XX GRAND PRIX DE L'AUTOMOBILE CLUB DE FRANCE
Montlhéry - Paris (F), 1 July 1934
40 laps x 12.492 km (7.762 mi) = 499.7 km (310.5 mi)
The Germans loses on reliability
There was a high quality entry at the French GP with all the top teams present.
Caracciola made his return to Grand Prix racing at Montlhéry after a 14 month long pause. He still had great problems to
walk, but once in the car he soon put in some very respectable laps.
Fagioli had crushed the old lap record of 5m19s by doing a 5m11.8s lap during a Mercedes test on the track two weeks
before the race. During practice von Brauchitsch showed the speed of the Mercedes cars by lowering that record to 5m05.6s.
Second fastest was Chiron's Alfa from Fagioli and Stuck.
During the practice the Auto Unions were suffering from fuel pump trouble while Mercedes suffered from steering problems
and high tyre wear. The Bugattis, which arrived at the last moment, had plug trouble and Ètancelin had both ignition and
carburettor problems to worry about.
|* Stuck did not use his pole position.|
* Stuck raced Momberger's car.
* Momberger raced zu Leiningen's car.
At the start Chiron came from the third row to take the lead followed by Caracciola, Fagioli and Stuck.
Then the Germans started to attack. Stuck passed the Mercedes cars and then took the Auto Union up into the lead
from Chiron on the third lap.|
Fagioli passed Caracciola and began to close in on the Alfa Romeo, breaking the lap record during the charge.
Situation after 4 laps:
|1. Stuck (Auto Union)||21m14.7s|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||21m19.2s|
|3. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||21m28.8s|
|4. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||21m38.8s|
|5. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||21m42.1s|
|6. Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||21m49.2s|
|7. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)||21m51.2s|
|8. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||22m08.2s|
|9. Zehender (Maserati)||22m16.6s|
|10. Etancelin (Maserati)||22m18.1s|
|11. Benoist (Bugatti)||23m30.6s|
|12. Momberger (Auto Union)||24m03.5s?|
|13. Nuvolari (Bugatti)||24m36.8s|
Nuvolari was already in trouble with the gearbox and after 8 laps he gave the Bugatti over
to Wimille. Situation after 8 laps:
|1. Stuck (Auto Union)||42m11.5s|
|2. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||42m15.4s|
|3. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||42m27.2s|
|4. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||42m45.8s|
|5. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||42m49.5s|
|6. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)||43m05.6s|
|7. Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||43m13.3s|
|8. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||44m29.7s|
|9. Zehender (Maserati)||44m35.1s|
|10. Benoist (Bugatti)||44m55.8s|
|11. Etancelin (Maserati)||45m02.8s|
|12. Momberger (Auto Union)||46m04.2s?|
|13. Nuvolari (Bugatti)||47m54.3s|
One after the other the German cars struck trouble, Momberger was the first to give up and then von Brauchitsch, who
during the race never got up to the speed he had shown during practice, did a pitstop with engine trouble. He came back again
but was soon out of the race for good. Order: Stuck, Chiron, Fagioli, Caracciola, Varzi and Trossi.
Then Stuck started to struggle, falling back behind Chiron and the two Mercedes cars. By lap 12 Stuck was in for new tyres and fuel.
order after 12 laps:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h02m56.5s|
|2. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||1h02m57.9s|
|3. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||1h03m51.6s|
|4. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h03m53.0s|
|5. Trossi (Alfa Romeo)||1h04m25.4s|
|6. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||1h06m37.0s|
|7. Stuck (Auto Union) ||1h07m25.6s|
|8. Benoist (Bugatti)||1h07m25.6s|
|9. Zehender (Maserati)||1h07m39.7s|
|10. Wimille (Bugatti)||1h13m37.5s|
Caracciola and Fagioli had
a tremendous fight for positions while chasing Chiron's leading Alfa Romeo, bringing the French crowd to its feet.
One can only guess what went trough Fagioli's mind. Before the season start 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 now Caracciola's
speed during his comeback race must have been a nasty surprise. The internal Mercedes duel ended in a draw, all three Mercedes drivers had to retire
one after the other within a few laps. Von Brauchitsch with supercharger troubles, Caracciola with fuel feed problems and
Fagioli with a broken brake pipe after having running off the road in his fight for the lead.
order after 16 laps:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h23m34.4s|
|2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h24m42.2s|
|3. Stuck (Auto Union)||1h28m56.3s|
|4. Benoist (Bugatti)||1h29m47.4s|
|5. Zehender (Maserati)||1h29m52.1s|
|6. Moll (Alfa Romeo)||1h30m04.1s|
|7. Wimille (Bugatti)||1h35m32.1s|
|8. Dreyfus (Bugatti)||1h36m18.8s|
The race situation had altered completely, the only German car left was Stuck's clearly struggling Auto Union, and Chiron could ease up.
