Moll who took the flag a minute in front of his teammate.
      A lap earlier Taruffi, who was best of the Maserati drivers, laying fourth, had to retire with a misfire so Alfa Romeos and Bugattis filled the top six positions with the Maseratis following. Howe, who had had carburetion trouble throughout the race, limped home 10th and last.
      The result was a sensation as this was Ferrari recruit Moll's first race as a works driver! It also proved to be the greatest moment of the young Algerian's short racing career. Moll also remained the youngest driver to win the Monaco GP until Lewis Hamilton in 2008.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.20Guy MollScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-81003h31m31.4s
2.16Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-81003h32m33.4s+ 1m02s
3.8René DreyfusAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattIT592.8S-8993h32m19s
4.18Marcel LehouxScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8992h33m18s
5.28Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariBugattiT592.8S-8983h33m35s
6.24Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8983h33m38s
7.4Whitney StraightW. StraightMaserati8CM3.0S-8963h32m00s
8.30Eugenio SienaScuderia SienaMaserati8C-30002.5S-8963h32m47s
9.12Pierre VeyronP. VeyronBugattiT512.3S-8953h33m29s
DNF22Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-895transmission
DNF32Piero TaruffiOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati4C-25002.5S-491ignition, fuel feed?
10.2Earl HoweEarl HoweMaserati8CM3.0S-8853h31m51s
DNF14Philippe EtancelinP. EtancelinMaserati8CM3.0S-863accident
DNF26Renato BalestreroGruppo Genovese San GiorgioAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-851differential
DNF10Jean-Pierre WimilleAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-818brakes
Fastest lap: Carlo Felice Trossi (Alfa Romeo) at 2m00.0s = 95.4 km/h (59.3 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 90.2 km/h (56.0 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 97.0 km/h (60.3 mph)
Weather: bright sunshine after rainy morning

Footnote:
1. Doug Nye claims in his "Famous Racing Cars" that the new Tipo B cars, tailor made for the 750 kg formula, made their debut at Alessandria and thus all five Monaco cars were rebuilt 1933 cars. Nye also claims there where 6+3 cars made in 1932-33 while all other sources mention only six cars. One 2.6 liter car in 1933 spec. appeared at the Parma hillclimb on 29 April. That would mean all five other cars had been upgraded before Monaco but that would then make the sudden appearance of three old 2.6 liter cars at the Casablanca GP on 20 May very odd.

Star 2 April 1934: The B.A.R.C. Easter Meeting was held at Brooklands.
The handicap races were won by E. Eccles (Bugatti 1.5L/2.3 litre) - 2 races, F. Dixon (Riley 1.1 litre) - 2 races, H. G. Dobbs (Riley 1.1 litre) - 2 races, G. Sharpley (Bugatti 2.3 litre), Miss M. Allan (Bentley 4.4 litre) and H. Widengren (Amilcar 1.1 litre).
Star 7-8 April 1934: Varzi / Bignami (Alfa Romeo Monza 2.6L) wins the Mille Miglia sports car race in Italy. (Results)
Star 19 April 1934: Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union teams decided together what races to start in during the 1934 season.



XXXXXXXXX

CIRCUITO DI PIETRO BORDINO

Alessándria (I), 22 April 1934
2 heats of 8 laps x 8 km (~5 mi) = 64 km (39.8 mi)
Final: 15 laps x 8 km (~5 mi) = 120 km (74.6 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Ulrich MaagU. MaagAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8DNS - broke car in practice
4Hans RüeschH. RüeschMaserati8CM3.0S-8DNS - broke car in practice
6Lorenzo DelpinoScuderia BalestreroMaserati261.5S-4
6Luigi BeccariaScuderia BalestreroMaserati261.5S-4DNA - car to Delphino
8Federico ValpredaScuderia BalestreroAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
?Renato BalestreroScuderia BalestreroAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8DNA - car to Valpreda
10Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8
12Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
14Mario TadiniScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8
16Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8
18Gianfranco ComottiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8
20Letterio CucinottaLetterio CucinottaTalbot1.5S-8DNA - did not arrive
22Clemente BiondettiGruppo Genovese San GiorgioMaserati8C?2.8?S-8
24Secondo CorsiS. CorsiMaserati26M3.0S-8
26Gerolamo FerrariG. FerrariBM-MaseratiSpeciale2.5S-8
28Umberto CasaretoU. CasaretoMaserati261.5S-8
30Luigi SoffiettiScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
32Giovanni MinozziScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
34Carlo PedrazziniScuderia SienaMaserati8CM3.0S-8
36Mario PenatiM. PenatiAlfa Romeo6C-17501.7S-6DNA - did not arrive
38Renzo CamandonaR. CamandonaBugattiT35?2.3S-8
40Giuseppe FarinaScuderia SubalpinaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
42André DelmotA. DelmotBugattiT51?2.3S-8
44Gino ScarneraG. ScarneraBugattiT35C?2.0S-8DNA - did not arrive
46Giovanni AlloattiG. AlloattiBugattiT35B2.3S-8
48Romano MalagutiR. MalagutiMaserati4CM1.1S-8
50Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariMaserati8CM3.0S-8
52Luigi PagesL. PagesAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
54Emilio GiussaniE. GiussaniAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8DNS - did not start
56Gianni BattagliaG. BattagliaAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8DNS - did not start
58Paul PietschP. PietschAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
60Felice BonettoF. BonettoAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8DNS - did not start
62Gino RovereG. RovereAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
64Clifton Penn-HughesC. Penn-HughesAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
66Raffaele CecchiniR. CecchiniMG1.1S-8DNS - did not start



Scuderia Ferrari dominates but rain creates bad accidents
The event consisted of two heats with five drivers from each heat going to the final. Scuderia Ferrari driver Tadini led the first heat, run in rain, before being passed by his team mate Chiron. The heat was overshadowed by a fatal crash by Swiss driver Carlo Pedrazzini. Varzi, also driving for ferrari, dominated the second heat. It was raining again during the final. Minozzi spun into the spectator area and Nuvolari crashed into a tree breaking his right leg. the Alfa Romeos of the Ferrari team dominated the final with Chiron leading before letting Varzi by to win on Italian soil and with Tadini and Comotti finishing third and fouth.
Just as in 1933 the event consisted of two eight lap (64 km) heats with the five best drivers from each heat going to the 15 lap (120 km) final.
Entries:
The entry list was much dominated by the Alfa Romeos. Scuderia Ferrari entered a stong team for the race. Moll was left resting after his Monaco victory but the team sent Chiron, Varzi, Tadini, Comotti and Trossi to race the P3s, of which at least two had the new enlarged 2.9 liter engines.
      Scuderia Sciena, Scuderia Subalpina and Scuderia Balestrero turned up with Alfa Romeo Monzas. There was also a long series of private Monza entries: Penn-Hughes, Sofietti, Pietch, Minozzi, Pages, Battaglia, Giussani and Bonetto.
      Nuvolari, disappointed with the performance of the Bugatti T59 at Monaco (insufficient acceleration and unreliable brakes), was back at the wheel of his 3 liter Maserati 8CM. Other Maserati 8CM cars were entered by Scuderia Balestrero, Gruppo San Giorgio, Scuderia Siena and Hans Rüesch. Some Bugattis, some 1.5 liter Maseratis and a MG completed the entries.
      With so many entries the organizers even considered a "B-final" but were in the end unable to run one within the current rules.
Practice:
Nuvolari gave a good impression during practice setting in a series of very fast laps on the avenues of leafless trees, being faster than his main rivals Varzi and Chiron. Other active drivers during the practice session included Tadini, Delmot, Minozzi, Soffietti, Biondetti, Pedrazzini, Trossi and Cecchini. Swiss drivers Maag and Rüesch seem both to have went off and damaged their cars and thus they became non-starters.
Heat 1:
The Alessandria GP had a history of bad weather. Once again the luck proved to be against the organizers even if the bad weather did not hinder the enthusiastic Italians from turning up in huge numbers. At 10 a.m. it started to rain. By 11 a.m. it rained cats and dogs. Then the rain seemed to slow down a bit and there was hope that the track would dry up. But as the 14 cars were already lined up for the start the heavy wind pushed the clouds back over the track and when the flag dropped the conditions were very bad with a dark and slippery track surface.
Pole Position
6
Delpino

