Count Stanislaus Czaikowski

Count Stanislaus Czaikowski

10/6/1899 - 10/9/1933

Count Stanislaus Czaykowski was a Polich aristocrat based in Paris. An accomplished gentleman racer he was killed in the Gran Premio di Monza on Black Sunday.

Count Stanislaus Czaykowski was born in The Hague, Holland on June 10th 1899. His parents, who were both Polish, moved to France and settled in the South. In July 1914 when he was 15 he took French citizenship, presumably with the rest of his family, and enlisted in the French Army as soon as he was old enough. By 1929 he was based in Paris and started racing with a Bugatti 37A which he bought from Ernest Friederich's dealership in Nice where the Count still had family. According to Rene Dreyfus, who worked in Friederich's dealership, Czaykowski raced for fun as a privateer. Finishing 4th in the Comminges GP that year. In 1931 he won the Casablanca Grand Prix on the Anfa Racecourse in his Bugatti 37A. In the August at the La Baule Grand Prix he was fifth behind Waldthausen in fourth, and the Bugattis of "Williams", Lehoux and Falchetto. Then in September, the GP de Brignoles was held on a road course that included two bridges and a railway crossing, which necessitated stopping all road and rail traffic for the whole day. René Dreyfus won the Grand Prix in his Bugatti while Czaikowski finished 3rd overall and won the over 2-litre class. In May 1932 he won the Provence Trophy Nîmes in a Bugatti T35B. At Le Mans that year, he drove with Ernest Friderich. At dawn their Bugatti was running a surprising third behind the Alfa's of Franco Cortese and Raymond Sommer. The lead Alfa had numerous problems and Czaikowski and Friderich steadily closed in until on the 180th lap a piston broke ending their race. He also entered the the BRDC 500-Mile Race at Brooklands and brought his 2-litre Bugatti which was the sole entry in Class E. On May 1933 he broke the one-hour speed record at Avus averaging 213.842 Kmh, and in June he teamed up with Jean Gaupillat for Le Mans. However they went out after 52 laps with electrical problems. In July he entered British Empire Trophy at Brooklands and took his Bugatti T54 to victory. Then on the 10th September 1933 he entered the Gran Premio di Monza. In the first of the three heats, Premoli took an early lead but was soon passed by Czaikowski, followed by Trossi. Then on lap 9 Trossi's Duesenberg blew up in the Curva Sud leaving Czaikovski to win from Moll, Bonetto and Straight. In the second heat tragedy struck when both Giuseppe Campari and Baconin Borzacchini were killed in an accident at the Curva Sud on the high-speed oval track. There ensued a long delay before the third heat and by the time the final could be run it was starting to get dark. The race was therefore shortened to just 14 laps. Czaikowski took the lead followed by Lehoux then, on the ninth lap, he ran wide in the Curva Sud. The left wheels went over the edge of the banking and the Bugatti went over the side, landing upside down and catching fire.  Czaikowski, trapped under the car, didn't stand a chance and died at the scene. After much debate a judge ordered the demolition of the Circuito Sopraelevato. He ruled that the track was too dangerous because of the speeds being reached by the cars. Work started on pulling it down the day after the 1938 Gran Premio d'Italia, and the track would not be replaced until 1955, when a new, highly banked oval was built.

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