Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)Riecken (NAG)Cleer (Alfa Romeo)


AVUS - Berlin (D), 11 July 1926.
20 laps x 19.573 km (12.162 mi) + 831m (909 yards) starting straight = 392.29 km (243.76 mi)


Class D up to 3000 cc
1Hans LohmannH. LohmannKomnickC22.1S-4
2Hans BertoldKurt NeugebauerNAGC.4b2.6S-4
3Franz HoferF. HoferSteigerSport 12/70 PS2.9S-4
4Carl DeilmannC. DeilmannAustro-DaimlerADM II3.0S-6
5Christian RieckenNationale Automobil GesellschaftNAGC.4b2.6S-4
6Paul von GuilleaumeP. v. GuilleaumeAustro-DaimlerADM II3.0S-6
7Willi CleerW. CleerAlfa RomeoRL SS3.0S-6
8R. C. KrügerR. C. KrügerAlfa RomeoRL SS3.0S-6
9Edwin Orska E. Orska NAGC.4b2.5S-4
10Fritz FeldmannF. FeldmannHansa2.12.1S-4
11Wilhelm HeineW. HeineNAGC.4b2.5S-4DNS - practice crash
Class E up to 2000 cc
12Arno HänselA. HänselBugattiT302.0S-8DNS - engine damage
13Robert BreierR. BreierBugattiT302.0S-8
14Rudolf CaracciolaR. CaracciolaMercedesGrand Prix 19242.0S-8
15Josef LudewigJ. LudewigBugattiT302.0S-8
16Max z. Schaumburg-LippePrince.zu Schaumburg-LippeOM665 Superba2.0S-6
17Reinhold DürkoppR. DürkoppDürkoppP8A2.0S-4DNA - did not appear
18Otto KomnickA.F. Komnick AGKomnick8/40 PS2.0S-4
19Adolf RosenbergerA. RosenbergerMercedesGrand Prix 19242.0S-8
20Pierre ClauseP. ClauseBignan2.0S-4
21Hans KolbH. KolbBugattiT302.0S-8DNS - engine damage
22Rittmeister von MoschRittmeister von Mosch a. D.DürkoppP8A2.0S-4DNA - did not appear
23Hans SantnerBrauda Motoren AGOM665 Superba2.0S-6
Class F up to 1500 cc
24Hans HanftH. HanftBugattiBrescia1.5S-4
25Albert MitzlaffBrennabor WerkeBrennabor1500 sport1.5S-4
26Alfred MedererAF Zella-Mehlis GmbHPlutoSport s/c1.1S-4
27Ferdinando MinoiaOfficine MeccanicheOM856 Grand Prix1.5S-8
28 Jakob SchollNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6
29Josef MüllerNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6
30Max Georg FiedlerM. G. FiedlerBolle-FiedlerBFA 2-stroke1.5S-4
31Hermann FriedrichAF Zella-Mehlis GmbHPlutoSport s/c1.1S-4
32Georg KlöbleNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6
33Max WältiMax WältiBugattiT131.5S-4
34Otto FettkenheuerOtto GroningerBob1020 cc1.0S-4
35Luigi "Gigi" PlatéG. PlatéChiribiri12/16 Monza S1.5S-4DNS - practice crash
36Jean Chassagne"Inga" IndustriegesellschaftTalbot3 VC Supersport1.5S-4
37Franz IslingerNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6
38Georg KimpelG. KimpelBugattiT391.5S-8
39August MombergerNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6DNS - engine damage
40van HornG. M. Gendron & CoGM1.5S-4
41Eduard ReichsteinBrennabor WerkeBrennabor1500 sport1.5S-4
42Hugo Urban-EmmrichH. Urban-EmmrichTalbot3 VC Supersport1.5S-4
43Cord von EinemAF Zella-Mehlis GmbHPlutoSport s/c1.1S-4DNS - engine damage
44Fritz BackaschBrennabor WerkeBrennabor1500 sport1.5S-4
45Willy LogeDr. Kurt EimerAga30 hp1.5S-4
46 Heinz ErblichH, ErblichAlfi1.5S-4