Maserati

10
Chiron

Alfa Romeo

14
Tadini

Alfa Romeo

18
Comotti

Alfa Romeo

22
Biondetti

Maserati

26
Ferrari

BM-Maserati

30
Soffietti

Alfa Romeo

34
Pedrazzini

Maserati

38
Camandona

Bugatti

42
Delmot

Bugatti

46
Alloatti

Bugatti

50
Nuvolari

Maserati

58
Pietsch

Alfa Romeo

62
Rovere

Alfa Romeo

(Note 1)

Off the competitors went through the town, over the bridge, over the Tanaro river, and on to the macadam road. Tadini firmly held the lead followed by Chiron while Nuvolari behind them found the Maserati a real handful to handle in these slippery conditions and struggled to keep contact with the leading duo. Two minutes after the start there was a serious accident when the cars after having passed the hairpin were returning cross the river over the new bridge. Probably there was a gust of wind that made the Maserati of Swiss driver Pedrazzini to slide sideways as it was going over the bridge. The car crashed into the balustrade, breaking it, and continued in a series of pirouettes. The unfortunate driver was thrown out and was was urgently sent to an ambulance with a broken leg, broken ribs and internal injuries that he was to succumb to soon after his arrival to hospital.
      The other cars, leaving the devastation behind them, continued onto the sector with tram lines next to the road, leading back to the start. There Maserati driver Gerolamo Ferrari lost control, hit a brick wall and his car started to burn. Luckly the driver escaped with just slight burns and a shock.
      After three laps Tadini was leading by seven seconds over Chiron with Nuvolari already some 40 seconds further behind. Chiron pulled in two seconds but then the situation became stabilized with five seconds distance between the cars of the Ferrari duo until lap seven when Tadini had difficulties lapping Biondetti and Chiron caught up. The car in front sprayed mud onto Tadini's goggles and immediately the Monégasque driver was by Tadini and up into the lead.
      So Chiron took the heat victory from Tadini with Nuvolari a distant third 1m11s behind, the Maserati having proved no match for the Alfas in the rain. Comotti was fourth after a confident Tipo B debut. Soffietti was fifth and last finalist in front of Rovere. Chiron's winning speed and fastest lap were in fact very good considering the conditions.

Results (Heat 1)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.10Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8828m11.8s
2.14Mario TadiniScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8828m46.0s+ 34.2s
3.50Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariMaserati8CM3.0S-8829m23.0s+ 1m11.2s
4.18Gianfranco ComottiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8829m55.8s+ 1m44.0s
5.30Luigi SoffiettiScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8831m26.2s+ 3m14.4s

6.22Clemente BiondettiGruppo Genovese San GiorgioMaserati8C?2.8?S-8832m34.0s+ 4m22.2s
7.62Gino RovereG. RovereAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8833m25.0s+ 5m13.2s
8.6Lorenzo DelpinoScuderia BalestreroMaserati261.5S-4834m21.8s+ 6m10.0s
9.42André DelmotScuderia BeccariaBugattiT51?2.3S-8834m42.8s+ 6m31.0s
10.38Renzo CamandonaR. CamandonaBugattiT352.3S-8836m50.4s+ 8m38.6s
DNF58Paul PietschP. PietschAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-84
DNF46Giovanni AlloattiG. AlloattiBugattiT35B2.3S-80
DNF34Carlo PedrazziniScuderia SienaMaserati8CM3.0S-80fatal crash
DNF26Gerolamo FerrariG. FerrariBM-MaseratiSpeciale2.5S-80crash, fire
Fastest lap: Chiron (Alfa Romeo) in 3m25.0s = 140.5 km/h, (87.3 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 136.3 km/h, (84.6 mph)
Weather: heavy rain at start slowing down a bit during race.
Heat 2:
At the end of the first heat the rain slowed down to a drizzle and then decidedly stopped before the start of the second heat. So the ten cars were flagged off onto a slowly drying track.
Pole Position
16
Trossi

Alfa Romeo

12
Varzi

Alfa Romeo

8
Valpreda

Alfa Romeo

32
Minozzi

Alfa Romeo

28
Casareto

Maserati

24
Corsi

Maserati

52
Pages

Alfa Romeo

48
Malagutii

Maserati

40
Farina

Alfa Romeo

64
Penn-Huges

Alfa Romeo

(Note 2)



As the flag dropped Varzi took the lead and on the first three laps he opened up a huge gap to Trossi, who unable to keep Varzi's pace seemed quite content just to secure his second position. Behind them there was a duel with Minozzi in an Alfa challenging Valpreda in a Maserati for third position. Eventually Minozzi found a way past and soon afterwards Valpreda also had to concede his fourth position to British driver Penn-Hughes. After that the race stabilized itself. Varzi took the victory 16 seconds in front of Trossi. Having secured a place in the final Minozzi lifted his foot from the pedal as he saw the chequered flag and cruised into finish only to see himself beaten on the line by Penn-Hughes.
      Penn-Hughes' pit crew had agreed to wave a handkerchief as a signal that the driver had made it to the final but they were so excited by their driver's performane that they lost the handkerchief.

