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Coppa Acerbo 1938


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#1 Patrick Italiano

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Posted 14 October 2001 - 17:54

While I was looking for some comparisons between the speed of the 1938, 3-litre cars with their 1937 unlimited capacity, 750kg predecessors, I couldn't find yet the practice lap times of the 1938 edition in my files nor on Leif Snellman's site.
Since this is typically a question for this group, can somebody help, if only with the best times for the each marque?

Also, on that course, a chicane had been added in 1936. Does anybody know whether the course was changed between 1937 and 1938?
:confused:

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#2 Marcor

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Posted 15 October 2001 - 00:14

1937:
Fastest lap: Rosemeyer (Auto Union): 10' 36" = 145.2 km/h.
Average speed of winner Rosemeyer: 141.009 km/h.

1938:
Fastest lap: Luigi Villoresi, Maserati 8CTF, 10' 57" = 141.4 km/h.
Average speed of winner Caracciola (Mercedes): 134.783 km/h.

Auto Union did not enter.

I've got two contradicting sources about the best speed made over the flying km (a portion of the straight line) so I prefer not to give them...

#3 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 15 October 2001 - 05:19

Here a quickly check through my main sources for this event:
* Herzog, "Unter dem Mercedes Stern" pg. 142: circuit length 25.8 km; FL by Villoresi (Maserati) 10m57s at 141.3 km/h; fastest speed in speed trap of a flying kilometer at 276.923 km/h by Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz). (As far as I know, the cars were not geared for top speed here because two chicanes were installed on the circuit, one on each straight. This change was done for the 1934 race and the circuit remained like this till end of the forties.)
* DDAC Motorwelt 1938, No.18, pg. 666: paragraph about the speed trap with readings of several cars.
* DDAC Motorwelt 1938, No.19, pg. 677: Travel report by Hans Bretz
* AAZ 1938, No. 35, pg. 58: First day training Nuvolari was with 11m15s fastest. Second day training was driven slowly because of the upcoming race. (This makes not much sense to me but it could only mean that teams were looking after their engines). Day of the race: Brauchitsch's 1st lap supposedly in 11m13s was his fastest, Nuvolari (Auto Union) 11m16s, Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) 11m06s, Müller (Auto Union) 11m13s, Villoresi (Maserati) did the FL in 10m57s. Report written by Dipl.-Ing. E. Hundt.
* MOTOR und SPORT 1938, No.34, pg. 13 by Ernst Rosemann: 1 page report and 4 pages of rambling, nothing of value.
* Carli in "Settant'anni": Pescara circuit 1924 was 25.537 km; 1925-1933 was 25.500 km; 1934-1947 was 25,800 km.

I have to correct above statement because the two chicanes were installed for the 1935 race not for 1934. Here an extract from one of my 8W stories:

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. 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 ¾ mile along the shore. At the following right turn, the circuit headed inland for about seven miles 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 623 feet 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 about seven miles 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 resulted in a marginally increased circuit length from 25.579 km to 25.800 km. In 1935 two more chicanes were installed, one in the middle of each of the two straights to give the Italian cars a better chance. I have never heard about an official change in circuit length from 1935 onwards, which would have included the two chicanes.

#4 Patrick Italiano

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Posted 15 October 2001 - 12:45

Thanks to you both for your answers.

However, Marc, Auto Union DID enter in 1938, they just failed to finish.

Hans, thanks for confirmation that the circuit didn't change from 1937 to 1938. I knew the of two chicanes, but was not sure which year.

I did also want to watch the gaps between cars, that's why I was focused on practice times, and it's strange that we have the grid order and not the times on which it was based. Strange as well that story of running slowly the second session, but if Nuvolari's pole was 11.15 and his first (thus standing start) lap 11.16, even the first day must have been run in adverse conditions.

Do you have any data for the Alfa 312s, either in practice or during the race?

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#5 Marcor

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Posted 16 October 2001 - 00:07

Never have confidence in one source ! I've just reread Nixon's Racing the Silver Arrows who said that Auto Union did not enter in the Coppa Acerbo (page 335) and it's a mistake. I've not check my own data ! Of course Nuvolari, Hasse and Müller took part in the race but didn't finish...