I MASARYKUV OKRUH
Brno (CS), 28 September 1930.
17 laps x 29.142 km (18.109mi) = 495.4 km (307.8 mi) (Note 1)
A bold von Morgen defeates the works Alfa Romeos at their last appearance.
by Hans Etzrodt
The inaugural event at Czechoslovakia's new 29.142 km Masaryk-Ring was the first big circuit race ever held in the country. Thirty international entries were split into two groups, racecars above 1500 cc
and up to 1500 cc, which raced concurrently. This event turned out to be quite exciting and did not lack any dramatic moments. Caracciola's Mercedes-Benz took an early first place pursued relentlessly by
the Bugatti of von Morgen, who later took the lead. Soon thereafter Caracciola's engine broke. Doré flipped his 1500 Bugatti in a very serious crash. When difficulties arose with the engine of
von Morgen's Bugatti, he exchanged cars with teammate Leiningen. As a result, Morgen lost a full lap while Leiningen, in Morgen's car, would keep the lead for a long time. After Nuvolari's Alfa Romeo
broke down, he took over teammate Borzacchini's car and was able to gain first place only after Leiningen retired von Morgen's worn out Bugatti. Nuvolari then held a comfortable lead but the Alfa was
overheating. In a heroic drive von Morgen outfoxed everyone and finished first in Leiningen's car, which was made easy when Nuvolari's Alfa ran out of water just nine kilometers from the end. The
Italian finally crawled over the finish line in fourth place with a steaming car. After seven successful years it was the swan-song for the Alfa Romeo P2. The Bugattis of Burggaller and Count Hardegg
finished second and third.
After organizing various hill climb events since 1920 in Czechoslovakia, it was impossible to predict if these once so popular short mountain events would survive in the 1930s. The trend of the times and
natural development led in the direction of closed road circuits. The brief visibility of the cars in hill climbs was no longer satisfactory and spectators were losing interest and demanding more. So the
new Masaryk Circuit replaced the traditional Brno-Sobesice hill climb, which was held for the last time in 1929. The intent was to be on the same level as other famous races like Le Mans, Spa, San Sebastian
or Nürburgring. Czechoslovakia would have its own Grand Prix like France, Italy, Belgium, Spain or Germany.
The inaugural race on the Masarykuv okruh (Masaryk Circuit) was successfully organized by the CAMS or Ceskoslovensky Automobilovy Klub pro Moravu a Slezsko (Czechoslovakian Automobile Club for Moravia and
Silesia) with offices in the large town of Brno. The circuit, first called Brno-Ring, was named after Czechoslovakia's popular first Minister-President, Thomas Garrigue Masaryk. Because the challenge
trophy carried Masaryk's name, the event gained significance of the highest order and was the greatest motor sport event the Czechoslovakian Republic had ever seen. The circuit was just outside the
borders of Brno and went counterclockwise. The first 18 km up to the village of Ostrovacice were formed primarily of winding, hilly, rather narrow district roads, leading through forested areas and four
other villages. From there the circuit turned back and the last 11 km were almost all wide, straight state roads and not at all romantic which allowed driving at top speed.
In January 1930, the circuit length was stated as 29.212 km but after being re-measured in June, the CAMS fixed the length at 29.142 km (Note 1). The
improvements and preparation of these roads had taken more than a year and had cost millions of Koruny. The old dusty thoroughfares in Novy Liskovec, Pisarky outside Brno, Kohoutovice and Zebetin were
paved. These district roads received the greatest changes. They were widened to almost 7 m and to 9 m in the dangerous corners. The circuit, with 36 left-hand corners and 47 to the right, was in
excellent, dust free condition with a maximum incline of 7% and a maximum decline of 9.5%. Special grandstands were built, from which the drivers could be seen up to 7 km away. In June, when the circuit
was still under construction, the experts estimated that the more powerful cars should be able to attain an average of 100 km/h. The circuit had to be lapped 17 times, bringing the total length of the
race to 494.414 km.
The overall winner was to receive 80,000 Koruny, the second 40,000, and the third 20,000. Additionally, for the first three in each group, there were prizes of 15,000, 10,000 and 5,000 Koruny. Besides
these high monetary awards a great number of special prizes were donated. One was the Junek Memorial Prize for the best seventh lap time, another, the CAMS prize for the best race time of the cars up
In June the organizers announced that the official race numbers would be determined in the order of entries received. The race classes were in accordance with AIACR regulations: Group A up to 1500cc and
group B over 1500cc. The final entry consisted of 19 large and 21 small cars. It was hoped that all of them would arrive for the race. Three additional entries did not appear, Lukáš Oto driving a "Z",
the Berliner Hans Simons with a DKW and from Austria Prince Ferdinand Andreas von und zu Liechtenstein in a Bugatti.
Local hero Dr. Otakar Bittmann was a famous gynecologist, living close to the circuit in Brno. He had acquired his Bugatti T35C after Vincenz Junek's 1928 fatal accident. Following this event, Bittmann
planned to retire from racing. The good looking Tunal Karel Divišek, owner of a Brno driving school, was particularly popular with the ladies. He was a member of the "Z"-team, which was part of a large
Brno armaments factory, building also cars. Divišek was entrusted with one of their 1096cc four-cylinder supercharged two-stroke racing cars. It was also planned to race their latest design, another
two-stroke but with a 1492cc eight-cylinder engine. Actually, it was a double piston four-cylinder with advancing suction piston, similar to the Zoller principle. This car, however, was so badly crashed
on the last day of practice, that it had to be withdrawn. That left only the four-cylinder for Divišek, but on the day of the race it was Ernst Procházka at the start with Divišek as reserve driver.
From Prague started "Hýta", who in reality was the wealthy Prince Georg Christian Lobkovicz, and Miloš Bondy, both in Bugattis. The Prager Tagblatt reported that Bondy overturned his car during
Saturday practice and was lucky to escape uninjured though the car required repair. The excellent technician Jindřich Knapp, also from Prague, arrived with a 3.3-liter six-cylinder Walter. The Walter
factory in Prague manufactured motorcycles, automobiles and aero-engines. They had their own racing team, but from the three cars entered, only Knapp's arrived at the start. The Masaryk Circuit race
was to end Josef Veřmiřovský 's long career as the top driver for Tatra. His Type 52 was a new design, with a previously seen central tubular frame and a new air-cooled 2-liter flat four-cylinder engine.
The car looked similar to the successful two-cylinder racing cars and raced with its headlights in place. It was so slow that it had absolutely no chance against the Bugattis or Alfas. Of the six Wikov
cars entered in the small class, four made the start. These were heavy with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and were driven by the factory drivers Adolf Szczyzycki and Jaroslav Konečnik. Other Wikov
drivers were Georg Kremel and the engineer Jiři Weinfurter. A team of three Belgian Impéria cars was also entered. The engineer Jiři Tacheci was the local representative for this company, driving a
factory racing car with a 2-liter six-cylinder slide-valve Knight-engine. Another local was the independent Ján Kubiček with the Ex-Junek/Ex-Horak Bugatti T35B, which he had acquired in 1929. His car
equipped with four cycle-type wings over the wheels.
Daimler-Benz entered their contracted driver Rudolf Caracciola with the fast Mercedes-Benz SSK. He had a good chance of winning and was one of the favorites. The weekend before, Caracciola had won the
sports car class at the Swab hill climb in Hungary. For the Brno race the car was changed over to race car trim but the hill climb gear ratio was not altered. The newly formed German Bugatti Team
arrived complete, with Heinrich Joachim von Morgen, Prinz Hermann zu Leiningen and Ernst Günther Burggaller. Another German, the 40 year old engineer Kurt Volkhardt, was to race his white 1.5-liter
Bugatti for the last time. He was well known ever since he had demonstrated a rocket car at the Nürburgring in 1929. The Masaryk race would conclude his short racing career. The DKW engineer
Gerhard Macher from Berlin arrived with the fragile 1000 cc DKW two-stroke racing car. Albert Kandt concluded the German delegation. He was leading a team of four tiny 743 cc BMW Wartburgs. These
cars were given an additional 60 minutes to complete the race once the overall victor had passed the finish line, while 45 minutes time allowance was granted for all other cars.
