1 9 3 5
The work on the 1935 season is now considered finished with the accounts for all the races having been re-written and improved during 2016-2018.
Only minor additions and corrections should be expected from now on.
Great thanks to Hans Etzrodt who took his time to write improved accounts for nine major races.
Information derived from contemporary magazines and newspapers have been used as much as possible. Those race reports made a long time ago by knowledgeable reporters have
been of invaluable help. Secondary sources have of course also been used when needed. Especially I would like to mention the books by Bill Boddy, Peter Hull, Simon Moore,
Anthony Pritchard, Paul Sheldon and David Venables, which have been consulted frequently.
A special thanks to all persons who through the years have provided me with feedback and additional information.
1935 was the great year of Mercedes-Benz and Rudolf Caracciola, while Auto Union was struggling. It was also the first year of the AIACR European Championship.
Grand Prix racing was becoming more and more a matter for the great manufacturers, private drivers had no chance to compete on equal terms. In 1935 the Independent Drivers Association was therefore
formed in Paris by the amateur drivers in an attempt to inprove the situation. But the race organizers were no longer ready to spend start money on also-runners, and one after another
the privateers left Grand Prix racing and turned instead to sports car or Voiturette racing. Whitney Straight left the scene altogether after unsuccessfully having tried to buy an Auto Union
car for his team. Maserati and Bugatti also lost their interest in GP racing during the season, leaving the field to Alfa Romeo and the two German teams.
In the autumn AIACR and representatives for the teams met, trying to find a new racing formula, but the meeting brought no result and the existing 750 kg formula was extended to include also the 1937 season.
1935 was the year that Voiturette racing became a serious alternative for race organizers around Europe. More and more of the continental races were changed from the 1100cc to the 1500cc class.
The reason for the change in attitude towards the class was the new British ERA, which during the season took over the honor from Maserati of being the leading Voiturette car manufacturer.
Maserati was willing to take up the challenge, realizing that the future lay in Voiturette, not in GP racing.
The Fredenloppet ice race in Sweden was due to the warm winter postponed twice from January 27th to March 3rd and then to March 17th, before it was finally cancelled.
The Grand Prix de Vichy, planned for 1 September was canselled. It was replaced by the Grand Prix de Biarritz that later also was cancelled.
The Coppa Principessa di Piemonte at Posillipo, Naples planned for 13 October was first moved to 27 October and thencancelled when Scuderia Ferrari withdrew their entry.
1935 SEASON LINEUP:
Mercedes continued to race their W25 cars with 3.7 litres engines, upgraded later to 4.0 litres and finally 4.3 litres.
The driver lineup for 1935 was the same as in 1934 with Rudolf Caracciola, Manfred von Brauchitsch
and Luigi Fagioli as drivers and Hanns Geier as reserve. Second reserve was Hermann Lang,
who at the start of the season still worked as Fagioli's chief mechanic.
Auto Union entered the season with Auto Union B, a variant of Auto Union A upgraded on 56 different points including
increasing the engine capacity to 4.9 litre. Later in the season a 5.6 litre variant appeared.
The team retained the services of Hans Stuck and Hermann zu Leiningen and signed on Italian Achille Varzi. As reserves the team selected
GP privateer Paul Pietsch and the young motorcycle racer Bernd Rosemeyer. Momberger, who had great difficulties in working together
with team manager Willy Walb , and Sebastian, who admitted he did not have the speed for GP racing, had both moved to other duties
at the Auto Union concern.
During the season the Maserati works team was represented by Count Della Chiesa's Scuderia Subalpina, in a similar way that
Scuderia Ferrari represented Alfa Romeo. Drivers Philippe Étancelin and Goffredo Zehender raced 6C-34 cars or upgraded 8CM cars
while waiting for their new V8-RI.
Another Maserati team was Gino Rovere with Giuseppe Farina as driver and
early in the season Étancelin sold his old blue 8CM to Armand Girod.
The new long expected 4.8 litre Maserati Tipo V-8RI finally made its debut in July at the Marne GP.
The streamlined design was clearly influenced by the German cars. Sadly it never got its chance to prove itself, for
suddenly Maserati lost interest in Grand Prix racing and the car never went through a proper development program.
Private Maserati drivers continued to drive their 3 litre 8CM cars with little success, the car being inferior to
both the latest Alfa Romeo and German cars.
The Alfa Romeo P3 cars were bored out to 3.2 litres and were equipped with independent front suspension. In the middle of the season
a final variant of the car had a 3.8 litre engine.
Late in the season the new Tipo C 8 appeared with the 3.8 litre engine fitted into a streamlined body with a fully independent
Tazio Nuvolari had approached Auto Union only to find out that Varzi had already signed on.
Nuvolari then planned to continue as a Maserati privateer, but with Varzi gone it seemed that the Ferrari team
would be led by French René Dreyfus and Monegasque Louis Chiron. Thus Benito Mussolini himself made it clear that he liked to
see the "Flying Mantuan" leading the team, so after having left the team in the middle of the 1933 season, Nuvolari
was now back at Ferrari. Other Ferrari drivers included Felice Trossi, who also worked as president for Scuderia Ferrari,
Antonio Brivio, Gianfranco Comotti, Mario Tadini and Carlo Pintacuda.
Scuderia Ferrari also built two new twin-engine 6.3 litre formula libre cars known as the "Bi-motore" with an intent
to beat the Germans at AVUS and Tripoli.
Bugatti had increased their engine volume to 3.8 litres and at last found some reliability. The team retained four of their cars and
managed to sell the other four to British amateur drivers.
Driver lineup included Jean-Pierre Wimille, Piero Taruffi and veteran driver Robert Benoist. Earl Howe entered his private
car in a some major races and several old Bugattis appeared in racing during the year.
In 1935 Maserati continued with their 4C cars but were beaten by the new ERA cars.
Luigi Della Chiesa's new Scuderia Subalpina represented
the works. During the season Maserati worked on a new car to beat ERA in 1936.
This was a great year for ERA. A new bettered variant called ERA-B was built and raced by the works team.
Works drivers were Raymond Mays and Humphrey Cook. Tim Rose-Richards and Prince Hermann zu Leiningen
also did a start each for the works team. Pat Fairfield raced his 1100cc car and new ERA-B cars were sold to
"B. Bira" and Richard Seaman. These few cars dominated the 1935 Voiturette season.
The Bugatti cars were also runners, the team had no plans for any new design and the old cars were no match for the
Maseratis and ERAs. Pierre Veyron continued as the team's top driver.
Earl Howe continued racing with his 1927 Delage. Old Salmsons and MGs also showed up here and there during the season.
Considering the fact that the speeds had gone up, 1935 proved to be one of the most accident free seasons in the 1930s,
at least regarding Grand Prix racing. The absolutely worst accident of the season was at the Château-Thierry hillclimb on 7 April when
Joseph Cattanéo lost control of his Bugatti and crashed into the crowd. Some seven spectators succumed to their injuries with other 18 badly injured.
On 26 May French driver Buffy lost control of his Bugatti in the rain at the Circuit d'Orleans race while chasing Robert Cazaux. The car bounced off a tree
into the crowd, hitting 12 people. Eight of them were hospitalized of which one, Eugène Regrain, later succumbed to his wounds.
On 16 June French driver Robert Cazaux was the winner at Course de Côte de Sézanne hillclimb with his Bugatti T51. While doing a "climb of honor" he
overturned and fell out of the car, receiving fatal injuries.
On 2 November German driver Rudolf Steinweg died in a crash while practicing for the Guggerberg hillclimb near Budapest, Hungary.
On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean on 21 May race driver Stubby Stubblefield and his mechanic Leo Whitaker crashed during qualifying for the Indy 500.
The same day rookie driver Johnny Hannon crashed fatally during practice. Driving the same car as Hannon, Clay Weatherly then crashed fatally during Indy 500 on
Bråviken, Lindö - Norrköping (S), 3 February 1935
20 laps x ~1.505 km (0.935 mi) = ~30.1 km (18.7 mi)
Widengren wins minor Swedish ice race
by Leif Snellman
The Scandinavian ice racing season opened with this minor race in Norrköping. Five Swedes including Widengren, Sundstedt and Carlsson were challenged by Finn Ebb.
Widengren in his Alfa Romeo Monza dropped to third in the start but then took control of the race to win from Ebb in a Mercedes and Sundstedt in a Bugatti.
Back in the 1930s Norrköping with some 65,000 inhabitants was the fourth largest city of Sweden. It is located some 120 km southwest of Stockholm in the end of Bråviken bay.
Norrköpings motorsportklubb tried in 1933 and again in 1934 to organize an ice race but both times the event had to be cancelled because of the weather.
But in 1935 the club finally succeeded.
Fredenloppet had been scheduled on January 27th, but an unusually mild winter meant that they had to postpone that event for March 3rd.
That meant that the Norrköping event, called Lindöloppet, was to be the first race of the season.
Tracks were plowed up on the ice outside Lindö. The event included motor cycle races on a 400m oval and a car race on a 1.5 km track
with several curves including a curve at the end of the main straight, 450 meters after the start line, called "shell curve", where the curve radius decreased continuously the farther into the curve
you went. A 1.5 meter high quay provided the spectators with both good visibility and some kind of protection. Buses and extra trains were arranged from Stockholm.
The entry list was quite small and included five Swedish and one Finnish driver.
Per-Wiktor Widengren was to race his blue-yellow Monza #2211077 rebuilt to monoposto in 1934 with engine enlarged to 2.6 litre, and Knut Gustav Sundstedt his blue ex-Chiron Bugatti (4922) bought as rebuilt to a
T35B from the factory in 1931. Helmer Carlsson entered his 6 cylinder Amilcar and Karl-Emil Rolander an ex-Carlsson Ford special known as "Guldpilen" (Golden Arrow) built by Walter Görtz, Örebro, with Ford A
components and a Ford B engine on an anonymous chassis.
The engine had an Italian Silvano OHV head and a Scintilla ignition system.
Karl Ebb entered his familiar white Mercedes-Benz SSK (#35998).
Finally, there was Gunnar Thorsell with his blue Chevrolet, tuned by Husqvarna MC engineer Folke Mannerstedt, and, as Dagens Nyheter said, had very little common with a normal Chevrolet.
Ebb arrived to Stockholm on Friday morning and immediately continued to Norrköping to get time for a possible gear ratios change.
The other competitors followed on Saturday.
Saturday came with snow storm that later turned into rain and slush, which created huge puddles on the ice that made the cars throw up cascades of water in the air.
There were worries for the event. However tests showed that the ice was still at least 25-30 cm thick on most places and 20-22 cm even on its weakest points.
