THE 1929 AUTOMOBILE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
By Hans Etzrodt|
The 1929 World Championship for constructors was organized by the AIACR and their CSI (International Sporting Committee), comprising seven international races in seven different countries to decide the winner.
The CSI held their meeting in Paris on September 12, 1928. Members present were Baron Nothomb and Langlois (Belgium), Résines (Spain), W.S. Hogan (USA), Count de Rohan and Pérouse (France), C.O. Fritsch (Germany),
Colonel Mervyn O’Gorman and Colonel Frederick Lindsay Lloyd (Great Britain), Count Florio (Italy) and Jules Decrauzat (Switzerland). The following Grandes Epreuves were reserved with their corresponding calendar dates:
May 30, Indianapolis 500
June 30, French Grand Prix
July 7, Belgian Grand Prix
July 14, German Grand Prix
July 31, Spanish Grand Prix
August 17, British Grand Prix
September 8, Grand Prix of Europe (Italy)
A special sub-committee, consisting of five members, Augustin Pérouse (France), Colonel Mervyn O’Gorman (Great Britain), Florio (Italy), Baron Nothomb (Belgium) and C. O. Fritsch (Germany), was ordered to work on proposals for the 1929
racing formula, the regulations for the European Grand Prix and the 1929 World Championship. The decision about the racing formula and regulations should be finalized by the October 11, 1928 CSI meeting, then to be approved by the AIACR.
Those present at the October 11 CSI meeting were: C. O. Fritsch (Germany), Köchert (Austria), Langlois (Belgium), Resines and Molina (Spain), Smith, Hogan and Bradley (United States), Pérouse (France),
Colonel Frederick Lindsay Lloyd (Great Britain), Senator Crespi and Count Florio (Italy), Count v. Rosen (Sweden) and Decrauzat (Switzerland).
The following resolutions were made: The period of validity for the formula was
reduced from three to two years. The formula for racecars limited the fuel and oil consumption, which was increased from 12 to now 14 kg/100 km minimum engine capacity of 1.1-liter; minimum width of the 2-seat
body measured at the seats had to be 100 cm wide, remaining constant over a height of at least 25 cm. The minimum race distance was fixed at 600 km - 372 mi. The minimum weight was lowered from 1000 to 900 kg
(1,984 lbs) dry but included one complete spare wheel, to enable lighter cars to participate. The type of fuel container would be prescribed and had to be mounted accessibly and visibly behind the seats, not
enclosed in body work. The tank had to be clearly separated from the body and could not be extended by any sheet metal.
At the October 12, 1928 meeting the AIACR decided on the following regulations for the 1929 World Championship:
Article 1. The AIACR organizes for the year 1929 the World Championship for automobiles, reserved for manufacturers and is to be based upon the results of the following races: Grand Prix of Europe (Italy),
Indianapolis 500, French Grand Prix, Belgian Grand Prix, German Grand Prix, Spanish Grand Prix and British Grand Prix.
Article 2. The competing manufacturers have to participate at the European Grand Prix and in at least two other of the above mentioned races.
Article 3. The Grandes Epreuves counting towards the classification in the World Championship have to be held according to the AIACR International Formula.
Article 4. The Grandes Epreuves will not count if they don’t take place.
Article 5. The classification is awarded as follows:
1 point = first place
2 points = second place
3 points = third place
4 points = all other finishers
5 points = non finishers
6 points = non starters
Manufacturers who participate in Grandes Epreuves with several cars, will receive in each race the point score obtained by their best car, meaning that only the lowest point score earned by one of the manufacturer’s cars
will count in each race contested.
The points which are received in this way at the different races will be added; the World Championship will be attained by the manufacturer with the lowest point total.
Article 6. In the case of equal points in the World Championship classification, the better place obtained at the European GP shall be decisive.
Article 7. The victor remains title-holder of the World Champion title until the next same title contest.
The execution of the seven events for the 1929 World Championship did not develop as originally planned and turned out ending in failure bar the French Grand Prix.
Indianapolis on May 30 was held once more to the 1.5-liter GP formula (91.5 cu in) and consequently the AIACR international fuel consumption formula was not enforced and therefore the race did not qualify for the World Championship. Louis Chiron entered one of the 1500 Delages and ended up with a disappointing seventh place.
Faced with the loss of the American event, the AIACR certainly lost its claim of a true World Championship.
The French Grand Prix on June 30 was the only event held to the AIACR fuel consumption formula. Run over 605 km it qualified for the World Championship. “Williams” (Bugatti) won ahead of Boillot (Peugeot) and
The Belgian Grand Prix on July 6-7 was held as a 24-hour endurance sports car event. Therefore it did not comply with the AIACR regulations and did not qualify for the World Championship.
The German Grand Prix for sports cars on July 14 was run over just 509 km distance. It also ignored the AIACR fuel consumption formula and therefore did not qualify for the World Championship.
The Spanish Grand Prix on July 28 was held for sports cars and the AIACR fuel consumption formula was ignored. By not complying with the AIACR regulations, the race did not qualify for the 1930 World Championship.
The British Grand Prix on August 17 was not held. Instead the Tourist Trophy for sports cars took its place. This event did not comply with the AIACR formula and was excluded from the World Championship.
The European Grand Prix at Monza on September 7 did not take place. Instead the promoter held the popular Monza Grand Prix on September 15, ignoring the international formula and was excluded from the World Championship.
The final verdict was issued at the 1929 CSI fall conference in Paris when it was decided not to award the 1929 World Championship title since the 1929 European Grand Prix had not taken place and holding that event was
obligatory to authorize the World Championship.
1 - AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1928 #78p3 Sep-17 – CSI meeting in Paris; Grandes Epreuves; CSI special committee.
2 - AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1928 #81p2 Sep-28 - AIACR; 1929 formula changes; CSI special committee.
3 - Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung (Wien) 1928 #19 p38, 41-42, Oct-1 - CSI meetg, GPs, 1929 formula, no 1928 W.C.
4 - AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1928 #82p2 Oct-2 – Notice about an AIACR mtg. on October 11 to 15.
5 - AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1928 #87p2 Oct-16 - Oct-11 CSI meetg. on Oct-13 AIACR meetg; 1929 formula changes.
6 - AUTOMOBIL-REVUE 1928 #88p3 Oct-19 - AIACR 1929 World Championship Regulations condensed.
7 - Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung (Wien) 1928 #21 p45-48, Nov-1 - AIACR meetg., CSI meetg.,1929 World Championship.
8 - Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung (Wien) 1929 #4 p26, Feb-15 – Indy 500 preview.
9 - AZ Motorwelt 1929, #37 p8: In October, the CSI decided to withdraw awarding this honor of holding the 1929 World Championship.