Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Published in France!

Recently, I was interviewed by writer/editor William Pac for the upcoming November/December issue of the lovely French magazine Échappement Classic.

It's now making it's way to newsstands throughout Europe. Mr. Pac is kindly forwarding a couple of copies. 
Just can't wait to see them!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

1934 Italian Grand Prix

The Italian Grand Prix was held on September 9th at the Autodromo Di Monza. In the previous year’s Grand Prix, serious accidents had taken the lives of Giuseppe Campari and two other drivers. To lessen the speeds, it was decided that the track should be shortened from 10kms to 4.3kms, with many chicanes added in. With 500kms to cover for the Grand Prix, this made for a longer, more grueling race.

Mercedes had their W25, Bugatti their Type 59, Scuderia Ferrari the Alfa P3, while Maserati introduced the new model 6C-34, to be driven by Tazio Nuvolari. The balance of their team would drive the 8CMs.

Pen&ink, markers, and pencil on archival white stock 12”x 9” © Paul Chenard 2010
Original art & limited editions available.

At the start, Hans Stuck took an early lead for Auto Union but was soon overtaken by Mercedes driver Rudolf Caracciola. His teammate Manfred Georg Rudolf von Brauchitsch was not competing, having been injured in a crash at the previous Swiss Grand Prix. Battling amongst the leaders were Luigi Fagioli (Mercedes), Archille Varzi (Alfa Romeo), Nuvolari (Maserati) and Count Carlo Felice Trossi (Alfa Romeo).

Unfortunately for Nuvolari, the Maserati mechanics forgot to top-up his car's brake fluid after weigh-in, so he slowly lost his brakes during the long race.

The 4.75 hour race, with it’s 1600 total corners, took a toll on the drivers and the cars. Fagioli, whose car broke down, later replaced Caracciola, who had to be lifted out of his car. Stuck had to be replaced by zu Leiningen, and Trossi by Comotti.

Varzi dropped out with mechanical woes, so the race finished with Caracciola/Figioli in first place, Stuck/zu Leiningen in second, with Trossi/Comotti in third. After 4th place Chiron (Alfa Romeo), Nuvolari finished a respectable 5th place, using his gears to brake for the last half of the race.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

François Cevert 1944-1973

Born in 1944, François Cevert (née Goldenberg) was a well-liked and talented French Formula 1 and Sports/GT driver.

He began his motorsports career on two wheels, but switched to Formula 3 in 1966. In 1968, Cevert took the French Formula 3 Championship.

For 1969, Cevert moved up to Formula 2, and finished third in the Championship. While in F2, his capabilities captured the notice of (Sir) Jackie Stewart, who encouraged Ken Tyrrell to consider Cevert for the team. Tyrrell took his advice and signed Cevert up for 1970.

Matra-Simca MS670 #14 of François Cevert and Howden Ganley, 2nd place Le Mans 1972.
Latex paint on plywood
© Paul Chenard 2010
Limited editions available.
Over the next four seasons, Stewart and Cevert became fast friends, through the wins and the losses. Stewart became Formula 1 Drivers World Champion in 1971, with Cevert winning the US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen and taking third place overall.

Original in Prismacolor pencils on mid-gray stock
© Paul Chenard 2009
Limited editions available.

The team did poorly in 1972 against a powerful Team JPS (Lotus) but came back strongly in 1973. Stewart won the Championship, and was expecting to be replaced by his friend Cevert for the next season, as he had decided to retire at the season’s closing.

Cevert’s year had been very good too, with six 2nd place finishes, but in the very last race of the year at Watkins Glen on October 6th, his Tyrrell 006 crashed horribly during Saturday morning qualifying, and this shining star with the striking blue eyes was extinquished.

This talented and popular pianist and race car driver will never be forgotten by his fans and his peers.