Caracciola wins German Grand Prix with Mercedes

by Hans Etzrodt
The 1926 German Grand Prix was the first international race in Germany since the war. From 46 entries 38 cars started in three classes but only 17 made it to the finish with steady rain during mid-race. The performance of Caracciola winning with the Mercedes in professional style was praiseworthy and earned him his nickname Regenmeister or rain master and the Berliners called him affectionately Caratsch. He was fortunate that all serious contenders in pure bread race cars had been eliminated, including Minoia (OM), Platé (Chiribiri), Rosenberger (Mercedes) and the Talbots of Chassagne and Urban-Emmrich. So, Caracciola did not outperform them, he just outlasted all of his opponents.
      It was supposedly a race for sports cars but the public saw only race cars amongst the 38 starters. Amongst them were types which had been built years ago in just two or three examples, and some by companies that no longer existed in 1926. Furthermore, real touring cars which were condemned from the start to play merely statistical roles were given a sporting outer appearance by removing everything which could be unscrewed. The public was under the impression that this was a racecar battle taking place not a race for sports cars. The organizer had added some very liberal German sports car regulations, named Erleichterungen, which not only included engine and exhaust changes but also enabled the participation of pure race cars. So, it was actually a formula libre (free formula) race, not a sports car race as advertised by the organizing club or reported by the media.
After four failed attempts in previous years the German Grand Prix was finally staged in 1926. The race was held at the Avus, because the Nürburgring did not yet exist as a completed circuit. The year before, Germany had become a full member of the AIACR and the CSI, and this opened the race to international drivers, the first of its kind in Germany after the Great War. The AvD (Automobil-Club von Deutschland) decided to have the race open only to sports cars. They calculated that there was a greater chance of a German make winning, as there were very few 1500cc German racecars. The race was open for three international classes of sports cars:
Class D: over 2000 to 3000 cc, minimum weight: 1000 kg, 4-seat body, identified with a white stripe across the hood. White hoods had 2 thin black stripes about ½ foot apart with white color between them.
Class E: over 1500 to 2000 cc, min. weight: 800 kg, 4-seat body, identified with a red stripe across the hood.
Class F: over 1100 to 1500 cc, min. weight: 700 kg, 2-seat body, identified with a black stripe across the hood.
The German regulations permitted weight savings, allowing the removal of bumpers, fenders, running boards, lights, windshields, starters, major engine revisions and long exhaust pipes without silencers, all of which resulted in a racecar. Simultaneously pure race cars like Chiribiri, OM, Talbot and Mercedes were allowed.
      The Avus (Automobil-, Verkehrs- und Übungsstraße) in Berlin was a road circuit which had been used since 1921 for minor national events. It served both as an automobile test track and as a connecting road between Berlin and Potsdam. It comprised two 9.5 km parallel straights in the Grunewald district, joined at the Potsdam end by the slightly banked left-hand wide 180-degree South Loop and at the Berlin end in the north by a left-hand wider 180-degree flat bend. Only at these two turns did the drivers have to slow their pace to 70 or 80 km/h, otherwise they could drive at maximum speed on the two long stretches. As a result tires were always of particular concern at the Avus. The length of the first lap was 20.404 km because it included an 831 meters long starting straight while the remaining laps had a length of 19.573 km. The race ran over 20 laps, resulting in a total distance of 392.291 km. The straights had a width of 8 meters; the North Turn was 12 meters wide and the South Turn 18 meters. The road surface consisted of Macadam with a tar cover. In rainy weather the Avus was declared less slippery than any regular highway.
      Total prize money was 41,000 Marks. The first in each class received 6,000 Marks, second 3,000 and third 1,000 Marks. The prize for the overall winner was 17,000 Marks which included the 6,000 for the class win, and a valuable massive gold-cup of the AvD.
The Italian driver Ferdinando Minoia remarked during Avus practice that the German Grand Prix would be the race with the best entries in Europe this year. From 46 cars entered 27 were German and 19 were foreign. A complete list of entries is at the beginning of this report. However, the following few notes may be of interest.
      Aga - manufactured by Aga Fahrzeugwerke in Berlin-Lichtenberg, this was probably one of the 1500 two-seater sports cars entered in the 1924 Targa Florio as a 6/30 PS model with a 4-cylinder 1495 cc (63.5 x 118 mm) engine, delivering 30 hp at 3000 rpm. Alternatively it may have been a 1925/26 developed sports car based on the 1924 car.
      Bolle-Fiedler - one 1500 car was entered by B.F.A. (Bolle-Fiedler-Motoren) in Berlin-Charlottenburg. M. Georg Fiedler drove the car which had a two-stroke engine using a straight 4-cylinder (66 x 110 mm) water-cooled block with an output of 55 hp and a maximum of 4000 rpm. The split crankshaft was fitted with five ball bearings while the connecting rods utilized roller bearings. The lubrication was automatic by condensation with a 16:1 Benzol fuel-oil mixture utilizing a Sum carburetor.
      Brennabor - the Brennabor factory of the Reichstein Brothers entered three 1500 racecars. It was based on the 1925 Brennabor Type R 6/25 PS of which three racecars had been built. The type S with supercharger (Brennabor Motor Typ S) had a top speed of about 90 km/h. For the 1926 race the 4-cylinder 1569 cc (65 x 113 mm) engine had two inclined in- and outlet valves per cylinder, driven by a single overhead camshaft. The cars were painted light blue and could reach a speed of 150 km/h.
      Mercedes - while the new official Mercedes-Benz team entered eleven days later at the touring car Grand Prix in San Sebastian, Spain, two Mercedes cars were entered independently for the German Grand Prix but under the name of each driver, Adolf Rosenberger and Rudolf Caracciola. Despite this arrangement, the factory considered the first German Grand Prix of such importance, that the technical Director, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and Director Max Sailer were present in Berlin. The merger between Mercedes and Benz had taken place less than two weeks before this race, so the 1924 Mercedes cars received assistance from Mercedes-Benz. The two cars were 2-Liter 1924 Grand Prix models, which were improved in 1925 and modified by the factory in 1926, adding two rumble seats to comply with the rules, including some other changes. However, the car had a problem once it had properly warmed up, in that it used a lot of spark plugs. For this reason in 1925 the car only started in short hill climbs. By 1926 improved spark plugs had been developed and now the factory risked starting with those plugs in the German Grand Prix.
      NAG - manufactured by National Automobil-Gesellschaft, Berlin, three of the 4-cylinder 2536 cc (83 x 118 mm) Monza models were entered. The 2.6-liter race cars of Christian Riecken and Hans Berthold were based on their sports car, factory prepared with specially modified engines, Rudge wire wheels and a wheelbase of 320 cm. The third car of Edwin Orska was more standard.
      NSU - built by Neckarsulmer Fahrzeugwerke AG, Neckarsulm, the works team comprised five cars of the 6/60 PS model, with a 6-cylinder side valve engine of 1476 cc (59 x 90 mm), delivering 60 hp at 4000 rpm. Ignition was by Bosch magneto and the Roots supercharger was driven from the gearbox. It had mechanical 4-wheel brakes, Rudge wire wheels and a wheelbase of 285 cm. The top speed was quoted at 175 km/h.
      OM - manufactured by Officine Meccaniche SA, in Brescia, Italy, they entered the one supercharged 1500 cc 8-cylinder grand prix car tipo 856, which was designed for the 1926 international 1500 formula. Only two cars were ever built and it is not clear why and under which conditions the AvD admitted this full blooded racecar which, incidentally, established the fastest lap during the race.
      Pluto - the Automobilfabrik Zella-Mehlis GmbH in Germany manufactured the Amilcar under license but named their cars Pluto. The three Pluto 30 cars had a Roots supercharger with a 4-cylinder 1054 cc engine which was designated 5/30/65 PS. Alfred Mederer, Hermann Friedrich and Cord von Einem were the drivers.
      Talbot - alias Darracq, two privately owned 1925 model race voiturettes were entered as "Type 3 VC Super-Sport" which had a 4-cylinder 1500 (67 x 105.5 mm) engine with twin overhead camshafts driving two valves per cylinder. One car was driven by Czechoslovakian Hugo Urban-Emmrich from Prague, the other by Frenchman Jean Chassagne from Paris.
Some weeks before official practice Kurt Neugebauer had an accident on the Avus with his NAG race car. He had just passed the South Turn accelerating, when after the overpass his car skidded on the wet circuit at about 150 km/h to the right and into the forest. Only by pure luck did the driver and his passenger escape life threatening injuries. This accident had evidently demonstrated the danger of a wet Avus circuit. Understandably the accident was not made very public but it should have raised concern at the time. Official Avus practice was from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Thursday and Friday before Sunday's race with the circuit blocked from any traffic. On Saturday morning at 8:00 AM scrutineering began at the Avus.
      After official Friday practice some drivers took part in free evening practice, when the Italian Carlo Cattaneo died as passenger in Luigi Platé's Chiribiri type Monza race car. Driving at 120 to 150 km/h, Platé could not avoid a collision. He probably had not seen the signal given by the mechanic of Wilhelm Heine driving a 2.6-Liter NAG, who had joined the race track at the South Curve from a parallel street. The right front tire of the Chiribiri collided with the left front wheel of the NAG, causing the Chiribiri to overturn. A few people had watched the accident, headed to the car and came to the aid of two men trapped underneath. The unconscious Cattaneo died shortly afterwards and Platé who was also unconscious, suffered a severe concussion, broken ribs and internal injuries. An ambulance transported him to a hospital. Heine in the NAG suffered serious injuries but his passenger Rolf Richard Kunze escaped with slight contusions.
The race was a great event in Berlin, the German capital with a population of over four million. Attendance for this race was immense, exceeding 230,000 spectators. At 1:00 PM the drivers had to be with their cars at their pits to get ready for the race. 25 minutes later the starter and his helpers guided the cars in closed procession to the Forsthaus where they turned around onto the return straight and headed through the North Turn past the grandstand towards the vacant starting area.
      Only 38 cars appeared at the start. Eight cars did not, including Heine's 2.5-Liter NAG which had crashed on Friday evening with Platé's 1500 Chiribiri, eliminating both cars. Hänsel and Kolb in their 2000 Bugattis both broke their engines during Friday practice. The 1100 Pluto of von Einem also damaged his engine in Friday's practice, while Momberger with the 1500 NSU broke his engine before the start. The two 2000 Dürkopps of Reinhold Dürkopp and Rittmeister von Mosch did not appear. Eventually the large cars assembled in front of the Avus-Tor where they lined up on the grid as follows:
Pole Position











Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo







At exactly 2:00 PM the starter released the ten cars of Class D (2001-3000 cc) with a white flag. The two NAGs of Riecken and Berthold lead at the end of the first lap, followed closely by the Austro-Daimlers of Deilmann and Guilleaume.
      Next the eight cars of Class E (1501-2000 cc) lined up with #18 Komnick taking the place away from #15 Ludewig, who tried to line up in the first row but there were officials standing alongside the #13 car.
Pole Position
















The cars started exactly two minutes later and Caracciola from the front row leaped forward but then the engine stalled as it had done so often before. His mechanic Eugen Salzer jumped out to push the car into life with a delay of almost one minute before Caracciola chased after the field. Meantime Rosenberger in the second Mercedes had taken the lead in this class and at the end of the lap he was leading the entire field in time.
      At 2:04 PM the twenty cars of Class F (up to 1500 cc) were sent away.
Grid not available

The line-up of the 1500 cars was again numerical in 3 - 2 - 3 arrangement but somehow inexplicably #36 Chassagne's Talbot led the entire 1500 pack of 20 cars a few seconds after the start but his place on the grid was not known. Chassagne was scheduled to be positioned in the middle of row five but was in fact at an unknown front position.
      After the first lap, the two green NAGs of Riecken and Berthold were in the lead, followed by the two large Austro-Daimlers. Fettkenheuer's Bob and Erblich's Alfi failed to complete the first lap for unknown reasons. Since there were delayed starts for the other two classes, this report shows the true order of the fastest 20 cars (with lap times in fifth of a second converted into tenth) as follows after 20.4 km or the first lap.
1.Rosenberger (Mercedes)7m58.2s2000 ccClass
2.Minoia (OM)8m14.6s1500 cc
3.Chassagne (Talbot)8m22.8s1500 cc
4.Urban-Emmrich (Talbot)8m38.8s1500 cc
5.Riecken (NAG)8m43.4s3000 cc
6.Caracciola (Mercedes)8m45.8s2000 cc
7.Berthold (NAG)8m50.4s3000 cc
8.Guilleaume (Austro-Daimler)9m05.8s3000 cc
9.Deilmann (Austro-Daimler)9m09.6s3000 cc
10.Scholl (NSU)9m15.8s1500 cc
11.Kimpel (Bugatti)9m16.4s1500 cc
12.Klöble (NSU)9m21.0s1500 cc
13.Cleer (Alfa Romeo)9m27.0s3000 cc
14.Clause (Bignan)9m27.4s2000 cc
15.Orska (NAG)9m29.2s3000 cc
16.Müller (NSU)9m31.2s1500 cc
17.Krüger (Alfa Romeo)9m57.8s3000 cc
18.Ludewig (Bugatti)10m00.0s2000 cc
19.Breier (Bugatti)10m04.8s2000 cc
20.Feldmann (Hansa)10m26.4s3000 cc

