Morandi (OM)
15 Giuseppe Morandi
Officine Meccaniche SA
OM 665 S
Balestrero (OM)
8 Renato Balestrero
R. Balestrero
OM 665 S
Cesaroni (Mercedes)
21 Anselmo Cesaroni
A. Cesaroni
Mercedes GP 1914


Circuito del Mugello (I), 31 Augusti 1924.
6 laps x 64.9 km (40.3 mi) = 389.4 km (242.0 mi)


Category 1500 cc
1"Nino"Dr. G. CirioChiribiriMonza S1.5S-4
2Carlo PellegriniC. PellegriniBugattiT231.5S-4
3Alete MarconciniA. MarconciniChiribiriMonza1.5S-4DNA - Did not appear
4Maurizio CiancherottiM. CiancherottiFiat501 S1.5S-4DNA - Did not appear
5Giuseppe StacciariG. StacciariFiat501 S1.5S-4DNA - Did not appear
6Vasco SbraciV. SbraciChiribiriMonza S1.5S-4
7Aldo BonfiglioliA. BonfiglioliOM4691.5S-4
Category 2000 cc
8Renato BalestreroR. BalestreroOM665 S2.0S-6
9Domenico AntonelliCount D. AntonelliBugatti2.0S-8DNA - Did not appear
10Corrado LottiC. LottiAnsaldosaloon2.0S-4
11Antonio MasperiA. MasperiOM665 S2.0S-6
12Paolo PellisP. PellisOM665 S2.0S-6
13Virginio AppianiV. AppianiAnsaldo2.0S-4
14Giulio MasettiDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedesTF 19242.0S-4
15Giuseppe MorandiOfficine Meccaniche SAOM665 S2.0S-6
16Ferruccio ZanirattiF. ZanirattiBianchi182.0S-4
Category 3000 cc
17Augusto BattagliniA. BattagliniLanciaLambda2.6V-4
18Augusto TarabusiFabbrica Automobili Sport TorinoF.A.S.T.3.03.0S-4
19Gastone GastaldettiFabbrica Automobili Sport TorinoF.A.S.T.3.03.0S-4DNA - Did not appear
Category over 3000 cc
20Gastone Brilli-PeriÖsterreichische Waffenfabriks GesellschaftSteyr17/100 hp4.5S-6
21Anselmo CesaroniA. CesaroniMercedesGP 19144.5S-4
22Alfieri MaseratiSA Autocostruzioni DiattoDiatto SplHispano-Suiza5.8S-4
23Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiItala SplHispano5.8S-4

