XXI GRAND PRIX DE L'AUTOMOBILE CLUB DE FRANCE
Linas-Montlhéry - Paris (F), 23 June 1935
40 laps x 12.5 km (7.8 mi) = 500.0 km (310.7 mi) (Note 1)
Mercedes-Benz double victory with Caracciola and von Brauchitsch
by Hans Etzrodt
The Grand Prix de la Automobile Club de France was unique because only manufacturers were allowed from Mercedes-Benz, Auto Union, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Bugatti and S.E.F.A.C. Nuvolari with his Alfa Romeo set
the tone at the beginning of the race during a fierce battle with Stuck's Auto Union and Caracciola's Mercedes-Benz, but retired before mid-race with a broken differential, a malady that also ended Chiron's
race in the second Alfa Romeo. At the beginning the three Auto Unions were strong but soon suffered from mechanical problems when Stuck and Rosemeyer dropped out while Varzi's sick car survived after Rosemeyer
took over, nursing it to the finish. Mercedes-Benz with Caracciola, Brauchitsch and Fagioli were leading but slowed their pace after lap 14 once the two Alfa Romeos and two of the Auto Unions had retired.
Mercedes-Benz was cruising 1 - 2 - 3 until lap 36, when Fagioli's ailing car limped to the pits. The two 6-cylinder Maseratis of Zehender and Sommer were too slow to pose a danger while the Bugatti of
Benoist was spending most of its time in the pits. Mercedes-Benz with Caracciola won ahead of von Brauchitsch, followed by Zehender's Maserati who was able to pass Fagioli in fourth place. Rosemeyer in
Varzi's Auto Union finished fifth followed by Sommer's Maserati. The S.E.F.A.C. drove leisurely during practice but did not appear for the race.
The 21st Grand Prix de l'ACF took place on the same circuit as the previous year but the results were not comparable since the race promoter had installed three chicanes to slow the cars, affecting especially
the very fast German cars. The race was over 40 laps of the 12.5 km Linas-Montlhéry road circuit near Paris, a total of 500 km. The first artificial chicane was positioned about 300 meters after the
grandstand, a chicane made out of straw bales which were placed laterally across the track, forcing drivers to steering maneuvers. The second chicane, less than one kilometer further on, was erected out
of garden fencing. The third one at the end of the road section near the banked track consisted of sand filled garbage cans interlinked with tree branches and shrubs.
The race was held to the present international 750 kg Formula and was the third race counting towards the 1935 European Championship. The event was limited again exclusively to constructors or racing teams with their authorization. Each make could be represented by no more than
four cars. No entry fees were demanded but for each car a bond of 10,000 francs had to be deposited, which would be returned at the actual start otherwise the money would remain with the organizer.
The winner of the race received 100,000 francs, the second 50,000, the third 20,000, etc. All drivers who were not amongst the first four finishers and who completed between 10 and 30 laps with a speed
above 105 km/h, received awards between 1,000 and 5,000 francs. (Note 2)
Entries for 12 cars were received from six manufacturers. Daimler-Benz with team manager Alfred Neubauer entered new cars for Rudolf Caracciola and Manfred von Brauchitsch while Luigi Fagioli drove last year's
model, which was updated to the latest specifications. Herman Lang was reserve driver and practiced with last year's model, which was the practice car with the smaller engine.
Auto Union prepared their cars the weekend before after the Eifelrennen in the Nürburgring garages and one by one the cars were trucked to Paris. Team manager Willi Walb had three cars for Hans Stuck, Achille
Varzi and Bernd Rosemeyer, while Paul Pietsch remained reserve driver with Price zu Leiningen also present. The Auto Unions of Stuck and Varzi had the latest 5.6-liter engines. This was only Rosemeyer's third
race and this young German had been chosen for his outstanding performances in his first two races. Rosemeyer's car had a 5-Liter engine.
Scuderia Ferrari arrived with two monoposto Alfa Romeo Tipo B/P3 with fully independent front suspension for Tazio Nuvolari and Louis Chiron. René Dreyfus was the assigned reserve driver. Press statements
mentioned re-bored engines to 3.45-liter also 3.8-liter capacity, but in reality they were the same 3.2-liter engines as raced in Monaco (Note 3).
Scuderia Subalpina, managed by Count della Chiesa, entered the new 4.3-Liter V8 RI Maserati for Philippe Etancelin. When the new V-8 did not arrive, Etancelin refused to drive the slow old 6-cylinder Maserati.
The two 3.7-Liter 6C-34 Maseratis were driven by Goffredo Zehender and Raymond Sommer taking Etancelin's place. Dusio, who was also available, acted as reserve driver.
The Molsheim factory entered Robert Benoist in a T59 Bugatti with updated body and rounded radiator cowl. Jean Bugatti, who managed the team, expressed his view that he saw their debut as very satisfactory.
The various reports showed confusion about the engine size, supposedly a 3.8-liter or the old 3.3-liter, also rumors about a 16-cylinder power source. Molsheim had two Bugattis at Montlhéry, a 3.3-liter T59
for practice and the second Bugatti that arrived late Saturday just before midnight which had a 4.9-liter engine with a large supercharger. That car had just been finished at the factory. Uwe Hucke confirmed
that the 54209 engine No 8 was further developed and fitted into the 4.9 litre Type 59/50S of Robert Benoist for the 1935 A.C.F Grand Prix. During the race the hood of the Bugatti was blown away to reveal the
large T54 4.9-liter straight-8 engine which was clear to see as the Bugatti was driven without its hood. Also this engine had a different exhaust note, similar to that of the Mercedes.
The last entry came from S.E.F.A.C. (Société d'Etude et de Fabrication d'Automobile de Corse) a new French constructor for the 750 kg formula by engineer Emile Petit, who was formerly with Salmson.
The car had a 2.8-Liter parallel-8 engine with desmodromic valve gear and fully independent suspension. Lehoux was the nominated driver. The car completed two practice laps but encountered engine problems,
supposedly difficulties with the fuel supply.
Weeks before official practice, Daimler-Benz had travelled to France to test their cars at Montlhéry. Since June 4 Caracciola was there with one practice car and completed a lap from a standing start in 6m15s
at an average speed of 120 km/h and the fastest flying lap in 5m55s at 126.961 km/h. On June 6 the tests continued with Geier and Lang, who had arrived the day before. This time Caracciola pushed hard and drove
a lap at 134.750 km/h average speed while Geier reached 128 km/h and Lang 124 km/h. In the evening all three drivers met with Alfred Neubauer.
Official practice began on Thursday from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. Practice this year was more important since the promoters had followed the lead of the Monaco Grand Prix in determining the order of the starting grid by
practice times. All drivers except Rosemeyer had driven at Montlhéry before. Both German teams were fully represented plus Zehender with the Maserati. Stuck drove the Auto Union one lap in 5m28.8s (136 km/h
average) while his teammate Rosemeyer reached a lap in 5m37.5s and Varzi completed a few laps but not fast. Mercedes-Benz had Brauchitsch who managed 5m46.6s and Caracciola 5m48.7s while Fagioli drove several
laps but held back.
Friday practice was again from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. Lehoux and Benoist were present but without their cars. Varzi managed a lap in 5m20.1s (140.6 km/h) while Nuvolari took three seconds more. The times of Stuck,
Caracciola, Fagioli, Chiron and Rosemeyer were between 5m31.5 and 5m41.2s. Zehender drove 6m10.8s with the Maserati.