On Saturday night the temperature dropped and the strong frost definitely saved the race.
According to Dagens Nyheter the local police had asked the drivers for a test start at 9 a.m. to see if six cars could make it safely into the first curve!
It is unknown if that test actually took place.
At 1 p.m. the first of several motor cycle heats started. After the motor cycle races it was time for the main event: The car race. The six
cars were lined up in two rows:
Competition manager K. F. Löfgren dropped the flag and off they went. Widengren got stuck for a moment in first gear and Sundstedt took the lead followed by Ebb and Widengren.
But during the first lap Widengren, once sorting out the gearbox, passed both the Bugatti and the Mercedes to take the lead. On the third lap Ebb found a way to pass Sundstedt for second position. By five laps
the top positions seemed established. Further back the slower cars were struggling. Rolander retired the Ford with broken pinions in the gear box and smoke in the cockpit
indicated a broken clutch in Thorsell's Chevrolet. The remaining four cars finished the race without further incidents with Widengren taking the victory from Ebb, Sundstedt and Carlsson.
|1.||Per-Wiktor Widengren||P-W Widengren||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||20||18m45.8s|
|2.||Karl Ebb||K. Ebb||Mercedes-Benz||SSK||7.1||S-6||20||18m57.8s||+ 12.0s|
|3.||Knut Gustav Sundstedt||K-G. Sundstedt||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||20||19m24.9s||+ 39.1s|
|4.||Helmer Carlsson||Västerås Racer Kompani||Amilcar||C6||1.1||S-6||20||~21m34.6s|
|DNF||Gunnar Thorsell||G. Thorsell||Chevrolet||Special||?||clutch|
|DNF||Karl-Emil Rolander||Västerås Racer Kompani||Ford||Special||3.6||S-4||?||gearbox|
Fastest lap: Per-Wiktor Widengren (Alfa Romeo) in ~53.6s = 101 km/h (62.8 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 96.2 km/h (59.8 mph)
Weather: sunny, sub zero.
II NORGES GRAND PRIX
Bogstad-Oslo (N), 10 February 1935
20 laps x 5 km (~3.1 mi) = 100 km (62.1 mi)
Widengren wins the Norwegian GP second time in a row
by Leif Snellman
The major Norwegian race of the year took place at Bogstad near Oslo. The race included racing cars and sports cars. It was snowing during the event. Swede Widengren dominated the race while home favourite Bjørnstad had two punctures. That gave
second place to Finnish driver Ebb in his Mercedes with Swiss driver Rüesch third in a Maserati. Swedish driver Sundstedt walked away unhurt from a spectacular crash.
The next race of the 1935 season was the Norwegian winter Grand Prix, moved away this year from Gjersjøn
to a 5 km circuit laid out on Bogstadvannet, a frozen lake in the Sørkedalen valley 10 kilometers from Oslo.
4.000 Nkr was reserved for the prizes and in addition to that came special prizes and trophies. The top three in the racing class were to receive 1,000 Nkr, 300 Nkr and 100 Nkr, and the top three in the sports car class
400 Nkr, 200 Nkr and 100 Nkr.
The racing class included a decent number of cars.
Swedes Widengren and Sundstedt raced the same cars as in Lindöloppet as did Finnish driver Ebb.
Norwegian Eugen Bjørnstad entered his Alfa Romeo Monza #2111041, rebuilt to monoposto just as Widengren's ditto. Swiss Hans Rüesch was to race his red-white 3 litre Maserati.
John Isberg made one of his last appearances, racing his old faithful Bugatti T35C "Blåen", bought back in 1927.
The racing class also included Finnish driver Alm, who initially had entered his bizarre Flash Gordon inspired
"tail Ford" in the sports car class. The basis of the car was a 1932 Ford V-8. The wheelbase of the car had been shortened to 2 meters, the front brakes and the gearbox had been removed and a 2 meter long vertical plywood
fin had been added to the rear. As the rest of the body mostly was made of fabric the car weighed only 600 kg. The driver claimed that the "tail" was efficient when cornering. The car was properly registered
(plate A-4644) and the Finn had driven the car on the roads all the way from Stockholm.
A snowstorm arrived to Oslo on Saturday evening and the storm continued on Sunday. That did not prevent the Norwegian race enthusiasts from turning up.
With 18,000 tickets sold and some 25,000 spectators altogether turning up transports and crowd control in the snow filled valley proved troublesome and it created an enormous traffic jam on the road from Oslo.
|The sports cars started on line 100 m behind the racing cars|
The start was planned for 2.10 p.m. A few minutes before the start the grid still looked like a complete mess with cars in the wrong positions and photographers and mechanics running about but
in the end things sorted themselves out and the race cars left the grid avoiding getting mingled with the sport cars that started a 100 meters behind.
Hans Rüesch made the best start to take the lead with his Maserati followed by Widengren, Ebb , Isberg and Bjørnstad.
But into the first corner Widengren went past to lead after the first lap followed by Bjørnstad, Ebb, Rüesch and Isberg. After three laps Widengren was leading by 7 seconds.
Ebb with his huge SSK then passed Bjørnstad for second place. Soon afterwards Bjørnstad had a puncture and fell back.
After seven laps Widengren was leading Ebb by 43 seconds.
On lap 9 Sundstedt spun, the car made a somersault, landed on its wheels and crashed in a cloud of snow. The steering was broken and Sundstedt had to retire. He immediately went through a medical check an it was found he
luckily had survived without injuries. Widengren was in his own class and on lap 18 he lapped third placed Rüesch to put all except Ebb a lap
behind. Bjørnstad had another puncture and was forced to do almost a full lap on the rim before being able to reach the pit.
After 25 laps Widengren took the flag to win the Norwegian Grand Prix for the second time in a row. Ebb was second. Rüesch, whose Maserati was clearly the fastest car on the straight, but whose driving in the curves
left something to be desired, was a rather disappointing third, and veteran driver Isberg after a steady drive fourth. Bjørnstad finished fifth after his two punctures and Alm was sixth and last finisher.
In the sports car class Norwegian Arvid Johansen led from start to finish followed by his countryman Konrad Bryde, who after the war would be one of the top men in FIA, and by Swede Gunnar Thorsell.
On the way back from the race Sundstedt crashed again, this time into a trench with his lorry.
Alm was a bit out of cash and it is claimed he sold his leather trousers in Oslo to be able to get his car back to Finland!
The sources differ regarding time and position for Bjørnstad and Alm, position for Thorsell and time for Helling and Andersen.
Vallentunasjön (S), 17 February 1935
10 laps x 4 km (2.49 mi) = 40 km (24.9 mi)
Widengren wins major Swedish ice race
by Leif Snellman
The Vallentuna race was the major Swedish ice race of the year. The entry list was similar to the Norwegian race a week earlier and again the race was run in a snowstorm.
The Alfa Romeo Monzas of Widengren and Bjørnstad dominated the event with Widengren once again taking the top position. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz) was third while Rüesch (Maserati) had
to retire with a puncture.
With no race at Rämen in 1934-35, the Vallentuna race, held on a lake some 20 km north of downtown Stockholm, had taken over the position as the major Swedish race of the season.
The 4 km race track included more curves than in 1934 and was surrounded by a metal fence held up by 1500-1600 beams hammered into the ice. With extra protections in the corners some 5 km of metal fence was used.
Tests showed that the ice was 35-39 cm thick. Thaw during the days before the race did not hinder the event from taking place. There were races for motorcycles, racing cars and standard cars.
Three Swedish entries were familiar from both Lindöloppet and the Norwegian Grand Prix, Per-Wictor Widengren with his blue-yellow Monza, Knut Gustav Sundstedt with his Bugatti
and Gunnar Thorsell in a blue Chevrolet Special.
Karl-Emil Rolander was to race the ex-Carlsson Ford "Guldpilen" (Golden Arrow) and newcomer Erik Wernström a Continental Special.
The entry list also included three Swedish cars with engines smaller than 1.5 litre, Fred Myrberg's ex-Verner Hansson Frazer Nash, Ivar Lindh's Bugatti and Helmer Carlsson's Amilcar.
Carlsson had had the bad luck to get a connecting rod through the engine block of the Amilcar a week earlier during a minor race at lake Axamo, when the car jumped out of gear and the engine overrevved.
Luckily the block was made of cast iron and could be welded and Carlsson was back in business.
Apart from the Swedes there were five foreign entries. Just as in the Norwegian Grand Prix Norwegian Eugen Bjørnstad entered his Monza and Swiss Hans Rüesch his red-white Maserati.
Of the three Finns Karl Ebb was to race his usual huge Mercedes-Benz, Arvo Sorri was making his international debut with an elegant blue Chrysler (almost too fine to put into a race according to
Dagens Nyheter), and Einar Alm entered his bizarre "tail-Ford". The wheelbase had been shortened to 2 meters, the gearbox had been removed and a 2 meter long vertical plywood fin had been added to the rear.
The driver claimed that the "tail" was efficient when cornering.
Some 2,000 - 3,000 spectators turned up for Friday practice. Widengren and Bjørnstad proved to be equal fast, both doing a lap time of 2m08s. Hans Rüesch did a2m15s lap but was struggling with the studded tyres,
and pitted on the rim as one tyre had disintegrated.
The Sunday weather was bad with wind and snowstorm but still some 15,000 spectators turned up. The event started at 1 p.m. with the motorcycle races. It was followed by a show driving by American stunt driver
captain J. Miller in a Plymouth and then it was time for the racing cars. Einar Alm was denied a start as the organizers found the car "too fragile".
The start procedure proved to be a curious one as after having lined up the cars they were pushed back some 100 meters and remained there for a considerable time waiting for the flag to drop.
Several cars got oily plugs while waiting and Widengren changed plugs on the grid, adding to the chaos by delaying the start further.
When the flag finally was dropped Rüesch, just as in Bogstad a week before, took the start followed by Widengren, Lindh, Sundstedt, Bjørnstad, Sorri and Ebb.
Widengren soon went past Rüesch to take the lead and soon Widengren, Rüesch , Bjørnstad and Ebb pulled away from the rest of the field. Sundstedt was an early retirement.
On the fourth lap Rüesch got a puncture. The studs that had served him well in Norway failed him just as they had during practice. After four laps Widengren had opened a gap of 18 seconds from Bjørnstad and Ebb.
After six laps the gap between Widengren and Bjørnstad had grown to 23 seconds and Ebb in third position was falling back, the tight corners making it difficult to get out the most of his big SSK.
Rolander had to retire Guldpilen after having struggled with oiled spark plugs. Carlsson had plug problems as well and his Amilcar was running on five cylinders.
In the end Widengren dominated the race to win from Bjørnstad and Ebb.