Morandi wins the Mugello Circuit with OM

by Hans Etzrodt
The 18 starters at the 1924 Mugello Circuit race were split into four categories. Brilli-Peri (Steyr), Maserati (Diatto Special) and Masetti (Mercedes) were the favorites in the big cars, but they retired quickly one by one in this 389 km race. Success ended with the two-liter category cars of Morandi (OM) who won ahead of his teammate Balestrero and Cesaroni (Mercedes) in third place. Materassi (Itala Spl.) was fourth followed by Tarabusi (FAST), "Nino" (Chiribiri) and Lotti (Ansaldo) while Pellegrini (Bugatti) exceeded the maximum time and the remaining ten cars retired.
The races on Circuito del Mugello north of Florence in the Toscana region of central Italy, were also called the "Little Targa Florio" because of its many up and downs and its 1691 turns per lap. Mugello was one of the most important race circuits in Italy and dates back to 1914 when it was called Primo Circuito Toscano. After the great war the race was held annually since 1920 and in 1924 it took place for the 6th time on its 64.900 km route. Six laps had to be completed, a total of 389.400 km. The Automobile Club di Firenze organized this event under the supervision of the Commissione Sportiva del R.A.C.I. (Reale Automobile Club d'Italia). Besides cash prizes, the magnificent Ginori Trophy and other artistic gifts were at stake.
From 23 entries, only 18 drivers appeared for the start and are listed at the beginning of this report. "Nino" was Dr. "Nino" Cirio, the champion of the Turin AC, in the 1500 category with a Chiribiri Monza. Alfieri Maserati raced one of his Diatto Specials with a 5.8-Liter Hispano-Suiza Aero engine.
At 7 o'clock the Circuit was cleared and whoever was on it had to leave without being able to continue to their destination. At any point of the circuit, both in the open countryside and inside the inhabited areas, during the race it was absolutely forbidden to drive at all, including officials assigned to keep order. The start was at San Piero a Sieve. The non-starters included Marconcini, Ciancherotti, and Stacciari of the 1500 category, Antonelli with a 2000 Bugatti and Gastaldetti in a 3000 FAST. The cars started individually in order of their race numbers at intervals of one minute and two minutes between categories. However, the cars were not necessarily released at one-minute intervals. The starting times were determined beforehand according to the race numbers and if cars did not appear at the start (e.g. #9), then the car #10 was held to its predetermined time of departure. The start began at 8:00 in the morning and the last car left at 8:25.
8:001NinoChiribiri1500 cc
8:023MarconciniChiribiri--"--Did not start
8:034CiancherottiFiat--"--Did not start
8:045StacciariFiat--"--Did not start
8:088BalestreroOM2000 cc
8:099AntonelliBugatti--"--Did not start
8:1817BattagliniLancia3000 cc
8:2019GastaldettiFAST--"--Did not start
8:2220Brilli-PeriSteyrover 3000 cc
8:2422MaseratiDiatto Spl.--"--
On the first lap Masetti stopped immediately after the start but left after a few minutes. Materassi lost time when he stopped at Covigliaio but resumed very soon. When the cars returned from their first lap, "Nino's" time with the 1500 Chiribiri was 1h07m19.6s. Balestrero in the 2000 OM followed him, after having passed three 1500 cars that had started ahead, completing the first lap in 1h00m07.6s. Pellegrini stopped the Bugatti for a moment at the pits. Next to pass the finish were the 1500 cars of Bonfiglioli and Sbraci.
      Although this was the order on the road, the positions by time were different with Brilli-Peri (Steyr) leading in 53m15.8s, ahead of Maserati (Diatto-Special) in 53m47s, Ziniratti (Bianchi) 59m57.4s, Balestrero (OM) 1h07.6s, Nino (Chiribiri) 1h07m19.6s. The leader Brilli-Peri had overhauled nine competitors and passed the finish line at fantastic speed. He broke Masetti's 1922 lap record of 53m44.2s, marking 53m15.8s on this first lap at 73.108 km/h average speed, which was the fastest lap of the race. Ziniratti who made the best time of the 2000 cars in 59m57.4s, followed ahead of Cesaroni (Mercedes) and Masperi (OM) who stopped permanently at the pits with a broken water pipe. Appiani (Ansaldo) also retired. These were the first eliminations. The weather, which had started with light rain, seemed to be getting better.

      After the second lap Maserati advanced and was close to Brilli-Peri, who had stopped at the pits with a broken differential. Masetti retired with a broken valve at Scogli di Castro. A magnificent fight took place in the 2000 cc category, between Balestrero and Zaniratti who drove the first lap in 59m57.4s and the second in 58m15.6s respectively. Both drivers were just seconds apart and were followed less than two minutes by Morandi (OM). In the first category Sbraci (Chiribiri) gained four minutes while Tarabusi (Fast) in the 3000 category was leading and had nothing to fear from Battaglini (Lancia) who retired on the road.

      On the third lap Maserati held the lead after Brilli-Peri's retirement. Balestrero and Nino stopped to refuel and Sbraci lost a few minutes at the pits refueling. Materassi stopped very late at his pit with a broken transmission and brakes, but changed four wheels and started again. Various breakdowns had caused the retirements of Battaglini, Bonfiglioli and Pellis on the third lap. After two fast laps, Zaniratti (Bianchi) retired due to gearbox failure along the circuit, leaving the 2000 lead to the OMs of Morandi and Balestrero who had a large advantage over the others.

      On the 4th lap Maserati, who was driving safely in the lead, was forced to retire at the Giogo climb due to a brake failure, which enabled the two OMs of Morandi and Balestrero to inherit the overall lead. Sbraci (Chiribiri) who was leading the 1500 category until the fourth lap retired with a broken bearing. At the end of this lap the field was down to eight drivers. Morandi's average lap time for the first four laps was 59m23s with the field in the following order after four laps:
1.Morandi (OM)3h57m33.0s2000 cc
2.Balestrero (OM)4h00m04.4s2000 cc
3.Cesaroni (Mercedes)4h00m28.2sover 3000 cc
4.Tarabusi (F.A.S.T.)4h14m34.2s3000 cc
5.Materassi (Itala Spl.)4h22m32.6sover 3000 cc
6.Nino (Chiribiri)4h34m28.0s1500 cc
7.Lotti (Ansaldo)4h43m22.0s2000 cc
8.Pellegrini (Bugatti)4h51m36.6s1500 cc

The leading three cars of Morandi, Balestrero and Cesaroni continued without any change in the order until the end. Materassi climbed to fourth place after he passed Tarabusi. "Nino" finished in sixth place ahead of Lotti. Pellegrini was last but as he exceeded the maximum allowable time, he was not classified. Morandi in first place with Balestrero second received great applause from the spectators.



1.15Giuseppe MorandiOfficine Meccaniche SAOM665 S2.0S-665h55m41.0s 
2.8Renato BalestreroR. BalestreroOM665 S2.0S-665h56m48.6s+ 1m07.6s
3.21Anselmo CesaroniA. CesaroniMercedesGP 19144.5S-465h58m36.6s+ 2m36.6s
4.23Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiItala SplHispano5.8S-466h16m05.8s+ 20m24.8s
5.18Augusto TarabusiFabbrica Automobili Sport TorinoF.A.S.T.3.03.0S-466h30m43.4s+ 35m02.4s
6.1"Nino"Dr. G. CirioChiribiriMonza S1.5S-466h50m53.0s+ 55m12.0s
7.10Corrado LottiC. LottiAnsaldosaloon2.0S-466h56m53.4s+ 1h01m12.4s
DNC2Carlo PellegriniC. PellegriniBugattiT231.5S-45exceeded time 
DNF22Alfieri MaseratiSA Autocostruzioni DiattoDiatto SplHispano-Suiza5.8S-43brakes
DNF6Vasco SbraciV. SbraciChiribiriMonza S1.5S-43bearing 
DNF12Paolo PellisP. PellisOM665 S2.0S-62  
DNF7Aldo BonfiglioliA. BonfiglioliOM4691.5S-42  
DNF16Ferruccio ZanirattiF. ZanirattiBianchi182.0S-42gearbox 
DNF20Gastone Brilli-PeriÖsterreichische Waffenfabriks GesellschaftSteyr17/100 hp4.5S-62differential
DNF17Augusto BattagliniA. BattagliniLanciaLambda2.6V-41mechanical 
DNF14Giulio MasettiDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedesTF 19242.0S-41valve 
DNF11Antonio MasperiA. MasperiOM665 S2.0S-61water pipe 
DNF13Virginio AppianiV. AppianiAnsaldo2.0S-41  
Fastest lap: Category over 2000 cc: Gastone Brilli Peri (Steyr) on lap 1 in 53m15.8s = 73.1 km/h (45.4 mph).
Winner's average speed, over 3000 cc (Cesaroni) 65.2 km/h (40.5 mph).
Winner's average speed, 3000 cc (Tarabusi): 59.8 km/h (37.2 mph).
Winner's average speed, 2000 cc (Morandi): 65.7 km/h (40.8 mph).
Winner's average speed, 1500 cc ("Nino"): 56.9 km/h (35.3 mph).
Weather: overcast, intermittent rain.
In retrospect:
The various reports sometimes contained contradicting and unclear information about the race order and reasons for some retirements.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
La Domenica Sportiva, Milano
La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'AUTO, Paris
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Giuseppe Prisco

Segrave (Sunbeam)
14 Henry Segrave
Sunbeam Motor Company
Sunbeam DA 8420
Constantini (Bugatti)
13 Meo Costantini
Automobiles Ettore Bugatti
Bugatti T35
Morel (Delage)
15 André Morel
Automobiles Delage
Delage 2LCV


Circuito de Lasarte - San Sebastián (E), 27 September 1924 (Saturday).
35 laps x 17.75 km (11.03 mi) = 621.25 km (386.0 mi)


1Giulio ForestiSchmid AutomobilesRolland-PilainSchmid2.0S-6
2Jean de l'EspéeBuccali FreresB.U.C.AB5 SCAP1.6S-4DNA - Did not appear
3Ignazio ZubiagaVauxhall Motor Co.Vauxhall2.0S-4DNS - Did not start
4Albert DivoAutomobiles DelageDelage2LCV2.0V-12
5Karl SailerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedesTF 19242.0S-4
6Pierre de VizcayaAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-8
7XAutomobiles BignanBignan2.0S-4DNA - did not appear
8Alfieri MaseratiSA Autocostruzioni DiattoDiatto20S3.0S-4
9Kenelm Lee GuinnessSunbeam Motor CompanySunbeamDA 86672.0S-6
10Jules GouxSchmid AutomobilesRolland-PilainSchmid2.0S-6
11Robert BenoistAutomobiles DelageDelage2LCV2.0V-12
12Giulio MasettiDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedesTF 19242.0S-4
13Meo CostantiniAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-8
14Henry SegraveSunbeam Motor CompanySunbeamDA 84202.0S-6
15André MorelAutomobiles DelageDelage2LCV2.0V-12
16Jean ChassagneAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-8
17Martin AlzagaM. AlzagaSunbeamIndianapolis4.9S-6DNS - practice crash
18René ThomasAutomobiles DelageDelage2LCV2.0V-12
19Leoncio GarnierAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-8DNA - Did not appear
20Ignacio OlidenI. OlidenSunbeam3.0S-6DNS - practice crash
21Ogniben AlveràAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-8DNA - Did not appear