Results (Heat 2)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.12Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8828m43.8s
2.16Carlo TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8828m59.6s+ 15.8s
3.64Clifton Penn-HughesC. Penn-HughesAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8829m57.6s+ 1m13.8s
4.32Giovanni MinozziScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8829m58.4s+ 1m14.6s
5.8Federico ValpredaScuderia BalestreroAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8830m16.0s+ 1m32.2s

6.52Luigi PagesL. PagesAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8832m05.8s+ 3m22.0s
7.24Secondo CorsiS. CorsiMaserati26M3.0S-8832m16.0s+ 3m32.2s
8.28Umberto CasaretoU. CasaretoMaserati261.5S-8833m32.1s+ 4m48.3s
DNF40Giuseppe FarinaScuderia SubalpinaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-81
DNF48Romano MalagutiR. MalagutiMaserati4Cm1.1S-8?
Fastest lap: Varzi (Alfa Romeo) in 3m27.2s = 139.0 km/h, (86.4 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 133.7 km/h, (83.1 mph)
Weather: rainy, wet track.
Final:
The final, scheduled for 4 p.m., was delayed by 20 minutes. Possibly it was an attempt to make the track dry up further. If so, it was a vain attempt. Slowly but surely the rain started anew and when the ten cars took off the track conditions had turned really bad again.
Pole Position
8
Valpreda

Alfa Romeo

14
Tadini

Alfa Romeo

64
Penn-Hughes

Alfa Romeo

12
Varzi

Alfa Romeo

50
Nuvolari

Maserati

18
Comotti

Alfa Romeo

10
Chiron

Alfa Romeo

16
Trossi

Alfa Romeo

30
Soffietti

Alfa Romeo

32
Minozzi

Alfa Romeo

Tadini took the early lead. Reaching the corner before the bridge Minozzi found himself blocked and losing control of the car he spun through a fence and into the spectator area. Several spectators had to be sent to hospital but fortunately their injuries proved to be slight. Tadini held the lead after the first lap by five seconds from Chiron followed by Trossi one second behind and Varzi a further 1.6 seconds behind. Nuvolari was in fifth position desperately trying to keep pace with the Alfa Romeos. The rest of the field lead by Comotti were already falling behind.
      On lap two Chiron took over the lead. Passing the second bridge where the fatal accident earlier had occured Nuvolari found his way blocked by Trossi. He turned right but then obviously the Maserati began to slide in the rain and touched the rear of Varzi's car. In some 110 km/h Nuvolari's Maserati spun, hit a tree, rolled over on its side, hit another tree and spun back to the track upside down with torn off front suspension. Nuvolari, who had been thrown off the car, tried to get up but immediately fell back. He had broken his right leg.
      The race continued with Chiron leading while Tadini fell further back being passed by Trossi and Varzi. Then Varzi passed Trossi and started to pull in the gap to Chiron. On lap seven Varzi was right behind Chiron and the Monégasque seemed to ease up and let the Italian take over the lead in front of his home crowd. On the next lap Varzi did the fastest lap of the race: 3m18.8 s. After that the conditions started to deteriorate further and the lap times went up.
      With three laps to go Trossi retired into the pits giving back third position to Tadini. With the Maseratis out of luck the race now became a straightforward parade for the Alfa Romeo monopostos of the Ferrari team.
      Varzi took an easy victory from team mates Chiron, Tadini and Comotti. Penn-Hughes and Soffietti were fifth and sixth with their Monzas and Valpredi was seventh and last, the only non Alfa Romeo to finish.

Results (Final)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.12Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-81552m36.0s
2.10Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-81552m37.2s+ 1.2s
3.14Mario TadiniScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-81554m37.0s+ 2m01.0s
4.18Gianfranco ComottiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-81555m02.0s+ 2m26.0s
5.64Clifton Penn-HughesC. Penn-HughesAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-81555m55.6s+ 3m19.6s
6.30Luigi SoffiettiScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-81559m03.0s+ 6m27.0s
7.8Federico ValpredaScuderia BalestreroAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8151h00m33.0s+ 7m57.0s
DNF16Carlo TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-812crash
DNF50Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariMaserati8CM3.0S-81crash
DNF32Giovanni MinozziScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-80crash
Fastest lap: Varzi (Alfa Romeo) at 3m18.8s = 144.9 km/h (90.0 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 136.9 km/h (85.1 mph)
Weather: heavy rain.
In retrospect:
Nuvolari's injury proved to be a simple fracture. At the hospital he was presented with a section of the tree he had crashed into with the inscription: "To Tazio Nuvolari intrepid ace of the wheel, as a record of the providential obstacle which although preventing a sure victory, saved a precious existence". Nuvolari would return to racing less than a month later.
      Clifton Penn-Hughes claimed in "The Motor" that Chiron had given Varzi the victory as the race was a part of the Italian Championship.
      Swiss "Automobile Revue" was highly critical to the safety arrangements claiming that the spectators more or less decided themselves where the spectator area ended and the track began.
      There were earlier several question marks in the entry list and heat lists of this race. Alessandro Silva, using Gazzetta dello Sport, Auto Italiana, Rivista RACI, La Stampa, Il Littoriale and Automobile Revue as sources, has been of great help sorting out the mess. (Note the differences in heat 2 between Silva and Paul Sheldon's variant).


Footnote:
1. Picture evidence (thanks Piotr Podhaiski) shows heat 1 grid to be ordered left-right.

2. Picture evidence (thanks Alessandro Silva) shows that the second heat grid was arranged totally different from heat one (3-3 right vs. 3-2 left)

Primary sources researched for this article:
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
L Littoriale, Roma
The Motor, London
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Davide Grappolo
Hans Etzrodt
Vladimir Kovalenko

Star 28 April 1934: Straight (Maserati 8CM 3.0L) wins the JCC International Trophy handicap race at Brooklands, England.



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VIII° GRAN PREMIO DI TRIPOLI

Autodromo di Mellaha - Tripoli (I), 6 May 1934
40 laps x 13.140 km (8.165 mi) = 525.60 km (326.6 mi)
(Note 1)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Jean-Pierre WimilleAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-8
4Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
6Piero TaruffiOfficine A. MaseratiMaseratiV54.92x8
8Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariMaserati8CM3.0S-8DNA - driver injured
10Hugh HamiltonW. Straight?Maserati8CM3.0S-8Nuvolari's car
12Lelio PellegriniL. PellegriniAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
14Carlo GazzabiniProf. GaleazziMaseratiV44.02x8
16Antonio BrivioAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-8DNA
18Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
20Guglielmo CarraroliScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
22Mario TadiniScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8
24Lou MooreFrank ScullyDuesemberg-Miller3.7S-8
26Earl HoweEarl HoweMaserati8CM3.0S-8DNA
28Guy MollScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
30Peter de PaoloFrank ScullyMiller5.0S-8
32Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
34Luigi PremoliL. PremoliMBP3.0S-8
36George EystonG. EystonAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
38René DreyfusAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-8
40Tim Rose-RichardsT. Rose-RichardsMaserati8C3.0S-8DNA
42Clemente BiondettiGruppo Genovese San GiorgioMaseratiT26M2.5S-8
44Felice BonettoF. BonettoAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
46Gianni BattagliaG. BattagliaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
48Raymond SommerR. SommerAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
50Goffredo ZehenderG. ZehenderMaserati8CM3.0S-8
52Philippe EtancelinP. EtancelinMaserati8CM3.0S-8
54Whitney StraightW. StraightMaserati8CM3.0S-8
56Eugenio SienaScuderia SienaMaserati8CM?3.0S-8
58Per-Wiktor WidengrenP-W WidengrenAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
60Renato BalestreroScuderia BalestreroAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8



Varzi vs. Moll
The Formula Libre Tripoli Grand Prix was held on the high-speed Mellaha circuit in Libya (an Italian colony in those days). The track had been widened and the high speed corners had received a slight banking. As the race was held in conjunction with the state lottery there was as usual a high number of entries. After the 1933 scandal where there were accusations that the result may have had been fixed, the rules had been changed (Note 2) so that the owners of the drawn tickets could not come in contact with the drivers before the race.
     
Entries:
Scuderia Ferrari entered five cars, four P3/Tipo Bs for Varzi, Chiron, Moll and Tadini and a Monza for Guglielmo Carraroli. The Maserati team entered their twin-engined "Sedici Cilindri" monster for Taruffi. Bugatti entered three T59s. After his catastrophic Monaco performance Robert Benoist stood down in favour for Antonio Brivio, who was making his debut race for Bugatti. The other cars were driven by Jean-Pierre Wimille and René Dreyfus. There was also the usual field of private Maseratis and Alfa Romeos.
      A rather unusual sight in Grand Prix racing was the two American Miller cars, a four-wheel-drive 5 liter Indianapolis car (Gus Schrader 1932, crash lap 8) driven by Peter de Paolo, the first 4WD car to start in a major Grand Prix, and a 3723 cc ex-Indianapolis Duesenberg for Lou Moore (Foreman Axle Special/Maley & Scully, Moore 1933, 3rd)
Practice:
After practice ended there was a near miss between Varzi, who had not slowed down, and Dreyfus, who was towing Brivio's car back to the pits. Varzi missed the Bugatti duo but hit a road bank, braking the halfshaft and damaging the engine. An new engine was flown down to Tripoli for the race.
Race:

Pole Position
10
Hamilton

Maserati

6
Taruffi

Maserati

4
Trossi

Alfa Romeo

2
Wimille

Bugatti

20
Carraroli

Alfa Romeo

18
Varzi

Alfa Romeo

14
Gazzabini

Maserati

12
Pellegrini

Alfa Romeo

30
de Paolo

Miller

28
Moll

Alfa Romeo

24
Moore

Miller

22
Tadini

Alfa Romeo

38
Dreyfus

Bugatti

36
Eyston

Alfa Romeo

34
Premoli

PBM

32
Chiron

Alfa Romeo

48
Sommer

Alfa Romeo

46
Battaglia

Alfa Romeo

44
Bonetto

Alfa Romeo

42
Biondetti

Maserati

56
Siena

Maserati

54
Straight

Maserati

52
Etancelin

Maserati

50
Zehender

Maserati

60
Balestrero

Alfa Romeo

58
Widengren

Alfa Romeo

At the start Taruffi took the "Sedici Cilindri" up in front and held it until Chiron squeezed past him on the fourth lap. Situation after 5 laps:
1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)20m00s
2. Taruffi (Maserati)20m01.6s
3. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)21m11s
4. Wimille (Bugatti)21m13s
5. Trossi (Alfa Romeo)21m15.4s

O lap seven Taruffi missed a braking in a corner that later would be known as the "Taruffi corner" and went hard straight through a beer advertisement poster (Note 3). Order after 10 laps:
1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)40m21.4s
2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)40m38.8s
3. Hamilton (Maserati)42m11.8s
4. Wimille (Bugatti) 43m41.6s
5. Moll (Alfa Romeo)45m53.6s

Chiron held the lead in his Alfa Romeo until having to do a pit stop for new tyres and letting Varzi and Hamilton by. After the pit stop Chiron was soon able to retake the second place from Hamilton but the Maserati driver put up a great effort to follow Chiron and only had to give up when the car developed a carburettor failure. After 30 laps:
1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)2m06m03.0s
2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)2m06m03.4s
3. Moll (Alfa Romeo)
4. Tadini (Alfa Romeo)
5. Etancelin (Maserati)

WIth ten laps to go Varzi held the lead with Chiron close behind and Moll almost minutes back. Just as in Monaco Moll did a great job, closing in on the top duo, who were running a tactical game, watching out each other. With just a few laps to go Moll passed Chiron, who was suffering from dropping oil pressure. In the last corner Moll tried to pass Varzi but the veteran driver was not to be surprised and closed the gate. Moll later accused Varzi for trying to push him off the road. At the flag Moll was only a car's length behind Varzi who took the victory just as he had done in 1933, but this time there was no talk about any foul play.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.18Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8402h48m53.8s
2.28Guy MollScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8402h48m54.0s+ 0.2s
3.32Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8402h49m16.0s?+ 22.2s?
4.52Philippe EtancelinP. EtancelinMaserati8CM3.0S-8402h59m39.0s+ 6m45.2s
5.42Clemente BiondettiGruppo Genovese San GiorgioMaseratiT26M2.5S-8403h00m14.2s+ 11m20.4s
6.38René DreyfusAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-8403h02m12.2s+ 13m18.4s
7.24Lou MooreFrank ScullyDuesemberg-Miller3.7S-8403h06m24.8s+ 17m31.0s
8.30Peter de PaoloFrank ScullyMiller5.0S-8403h07m21.6s+ 18m27.8s
9.36George EystonG. EystonAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8403h14m22.6s+ 25m28.8s
10.60Renato BalestreroScuderia BalestreroAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8393h11m36.0s
11.20Guglielmo CarraroliScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8382h11m15.2s
DNF22Mario TadiniScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-837
DNF10Hugh HamiltonW. Straight?Maserati8CM3.0S-830magneto/carburettor?
DNF2Jean-Pierre WimilleAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-825oil pipe
DNF58Per-Wiktor WidengrenP-W WidengrenAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-822
DNF12Lelio PellegriniL. PellegriniAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-814
DNF34Luigi PremoliL. PremoliMBP3.0S-814
DNF54Whitney StraightW. StraightMaserati8CM3.0S-811piston
DNF56Eugenio SienaScuderia SienaMaserati8CM?3.0S-810
DNF46Gianni BattagliaG. BattagliaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-88
DNF6Piero TaruffiOfficine A. MaseratiMaseratiV54.92x87crash
DNF4Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-86
DNF14Carlo GazzabiniProf. GaleazziMaseratiV44.02x85
DNF48Raymond SommerR. SommerAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-83
DNF44Felice BonettoF. BonettoAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-82
DNF50Goffredo ZehenderG. ZehenderMaserati8CM3.0S-81
Fastest lap: Louis Chiron (Alfa Romeo) in 3m55.4s = 201.0 km/h (124.9 mph) (Note 1)
Winner's medium speed: 186.7 km/h (116.0 mph)
Weather: hot.

Footnote:
1. Counted with 13.14 km track length as given by Nixon (Silver Arrows) & Venables (Racing Fifteen-Hundreds). Sheldon uses 13.1 km as does some contemporary magazines (AZ MOTORWELT 4,5/1935 p12). With a 13.1 km track length the total race length would be 524 km (325.6 mi), race speed 186.2 km/h (115,7 mph) and fastest lap speed 200.3 km/h (124.5 mph).

2. All the drivers had to sit in the cars before a race number was drawn for each of the lucky lottery winners, who had been invited to the race. The lucky person who got the race number of the winning car would go home 7 1/2 million lire richer (remember that the Lire was worth more then than now).

