II GRAND PRIX DE L´U.M.F.
Montlhéry - Paris (F), 2 June 1935
14 laps x 6.283 km (3.904 mi) = 87.962 km (54.66 mi)
Sommer wins in Paris
by Leif Snellman
This race was the last start of a event with several races for motorcycles and cars. Brunet (Maserati) held the lead for the first two laps before being passed by Sommer (Alfa Romeo) and later also by "Raph" (Alfa Romeo).
Sommer went on to win the race from "Raph" while Brunet struck trouble and Spaniard Genaro Léoz (Bugatti) finished third.
The Union Motocycliste Française once again held a race meeting at Montlhéry including three races for cars. This race has sometimes incorrectly been called the "Grand Prix de France".
In a hope for better weather than during the earlier years the event was moved from September to June.
For 1935 a 6.283 km circuit variant was used. (L'Auto's reporter Maurice Henry was not happy with the 6.283 km variant, claiming the 5 km variant used in 1934 provided better racing.)
The full race program looked like this:
|11 a.m.: motorcycles 175cc - 11 laps|
noon: cars and cyclecars 1100cc s/c, 1500cc u/s- 12 laps
1 p.m: motorcycles 250cc - 12 laps
2 p.m.: motorcycles 350cc - 13 laps
3 p.m.: cars, and cyclecars 750cc s/c and unsupercharged 1100cc u/s - 11 laps
4 p.m.: motorcycles 500cc - 14 laps
5 p.m.: cars supercharged 1500cc and unlimited - 14 laps
1933 race winner Raymond Sommer and Count Raphaël Béthenod de Montbressieux, with the pseudonym "Raph", entered their own Alfa Romeo Tipo B/P3s. Sommer's car was chassis #5003 and "Raph's" #5006. The
former was blue while the latter possibly still was red colored. (Note 1).
Their main opponent was Robert Brunet in Ecure Braillard's white-red Maserati 8CM. Jean Renaldi and Michel Roumani entered a Bugatti T35 each. The Spanish brothers Léoz-Abad entered
Bugattis as well, Genaro a T51 and Enaro a T37 voiturette.
The hope of better weather came to a shame as race day was cloudy and stormy.
The first car event was a 12 laps race for 1100cc supercharged and 1500cc unsupercharged cars or cycle cars. It started at noon and ened with the following results:
|1. Maurice Mestivier||Amilcar||1.1||36m18.6s||(124.6 km/h)|
|2. Stuart Sanford||Sandford cycle car||1.1||- 1 lap|
|3. F. Vernot||La Pintade||1.1||- 2 laps|
|4. G. Malivoir||B.N.C.||1.1||- 2 laps|
The fifth event of the day was a 11 laps race for 750cc supercharged and 1100cc unsupercharged cars or cycle cars beginning at 3 p.m. Results:
|1. P. Maillard-Bruné||M.G.||0.75||34m40.7s (119.6 km/h)|
|2. C. Gaudichet||Sanford cycle car||0.75||- 1 lap|
|3. A Pacheco||Robail||1.1||- 1 lap|
|4. R Hup||B.N.C.||1.1||- 2 laps|
|5. J Lemaitre||E.H.P.||1.1||- 3 laps|
|6. P. Demrachi||Caban spl.||1.1||- 3 laps|
|7. R Danvgnes||Davvignes||0.75||- 3 laps|
About 4 o'clock there was a rainshower so surely the circuit must still have been wet when the last race of the day, the unlimited car class, started a 5 p.m. with seven competitors.
Someone seems to have rushed and all the other drivers except "Raph" followed jumping the start. Brunet held the lead at the end of the first lap followed by Sommer,
Genaro Léoz, Raph, Enaro Léoz, Renaldi and Roumani.
Brunet held the lead for two laps before he was passed by Sommer. Two laps later "Raph" passed Brunet as well for second position.
Roumani and Enaro Léoz retired while Genaro Léoz was following Brunet, whose Maserati was not running well and Brunet eventually had to retire.
