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The 1940 - 1941 seasons page is the last one to be updated to the standard format. The results for the Italian races should now be in decent shape and race reports
will eventually be added as well. For the South American races I'm deeply indebted to Napoleão Ribeiro, Chairman of the Brazilian Automobile Federation, who
gave me permission to use information from his excellent race reports.
The war had already taken its toll among the Grand Prix drivers. Ernst Günther Burggaller was killed on 2 February 1940 and the list would soon
grow: Robert Benoist, "Ulli" Bigalke, Rudolf Hasse, Percy Maclure, Tim Rose-Richards, Teddy Rayson, Johnnie Wakefield, "W. Williams", Norman Wilson and several
more would never again return to the racing track.
The 3 litre formula was no more as the 1940 races were run to the Voiturette formula. Italy decided to continue with racing with a full Voiturette calendar
planned for 1940. However, on 10 June Italy entered the war definitely ending motor racing's "Golden Era".
Racing would go on for yet another year in America before the attack on Pearl Harbour would silence the racing engines in the New World too.
1940 SEASON LINEUP
The W165 cars were improved with two-stage supercharging and enlarged fuel tanks.
A fourth chassis plus two new engines were planned for the Tripoli race
but they were never built.
Since 1939 work had been done on the 1.5 litre Auto Union "E" voiturette.
The engine would be a
V12 (53 x 56mm = 1483cc) giving 260 BHP and the chassis
would have a 250 cm wheelbase. However, no cars were ever built.
Work still continued on Wilfredo Ricart's new 3 litre GP design, the Tipo 162.
Work was also done on the T512, a rear engined voiturette with a flat 12 two-stage
supercharged engine. Neither car was ever raced.
Alfa Romeo also built six new Tipo 158 "Alfetta" chassis in addition to (replacing?) the existing four.
The team was still led by Giuseppe Farina with
Count Trossi, Clemente Biondetti
and Carlo Pintacuda also racing for the Alfa Corse.
Maserati made minor improvements on their 4CL cars. Tazio Nuvolari was back to lead the team
with Luigi Villoresi and Franco Cortese
as the other works drivers.
2 February 1940: Ernst Günther Burggaller, leading Jagdgruppe II / Jagdgeschwader 51, was doing target practicing on Bodensee, some 4 km east of Meersburg,
when his Messerschmitt 109E went too low, touched the water and after that crashed into a retaining wall. |
19 April 1940: First tests of the new Alfa Romeo Tipo 162 3-litre V16 GP car.|
28 April 1940: von Hanstein / Walter Bäumer (BMW) wins the Brescia GP sports car race, officially
accepted to be equivalent to the 1940 Mille Miglia. The cars raced nine laps on a 103 mile circuit
(The 750 cc and 1500cc classes eight laps).
Among the entries are two French Delages, entered by the English Watley team and driven by Italian drivers. There are also two cars entered by Societa
Auto Avio Construzioni", de facto the first Ferraris. (Results)
30 May 1940: Shaw (Maserati) wins the Indianapolis 500.|
18 June 1940: While testing an experimental Alfa Romeo 158 with Tipo 512 suspension Alfa Romeo
head test driver Attilio Marinoni has a fatal crash with a lorry at the Milano-Varese autostrada.|
12 September 1940: New Alfa Romeo head test driver Consalvo Sanesi tests the Tipo 512 at Monza.
After 88 Lancasters of 5 Group RAF Bomber Command attacks Milano on 24 October 1942 the Alfa Romeo 158s are
moved from the factory to garages in the Monza paddock. In 1943 the cars are moved again and hidden in a cheese factory in Melzo.|
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30 May 1941: Davis/Rose (Wetteroth-Offenhauser) wins the Indianapolis 500.|