3. Taruffi later got a bill for damages from the beer company.



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III ELÄINTARHANAJOT/DJURGÅRDSLOPPET

Eläintarharata - Helsinki (FIN), 13 May 1934
50 laps x 2.000 km (1.243 mi) = 100.00 km (62.1 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

1Asser WalleniusA. WalleniusFordSpecial3.6V-8
2Ippolito BerroneI. BerroneMaserati4CM2.0S-4
2Einar AlmE. AlmFordDNS - car declared dangerous
4Eugen BjørnstadE. BjørnstadAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
5Knut Gustav SundstedtK-G. SundstedtBugattiT35B2.3S-8DNA
6Paul PietschP. PietschAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
7Bruno NyströmB. NyströmChevrolet
8Nestori SuurkuukkaN. SuurkuukkaFord
9Karl EbbK. EbbMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6
10S.P.J. KeinänenS.P.J. KeinänenChryslerSpecial5.1S-6
12Alexi PatamaA. PatamaFordSpecial



Bjørnstad wins in Finland
Bjørnstad's and Pietsch's Monza Alfas and Berrone's Maserati 8CM put a international impression on the race held in downtown Helsinki. Prizes were 25,000 Fmk, 12,500 Fmk and 7,500 Fmk and 2500 Fmk for the top four finishers.
Entries:
Of the foreign entries, most attention drew Ippolito Berrone with a 2 liter Maserati 4CM and Giuseppe Ferrari with a 1.5 liter Maserati. They travelled all the way from Parma via Innsbruck, Berlin, Sassnitz, Stockholm and Turku. In Innsbruck an axle on their lorry broke. They managed to get the lorry moved to Berlin only te realize that it was impossible to fix the problem in time to reach the ship to Sweden. They had to leave the 1.5 Maserati in Berlin and continue the trip with a smaller truck and just one race car. Favourites were Paul Pietch and Bjørnstad, each entering a Alfa Romeo Monza. Pietsch's car was painted white and Bjørnstad's red with white-blue lines to indicate the Norwegian flag. Swede Karl-Gustaf Sundstedt did not turn up with his Bugatti as the car failed to arrive from Paris in time. Yhe rest of the entry list consisted of Finns with a rather mixed collection of cars. Ebb had his old Mercedes-Benz SSK and Keinänen his Chrysler. Patama had a Ford, nicely rebuilt to a race car and Alm his oddly looking "tail-Ford" while Wallenius' Ford looked to have been in almost normal spec.
     
Practice:
7 a.m. on Thurday morning Berrone went out for a few laps to make himself familiar with the track. He noticed that the brakes on his Maserati needed to be adjusted and his mechanic Bortolini decided to make a lap to check the problem. On the uphill from the "Death curve" towards the Stadium Bortolini met a car driving in opposite direction. It was Giuseppe Ferrari and translator Boccalari arriving to the track. Bortolini braked hard, lost control and went off to the right into a tree, breaking his right leg and bending the Maserati.
      Official practice took place on Friday morning 4 a.m - 6 a.m. the motorcycles using the first hour and then the cars going out two and two with 15 minutes time for each pair. First off were Wallenius and Alm. Even if Alm only did a 1m25s lap the movements of Alm's tail-Ford in the corners looked so frightening that orgainizers later declared the car dangerous and unfit to take part in the race. next pair was Pietsch and Bjørnstad, the German putting in some 1m14s-1m15s laps, the Norwegian getting down to 1m16s . In the third pair Ebb made the fastest lap of the day, 1m13s , while Keinänen did a 1m15s before he stopped after four laps with a stuck gearbox and had to be towed away. Finally Suurkuukka, Patama nad Nyström were allowed out to practice. Berrone, whose car was under repair, was of course not practicing. At the end of practice the drivers did a 350 m start test on the straight to decide the grid positions. All but Ebb and Bjørnstad did two runs but only Alm, managed to improve his time. Times for the other drivers were: Ebb 14.7s, Bjørnstad 14.9s Pietsch 15.1s/15.4s, Patama 16.2s/16.2s, Wallenius 17.0s/17.2s, Suurkuukka 17.0s/19.0s, Alm 17.5s/17.3s and Nyström 19.0s/19.0s. The positions for the three drivers who had not practiced were decided by ballot.
     
Race:

     
Pole Position
4
Bjørnstad

Alfa Romeo
14.9s

9
Ebb

Mercedes-Benz
14.7s

12
Patama

Ford
16.2s

6
Pietsch

Alfa Romeo
15.1s

8
Suurkuukka

Ford
17.0s

1
Wallenius

Ford
17.0s

2
Berrone

Maserati
No time

7
Nyström

Chevrolet
19.0s


*




10
Keinänen

Chrysler
No time

* 5 Sundstedt (Bugatti) DNA

The start was delayed due to an engine fire on the grid. When the race finally started local hero Ebb took the lead from pole position with his big Mercedes but on the second lap he was passed by Bjørnstad. 5 laps:
1. Bjørnstad (Alfa Romeo)6m06s
2. Pietsch (Alfa Romeo)6m10.1s
3. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)6m15s
4. Keinänen (Chrysler)6m17s
5. Berrone (Maserati)6m31s

10 laps:
1. Bjørnstad (Alfa Romeo)11m59s
2. Pietsch (Alfa Romeo)12m09s
3. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)12m30s
4. Keinänen (Chrysler)12m32s
5. Wallenius (Ford)12m00s

15 laps:
1. Bjørnstad (Alfa Romeo)17m45s
2. Pietsch (Alfa Romeo)18m13.1s
3. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)18m44s
4. Keinänen (Chrysler)18m55s
5. Wallenius (Ford)
6. Patama (Ford)

20 laps:
1. Bjørnstad (Alfa Romeo)23m42s
2. Pietsch (Alfa Romeo)24m16.8s
3. Keinänen (Chrysler)24m51s
4. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)24m59s

25 laps:
1. Bjørnstad (Alfa Romeo)29m30s
2. Pietsch (Alfa Romeo)30m17.7s
3. Keinänen (Chrysler)30m58s
4. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)31m04s

30 laps:
1. Bjørnstad (Alfa Romeo)35m11s
2. Pietsch (Alfa Romeo)36m15.9s
3. Keinänen (Chrysler)36m56s
4. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)37m12s

35 laps:
1. Bjørnstad (Alfa Romeo)41m11s
2. Pietsch (Alfa Romeo)42m14.3s
3. Keinänen (Chrysler)43m04s
4. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)43m18s

40 laps:
1. Bjørnstad (Alfa Romeo)47m14s
2. Pietsch (Alfa Romeo)48m13.1s
4. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)49m27s

45 laps:
1. Bjørnstad (Alfa Romeo)53m15s
2. Pietsch (Alfa Romeo)54m10.6s
4. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)55m36s

Soon he also had to let the second place over to Pietsch and at 1/3 race distance Ebb dropped to forth as Keinänen (Chrysler) passed. On lap 36 Keinänen was out with broken rear axle leaving Ebb back in third place again. Norwegian driver Bjørnstad was totally dominant, lapping everyone but Pietsch at least once.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.4Eugen BjørnstadE. BjørnstadAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-85059m23.1s
2.6Paul PietschP. PietschAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8501h00m10.1s+ 47.0s
3.9Karl EbbK. EbbMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6491n01m47.2s
4.1Asser WalleniusA. WalleniusFordSpecial3.6V-8?1h09m25s
DNF10S.P.J. KeinänenS.P.J. KeinänenChryslerSpecial5.1S-635broken rear axle
DNF12Alexi PatamaA. PatamaFordSpecial21run off/crash
DNF2Ippolito BerroneI. BerroneMaserati4CM2.0S-46fuel line
DNF8Nestori SuurkuukkaN. SuurkuukkaFord0crashed into tree
DNS7Bruno NyströmB. NyströmChevrolet0fire on the grid
Fastest lap: N/A
Winner's medium speed: 101.0 km/h (62.8 mph)
Weather: overcast/sunny



