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Two iconic P3 Alfas join pre-war GP cars at Donington

Alfa P3. Photo by Jim Houlgrave

Alfa P3. Photo by Jim Houlgrave

THE HGPCA Nuvolari Trophy Race at next month’s Donington Historic Festival (May 35) won’t simply evoke memories of pre-war grand prix racing at Donington Park, it will recreate it.

Pioneering cars will race in their national colours and a number that originally raced there almost 80 years ago will compete at the track once more.

Two iconic Alfa Romeo Tipo B (P3) masterpieces, including the 1935 Donington Grand Prix winner, head the fast-growing entry, which currently includes Alfa Romeo Monza and 1750GS models, Bugatti T35s and T37s and a T39, a bevy of ERAs built in Hall & Hall’s home town of Bourne, the raucous Frazer Nash Nurburg, four, six and eight cylinder Maseratis, the Parnell-MG and a wonderfully gruff Talbot-Lago T26SS.

Of the ‘Donington’ cars taking part, the priceless straight-eight Alfa Romeo P3 of music impresario Tony Smith is of particular significance to venue historians as it is the very car in which celebrated Bedfordshire aviator Richard ‘Mad Jack’ Shuttleworth won the inaugural Donington Grand Prix in 1935. A sister car will be handled by German driver Stephan Rettenmaier.

Quickest of the Maseratis is likely to be the 1934 8CM driven for owner Chris Jacques by Dorset farmer Rob Newall, who raced Formula Ford single-seaters in the 1970s and remains one of Britain’s quickest Jaguar XK pilots. This car is dark blue rather than the traditional red of Italy, as it was originally raced by Prince Birabongese of Siam.

The opportunity to celebrate 80 years of car racing at Donington Park was the catalyst for the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association’s decision to revisit an extraordinary era of the sport and support this dedicated race for pre-1940 cars at the third Donington Historic Festival. Fittingly, the race is named for the charismatic Italian Tazio Nuvolari, winner of the 1938 Donington Grand Prix in a mighty Auto Union and the 1933 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Tickets can be bought via www.doningtonhistoric.com and through the 24-hour ticket hotline 0844 873 7355.

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