1930 Monaco Grand Prix 1st René Dreyfus (Bugatti)1930 Monaco Grand Prix 2nd Louis Chiron (Bugatti)1930 Monaco Grand Prix 3rd Guy Bouriat (Bugatti)


Circuit de Monaco - Monte Carlo (MC), 6 April 1930
100 laps x 3.180 km (1.976 mi) = 318.0 km (197.6 mi)


2Max Arco-ZinnebergGraf Arco-ZinnebergMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6
4Rudolf CaracciolaR. CaracciolaMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6DNS - excluded
6Ernst Günther BurggallerGerman Bugatti TeamBugattiT37A1.5S-4
8Hans StuckH. StuckAustro-DaimlerADM-R3.6S-6
10Emil FranklE. FranklSteyr4.5S-6DNA - did not appear
12Georges BourianoG. BourianoBugattiT35B2.3S-8
14Juan ZanelliJ. ZanelliBugattiT35B2.3S-8
16Guy BouriatAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
18Louis ChironAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
20Michel DoréM. DoréBugattiT37A1.5S-4
22René DreyfusEcurie FriederichBugattiT35B2.3S-8
24Philippe EtancelinP. EtancelinBugattiT35C2.0S-8
26Marcel LehouxM. LehouxBugattiT35B2.3S-8
28"W.Williams"Automobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
30Bobby BowesR. BowesFrazer Nash1.5S-4DNS - excluded
32Luigi ArcangeliOfficine Alfieri MaseratiMaserati26B2.1S-8
34Baconin BorzacchiniOfficine Alfieri MaseratiMaserati26B2.0S-8
36Clemente BiondettiScuderia MaterassiTalbot7001.5S-8
38Emil BourlierScuderia MaterassiTalbot7001.5S-8DNA - withdrawn
40Enzo FerrariScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8DNA - did not appear
42Goffredo ZehenderG. ZehenderBugattiT35B2.3S-8
44VeličkovičVeličkovičBugattiT37A1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
46Hans StuberH. StuberBugattiT35C2.0S-8
?Giuseppe CampariScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8DNA - did not appear

Amateur driver Dreyfus defeats the factory Bugattis

by Hans Etzrodt
The Monaco Grand Prix was the first major event of the year with a very good entry of drivers and cars. But there were no Alfa Romeos driven by Varzi, Nuvolari and Campari. Also missing were Caracciola or British drivers besides Williams. Actually, it should have been called the Bugatti Grand Prix of Monaco since neither the year before nor on this occasion did any of the other makes have a chance of victory. The local hero, Louis Chiron, held a strong lead from lap one until his fuel stop on lap 83. Thereafter he was outfoxed by the upcoming independent driver, René Dreyfus, who was in top form and did not have to stop because he had an additional fuel tank installed in his car. Borzacchini (Maserati) held third position on lap ten but soon retired. After Dreyfus passed Chiron in a breathtaking move on lap 85, all attempts by Chiron to regain the lead were in vain. Of the 17 starters only six made it to the finish. Bouriat held second place for a long time and finished third. He was followed by independent drivers Zehender, Doré and Stuber.
The warm April sun had lured thousands to the French Riviera and Monaco, site of the season's first big race. Seldom had a grand prix attracted so many famous drivers and cars. For the first time a Totalizator and bookies for pari-mutuel betting were introduced. The betting booths were opened one week before the race. They were everywhere. One could place money on a driver. Louis Chiron was the favorite not just because he was a Monegasque but he was an established top driver and the lead driver of the Bugatti factory team. Dreyfus, from nearby Nice, was also well known and many wagers were placed on him as well. After the start of the race, bets could be made until lap 40.
      For many days Monaco was under the spell of this auto race, which was held this year for the second time. From morning until evening people discussed the possibilities. Drivers' names, cars, and technical terms were buzzing through the air. The loafers of the world and the public of the gambling casinos, who had their meeting place here in Monte Carlo, had their excitement. They had come to watch the wildest race in the world over 100 laps of the 3.180 km long street circuit through the principality of Monaco. The course began in the harbor in front of the grandstands on Boulevard Albert Premier then followed clockwise through the right turn at the little church of St. Dévote up the hill towards the Casino and in a curvy downhill section past the train station to the sea front. After passing through the tunnel there followed the only more or less straight stretch along the quay through the chicane. At its end loomed the challenging left hand Tabac Corner leading past the back of the pits to the Gasometer hairpin. Finally there were the pits with the start and finish area. With ten real corners per lap, it was a true test for brakes and engines. Dangers lurked everywhere. Just feet from the circuit's curbs were house walls, concrete posts, tunnel walls and the cliff edge above the sea. All dangerous sections were protected with sand bags to avoid serious accidents.
      The ACM (l'Automobile Club de Monaco) decided not to run the race to the fuel consumption formula. The entries were divided into five classes: class F (1.1 to 1.5-liter), class E (1.5 to 2.0-liter), class D (2.0 to 3.0-liter), class C (3.0 to 5.0-liter), and class B (5.0 to 8.0-liter). Driver changes were allowed only at the pits and replacement drivers had to be announced before the start. About the prizes, Monte Carlo was not to be ridiculed. The overall victor was to be presented with the valuable Prince of Monaco trophy and 100,000 francs, as well as a precious trophy donated by the hotel association of Monte Carlo. From second place down the rewards were 40,000, 30,000, 20,000 10,000 and 5,000 francs. The winners in the two smaller categories were to receive 20,000 francs each. There were 1000 francs for the drivers who led in their class at every tenth lap. This would make it possible for a driver, who led his class the entire race, to win 10,000 francs. For establishing the fastest lap under 2m15s (the existing lap record) there was a 3,000 franc prize. The entry fee of 2,000 francs was to be returned at the start of the car. A week before the race, 200 franc seat tickets were sold out. Only a few in the grandstand for 1,000 francs were still available.
The ACM's closing date for entries was March 6. Over 40 registrations were received and only 24 of these would be accepted. It is interesting that two big names did not appear on this list of 24, namely Achille Varzi and Tazio Nuvolari. The reason for that was unknown. Most probably they planned to practice for the upcoming Mille Miglia on April 12-13. Of the 24 entries accepted by the ACM, seven did not make the start. A week before the race, Edmund Bourlier was the first one to cancel. The Talbot he planned to drive was the one in which Brilli-Peri was killed two weeks earlier. There was just not enough time for the needed repairs and shipping the Talbot back from Africa. Another car of this type was not available. The Austrian Emil Frankl in a Steyr and Veličkovič from Serbia (part of the later Yugoslavia) in a 1.5-liter Bugatti, did not show up. The two P2 Alfa Romeos for the Italians Enzo Ferrari and Giuseppe Campari did not appear because these cars were still being modified at the factory. Bobby Bowes from England with a 1.5-liter Frazer-Nash replaced Malcolm Campbell with his 1927 Delage on the list of 24. However, Bowes was too slow in practice and was not permitted to race. The last driver not making the start was Rudolf Caracciola with his heavy 7.1-liter Mercedes-Benz SSK. When the German received the ACM invitation for the race, he had first sent a negative reply at the beginning of March, as did Hans Stuck. Then later in March Caracciola and Stuck agreed to attend. Thereafter Caracciola called off his start at the last moment. Why exactly he did so could not be established by the journalists and his action caused considerable wonderment. According to journalists' reports, the reason was supposedly that Caracciola wished to concentrate fully on the Mille Miglia the following weekend. There were other suggestions. One was that he would start against Louis Chiron but not Hans Stuck. Another opinion was that the heavy sports car stood no chance against the thoroughbred grand prix cars from Bugatti. This, however, had been repeatedly pointed out in the past, even by Daimler-Benz. Finally, the account that Caracciola was not allowed to start because the car was not safe or suited for the circuit was not convincing at all since Count Arco's similar car, a 7.1-liter SSK was allowed to start. Caracciola regarded that participation in the Mille Miglia offered him a greater chance of success. Despite this, he made his entry for Monte Carlo because the closing date for Monaco was before the Mille Miglia date at which all arrangements for his participation were given. Caracciola had notified the organizer in Monte Carlo about his non-appearance one week before the race and because of his absence had excused himself in writing.
      Louis Chiron, W. Williams and Guy Bouriat were entered by the Molsheim factory in three T35C 2-liter works Bugattis instead of the more powerful T35B 2.3-liter cars. The reason given was that the T35C had more stamina and was easier to handle on the winding circuit. This did not make much sense since the chassis was the same. The only difference was about 15 more horse power and better acceleration for the T35B but slightly higher fuel consumption. Nine additional Bugattis were at the start, all private entries. Frenchman Philippe Etancelin and Swiss hill climb champion Hans Stuber had T35C Bugattis. René Dreyfus came with his T35B 2.3-liter Bugatti from nearby Nice. On March 2 he had won at St. Raphael and three weeks later at La Turbie, breaking Bergkönig Hans Stuck's record from the year before. These two victories had filled Dreyfus with confidence and the knowledge that he could win races with his newly acquired T35B. He had his car prepared and entered by Ernest Friderich, the Bugatti dealer in Nice, who as former top mechanic and driver for Bugatti had good connections with the factory. Dreyfus had bought this T35B, a 1929 works model, from him. As reported by Dreyfus, he had a dream about adding an auxiliary fuel tank to avoid the otherwise necessary fuel stop. Accordingly he had an additional 30-liter fuel tank installed in place of the empty passenger seat, open for all to see. This tank would hold just enough fuel to complete the 100 lap race and would save time by eliminating the usual necessary stop for fuel. After scrutinizing had taken place, his modifications were no more a secret. Dreyfus wrote in his memories: "The Bugatti team was amused. I said nothing." The other four Type T35B Bugattis were driven by Italian Geoffredo Zehender, Chilean Juan Zanelli, Algerian Marcel Lehoux and Belgian Georges Bouriano in a yellow Bugatti. The Frenchman Michel Doré, who finished eighth in the previous year's race and German Ernst Günther Burggaller drove their type T37A 1.5-liter Bugattis.
      The Maserati works team abandoned their plan of entering the tipo V4, their 16-cylinder 4-liter car producing immense power. Instead they arrived with the less potent 155 hp 2.0-liter tipo 26B's for Italians Luigi Arcangeli and Baconin Borzacchini, however Arcangeli's 26B was bored to 2.1-liter. The Italian, Clemente Biondetti, started with a Scuderia Materassi 1.5-liter Talbot. Another of the better known drivers was the German Hans Stuck (although he was entered as an Austrian), who days before had won two small races at the French Riviera near Cannes on March 30. His blue, rather long 3.6-liter Austro Daimler ADM-R 3.6R was primarily used for the short mountain climbs and not really suited to a long circuit race. From Germany came the young Count Max Arco von Zinneberg, driving a 7.1-liter Mercedes-Benz SSK.
Thursday was the first day of practice for one hour between 6 and 7 AM. On Saturday the L'Éclaireur de Nice published some of Friday's practice times of Chiron (Bugatti) with a lap of 2m23s, Bouriano (Bugatti) 2m23s, Dreyfus (Bugatti) 2m24s, Williams (Bugatti) 2m31s and Biondetti (Talbot) 2m32s. The times were slower than those on the following day, the reason being possibly unfavorable conditions.
      La Stampa reported some of Saturday's practice times on Sunday of Bouriano (Bugatti) 2m10s, Chiron (Bugatti) 2m12s, Williams (Bugatti) 2m13s, Dreyfus (Bugatti) 2m14s, Arcangeli (Maserati) 2m14s, Borzacchini (Maserati) 2m15s, and Biondetti (Talbot) 2m18s.
      The pari-mutuel betting Saturday's standing were Chiron 2.5/1, 'Williams' 5.5/1, Stuck 6/1, Dreyfus 7/1, Bouriano 8/1, Borzacchini 11/1, Count Arco 24/1, Stuber 35/1, Burggaller 40/1, Bouriat 45/1, Lehoux 53/1, Zanelli 59/1, Arcangeli 61/1, Etancelin 69/1, Doré 80/1, Biondetti 104/1, Zehender 104/1. It seems that the betters didn't know that much about racing. Chiron, the local boy, as favorite is reasonable, but Stuck at 6/1 was clearly influenced by those two short races near Cannes a few days before. An Austro Daimler to win at Monaco should have been a long shot.
In the early morning hours of Sunday crowds of people came pouring to the circuit. The mountain slopes were lined with colorful clusters of spectators. On the grandstands, the terraces and roofs of the hotels, which lined the race circuit with their palatial buildings, throngs of spectators had assembled to watch this spectacle. The pari-mutuel betting booths had been surrounded since early morning. The weather was wonderful.
      The drawing of lots before practice had a 20 car starting grid published by the organizers. But on the day of the race the order was changed. Since Bowes in row one, Ferrari in row three, and Frankl in row four were not going to take part, all cars, except Williams on "pole", moved forward from right to left to fill the empty spaces. At 12:30 PM the cars assembled accordingly on the starting grid in front of the filled grandstand.
Pole Position


































