I GRAND PRIX MIASTA LWOWA
Lwów (PL), 19 Jun 1932.
66 laps x 3041m (1.89 mi) = 200.71 km (124.7 mi)
Caracciola dominates Lwów street race.
Four Grand Prix cars and four voiturettes took part in the racing class of the 1932 Lwów Grand Prix. Caracciola dominated the race with his Alfa Romeo,
leading from start to finish, while his only serious rival Hans Stuck had to retire his Mercedes. German Mercedes privateer Albert Broschek managed to
come back to finish second after initial problems. Hungarian Lazlo Hartmann was a lucky winner of the voiturette class after local driver Ripper
suffered a puncture.
Lwów (Lviv) is a city in the region of Galicia in eastern Europe with a stormy history. Founded in the 13th century by Daniil, King of Haliziya
(modern Western Ukraine), it has belonged to Poland, Austria, USSR and nowadays Ukraine as well as being occupied several times by other countries.
In the era between the World Wars it was a part of Poland but in the contemporary racing literature it is often referred to under its German name Lemberg.
Between 1930 and 1933 the Malopolski Klub Automobilowy (M.K.A.) in Lwów, affiliated to the Automobilklub Polski in Warszawa, held four races in Lwów on
a tight street type circuit, of which the last two were for grand prix cars
The 1932 race was initially scheduled for 12th June but that would have
clashed with the Kesselberg hill climb. The organizers considered moving the event back a week, but in that case it would instead have clashed with a
local event. Finally the M.K.A. asked Automobilklub Polski (A.P.) to move the race to the backup date of 19th June.
The 1932 race was initially scheduled for 12th June but that would have clashed with the Kesselberg hill climb. The M.K.A. asked Automobilklub
Polski (A.P.) to move the race to the backup date of 19th June. In that way Grand Prix Lwowa was to be one of many sports events accompanying the
Targi Wschodnie. Before the Grand Prix two concentration events were to be held, Zjazd Plakietowy for cars and Zjazd Gwiazdzisty for motorcycles.
The M.K.A. wanted the race to be the national Polish Grand Prix, but was unable to come to an agreement with the A.P. and that is why they decided to
compromise on the name Grand Prix miasta Lwowa (Grand Prix of the city of Lwów).
Some M.K.A. members visited the 1931 Brno and 1932 Monaco races to acquire knowledge about organizing a Grand Prix event. As a result it was
decided to scratch a planned touring car race and to hold races for racing cars and sports cars at same time.
The selected track was roughly triangular shaped and had a length of 3041 m. The start/finish line was at Pelczynska Street. After some 600 m the
track took a double right turn at Swietej Zofii square, then continued upwards through the winding Stryjska street, turned in on Kadecka Street and
continued downwards, then after a sharp bend returned to Pelczynska Street. The difference between the lowest and highest point of the track was 55 m.
The track was very demanding because it went through narrow streets with sharp turns and partly paved slippery road surfaces with tram rails.
The course was bordered by houses, lamp-posts and trees. All dangerous sections were protected with sand bags to avoid serious accidents.
On race day 500 policemen ensured protection. There were six marshalling posts, all of them with a telephone, and four ambulances were on alert.
Five grandstands were built - two near the start/finish line for 1800 and 600 spectators and three others for 500 spectators each. Shortly before
the race 700 m of the track surface was remade with money from the city council.
The main source of the budget for the race came from the city of Lwów even if M.K.A. club members put in 500 zloty each (1 USD = 8,86 zl) while Citröen as main sponsor
contributed 15 000 franc. The winner of the GP event would receive 5000 zloty, second 2000 zl; the winners of the voiturette and sports car events 1000 zl each and another 1000 zl was awarded to the best Polish driver
to tempt local participation.
Ticket prices were 3-12 / 4-15 zl for the grandstands (practice/race) and 1zl / 2 zl for standing places. The tickets included a lottery with 10 bicycles to be won and 130 tickets were
reserved for the press.
Initially there was a good entry list with a total of 30 drivers (20 for the racing cars race) but in the end just four Grand Prix drivers and four
Voiturette drivers arrived with another seven drivers taking part in the sports car class.
The organizers were lucky to get Caracciola to participate. His works supported Alfa Romeo was white colored with a red radiator shell. To challenge
him the organizers wanted von Brauchitsch on any of his terms but in the end von Brauchitsch for some reason decided not to come. Also as Heinrich-Joachim
von Morgen and Prince Lobkowicz had fatal accidents, the quality of the field was suffering much and the organizers thus tried to convince 1931 race
winner Hans Stuck, who initially had made a provisional entry to the sports cars race, to enter the GP race with his Mercedes SSKL instead. As Stuck liked
the circuit and the organization very much, he agreed even accepting the original smaller amount of starting money.
German Albert Broschek from Cologne in a Mercedes-Benz SSK and Czech Josef Štasný with a Bugatti completed the Grand Prix class entries.
In the last minute the Czechoslovakian Bugatti drivers Florian Schmidt and Jan Kubiček decided to switch to the sports cars class.
The Voiturette class featured an all Bugatti T37A field with Polish drivers Jan Ripper and Stanisław Hołuj challenged Hungarian László Hartmann and Chech
driver Bruno Sojka. Ripper's car was white with a red tail.
All drivers were accommodated at the Georges' hotel. Practice sessions were scheduled as early as 4 a.m. each day and were commented as was the race
on radio while loudspeakers around the track kept the spectators informed. The first unofficial session was run on Wednesday, 15 June, with only
local sports car drivers Bogucki and Cienski taking part. During the day the Czech drivers arrived: Štasný (who made a mini-show of his arrival),
Sojka, Schmidt and Kubicek, the latter after having first got lost on the Polish roads!
The Thursday timed practice was cancelled due to rain. On that day Polish drivers Hołuj and Ripper arrived. Late in the evening Stuck, on his way
to the event, run over and killed a 5 year old boy who was playing on the road. Stuck finally arrived at Lwów near midnight.
On Friday there was finally some serious practice with several drivers, including Stuck, Horwill and Kubicek, taking part in front of a huge crowd.
Kubicek escaped from a minor accident.
Caracciola arrived by train and after having checked out the circuit, he held a press conference where he said he was satisfied with the preparations
while his wife Charly expressed her worries about sports cars racing together with the much faster grand prix cars.
The last practice on Saturday was darkened by the fact that motorcycle racer Edward Josef Kustanowicz had a sudden heart attack and died within an hour.
All drivers participated in the final practice. Caracciola set the fastest time of 2m03s. Broschek crashed his Mercedes-Benz SSK into a lamppost and
damaged the left fender, suspension and radiator. Caracciola assisted Broschek, who had a minor head injury, to the nearest medical car and Stuck's
mechanics towed the damaged car back to the paddock. Broschek received a plaster over his left eye and a 70 Reichsmark bill from the doctor!
The grid for the racing cars was situated 100 m before the finish line with the sports cars grid 50 m further behind. The sport cars were to start 30
seconds after the racing cars. The cars were to be lined up in order of acceptance of entry application, i.e. in number order. However, Caracciola
having race number 6 was dissatisfied of being placed on the third row behind the voiturettes so after some discussions the organizers agreed to
re-arrange the grid so that the GP class started in front of the voiturettes.
On a sunny day 50 000 to 60 000 spectators turned up including the Mayor, Governor of province and other dignitaries.
The motor cycle race started at half past two while the car race was scheduled for 16:15.
Caracciola's nimble Alfa Romeo was the recognized favorite over the huge Mercedes SSKs on the narrow streets. In the sports cars class there was an
immediate upset as the engine of favorite Maurycy Potocki's Bugatti stalled on the way to the grid so he was not even able to start.
The start was given with both a flag and by a cannon shot. As the cannon roared Caracciola immediately took the lead followed by Stuck, Broschek,
Štasný, Hartmann, Hołuj, Ripper and Sojka. Broschek's SSK immediately suffered from ignition troubles and on the second lap he was forced to enter
the pits for adjustments.
As expected Caracciola soon opened up a small gap to Stuck. By lap five Ripper passed Hołuy for 6th position and went on to challenge Hartmann.
Soon Broschek was once again back into the pits. Caracciola was leading comfortably with Stuck some 250m behind, [comma] followed by Štasný, Hartmann
On the 12th lap Štasný made a mistake while trying to lap Florian Schmidt's sports car and crashed into a lamppost, badly damaging his Bugatti but
the driver luckily escaped without any injuries.
From about the 15th lap Stuck made a serious effort to close the gap to Caracciola, but Caracciola answered by setting the fastest lap of the race of
in 2min2.85s. Stuck continued to do his best to keep up the pace even if he was unable to challenge the Alfa driver. At the 36th lap the gap was 17
seconds and on the next lap the big Mercedes came slowly rolling back to the pits with a broken radiator.
With Stuck gone there was no one left who had a chance to challenge Caracciola. Hartmann in second position with his voiturette Bugatti was already 4 laps
down. After having done a further three pit stops Broschek had finally got the ignition on his Mercedes to work as he wanted and he started to climb up
in the results list passing car after car On lap 50 he caught Hartmann, who was suffering from ignition problems, and overtook him for 2nd position.
Pushed on by the spectators, Polish driver Jan Ripper had also started an inspired drive and caught Hartmann on the 58th lap and overtook him on the next
causing the crowd to go wild.
But then on the next lap: catastrophe! Ripper had a flat tyre and was forced to stop on the track. He managed to change the tyre himself in less
than two minutes and was able to save third position. Hołuj who by then had nearly caught him was obviously confused by the scoreboard
that hung from the walkover bridge near the finish line as it gave wrong number of laps so he didn't understand he was racing for position.
Caracciola took the flag after 66 laps, being totally dominant while Broschek in second place was the only other driver in the GP class and finished
six laps behind. Hartmann won the voiturette race from Ripper who was closely followed by Hołuy. Soijka was the last finisher.
|1.||6||Rudolf Caracciola||R. Caracciola||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||66||2h19m53.410s = 86.08 km/h (53.49 mph)|
|2.||5||Albert Broschek||A. Broschek||Mercedes-Benz||SSK||7.1||S-6||60||2h34m21.495s|
|3.||4||László Hartmann||L. Hartmann||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||58||2h37m05.440s|
|4.||8||Jan Ripper||J. Ripper||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||58||2h38m22.9s|
|5.||7||Stanisław Hołuj||S. Hołuj||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||58||2h38m29s|
|6.||3||Bruno Sojka||B. Sojka||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||57||2h42m24s|
|DNF||1||Hans Stuck||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||SSKL||7.1||S-6||37||radiator|
|DNF||2||Josef Štasný||J. Štasný||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||12||crash|
Fastest lap: Caracciola (Alfa Romeo) in 2:02.85 = 89.11 km/h (55.37 mph)|
Winner's medium speed:
Weather: sunny, warm
After the race Caracciola praised the organization, making comparisons to Monaco, and said that he had had full control over the race, never considering Stuck to be a real challenge.
The sports car event, lasting 33 laps, was won by Florian Schmidt.
The celebrations and prize ceremonies took part in the evening but by then both Caracciola and Brocheck were already on the train for the 18-hour long journey home to Berlin.
The main sources have been Arten Atoyan's excellent "Grand Prix Lwowa 1930-1933", Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung and Paul Sheldon's
A Record of Grand Prix and Voiturette Racing. A great thanks to Oleksiy Hrushko for all his assistance including
translating sections of Atoyan's book from Ukrainian for me. Also a great thanks for Andrzej Jakubaszek for sorting up some errors.