Dubonnet suspension was a system of trailing arm independent front suspension and steering popular in the 1930s and 1940s. Not durable unless exactingly maintained, it was soon replaced by other versions, it consisted of a rigidly mounted axle beam in which the sprung steering and suspension arms pivoted around kingpins mounted on the ends of the axle. The wheels themselves were mounted onto stub axles, suspended by self-contained suspension units outboard of the kingpins; the system featured an encased coil spring and shock absorber, which sealed in the oil needed to lubricate and protect the suspension parts. This was the weakness of the layout, as any leaks would have negative effects on ride and durability. One advantage for a comfortable ride was the reduction in unsprung weight, as the kingpins and steering gear were inboard of the suspension, now thus counted as sprung mass; this in turn led to'synchronous' behaviour in many cars with this suspension, where the natural frequency of the front wheel suspension now, unusually for the time, matched that of the rear suspension and their solid driving axle.
The mass of the driving axle was greater but with the now softer springs of the lightweight front suspension, their frequencies became comparable. This was advertising in the 1930s; the system was invented by French engineer and designer André Dubonnet, built into his Hispano-Suiza based special of 1933. He sold it to General Motors who adapted it as their "Knee-action ride", but the system was used by many others including Fiat, Alfa Romeo, in its last incarnation, the 1953 Iso Isetta which carried forward to the 1955 BMW Isetta, the 1957 BMW 600 and the 1959 BMW 700.. The General Motors connection led to one of the suspension's most numerous uses, with a return to Europe for the pre-war Vauxhall Twelve and Vauxhall Fourteen from 1935 to 1938; the post-war Vauxhall Velox of 1949 reintroduced a similar trailing arm suspension, described as'Dubonnet' suspension. However this suspension used torsion bars rather than coil springs and so Vauxhall themselves denied that this was the'true' Dubonnet
Grand Prix motor racing
Grand Prix motor racing, a form of motorsport competition, has its roots in organised automobile racing that began in France as early as 1894. It evolved from simple road races from one town to the next, to endurance tests for car and driver. Innovation and the drive of competition soon saw speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, but because early races took place on open roads, accidents occurred resulting in deaths both of drivers and of spectators. Grand Prix motor racing evolved into formula racing, one can regard Formula One as its direct descendant; each event of the Formula One World Championships is still called a Grand Prix. Motor racing was started in France, as a direct result of the enthusiasm with which the French public embraced the motor car. Manufacturers were enthusiastic due to the possibility of using motor racing as a shop window for their cars; the first motoring contest took place on July 22, 1894 and was organised by a Paris newspaper, Le Petit Journal. The Paris–Rouen rally was 126 km, from Porte Maillot in Paris, through the Bois de Boulogne, to Rouen.
Count Jules-Albert de Dion was first into Rouen after 6 hours 48 minutes at an average speed of 19 km/h. He finished 3 minutes 30 seconds ahead of Albert Lemaître, followed by Auguste Doriot, René Panhard, Émile Levassor; the official winners were Peugeot and Panhard as cars were judged on their speed and safety characteristics, De Dion's steam car needed a stoker which the judges deemed to be outside of their objectives. In 1900, James Gordon Bennett, Jr. the owner of the New York Herald and the International Herald Tribune, established the Gordon Bennett Cup. He hoped the creation of an international event would drive automobile manufacturers to improve their cars; each country was allowed to enter up to three cars, which had to be built in the country that they represented and entered by that country's automotive governing body. International racing colours were established in this event; the 1903 event occurred in the aftermath of the fatalities at the Paris-Madrid road race, so the race, at Athy in Ireland, though on public roads, was run over a closed circuit: the first closed-circuit motor race.
In the United States, William Kissam Vanderbilt II launched the Vanderbilt Cup at Long Island, New York in 1904. Some anglophone sources wrongly list a race called the Pau Grand Prix in 1901; this may stem from a mistranslation of the contemporary French sources such as the magazine La France Auto of March 1901. The name of the 1901 event was the Circuit du Sud-Ouest and it was run in three classes around the streets of Pau; the Grand Prix du Palais d'Hiver was the name of the prizes awarded for the lesser classes. The Grand Prix de Pau was the name of the prize awarded for the'Heavy' class, thus Maurice Farman was awarded the'Grand Prix de Pau' for his overall victory in the Circuit du Sud-Ouest driving a Panhard 24 hp. In L'Histoire de l'Automobile/Paris 1907 Pierre Souvestre described the 1901 event as: "... dans le Circuit du Sud-Ouest, à l'occasion du meeting de Pau... " The only race at the time to carry the name Grand Prix was organised by the Automobile Club de France, of which the first took place in 1906.