Segrave wins the San Sebastian Grand Prix

by Hans Etzrodt
The 1924 San Sebastian Grand Prix was a major formula libre race. From 21 entries only 14 cars started on a rain-soaked racetrack where Masetti (Mercedes) led the first four laps. Benoist (Delage) led lap 5 but crashed on the next lap when Masetti regained first place until he stopped to refuel on lap 14. Then Segrave (Sunbeam) took the lead which he lost on lap 19 due to a pit stop. When Masetti crashed on the following lap and Guinness (Sunbeam) who had crashed earlier, two great contenders had disappeared. After 20 laps Segrave led ahead of Costantini (Bugatti), the Delages of Divo and Morel ahead of Maserati (Diatto). During the last 15 laps, the battle was between Segrave, Divo and Costantini, whose Bugatti sprung a water leak. In between driving record laps, Costantini stopped often to refill the radiator. This allowed Segrave to have an easy win, followed by Costantini, Morel, Divo and the Bugattis of Vizcaya and Chassagne. Eight cars retired in the rain of which half crashed, causing the death of Thomas Barratt, riding mechanic of the severely injured Kenelm Lee Guinness.
The Automobile week of San Sebastian, which was organized by the Real Automóvil Club de Guipúzcoa, began on Monday, September 22 for motorcycles with the official title II Gran Premio de Motocicletas. On Wednesday, September 24 followed the II Gran Premio de Guipúzcoa de Turismos, for touring cars. The conclusion on Saturday, September 27 was the II Gran Premio de San Sebastian for racecars. The races were held on the 17.750 km Lasarte circuit, south of the Atlantic seaside resort of San Sebastian. The grand prix cars had to lap the course 35 times, a total of 621.250 km. It was a natural road circuit, winding counterclockwise through the foothills of the Pyrenees with a Macadam surface in a few places only, which was not free of dust. At the start and finish, between the villages of Lasarte and Oria, there were tram lines. The road then led through Andoain after 5 km, Urnieta at half distance, Hernani after 11 km, and Lasarte only 1.3 km before the start and finish. On the straights, beginning after km 5 and up to km 10.7, there were several opportunities to go full throttle. The winner would receive the Royal Trophy and 50,000 pesetas, second the San Sebastian Aéro Club Trophy and 20,000; third 10,000 and fourth 5,000 pesetas.
A total of 21 cars were entered, four Sunbeams, four Delages, five Bugattis, two Mercedes, two Schmid, one Bignan, one Diatto, one Vauxhall and one BUC, which are all listed at the beginning of this report.
      Sunbeam lowered the chassis for the 1924 season and fitted a 1,988 cc, 6-cylinder, blown engine, producing 138 hp at 5,500 rpm, bringing the top speed to 200 km/h. At the 1924 European Grand Prix in France, the cars showed superior speed but were held back with misfiring engines and Segrave finished fifth. But for San Sebastian in Spain, the cars used their old magnetos, correcting the misfiring problems. They entered only two official cars for Kenelm Lee Guinness and Major Henry Segrave while Argentinian Martin Alzaga in a 4.9-Liter Indianapolis type was independent, as was Ignacio Oliden in an older type.
      Delage entered four of their 2LCV cars, which had last raced eight weeks earlier at the European Grand Prix where Divo finished second and Benoist third. The 12-cylinder cars produced 120 hp at 6000 rpm without supercharging. Drivers were Albert Divo, Robert Benoist, André Morel and René Thomas.
      DMG had made two of their 1924 Targa Florio Mercedes available, repainted in white. These cars had a 1989 cc, supercharged 4-cyl engine, producing 150 hp at 4800 rpm. One car was driven by Count Giulio Masetti, the second by works driver Karl Sailer. Originally Christian Werner should have driven the second car, which he declined because of a damaged cylinder. This way Sailer was given the car.
      For 1924 Bugatti had designed a new car, the Type 35, a 2.0-Liter, 8-cylinder, delivering 90 hp at 6,000 rpm. At the European Grand Prix (Lyon), they finished in seventh, eighth and tenth place while experiencing tire problems. At the San Sebastian Grand Prix in Spain, they entered five cars equipped with different tires for Pierre de Vizcaya, Meo Costantini, Jean Chassagne, Leoncio Garnier and Ogniben Alverà.
      Diatto, whose withdrawal was thought probable, as reported by El Mundo Deportivo, but was taking part in practice with Alfieri Maserati. The car at San Sebastian was just like the one that ran at the May 25 Rabassada hill climb, where it made a very good impression. It was not a two-Liter, but the engine was very close to three-Liter, which was perfectly within the regulations in this Grand Prix. But according to Diatto records, Maserati drove a long wheelbase type 20 S, thus 1995 cc, unblown, producing 75 hp at 4500 rpm.

