Hamilton (MG)Cecchini (MG)Seaman (MG)

(Voiturette 1100cc)

Pescara (I), 15 August 1934 (Wednesday)
4 laps x 25.80 km (16.03 mi)= 103.2 km (64.1 mi)


2TravagliniTravaglini?DNA - did not appear
4Raffaelle CecchiniR. CecchiniMGK3 Magnette1.1S-6
6Luigi BeccariaL. BeccariaFiatSiata1.0S-4
8Filiberto GiovannelliP. ErminiPE-Fiat1.0S-4DNA - did not appear
10Vittorio FelizoiaV. FelizoiaMaserati4CM1.1S-4
12Hugh HamiltonWhitney Straight Ltd.MGK3 Magnette1.1S-6
14Dick SeamanWhitney Straight Ltd.MGK3 Magnette1.1S-6
16Francesco MatrulloF. MatrulloMaserati4CM1.1S-4
18Guido LandiG. LandiRocca-Fiat1.0S-4
20NiccoliniA. RoccaRocca-Fiat1.0S-4DNS - did not start
22Ricardo GaleazziR. GaleazziFiat1.0S-4DNA - did not appear
24Vincenzo RussoV. RussoFiat1.0S-4DNA - did not appear
26Giuseppe FurmanikG. FurmanikMaserati4CM1.1S-4

M.G. domination

by Leif Snellman
There were just eight drivers that started in the four laps 1100cc Coppa Acerbo support race. Cecchini (MG) led the first two laps but after having stalled at the start Hamilton (MG) rallied to take over the lead on the third lap and win the event from Cecchini with Seaman (also MG) finishing third.
The Coppa Acerbo traditionally took place on Ferragosto, August 15, an Italian public holiday introduced by the emperor Augustus in 18 BC. An 1100cc voiturette race preceded the main race. The voiturettes had to do 4 laps for a total of 103.2 km. (For details about the circuit and its improvements, see the main race below.)
The three M.G. K3 Magnettes were the favourites for the victory. One was raced by Raffaelle Cecchini, who would go on and become Italian Voiturette Champion of 1934, and two were entered by Whitney Straight to be raced by Hugh Hamilton and Richard Seaman. Seaman's car was the same that Straight had used to win the 1933 race.
      4-cylinder Maseratis were raced by Vittorio Felizoia, Francesco Matrullo (#1119) and Giuseppe Furmanik (#1120). Furmanik's car already featured the striking "flame" radiator cover that also could be seen when the car later was raced by Gino Rovere.
      A Fiat entered by Luigi Beccaria and a Rocca raced by Guido Landi completed the list of participants. A veteran driver named Niccolini from Florence was expected but in the end he did not take part in the race.
      Among those that did not appear was a Fiat entered by the former Emilio Materassi mechanic Pasquale "Pasquino"Ermini.
The voiturette race was to start at 8 a.m. Despite the early hour and a cloudy and windy weather a huge amount of spectators had gathered to see the race.
      The grid order was decided early on by ballot so the initial grid had 13 entries in the following order: Giovannelli, Landi, Russo, Furmanik, Travaglini, Matrullo, Beccaria, Seaman, Felizoia, X (Niccolini), Galeazzi, Cecchini, Hamilton. However, in the final grid the gaps, except for that of Niccolini, were filled in so that the grid had the following appearance:
Pole Position

















At 8 a.m. fascist party secretary and sports fanatic Achille Starace dropped the flag and the race began with Furmanik taking the lead, but he was soon passed by Cecchini. Hamilton stalled his car and had to be push started. Once away Hamilton took up the chase and managed to move all the way up to third position during the first lap. At the end of the lap Matrullo made a pit stop to change spark plugs. The race situation looked like this:
1.Cecchini (MG) 13m26s
2.Furmanik (Maserati)13m38s
3.Hamilton (MG)13m41s
4.Seaman (MG)13m56s
5.Felizoia (Maserati)14m22.4s
6.Beccaria (Fiat)14m54s
7.Landi (Rocca)15m32s
8.Matrullo (Maserati)17m16.2s

At Capelle during the second lap Hamilton managed to pass Furmanik for second position. Landi stopped his Rocca at Spoltore with clutch problems. At the end of the second lap Cecchini still led the race but Hamilton was just two seconds behind him:
1.Cecchini (MG) 26m44.6s
2.Hamilton (MG)26m46.6s
3.Furmanik (Maserati)27m15.2s
4.Seaman (MG)27m43.6s
5.Felizoia (Maserati)28m12.8s
6.Beccaria (Fiat)29m38.6s
7.Matrullo (Maserati)32m08.6s

On the third lap Hamilton took over the lead of the race. Further back Seaman passed Furmanik for third position. The MGs now held a triple lead. After having done the fastest lap of the race with a time of 12m46.4s Hamilton led Cecchini by 16 seconds after three laps:
1.Hamilton (MG) 39m33s
2.Cecchini (MG)39m49s
3.Seaman (MG)41m12.8s
4.Furmanik (Maserati)41m15.8s
5.Felizoia (Maserati)42m18.2s
6.Beccaria (Fiat)44m03.4s
7.Matrullo (Maserati)46m37s

There were no changes in the race order during the last lap so Hamilton took the victory followed by Cecchini and Seaman, the two-seater M.G. Magnettes surprisingly showing their dominance over the monoposto Maseratis. Who could have guessed that the life of Hamilton, one of the most talented of the British pre-war drivers, would end just 11 days later.



1.12Hugh HamiltonWhitney Straight Ltd.MGK3 Magnette1.1S-6452m24.2s 
2.4Raffaelle CecchiniR. CecchiniMGK3 Magnette1.1S-6453m22.6s+ 58.4s
3.14Dick SeamanWhitney Straight Ltd.MGK3 Magnette1.1S-6454m34.6s+ 2m10.4s
4.26Giuseppe FurmanikG. FurmanikMaserati4CM1.1S-4455m06.2s+ 2m42.0s
5.10Vittorio FelizoiaV. FelizoiaMaserati4CM1.1S-4456m04.4s+ 3m40.2s
6.6Luigi BeccariaL. BeccariaFiatSiata1.0S-4458m33.4s+ 6m09.2s
7.16Francesco MatrulloF. MatrulloMaserati4CM1.1S-441h00m56.4s+ 8m32.2s
DNF18Guido LandiG. LandiRocca-Fiat1.0S-41  
Fastest lap: Hugh Hamilton (MG) on lap 3 in 12m46.4s = 121.2 km/h (75.3 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 118.2 km/h (73.4 mph)
Weather: cloudy and windy.
In retrospect:
Top speeds timed: Below are the times taken during the race at the one kilometer timed section of the Monte Silvano downhill straight, time in seconds, average speed and the number of lap when timed.
1.Hamilton (MG) 18.6s = 193.6 km/h   (3. lap)
2.Furmanik (Maserati) 18.8s = 191.5 km/h   (3.)
3.Cecchini (MG) 19.6s = 183.7 km/h   (1. & 3.)
4.Seaman (MG) 20.8s = 173.6 km/h   (1. & 4.)
5.Beccaria (Fiat) 22.4s = 160.7 km/h   (2.)
5.Felizoia (Maserati) 22.4s = 160.7 km/h   (1. & 4.)
7.Landi (Rocca) 22.6s = 159.3 km/h   (2.)
8.Matrullo (Maserati) 24.2s = 148.8 km/h   (1. & 4.)