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XXV° TARGA FLORIO

Piccolo Circuito delle Madonie - Sicily (I), 20 May 1934
6 laps x 72 km (44.7 mi) = 432 km (268.4 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Ferdinando BarbieriScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
4Giovanni AlloattiG. AlloattiBugattiT35B2.3S-8
6Pietro GhersiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8
8Guglielmo CarraroliScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
10Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
12Renato BalestreroR. BalestreroAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
14Gianni BattagliaG. BattagliaAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
16Lelio PellegriniL. PellegriniAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8DNA - did not appear
18Luigi PagesL. PagesAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
20Io BaldoIo BaldoBugattiT512.3S-8DNA - did not appear
22Costantino MagistriC. MagistriAlfa Romeo6C 1750GS1.5S-6
24Antonio d'AgataA. d'AgataMaserati26M2.5S-8
26Luigi BeccariaScuderia BeccariaAlfa Romeo6C 17501.7S-6DNA - did not appear
28"Fiorello"G. CorteseAlfa Romeo6C 17501.7S-6
30Attilio BattilanaGruppo GenoveseAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8



Alfa Romeos all the way
The Targa Florio was a shadow of its former glory. A single Bugatti and a single Maserati challenged ten Alfa Romeos. Rain made the course even more dangerous than usual. Alloatti in a Bugatti went over a bridge parapet on the second lap and received wounds that eventually proved fatal .
      Ghersi in the works Ferrari led for the first two laps but then went off and lost 20 minutes for repairs. His team mate Varzi took over the lead and dominated the rest of the race in the rain to take the flag followed by six other Alfa drivers.
As it was the 25th Targa Florio there should have been a reason for celebration. But Cavalliere Vincenzo Florio was now absent from the Auto Club di Sicilia organizing committee and everyone had to admit it, that the Targa Florio was a shadow of its former glory. Alfa Romeo cars with Italian drivers had won the four latest Targas and foreign teams and drivers saw no reason to spend resources on an event that the Italians knew by hart. So the Targa had turned into a local Italian event and a rather minor Italian event at that, especially as the 1934 race clashed both with the Frontieres Grand Prix in Belgium and the Morocco Grand Prix. As in 1932 and 1933 the race was run on Piccolo Circuito delle Madonie but the race length was down to 6 laps from 8 in 1932 and 7 in 1933.
      There was a total prize fund of 150.000 lire, the winner receiving the gold medal of the King of Italy plus 35.000 lire. The second and third positioned competitors received bronze replicas of the "Targa" shield and 20.000 lire and 12.000 lire each respectively.
Entries:
Scuderia Ferrari could hardly neglect to defend their series of Targa successes so they divided their forces, sending three P3 monopostos to Casablanca and two P3s plus two Monzas to Sicily. Achille Varzi was to race a 2.9 litre P3 and Pietro Ghersi a 2.6 litre ditto while Nando Barbieri and Guglielmo Carraroli were selected to handle the Monzas. There were five other Monzas in the entry list entered by Gruppo Genovese (for Attilio Battilana), Gianni Battaglia, Renato Balestrero, Luigi Pages and Lelio Pellegrini.
      Giuseppe Cortese (not to be confused with Franco Cortese) racing under the alias "Fiorello"entered an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 as did Constantino Magistri and Luigi Beccaria.
      The only non Alfa Romeos in the race were Antonia d'Agata in a 2.5 litre Maserati 26M and Io Baldo (sp) and Cavaliere Giovanni Alloatti in Bugattis. Alloatti had bought the ex-works car T51 #51153, possibly via Varzi, and had it registered in April 1934.
      Of the entries Pellegrini, Io Baldo and Beccaria did not turn up for the race.
Race:
Targa Florio has been called the hardest circuit race in the world and to add to that, that weekend the weather at Sicily was miserable.
      The rain showed no sign of ending. Late in the night before the race the decision was taken by Scuderia Ferrari to use fenders and rain tyres during the race and the mechanics went to work to change the cars. The other competitors probably followed the idea as well.
      The "fenders" on the Alfa Romeo monopostos were simply big horizontal plates fitted at the frame each side of the engine to protect the driver from what the front wheels threw up and it looks like the Scuderia Ferrari Monzas were fitted with them too while some of the other cars used more traditional looking fenders.
      The "rain tyres" used were prepared by what the Italians called the "Ancorizzato" process of making cross-cuts in the thread to get a better grip.
      The drivers were to be released at two minute intervals. "Normal" racing, car against car, was of course impossible on a narrow course like Targa Florio. Shown here are race numbers according to Paul Sheldon's book. For some reason the starting order drawn by Auto Club di Sicilia doesn't follow that race numbers order.
      It kept on raining but still the Sicilian Targa Florio fans turned up at the start at Cerda as well as all over the course. Joining them at the main grandstand was Arturo Marescalchi, Undersecretary of agriculture and foresty, Giovanni Battista Marziali, prefect of Palermo and Pietro Parisio, commissioner of R.A.C.I.


 
Cars started at intervals
 
2BarbieriAlfa Romeo10:30
4AlloattiBugatti10:32
6GhersiAlfa Romeo10:34
10VarziAlfa Romeo 10:36
24d'AgataMaserati10:38
22MagistriAlfa Romeo10:40
30BattilanaAlfa Romeo10:42
28"Fiorello"Alfa Romeo10:44
12BalestreroAlfa Romeo 10:46
18PagesAlfa Romeo 10:48
14BattagliaAlfa Romeo10:50
8CarraroliAlfa Romeo10:52
 


At 10:30 Undersecretary Marescalchi , denying an offered umbrella, went out to the track with the flag in hand and sent away Barbieri in his Alfa Romeo. Barbieri was followed two minutes later by Alloatti. Then it was Ghersi's turn after a further two minutes and so on. Pages had flooded the carburetor on his Monza and came away 1m45s late.
      Hardly had Carraroli's Ferrari Monza disappeared from Cerda as last vehicle away before the first race report came in. Barbieri had passed Caltavuturo. There were two intermediate timing stations, one at Caltavuturo, 600 m above the sea and 30 km from the start and one at Collesano, 448m above sea and 48 km from the start. A heavy shower fell over Cerda while the results from the stations continued to drop in. Ghersi had been fastest at Caltavuturo with Alloatti, Varzi, Barbieri and Magistri within a minute behind him. At Collesano Ghersi was leading Varzi by 43 seconds.
      At 11:30 a fire cracker went off to get the spectators' attention. The first competitor was approaching Cerda. Through the rain Barbieri's Monza appeared to the cheers from to crowd. Just a minute later two more fire crackers announced two more cars arriving. It was Ghersi in the P3, who had gained almost 3 minutes on Barbieri , followed by Alloatti in the T51 Bugatti, who had been passed by Ghersi and now tried his best to keep up the pace of the Alfa.
      Two and a half minutes later Varzi turned up. Then the spectators had to wait 7 minutes for Magistri , who had done a great job in his little Alfa 1750, not only having caught d'Agata's Maserati but having left it 4 minutes behind. And then car after car followed. The race order after the first lap was:
1. Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)58m40s (73.6 km/h)
2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)59m18s
3. Alloatti (Bugatti)1h00m53s
4. Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)1h01m28.6s
5. Magistri (Alfa Romeo)1h02m32s
6. Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)1h03m40.2s
7. "Fiorello" (Alfa Romeo)1h05m23.8s
8. Pages (Alfa Romeo)1h07m06s
9. d'Agata (Maserati)1h08m52s
10. Carraroli (Alfa Romeo)1h09m20.4s
11. Battaglia (Alfa Romeo)1h10m55.2s
12. Battilana (Alfa Romeo)

When Carraroli had passed there was a half an hour interval for the spectators, who however could follow the race from the intermediate reports.
      On the second lap at the Cardellino bridge, 23 km after the start, Alloatti overdid it and crashed into the bridge stone parapet. The Bugatti fell some ten meters down into the valley. An ambulance took Alloatti to the San Saverio hospital in Palermo where the doctors found that his back was broken in two places and that he also had a fractured skull.
      Barbieri still held the lead on the track after two laps. Ghersi was just 36 seconds behind with Varzi arriving to Cerda as third, 2m24s later. The order after 2 laps was:
1. Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)1h59m02.8s (72.6 km/h)
2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h59m27s
3. Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)2h02m27.4s?
4. Magistri (Alfa Romeo)
5. Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)
6. "Fiorello" (Alfa Romeo)
7. Pages (Alfa Romeo)
8. Battaglia (Alfa Romeo)
9. Carraroli (Alfa Romeo)
10. d'Agata (Maserati)
11. Battilana (Alfa Romeo)

D'Agata retired his Maserati with ignition trouble. That left only ten Alfa Romeos in the competition.
      The rain finally stopped at Cerda and the weather there turned much better. The spectators eagerly waited for the drivers to appear again. The report from Collesano showed that Ghersi and Varzi were close together in time. Then a Scuderia Ferrari monoposto appeared but it was not Ghersi but Varzi who turned up. Two and a half minutes later Barbieri appeared in his Monza. Both made their planned pit stops for fuel and new rear wheels and were soon away again. Then after ten minutes wait Magistri sensationally turned up in the 1750 and only then, behind him, Ghersi. At a curve near Campofelice Ghersi had crashed and damaged the right front fender on the Alfa and a bolt had become loose on the steering. Repairs and a plug change took 7m10s. That meant that Ghersi had lost over 20 minutes in total and Magistri now was 2nd!
1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)3h00m38s (71.7 km/h)
2. Magistri (Alfa Romeo)3h07m27.6s
3. Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)3h09m08.4s
4. Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)3h16m21.2s
5. "Fiorello" (Alfa Romeo)
6. Battaglia (Alfa Romeo)
7. Pages (Alfa Romeo)
8. Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)3h22m05s
9. Battilana (Alfa Romeo)
10. Carraroli (Alfa Romeo)

Battilana had damaged the steering at the downhill section after Callesano and had to retire his Monza.
      From the halfway point the lap times were going up for every car and continued getting worse and worse as there race proceeded. While Varzi was in command of the race and had no reason to push anymore, it is possible that while the rain had stopped at Cerda it had intensified in the mountains making the conditions worse.
      Varzi passed the main stand for the fourth time as first driver followed five minutes later by Barbieri, while Magistri was still pushing in second position overall.
1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)4h03m25s (71.0 km/h)
2. Magistri (Alfa Romeo)4h11m13.1s
3. Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)4h14m49s
4. Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)
5. Pages (Alfa Romeo)
6. "Fiorello" (Alfa Romeo)
7. Battaglia (Alfa Romeo)
8. Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)
9. Carraroli (Alfa Romeo)

On the fifth lap Carraroli retired with a broken differential. Order after 5 laps:
1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)5h08m56s (69.9 km/h)
2. Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)5h21m17s
3. Magistri (Alfa Romeo)5h25m02.4s
4. Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)
5. Pages (Alfa Romeo)
6. "Fiorello" (Alfa Romeo)
7. Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)
8. Battaglia (Alfa Romeo)

Varzi took the flag 6 hours and 20 minutes after the race was started. Then there was a seven minutes wait for Barbieri, who had taken over second position from Magistri. The latter had had engine problems and had been unable to keep up the pace but arrived 23 minutes later to finish third both on track and on overall. Three and a half minutes behind Magistri Ghersi took the flag but he knew he has lost too much time. Behind him Balestrero and Pages had 12 and 14 minutes time to beat him and Balestrero did that easy arriving only 8 minutes behind Ghersi, while there was a tight fight with Pages who robbed Ghersi from the 5th position by just 3 seconds.
      "Fiorello" finished 7th and last while Battaglia seems to have retired on the last lap.
      And then the rain started to come down again as the teams packed up and started towards Palermo.
      The winner's medium speed was, because of the conditions, of course low. Still it was faster than in the 1931 race, run in similar conditions but on the even more demanding Grande Circuito delle Madione.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.10Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-866h14m26.8s
2.2Ferdinando BarbieriScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-866h27m14.2s+ 12m47.4s
3.22Costantino MagistriC. MagistriAlfa Romeo6C 1750GS1.5S-666h40m02.6s+ 25m35.8s
4.12Renato BalestreroR. BalestreroAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-866h45m43.0s+ 31m16.2s
5.18Luigi PagesL. PagesAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-866h49m28.8s+ 35m02.0s
6.6Pietro GhersiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-866h49m32.0s+ 35m05.2s
7.28"Fiorello"G. CorteseAlfa Romeo6C 17501.7S-666h54m01.2s+ 39m34.4s
DNF14Gianni BattagliaG. BattagliaAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-85
DNF8Guglielmo CarraroliScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-84differential
DNF30Attilio BattilanaGruppo GenoveseAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-83steering
DNF24Antonio d'AgataA. d'AgataMaserati26M2.5S-82ignition
DNF4Giovanni AlloattiG. AlloattiBugattiT35B2.3S-81fatal crash
Fastest lap: Pietro Ghersi (Alfa Romeo) on lap 1 in 58m40.0s = 73.6 km/h (45.8 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 69.2 km/h (43.0 mph)
Weather: heavy rains.
In retrospect:
Alloatti fought on at the hospital for almost three weeks before he finally succumbed to his injuries. He was buried at the Cimitero Generale in Turin. His Bugatti was repaired (most probably by the factory) and sold to the Léoz-Abad brothers from Spain.

