XXVIII GRAND PRIX DE L'AUTOMOBILE CLUB DE FRANCE
Montlhéry - Paris (F), 1 July 1934
40 laps x 12.504 km (7.77 mi) = 500.2 km (310.8 mi)
Alfa Romeo triumph
by Leif Snellman
The race was the first international event for the German teams with Mercedes racing three cars and Auto Union two. Three Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeos, three Bugattis and two Maseratis challenged the Germans for a total of
13 cars. Chiron (Alfa Romeo) jumped the start to lead the first lap. The Germans followed closely with Stuck (Auto Union) taking over the lead on the third lap. The Alfa Romeos and the German cars battled for positions while
the Bugattis and Maseratis were outclassed. Stuck's car was hard on tyres and Chiron eventually took back the command of the race. When Momberger's Auto Union as well as three Mercedes cars retired within a few laps and
Stuck's car was overheating, the race turned into a Alfa Romeo parade with Chiron cheered on by over 80,000 spectators taking the victory with his teammate Varzi , who was forced to make a lengthy pit stop, second and Moll,
who had taken over the third Alfa Romeo from Trossi during the race, third. Benoist in a Bugatti was the only other driver to take the flag, four laps behind the winner.
The 28th Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France run to the AIACR's new 750 kg Grand Prix formula rules was again arranged on the Autodrome de Linas'Montlhéry race circuit south of Paris. The race distance was
40 laps x 12.504 km for a total of 500.2 km, to comply to AIACR's 500 km minimum rule. There were no entry fees but the organizers asked for a deposit of 30,000 fr that was refundable if the car came to the start. For the
race a new electric timing device was used that printed out lap, car numbers and times down to a tenth of a second on a paper. A similar system had earlier been used for speed records.
Prizes of 100,000 fr, 50,000 fr and 20,000 fr. were provided for the top three finishers. For the rest of the competitors there were premiums for completing the first 10 laps and the first 20 laps at certain average speeds:
For the first ten laps: At 125 km/h minimum average: 3000 fr, 115 km/h: 2000 fr and 105 km/h: 1000 fr.
For the first twenty laps. At 125 km/h minimum average: 4000 fr, 115 km/h: 3000 fr and 105 km/h: 2000 fr.
(It will be seen that the organizers had underestimated the speeds the cars would do).
The French organizers restricted their invitations to works entries with a maximum of three cars of each marquee. The entry list was of a high quality with all the 1934 top teams present as this was the international debut
for Auto Union and the international comeback for Daimler-Benz AG to Grand Prix racing.
The Mercedes-Benz team entered three W25 cars for Rudolf, Caracciola, Manfred von Brauchitsch and Luigi Fagioli with speed record motorcycle driver Ernst Henne as reserve driver. Several sources claim that the cars had an
enlarged 3.8 litre engine. Actually the M25AB engine was 3.7 litres and according to Karl Ludwigsen that engine was only used a few times late in the season.
Caracciola made his return to Grand Prix racing after a 14 months long pause after his 1933 Monaco crash. He still had great problems to walk, but once in the car he soon put in some very respectable laps.
One can only guess what went through Luigi Fagioli's mind. Before the start of the season he must have believed that taking the leading position in the team would be a piece of cake. Then came the Eifel incident with
von Brauchitsch and Caracciola's speed during his comeback race must have been a nasty surprise.
Auto Union entered three cars for Hans Stuck, August Momberger and Hermann zu Leiningen. The cars had the black/white/red German flag (used 1933-1935) on left side of the tail and a swastika in white circle on right side
of the tail. The cars were colour coded with #4 having a white border around the radiator and #10 featuring a darker, probably red, border.
Scuderia Ferrari entered Tipo B/P3 cars for Achille Varzi, Louis Chiron and Count Trossi with Guy Moll and Marcel Lehoux as reserve drivers.
For the race Tazio Nuvolari had joined the works Bugatti team racing blue T59s together with veteran driver Robert Benoist, who was making his comeback to Grand Prix racing, and René Dreyfus. L'Auto listed Jean-Pierre
Wimille, Albert Divo and Marquis Antonio Brivio as reserve drivers. The cars had metal strips below the cockpit to comply to the 850 mm bodywork rule.
Philippe Etancelin racing his own his light blue Maserati 8CM was the only independent entry to take part as especially for this race he received a works status from Maserati. The Maserati works team entered Goffredo
Zehender in a two-seater 8C 3000 based on a M26 fitted with a 3 litre engine. The car had been raced by Taruffi at Monaco, back then fitted with the 4C 2500 cc engine. The third Maserati entry by Peter de Paolo was
scratched after de Paolo's crash at Montjuïk two weeks earlier. Benoit Falchetto was reserve driver for the team.
The French SEFAC was withdrawn as the car was far from ready.
The Bugatti and Mercedes-Benz teams did fuel and tyre consumption tests at Linas-Montlhéry during the week before the race. For the first time people outside Germany would be aware of the high pitched Mercedes-Benz supercharger
whine that could be heard for some three kilometres.
On Wednesday 20 June the 9.181 km circuit configuration without the race oval was used, Dreyfus and Brivio testing Bugattis while von Brauchitsch and Fagioli in their Mercedes cars put in laps of 4m08s.
On Thursday 21 June the full 12,504 km Grand Prix circuit was opened. The official circuit record 5m19s was held by Nuvolari.
Fagioli unofficially made a lap of 5m11.8s, von Brauchitsch 5m16s, Caracciola 5m20s and Henne 5m27s.
The Mercedes team had problems with high tyre wear, indicating that the tyres could last a maximum of eight laps. The team then returned to Germany for final preparations of the cars.
There were three official practice sessions, Thursday 28th and Friday 29th at 2 - 7 p.m. and Saturday 30th at 8 a.m. - 12 noon. The practice sessions had no significance to the grid order which had been decided early on by ballot.
The teams arrived early to the event. Auto Union arrived the night between Monday and Tuesday. Nuvolari arrived on Tuesday and Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz as well as Etancelin and Zehender were present on Wednesday.
The circuit was opened already on Wednesday for unofficial practice and several drivers took the opportunity to do a few laps. Stuck, who never had raced at Montlhéry before, equalled the 5m19s circuit record on his very first
lap. He then improved his time to 5m17.4s.
Chiron's fastest lap with the Alfa Romeo was 5m19s. Late in the afternoon the Bugatti drivers as well as Etancelin made laps on the 9.181 km circuit, but only for making the car ready for the race. Zu Leiningen and Momberger
also made a few laps.
In the first official practice session at Thursday afternoon Stuck again managed to equal Nuvolari's 5m19 lap record on the first time round. Stuck then took over Momberger's car and went down to 5m07s. It took some time for
the German drivers to get used to the autodrome section as the g-forces were felt in the stomach and created vertigo, while the circuit was familiar to the French and Italians. Caracciola did not try to make a record time.
His Mercedes car had steering problems. The other Mercedes drivers did not take part.
Nuvolari, Benoist and Dreyfus made a few laps with their Bugattis but without pushing hard as the cars had ignition problems. Etancelin made some laps with his Maserati and the Alfa Romeo drivers practiced for several hours.
Chiron was fastest of them with a 5m15.8s lap. Varzi and Trossi made laps without any intention to set a time.
Friday weather was bad with a strong wind blowing and some rain that made the circuit slippery. Despite the conditions there was a lot of action. Varzi was first out making a 5m16s lap with the Scuderia Ferrari practice car.
Chiron then took over the car making impressive laps of 5m08s, 5m06.4s and finally 5m06.2s. Moll did only three laps but they were also very fast: 5m10s, 5m08s and 5m06.8s. Trossi's fastest lap was 5m18s.
The Mercedes drivers took turn to drive the practice car with both Fagioli and von Brauchitsch beating Stuck's record lap from Thursday. Fagioli made a time of 5m06.2 and von Brauchitsch 5m05.8s, then improving it to 5m05.6s.