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
La Stampa, Torino
Motor Sport, London



Pescara (I), 15 August 1934 (Wednesday)
20 laps x 25.80 km (16.03 mi)= 516.0 km (320.6 mi)


28Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW253.7S-8(Note 1)
30Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariMaserati8CM3.0S-8
32Wilhelm SebastianAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-16
34Ernst HenneDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW253.7S-8
36Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
38Felice BonettoF. BonettoAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8DNA- did not appear
40Whitney StraightWhitney Straight Ltd.Maserati8CM3.0S-8
42Goffredo ZehenderOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8C-30003.0S-8
44Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-16
46Guy MollScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
48Clifton Penn-HughesC. Penn-HughesAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8
50Luigi FagioliDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW253.7S-8(Note 1)
52Antonio BrivioAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT593.3S-8
54Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
56Earl HoweEarl HoweMaserati8CM3.0S-8
58Secondo CorsiS. CorsiMaserati8c-28002.8S-8
60??MaseratiDNA- did not appear
62Pietro GhersiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
64Hugh HamiltonWhitney Straight Ltd.Maserati26M2.5S-8

Fagioli wins the Coppa Acerbo, Guy Moll's last race

by Hans Etzrodt
The 1934 Coppa Acerbo was one of the most dramatic and hardest fought races that had been held for a long time. The Italian press called it 'the battle of the titans'. It was the first time that the new German cars confronted their strongest opponents in their homeland. The first third of the remarkable race was dominated by Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) who had to battle Varzi (Alfa Romeo) and Stuck (Auto Union). After nine laps all three were out of the race, but Varzi continued in teammate Ghersi's Alfa. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz), in second place since lap five, inherited the lead which he held until his mid-race pit stop. Then Moll (Alfa Romeo) held first place on lap ten until he stopped for fuel. Now the Ghersi/Varzi Alfa Romeo secured first place till lap 14 when he stopped for new tires. Then Fagioli grabbed the lead once more which he held till the finish. The race was marred by the death of Guy Moll, in a high-speed crash during the concluding stage of the 20-lap race. Caracciola also had crashed while holding a comfortable lead on lap nine and was lucky to escape uninjured. Chiron received slight burns in a pit fire, when his Alfa Romeo was seriously damaged. Corsi overturned his Maserati and received only minor injuries. From 17 cars at the start only six finished the exciting race, won by Fagioli ahead of Nuvolari (Maserati), Brivio (Bugatti), the Alfa Romeo of Ghersi/Varzi, the Sebastian/Stuck (Auto Union) and Henne in the third Mercedes.
Wednesday, 15 August was Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an Italian holiday. For several years this race took place annually on the Pescara circuit except in 1929. 1934 was the tenth running of the Coppa Acerbo near the coastal town of Pescara on the Adriatic coast. 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 first race was held in 1924 when Campari burst a tire on his Alfa P2 and had to retire as he carried no spare. Enzo Ferrari in an Alfa RL then won the race from Bonmartini's Mercedes.
      In 1934, the same road circuit was in use but the road surface had improved over the years. It was triangular in shape like Reims, consisting of regular roads with all the normal road hazards. The Start Finish line was outside the seaside resort of Pescara, where the road went straight for about one kilometer along the shore. At the following right turn, the circuit headed inland for about 11 km along a winding road up into the Abruzzi Mountains, through forests and the hill villages of Villa Raspa, Montani, Spoltore, Pornace and Villa S. Maria, rising to 190 meters above sea level. Then began the descent to Capelle sul Tavo where there was a slow right hairpin exiting under a bridge. From here, the road led into the approximately 11 km long Monte Silvano downhill straight to the coast at blistering speed. This was the fastest stretch of the circuit and included a one kilometer timed section, which was on a slightly downhill incline. The Monte Silvano straight was followed by a fast right turn at Monte Silvano railroad station, which led into the Lungo Mare straight along the coast back to the start. To slow the cars on that sea-level straight, a large artificial chicane was introduced for 1934 just before the Start-Finish area, to reduce the speed as cars passed the pits. This change increased the circuit length from 25.500 km to 25.800 km. (For the 1935 race two additional chicanes would be installed in the middle of each straight giving the Italian cars a better chance.)
      The Coppa Acerbo was Italy's second most important race and consisted of 20 laps, bringing the total to 516 km. For 1934 the event had gained in importance, comparable to the major European Grands Prix. For the first time since Germany was once more involved in international racing sport, Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union were meeting their toughest opponent in Italy. Scuderia Ferrari represented Alfa Romeo, Maserati sent no cars but seven independent entries were received. Molsheim sent just one Bugatti and the Germans arrived with three Mercedes and two Auto Unions. Everyone anticipated the result of this five-way battle with great tension.
Nearly all major teams and drivers were present. Auto Union had two cars for Hans Stuck and reserve driver-mechanic Wilhelm Sebastian. Leiningen had already fallen sick before the German GP and Momberger, the third driver, had hit his head on the headrest when he went over a dip in the road during the race itself. He had to be relieved by Burggaller because of a bleeding head wound. Team Manager Willi Walb decided the following week that Wilhelm Sebastian was to take Momberger's place in Pescara, driving the latter's car used at the German GP. It was Wilhelm Sebastian's first race. He had been Caracciola's riding mechanic at the 1931 Mille Miglia, which they won in the Mercedes SSKL. At Auto Union he became chief mechanic and reserve driver. Stuck's car was also the same as raced at the German GP. Both cars received the high axle ratio used at the Avus plus improved brakes and better venting. Daimler-Benz had three W25 cars for Caracciola, Fagioli and Henne in place of von Brauchitsch, who had broken his arm a month previously when he crashed during practice for the German GP. Hanns Geier, one of the two reserve drivers, had driven at the Nürburgring and Team Manager Alfred Neubauer decided for Pescara it was Ernst Henne's turn. This was to be his first Grand Prix start but during practice he would set the fastest speed at 300 km/h.
      As usual, the Scuderia Ferrari entered the Vittorio Jano designed 2900 cc Alfa Romeo P3 cars for Louis Chiron, Achille Varzi, Guy Moll and Pietro Ghersi. Moll and Ghersi had good circuit knowledge since two days earlier they had driven in the 24-Hour Targa Abruzzo. The Maserati factory did not enter any cars but there were several independent drivers like Secondo Corsi in an 8C-2800 on a 26M chassis and Hugh Hamilton in a 26M on loan from Whitney Straight, which was the ex Birkin Maserati. Goffredo Zehender drove an 8C-3000 on a 26M chassis. Maserati 8CM entries were received from independents like Tazio Nuvolari, Whitney Straight and Earl Howe. Felice Bonetto entered an Alfa Romeo, probably the same car he had raced at Alessandria and Tripoli. Clifton Penn-Hughes with a 2.3-liter Alfa Romeo Monza was the last of the privateers. The Molsheim factory entrusted a lone Bugatti T59 to Antonio Brivio who had finished second for them in the Belgian Grand Prix.
La Stampa reported that some interesting times were registered during first practice on Saturday morning, especially at 11:00 AM when the track had dried in the hot sun and the drivers for the first time drove at their full potential. All cars, Alfa Romeo, Auto Union, Mercedes-Benz, Maserati and Bugatti practiced in the morning. Sebastian in the Auto Union drove the most laps, first at 13 minutes per lap, then 12m40.1s (121.521 km/h), then 12m33.0s and also 12m5.5s (128.038 km/h). Stuck practiced very little, after one lap of 13m58.3s the German stopped in front of his pit to have his steering replaced by an army of mechanics. The Mercedes drivers, Caracciola, Fagioli and Henne practiced a lot, but made no really fast times. Fagioli was involved in a crash, which fortunately had no serious consequences. While he drove on his second lap at the stretch of Spoltore and Capelle, Fagioli left the road, jumped a ditch and landed in a field. The Mercedes was towed back to the pits and after being repaired, Fagioli resumed shortly thereafter as if nothing had happened. He drove a lap in 11m28.2s at an average of 134.900 km/h and his time in the flying Kilometer was 13 seconds flat at 276.923 km/h. Fagioli later said he did not have to ask for the strongest engine, which in his opinion could reach 300 km/h. Caracciola's best lap was 12m8.2s. The Bugatti of Brivio, which many regarded as uncertain for the race, was timed at 11m51.6s, an average of 134.297 km/h, while Nuvolari in the Maserati did his fastest lap in 11m54.4s, about 130 km/h average speed. The Alfa Romeo drivers Varzi, Chiron and Moll also practiced. Varzi did a lap in 11m17.2s, average of 137.111 km/h, while Chiron drove around 135 km/h and Moll about 131.
The Targa Abruzzo, a 24-Hour sports car race on the Pescara circuit took place on Sunday and Monday. It was the first 24-hour race in Italy. On Wednesday, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a voiturette race over four laps (see above) had preceded the main event and was won by Hugh Hamilton in an MG Magnette. The Scirocco wind was blowing and brought rain during the half hour interval before the start of the main race. After the Grand Prix cars were pushed onto the grid, it began to rain. Cockpits of the cars on the grid were covered up and tires were changed from dry-weather type to ones with road-racing threads, better suited for a wet circuit. The drivers also prepared for a wet race. Caracciola's familiar white overalls were hidden beneath dark waterproof clothing. Although it had stopped raining at the time of the start, the track was still wet and slippery. Since Bonetto's Maserati and the number 60 Maserati did not show up, only 17 cars stood ready on the starting grid with three different makes on the front row.
Pole Position



Alfa Romeo


Auto Union






Alfa Romeo












Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo




Auto Union


Alfa Romeo



There was great excitement as they roared and screamed away, leaving a cloud of sweet scented haze. The Auto Union of Hans Stuck shot into the lead, followed by Varzi's red Alfa Romeo and Caracciola's Mercedes-Benz. During the first minutes, Stuck, Varzi and Caracciola swapped places on the winding run through the hills. Then 'Rainmaster' Rudi passed Varzi for the last time at the beginning of the long run down to Monte Silvano and overtook Stuck at the end of the straight just before they reached the fast right turn at the sea. At the finish line Caracciola led Stuck by one second with an 11 seconds gap to Varzi, who lost some time on the long straights where his Alfa could not keep up with the German cars. Fagioli was fourth, followed by Moll 200 yards behind. Caracciola's average speed for the first lap was 125.852 km/h.
1.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) 12m18.0s
2.Stuck (Auto Union)12m19.0s
3.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)12m30.6s
4.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz) 12m39.4s
5.Moll (Alfa Romeo)12m47.4s
6.Straight (Maserati)13m28.0s
7.Henne (Mercedes-Benz) 13m36.8s
8.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)13m45.4s
9.Zehender (Maserati)13m45.4s
10.Nuvolari (Maserati)13m45.8s
11.Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)13m56.0s
12.Penn-Hughes (Alfa Romeo)13m56.8s
13.Brivio (Bugatti)13m57.8s
14.Sebastian (Auto Union)14m34.2s
15.Corsi (Maserati)14m44.0s
16.Hamilton (Maserati)14m44.8s
17.Howe (Maserati)?

The weather began to improve and from time to time a pale sun appeared through the clouds. During the second lap, Stuck and Varzi lost time as a result of their battle for second place. Caracciola in contrast, drove flat out and on the Monte Silvano straight was timed at 290 km/h (180 mph). When he passed the pits, his advantage to Stuck and Varzi had increased to 500 meters, followed by Fagioli further back. Moll pulled into his pits to have a spark plug changed and lost one minute. During that time, Hamilton went by, ahead of Chiron and Nuvolari. After two laps Caracciola's average speed had increased to 130.156 km/h.
1.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) 23m17.0s
2.Stuck (Auto Union)23m58.0s
3.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)23m58.8s
4.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz) 24m20.0s
5.Henne (Mercedes-Benz) 25m50.0s
6.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)25m51.0s
7.Nuvolari (Maserati)25m51.8s
8.Straight (Maserati)25m59.6s
9.Moll (Alfa Romeo)26m07.0s
10.Brivio (Bugatti)26m23.6s
11.Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)26m26.0s
12.Zehender (Maserati)26m32.0s
13.Penn-Hughes (Alfa Romeo)27m10.0s
14.Sebastian (Auto Union)27m21.4s
15.Hamilton (Maserati)27m28.8s
16.Howe (Maserati)28m15.6s
17.Corsi (Maserati)28m39.0s

On lap three, the fight for second place intensified as Varzi made several serious but unsuccessful attempts to pass Stuck in the winding section, and remained glued to the Auto Union's tail. On the long straight down to Monte Silvano, Varzi drew level at top speed, racing wheel to wheel with Stuck up to the fast right turn leading into the coastal straight and took second place. Caracciola's third lap speed increased while Stuck now in third place had fallen back and was signaling to the pits. He was closely followed by Fagioli in fourth place. Further back was the battling trio of Hamilton, Nuvolari and Chiron in that order. Moll pitted for the second time for yet more spark plugs, which dropped him even further back.
      At the end of the fourth lap, Caracciola had further increased his advantage. After the right front tire had stripped its thread, Varzi stopped at his pit to change the wheel. Simultaneously, he topped up with fuel, increasing his stop to 85 seconds. Stuck was again second and Fagioli third. Meanwhile Moll drove in very determined fashion to make up lost time. Whitney Straight's race ended on the fourth lap due to engine failure on his Maserati. Zehender stopped at the pits.
      On lap five, Caracciola continued to pull further away. When Stuck slowed his pace, he was immediately passed by Fagioli. The motivated Nuvolari who had worked himself up to fourth place appeared next, ahead of Chiron, Henne and Moll. Varzi stopped again at the pits, but this time his Alfa was retired with gearbox failure. Then Ghersi arrived and Scuderia Ferrari flagged him in, so Varzi jumped into the car and took off. After five laps Caracciola was leading at an average speed of 135.263 km/h.
1.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) 57m13.0s
2.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz) 58m05.2s
3.Stuck (Auto Union)58m47.4s
4.Nuvolari (Maserati)59m44.0s
5.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)1h00m54.0s
6.Henne (Mercedes-Benz)?
7.Moll (Alfa Romeo)1h01m41.0s
8.Brivio (Bugatti)1h01m43.0s
9.Ghersi/Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h02m32.0s
10.Sebastian (Auto Union)1h04m10.4s
11.Hamilton (Maserati)1h06m02.4s
12.Penn-Hughes (Alfa Romeo)1h06m20.4s
13.Zehender (Maserati)?
14.Howe (Maserati)
15.Corsi (Maserati)

At the end of lap six, Caracciola had built up a massive advantage, leading Fagioli by 1m46s and Chiron by 3m58s, who was followed closely by Henne in fourth place. Stuck had lost his third place when he pulled his Auto Union into the pits, retiring with a blown piston. Nuvolari lost his fourth place when he stopped at the Scuderia pit with a misfiring engine and it took four minutes until an obstruction in the fuel lines was found. Moll in fifth place received signs from his pits to drive faster and after having cured the misfire of his engine, he was indeed driving very rapidly. Further back Varzi followed in Ghersi's car, making up lost ground. Hamilton slowed down as he encountered problems.
      By the end of lap seven Caracciola led Fagioli and Henne, forming a Mercedes one - two - three. The Italian spectators were devastated. Chiron pulled slowly into his pits with a misfiring engine, having plugs changed and taking fresh fuel, all of which took 2m30s. During Chiron's delay, Moll sped past the grandstand to take fourth place, followed by Varzi in Ghersi's car with a lap at 141 km/h. Zehender and Earl Howe retired after seven laps when the order was:
1.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) 1h19m43s
2.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz) 1h21m08s
3.Henne (Mercedes-Benz)1h23m59s
4.Moll (Alfa Romeo)1h24m06s
5.Ghersi/Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h24m42s
6.Nuvolari (Maserati)

On lap eight, Moll caught up with Henne and passed him for third place after Monte Silvano Station on the Lungo Mare straight. Caracciola who was still suffering from the aftermath of last year's Monaco crash, proved that he was again in full possession of his skills by completely controlling the race. At the end of lap eight, the order was Caracciola, Fagioli, Moll, Henne, Varzi in Ghersi's car and Chiron, now in sixth place. Hamilton retired his 8CM Maserati with a broken piston.
      During the race the weather was variable with strong winds, intermittent rain showers and sunshine. The ninth lap brought major changes, which entirely altered the complexion of the race. Caracciola, who had led for eight laps, made one of his rare mistakes on lap 9 when he spun off the wet track near Capelle sul Tavo. In Molter's book 'Rudolf Caracciola', Rudi said that the road was slick as glass as he went down a straight at 200 km/h. As he approached the following curve, he very delicately felt the brakes but he had the same feeling as in Monte Carlo (1933). Did the wheel lock up? The next moment, the car spun around and flew diagonally backwards up an embankment. On top, the tail of his car grazed a fence very slightly, but enough to spin it around again, landing on the road facing in the right direction. This incident was obviously just a warning because shortly afterwards, at a place where Fagioli had already left the track during practice, his car did half a roll to the left and disappeared with a loud crash into a four meter deep ditch. He was lucky to escape without injury but the car could not continue. At the end of nine laps Fagioli's average speed was 128.559 km/h when the order was:
1.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz) 1h48m22s
2.Moll (Alfa Romeo)1h50m07s
3.Henne (Mercedes-Benz)1h50m30s
4.Ghersi/Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h52m14s
5.Nuvolari (Maserati)1h53m35s

After lap nine, Fagioli stopped for fuel, changed wheels and had new spark plugs fitted. During his lengthy pit stop, Guy Moll screamed past the grandstands into first place and the crowd roared with excitement. With the mechanics still working on Fagioli's car, Henne passed the grandstand 20 seconds ahead of Varzi in Ghersi's car. However, the latter stopped at the pits for 70 seconds and only got away after Fagioli had left. Brivio's Bugatti held fifth place, followed by Nuvolari.
      Chiron arrived next and stopped at his pits with a badly misfiring engine. Not sure whether the problem was due to spark plugs or fuel feed, the engine was left running. While one mechanic tested spark plugs and the other checked fuel lines, Chiron remained in the car operating the accelerator. Gasoline squirted from a loosened fuel pipe and was ignited by an electric spark caused by the other mechanic testing the plugs. Instantaneously the car burst into flames, the fire spreading from the engine to the tank, fed by the fuel squirting from the pipe. The spectators watched in horror as Chiron's overalls caught fire, mechanics helped the flaming driver from the cockpit, while he covered both eyes with his hands and staggered away from the burning car. Chiron managed to get away with slight burns to face and neck, because an official immediately beat out the flames. The blazing Alfa Romeo stood dangerously close to the pits where drums of gasoline were stored while the car kept burning fiercely. The people, who were standing nearby, started fleeing the volatile scene. Eventually, with the help of extinguishers and sand, the fire was put out after ten minutes, but the car was totally burned out and parts of the pits were also destroyed. All this excitement almost obscured the fact that Corsi had seriously crashed his Maserati when he veered off the road breaking some ribs.
      At the end of ten laps, Moll was leading Henne by 32s, Varzi in Ghersi's car by 1m1s and Fagioli, who was only one second behind him in fourth place. Nuvolari was fifth, followed by Sebastian's Auto Union, Brivio's Bugatti and Penn-Hughes' Alfa Romeo. These eight survivors remained the only ones out of a field of 17 cars. At half distance or ten laps, Moll held first place at an average speed of 125.388 km/h.
1.Moll (Alfa Romeo)2h03m27.4s
2.Henne (Mercedes-Benz) 2h03m59.2s
3.Ghersi/Varzi (Alfa Romeo)2h04m28.4s
4.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz) 2h04m29.8s
5.Nuvolari (Maserati)2h07m51.4s
6.Sebastian (Auto Union)2h08m27.4s
7.Brivio (Bugatti)2h08m46.2s
8.Penn-Hughes (Alfa Romeo)2h13m53.0s

During lap 11, Moll maintained the lead and Varzi, who was now driving very rapidly, passed Henne into second place. At the end of the lap, the two red Alfas were in front with two silver Mercedes third and fourth. At the completion of the 11th lap, Moll made a refueling stop, which promoted Varzi to first and Fagioli to second place.
1.Ghersi/Varzi (Alfa Romeo)2h16m16s
2.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz) 2h16m40s
3.Moll (Alfa Romeo)2h17m55s
4.Henne (Mercedes-Benz) 2h19m38s
5.Brivio (Bugatti)2h21m30s

After 12 laps the Ghersi/Varzi Alfa Romeo was still leading Fagioli's Mercedes, Moll's Alfa and Brivio's Bugatti, ahead of Nuvolari and Henne.
      On lap 13 Varzi held the lead followed by Fagioli and Moll who was one minute behind after his fuel stop. The Mercedes pit signaled their drivers to speed up. Moll's Alfa was now ready for the final battle and the Algerian tried to make up the time lost during his pit stop. In the meanwhile Henne's Mercedes skidded dangerously at the artificial curve before the pits, which lost him so much time that the hard charging Nuvolari was able to overtake him. When Penn-Hughes retired his Alfa Romeo, the field was down to seven cars.
      At the end of lap 14, Varzi pulled into the pits to replace his rapidly wearing rear tires and fill the car with fuel. His stop of 1m55s enabled Fagioli to take the lead and Moll moved into second place. Varzi was now third and Nuvolari a distant fourth.
      After 15 laps, Fagioli held first position with an average speed of 127.708 km/h, leading Moll by 37 seconds, Varzi by 1m41s and Nuvolari by 5m24s, followed by Brivio's Bugatti, Sebastian's Auto Union and Henne's Mercedes-Benz in last place.
1.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz) 3h01m49.2s
2.Moll (Alfa Romeo)3h02m26.4s
3.Ghersi/Varzi (Alfa Romeo)3h03m37.2s
4.Nuvolari (Maserati)3h07m14.4s
5.Brivio (Bugatti)3h07m57.6s
6.Sebastian (Auto Union)3h11m52.8s
7.Henne (Mercedes-Benz) 3h12m21.6s

Guy Moll was now the only one able to race on level terms with Fagioli's more powerful Mercedes. The dramatic race had developed into a hard-fought battle. The Algerian was driving faster than ever, knowing that the hopes of Italy rested on his shoulders. His motivated drive resulted in a new record lap of 10m51.0s at 163.176 km/h on lap 15. Fagioli's lap time was 10m59s, which reduced his advantage to only 29 seconds. The tension was building because the outcome of the race was uncertain. Could Moll win for Italy in the red Alfa Romeo?
      At the end of lap 17, Moll entered the artificial turn before the pits too fast, ending up in a lurid slide, the Alfa skidded broadside and stalled. The Algerian had to get out and start his car with the crank. Despite all this, his lap time was 11 minutes flat and he would no doubt have broken his previous lap record, if he had not stalled the car. Varzi came slowly into the pits as the car had lubrication problems and also changed plugs. Discouraged, he threw off goggles and helmet and invited Ghersi to take over with instructions to nurse the Alfa to the finish.
      The tropical heat turned the cars into real ovens. The weather had been inconsistent all day and the Scirocco, a rather strong wind with sporadic squalls and rain showers, was blowing. This made it even harder to drive the powerful cars at their top speed because they already needed the whole road when driven flat out. Henne and Caracciola had been timed in the speed trap both doing 290 km/h early in the race. But after Henne twice ran into problems and the Scirocco picked up in force, the German slowed down in the final third of the race.
      On lap 18, Moll went faster through the winding section than he had ever done before. He was closely following Henne through the Capelle hairpin and as they entered the downhill Monte Silvano straight, Moll attempted to overtake the German's Mercedes, which was now a full lap behind. The German did not expect Moll to pass on this narrow section where he needed almost the full width of the track just to keep the Mercedes on the road. A passing maneuver would be just too dangerous. But instead of waiting for one or two kilometers until the road widened, the inspired Moll gradually pulled alongside the German. Moll was slightly in front of Henne's Mercedes, when the Alfa Romeo fell back, moved too far to the left, the wheels slid over the road edge and veered into the shallow ditch at the side of the road. For about 50 meters the car remained straight with Moll braking and trying frantically to regain the road. Then one front wheel struck a low stone pillar, which was part of the wall of a small bridge. The impact at over 155 mph caused the car to vault into the air, somersaulting high, flinging out Moll. He was killed instantly. The car kept tearing through telegraph wires, tumbling repeatedly, felling some young trees and crashing down until it came to rest at the side of a house after 300 to 400 yards. The spectators who hastened to the site found Moll's lifeless body on the opposite side of the road against a concrete post.
      The exact cause of this crash will probably never be known. Statements from various accounts are contradictory and Moll's death was most likely instantaneous. Did a sudden gust of the Scirocco cause Moll to drift off the road? In Chris Nixon's book, 'Racing the SILVER ARROWS', Ernst Henne said, he could see that Moll wanted to pass him at a stretch were the road was very narrow. As they were doing about 270 km/h (170 mph) downhill, Henne could see out of the corner of his eyes as Moll tried to pull alongside him only to fall back, but their cars never touched. There were different versions of what happened and, later on, groundless accusations were made that the cars touched, trying to put the blame of the crash on Henne, his driving was described as wild and suspect. However, he was an easy target since this was his first grand prix race. Even though he had raced motorcycles for ten years, he was inexperienced driving these fast, poor handling cars. Guy Moll's dreadful crash in essence ended the race, which came to a somber end with the full 20 laps completed.
      Nobody was left to challenge Fagioli, who finished the race first in a new record time of 3h58m56.8s at 129.568 km/h, 4m38.2s ahead of Nuvolari's Maserati, who in a heavily thinned out field had moved forward to second place by consistently fast driving. He was the only surviving Maserati driver out of six at the beginning of the race. Third was Brivio's Bugatti, followed by the worn out Ghersi/Varzi Alfa Romeo now driven again by Ghersi. One lap behind arrived the Sebastian/Stuck Auto Union and Henne's Mercedes-Benz finished last. From 17 cars at the starting line only six reached the finish. The meteoric but tragically short racing career of Guy Moll ended here. He was put to rest in the Maison-Caree cemetery in Algiers.



1.50Luigi FagioliDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW253.7S-8203h58m56.8s
2.30Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariMaserati8CM3.0S-8204h03m35.0s+ 4m38.2s
3.52Antonio BrivioAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT593.3S-8204h05m07.6s+ 6m10.8s
4.62P. Ghersi / A. VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8204h05m27.6s+ 6m30.8s
5.32W. Sebastian / H. StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-16193h59m51.4s
6.34Ernst HenneDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW253.7S-8194h00m57.8s
DNF46Guy MollScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-817fatal crash
DNF48Clifton Penn-HughesC. Penn-HughesAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-812rear axle
DNF36Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-89fire in pits
DNF28Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW253.7S-88crash
DNF64Hugh HamiltonWhitney Straight Ltd.Maserati8CM3.0S-88mechanical
DNF56Earl HoweEarl HoweMaserati8CM3.0S-87fuel tank
DNF58Secondo CorsiS. CorsiMaserati8C-28002.5S-87crash
DNF42Goffredo ZehenderOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8C-30003.0S-85mechanical
DNF44Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-165piston
DNF54Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-84gearbox
DNF40Whitney StraightWhitney Straight Ltd.Maserati26M2.5S-83engine
Fastest lap: Guy Moll (Alfa Romeo) on lap 15 in 10m51s = 142.7 km/h (88.6 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 129.6 km/h (80.5 mph)
Weather: start wet after rain; race windy with intermittent rain showers.
In retrospect:
Top speeds timed: Below are the times taken during the race at the one kilometer timed section of the Monte Silvano downhill straight, time in seconds, average speed and the number of lap when timed.
1.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) 12.4s = 290.322 km/h (1. lap)(Note 2)
2.Henne (Mercedes-Benz) 12.4s = 290.322 km/h (1.)
3.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz) 12.8s = 281.250 km/h (3.)
4.Sebastian (Auto Union)13.0s = 276.923 km/h (11.)
5.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)13.2s = 272.727 km/h (1.)
6.Moll (Alfa Romeo)13.4s = 268.656 km/h (13.)
7.Stuck (Auto Union)13.8s = 264.705 km/h (2.)
8.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)14.0s = 257.142 km/h (2.)
9.Ghersi/Varzi (Alfa Romeo)14.2s = 263.620 km/h (7.)
10.Nuvolari (Maserati)14.4s = 250.000 km/h (3.)
11.Brivio (Bugatti)14.4s = 250.000 km/h (12.)
12.Zehender (Maserati)15.4s = 233.766 km/h (6.)
13.Straight (Maserati)15.6s = 230.769 km/h (3.)
14.Howe (Maserati)15.6s = 230.769 km/h (3.)
15.Penn-Hughes (Alfa Romeo)15.8s = 227.848 km/h (11.)
16.Corsi (Maserati)16.4s = 219.512 km/h (1.)
17.Hamilton (Maserati)16.6s = 216.867 km/h (3.)

Contradictions encountered: An earlier edition of this report included alternative race numbers we thought to have been used during practice. The source for those numbers was Paul Sheldon's book and while such numbers might have been published pre-race, we have failed to find any evidence that those numbers were actually implemented.
      Felice Bonetto #38 was previously shown in a Maserati 8CM which could not be confirmed. Instead he was entered in an Alfa Romeo probably the same Monza 8C-2600 he had raced earlier at Alessandria and Tripoli.
      Goffredo Zehender #42 drove his Maserati, which was confirmed by the Gazetta dello Sport entry list. Two photographs showing the #42 car support this.
      Secondo Corsi #58 was previously shown to be entered by the Maserati Works in their 16-cylinder Maserati V5 which could not be substantiated. Corsi instead entered independently with a Maserati 26M.
      The #60 car was a Maserati to be driven by Zehender, confirmed by Il Littoriale. However, Zehender drove the #42 Maserati of which there are pictures but none of the #60 car. The #60 Maserati did not appear.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
DDAC-Motorwelt, München
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
Kölnische Zeitung, Köln
La Stampa, Torino
Le Figaro, Paris
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
The Motor, London
Special thanks to:
Adam Ferrington
Hugo Boecker
Michael Müller

1. I an earlier edition of this report there had been confusion whether Caracciola raced car #28 and Fagioli #50 or vice versa. Caracciola started with a dark rain coat instead of his usual white overall and head gear. That fact has fooled even the best motor sports historicans including Karl Ludvigsen, Chris Nixon and Paul Sheldon. Hans Etzrodt and Tony Kaye have made a great effort in trying to get the facts right for me by tracking down old pictures and reports from old magazines. I'm glad to announce that the result of their work was later confirmed by Stan Peschel at Daimler AG.
2. I have left the table as it was published but as times were taken with 0.1s accuracy, of course the speeds ought to be rounded off to max one decimal be matematically correct.

Star 18 August 1934: A race meeting was held at Donington Park.
5 lap scratch races were won by G. W. Everitt (MG 0.7 litre), P.Maclure (Riley 1.1 litre) - two races.
Handicap races were won by G. W. Everitt (MG 0.7 litre), C. Paul (Riley 1.8 litre) - two races, C.S. staniand (Bugatti 2.3 litre)



Nice (F), 19 August 1934
100 laps x 3.214 km (1.997 mi) = 321.4 km (199.7 mi)


2Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariMaserati8CM3.0S-8
4Raymond SommerR. SommerMaserati8CM3.0S-8
6Philippe EtancelinP. EtancelinMaserati8CM3.0S-8
8Earl HoweEarl HoweBugattiT512.3S-8
10Goffredo ZehenderConde de VillapadiernaMaserati8CM3.0S-8
12Robert BrunetR. BrunetBugattiT512.3S-8
14Hans RüeschH. RüeschMaserati8CM3.0S-8
16Alberto Dell'OrtoScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
18Giovanni MinozziScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
20René DreyfusAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT593.3S-8
22José de VillapadiernaConte de VillapadiernaMaserati8CM2.5S-4
24Whitney StraightWhitney Straight Ltd.Maserati8CM3.0S-8
26Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
28Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
30Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
32Pierre VeyronP. VeyronBugattiT512.3S-8
34Victor MarretV. MarretBugattiT512.3S-8
36"André Delmo"A. DelomBugattiT512.3S-8

Varzi a lap ahead

by Leif Snellman
The three Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeos of Chiron, Trossi and Varzi were facing seven Maserati drivers including Nuvolari, Etancelin and Straight and six Bugatti drivers including Veyron and Dreyfus, the latter taking pole position. At the start Varzi and Chiron took the lead positions. Behind them Nuvolari and Dreyfus started a duel. Dreyfus was able to pass Nuvolari, who did his best to re-pass. Both passed Chiron who had made a mistake. The duel ended when Dreyfus missed the braking point in a corner and went straight into the straw bales. Now the race developed into a fight between arch rivals Varzi and Nuvolari both crushing the lap records. That proved to be too much for Nuvolari's engine and he had to retire with a broken piston. Chiron retired with engine trouble. Varzi held a firm lead followed by Trossi and Etancelin. With just a few laps remaining Trossi's car got out of fuel and he lost second position to Etancelin. Varzi took the victory finishing a lap ahead of Etancelin. After pushing his car to the pit for refuelling Trossi finished third ahead of the Maserati cars of de Villapadierna and Zehender.
The popular Grand Prix de Nice organized by l'Automobile Club de Nice et Côte d'Azur was raced for the third time. As before the course went along the roads of the famous holiday resort, up and down the Promenade des Anglais with a hairpin in each end and around Jardin Albert Premier. The length of the main straight was 1370m while the other two straights were 779m and 329 m.
      The length of the race had been increased from 95 laps in 1933 to 100 laps for a total of 321.4 km. Prizes offered were 50,000, 25,000, 15,000 and 10,000 francs for the top four finishers plus a multitude of extra trophies and prizes.
Scuderia Ferrari initially entered three Alfa Romeo P3s for Louis Chiron, Achille Varzi and Guy Moll. After Moll's fatal accident at Coppa Acerbo he was replaced by Count Trossi. With the team racing four cars at Coppa Acerbo and three at Nice just four days later, Trossi raced a rebuilt 1933 car with slotted skirts.
      Scuderia Siena entered two Alfa Romeo Monzas for Giovanni Minozzi and Alberto Dell'Orto. The latter was replacing Soffietti, who for some reason had suffered a suspension by RACI (Reale Automobile Club d'Italia).
      There were no less than seven Maserati 8CMs present entered by Raymond Sommer (blue #3006 - offset seater), Philippe Etancelin (blue #3010), Whitney Straight (white-blue #3012?), Tazio Nuvolari (red #3018), Conde de Villapadierna for himself and for Goffredo Zehender (yellow #3019 and #3020) and Hans Rüesch (white-red #3022).
      René Dreyfus raced a works Bugatti T59 and Pierre Veyron a de facto works T51. Other Bugatti T51s were raced by Earl Howe, Robert Brunet, Victor Marret and "Delmo" (Andre Delom). Howe replaced Penn Hughes, who was on the initial entry list.
There were three practice sessions, Thursday to Saturday from 7 to 8 a.m. The first practice was just one day after Coppa Acerbo, where Chiron, Varzi, Nuvolari, Straight, Zehender and Howe had all been racing, so naturally there was no time for them to be present.
      In fact only six drivers took part in the first session with Dreyfus putting in 15 laps including an incredible one of 1m43s. Etancelin did 26 laps (1m49s), Veyron 11 laps (1m52s), Brunet 14 laps before the car broke down (1m56s), Delmo 18 laps (1m56s) and Marret 9 laps (1m57s).
      In the evening the Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo cars and drivers appeared. There had been wild rumours about Chiron's condition after the Coppa Acerbo pit fire but he turned up with a bandage on his head, assuring it was just a light burn and that he was ready to race even if he was naturally shaken by Moll's fatal accident.
      Friday practice session was already attended by a decent number of spectators. Ten cars took part in it the while Etancelin who felt tired decided not to participate. Dreyfus and Chiron were equal fastest both putting in a 1m45s lap while Varzi and Trossi made 1m48s laps.
      Straight made the highest number of laps 23, Chiron did 20 while Veyron made only three laps. The full list of times can be seen below.
      All the competitors with the exception of Marret took part in the Saturday practice session. No one came near Dreyfus' Thursday time. Dreyfus himself, while doing many laps, did not aim for any fast laps. Varzi and Nuvolari put in laps of 1m44s to put themselves into the front row of the grid. Trossi, Etancelin, Chiron and Straight all made 1m45s laps (110.2 km/h). Note that during the event only times in full seconds were published while times probably were taken with 1/5 s accuracy as usually. That might explain why Chiron was only qualified sixth while he made a 1m45s lap already on Friday. The practice times can be seen here:

Dreyfus (Bugatti)1m43s1m45s?
Varzi (Alfa Romeo)-1m48s1m44s
Nuvolari (Maserati)--1m44s
Trossi (Alfa Romeo)-1m48s1m45s
Etancelin (Maserati)1m49s-1m45s
Chiron (Alfa Romeo)-1m45s1m45s
Straight (Maserati)-1m52s1m45s
Rüesch (Maserati)--1m51s
Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)-1m51s1m58s
Sommer (Maserati)-1m54s1m52s
Veyron (Bugatti)1m52s1m55s1m52s
Zehender (Maserati)--1m52s
Delmo (Bugatti)1m56s-1m53s
Villapadierna (Maserati)--1m56s
Brunet (Bugatti)1m56s1m56s1m56s
Marret (Bugatti)1m57s1m57s-
Dell'Orto (Alfa Romeo)--2m05s
Howe (Bugatti)--2m08s
The Sunday weather was sunny and very hot. Some 70,000 spectators turned up for the afternoon race. At 3.45 p.m. the cars and drivers were presented to the spectators as they were pushed by the mechanics past the pits in a slow procession.
      Then they took their grid positions in qualifying order. Due to the hot conditions Trossi raced his Alfa Romeo without cowling between the engine and the cockpit and with the driver's legs in the open air.
Pole Position



Alfa Romeo






Alfa Romeo






Alfa Romeo




Alfa Romeo














Alfa Romeo



As Charles Faroux dropped the flag at exactly four o'clock Varzi took the lead. Chiron making one of his good (false?) starts followed him in second position as the 18 cars rushed away to the first hairpin at Boulevard Gambiella. And it was not long before they reappeared for the crowd at the main stand to complete their first lap with Varzi in the lead followed by Chiron, Nuvolari, Dreyfus, Etancelin, Trossi and the rest.
      There were no changes among the top positions during the second and third lap. On the fourth lap Dreyfus passed Nuvolari for third place. The race order after five laps looked like this:
1.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)8m59s  (107.3 km/h)
2.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)9m02s
3.Dreyfus (Alfa Romeo)9m03s
4.Nuvolari (Maserati)9m05s
5.Straight (Maserati)9m12s
6.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)9m15s
7.Etancelin (Maserati)9m19s
8.Zehender (Maserati)9m34s
9.Rüesch (Maserati)9m37s
10.Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)9m44s
11.Veyron (Bugatti)9m49s
12.Villapadierna (Maserati)9m53s
13.Howe (Bugatti)10m05s
14.Sommer (Maserati)10m10s
15.Brunet (Bugatti)10m11s
16.Delmo (Bugatti)10m19s
17.Marret (Bugatti)10m20s
18.Dell'Orto (Alfa Romeo)10m30s

On the seventh lap Chiron made a mistake and dropped to fourth position, being passed by Dreyfus and Nuvolari. At the end of the lap Sommer made a pit stop to change spark plugs.
      On the eighth lap Varzi already put the last man in the field, Marret, a lap down. In the duel for second position Nuvolari managed to re-pass Dreyfus. That forced Dreyfus to try too hard because on the ninth lap he spun at the boulevard Gambetta hairpin on the Promenade des Anglais and struck the straw bales. Soon afterwards Rüesch visited the straw bales as well but while he was able to continue, the engine on Dreyfus' Bugatti had stalled. Despite using the handle at the side of the car until he was exhausted Dreyfus failed to restart the car and he had to give up the race. At the end of the ninth lap Sommer gave up and retired his Maserati to the pit with mechanical trouble. Varzi made a new lap record of 1m45s (110.2 km/h) beating Nuvolari's old record by two seconds.
      Varzi made ten laps in 17m50s (108.1 km/h), leading 11 seconds over Nuvolari, 20 seconds over Chiron and 30 seconds over Trossi. Then followed Straight (+31s), Etancelin (+40s), Zehender (+1m01s), Minozzi, Rüesch and Veyron.
      On the 11th lap Nuvolari, who was in great form and chasing his arch rival, answered Varzi by making the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1m44s (111.3 km/h).
      On the 12th lap Dell'Orto stopped his Alfa Romeo in the pit and gave it over to Sommer, who minutes earlier still had raced a Maserati and who formally didn't belong to Scuderia Siena, but doubtless was a better driver. Delmo retired his Bugatti with spark plug troubles.
      On the 13th lap Straight, who was in fifth position, went into the straw bales at the Gambetta hairpin on the Promenade and had to retire his Maserati with a bent axle. On the 14th lap Brunet made a pit stop with a broken fuel pipe. The race order after 15 laps (note that Sommer is missing from the list):
1.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)26m45s  (108.1 km/h)
2.Nuvolari (Maserati)27m01s
3.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)27m21s
4.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)27m25s
5.Etancelin (Maserati)27m36s
6.Zehender (Maserati)28m12s
7.Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)28m39s
8.Rüesch (Maserati)28m41s
9.Villapadierna (Maserati)29m06s
10.Veyron (Bugatti)29m09s
11.Howe (Bugatti)29m46s
12.Dell'Orto (Alfa Romeo)31m02s
13.Marret (Bugatti)32m07s
14.Brunet (Bugatti)46m27s

On the 17th lap Varzi equalled Nuvolari's lap record of 1m44s.
      Varzi's time at 20 laps was 35m42s (108.0 km/h). He was leading Nuvolari, who was in trouble and was slowing down, by 34 seconds. Behind them Trossi had caught Chiron. They were 48 and 47 seconds respectively behind Varzi. The were followed by Etancelin (+1m02s), Zehender (+1m43s), Howe, Minozzi, Rüesch, Villapadierna, Veyron and Marret.
      On the 21st lap Trossi passed Chiron for third position but the duo continued their duel racing close together. On the 23rd lap Sommer retired for the second time of the day, this time with a damaged rear axle of the Monza.
      On the 22nd lap Nuvolari struggling with his car made a pit stop. The car was refuelled fast but the stop lasted 3 ½ minutes as the mechanics worked on an engine problem. Zehender also stopped in the pit but that stop was faster lasting just 1 ½ minute.
      At 25 laps, a quarter of the distance, the situation was:
1.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)44m43s  (107.8 km/h)
2.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)45m38s
3.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)45m39s
4.Etancelin (Maserati)45m59s
5.Rüesch (Maserati)47m34s
6.Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)47m40s
7.Zehender (Maserati)48m07s
8.Villapadierna (Maserati)48m11s
9.Veyron (Bugatti)48m38s
10.Howe (Bugatti)49m34s
11.Marret (Bugatti)53m39s
12.Brunet (Bugatti)1h06m04s

At the end of the 27th lap Nuvolari stopped again at his box to retire with a broken piston. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers now held the top three positions. The race for the victory had lost much of its interest and with Varzi in a secure lead the spectators now concentrated on the fight between Trossi and Chiron instead. On the 30th lap Chiron passed his team-mate moving up to second position. Varzi made 30 laps in 54m01s (107.1 km/h). He had slowed down so that he did the last five laps at an average time of 1m51.6s He was still leading Chiron by 52 seconds while Trossi was just one second behind the latter. Then followed Etancelin (+1m012s), Rüesch (+3m24s), Zehender (+3m25s), Howe (+3m32s), Minozzi, Villapadierna, Veyron, Marret and Brunet.
      On the 32rd lap Trossi managed to regain second place from Chiron. Varzi was a bit faster than earlier doing 1m48s laps. At 35 laps the average spped had dropped further:
1.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h03m07s  (106.9 km/h km/h)
2.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)1h03m54s
3.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)1h04m04s
4.Etancelin (Maserati)1h04m25s
5.Zehender (Maserati)1h06m37s
6.Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)1h06m50s
7.Rüesch (Maserati)1h06m55s
8.Villapadierna (Maserati)1h06m57s
9.Howe (Bugatti)1h07m25s
10.Veyron (Bugatti)1h07m56s
11.Marret (Bugatti)1h14m52s
12.Brunet (Bugatti)1h24m14s

The newspapers failed to give Varzi's time or speed at 40 laps but he was leading Trossi by 41 seconds, Chiron by 56 seconds and Etancelin by 1m18s. Villapadierna passed Rüesch for seventh position and Veyron Howe for ninth position. Otherwise the situation remained the same. The race order after 45 laps:
1.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h21m03s  (107.1 km/h)
2.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)1h21m52s
3.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)1h22m08s
4.Etancelin (Maserati)1h22m38s
5.Zehender (Maserati)1h25m01s
6.Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)1h25m47s
7.Villapadierna (Maserati)1h25m48s
8.Rüesch (Maserati)1h25m56s
9.Veyron (Bugatti)1h27m01s
10.Howe (Bugatti)1h28m45s
11.Marret (Bugatti)1h35m52s
12.Brunet (Bugatti)1h44m36s