On Tuesday, September, 23 the morning practice was very busy with cars practicing on the Spanish Circuit. Everyone was out and turned some laps. Delage, Mercedes and Bugatti made an excellent impression. Lee Giunness and Segrave, who were familiar with the road, did not push their Sunbeams. The fight appeared to be very tight but two accidents happened. First, Oliden arrived too quickly in a bend, where his Sunbeam spun off colliding with a tree. Driver and mechanic escaped without injuries. Oliden's Sunbeam did not start, which was enforced by the official Sporting Commission. They decided to deny the start by declaring that the car, after the accident, could not be repaired with safety guarantees for a difficult race such as the San Sebastian Grand Prix. The decision of the Sporting Commission was justified, since the Sunbeam in question was an old type of three liters that in practice had suffered several problems, and its driver was not credited as being exceptional and whose nervousness could be fatal in a race as dangerous as the Grand Prix.
      Things went less well for Alzaga on the wet circuit. The Argentinean had replaced his usual mechanic with the British Bowen, Sunbeam's official mechanic, to check the poor performance of the brakes on his #17 Sunbeam. The defect in the brake system had serious consequences in a crash for the driver, the racecar, and especially for the mechanic. In the bend which followed Hernani, the car hit the embankment, overturned and damaged the front. The seriously injured Alzaga was pulled from below the car and had to be transported to Biarritz, passed the French border. The mechanic Bowen with internal injuries was brought to the San Sebastian hospital where his condition caused concern. The accident was hard to explain, the turn was not bad and Alzaga was a good driver. No doubt this was caused by a defective brake system.
      The winner of this race, Major Henry Segrave, in his Book, The Lure of Speed, described the circuit "which looked at first all right to the eye, but turned out to be in an abominably dangerous condition. The corners were supposed to be sanded so as to give the tyres a reasonably good grip. But the Spanish workmen, true to their condition of avoiding any unnecessary work, discovered that it was much easier to dig clay out of a neighboring field and sprinkled it on the road rather than go some little distance off and get the sand which they should have used. This nearly cost Guinness his life, and led to a crash in which his mechanic, Barrett, was instantly killed."

At scrutineering the cars' weight was recorded as follows:
1SCHMID (Giulio Foresti)kg 866
4DELAGE (Albert Divo)762
5MERCEDES (Karl Sailer)976
6BUGATTI (Pierre de Vizczya)744
8DIATTO (Alfieri Maserati)1014
9SUNBEAN (Lee Guinness)842
10SCHMID (Jules Goux)888
11DELAGE (Robert Benoist)776
12MERCEDES (Giulio Masetti)994
13BUGATTI (Meo Costantini)754
14SUNBEAM (Henry Segrave)862
15DELAGE (André Morel)776
16BUGATTI (Jean Chassagne)745
18DELAGE (René Thomas)770
The huge stands were packed and large crowds gathered around the circuit. Despite the bad weather, Queen Maria Victoria and the Prince des Asturias from the royal family were present. The sky was covered by dark clouds and a rain shower had soaked the starting area, the road leading to the pits and grandstand. For the 10:00 AM start the 14 cars lined up on the starting grid two per row in numerical order.
Pole Position




