The circuit used, based in Le Mans, was triangular in shape, each lap covering 105 kilometres. Six laps were to run each day, each lap took an hour using the primitive cars of the day; the driving force behind the decision to race on a circuit - as opposed to racing on ordinary roads from town to town - was the Paris to Madrid road race of 1903. During this race a number of people, both drivers and pedestrians - including Marcel Renault - were killed and the race was stopped by the French authorities at Bordeaux. Further road based events were banned. From the 32 entries representing 12 different automobile manufacturers, at the 1906 event, the Hungarian-born Ferenc Szisz won the 1,260 km race in a Renault; this race was regarded as the first Grande Épreuve, which meant "great trial" and the term was used from on to denote up to the eight most important events of the year. Races in this period were nationalistic affairs, with a few countries setting up races of their own, but no formal championship tying them together.
The rules varied from country to country and race to race, centered on maximum weights in an effort to limit power by limiting engine size indirectly. The cars all had mechanics on board as well as the driver, no one was allowed to work on the cars during the race except for these two. A key factor to Renault winning this first Grand Prix was held to be the detachable wheel rims, which allowed tire changes to occur without having to lever the tire and tube off and back on the rim. Given the state of the roads, such repairs were frequent. A further historic confusion arose in the early 1920s when the Automobile Club de France attempted to pull off a retrospective political trick by numbering and renaming the major races held in France before the 1906 French Grand Prix as being Grands Prix de l'Automobile Club de France, despite their running pre-dating the formation of the Club. Hence, the 1895 Paris–Bordeaux–Paris Trail was renamed I Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France.
Pau Grand Prix
The Pau Grand Prix is a motor race held in Pau, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department of southwestern France. The French Grand Prix was held at Pau in 1930, leading to the annual Pau Grand Prix being inaugurated in 1933, it was not run during World War II. The race takes place around the centre of the city, where public roads are closed to form a street circuit, over the years the event has variously conformed to the rules of Grand Prix racing, Formula One, Formula Two, Formula 3000, Formula Three, Formula Libre, sports car racing, touring car racing; the race is run around a street circuit, the "Circuit de Pau-Ville" laid out round the French town, is in many ways similar to the more famous Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. About 20 km to the west of the city, there is a 3 km long club track named Circuit Pau-Arnos. For the event, cars are set up with greater suspension travel than is utilised at a purpose-built racing circuit to minimise the effect of running on the more undulating tarmac of the street circuit.
In 1900, as part of the'Semaine de Pau', the newly created Automobile-club du Béarn held a race on a 300 km road circuit, called the Circuit du sud-ouest. The race was given the same name as the circuit, was won by René de Knyff. In 1901, for the second event, the race had individual prizes for the four separate classes of entrants: The Grand Prix de Pau was awarded to Maurice Farman; the Grand Prix du Palais d'Hiver was awarded to Henri Farman. The second Grand Prix du Palais d'Hiver; the Prix du Béarn was awarded to Osmont in a'De Dion' tricycle. The French Grand Prix was held at Pau in 1930; the 1933 Grand Prix de Pau was held in February with snow still on the ground. The race was won by Marcel Lehoux driving a Bugatti. There was no Grand Prix in 1934, in 1935 the event returned with a modified route that bypassed Beaumont Park – the route, still in use today – and the location of the pits was moved. In 1937, the regulations were changed and Grand Prix cars were restricted to 4500 cc. In 1938, the Pau Grand Prix was the scene of a symbolic duel between French René Dreyfus and the German Rudolf Caracciola.
In 1939, another duel took place between two Mercedes teammates, Hermann Lang and Manfred von Brauchitsch. The event took place with a race every year, except during World War II, but returned to the calendar in 1947; the 1947 and 1948 events were successful keeping the public in suspense from start to finish. In 1948, the young Nello Pagani won, defeating many of the famous drivers of the time, such as Raymond Sommer, Philippe Etancelin and Jean-Pierre Wimille. In 1949, Juan Manuel Fangio won by dominating the event, he started from pole position as in the previous year, but achieved the fastest lap and gained victory. The Frenchman Jean Behra won before a record crowd, driving a Simca-Gordini, his win was a result of a duel with Ferrari driver Maurice Trintignant at a time when many French manufacturers were no longer present at the GP. On 11 April 1955, the Italian Mario Alborghetti died in a racing accident, the Maserati driver confused his pedals after being distracted and crashed against some hay bales.
His death was announced to spectators after the race. The 1956 race was cancelled following the tragic accident at Le Mans the previous year. Improvements to the circuit were made for the 1957 event, both in terms of safety and the comfort of competitors and spectators. After being run to Formula Two regulations in 1958–1960, limiting the capacity to 1500 cm3 Formula One in 1961 allowed the Grand Prix de Pau back in the spotlight ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix. In the early 1960s, the event was won by such famous drivers as Jack Brabham, Maurice Trintignant, Jim Clark. In 1964, after switching the format of the Grand Prix again from Formula One to Formula Two, Jim Clark won the Grand Prix for the second consecutive year, repeating his success for the third time in a row the following year. In 1967, drivers such as Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo made their debut at Pau. Jochen Rindt won his first Grand Prix de Pau that year before winning twice more in 1969 and 1970. In 1968, Jackie Stewart won with Matra Sports.
During this period, several former and future world champions raced at the event: Graham Hill, Jackie Stewart, Jack Brabham, Denny Hulme, Emerson Fittipaldi. There appeared more young French drivers like Johnny Servoz-Gavin, Jean-Pierre Jarier, Jean-Pierre Jabouille, Patrick Depailler and François Cevert, as well as other drivers such as Reine Wisell and Peter Gethin, who won the Grand Prix in 1971 and 1972 respectively. In 1973, the event was threatened by problems with the homologation of the circuit, it was brought up to standard by the personal intervention of the Mayor André Labarrère. François Cevert won that year. Drivers such as Jacques Laffite, Patrick Depailler and René Arnoux won in Pau, many F1 drivers at the time continued to race in Formula Two. In 1980, the 40th Grand Prix de Pau was won by the French driver Richard Dallest. In 1985, Formula 3000 replaced Formula Two as the "second-division" formula below Formula One and the Grand Prix de Pau continued to be part of the Formula 3000 European championship.
That same year, Alain Prost became co-organiser of the race. In 1989, Jean Alesi took his first victory after a turbulent start (the race was restarted four times because of successive problems on the
French Grand Prix
The French Grand Prix known as the Grand Prix de l'ACF, is an auto race held as part of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile's annual Formula One World Championship. It is one of the oldest motor races in the world as well as the first "Grand Prix", it ceased shortly after its centenary in 2008 with 86 races having been held, due to unfavourable financial circumstances and venues. The race returned to the Formula One calendar in 2018 with Circuit Paul Ricard hosting the race. Unusually for a race of such longevity, the location of the Grand Prix has moved with 16 different venues having been used over its life, a number only eclipsed by the 23 venues used for the Australian Grand Prix since its 1928 start, it is one of four races to have been held as part of the three distinct Grand Prix championships. The Grand Prix de l'ACF was tremendously influential in the early years of Grand Prix racing, leading the establishment of the rules and regulations of racing as well as setting trends in the evolution of racing.
The power of original organiser, the Automobile Club de France, established France as the home of motor racing organisation. Grand Prix motor racing originated in France and the French Grand Prix, open to international competition, is the oldest Grand Prix race, first run on 26 June 1906 under the auspices of the Automobile Club de France in Sarthe, with a starting field of 32 automobiles; the Grand Prix name referred to the prize of 45,000 French francs to the race winner. The franc was pegged to the gold at 0.290 grams per franc, which meant that the prize was worth 13 kg of gold, or €191,000 adjusted for inflation. The earliest French Grands Prix were held on circuits consisting of public roads near towns through France, they were held at different towns each year, such as Le Mans, Amiens, Lyon and Tours. Dieppe in particular was an dangerous circuit – 9 people in total were killed at the three French Grands Prix held at the 79 km circuit; the 1906 race was the first Grand Prix, an event that originated from the Gordon Bennett Cup races that had started in 1899.