Caracciola's best time was 5m15.4s. The Mercedes car still used up tyres at an alarming rate. Later in the session the three drivers checked out their racing cars, driving at reduced speeds.
The Maserati drivers were suffering from ignition trouble, Etancelin making a time of 5m21.2s and Zehender 5m27.2s. The Auto Union cars suffered from fuel pump problems and the team concentrated on solving that rather than
making fast laps. The Bugatti team did not take part in the session but worked on an ignition problem that had appeared on Thursday, the plugs on the two first cylinders failing to do their work.
During Saturday practice the Mercedes and Auto Union teams did not push their cars and only Prince zu Leiningen went down to 5m13.8s. The Scuderia Ferrari team also seemed satisfied with the Friday practice results while
Etancelin and Zehender did 5m22s vs. 5m24s with their Maseratis, the cars still suffering from ignition and carburetion problems.
The Bugatti team hoped they had solved their earlier problems with Dreyfus making a time of 5m23.8s and Benoist making 5m15s and then improving to 5m13.8s. That was more than five seconds faster than Nuvolari's old track
record but still seven seconds slower than what the Mercedes had done.
Saturday afternoon was reserved for scrutineering and weighing of the cars: Auto Union at 2 p.m. Alfa Romeo 2:30 p.m., Mercedes 3 p.m. Bugatti 3:30 p.m. and Maserati at 4 p.m. L'Auto listed the weight of the cars:
Auto Union: Stuck 740.5 kg, zu Leiningen 738.5 kg, Momberger 736.5 kg.
Mercedes-Benz: Caracciola 739.5 kg, Fagioli 739 kg, von Brauchitsch 737 kg
Alfa Romeo: Varzi 730 kg, Trossi 721.5 kg, Chiron 720.5 kg
Bugatti: Dreyfus 749.5 kg, Nuvolari 747 kg, Benoist 747 kg
Maserati: Etancelin 748.5 kg, Zehender 735 kg
It has been suggested that the scales were "adjusted" a bit for the Bugattis as a post war test with a T59 recorded 822 kg.
Race day came with intensely hot weather. Hours before the start the roads southwards of Paris were jammed with vehicles on the way to the circuit at Plateau St Eutrope. An estimated 80,000 - 100,000 spectators turned up for the
race and the enormous grandstand south of the banked oval was for once completely filled.
Prince zu Leiningen had been taken ill and as Stuck's car had mechanical problems Stuck took over Momberger's car #4, leaving the pole position reserved for car #2 empty, while Momberger took over zu Leiningen's car #10.
The cars were led in a procession to the grid with each driver, especially Chiron and Etancelin, being greeted with applause as his name was announced through loudspeakers. Vicomte de Rohan, President of the Automobile Club
de France, gave some last instructions to the drivers before they entered the cars. A minute before 2 p.m. the engines were started with mechanics working on the starting handles, the only way allowed to start the engines
in this event.
|* Stuck did not use his pole position.|
* Stuck raced Momberger's car.
* Momberger raced zu Leiningen's car.
Chiron jumped the start from the third row to almost already reach the front row before M.A. Pérouse, president of the Sports Commission of the ACF, dropped the French flag. Several other drivers moved early as well.
Chiron led the field towards "Les Quatre Bornes" followed by Caracciola, Varzi, Dreyfus and Stuck.
In his book Grand Prix Barré Lyndon gave a long description about the event of the first lap, telling in detail in which corners drivers passed each other. Sadly a short film taken during the first lap shows his
story to be totally false. The cars passed the camera in order Caracciola, Chiron, Dreyfus, Varzi, Fagioli, Stuck, Nuvolari and von Brauchitsch. Rudi Caracciola indeed he had taken the lead in his first race after his
crash. He might have held it for just a small part of the first lap but still it was an impressive performance.
Chiron soon took over and led the field through the high banking to finish the first lap past the cheering grandstand in 5m20.6s (136.6 km/h). He was followed by Caracciola, Fagioli, Stuck, Varzi, von Brauchitsch and
Trossi. Then, after a gap, followed Dreyfus, Nuvolari, Zehender, Etancelin, Benoist and finally Momberger, who was struggling with his Auto Union.
On the second lap three German cars were close together behind Chiron's leading Alfa Romeo. Fagioli passed Caracciola at Les Biscornes and Stuck went past as well at Forêt. After a long wheel to wheel duel between
Fagioli and Stuck the latter took over second position and closed in on race leader Chiron.
Chiron passed the line for the second time after 10m46.2s (139.3 km/h). He had made the second lap in 5m16.6s but Stuck, who had made the lap in 5m13.2s (143.7 km/h) was only half a second behind him. Fagioli was third
and Caracciola fourth. Further back Nuvolari made a pit stop to change a plug.
On the third lap Stuck took the Auto Union into the lead, passing Chiron before Les Biscornes. At Forêt Stuck led by two seconds, at Chateu d'Eau by four seconds and he made the three laps in 15m59.1s (140.8 km/h) to lead
Chiron by five seconds. He had made the lap in 5m09.4s (145.5 km/h), a new circuit record. Behind Chiron followed the Mercedes cars of Fagioli and Caracciola and some 100 meters behind them the Alfa Romeos of Varzi and Trossi.
The race order remained the same during the fourth lap. Etancelin in 10th position was in trouble with dark smoke coming out from the exhaust of his Maserati. Stuck was slower than during the previous lap making the fourth
lap in 5m15.6s, but he was still increasing the overall average speed.
The situation after 4 laps looked like this:
|1.||Stuck (Auto Union)||21m14.7s (141.3 km/h)|
|2.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||21m19.2s|
|5.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||21m42.1s|
|6.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||21m49.2s|
|12.||Momberger (Auto Union)||24m03.5s?|
Stuck made the fifth and sixth laps in 26m27.5s (141.8 km/h) and 31m41.1s (142.1 km/h). His lap times were 5m12.8s and 5m13.6s. There were no changes in the race order apart from von Brauchitsch passing Trossi on the sixth lap.
After six laps Chiron was 7s behind the leader, Fagioli 20s, Caracciola 34s, Varzi 38s, von Brauchitsch 50s, Trossi 55s, Dreyfus 1m33s, Zehender 1m37s, Etancelin 1m46s, Benoist 1m47s, Momberger 2m21s and Nuvolari, who was suffering
from ignition trouble and gears that were slipping out of mesh, 4m42s behind.
All Bugatti cars suffered badly from carburetion trouble with the car engines sometimes choking for a 100 meters out of the corners before picking up.
Etancelin as well as Zehender made pit stops. Stuck was working hard to shake off Chiron. After seven laps the gap between them was 9 seconds while Fagioli was 21 seconds behind the leader. Chiron remained with the leader and
after Stuck made a rather slow eighth lap Chiron closed in to 4 seconds with Fagioli 16 seconds behind.
After eight laps Nuvolari made a second pit stop for plugs and to see if there was a solution to the gearbox trouble. The Bugatti remained standing for four minutes and, as Nuvolari still was suffering a bit from his Alessandria crash,
when the car returned to the race it was with Jean-Pierre Wimille behind the wheel.
The race order after 8 laps:
|1.||Stuck (Auto Union)||42m11.5s (142.3 km/h)|
|2.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||42m15.4s|
|5.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||42m49.5s|
|7.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||43m13.3s|
|12.||Momberger (Auto Union)||46m04.2s?|
Mercedes team manager Alfred Neubauer got worried about the speed of the leading duo and gave a signal for Fagioli to close in. Fagioli obeyed making the ninth lap in 5m08.9s (145.7 km/h) beating the lap record. Meanwhile
Stuck had started to struggle with his rear tyres and at the end of the lap Chiron was just 50 meters behind the Auto Union. On the tenth lap Chiron caught Stuck at les Biscornes and passed for the lead after Forêt corner to
make 10 laps in 52m39.1s. Behind them Fagioli again broke the lap record with a lap of 5m08.3s (146.0 km/h) to close in on Stuck.
The demanding race started to take its toll. Etancelin made a pit stop with a sick engine that was leaking oil. The mechanics tried to wipe the windscreen clear of oil before he returned to the race.
Von Brauchitsch came slowly to the pit. The Mercedes mechanics lifted the bonnet and worked on the compressor. After a 2m22s stop von Brauchitsch was on his way again but the Mercedes supercharger whine had turned dull.
Momberger came coasting to the pit with steering trouble. After the mechanics having examined the right front wheel where the shock-absorber had failed the Auto Union was retired and pushed away.
On the 11th lap Fagioli passed Stuck for 2nd position and once again made a new lap record of 5m06.5s (146.9 km/h) closing right in on Chiron.
At the end of the lap Stuck made a pit stop for refuelling and new rear tyres dropping to 7th position. Etancelin retired his car because of engine trouble and von Brauchitsch retired his Mercedes at Biscornes with
compressor failure. The order after 12 laps was:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h02m56.5s (143.0 km/h)|
|4.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h03m53.0s|
|5.||Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h04m25.4s|
|7.||Stuck (Auto Union) ||1h07m25.6s|
Now there were two Alfa Romeo vs. Mercedes-Benz duels on the track, Chiron against Fagioli and Caracciola against Varzi. The Alfa Romeo front wheels bounced in the corners while the Mercedes cars with their independent
suspension were much steadier even if they were inferior to the Auto Unions that had the best road holding of all. Chiron and Fagioli both did the 13th lap in 5m06.3s (147.0 km/h) Chiron passing the line in 1h08m02.8s
(143.3 km/h). Chiron made the 14th lap even faster putting the lap record down to 5m06.0s (147.1 km/h) but he was alone as he entered the stadium. Fagioli came slowly to the pit to retire his Mercedes with a broken hydraulic
brake pipe after he had run off the road and hit a bank just before the autodrome section in his challenge for the lead. Varzi, who had passed Caracciola, was now a distant second closely followed by the Mercedes driver.
Trossi, who was up to fourth position, made a stop on lap 14 for refuelling. He had lost first gear on his P3 and was not too keen to continue with the damaged Alfa Romeo while reserve driver Moll was more eager and took over
At the end of the 15th lap Caracciola made a 1m35s routine pitstop for fuel, water and new rear tyres. The Mercedes team used pressurized refuelling with a hose while Auto Union still used ordinary churns. Against all fears the
tyres on all the Mercedes cars had lasted well. Caracciola returned to the race but was not seen again as the Mercedes stopped at Biscornes due to fuel feed problems completing the Mercedes disaster. With less than half of the race
gone only Stuck remained of the German entries.
Chiron, who now was able to slow down his pace by some 8 seconds, made 15 laps in 1h18m20.1s. Varzi was in second position but over a minute behind his team mate. Stuck in third position was already one lap behind Chiron and
losing ground as the Auto Union was overheating.
On lap 15 Dreyfus took his Bugatti in to the pit with a bad misfire. After the plugs had been changed the mechanics had a great difficulty in restarting the engine. The Bugatti had a small start handle on the left side of
the engine and the mechanics had to work hard with it.
The situation after 16 laps:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h23m34.4s (143.6 km/h)|
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h24m42.2s|
|3.||Stuck (Auto Union)||1h28m56.3s|
|6.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)||1h30m04.1s|
Zehender had a lengthy pit stop. A clip holding one rear axle spring on his Maserati had broken and the mechanics tried to repair it. Dreyfus returned to the pit after the 16th lap and gave up the race. His team-mate Wimille
called it a day on the next lap, his Bugatti still suffering not only from misfiring but also from constant gearbox problems.
On the 17th lap Chiron made a routine 1m39s pit stop for refuelling and to change all four tyres. While in the pit Varzi passed him to lead the race at the end of the 18th lap. But at the end of the 19th lap it was Varzi's
turn to make his pit stop. It lasted 1m30s and the situation at the front turned back to what it had been earlier with Chiron leading over Varzi and Stuck. Behind them Moll had, despite his gearbox trouble, passed Benoist
for 4th position.
Stuck was driving hard hoping that he might yet overtake the cars ahead. He began to gain an average of fifteen seconds on each lap and due to the pit stops of the Alfa Romeos he was again on the leading lap.
The race order after 20 laps looked like this:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h47m17.5s (139.9 km/h)|
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h48m16.1s|
|3.||Stuck (Auto Union)||1h50m35.3s|
|4.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)||1h51m52.3s|
After 20 laps Stuck made a second pit stop for tyres, fuel and also water for the car as well as for the driver. The stop took 1m32s and Stuck dropped to fourth position, once again a lap behind the leader. Benoist also made
a pit stop for fuel and water and four new tyres. The stop took less than 2 minutes but then the engine failed to start and the mechanics had to work for 2m40s with the handle before Benoist was on his way again. The reporter
of The Autocar commented that no one seemed to follow the pit crew regulations, counting 37 persons surrounding Benoist's car during the stop.
The Scuderia Ferrari drivers now held a 1-2-3 lead and the race had lost much of its interest. The race was more or less decided on lap 23 when Varzi had to do a 3m15s pit stop for new plugs. The car was also refuelled.
Meanwhile Varzi had climbed out of the car to have a chat, a drink and a cigarette. He returned to the race with the cigarette still in his mouth but was now over 4 minutes behind Chiron. On this same lap Zehender also stopped
in an attempt to repair the rear axle, losing fifth position to Benoist.
The race situation after 24 laps:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h09m09.7s (139.4 km/h)|
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||2h13m30.4s|
|3.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)||2h13m43.4s|
|4.||Stuck (Auto Union)||2h14m10.2s|
Only six cars remained in the race with Scuderia Ferrari holding the top three positions. The only thing that might have been of interest was a possible race for second position between Varzi and Moll. The duo was closing in
on Chiron making 5m22s laps against the leader's 5m30s laps. Moll had no problem to keep Varzi's pace despite a missing gear. L'Auto claims that spectators started to leave the circuit, eager to get back Paris before the roads
got jammed. The Autocar on the other hand claims the spectators found ways to enjoy themselves by chorus of howls and whistles when they noticed a known politician and mentions an incident when the fire brigade took action
after a person in the grandstand had dropped a flaming cigarette lighter down another person's back.
After 26 laps Chiron was leading by 3m52s over Varzi with Moll 11 seconds behind Varzi and Stuck another 27seconds back.
After 28 laps, the race order remained the same as four laps earlier:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h31m08.4s (139.0 km/h)|
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||2h35m00.6s|
|3.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)||2h35m11.3s|
|4.||Stuck (Auto Union)||2h35m38.0s|
After the 28th lap Moll made an1m31s refuelling stop dropping to fourth behind Stuck. There was an effort in the Bugatti pit to restart Wimille's car but it hardly moved a meter before a terrible noise announced that the
transmission had broken. Benoist brought his Bugatti in for a change of plugs, and the mechanics again had such difficulty in starting his engine that he spent 3m25s at his pit. Zehender made a stop to refill the water in
After 32 laps the order was:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h53m04.5s (138.7 km/h)|
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||2h57m03.6s|
|3.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)||2h59m05.5s|
|4.||Stuck (Auto Union)||3h00m56.5s|
At the end of the 32nd lap Stuck came in for water, topping up of the fuel and repairs. To save weight the frame on the Auto Union was used to carry water to the radiator and the system was leaking badly. The car proved hard
to re-start, three mechanics working hard with the handle at the tail of the Auto Union. After a 15 minute long stop the car made just one more lap before it came back with water pouring out on the track. The car was withdrawn
from the race with a broken water pump.
Zehender made a pit stop as the back axle had come adrift from the spring. For 20 minutes a mechanic in vain tried to straighten out a U-shaped clip bolt for the rear axle before the Maserati team gave up. Benoist was now up
to fourth position but the Bugatti had a nasty spitting and banging sound indicating a troublesome valve.
The rest of the event was just a Scuderia Ferrari parade. With Chiron taking it easy he made 34 laps in 3h04m08s; the average speed had dropped to 138.5 km/h.
On the 34th lap Varzi made a 1m42s stop for rear wheels, fuel, water and oil, losing second position to Moll. On the next lap Chiron made a 55s stop for new rear wheels.
The race situation at 36 laps:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||3h16m37.2s (137.4 km/h)|
|2.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)||3h20m42.0s|
|3.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||3h21m15.2s|
Apart from the Alfa Romeos Benoist's misfiring Bugatti was the only car still remaining in the race but he had fallen several laps behind.
Two laps from the end of the race Moll stopped in the pit and then returned to the race behind Varzi so that the race order before the refuelling stops was resumed.
Chiron took the chequered flag 3m17.9s in front of Varzi with Moll another 51.9s behind. Benoist was flagged off four laps behind the Alfa Romeo trio. He had made four stops during the race for a total time of 12m50s. Chiron
had made two stops, 3m11s in total, Varzi 3 stops (6m58s) and Trossi / Moll 2 stops (4m16s) disregarding the last "stop".
Chiron took the flag to the joy of the spectators. Chiron had won a great and popular victory and the German teams had suffered a humiliating defeat. . While the Maseratis and Bugattis had been completely outclassed the Alfa
Romeos had surprisingly managed to match the German cars for speed and beaten them in terms of reliability.
The Motor commented the race: "There was not a single 'thrill' from beginning to the end. There were no accidents, no one got out of control, no one turned around."
|1.||12||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||40||3h39m14.0s|
|2.||6||Achille Varzi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||40||3h42m31.9s||+ 3m17.9s|
|3.||20||Trossi / Moll||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||40||3h43m23.8s||+ 4m09.8s|
|4.||16||Robert Benoist||Automobiles E. Bugatti||Bugatti||T59||2.8||S-8||36||3h39m27.0s|
|DNF||24||Goffredo Zehender||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||26M||3.0||S-8||33||rear axle attachment|
|DNF||4||Hans Stuck||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||A||4.4||V-16||32||water pump|
|DNF||14||Nuvolari / Wimille||Automobiles E. Bugatti||Bugatti||T59||3.3||S-8||17||engine/transmission|
|DNF||18||René Dreyfus||Automobiles E. Bugatti||Bugatti||T59||3.3||S-8||16||engine|
|DNF||8||Rudolf Caracciola||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||3.4||S-8||15||fuel feed|
|DNF||30||Luigi Fagioli||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||3.4||S-8||14||brake pipe|
|DNF||22||Manfred von Brauchitsch||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||3.4||S-8||11||supercharger|
|DNF||26||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||11||engine|
|DNF||10||August Momberger||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||A||4.4||V-16||10||shock-absorber|
Fastest lap: Louis Chiron (Alfa Romeo) on alp 14 in 5m06.0s = 147.1 km/h (91.4 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 136.9 km/h (85.1 mph)
Weather: sunny and hot.
In the evening the Germans were sitting at Hotel Astoria with rather long faces. The circuit had been harder on the cars than they could possibly imagine. But the cars had been found fast and fundamentally sound with the
independent suspension working as planned. Reliability would come in good time.
But they were also discussing the events of that weekend in Germany that would be known as the "Night of the Long Knives". Alfred Neubauer: "A man was sitting with us whose face was pale and whose lips trembled."
NSKK Korpsführer Adolf Hühnlein, leader of German motorsports, was in chock, not so much because of the race results but because the
events in Germany. Apart from being the leader of NSKK (Nationalsozialistische Kraftfahrkorps) and ONS (Oberste Nationale Sportkommission) Hühnlein was also a SA-Obergruppenführer and a friend of Ernst Röhm. He was thanking his
luck that he had spent the weekend in France rather than in München. Eberhard Reuss in his book Hitler's Motor Racing Battles claims that SS indeed had searched Hühnlein's house and various NSKK offices during the weekend
and that SS-Oberabschnitt Süd had circulated false reports that Hühnlein had been shot.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Echo de Paris, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
IL Littoriale, Roma
The Autocar, London
The Motor, London
Motor Sport, London
D.D.A.C. Wochenschritt, Berlin
Barré Lyndon: Grand Prix
David Hodges: The French Grand Prix
7 July 1934: The B.A.R.C. Inter-Club Meeting was held at Brooklands.|
The handicap races were won by R. H. Eccles (Frazer-Nash 1.5 litre), Mrs. E. Gordon-Simpson (Triumph 1.1 litre), C. D. Parish (Austin 0.7 litre),
H. G. Dobbs (Riley 1.1 litre), A. Powys-Lybbe (Alvis 1.5 litre), J. H. Day (Graham-Paige 5.3 litre), C. A. Richardson (Riley 1.1 litre) and A. H. Boyd (Maserati 2.5 litre).
J.R.D.C. won the team relay.
IX GRAND PRIX DE LA MARNE
Reims-Gueux (F), 8 July 1934
64 laps x 7.826 km (4.86 mi) = 500.9 km (311.2 mi)
Yet another Scuderia Ferrari parade
by Leif Snellman
The Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeos raced by Chiron, Varzi and Moll were challenged by a group of Maseratis including Etancelin, Nuvolari, Zehender, Straight and Hamilton. Early in the race there was a
duel between Varzi and Nuvolari but the latter dropped back after multiple tyre troubles and later retired with a broken rear axle. Etancelin, Zehender and Straight had to retire as well with technical
problems and the Alfa Romeo duo of Chiron and Varzi took control of the race and kept swapping the lead until Varzi stopped to change plugs and then suffered gearbox trouble, handing over the car to
Marinoni, who managed to finish third behind dominant Chiron and Moll. Sole remaining Maserati driver Hamilton finished fourth.
The Marne Grand Prix organized by l' Automobile Club de Champagne under the patronage of magazines l'Auto and l'Eclaireur de l'Est was run as usual on the Reims-Gueux road course.
This was the 9th Marne Grand Prix even if it in fact was the 10th time the event was held as the 1932 event had been run as the French Grand Prix. For 1934 the race length had been increased to 64 laps
on the 7.826 km long triangular circuit for at total of 500.9 km.
A total of 245,000 Francs of prize money was offered: 100,000 fr, 50,000 fr, 25,000 fr, 15,000 fr, 12,000 fr, 10,000 fr, 8,000 fr, 7,000 fr, 5,000 fr and 3,000 fr went to the top ten finishers.
There was also a 3,000 fr. prize for setting a lap record.
Scuderia Ferrari entered three of their Tipo B /P3 Alfa Romeos for their drivers Louis Chiron, Achille Varzi and Guy Moll.
On the fast Reims track the Maserati cars were able to keep up with the Alfa Romeos on the straights but suffered from inferior brakes. Goffredo Zehender racing a 8C-3000 on a 26M chassis was entered by the
Maserati works team while Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio entered a similar car with a 2.8 litre engine for Clemente Biondetti and an Alfa Romeo Monza for Renato Balestrero. Tazio Nuvolari, now fully recovered
from the Alessandria crash, raced his works-supported dull red Maserati 8CM and there were two white-blue Maseratis entries from Whitney Straight Ltd for Whitney Straight and Hugh Hamilton. Philippe Etancelin
and Raymond Sommer entered blue colored Maseratis as independents.
Other entries included a Scuderia Siena entered a dull red Alfa Romeo Monza for Luigi Soffietti and Bugattis for Robert Brunet and Earl Howe.
The race program optimistically listed two Auto Unions and another German entry named "X" but they did not appear.
After the defeat at the French Grand Prix the German teams were busy preparing themselves for the German Grand Prix.
In l'Auto Maurice Henry was highly critical of Zanelli's habit of entering a car but never appearing for the race.
Practice sessions were run on Friday and Saturday morning from 5 to 8 a.m.
During Friday practice Moll was fastest with a time of 2m57s. Other practice times were: Nuvolari 3m00s, Straight 3m04s, Sommer 3m06s, Chiron 3m09s, Brunet 3m18s, Howe 3m18s and Soffietti 3m29s.
During Saturday practice Varzi did 2m54s and then bettered the time to 2m52s. Moll answered with a lap of 2m51.7s but that lap was overshadowed by Varzi's who went out again and did an astonishing 2m48.4s.
Chiron did not attempt to challenge his team mates as he had been unwell following the French Grand Prix and was still recovering from it.
Sunday came with extremely sunny and hot weather. Before the race stands stood half empty as the spectators were elsewhere trying to find shade and refreshments. Water trucks sprayed the roads trying to
avoid the tar from melting.
Before the race Armond Girod made a few laps with the 48 hour-record Delahaye while air acrobatics were carried out by famous French aviators Michel Détroyat and Dieudonne Costes.
The grid was lined up like this with the 1933 race winner Etancelin being given the pole position:
At 2 p.m. Charles Faroux dropped the flag. Sommer stalled his Maserati while the other 13 competitors rushed away towards Gueux with Varzi in the lead followed by Etancelin, Moll, Chiron and Nuvolari.
At Gueux Moll with his superior braking Alfa Romeo challenged Etancelin but failed to pass. But Moll got a better exit from La Garenne and passed for second position and on the long straight Nuvolari
and Chiron passed Etancelin as well.
At the end of the first lap Varzi was leading followed by Moll, Nuvolari, Chiron, Etancelin, Straight, Hamilton, Soffietti, Zehender, Howe, Brunet, Balestrero and Biondetti.
Varzi at the top was the last thing Nuvolari wanted to see so he immediately took up the chase. During the second lap Nuvolari failed to pass Moll at Gueux but on the long straight between La Garenne
and Tillois Nuvolari slipstreamed past Moll for second position to end the lap 4 seconds behind Varzi, who had done the two laps in 6m26s (146.0 km/h).
After the third lap the gap between Varzi and Nuvolari had increased to seven seconds, the Maserati losing more in the corners than it gained on the straights. Straight had to make a pit stop to change
plugs on his Maserati.
Varzi did four laps in 12m32s (149.9 km/h) and he was followed by Nuvolari, Moll, Chiron and Etancelin. The mid field consisted of Hamilton and Zehender while the rest in the order Soffietti, Biondetti,
Straight, Brunet, Howe and Balestrero already had fallen far behind.
Straight slowly returned his Maserati to the pit and retired from the race with two broken pistons. Zehender made a pit stop as well.
Varzi did six laps in 18m51s (149.5 km/h) with Nuvolari only five seconds behind him while Moll in third position was a further 12 seconds back. Zehender made a second pit stop and the mechanics had
difficulties to restart the engine.
Nuvolari was clearly overdriving his car while trying to keep the pace of his arch rival and after eight laps Nuvolari was in the pits with his right rear tyre in shreds. Not willing to give up, Nuvolari,
now down to sixth position, started off again at full speed. Meanwhile Biondetti had to retire his Maserati.
Nuvolari's pit stop had temporarily put Moll in second position but on the 9th lap he was passed by Chiron. Scuderia Ferrari held the top three positions with Varzi leading by 16 seconds. After having
stalled on the grid Sommer had regained some places and was now up to 10th position.
The race order at 10 laps looked like this:
|1.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||31m29.7s (149.1 km/h)|
|2.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||31m44s|
|3.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)||31m47.9s|
Nuvolari's speed after his pit stop had perhaps been a bit too high because after 10 laps he had to make a 41 seconds pit stop to change the left rear tyre. He returned to the race in 8th position a lap
Chiron was closing in on Varzi while both were pulling away from Moll, who after the 14th lap made a 43 seconds pit stop for a wheel change dropping to fourth behind Etancelin. Varzi was slowed down a
bit as he had to lap Brunet and Sommer. On the 15th lap Chiron had caught Varzi and on the next lap the Monegasque passed his team mate before Gueux to take over the lead of the race.
Varzi and Chiron now started a duel that went on for much of the race. On the two long straights Varzi tried to regain his lead, the two cars almost touching each other. On the 17th lap Varzi retook the
lead at Thillois after the two Alfa Romeos had gone wheel to wheel through La Garenne and along the straight. Further back Moll passed Etancelin regaining third position.
The two Scuderia Ferrari drivers took turns to lead and on the 19th lap Chiron was back in the front. When Nuvolari, who had advanced to sixth position, passed the grandstand the tyre of the left rear
wheel disintegrated with tyre parts flying 15 meters up in the air landing on the roof of the stand. Skilfully Nuvolari kept control of the car and made a lap on the rim back to the pits for a 1m12s stop
to change both rear wheels.
The situation after 20 laps:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h03m07s (148.8 km/h)|
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h03m07.4s|
|3.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)||1h04m31s|
|6.||Soffietti (Alfa Romeo)|
Sommer had probably been involved in an incident because he had to make a 7 minutes stop for repairs, removing a broken windshield and securing his engine hood with a rope. The fasteners of the exhaust
pipe were broken.
After 25 laps Varzi was leading Chiron by 4 seconds with Moll in third position 2 minutes behind and Etancelin fourth 3 minutes behind. After 27 laps Etancelin retired his Maserati to the pits with a
broken gearbox and at about the same time Nuvolari had to call it a day with a broken rear axle.
At half distance the refuelling stops started. Race leader Varzi was the first one to do it after 32 laps stopping 1m35s for fuel and tyres. Chiron made a 1m09s stop on the next lap and then Hamilton
with his Maserati made a 1m46s stop and Moll a 1m50s stop. Sommer's troubles continued and he made pit stops during almost every lap.
The race order was now Chiron, Varzi, Moll, Hamilton, Howe and Soffietti.
After 35 laps the two Alfa Romeos were still running together with Chiron in the lead. Moll was a lap behind and Soffietti had taken over fifth position from Howe:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h51m43s (147.1 km/h)|
|2.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h51m44s|
|3.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)||1h55m55s|
|5.||Soffietti (Alfa Romeo)||1h59m31s|
After 36 laps Zehender retired his Maserati due to mechanical trouble. On the 41st lap the race changed dramatically as Varzi had to make a 2m29s stop to change plugs returning to the race still in second
position but just 30 seconds in front of Moll. However Moll had to make a 29 seconds stop himself soon afterwards.
When Soffietti, who had been duelling with Howe for most of the race, made his fuel stop he lost control during braking and crashed into Etancelin's stationary Maserati, fortunately without any serious
damage to either car. Soffietti was able to rejoin the race.
Sommer who was many laps behind the others finally decided to retire from the race leaving only seven competitors with Hamilton as the sole remaining Maserati driver.
Varzi was pushing to close in on Chiron and made the fastest lap of the race with a time of 2m58.2s (157.8 km) but after 47 laps he returned to the pit informing the pit crew that the Alfa Romeo gearbox
was broken and that he had lost gears. It was decided that test driver Attilio Marinoni would try to take the damaged car to the chequered flag and after a 2m40s stop the Alfa Romeo returned to the circuit.
The race order after 50 laps was like this:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h40m15s (146.5 km/h)|
|2.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)||2h44m13.5s|
|3.||Marinoni (Alfa Romeo)||2h47m44s|
The situation remained the same after 55 laps:
|1.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h56m43s (146.1 km/h)|
|2.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)||3h00m11s|
|3.||Marinoni (Alfa Romeo)||3h04m56s|
Near the end of the race Hamilton made a 30s pit stop but retained his 4th position.
At the end of the race Chiron took the chequered flag 4m36s in front of Moll. By then the crowd had started to swarm the course and the rest of the cars were flagged off. Marinoni managed to keep Varzi's
Alfa Romeo going to finish in third position for a triple victory for Scuderia Ferrari. Hamilton finished fourth, Howe fifth and Soffietti sixth.
Chiron received the congratulations of Mr. Paul Marchandeau, major of Reims and former French minister, while La Marseillaise (Chiron held dual Monegasque - French citizenship) and Marcia Reale were played.
Reims lies in the middle of the champagne district and it was said that ten thousand bottles were drunk that day!
|1.||12||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||64||3h25m51.8s|
|2.||16||Guy Moll||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||64||3h30m27.8s||+ 4m36s|
|3.||14||A. Varzi / A. Marinoni||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||62|
|4.||34||Hugh Hamilton||Whitney Straight Ltd.||Maserati||26M||2.5||S-8||61|
|5.||20||Earl Howe||Earl Howe||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||59|
|6.||30||Luigi Soffietti||Scuderia Siena||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||59||* Siena?|
|7.||26||Renato Balestrero||Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8|
|DNF||24||Goffredo Zehender||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||8C-3000||3.0||S-8||36||mechanical|
|DNF||2||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||26||gearbox|
|DNF||4||Raymond Sommer||R. Sommer||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||22||exhaust|
|DNF||18||Tazio Nuvolari||T. Nuvolari||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||21||rear axle|
|DNF||28||Clemente Biondetti||Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio||Maserati||8C-2800||2.8||S-8|
|DNF||6||Robert Brunet||R. Brunet||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8|
|DNF||32||Whitney Straight||Whitney Straight Ltd.||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||3|
Fastest lap: Achille Varzi (Alfa Romeo) in 2m58.2s = 158.1 km/h (98.2 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 146.0 km/h (90.7 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 167.3 km/h (104.0 mph)
Weather: sunny and hot.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Echo de Paris, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
IL Littoriale, Roma
The Motor, London
Motor Sport, London
Barré Lyndon: Grand Prix
Special thanks to:
8 July 1934: The Les 10 Heures de Spa sports car race at the Spa-Francorchamps track in
|3. Pintacuda/Nardi||Lancia Astura|
|5. du Roy de Ricquy/de Berc||Bugatti|
14 July 1934: A race meeting was held at Donington Park.|
5 lap scratch races were won by G. W. Everitt (MG 0.7 litre), P.Maclure (Riley 1.1 litre), C. Paul (Riley 1.5 litre) - two races,
F. Dixon (Riley 1.5 litre).
10 laps Handicap races were won by F. Dixon (Riley 1.8 litre) and C. A. Richardson (Riley 1.1 litre).
15 July 1934: Luigi Premoli (Maserati) wins the Coppa Ascoli
sports car race.
VII GROßER PREIS VON DEUTSCHLAND
Nürburgring (D), 15 July 1934
25 laps x 22.810 km (14.17 mi) = 570.25 km (384.3 mi)
Stuck wins German Grand Prix with Auto Union
by Hans Etzrodt
At the 1934 German Grand Prix 19 of the best European drivers took part from Germany, Italy, Britain, Switzerland and Hungary. Bugatti was missing as the factory had not yet completed the
new car. Most of the main players from the French Grand Prix a fortnight ago were present. Stuck (Auto Union) led for most of the race except when Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) took the lead
on lap 13, one lap before his engine expired. The Alfa Romeos of Varzi and Chiron and the Mercedes-Benz of Fagioli held third place at various times during the 25-lap race. After the early
retirements of Varzi and Moll, the race was between the works drivers, because, except for Nuvolari (Maserati), the independents had no chance of leading places. Stuck finished the race
ahead of Fagioli, Chiron and Nuvolari followed by Geier (Mercedes-Benz) in fifth place and Zehender (Maserati) last. Hartmann (Bugatti) was flagged off when two laps behind. Maag (Alfa Romeo)
would have been sixth but was disqualified after his car was found to be overweight.
The German Grand Prix in 1934 was one of the major races. The ONS (Oberste Nationale Sportbehörde) had organized the seventh German Grand Prix, but the DDAC (Der Deutsche Automobil-Club)
and the NSKK (National-Sozialistische Kraftfahr-Korps) were charged with the execution of this race. The race was to be run over 25 laps of the 22.810 km Nürburgring Nordschleife a
total of 570.250 km. Only racecars complying with the current 750 kg formula were eligible. Besides the factory race teams, entries by independent drivers were also accepted. Altogether there
were 43,000 Reichsmark in prize money. Besides the Preis des Führer's, (Adolf Hitler's prize) the victor received 20,000 RM, second 10,000, third 6,000, fourth 4,000, fifth 2,000, and
sixth 1,000 RM. The prizes were only awarded if the total distance of 570 km was completed within 45 minutes after the arrival of the winner.
Auto Union had a driver shortage because Prince zu Leiningen was in the Heidelberg Hospital with pyelitis, a kidney disease. Driver tests with Burggaller, Steinweg and Simons determined that
Burggaller would be his replacement. The team entered three Auto Unions, called "P-Wagen", for Stuck, Momberger and Burggaller.
Daimler-Benz also had a driver problem. When Fagioli and von Brauchitsch practiced on Monday, July 9, after a few fast laps the German crashed his Mercedes at about 7 PM when he left the road
at a curve The car hit a ditch and turned over once, ending up on its four wheels with the radiator facing against the course direction. The press reports did not provide the reason for the
accident. Von Brauchitsch broke two ribs and had contusions below the ribs. In addition to grazed skin, bruises and contusions, he was suffering from concussion to add to Mercedes' problems.
The reserve driver Ernst Henne had serious influenza. Team Manager Alfred Neubauer nominated from the factory staff Hanns Geier as the third driver. The team arrived with four Mercedes-Benz W25.
Caracciola was assigned chassis number 105195/5, the same car he had driven in France two weeks earlier. Fagioli drove chassis number 105196/6, which was a new car to be driven here for the
first time. Geier was given chassis number 105194/4 which von Brauchitsch had raced in France. The fourth car was the team's training car. Identified with a red T, it was chassis
number 86121/2 which had been used as training car several times before.
Scuderia Ferrari brought three red Tipo B/P3 Alfa Romeos with the proven 2.9-liter engine for Varzi, Chiron and Moll, the winner of Monaco and Avus. Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio arrived with
older Alfa Romeo Monzas for Balestrero and Battilana. Scuderia Siena appeared with two 2.6-Liter Alfa Romeo Monzas for the Italians Soffietti and Minozzi. Zehender drove a factory entered
older 3-Liter Maserati, while the independent Nuvolari also drove a 3-Liter Maserati but a single seater 8CM version. Whitney Straight Ltd. entered the British driver Hamilton from
Northern-Irland in another 8CM Maserati.
The independent Hungarian Laszlo Hartmann appeared in a red, silver and green 2.3-Liter Bugatti, the only French car in the race. Other independent drivers were the Swiss Hans Rüesch with a
Maserati 8CM and Ulrich Maag with a 2300 Alfa Romeo Monza. The independent German Paul Pietsch did not appear because the week before he crashed his Alfa Romeo into a large tree at the Gabelbach
hill climb on July 8 and had broken his right leg in six places and was out of racing until September.
Unofficial practice laps had already been made two weeks before by Delius in one of the new Zoller cars. The results of his tests were to determine if the Zoller cars should take part in the
German Grand Prix. Macher was no longer part of the team and his car was to be driven by Baron Michel-Düssling. On Wednesday, July 4th Momberger and Sebastian began practicing Auto Unions.
Official practice started on the Wednesday before the race and took place each day from 9:00 to 12:00 AM and from 3:00 to 6:00 PM except on Saturday only from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The starting
positions for the Grand Prix were determined by drawing lots, which took place on the day before the race. Chiron was invited to drive the new Mercedes T-car during practice and completed a lap
in 11m45s at 116.5 km/h average speed. He praised the car's easy gear shifting and the rapid acceleration. However, the high-pitched screech of the supercharger of the Mercedes bothered him
initially. After Saturday practice had ended at 2:00 PM, scrutineering and the weighing of the cars took place from 5:00 to 6:00 PM in the paddock.
During Saturday and the entire night thousands of spectators had arrived from all directions on bicycles, cars, trucks, and buses. An estimated 200.000 spectators had assembled around the large
circuit in addition to those in the grandstands. At 10:30 AM, half an hour before the start, the 19 cars lined up in eight rows. The starting positions had been determined by ballot.
Adolf Hühnlein the senior official of German Motorsport lowered the flag at exactly 11:00 AM to release the field of 19 cars. The noise was earsplitting and breathtaking. Everything went well
except for Battilana's Alfa Romeo which was delayed but left after 20 seconds. Chiron and Varzi went into the lead, closely followed by Caracciola who from the third row had caught up with them
before the South Turn. They passed on the return straight behind the pits in the order Varzi, Stuck, Chiron, Caracciola and Fagioli. The others followed close behind,
At the end of the first lap the cars appeared with Stuck in the lead at 122.4 km/h lap average, over seven seconds ahead of Caracciola, who was followed by Varzi, Chiron and Fagioli all four
close together. The remaining field was widely separated with Nuvolari ahead of Moll, Geier, Burggaller, Maag, Zehender, Momberger, Rüesch, Soffietti, Hartmann, Minozzi and Battilana. Balestrero
stopped at his pit to change spark plugs. Hamilton also stopped at his pit with an engine problem. The times of the leaders were as follows after the first lap:
|1.||Stuck (Auto Union)||11m10.6s|
|3.||Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||11m19.8s|
|4.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||11m20.4s|
|5.||Fagioli (Mercedes Benz)||11m24.2s|
At the end of the second lap Stuck appeared in the lead with a lap in 10m56s but he was now only 4 seconds ahead of Caracciola in 10m52s., Chiron in 10m59s had passed Varzi, but both had fallen
behind unable to keep up with the two German leaders. Battilana stopped at the pits to change spark plugs on his Alfa Romeo and Zehender also stopped to replace plugs. At the end of the second
lap Hamilton retired his Maserati with a broken piston having twice replaced pistons during practice. The order after the second lap was: Stuck, Caracciola, Chiron, Varzi, Fagioli, Nuvolari,
Moll, Geier, Burggaller, Maag, Momberger and Rüesch. After Hamilton retired, the field was down to 18 cars.
At the end of the third lap Stuck went even faster with the order: Stuck, Caracciola, Chiron, Varzi, Fagioli, Nuvolari, Moll, Momberger, Maag, Geier, Rüesch and Soffietti. Battilana retired
his Alfa Romeo with engine damage and Burggaller, who had dropped behind, retired with a broken gearbox. After the retirements of Hamilton, Battilana and Burggaller, the field was now down to 16 cars.
At the end of the fourth lap Stuck was still leading Caracciola and Chiron. Fagioli was fourth having passed Varzi, who had slowed down with car trouble. Balestrero stopped at the pits
and retired with a broken gearbox. The order after the fourth lap was: Stuck, Caracciola, Chiron, Fagioli, Varzi, and Moll, who had passed Nuvolari. Then followed Momberger, Maag, Geier,
Rüesch, Soffietti, Hartmann, Minozzi and Zehender. After Balestrero retired, the field was down to 15 cars.
At the end of the fifth lap Stuck was leading at 125.0 km/h race average and a lap in 10m49.8s at 126.6 km/h average speed ahead of Caracciola, who paid attention that the gap to the leader
did not grow too large, and Fagioli, who had passed Chiron for third place. Moll in the other official Alfa Romeo had advanced to fifth position with a lap of 11m15s. Geier in the third
Mercedes passed Maag's Alfa Romeo Monza to gain eighth place. At the beginning of the fifth lap Varzi, Burggaller and Balestrero had stopped at the pits and retired, all three with broken
gearboxes. After these retirements, the field was down to 14 cars after five laps:
|1.||Stuck (Auto Union)|| 54m43.6s|
|2.||Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)|| 54m47.8s|
|3.||Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)|| 55m21.6s|
|4.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)|| 55m23.0s|
|5.||Moll (Alfa Romeo)|| 55m49.2s|
|6.||Nuvolari (Maserati)|| 57m12.8s|
|7.||Momberger (Auto Union)|| 58m19.0s|
|8.||Geier (Mercedes Benz)||1h00m00.0s|
|9.||Maag (Alfa Romeo)||1h00m02.0s|
|11.||Soffietti (Alfa Romeo)||1h02m43.0s|
|13.||Minozzi (Alfa Romeo)|
At the end of the sixth lap Stuck was still followed by Caracciola, who made a new fast lap in 10m44.4s at 127.5 km/h average, then Fagioli, Chiron, Moll and Nuvolari in the leading group.
The order of the remaining drivers did not change.
At the end of the seventh lap Stuck led with a lap in 10m45s. Moll in the other official Alfa Romeo stopped at the pits and after a brief inspection his car was retired with yet another
broken gearbox. This enabled Momberger to advance to sixth place. Chiron was in the only works Alfa Romeo left in the race but had a problem to keep up with the two leaders. Rüesch passed
Maag to gain eighth place. The order now was Stuck, Caracciola, Fagioli, Chiron, Nuvolari, Momberger, Geier, Rüesch, Maag, Soffietti, Hartmann, Minozzi and Zehender. Moll was the sixth
retirement, reducing the field to 13 cars. On lap eight there were no changes in the order.
On the ninth lap Stuck drove the fastest lap of the race in 10m43.8s at 127.6 km/h average speed. At this time drivers began to make pit stops to change tires. Nuvolari was the first,
changing all four wheels and refueling, which enabled Momberger to advance into fifth position. After Minozzi passed Hartmann, the order of the 13-car field was Stuck, Caracciola, Fagioli,
Chiron, Momberger, Nuvolari, Geier, Rüesch, Maag, Soffietti, Minozzi, Hartmann and Zehender.
Stuck was leading on the tenth lap with a race average of 126.0 km/h. Caracciola stopped on lap 10 changing his rear tires and refueling in 1m10s. When he rejoined the race, Fagioli came
into the pits for the same service, which took only 55 seconds. Maag passed Rüesch for eighth place. When Minozzi retired, the field was down to 12 cars in the following order
after ten laps:
|1.||Stuck (Auto Union)||1h48m33.2s|
|4.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h52m27.8s|
|5.||Momberger (Auto Union)||1h54m03.6s|
|7.||Geier (Mercedes Benz)||1h57m56s|
|8.||Maag (Alfa Romeo)||2h00m58s|
|10.||Soffietti (Alfa Romeo)||2h04m35s|
At the end of the 11th lap Stuck led with a race average of 125.8 km/h. Chiron had lost third gear on lap six and drove thereafter in top gear. As a result, his lap times, which had been
around 10m56s, were then consistently over 11 minutes. During Chiron's stop for tires on lap 11, Momberger passed into fourth place. Rüesch and Hartmann also stopped at the pits. The times
of the leading group were as follows after lap 11:
|1.||Stuck (Auto Union)||1h59m40.2s|
|4.||Momberger (Auto Union)||2h05m13.0s|
|5.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h05m41.0s|
On the 12th lap Stuck stopped to change all four tires in 1m35s. Just after he rejoined Caracciola passed the pits, only four seconds behind. When Soffietti stopped, he dropped to last place
while both Zehender and Hartmann moved up one place. The order behind the leading Germans was Fagioli, Momberger, Chiron, Nuvolari and Geier, all of whom were still on the same lap while Maag,
Rüesch, Zehender, Hartmann and Soffietti had been been lapped. There were still 14 laps to be completed.