The race was followed by the standard car class where Carl-Gustav Johansson (Ford V8) had to stop twice because of a broken wheel chain and a crash into the snow wall but still eventually managed to
take back the lead and win.
He was followed by Clemens Bergström (Pontiac) and Miss Greta Molander (Plymouth). Then there seems to have been protests about tyres being modified (cuts made) for the snow chains and
the two first competitors were eventually disqualified, making Miss Greta Molander (Plymouth, 33m40.8s) the winner with Hans Hansson (Dodge, 33m46.6s) second and Christer Carlberg (Graham, 34m08.7s) third.
The race start procedure was strongly criticized by the competitors, especially by Bjørnstad and Rüesch, who made it clear that the competitors must get some indication of how much time remains until the
and by Rolander, who blamed the start procedure as the reason for his retirement.
Several of the drivers also thought that the circuit this year was too twisty with too many corners.
Due to the bad weather the loss for the organizers was estimated to 7,000-8,000 Skr.
Late February 1935:
Mercedes-Benz tested at Monza with Lang, Soenius and Kohlrausch as drivers. Hermann Lang was selected as junior driver.
Achille Varzi tested both the streamlined and the GP variants of the Auto Union at AVUS Berlin and was delighted.
GRAND PRIX DE PAU
Pau (F), 24 February 1935
80 laps x 2.769 km (1.721 mi) = 221.5 km (137.6 mi)
Nuvolari returns to Ferrari and wins
by Leif Snellman
Because the circuit was so short the race was limited to 14 cars. The two Scuderia Ferrari Alfas of Nuvolari and Dreyfus dominated the event, taking turns to lead until Nuvolari pulled away late in
the race to win from his team mate. Their closest opponents Etancelin (Maserati) and Lehoux (Bugatti) retired with technical problems leaving the Maseratis of Falchetto, Soffietti and
Brunet to fight for third to fifth position, a fight won near the end by Soffietti.
The central European 1935 Grand Prix season started off in Pau. The 1933 GP race had taken place on 19 February in a snowstorm with sludge making the conditions into one of the worst ever in
racing history. Afraid of similar weather in 1934 and the economic loss in such a case Automobile Club Basco Béarnais (ACBB) had hesitated and the race, scheduled for 18 February, was finally
scratched. But in 1935 the club decided to have another attempt, this time on 24 February, as Pau tried to maintain its reputation as a winter health resort.
The 1933 circuit had proved to be too short. For that reason the 1935 circuit underwent some changes and it now circled the Casino while in 1933 the Casino had been left on the outside. The new circuit
made a wide turn into the Parc Beaumiont passing through a zigzag the statue of Marshal Foch. The course was thus 120m longer than in 1933, a total length of 2769 meters.
Because of the short circuit the organizers only accepted 14 cars and entries from several French local drivers had to be turned down.
The Scuderia Ferrari with their Alfa Romeo cars was favorite. Nuvolari and Dreyfus, had both raced for Automobiles Bugatti in 1934. Dreyfus was new to the Tipo B Monoposto,
while Nuvolari had not raced that car since Marseille 1932. Nuvolari's car had forward facing, reverse quarter elliptic springs at the rear as on the Bugatti Type 59, the construction surely made after
recommendation from the drivers. Nuvolari's car differed also a bit from Dreyfus' by having extra fairings over the rear suspension at the side of the fuel tank. The size of the Alfa Romeo engines is not
known, but there are indications that they were of the new enlarged 1935 spec 3.2 liter variant.
"Mlle. Helle-Nice" appeared with her usual ex-Lehoux Alfa Romeo Monza (#2311213), which she had raced since the middle of 1933; blue colored in two shades with a darker shade around the cockpit.
For 1935 the Maserati works team was to be represented by Count Della Chiesa's Scuderia Subalpina, but their 6C/34 was not ready so their driver Philippe Etancelin instead raced his own narrow chassis
8CM (#3010) for the last time, before he sold the car to Armand Girod.
In fact, none of the new Maserati 6C/34s were present as Hans Rüesch, who was returning from racing in Norway and Sweden via Germany, got stuck at the French customs and had to miss the race. Playboy
driver Robert Brunet raced an 8CM under the Ecurie Nelly Braillard name while Italian "Gigi" Soffietti also entered an 8CM (#3014?).
There were five Bugatti T51s on the entry list. After having raced for Scuderia Ferrari and Whitney Straight in 1934 Algerian Marcel Lehoux raced his own Bugatti at Pau while waiting for the new S.E.F.A.C.
to be ready. With Pau just 50 km from the Spanish border it was natural to see Spanish entries as well with Genaro Léoz-Abad racing his yellow T51. Robert Cazaux' Bugatti T51 was rebuilt with a
streamlined nose and an inverted drop shaped radiator. Jean Delorme and Roger Boucly also entered T51s while Pierre Veyron raced his T51A, 8 cylinder voiturette.
Spanish manufacturer Nacional Pescara entered a yellow/red colored car for Zanelli. It was the same car that had been raced earlier by Zanelli and Esteban Tort but the engine was new even if it was of
the same type as the earlier one. Zanelli seems to have raced at Pau with double rear wheels, a variety mostly used only in hill climbing and ice racing.
About a week before the race Boucly damaged the engine of his Bugatti and the organizers accepted the second Ecurie Nelly Braillard driver Benoît Falchetto (Maserati 8CM), who was first on the reserve
list, into the race. Later Boucly however got his car repaired so he was also accepted, increasing the numbers of entries to 15.
Practice was scheduled for Friday and Saturday from 12:30 to 13:45. Friday practice was free for the spectators, while tickets were sold for Saturday.
Friday practice started in good weather conditions. Nuvolari proved to be fastest, setting a time of 1m55s. Lehoux was second with a time of 1m58s, Dreyfus third after doing 2m02s and Brunet fourth
with a time of 2m04s. Etancelin's Maserati suffered from a bad misfire and Veyron also had technical problems with his car. Léoz-Abad had an incident when he lost a rear wheel but he managed to handle
the situation without crashing.
Zanelli's Nacional Pescara proved to be ill prepared and received some less than flattering comments from the other competitors during practice.
During Saturday practice Nuvolari lowered his time to 1m53s. Etancelin with his repaired Maserati drove a lap in 1m55.4s as did Dreyfus. Etancelin was still not satisfied with his car and the mechanics had
to work all Saturday night on the engine.
Near the end of practice there was what in modern terms is called a "red flag situation". Boucly came with his newly repaired Bugatti at high speed on the main straight along Avenue du Bois Louis but
went too fast into the pit curve. The car slid to the left, the driver overcompensated to the right and crashed into a private car that carelessly had been parked on the inside of the corner by the
president of a major French racing club (Note 1). Boucly was thrown out of the car. The session was immediately stopped but a catastrophe was only just avoided when spectators rushed to the scene while cars
were still running on the track. Boucly was sent to hospital. Initially there were fears of a skull fracture but in the end the driver had survived the crash with a broken nose and some cracked ribs.
During the night a heavy storm passed over the area with hail followed by heavy rain all night. Fortunately the storm did not cause any serious damage to the circuit or the facilities.
On Sunday morning it was still cloudy, windy and rainy. However, as time went by the weather improved and some 20,000 spectators turned up for the race, which was planned to start at 2:30 p.m.
That meant 150,000 Fr incomes to the box office, which together with a sum guaranteed by the local government secured the economic success of the event.
The grid looked like this (it seems that times were taken with at least 1/5s accuracy but sources only give the times in full seconds):
At 2:45 p.m., fifteen minutes behind schedule, Charles Faroux, the legendary organizer of the Le Mans 24h race, finally dropped the flag and the race was on its way.
Nuvolari was a bit slow at the start and from second row Lehoux shot past in the gap between him and Etancelin to take the lead as the cars braked for the first curve and then sorted each other out
while climbing Avenue Leon Say. Lehoux was followed by Etancelin, Nuvolari, Dreyfus, Falchetto and Brunet.
Lehoux finished the first lap in 2m02s. He was chased by Nuvolari, who had passed Etancelin. Behind them followed Dreyfus, Falchetto, Soffietti, Brunet, Léoz-Abad, Zanelli, "Helle-Nice", Cazaux, Veyron
Veyron was out of the competition almost immediately. The engine of the voiturette Bugatti had turned frightfully hot on the very first lap, and Veyron had to do a seven and a half minute stop while the
mechanics were trying to cure the problem.
On the second lap Nuvolari took over the lead from Lehoux and Dreyfus moved into third position at the expense of Etancelin. On the next lap Dreyfus passed Lehoux as well to make it a Scuderia Ferrari one-two.
The duo started to pull away from the rest of the field seemingly without any major effort. Dreyfus finished the fourth lap in 1m56s, closing in on Nuvolari. The race order was Nuvolari, Dreyfus, Lehoux,
Etancelin, Falchetto, Brunet and Soffietti.
Zanelli with the Nacional Pescara was soon in trouble. Either something had broken in the rear axle, or the right hand brake had disintegrated and he eventually retired.
The sun was now shining, and the race continued in beautiful February weather.
After seven laps the Ferrari duo, racing in formation and visibly cruising but still keeping a higher pace than the rest, had opened up a ten second gap.
Etancelin closed in on Lehoux and managed to pass for third position but Lehoux was able to keep up with him, following him closely. Behind them the Maserati trio of Falchetto, Brunet and Soffietti had
a good fight for fifth to seventh positions. The fight was resolved as Falchetto managed to pull away from the other two.
After 10 laps the order was:
|1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||19m49s|
|2. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||19m50s|
|3. Etancelin (Maserati)||20m02s|
|4. Lehoux (Bugatti)||20m04s|
|5. Falchetto (Maserati)||20m16s|
|6. Brunet (Maserati)||20m21s|
|7. Soffietti (Maserati)||20m28s|
|8. Leoz-Abad (Bugatti)||20m55s|
|9. Cazaux (Bugatti)||21m10s|
|10. "Hellé-Nice" (Alfa Romeo)||21m14s|
|11. Delorme (Bugatti)||21m15s|
On the 13th lap Veyron retired as the overheating problem on his voiturette Bugatti reoccurred. Falchetto in fifth position was closing in fast on Etancelin and Lehoux.
On the 17th lap Etancelin parked his Maserati at Virage du Lycée on the far side of the circuit with a broken oil pump. That meant that Lehoux took over third position but he only managed to hold on
to it for one lap before Falchetto caught him and passed.
On lap 18 Dreyfus passed Nuvolari, the Ferrari duo continuing to cruise, now with the Frenchman in the lead.
