VII° GRAN PREMIO DE PENYA RHIN
Circuit de Montjuïc - Barcelona (E), 7 JUNE 1936
80 laps x 3.791 km = 303.28 km
* Varzi practiced but refused to start, von Delius replaced Varzi.
Nuvolari, who had been out of racing with broken ribs after his Tripoli crash, was back for the Penya Rhin in the new 12 cylinder Alfa Romeo.
Once again Mercedes only entered two cars for Caracciola and Chiron. Stuck was away hillclimbing at Shelsley Walsh (as was Mays) so Auto Union also entered only two cars.
Rosemeyer crashed during practice when the steering failed, wounding his nose and knee. Varzi had suggested Auto Union to built a short-chassis car to drive in Spain. During practice Varzi found that the short car was not good and asked for the long-chassis car for the race. When the team explained that Rosemeyer needed the long car because of his wounded knee, Varzi refused to start. That left Rosemeyer as the only Auto Union driver so junior driver von Delius was put in Varzi's car and got his GP debut in Barcelona.
Nuvolari took the lead followed by Caracciola. On the Montjuic track the short wheelbase Mercedes was at its worst, understeering and pitching in the corners. At half distance Nuvolari made a remarkable 40 second pitstop and the Alfa driver was soon able to catch Caracciola and retake the lead. The gap opened up considerably when Caracciola made his pitstop.
Chiron continued his catastrophic season finishing 5 laps behind the leaders. Rosemeyer had to pit on lap 6 to repair the tank. That repair cost him five laps so he could only finish in a disappointing fifth place. Newcomer von Delius finished fourth.
The winner of the day was Nuvolari. Not even a new fast pitstop for tyres could hinder the Mantuan who in his Scuderia Ferrari entered 12 cylinder Alfa managed to hold Caracciola off to take the victory.
IV GRANDE PRÊMIO DA CIDADE DE RIO DE JANEIRO
GÁVEA - Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 7 JUNE 1936
25 laps x 11.16 km = 279.0 km
The 1936 Rio Grand Prix had a good entry list. Apart from the local entries the grid included Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo 2900A stripped sports cars for Pintacuda and Marioni and Mlle. Hellé-Nice's blue "Monza" and two Portugese Bugatti drivers, Henrique Lehrfeld and Almeida Araújo. The Argentinian drivers Ricardo Carú (FIAT), Victório Rosa (Hispano-Suiza), Arthur Kreuse (Mercedes Benz), Mac Carthy (Chrysler) and Victório Coppoli (Bugatti) completed the field.
Grid, positions drawn by ballot:
Race: While Pintacuda took control of the race, Marinoni retired with engine trouble on the first lap. But while leading comfortably Pintacuda had to retire with differential trouble on lap 21, giving over the lead to Brazilian champion Manuel de Teffé. But de Teffé had to make a late pitstop for refueling and had to see the Italian driver Vittorio Coppoli in a Bugatti pass and take the victory.
X ADAC EIFELRENNEN
NÜRBURGRING (D), 14 JUNE 1936 FORMULA LIBRE
10 laps x 22.810 km = 228.1 km Weather: rain, heavy fog
Both Mercedes and Auto Union were out in force for Eifelrennen, Lang making his first start of the year. Fagioli was entered but neither practiced nor raced.
Grid, positions drawn:
300,000 people had gathered on a rainy and fog swept Nürburgring to see the first major race of the year on German soil, the AVUS race being cancelled as the track was under re-construction. As the cars lined up for the start the fog lifted but the heavy rain continued.
Nuvolari took the start followed by Caracciola coming up from third row of the grid and Rosemeyer. As expected it was rain master Caracciola who soon took the lead after passing the Alfa at the Karussell curve. After two laps Nuvolari charged and took back the lead and soon afterwards Caracciola had to retire with engine failure. The increase of the engine volume to 4.7 litres had weakened the cylinder block. Von Brauchitsch now held third place behind Nuvolari and Rosemeyer.
Then the fog came back with dramatic results. Rosemeyer closed in on Nuvolari and passed the Alfa, coming out from Südkehre to the joy of the spectators and continued into Hatzenbach and out of sight in the fog. The fierce race between the Auto Union and the three Ferrari Alfa Romeos continued, von Brauchitsch having retired with the same problems as Caracciola. In places the sight was reduced to 20 - 40 meters and the drivers slowed down, except for Rosemeyer who continued to race at high speed. Nuvolari tried to follow, but could do nothing to Rosemeyer's extraordinary ability to see through the fog. The Auto Union driver opened up the gap to the Italian by 30 seconds per lap and went on to take a remarkable victory.
Nuvolari led home a good Ferrari 2-3-4, Lang finishing 5th as best Mercedes-Benz driver. The other Auto Unions came home a disappointing 7-8-9, Chilean driver Zanelli was last with the Scuderia Torino entered Maserati. After the race Rosemeyer became known as the "Nebelmeister" (fog master). He was also promoted to SS-Obersturmführer (First Lieutenant) by Himmler.(Note 2)
X ADAC EIFELRENNEN
NÜRBURGRING (D), 14 JUNE 1936 VOITURETTE
8 laps x 22.810 km = 182.48 km 16 Starters Weather: rain, mist
Mays', Howe's, Lehoux's and Bira's ERAs faced Seaman's Delage and works Maseratis of Tenni, Trossi, Hartmann and Zehender plus several private entries at Nürburgring. Seaman immediately took the lead trying to repeat his Isle of Man victory only to spin at the very first lap. The ERA's were as usual in trouble with misfire, Howe finishing 8th and Mays 10th, leaving Trossi to take the new Maserati 6CM home to a comfortable victory in front of Tenni's older Maserati.
DNA: 57 Brudes (MG), 58 Stößer (MG), 60 MacRobert (MG), 63 Werner Bäumer (MG), 66 Wüstrow (Bugatti), 70 Chambard (Bugatti) 74 Herkuleyns (MG), 75 Cadell (MG) Results: 1 Trossi (Maserati 6CM *) 1:37:17.6 2 Tenni (Maserati 4CM *) + 46.2 3 "B Bira" (ERA B) + 2:55.6 4 Lehoux (ERA B *2) + 3:12.0 5 Bäumer (Austin 7 0.7L) 6 L Hartmann (Maserati 6CM *) 7 Kautz (Maserati 4CM) 8 Howe (ERA B *2) 9 L Villoresi (Maserati 4CM) 10 Mays (ERA B *2) 11 Embiricos (ERA A) 12 Gessner (Maserati 4CM) 13 Kohlrausch (MG C 0.7L) - 1 lap DNF Seibel (Bugatti T37A) DNF Troeltsch (Bugatti T51A) DNF Seaman (Delage 15S8) 0 laps crash DNF Rüesch (Maserati 4CS) 0 laps crash * Entered by Officine Maserati *2 Entered by H W Cook Fastest lap: Trossi (Maserati) 11:46.4
I MAGYAR NAGY DIJ
NEPLIGET - Budapest (H), 21 JUNE 1936
50 laps x 5.0 km = 250 km
Auto Union, Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz each entered three cars, Fagioli did not start.
100,000 spectators had gathered on the twisty track in a garden in Budapest to see the first Hungarian Grand Prix.
Nuvolari took the start but then Rosemeyer went into the lead followed by Stuck, von Brauchitsch Caracciola and Nuvolari. Stuck was feeling ill however and had to stop to give over to reserve driver von Delius. Von Brauchitsch was also falling back. Order: Rosemeyer, Caracciola and Nuvolari.
After some ten laps Caracciola took his Mercedes up in the lead. But then the weak engine blocks of the Mercedes cars started to make trouble again. Chiron's car was the first to retire followed by Caracciola after half the race was run. There was an incident when Nuvolari tried to lap von Brauchitsch. The cars almost touched and the Mercedes spun, hitting a telegraph pole. All the Mercedes cars were out of the race!
Another driver out of the race was backmarker Martin retiring his private Alfa Romeo with transmission trouble. Rosemeyer had a 37 second lead over Nuvolari but then suddenly Rosemeyer got into trouble and the Ferrari driver was able to catch the leader in only three laps and take the lead on lap 33. Nuvolari soon opened up a 15 second lead and then kept the advantage to the flag with Rosemeyer unable to respond.