Dreyfus remembered that Chiron had not only a neat blue overall but he was the only one to wear a crash helmet, which he had picked up when racing 1929 at Indianapolis. All other drivers wore thin leather or cloth caps. At 1:07 PM Charles Faroux waved the flag to signal the start of the race and Chiron from row two took the lead going up the hill to the Casino, completing the first lap in 2m21s. Behind him with a deafening roar followed Williams, Stuber, Borzacchini, Bouriat, Zanelli, Zehender, Dreyfus, Lehoux, Stuck, Etancelin, Bouriano, Arcangeli, Doré, Biondetti, Burggaller and Count Arco.
      Chiron broke the lap record on the following lap with 2m13s and pulled away from Williams. Bouriat passed Borzaccini, Stuck overhauled Lehoux and Bouriano took Etancelin. The order of the 1500 cc class was Doré, Biondetti and Burggaller. Count Arco-Zinneberg was the first to retire on lap two. When driving through the tunnel, a stone kicked up by a car ahead smashed his goggles. The Austrian was able to bring the heavy Mercedes out of the tunnel, but once outside the half-blinded driver went over the curb and hit a house wall. This damaged the car to such an extent that he could not continue the race. Count Arco walked away with a slight injury above the eye.
      After three laps, Chiron was followed by Williams, Bouriat, Stuber, Borzacchini, Zanelli, Zehender, Dreyfus, Lehoux, Stuck, Bouriano, Etancelin, Arcangeli, Doré, Biondetti and Burggaller. Behind the leading three, a continuing battle developed with lots of action. Dreyfus was in eighth position. On lap four, the record lap fell to Arcangeli in the Maserati with a time of 2m12s. When Borzacchini in the Maserati passed Stuber, he found himself in fourth place.
      Williams stopped on lap seven at his pits where he lost four laps with magneto trouble while Bouriat inherited second position. On the same lap Borzacchini had to make a quick stop, the beginning of more problems to follow. At the end of lap eight Chiron caught up with the last car of the pack when he lapped Burggaller's small Bugatti. Bouriano had climbed from eleventh to third in only 7 laps. To overtake one car per lap on the Monaco circuit is pretty phenomenal. After count Arco retired with his Mercedes-Benz the field was down to 16 cars, coming after 10 laps past the line in the following order:
1.Chiron (Bugatti)22m19s
2.Bouriat (Bugatti)23m01s
3.Bouriano (Bugatti)23m03s
4.Borzacchini (Maserati)23m04s
5.Stuber (Bugatti)23m17s
6.Zanelli (Bugatti)23m18s
7.Dreyfus (Bugatti)23m21s
8.Zehender (Bugatti)23m27s
9.Lehoux (Bugatti)23m35s
10.Arcangeli (Maserati)23m42s
11.Etancelin (Bugatti)23m44s
12.Stuck (Austro Daimler)24m01s
13.Burggaller (Bugatti)25m09s1 lap behind
14.Doré (Bugatti)?
15.Biondetti (Talbot)?
16.Williams (Bugatti)?4 laps behind

On lap 12 Stuck brought his Austro Daimler to his pit and was stationary for a long time. On the same lap Bouriano established a new lap record at 2m11s. When Bouriano tried to pass Bouriat he collided with the sandbags at the chicane. After pushing his car and losing four laps, he joined the race again with damaged steering. Since Borzacchini in his Maserati had to make two more stops for brake drum problems, the Italian dropped towards the end of the field. When he tried to pass one of the Bugattis on lap 14, he was going too fast and hit a wall. Borzacchini was not injured and the damaged Maserati remained there for the rest of the race. Arcangeli later stopped racing for a moment when he gave his stranded team mate a ride to their hotel along the circuit. On lap 15 Bouriano retired due to the damaged steering on his Bugatti. Williams had serious problems with his engine and fell continuously further behind. Chiron established a new fastest lap with 2m10s on lap 15 but then had to stop briefly at his pit. Biondetti retired with mechanical problems of his Talbot. By the end of lap 16, Dreyfus had moved to third place after passing Stuber and Zanelli. The first seven cars were Bugattis with Zanelli and Stuber battling for fourth place while Zehender and Lehoux were fighting for sixth position. After Arco-Zinneberg, Borzacchini, Bouriano and Biondetti had retired there were only 13 cars left in the race. The order after 20 laps was as follows:
1.Chiron (Bugatti)44m17s
2.Bouriat (Bugatti)45m44s
3.Dreyfus (Bugatti)45m49s
4.Zanelli (Bugatti)46m05s
5.Stuber (Bugatti)46m06s
6.Zehender (Bugatti)46m29s1 lap behind
7.Lehoux (Bugatti)46m30s1 lap behind
8.Etancelin (Bugatti)46m36s1 lap behind
9.Arcangeli (Maserati)47m01s1 lap behind
10.Doré (Bugatti)49m01s2 laps behind
11.Burggaller (Bugatti)50m12s2 laps behind
12.Stuck (Austro Daimler)50m13s2 laps behind
13.Williams (Bugatti)54m43s4 laps behind