On the 47th lap Varzi lapped fourth positioned Etancelin, who however did not submit to that without a fight. Further back Veyron was re-passed by Howe. A sign from the Scuderia Ferrari box asked Varzi to increase the speed a bit and he complied by opening up the gap to Trossi to one minute doing 50 laps in 1h29m51s (107.3 km/h). Behind them followed Chiron (+1m13s), Etancelin (+1m57s), Zehender (+4m27s), Villapadierna (+5m18s), Minozzi (+5m31s), Rüesch (+5m36s) and Howe (+6m34s).
      Minozzi passed Villapadierna for sixth position. Rüesch made a 3 minutes stop for refuelling dropping to 10th position. He was complaining of serious burns on his left foot from the hot gearbox. After 55 laps the situation looked like this:
1.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h38m56s  (107.2 km/h)
2.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)1h39m48s
3.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)1h40m12s
4.Etancelin (Maserati)1h40m59s
5.Zehender (Maserati)1h42m27s
6.Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)1h44m50s
7.Villapadierna (Maserati)1h44m52s
8.Howe (Bugatti)1h46m07s
9.Veyron (Bugatti)1h47m56s
10.Rüesch (Maserati)1h49m30s
11.Marret (Bugatti)1h56m30s
12.Brunet (Bugatti)2h04m10s

Varzi made 60 laps in 1h48m03s (107.1 km/h). The race order among the top five remained the same as before. On the 61th lap Chiron arrived at a slow pace to the pit. The mechanics refuelled and changed plugs on the Alfa Romeo and tried to find out the reason for an engine trouble. The stop took at least four minutes (one source says 5 ½ minutes) and when Chiron finally returned to the race he had lost positions to Etancelin and Zehender. But the engine still refused to run properly and after one slow lap Chiron returned to the pit where after a long examination the car was retired with a broken valve. Meanwhile Veyron made a stop the change spark plugs.
      With three of the favourites, Dreyfus, Nuvolari and Chiron, out of the race Varzi now had full control and slowed down again so after 65 laps the situation was:
1.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h57m09s  (107.0 km/h)
2.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)1h58m02s
3.Etancelin (Maserati)1h59m30s
4.Zehender (Maserati)1h59m57s
5.Villapadierna (Maserati)2h03m41s
6.Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)2h03m56s
7.Veyron (Bugatti)2h05m05s
8.Howe (Bugatti)2h07m27s
9.Rüesch (Maserati)2h08m17s
10.Marret (Bugatti)2h17m04s
11.Brunet (Bugatti)2h25m36s

Varzi made 70 laps in 2h06m14s (106.9 km). The race had reached a monotonous stage and there was no change in the race order during the next five laps so the order after 75 laps looked like this:
1.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)2h15m23s  (106.8 km/h)
2.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)2h16m37s
3.Etancelin (Maserati)2h17m53s
4.Zehender (Maserati)2h21m40s
5.Villapadierna (Maserati)2h22m23s
6.Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)2h23m00s
7.Veyron (Bugatti)2h25m23s
8.Howe (Bugatti)2h26m43s
9.Marret (Bugatti)2h37m46s
10.Brunet (Bugatti)2h46m19s

On the 76th lap Zehender made a 29 seconds stop to add some fuel, keeping on to his fourth position. After 80 laps Rüesch could not stand the heat and burns from the gearbox on his leg anymore and gave up the race. That moved Marret to 9th and Brunet to 10th position.
      Minozzi stopped to refuel but soon after that the Alfa Romeo broke down on the main straight. Half the field had now retired leaving nine cars in the race. After 85 laps Varzi was 1m22s ahead of Trossi:
1.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)2h34m04s  (106.4 km/h)
2.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)2h35m26s
3.Etancelin (Maserati)2h36m21s
4.Zehender (Maserati)2h39m59s
5.Villapadierna (Maserati)2h41m01s
6.Veyron (Bugatti)2h44m32s
7.Howe (Bugatti)2h46m15s
8.Marret (Bugatti)2h58m34s

Varzi made 90 laps in 2h43m16s (106.3 km/h) leading Trossi by 27 seconds and Etancelin by 1m15s. There were worries about the fuel situation at the Scuderia Ferrari pit and orders were sent to their drivers. Varzi slowed down but Trossi slowed down even more and he was lapped by Varzi on the 92nd lap. On the same lap Zehender made a new pit stop losing fourth position to Villapadierna.
      The race seemed to be more or less settled when on the 95th lap Trossi, who had Etancelin close behind him, suddenly came to a halt on the circuit. The Alfa Romeo was out of fuel. Luckily he had stopped only 200 meters from the pit so he jumped out and started pushing the car. The order after 95 laps:
1.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)2h52m37s  (106.1 km/h)
2.Etancelin (Maserati)2h54m53s
3.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)2h58m36s
4.Villapadierna (Maserati)2h59m35s
5.Zehender (Maserati)2h59m46s
6.Veyron (Bugatti)3h03m33s

Varzi took the chequered flag to win the race with Etancelin right behind him but a lap down. The average lap time for the last ten laps for Varzi, who obviously was saving fuel, was 1m54s. After having reached the pit Trossi's car was refuelled in a hurry and Trossi went out to take the flag in third position followed by the two yellow cars of Villapadierna and Zehender. As usual it proved impossible for the French gendarmerie to stop the crowd from invading the track. Veyron, Howe, Marret and Brunet were flagged to a halt.



1.28Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-81003h02m19s
2.6Philippe EtancelinP. EtancelinMaserati8CM3.0S-8993h02m20s
3.30Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8973h02m44s
4.22José de VillapadiernaConte de VillapadiernaMaserati8CM2.5S-4973h03m19s
5.10Goffredo ZehenderConde de VillapadiernaMaserati8CM3.0S-8973h03m29s
6.32Pierre VeyronP. VeyronBugattiT512.3S-895
7.8Earl HoweEarl HoweBugattiT512.3S-894
8.34Victor MarretV. MarretBugattiT512.3S-887
DNF18Giovanni MinozziScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8~84mechanical
9.12Robert BrunetR. BrunetBugattiT512.3S-882
DNF14Hans RüeschH. RüeschMaserati8CM3.0S-879driver
DNF26Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-861engine
DNF2Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariMaserati8CM3.0S-827piston
DNF16A. Dell'Orto / R. SommerScuderia SienaAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-822axle
DNF36"André Delmo"A. DelomBugattiT512.3S-812spark plugs
DNF24Whitney StraightWhitney Straight Ltd.Maserati8CM3.0S-812axle
DNF4Raymond SommerR. SommerMaserati8CM3.0S-89mechanical
DNF20René DreyfusAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT593.3S-88crash
Fastest lap: T. Nuvolari (Maserati) on lap 11 and A. Varzi (Alfa Romeo) on lap 17 in 1m44s = 111.2 km/h (69.1 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 105.8 km/h (65.7 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 111.2 km/h (69.1 mph)
Weather: sunny and very hot.
In retrospect:
As usual the race reports, even when quite detailed as those from "L'Eclaireur de Nice" and "L'Auto", differ on which laps the events happened. The report above is therefore an educated guess, trying to get the reports and the intermediate time lists to fit with each other.

Interestingly, while Minozzi raced car number 18, a picture of the grid shows that the Monza had just a "8" on the radiator.

Some books claim that Varzi (also) had burned his leg on the gearbox. I have an idea that the source of that story is the race report in "The Motor", were there is a possible mix-up between Varzi and Rüesch, the report saying that the driver first struck the hay bales at the Albert Premier Gardens corner and then made a pit stop. There is no indication in any other source that Varzi had made a pit stop.

Primary sources researched for this article:
L'Auto, Paris
Automobile & Tourisme sur la Cote D'Azur, Nice
Echo de Paris, Paris
L'Eclaireur de Nice et du Sud-Est, Nice
Le Figaro, Paris
La Stampa, Torino
IL Littoriale, Roma
The Motor, London
Motor Sport, London

Star 19 August 1934: Hans Stuck (Auto Union) wins Großer Bergpreis von Deutschland hillclimb in Freiburg Germany.
Star 25 August 1934: Bill Winn (Miller) wins the 100 lap Springfield Indycar championship race.


© 2019 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt, Felix Muelas - Last updated: 17.11.2019