IX° COPPA CIANO
Montenero - Livorno (I), 4 August 1935
12 laps x 20.0 km (12.4 mi) = 240.0 km (149.1 mi)
by Leif Snellman
Montnero was a circuit where in the past years Nuvolari had shown his supremacy. In 1934 he
had to give up to Varzi's Alfa Romeo but in 1935 he was again in a class of his own. Brivio (Alfa Romeo) initially led his team mate Nuvolari and
Siena (Maserati six-cylinder). On the third lap Nuvolari took over the lead and held it to the end also making the fastest lap.
The final order was Nuvolari ahead of Brivio, Trossi and Dreyfus, all four racing for Scuderia Ferrari.
The highest placed non-Alfa Romeo finisher was Chambost (Maserati) in sixth position.
In the 1100cc class raced simultaneously but over a shorter distance, Ghersi (Maserati) initially led but had to retire and Tuffanelli (Maserati) took the victory.
The 9th Coppa Ciano was run on the same day as the Comminges race.
For the last time the Italian race was held on the twisty and dangerous Montenero road circuit.
The German teams were not present so the race was mostly an Italian affair.
The organizers of the Coppa Ciano still held on to the 1100cc class. Known as the Coppa Ciano Junior the class started behind the Grand Prix cars and had to drive eight laps instead of 12
laps for the larger cars.
The course had been changed for 1935 at Ardenza with a new road that led between Parco Bartolini and the sea in front of the stands and ended with a right hand hair pin that led back once
more past the stands and the time keepers' box. The pits were located in the narrow strip between the roads with a rather odd looking bridge construction connecting the section with the
outside of the course. Despite the changes to the course it was still considered to be 20 km long and time keepers did not hesitate to announce speeds with three decimals.
According to Motor Sport a total of 150,000 Lire was offered in prizes.
The Scuderia Ferrari team once more divided their effort with two Tipo Bs of the earlier type sent to St. Gaudens and four cars appearing at Livorno, three of them with Dubonnet independent
suspension for Tazio Nuvolari, Antonio Brivio and René Dreyfus, and one earlier cart sprung type for Count Trossi. His entry was a last moment decision, possibly because he still
suffered from an eye injury received at the Turin GP, so the printed program did not include his name.
In addition to these entries Tadini raced a seventh Scuderia Ferrari Tipo B at the Grossglocker hillclimb the same weekend so the team had to work hard getting all the cars ready. 16 inch
wheels were used by the team at Livorno to get a lower gear ratio and Pirelli offered special tyres for the event.
Ferdinando Barbieri raced an independent TipoB/P3 (probably chassis #5002).
Four Alfa Romeo Monzas were entered to be run by Constantino Magistri, Marques Cornaggia- Medici, Luigi Pages and by Giovanni Minozzi (who was Antonio Ascari's nephew).
Scuderia Subalpina divided their efforts as well with two cars at St. Gaudens and a third six cylinder Maserati at Livorno for Eugenio Siena as well as a voiturette entry.
Two independent drivers entered 8-cylinder Maseratis. Luigi Soffietti raced a red Maserati and Albert Chambost a light blue one. The latter was the ex-Sommer car (3006) that in 1934 had
been converted into a two-seater with the help of SEFAC mechanics. Letterio Cucinotta entered an old Maserati 26M two-seater and pictures from the start shows that he actually had a driving
mechanic in the car during the event!
Hans Rüesch in a white-red 1.5 litre Maserati had initially planned to go to the Grossglockner hillclimb but then selected Livorno instead. As the voiturette class was limited to 1100cc
Rüesch had to race in the Grand Prix class.
A Bugatti T51 driven by someone named Pio Crestini and another Bugatti, probably a T37A, driven by French driver René Brooke completed the entry list.
There were ten participants in the 1100 cc class. Pietro Ghersi raced Scuderia Subalpina's Maserati and independent drivers Moris Bergamini, Ettore Bianco and Giuseppe Tuffanelli entered
Maseratis as well. British drivers Dudley Froy and Reggie Tongue raced M.Gs. There were three modified Fiat sports cars raced by Albino Ferrara, Luciano Musso (not to be confused with
Luigi Musso, who was only 11 years old at that time) and newcomer Luigi Villoresi. Giuseppe Panzacchi entered a Rocca.
There were three practice sessions. On Thursday there were mostly voiturettes practicing. Cucinotta practiced as well as the 1100cc class drivers Cecchini, Froy, Bianco and Musso. All lap
times were over 15 minutes.
On Friday Nuvolari was fastest in the Grand Prix class with a time of 13m41s while Tuffanelli, doing 14m37s, was fastest in the 1100cc class. Other drivers practicing included Barbieri,
Brivio, Crestini, Pages and Rüesch in the bigger class and Bianco, Ferrara and Tongue in the smaller class.
On Saturday Nuvolari was again fastest even though "only" doing 14m03s and he was the favourite for victory. Of his team mates Brivio was considered to have the best chance to challenge
him while Dreyfus was new to the course and Trossi arrived late and had no chance to practice at all.
Race day arrived with very hot weather and the stands as well as the road sides were full of spectators. A cool breeze coming from the sea made it a little easier for the people at the grand
stand opposite the pit. Spectators on the main stand included Count Costanzo Ciano, who had donated the victory trophy back in 1927, his son Count Galeazzo Ciano, who at that time was
Minister of Press and Propaganda, the latter's wife Countess Edda Ciano, who was Mussolini's oldest child, and a large crowd of other personalities and authorities.
There were 26 starters, 16 in the major class and 10 in the minor class. The latter were arranged in the grid behind the former. Costanzo Ciano passed between the competitors
greeting them one by one.
At approximately 3:35 p.m. the event started. Unusually it was a flying start (or what in modern terms would be called as a safety car start). Mrs. Ajello, wife of Federal Secretary, with another
lady by her side took off on the main straight in an open car with the 26 race cars following her through the hairpin and back a few hundred meters towards he pits. There Mrs. Ajello
pulled her car aside while the other lady waved a flag and the race was on.
|1100cc grid unknown|
Chambost's Maserati stalled at the start and had to be push started. Behind him Pages and Trossi had to circle around the Maserati losing time. Brooke was also unable to get his Bugatti moving
creating trouble for Dreyfus.
Brivio took the lead and completed the first lap in 13m47s to lead by 10.6 seconds from Nuvolari. They were followed by Siena, Barbieri and Trossi. Magistri in 8th position made a 1m20s
pit stop to change spark plugs and dropped to 13th position.
Ghersi led the 1100cc class from Bianco and Tuffanelli when The race order after the first lap was:
|1.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||13m47s|| (Note 2)|
|2.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||13m57.6s|
|4.||Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)||14m22.6s|
|5.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||14m40.2s|
|7.||Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)||14m56.4s|
|9.||Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||15m10s|
|11.||Pages (Alfa Romeo)||15m28s|
|12.||Cornaggia (Alfa Romeo)||16m08s|
|13.||Magistri (Alfa Romeo)||16m19s|
After two laps Brivio was still leading but Nuvolari in second position had closed the gap to seven seconds completing the lap in 13m43s against Brivio's 13m47s. Siena in
third place was already 42 seconds behind Nuvolari. Trossi had passed Barbieri for fourth and Dreyfus was up to 6th.
Brooke retired his Bugatti after having driven just one slow lap while Crestini's Bugatti had crashed. Fortunately the driver received only minor scratches.
At the end of the lap Soffietti in 7th position made a stop for plugs and lost a lot of time. Chambost was in 9th place, followed by Magistri, Pages, Cornaggia and Cucinotta but
Chambost made a pit stop and dropped back.
Ghersi still led the minor class with Tuffanelli now second after passing Bianco. Panzacchi in his Rocca stopped in the pits. The situation after the second lap was:
|1.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||27m35s|
|2.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||27m42s|
|4.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||28m35.4s|
|5.||Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)||28m53.6s|
|6.||Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||29m27s|
|8.||Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)||29m48s|
The brakes on Brivio's Alfa Romeo were pulling to the right and the driver had to give way to Nuvolari, who took over the lead on the third lap. Siena also had problems
keeping his Scuderia Subalpina Maserati on the road and Trossi passed him for third position. At the end of the lap Nuvolari was leading by 7.4 seconds.
Crestini crashed his Bugatti and had to retire.
In the 1100cc class Ghersi had retired, so Tuffanelli was the new leader. The order after three laps looked like this:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||41m11.8s|
|2.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||41m19.2s|
|4.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||42m26s|
|5.||Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)||43m31s|
|6.||Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||43m39.2s|
|8.||Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)||45m06.2s|
|9.||Cornaggia (Alfa Romeo)||47m07s|
During the fourth lap the situation remained unchanged. In the 1100cc class Tuffanelli had increased his lead to Bianco by over 20 seconds and Panzacchi had retired the Rocca.
The times were as follows after four laps:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||54m51.6s|
|2.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||55m03.2s|
|3.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||56m10.4s|
|5.||Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||57m48.2s|
|6.||Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)||57m54.4s|
|8.||Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)||59m52.6s|
|9.||Cornaggia (Alfa Romeo)||1h02m24.2s|
1100cc half distance:
Nuvolari completed the fifth lap in 13m23s beating his 1933 lap record. Rüesch retired with a broken gear-box and Barbieri retired with engine trouble.
In the 1100cc class Bianco had an accident, injuring his arm, but he was able to continue after having lost another 1m15s to Tuffanelli.
The race order after five laps was:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h08m14.6s|
|2.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h08m44.2s|
|3.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h09m49s|
|5.||Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1h11m50.6s|
At half distance Nuvolari held a 51 seconds lead over Brivio. The distances between the cars were rather large with no close fights going on.
In the 1100cc class Froy retired his M.G. with a broken crankshaft. Third positioned Bergamini and fifth positioned Musso had been forced to retire as
well so the class was down to five cars. The order at half distance looked like this:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h21m45s|
|2.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h22m36s|
|3.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h23m23s|
|5.||Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1h25m38s|
|6.||Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h29m11s|
|7.||Magistri (Alfa Romeo)||1h30m25s|
|8.||Cornaggia (Alfa Romeo)||1h32m53s|
|11.||Pages (Alfa Romeo)||1h41m00.7s|
On the seventh lap Cornaggia retired with a broken rear axle. Minozzi had problems with the ignition and was falling back. Despite his lead Nuvolari
was not slowing down a bit and completed the lap in 13m22.4s.
In the smaller class 3rd placed Tongue retired leaving just Tuffanelli, Bianco, Villoresi and Ferrara in the race. Tuffanelli had made a stop to cure a misfire but maintained to his lead.
The race situaton after the 7th lap was:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h35m05s|
|2.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h36m15s|
|3.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h37m05s|
On the eighth lap Nuvolari improved his time again in 13m19.6s. In an uphill curve, just before Romito near Calafuria, Siena crashed his Scuderia Subalpina Maserati.
The driver sufferen only bruises and was able to walk the long way back to the pits. Dreyfus thus moved up to fourth and the Scuderia Ferrari team now held the four first positions.
The 1100cc class took the checkered flag with Tuffanelli winning from Bianco. The two Maserati drivers managed to avoid being lapped by Nuvolari. Third was newcomer
Luigi Villoresi in his Fiat. The order after eight laps looked like this:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h48m25s|
|2.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h49m43s|
|3.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h50m44.8s|
|4.||Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1h53m16.2s|
During the ninth lap the positions at the leading group remained the same. Brivio actually managed to make up three seconds on Nuvolari but the gap remained huge.
Pages had to retire his Alfa Romeo Monza leaving nine competitors in the race:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2h01m56.4s|
|2.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2h03m11.4s|
|3.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||2h04m55.6s|
|4.||Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2h07m09.6s|
Nuvolari held a 1m15s lead but for the "Flying Mantuan" that was apparently not enough. On the 10th lap he again surpassed himself and established another
lap record doing 13m15.8s. That would remain the fastest lap of the race. He was now leading by over 1 ½ minutes.
The situation after the 10th lap was:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2h15m12s|
|2.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2h16m43s|
|3.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||2h19m18s|
|4.||Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2h21m07.2s|
Nuvolari still kept a fast pace doing the 11th lap in around 13m23s. Trossi must have been in trouble as he did the lap one minute slower than his team leader.
The race order after the 11th lap looked like this:
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2h28m35s|
|2.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2h30m23s|
|3.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||2h34m08s|
|4.||Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2h35m09.2s|
Nuvolari took the chequered flag almost two minutes before Brivio to win the Coppa Ciano once again. Brivio, who throughout most of the race had had problems with a locking brake, finished second.
Trossi was third, obviously also in trouble as he did the last lap in 14m50s. Dreyfus finished fourth giving Scuderia Ferrari a 1-2-3-4 victory. Magistri with his Monza was fifth, Chambost in the Maserati sixth and Minozzi,
who had had ignition trouble, seventh. Cucinotta finished eighth and Sofietti, who had suffered from persistent engine trouble, ninth.
It had been a fairly easy victory for Nuvolari who had dominated the race but to his honour he did not cruise but gave the spectators value for the money.
|1.||22||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||12||2h42m08.8s|
|2.||10||Antonio Brivio||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||12||2h44m06.0s||+ 1m57.2s|
|3.||32||Carlo Felice Trossi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||12||2h48m23.2s||+ 6m14.4s|
|4.||28||René Dreyfus||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||12||2h49m08.2s||+ 6m59.6s|
|5.||2||Costantino Magistri||C. Magistri||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||12||3h00m03.0s||+ 17m54.2s|
|6.||16||Albert Chambost||A. Chambost||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||12||3h09m30.0s||+ 26m27.2s|
|7.||14||Giovanni Minozzi||G. Minozzi||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||12||3h16m29.0s||+ 34m20.2s|
|8.||8||Letterio Cucinotta||L. Cucinotta||Maserati||26M||2.5||S-8||12||3h19m25.6s||+ 37m16.8s|
|9.||18||Luigi Soffietti||L. Soffietti||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||12||3h21m47.0s||+ 39m38.2s|
|DNF||24||Luigi Pages||L. Pages||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||8|
|DNF||26||Eugenio Siena||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||8||crash|
|DNF||6||G. Cornaggia-Medici||G. Cornaggia-Medici||Alfa Romeo||8C-2300||2.3||S-8||6||rear axle|
|DNF||12||Hans Rüesch||H. Rüesch||Maserati||4CS||2.5||S-4||4||gearbox|
|DNF||30||Ferdinando Barbieri||F. Sandri||Alfa Romeo||TipoB/P3||2.9||S-8||4||engine|
|DNF||36||Pio Crestini||P. Crestini||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||2||crash|
|DNF||20||René Brooke||R. Brooke||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||1||mechanical|
|?||26||Giovanni Rocco||G. Rocco||Maserati||26M||2.5||S-8|
Fastest lap: Tazio Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo) on lap 10 in 13m15.8s = 90.5 km/h (56.2 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 88.8 km/h (55.2 mph)
Weather: sunny and very hot.
|Results of 1100 cc class|
|1.||64||Giuseppe Tuffanelli||G. Tuffanelli||Maserati||4CM||1.1||S-4||8||1m59m06.6s|| |
|2.||56||Ettore Bianco||E. Bianco||Maserati||4CS||1.1||S-4||8||2h00m12.8s||+ 1m06.2s|
|3.||54||Luigi Villoresi||L. Villoresi||Fiat||508||1.0||S-4||8||2h11m06.6s||+ 12m00.0s|
|4.||60||Albino Ferrara||A. Ferrara||Fiat||508||1.0||S-4||8||2h15m35.6s||+ 16m29.0s|
|DNF||70||Reggie Tongue||R. Tongue||M.G.||R||0.75||S-4||6|| || |
|DNF||74||Moris Bergamini||M. Bergamini||Maserati||4CM||1.1||S-4||5|| || |
|DNF||68||Luciano Musso||L. Musso||Fiat||508||1.0||S-4||5|| || |
|DNF||58||Dudley Froy||D. Froy||M.G.||Q||0.75||S-4||5||crankshaft|| |
|DNF||72||Giuseppe Panzacchi||G. Panzacchi||Rocca||3|| || |
|DNF||52||Pietro Ghersi||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||4CS||1.1||S-4||2|| || |
Fastest lap: Giuseppe Tuffanell (Maserati) in 14m27.4s = 83.0 km/h (51.6 mph).|
Winner's average speed: 80.6 km/h (50.1 mph).
Weather: sunny and very hot.
1. Grid reconstructed from pictures.
2. Intermediate results are according to "Il Littoriale". Some of the times do not exactly match with mentioned lap times. I have not tried to make any corrections.
Also the use of 1/5 seconds accuracy against whole seconds is so inconsistent in this race that I have not filled in any missing zeros.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
Il Littoriale, Roma
La Stampa, Torino
Motor Sport, London
RACI magazine, Roma
http://www.circuitodelmontenero.it/ by Luigi Ciompi
Special thanks to:
4 August 1935: Giuseppe Tuffanelli (Maserati 4CM 1.1L) wins the
Coppa Ciano Junior Voiturette 1100cc race at Montenero Italy.
4 August 1935: Mario Tadini (Alfa Romeo 3.2L) wins the Großglockner hillclimb in Austria.
5 August 1935:
The B.A.R.C. August Bank Holiday Meeting was held at Brooklands.|
The handicap races were won by Miss M. Allan (Frazer-Nash 1.5), G. L. Baker (Graham-Paige 5.4), R. H Eccles (Eccles Spl. 1.1L), A. R. Samuel (M.G. 0.7L),
A. H. L. Eccles (Bugatti 2.3L), Miss K. Petre (delage 10.7L), C. G. H. Dunham (Alvis 2.5L), H. P. Bowler (Bentley 3.0L), L. P. Driscoll (Austin 0.7L),
H. P. Bowler (Bentley 3.0L) and P. Maclure (Riley 1.1L).
5 August 1935: Luis Fontes (Alfa Romeo Monza 2.3L) wins the Limerick Race in Ireland.
11 August 1935:
Raymond Chambost (Maserati) wins the Circuit de Hyères/Circuit du Toulon voiturette race at Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
France orgainzed by AC du Val, with a time of 46m50.6s
11/12 August 1935: Franco Cortese/Francesco Severi (Alfa Romeo 2300A) wins the Targa Abruzzi
sports car race at the Pescara track in Italy:
|24 hour race|
|1.||Cortese/Severi||Alfa Romeo 2300A|
|2.||Rosa/Comotti||Alfa Romeo 2300A|
|3.||Mongin/"Paris"||Delahaye 3000||(17th by index de. performance)|
|4.||Prince Nicholas/Tadini||Alfa Romeo 2300||(6rd by index de performance)|
|5*.||Lurani/Strazza||Aston Martin 1500||(3rd by index de performance)|
|5*.||Alfieri/Scesa||Alfa Romeo 1500|
|6.||Cantoni/Ragnoli||Lancia Augusta 1287||(5th by index de performance)|
XI° COPPA ACERBO JUNIOR
Pescara (I), 15 August 1935 (Thursday)
4 laps x 25.80 km (16.03 mi) = 103.2 km (64.1 mi)
Seaman crushes the opposition on the first lap
by Leif Snellman
Seaman was the only ERA driver in a field that consisted mostly of Maseratis. Tuffanelli (Maserati) took the lead only to retire on the first lap. Seaman then took command of the race and
was able to lead the race by half a minute after the first lap. He went on to win the race in dominant style from Bianco's Maserati and Steinweg's monoposto Bugatti.
The Coppa Acerbo took place on Thursday, August 15, on Ferragosto, an Italian public holiday with ancient roots. The voiturette race, Coppa Acerbo Junior, was run on
the morning before the main event. For 1935 the organizers had followed the trend and changed the formula, making it a 1500cc event instead of the former 1100cc.
The voiturette race was held over four laps on the 25.8 km circuit for a total of 103.2 km.
During the week a memorial plate over Guy Moll was unveiled at a local chapel in a ceremony inaugurated by Duke de Spoletto, president of the RACI. After the ceremony a convoy of cars
made a slow lap around the circuit.
No less than 26 cars were entered but only twelve finally made it to the race.
Richard Seaman had been disappointed with the ERA works support and had terminated the arrangement and instead employed his own mechanics to prepare his black car (R1B). Rudolf Steinweg
raced his ex-Burggaller 8-cylinder white monoposto Bugatti. Luigi Platé had entered his two Talbots for himself and for Ulderico Vismara. The Talbots were the ancient 8-cylinder Grand Prix
cars that had made their debut at the 1926 British GP at Brooklands.
Italian hopes stood on Maserati drivers Ettore Bianco, Luigi Castelbarco and Giuseppe Tuffanelli. Sergio Carnivali raced a 4-cylinder Bugatti.
In the 1100cc class Pietro Ghersi and Moris Bergamini raced Maseratis. Reggie Tongue raced his MG, repaired after having had to retire from the cycle class race of Coppa Ciano. Kenneth
Evans was another MG entry.
René Brook is listed both in the voiturette and the main race entry list. Possibly he entered his T37A for the main race without knowing that the Coppa Acerbo Junior race was accepting 1500cc cars in 1935
and that the organizers then switched him to that race without deleting him from the main event.
The start as planned to be at 8 a.m. but it was moved to 8:20.
When the flag dropped Tuffanelli made the best start to take the lead followed closely by Seaman. However, at the beginning of the long straight Tuffanelli's engine blew up due to a piston
failure. Seaman did the first lap in 12m05.5s, beating Hamilton's voiturette lap record, to lead the race by half a minute from Bianco and Castelbarco. After a shorter interval Steinweg
and Ghersi followed in fourth and fifth positions.
Seaman made the second lap in 12m02.4s (128.5km/h), that proved to be the fastest lap if the race. Bianco in second place was now 1m01s behind him. Steinweg had advanced to third, Ghersi
was fourth and Bergamini fifth. Castelbarco had retired due to brake problems and Vismara was also out of the race.
Seaman continued to open up the gap to Bianco, who in turn opened up the gap to Steinweg, Ghersi and Bergamini. Evans had to retire but apart from that there were no more changes in the
positions. When Steinweg managed to pull away from Ghersi there were no duels anymore either so the race turned rather dull.
On the last lap Seaman slowed down to take the flag some 70 seconds in front of Bianco with Steinweg finishing third. Ghersi in fourth position was the winner of the 1100cc class.
On the flying kilometer on the main straight Seaman had been clocked at 18.2s (197.8 km/h) compared to Bianco's and Ghersi's 19.2s (187.5 km/h).
The fastest laps show clearly the superiority of the ERA over the Maseratis:
After the race the engine capacity of ERA was checked and to everyone's amazement the result was 1.3 litres until it was realized that the piston had not been at its bottom position during
|1.||26||Richard Seaman||R. Seaman||ERA||B||1.5||S-6||4||48m42.4s|
|2.||5||Ettore Bianco||E. Bianco||Maserati||4CM||1.5||S-4||4||49m52.2s||+ 1m09.8s|
|3.||6||Rudolf Steinweg||R. Steinweg||Bugatti||T51A||1.5||S-8||4||51m19.2s||+ 2m28.8s|
|4.||27||Pietro Ghersi||L. Rovere||Maserati||4CM||1.1||S-4||4||51m47.6s||+ 3m05.2s|
|5.||4||Moris Bergamini||M. Bergamini||Maserati||4CM||1.1||S-4||4||51m57.4s||+ 3m15.0s|
|6.||20||Luigi Platé||L. Platé||Talbot||700||1.5||S-8||4||55m32.8s||+ 6m50.4s|
|7.||3||Reggie Tongue||R. Tongue||MG||R||0.7||S-4||4||56m07.2s||+ 7m24.8s|
|8.||2||Sergio Carnevalli||S. Carnevalli||Bugatti||T39A||1.5||S-8||4||56m51.4s||+ 8m09.0s|
|DNF||23||Kenneth Evans||K Evans||MG||R||1.1||S-4||2|
|DNF||13||Ulderico Vismara||L. Platé||Talbot||700||1.5||S-8||1||crash|
|DNF||25||Luigi Castelbarco||Scuderia Brianza||Maserati||4CM||1.5||S-4||1||brakes|
|DNF||21||Giuseppe Tuffanelli||G. Tuffanelli||Maserati||4CM||1.5||S-4||0||piston|
Fastest lap (1500cc): Richard Seaman (ERA) on lap 2 in 12m02.4s = 128.6 km/h (79.9 mph)|
Fastest lap (1100cc): Moris Bergamini (Maserati) on lap 2 in 12m47.6s = 121.0 km/h (75.2 mph)
Winner's average speed 1500cc, Seaman: 127.1 km/h (79.0 mph)
Winner's average speed 1100cc, Ghersi: 119.6 km/h (74.3 mph)
Weather: overcast and warm.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Il Littoriale, Roma
La Stampa, Torino
Le Figaro, Paris
Motor Sport, London
Special thanks to:
XI° COPPA ACERBO
Pescara (I), 15 August 1935 (Thursday)
20 laps x 25.80 km (16.03 mi) = 516.0 km (320.6 mi mi)
Varzi's second Auto Union victory
by Hans Etzrodt
Just ten cars appeared at the start of the 11th Coppa Acerbo. Daimler-Benz had not entered, so two Auto Unions were fighting six Alfa Romeos from Scuderia Ferrari and two independent
older model Maseratis. The race became a triumph for the great Achille Varzi who led with his Auto Union from start to finish. Nuvolari held second place in his 3.2-liter Alfa Romeo
but was passed by Rosemeyer in the other Auto Union. When the German spun off the track, he fell back to sixth place but soon regained third position. After Nuvolari retired, Rosemeyer
was gifted second place and was followed at the finish by the four remaining Alfa Romeos of Brivio, Comotti, Tadini and Pintacuda in Chiron's ailing car. Pintacuda had retired his Alfa
as did the two independent Maseratis of Dusio and Soffietti. The V8 Maserati of Etancelin broke down in practice and could not start while the engine of Stuck's Auto Union developed a
problem on the last practice day and could not be repaired in time for the race.
The Coppa Acerbo had developed over the years into one of the more important Italian events. Now in its 11th running, it took place on Thursday, August 15, on Ferragosto, an Italian
public holiday. In 1924 when it was a rather minor race, Minister Giacomo Acerbo had named the race in honor of his brother Capitano Tito Acerbo, a decorated war hero, who was killed
during the last year of WW I. The 25.8 km Pescara circuit had to be lapped 20 times, a total of 516 km. The start was outside the seaside resort of Pescara, where the road went straight
for about one kilometer along the shore. Before reaching Pescara, the course made a wide right turn heading inland for about 11 km along a winding road up into the Abruzzi Mountains,
passing through Villa Raspa, Spoltore, Fornace and Capelle Sul Tavo. From here, the road led into the approximately 11 km long Montesilvano downhill straight to the coast at blistering
speed. A fast right turn at Montesilvano railroad station led into the Lungo Mare straight along the coast back through a chicane to slow the cars before the start and finish.
The Mercedes team did not enter the Coppa Acerbo and the "works" Maseratis were also missing.
Three Auto Unions faced six Alfa Romeos from Scuderia Ferrari. It was learned that neither of the new Alfa Romeos, the 8- nor the 12-cylinder model would be ready in time. Nuvolari was the
favorite for the Italians since he had won the German Grand Prix, two weeks before. All six Scuderia Ferrari cars at this meeting were the proven 3.2-liter monoposto. The ones for Nuvolari,
Chiron and Brivio were equipped with independent front suspension. Once again Scuderia Subalpina brought the new 4.8-liter V-8 Maserati to see if the problems encountered at the Marne Grand
Prix had been eliminated. A complete list of entries is at the beginning of this report.
Tuesday the13th was the first day of practice from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. An impressive number of drivers appeared at this first session, including the three drivers of the Auto Union team, plus
the reserve driver Pietsch. Scuderia Ferrari was there with six drivers, and the independent Maseratis were also there with the new car for Etancelin.
The RACI president, the Duke of Spoleto, was present as were Auto Union team manager Willi Walb and Professor Ferdinand Porsche, designer of the Auto Union racecars. Also seen were Enzo Ferrari
and his engineer Luigi Bazzi and the brothers Ernesto and Bindo Maserati. Almost all the participants in the 1500 cc class had also arrived.
Auto Union was the first to leave the pits and it was the first day for Rosemeyer to practice. On the third attempt he drove a lap in 10m57.6s, at an average speed of 141,285 km/h. Varzi was also
driving but after two laps he stopped at the pits to change the left rear tire which had thrown its outer casing. Along the 1 km timed section Varzi was clocked at 295.081 km/h. The speed and
the heat affected the tires. Stuck also started, but drove only two laps, then the engine wouldn't re-start.
Scuderia Ferrari had five of their drivers practicing, Nuvolari, Chiron, Tadini, Comotti and Pintacuda. Nuvolari was fastest and immediately drove a strong lap in 10m55.4s an average speed
of 141,670 km/h. Varzi, thereupon, got back into his car and drove two more laps, the second of which again ended with another tire incident, but this time it was the right rear wheel.
This problem was starting to worry the Italian; but he left the pits for a third time and towards the end of practice accomplish two laps, the first of which, starting from a standstill,
produced the spectacular time of 10m43s at an average of 145 km/h, better than the lap record held by the late Guy Moll with 10m51.2s. Etancelin meanwhile completed six laps of reconnaissance,
being new to the course. The Frenchman declared himself satisfied with the new Maserati and was fully confident for the race on Thursday. Varzi's two tire incidents were an indicator that a
victory would be uncertain and very hard for everyone. Besides Nuvolari and Varzi, Rosemeyer could also be counted as a favorite for the race. At 1:00 PM, the first training session was
On Wednesday, the last practice before the race, the engine of Stuck's 16-cylinder Auto Union developed a fault which could not be rectified in time. Eberhard Hundt, a certified engineer,
wrote in AAZ that the cylinder head gaskets on this engine were divided into 16 separate part-gaskets and due to deformation of the cylinder head the gasket pulled out from several cylinders
so that water entered into a few combustion chambers. The primary cause for the cylinder head deformation seemed to be a problematic fuel supply, which did not operate properly at full
throttle and abruptly overheated the engine with too lean a fuel mixture. There was no alternative than to retire the car, because there was not enough time to repair the engine. Of his
own volition Varzi offered Stuck his car for the race since the German was the lead driver of the team. It was not easy to come to a decision, but since a Varzi victory in Italy would
naturally have more impact and during practice Rosemeyer had driven outstandingly, Stuck offered to be the reserve driver for both of his teammates. Etancelin practiced for a short time
but parked the new V-8 Maserati at the pits after a vane broke, seizing the supercharger causing his Maserati to be withdrawn from the race.
On Thursday, the day of the race, the weather was windy and dull with an overcast sky. The start for the 1500 car class was planned for 8:00 AM but was delayed until 8:30 AM for the 12 small
cars that raced over four laps over 103.2 km. Dick Seaman (ERA) was the winner after 48m42.0s and the race for all the cars had ended in less than an hour (see report above).
The grand prix cars were set to start at 10:30 but evidently they were sent away sooner than that. After the small cars disappeared the ten grand prix cars lined up on the grid where
positions had been drawn by ballot. Motor Sport reported that Rosemeyer had drawn a position in the first row, along with Nuvolari and Chiron, but he relinquished it in favor of Varzi.
But this could not be confirmed.
The RACI President, Duke of Spoleto, raised the tricolore (Italian flag), ready to give the signal. The spectators, on the crowded grandstand, suddenly became quiet. Everybody was standing;
the roar of ten engines shook violently filling the air. The clock showed 9:47. At the signal, Nuvolari and Chiron anticipated slightly, Varzi did a precise start and the cars shot away
with loud thunder.