Stuck fell behind by almost two laps due to trouble with his automatic ignition timing. Williams and Arcangeli were already eight laps behind. On lap 30 Arcangeli retired his Maserati due to differential trouble and ineffective brakes. Stuber passed Zanelli for fourth place. Dreyfus was now only two seconds behind Bouriat and closing. . With the retirement of Arcangeli and Williams, the field was down to 11 cars after 30 laps in the following order:
1.Chiron (Bugatti)1h06m18s
2.Bouriat (Bugatti)1h08m20s
3.Dreyfus (Bugatti)1h08m22s
4.Stuber (Bugatti)1h08m37s1 lap behind
5.Zanelli (Bugatti)1h08m45s1 lap behind
6.Etancelin (Bugatti)1h09m09s
7.Lehoux (Bugatti)1h09m29s1 lap behind
8.Zehender (Bugatti)1h10m13s1 lap behind
9.Doré (Bugatti)1h13m07s3 laps behind
10.Burggaller (Bugatti)1h14m51s3 laps behind
11.Stuck (Austro Daimler)1h15m03s4 laps behind

Williams retired his Bugatti with mechanical problems down at the harbor. Chiron lapped consistently between 2m10s and 2m11s, pulling away from the field. Dreyfus lapped at the same speed, caught up with Bouriat, passed him and was now in second place, 2m02s behind the leader. When Stuck retired on lap 32 at his pit with a slipping clutch, it became a race between the ten Bugattis left in the race. After 40 laps the order behind Chiron was:
1.Chiron (Bugatti)1h28m21s
2.Dreyfus (Bugatti)1h30m24s
3.Bouriat (Bugatti)1h30m36s1 lap behind
4.Stuber (Bugatti)1h31m01s1 lap behind
5.Zanelli (Bugatti)1h31m14s1 lap behind
6.Etancelin (Bugatti)1h31m40s1 lap behind
7.Lehoux (Bugatti)1h32m14s1 lap behind
8.Zehender (Bugatti)1h32m57s2 laps behind
9.Doré (Bugatti)?5 laps back
10.Burggaller (Bugatti)?6 laps back

The public had been able to place wagers during the race, but after 40 laps the pari-mutuel betting ended. Everyone was convinced that Chiron was a sure winner and Dreyfus would place somewhere in front. Stuber had been 13 seconds ahead of Zanelli on lap 40, but was now 6 seconds behind. It wasn't that Zanelli had speeded up, though he was circulating at virtually the same speed as Bouriat. Rather it was Stuber who had slowed or lost time somewhere. The situation had not changed very much after the completion of 50 laps, except for Lehoux who had fallen to last place.
1.Chiron (Bugatti)1h50m22s
2.Dreyfus (Bugatti)1h52m13s
3.Bouriat (Bugatti)1h53m02s1 lap behind
4.Zanelli (Bugatti)1h53m38s1 lap behind
5.Stuber (Bugatti)1h53m44s1 lap behind
6.Etancelin (Bugatti)1h54m15s1 lap behind
7.Zehender (Bugatti)1h55m25s2 laps behind
8.Doré (Bugatti)?5 laps back
9.Burggaller (Bugatti)?6 laps back
10.Lehoux (Bugatti)?6 laps back

Lehoux retired with rear axle problems after lap 53. Dreyfus reduced the distance between himself and Chiron, but the Monegasque responded with faster lap speeds. On lap 55 Chiron broke Bouriano's lap record with a 2m09s lap. The duel between Chiron and Dreyfus continued with the private driver from Nice steadily gaining on the champion driver from Monaco. After 60 laps Dreyfus had reduced Chiron's advantage to 1m25s. Dreyfus was catching Chiron at around two seconds per lap, which would not have been enough if Chiron had not needed a pit stop. Looking at it another way, Dreyfus was two seconds a lap faster than Chiron despite having a heavier fuel load. Stuber had problems and fell from fifth to seventh position. After Lehoux retired, only 9 cars were left racing with the positions after 60 laps as follows:
1.Chiron (Bugatti)2h12m33s
2.Dreyfus (Bugatti)2h13m58s
3.Bouriat (Bugatti)2h15m39s1 lap behind
4.Zanelli (Bugatti)2h16m33s1 lap behind
5.Zehender (Bugatti)2h18m17s2 laps behind
6.Etancelin (Bugatti)2h25m53s6 laps behind
7.Stuber (Bugatti)2h26m05s6 laps behind
8.Doré (Bugatti)2h27m01s6 laps behind
9.Burggaller (Bugatti?8 laps behind

Etancelin retired after 60 laps due to fuel pipe problems. Burggaller was second in the 1.5-liter class, two laps behind the superb Doré. The German almost failed to start in the race. When transporting the racing car, his mechanic had, through no fault of his own, an accident with a bicycle rider who was carrying a child on the handle bar. Although there was no injury to either of them, the mechanic was arrested and the car confiscated. Only after depositing 20,000 francs and through the assurance of the A.C.M., was the racing car released at the last hour. Therefore the German had started without any practice and with no knowledge of the circuit. Burggaller's race ended on lap 63 with engine trouble. Dreyfus, who kept gaining on Chiron, had made up an average of about 1.5 seconds per lap. Now all eyes were focused on Dreyfus' progress. Would Chiron allow him to get any closer? On lap 69 both Chiron and Dreyfus finished the lap in 2m09s. After 70 laps with the retirement of Etancelin and Burggaller the field had shrunk to seven cars.
1.Chiron (Bugatti)2h34m30s
2.Dreyfus (Bugatti)2h35m48s
3.Bouriat (Bugatti)2h38m22s1 lap behind
4.Zanelli (Bugatti)2h40m07s2 laps behind
5.Zehender (Bugatti)2h41m24s3 laps behind
6.Stuber (Bugatti)2h50m45s7 laps behind
7.Doré (Bugatti)2h54m31s9 laps behind

Dreyfus continued to make up time and Chiron answered with fast laps. On lap 72 Chiron established a new lap record in 2m08s. After 80 laps the order remained the same:
1.Chiron (Bugatti)2h56m19s
2.Dreyfus (Bugatti)2h57m41s
3.Bouriat (Bugatti)?
4.Zanelli (Bugatti)?
5.Zehender (Bugatti)?
6.Stuber (Bugatti)?
7.Doré (Bugatti)?