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:
Michael Müller



XXXXXXXXX

IX GRAND PRIX DES FRONTIÈRES

Chimay (B), 20 May 1934
15 laps x 10.87 km (6.75 mi) = 163.05 km (101.3 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

Willy LonguevilleB. LonguevilleBugattiT35B2.3LS-8
Bruno SojkaB. SojkaBugattiT51A1.5LS-8
PorterPorterBugattiT37A1.5LS-4
Claude "Barowski"C. BossuBugattiT51A1.5LS-8
Arthur LegatA. LegatBugattiT37A1.5LS-4
HoupHoupBugattiDNA
MeertMeertAlfa RomeoDNA
Hans SimonsH. SimonsBugattiT37A1.5S-4DNA
Whitney StraightW. StraightMaserati8CM3.0S-8DNA
Jean-Marie de TexidorJ.M. de TexidorAlfa RomeoDNA



Longueville literally in his own class
Entries:

     
Practice:

     
Race:

     

GRID NOT AVAILABLE



The 1934 Frontières GP had a very disappointing start list consisting of only one GP car plus four voiturettes. But there was also a 8 lap, 1100c cycle car race with five cars run at the same time.
      Longueville in his 2.3 L Bugatti dominated the race leading from start to finish. Rouleau in a Amilcar won the 1100cc class.
     

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.Willy LonguevilleB. LonguevilleBugattiT35B2.3LS-8151h22m58s
2.Bruno SojkaB. SojkaBugattiT51A1.5LS-8151h24m24s+ 1m26s
3.PorterPorterBugattiT37A1.5LS-4151h24m34s+ 1m36s
4.Claude "Barowski"C. BossuBugattiT51A1.5LS-8   
DNFArthur LegatA. LegatBugattiT37A1.5LS-45valve 
Fastest lap: Willy Longueville (Bugatti) on lap 1 in 5m19.2s = 122.6 km/h (76.2 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 117.9 km/h (72.8 mph)
Weather:



XXXXXXXXX

I GRAND PRIX DE CASABLANCA/GRAND PRIX DU MAROC

Anfa - Casablanca (F), 20 May 1934
60 laps x 6.37 km (3.96 mi) = 382.2 km (237.5 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2MencoMencoMaserati26M2.8S-8
4Marcel LehouxScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8
6Luigi SoffiettiScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
8Clemente BiondettiGrupa Genovese San GiorgioMaserati26M2.5S-8?
10Gianfranco ComottiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8
12Whitney StraightWhitney StraightMaserati8CM3.0S-8
14Juan ZanelliJ. ZanelliAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8?
16Philippe EtancelinP. EtancelinMaserati8CM3.0S-8
18Hugh HamiltonWhitney StraightMaserati8CM3.0S-8
20Raymond SommerR. SommerMaserati8CM3.0S-8
22Mlle "Hellé-Nice"Mlle "Hellé-Nice"Alfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
24Giovanni MinozziScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
26Robert BrunetR. BrunetBugattiT512.3S-8?
28Secondo CorsiGrupa Genovese San GiorgioMaserati26M2.8S-8
30Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8



Ferrari Alfas against private Maseratis
Entries:
Ferrari entered three old 2.6 liter cars for the Casablanca Grand Prix to be driven by Chiron, Lehoux and Comotti. They were challenged by seven Maseratis with drivers including Biondetti, Ètancelin, Hamilton, Sommer and Straight. Private Monzas were entered by Mlle. Hellé-Nice, Minozzi, Sofietti and Zanelli.
Practice:

     
Race:

     
Pole Position
16
Etancelin

Maserati
2m50s

30
Chiron

Alfa Romeo
2m49s

4
Lehoux

Alfa Romeo
2m49s

18
Hamilton

Maserati
?

12
Straight

Maserati
?

10
Comotti

Alfa Romeo
3m01s

6
Soffietti

Alfa Romeo
3m00s

24
Minozzi

Alfa Romeo
2m56s

26
Brunet

Bugatti
3m08s

14
Zanelli

Alfa Romeo
3m02s

22
Hellé-Nice

Alfa Romeo

8
Biondetti

Maserati

20
Sommer

Maserati

28
Corsi

Maserati

2
Menco

Maserati

Chiron took the lead followed by Lehoux, Etancelin and Hamilton. Lehoux had an early pitstop but was soon back in the fight for second position. Chiron had opened a gap to Lehoux and Etancelin who were swapping places several times. Behind them there was a fight for fourth between Comoti, Straight and Hamilton who had stopped for new tyres. Order at half-distance:
1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)1h26m42s
2. Lehoux (Alfa Romeo)1h27m25s
3. Etancelin (Maserati)1h27m27s
4. Comotti (Alfa Romeo)1h28m53s
5. Straight (Maserati)1h29m54s
6. Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)1h32.0s
7. Soffietti (Alfa Romeo)
8. Hamilton (Maserati)
9. Biondetti (Maserati)
10. Zanelli (Alfa Romeo)

A puncture and a series of pitstops then pushed Lehoux backwards in the field. Chiron was dominant leading from start to finish and taking the flag almost a minute in front of Etancelin's private Maserati. Team mates Straight and Hamilton both struck tyre trouble and Hamilton had to retire with a leaking fuel tank. Lehoux fought back to take the last podium position away from Straight near the end of the race.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.30Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8602h55m42.4s
2.16Philippe EtancelinP. EtancelinMaserati8CM3.0S-8602h56m32.6s+ 50.2s
3.4Marcel LehouxScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8592h56m23.8s
4.12Whitney StraightWhitney StraightMaserati8CM3.0S-858
5.10Gianfranco ComottiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-858
6.24Giovanni MinozziScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-857
7.14Juan ZanelliJ. ZanelliAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8?
8.8Clemente BiondettiGrupa Genovese San GiorgioMaserati26M2.5S-8?
9.26Robert BrunetR. BrunetBugattiT512.3S-8?
DNF6Luigi SoffiettiScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-854
DNF18Hugh HamiltonWhitney StraightMaserati8CM3.0S-842fuel tank
DNF28Secondo CorsiGrupa Genovese San GiorgioMaserati26M2.8S-829oil pipe
DNF20Raymond SommerR. SommerMaserati8CM3.0S-815?clutch
DNF22Mlle "Hellé-Nice"Mlle "Hellé-Nice"Alfa RomeoMonza2.3S-813?rear axle
DNF2MencoMencoMaserati26M2.8S-81crash
Fastest lap: Louis Chiron (Alfa Romeo) in 2m49.2s = 135.5 km/h (84.2 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 130.5 km/h (81.1 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 135.7 km/h (84.3 mph)
Weather:

Star 21 May 1934: The B.A.R.C. Whitsun Meeting was held at Brooklands.
The handicap races were won by D. A. Aldington (Frazer Nash 1.5 litre), Mrs K. Petre (Bugatti 2.0 litre), A. J. Cormack (Alta 1.1 litre), W. E. Harker (Harker Special 1.5 litre), R. T. Horton (M.G. 1.1 litre), Earl Howe (Bugatti 2.3 litre), J. W. Lucas (Riley 1.1 litre), L. Eccles (Bugatti 2.3 litre), N. Embiricos (Bugatti 2.3 litre) and W. G. Everitt (M.G. 0.7 litre).



Click here for biography of Alfred Neubauer
 
Click here for biography of Willy Walb
 
Click here for biography of Ferdinand Porsche




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