This race was run on a 66-mile closed public road circuit starting at the western French town of Le Mans, through a series of villages and back again to Le Mans. Hungarian Ferenc Szisz won this long 12‑hour race on a Renault from Italian Felice Nazzaro in a Fiat, where laps on this circuit took around an hour and the horse carriage road surface was made of dirt; the 1908 race saw Mercedes humiliating the French organizers and finishing 1-2-3 at the lethal circuit at Dieppe, where no less than 4 people were killed during the weekend. The 1913 race was won by Georges Boillot on a one-off 19-mile circuit near Amiens in northern France. Amiens was another deadly circuit – it had a 7.1 mile straight and 5 people were killed during its use during pre-race testing and the race weekend itself. The 1914 race, run on a 24‑mile circuit near Lyon is the most legendary Grand Prix of the pre‑WWI racing era; this was a hard-fought battle between the German Mercedes. Although the Peugeots were fast and Boillot ended up leading for 12 of the 20 laps the Dunlop tyres they used wore out badly compared to the Continentials that the Mercedes cars were using.
Boillot's four-minute lead was wiped out by Christian Lautenschlager in a Mercedes while Boillot stopped an incredible eight times for tyres. Although Boillot drove hard to try to catch Lautenschlager, he had to retire on the last lap due to engine failure, for the second time in 6 years Mercedes finished 1–2–3. Thanks to World War I and the amount of damage it did to France, the Grand Prix was not brought back until 1921, that race was won by American Jimmy Murphy with a Duesenberg at the Sarthe circuit on Le Mans, the now legendary circuit's first year of operation. Bugatti made its debut at the 1922 race at an 8.3‑mile off-public road circuit near Strasbourg near the French-German border –, close to Bugatti's headquarters in Molsheim. It rained, the muddy circuit was in a dreadful condition; this race became a duel between Bugatti and Fiat – and Felice Nazzaro won in a Fiat, although his nephew and fellow competitor Biagio Nazzaro was killed after the axle on his Fiat broke, threw a wheel and hit a tree.
The 1923 race at another one-off circuit near Tours featured another new Bugatti – the Type 32. This car was unkindly dubbed the "Tank", owing to its streamlined shape and short wheelbase; this car was fast on the straights of this high-speed public road circuit – but it handled badly and was outpaced by Briton Henry Seagrave in a Sunbeam. Seagrave won the race, the Sunbeam would be the last British car to win an official Grand Prix until Stirling Moss's victory with a Vanwall at the 1957 British Grand Prix; the 1924 race was held again at Lyon, but this time on a shortened 14‑mile variant of the circuit used in 1914. Two of the most successful Grand Prix cars of all time, the Bugatti Type 35 and the Alfa Romeo P2 both made their debuts at this race; the Bugattis, with their advanced alloy wheels suffered tyre failure, Italian Giuseppe Campari won his Alfa P2. In 1925, the first permanent autodrome in France was built, it was called Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry, located 20 miles south of the centre of the French capital of Paris.
Renato Balestrero was an Italian racecar driver from Genoa, winning 54 out of 217 races between 1922 and 1947. Born in Lucca, he was active in the first world war, he started out in an Officine Meccaniche 665 winning the Coppa Ciano 1924 and several events in the 1925 Grand Prix season and 1926 Grand Prix season, including the I Tripoli Grand Prix 1925. He bought a Bugatti T35C for 75 000 francs which he raced 1927 and 1929; as an agent to General Motors he raced the newly launched La Salle in 1928. Other cars included a Talbot 1700, as well as Alfa Romeo 8C 2300, Alfa Romeo Fiat 1100 cars. Since before the second world war, he ran the Scuderia Balestrero, which including himself, Giovanni Balestrero and Clemente Balestrero. Since 1953 the Lucca-based Scuderia Balestrero has been active. Balestrero died in the Niguarda Hospital of Milan, after being hit in a roadside accident by a Gazzetta dello Sport car, he was hauling an engine to the Nardi Danese workshop
Tazio Giorgio Nuvolari was an Italian racing driver. First he raced motorcycles and he concentrated on sports cars and single-seaters. Resident in Mantua, he was known as'Il Mantovano Volante' and nicknamed'Nivola', his victories—72 major races, 150 in all—included 24 Grands Prix, five Coppa Cianos, two Mille Miglias, two Targa Florios, two RAC Tourist Trophies, a Le Mans 24-hour race, a European Championship in Grand Prix racing. Ferdinand Porsche called him "the greatest driver of the past, the present, the future."Nuvolari started racing motorcycles in 1920 at the age of 27, winning the 1925 350cc European Championship. Having raced cars as well as motorcycles from 1925 until 1930, he concentrated on cars, won the 1932 European Championship with the Alfa Romeo factory team, Alfa Corse. After Alfa Romeo withdrew from Grand Prix racing Nuvolari drove for Enzo Ferrari's team, Scuderia Ferrari, who ran the Alfa Romeo cars semi-officially. In 1933 he won Le Mans in an Alfa Romeo as a member of Ferrari's team, a month won the Belgian Grand Prix in a works Maserati, having switched teams a week before the race.
Mussolini helped persuade Ferrari to take Nuvolari back for 1935, in that year he won the German Grand Prix in Ferrari's outdated Alfa Romeo, defeating more powerful rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union. It was the only time a non-German car won a European Championship race from 1935 to 1939; the relationship with Ferrari deteriorated during 1937, Nuvolari raced an Auto Union in that year's Swiss Grand Prix. He rejoined the Auto Union team for the 1938 season and stayed with them through 1939 until Grand Prix racing was put on hiatus by World War II; the only major European race he never won was the Czechoslovakian Grand Prix. When Nuvolari resumed racing after the war he was 54 and in poor health. In his final appearance in competition, driving a Cisitalia-Abarth Tipo 204A at a Palermo hillclimb on 10 April 1950, he won his class and placed fifth overall, he died in 1953 from a stroke. Nuvolari was born in Castel d'Ario near Mantua on 16 November 1892 to Arturo Nuvolari and his wife Elisa Zorzi.
The family was well acquainted with motor racing as Arturo and his brother Giuseppe were both bicycle racers - Giuseppe was a multiple winner of the Italian national championship and was admired by a young Tazio. Nuvolari was married to Carolina Perina, together they had two children: Giorgio, who died in 1937 aged 19 from myocarditis, Alberto, who died in 1946 aged 18 from nephritis. Nuvolari obtained his license for motorcycle racing in 1915 at the age of 23, he served in the Italian army as an ambulance driver in World War I, in 1920 took part in his first motorcycle race at the Circuito Internazionale Motoristico in Cremona but did not finish. He raced cars, winning the Coppa Verona reliability trial in 1921. In 1925 he became the 350 cc European Motorcycling champion by winning the European Grand Prix. At the time, the European Grand Prix was considered the most important race of the motorcycling season and the winners in each category were designated European Champions, he won the Nations Grand Prix four times between 1925 and 1928, the Lario Circuit race five times between 1925 and 1929, all in the 350 cc class on a Bianchi motorcycle.
It was in 1925 that Alfa Romeo, seeking a driver to replace Antonio Ascari, killed in the French Grand Prix in July, tested Nuvolari in their Grand Prix car with a view to running him in the Italian Grand Prix in September. He crashed when the gearbox seized, lacerated his back, he was not picked for the team. Six days in bandages, with a cushion strapped to his stomach, lifted onto his motorcycle by Bianchi mechanics for a push-start, he won the rain-soaked Nations Grand Prix at Monza. 1930 In 1930, Nuvolari won his first RAC Tourist Trophy. Motor racing legend has it that when one of the drivers broke the window of a butcher's shop, Nuvolari drove onto the pavement and tried to grab a ham as he passed. According to Sammy Davis who met him there, Nuvolari enjoyed dark humour and situations when everything went wrong. For example, after he got a ticket for a journey home from the Sicilian Targa Florio he said to Enzo Ferrari, "What a strange businessman you are. What if I am brought back in a coffin?"
Nuvolari and co-driver Battista Guidotti won the Mille Miglia in a Zagato-bodied Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS, becoming the first to complete the race at an average of over 100 km/h. At night, leading on elapsed time but still lying behind his teammate Achille Varzi on the road because he had started after him, he tailed Varzi at speeds of up to 150 km/h with his headlights switched off, so that he could not be seen in the other car's rear-view mirrors, he switched them on to overtake "the shocked" Varzi near the finish at Brescia.1931 Towards the end of 1930, Nuvolari decided to stop racing motorcycles and concentrate on cars for 1931. Regulations for the season required Grand Prix races to be at least 10 hours long. For the Italian Grand Prix, Nuvolari was to share an Alfa Romeo with Baconin Borzacchini; the car started from ninth place on the grid, when it retired with mechanical problems after 33 laps Nuvolari teamed up with Giuseppe Campari. The pair took the race win. Apart from the Belgian Grand Prix, where he came second, the only other European Championship race was the French Grand Prix, where he finished 11th.
The same year, he won both the Coppa Ciano. 1932 For 1932, Grands Prix had to be between ten hours long. It was the only season in wh
The Targa Florio was an open road endurance automobile race held in the mountains of Sicily near the island's capital of Palermo. Founded in 1906, it was the oldest sports car racing event, part of the World Sportscar Championship between 1955 and 1973. While the first races consisted of a whole tour of the island, the track length in the race's last decades was limited to the 72 kilometres of the Circuito Piccolo delle Madonie, lapped 11 times. After 1973, it was a national sports car event until it was discontinued in 1977 due to safety concerns, it has since been run as a rallying event, is part of the Italian Rally Championship. The race was created in 1906 by the wealthy pioneer race driver and automobile enthusiast, Vincenzo Florio, who had started the Coppa Florio race in Brescia, Lombardy in 1900; the Targa claimed to be a worldly event not to be missed. Renowned artists, such as Alexandre Charpentier and Leonardo Bistolfi, were commissioned to design medals. A magazine was initiated, which aimed to enhance, with graphic and photographic reproductions of the race, the myth of the car and the typical character of modern life, speed.
One of the toughest competitions in Europe, the first Targa Florio covered 3 laps equalling 277 miles through multiple hairpin curves on treacherous mountain roads, at heights where severe changes in climate occurred. Alessandro Cagno won the inaugural 1906 race in nine hours. By the mid-1920s, the Targa Florio had become one of Europe's most important races, as neither the 24 Hours of Le Mans nor the Mille Miglia had been established yet. Grand Prix races were still isolated events, not a series like today's F1; the wins of Mercedes in the 1920s made a big impression in Germany that of German Christian Werner in 1924, as he was the first non-Italian winner since 1920. Rudolf Caracciola repeated. In 1926, Eliska Junkova, one of the great female drivers in Grand Prix motor racing history, became the first woman to compete in the race. In 1953, the FIA World Sportscar Championship was introduced; the Targa became part of it in 1955, when Mercedes had to win 1-2 with the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR in order to beat Ferrari for the title.
They had missed the first two of the 6 events, Buenos Aires and the 12 Hours of Sebring, where Ferrari, Jaguar and Porsche scored. Mercedes appeared at and won in the Mille Miglia pulled out of Le Mans as a sign of respect for the victims of the 1955 Le Mans disaster, but won the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod. Stirling Moss/Peter Collins and Juan Manuel Fangio/Karl Kling finished minutes ahead of the best Ferrari and secured the title. Several versions of the track were used, it started with a single lap of a 148 km circuit from 1906-1911 and 1931. From 1912 to 1914 a tour around the perimeter of Sicily was used, with a single lap of 975 kilometres, lengthened to 1,080 kilometres from 1948 to 1950; the 148 km "Grande" circuit was shortened twice, the first time to 108 km, the version used from 1919-1930, to the 72 km circuit used from 1932 to 1936 and 1951 to 1977. From 1951-1958, the long coastal island tour variant was used for a separate event called the Giro di Sicilia; the start and finish took place at Cerda.
The counter-clockwise lap lead from Caltavuturo and Collesano from an altitude over 600 metres down to sea level, where the cars raced from Campofelice di Roccella on the Buonfornello straight along the coast, a straight over 6 km longer than the Mulsanne Straight at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans. The longest version of the circuit went south through Caltavuturo through an extended route through elevation changes, swept through the nearby towns of Castellana and Sottana, twisting around mountains up to the town of Castelbuono and rejoined the most recent version of the track at Collesano; the second version of the track went south through Caltavuturo and took a shortcut starting right before Castellana to Collesano via the town of Polizzi Generosa. There was a closed circuit called Favorita Park used from 1937-1940; the challenge of the Targa was unprecedented in its difficulty and the driving experience of any of the course variants was unlike any other circuit in the world other than that of the Nurburgring in Germany.
The original Grande 148 km circuit had in the realm of 2,000 corners per lap, the 108 km Medio had about 1,300-1,400 corners per lap and the final iteration of the course, the 72 km Piccolo circuit had about 800-900 corners per lap. To put that in perspective, most purpose built circuits have between 12 and 18 corners, the longest purpose built circuit in the world, the 13-mile Nurburgring, has about 180 corners. So learning any of the Targa Florio courses was difficult and required, like most long circuits, at least 60 laps to learn the course- and unlike the purpose-built Nurburgring, the course had to be learned properly in public traffic, one lap would take about an hour to do in a road car- if there was little to no traffic. Like a rally event, the race cars were started one by one every 15 seconds for a time trial, as a start from a full grid was not possible on the tight and twisty roads. Although the public road circuit used for the Targa was challenging- it was a different kind of circuit and race from any other race on the sportscar calendar.
All of the circuit variations of the Targa had so many corners that lap speeds at the Targa n