Now Chiron was signaled by his pit workers, who were worried that he might get stranded on the circuit with an empty tank. On lap 83, Chiron stopped for 50 seconds to refuel and change spark plugs to overcome an engine problem. He left his pits but only ten seconds later Dreyfus came by at top speed. By now word had gotten around that the young driver from Nice was not going to stop for fuel since no preparations for a pit visit were made at his depot. Dreyfus could see the leader ahead of him. Knowing that he could catch up pressed him to increase speed. Presumably Dreyfus was able to make even greater inroads because Chiron, for the first time in the race, did not have the advantage of a lighter fuel load. Dreyfus had the upper hand because he had the 2.3-liter engine. According to Dreyfus, he carried a "thermos in the cockpit filled with ice and cola (so that I could take a quick drink by merely pulling out a little pipe) I felt I was prepared for race day." The Bugatti team must have regretted their decision to race with the 2.0-liter engines. Dreyfus drove faster and with every lap he came several seconds closer. At the same time Chiron was shown pit signals that Dreyfus was closing. The leader had developed problems with his accelerator and was losing time. This was noticeable instantly also to Dreyfus when Chiron accelerated out of the Gasometer hairpin. Now Dreyfus mercilessly pressed on and according to Dreyfus' account, Chiron became so frustrated with his situation that he untied his bright blue Herbert Johnson helmet and tossed it away, speeding up the ramp to the casino. Dreyfus was able to take the lead on lap 85 and passed the grandstands three car lengths ahead of Chiron. On lap 88, Dreyfus broke Chiron's record with a 2m07s lap at a speed of 90.142 km/h, and the 3,000 francs award was his. Dreyfus was unable to shake off Chiron who clung close to his tail. After 90 laps, the gap remained by two seconds, the situation was now:
1.Dreyfus (Bugatti)3h19m27s
2.Chiron (Bugatti)3h19m29s
3.Bouriat (Bugatti)3h26m09s3 laps behind
4.Zanelli (Bugatti)3h27m57s3 laps behind
5.Zehender (Bugatti)3h29m09s4 laps behind
6.Stuber (Bugatti)?
7.Doré (Bugatti)?

The close struggle between the independent Dreyfus and Chiron in the factory Bugatti continued and kept everybody on their toes. As much as Chiron tried, his car, with the throttle stop now broken off, was just not able to keep up with Dreyfus who was slowly pulling away. The slight power advantage of the stronger Type 37B may have helped the inspired amateur from Nice as well. Bouriat stopped briefly at his pit but took off again immediately without losing his position. Stuber battled with his Bugatti's carburetion problems and fell further behind and lost his sixth place to Doré. Dreyfus had begun to experience vision problems because his goggles had become so dirty with soot and oil spray that he could only see clearly directly ahead. This was a disadvantage of not stopping at the pits to clean them. His palms were blistered, bloody and painful from the long race. On lap 95 Dreyfus had increased his advantage to 10 seconds. Zanelli retired four laps from the end after 92 laps completed.
      After 100 laps, Faroux swung down the checkered flag when the the victorious Dreyfus crossed the finish line to enormous applause after 3h41m02.6s at an average of 86.317 km/h, beating Williams' record of the previous year of 80.194 km/h. A disappointed Chiron finished 22 seconds later. The race continued for the other four cars, which had been lapped several times, to complete the 100 laps. Bouriat came third, followed by Zehender and Doré. Stuber's Bugatti had developed carburetor problems and was flagged off with 94 laps to his credit.



1.22René DreyfusEcurie FriderichBugattiT35B2.3S-81003h41m02.6s
2.18Louis ChironAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT35C2.0S-81003h41m24.4s+ 23.8s
3.16Guy BouriatAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT35C2.0S-81003h49m20.4s+ 8m17.8s
4.42Goffredo ZehenderG. ZehenderBugattiT35B2.3S-81003h51m39.6s+ 10m37.0s
5.20Michel DoréM. DoréBugattiT37A1.5S-41004h12m06.6s+ 31m04.0s
6.46Hans StuberH. StuberBugattiT35C2.0S-894flagged off
DNF14Juan ZanelliJ. ZanelliBugattiT35B2.3S-892mechanical
DNF6Ernst Günther BurggallerGerman Bugatti TeamBugattiT37A1.5S-462engine
DNF24Philippe EtancelinP. EtancelinBugattiT35C2.0S-860fuel pipe
DNF26Marcel LehouxM. LehouxBugattiT35B2.3S-847rear axle
DNF8Hans StuckH. StuckAustro-DaimlerADM-R3.6S-631clutch, brakes
DNF28"W.Williams"Automobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT35C2.0S-829mechanical
DNF32Luigi ArcangeliOfficine Alfieri MaseratiMaserati26B2.0S-829differential
DNF36Clemente BiondettiScuderia MaterassiTalbot7001.5S-814mechanical
DNF12Georges BourianoG. BourianoBugattiT35B2.3S-814steering damage
DNF34Baconin BorzacchiniOfficine Alfieri MaseratiMaserati26B2.0S-813brakes, crash
DNF2Max Arco-ZinnebergGraf Arco-ZinnebergMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-61crash
Fastest lap: René Dreyfus (Bugatti) on lap 88 in 2m07.0s = 90.1 km/h (56.0 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 86.3 km/h (53.6 mph)
Weather: warm, first sunshine, then overcast.
In retrospect:
The race had shown how good the racing cars were which the Molsheim factory sold to their customers and that a well-prepared customer car was equal to the factory car or that a private 2.3 was better than a works 2.0. This first major grand prix win for René Dreyfus established him as a desirable driver for race promoters. From now on he would be getting paid starting money to appear at races. Chiron was not happy about the outcome of the race. He did not talk to Dreyfus, the winner, as they walked to the grandstand to receive his trophy and flowers from Prince Louis II. Ettore Bugatti was upset that a private driver, Dreyfus, had dared to beat his works driver. To defeat the Bugatti factory team was for Dreyfus quite an accomplishment, a dream cherished by most private drivers. Dreyfus won a total of over 200,000 francs, which included the prize money from tire, oil and spark plug companies plus for the victor 1.2% of the total 386,550 Totalizator proceeds, while Chiron in second place received 0.6%. Bugatti had not only lost a lot of prestige and money, but also since the fuel, tire and brake companies were different, it affected the factory suppliers' ability to advertise. Dreyfus used Dunlop tires, Champion spark plugs, and Mobil oil. The Bugatti factory operated with Michelin tires, KLG spark plugs, and Esso oil.

The entire amount collected at the Totalizator was 386,550 francs.
The pari-mutuel paid for a 10 frank bet
      Dreyfus winning . 74 fr.
      Dreyfus place .... 31 fr.
      Chiron ............... 36 fr.
      Bouriat .............. 46 fr.
Regrettably, after the race, turmoil broke out, including fights at the betting booths. Many gamblers had doubts and were convinced that the race had been fixed. They believed that the plan was for Chiron to lead until lap 40, when pari-mutuel betting ended. Then Dreyfus was to take over and win the race, as long as a Bugatti won. They thought about the good fortunes of those gamblers who were in on the plot with Dreyfus and his team. After this episode no more bets of this kind were to be seen in Monte Carlo.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
AZ-Motorwelt, Brno
La Stampa, Torino
L'AUTO, Paris
L'Éclaireur de Nice
MOTOR, Berlin
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Special thanks to:
Robert Dick
Tony Kaye
Wolfgang Thierack

Achille Varzi (Alfa Romeo)Juan Zanelli (Bugatti)Enzo Ferrari (Alfa Romeo)


Circuito di Pietro Bordino - Alessándria (I), 20 April 1930
8 laps x 32 km (19.9 mi) = 256 km (159.1 mi)


Cars over 1100 cc engine capacity:
2Filippo SartorioF. SartorioAlfa Romeo6C 15001.5S-6
4Ugo DegioanniU. DegioanniBugattiDNA/DNS - did not appear/start
6Enzo FerrariScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo6C 1750 SS1.7S-6
8Alfredo CaniatoScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo6C 1500 SS1.5S-6
10Giovanni RomanoG. RomanoBugattiDNA/DNS - did not appear/start
12Antonio BrivioA. BrivioAlfa Romeo6C 15001.5S-6
14Mario DafarraM. DafarraAlfa Romeo6C 17501.7S-6
16Cleto NenzioniC. NenzioniMaserati26B2.0S-8
18Luigi BeccariaL. BeccariaXDNA/DNS - did not appear/start
20Filippo ArdizzoneF. ArdizzoneMaseratiS-8DNA/DNS - did not appear/start
22Giovanni AlloattiG. AlloattiBugattiT35B2.3S-8DNA/DNS - did not appear/start
24Georges BourianoG. BourianoBugattiT35B2.3S-8
26Angelo PeroniA. PeroniBugatti
28Louis DecaroliL. DecaroliBugattiT35A2.0S-8
30Arrigo SartorioA. SartorioMaserati261.5S-8
32Pietro GhersiP. GhersiXDNA/DNS - did not appear/start
34Giovanni MinozziG. MinozziBugattiT35C2.0S-8
36Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaAlfa Romeo6C17501.7S-6
38Giuseppe GileraG. GileraFiatDNA/DNS - did not appear/start
40Achille VarziA. VarziAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8
42Gian Pietro NenzioniG.P. NenzioniBugatti
44Amedeo RuggeriA. RuggeriO.M.6652.2S-6
46Juan ZanelliJ. ZanelliBugattiT35B2.3S-8
48Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariAlfa Romeo6C 1750 GS1.7S-6
?Hans StuberH.StuberBugattiT35C2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
?Giovanni ViolaG. ViolaDiatto ?DNA - did not appear
?Clemente BiondettiC. BiondettiTalbot ?DNA - did not appear
Cars up to 1100 cc engine capacity:
50Luigi CastelbarcoL. CastelbarcoAmilcar1.1S-6
52Louis DecaroliL. DecaroliSalmson1.1S-4DNS see #28
54Mario MoradeiM. MoradeiSalmson1.1S-4*
56Giacomo PalmieriG. PalmieriFiat5091.0S-4*
58Sergio CarnevalliS. CarnevalliRally-SCAP1.1S-4*
60Luigi PlatčL. PlatčLombardAL31.1S-4
62Victor MarretV. MarretSalmson1.1S-4
64Carlo PremoliC. PremoliSalmson1.1S-4
66Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmson1.1S-4
68Giovanni CavigliaG. CavigliaLombardAL31.1S-4**
70Giovanni SerraG. SerraLombardAL31.1S-4**
72François MartinattiF. MartinattiSalmson1.1S-4**
74Luigi FagioliL. FagioliSalmson1.1S-4
?Tony CarboneT. CarboneTony SpecialDNA - did not appear
?BeccariaBeccariaXDNA - did not appear
* One of these three cars started in the race.
** Two of these three cars started in the race.

Varzi scores with the new P2

by Hans Etzrodt & Leif Snellman
Bouriano (Bugatti) led the first half of the race but was then passed by Varzi, who was driving a rebuilt Alfa Romeo P2. Following Varzi Bouriano got surprised by a rain shower and crashed. After that Varzi drove home his first victory of the season without serious opposition. The race had been a successful test for his new Alfa Romeo, to be entered also in the upcoming Targa Florio. Marret (Salmson) held the lead in the 1100cc class during most of the race but got mechanical trouble and in the end had to surrender to Clerici (Salmson)
The Circuito di Alessandria race had been held annually since 1924 with 1930 being the seventh time. The Automobile Club di Alessandria organized the Circuito Pietro Bordino race held on roads Alessandria-Valenza-S. Salvatore-Castelletto-Alessandria. The drivers had to cover the winding 32 km stretch eight times for a total of 256 km. After the Tripoli Grand Prix this was the second race counting towards the Italian Automobile Championship. The popular race was a prelude to the upcoming Targa Florio and was held on Easter Sunday, one week after the Mille Miglia.
      For the 1930 race the circuit had been improved. The curvy section nearest to the city had been straightened out so the cars could pass the grand stand and finish line at high speed. That also made the circuit 200 meters shorter than earlier.
      Of the 150,000 lire in total prize money, 50,000 lire went towards the first prize.
There were 24 numbered entries in Category 1 for cars over 1100 cc and 13 in Category 2 for cars up to 1100 cc. None of the eight Alfa Romeos were factory entries. However, Varzi drove his same old P2 he had raced here the year before, which he had sold back to the Portello works at the end of 1929. Equipped now with the latest factory modifications, this was to be the first and final test for the revamped Alfa Romeo P2 before the upcoming most important Targa Florio. The modifications were quite substantial. The axles had been changed, the leaf springs were now carried outside, the oil tank had been moved, the cockpit was wider and the fuel tank had a slot for the spare wheel to fit. The supercharger had been changed to work between the carburettor and the engine, the ignition had been reconstructed and the radiator had been tilted backwards. Whether or not the rebuilt Alfa Romeo would be able to beat the Bugattis was still to be seen. Disregarding the fact that the car belonged to the Portello factory, Varzi supposedly ran as an independent entry.
      For the newly formed Scuderia Ferrari this was only their second race. Enzo himself was driving a new 6C-1750SS and founding partner Alfredo Caniato had a 6C-1500SS Alfa. From the remaining five Alfas, two 1500s and three 1750s, the most promising was Tazio Nuvolari in a 1750GS (even if the race program showed him in a Bugatti).
      Serious opposition came from two independent T35B Bugattis, having just raced two weeks prior at the Monaco Grand Prix. One (#4939) was driven by Chilean Juan Zanelli, who came second behind Varzi in last year's Alessandria event. Belgian Georges Bouriano, second place finisher in last year's Monaco Grand Prix, entered the other Bugatti (yellow colored #4947, bought in March 1930).
      There were an additional eight Bugatti entries. According to Bugatti expert Michael Müller, Louis Decaroli probably raced a T35A, not the Roger Morand T35B as belived earlier. Juan Zanelli raced the T35B (#4939) that had been the first prize at the 1929 Bugatti GP. Also noteworthy was Swiss driver Hans Stuber (T35C #4928 ex Minoia's Targa Florio car), who had finished sixth at Monaco a fortnight ago. Unfortunately he did not appear and neither did Giovanni Alloatti who planned to race a T35B (#4867) bought or on loan from Umberto Pugno.
      The new 2.5-liter 26M Maserati in the Grand Prix version was still in preparation and not ready to race till the Targa Florio but there were three other Maserati entries. Cleto Nenzioni, who had finished third in heat 2 at Tripoli, entered his 2-liter 26B, Arrigo Sartorio was to race a 1.5-liter 26 and Giovanni Ardizzone was to appear with the third Maserati.
      There were a total of 13 cycle cars of which those of Abele Clerici and French driver Victor Marret with their Salmsons were the main contenders in this 1100 cc category. A complete list of all entries is found above.
About 60,000 people turned up on Easter Sunday for the event.
      At 9 a.m. club members and drivers took part in a memorial ceremony held at a newly erected stone pillar in memory of Pietro Bordino, one of Italy's greatest race drivers. Bordino with his mechanic, Pietro Lasagni, had died here on Sunday, April 15, 1928, during practice for the following Sunday's Circuito di Alessandria. In honor of this great Italian driver, the Alessandria race became known thereafter as the Coppa Pietro Bordino on the Circuito Pietro Bordino.
      From the 37 numbered entries only 26 cars appeared at the start, 17 in the larger and 9 in the smaller class. Exactly which ones from the smaller class took part is not known (see the comments to the entry list above). The exact order of the start is also not known but a photograph seems to indicate a three cars wide grid.
Grid not available

The category 1 cars started first at 2:30 in the afternoon. The start was rather messy with some cars in the front rows slow away and others behind them trying to take advantage of it but in the end it all sorted up without accidents and Bouriano led the field towards Valmadonna. The cars of category 2 followed three minutes later except for Premoli, who did not find a gear and stalled his Salmson on the grid. The rest of the field was halfway through the first lap before he was able to join the race.
      The main race was between the three fastest cars, the Bugattis of Bouriano and Zanelli and Achille Varzi's Alfa Romeo. Tazio Nuvolari, who had won the Mille Miglia from Varzi the week before in a new record time of over 100 km/h, did not finish the first lap because of mechanical problems on his Alfa Romeo. At the end of the first lap to the disappointment of the large Italian crowd Belgian Bouriano was leading Ferrari by 26 seconds while Varzi, who had started back in the fourth row and had taken no risks at the start, was in third position 34 seconds behind the leader.
      The pace was extremely fast and already after the second lap all previous records had been wiped out. Bouriano still held a 30 seconds advantage to Varzi, who had overhauled Ferrari. Minozzi was out of the race after the first lap. Nenzioni had started well, but after the third lap he had to retire.
      After the third lap Varzi had improved his pace with a lap of 16m53.6s at a speed of 113.6 km/h, which was to be the fastest lap of the race and brought him just about ten seconds behind the leading Bugatti.
      The battle between Bouriano and Varzi continued on lap four and it looked it might be another Bugatti victory until Varzi went past Bouriano at the end of the lap on the start and finish straight in front of the grand stands. Varzi had made the four laps in just short of 1h09m. His average speed halfway through the race was 111.4 km/h.
      Brivio in fifth position was fastest of the 1500cc cars with a medium speed of 100.3 km/h. (While there was no separate 1500cc class in this race the results were counted in the Italian Championship 1500cc class.)
      On the fifth lap the course was suddenly hit by a violent summer downpour that in an instant caused confusion among the numerous spectators, who frantically tried to find some shelter. In the section between Valenza and San Salvatore Bouriano, who was following Varzi closely, lost control of his Bugatti in a corner. The car spun twice before overturning. Bouriano was transported on a stretcher to the hospital in Valencia but fortunately his injuries were restricted to minor facial cuts.
      The crash had deprived the event of its main interest as Varzi now held an almost two minute lead over Zanelli in the Bugatti, who was never a threat to the Alfa Romeo. Even when slowing down the pace Varzi was increasing his lead over the Chilean lap by lap.
      Behind them Ferrari took advantage of the rain and the muddy state of the road and closed in on Zanelli's much stronger and faster Bugatti by a minute during the last four laps.
      Valpreda was fourth, Brivio fifth and Sartorio sixth. All the positions remained the same from the fifth lap to the end of the race, Varzi taking the flag to win by 2m18s with an average speed of 108.4 km/h. One year ago he had won here with the same car, but in its original form. His winning speed then was faster at 109.2 km/h and the record did not get broken this time because of the rain.
      Brivio was the fastest 1500cc entry while Sartorio's best lap time 18m32.4s (103.552 km/h) was the fastest lap of a 1500cc car.

      In the 1100cc class French driver Marret with his Salmson took an early command of the race during the first laps, making the second lap in a record 19m43.8s (87.3 km/h) and opening up an one minute gap to second positioned Fagioli and a two minute gap to third positioned Clerici. Clerici then started to close in on Fagioli, who was in trouble and had to retire on the fourth lap. That put Clerici in second position and Platč in third while the rest of the cars had retired or were far behind.
      After five laps Marret held a three minutes lead over Clerici with Platč a further 1 ˝ minute behind. But then Marret got into serious mechanical troubles. After six laps the gap to Clerici was down to just 1m20s and at the end of the seventh lap Clerici to the surprise and joy of the spectators took over the lead of the race right in front of the stands. Clerici went on to win his category with Marret finishing over 3 1/2 minutes behind him. It seems Platč retired at Valenza on the last lap but was classified third and Premoli fourth as all other cars had also retired.



1.40Achille VarziAlfa CorseAlfa RomeoP22.0S-882h21m42.0s
2.46Juan ZanelliJ. ZanelliBugattiT35B2.3S-882h25m00.0s+ 3m18.0s
3.6Enzo FerrariScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo6C-1750 SS1.8S-682h27m00.0s+ 5m18.0s
4.36Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaAlfa Romeo6C-17501.8S-682h32m56.8s+ 11m14.8s
5.12Antonio BrivioA. BrivioAlfa Romeo6C-15001.5S-682h34m06.0s+ 12m24.0s
6.30Arrigo SartorioA. SartorioMaserati261.5S-882h36m30.2s+ 14m48.2s
7.14Mario DafarraM. DafarraAlfa Romeo6C-17501.8S-682h39m58.8s+ 18m16.8s
8.44Amedeo RuggeriA. RuggeriO.M.6652.2S-682h42m17.0s+ 20m35.0s
9.30Filippo SartorioF. SartorioAlfa Romeo6C-15001.5S-682h45m15.6s+ 23m33.6s
10.8Alfredo CaniatoScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo6C-1750 SS1.8S-682h45m36.0s+ 23m54.0s
11.66Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmson1.1S-482h46m46.6s+ 25m04.6s
12.62Victor MarretV. MarretSalmson1.1S-482h48m50.0s+ 27m08.0s
13.60Luigi PlatčL. PlatčLombardAL31.1S-47?  
14.64Carlo PremoliC. PremoliSalmson1.1S-47?  
DNF50Luigi CastelbarcoL. CastelbarcoAmilcar1.1S-6   
DNF16Cleto NenzioniC. NenzioniMaserati26B2.0S-8
DNF26Angelo PeroniA. PeroniBugatti
DNF28Louis DecaroliL. DecaroliBugattiT35A2.0S-8
DNF74Luigi FagioliL. FagioliSalmson1.1S-44  
DNF24Georges BourianoG. BourianoBugattiT35B2.3S-84crash
DNF42Gian Pietro NenzioniG.P. NenzioniBugatti3
DNF34Giovanni MinozziG. MinozziBugattiT35C2.0S-81
DNF48Tazio NuvolariAlfa CorseAlfa Romeo6C-17501.8S-60oil pipe
DNF+3 other 1100cc entries
Fastest lap >1100cc: Achille Varzi (Alfa Romeo) on lap 3 in 16m53.4s = 113.7 km/h (70.6 mph)
Fastest lap 1100cc: Victor Marret (Salmson) on lap 2 in 19m43.8s = 97.3 km/h (60.5 mph)
Winner's medium speed >1100cc (Varzi): 108.4 km/h (67.4 mph)
Winner's medium speed 1100cc (Clerici): 92.9 km/h (57.7 mph)
Weather: a rain shower started halfway through the race.
In retrospect:
This report was initially written back in 2013 by Hans Etzrodt, who however interrupted his work and put it on the shelf in a hope of eventually finding additional information as only 17 cars that actually raced were known from results in contemporary magazines. The report is now completed with information provided by Giuseppe Prisco. Especially a picture in La Dominicia Sportiva showed a results table with numbers of the competitors that actually started in the major class.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
AZ-Motorwelt, Brno
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
Fonosport, Padova
Il Giornale D'Italia, Roma
Il Messagero, Roma
La Domenica Sportiva, Milano
La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milano
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
R.A.C.I. rivista, Torino
Tutti in Automobile, Roma
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Giuseppe Prisco
Michael Müller


© 2020 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 28.06.2023