Fiedler in his BFA stopped at his pit at the end of the first lap with a flat tire and retired. The Aga of Loge made a brief stop at the starting area and re-joined the race after checking over the car.
      On the second lap Minoia with the OM Grand Prix car drove the fastest lap of the race in 7m17.3s at 161.2 km/h average speed. Rosenberger lapped in 7m19.0s, Chassagne (Talbot) 7m29.4s, Urban-Emmrich (Talbot) 7m33.4s, Caracciola 7m45.0s and Riecken (NAG) 7m48.4s, while all others lapped in over eight minutes. Hofer (Steiger) retired on lap two with a defective radiator and Loge (Aga) retired on the next lap.
      On the fourth lap Minoia stopped his OM for unknown reasons at the pits and dropped from second to eighth place. Guilleaume (Austro-Daimler) dropped from eighth to 17th place. Feldmann (Hansa) and Ludewig (Bugatti) had dropped behind. Kimpel advanced from 11th place to seventh and Caracciola moved from sixth on the first lap to fourth place. Santer in the OM and Islinger in another NSU had come from behind and were now amongst the first twenty cars. After three laps the order of the leading 27 cars was as follows:
1.Rosenberger (Mercedes)22m52.4s2000 ccClass
2.Chassagne (Talbot)23m27.0s1500 cc
3.Urban-Emmrich (Talbot)23m38.4s1500 cc
4.Caracciola (Mercedes)24m06.2s2000 cc
5.Riecken (NAG)24m48.6s3000 cc
6.Berthold (NAG)25m13.4s3000 cc
7.Kimpel (Bugatti)25m48.4s1500 cc
8.Minoia (OM)25m50.4s1500 cc
9.Deilmann (Austro-Daimler)25m53.2s3000 cc
10.Klöble (NSU)26m28.6s1500 cc
11.Scholl (NSU)26m29.2s1500 cc
12.Cleer (Alfa Romeo)26m31.8s3000 cc
13.Clause (Bignan)26m43.8s2000 cc
14.Orska (NAG)26m48.6s3000 cc
15.Müller (NSU)27m48.8s1500 cc
16.Breier (Bugatti)29m18.2s2000 cc
17.Santer (OM)29m44.0s2000 cc
18.Guilleaume (Austro-Daimler)30m00.4s3000 cc
19.Islinger (NSU)30m29.2s1500 cc
20.Krüger (Alfa Romeo)30m38.0s3000 cc
21.Reichstein (Brennabor)31m10.2s1500 cc
22.Wälti (Bugatti)31m26.6s1500 cc
23.Mitzlaff (Brennabor)31m33.4s1500 cc
24.Backash (Brennabor)31m47.8s1500 cc
25.Ludewig (Bugatti)33m38.4s2000 cc
26.Feldmann (Hansa)34m01.8s3000 cc
27.Schaumburg-Lippe (OM)34m53.2s2000 cc

On lap four, Krüger in the 3-liter Alfa Romeo retired with a defective clutch. At around 2:30 PM during lap four it began to rain and the road became very slippery which severely impeded the drivers and slowed the race pace. Rosenberger in the lead was less affected by the rain and lapped in 7m34.4s, likewise Urban-Emmrich 7m46.0s, Chassagne 8m00.2s and Caracciola 8m11.4s. Some of the cars further behind, like the NAGs of Riecken and Berthold, lapped in over 11-1/2 minutes, but both NAGs had tire defects. The speeding cars were enveloped in clouds of spray and often lurched alarmingly along the wet track. After lap five Berthold's NAG retired when he lost the casing of one tire which became entangled with the brake linkage, rendering the brakes ineffective. He retired the car in the North Turn with the front axle damaged.
      After six laps the leading four drivers remained the same, but the two Talbots had traded places. Cleer (Alfa Romeo) made up three places from 11th to 8th, Minoia (OM) regained two positions while Kimpel's Bugatti dropped from 6th to 15th place and Ludewig's Bugatti fell further down the field. Riecken stopped at his pit with tire damage which dropped him from fifth to 11th place. After six laps the order of the leading 27 cars was as follows:
1.Rosenberger (Mercedes)46m42.0s2000 ccClass
2.Urban-Emmrich (Talbot)47m30.6s1500 cc
3.Chassagne (Talbot)47m44.4s1500 cc
4.Caracciola (Mercedes)49m05.8s2000 cc
5.Deilmann (Austro-Daimler)51m56.2s3000 cc
6.Minoia (OM)53m16.8s1500 cc
7.Scholl (NSU)58m44.2s1500 cc
8.Cleer (Alfa Romeo)53m18.2s3000 cc
9.Klöble (NSU)54m03.6s1500 cc
10.Clause (Bignan)54m07.6s2000 cc
11.Riecken (NAG)54m38.6s3000 cc
12.Müller (NSU)56m03.4s1500 cc
13.Guilleaume (Austro-Daimler)56m37.4s3000 cc
14.Islinger (NSU)58m19.4s1500 cc
15.Kimpel (Bugatti)58m57.4s1500 cc
16.Santer (OM)59m14.6s2000 cc
17.Lohmann (Komnick)1h02m03.8s3000 cc
18.Reichstein (Brennabor)1h02m10.2s1500 cc
19.Mitzlaff (Brennabor)1h02m14.0s1500 cc
20.Backash (Brennabor)1h02m23.4s1500 cc
21.Wälti (Bugatti)1h02m27.4s1500 cc
22.Schaumburg-Lippe (OM)1h02m49.4s2000 cc
23.Orska (NAG)1h03m04.4s3000 cc
24.Breier (Bugatti)1h03m27.8s2000 cc
25.Feldmann (Hansa)1h03m50.8s3000 cc
26.Friedrich (Pluto)1h06m51.4s1500 cc
27.Ludewig (Bugatti)1h20m41.4s2000 cc

At the beginning of lap seven Minoia retired the OM Grand Prix car. After his pit stop on lap four his car sounded bad with the engine running irregularly. Minoia's retirement with the OM was described as mysterious, supposedly due to problems with the tires of unspecified origin or alternatively to transmission failure. Lohmann also retired the Komnick after six laps.
      At the end of his seventh lap just before the finish line Rosenberger in the leading Mercedes had a serious accident. Historian Karl Ludvigsen wrote that the tank of ether sprang a leak, releasing fumes into the cockpit that caused Adolf to lean out for more air. This threw him off his line on the wet track when leaving the North Turn at high speed onto the straight stretch of the glass-like slippery track at about 150 km/h. The car skidded sideways onto the bordering strip of wet grass to the right. It spun once completely around before crashing sideways at full speed into the scoring board. The impact was so great that it broke with a vengeance its steel support beams and demolished part of the adjoining time keeper's hut with the two young student timekeepers and the sign painter inside. The time keeper Wilhelm Klose died immediately and the second time keeper Bruno Kleinsorge was seriously injured. The board painter Gustav Rosenow, who took care of the timing display, had both legs crushed and died 12 hours later after amputation. Rosenberger escaped with slight head injuries while his riding mechanic Cocquelline suffered fractures. The race was not stopped because the racetrack was not blocked and first aid workers, who had been only 50 paces away, were busy helping the victims with the doctor arriving after one minute. The injured were transported by ambulance behind the Avus track using the adjoining road to Eichkamp, which could not be seen by the public or the press on the Avus.
      After seven laps Urban-Emmrich's fast Talbot was now in the lead with 56m07.2s race time ahead of Chassagne 56m15.4s in the second Talbot, only eight seconds behind the leader, third Caracciola's Mercedes 57m48.1s, fourth Deilmann (Austro-Daimler) 1h00m41.8s, fifth Cleer (Alfa Romeo) 1h02m12.4s, sixth Clause (Bignan) 1h03m07.8s and next Riecken (NAG) 1h03m51.6s who had lost time with tire changes.
      On lap eight Van Horn (GM or Gendron) retired. He had been trailing at the very end of the field after two very long pit stops on lap two and three when he tried to repair a broken valve. He only completed eight laps in 3h32m55.2s. Urban-Emmrich's fast Talbot was still in the lead after 1h04m13.2s ahead of Chassagne 1h05m02.8s in the second Talbot, with Caracciola's Mercedes third 1h07m01.8s. Fourth was Deilmann (Austro-Daimler) 1h09m24.6s, fifth Cleer (Alfa Romeo) 1h11m08.4s, sixth Clause (Bignan) 1h12m09.8s and seventh Riecken (NAG) 1h14m21.2s.
      At the beginning of the ninth lap, Caracciola stopped at his pit to refuel and change spark plugs because the engine was not running on all eight cylinders. Since outside help was not permitted, Caracciola himself unscrewed each spark plug and tossed the hot plugs towards the pits where Professor Porsche inspected each plug with a magnifying glass and tossed them back to the driver. Supposedly it was one of the last of the eight plugs that had caused the engine to miss. After this stop of around seven minutes, his only one during the race, Caracciola rejoined in fifth position.
      Near the end of the ninth lap Urban-Emmrich crashed his Talbot at the North Turn. He had already completed three quarters of the bend when he accelerated too fast, the car drifted on the wet track to the right and climbed over the outside bank, breaking through the wire fence and snapping one fence pole with spectators behind it. The car came to rest with the nose facing the grandstand where three spectators were injured amongst them a young girl and a policeman on duty with serious injuries. The fortunate driver and his mechanic escaped with slight contusions. They managed to free the car from the entangled wire fence, and pushed it in front of the grandstand towards the starting area. Once there they checked the wheels and axles, started the Talbot's engine and while still out of breath jumped into the car and rejoined the race to applause from the spectators. This incident had stretched Urban-Emmrich's time for the ninth lap to 25m37.2s and had dropped him from second to twelfth place, over 11 minutes behind the new leader, Deilmann (Austro-Daimler).
      Chassagne also crashed on lap 9, about 500 meters after the South Turn. Allegedly due to a broken steering arm, his blue Talbot skidded, overturned several times and ended up just in front of a simple wire fence protecting the spectators. Both the driver and the mechanic were reported to have been ejected from the car and were unconscious when they were transported away by Red Cross aids.
      Also on the ninth lap Mederer's Pluto left the track at full speed near the same place and in front of the same grandstand where Rosenberger had crashed two laps earlier. When a tie rod came apart on his Pluto, the car spun onto the grass median between the two straights where with full impact it hit a parked Mercedes touring car left by race management at the finish. Without this obstructing car the Pluto would in all likelihood have crashed into a group of officials and timekeepers on the other side of the track. The Pluto broke off one wheel and the steering column hit the driver in the face and split his upper lip while his passenger Henkel injured one hand.
      After nine laps, with Rosenberger and Chassagne out of the race, Deilmann was now in the lead ahead of Cleer, Clause, Riecken and Caracciola who was now fifth after his seven minute pit stop. Urban-Emmrich had fallen one lap behind as a result of his off-track excursion at the North Turn. The field was now down to 25 cars in the following order after nine laps:
1.Deilmann (Austro-Daimler)1h18m12.6s3000 ccClass
2.Cleer (Alfa Romeo)1h20m33.0s3000 cc
3.Clause (Bignan)1h21m08.6s2000 cc
4.Riecken (NAG)1h22m21.6s3000 cc
5.Caracciola (Mercedes)1h23m25.2s2000 cc
6.Klöble (NSU)1h25m02.4s1500 cc
7.Scholl (NSU)1h25m41.6s1500 cc
8.Müller (NSU)1h26m43.8s1500 cc
9.Islinger (NSU)1h28m23.2s1500 cc
10.Santer (OM)1h28m48.6s2000 cc
11.Guilleaume (Austro-Daimler)1h29m33.6s3000 cc
12.Urban-Emmrich (Talbot)1h29m50.6s1500 cc
13.Schaumburg-Lippe (OM)1h30m54.4s2000 cc
14.Kimpel (Bugatti)1h31m51.2s1500 cc
15.Backash (Brennabor)1h32m42.0s1500 cc
16.Reichstein (Brennabor)1h33m23.4s1500 cc
17.Mitzlaff (Brennabor)1h33m41.6s1500 cc
18.Feldmann (Hansa)1h34m03.4s3000 cc
19.Wälti (Bugatti)1h34m05.2s1500 cc
20.Breier (Bugatti)1h34m20.2s2000 cc
21.Orska (NAG)1h36m34.6s3000 cc
22.Friedrich (Pluto)1h42m38.4s1500 cc
23.Hanft (Bugatti)1h42m42.6s1500 cc
24.Ludewig (Bugatti)1h57m11.2s2000 cc
25.Komnick (Komnick)1h58m59.0s2000 cc

On lap 10 Breier retired his Bugatti. There were no further retirements until lap 13. After his pit stop on lap 9, Caracciola drove the next three laps in 8m55.4s, 8m41.2s and 8m45.3s. The leader Deilmann drove the comparable laps in 8m58.2s, 8m57.4s and 9m06.0s. Cleer's comparable times with the second placed Alfa Romeo were 9m17.8s, 9m31.8s and 10m10.2s. Clause (Bignan) in third place drove those laps in 9m13.0s, 9m15.6s and 9m11.6s; Riecken in fourth place drove 8m04.8s, 8m37.2s and 11m37.4s. With his fast laps Caracciola had made up time in the rain and passed Riecken for fourth place and by the twelfth lap was only 14 seconds behind Cleer in third place. As Caracciola passed his pit, Director Max Sailer gave him hand signals to speed up. But Caracciola had no idea how well or badly he was doing in the race or in what position he was. Kimpel also improved his position from 14th place moving forward to 8th. The field was down to 24 cars with the positions as follows after 12 laps:
1.Deilmann (Austro-Daimler)1h45m14.2s3000 ccClass
2.Clause (Bignan)1h48m48.8s2000 cc
3.Cleer (Alfa Romeo)1h49m33.0s3000 cc
4.Caracciola (Mercedes)1h49m47.6s2000 cc
5.Riecken (NAG)1h50m41.4s3000 cc
6.Scholl (NSU)1h57m14.4s1500 cc
7.Klöble (NSU)1h57m53.6s1500 cc
8.Kimpel (Bugatti)1h58m50.8s1500 cc
9.Schaumburg-Lippe (OM)1h59m00.2s2000 cc
10.Santer (OM)1h59m02.2s2000 cc
11.Islinger (NSU)2h00m37.2s1500 cc
12.Guilleaume (Austro-Daimler)2h01m15.4s3000 cc
13.Müller (NSU)2h01m32.0s1500 cc
14.Backash (Brennabor)2h03m16.8s1500 cc
15.Reichstein (Brennabor)2h04m58.6s1500 cc
16.Mitzlaff (Brennabor)2h04m59.6s1500 cc
17.Wälti (Bugatti)2h05m45.0s1500 cc
18.Feldmann (Hansa)2h08m48.8s3000 cc
19.Orska (NAG)2h11m44.4s3000 cc
20.Friedrich (Pluto)2h17m27.2s1500 cc
21.Urban-Emmrich (Talbot)2h19m25.6s1500 cc
22.Hanft (Bugatti)2h25m26.8s1500 cc
23.Ludewig (Bugatti)2h29m23.0s2000 cc
24.Komnick (Komnick)2h42m44.6s2000 cc

By the thirteenth lap the rain had stopped and everyone speeded up when lap speeds improved for everybody. Deilmann retired his Austro-Daimler while in first position handing the lead to Clause (Bignan). Komnick retired on lap 14, while Guilleaume in the second Austro-Daimler retired on lap 15. Caracciola was able to make up more time, passing first Cleer and then, on lap14, he overhauled Clause for the lead and was 25 seconds ahead of him at the end of lap 14. His lap times during lap 13 to lap 15 were 8m22.4s, 8m12.4s and 8m06.0s. The comparable times of Clause were 8m59.6s, 8m59.1s and 8m48.1s while Cleer lapped in 9m14.4s, 9m06.2s and 8m56.2s. After 15 laps Kimpel had dropped from 7th place to 11th place. The field was now down to 21 cars in the following order after15 laps:
1.Caracciola (Mercedes)2h14m47.6s2000 ccClass
2.Riecken (NAG)2h15m09.0s3000 cc
3.Clause (Bignan)2h15m35.8s2000 cc
4.Cleer (Alfa Romeo)2h16m50.0s3000 cc
5.Scholl (NSU)2h24m11.0s1500 cc
6.Klöble (NSU)2h24m53.6s1500 cc
7.Schaumburg-Lippe (OM)2h26m11.8s2000 cc
8.Santer (OM)2h28m17.8s2000 cc
9.Islinger (NSU)2h28m29.2s1500 cc
10.Müller (NSU)2h30m17.8s1500 cc
11.Kimpel (Bugatti)2h31m44.2s1500 cc
12.Backash (Brennabor)2h32m51.6s1500 cc
13.Reichstein (Brennabor)2h35m47.4s1500 cc
14.Mitzlaff (Brennabor)2h35m48.8s1500 cc
15.Wälti (Bugatti)2h36m43.6s1500 cc
16.Feldmann (Hansa)2h38m16.6s3000 cc
17.Orska (NAG)2h42m11.4s3000 cc
18.Urban-Emmrich (Talbot)2h45m57.8s1500 cc
19.Friedrich (Pluto)2h48m48.8s1500 cc
20.Ludewig (Bugatti)3h02m10.6s2000 cc
21.Hanft (Bugatti)3h06m16.0s1500 cc

On lap 16 Ludewig retired his Bugatti. Kimpel first encountered spark plug problems and when he broke a connecting rod, his race ended on lap 17. His retirement was regrettable since during practice he had found a replacement for a damaged con rod roller bearing which had taken him great deal of trouble to obtain. On lap 17 Friedrich (Pluto) ended his race. Hanft in last place retired his Bugatti on lap 18 when he was several laps behind the leader. The order of the 17 car field was as follows after 18 laps:
1.Caracciola (Mercedes)2h38m42.8s2000 ccClass
2.Riecken (NAG)2h39m34.8s3000 cc
3.Clause (Bignan)2h42m03.6s2000 cc
4.Cleer (Alfa Romeo)2h42m54.8s3000 cc
5.Scholl (NSU)2h54m17.2s1500 cc
6.Klöble (NSU)2h50m30.8s1500 cc
7.Schaumburg-Lippe (OM)2h53m03.6s2000 cc
8.Santer (OM)2h57m20.0s2000 cc
9.Islinger (NSU)2h55m45.6s1500 cc
10.Müller (NSU)2h59m27.4s1500 cc
11.Backash (Brennabor)3h02m03.0s1500 cc
12.Reichstein (Brennabor)3h06m11.4s1500 cc
13.Mitzlaff (Brennabor)3h06m12.0s1500 cc
14.Wälti (Bugatti)3h10m43.2s1500 cc
15.Feldmann (Hansa)3h07m57.6s3000 cc
16.Orska (NAG)3h10m22.4s3000 cc
17.Urban-Emmrich (Talbot)3h12m07.6s1500 cc

On lap 19 Caracciola led Riecken by 2m17.8s while Clause was 5m45s behind in third place. Everyone's speeds had increased on a drying track. At the end of 20 laps Caracciola passed the cheering spectators in the North Turn grandstand before he crossed the finish line to the cheers of that grandstand crowd. He had no idea that he had won the Grand Prix of Germany. Riecken with the big NAG finished in second place and won his class. He had been delayed by five tire changes. Cleer in the Alfa Romeo finished six minutes after the winner in third place followed by Clause (Bignan). The remaining 13 finishers had all been lapped and kept on driving to complete the full distance of 20 laps.

General Results


1.14Rudolf CaracciolaR. CaracciolaMercedesGrand Prix 19242.0S-8202h54m17.8s 
2.5Christian RieckenNationale Automobil GesellschaftNAGC.4b2.6S-4202h57m33.2s+ 3m15.4s
3.7Willi CleerW. CleerAlfa RomeoRL SS3.0S-6203h00m16.8s+ 5m59.0s
4.20Pierre ClauseP. ClauseBignan2.0S-4203h02m07.4s+ 7m49.6
5.32Georg KlöbleNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6203h07m27.0s+ 13m09.2s
6.16Max z. Schaumburg LippePrince.zu Schaumburg/LippeOM6652.0S-6203h10m57.2s+ 16m39.4s
7.28 Jakob SchollNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6203h11m54.2s+ 17m36.4s
8.37Franz IslingerNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6203h13m58.8s+ 19m41.0s
9.23Hans SantnerBrauda Motoren AGOM6652.0S-6203h16m54.2s+ 22m36.4s
10.54Josef MüllerNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6203h18m25.4s+ 24m07.6s
11.44Fritz BackaschBrennaborBrennabor1500 sport1.5S-4203h21m26.2s+ 27m08.4s
12.41Eduard ReichsteinBrennaborBrennabor1500 sport1.5S-4203h26m33.8s+ 32m16.0s
13.10Fritz FeldmannF. FeldmannHansa2.12.1S-4203h27m45.8s+ 33m28.0s
14.9Edwin OrskaE. Orska NAGC.4b2.6S-4203h28m11.0s+ 33m53.2s
15.25Albert MitzlaffBrennaborBrennabor1500 sport1.5S-4203h29m01.6s+ 34m43.8s
16.42Hugo Urban-EmmrichH. Urban-EmmrichTalbot3 VC Supersport1.5S-4203h29m37.8s+ 35m20.0s
17.33Max WältiM. WältiBugattiT131.5S-4203h31m17.8s+ 37m00.0s
DNF24Hans HanftH. HanftBugattiBrescia1.5S-417  
DNF31Hermann FriedrichAF Zella-Mehlis GmbHPlutoSport s/c1.1S-416  
DNF38Georg KimpelG. KimpelBugattiT391.5S-816con-rod 
DNF15Josef LudewigJ. LudewigBugattiT302.0S-815  
DNF6Paul von GuilleaumeP. v. GuilleaumeAustro-DaimlerADM II3.0S-614
DNF18Otto KomnickA. F. Komnick AGKomnick8/40 PS2.0S-413  
DNF4Carl DeilmannC. DeilmannAustro-DaimlerADM II3.0S-612
DNF13Robert BreierR. BreierBugattiT302.0S-89  
DNF36Jean ChassagneInga IndustriegesellschaftTalbot3 VC Supersport1.5S-48crash, steering 
DNF26Alfred MedererAF Zella-Mehlis GmbHPlutoSport s/c1.1S-48crash, steering 
DNF40van HornG. M. Gendron & CoGM1.5S-48broken valve 
DNF19Adolf RosenbergerA. RosenbergerMercedesGrand Prix 19242.0S-86crash 
DNF27Ferdinando MinoiaOfficine MeccanicheOM856 Grand Prix1.5S-86tires, engine 
DNF1Hans LohmannH. LohmannKomnickC22.1S-46
DNF2Hans BertoldKurt NeugebauerNAGC.4b2.6S-45
DNF8R. C. KrügerR. C. KrügerAlfa RomeoRL SS3.0S-63clutch
DNF45Willy LogeDr. Kurt EimerAga30hp1.5S-42radiator 
DNF3Franz HoferF. HoferSteigerSport 12/70 PS2.9S-41radiator
DNF30Max Georg FiedlerM. G. FiedlerBolle-FiedlerBFA 2-stroke1.5S-41flat tire 
DNF34Otto FettkenheuerOtto GroningerBob1.5S-40retired 
DNF46 Heinz ErblichH. ErblichAlfi1.5S-40retired 
3000 cc Group fastest lap 3000 cc: Christian Riecken (NAG) on lap 20 in 7m42.8s = 152.3 km/h (94.6 mph).
2000 cc Group fastest lap 2000 cc: Adolf Rosenberger (Mercedes) on lap 2 in 7m19.0s = 160.5 km/h (99.7 mph).
1500 cc Group fastest lap 1500 cc: Ferdinando Minoia (OM) on lap 2 in 7m17.6s at 161.0 km/h (100.1 mph).
Winner's average speed 3000 cc, Riecken: 132.6 km/h (82.4 mph).
Winner's average speed 2000 cc, Caracciola: in 2h54m17.8s at 135.0 km/h (83.9 mph).
1500 cc Winner's average speed, 1500cc, Klöble: in 3h07m27.0s at 125.6 km/h (78.0 mph).
Weather: sunny and dry at the start, rain as of lap 4 for about one hour, dry at end.

Results Class D over 2000 to 3000 cc:


1.5Christian RieckenNationale Automobil GesellschaftNAGC.4b2.6S-4202h57m33.2s
2.7Willi CleerW. CleerAlfa RomeoRL SS3.0S-6203h00m16.8s+ 2m43.6s
3.10Fritz FeldmannF. FeldmannHansa2.12.1S-4203h27m45.8s+ 30m12.6s
4.9Edwin OrskaE. Orska NAGC.4b2.6S-4203h28m11.0s+ 30m37.8s
DNF6Paul von GuilleaumeP. v. GuilleaumeAustro-DaimlerADM II3.0S-614
DNF4Carl DeilmannC. DeilmannAustro-DaimlerADM II3.0S-612
DNF1Hans LohmannH. LohmannKomnickC22.1S-46
DNF2Hans BertoldKurt NeugebauerNAGC.4b2.6S-45
DNF8R. C. KrügerR. C. KrügerAlfa RomeoRL SS3.0S-63clutch
DNF3Franz HoferF. HoferSteigerSport 12/70 PS2.9S-41radiator

Results Class E: over 1500 to 2000 cc


1.14Rudolf CaracciolaR. CaracciolaMercedesGrand Prix 19242.0S-8202h54m17.8s
2.20Pierre ClauseP. ClauseBignan2.0S-4203h02m07.4s+ 7m49.6
3.16Max z. Schaumburg LippePrince.zu Schaumburg/LippeOM6652.0S-6203h10m57.2s+ 16m39.4s
4.23Hans SantnerBrauda Motoren AGOM6652.0S-6203h16m54.2s+ 22m36.4
DNF15Josef LudewigJ. LudewigBugattiT302.0S-815
DNF18Otto KomnickA. F. Komnick AGKomnick8/40 PS2.0S-413
DNF13Robert BreierR. BreierBugattiT302.0S-89
DNF19Adolf RosenbergerA. RosenbergerMercedesGrand Prix 19242.0S-86crash

Results Class F: over 1100 to 1500 cc


1.32Georg KlöbleNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6203h07m27.0s
2.28 Jakob SchollNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6203h11m54.2s+ 4m27.2s
3.37Franz IslingerNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6203h13m58.8s+ 6m31.8s
4.54Josef MüllerNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU6/60 s/c1.5S-6203h18m25.4s+ 10m58.4s
5.44Fritz BackaschBrennaborBrennabor1500 sport1.5S-4203h21m26.2s+ 13m59.2s
6.41Eduard ReichsteinBrennaborBrennabor1500 sport1.5S-4203h26m33.8s+ 19m06.8s
7.25Albert MitzlaffBrennaborBrennabor1500 sport1.5S-4203h29m01.6s+ 21m34.6s
8.42Hugo Urban-EmmrichH. Urban-EmmrichTalbot3 VC Supersport1.5S-4203h29m37.8s+ 22m10.8s
9.33Max WältiM. WältiBugattiT131.5S-4203h31m17.8s+ 23m50.8s
DNF24Hans HanftH. HanftBugattiBrescia1.5S-417
DNF31Hermann FriedrichAF Zella-Mehlis GmbHPlutoSport s/c1.1S-416
DNF38Georg KimpelG. KimpelBugattiT391.5S-816con-rod
DNF36Jean ChassagneInga IndustriegesellschaftTalbot3 VC Supersport1.5S-48crash, steering
DNF26Alfred MedererAF Zella-Mehlis GmbHPlutoSport s/c1.1S-48crash, steering
DNF40van HornG. M. Gendron & CoGM1.5S-48broken valve
DNF27Ferdinando MinoiaOfficine MeccanicheOM856 Grand Prix1.5S-86tires, engine
DNF45Willy LogeDr. Kurt EimerAga30hp1.5S-42radiator
DNF30Max Georg FiedlerM. G. FiedlerBolle-FiedlerBFA 2-stroke1.5S-41flat tire
DNF34Otto FettkenheuerOtto GroningerBob1.5S-40retired
DNF46 Heinz ErblichH. ErblichAlfi1.5S-40retired
In retrospect:
The Taunus-Rennen on August 23, 1925 was considered the predecessor of the 1926 Grand Prix of Germany because it was the greatest German automobile sporting event of 1925, bigger than the Solitude-Rennen, the Teuteburgerwald-Rennen or the Buckower Dreiecksrennen. Some historians have suggested that the 1925 Taunus-Rennen should be treated as a German Grand Prix, which of course is utter nonsense because this race did not carry the national title. The Taunus event was also reserved solely for sports cars.

Primary sources researched for this article:
ADAC-Motorwelt, München
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
MOTOR, Berlin
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Special thanks to:
Otto Grabe
Bernd Schwanbeck


© 2021 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 22.06.2021