Matt Grist will be competing in the event with his 1934 Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B and, once again, will be taking the fight to a top-class field of ERAs and Bugattis – many of which he defeated on the winding Circuit de Monaco just under a year ago.
On the same narrow, tight course used for modern day F1 races, Grist’s 3.2 litre P3, which bears the chassis number SF43, triumphed over Paddins Downing in ERA R10B, seeing off two other confirmed Chateau entrants, Nick Topliss in ERA 4A and David Morris in ERA R11B, in the process.
With Grist, Topliss and Morris due to lock horns again on the Chateau’s newly extended course in the ‘Racing Cars over 1500cc and up to 3000cc pre-1940’ class, the ERA drivers will be hoping to exact revenge on Grist and uphold the honour of their marque.
Manufactured as part of the second series of P3 cars produced for racing, SF43 has a prestigious competition history. It was initially campaigned by Scuderia Ferrari in 1934 before being sold to British firm Thomson & Taylor, well known for their production of ERA chassis.
The P3 was later put to the test by Charles Martin at the inaugural Hungarian Grand Prix in 1936, and placed second at the first ever Deauville Grand Prix in the same year. Charles also competed in the P3 for the British Empire Trophy, German Grand Prix, Brighton Speed Trials and Donnington Grand Prix, before winning first place in the Brooklands Mountain Race – a tricky cross between road and track racing that required both a highly skilled driver and a powerful car to conquer.
At the Hill Climb, the P3 will not only see tough competition from a variety of ERAs, but will also face a number of pre-war Bugattis, the AC/GN Cognac and crowd favourite, the GN Caesar Special, driven by Paul Martin.
The ‘Racing Cars over 1500cc and up to 3000cc pre-1940’ class includes a high caliber of cars and drivers, many of which have an impressive competition history. With some serious contenders for the fastest time of the day and it’s sure to be one of the highlights of the weekend!
Images courtesy of Hugues Vanhoolandt at VeloceToday