The signal for the rolling start was given at 10:05 AM. The pilot car was leading the pack in the turn ahead of the stands before giving free passage to the racers at the grandstand. Divo's Delage jumped into the lead, followed by Foresti's Schmid and Vizczya's Bugatti, both Schmid cars pulled behind them huge clouds of oil smoke from their sleeve-valve engines. On the first lap the loudspeaker announced that the order of passage through Baracaldo was Divo ahead of Maserati and Masetti, who passed in the same order at Hernani.
      At the end of the first lap Masetti was in the lead after 11m15s at an average of 94.6 km/h ahead of Divo in 11m22s, Maserati 11m23s, Guinness 11m24s and Benoist 11m25s, almost together, followed in sixth place by Sailer in 11m39s, Morel and Segrave. After a pause appeared Thomas, Costantini, Vizcaya, Chassagne, Foresti and Goux. Vizcaya stopped at the pits.
      After the second lap Masetti's time was 10m18s at an average of 103.4 km/h. His lead was 16 seconds to Guinness who had passed Maserati and Divo. The order in the field had now Maserati as third, followed by Divo, Benoist, Sailer, Segrave, Morel, Thomas, Costantini, Goux, Chassagne, Foresti and Vizcaya.
      On the third lap Guinness shortened his gap to Masetti to only four seconds. Benoist covered the lap at 106.18 km/h and advanced to third place ahead of Maserati, Divo, and Sailer.
      On the fourth lap Masetti was still leading, but now Benoist followed closely with his Delage and broke the lap record again at 106.7 km/h. Guinness followed in third place ahead of Maserati, Segrave, Divo, Thomas, Morel and Costantini. Sailer's Mercedes in sixth place spun off the slippery road and crashed into the border fencing where it retired with the field down to 13 cars. Somewhat separated from the first group were Goux, Foresti, Vizcaya and Chassagne. Vizcaya stopped again at the pits but continued.
      On the fifth lap, Benoist passed Masetti for the lead, with this lap in 10m01s at 106.3 km/h average speed. In third place followed Guinness, ahead of Segrave, Maserati, Divo, Thomas, Morel, Costantini, Goux and Vizcaya. Foresti and Chassage, delayed with problems, had been lapped by the leader. Benoist's average lap time for the first five laps was 10m27s with the 13-car field in the following order after 5 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)52m14s
2.Masetti (Mercedes)52m17s
3.Guinness (Sunbeam)53m02s
4.Segrave (Sunbeam)53m28s
5.Maserati (Diatto)53m32s
6.Divo (Delage)53m36s
7.Thomas (Delage)54m30s
8.Morel (Delage)54m40s
9.Costantini (Bugatti)54m42s
10.Goux (Schmid)1h00m59s
11.Vizcaya (Bugatti)1h02m25s
12.Foresti (Schmid)1h03m11s1 lap behind
13.Chassagne (Bugatti)1h05m27s1 lap behind

On lap six Benoist skidded off the course, crashed into a wall, breaking the front axle. Driver and mechanic were unharmed, but the race had lost a brilliant contender. Masetti found himself again in the lead. On lap six, Segrave broke the lap record at 107.9 km/h. The rain at various points of the circuit bothered the drivers.
      After lap seven, Masetti lead at 105 km/h average race speed ahead of Segrave who had passed Guinness, followed by Divo, Maserati, Thomas, Morel, Costantini and Chassagne, who stopped the Bugatti to change four wheels in 2m20s. His Bugatti appeared to suffer the same tire defects as experienced at Lyon.
      The order on the eighth lap remained, except Divo and Maserati exchanged positions. Foresti (Schmid) retired on lap 8 but since he was one lap down, he completed only six laps.
      On lap nine there was no change. On lap ten during the rain, Masetti held the lead at 104.4 km/h average race speed, followed by Segrave, Guinness, Maserati, Divo, Costantini and Morel. The latter stopped at the pits to refuel and replace a front wheel. Masetti's average lap time for the last five laps was 10m05s with the 11-car field in the following order after 10 laps:
1.Masetti (Mercedes)1h42m41s
2.Segrave (Sunbeam)1h43m20s
3.Guinness (Sunbeam)1h43m38s
4.Maserati (Diatto)1h43m45s
5.Divo (Delage)1h44m45s
6.Costantini (Bugatti)1h45m53s
7.Morel (Delage)1h47m26s
8.Thomas (Delage)1h53m43s1 lap behind
9.Vizcaya (Bugatti)1h58m14s1 lap behind
10.Goux (Schmid)2h00m021 lap behind
11.Chassagne (Bugatti)2h07m302 laps behind

On lap 11 Guinness stopped on the circuit to change all spark plugs. When he resumed on the rain-soaked road his race ended disastrously. The Spanish workmen were told before the race to sand some of the corners to reduce skidding, but found it much easier to use clay from nearby fields and sprinkled it on the road. When it rained this made the turns very slippery, with the clay forming in ruts. Guinness front wheels caught in these and the Sunbeam skidded off the slippery road, hitting the left bank, bounced back across the track, overturned three times before hitting a stonewall on the right. Guinness and Barratt were ejected out of the car, plunging down into a steep, 15-meter deep, railroad cutting; the overturning car followed them. Thomas Barratt, the riding mechanic of Lee Guinness, had replaced the injured Bill Perkins. Barratt was killed instantly while Guinness suffered serious head and leg injuries with a broken arm, intense trauma and vomiting blood, which put an end to his racing career. Both were transferred to the hospital.
      The order on lap 12 was Masetti, Segrave, Divo, Maserati and Costantini. Maserati's Diatto slowed down. Benoist, who had retired on the sixth lap, reached the stands on foot and received a standing ovation. Thomas retired at the pits with magneto trouble. As he was one lap down, he completed only 10 laps.
      On lap fourteen the leader Masetti stopped at the pits to refuel and was passed by Segrave and Divo. In fourth place was Costantini, the best of the Bugatti, who was doing a magnificent race. Goux and Vizcaya were already one lap down and Chassagne was even further behind. Segrave's average lap time for the last five laps was 10m07s with the 9-car field in the following order after 15 laps:
1.Segrave (Sunbeam)2h33m54
2.Divo (Delage)2h35m53s
3.Masetti (Mercedes)2h36m41s
4.Costantini (Bugatti)2h36m54s
5.Maserati (Diatto)2h37m39s
6.Morel (Delage)2h44m54s1 lap behind
7.Vizcaya (Bugatti)2h52m50s1 lap behind
8.Goux (Schmid)2h57m26s2 laps behind
9.Chassagne (Bugatti)3h03m05s2 laps behind