Order after 20 laps:
|1. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||39m35s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||39m36s|
|3. Falchetto (Maserati)||40m09s|
|4. Lehoux (Bugatti)||40m10s|
|5. Brunet (Maserati)||40m35s|
|6. Soffietti (Maserati)||40m38s|
|7. Leoz-Abad (Bugatti)||41m39s|
|8. Cazaux (Bugatti)||41m42s|
|9. Delorme (Bugatti)||42m28s|
|10. "Hellé-Nice" (Alfa Romeo)||42m31s|
On the 21st lap Lehoux succeeded by passing Falchetto again and managed to keep his position until lap 23 when Falchetto passed him once more and the duel went on to the joy of the spectators. On the 23rd
lap Soffietti, who was chasing Brunet, had a spin but he was able to continue and eventually managed to catch the French driver.
After 30 laps the Ferrari duo was leading by some 40 seconds over Falchetto, who had managed to shake off Lehoux. Brunet and Soffietti were still having a close fight. Only those six cars remained
on the lead lap:
|1. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||59m22s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||59m29s|
|3. Falchetto (Maserati)||1h00m04s|
|4. Lehoux (Bugatti)||1h00m21s?|
|5. Brunet (Maserati)||1h00m48s|
|6. Soffietti (Maserati)||1h00m49s|
|7. Leoz-Abad (Bugatti)||1h01m43s|
|8. Cazaux (Bugatti)||1h02m49s|
|10. Delorme (Bugatti)||1h03m46s|
|9. "Hellé-Nice" (Alfa Romeo)||1h04m39s|
Lehoux' race ended after 32 laps when his Bugatti came to a standstill next to Etancelin's parked car at Virage du Lycée. According to Automobil-Revue a bolt had broken in the transmission.
At halfway distance the situation had stabilized at the top. The Alfas were holding on to their double lead with Falchetto, now the only other driver remaining on the lead lap, over 70 seconds behind:
|1. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1h19m09s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h19m11s|
|3. Falchetto (Maserati)||1h20m23s|
|4. Brunet (Maserati)||1h21m15s|
|5. Soffietti (Maserati)||1h21m42s|
|6. Leoz-Abad (Bugatti)|
|7. Cazaux (Bugatti)|
|8. Delorme (Bugatti)|
|9. "Hellé-Nice" (Alfa Romeo)|
Soffietti had taken up the chase on Brunet and was closing in by some two seconds a lap. Further down the field there was some decent racing with Cazaux passing Léoz-Abad for 6th position on lap 46 and
"Hellé-Nice" overhauled Delorme for 8th two laps later. Pictures from the race show "Hellé-Nice's" spectacular driving technique as she pushed her upper body far out of the cockpit in the right hand curves.
Also, the knob on the gear lever had come loose and "Hellé-Nice" got blisters in her hand when changing gears.
Situation after 50 laps:
|1. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1h38m47s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h38m51s|
|3. Falchetto (Maserati)||1h39m45s|
|4. Brunet (Maserati)||1h41m50s|
|5. Soffietti (Maserati)||1h42m00s|
Dreyfus had opened up a five or six second gap to Nuvolari. A recent illness had taken its toll of Brunet, who was now showing signs of fatigue and he also started to have problems with the plugs. Meanwhile
Soffietti's Maserati had turned larger and larger in Brunet's mirrors. On lap 54 Soffietti tried to pass Brunet but the Maserati went into a skid. Two laps later Soffietti made a new attempt, this time with
Nuvolari drove lap 58 with a lap time of 1m56s, equaling Dreyfus time from lap four.
Order after 60 laps:
|1. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1h58m34s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h58m36s|
|3. Falchetto (Maserati)||2h01m08s|
|4. Soffietti (Maserati)||2h01m59s|
|5. Brunet (Maserati)||2h02m12s|
|6. Cazaux (Bugatti)|
|7. Leoz-Abad (Bugatti)|
Soffietti now went on to reel in Falchetto, who was under the impression that he was quite safe in third position. Falchetto was known for a rough driving style and his brakes were beginning to fail. During
the next ten laps Soffietti pulled in 18 seconds on Falchetto.
Situation after 70 laps:
|1. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2h18m41s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2h18m44s|
|3. Falchetto (Maserati)||2h21m56s|
|4. Soffietti (Maserati)||2h22m10s|
|5. Brunet (Maserati)||2h23m11s|
|6. Cazaux (Bugatti)|
With less than ten laps to go, Dreyfus was still leading and there was naturally much speculation among the spectators. Was Ferrari planning to let Dreyfus win? Or was Nuvolari perhaps unable to challenge
him? The answer came soon. Nuvolari suddenly closed in on Dreyfus and on the 75th laps the "flying Mantuan" pushed the pedal to the floor and took over the lead from his team mate as they passed the
grandstand. Nuvolari immediately opened up a seven second gap to Dreyfus, who seemed unable to reply. Nuvolari's last laps were impressive as he pushed the quarter elliptic sprung Alfa to its limit,
showing the superiority of the new suspension and driving ever faster laps. After having completed a 1m54 s lap, on lap 78 he went faster than his qualifying time, and set the lap record for the new
circuit to1m51.7s. On the last five laps he left Dreyfus 26 seconds behind and he passed the grand stand and took the flag in a spectacular four wheel slide, which was Nuvolari's trademark.
Two laps behind him, Falchetto was now also suffering from a broken shock absorber and was passed by Soffietti. But he did not give up and the two cars actually crashed, fortunately without damage,
after having passed the checkered flag two seconds apart with Soffietti finishing third and Falchetto fourth.
In fifth place followed Brunet, who was the first to be flagged off before doing all 80 laps. next followed Cazaux, Léoz-Abad, "Helle-Nice" with a badly blistered hand, who was specially celebrated by the
spectators and finally Delorme.
An enthusiastic Nuvolari was not satisfied by making one lap of honor but did two! By then lots of spectators had managed to get across the barriers and stormed the circuit, or as Motor Sport put it:
"...the usual failure of the gendarmerie to prevent the crowd from attempting suicide".
The race had been a great success and it would secure Pau in the race calendar for decades.
|1.||14||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||3.2||S-8||80||2h38m19.8s|
|2.||20||René Dreyfus||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||3.2||S-8||80||2h38m46s||+ 26s|
|3.||24||Luigi Soffietti||L. Soffietti||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||80||2h42m10s||+ 3m50s|
|4.||26||Benoît Falchetto||Ecurie Braillard||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||80||2h42m12s||+ 3m52s|
|5.||2||Robert Brunet||Ecurie Braillard||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||79|
|6.||22||Robert Cazaux||Ecurie Girod||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||77|
|7.||28||Genaro Léoz-Abad||G. Léoz-Abad||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||77|
|8.||6||Mlle "Hellé-Nice"||Mlle "Hellé-Nice"||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||75|
|9.||10||Jean Delorme||J. Delorme||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||75|
|DNF||4||Marcel Lehoux||M. Lehoux||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||32||transmission|
|DNF||16||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||17||oil pump|
|DNF||18||Pierre Veyron||P. Veyron||Bugatti||T51A||1.5||S-8||13||overheating|
|DNF||12||Juan Zanelli||Nacional Pescara||Nacional||Pescara||3.0||S-8||12||brakes|
Fastest lap: Tazio Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo) on lap 78 in 1m51.7s = 89.2 km/h (55.5 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 83.9 km/h (52.2 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 86.9 km/h (53.9 mph)
Weather: clearing up, turning nice and sunny.
1. I'm writing this after having seen the 2016 Chinese GP with a truck parked at the pit entry during qualifying. Nothing new under the sun.
2. For the intermediate results only the time of the leader was given with time for the others shown as time gaps behind the leader. For 20 laps both Il Littoriale and
Automobil-Revue gave a time of 39m55s for Dreyfus but the speeds given by the same papers (83.963 km/h & 83.9 km/h) correspond to 39m35s instead.
For 40 laps Motor Sport gives 1h19m09s and Il Littoriale 1h29m09s while the speed given by Il Littoriale, 83.993km/h equals 1h19m07s
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
A-Z Motorwelt, Brno
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
Il Littoriale, Roma
La Presse, Paris
La Stampa, Torino
L'Écho de Paris, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
Le Petit Nicois, Nice
Motor Sport, London
Also: Pierre Darmendrail Grand Prix de Pau
Special thanks to:
Lake Hörken - Grängesberg (S), 10 March 1935
15 laps x 1.5 km (0.93 mi) = 22.5 km (14.0 mi)
Bjørnstad beats Widengren
Bjørnstad challenged five Swedes at lake Hörken and this time it was the Norwegian who came out on the top. Widengren was second and Carlsson with his little Amilcar third.
Fredenloppet, scheduled for January 27th, and postponed to March 3rd was once again postponed, now to March 17th because of the warm weather around Västerås.
However, on March 10th, Grängesbergs motorklubb organized a race on lake Södra Hörken. The lake is located south of Grängesberg, a little town, located 200 km northwest of Stockholm, with some 3000 habitants.
The 1.5 km long circuit was claimed to be similar to the one used at Lindöloppet and had some tight left and right curves. Motorcycles and standard cars raced 5 laps and the racing cars 15 laps.
Race entries included the familiar names of Norwegian Bjørnstad with his Alfa Romeo Monza and Swedes Per-Wiktor Widengren, Alfa Romeo Monza, Knut Gustav Sundstedt Bugatti T35B, Karl-Emil Rolander
with his Ford (Guldpilen), Helmer Carlsson in his 6 cylinder Amilcar and Gunnar Thorsell with his blue Chevrolet. (For more information about the cars, see the earlier 1935 ice races.)
13,000 spectators turned up for the event. Apart of the results, not much is known about this race itself. This time Norwegian Bjørnstad was able to win over his main rival Widengren taking
the flag 3.6s in front of the Swede.
In the standard car class local driver J. Skarp (Ford V8) won from Miss Berta Melin (Chevrolet).
|1.||24||Eugen Bjørnstad||E. Bjørnstad||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||15||16m30.0s|
|2.||23||Per-Wiktor Widengren||P-W Widengren||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||15||16m33.6s||+ 3.6s|
|3.||22||Helmer Carlsson||Västerås Racer Kompani||Amilcar||C6||1.1||S-6||15||17m48.5s||+ 1m18.5s|
|4.||21||Karl-Emil Rolander||Västerås Racer Kompani||Ford||Special||3.6||S-4||15||19m03.8s||+ 2m33.8s|
|5.||25||Knut Gustav Sundstedt||K-G. Sundstedt||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||15||20m37.7s||+ 4m07.7s|
|?||20||Gunnar Thorsell||G. Thorsell||Chevrolet||Special|
Fastest lap: N/A|
Winner's medium speed: 82 km/h (50.9 mph)
15 March 1935:
The Fredenloppet ice race, postponed twice from January 27th to March 3rd and then to March 17th, was finally cancelled when on Friday evening before the race someone
in the provincial government
chickened and forbid the event to go on. The day before tests had shown that the ice was thick enough for racing. To save themself from the economical loss the local motor club introduced
the Röforsloppet hillclimb on May 5th.