After the first lap Varzi was leading with a standing lap of 10m45.4s, faster than the existing 10m51s 1934 lap record of Guy Moll. Varzi was followed half a minute later by Nuvolari.
In third place was not Chiron as expected but surprisingly six seconds behind Nuvolari was Rosemeyer who had started in the last row and who was followed by Chiron and Brivio. Sixth was
Tadini ahead of Comotti, Dusio and Soffietti in ninth place. Carletto Pintacuda retired his Alfa monoposto at the end of the lap with engine trouble. Varzi led with an average speed of
143.910 km/h after the first lap with the field in the following order:
|1. Varzi (Auto Union)||10m45.4s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||11m15.4s|
|3. Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||11m21.8s|
|4. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||11m31.4s|
|5. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||11m32.4s|
|6. Tadini (Alfa Romeo)||11m36.4s|
|7. Comotti (Alfa Romeo)||11m45.4s|
|8. Dusio (Maserati)|
|9. Soffietti (Maserati)|
Varzi remained in first place and increased his advantage to 54s seconds over his immediate pursuer, who was no longer Nuvolari but his teammate Rosemeyer who had passed Nuvolari. He in
turn was followed after quite a wide gap of 14s by Chiron, ahead of Brivio, Tadini, Comotti, Dusio and finally Soffietti. Varzi maintained his lead with a lap of 10m35s while his race
average had gone up to 146.268 km/h after two laps with the field in the following order:
|1. Varzi (Auto Union)||21m20.4s|
|2. Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||22m14.2s|
|3. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||22m28.2s|
|4. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||22m42.8s|
|5. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||22m52.4s|
|6. Tadini (Alfa Romeo)||23m11.4s|
|7. Comotti (Alfa Romeo)||23m15.4s|
|8. Dusio (Maserati)||24m35.4s|
|9. Soffietti (Maserati)||25m20.4s|
After the third lap Varzi passed the grandstand but Rosemeyer did not appear. Since the German had a free track after passing Nuvolari, he drove faster than before and at the ascent to
Spoltore had an accident. His Auto Union skated off the circuit at a left turn when one rear brake locked up. Rosemeyer dived into a ditch tail first and while skidding grazed four road
marker stones. He then aimed between a telegraph pole and a stone wall, quickly changed into second gear, and in a flash was back onto the road. Later Professor Porsche measured the gap
and found that the car was 6 cm (2-1/4 inches) wider than the opening which explained the deep scratches in the telephone pole and the stone wall plus the damaged wheel hubs on the car.
Rosemeyer immediately noticed that the right rear wheel was buckled and had it changed at the half-way emergency depot at Capelle. He had lost 3m30s and was passed by the entire Alfa Romeo
team. With a new rear wheel the German stormed along the straights at full throttle. As he rushed past the grandstands it was seen that the tail on Rosemeyer's car was severely caved in
but the driver was unaware of it. At the end of this lap Chiron stopped at the pits to change two spark plugs. It was the beginning of many more pit visits which severely delayed him. Dusio
and Soffietti stopped their Maseratis at the pits to retire after a brief inspection, the first for a broken oil pump, the second for engine trouble. Varzi maintained his lead with a race
average of 145.270 km/h after three laps with the field in the following order:
|1. Varzi (Auto Union)||31m50.2s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||33m33.4s|
|3. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||33m50.4s|
|4. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||33m55.4s|
|5. Tadini (Alfa Romeo)||34m25.4s|
|6. Comotti (Alfa Romeo)||24m25.4s|
|7. Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||25m15.4s|
|8. Dusio (Maserati)|
|9. Soffietti (Maserati)|
After 4 laps Rosemeyer was fiercely pursuing the cars ahead. The times recorded at the flying kilometer showed that despite the strong wind blowing across the road he was pushing purposefully
on the straights. On lap four Rosemeyer was timed at exactly 13 seconds, equal to 276,923 km/h. Varzi was timed on the second lap at 13.8s equal to 260,869 km/h while Nuvolari could do no
better than 15.2s equal to 236,842 km/h. With Pinacuda, Soffietti and Dusio out of the race, only seven cars were left with over 400 km still to race. Varzi's advantage had risen to over
two minutes, although he had slightly decreased the pace, driving a lap of 10m44s. Nevertheless Nuvolari could do no better than 11m05s. Varzi was leading with a race average of 144.300 km/h
after four laps in the following order:
|1. Varzi (Auto Union)||42m42s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||44m46s|
|3. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||45m36s|
|4. Tadini (Alfa Romeo)||45m38s|
|5. Comotti (Alfa Romeo)||45m56s|
|6. Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||?|
|7. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||46m08s|
At the end of lap five, a quarter of the race, Varzi's crossed the finish line after 53m28.4s, an average speed of 144.744 km/h. On the sixth lap Nuvolari made an effort to close the gap to Varzi
with a lap in 10m55s. Despite this, the advantage of Varzi did not decrease, and after seven laps the gap between the two was 2m30s. Tadini had lost two places while changing spark plugs. On lap
seven Nuvolati drove an even better lap in 10m50s, which was to remain his fastest. Rosemeyer constantly made up time and raced his way past the three Alfa Romeos ahead, driven by Chiron, Tadini
and Comotti. On lap seven the German moved past Brivio into third place. Chiron, who was still recovering from a recent bout of influenza, was dealing with the continuous problem of plug trouble
and fell far behind. Brivio was also delayed with plug failures which had to be cured in the pits. Varzi completed lap seven after 1h15m4.6s at an average speed of 144.332 km/h. Until the ninth
lap the race average speed was to remain higher than the fastest lap record, set last year by Guy Moll at an average of 142.672 km/h. After eight laps the four leading drivers, Varzi, Nuvolari,
Rosemeyer and Brivio were widely separated on the circuit, which made the race a bit monotonous.
On the tenth lap, exactly half of the race, Varzi, Nuvolari and Brivio stopped to refuel. Varzi changed rear wheels and added fuel in 1m05s. Nuvolari took only fuel and was serviced in 1m07s.
Rosemeyer refueled and also changed rear wheels. Brivio did likewise in 1m20s. Varzi was leading in 1h51m19s at an average speed of 139.062 km/h after ten laps in the following order:
|1. Varzi (Auto Union)||1h51m19.0s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h55m05.2s|
|3. Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||1h57m56.6s|
|4. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h58m03.6s|
|5. Comotti (Alfa Romeo)||1h58m48.4s|
|6. Tadini (Alfa Romeo)||2h02m49.0s|
|7. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h03m46.0s|
On lap 11, Varzi's average speed dropped to 137.248 km/h and Nuvolari made up 39 seconds to Varzi. The crowd gained hope and cheered the Mantuan who was still over 2m20s behind. After 12 laps,
Varzi led in 2h15m00.2s at 137.569 km/h average speed, followed by Nuvolari in 2h17m24s, who had failed to close the gap. Rosemeyer, who had gained almost half a minute on Nuvolari in 2h19m57s,
Brivio in 2h20m45.4s who had to stop for a new rear tire. Comotti was fifth in 2h24m23.8s ahead of Tadini and Chiron.
On lap 13 after a tire change, Nuvolari pushed mightily to the delight of the spectators and made up 25 seconds on Varzi, who at this time was holding back due to his two minute lead. Suddenly
Nuvolari drove slowly to his pit. He was sprayed all over with oil and drove the Alfa immediately behind the pits to the paddock, supposedly with a broken valve. For the spectators Tazio's
retirement was a great disappointment leaving the now fastest Alfa Romeo in Brivio's hands over seven minutes behind in third place. After Nuvolari's retirement the field was down to six cars
and Rosemeyer found himself in second place. Both Auto Unions had established a safe lead over Brivio's Alfa Romeo. The gap was such that making up that time was no longer possible. Already
spectators began wandering away, many leaving the grandstands. After Nuvolari's victory at the German Grand Prix, they had expected more from Alfa Romeo. Varzi completed lap 13 in 2h25m55s
followed by Rosemeyer in 2h30m41s, Brivio in 2h32m03.2s, Comotti in 2h36m00s ahead of Tadini and Chiron at the tail.
