Motor SportMay 1933
NUVOLARI WINS AT TUNIS
TWO MEMBERS OF THE FERRARI STABLE, NUVOLARI AND BORZACCHINI, BOTH DRIVING ALFA ROMEOS, CROSS THE LINE WITH 1/5th OF A SECOND BETWEEN THEM.
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.
Tazio Nuvolari in his Alfa-Romeo Monza fitted with 2.65 litre engine.
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.
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.
One of the most thrilling sights in the world—a massed start.
The cars lined up before the Tunis Grand Prix.
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.
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.
RACE HELD ON MARCH 26TH, 1933.
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.
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.