Situation after 20 laps:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h47m17.5s|
|2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h48m16.1s|
|3. Stuck (Auto Union)||1h50m35.3s|
|4. Moll (Alfa Romeo)||1h51m52.3s|
|5. Benoist (Bugatti)||1h51m56.6s|
|6. Zehender (Maserati)||1h55m13.9s|
At half distance the Alfa Romeo cars went in for tanking and tyre changes. Varzi held the lead for a moment during the
pit stops but then it was Chiron again at the top position.
The Ferrari drivers Chiron, Varzi and Moll (who had taken over from Trossi after the car had lost both 1st and 3rd gears)
took full command of the race with Stuck a distant forth.
The only other cars left were Benoist and Zehender, Wimille and Dreyfus having given up their Bugattis with transmission
and engine troubles.
Race order after 24 laps:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h09m09.7s|
|2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||2h13m30.4s|
|3. Moll (Alfa Romeo)||2h13m43.4s|
|4. Stuck (Auto Union)||2h14m10.2s|
|5. Benoist (Bugatti)||2h18m19.7s|
|6. Zehender (Maserati)||2h19m35.0s|
Four laps later, after 28 laps, the race order remaind the same:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h31m08.4s|
|2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||2h35m00.6s|
|3. Moll (Alfa Romeo)||2h35m11.3s|
|4. Stuck (Auto Union)||2h35m38.0s|
|5. Benoist (Bugatti)||2h41m12.9s|
|6. Zehender (Maserati)||2h42m08.5s|
And after 32 laps as well:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||2h53m04.5s|
|2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||2h57m03.6s|
|3. Moll (Alfa Romeo)||2h59m05.5s|
|4. Stuck (Auto Union)||3h00m56.05s|
|5. Benoist (Bugatti)||?|
|6. Zehender (Maserati)||3h07m20.1s|
Then Stuck had a 15 minutes pit stop and Zehender a 20 minute stop while the mechanics tried to fix a
leaking cooler respective a loose rear axle before both called it a day. The rest was just a Scuderia Ferrari parade.
Chiron made a 55s stop for new rar wheels and Varzi did a 1n42s stop for rear wheels, fuel, water and oil, losing second position to Moll.
Situation at 36 laps:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||3h15m37.2s|
|2. Moll (Alfa Romeo)||3h20m42.0s|
|3. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||3h21m15.2s|
Chiron took the flag to the joy of the spectators. Varzi half a lap behind finished second as Moll did a late pit stop, dropping back to third.
Chiron had won a great and popular victory, and the German teams had suffered a humiliating defeat.
But from now on the Germans were to dominate Grand Prix racing.
|1.||12||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||40||3h39n14.0s|
|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||8C||2.5||S-8||33||rear axle attachment|
|DNF||2||Hans Stuck||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||A||4.4||V-16||32||engine|
|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||brakes|
|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||4||August Momberger||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||A||4.4||V-16||10||steering|
Fastest lap: Louis Chiron (Alfa Romeo) in 5m06.0s = 147.0 km/h (91.3 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 136.7 km/h (85.0 mph)
Weather: sunny and hot.
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) (Note 1)
Yet another Scuderia Ferrari parade
The ninth Marne Grand Prix (Note 3) was run a usual on the Reims road course.
The Maserati entries from Team Straight (Straight, Hamilton), Zehender, Étancelin, Sommer and Nuvolari, tried
once again to challenge the Ferrari team at GP de la Marne. But on the fast Reims track the Maserati
cars had no real chance against the strong Ferrari - Alfa Romeos. Other entries included "Monzas" for Balestrero
(Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio) and Soffietti (Scuderia Siena) and Bugattis for Brunet and Howe.
The race program lists two Auto Unions and another German entry named "X" byt they did not appear.
When the flag fell Varzi took the lead. That
was the last thing Nuvolari wanted to see so he immediately took up the chase, clearly overdriving his car while
trying to keep the pace of his rival. After eight laps Nuvolari was in the pits with his tyres in shreds.