Saturdays practice was from 8:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. Only a few cars took part. Benoist with the Bugatti was considerably slower than his opponents. Nuvolari and Chiron were present as was Lehoux with the
S.E.F.A.C. He drove two leisurely laps but neither was faster than 6m20s until problems appeared with the supercharger.
Scrutineering took place on Saturday afternoon, including weighing the cars on the weigh-bridge. Zehender's Maserati could not pass with 783 kg, so seat linings and other items were removed in an effort to
bring the weight down, but to no effect. Eventually after deliberation and weighing the car again, the official weight was issued as 750 kg. The Sefac and Bugatti passed through. However it was the 3.3-liter
Bugatti on the scale while the mysterious Bugatti with larger engine started in the race and arrived just one hour before midnight. The officials checked this latest Bugatti like the other cars and passed it.
Thus all cars were said to be below the 750 kg limit, as listed below.
|Mercedes-Benz #2||Caracciola||749 kg|
|Mercedes-Benz #4||Fagioli||749 kg|
|Mercedes-Benz #6||Brauchitsch||749 kg|
|Auto Union #8||Varzi||746 kg|
|Auto Union #10||Stuck||746 kg|
|Auto Union #12||Rosemeyer||748 kg|
|Alfa Romeo #14||Nuvolari||733 kg|
|Alfa Romeo #16||Chiron||733 kg|
|Maserati #18||Zehender||750 kg|
|Maserati #20||Dusio/Sommer||750 kg|
|SEFAC #22||Lehoux||750 kg|
|Bugatti #24||Benoist||740 kg|
Sunday morning started with a blue sky and sunshine for the motorcycles races, followed by an entertaining parade of veteran vehicles, most of them from the previous century. Once they had left the circuit
just after 12:30 PM during the stifling heat of the sun but with a slight wind causing relief, the crowd of estimated 50,000 to 60,000 watched as the eleven cars lined up in front of the grandstand in order
of their practice times.
At 1:00 PM when the starting flag was dropped to the earsplitting ruckus of the wild pack, Stuck and Nuvolari were fastest to get away, followed by Varzi and Caracciola. Sommer had a delayed start in
last place. Nuvolari hounded Stuck until he was able to get past after the turning-point of Biscornes, then drove at increased pace ahead of everyone. He brilliantly mastered the chicanes, no one
could match him.
Over five minutes after the start the speeding cars appeared shooting out of the high speed banked turn before the straight at the grandstand. Nuvolari crossed the finish line after 5m34.6s at an
average of 134.575 km/h. Stuck trailed by about one hundred meters, equally Varzi and chased by Caracciola and Fagioli, followed by Chiron, Brauchitsch, Rosemeyer, Zehender, Benoist and Sommer.
Before the second lap, a group of four white clad course workers rapidly erected the first chicane just a few hundred meters beyond the grandstand. It was a smart move to wait until the field was
strung out. At the end of lap two Nuvolari was leading Stuck by eight seconds with Caracciola in third place, while Varzi brought his misfiring Auto Union into his pit with a smoky exhaust and suspected
spark plug trouble. But he left after a few seconds, falling further behind eighth place and stopped again on the following lap. Three mechanics changed the 16 oiled plugs which took over three minutes
and put him a lap down into last place.
On lap three Stuck's Auto Union had dropped from second to fourth place with locking brakes and by lap four he lost another position when he was passed by Fagioli. A large part of the road section
was in bad condition and resulted in unusually high stresses for the racecars. On lap four the rear hood strap had blown back on Benoist's Bugatti and the airstream raised the aluminum hood before it
fell on the driver's head. Benoist, blinded, had a problem stopping the wildly skidding car. He picked up the dented hood and cheered on by the crowd, drove one-handedly gently around the entire
circuit to his pit. When the mechanics failed to hammer the hood back into shape, Benoist carried on without it. Now the Bugatti's engine secret was exposed and the 4.9-liter engine was visible
for all to see. On Zehender's Maserati the hood also loosened and he visited his pit to have it secured. Nuvolari still held the lead after four laps but Caracciola wanted to see if he could keep
up with the speed of the Italian. He passed the Mantuan at Les Biscornes and crossed the finish line in first place at 133.221 km/h race average speed with the field in the following order after five laps:
|2.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||22m35.0s|
|3.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||22m45.0s|
|5.||Stuck (Auto Union)||22m52.0s|
|7.||Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||23m13.9s|
|11.||Varzi (Auto Union)||- 1 lap down|
Caracciola held on to the first position on lap six in 5m30.6s at 136.163 km/h average speed. Sommer headed to his pit to replenish oil while Benoist also stopped for an unknown reason. When Caracciola
had reassured himself that he could keep up with Nuvolari and a run-away was impossible, the German let him go but followed him closely. On lap seven Nuvolari passed Caracciola at Biscornes corner and
finished in first place with a lap of 5m29.1s at 136.784 km/h average speed. Stuck had fallen to sixth place and came in but overshot his pit and was dragged back. After an inspection his Auto Union
was withdrawn at the end of lap seven. His brakes had been incorrectly adjusted, were dragging and eventually seized. On the same lap Benoist visited the pits again to have the spark plugs changed.
Chiron, who held a good third place, came in slowly to his pit, dropped one lap behind but then took off slowly to join the race. Other pit stops were made by Sommer to tighten his hood, while Varzi
stopped to have some more plugs changed. After eight laps or 100 kilometers, Nuvolari held the lead by a mere five seconds at 134.139 km/h race average when the order of the field was as follows:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||44m44.7s|
|5.||Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||46m38.9s|
|7.||Varzi (Auto Union)||53m23.9s||- 1 lap down|
|8.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||54m09.3s||- 1 lap down|
|9.||Benoist (Bugatti)||57m54.1s||- 2 laps down|
|10.||Sommer (Maserati)||- 3 laps down|
After the eighth lap Chiron returned slowly to the pits with awful scraping noises coming from his car. His Alfa Romeo was retired with a broken rear differential. Benoist made another pit stop on lap
ten. Rosemeyer retired after 11 laps with the same brake problem that afflicted Stuck's car and fouled spark plugs in one cylinder bank. On lap 12 Varzi stopped at his pit once more to have his oiled
plugs changed. After 12 laps or 150 kilometers had been covered, Nuvolari was leading in 1h07m00.3s at 134.365 km/h race average with the field in the following order:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h07m00.3s|
|6.||Varzi (Auto Union)||1h17m41.2s||- 1 lap lown|
|7.||Sommer (Maserati)||1h32m42.2s||- 4 laps down|
After 13 laps Nuvolari led Caracciola by 9 seconds, followed by Fagioli and Brauchitsch. On the same lap Varzi's Auto Union was at his pit again and Zehender also brought his Maserati to his pit.
On lap 14 the Mercedes trio of Caracciola, Fagioli and Brauchitsch was heading the field, while Nuvolari crawled slowly to his pit. The Alfa's rear axle was jacked up and failure of the rear differential
was confirmed by Jano, the same problem that had ended Chiron's race. Varzi stopped again on lap 14 and handed the car over to Rosemeyer. Mercedes continued to hold the first three places and were the
only cars on the same lap; all others were at least one lap behind. Caracciola began to slow down. Sommer made a refueling stop on lap 15 and on the following lap he was once more at his pit, this time
to replace spark plugs. The Bugatti of Benoist had fallen numerous laps behind and is no longer shown from here on since the car completed only 16 laps. Rosemeyer had his plugs changed on lap 16, when Fagioli
was only four seconds behind Caracciola after the gap had shrunk by 43 seconds during the last four laps. Caracciola was leading at 132.934 km/h race average with the order of the field as follows after lap 16:
|4.||Zehender (Maserati)||1h40m21.0s||- 1 lap down|
|5.||Varzi/Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||1h51m12.3s||- 3 laps down|
|6.||Sommer (Maserati)||- 4 laps down|
At the end of lap 17 Fagioli took first place from Caracciola, who had held it since lap 14 when Nuvolari retired. Sommer headed for the pits on lap 15 and again on each of the following two laps. On lap 19
Brauchitsch came in for 1m12s to refuel and as a precaution changed his wheels even though his tires were still in good condition while Rosemeyer stopped again for spark plugs, followed by Zehender also making
one of his many pit visits. Fagioli made his refueling stop on lap 20, also changing still good rear tires as a precaution while Caracciola refueled in 1m23s but did not change his rear wheels. On the same
lap Sommer visited the pits again to change spark plugs. At mid-race Fagioli was leading with 131.578 km/h race average after 20 laps or 250 km with the field in following order:
|4.||Zehender (Maserati)||2h04m50.0s|| - 1 lap down|
|5.||Varzi/Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||- 3 laps down|
|6.||Sommer (Maserati)||- 4 laps down|
After the pit stops Brauchitsch held the lead on lap 21, ahead of Caracciola, Fagioli, Zehender, Rosemeyer in Varzi's car and Sommer. The order remained the same up to lap 23 when Zehender stopped to refuel.
At this time, Benoist who had been driving his Bugatti between occasional stops finally ended his race with a defective rear axle with only 16 laps completed. On lap 24 Rosemeyer headed towards the pits to
replenish cooling water. He was determined to bring the Auto Union to the finish line and did not become discouraged in his hopeless endeavor. On the same lap Caracciola regained his first place and led
with 129.648 km/h race average but von Brauchitsch was right on his tail less than a second behind. After lap 24 or 300 km, the field in the following order:
|4.||Zehender (Maserati)||2h32m48.0s||- 2 laps down|
|5.||Varzi/Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||- 4 laps down|
|6.||Sommer (Maserati)||- 4 laps down|
After 26 laps Fagioli had fallen behind with an engine that no longer sounded in full health. He stopped for 3m07s to change spark plugs and since the fuel pump was leaking he received an extra load to
ensure that he did not run out of fuel. On lap 27 Rosemeyer made another of his many stops for cooling water. On lap 28 Fagioli parked at his pit for 4m38s to change more spark plugs and have a discussion
about his supercharger. In the meantime Zehender drove to his pit and had the problems of his Maserati identified as a defective gearbox. On lap 30 it was again Rosemeyer's turn to fill up with cooling
water and he made another pit stop on lap 32. At that time 400 km had been covered and Caracciola was leading at 126.065 km/h race average. But he hadn't shaken off von Brauchitsch who was still less than
two seconds behind while he was following team orders which did not allow to pass the team leader with the field in the following order after 32 laps:
|3.||Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||3h22m27.8s||- 2 laps down|
|4.||Zehender (Maserati)||3h27m04.0s||- 2 laps down|
|5.||Varzi/Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||- 4 laps|
|6.||Sommer (Maserati)||- 5 laps down|
On lap 34 Rosemeyer made his twelfth and last pit stop, most of them to replace oiled spark plugs. During the final laps Fagioli stopped to attend to a fuel line leak between the tank and the fuel pump. He
fell back continuously, which enabled Zehender in the slower Maserati to pass the sick Mercedes on lap 36. After a lengthy pit stop on lap 37 Fagioli rejoined the race but still lost much fuel, and was unable
to drive at full speed. The cars carried on until the end in the order Caracciola, Brauchitsch, Zehender, Fagioli, Varzi/Rosemeyer and Sommer who had stopped six times.
The race average had dropped from 134 km/h after lap one to 124 km/h when Caracciola crossed the finish line after just four hours with von Brauchitsch half a second behind in the other Mercedes-Benz.
Zehender and Fagioli were flagged off, while Rosemeyer in Varzi's car and Sommer were stopped by the enthusiastic crowd which had climbed the barriers and moved onto the track after breaking through a triple
police cordon to jubilantly receive the winner.
|1.||2||Rudolf Caracciola||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25B||4.0||S-8||40||4h00m54.6s|
|2.||6||Manfred von Brauchitsch||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25B||4.0||S-8||40||4h00m55.1s||+ 0.5s|
|3.||18||Goffredo Zehender||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||38|
|4.||4||Luigi Fagioli||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25A||4.0||S-8||37|
|5.||8||A. Varzi / B. Rosemeyer||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||B||5.6||V-16||36|
|6.||20||Raymond Sommer||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-8||35|
|DNF||24||Robert Benoist||Automobiles E. Bugatti||Bugatti||T59/50S||4.9||S-8||16||rear axle|
|DNF||14||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||14||rear differential|
|DNF||12||Bernd Rosemeyer||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||B||5.0||V-16||11||brakes|
|DNF||16||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||8||rear differential|
|DNF||10||Hans Stuck||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||B||5.6||V-16||7||brakes|
Fastest lap: Tazio Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo) on lap 7 in 5m29.1s = 136.8 km/h (85.0 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 124.6 km/h (77.4 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 140.6 km/h (87.4 mph)
Weather: sunshine, hot, windy.
1. Official length 12.5 km but race/fastest lap times/speeds from Il Littoriale, Le Croix and Le Figaro might indicate that the time keepers used 12.504 km length instead.
2. We observe: "So if a driver finished out of the top four but completed more than 30 laps, he received nothing. This must have encouraged drivers to retire before they had completed 30 laps".
3. According to Simon Moore in "The Magnificent Monopostos" it is possible that 3.8 litre engines, or blocks that could be re-drilled to 3.8 litres, were tested during this race only.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
DDAC Motorwelt, München
Frankfurter Zeitung, Frankfurt
IL LITTORIALE, Roma
La Vie Automobile, Paris
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
23 June 1935:
Chico Landi (Fiat 1.5L) wins the 200 km long Circuito do Chapadăo in Campinas, Brazil.
30 June 1935:
Hans Stuck (Auto Union) wins the Kesselbergrennen hillclimb in Germany.
30 June 1935:
Piero Taruffi (Maserati) wins the Coppa Ascoli sports car race in Italy.
VI° GRAN PREMIO DE PENYA RHIN
Circuit de Montjuďc - Barcelona (E), 30 June 1935
70 laps x 3.791 km (2.356 mi) = 265.37 km (164.89 mi) (Note 1)
Fagioli wins at Barcelona ahead of Caracciola and Nuvolari
by Hans Etzrodt
After Auto Union withdrew their entry one week before the Barcelona event, it was no longer a question who would win the Penya Rhin Grand Prix. The two Mercedes-Benz of Fagioli and Caracciola were the favorites and
led from start to finish. The Alfa Romeos of Nuvolari and Brivio maintained third and fourth position and finished in that order. The works Maserati of Zehender held fifth place throughout most of the race and finished
in that position while his team mate Etancelin retired. The independent old Maserati of Soffietti finished sixth but Villapadernia's similar car retired. Hellé-Nice (Alfa Romeo) and the old Bugattis of Garcia and Rey
retired whilst driving at the back of the field.
The race at Barcelona had first been planned for 2nd of June but due to financial difficulties it was been postponed until 30th of June. It was restricted to cars of the international 750 kg formula. One week after the
French Grand Prix the teams headed to Barcelona for the VI Gran Premio Penya Rhin and simultaneously the III Copa Automovilista de Barcelona that took place on the Circuito de Montjuich. The 3.79 km
road course twisted up and down around the base of the Montjuich hill, and crested by the national museum and the 1929 world exhibition buildings. The surface alternated between cobble stones and asphalt and the city
streets sections required the cars to cross streetcar tracks. The course, where one corner followed another with no straight worth mentioning, had to be lapped 70 times, a total of 265.3 km. It called for continuous gear
shifting and the lower gears were used most of the time.
A total of 33,000 pesetas prize money was available, of which the winner received 15,000, second 8,000, third 5,000, fourth 3,000 and 2,000 pesetas for the fifth finisher. There was a special prize for the highest places
Auto Union withdrew their entry of two cars per telegram the week before due to their dismal results in the French Grand Prix. The company decided that they had to make a thorough review of their cars before taking part in
any other races.
Mercedes-Benz arrived with three cars, two for Caracciola and Fagioli and a third car for practice. They had originally intended to contest the Kesselberg hill climb on the same day, but decided to give their
undivided attention to the Spanish event.
Scuderia Ferrari entered two of the old beam axle Alfa Romeo P3 models for Tazio Nuvolari and Antonio Brivio while Scuderia Subalpina had two of the 6-cylinder
Maseratis entered for Philippe Etancelin and Goffredo Zehender.
Independent entries were made by French driver Pierre Rey with an old 2.3-liter Bugatti and by the Spaniard Salvador García with a similar car. Two other independent entries with 8CM Maseratis arrived with José de
Villapadierna and Luigi Soffietti. The only female entry came from Mlle Hellé-Nice in an AlfaRomeo Monza.
The previous year's race was won by Varzi with an average speed of 104 km/h and the lap record was established by Chiron at 108.304 km/h. The first practice on Thursday was cancelled because the Spanish customs had confiscated
the racing fuel.
In Friday's practice Mercedes were the fastest. Fagioli began with a time of 2m10.4s then Caracciola achieved a lap in 2m10s and Brivio equaled his time with his Alfa Romeo. Villapadierna had to get used to his new Maserati
but even so drove a lap in 2m12s. Caracciola raised his pace and covered a lap in 2m07s and then another in 2m05s, at an average speed of 109,152 km/h. Then Fagioli bettered this with 2m04.8s. The best that Brivio could
manage was 2m07s. Before the end of the session, Caracciola went out once more and completed a lap in 2m03.6s and then another in 2m02s, at an average speed of 111,836 km/h. Saturday's practice was held in the afternoon for
drivers who had arrived late Friday night or were already in Barcelona.
Sunday was a hot summer day with tropical heat and noon temperatures of 45 degrees. A huge crowd, estimated at 65,000 to 70,000 spectators, assembled around the course. Grid positions had been decided by ballot and the cars
lined up as follows:
At 4:30 PM the Penya Rhin President Mr. Molins lowered the flag for the start. Amid the roar of the engines Caracciola immediately took a narrow lead ahead of Nuvolari and Fagioli, followed by Brivio, Zehender and Soffietti
while Etancelin lagged behind.
At the end of lap one, which Caracciola completed at an average of 107.451 km/h he was ahead of Fagioli with Nuvolari and Brivio not too far behind while the remaining field was already clearly distanced with Soffietti,
Zehender and Villapadierna while Etancelin in eighth position struggled with a misfiring engine, followed by Hellé-Nice and the two Bugattis of Rey and Garcia.
Caracciola drove the second lap in 2m05, an average speed of 109,152 km/h. After seven laps the French driver Rey retired in his old 2300 Bugatti with a broken cylinder. On lap eight Caracciola made another new lap record
in 2m04, an average of 110.032 km/h. Villapadierna stopped at his pits on lap nine while Hellé-Nice passed Zehender but he regained his position two laps later.
Etancelin, whose 6-cylinder Maserati had been misfiring from the start, had stopped several times at the pits to cure the problem, but he eventually retired on lap 11. Caracciola and Fagioli remained at the front and the
Italian managed to reduce the gap that separated him from his teammate. Garciá stopped his Bugatti at the pits but rejoined the race again.
Up to lap 20 the positions had changed little but on that lap Zehender was able to overhaul Soffietti and gained fifth place. After lap 21 the Spaniard Villapadierna retired with a broken crankshaft bearing, which had been
damaged before the race and was repaired during official practice. With that the popular Spanish driver was eliminated from the competition. At the end of lap 23 Fagioli was the first to appear at the finish line and was
applauded because this change gave the boring race new life. Caracciola was now second with Nuvolari only 30 seconds behind and Brivio 40 seconds. Earlier, Caracciola had driven a lap in 2m03.6s at 110,388 km/h average
speed which was the fastest lap of the race and was supposedly equaled later by Fagioli. On lap 24 Nuvolari stopped to take on fuel when his team mate Brivio passed him while he was in the pits. When Nuvolari resumed the
race the two Mercedes, which proceeded in tandem, lapped him as he left the pits.
After lap 30, Fagioli led in 1h02m23s at 109.374 km/h race average, followed by Caracciola, Brivio, Nuvolari, Zehender, Soffietti, Hellé-Nice and Garcia. The pace was very fast and the average speed rose steadily. Fagioli
finished lap 35 at 109.420 km/h race average with the field in this order:
|1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||1h12m45s|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||1h12m55s|
|3. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h13m50s|
|4. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1 lap behind|
|5. Zehender (Maserati)||2 laps behind|
|6. Soffietti (Maserati)||4 laps behind|
|7. Hellé-Nice (Alfa Romeo)|
|8. García (Bugatti)|
Fagioli finished 40 laps in a time of 1h23m06s. On lap 42, there began a renewed Fagioli-Caracciola duel and the German passed into the lead. But Caracciola held this position for only five laps before Fagioli regained
the lead on lap 47. Nuvolari had a lucky escape on lap 43. While rounding a turn his Alfa Romeo brushed a sand bag barrier which resulted in a near spin, but he was able to avoid a serious incident. After 43 laps Garcia
retired his Bugatti after spending numerous laps in his pit to attend to his car's problem. That he supposedly completed 43 laps seems rather doubtful.
After lap 50, Fagioli led at 109.324 km/h race average, followed by Caracciola with Brivio still in third place, ahead of Nuvolari, Zehender, Soffietti and Hellé-Nice. On lap 55, Brivio stopped to refuel but had to visit
the pits a second time with a spark plug problem and Nuvolari was able to pass him into third place. During the next few laps Brivio lost time by continually stopping, but did not lose his place to Zehender. On lap 55
Caracciola and Fagioli stopped to refuel. While Caracciola took a whole minute, Fagioli left after just 22 seconds which gave him a good lead over his team mate.
At the end of lap 60 Fagioli was timed at 2h05m39s, with Caracciola in second place, followed 1m4s later by Nuvolari. When Hellé-Nice retired on lap 61 with a differential breakage, only six drivers were left in the race.
