Classic Car Catalogue

V Grand Prix de Tunise

Tunis Grand Prix
26 March 1933


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Entries and results:
No. Driver: Car: Model: Engine:   Entrant: Result: Laps: Time:
2 Frédéric Toselli Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 F. Toselli 6th 37 3h 45m 09.6s
4 Guy Moll Bugatti T35C 2.0 S-8 G. Moll nc 36  
6 László Hartmann Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 L. Hartmann dns    
8 Mario U. Borzacchini Alfa Romeo Monza 2.3 S-8 Scuderia Ferrari 2nd 37 3h 29m 15.6s
Pietro Ghersi Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 P. Ghersi dna    
12 Robert Brunet Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 R. Brunet fail. 14  
14 Paul Pietsch Alfa Romeo Monza 2.3 S-8 P. Pietsch 7th 37 3h 46m 30.6s
16 Stanisłas Czaykowski Bugatti T51C 2.0 S-8 S. Czaykowski fail. 06  
18 Louis Braillard Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 L. Braillard nc 35  
20 Jean Gaupillat Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 J. Gaupillat fail. 15  
22 Luigi Premoli BMP Hybrid 3.0 S-8 L. Premoli fail. 08  
24 Raymond Sommer Maserati 8CM 3.0 S-8 R. Sommer fail. 05  
26 Benoît Falchetto Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 B. Falchetto 5th 37 3h 41m 34.0s
28 Tazio Nuvolari Alfa Romeo Monza 2.6 S-8 Scuderia Ferrari 1st 37 3h 29m 15.4s
30 Julio Villars Alfa Romeo Monza 2.3 S-8 Equipe Villars-Waldthausen nc 36  
32 Horst von Waldthausen Alfa Romeo Monza 2.3 S-8 Equipe Villars-Waldthausen 4th 37 3h 41m 16.4s
34 Goffredo Zehender Maserati 8C 2800 2.8 S-8 G. Zehender 3rd 37 3h 41m 13.4s
36 Philippe Etancelin Alfa Romeo Monza 2.3 S-8 P. Etancelin fail. 21  
38 Achille Varzi Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 Automobiles E. Bugatti fail. 11  
40 Marcel Lehoux Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 M. Lehoux fail. 06  
42 Luigi Fagioli Maserati 8C 3000 3.0 S-8 Officine A. Maserati fail. 12  
44 Juan Zanelli Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 2.3 S-8 J. Zanelli 8th 37 3h 48m 22.6s
Louis Joly Bugatti L. Joly dna    
Motor SportMay 1933

Tazio Nuvolari in his Alfa-Romeo Monza fitted with 2.65 litre engine.
FOR some years now the Grand Prix of Tunis, organised by the Automobile Club of Tunis, has attracted the elite of Continental racing-drivers, and the quality of the entry list for this year's race gave every indication that this high standard would be maintained.
Practice times showed that the race would be run at a very high speed, for Nuvolari, Varzi, Etancelin, Borzacchini and Fagioli all put in several laps at 144 k.p.h. Great interest was aroused by Nuvolari's Alfa, which was a 2.3 model enlarged to 2,650 c.c.—the same size as the "monoposto" cars last year. His team-mate from the Ferrari stable, Borzacchini, was at the wheel of a normal 2.3 litre Alfa Romeo, while Achille Varzi was driving a Bugatti of the same size. The Algerian driver, Marcel Lehoux, winner of the race in 1928, had trouble with his Bugatti in practice, so decided to fit a new set of eight pistons, working all night to do so.
Profiting by their experience of the past four races, the A.C. de Tunis have brought their organisation to a perfect pitch, and a particularly praiseworthy feature this year, which might well be copied by other organisers, was the press-stand, a sumptuous affair equipped in the very latest fashion.
The circuit of Carthage is one which gives great scope for the most difficult form of all motor racing namely, fast corners which can be taken almost flat out. On one of these Toselli came to grief in practice, inverting his Bugatti at high speed, but luckily without injury to himself.
Although the weather was merely dull at the start, the lowering clouds betokened a rain storm, and sure enough, after the race had been in progress for a short time, rain began to fall, and continued for the rest of the race. A certain amount of dissatisfaction was caused by the order in which the cars were lined up, in threes, at the start. This was decided by lots, and resulted in Sommer and Etancelin being in the second row, Fagioli in the third, Nuvolari in the fourth, Borzacchini in the sixth, and Varzi in the seventh and last row.
One of the most thrilling sights in the world—a massed start.
The cars lined up before the Tunis Grand Prix.
With a terrific roar the group of cars leapt forward, but two stayed on the line, their drivers, Etancelin and Gaupillat, taking some minutes to get away. At the end of the first lap Borzacchini had gained the lead, in spite of his sixth-row starting position, and he was closely followed by Czaikowski (Bugatti), Moll (Bugatti), Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo) and Varzi (Bugatti). When they disappeared from sight Etancelin and Gaupillat at last managed to start, just as Premoli dashed past, and there immediately began a series of incidents which might have ended in disaster. Premoli seemed determined to mined to keep ahead of the two Frenchmen, even if he was being outclassed by the rest of the field, so he constantly baulked them, causing them to brake violently in order to avoid being forced off the road.
Nuvolari soon passed Borzacchini, who tucked himself in behind the larger Alfa in accordance with team instructions. Varzi was expected to put up the sternest fight against the Alfa Romeos, and he assumed third place, a few seconds behind Borzacchini. Unluckily, there were several early retirements, among them being Sommer, with the very fast new 3 litre single-seater Maserati, which sheared its magneto drive; Czaikowsky, with a broken oil pump drive; Fagioli, who made repeated pit stops for plugs and finally dropped out with Sommer's trouble; Lehoux, who fractured one of his new pistons; and then, to everyone's regret, Varzi, whose Bugatti developed transmission difficulties.
Etancelin, free of Premoli at last, made great efforts to catch up, and on Varzi's retirement, filled third place. His efforts were short-lived, however, for soon afterwards he stopped for good with a broken differential, and he was quickly joined by his fellow-sufferer at the hands of Premoli, Gaupillat, who was forced to retire with a cracked sump.
So many retirements naturally detracted from the interest of the race, for the two leaders could afford to ease up although their lap speed, in spite of the rain, sometimes went up to 149 k.p.h.! A good scrap was waged between Zehender, Pietsch, Moll, Walthausen, and Falchetto, but the two flying "Ferrari" Alfas steadily increased their lead, and were certain winners.
Previous winners.
1928 Lehoux (Bugatti), 120 k.p.h.
1929 Brilli-Peri (Alfa Romeo), 134 k.p.h.
1931 Varzi (Bugatti), 138 k.p.h.
1932 Varzi (Bugatti), 145 k.p.h.
Run on Carthage circuit, 12 kilometres 714 metres.
Length of race, 37 laps, or 470 kilometres, 418 metres.
Alfa Romeo: Pietsch, Etancelin, Borzacchini,
Villars, Walthausen, Zanelli.
Bugatti: Falchetto, Brunet, Czaikowski,
Gaupillat, Joly, Lehoux, Toselli, Veyron, Varzi, Brainard, Moll.
Maserati: Sommer, Fagioli, Premoli, Zeheader.
A particularly good show was being put up by Toselli, after his crash in practice, while other drivers who were favourably praised were Zehender, Walthausen, Pietsch and Moll. Villars turned his Alfa over, but continued after a rest.
The rain continued to fall, which was particularly bad luck for the organisers for rain is not usual at this time of the year in Tunis, and at last Nuvolari was flagged home the winner, with Borzacchini right on his heels one fifth of a second later.
1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo, 2,650 c.c.), 3h. 29m 15 2/5s. Average speed, 134.882 k.p.h.
2. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo, 2,350 c.c.), 3h. 29m. 15 3/5s.
3. Zehender (Maserati), 3h. 41m. 13 2/5s.
4. Walthausen (Alfa Romeo), 3h. 41m. 16 2/5s.
5. Falchetto (Bugatti), 3h. 41m. 24s.
6. Toselli (Bugatti), 3h. 54m. 9 3/5s.
7. Pietsch (Alfa Romeo), 3h. 46m. 32 3/5s.
8. Zanelli (Alfa Romeo), 3h. 48m. 22 3/5s.
9. Moll (Bugatti), 1 kilometre behind.
10. Villars (Alfa Romeo), 1 lap behind.
11. Braillard (Bugatti), 2 laps behind.