The other finishers were several laps behind, Varzi finished third followed by Tadini's Alfa.
It had been another amazing drive from Nuvolari, beating the Germans fairly and squarely.
Immediately after the race Rosemeyer went back to hospital to check his liver. Could his medical condition have been the reason for his suddenly slowing down at the end of the race?
XII GP DE PICARDIE
PERONNE (F), 21 JUNE 1936 VOITURETTE
2 x 10 laps + 15 lap final
The race was in 2 heats with half the entry starting in each heat plus a final. Maserati had to withdraw their 6CM car after a mechanic driving the car to the track had a serious crash. Trossi (Maserati) won heat one in front of Bira and Fairfield. In heat two Mays (ERA), looking for revenge for his miserable season so far, took the lead using the big Zoller supercharger of the works car to its limits. But once again the car failed and the finishing order was Seaman (Delage), Howe (ERA) and Tongue (ERA).
In the final Fairfield took the start with Trossi, Bira and Seaman fighting for the next places. Seaman had a heavy crash after a steering failure. Fairfield and Bira had a tremendous fight for the lead, Fairfield doing a mistake on the last lap letting the Siamese win.
DNA: 24 Toni (Toni spl.) 26 G Rovere/G Balocci (Maserati *), 42 Uboldi (Maserati), 48 Kautz (Maserati) Heat 1:Grid:
Results: 1 Trossi (Maserati 6CM *) 43:57 2 Fairfield (ERA A 1.1L) + 0:08 3 "B Bira" (ERA B) + 0:10 4 Lehoux (ERA B *2) + 0:35 5 Durand (Maserati 4CM) - 1 lap 6 Chambard (Bugatti T37A) - 1 lap 7 Mrs. Rose-Itier (Bugatti T51A) - 2 laps 8 Blot (Amilcar C0 1.1L) - 2 laps DNF A C Dobson (ERA B) 3 laps mechnical DNF France (Bugatti T37A) 2 laps mechanical Fastest lap: N/A Heat 2:Grid:
Results: 1 Seaman (Delage 15S8) 44:43 2 Howe (ERA B *2) + 0:06 3 Tongue (ERA B) + 0:10 4 McEvoy (Maserati 6CM) - 1 lap 5 Villeneuve (Bugatti T51A) - 1 lap 6 Guilbaut (Bugatti T37A) - 1 lap 7 Mrs. Stewart (Derby-Maserati) - 2 laps 8 de Gavardie (Amilcar C0 1.1L) - 2 laps DNF Mays (ERA B *2) 4 laps connecting rod DNF Viossat (Salmson GP 1.1L) 0 laps mechanical Fastest lap: N/A Final: Grid unknown Results: 1 "B Bira" (ERA B) 1:03:43 2 Fairfield (ERA A 1.1L) + 31 3 Howe (ERA B *2) + 55 4 McEvoy (Maserati 6CM) - 3 laps DNF Trossi (Maserati 6CM *) 10 laps mechanical DNF Seaman (Delage 15S8) 5 laps crash DNF Chambard (Bugatti T37A) 3 laps DNF Tongue (ERA B) 2 laps mechanical DNF Durand (Maserati 4CM) 0 laps mechanical DNF Lehoux (ERA B *2) 0 laps connecting rod * Entered by Officine Maserati *2 Entered by H W Cook Fastest lap: B Bira (ERA) 4:11
2. None of the GP drivers seem to have had any real interest in politics but all German racing drivers and motorcyclists had to be members of the Nationalsozialistisches Kraftfahrerkorps (NSKK) run by Adolf Hühnlein. Himmler however wanted one driver to be a member of SS. Of the top drivers Caracciola was anti-Nazi and was living in Switzerland. As a nobleman with army background von Brauchitsch was not suitable and Stuck's wife had a Jewish grandmother. So the young, blond and popular Rosemeyer was selected. With a life philosophy often compared to Gilles Villeneuve's and with a lot of Gerhard Berger style of humour Rosemeyer is however hardly fitting in to a post-war image of a SS-officer. SS must in this case be seen as one of the first cases of personal sponsors, with interesting similarities to modern non-smoking drivers with tobacco sponsorship.
3. Grid reconstructed from photographic evidence with thanks to Geza Sury.