So as expected the Alfa Romeos took a 1-2 with Sommer taking the victory from "Raph". Genaro Léoz and Renaldi were the only other finishers. Brunet possibly was able to
continue a bit as he was classified.
|1.||10||Raymond Sommer||R. Sommer||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||2.9||S-8||14||36m18.5s|
|2.||3||"Raph"||"Raph"||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||2.9||S-8||14||37m41.5s?||+ 1m23s|
|3.||6||Genaro Léoz-Abad||G. Léoz-Abad||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||13|
|4.||8||Jean Renaldi||J. Renaldi||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||13|
|5.||1||Robert Brunet||Ecurie Braillard||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||10|
|DNF||11||Michel Roumani||M. Roumani||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||7|
|DNF||7||Enaro Léoz-Abad||E. Léoz-Abad||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||7|
Fastest lap: Raymond Sommer (Alfa Romeo) on lap 9 in 2m29.8s = 151.0 km/h (93.8 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 145.4 km/h (90.3 mph)
Weather: cloudy with showers before the race
1. Simon Moore in The Magnificent Monopostos (page 188), claims the car might have been red as late at the Nice GP, 18 August.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Echo de Paris, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
Le Petit Nicois, Nice
Motor Sport, London
II CIRCUITO DI BIELLA
Circuito di Biella (I), 9 June 1935
2 heats of 2 x 25 x 2.199 km (1.366 mi) = 54.98 km (34.16 mi)
Final: 50 x 2.199 km (1.366 mi) = 109.95 km (68.32 mi)
Nuvolari wins when Trossi gives up
by Leif Snellman
The event was run with two heats plus a final. The first heat was dominated by Nuvolari (Ferrari - Alfa Romeo), who took the victory from his team mate Trossi with Maserati drivers Farina and Dusio also making it
to the final. Scuderia Ferrari drivers dominated the second heat as well with Chiron winning from Tadini, while Varzi, who had been released from Auto Union to race a Maserati and finished third, was so disgusted
with the car that he refused to race in the final. In the final Farina took the start but soon Nuvolari passed him for the lead. Trossi was able to challenge Nuvolari and temporarily pass him but then had to retire
due to illness. Nuvolari won from Chiron with Farina third.
Organized by the Biella section of the RACI the second Circuito di Biella was initially planned for 16 June, clashing with Eifelrennen. When Reale Premio di Roma was cancelled the organizers were able to move back the
Biella event to 9th June, to be clashing only with the minor Frontieres Grand Prix.
The Circuit of Biella was run in two 25 lap qualifying heats and a 50 lap final. The circuit was the same as in 1934, measuring 2.199 km. The twisty circuit with its sharp corners put high pressure on the brakes and
on the transmission.
The race was open for monopostos and two-seaters with cylinder capacity over 1100 cc. Due to the shortness of the circuit only 8 cars were allowed for each heat. The sixteen cars were selected by invitation.
For the final, the first three was to be admitted from each heat and further the fourth who drove the best time, so therefore seven riders would compete in the final.
There was a total of 100,000 Lire in prizes.
For the race Scuderia Ferrari sent a full team of four 3.2 litre cars, none of them with independent suspension. Brivio was still ill after his Tripoli crash and was unable to start in his home race. He had gone to the
Putti clinic in Bologna for treatment (Note 1). However, round-the-houses specialist Carlo
Felice Trossi was there trying to repeat his 1934 victory in his home town. Tazio Nuvolari, Louis Chiron and Mario Tadini were the other Ferrari drivers. All of them except Chiron used 16" rear tyres to gear the cars
down for the twisty circuit.
Apart from Chiron the only non-Italian driver was Mlle. "Helle-Nice" with her familiar blue Alfa Romeo Monza. Monzas were also entered by Giovanni Minozzi and Luigi Pages,
Varzi was released by Auto Union to drive the Scuderia Subalpina 3.7 litre 6C-34 Maserati. He joined the ordinary Scuderia Subalpina drivers Eugenio Siena, who raced the team's other 6C-34, Piero Dusio and Pietro Ghersi,
both in Maserati 8CM. Giuseppe Farina, who had been impressive at Bergamo, raced once again Gino Rovere's 2.5 litre Maserati 4CM. Gino Rovere himself raced a 1.5 litre car. There were two other voiturettes in the race,
Count Lurani with a 4CS two-seater and Count Castelbarco with a rebuilt 4CM that had a more streamlined body and an independent suspension.
Finally, Luigi Soffietti entered his Maserati 8CM.
Sunday came with sunny and extremely hot weather and thousands of spectators lined the streets of Biella to see the race. At 2.10 p.m. the Podesta (mayor) of Biella flagged away the first heat.
As the cars went into the first left hand bend Nuvolari from his position on the left on the first row took the lead, followed by Farina and Trossi.
Trossi soon passed Farina for second position. Behind the trio followed Ghersi, Dusio, Soffietti, Hellé-Nice and Castelbarco.
The order remained much the same throughout the race, the only major duel being between Ghersi and Dusio. On the fifth lap Trossi made the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1m27.8s, closing up right on Nuvolari while
Farina already has lost contact.
After nine laps Soffietti retired from sixth position because of a broken oil pump. Nuvolari had no problems keeping his lead and started to open up a gap to Trossi. After 15 laps he was leading by 11 seconds and after
20 laps he had increased the lead to 15 seconds.
Ghersi had brake and steering problems and was pushed by Dusio, who was faster but unable to find a way past until the 24th lap when he finally managed to pass for fourth position. In the end Nuvolari won by 21.4 seconds
from Trossi with Farina third, Dusio fourth and Ghersi fifth. "Hellé-Nice" was sixth, two laps behind and Castelbarco with the voiturette Maserati seventh.
|1.||2||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||3.2||S-8||25||37m20.0s|
|2.||6||Carlo Felice Trossi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||3.2||S-8||25||37m41.4s||+ 21.4s|
|3.||16||Giuseppe Farina||Gino Rovere||Maserati||4CM||2.5||S-4||25||38m17.0s||+ 57.0s|
|4.||22||Piero Dusio||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||25||38m58.8s||+ 1m38.8s|
|5.||12||Pietro Ghersi||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||8CM||3.2||S-8||25||39m12.4s||+ 1m52.4s|
|6.||26||Mlle "Hellé-Nice"||Mlle "Hellé-Nice"||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||23||38m16.4s|
|7.||30||Luigi Castelbarco||L. Castelbarco||Maserati||4CM||1.5||S-4||23||39m26.2s|| |
|DNF||28||Luigi Soffietti||L. Soffietti||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||9||oil pump|
Fastest lap: Carlo Felice Trossi (Alfa Romeo) on lap 5 in 1m27.8s = 90.3 km/h (56.1 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 88.4 km/h (54.9 mph)
The second heat started at 3.12 p.m.
Chiron took the lead followed by Tadini and Varzi. Chiron did the fifth lap in 1m29.2s setting the fastest time of the race. Rovere did the seventh lap in 1m33.2s and that proved to be the fastest lap set by a voiturette
car during the event.
It seemed that Varzi had started off in a calm tempo, saving his car and just keeping on to third position, but later when trying to challenge the Alfa Romeos he struck problems and gradually fell back.
At the 13th lap in the first corner after the finish line at Via Torino, Rovere pushing hard with his little voiturette Maserati crashed into the 6-cylinder Maserati of Siena. Both cars ended up in the straw barriers but
while Siena had to retire Rovere was able to continue.
Pages retired on the 19th lap with brake failure.
On the 21th lap Rovere crashed again in the same corner as his earlier incident and this time he had to call it a day.
So Chiron took the victory 18 seconds before his team mate Tadini while Varzi, who had suffered a suspension problem as well as a differential trouble, finished a distant third, almost a lap behind the winner. Minozzi was
fourth one lap behind and Lurani with his voiturette car fifth two laps behind.
|1.||4||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||3.2||S-8||25||38m01.4s|
|2.||8||Mario Tadini||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||3.2||S-8||25||38m19.4s||+ 18.0s|
|3.||10||Achille Varzi||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||25||39m23.0s||+ 1m21.6s|
|4.||24||Giovanni Minozzi||G. Minozzi||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.6||S-8||24||38m32.6s|
|5.||18||Giovanni Lurani||Count Lurani||Maserati||4CS||1.5||S-4||23||39m11.6s|| |
|DNF||32||Gino Rovere||Gino Rovere||Maserati||4CM||1.5||S-4||21||crash|| |
|DNF||20||Luigi Pages||L. Pages||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||18||brakes|
|DNF||14||Eugenio Siena||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||13||crash|
Fastest lap: Louis Chiron (Alfa Romeo) on lap 5 in 1m29.2s = 92.9 km/h (57.7 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 86.7 km/h (53.9 mph)
Of the two who had finished fourth, the one who had done a better time in the heats would be selected as seventh competitor to the final. Possibly it meant the one that had done the faster lap time, as Dusio from the first heat
was selected rather than Minozzi from the second heat, even when the latter had done a faster race. Varzi was so disgusted by the performance of the Maserati that he refused to start in the final, so the much expected duel
between Nuvolari and Varzi came to nothing.
So in the end there were just six cars in the 50 laps final, Nuvolari, Trossi, Farina and Dusio from the first heat and Chiron and Tadini from the second. Of the six finalists four raced for Scuderia Ferrari so there was little
doubt who would be the winner.
At 4.25 p.m. the Duke of Spoleto flagged the finalists away.
|* 10 Varzi DNS|
Farina was a surprise leader after the first lap followed by Chiron and Nuvolari. Nuvolari however soon passed both Chiron and Farina to take the lead of the race. Trossi was in fourth position followed by Tadini and Dusio.
On the fourth lap Chiron passed Farina and on the fifth lap Trossi did the same and soon afterwards he was also able to pass Chiron for second position.
Trossi now started to close in on Nuvolari. On the 10th lap he was right behind the leader. On the next lap Trossi drove the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1m25.6s.
On the 13th lap Trossi managed to pass the Mantuan to take over the lead. Further back Tadini passed Farina so that Scuderia Ferrari now held the four top positions in the race. Trossi and Nuvolari did two laps nose to tail
with Nuvolari pushing the leader hard. On the 15th lap Nuvolari exited the turn leading to the short start/finish straight better than Trossi and the two cars passed the finish line side by side.
In the next corner Trossi had to give in the duel and Nuvolari was back in the lead. Soon afterwards Trossi started to fall back. After 23 laps to the disappointment of the spectators Trossi retired to the pits claiming he was
feeling ill. Possibly it was a case of sunstroke in the extremely hot weather.
On the 27th lap Tadini had to make a lengthy pit stop so Farina advanced to third position and Dusio to fourth. Nothing more happened during the latter part of the race, the cars keeping their positions during the last 23 laps.
The only thing of interest was Farina's attempts to challenge Chiron, who was suffering from brake problems, but the attempts proved to be unsuccessful.
Nuvolari was cruising at the end of the race with one hand on the steering wheel to take his third victory of the season. Chiron finished second, Farina in his little 2.5 litre car third after an excellent race, Dusio fourth
two laps behind and Tadini was last, three laps behind.
|1.||2||Tazio Nuvolari||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||3.2||S-8||50||1h14m50.4s|
|2.||4||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||3.2||S-8||50||1h15m23.6||+ 33.2s|
|3.||16||Giuseppe Farina||Gino Rovere||Maserati||4CM||2.5||S-4||50||1h15m37.0s||+ 46.6s|
|4.||22||Piero Dusio||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||8CM||3.0||S-8||48||1h15m35.0s|
|5.||8||Mario Tadini||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||3.2||S-8||47||1h15m29.0s|
|DNF||6||Carlo Felice Trossi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B||3.2||S-8||24||driver ill|
Fastest lap: Carlo Felice Trossi (Alfa Romeo) on lap 11 in 1m25.6s = 92.5 km/h (57.5 mph)|
Fastest lap (voiturette): Gino Rovere on lap 7 during heat 2 in 1m33.2s
Winner's medium speed: 88.1 km/h (54.8 mph)
Weather: sunny and very hot.
As Paul Sheldon mentions in his book, the voiturette heat described in Motor Sport is a complete fiction. There was never such a race. However, the best voiturette driver in each heat and the fastest voiturette lap were
mentioned in the Italian papers so probably there were extra prizes for the voiturette drivers.
1. Professor Vittorio Putti (1880-1940) was the man whose treatment had saved Caracciola's leg from amputation after his 1933 Monaco crash.