Not willing to give up, Nuvolari started off again at full speed, perhaps too fast because two laps later he was
back in the pit for another set of tyres.|
Order at 20 laps:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)|
|2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)|
|3. Etancelin (Maserati)|
|4. Moll (Alfa Romeo)|
|5. Hamilton (Maserati)|
|6. Soffietti (Alfa Romeo)|
|7. Howe (Bugatti)|
|8. Sommer (Maserati)|
|9. Nuvolari (Maserati)|
|10. Brunet (Bugatti)|
The other Maserati drivers were also in trouble, Straight and Étancelin were
already out of the race and Sommer was in and out of the pits on almost every lap.
Soffietti's private Alfa spun in the pit lane and crashed into Ètancelin's car but was able to continue.
One tyre from Nuvolari's third set
gave up just as he had passed the pits so he had to do a complete lap on the rims.
Finally Nuvolari had to call it a day with a broken rear axle and nothing could hinder another Ferrari landslide victory.
At half distance the order was:
|1. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)|
|2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)|
|3. Moll (Alfa Romeo)|
|4. Hamilton (Maserati)|
|5. Howe (Bugatti)|
|6. Soffietti (Alfa Romeo)|
Chiron took the lead during the pit stops and then Chiron and Varzi were swapping places until the latter had to stop
for new plugs giving the second place to Moll. After doing the fastest lap of the day Varzi came back to the pit
with gear problems and handled over the car to Marinoni who went on to finish third behind teammates Chiron and Moll.
Reims lies 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||2.9||S-8||64||3h25m51.8s|
|2.||16||Guy Moll||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||2.9||S-8||64||3h30m27.8s||+ 4m36s|
|3.||14||A. Varzi / A. Marinoni||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||2.9||S-8||62|
|4.||34||Hugh Hamilton||Whitney Straight Ltd.||Maserati||26M||3.0||S-8||61|
|5.||20||Earl Howe||Earl Howe||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||59|
|6.||30||Luigi Soffietti||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||59||* Siena?|
|7.||28||Renato Balestrero||Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8|
|DNF||24||Goffredo Zehender||G. Zehender||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||36||mechanical|
|DNF||2||Philippe Etancelin||P. Etancelin||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||26||gearbox|
|DNF||4||Raymond Sommer||Ecurie Braillard||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||22||exhaust|
|DNF||18||Tazio Nuvolari||T. Nuvolari||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||21||rear axle|
|DNF||36||Clemente Biondetti||Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||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)
1. The usually mentioned length of the pre-1953 Reims-Gueux course is 7.816 km but it is clear from three independent contemporary papers that in this case 7.826 km was used for the official results.
Motor Sport gives 500.864 km total race length corresponding exactly to 7.826 km course length. La Croix give 145.984 km/h medium speed, Le Figaro 146.984 km/h (printing error)
corresponding to 500.879 km race length and a little over 7.826 km course length. All this assuming a 64 lap race. Paul Sheldon uses 56 laps instead for some reason.
2. Official program actually lists two Auto Unions plus another unknown German car.
3. 1. The official programme shows this to be the 9th Marne GP (thanks Simon Davis).
8 July 1934: Desvignes/Mahé (Bugatti) wins the Les 10 Heures de Spa sports car race at the Spa-Francorchamps track in
15 July 1934: 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)
First Grand Prix victory for Auto Union
The Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz teams made every effort to win the German GP and make up for the humiliating defeat
suffered at the hands of Scuderia Ferrari at the French GP.
Burggaller was deputizing for the ill zu Leiningen.
Henne was replacing von Brauchitsch who crashed in practice, breaking an arm and five ribs.
Geier was replacing the ill Henne.
Nuvolari, private entry but nominally works Maserati.
When practice started Eifelrennen winner von Brauchitsch showed his hunger for a repeat victory by going out and doing some
very fast laps. But then he crashed badly and broke an arm, a shoulder blade, the collarbone and five ribs. There was
crisis in the Mercedes pits as reserve driver Henne also was sick leaving Fagioli and Caracciola as the only drivers.
To Neubauer's great relief Caracciola showed that he was back on his old form again but the team needed another driver
at short notice. Mercedes employee Geier, who had done some sports car racing, got to his surprise an order to immediately come to
Nürburgring. He was put in Caracciola's old Alfa Romeo for a few test laps and then entered as Mercedes' third driver.
Auto Union was also out with their reserve driver Burggaller as zu Leiningen was ill.
It was a race where the German teams dominated, the Alfa Romeos and Maseratis being also runs.|
Stuck took an early lead, followed closely by Caracciola. Hamilton's fine grid position did not help him,
he retired with a blown engine on the very first lap.
After the first lap the race order was:
|1. Stuck (Auto Union)||11m10s|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||11m18s|
|3. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||11m19s|
|4. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||11m20s|
Lap after lap Caracciola chased Stuck, who was unable to leave the Mercedes driver. The two drivers raced each other at
full speed, breaking the lap record several times and leaving the rest of the field far behind.
Order after 5 laps:
|1. Stuck (Auto Union)||54m43s|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||54m47s|
|3. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||55m21s|
|4. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||55m23s|
|5. Moll (Alfa Romeo)||56m49s|
|6. Nuvolari (Maserati)||47m12s|
Order after 10 laps:
|1. Stuck (Auto Union)||1h48m33s|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||1h50m41s|
|3. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||1h52m07s|
|4. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h52m27s|
|5. Momberger (Auto Union)||1h54m03s|
|6. Nuvolari (Maserati)||1h56m07s|
On lap 13 Caracciola
managed to surprise Stuck at the Karussell curve and take the lead to the huge delight of the spectators. It did not last
for long however, the strain was too much for the Mercedes engine and on the next lap Caracciola had to retire.
Stuck got back into the lead followed by Fagioli and Chiron, who was doing everything he could trying to stay
with the German cars in his Alfa Romeo. Behind them came Momberger and Nuvolari.
Order after 20 laps:
|1. Stuck (Auto Union)||3h42m48s|
|2. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||3h44m33s|
|3. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||3h47m24s|
|4. Momberger (Auto Union)||3h51m06s|
|5. Nuvolari (Maserati)||3h57m23s|
In the closing stage of the race Momberger had to retire, and
Nuvolari moved up to fourth place.
For a while Fagioli tried to catch Stuck but the latter was able to open a decent gap with his fast Auto Union.
With four laps to go Stuck found that according to the meter the water was up to the boiling point!
Each lap he passed the pits wildly gesticulating and each time he was ordered to continue by the pit crew.
Stuck did the last laps expecting to hear the engine blow any second and took the flag 2 minutes in front of Fagioli.
After the race the pit crew explained to a astonished Stuck that they knew that the water meter had been disconnected and was
showing the engine temperature instead!
So Stuck won, but the star of the race had been Caracciola, who had put up a sensational
performance on a track that had tested his shattered hip to the utmost. Fagioli, who finished second, must have been
very worried, as he saw his place as first driver for the Mercedes-Benz team slipping away.
Geier had done a good job, finishing fifth and was immediately signed on as reserve driver for Mercedes-Benz.
After the race private Alfa Romeo driver Maag was disqualified for having removed parts from his car before the weighing-in.
That meant that Zehender took the sixth place.
This was the first Grand Prix victory for the new Auto Union team and at the factory the joy was great.
|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-6||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-6||25||4h59m05.4s||+ 20m46.2s|
|DSQ||12||Ulrich Maag||U. Maag||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||25||(5h06m49.5s)||disqualified|
|6?||20||Goffredo Zehender||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||25||5h14m46.8s||/ 5 laps gearbox?|
|7?||11||László Hartmann||L. Hartmann||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||24?||5h13m36.2s|
|DNF||2||A. Momberger / E. Burggaller||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||A||4.4||V-16||20||mechanical|
|DNF||14||Hans Rüesch||H. Rüesch||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||19||fuel pump|
|DNF||15||Luigi Soffietti||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-6||14||engine|
|DNF||21||Giovanni Minozzi||Scuderia Siena||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||10||engine|
|DNF||19||Guy Moll||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||6||gearbox|
|DNF||3||Ernst Burggaller||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||A||4.4||V-16||4||gearbox|
|DNF||16||Renato Balestrero||Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||3||gearbox|
|DNF||17||Achille Varzi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||2.9||S-8||1||gearbox|
|DNF||4||Hugh Hamilton||Whitney Straight Ltd||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||0||piston|
|DNF||22||Attilio Battilana||Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||?|
Fastest lap: Hans Stuck (Auto Union) in 10m43.8s = 127.5 km/h (79.3 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 122.9 km/h (76.4 mph)
21 July 1934: W. L. Thompson/R.F. Turner/T. V. G. Selby (Austin 7) wins the L.C.C. Relay at Brooklands.
1. Grids from picture evidence with thanks to Alessandro Silva. The lists in Motor Sport, August 1934, mentioniong 3-3 grids, are not correct.
1. Le Figaro gives total length for voiturette race as 160.338 km indicating course length of 8,909 km but 128.644 km/h speed would give 8.911 km. See also 1935 Albi GP footnote.