She was nine laps behind and had completed only 52 laps. It was another withdrawal lamented by the public. However the last laps appeared to be exciting. On lap 67 Nuvolari was able to pass Fagioli to un-lap himself. The
reason was simple; Fagioli and Caracciola had slowed their pace to save their engines. The Mantuan, made up a full 30 seconds, reducing Fagioli's advantage which allowed him to drive the full length of 70 laps. After
2h27m38s Fagioli crossed the finish line. The public invaded the circuit to celebrate Fagioli, the great winner of the race, who received a bouquet of flowers. The public followed his walk along the bleachers where they
also gave lengthy applause as to Miss Helle-Nice.
|1.||10||Luigi Fagioli||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25B||4.0||S-8||70||2h27m38.0s|
|2.||2||Rudolf Caracciola||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25B||4.0||S-8||70||2h28m25.6s||+ 47.6s|
|3.||4||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||70||2h29m12.2s||+ 1m34.4s|
|4.||8||Antonio Brivio||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||68||2h27m52.2s|
|5.||14||Goffredo Zehender||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||67||2h27m50.0s|
|6.||20||Luigi Soffietti||L. Soffietti||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||64||2h29m43.2s|
|DNF||24||Mlle "Hellé-Nice"||Mlle "Hellé-Nice"||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||52||differential|
|DNF||26||Salvador García||S. García||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||43||mechanical|
|DNF||18||José de Villapadierna||Count de Villapadierna||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||21||main bearing|
|DNF||6||Philippe Etancelin||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||10||ignition|
|DNF||22||Pierre Rey||P. Rey||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||7||engine|
Fastest lap: Rudolf Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) in 2m03.6s = 110.4 km/h (68.6 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 107.9 km/h (67.0 mph)
Weather: tropical heat, dry.
The times of the six drivers shown in the final classification and the number of laps completed, represent the official classification, which was published by El Mundo Deportivo and Madrid automóvil. The times published in
most other sources show different numbers which evidently are not the official times.
A fastest lap quoted in 2m02.0s at 111.855 km/h could not be substantiated and was supposedly driven by Fagioli, Caracciola and Nuvolari. It seems highly unlikely that Nuvolari could have gone that fast. It is equally
unlikely that all three would make exactly the same fastest time.
1. Official classification used 3.79 km circuit length when computing medium speed (107.820 km/h). A published speed for fastest lap of 111.855 km/h corresponds exactly to Montjuďc's correct length of 3790.65 m. Rounded off that is 3791m.
So the organizers ended up using different circuit lengths depending on whether they did the calculations themselves or used pre-made tables.
2. Grid reconstructed from pictures with thanks to Hugo Boecker, Ŕlex Vergés and Felix Muelas.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
DDAC Motorwelt, München
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
IL Littoriale, Roma
Kölnische Zeitung, Köln
Madrid automóvil, Madrid
MOTOR SPORT, London
MOTOR UND SPORT, Pössneck
Special thanks to:
LES TROIS HEURES de NANCY
(III MEETING DE LORRAINE)
Seichamps - Nancy (F), 30 June 1935
3 hours race on a 5.50 km (3.42 mi) course
Chiron wins despite Wimille's efforts
by Leif Snellman
The 3 hour race at Nancy clashed with the Penya Rhin event but Scuderia Ferrari entered two cars for Chiron and Comotti. Their main competitor Wimille in a works Bugatti took the early lead but on the fourth
lap Chiron passed him and went on to win. Wimille kept up with Chiron for a while but then fell back and a pit stop made him lose second position to Comotti. Wimille was able to retake second place when
Comotti made a pit stop. Wimille was able to temporarily close in a bit on Chiron before the leader near the end of the race increased his speed to win from Wimille and Comotti. Lehoux in Villapadierna's
Maserati finished fourth followed by the independent Alfa Romeos of Sommer and "Raph".
On the same day as the Penya Rhin Grand Prix race event was arranged in Nancy, north-east France, by L'Automobile Club Lorraine and was known in the newspapers as Grand Prix de Lorraine, Grand Prix
de Nancy or Les Trois Heures. It was a 3 hour race open for race cars between 1.5 and 8 litres. Only cars which conformed to the international formula were accepted for the race although it was a 3 hour race
and not a distance race as the international formula dictated.
Supporting races included two one hour races for 175cc/350cc and 250cc/500cc motorcycles and two 1.5 hours sports car races for 1100cc & 1500cc and 2000cc, 3000cc & 5000cc cars that followed class C of the international
The event was held on the 5.50 km Seichamps road course. For the 1935 race two chicanes were added on request by the Automobile Club de France. The course used the main road N 74 eastwards with the pits
and the grand stands situated along the 1736 m long main straight followed by a right turn near the village of Seichamps, the only part of the course where the spectators on the stands lost sight of the
competitors. From there the course continued southwards into the back leg that consisted of some very narrow country roads that were passing between farm yards to Pulnoy. This section included the first of the new
chicanes. After Pulnoy followed the second chicane and then the course continued westwards on an 1107 m long straight on I.C. 8 before turning right at Virage de Saulxures to take it north and then joined the main
road at the Le Tronc qui Fume curve.
The following prizes were presented: 1st prize 20,000 franc, 2nd 10,000 fr., 3rd 6000 fr., 4th 4000 fr, and 5th 2000 fr.
The decision of Scuderia Ferrari to race at Nancy as well as at Penya Rhin increased the status of the former from a rather local event to one of international status. For Nancy Scuderia Ferrari entered two of the
old beam axle Alfa Romeo Tipo Bs for Louis Chiron and Gianfranco Comotti. Raymond Sommer and Count Raphaël Béthenod, who raced under the pseudonym "Raph", drove their private Tipo Bs of 1934 model (#5003 and #5006).
They were challenged by Jean-Pierre Wimille driving the works Bugatti T59. Pierre Veyron raced a voiturette 8-cylinder Bugatti under the works banner. Private Bugattis were driven by Jean Delorme (T51) and André
Fevrier (T35C). Voiturette Bugattis were entered by British drivers Thomas Cholmondley-Tapper (T37A), Miss Eileen Ellison (T40) and Stanley Smith (T37A). Dudley Froy drove George Manby-Colegrave's huge Bugatti T54.
It seems that Armand Girod entered his 3 litre Maserati but for unknown reasons did a late decision before practice and instead raced his 8-cylinder Salmson with the engine bored out to 1.5 litres.
Charles Montier drove one of his Montier Specials. According to Motor Sport the engine had a volume of 3640 cc which corresponds to the V-8 car. Chambost raced his ex-Sommer Maserati 8CM two-seater (#3006). Marcel
Lehoux, tired of waiting for the SEFAC, had been in contact with Spanish Count Villapadierna and was to race the Count's yellow 3-litre Maserati. Maurice Mestivier drove a 1.1 litre Amilcar.
During the two practice sessions Wimille proved to be fastest, setting a time of 2m54.4s to take pole position. It was faster than the old lap record despite the two chicanes. The chicanes were heavily criticized by
drivers and press.
Veyron missed a breaking point and drove with full speed through a straw barrier, damaging the steering on his works Bugatti. However, the mechanics managed to repair the car before the race.
The motor cycle races were run at 8 and 10 a.m. They were followed by the sports car races at 11 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. The results of the sports car races were as follows:
1100cc: 1 Gordini (Fiat) 130.411 km, 1500cc: Scordel (Rally-Salmson) 102.680 km,
2000cc: Arnould (Bugatti) 129.036 km, 3000cc Mestivier (Amilcar-Pegase) 135.069 km, 5000cc: Schell (Delahaye) 144.897 km.
Note that Gordini in the 1100cc class had a better result than the winner of the 2000cc class.
The main event started at 3 p.m. and ended at 6 p.m. Cholmondley-Tapper had lubrication problems with his T37A Bugatti so he borrowed Smith's car. Smith was thus a non-starter, so 16 cars lined up on the grid:
|* 42 Smith (Bugatti) DNS|
Wimille led from the start with Chiron in pursuit. They were followed by Comotti, Sommer, Fevrier, Lehoux, Delorme, Montier and Froy. Cholmondley-Tapper's Bugatti was rammed by Mestivier's Amilcar and while the
latter had to retire the Bugatti was able to continue. At the end of the first lap the top four drivers had gained a 20 second gap to the rest of the field.
Chiron was able to take the lead on the fourth lap and defended his position against repeated attacks by Wimille. Despite breaking the lap record Chiron was unable to pull away. After 10 laps almost all other
competitors had been lapped by the duo. Further down the field Lehoux had moved up to fifth position and "Raph" had also made up ground while Fevrier had dropped behind.
On lap 12 Wimille spun in the chicane losing time and Chiron started to pull away by a few seconds a lap. After the first hour the situation looked like this:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||19 laps in||57m15s|
|2.||Wimille (Alfa Romeo)||19 laps in||57m41s|
|3.||Comotti (Alfa Romeo)||19 laps in||58m41s|
|4.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||18 laps in||57m25s|
|5.||Lehoux (Maserati)||18 laps in||57m29s|
|6.||"Raph" (Alfa Romeo)||17 laps in||56m50s|
|7.||Fevrier (Bugatti)||17 laps in||58m19s|
|8.||Chambost (Maserati)||17 laps in||58m47s|
|9.||Cholmondley (Bugatti)||17 laps in||58m59s|
|10.||Girod (Salmson)||17 laps in||59m17s|
|11.||Froy (Bugatti)||16 laps in||58m09s|
|12.||Delorme (Bugatti)||16 laps in||59m37s|
|13.||C. Montier (Montier)||15 laps in||56m43s|
|14.||Veyron (Bugatti)||15 laps in||57m25s|
On the 25th lap Wimille had to stop to replace the brake pads and lost second position to Comotti. He was also lapped by Chiron. Once back in the race Wimille took up the chase on Comotti and managed to catch him.
Comotti however made every effort to keep his second position and it developed into a fierce duel, the two antagonists cheered on by the crowd. The fight continued for a few laps but Comotti's car did not stand
up to the constant forced use and the Italian had to make a pit stop when Wimille retook second place. Race order after two hours:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||39 laps in||1h58m59s|
|2.||Wimille (Alfa Romeo)||38 laps in||1h57m17s|
|3.||Comotti (Alfa Romeo)||38 laps in||1h58m10s|
|4.||Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||38 laps in||1h59m35s|
|5.||Lehoux (Maserati)||37 laps in||1h58m25s|
|6.||"Raph" (Alfa Romeo)||36 laps in||1h59m38s|
|7.||Chambost (Maserati)||34 laps in||1h56m48s|
|8.||Cholmondley (Bugatti)||34 laps in||1h57m03s|
|9.||Fevrier (Bugatti)||34 laps in||1h57m40s|
|10.||Delorme (Bugatti)||33 laps in||1h58m08s|
|11.||Veyron (Bugatti)||32 laps in||1h56m53s|
|12.||C. Montier (Montier)||31 laps in||1h59m01s|
Chiron made a brief stop for brake adjustments which allowed Wimille to unlap himself and then gain some time on the leader and breaking Chiron's new lap record during the chase. After two hours the
gap between them was down to 1m27s. Comotti was still third, Sommer fourth and Lehoux fifth. On lap 43 Sommer stopped in the pit and lost his place to Lehoux. Sommer's car was then push started against the rules
instead of using the starting handle.
Near the end of the race Chiron increased his pace. He had already equaled Wimille's fastest lap on lap 42 and then broke it by a second on lap 57. He made a short stop for fuel but took the chequered flag undisturbed winning by about
2 1/2 minutes ahead of Wimille with Comotti third and Lehoux fourth.
In the Voiturette class Cholmondley-Tapper had been in a class of his own during most of the race and held a 10 minute lead after 2 1/2 hours fighting for sixth position overall. But late in the race something happened.
According to one source he got brake problems and spun. Another source says he ran out of fuel and had to push his car to the pit. Anyway, Veyron took over the lead in the voiturette class and went on to win with
Cholmondley-Tapper finishing two laps behind.
After the race Fevrier protested against Sommer's push start in the pits. Sommer was fined 500 francs, although Fevrier had hoped for a disqualification.
|1.||6||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||59||325.503 km|
|2.||4||Jean-Pierre Wimille||Automobiles E. Bugatti||Bugatti||T59||3.3||S-8||58||320.900 km|
|3.||8||Gianfranco Comotti||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||57||315.462 km|
|4.||38||Marcel Lehoux||Conte de Villapadierna||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||56||308.265 km|
|5.||10||Raymond Sommer||R. Sommer||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||54||300.254 km|
|6.||20||"Raph"||B. de las Casas||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||54||298.069 km|
|7.||30||André Fevrier||A. Fevrier||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||52||290.405 km|
|8.||18||Jean Delorme||J. Delorme||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||50||278.550 km|
|9.||44||Pierre Veyron||Automobiles E. Bugatti||Bugatti||T51A||1.5||S-8||48||267.602 km|
|10.||12||Charles Montier||C. Montier||Montier-Ford||Speciale||3.6||V-8||47||261.286 km|
|11.||26||Thomas Cholmondley-Tapper||T. Cholmondley-Tapper||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||46||256.459 km|
|12.||28||Miss Eileen Ellison||Miss E. Ellison||Bugatti||T40||1.5||S-4||36||199.160 km|
|DNF||34||Armand Girod||A. Girod||Salmson||1.5||S-8|
|DNF||22||Albert Chambost||A. Chambost||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8|
|DNF||46||Dudley Froy||G. Manby-Colegrave||Bugatti||T54||4.9||S-8|
|DNF||40||Maurice Mestivier||M. Mestivier||Amilcar||MCO||1.1||S-6||0||mechanical/crash?|
Fastest lap: Louis Chiron (Alfa Romeo) on lap 57 in 2m54.2s = 113.7 km/h (70.6 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 108.5 km/h (67.4 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 113.5 km/h (70.5 mph)
1. There is some confusion regarding the numbers in the entry list vs. the numbers actually present in the race. I have followed Paul Sheldon's numbers in A Record of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing Volume III while the newspaper
Le Matin, which was one of the sponsors of the race, in their race preview had #14 Brunet, #24 Schiffelers, #26 Benoit Falchetto (Maserati), #28 Cholmondely-Tapper and #36 as "X" with Miss Ellison missing from the list.
2. Practice times are according to Paul Sheldon. The newspaper La Presse gave speeds for Comotti corresponding to 3m05.3s and for Lehoux corresponding to 3m12.2s.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
La Croix, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
Il Littoriale, Roma
La Stampa, Torino
Le Petit Nicois, Nice
Motor Sport, London
La Presse, Paris
Special thanks to:
6 July 1935:
"Freddie" Dixon (Riley) wins the at the British Empire Trophy handicap race at Brooklands, England.
6 July 1935:
Kelly Petillo (Wetteroth-Offenhauser) wins the St. Paul AAA National Championship race in USA.
XI GRAND PRIX DE LA MARNE
Reims-Gueux (F), 7 July 1935
2 heats of 15 lap x 7.826 km (4.86 mi) = 117.4 km (72.9 mi)
1 hour final on a 7.826 km (4.86 mi) course. (Note 1)
Scuderia Ferrari drivers Dreyfus and Chiron dominate
by Leif Snellman
The Marne Grand Prix was divided into two 15 lap heats and a one hour final. Since there were only 12 starters the heats were not of much significance. They were won by Scuderia Ferrari drivers Dreyfus and Chiron, who also
dominated the final with their Alfas Romeos. Dreyfus won in the end from Chiron while Sommer in his private Alfa Romeo finished third. The much expected V-8 Maserati driven by Etancelin proved to be ill-prepared
and retired in the final after only one lap.
The tenth Marne Grand Prix, arranged by the A.C. de Champagne, was run as usual on the fast 7.826 km Reims road course. For 1935 the race was divided into two 15 lap heats plus a one hour final. The first four finishers
of each heat were admitted to the final plus the one with the faster time of those two who had finished fifth in their heats, i.e nine in all.
The Marne Grand Prix was run on the same weekend as the Gran Premo del Valentino in Turin, so both entries suffered.
Several weeks before the event Auto Union had announced that they would participate with two cars with Stuck and Varzi as drivers. However, after the French Grand Prix Auto Union scratched both Penya Rhin and the Marne GP
from their calendar, as they were trying to sort out the trouble with their cars before the German GP.
The Maserati V8 RI finally did its debut in the hands of Scuderia Subalpina driver Philippe Etancelin. It was a 4.8-liter V-8 car with front and rear swing axle suspension and hydraulic brakes. Guglielmo Carraroli
raced Scuderia Subalpina's 3.7 litre 6C-34 Maserati.
Scuderia Ferrari divided their effort between Turin and Reims with four cars in the former and two in the latter. The team used the same Tipo B cars as at the Lorraine Grand Prix one week earlier with Louis Chiron as
first driver and René Dreyfus replacing Gianfranco Comotti in the second car. Both cars had the conventional suspension. Raymond Sommer entered his private Tipo B (#5003) as did "Raph" (#5006).
Three of the four T59 Bugattis that had been sold to England appeared with Brian Lewis, Earl Howe and Charles Martin as drivers (only Eccles' car was missing). The works Bugatti with Wimille did not appear and neither
did Lehoux with the SEFAC. Lehoux was to drive Scuderia Villapadierna's yellow 3-liter 8CM Maserati instead. Other 8CM entries were Count de Villapadierna, Luigi Soffietti, Benoît Falchetto, László Hartmann and Armand
Girod. But later de Villapadierna and Falchetto sent telegrams that they would be unable to participate. Clement Biondetti with an Alfa Romeo Monza also failed to appear.
Albert Chambost drove the ex-Sommer Maserati 8CM (#3006), rebuilt into a two seater, making it 14 competitors in total.
Friday practice started at 5 a.m. with the touring car class while the time between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. was reserved for the Grand Prix cars. Most of the cars took part but Etancelin's new Maserati was not expected to arrive
at Reims until Saturday.
Dreyfus with the Alfa Romeo proved to be fastest with a lap of 2m52.6s (163.2 km/h). Chiron made a lap of 2m56s improving his time to 2m54.0s. None of the other drivers went below 2m56s. Of the Bugatti drivers Martin
made a time of 3m03s and Lewis 3m07s while Earl Howe did not set any time.
Saturday practice followed Friday's time table. Perrot (Delahaye) was superior in the touring class making 3m29.4s (134.5 km/h). The Scuderia Ferrari drivers did not take part, having returned to Paris, and no
one did laps under 3 minutes. Lehoux with the Scuderia Villapadierna Maserati was fastest with a time of 3m01.8s. He was followed by Lewis 3m03.8s, "Raph" 3m08s and Howe 3m12.8s. Shortly before the end of the practice session
Howe cracked the cylinder head of his Bugatti and he had to scratch the car. Martin broke his gearbox and had to do a 300 km trip to Molsheim for spare parts.
Finally at 10 a.m. with the practice session already flagged off the lorry with new V-8 Maserati arrived. Etancelin spent the rest of the day doing slow laps while trying to learn the car. Carraroli also decided to do some
extra testing by driving fast laps and ignoring the fact that the road was now open for public. About 1 p.m. he met another vehicle in a corner and trying to avoid a collision Carraroli lost control of his car. The Maserati
leaped over a ditch and crashed into a field. Carraroli was brought to a nearby clinic with bruises and a foot broken in three places.
Sunday came with sunny weather but as often seen at Reims a strong wind swept over the fields and interfered with the driving. From 18 official entries only 12 were ready to drive so some rearrangements had to be made.
Of those nine initially assigned to the first heat de Villapadierna was not starting and the organizers had moved Martin and "Raph" to the second heat, so the grid that was formed at 12.45 p.m. was made up of six cars:
At 1 p.m. the cars were flagged away for the first 15 lap heat. Etancelin experienced bad wheelspin with the new Maserati and Dreyfus took the lead followed by Lewis. Etancelin, once up to speed, passed Lewis. Dreyfus did the
first lap in 3m14.6s to lead from Etancelin, Lewis, Sommer and Girod while Chambost had stopped on the track and retired.
The main interest was how the new Maserati would perform against the Alfa Romeo. Partly due to Etancelin's bad start Dreyfus was able to lead by 10 seconds after two laps. He made lap four in 2m56.3s. Etancelin was getting
familiar with the new Maserati and did the sixth lap in 2m54.8s but was unable to close in on Dreyfus, who answered on the next lap with a time of 2m53.5s followed by 2m50.8s on the eighth lap.
Sommer passed Lewis on the fourth lap. After five laps the order looked this:
|1. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||15m05.6s|
|2. Etancelin (Maserati)||15m14.1s|
|3. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||15m32.8s|
|4. Brian-Lewis (Bugatti)||15m37.2s|
|5. Girod (Maserati)||17m39.9s|
On the seventh lap Girod retired his Maserati and with only four competitors remaining it meant that all who were able to take the chequered flag would qualify for the final.
On the ninth lap Etancelin, trying to keep up with the leading Alfa Romeo, missed the breaking point at Virage de Tillois at the end of the main straight. He had to use the escape road and when he returned to the race track he
was already 35 seconds behind Dreyfus. Order after ten laps:
|1. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||29m35.7s|
|2. Etancelin (Maserati)||30m12.6s|
|3. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||30m46.0s|
|4. Brian-Lewis (Bugatti)||31m02.3s|
On lap 13 the duel between Sommer and Lewis ended when Sommer had to make a one minute pit stop to change spark plugs.
Dreyfus took it easy during the latter part of the race and in the end Etancelin was able to decrease the gap to 22 seconds. So Dreyfus won followed by Etancelin and Lewis with Sommer a lap behind. It had been a rather
dull event, especially since all finishers would make it to the final.
Results (heat 1)
|1.||24||René Dreyfus||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||15||44m58.6s|
|2.||14||Philippe Etancelin||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||V8 RI||4.8||V-8||15||45m20.4s||+ 21.8s|
|3.||42||Brian Lewis||B. Lewis||Bugatti||T59||3.3||S-8||15||46m29.8s||+ 1m31.2s|
|4.||4||Raymond Sommer||R. Sommer||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||14|
|DNF||44||Armand Girod||A. Girod||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||7||mechanical|
|DNF||46||Albert Chambost||A. Chambost||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||0||mechanical|
Fastest lap: René Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo) on lap 8 in 2m50.8s = 165.0 km/h (102.5 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 156.6 km/h (97.3 mph)
From the initial nine drivers assigned for the second heat five were missing: Carraroli, Wimille, Howe, Biondetti and Falchetto. For that reason Martin and "Raph" had been added to make it six competitors in this heat as well.
From the start Chiron took command of the race and would never be challenged thereafter. He did the first lap in 3m14.2s and was followed by "Raph", Lehoux, Martin and Hartmann while Soffietti retired on the first lap.
That meant again that all remaining cars would qualify for the final if they just made it to the finish. Situation after five laps:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||15m06.9s|
|2. "Raph" (Alfa Romeo)||15m29.7s|
|3. Lehoux (Maserati)||15m31.8s|
|4. Martin (Bugatti)||15m50.2s|
|5. Hartmann (Maserati)||16m21.4s|
Lehoux was unable to find a way past "Raph's" dark-blue Monoposto Alfa Romeo until the eighth lap when "Raph's" car began to misfire and he had to make a pit stop on lap nine losing a lap. That put Lehoux in second position but
far behind Chiron who dominated the event with Martin taking over third place and Hartmann fourth. The situation after 10 laps:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||29m53.1s|
|2. Lehoux (Maserati)||30m42.9s|
|3. Martin (Bugatti)||30m56.1s|
|4. Hartmann (Maserati)||32m23.4s|
|5. "Raph" (Alfa Romeo)||35m06.4s|
During the last five laps there were no changes in the race order. A all five remaining entries made it to the final.
Results (heat 2)
|1.||12||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||15||45m02.8s|
|2.||2||Marcel Lehoux||Conte de Villapadierna||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||15||45m59.7s||+ 56.9s|
|3.||32||Charles Martin||C. Martin||Bugatti||T59||3.3||S-8||15||46m24.5s||+ 1m21.7s|
|4.||40||László Hartmann||L. Hartmann||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||15||49m27.3s||+ 4.24.5s|
|5.||8||"Raph"||B. de las Casas||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||14|
|DNF||16||Luigi Soffietti||L. Soffietti||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||0||mechanical|
Fastest lap: Louis Chiron (Alfa Romeo) in 2m57.9s = 158.4 km/h (98.4 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 156.4 km/h (97.2 mph)
Between the heats and the final there was a 25 lap touring car race with three classes. The Bugatti T57s were not present and the race was won by Albert Perrot ahead of Michel Paris, Mme Lucy Schell and Mme Germaine Rouault,
all in Delahayes.
In the final race ending after one hour, all the nine cars that had finished the heats lined up on the grid as follows:
When the cars were flagged away at 5.15 p.m. Chiron made the best start and led after the first lap. He was followed by Dreyfus, Etancelin, Lehoux, Sommer, "Raph", Martin, Lewis and Hartmann. To the disappointment of the
spectators Etancelin blew the engine and retired to the pits at the end of the lap. After that no one was able to challenge the Scuderia Ferrari duo.
The other competitors were unable to keep up with the two Alfa Romeos. Sommer passed Lehoux on the second lap to move up to third position. After that Lehoux became engaged in a duel for fourth position with "Raph" during
the first half of the race. Behind them Lewis was sixth closely followed by Martin.
Chiron and Dreyfus were driving the first five rounds with an average of 157.6 km/h corresponding to three minute laps. The race order was:
|1. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||14m54.8s|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||14m54.?s|
|3. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||15m23.1s|
|4. Lehoux (Maserati)||15m30.4s|
|5. "Raph" (Alfa Romeo)||15m32.0s|
|6. Lewis (Bugatti)||15m53.9s|
|7. Martin (Bugatti)||15m58.7s|
|8. Hartmann (Maserati)||16m12.7s|
Dreyfus pressed Chiron and in a friendly duel they raced side by side on the main straight and even swapped positions twice. On the ninth lap Dreyfus took the lead again and completed the first ten laps in almost exactly half an
hour. He was then leading Chiron by just 0.3 seconds. The situation after 10 laps:
|1. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||30m00.6s (156.4 km/h)|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||30m00.9s|
|3. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||30m20.4s|
|4. "Raph" (Alfa Romeo)||30m31.5s|
|5. Lehoux (Maserati)||30m32.6s|
|6. Lewis (Bugatti)||31m02.7s|
|7. Martin (Bugatti)||31m05.8s|
|8. Hartmann (Maserati)||31m55.0s|
On lap 11 Lehoux passed "Raph" for fourth position. On lap 15, about 42 minutes into the race, Dreyfus definitely took over command and started to pull away as Chiron had problems keeping the pace. The situation looked like this:
|1. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||44m54.5s (156.9 km/h)|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||45m02.9s|
|3. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||45m09.5s|
|4. Lehoux (Maserati)||45m27.1s|
|5. "Raph" (Alfa Romeo)||45m37.5s|
|6. Lewis (Bugatti)||45m59.0s|
|7. Martin (Bugatti)||46m04.4s|
|8. Hartmann (Maserati)||47m55.4s|
Ten minutes before the end Dreyfus had a four seconds lead over Chiron. "Raph" probably made a pit stop since he fell further behind. According to Motor Sport Lewis passed Lehoux for fourth but then near the end of the race
he had to stop to change a plug which dropped him back to fifth place.
When the race was finished after one hour racing, Dreyfus took the victory about nine seconds in front of Chiron with Sommer third, another 25 seconds behind. Sommer did 19 laps (note that 19 laps in this case doesn't mean that
the driver had been lapped, only that he had passed the finish line one time less than the leader during the hour). Lehoux was fourth in his Maserati while Bugatti drivers Lewis and Marin finished fifth and sixth respectively.
The new Maserati had been ill prepared and was a bit of a disappointment. The race had proved that the three year old TipoB/P3 was still the car to beat when the German teams were not present.
|1.||24||René Dreyfus||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||20||157.760 km|
|2.||12||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||20||157.383 km|
|3.||4||Raymond Sommer||R. Sommer||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||2.9||S-8||19||156.313 km|
|4.||2||Marcel Lehoux||Conte de Villapadierna||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||19||155.739 km|
|5.||42||Brian Lewis||B. Lewis||Bugatti||T59||3.3||S-8||19||154.019 km|
|6.||32||Charles Martin||C. Martin||Bugatti||T59||3.3||S-8||19||153.761 km|
|7.||8||"Raph"||B. de las Casas||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||19||150.806 km|
|8.||40||László Hartmann||L. Hartmann||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||18||146.853 km|
|DNF||14||Philippe Etancelin||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||V8 RI||4.8||V-8||1||piston|
Fastest lap: Louis Chiron (Alfa Romeo) in 2h53.6s = 162.3 km/h (100.8 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 157.76 km/h (98.0 mph)
Weather: sunny but windy.
1. Again 7.826 km was used for the official results. Motor Sport & Le Figaro had the same figures for the heats (156.601 km/h & 156.357 km/h). See also the 1934 Marne GP footnote.
2. Grids are according to Il Littoriale with the first heat corrected from picture evidence with thanks to Jean-Maurice Gigleux.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Echo de Paris, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
Il Littoriale, Roma
La Stampa, Torino
Le Petit Nicois, Nice
Motor Sport, London