2. Grids from La Stampa. Paul Sheldon suggests different grids in the heats: 2/16/6 - 30/12 - 26/28/22 and 4/10/8 - 20/24 - 32/18/14.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
IL Littoriale, Roma
La Stampa, Torino
MOTOR SPORT, London
10 June 1935:
The B.A.R.C. Whitsun Meeting was held at Brooklands.|
The handicap races were won by R. A. Beaver (Vauxhall 4.2L), A. P. F. Fane (Frazer-Nash 1.5L),
O. Bertram (Delage 10.7L), D. L. Briault (Alta 1.1L), J. H. Bartlett (Bartlett-Salmson 1.1L),
C. Brackenbury (Bugatti 2.3L), H. G. Dobbs (Riley 1.1L), A. Powys-Lybbe (Alvis 1.5L), J.C. Elwes 8M.G. 0.7L)
and E. K. Rayson (Bugatti 2.0L).
IX ADAC EIFELRENNEN
Nürburgring (D), 16 June 1935
11 laps x 22.810 km (14.17 mi)= 250.91 km (155.91 mi)
A new star
by Leif Snellman
The race was run in challenging conditions as rain intermixed with sunshine created huge problems with the spark plug selection. German teams raced with four cars. Lang (Mercedes-Benz)
made his race debut and Pietsch (Auto Union) his team debut. Von Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz) dominated the first half of the race. He was followed by his team mates Caracciola and Fagioli
while Auto Union drivers Stuck and Varzi fell back due to several stops to replace plugs. Varzi, being ill, eventually gave over his car to zu Leiningen. On the eighth lap von Brauchitsch
retired with a broken supercharger and Rosemeyer (Auto Union) in only his second car race sensationally passed Caracciola for the lead and held on to it until the last curve on the last
lap when Caracciola re-passed to win from Rosemeyer with Chiron (Scuderia Ferrari) third.
The Eifelrennen was held at the same weekend as the Le Mans 24 hour race, but that did not prevent a good entry list. The only major non starter was Nuvolari, as he was doing speed record
attempts with the Alfa Romeo bi-motore on the Florence - Lucca autostrada in Italy.
Due to time constricts and expected bad weather, a few days before the event a decision was made to shorten all races by one lap. The main event raced under the free formula was therefore
shortened from 12 to 11 laps. The prize money amounted to 23,000 RM in total for all three race classes (Grand Prix, voiturette and cycle cars) with 5,000 RM going to the winner of
the main race.
Deadline for entries was 3rd June. Both Auto Union and Daimler-Benz came with four cars to this, for them important, event, giving their junior drivers a chance to race. Thus there were
some new faces in the German cars. Paul Pietsch was making his debut as a works driver for Auto Union and former motor cycle racer Hermann Lang was making his debut as a Grand Prix driver
in a 1934 Mercedes-Benz with 3.4 litre W25A engine. Auto Union entered Hans Stuck and Achille Varzi as senior drivers with Bernd Rosemeyer making his second start for the team (Note 2).
For this race the team used a car figuration with open front suspension and low left cockpit side.
Mercedes-Benz entered their standard trio of senior drivers, Rudi Caracciola, Luigi Fagioli and Manfred von Brauchitsch, in cars with 4 litre W25B engines.
Scuderia Ferrari entered two of their older type cart sprung Tipo Bs for Louis Chiron and René Dreyfus. Maserati was represented by Scuderia Subalpina with Philippe Etancelin and Goffredo
Zehender as drivers for their two 6-cylinder cars.
The ever diminishing field of independents in the main events this time included Renato Balestrero with an Alfa Romeo Monza and Italian Piero Taruffi, Hungarian László Hartmann and British
driver Dudley Froy, all racing Bugattis.
The race cars would practice from Wednesday to Friday and the sports cars from Friday to Saturday. The Grand Prix cars were expected to make at least five practice laps and they had to set a
time of 13m42s to be allowed to race.
Practice started on Wednesday morning with motorcycles and in the afternoon it was time for the cars. Lang put in a series of laps with the following times: 12m06s, 11m43s, 11m34s, 11m15s,
11m12s and 11m22s. Von Brauchitsch, back at Nürburgring for the first time since his accident the year before, and Fagioli were also practicing while Caracciola did not take part until
Thursday. Of the Auto Union drivers Stuck completed a lap in 10m59s.
Practice continued during Thursday and Friday afternoons in fine weather while the Saturday practice for the sports cars was spoilt by rain.
Motor Sport listed the following times: von Brauchitsch 10m45s, Caracciola 10m59s, Stuck 11m04s, Chiron 11m11s, Hartmann 11m43s and Dreyfus 11m58s.
Weltdeutsche Sport Zeitung listed Rosemeyer at a speed corresponding to a 10m57s lap and Fagioli corresponding to 11m05s.
Varzi got ill on Wednesday evening, suffering appendicitis, and he was too ill to practice until Saturday when he dragged himself to the car to do some laps. Varzi was under constant
control and treatment of the special physician available to the German teams.
Sunday came with rain. A cold wind was blowing and Neubauer writes in his biography that it felt like April weather. Still some 300,000 enthusiastic spectators had turned up challenging
the elements for the day long series of racing events.
After two motor cycle races and a combined race for voiturettes and sports cars (see above) it was time for the main event. The circuit was wet as the Grand Prix cars lined up in 3-2-3 formation.
Varzi's pain had increased during the night so the doctor decided that Varzi should not start and Auto Union's team manager Willy Walb designated Prince zu Leiningen as a substitute
driver. However, shortly before the start Varzi insisted to take part even when the team doubted he would be able to do the whole race.
The race was started by the new colored light system (red, yellow and 15 seconds later green). Taruffi moved first on the wet track and tried to find a gap between Caracciola and
Varzi and five cars went over the line side by side until Taruffi fell back while von Brauchitsch's Mercedes went into the lead followed by Caracciola, Varzi, Stuck and Fagioli.
Chiron had missed the start completely while Dreyfus crossed the grid from right to left to follow Taruffi.
Just as during practice von Brauchitsch was in a class of his own. He pulled away from the others and at the end of the first lap he was leading by 22 seconds over Caracciola. Auto
Union drivers Varzi and Stuck were following closely in third and fourth positions. The rest of the field was already falling behind. Rosemeyer was 9th. Froy, who had been last from
the start, made a lengthy stop for plugs change. After the first lap the order of the field was as follows:
|1. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)||11m36.1s (118.0 km/h)|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||11m58.3s|
|3. Varzi (Auto Union)||12m01.1s|
|4. Stuck (Auto Union)||12m02.1s|
Von Brauchitsch led by 35 seconds after the second lap having completed the lap in 11m23s. Varzi stopped for a plugs change. He was in pain from his appendicitis but insisted on
carry on racing. Froy, who had completed another slow lap, retired to the pits due to incurable ignition trouble. Rosemeyer had moved up to seventh. The situation after the
second lap looked like this:
|1. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)||22m59.4s (119.1 km/h)|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||23m37.4s|
|3. Stuck (Auto Union)||23m44.1s|
|4. Varzi (Auto Union)||23m51.0s|
Von Brauchitsch raced the third lap in around 11m11s increasing his lead to 54 seconds. The weather was typical of Nürburgring. It changed rapidly between rain and sunshine on different
parts of the track and the sudden temperature changes caused serious ignition troubles on the cars. One of those suffering was Stuck, who stopped in the pit at the end of the lap to
change plugs. Fagioli took over third position making it a Mercedes-Benz 1-2-3. The top four cars were in the following order after three laps:
|1. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)||34m11.0s (120.1 km/h)|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||35m05.3s|
|3. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||35m24.0s|
|4. Varzi (Auto Union)||35m42.3s|
Von Brauchitsch was even faster on the fourth lap with a time of 11m08.1s increasing his lead to over one minute. Neubauer hang out a signal ordering him to moderate his speed. (The lap
times show that the course still was slippery. Six weeks later von Brauchitsch would do 10m32.0s with the same car.) Varzi stopped once more for plugs, handing over fourth position to
Chiron and fifth position to Rosemeyer. Stuck had to stop in the pit as well. Zehender retired the Scuderia Subalpina Maserati due to plug problems. Rosemeyer had had his windshield
smashed by a stone. After four laps the situation looked like this:
|1. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)||45m19.1s (120.8 km/h)|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||46m25.0s|
|3. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||46m49.4s|
|4. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||47m24.4s|
Von Brauchitsch took it a little bit easier on the fifth lap with a lap time of 11m17s against 11m20s for Caracciola and 11m37.8s for Fagioli. Auto Union's problems continued with Stuck
making his third stop for plugs but when he returned to the race he found that the car still misfired. The Auto Union team gave Rosemeyer, now their best positioned driver, an order to
push. Apart from the broken windscreen Rosemeyer had had his goggles damaged by another stone and he had lost his head hood, but that did not hinder him from pushing.
He attacked Chiron and after a brief duel he passed for third position, both drivers keeping a similar pace as the top duo. At the end of the lap Fagioli stopped
for plugs and refueled at the same time. The race order after five laps was:
|1. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)||56m36.4s (120.9 km/h)|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||57m45.2s|
|3. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||58m27.2s|
|4. Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||58m44.3s|
Von Brauchitsch and Caracciola both made the sixth lap in about 11m16s while Rosemeyer behind them was 10 seconds faster, putting in the fastest lap of the race so far with a time of
11m05s seconds Chiron in fourth position was doing an excellent job, keeping the same pace as the Mercedes-Benz cars with his inferior Alfa Romeo. Varzi finally gave up and handed his
Auto Union over to reserve driver Prince zu Leiningen, who was ordered to go flat out in an attempt to at least keep to the position. The Auto Union mechanics had a busy day as Stuck
was back in the pit in a vain attempt to cure the plug problem. The situation looked like this after six laps:
|1. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)||1h07m52.2s (121.0 km/h)|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||1h09m01.4s|
|3. Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||1h09m51.1s|
|4. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h10m01.4s|
The skies opened again and heavy rain was falling on Nürburgring. Now it was von Brauchitsch's turn to suffer from plug trouble and in the bad conditions his lap time increased by over
two minutes to 13m23s. His team mate Caracciola did a12m54s lap pulling in 29 ˝ seconds on his team mate and Chiron was even faster with a time around 12m45s. But almost unnoticed in
the rain and hardly mentioned in the race history books Rosemeyer put in a most sensational lap. Due to the rain it was not a fast lap in itself (12m08s) but he was still 46 seconds
faster than rain specialist Caracciola in front of him! At the end of the lap coming past Tiergarten Rosemeyer caught Caracciola and the Auto Union pulled up beside the Mercedes as
they passed the finish line and going in to the Südkehle Rosemeyer took over second position. It took Caracciola completely by surprise as he admitted after the race.
Alfred Neubauer asks in his book: "Is this groundless light-heartedness or courage or the outburst of a natural talent?"
Fagioli, Balestrero and Etancelin stopped at the pit, all returning to the race after fast adjustments. The race order after seven laps was:
|1. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)||1h21m15.4s (117.9 km/h)|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||1h21m58.1s|
|3. Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||1h21m59.0s|
|4. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h22m46.1s|
On the eighth lap von Brauchitsch tried to compensate for the power loss by over revving the engine. When he tried to lap Balestrero the engine could not stand the pressure anymore and
the supercharger blew. It was considered that von Brauchitsch had panicked unnecessarily as he still was in a clear lead. He retired to the pits after a 15 minutes lap and got out of his
car accompanied by applause from the stands.
The sensation was ready. Rosemeyer was leading in only the second car race he had ever started in. The rain had slowed down and lap times dropped again. Taruffi, who had held a decent
midfield position, crashed his Bugatti, fortunately without any major damage to the car or to himself. Rosemeyer made the lap in 11m55s pulling up a four seconds gap to Caracciola with
Chiron now up to third doing as Caracciola the lap in just over 12 minutes. After eight laps the race order was as follows:
|1. Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||1h33m54.4s (116.6 km/h)|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||1h33m58.3s|
|3. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h34m52.3s|
|4. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)||1h36m19.1s|
Conditions got better and lap times improved by another half a minute. Rosemeyer, racing flat out with the wheels often going over the edge of the course, held a seven seconds lead over
Caracciola. With von Brauchitsch retired Fagioli had taken over fourth position. The race situation after nine laps was:
|1. Rosemeyer (Auto Union)||1h45m26.1s (116.8 km/h)|
|2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)||1h45m33.4s|
|3. Chiron (Alfa Romeo)||1h46m35.9s|
|4. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)||1h49m32.0s|
For the last two laps Caracciola followed the Auto Union closely. Rosemeyer suffered from ignition problems as well and had lost two cylinders but decided to continue. Due to the broken
windscreen he was unable to hear the engine and had to rely on the tachometer for the gear changes.