During laps 16 and 17 the positions remained in the order Segrave, Divo and Masetti. Costantini in fourth place gained ground by breaking the lap record in 9m42s, at an average speed of 109.8 km/h and was close to Masetti. Goux (Schmid) retired on lap 16. He was two laps behind and thus completed only 13 laps.
      On Lap 18 the order changed to Segrave, Divo and Costantini who had passed Masetti. Divo stopped at the pits to refuel and started lap 19 in fourth place. Maserati stopped for a repair and lost one lap.
      At the beginning of lap 19 the leader Segrave and second Costantini stopped at the pits to refuel. Segrave also changed rear wheels. The time lost in these operations changed the positions on lap 19, with Masetti in the lead ahead of Segrave, Costantini and Divo.
      At the end of lap 20 it was expected that Masetti would be the first but instead Segrave appeared in the lead followed by Costantini. According to Segrave who followed Masetti's Mercedes in the lead, "Masetti had left the road clear into a field and crumpled up into a wall. One of his brake cables had locked in its guide, thus seizing the front wheel and rendering the car unmanageable." Segrave's average lap time for the last five laps was 11m02s with the 7-car field in the following order after 20 laps:
1.Segrave (Sunbeam)3h29m06s
2.Costantini (Bugatti)3h29m10s
3.Divo (Delage)3h30m10s
4.Morel (Delage)3h36m00s
5.Maserati (Diatto)3h41m00s1 lap behind
6.Vizcaya (Bugatti)3h49m26s1 lap behind
7.Chassagne (Bugatti)4h01m06s2 laps behind

There were no changes until lap 23, when Costantini experienced difficulties with the radiator of his Bugatti and Divo moved to second position. But Costantini soon regained second place. Segrave's average lap time for the last five laps was 10m06s, with the times of the 7-car field as follows after 25 laps:
1.Segrave (Sunbeam)4h19m38s
2.Costantini (Bugatti)4h20m10s
3.Divo (Delage)4h24m48s
4.Morel (Delage)4h25m53s
5.Maserati (Diatto)4h32m17s1 lap behind
6.Vizcaya (Bugatti)4h44m02s2 laps behind
7.Chassagne (Bugatti)4h59m19s3 laps behind

On lap 26 the order remained the same. Costantini was beating the lap record at 110.9 km/h average speed. On lap 28 Maserati retired with broken transmission but he completed only 26 laps as he had been one lap down. On lap 29, Costantini again broke the lap record in 9m16s, at 114.9 km/h average speed. Soon he stopped again at the pits to pour water in his leaking radiator. On this lap, Divo, stopped at the pits. Segrave's average lap time for the last five laps was 10m00s. The 6-car field was in the following order after 30 laps:
1.Segrave (Sunbeam)5h09m36s
2.Costantini (Bugatti)5h13m56s
3.Morel (Delage)5h14m58s
4.Divo (Delage)5h15m58s
5.Vizcaya (Bugatti)5h37m30s2 laps behind
6.Chassagne (Bugatti)5h53m28s4 laps behind

Up to lap 33 there were no changes in the order. Costantini was pushing with great determination and established a new lap record in 9m15.2s at 115.093 km/h average speed. Divo ended this lap with a boiling radiator, stopped at the pits and was forced to carry a drum of water with him. On lap 34 Segrave was leading ahead of Costantini, who on lap 33 had reduced the Sunbeam's lead by 1m03s. But there was no possibility of the Bugatti taking first place as Costantini was forced again to fill water into the radiator.
      On lap 35 the end of the race was near and Segrave's victory was taken for granted. His green Sunbeam was acclaimed by the public at the end before the stands. In second place finished Costantini, who was also applauded by the public. His fastest laps, which far beat those of all other drivers, demonstrated what this racer could have done if the damage of his radiator had not affected him adversely. Costantini's time was only 1m25s more than that of the race winner. In third place finished Morel (Delage), followed by Divo (Delage) and the Bugattis of Vizcaya and Chassagne.



1.14Henry SegraveSunbeam Motor CompanySunbeamDA 84202.0S-6356h01m19s
2.13Meo CostantiniAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-8356h02m44s+ 1m25s
3.15André MorelAutomobiles DelageDelage2LCV2.0V-12356h03m47s+ 2m28s
4.4Albert DivoAutomobiles DelageDelage2LCV2.0V-12356h11m11s+ 9m52s
5.6Pierre de VizcayaAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-8356h29m09s+ 27m50s
6.16Jean ChassagneAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-8356h46m30s+ 45m11s
DNF8Alfieri MaseratiSA Autocostruzioni DiattoDiatto20S3.0S-426transmission
DNF5Giulio MasettiDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes1924 TF2.0S-419crash
DNF12Jules GouxSchmid AutomobilesRolland-PilainSchmid2.0S-613mechanical
DNF18René ThomasAutomobiles DelageDelage2LCV2.0V-1210magneto
DNF9Kenelm Lee GuinnessSunbeam Motor CompanySunbeamDA 86672.0S-610crash
DNF1Giulio ForestiSchmid AutomobilesRolland-PilainSchmid2.0S-66mechanical
DNF11Robert BenoistAutomobiles DelageDelage2LCV2.0V-125crash
DNF5Karl SailerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes1924 TF2.0S-43crash
Fastest lap: Meo Costantini (Bugatti) on lap 33 in 9m15.2s = 115.1 km/h (71.5 mph).
Winner's average speed: 103.2 km/h (64.1 mph).
Weather: intermittent rain showers.
    The fastest laps of each driver:
9m15.2sCostantini (Bugatti)lap 33
9m40.4sMorel (Delage)lap 34
9m50.4sMasetti (Mercedes)lap 17
9m51.4sDivo (Delage)lap   9
9m52.0sSegrave (Sunbeam)lap 11
9m54.8sVizcaya (Bugatti)lap   9
9m55.2sGuinness (Sunbeam)lap 10
9m56.6sBenoist (Delage)lap   5
9m57.8sMaseratti (Diatto)lap 10
10m08.0sThomas (Delage)lap   6
10m21.2sChassagne (Bugatti)lap 34
10m34.0sSailer (Mercedes)lap   3
11m04.0sGoux (Schmid)lap 15
11m36.8sForesti (Schmid)lap   3
In retrospect:
The intermediate times and final classification times published in El Mundo Deportivo and L'Auto deviated often by only fractions of a second but at times by as much as minutes between the different sources. We hope that we have selected the correct times. AUTOMOBIL-REVUE used the intermediate times shown by L'Auto.

The crash of Lee Guinness [Bill], was described by race winner, Major Henry Segrave, in his book The Lure of Speed: "He was taking one of those treacherous turns on a road surface covered with wet clay, when his car refused to answer the steering, left the road, ran up a steep incline on the left-hand side of the road, then turned over three times down into the road again, and finished up against a stone wall on the right-hand side."
      "Along the right side of the road were telegraph poles and a railway cutting running parallel with it. Guinness and his mechanic were both flung clear of the car the last time it turned over, and actually went over the telegraph wires, and fell in the railway cutting. Barrett, the unfortunate mechanic, was instantly killed, while Guinness suffered severe injuries to his head and legs."
      "I shall never forget my amazement and dismay when I arrived at the scene of the crash a few minutes later; and then for four consecutive laps I had to pass the two stretchers carrying them to the field dressing-station, not knowing whether my friend was alive or dead."
      "One's reaction in a case like this is peculiar, because, knowing Bill as I did, I knew perfectly well that he had not turned over through an error of judgment in driving, and therefore something must have broken in his car to cause the accident. As both our cars were identical, it followed that what happened to his car must happen to mine, and so, not knowing what had caused Bill to turn over, I drove the rest of the race waiting for anything to happen. It made me handle that car as though it was made of glass."

Repeated mistakes seen in other reports were the false race date of 25 September and calling the race the Spanish Grand Prix. There was no Spanish Grand Prix in 1924.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
L'AUTO, Paris
Motor Sport, London
Omnia, Paris
Special thanks to:
Angel Elberdin, his book Circuito de Lasarte, Kutxa fundación, Bilbao, 1998
Markus Neugebauer


© 2021 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 09.11.2023