16 March 1935:
The B.A.R.C. Opening Meeting was held at Brooklands.|
The handicap races were won by A. G. Bainton (Bainton Spl. 4.3L) - two races, Miss D. B. evans (M.G. 0.7L), H. G. Dobbs (Riley 1.5L),
I. Waller (Alvis 2.2L), H. W. Cook (Era 1.5L), E. J. H. Roth (Talbot 3.0L) and C. Martin (Bugatti).
31 March 1935:
The Mario Umberto Borzacchini memorial is unveiled at Terni.
1 April 1935:
Murphy (MG) wins the Australian GP handicap race at Phillip Island.
4 April 1935:
Tazio Nuvolari tests the new Alfa Romeo Bi-motore on a closed road section.
7 April 1935:
Joseph Cattanéo loses control of his Bugatti at the Château-Thierry hillclimb and crashes into the crowd.
Some seven spectators dies with other 18 badly injured.
13 April 1935:
Donington Opening Meeting at Donington Park, England.|
Handicap races were won by K. D. Evans (M.G. 0.7L), R. O. Shuttleworth (Alfa Romeo 2.9L),
H. G. Dobbs (Riley 1.5L) - two races and C. Martin (Bugatti 2.3L).
A five lap 1500cc scratch race was also held with following results:
14 April 1935:
The Mille Miglia sports car race is held in Italy:
|1623 km (1009 miles), 86 starters, 47 finishers|
|1.||C. Pintacuda / A. Della Stufa||Alfa Romeo Tipo B 2.9L||14h04m47s|
|2.||M. Tadini / L. Chiari||Alfa Romeo Monza 2.6L||14h46m38s|
|3.||G. Battaglia / G. Tuffanelli||Alfa Romeo Monza 2.6L||15h04m08s|
|4.||H. Rüesch / A. Guatta||Alfa Romeo Monza 2.6L||15h05m59s|
|5.||"Macchia" / R. Danese||Alfa Romeo 8C-2300||15h10m58s|
|6.||A. Sanguinetti/ R. Balestrero||Alfa Romeo 8C-2300||15h12m47s|
22 April 1935: The B.A.R.C. Easter Meeting was held at Brooklands.|
The handicap races were won by G. R Hartwell (M.G. 1.1L), O. Bertram (Barnato-Hassan Spl. 8.0L / Delage 1.7L) - two races,
K. D Evans (M.G. 0.7L), E. J. H. Roth (Talbot 3.0L), R. O. Shuttleworth (Alfa Romeo 2.9L), Mrs. K. Petre (Bugatti 2.3L),
J. C Davis (Delage 1.5L) and F. W. Dixon (Riley 1.8L)
VII GRAND PRIX DE MONACO
Circuit de Monaco (MC), 22 April 1935 (Monday)
100 laps x 3.180 km (1.976 mi) = 318.0 km (197.6 mi)
Luigi Fagioli in command
by Leif Snellman
The Mercedes-Benz cars of Caracciola, von Brauchitsch and Fagioli were fastest in practice to take the front row of the grid. Fagioli held the lead followed by Caracciola and the Ferrari Alfa Romeos of Dreyfus
and Nuvolari while von Brauchitsch had to retire on the first lap. The Ferrari Alfas of Nuvolari and Chiron soon suffered brake problems and fell back while Etancelin in a six cylinder Maserati moved up to third
and then managed to catch up with Caracciola and even temporarily pass him for second position. Both cars suffered in the duel. Caracciola had to retire while Etancelin fell back with brake problems. Now the
Alfas of Dreyfus and Brivio took over second and third positions. Dusio, Earl Howe and Villapadierna retired after crashing. Fagioli took the flag having led from start to finish.
The first major Grand Prix of the year was held at Monaco on Easter Monday with qualifying sessions on Friday to Sunday. It was run according to the international formula (even if it did not meet the minimum
distance of 500 km requirement) and entries were restricted to those specially invited by the organizers.
The participants had time until March 31 to answer the invitations to l'Automobile Club de Monaco.
The Monaco GP on April 22 was the first race of the newly organized AIACR European Championship but took place before the CSI enforced this Championship on May 8, 1935 in Paris.
As usual the length of the race was 100 laps on the 3.18 km circuit.
The circuit had been improved by levering some outwardly sloping sections. The chicane had been moved some 180 m down the Quai de Plaisance towards the Tabac corner, giving the drivers plenty of time to
prepare for the braking, once out of the tunnel.
A total of over 170,000 Fr was offered in prizes. Apart from the Prince of Monaco trophy the winner would receive a prize of 100,000 Fr, 40,000 Fr went to the 2nd position, 20,000 Fr to third,
etc. Fastest lap of the race was worth 3,000 Fr and 1,000 Fr was given to the race leader at every 10th lap. There were also special prizes and trophies.
As usual in Monaco the cars were numbered according to the French name of the country, starting off with Allemagne, then Angleterre, Espagne, France and Italie.
The Auto Union and Bugatti teams were absent. The Bugatti team was in decline and team manager Meo Costantini had retired at the end of the 1934 season and returned home to Italy. Auto Union considered the
circuit did not suitable their long wheelbase cars. Still it's a bit odd as Monaco was one of the events on the 1935 calendar where the German teams competed for a Nazi government bonus of 10,000 RM
(equaled to about 60,000 Fr) for a victory and 5,000 RM for a second place.
Mercedes-Benz entered three new built cars with the new 3,990cc M25B engine for Rudi Caracciola, Luigi Fagioli and Manfred von Brauchitsch. The gearboxes were redesigned to withstand the higher power of the
engines. Caracciola's car also featured wider 65mm rear brakes in an effort to change the brake balance towards the rear. A new fuel formula called X.M. had been developed during the winter. Technical director
was now Max Sailer replacing Hans Nibel, who had died of a stroke in November 1934.
A 1934 type spare car with the 3,360cc M25A engine, race number 3, was used during practice by reserve drivers Hanns Geier and Hermann Lang.
Earl Howe was driving his recently acquired 3.3 litre Bugatti repainted in dark green. According to Howe it was the same car that Dreyfus had raced at Monaco in 1934.
Scuderia Ferrari entered four cars for Tazio Nuvolari, René Dreyfus, Louis Chiron and Antonio Brivio. All Scuderia Ferrari Tipo B Alfas now featured the new rear suspension with quarter elliptic springs
and double hydraulic shock absorbers. Apart from that all four cars were different. Nuvolari's and Dreyfus' cars had the new enlarged 3.160cc engines. Nuvolari's and Chiron's cars featured tubular front axles
with the new Dubonnet independent suspension (Note 1) and were also equipped with cockpit adjustable Ariston hydraulic brakes made by Farina in Turin. Chiron's car was probably the same that Dreyfus had raced to victory
at the La Turbie hill climb.
It is quite easy to separate the independent suspension cars from the older ones. The frame rails of the Dubonnet cars are cut off in front of the radiator and the metallic tubular front axle is easy to notice.
The rebuilding was made by Scuderia Ferrari at Modena, not by Alfa Romeo.
The S.E.F.A.C. failed to appear again so there was only one French blue car in the race, Raymond Sommer's Tipo B/P3 (#5003), which Sommer had managed to buy from Scuderia Ferrari. It was of an early type with
the bodywork hanging down outside the frame to comply with the 850 mm bodywork rule. It was the same car that one day would end up as Chris Stanisland's "Multi Union".
Scuderia Subalpina, which handled the Maserati works entries in 1935, still had just one 3.724cc 6C- 34 car ready and it was raced by Etancelin. Therefore Giuseppe Farina was to race a 6C-34 owned by Gino
After having raced Alfa Romeo Monza at Mille Miglia and Targa Abruzzi, Piero Dusio made his Grand Prix debut for Scuderia Subalpina in a 3.0 litre 8CM Maserati.
Goffredo Zehender, also entered by Scuderia Subalpina, raced a development of the 8CM with the engine bored out to 3.2 litre and a new front suspension with torsion bars running parallel to outside the
chassis above the steering rod with arms at right angle to support the wheel pivots and with transversely mounted shock absorbers connected to the forward end of the bars.
Apart from the Scuderia Subalpina entries there were two other 8 cylinder Maseratis in the race. Count José de Villapadiera entered his canary yellow car and Luigi "Gigi" Soffietti a red one.
In 1933 Monaco had been the first Grand Prix that had adopted the practice that starting grid positions were determined by the times obtained during practice and not by ballot. By 1935 each Monaco practice
session itself had turned into an event followed with interest by the numerous spectators. There were three practice/qualifying sessions from Friday to Sunday morning between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.
At the first day of practice Nuvolari was fastest, setting a time of 2m02s. The circuit was new to the Mercedes team but Caracciola and Fagioli knew the circuit well and did just 8 and 9 laps. Von Brauchitsch
was now fully fit after his 1934 Nürburgring crash and did some fast laps around the track that was unknown to him, driving with his usual rugged style. He did 15 laps and ended up one second slower than
Nuvolari with a time of 2m03s. Dreyfus, Brivio and Zehender were equally fast. Etancelin was the busiest driver, doing 23 laps. Full Friday results:
|Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2m02s||14|
|Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2m03s||15|
|Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2m03s||17|
|Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2m04s||18|
|Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||2m08s||16|
|Earl Howe (Bugatti)||2m11s||18|
Times were improved on Saturday with von Brauchitsch ending up fastest with a new lap record of 1m57s. However, witnesses of his laps describe them as rather dangerous with the driver really pushing in the
corners and the tail of the car swinging. Fagioli, making a much smoother work, was second fastest two seconds slower. Dreyfus with the old suspension type Alfa equaled Fagioli's time and Brivio was fourth.
Chiron had problems getting the new hydraulic brakes to work.
|Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1m59s|
|Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2m01s|
|Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||2m02s|
|Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2m02s|
|Earl Howe (Bugatti)||2m04s|
|Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2m04s|
During Sunday practice the Mercedes cars went even faster with Caracciola taking pole position with a time of 1m56.6s. Fagioli drove in a 1m57.3s and Nuvolari was third followed by Dreyfus. The time of the
Mercedes spare car was also announced: 2m02.7s (good enough for a 10th place in the grid).
|Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1m59.4s|
|Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1m59.9s|
|Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2m01.6s|
|Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2m01.8s|
|Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||2m06.4s|
The time keepers used a very odd and highly suspect procedure taking (or at least publishing) the times in whole seconds during the first two sessions but with 1/10 second accuracy in the third to make
up the grid, as the times are mathematically incompatible. (For example Brauchitsch's 1m57s isn't of course exactly 1m57.0s but rather anything between 1m56.5s and 1m57.4s, or possibly between 1m57.0s
and 1m57.9s, depending on the procedure used.)