There were three Austrian drivers. The young Count Maximilian "Miki" zu Hardegg von Settenberg raced his yellow 1.5-liter Bugatti. Engelbert Count von Arco-Zinneberg drove his supercharged Amilcar
while his famous older brother Max took care of his pit business. Oskar Frankl from Vienna was the older brother of the better known Emil. He drove one of the tiny BMW's. Belgian Willy Longueville
and Frenchman Michel Doré both drove 1.5-liter Bugattis. The champion Doré was now at the top of his career. With his Bugatti T37A he had been fifth in Monaco and third in the Marne Grand Prix.
Both times he had placed his 1.5-liter among the big cars.
Last but not least were the Italians of the Scuderia Ferrari with two of the modified red Alfa Romeo P2's. Tazio Nuvolari was very well known and just his presence was assurance that the race would
remain honest. His teammate Baconin Borzacchini was not as fast but better placements in the Coppa Ciano and Coppa Acerbo had made him the more successful driver. He had raced the P2 Alfa for the
first time three weeks before at Monza.
Sunday, September 28 was cool and dry. An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 spectators surrounded the long circuit. Loudspeakers were in place in the grandstand area to keep the crowd continuously informed
about the changing situation of the race. A single driver change during the race was allowed under supervision of a sporting commissioner. In the small class Divišek's 8-cylinder "Z" broke down during
practice and he was assigned as the reserve driver for Prochazka in the smaller "Z" two-stroke car. Zu Leiningen and von Morgen had agreed to be each other's reserve driver. Additionally Leiningen
signed up as reserve for Burggaller. At the last moment Nuvolari and Borzacchini signed up as well to be each other's reserve driver. The cars assembled on the grid in order of the official race numbers.
The starting grids have been verified with the help of five photographs. The odd placed number18 car was clearly shown on the right side of the grid. It could not be established accurately which of the
drivers used a riding mechanic during the race. The official rules had barred riding mechanics since the year 1925. Photographs of the start don't show enough detail, but two occupants evidently were
sitting in Bittmann's Bugatti. One picture shows Caracciola in the SSK, probably during practice, with an unidentifiable passenger, which could have been Alfred Neubauer. Another photo of the starting
grid shows Nuvolari in his Alfa Romeo with possibly Alfredo Caniato next to his car as potential riding mechanic.
The grandstand was filled to capacity. Opposite stood the huge scoreboards above the wooden pits. Nuvolari and Borzacchini with their Alfa Romeos were the favorites thereafter Caracciola with the Mercedes.
Von Morgen in the Bugatti was given an outside chance.
At exactly 10 o'clock the 14 group one cars were sent away. Amid the din of the engines Caracciola stormed immediately into the lead. After three minutes the flag went down a second time for the 16
drivers of the small cars.
Twelve minutes after the big cars had started the loudspeaker announced that Caracciola, Nuvolari and von Morgen had passed Ostrovacice almost simultaneously. The cars were now on the fast, 11 kilometer long, return leg of the
circuit. Finally after 15m27.2s Caracciola blasted past the pits. Another 14.2 seconds later von Morgen came past with Nuvolari a further 14 seconds behind. There was a long interval of 47 seconds to Borzacchini and a similar
gap to Burggaller, who was trailed by Leiningen, "Hýta", Longueville, Bondy, Bittmann, Knapp, Veřmiřovský, Kubiček and Tacheci. Just 25.3 seconds after Tacheci's Impéria, the French ace Doré appeared, leader of
the small group, with a lap of 17m39.7s. That time would have been fast enough to position him in front of the sixth placed Bugatti of Leiningen, if they had started at the same time. The 1500 cc class, Group B, progress is
mentioned at the end of this report while the order of Group A is shown at five laps intervals and also after the first three laps.
|1. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) ||15m27.2s|
|2. Morgen (Bugatti)||15m41.4s|
|3. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||15m55.4s|
|4. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||16m42.4s|
|5. Burggaller (Bugatti)||17m26.8s|
|6. Leiningen (Bugatti)||17m39.9s|
|7. "Hýta" (Bugatti)||17m45.3s|
|8. Longueville (Bugatti)||18m16.9s|
|9. Bondy (Bugatti)||18m29.5s|
|10. Bittmann (Bugatti)||18m33.1s|
|11. Knapp (Walter)||18m41.5s|
|12. Veřmiřovský (Tatra)||19m38.7s|
|13. Kubiček (Bugatti)||20m10.1s|
|14. Tacheci (Impéria)||20m14.4s|
After the second lap the leading trio remained the same. Caracciola's white Mercedes-Benz SSK led Morgen's white Bugatti by 13.8 seconds pursued by Nuvolari's red Alfa Romeo another 9.2 seconds behind. Nuvolari had driven
the fastest lap so far in 15m09.3s. There was an unbelievably long interval of over three minutes to the rest of the field, lead by Burggaller, then Leiningen, "Hýta", Bondy, Longueville, Bittmann, Knapp, then Doré in the
little 1500cc Bugatti from Group B chased past and finally Borzacchini. He had fallen back since he was the first to stop briefly at the pits while the Alfa Romeo received new spark plugs and eventually rejoined in eleventh
place. Tacheci, Kubiček, and Vermirovsky followed going into the third lap. The total times and lap times after two laps were as follows:
|1. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||30m41.7s||15m14.5s lap time|
|2. Morgen (Bugatti)||30m55.5s||15m14.1s|
|3. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||31m34.7s||15m09.3s|
|4. Burggaller (Bugatti)||34m26.4s||16m59.6s|
|5. Leiningen (Bugatti)||34m44.8s||17m04.9s|
|6. "Hýta" (Bugatti)||35m04.2s||17m08.9s|
|7. Bondy (Bugatti)||36m11.1s||17m41.6s|
|8. Longueville (Bugatti)||36m20.5s||18m03.6s|
|9. Bittmann (Bugatti)||36m44.8s||18m11.7s|
|10. Knapp (Walter)||36m49.7s||18m08.2s|
|11. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||37m16.6s||20m34.2s|
|12. Tacheci (Impéria)||39m19.9s||19m05.5s|
|13. Kubiček (Bugatti)||39m34.6s||19m24.5s|
|14. Veřmiřovský (Tatra)||40m35.5s||20m56.8s|
On lap three Veřmiřovský had to retire his slow Tatra with a broken gearbox. The leaders were close together. While Caracciola had maintained his speed, the second and third cars had been driven faster than the leader.
Von Morgen established a new lap record of 15m01.1s and was only 1.1 seconds behind the Mercedes as they passed the grandstand. Nuvolari also put in a very fast lap and was trailing von Morgen by only 10.4 seconds. After
an interval of 5m05s Burggaller arrived leading the rest of the field, which started to separate. Dr. Bittmann brought his Bugatti into the pits to change spark plugs. He lost so much time that he fell back to last place.
Veřmiřovský retired with a broken gearbox. Hausleutner stopped his tiny BMW at the pits with carburetor problems and returned to the race after a quick fix. Morgen's nimble Bugatti had the problem of overtaking Caracciola's
heavy, unwieldy Mercedes. The times after three laps were:
|1. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||45m56.3s||15m14.6s lap time|
|2. Morgen (Bugatti)||45m57.4s||15m01.1s|
|3. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||46m07.8s||15m03.1s|
|4. Burggaller (Bugatti)||51m12.8s||16m46.4s|
On lap four, Michel Doré crashed his Bugatti after leading the small class in superior style. In the village of Kohoutovice, just over three miles after the start, his car swerved in a corner, turned over and smashed into
one of the many trees. The unconscious young Frenchman had to be rescued from the wreck and was transported to the Brno hospital. He remained there in life threatening condition with a broken pelvis and serious internal
injuries. Several weeks later he recuperated and was eventually released from hospital in November. This accident practically ended Doré's driving career. Count Hardegg then took over the lead of Group B and maintained
an even pace until the end. Longueville crashed his Bugatti, when his car did not make it through the very fast left hand bend near km 24. However, the Frenchman escaped without injuries.