Chiron's Alfa suffered from ongoing ignition problems forcing the Monegasque to stop seven times at the pits. In this hopeless situation, after having lost so much time and having fallen two
laps behind by lap 14, he reliquished the car to Pintacuda. Chiron left Pescara in a huff while the race was still in progress after someone had brought his suitcase to his private car. Varzi
was leading after 2h47m03.8s with a race average of 138.296 km/h after 15 laps with the field in the following order:
|1. Varzi (Auto Union)||2h47m54s|
|2. Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||2h52m14.6s|
|3. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||2h54m39.0s|
|4. Comotti (Alfa Romeo)||2h59m10.6s|
|5. Tadini (Alfa Romeo)||3h02m29.6s|
|6. Chiron/Pintacuda (Alfa Romeo)||3h15m31.0s|
The disillusioned public continued to leave the circuit slowly. There was only the monotonous wait until the end because the six cars cruised along far apart from each other with no possibility
of any changes in the order. After 17 laps Varzi led in 3h10m08.6s at an average speed of 138.400 km/h, followed by Rosemeyer in 3h14m16.2s, Brivio in 3h17m8.4s, Comotti in 3h22m37.4s, Tadini
3h27m02.8s and Pintacuda in Chiron's car.
Rosemeyer was the fastest car timed at 273.973 km/h along the one kilometer timed section on the seven km Monte Silvano downhill straight. This part of the course had been greatly widened since
the previous year's race. Varzi was timed at 260.896 km/h but during practice he had been clocked at 295.081 km/h. Nuvolari reached only 236 km/h because his power deficit and poorer road holding.
The speeds were lower than the year before where Moll reached 272 km/h with the Alfa Romeo and Stuck in the Auto Union 286 km/h. The reason for the lower speeds was the persisting side wind blowing
from the blue Adriatic which destabilized the speeding cars and made it difficult to drive at the maximum.
At the end of 20 laps, after 3h43m45.4s Varzi passed through the finish, at an average speed of 139.402 km/h, a new record time. Rosemeyer followed over three minutes later ahead of Brivio who
was nearly one lap behind and had almost no brakes left. The remaining drivers were flagged off. Comotti had fallen one lap behind in fourth place, followed by Tadini and Pintacuda in Chiron's
Alfa which had lost time with spark plug trouble. Despite the tremendous wind, Nuvolari managed as the only one among the Scuderia Ferrari drivers to improve on Moll's fastest lap. Varzi had
won brilliantly and was welcomed by the national anthems of Germany and Italy.
|1.||39||Achille Varzi||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||B||5.0||V-16||20||3h43m45.4s|
|2.||30||Bernd Rosemeyer||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||B||5.0||V-16||20||3h47m07.0s||+ 3m21.6s|
|3.||45||Antonio Brivio||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||20||3h51m51.8s||+ 9m34.6s|
|4.||36||Gianfranco Comotti||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||19||3h46m25.0s|
|5.||34||Mario Tadini||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||19||3h50m43.4s|
|6.||32||L. Chiron / C. Pintacuda||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||18||3h52m30.8s|
|DNF||43||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||12||valve|
|DNF||40||Piero Dusio||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||3||oil pump|
|DNF||33||Luigi Soffietti||L. Soffietti||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||3||engine|
|DNF||41||Carlo Pintacuda||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||1||engine|
Fastest lap: Achille Varzi (Auto Union) on lap 2 in 10m35s = 146.3 km/h (90.9 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 138.4 km/h (86.0 mph) (Note 1)
Weather: overcast and warm
1. The official medium speed was given as 139.402 km/h, a miscalculation. Using three decimals the "correct" speed would be 138.365 km/h so it was not a printing error.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
DDAC Motorwelt, München
IL LITTORIALE, Roma
LA STAMPA, Torino
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
17 August 1935: Donington Meeting at Donington Park, England.|
Handicap races were won by D. S. Handley (M.G. 0.7L), P. Maclure (Riley 1.1L) - two races,
J. F. Gee (Riley 1.1L), H. G. Dobbs (Riley 1.5L) and R. Parnell (M.G. 1.1L).
IV GRAND PRIX DE NICE
Nice (F), 18 August 1935
100 laps x 3.214 km (1.997 mi) = 321.4 km (199.7 mi)
Scuderia Ferrari trio wins laps ahead of the rest
by Leif Snellman
The Maseratis of Etancelin, Zehender and Farina were the only threats to Scuderia Ferrari's Alfa Romeo trio of Nuvolari, Chiron and Dreyfus. Farina held the lead
at the start before being passed by Chiron and Farina soon became an early retirement as did Zehender. Etancelin held on to the Alfa Romeos until mid-race but after
62 laps out of 100 his chances for a good position failed as he had to make a long stop caused by brake trouble. The Scuderia Ferrari trio had an internal race and
swapped positions almost until the end when Nuvolari took the lead to win from Chiron and Dreyfus. Sommer in his own Alfa Romeo finished fourth, four laps behind.
The Grand Prix de Nice was organized for the fourth time on the beach promenade of the famous holiday resort. The 3.214 km course had to be lapped 100 times.
The start was on the quay opposite Jardin Albert Ier, near the place where Avenue des Phocéens reaches the promenade, with the cars pointing west.
The course went anti-clockwise up and down the Promenade des Anglais, making a hairpin turn at Boulevard Gambetta, then left at hotel Ruhl into Avenue de Verdun, around the Place Masséna,
Avenue des Phocéens and Quai des Etats Unis, where a hairpin at the Opera turned the competitors back to the start.
The prize money provided the winner with 50,000 francs, second 25,000, third 15,000 and fourth with 10,000 francs.
L'Auto gives some statistics about the course:
The main straight from Sapeurs-Pompiers to Gambetta was 1370.9m long.
The two shorter straights from Négresco to Ruhl 779,8m and Phocéens to the Opera 329.5m.
The Avenue du Verdun section was 345.18m long.
There were seven turns. The hairpin-shaped at both ends of the course were only 23.56m. The turn at Ruhl was 43.50m, the turn at the Avenue of Verdun 25 meters, the turn at
Taverne Albert Ier 29 meters, the turn at Perroquet 25 meters, and the right angle of the Phocéens 15 meters only. (It's not specified if it is the curve length or perhaps
Ferrari arrived with three of the older cart sprung Alfa Romeo TipoB/P3 for their top drivers Tazio Nuvolari, Louis Chiron and René Dreyfus. (Two obviously other cars of that
type as well as two with Dubonnet suspension were raced at the Coppa Acerbo on Thursday.) There were three independent P3s in the race, the Comminges GP winner Raymond Sommer and
"Raph" with their blue cars and British driver Dick Shuttleworth with his green Alfa Romeo.
The Maserati challenge was led by Scuderia Subalpina with Philippe Étancelin and Goffredo Zehender as drivers and by the independent Gino Rovere with Nino Farina driving the car, all with 6C-34s.
Count Villapadierna entered a Maserati 8CM for himself and one for Marcel Lehoux. The team obviously also entered an Alfa Romeo Monza for Nando Barbieri.
There were also some independent entries with Maserati 8CMs including "Raymond" Chambost, Brian Lewis, Robert Brunet and Luigi Soffietti.
Charles Martin raced his own Bugatti T59 while the works Bugatti entries once again failed to appear.
Hans Rüesch entered the race with a voiturette Maserati.
Scuderia Ferrari and Scuderia Subalpina with Chiron, Soffietti, Nuvolari and Etancelin were racing at the Coppa Acerbo on Thursday and were not expected to appear at Nice before Saturday.
So only five drivers took part in the first practice between seven and eight o'clock on Thursday with Farina in Gino Rovere's Maserati fastest setting a time of 1m51s.
Things got a bit better on Friday with five other drivers present including Sommer and Lehoux, who both made 1m46s laps. Dreyfus had arrived but the Scuderia Ferrari cars were
still missing as was the Scuderia Subalpina team.
Just as at Monaco earlier that year the time keepers used the odd and highly suspect procedure taking the times in whole seconds during the first two sessions but with 1/10 second accuracy
in the third to work out the grid.
On Saturday Scuderia Ferrari was finally present when Nuvolari dominated the final practice by setting a time of 1m43.3s against 1m47.2s and 1m47.9s for his teammates Chiron and Dreyfus.
Farina was second fastest on Saturday setting a time of 1m47.1s. Etancelin noticed that his car was geared too low but for some reason the team was unable to do anything about it before the
race. By taking some risks he was able to make a 1m48.2s lap, being slower than his team mate and over a second slower than Farina in a similar car.
The full practice results list were:
|Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||-||-||1m43.3s|
|Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||-||1m46s||1m48.5s|
|Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||-||-||1m47.2s|
|Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||-||-||1m47.9s|
|Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)||-||-||1m48.3s|
|"Raph" (Alfa Romeo)||-||1m49s||-|
The sky over Nice was slightly covered by clouds when the 18 cars were pushed to the grid half an hour before for the planned start at 4 p.m. But that was just good for the drivers, who thus avoided
spending three hours of racing under a blazing Riviera sun. The grid was drawn up according to practice times and looked like this:
The race started 10 minutes late. The drivers in the first row seemed to have hesitated when the flag fell because Farina rushed into the gap between pole position man and Sommer to take the lead. He
was followed by Chiron and Etancelin. Villapadierna stalled his Maserati on the grid and it took some time before he could join the race.
Chiron almost immediately passed Farina and the Monegasque was leading the field after the first lap. Behind him followed Farina, Etancelin, Dreyfus, Shuttleworth, Nuvolari, Barbieri, Sommer and
Chambost. Lehoux had not much use of his front row grid position as he already had to make a pit stop due to brake trouble. Nuvolari and Sommer had made bad starts from the front row as well.
The leading trio held on to their places during the second lap, while Nuvolari and Shuttleworth gained positions. Soffietti hit the straw bales at Gambetta corner but was able to continue as did
Etancelin after having touched some sand bags. After three laps Chiron led Farina by 4 seconds and Nuvolari was now up to third. Lehoux was back in the race but was still struggling with his Maserati.
After four laps Chiron still led from Farina with Nuvolari closing in. Then followed Sommer, Shuttleworth, Dreyfus and Etancelin. Chiron opened up his lead to 11 seconds. Nuvolari fell back again
to fourth behind Shuttleworth. The positions for the first ten drivers after five laps were:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)|
|2. Farina (Maserati)|| + 11s|
|3. Shuttleworth (Alfa Romeo)|
|4. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)|
|5. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)|
|6. Etancelin (Maserati)|
|7. Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)|
|8. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
|9. Martin (Bugatti)|
|10. Zehender (Maserati)|
Nuvolari had made a lap in 1m46.0s (109.155 km/h) but then Chiron broke the record with a time of 1m45.2s (109.258 km/h). Nuvolari dropped down to sixth behind Dreyfus and Etancelin.
During the eighth lap the leaders began to lap the back-markers. Dreyfus, who for several laps had tried to find a way past Shuttleworth, finally took over third position while behind them
Nuvolari was having a duel with Etancelin. Barbieri was still seventh.
"Raph" who had started the race with a bad throat and high temperature, was in last position and touched the sidewalk near the Gambetta turn. He was able to get away again but the car was obviously damaged.
He returned at low speed and retired at the pits. After ten laps Chiron led by 16.8s from his teammate Dreyfus, who was now second having passed Farina. The race order after 10 laps was:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||17m53.8s (107.8 km/h)|
|2. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||18m10.6s|
|3. Farina (Maserati)||18m11.1s|
|4. Shuttleworth (Alfa Romeo)|
|5. Etancelin (Maserati)|
|6. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)|
|7. Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)|
|8. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
|9. Martin (Bugatti)|
|10. Brunet (Maserati)|
|11. Chambost (Maserati)|
|12. Rüesch (Maserati)|
|13. Villapadierna (Maserati)|
|14. Soffietti (Maserati)|
|15. Lewis (Maserati)|
After 11 laps Chiron led by 13 seconds. After an excellent race Farina was forced to make a pit stop, according to Automobile Revue because of a broken oil pipe, and after a long delay
while his mechanics investigated the problem, he climbed out of the Maserati and retired.
After 14 laps Dreyfus had reduced the gap to the leader Chiron to 10 seconds. Shuttleworth had fallen back and Etancelin was now up to third but Nuvolari was right behind him and passed the Maserati
on lap 15. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers were now holding the top three positions. On the 16th lap Lehoux, who was still struggling with the brakes on his Maserati, called it a day and retired at the pits.
Zehender retired the Subalpina Maserati because of ignition problems.
After 18 laps the Scuderia Ferrari trio still led with Etancelin fourth 20 seconds behind Chiron. Etancelin was unable to challenge the Alfa Romeos even when driving flat out since his car
was geared too low. Nuvolari swapped positions with Dreyfus on lap 19 and closed in on Chiron, lowering the gap from seven seconds on that lap to 4.9 seconds on lap 20:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||36m15.8s (106.4 km/h)|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||36m20.7s|
|3. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||36m23.8s|
|4. Etancelin (Maserati)||36m41.4s|
|5. Barbieri (Alfa Romeo)||37m29.1s|
|6. Shuttleworth (Alfa Romeo)|
|7. Martin (Bugatti)|
|8. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
|9. Chambost (Maserati)|
|10. Rüesch (Maserati)|
|11. Villapadierna (Maserati)|
|12. Lewis (Maserati)|
|13. Soffietti (Maserati)|
|14. Brunet (Maserati)|
Now the three Scuderia Ferrari team members started an internal race, swapping positions all the way almost until the end of the race. Thus on the 22nd lap Nuvolari took over the lead from Chiron.
Barbieri made a 33 seconds pit stop for brake adjustments on his Monza, dropping from fifth to ninth. Brunet also made a pit stop.
After 24 laps Nuvolari led by 6 seconds but Chiron closed in again and retook the lead on lap 27 as Nuvolari dropped down to third position behind Dreyfus. While the the spectators and the
Scuderia Ferrari drivers seemed to enjoy themselves the drivers kept up quite a high average speed even if it dropped a bit after the first part of the race as the tires soon got worn
and the cars started to slip on the streets (Note 2).
Soffietti and Villapadierna both went wide but remained in the race. Brunet retired with ignition problems after several pit stops and Martin was also out of the race. After 29 laps
Etancelin, still doing his best to keep up with the three Alfa Romeos, was 23 seconds behind the leader. Dreyfus now passed Chiron and led the race by 2.4 seconds after 30 laps with Nuvolari a
further 4.8 seconds behind.
The situation at 30 laps for the first ten drivers was:
|1. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||55m02.9s (105.1 km/h)|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||55m05.3s|
|3. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||55m10.1s|
|4. Etancelin (Maserati)||55m23.1s|
|5. Shuttleworth (Alfa Romeo)||56m31.3s|
|6. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
|7. Chambost (Maserati)|
|8. Rüesch (Maserati)|
|9. Lewis (Maserati)|
|10. Soffietti (Maserati)|
After a tight battle between Dreyfus and Chiron the latter took back the lead on lap 33. On the same lap Nuvolari fell back and Etancelin managed to take over third position for a
moment. On the next lap Dreyfus was back in the lead again. Meanwhile Villapadierna retired his Maserati because of steering trouble.
Nuvolari was back up to speed again and re-passed Etancelin. He then took over second position from Chiron on lap 38 and soon afterwards passed Dreyfus for the lead. On the same lap Etancelin
made a long 1m21s stop for fuel, returning to the race in fifth position behind Shuttleworth. On the 40th lap he was lapped by the Scuderia Ferrari trio. The race order after 40 laps was:
|1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h13m48.5s (104.5 km/h)|
|2. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1h13m49.5s|
|3. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h13m52.8s|
|4. Shuttleworth (Alfa Romeo)||1h15m16.7s|
|5. Etancelin (Maserati)||1h15m35.7s|
|6. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||1h17m28.6s|
|7. Chambost (Maserati)||1h17m59.2s|
|8. Rüesch (Maserati)||1h19m36.2s|
|9. Soffietti (Maserati)||(Note 3)|
|10. Lewis (Maserati)|
Rüesch, who during the race had gradually advanced from twelfth position to eighth in his little voiturette Maserati, suffered a fuel leak, which set the car into a skid that ended in a crash. The car
took fire and marshals ran to the place with extinguishers. Due to the prompt action the fire was quickly extinguished but Rüesch was unable to continue.
In the internal Ferrari fight Dreyfus dropped back to third behind Chiron while Nuvolari increased his lead to 11 seconds after 46 laps. Shuttleworth was fourth with Etancelin fith after his pit stop 27s
behind him at lap 47. Halfway through the race the situation looked like this:
|1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h31m52.2s (105.0 km/h)|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h32m06.5s|
|3. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1h32m10.9s|
|4. Shuttleworth (Alfa Romeo)||1h33m46.7s|
|5. Etancelin (Maserati)||1h34m21.3s|
|6. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||1h36m39.3s|
|7. Chambost (Maserati)||1h38m07.3s|
|8. Soffietti (Maserati)||1h39m15.1s|
On the 53rd lap Nuvolari and Shuttleworth entered the pits for their scheduled refueling stops. The Scuderia Ferrari team made a faster work sending Nuvolari back in third position after 28 seconds
while it took 47 seconds for Shuttleworth's team to do the work. Their driver rejoined the race in fifth position behind Etancelin.
Chiron then made his scheduled stop on lap 55, returning after 27 seconds while Dreyfus made a 36 seconds stop on lap 57. Nuvolari retained his lead after the fuel stops. The order after 60 laps was:
|1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h50m44.7s (104.5 km/h)|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h50m58.6s|
|3. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||1h51m15.3s|
|4. Etancelin (Maserati)||1h53m17.7s|
|5. Shuttleworth (Alfa Romeo)||1h53m29.3s|
|6. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||1h55m50.3s|
|7. Chambost (Maserati)||1h57m41.4s|
|8. Soffietti (Maserati)|
On the 62nd lap Etancelin was back in the pits for brake adjustments. There was no longer any chance for a good result and Zehender, who had retired earlier, replaced Etancelin at the wheel. The
car was hard to get restarted but eventually it left the pit after 4m21s.
Nuvolari must have felt uncomfortable in the throat or something because on the 67th lap he made a surprise visit to the pits for a glass of water. The car stood still for just 9 seconds and he
returned to the race in second position. Nuvolari made the 70th lap in a record time of 1m41.1s (110.1 km/h) and was just 1.6 second behind Chiron. The race order was:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h09m12.5s (104.5 km/h)|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2h09m14.1s|
|3. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2h09m38s|
|4. Shuttleworth (Alfa Romeo)||2h12m15.6s|
|5. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||2h14m53.1s|
|6. Zehender (Maserati)||2h16m45.5s|
|7. Chambost (Maserati) ||2h18m05.2s|
|8. Soffietti (Maserati)|
In a duel with Chiron Nuvolari made a small mistake and went wide at the Gambetta hairpin without damaging the car. He finally retook the lead from Chiron on lap 75. Chiron kept close to his
teammate and was back in the lead on lap 79 only to be passed again by Nuvolari a lap later.
The situation after 80 laps was:
|1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2h28m00.5s (104.2 km/h)|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h28m03.4s|
|3. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2h28m07s|
|4. Shuttleworth (Alfa Romeo)||2h31m31.7s|
|5. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)|
|6. Zehender (Maserati)|
|7. Chambost (Maserati)|
|8. Soffietti (Maserati)|
On lap 82 Shuttleworth stopped for filling up the radiator. He stayed for 50 seconds, but in his haste to leave his mechanic did not have time to put back the radiator cap. Sommer
made a 35 seconds stop retaining his fifth position. At the 87th lap Etancelin's Maserati with Zehender behind the wheel stopped again but after refueling the Maserati refused to start.
The mechanics worked in vain on the car for a quarter of an hour before giving up.
On the 89th lap Shuttleworth stopped his Alfa Romeo 200 meters after the pits and retired, the engine gave up after the radiator had lost all water. Sommer was now up to fourth, followed
by Chambost and Soffietti. Only six cars remained in the race. At 90 laps Nuvolari led by 8.4 seconds:
|1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2h46m36.2s (104.2 km/h)|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h46m44.6s|
|3. Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)||2h46m46.1s|
|4. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)||2h54m34.2s|
|5. Chambost (Maserati) ||2h57m48.7s|
|6. Soffietti (Maserati)|
There were no changes in the positions during the last ten laps. With three laps to go Nuvolari led Chiron by 7 seconds and he went on to lead Scuderia Ferrari home to a dominant triple victory,
the cars taking the flag within 12 seconds of each other. Sommer in fourth position was four laps behind followed by Chambost six laps behind and Soffietti seven laps behind.
|1.||2||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||100||3h04m59.7s|
|2.||4||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||100||3h05m07.9s||+ 8.2s|
|3.||6||René Dreyfus||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||100||3h05m11.6s||+ 11.9s|
|4.||12||Raymond Sommer||R. Sommer||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||96|
|5.||30||Albert Chambost||A. Chambost||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||94|
|6.||18||Luigi Soffietti||L. Soffietti||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||93|
|DNF||26||Dick Shuttleworth||R. Shuttleworth||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||89||radiator|
|DNF||32||P. Etancelin / G. Zehender||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||87||electrical|
|DNF||10||Brian Lewis||Earl Howe||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||mechanical|
|DNF||36||Hans Rüesch||H. Rüesch||Maserati||4CS||1.5||S-4||40||fuel leak/fire|
|DNF||24||José de Villapadierna||Conte de Villapadierna||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||31||steering|
|DNF||28||Charles Martin||C. Martin||Bugatti||T59||3.3||S-8||29/30||clutch|
|DNF||22||Ferdinando Barbieri||Conte de Villapadierna||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||24/29||mechanical|
|DNF||20||Robert Brunet||Ecurie Braillard||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||20||ignition|
|DNF||34||Goffredo Zehender||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||ignition|
|DNF||16||Marcel Lehoux||Conte de Villapadierna||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||14||brakes|
|DNF||14||Giuseppe Farina||Gino Rovere||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||11||oil pipe|
|DNF||8||"Raph"||B. de las Casas||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||9||crash|
Fastest lap: TAzio Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo) on lap 70 in 1m45.1s = 110.1 km/h (68.4 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 104.2 km/h (64.8 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 112.0 km/h (69.6 mph)
Weather: slightly cloudy.
1. The exact order of this grid was a mystery for several years and created some discussions on the forums until information from L'Auto regarding times in the practice sessions proved
that AUTOMOBIL-REVUE's grid (No.67, 20 August 1935) to be correct.
2. The leader's average lap times:
laps 1-10: 1m47.4s
laps 11-20: 1m50.2s
laps 21-30: 1m52.7s
laps 31-40: 1m52.4s
laps 41-50: 1m48.4s
laps 51-60: 1m53.3s (pit stops)
laps 61-70: 1m50.8s
laps 71-80: 1m52.8s
laps 81-90: 1m51.6s
laps 91-100: 1m50.4s
3. Results in newspapers, obviously copied from official results, show -1 laps, -2 laps etc for some back-markers. As it in this case seems to have meant laps behind the previous driver rather than behind the leader it is not included here as it would be confusing.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
La Stampa, Torino
L'Eclaireur de Nice, Nice
Le Petit Nicois, Nice
Il Littoriale, Roma
Motor Sport, London
24 August 1935:
Bill Winn (Duesenberg-Miller) wins the Springfield AAA National Championship race in USA.