Stage 1 - 1400cc-2199cc Class - Report Sector 1
Sector 1 - San Martino - Arpeninetto
The Franklin Prototype is starting, a nippy car getting of the line fast. The prototype just eats the gravel once out of San Martino. We heard from our people at the checkpoint that the Franklin test driver told them the story that he did push the car a bit over its limits when taking the hills, getting it pointing the other way round, but with minimal loss of time.
It is clear that Edward Hampden is not taking it easy early on in the Brooklands Roadster. The number 744 car is clearly not at home on the gravel, some adventurous driving keeps up the pace.
The Barricada V-8 2000 Berlinetta MM is one of three exquisite examples of Barricada competing. While the other two are private owned, this is factory-backed new model.
A slightly underpowered Ardent Midnight, number 342, at the start in this category, one of two in the Corso. The inline-4 engine producing less power than the opposition.
The Montes Sport GT, another pre-war car that became an immediate classic after the war, also due to only ever 27 models being in existence. Inspired by the advances in the aerospace industry, it strikes a perfect balance between elegance and aerodynamics. I can only imagine the driver being extremely careful with this one.
Glad to see the Epoch Model 20 Race appear at the start here, it’s quite an impressive touring race car. Unfortunately, once out of San Martino, the car is not home on the gravel. The driver tries pushing it, but loses control out of a corner and slides towards rocks and trees. Luckily a crash with the trees can be avoided, but a dull thumb is heard hitting the bottom of the car. While the car can drive out of the rocks and grass, it seems the brake lines are damaged by hitting a rock. This will need to be mended before continuing.
A Bogliq-orange Bogliq Mutineer Engage, tuned by the Leeroy brothers. This is a budget American car powered by a 2 liter engine. It will be interesting to see how this performs.
The LLA URS150 Mk2, an experimental family car on a military-spec 4x4 platform, is showcasing at the Corso this year. The traction advantages the 4x4-system offers on gravel are noticeable, but it remains to be seen how the car will perform on the paved and bendy rounds of Fruscany where it will be driven on the rear wheels only.
The Juggernaut Automotive Hurja is a quite European looking sports car. The start out of San Martino is promising, even though it acts rather nervous on the gravel once entering the foothills.
Here come the Brits! The quintessential British sports car, as embodied by the JHW SR220, the smaller engined of the two JHWs competing in the Corso this year. Given number 22, the car is driven by Hawksworth and Lindsay.
The Bramble Envoy is a stately car, nicely designed and with a hint of opulence. Although the official figures indicate the car is actually quite light, from watching it leave San Martino, it looks larger and heavier than it is reported. The Bramble six (though a small bored version) produces amazing power figures – though that might be tuned for the competition – but the actual performance on the gravel roads seems lacking.
Another Epoch Model 20 at the start line, but this is one in private hands and driven by Captain Stern and Mr. Power. This Epoch appears to be a standard showroom model, but we’ve got from a good source that the car has been modified under the hood and in terms of suspension.
Though American in design nothing about the Aeros Wombat feels very US from a technical view points, with that high-revving small Boxer-6 engine placed between the driven rear wheels, and the #114 car is struggling with that layout on the gravel roads outside of San Martino.
The Bowen brothers and their home-made car. That sounds like a recipe for success. Starting with #28 on the side, the Bowen mk1 2200 appears to be decent on the gravel roads, but has some vibrations issues at higher speeds. Already fairly early on this causes some issues with the mounts for the Morris gearbox.
Not the greatest of starts for the LSV Mark “Milf”, with a stall, a crash before even leaving San Martino, a spin, a stall, another spin, a stall, and a leaky brake fluid. Which is weird, because we were convinced after turn one it didn’t have brakes.
Decent start from the #694 WM AeroMouse Panamerica Kohlberg Boxer, a car developed by the Wisconsinite company to compete in the Mexican Baja races. The #694 AeroMouse Panamerica has an experimental Boxer-4 engine.
A stately road tourer with a raw racing car chassis and engine underneath, the ASC 2000SS is a car that fills Sirignano and Perone with confidence, and the start gives them every right to.
The first entry of the brand not to be spoken about enthusiastically in busy public places, the #620 BAM Paginza 620 CS. This particular BAM is powered by a 2 liter inline-6 engine, producing slightly over 100 horsepower. The car is very much built for the paved roads, and it struggles on the gravel. The team’s progress is also halted by an early burst tire that needs replacing.
An Eagle 202 with specific rally tune. With lots of power to the front wheels the car suffers from the expected issues. Understeer upon throttle, heavy shaking interfering with the steering on throttle. It moves well on the gravel roads though, although it gets of the track when the brakes lock up after a high speed section. The car hits a rock but seems to be able to continue without damage.
The Birmingham 2000 lowlight, named after a fixture placement, presumably because that is the most interesting thing to say about a utilitarian heavy duty pick-up truck.
The post-war Japanese military truck Noda Type A2 is based on a pre-war design, and it shows. The truck is not designed for high speeds, and the while the driver is pushing it on the gravel roads outside of San Martino, you see the suspension protesting.
Zöching and Gruber, in what the latter describes as his little tank in the base camp paddock area, a stickered but otherwise stock Tannberg Apollon R. This car closes off the class, as is fitting for the last car to enter the Corso, technically late, but only due to administrative error, it was allowed anyway, as the 108th entry.