Anyway, with Caracciola's and Fagioli's Sunday times considered to be first and third fastest and thus Brauchitsch's time from Saturday was enough for second position, it made an all Mercedes-Benz front row:
|Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2m03s||1m59s||1m59.9s|
|Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2m02s||2m02s||1m59.4s|
|Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2m03s||2m01s||2m01.6s|
|Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2m04s||2m04s||2m01.8s|
|Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||2m08s||2m02s||2m06.4s|
|Earl Howe (Bugatti)||2m11s||2m04s||-|
During the weeks before the race Monaco had seen a blue sky but it started to rain on the night before the race. Early Eastern Monday morning dark clouds still filled the sky but the weather improved and at
noon the sun appeared for a brief moment. The interest in the race was getting bigger from year to year.
Ticket sales for standing places started at 10 a.m. and the grandstands opened for spectators at 11:30. Spectators had the option to pay a six person box for 1000 Fr, spend from 30 to 200 Fr for a place on a
grandstand depending on its location, pay15 Fr for standing on the quay near the chicane or 10 Fr for a place in the grass. Apart from the people on the stands and on the streets all balconies and windows
of the buildings around the circuit were of course crammed with spectators.
This was politically a time of high tension. On 1st March Germany had reintegrated the Saarland into the Third Reich after the referendum on territorial status held on 13th January, when the unification option
had received 90.73 % of the votes.
Luftwaffe was established on 26 February 1935. On 15th March Germany announced reintroduction of conscription and on the next day the French Army extended the time of conscription to two years.
The German Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung commented that it was embarrassing to notice that the Monaco organizers pretended not to know of the German black-white-red flag and on the flagpole instead
had the black-red-gold Weimar flag, which had been scrapped on 30 January 1933.
The race start was planned at 1:30 p.m. This year the 15 cars lined up on a 3-2-3 grid at the Boulevard Albert I, replacing the 3-3 used since 1929.
There were jeers and catcalls as the German cars were put to the grid but naturally cheers for Chiron and Etancelin as well as for Nuvolari. The engines were started 2 minutes before the race start.
When Charles Faroux dropped the Tricolour, Fagioli on the left side made a good start to take the lead. On the right side Caracciola was slower away but held on to second position. In the middle of the first
row however von Brauchitsch struggled badly and was unable to get up to speed. He steered to the right of the track and had dropped to 14th position just as he entered St. Dévote.
Villapadierna had stalled his Maserati at start and lost some half a minute before he was able to join the race. Fagioli finished the first lap in 2m02.2s. He was followed by Caracciola 1.1s behind and Dreyfus
1.4s behind. After them followed Nuvolari, Chiron and Etancelin. Von Brauchitsch returned to the pit at the end of the lap to retire. Most newspapers claimed it was due to gearbox problems but according to
Automobil-Revue the bevel gears driving the compressor had gone into pieces.
The order after the first lap:
|1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||2m02.2s|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||2m03.3s|
|3. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2m03.6s|
|4. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2m09.6s|
|5. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2m16s|
|5. Etancelin (Maserati)|
The two remaining Mercedes cars were slowly pulling away from the Alfa Romeos.
Dusio, who was chasing Soffietti, made a mistake at St. Dévote. The tail of the Maserati hit the sand bags and the car spun around and stalled with petrol spurting out of the tank. The driver jumped out of the car and over the
sandbags to safety. The car was quickly pushed away.
Etancelin was in great form with the six-cylinder Maserati and passed Chiron. The latter had problems with his Alfa's new hydraulic brakes and on the fifth lap Brivio passed him as well for 6th position.
Fagioli was going flat out and after five laps he had opened up a 3.6 second gap to Caracciola and a 13.6 gap to Dreyfus in third position:
|1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||10m00.7s|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||10m04.3s|
|3. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||10m14.3s|
|4. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||10m22.2s|
|5. Etancelin (Maserati)||10m24.1s|
|6. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)|
|7. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)|
|8. Zehender (Maserati)|
|9. Farina (Maserati)|
|10. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
|11. Soffietti (Maserati)|
|12. Howe (Bugatti)|
|13. Villapadierna (Maserati)|
Fagioli drove the 6th lap in 1m58.6s (96.53 km/h). He had opened up a 5 second gap to Caracciola and a half a minute gap to Dreyfus in third position. Zehender had brake problems and Farina passed him for
9th position. Soffietti seems to have made a pit stop as he was passed by Howe and got lapped by Fagioli while Villapadierna was already a lap down. The situation after 10 laps looked like this:
|1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||19m55.6s|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||20m00.2s|
|3. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||20m25.0s|
|4. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||20m28.3s|
|5. Etancelin (Maserati)||20m31.5s|
|6. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||20m37.6s|
|7. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||21m03.0s|
|8. Farina (Maserati)||21m14.2s|
|9. Zehender (Maserati)||21m24.7s|
|10. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||21m57.3s|
|11. Howe (Bugatti)||22m35.3s|
|12. Soffietti (Maserati)||23m35s|
|13. Villapadierna (Maserati)||24m16.3s|
On the 11th lap Fagioli lapped Howe as well. Zehender pitted for a 3 1/2 minute stop to adjust the brakes dropping to 13th and last. Farina made a stop as well and returned in 12th position. On the 14th lap
Nuvolari went past his team mate Dreyfus, but Dreyfus managed to re-pass a few laps later.
On the 17th lap Fagioli drove what would be the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1m58.4s (96.69 km/h).
Like Chiron Nuvolari also had problems with the hydraulic brakes, with the left front wheel locking up in every corner. On the 18th or 19th lap Etancelin with the six-cylinder Maserati went by Nuvolari to
take fourth position.
At 20 laps Fagioli was leading Caracciola by 10.6 seconds and 40 seconds further behind was the trio of Dreyfus, Etancelin and Nuvolari. Brivio followed 10 seconds behind them and then there was an almost half a
minute gap to Chiron, who was just getting lapped by Fagioli:
|1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||39m53.7s|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||40m04.3s|
|3. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||40m44.1s|
|4. Etancelin (Maserati)||40m44.8s|
|5. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||40m47.9s|
|6. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||40m58.1s|
|7. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||41m54.2s|
|8. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||43m31.9s|
|9. Howe (Bugatti)||43m36.3s|
|10. Soffietti (Maserati)||44m57.8s|
|11. Villapadierna (Maserati)||45m53.3s|
|12. Farina (Maserati)||46m01.2s|
|13. Zehender (Maserati)||46m05.8s|
After the 21th lap Farina retired the Gino Rovere six-cylinder Maserati with fuel feed problems. In the sister car Etancelin was in great form, marginally even faster than Fagioli. He took over third position from
Dreyfus on lap 25 and started closing in on Caracciola, whose lap times had dropped by 1.5 seconds. Brivio had also passed the struggling Nuvolari and further back Zehender overhauled Villapadierna
in the battle for 11th position. The race order after 30 laps:
|1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||1h00m02.6s|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||1h00m24.2s|
|3. Etancelin (Maserati)||1h00m52.7s|
|4. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1h00m58.7s|
|5. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h01m19.7s|
|6. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h01m28.2s|
|7. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h02m39.4s|
|8. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||1h05m02.4s|
|9. Howe (Bugatti)||1h05m28.3s|
|10. Soffietti (Maserati)||1h06m40.7s|
|11. Zehender (Maserati)||1h07m34.6s|
|12. Villapadierna (Maserati)||1h07m39.0s|
On lap 36 Howe, running ninth, locked his brakes in the chicane, ended up in the sand bag barrier and retired.
Chiron's and Nuvolari's serious brake problems continued and on lap 39 Nuvolari pulled into the pit and jumped out. Reserve driver Count Trossi was sent out to have a try with the car.
Etancelin was now closing in on Caracciola, whose lap times had dropped further by up to two seconds a lap to 2m00s-2m04s. On the 36th lap the gap was 17 seconds. Caracciola tried to answer but after 40 laps the
gap was down to 13.7 seconds. The order after 40 laps:
|1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||1h20m24.9s|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||1h20m57.9s|
|3. Etancelin (Maserati)||1h21m11.6s|
|4. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1h21m26.0s|
|5. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h21m47.4s|
|6. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h23m57.5s|
|7. Nuvolari/Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h24m07.4s|
|8. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||1h26m45.3s|
|9. Soffietti (Maserati)||1h28m59.2s|
|10. Zehender (Maserati)||1h28m59.9s|
|11. Villapadierna (Maserati)||1h29m15.5s|
Zehender was in the pit again for more brake adjustments and Soffietti was in even greater trouble, losing a lap on Zehender. He was now six laps behind Fagioli.
In the most interesting fight of the race Etancelin had closed by lap 45 to within 10 seconds of Caracciola and on the next lap the gap was down to 5 seconds. On lap 48 Etancelin was right behind the German
and on the next lap the Maserati driver, to the cheers of the crowd, pushed himself on the inside of the Mercedes-Benz in the Gasometre (now Rascasse) and up to second behind Fagioli. However Caracciola did not let
Etancelin escape but followed him closely. The situation was like this after 50 laps:
|1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||1h40m40.4s|
|2. Etancelin (Maserati)||1h41m32.1s|
|3. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||1h41m32.9s|
|4. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1h41m56s|
|5. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h42m21s|
|6. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h44m51.6s|
|7. Nuvolari/Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h45m07s|
|8. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||1h48m18.1s|
|9. Villapadierna (Maserati)||1h48m50.1s|
|10. Zehender (Maserati)||1h50m28s|
|11. Soffietti (Maserati)||1h52m47s|
Trossi finally retired the brakeless Alfa Romeo on the 53rd lap.
Soffietti made a stop for fuel.
Etancelin managed to open up a 5 second gap to Caracciola but the hard charge had proved to be too much for the brakes on his Maserati and soon he lost 2 ½ seconds a lap. Caracciola re-passed him on the uphill to
the Casino on lap 56. The situation on lap 60 was like this:
|1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||2h00m55.8s|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||2h02m05.8s|
|3. Etancelin (Maserati)||2h02m17.7s|
|4. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2h02m24s|
|5. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2h02m46s|
|6. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h05m43.5s|
|7. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||2h09m44.1s|
|8. Villapadierna (Maserati)||2h10m21.3s|
|9. Zehender (Maserati)||2h11m53.9s|
|10. Soffietti (Maserati)||2h15m39.1s|
On lap 63 Fagioli made a 25 seconds stop for fuel, losing about a minute in total but returning to the race still well in the lead.
Etancelin's brake problems did not get better and he had to give over third position to Dreyfus.
On lap 65 Caracciola made his way into the pit but not for fuel. Steam was coming out of the bonnet and he had to retire the Mercedes because of a broken valve.
On the same lap de Villapadierna repeated Howe's incident by locking the brakes in the chicane and crashing into the sand bags. At 70 laps Fagioli held a 40 seconds lead over Dreyfus with Brivio closing in on
Etancelin. All the other competitors had been lapped.
Chiron seemed to finally have sorted out the brakes and now managed to do 2m03s laps going 2 seconds quicker than earlier, but he was still slower than his team mates. The order after 70 laps:
|1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||2h22m10.3s|
|2. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2h22m50.1s|
|3. Etancelin (Maserati)||2h23m06.6s|
|4. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2h23m15.4s|
|5. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h26m16.8s|
|6. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||2h31m23.2s|
|7. Zehender (Maserati)||2h34m06.2s|
|8. Soffietti (Maserati)||2h38m12.6s|
On lap 73 Brivio also passed Etancelin, who apart from the brakes now also had oil pressure problems and had been forced to slow down even further. Apart from that there were no position changes in the field.
On lap 79 Zehender was a third time in for brake adjustments, after nearly having crashed at the station corner (Loews) when the brakes locked. He possibly refueled as well. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers
were trying to put pressure on Fagioli as two Mercedes cars had failed already, but Fagioli carefully controlled his lead keeping the gap constant without problems. With 20 laps to go the situation had stabilized
|1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||2h42m33.9s|
|2. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2h43m13.0s|
|3. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2h43m36.4s|
|4. Etancelin (Maserati)||2h43m54.4s|
|5. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h46m52.8s|
|6. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||2h53m10.8s|
|7. Zehender (Maserati)||2h56m41.8s|
|8. Soffietti (Maserati)||3h00m38s|
Fagioli and Dreyfus drove laps 80-90 equally fast with lap times around 2m02s. Etancelin was losing some 3.4s a lap to the duo and Fagioli appeared behind him on lap 88.
The situation after 90 laps:
|1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||3h02m55.5s|
|2. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||3h03m34.6s|
|3. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||3h04m03.5s|
|4. Etancelin (Maserati)||3h04m49.6s|
|5. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||3h07m31.7s|
|6. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
|7. Zehender (Maserati)|
|8. Soffietti (Maserati)|
Etancelin was lapped by Fagioli on lap 91 leaving just the Mercedes and the two non-independent suspension Ferrari Alfas on the lead lap.
During the last laps the drivers slowed down, concentrating on keeping their positions and getting their cars to the flag. Fagioli let his lap-times drop by 3 seconds letting Dreyfus close in by 10 seconds.
In the end Fagioli took the flag 31.5 seconds ahead of Dreyfus with Brivio finishing third over a minute behind.
Three laps before the end Chiron stopped in front of the grand stand because of fuel shortage. For the spectators, already feeling betrayed as no one and particularly not their home favorite had been able to challenge
the German victory, this was the last straw and they took it out on poor Chiron with a mighty whistle concert. Scuderia Ferrari chief mechanic Attilio Marinoni rushed to the place from the pits and after a hectic
conversation and much work with the hand pump the engine finally came to life and Chiron was able to cross the finish line to take the flag.
Unlike some other races the lapped cars were not allowed to complete the full distance but were flagged off immediately like in modern races.
Fagioli made a lap of honor. The Prince of Monaco trophy was handed over to the winner. The German National anthem was played (obviously with the winner still in the car!). The top trio received enormous bouquets of red
and yellow tropical flowers. The Italian National anthem was played and after presentation at the royal box a smiling Fagioli threw the flowers over his back and walked away. And the sun finally appeared.
|1.||4||Luigi Fagioli||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||4.0||S-8||100||3h23m49.8s|
|2.||18||René Dreyfus||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||100||3h24m21.3s||+ 31.5s|
|3.||22||Antonio Brivio||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||100||3h24m56.2s||+ 1m06.4s|
|4.||24||Philippe Etancelin||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||99|
|5.||16||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||97|
|6.||14||Raymond Sommer||R. Sommer||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||94|
|7.||26||Goffredo Zehender||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||8CM||3.2||S-8||93|
|8.||32||Luigi Soffietti||L. Soffietti||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||91|
|DNF||2||Rudolf Caracciola||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||4.0||S-8||65||broken valve|
|DNF||10||José de Villapadierna||Comte de Villapadierna||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||65||crash|
|DNF||20||T. Nuvolari / C. F. Trossi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||53||brakes|
|DNF||8||Earl Howe||Earl Howe||Bugatti||T59||3.3||S-8||34||brakes/crash|
|DNF||30||Giuseppe Farina||Gino Rovere||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||21||fuel feed/valve?|
|DNF||28||Piero Dusio||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||3||crash|
|DNF||6||Manfred von Brauchitsch||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||4.0||S-8||1||gearbox|
Fastest lap: Luigi Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz) on lap 17 in 1m58.4s = 96.7 km/h (60.1 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 93.6 km/h (58.2 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 98.2 km/h (61.0 mph)
1. The Dubonnet independent suspension was a rather complex system invented by French engineer André Dubonnet. In short it consisted of a rigidly mounted tubular transversal beam with kingpins mounted at the
ends. The suspension with coil spring and shock absorber was located between the king pin and the wheel and thus turned with the wheel when cornering. With this system suspension movements were not fed back
to the steering wheel. Known as "Knee-Action" in America it was used in several American cars in the nineteen-thirties but needed constant service (no problem for a racing team of course).
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
A-Z Motorwelt, Brno
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
Il Littoriale, Roma
L'Eclaireur de Nice, Nice
La Stampa, Torino
Le Petit Nicois, Nice
Motor Sport, London
Rainer W. Schlegelmilch / Hartmut Lehbrink: "Grand Prix de Monaco".
XXVI° TARGA FLORIO
Madonie - Sicily (I), 28 April 1935
Libre: 6 laps x 72 km (44.7 mi) = 432 km (268.4 mi)
Cyclecars: 4 x 72 km (44.7 mi) = 288 km (179.0 mi)
The last "real" Targa Florio
by Leif Snellman
The last "classic" Targa Florio, raced in two classes, was mostly a local Italian event dominated by the Scuderia Ferrari Alfas. Chiron held an early lead but had to stop for repairs dropping behind
his team mate Brivio and Magistri (Alfa Romeo Monza). Chiron easily retook second position but was unable to do anything about Brivio, who repeated his 1933 victory with Chiron finishing second.
Pintacuda in the third Ferrari Alfa retired. Third was surprisingly Barbieri in a voiturette Maserati. In the four laps cycle car race Ferrara won from Toia and Casano, all in Fiat Balilla.
From having been one of the top events of the calendar the 26th edition of Targa Florio, run on 28 April, was sadly little more than a local Italian race. There had been reorganizations and Vincenzo
Florio, the creator of the event, had retired from the Sicilian Automobile Club. The race had even been renamed as the "Targa Primavera Siciliana" but two weeks before the race it was announced that
the old title should be retained.
This was to be the last Targa Florio to be raced as a formula libre event in which Grand Prix cars took part. To fill up the rather thin field a cycle class for cars with engines
between 751cc and1100cc was added.
Like the last three years the race was run on the 72 km long Piccolo Circuito delle Madione. The length of the race was 6 laps (432 km) for the major cars and 4 laps (288 km) for the
cycle cars, with the option for the cycle cars to continue the last two laps to be classified in the main race as well. Maximum allowed time to be classified was 50 minutes after the winner
(40 minutes in the cycle car class).
There were 150,000 lire in total as prizes. The winner of the main race was to receive 30,000 lire, the second 20,000 lire, third 10,000 and fourth 8000.
The winner of the cycle car class was rewarded with 5,000 lire, the second with 4000 lire.
Entries were accepted by R.A.C.I. until 16 April.
Scuderia Ferrari entered three of their Tipo B/P3 monoposto cars for Louis Chiron (3,165cc), Antonio Brivio and Carlo Pintacuda (2,905cc). The team changed rear wheels from 18" to 17" to
achive a better ratio for the slow course. The cars were of course clear favorites.
There were no less than seven Alfa Romeo Monzas on the entry list. Apart from Chiron, Hans Rüesch was the only foreign driver at the event. Usually racing Maseratis, Rüesch entered for this race
a red Monza with a white bonnet, possibly the ex- Ulrich Maag car. Other Monza drivers were Renato Balestrero from Genua, Vittorio Belmondo from Turin, Renato Danese, Dante Ferrari,
Constantino Magistri (according to Il Littoriale a 2.3 l car) and Luigi Pages.
6-cylinder Alfa Romeos were raced by Giulio Antinori, Giuseppe Cortese and Salvatore Geraci. At least Cortese's car was a coupé.
Local driver Giuseppe Sutera entered a supercharged 6-cylinder O.M. 665 (2,220cc). It was the last known time an O.M. (Officine Meccaniche) took part in a race of any significance.
There were two voiturettes in the race, Agostino Giardina, racing under the name "Zeffiro", entered a Bugatti T37and Ferdinando Barbieri a 4-cylinder Maserati.
Farina was absent. For some reason the Italian papers had expected him to race a 2.5 litre 4-cylinder Maserati rather than the 3.7 litre 6-cylinder car.
There were six entries in the 1100cc cycle car class. Pino Baruffi in a Maserati was to meet five Fiat 508 "Balillas". The entry lists showed another Maserati with an unknown driver
listed as car #12, but was replaced by Attilio Battilana in a Fiat, who initially was to race an Alfa Romeo in the major class. It is not known whether or not Battilana got Baruffi's race number #10
and Baruffi was re-numbered #12 (as suggested by listed start order in La Stampa).
Scrutineering took place on Saturday from 9 to 12. Nothing is known about the practice sessions apart from the fact that it showed the Scuderia Ferrari cars to be in their own class.
Race day came with blue sky and the start near the Cerda railway station, named "Floriopoli", was decorated with banners and flags as the Sicilian spectators gathered to see the event.
Umberto, Prince of Piedmont (the heir apparent) was to start the race and just after 11 o'clock the car of the Prince arrived, passed the grand stand welcomed by an enthusiastic ovation,
and stopped under the royal box.
Cars started at intervals.|
The Prince made a short visit to the royal box and at 11:15 he dropped the blue flag and the first competitor, Albino Ferrara with his Fiat, was on his way. He was followed a minute later by
de Pietro, then another minute before Casano started and so on. When the six cycle cars had been flagged away there was a fifteen minute pause before Pintacuda, the first of the entries
in the major class, started. And so it went on and the 15 remaining competitors entered the race with one minute intervals. There was probably a three minute gap between Balestrero and
Magistri and a two minute gap between Cortese and Rüesch to account for the missing entries, as it would make the job for the time keepers much easier. Danese had a high fever and was
visibly suffering but decided to start anyway.
Hardly had the last car started before the first results started to drop in from Caltavuturo, 30 km away and at a 600m altitude. Ferrara was leading the cycle car race followed by Casano,
who had passed de Pietro on the road, and Baruffi.
In the major class Chiron had started strongly and held a one minute lead over Barbieri, Pintacuda and Magistri. After a rather slow start Brivio had worked himself up the order.
At Collesano at 50 km Chiron led Brivio, was still in front of him on the road, by 39 seconds with Magistri a minute behind, followed by Pintacuda and then Barbieri some
two minutes behind.
At Floriopoli the sound of a firecracker announced that the first car was on its way to complete the first lap. It was Ferrana who appeared first and he was also leading the cycle car class.
Some problem must have appeared on Chiron's car because at the end of the first lap he was leading his team mate Brivio with less than 9 seconds. Magistri was still third and Pintacuda
fourth. Battilana and "Zeffiro" had retired.
The race order after the 1st lap:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||54m35.8s||(79.1 km/h)|
|2.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||54m44.6s|
|3.||Magistri (Alfa Romeo)||55m23s|
|4.||Pintacuda (Alfa Romeo)||55m53s|
|6.||Danese (Alfa Romeo)|
|7.||Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)||59m51.4s|
|8.||Belmondo (Alfa Romeo)|
|9.||Antinori (Alfa Romeo)|
|10.||Rüesch (Alfa Romeo)|
|11.||Cortese (Alfa Romeo)|
|12.||Pages (Alfa Romeo)|
|1.||Ferrara (Fiat)||1h05m11.2s||(66.3 km/h)|
|4.||de Pietro (Fiat)||1h08m50s|
During the about 20 minute interval that followed when no race cars were to be seen the Prince considered he had done his duty and cheered on by the spectators left the scene.
Chiron had to stop somewhere between Caltavuturo and Collesano and lost some four minutes while trying to fix a problem on his Alfa. That meant that his teammate Brivio took over the
lead and Magistri, who was doing a great job with his Monza, also passed Chiron for second position.
Pages and Geraci had retired their cars, both with clutch failure.
The classes were now intermixed as the cars reached the end of the second lap. Once again Ferrara appeared first to the spectators but he was closely followed by Brivio, then 22 seconds
later appeared Pintacuda. After a 3 ½ minute pause without anything happening Baruffi passed by, half a minute in front of Chiron and a minute later followed Casano and Toia.
That meant that Brivio was leading the race from Magistri and Chiron.
At the end of the lap in the lower category Baruffi in the sole Maserati had passed Ferrara to hold a 6.4 s lead from Ferrara with Toia now up to third.
The order after the 2nd lap:
|1. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h49m02.4s||(79.2 km/h)|
|2. Magistri (Alfa Romeo)||1h52m06s|
|3. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h52m22.8s?|
|4. Pintacuda (Alfa Romeo)||1h52m24.4s|
|5. Barbieri (Maserati)||1h55m03s|
|6. Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)||1h59m00s|
|7. Belmondo (Alfa Romeo)||2h00m59s|
|8. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||2h01m03s|
|1. Baruffi (Maserati)||2h11m53.4s||(66.5 km/h)|
|2. Ferrara (Fiat)||2h11m59.8s|
|3. Toia (Fiat)||2h14m26.4s|
|4. Casano (Fiat)||2h15m25.2s|
On the third lap Brivio opened up his lead to 3m40s while Chiron seemed to at least temporarily have fixed the problem as he was just 20 seconds slower on the lap and had passed Magistri
for second position. Pintacuda had never really had a chance to shine in the race and retired at the end of the lap with a broken differential.
The cycle class leader Baruffi retired his Maserati with a broken oil pipe, which turned the race into an all Fiat affair. Ferrara was now leading again followed by Toia and Casano.
After the 3rd lap the order was thus:
|1. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2h43m38s||(79.2 km/h)|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h47m18s|
|3. Magistri (Alfa Romeo)||2h48m22s|
|1. Ferrara (Fiat)||3h17m52.6s||(65.5 km/h)|
|2. Toia (Fiat)||3h19m53.2s|
|3. Casano (Fiat)||3h26m05s|
On the 4th lap the gap between Brivio and Chiron remained steady at about four minutes. Magistri made a longer stop with gearbox problems and Barbieri took over third position in his
voiturette Maserati. Dante Ferrari retired his Monza.
De Pietro retired his Fiat so there were only three cycle cars that managed to take the checkered flag at the end of the lap. Ferrara won from Toia, who had closed in the gap to two
minutes, with Casano finishing third. Both Ferrara and Toia decided to continue the race to score also in the major class.
The situation after the 4th lap:
|1. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||3h39m20.2s||(78.7 km/h)|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||3h43m15.2s|
|3. Barbieri (Maserati)||3h49m33.2s|
|4. Magistri (Alfa Romeo)||3h51m40.2s|
|5. Antinori (Alfa Romeo)||4h03m10.4s|
Brivio drove the fifth lap in 53m59.6s, the fastest time of the day, but not beating Nuvolari's 52m56.6s record from 1932. Chiron was unable to reply, losing 55 seconds to his team mate.
Barbieri and Magistri were 3 1/2 minute slower than Chiron but held on to their 3rd and 4th positions and kept about the same distance to each other. Danese had passed Antinori for fifth.
After Cortese retired 11 competitors were left in the race with the following order after the 5th lap:
|1. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||4h33m20s||(79.0 km/h)|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||4h38m10.4s|
|3. Barbieri (Maserati)||4h48m00s|
|4. Magistri (Alfa Romeo)||4h50m11s|
|5. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||5h02m50s|
Everything seemed to go Brivio's way. Still there were 50 minutes of excitement before a firecracker announced the arrival of the winner. It was Brivio, who never was challenged and took the
flag to repeat his 1933 victory.
Chiron arrived eigth minutes behind him followed by Barbieri, Magistri, Balestrero, Danese, Rüesch and Belmondo.
49 minutes after Brivio had taken the chequered flag, Toia arrived at the finish cheered on by the spectators that still remained. Toia had lost the voiturette race to Ferrara but on the last
two laps he had dominated over the latter as he had passed him to beat him by almost 5 minutes. They were not the last cars to take the flag. It was Antinori, who had started over half
an hour behind the cycle cars and hadn't been able to catch them during the race.
Chiron must have had some new problems as he lost almost 3 minutes during the last lap finishing nearly 7 minutes behind his team mate. Barbieri was quite a sensational third with his
little voiturette Maserati, having beaten five Monzas. He was followed in the results by a struggling Magistri and Danese who seems to have had problem as well because he lost the fifth place to
Balestrero on the last lap. Belmondo was 7th, Rüesch eighth and Antinori ninth. From the nine finishers in the major class eight were Alfa Romeos.
|1.||20||Antonio Brivio||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||2.9||S-8||6||5h27m29.0s|
|2.||22||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||3.2||S-8||6||5h34m21.6s||+ 6m52.6s|
|3.||18||Ferdinando Barbieri||F. Barbieri||Maserati||4CM||1.5||S-4||6||5h45m57.6s||+ 18m28.6s|
|4.||32||Costantino Magistri||C. Magistri||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||6||5h51m23.4s||+ 23m54.4s|
|5.||26||Renato Balestrero||R. Balestrero||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||6||5h59m01.4s||+ 31m32.4s|
|6.||42||Renato Danese||R. Danese||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||6||6h03m27.4s||+ 35m58.4s|
|7.||46||Vittorio Belmondo||V. Belmondo||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||6||6h04m12.6s||+ 36m43.6s|
|8.||38||Hans Rüesch||H. Rüesch||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||6||6h08m33.2s||+ 41m04.2s|
|9.||44||Giulio Antinori||G. Antinori||Alfa Romeo||6C||1.8||S-6||6||6h09m23.6s||+ 41m54.6s|
|10.||8||Francesco Toia||F. Toia||Fiat||508||1.0||S-4||6||6h36m39.0s||+ 1h09m10.0s|
|11.||2||Albino Ferrara||A. Ferrara||Fiat||508||1.0||S-4||6||6h41m35.4s||+ 1h14m06.4s|
|DNF||34||Giuseppe Cortese||G. Cortese||Alfa Romeo||6C||1.8||S-6||5|
|DNF||40||Dante Ferrari||D. Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||3|
|DNF||14||Carlo Pintacuda||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||2.9||S-8||3||differential|
|DNF||16||Giuseppe Sutera||G. Sutera||O.M.||665||2.2||S-6||2|
|DNF||50||Salvatore Geraci||S. Geraci||Alfa Romeo||6C||1.5||S-6||1||clutch|
|DNF||48||Luigi Pages||L. Pages||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||1||clutch|
Fastest lap: Antonio Brivio (Alfa Romeo) on lap 5 in 53m59.6s = 80.0 km/h (49.7 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 79.1 km/h (49.2 mph)
|1.||2||Albino Ferrara||A. Ferrara||Fiat||508||1.0||S-4||4||4h25m12.2s|
|2.||8||Francesco Toia||F. Toia||Fiat||508||1.0||S-4||4||4h25m30.0s||+ 17.8s|
|3.||6||Salvatore Casano||S. Casano||Fiat||508||1.0||S-4||4||4h33m36.2s||+ 8m24.0s|
|DNF||4||Salvatore de Pietro||S. de Pietro||Fiat||508||1.0||S-4||3|| |
|DNF||10?||Pino Baruffi||P. Baruffi||Maserati||4CM||1.1||S-4||2||exhaust|| |
|DNF||12?||Attilio Battilana||A. Battilana||Fiat||508||1.0||S-4||0||engine|| |
Fastest lap: Albino Ferrara (Fiat) on lap 1 in 1h05m11.2s = 66.3 km/h (41.2 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 65.2 km/h (40.5 mph)
While the Italian reports tried to keep on to an enthusiastic mood (the La Stampa editor even adding 10km/h to the medium speeds in both classes), the shrinking size of the reports compared to earlier
years shows the decreased significance of the race. However the reports were long enough to give a decent view of the race. As usual there were several errors in the results lists but one has to remember
the reports were made in a rush.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Il Littoriale, Roma
La Stampa, Torino
Motor Sport, London