Newcomer Lang was (according to himself) for a moment up in third position but made a mistake at Planzgarten, spun on the wet track and got stuck with the rear end of the car in the ditch.
He was pushed back to the course (a case of outside assistance?) and rejoined the race in fifth position.
The loudspeakers from the various observation posts reported the Auto-Union still in the lead during the last lap but with an ever decreasing gap. Going into Schwalbenschwanz Caracciola
made an attempt to pass but was blocked by the Rosemeyer. Coming out of Schwalbenschwanz Rosemeyer changed gear too early and Caracciola was able to keep up with the Auto Union on the
long straight and he passed at the breaking point for Hohenrain to take the flag 1.9 seconds in front of the Auto Union. It had been a historical race, the old master had won and the
spectators had found a new hero. Rosemeyer was cheered by his former motorcycle mates.
The German teams had dominated the event but Chiron had made a great race to finish third. Fagioli was fourth and beginner Lang and Pietsch finished fifth and sixth. Dreyfus and Etancelin
followed in seventh and eighth positions with zu Leiningen taking Varzi's Auto Union home ninth and last, probably being lapped by the winner.
|1.||5||Rudolf Caracciola||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||4.0||S-8||11||2h08m02.3s|
|2.||4||Bernd Rosemeyer||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||B||5.0||V-16||11||2h08m04.2s||+ 1.9s|
|3.||10||Louis Chiron||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||11||2h09m34.4s||+ 1m32.1s|
|4.||6||Luigi Fagioli||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||4.0||S-8||11||2h12m44.2s||+ 4m41.9s|
|5.||8||Hermann Lang||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||3.4||S-8||11||2h13m48.3s||+ 5m46.0s|
|6.||3||Paul Pietsch||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||B||V-16||11||2h14m49.0s||+ 6m46.7s|
|7.||9||René Dreyfus||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Tipo B/P3||3.2||S-8||11||2h16m30.0s||+ 8m27.7s|
|8.||12||Philippe Etancelin||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||11||2h19m11.4s||+ 11m09.1s|
|9.||2||A. Varzi / H. zu Leiningen||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||B||5.0||V-16||11||2h19m59.2s||+ 11m56.9s|
|DNF||7||Manfred von Brauchitsch||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W25||4.0||S-8||8||ignition|
|DNF||15||Piero Taruffi||P. Taruffi||Bugatti||T59||3.3||S-8||8||crash|
|DNF||1||Hans Stuck||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||B||5.0||V-16||7||plugs|
|DNF||20||Renato Balestrero||Gruppo Genovese San Giorgio||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8|
|DNF||16||László Hartmann||L. Hartmann||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||6|
|DNF||11||Goffredo Zehender||Scuderia Subalpina||Maserati||6C-34||3.7||S-6||4||plugs|
|DNF||21||Dudley Froy||George Manby-Colegrave||Bugatti||T54||4.9||S-8||2||engine/plugs|
Fastest lap: Rudolf Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) on lap 11 in 11m03.4s = 123.8 km/h (76.9 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 117.6 km/h (73.1 mph)
Weather: wet, showers intermixed with sunshine
1. Grid reconstructed by Simon Davis and me from pictures. As the pictures are taken before the start and show cars still pushed to their positions the grid might have consisted of eight rows.
That would mean that gaps (indicated by an "x") might have been left in the grid for non starters while a "?" indicates position of an unknown car.
2. Despite Motor Sport's claims, Rosemeyer had never raced motorcycles on Nürburgring. A thanks to Valentin Raducan for pointing out that fact.
3. Grid reconstructed by Hans Etzrodt and me from pictures. We specially took notice of the relative movements of the cars from picture to picture. While we are 100% sure of the
grid positions of some drivers the rest of the positions, due to a lack of good pictures, are based on logical deduction. I have indicated those drivers with a questionmark.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
DDAC Motorwelt, München
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
Il Littoriale, Roma
LA STAMPA, Torino
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Sport Montag, Wuppertal
Weltdeutsche Sport Zeitunz, Wuppertal
Raymond Mays Split Seconds
Special thanks to: