Grand Prix season 1924
The three main races of the 1924 Grand Prix season were the Indianapolis 500 in the USA , the French Grand Prix , officially Grand Prix de l ' ACF , at the Circuit de Lyon in Lyon and the Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo di Monza north of Milan .
In addition, other races were held - mostly in Italy , including the Targa Florio in Sicily , the Coppa Montenero in Livorno and the Coppa Acerbo in Pescara . The San Sebastián Grand Prix in Spain was also of great international importance.
In the 1924 season, Grand Prix sport experienced a significant boom. Fiat had clearly dominated the races of the previous year, but this was primarily due to the exclusive use of supercharged engines . The competitors were offered the obvious and comparatively easy to implement option to switch to engine charging for their part, so that for the first time in a long time several manufacturers could compete on an equal footing. In this way, Sunbeam achieved - with the car practically unchanged - a leap in performance from 105 to 138 hp, whereby for the first time the compressor was positioned behind the carburetor in the intake tract. At Mercedes , where they had gained experience with the compressor since 1922 and even won the Targa Florio with their in-house four-cylinder in early 1924 , Ferdinand Porsche began developing a completely new Grand Prix model. The turbocharged eight-cylinder in-line engine in the Mercedes M218 finally achieved a maximum output of 170 hp at 7,000 rpm, both values that were not achieved by any other racing car in the 2-liter formula in Europe at the time. Porsche's idea of concentrating the vehicle mass within the wheelbase, however, led to poor driving behavior and the cars were not even ready for use until the end of the season.
The big unknown, however, was the newcomer Alfa Romeo . At the instigation of Enzo Ferrari , the Milan-based company succeeded in poaching Vittorio Jano and Gioacchino Colombo, two more key heads from the Fiat design team, after several key engineers had switched to Sunbeam the previous year. As successful designers, both were to have a decisive influence on the racing car construction of the Italian racing teams for decades to come. Janos Alfa Romeo P2 , who had already proven his potential at the beginning of the season in a test run in Cremona , ultimately became the most successful Grand Prix racing car of this era. For Fiat, however, the continuous bloodletting proved to be too much. Instead of a new model, they were limited to installing an intercooler, which meant that the Fiat 805's output could be increased again to 150 hp before company owner Giovanni Agnelli finally eliminated the team after losing to Alfa Romeo at the French Grand Prix Grand Prix sport withdrew.
The French manufacturers, on the other hand, mistrusted the new compressor technology and had even campaigned in vain for an exclusion from the regulations. Although Delage then also carried out tests with engine charging, it was initially abandoned out of concern for reliability. Nevertheless, the Delage Type 2 LCV - the first Grand Prix racing car with a V12 engine, which after two years of development was finally ready for racing - was quite competitive with its compressor-equipped opponents. When designing the highly complex unit with four overhead camshafts, 48 valves and no fewer than 100 ball and roller bearings, Charles Planchon and Albert Lory focused primarily on maximizing the piston area and high speeds, and in this way for a naturally aspirated engine an impressive 120 hp at 6000 Rotations achieved. Bugatti , on the other hand, presented the new Type 35, a comparatively robust and uncomplicated model, with its excellent handling and easy maintenance, ideal for the planned sale of a small series to wealthy private drivers. However, the proven eight-cylinder in-line engine had too little power available with 105 hp to move beyond a role in the midfield among the works teams in Grand Prix races. In view of the rather modest results of the 1924 season, it was not foreseeable that this model would become one of the most important icons of Grand Prix racing. Finally, there was also a French-Swiss Grand Prix project, which was basically used Rolland Pilains , into which new valveless engines from the Swiss company Schmid were installed.
The 1924 season was the first in which Grand Prix races were only held on racetracks with paved road surfaces throughout. This was the first time that this was the case for the Grand Prix de l ACF , which was held on a shortened route from the 1914 race. With six works teams totaling 24 participants, an illustrious field of cars and drivers gathered here, as the Grand Prix world had not seen for a long time and the event fully lived up to its honorary title as the II Grand Prix of Europe in every respect. Only Mercedes, as a German team in the country of the former enemy, was still excluded from participation. In the race, too, the outcome between Fiat, Sunbeam, Alfa Romeo and Delage was open for a long time, until in the end Giuseppe Campari promptly crossed the finish line at Alfa Romeo's first Grand Prix appearance, closely followed by Delage driver Albert Divo only one minute behind - the closest result of a Grand Prix race up until then between representatives of two producers - and the future champion Robert Benoist , also on Delage, in third place.
For Fiat, on the other hand, the French race had developed into a debacle after the premature failure of all four cars, despite Pietro Bordino's multiple leadership in the meantime . Fiat boss Giovanni Agnelli drew the conclusions from this and canceled the team from participating in the Italian Grand Prix in Monza , although the race had been postponed by six weeks due to Fiat. At least this delay made it possible for Mercedes to contest the race after all, after the development of the new Grand Prix model had not yet been completed by the original race date. This guaranteed at least a minimum of competition for Alfa Romeo, even if the German eight-cylinder engines suffered greatly from handling problems. In the race, this was ultimately fatal for Louis Zborowski , who crashed into a tree and had a fatal accident. Mercedes then immediately took the remaining cars out of the race, so that the Alfa Romeo team with Antonio Ascari , Louis Wagner , Cesare Pastore (who had replaced Giuseppe Campari at the wheel during the race) and Ferdinando Minoia achieved a completely safe four- fold victory .
|1||05/30||Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||
Lora L. Corum / Joe Boyer ( Duesenberg )
ACF Grand Prix
( European Grand Prix )
|Circuit de Lyon||Giuseppe Campari ( Alfa Romeo )||statistics|
|3||19.10.||Italian Grand Prix||Autodromo di Monza||Antonio Ascari ( Alfa Romeo )||statistics|