1933 Le Mans Tazio Nuvalari and Raymond Sommer
Overall Size 22 ins (558 mm) by 18 ins (457)
Image Size 15.5 ins (393 mm) by 11.7 5 ins (298 mm)
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Tazio Giorgio Nuvolari : 16 November 1892 – 11 August 1953) was an Italian racing driver. First he raced motorcycles and then he concentrated on sports cars and single-seaters. Resident in Mantua, he was known as ‘Il Mantovano Volante’ (The Flying Mantuan) 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, and a European Championship in Grand Prix racing. Ferdinand Porsche called him “the greatest driver of the past, the present, and 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 then concentrated on cars, and won the 1932 European Championship with the Alfa Romeo factory team, Alfa Corse.
After Alfa Romeo officially 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, and a month later 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helped persuade Ferrari to take Nuvolari back for 1935, and in that year he won the German Grand Prix in Ferrari’s outdated Alfa Romeo, defeating more powerful rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union.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, and 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.
Raymond Sommer (31 August 1906 – 10 September 1950) was a French motor racing driver. He raced both before and after WWII with some success, particularly in endurance racing. He won the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in both 1932 and 1933, and although he did not reach the finishing line in any subsequent appearance at the Le Mans, he did lead each event until 1938. Sommer was also competitive at the highest level in Grand Prix motor racing, but did not win a race. He won the French Grand Prix in 1936, but the event that year was run as a sports car race. After racing resumed in the late 1940s, Sommer again won a number of sports car and minor Grand Prix events, and finished in fourth place in the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix, the second round of the newly-instituted Formula One World Drivers’ Championship. He was killed toward the end of 1950, when his car overturned during a race at the Circuit de Cadours.