At the end of the fourth lap there was still no change in the lead. For quite a while von Morgen had been trying to pass Caracciola who used the entire width of the road to make it around the corners. Both Germans were
chased by Nuvolari's red Alfa Romeo, with Burggaller and Leiningen trailing behind.
Lap five brought two variations in the hot battle for the lead. Von Morgen finally found a way past the inflexible Caracciola. After five laps the Bugatti was 10.4 seconds ahead of the Mercedes. Nuvolari arrived
1m44s later, his Alfa now in trouble. Both car and driver were covered with oil from top to bottom. The P2 was eliminated with a cracked crank case and clutch problems. Then Burggaller came past the pits over eight
minutes behind the leader. He was followed by Leiningen and Borzacchini who had been stuck in ninth place within a group of cars, but had worked himself up to sixth. Next arrived Bondy, Knapp, Tacheci, Kubiček and
Bittmann. "Hýta" had fallen to last place because a magneto problem kept him stranded on the circuit for several laps. His predicament was not known at that time by the officials until he appeared again several laps
later. "Hýta's" unique lap time could of course only be registered after his opponents had advanced several laps further on and his disappearance had been viewed as retirement. Burggaller had a lengthy pit stop which
benefited Leiningen and Borzacchini. Von Morgen was steadily pulling away from Caracciola. The order after five laps was:
|1. Morgen (Bugatti)||1h16m14.2s||15m02.9s lap time|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||1h16m24.6s||15m14.7s|
|3. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h18m08.6s||16m50.4s|
|4. Burggaller (Bugatti)||1h24m46.0s||16m38.4s|
|5. Leiningen (Bugatti)||1h25m46.4s||16m49.3s|
|6. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h28m37.8s||15m32.3s|
|7. Bondy (Bugatti)||1h29m33.1s||17m47.1s|
|8. Knapp (Walter)||1h29m49.5s||17m40.7s|
|9. Tacheci (Impéria)||1h35m36.9s||18m41.4s|
|10. Kubiček (Bugatti)||1h37m36.8s||18m58.9s|
|11. Bittmann (Bugatti)||1h43m15.1s||18m01.0s|
|12. "Hýta" (Bugatti)||2h53m37.9s||1h44m05.7s|
After six laps von Morgen was still leading Caracciola and Leiningen. No changes took place during the seventh lap but at the end of lap seven, Morgen lost five minutes when he stopped at his depot for new wheels and
gasoline. He told his crew that his engine no longer worked properly. The order on lap six and seven remained the same:
|1. Morgen (Bugatti)|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)|
|3. Leiningen (Bugatti)|
|4. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)|
|5. Burggaller (Bugatti)|
|6. Bondy (Bugatti)|
|7. Knapp (Walter)|
|8. Tacheci (Impéria)|
|9. Kubiček (Bugatti)|
|10. Bittmann (Bugatti)|
|11. "Hýta" (Bugatti)|
At the beginning of lap eight, Caracciola gained first place while Morgen lost five minutes in the pits. The Mercedes would definitely have to stop for tires next time around but Caracciola did not get that far.
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE stated that in one of the many corners his car swerved suddenly and the heavy SSK turned over and Caracciola got away without a scratch. After a brief investigation at the scene of the accident he
had to give up and parked the car at a branch-road intersection. (This sounds as if he didn't catch it just in time! But would it cause the car to 'swerve suddenly'? It sounds as if driver error was the specific cause of
retirement rather than engine failure.) A-Z Motorwelt instead reported that Caracciola had used the same mountain gear ratio with which he had won the Svab hill climb in Hungary the week before and therefore over-revved the
engine on the long straights of the Masaryk Circuit to stay ahead of von Morgen's hounding Bugatti. The engine finally expired. In a telegram to Untertürkheim the following day Alfred Neubauer gave bearing failure as the
reason for retirement.
After eight laps Morgen was leading Borzacchini by eight minutes, followed by Leiningen, Burggaller, Bondy, Knapp, Tacheci, Kubiček, Bittmann, and "Hýta". The leader briefly stopped at the pits, as did Borzacchini. In the
Alfa Romeo pit there was excitement and shouting. White steam from the car was evidence that the Alfa Romeo was running hot. Most others stopped now at mid-race. After eight laps the order was:
|1. Morgen (Bugatti)|
|2. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)|
|3. Leiningen (Bugatti)|
|4. Burggaller (Bugatti)|
|5. Bondy (Bugatti)|
|6. Knapp (Walter)|
|7. Tacheci (Impéria)|
|8. Kubiček (Bugatti)|
|9. Bittmann (Bugatti)|
|10. "Hýta" (Bugatti)|
At the completion of the ninth lap, Morgen was leading Leiningen by over two minutes followed by Borzacchini, now four minutes behind the leader. In fourth place came the steady Burggaller with almost a five minute gap to
Bondy, followed by Knapp, Tacheci, Kubiček, and Bittmann. "Hýta" had fallen several laps behind with no chance to be counted. With nine laps completed, the situation was as follows:
|1. Morgen (Bugatti)||2h29m45.8s||20m49.0s lap time|
|2. Leiningen (Bugatti)||2h31m53.2s||16m07.9s|
|3. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||2h33m37.8s||18m39.6s|
|4. Burggaller (Bugatti)||2h36m01.5s||17m04.8s|
|5. Bondy (Bugatti)||2h40m54.1s||18m03.8s|
|6. Knapp (Walter)||2h41m46.4s||17m44.1s|
|7. Tacheci (Impéria)||2h49m10.8s||18m21.0s|
|8. Kubiček (Bugatti)||2h54m52.2s||19m07.5s|
|9. Bittmann (Bugatti)||2h58m02.1s||22m03.8s|
|10. "Hýta" (Bugatti)||4h04m50.9s||18m16.8s|
Besides the 10 large cars there were still 13 of the small group running. At the end of lap nine, Morgen stopped again at his pit. No work was done to the car, instead there was a brief exchange of words and he rejoined
the race. His lap time of over 20 minutes on the previous lap was very much slower than before. Then two minutes later Leiningen pulled up with his Bugatti for new wheels and fuel. The car was ready to go but Leiningen
made no attempts to continue and then sat relaxed on the pit counter. When Borzacchini arrived, he stopped at his pit to quickly fill up with water while columns of steam emitted from the radiator. All this happened with
much shouting and excitement. He joined the race in second place since Leiningen had still not got into his car. Soon the loudspeakers announced that Borzacchini had made another stop on the circuit. As time passed on,
Leiningen was still not moving and spectators thought he had given up.
At the end of lap ten Morgen was back with a surprisingly good lap time. He jumped out of his car straight into Leiningen's waiting Bugatti and rushed away. Morgen had left his leading car for his friend, Prince zu
Leiningen, who chased right after him. The Prince had only seven laps to do in Morgen's Bugatti whilst Morgen in Leiningen's car had to cover eight laps. Von Morgen knew that the murderous pace had left its mark on his
Bugatti. He realized that his apparently weakened engine would not make it to the end. Therefore, he had switched cars, so much for his 'present' to his friend. In spite of a one-lap handicap against an overheating Alfa
Romeo, he figured he had a chance to win. A fierce fight for the lead had started, which was to last till the end of the race. The entire field of cars showed signs of severe wear. Bittmann's Bugatti, already one lap
behind, had been in for a messy fuel stop at his depot. He started to hasten away when the car began to backfire from under the hood. After a few yards, the Bugatti came to a stop still backfiring, a flame ignited the
fuel fumes, jumped from the carburetor to the fuel soaked tail and the car was on fire. Bittmann and his riding mechanic jumped out of the burning car and after a moment of absolute inactivity, fire extinguishers were
brought into action, one after the other. After the smoke clouds had drifted away, it then became evident that the fire department had done such an 'efficient' job that the car was rendered useless and Bittmann retired.