At the end of lap 13 Caracciola in the Mercedes was in the lead at 124.2 km/h average race speed, two seconds ahead of Stuck's Auto Union. Stuck had lost time after the Karussel when Geier spun
around backwards in front of him and Stuck had to take quick avoiding action. During the incident Caracciola caught up with them, raced past and was now leading the race. Fagioli followed
minutes later ahead of Chiron, Momberger, Nuvolari, Geier, Maag, Rüesch, Zehender, Hartmann and Balestrero for Soffietti. When Soffietti had stopped at the pits on lap 12, Balestrero, who had
retired earlier, took over the Alfa Romeo. Soffietti had planned to pause for two laps, after which he would rejoin the race. Caracciola led the 12-car field with the times as follows
after 13 laps:
|2.|| Stuck (Auto Union)||2h23m13.4s|
|4.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h28m42.2s|
|5.||Momberger (Auto Union)||2h29m23.6s|
|7.||Geier (Mercedes Benz)||2h34m59s|
|8.||Maag (Alfa Romeo)||2h36m34s|
|12.|| Balestrero for Soffietti (Alfa Romeo)|
On the 14th lap Caracciola, while in the lead, retired with a seized piston at Kilometer post number 18 near the Karussell. Stuck regained the lead two minutes ahead of Fagioli, and six minutes
ahead of Chiron, who was followed by Momberger, Nuvolari, Geier, Maag, Rüesch, Zehender, Hartmann and Balestrero for Soffietti, with the field now down to 11 cars after Caracciola's retirement.
On the 15th lap Stuck was leading at 124.3 km/h average race speed ahead of Fagioli, Chiron, Momberger, Nuvolari, Geier, Maag, Zehender, Rüesch and Hartmann. When Balestrero retired Soffietti's
Alfa Romeo on lap 15 with a rear axle problem, the field was down to 10 cars. With no further changes in the field, the crowd around the circuit reacted to the monotony of the race. The packed
rows of spectators around the course and the filled grandstand began to clear with dwindling spectators, some of whom were leaving. Rüesch had experienced problems with a leaking fuel line which
forced him to make several pitstops. On lap 15 Rüesch climbed out of the car disenchanted and his reserve driver Guglielmo Sandri took over and joined the race.
|1.||Stuck (Auto Union)||2h45m02.2s|
|3.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h51m25.4s|
|4.||Momberger (Auto Union)||2h52m05.0s|
On lap 16 Fagioli stopped to change rear tires, but as he had been two minutes ahead of Chiron, he left the pits without losing his second place. The order was to remain the same until lap 18.
Stuck was leading at 124.4 km/h average race speed with the following times after 16 laps:
|1.||Stuck (Auto Union)||2h55m59.8s|
|3.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||3h03m40.8s|
|4.||Momberger (Auto Union)||3h03m13.6s|
|6.||Geier (Mercedes Benz)||3h10m07.8s|
On lap 19 Stuck stopped for the second time to change wheels which reduced his lead over Fagioli to two minutes. Chiron was still third ahead of Momberger, Nuvolari, Geier, Maag, Zehender and
Hartmann. The field was reduced to 9 cars when Sandri, who was driving for Rüesch's Maserati, retired with fuel pump failure.
On lap 20, Stuck led at 122.8 km/h average race speed ahead of Fagioli, who since lap 17 was able to reduce Stuck's lead by a few seconds each lap. On lap 20 Momberger received a heavy blow to his
head from the headrest when his car left the ground. He drove at a controlled speed to his pit where Burggaller, who had retired earlier, relieved him. Nuvolari lost time with pit stops due to
a steering problem and was now one lap behind the leader. The times of the 9-car field were as follows after 20 laps:
|1.||Stuck (Auto Union)||3h42m48.2s|
|3.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||3h47m24.0s|
|6.||Geier (Mercedes Benz)||3h59m47s|
|7.||Maag (Alfa Romeo)||4h03m52s|
On lap 22 Stuck led at 122.8 km/h average race speed and continued at a slightly slower pace. On this lap he noticed an alarming rise in the temperature of his coolant. While passing the pits he
unambiguously pointed to the radiator of his car and Willi Walb, the team manager, wanted to bring him in to the pits on the following lap. But Professor Porsche disagreed on the basis that there
was no noticeable water loss and many laps had been driven without any trouble. Stuck carried on without stopping, but at a lower speed.
|1.||Stuck (Auto Union)||4h05m08.4s|
|3.||Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||4h11m35.4s|
|6.||Geier (Mercedes Benz)||4h23m37.6s|
On lap 23 Stuck was still leading ahead of Fagioli, Chiron, Nuvolari, Geier, Maag, Zehender and Hartmann. The field was now down to eight cars after the Auto Union of Momberger which was now driven
by Burggaller, retired on the 23rd lap with the gearbox broken. Nuvolari inherited fourth, Geier became fifth, and Maag was now sixth, followed by Zehender and Hartmann. There were no further
changes in the order during the last two laps.
On lap 25, Stuck in the Auto Union crossed the finish line to the loud cheers of the crowd. Professor Dr. Porsche, the designer of the racecar, was the first to congratulate Stuck, beaming with
delight. The crowd carried Stuck on their shoulders to receive the victory wreath from Adolf Hühnlein amid thunderous applause. Then there was more applause when Stuck gave his victory wreath
Just over two minutes after Stuck had crossed the line Fagioli had arrived at the finish and after another six minutes Chiron appeared in the red Alfa Romeo. Nuvolari was fourth ahead of Geier,
who received special recognition for his first ever grand prix race. Maag finished sixth and Zehender in the works Maserati was seventh, after which Hartmann was flagged off; he was two laps
behind. Afterwards Maag was disqualified because his car was 17 kg overweight.
|1.||1||Hans Stuck||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||A||4.4||V-16||25||4h38m19.2s|
|2.||9||Luigi Fagioli||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||3.4||S-8||25||4h40m26.2s||+ 2m07.0s|
|3.||18||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||25||4h40m32.8s||+ 8m13.6s|
|4.||10||Tazio Nuvolari||T. Nuvolari||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||25||4h55m10.2s||+ 16m51.0s|
|5.||8||Hanns Geier||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||3.4||S-8||25||4h59m05.4s||+ 20m46.2s|
|DSQ||12||Ulrich Maag||U. Maag||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||25||(5h04m48.4s)||disqualified|
|6||20||Goffredo Zehender||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||26M||3.0||S-8||25||5h14m46.8s|
|7||11||László Hartmann||L. Hartmann||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||23||5h13m36.2s|
|DNF||2||A. Momberger / E. Burggaller||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||A||4.4||V-16||20||gearbox|
|DNF||14||H. Rüesch / G. Sandri||H. Rüesch||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||18||fuel pump|
|DNF||15||L. Soffietti / R. Balestrero||Scuderia Siena||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||14||rear axle|
|DNF||6||Rudolf Caracciola||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||3.4||S-8||13||piston|
|DNF||21||Giovanni Minozzi||Scuderia Siena||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||10||gearbox|
|DNF||19||Guy Moll||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||6||gearbox|
|DNF||16||Renato Balestrero||Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||4||gearbox|
|DNF||17||Achille Varzi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||4||gearbox|
|DNF||3||Ernst Burggaller||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||A||4.4||V-16||2||gearbox|
|DNF||4||Hugh Hamilton||Whitney Straight Ltd.||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||2||piston|
|DNF||22||Attilio Battilana||Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||2||mechanical|
Fastest lap: Hans Stuck (Auto Union) on lap 9 in 10m43.8s = 127.5 km/h (79.3 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 122.9 km/h (76.4 mph)
Weather: overcast and cool.
The disqualification of Maag was the result of a protest filed by Zehender. At the end of the race he had observed that Maag had wheels with steel rims on his Alfa Romeo. These replacement steel rims had been
delivered from the tire depot during the race. But since Maag's car was already close to 750 kg with Alu rims at scrutineering, the car would now be too heavy. Another weight test revealed that the car was 17 kg
over the limit and the German Sporting Commission disqualified Maag. Zehender was content because he was now declared sixth and collected 1,000 Mark in prize money.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Badischer Beobachter, Karlsruhe
Badische Presse, Karlsruhe
Das Auto und Kraftrad, Berlin
DDAC Motorwelt, München
DDAC Wochenschrift, München
Der Nürburgrung, Adenau
Durlacher Tageblatt, Durlach
Fränkischer Kurier, Nürnberg
Freiburger Zeitung, Freiburg
Il LITTORIALE, Roma
Karlsruher Tagblatt, Karlsruhe
La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milano
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
The Motor, London
Special thanks to: