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Antonio BrivioBorn in Biella, Italy "Tonino" Brivio began racing with an 1,199cc supercharged Derby in 1927. In 1934 he joined Bugatti, and drove a Type 59 to 2nd place while setting fastest lap in the Belgian GP. The German teams boycotted the race when the Belgian Customs Authorities attempted to levy a 180,000 franc duty on their special racing fuel. He would gain his greatest success in sports cars winning the Targa Florio in 1933 and 1935 in addition to the Mille Miglia in 1936.   


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Phi-Phi EtancelinBorn in Rouen in 1896, Philippe, or Phi-Phi as he was called by his friend, began competing in hillclimbs and speed trials in a Bugatti. In 1927 he scored his first big victory, winning the Grand Prix de la Marne at Reims. Etancelin did most of his racing as a private entrant but in 1935 he joined the Scuderia Sub-Alpina, Driving a new 3.7 liter Maserati he fought a tremendous duel with Caracciola for 2d place at Monaco in 1935. Only after his brakes began to fade did Etancelin have to settle for 4th place. Though considered one of the best French drivers between the wars he went into temporary retirement in the face of German domination. Returning in 1938 he drove a Talbot to 3rd at Pau and 4th in the French GP at Reims though in each race he was several laps behind the winning German car.


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Guiseppe FarinaFarina was born in 1906 in Turin, the son of the famous coach building brothers and was the nephew of Pinin Farina. Farina or "Nino" as he was called had a fiery driving style and woe the driver that crossed his path. His driving impressed Tazio Nuvolari who became his friend and mentor. Driving for Alfa Romeo in 1938, he raised quite a few eyebrows including German ones as he harassed their cars not allowing them the easy victories that they were becoming accustomed too. Many predicted great things for this driver but World War II would intervene. After the war he made good on all of the predictions by becoming the first World Champion.


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Guy MollSometimes death cruelly robs the motor racing world of a future champion. That tragedy occurred at the Coppa Acerbo in 1934. Moll born in Algeria to a Spanish mother and French father started his career racing a Lorraine-Dietrich in his homeland. He soon came to the attention of fellow Algerian Marcel Lehoux who took him to Europe in 1932 where in his first race he finished third to the Alfas of Sommer and Nuvolari. 1933 was a year of learning and in 1934 he joined the Scuderia Ferrari. The beginning of the new season saw him win at Monaco and Avus in addition to a close second to Varzi in Tripoli. Moll was a fearless driver who was not overwhelmed by the German teams. Enzo Ferrari would later compare him to the great Italian Tazio Nuvolari. At his last race, the Coppa Acerbo he was battling the Mercedes of Fagioli for the lead and was killed while attempting to lap the Mercedes of Ernst Henne.


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som_nm.jpg (4819 bytes)Born in 1906, the son of a rich French felt manufacturer Sommer was famous for his never say die attitude. His countrymen nicknamed him "Coeur de Lion". Not shy about working on his own cars he was famous for the "box of beautiful shining tools" he always had with him. In 1932 he shared an Alfa Romeo with Chinetti at LeMans, driving 21 hours of the race when his teammate fell ill. Exhausted he still managed to finish the race in first place. Sommer was an also ran while the German cars were dominant but still managed a 4th place at Tripoli in 1938 behind a trio of Mercedes.

 



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Count Carlo Felice TrossiThe Italian aristocrat was a great sportsman who love speed whether in speedboats, airplanes or race cars. He was an early financial supporter of the Scuderia Ferrari and would become its President. What was sometimes overlooked was that he was actually a very quick driver who passed Nuvolari in an identical car while racing round-the-houses at Biella. In 1938 he caused a sensation driving a 8CTF Maserati in which he set fastest lap during the Grand Prix at Tripoli He competed for the lead against the German teams before mechanical problems ended his race.

Racing the Silver Arrows by Chris Nixon
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Works Driver by Piero Taruffi
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Grand Prix Driver by Hermann Lang
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Grands Prix 1934-1939 by Rodney Walkerley
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Dick Seaman - A racing Champion by H.R.H. Prince Chula Chakrabongse
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The Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars by Karl Ludvigsen
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