With the completion of 11 laps, Leiningen drove past the pits with a lap time of 19m08.7s. Next to arrive was second placed Borzacchini, who stopped at the depot. Nuvolari wanted to drive again, so he approached
Borzacchini and asked him if he could take over. Borzacchini could not deny his friend and the fresh and rested Nuvolari rushed away in Borzacchini's Alfa Romeo to attack Leiningen in the ailing Bugatti, who was now six
minutes ahead of him. The smooth driving Burggaller was over three minutes behind Nuvolari. Morgen in fourth place was more than eight minutes behind the Italian Champion. Morgen's lap time of 16m44.0s was faster than
that of Nuvolari. He had made up over one minute on the Alfa. With only six laps to go, would it be possible for Morgen to catch the Alfa Romeo? These four leading drivers were followed by the first Czechoslovakian
car, which was Knapp's Walter. Tacheci, Kubiček, and Bondy, already lapped came next. "Hýta" in a hopeless position for any prize was last. At the end of lap 11 Morgen was now almost a quarter of an
hour - the best part of a whole lap - behind Leiningen!
|1. Leiningen in Morgen's (Bugatti)||3h04m24.2s||19m08.7s lap time|
|2. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||3h10m11.8s||18m06.7s|
|3. Burggaller (Bugatti)||3h13m34.6s||17m06.2s|
|4. Morgen in Leiningen's (Bugatti)||3h18m25.8s||16m44.0s|
|5. Knapp (Walter)||3h21m42.3s||21m59.2s|
|6. Tacheci (Impéria)||3h28m50.9s||18m27.7s|
|7. Kubiček (Bugatti)||3h37m22.6s||19m00.5s|
|8. Bondy (Bugatti)||3h42m13.7s||42m33.7s|
|9. "Hýta" (Bugatti)||4h45m39.5s||18m57.2s|
On lap 12 it seemed that Morgen was catching up with the leader. His time on the previous lap had been about 2 minutes 25 seconds faster. Leiningen was still driving at a good speed while Nuvolari did not drive very
fast. At the end of the twelfth lap, Knapp retired his 3.3-liter Walter with a broken oil line while in fifth place. This heavy car had been the fastest Czechoslovakian machine.
After 13 laps, Leiningen was still over five minutes ahead of Nuvolari, who caught up a bit by doing a lap in 15m38.5s. In third place was Burggaller just over four minutes behind the Italian. Morgen had lost valuable
time by replacing his brake shoes and had fallen ten minutes behind Nuvolari and was still almost a quarter of an hour behind Leiningen! Tacheci's Impéria and Kubiček's Bugatti had been lapped once, Bondy's Bugatti
lapped twice and "Hýta" was way back. At the end of lap 13 the order was:
|1. Leiningen in Morgen's (Bugatti)||3h38m34.6s||17m14.1s lap time|
|2. Nuvolari in Borzacchini's (Alfa Romeo)||3h43m55.3s||15m38.5s|
|3. Burggaller (Bugatti)||3h48m02.9s||17m15.4s|
|4. Morgen in Leiningen's (Bugatti)||3h53m25.4s||19m40.9s|
|5. Tacheci (Impéria)||4h05m42.6s||18m20.8s|
|6. Kubiček (Bugatti)||4h17m23.8s||20m44.2s|
|7. Bondy (Bugatti)||4h20m42.1s||19m19.3s|
|8. "Hýta" (Bugatti)||5h24m21.4s||19m17.1s|
On lap 14, Nuvolari was able to maintain his speed but had to stop again for water. Morgen made a good lap in 15m08s which enabled him to make up another minute. But it was not enough with only three laps remaining and
there was now little chance for the German to catch the Alfa Romeo.
At the end of the next lap, Leiningen was still out in front just over five minutes ahead of Nuvolari. The German wanted to give up but his team in the pits convinced him to carry on. Nuvolari also made a short stop to
top up water for his ailing Alfa Romeo. Between the Italian and the third car of Burggaller was a gap of over three minutes. Despite time gained by the Alfa's pit stop and another murderous lap of 15m10.6s, von Morgen
was still 4¾ minutes behind Nuvolari. Tacheci, already one lap behind the leader, retired his Impéria with a defective cooling fan. Thus Kubiček and Bondy gained fifth and sixth place, respectively, with "Hýta" last.
With 15 laps completed the situation looked as follows:
|1. Leiningen in Morgen's (Bugatti)||4h13m48.0s||17m30.8s lap time|
|2. Nuvolari in Borzacchini's (Alfa Romeo)||4h19m00.2s||18m57.6s|
|3. Burggaller (Bugatti)||4h22m29.7s||17m15.3s|
|4. Morgen in Leiningen's (Bugatti)||4h23m44.3s||15m10.6s|
|5. Tacheci (Impéria)||4h43m16.6s||19m42.2s|
|6. Kubiček (Bugatti)||4h55m42.1s||19m06.3s|
|7. Bondy (Bugatti)||5h00m49.6s||20m57.8s|
On the 16th and second to last lap, Leiningen finally gave up when the worn-out Bugatti broke down. Morgen's foreboding six laps prior had then really proved true. The Alfa Romeo was now in the lead followed by
Burggaller's Bugatti. Von Morgen, driving at his fastest possible pace, caught up with Burgaller and passed him to take second place. After 16 laps Nuvolari led von Morgen by 4m11.3s. The screaming crowd in the
grandstand was carried away in excitement when they saw the Italian champion still in the lead. Although the Alfa's lap time of 15m45.5s was not as fast as the Bugatti's of 15m12.7s, it was obvious that von Morgen
could not make up the Alfa's 4m11.3s advantage in one lap. It looked as if an Italian victory was now certain. The smooth driving Burggaller in third place had fallen one minute behind von Morgen and was trailed by the
lapped Bugattis of Kubiček, Bondy, and "Hýta" many laps behind.
|1. Nuvolari in Borzacchini's (Alfa Romeo)||4h34m45.7s||15m45.5s lap time|
|2. Morgen in Leiningen's (Bugatti)||4h38m57.0s||15m12.7s|
|3. Burggaller (Bugatti)||4h39m51.9s||17m22.2s|
|4. Kubiček (Bugatti)||5h14m39.9s||18m57.8s|
|5. Bondy (Bugatti)||5h19m41.2s||18m51.6s|
The last lap was truly dramatic. Since the Alfa's radiator was boiling, Nuvolari drove with an open hood. The Italian could not have felt assured of victory because he did not take the time at the end of lap 16 to top
up his water. Instead he drove past the pits at high speed. The loudspeaker announced that near km 12, past the village of Zebetin, Nuvolari had a problem driving up the hill and came to a standstill. Here, he received
assistance to get his Alfa moving again. Nuvolari must have been aware that Morgen's white Bugatti was relentlessly closing in. Both of them drove at the fastest pace possible. After a while another announcement came
through the loudspeakers that the Alfa had just passed km 18 at Ostrovacice. Now there were only 11 km of straight road left to the finish. Tension was building up. Could Nuvolari keep the fast approaching Morgen at
bay? Then an announcement was made that the overheated Alfa Romeo had broken down, because it was out of cooling water and a broken water pump. It was at km 20 near the tiny place of Vodojam, only nine km from the
finish. The news caused great commotion in the grandstand, where the triumphal finish of the Italian car was already expected. Nuvolari must have been desperate. People were running for water to cool the steaming
Alfa and supposedly a cylinder cracked during the hurried refill. One by one three Bugattis passed the forlorn Nuvolari as he was limping to the finish.
Von Morgen crossed the finish line in first place, after almost five hours of racing. He had done the last lap in 15m16.9s, a truly magnificent drive. Leiningen, with reserve driver von Morgen, won the challenge trophy of
the president of the Czechoslovakian Republic. The Junek Memorial Prize for the best seventh lap went to von Morgen with a lap time of 15m23.5s. The German flag was hoisted and homage was paid to the victor before he
sank exhausted into a deck-chair. Burggaller finished second with a gap of 2m56.2s. He had driven the last lap in 17m17.9s at the same steady pace he had done all other laps. It seemed that he had not the slightest
inkling how close to victory he had been. With 145,000 Koruny, the German Bugatti Team took the largest chunk of the prize money. The Austrian flag was hoisted for the victor in Group B, Count Max Hardegg, who received
25,000 K. In his yellow 1.5-liter Bugatti he was also third fastest overall. Then at last Nuvolari appeared, crawling at snail's pace at the finish line in Borzacchini's damaged Alfa Romeo with white clouds of steam emitting
from its radiator. The car was 32 minutes behind von Morgen in fourth place. Two certain rule violations did not turn into protests and the Alfa Romeo was classified third in Group A, with 5,000 K in prize money. This proved
to be the last appearance and the demise of the Alfa Romeo P2. Kubiček in his Bugatti, fastest of the Czechoslovakian drivers, was the fifth car across the line. Sixth overall and second car in the small class was Macher with
his 1000 cc DKW. He collected 10,000 K and in addition gained the special prize of honor, for the best car with a two-stroke engine. He also received the honor prize of the CAMS for the best qualified car up to 1100cc.
Bondy's Bugatti was seventh overall, just within 16.3 seconds of the allowable time limit.
Category B up to 1500 cc:|
The 16 small cars were started just three minutes after the big cars had been released. So both groups raced concurrently. Horák (Amilcar) and Mach (BMW) had already retired before the end of the third lap but no details
were known about their downfall. After three laps the small car progress looked as follows:
|1. Doré (Bugatti)||1h08m16.3s|
|2. Hardegg (Bugatti)||1h09m44.0s|
|3. Volkhardt (Bugatti)||1h12m45.0s|
|4. Arco-Zinneberg (Amilcar)||1h13m40.5s|
|5. Macher (DKW)||1h16m24.6s|
|6. Procházka ("Z")||1h21m42.5s|
|7. Ostermuth (Amilcar)||1h23m41.2s|
|8. Weinfurter (Wikov)||1h25m21.2s|
|9. Kremel (Wikov)||1h26m32.5s|
|10. Kandt (BMW)||1h26m42.4s|
|11. Konečnik (Wikov)||1h27m38.2s|
|12. Szczyzycki (Wikov)||1h32m46.8s|
|13. Frankl (BMW)||1h33m12.2s|
|14. Hausleutner (BMW)||2h38m48.9s|
When the leader Doré crashed on lap four, the Austrian Hardegg inherited first place. At some time Divišek relieved Procházka driving the "Z". Arco-Zinneberg in his Amilcar completed just nine laps before retiring with
engine problems, while Szczyzycki disappeared with his Wikov on lap 12 when the small car progress looked as follows:
|1. Hardegg (Bugatti)||3h34m34.5s|
|2. Volkhardt (Bugatti)||3h51m23.8s|
|3. Macher (DKW)||3h51m36.2s|
|4. Procházka/Divišek ("Z")||4h12m00.0s|
|5. Konečnik (Wikov)||4h17m24.5s|
|6. Kandt (BMW)||4h18m50.7s|
|7. Kremel (Wikov)||4h19m16.7s|
|8. Weinfurter (Wikov)||4h20m16.2s|
|9. Ostermuth (Amilcar)||4h28m18.7s|
|10. Frankl (BMW)||4h37m28.6s|
|11. Hausleutner (BMW)||4h45m02.8s|
The order changed of course over the next five laps. Hausleutner retired his little Wartburg on lap 14. Volkhardt disappeared when his Bugatti had an engine defect after completing 14 laps. Weinfurter in the Wikov and
Ostermuth with his Amilcar were flagged off. Both of them together with Wikov drivers Kremel and Konečnik as well as Procházka/Divišek ("Z") had exceeded the time limit and were not classified. Frankl (BMW)
crashed on lap 17, having driven into a ditch. The cars finished the race in the following order:
|1. Hardegg (Bugatti)||5h07m42.8s|
|2. Macher (DKW)||5h34m20.4s|
|3. Procházka/Divišek ("Z")||5h59m37.7s|
|4. Konečnik (Wikov)||6h01m36.3s|
|5. Kandt (BMW)||6h04m29.2s|
|6. Kremel (Wikov)||6h08m00.4s|
|1.||30||zu Leiningen/von Morgen||German Bugatti Team||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||17||4h54m13.6s|
|2.||26||Ernst Günther Burggaller||German Bugatti Team||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||17||4h57m09.8s||+ 2m56.2s|
|*||62||Maximilian zu Hardegg||M. Count zu Hardegg von Settenberg||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||17||5h07m42.8s||+ 13m29.2s|
|3.||34||B. Borzacchini/T. Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||17||5h26m13.9s||+ 32m00.3s|
|4.||8||Ján Kubiček||J. Kubiček||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||17||5h33m31.9s||+ 39m18.3s|
|*||66||Gerhard Macher||G. Macher||DKW||1.0||S-4||17||5h34m20.4s||+ 40m06.8s|
|5.||4||Miloš Bondy||M. Bondy||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||17||5h38m57.3s||+ 44m43.7s|
|NC||52||E. Procházka/T. Divišek||"Z"-Team, Brno||"Z"||1.1||S-4||17||6h01m36.3s||+ 1h07m22.7s|
|NC||44||Jaroslav Konečnik||Wichterle & Kovářik A.-G.||Wikov||7 28||1.5||S-4||17||6h01m36.3s||+ 1h07m22.7s|
|*||68||Albert Kandt||A. Kandt||BMW||Wartburg||.75||S-4||17||6h04m29.2s||+ 1h10m15.6s|
|NC||54||Georg Kremel||Wichterle & Kovářik A.-G.||Wikov||7 28||1.5||S-4||17||6h08m00.4s||+ 1h13m46.8s|
|NC||60||Hans Ostermuth||H. Ostermuth von Tschaikoff||Amilcar||1.1||S-6||16||flagged off|| |
|NC||40||Jiři (Georg) Weinfurter||Wichterle & Kovářik A.-G.||Wikov||7 28||1.5||S-4||16||flagged off|| |
|DNF||80||Oscar Frankl||O. Frankl||BMW||Wartburg||.74||S-4||16||crash|| |
|DNF||28||von Morgen/zu Leiningen||German Bugatti Team||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||15||engine|
|DNF||22||Jiři (Georg) Tacheci||SA des Automobiles Imperia Exelsior||Impéria||2.0||S-6||15||cooling fan|
|NC||2||"Hýta"||Prince Georg Christian Lobkovicz||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||14||flagged off|
|DNF||74||Kurt Volkhardt||K. Volkhardt||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||14||engine defect|| |
|DNF||70||E. Hausleutner||E. Hausleutner||BMW||Wartburg||.74||S-4||13|| || |
|DNF||12||Jindřich Knapp||Walter Team||Walter 6||Super||3.3||S-6||12||broken oil line|
|DNF||46||Adolf Szczyzycki||Wichterle & Kovářik A.-G.||Wikov||7 28||1.5||S-4||11|| || |
|DNF||64||Engelbert Arco-Zinneberg||E. Count von Arco-Zinneberg||Amilcar||1.1||S-6||9||engine|| |
|DNF||6||Otakar Bittmann||Dr. O. Bittmann||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||9||fire|
|DNF||10||Rudolf Caracciola||Daimler-Benz A.G.||Mercedes-Benz||SSK||7.1||S-6||7||engine bearings|
|DNF||32||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||5||oil leak - crank case|
|DNF||36||Willy Longueville||W. Longueville||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||3||crash|
|DNF||58||Michel Doré||M. Doré||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||3||crash|| |
|DNF||18||Josef Veřmiřovský||J. Veřmiřovský||Tatra||52||2.0||F-4||3||gearbox|
|DNF||50||Josef Horák||J. Horák||Amilcar||1.1||S-6||?||2 laps or less|| |
|DNF||72||K. Mach||K. Mach||BMW||Wartburg||.74||S-4||?||2 laps or less|| |
Group A fastest lap: Heinrich-Joachim von Morgen (Bugatti) in 15m01.9s = 116.3 km/h (72.3 mph)|
Group B fastest lap for cars up to 1500cc: Michel Doré (Bugatti) in 16m46.2s = 104.3 km/h (64.8 mph)
Group A winner's medium speed: 101.0 km/h (62.8 mph)
Group B winner's medium speed: 96.6 km/h (60.0 mph)
Sub-Group 750 cc winner's (Albert Kandt) medium speed: 81.6 km/h (50.7 mph)
Weather: overcast, cool and dry.
The race closed 45 minutes after the arrival of the victor. For the 750cc cars this time limit had generously been extended by 60 minutes. Unfortunately this extension was not granted to the 1100cc and 1500cc classes.
Consequently, the 1.1-liter "Z" of Procházka/Divišek, third in the small class and eight overall, did not classify. Divišek had taken over from the smooth driving Procházka. The two Wikovs in places nine
and 11 also exceeded the 45-minute time limit. The tenth car across the finish was Albert Kandt with a BMW, who won the special prize for the fastest 750cc car. He was well within his total extra time allowance of 105 minutes.
All other cars still racing were flagged off. The prize from engineer Proskowecz and Fritz Hückel for the best overall lap by a Czechoslovakian driver with a Czechoslovakian car was won by Knapp in the 3.3-liter Walter
with a lap time of 17m31.5s. Interestingly, none of the Czechoslovakian cars classified.
From the 30 cars at the start, only 13 finished the race and only eight were within the allowable time. This fact alone testifies to the fierce pace of competition. The Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo and 2.3-liter Bugatti
were about evenly matched. However, the Bugatti, in the hands of von Morgen, was clearly a superior racing car. It should be said again that Nuvolari's presence assured that the race remained honest. The Maestro could
not have done better.
THE RACE THAT NOBODY DESERVED TO WIN
Leiningen took 2:31' to complete the first nine laps. If he had continued at that pace he would have finished the race in 4:47', which is 7 minutes better than Morgen's actual winning time. Instead of beating Burggaller by a mere
3 minutes, as Morgen did, he would have won by a margin of 10 minutes. Such a lead would have allowed him to spare the car, which Morgen certainly did not. Perhaps more important, if Leiningen had continued in the car at the same
speed as before, he would have been leading Nuvolari going into the last lap. So the Bugatti team would not have had to rely on the Alfa Romeo breaking down to obtain their win. However one looks at it, it was a bad decision to
hand the car over to Morgen. To hold the car in the pits while Morgen completed three quarters of a lap in his original car made no sense. Some simple arithmetic would have been enough to send Leiningen off again immediately.
However fast Morgen drove after the driver change - and he did drive very fast - he was never going to make up three quarters of a lap lost in the pits. The Bugatti team won the race despite themselves.
Daimler-Benz brought their SSK directly from the Swab hill climb, where Caracciola had averaged a mere 83 kph (52 mph) up the 4.6 km course. The Masaryk circuit was a very different proposition, with a final straight of no less
than 11 km, which put the emphasis on maximum speed. Uncharacteristically, they brought no alternative gear ratios, so before the race started they must have known that extraordinarily high revs down that straight would place
a huge strain on the mechanical parts. Clearly the Neubauer's race strategy should have been to take it as easy as possible, set a maximum engine RPM and if necessary even allow the front runners to gain a slight lead. What
did Caracciola do? He dashed of into the distance and was 14 seconds ahead for the first two laps. The car was eventually retired on the eighth lap. It is a moot point whether the car could have lasted the full 17 laps, however
it was driven, but between them, Caracciola and Neubauer vitually guaranteed its retirement.
Nuvolari's Alfa Romeo was 4 minutes or about 5 miles ahead of Morgen's Bugatti as they entered the last lap. The Italian had the race wrapped up, there was nothing the German could do to bridge the gap, except maybe pray. The
Alfa had been overheating even when Borzacchini was driving and four pit stops had already been made to fill the radiator, but it was still making respectable lap times. With that four minute lead there would have been plenty
of time to add coolant and even provide Nuvolari with an extra can of water in case it was needed during the last circuit. We will never know if the pit crew showed a stop sign, but Nuvolari sailed past completely ignoring
the problem. Eventually the car came to a halt either out of coolant or with a failed water pump or both. Since the car was only 9 km short of the finish it seems likely that one more pit stop would have propelled Nuvolari
to the finish and to the victor's laurel wreath.
1. What was the length of the Brno circuit? A-Z Motorwelt stated that before December 1929 the circuit length was measured by a surveyor at exactly 29.212 km. Thereafter it was re-measured by a surveyor at officially 29.142 km including description and drawing of
the circuit for the CAMS, as reported by A-Z Motorwelt in January of 1930. This is the same length the CAMS as organizer used until 1937. The circuit was built within 4 to 5 months in the summer of 1930 in great haste, so
the length mentioned above was probably no longer accurate. The engineer A. Zavodnik from Brno stated in 1930 that the finished Masaryk Circuit was 29.194 km long and that it had 128 turns (60 left and 68 right hand).
However, the CAMS continued to use 29.142 km for all their timing and race results throughout the pre war years. See also the circuit description.
(With thanks to Ivan Margolius)
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Prager Tagblatt, Praha
Special thanks to:
VIII° GRAN PREMIO DE SAN SEBASTIAN
Circuito de Lasarte - San Sebastian (E), 5 October 1930.
30 laps x 17.315 km (10.760 mi) = 519.50 km (322.8 mi)
Varzi wins with Maserati after leaving his opponents by the wayside.
by Hans Etzrodt
The Grand Prix of San Sebastian took place in ideal weather in front of the Spanish Royal Couple on the circuit at Lasarte. The only serious opposition to the factory Maseratis of Varzi and Maggi came
from a horde of private Bugattis driven by Etancelin, Lehoux, Dreyfus, Zanelli, de Maleplane, Fourny, Van Hulzen and de l'Espée. Varzi held first place until he made his mid-race fuel stop, when Lehoux
became the leader until his driveshaft broke. The Bugattis of Etancelin, van Hulzen, de l'Espée, Zanelli and Dreyfus one by one were eliminated in separate incidents and crashes. Achille Varzi then won
effortlessly in a new record time followed by his Maserati teammate Count Aymo Maggi. Surprisingly, the two five-year old Peugeots of Stoffel and Ferrand were in third and fourth place ahead of two
Bugattis. The race concluded the 1930 racing season.
The automobile sport week at San Sebastian, which took place at great expense the previous year, was not to be repeated in 1930. The eighth Grand Prix of San Sebastian on July 25 and the planned Spanish
Grand Prix for sports cars on July 27 were both canceled due to the bad economic situation following the Wall Street crash in October 1929. However, at the end of August the King of Spain intervened and the
eighth running of the Grand Prix of San Sebastian was finally assured. The A.I.A.C.R. granted permission to the Royal Spanish Automobile Club to hold this largest Spanish automobile race on the famous
Lasarte circuit near San Sebastian on October 5, 1930. It was organized by the Real Automóvil Club de Guipúzcoa, and supervised by Racing Director Juan Montojo, President of the club's Sporting Commission.
The 1930 San Sebastian Grand Prix was the most important automobile race in the country but was not the Spanish Grand Prix as it was wrongfully named in various publications. A fuel formula was not planned
and it promised to be a brilliant ending to the 1930 European motor sport season. The race went counter clockwise over 30 laps of the 17.315 km Lasarte circuit, a total of 519.450 km. Art objects and cash
prizes were waiting for the winners. The victor was to receive the Coupe of His Majesty The King of Spain and 15,000 Pesetas. Prize for second place was 6000 Pesetas, third place 4000 and fourth 2000.
For the fastest laps in the different classes extra awards of 500 Pesetas were offered.
A total of 21 entries were received for this Formula Libre race. There were ten private Bugattis, two old Peugeots, two Montier-Specials, one 1.5-liter Delage and two private Maseratis against two fast factory
2.5-liter Maseratis. The Portello works had entered two of their successful type 26M for Achille Varzi and Luigi Fagioli. AUTOMOBIL-REVUE reported that when Fagioli became unavailable due to injury in September,
Count Aymo Maggi was entered instead, driving his last serious race before retirement. Maggi was no newcomer to Maserati, as he ran for the Portello works in 1928 at Monza. In 1930 he drove for Alfa Romeo at the
Targa Florio and also used his Bugatti. Two additional Maseratis, a 26R and a 26 for the independent Sartorio brothers, Arrigo and Filippo, had adjoining pits to Varzi's.
The official Bugatti Equipe did not enter in Spain but there was an independent group of ten Bugattis, comprising René Dreyfus, winner of the Monaco Grand Prix, Philippe Etancelin, the French Grand Prix winner,
Max Fourny, who came second in the Bugatti Grand Prix, Jean de Maleplane, who captured seventh in the French Grand Prix, Baron Jean de l'Espée, who finished fifth in the French Grand Prix and Guy Daniel who retired
in the French and Dieppe Grands Prix. Also entered was Claude Arthez, who had retired at Comminges, the Algerian Marcel Lehoux, winner at Dieppe and third in last year's San Sebastian Grand Prix, the Chilean
Juan Zanelli, who lived in Spain, had won the last two Bugatti GPs and had placed third in the French Grand Prix. The last of the Bugatti drivers was Cor John van Hulzen from Holland, who had placed sixth in the
Dieppe Grand Prix.
Henri Stoffel and René Ferrand started in 174S Peugeots, the same car that Stoffel had raced at Spa in July. The Peugeot had a updated 1914 chassis with an old-fashioned 4-liter 4-cylinder slide-valve Knight-engine.
Robert Sénéchal showed up with his 1.5-liter 1927 Grand Prix Delage with which he had placed sixth in the French Grand Prix. Charles Montier, the father, and his son Ferdinand, arrived with two Montier-Specials
from Paris, equipped with barrel fuel tanks at the rear, as seen at the European Grand Prix. Everyone had hoped to see Scuderia Ferrari arriving with two P2 Alfa Romeos for Tazio Nuvolari and Baconin Borzacchini
but they did not appear.
All cars took part in practice. Amongst the fastest were Dreyfus, Zanelli, Lehoux in the 2300 Bugattis and Etancelin in the 2000 Bugatti against the Italians Varzi and Maggi in the 2500 Maseratis. Varzi drove one lap
in 7m25s which was equivalent to 140.076 km/h average speed, while teammate Maggi averaged 137.502 km/h with a time of 7m33s. The Bugatti driver Zanelli did a really fast lap in 7m19s at 141.990 km/h which was faster
than the official lap record for the Lasarte Circuit.
On race Sunday, under a clear, warm autumn sun, a large crowd of visitors streamed to the long Lasarte circuit to see the cars speeding through the villages of Oria just after the start, Andoain after 5 km, Urnieta at
half distance, Hernani after 11 km, and Lasarte only 1.3 km before the start and finish. The entire royal family with entourage, high government officials and military were present to watch the hard battles of the
afternoon. The King of Spain personally had a brief conversation with each of the drivers before the start. The public was well informed of the race progress through loudspeakers mounted at the grandstands. The
starting grid had been arranged in the traditional numerical order for this event. The numbers 13 and 17 had not been assigned due to widely held superstition of bringing bad luck to the driver whose car was
carrying those numbers. Sénéchal, Borzacchini, Nuvolari, Daniel and Arthez did not appear. Filippo Sartorio withdrew his car and started in his brother Arrigo's #1 Maserati 26R which he shared with him during the race.
The flying start took place precisely at noon when the pilot car sped by before pulling off to the right, followed in short distance by the racing cars, three per row.
Varzi in the second row gave chase for the lead right away. When the cars came past the grandstands after the first lap, Varzi was leading Maggi by nine seconds and had gained a 15 seconds advantage over the Bugattis of
Lehoux, Etancelin, Dreyfus and Zanelli. The four Bugattis crossed the line within four seconds of each other. The times of the leading group after the first lap were:
|1. Varzi (Maserati)||7m36s|
|2. Maggi (Maserati)||7m45s|
|3. Lehoux (Bugatti)||7m51s|
|4. Etancelin (Bugatti)||7m53s|
|5. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||7m54s|
|6. Zanelli (Bugatti)||7m55s|
When Maggi's Maserati fell behind, a fantastic battle for second place developed between the temperamental Lehoux and his old rival Dreyfus. The race speed increased and Lehoux established a new lap record on the fourth
lap with 142 km/h, breaking Chiron's existing 1928 lap record at 7m20s at 141.764 km/h. Dreyfus beat his time the following lap with 142.4 km/h average speed. On lap five, Varzi still held the lead with Lehoux in
second, followed by Dreyfus, Zanelli, Etancelin, Fourny and Maggi who had dropped five places to seventh. After 5 laps and 86.575 km Varzi led at an average speed of 140.8 km/h.
|1. Varzi (Maserati)||36m53s|
|2. Lehoux (Bugatti)||37m08s|
|3. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||37m12s|
|4. Zanelli (Bugatti)||37m18s|
|5. Etancelin (Bugatti)||39m19s|
|6. Fourny (Bugatti)||39m34s|
|7. Maggi (Maserati)||39m40s|
|8. F. Sartorio (Maserati)||40m40s|
|9. van Hulzen (Bugatti)||41m14s|
|10. De Maleplane (Bugatti)||42m41s|
|11. Stoffel (Peugeot)||43m09s|
|12. De l'Espée (Bugatti)||43m19s|
|13. Ferrand (Peugeot)||43m21s|
|14. F. Montier (Montier)||48m40s|
|15. C. Montier (Montier)||49m03s|
On the eighth round Varzi established the fastest lap of the race in 7m05.3s at 146.500 km/h. Charles Montier retired his Montier Special on the ninth lap. Varzi led at a race speed of 142.710 km/h, which was faster
than the old lap record, after 173.150 km or 10 laps:
|1. Varzi (Maserati)||1h12m48s|
|2. Lehoux (Bugatti)||1h13m03s|
|3. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||1h13m05s|
|4. Zanelli (Bugatti)||1h13m33s|
|5. Etancelin (Bugatti)||1h15m53s|
|6. De Maleplane (Bugatti)||1h15m55s||(Note 1)|
|7. Fourny (Bugatti)||1h18m38s|
|8. Maggi (Maserati)||1h18m59s|
|9. van Hulzen (Bugatti)||1h20m52s|
|10. F. Sartorio (Maserati)||1h21m02s|
|11. Stoffel (Peugeot)||1h25m01s|
|12. Ferrand (Peugeot)||1h25m04s|
|13. De l'Espée (Bugatti)||1h25m08s|
|14. F. Montier (Montier)||1h37m26s|
On the 11th lap Etancelin abandoned the race near Urnieta when a wheel of his Bugatti broke and the car overturned. He had uncanny luck to escape without any injury. He most probably had hit something because wheels
don't just break. Near the middle of the race the drivers headed for the pits to refuel and change wheels. Varzi's superiority over his rivals lasted until his fuel stop, which resulted in a large loss of time for
the Italian and enabled the Bugatti drivers to run triumphantly in the front. The Sartorio Maserati was driven by Filipo Sartorio until lap 11. After refueling, his brother Arrigo took over, driving the car till
the end. After the first half of the race there were grounds for assuming that Bugatti would have a chance for possible victory since the Maseratis had fallen behind. After 15 laps, Lehoux's race speed
was 140.800 km/h.
|1. Lehoux (Bugatti)||1h49m28s|
|2. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||1h49m38s|
|3. Zanelli (Bugatti)||1h49m52s|
|4. Varzi (Maserati)||1h50m55s|
|5. Maggi (Maserati)||1h59m06s|
|6. van Hulzen (Bugatti)||2h02m25s|
|7. Fourny (Bugatti)||2h03m21s|
|8. Stoffel (Peugeot)||2h05m58s|
|9. De Maleplane (Bugatti)||2h06m17s||(Note 1)|
|10. De l'Espée (Bugatti)||2h06m25s|
|11. Ferrand (Peugeot)||2h06m30s|
|12. A. Sartorio (Maserati)||2h08m44s|
|13. F. Montier (Montier)||2h23m00s|
Both Maserati drivers had fallen back but Varzi was now moving very rapidly to recover the lost time. On lap 16, a serious accident occurred to van Hulzen when he crashed his Bugatti in a turn against a
parapet where the car turned upside down and caught fire. The driver was thrown from the car, suffering a fractured skull. Van Hulzen was helped and brought immediately to the hospital. On lap 18 de l'Espée's
Bugatti came to a stop and he attempted to repair the engine but was not able to do so and retired. Varzi had quickly recovered from the fourth place which he had occupied since lap 15 to second position in
less than five rounds. He was now only seven seconds behind the leader and closing fast. Lehoux held first place at an average speed of 140.040 km/h after 346.300 km or 20 laps.
|1. Lehoux (Bugatti)||2h27m49s|
|2. Varzi (Maserati)||2h27m56s|
|3. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||2h32m23s|
|4. Zanelli (Bugatti)||2h33m19s|
|5. Maggi (Maserati)||2h42m05s|
|6. Fourny (Bugatti)||2h46m44s|
|7. Stoffel (Peugeot)||2h47m25s|
|8. Ferrand (Peugeot)||2h47m29s|
|9. De Maleplane (Bugatti)||2h50m43s|
|10. A. Sartorio (Maserati)||2h51m52s|
|11. F. Montier (Montier)||2h23m00s|
The leading Bugatti driver lost his advantage when Varzi regained the lead after passing Lehoux on lap 22. Shortly thereafter on the same lap Lehoux's race endet when the driveshaft of his Bugatti broke. On
lap 25 Zanelli retired three kilometers after passing the grandstand near Recalte when his Bugatti crashed and knocked down a telegraph pole. When it fell down a woman spectator was injured, while Zanelli
suffered a fractured leg. From this moment on after the retirement of five of the eight Bugattis, victory looked certain for Maserati. He was now a full six and a half minutes in front of the second placed
Dreyfus. After 432.875 km or 25 laps Varzi was leading at an average speed of 140.960 km/h.
|1. Varzi (Maserati)||3h04m15s|
|2. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||3h10m44s|
|3. Maggi (Maserati)||3h21m56s|
|4. Fourny (Bugatti)||3h27m49s|
|5. Stoffel (Peugeot)||3h27m56s|
|6. Ferrand (Peugeot)||3h28m48s|
|7. De Maleplane (Bugatti)||3h33m09s|
|8. A. Sartorio (Maserati)||3h37m18s|
|9. F. Montier (Montier)||4h13m30s|
Dreyfus retired on lap 26 after he had completed 25 rounds, a fact which most reports are in agreement with. While the Barcelona 'El Mundo Deportivo' wrote the day after the race that Dreyfus' Bugatti ran
out of fuel, quoting also 'alleging lack of fuel', the Paris 'Omnia' magazine summarized weeks later that Dreyfus stopped without serious incident. The Paris 'Le Figaro' reported the Monday after the race
that Dreyfus skidded at a bend and gave up injured. The London 'Motor Sport' reported several weeks after the race that Dreyfus overturned, and although not seriously injured, was removed to hospital. The
German 'MOTOR UND SPORT' reported one week after the race that Dreyfus overturned and had to be brought to hospital with serious injuries. 'A-Z Motorwelt' quoted also one week after the race that Dreyfus
overturned when he skidded in a corner, retired and was brought to a hospital with injuries. The Swiss 'AUTOMOBIL-REVUE' evidently knew a bit more than anyone else just five days after the race, something
that could not be substantiated: "Dreyfus created one second of fearful tension to the grandstand spectators, his car spun around directly in front of the grandstand, went into a skid, but Dreyfus got the
better of it, recovered from the fright, drove away, and a few moments later he was laying in the wild mess of his crashed car next to the road. He had to be taken immediately to hospital."
After the serious Bugatti contenders had dropped out of the race the Maserati victory was assured. When Varzi took the checkered flag, he had lapped everyone three times except his teammate Maggi, who had
fallen 'only' 22 minutes behind. The race went on for a further 40 minutes so that the other drivers could complete the 30 laps required to be classified. Stoffel and Ferrand in the reliable old Peugeots
had raced without stopping even once during the entire event and finished third and fourth respectively. Behind them qualified the last two Bugattis of Fourny and de Maleplane, with Arrigo Sartorio's
Maserati in seventh place. Last was Ferdinand Montier, the son, whose Montier-Special was flagged off. The Maserati drivers were received with great applause, especially by the Italians present. The
King congratulated Varzi and shook his hand. The two Italians took the last victory in a sequence of great Maserati successes during the 1930 season. It had been Maserati's best year since they started
racing in 1926. Miraculously, Stoffel in the old Peugeot was less than four minutes behind Maggi's state of the art Maserati - after more than four unbroken hours at the wheel - but the first Bugatti home
was over half an hour behind Varzi!
|1.||8||Achille Varzi||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||26M||2.5||S-8||30||3h43m05s|
|2.||12||Aymo Maggi||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati||26M||2.5||S-8||30||4h05m03s||+ 21m58s|
|3.||2||Henri Stoffel||H. Stoffel||Peugeot||174 S||4.0||S-4||30||4h08m48s||+ 25m43s|
|4.||7||René Ferrand||R. Ferrand||Peugeot||174 S||4.0||S-4||30||4h10m10s||+ 27m05s|
|5.||22||Max Fourny||M. Fourny||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||30||4h13m58s||+ 30m53s|
|6.||10||Jean de Maleplane||J. de Maleplane||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||30||4h15m46s||+ 32m41s|
|7.||1||Arrigo & Filippo Sartorio||A. Sartorio||Maserati||26R||1.7||S-8||30||4h18m28s||+ 35m23s|
|8.||5||Ferdinand Montier (son)||F. Montier||Montier Ford||Special||3.3||S-4||26||4h23m00s,||flagged off|
|DNF||15||René Dreyfus||R. Dreyfus||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||25||crash or fuel problem|
|DNF||19||Juan Zanelli||J. Zanelli||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||24||crash|
|DNF||14||Marcel Lehoux||M. Lehoux||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||21||driveshaft|
|DNF||18||Jean de l'Espée||Baron J. de l'Espée||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||17||engine|
|DNF||20||Cor John van Hulzen||C. J. van Hulzen||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||15||crash, fire|
|DNF||4||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||10||crash|
|DNF||9||Charles Montier (father)||C. Montier||Montier Ford||Special||3.3||S-4||8|
Fastest lap: Achille Varzi (Maserati) on lap 8 in 7m05.3s = 146.6 km/h (91.1 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 139.7 km/h (86.8 mph)
Weather: sunny and warm.
1. Here is a timekeeper’s mistake. De Maleplane's time for 10 laps is totally wrong (in a magnitude of 10 minutes). An average speed calculation showed that the time for 15 laps is probably wrong as well
(in a less amount). Times published by El Mundo Deportivo were used in the report. Our thanks to Paul Fisher for pointing out this error.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
La Stampa, Torino
Le Figaro, Paris
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck