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Hans Rüesch (Alfa Romeo)
11 Hans Rüesch
Hans Rüesch
Alfa Romeo 8C-35
Karl Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)
16 Karl Ebb
K. Ebb
Mercedes-Benz SSK
Eugen Bjřrnstad (ERA)
17 Eugen Bjřrnstad
E. Bjørnstad
ERA A


VI ELÄINTARHANAJOT/DJURGĹRDSLOPPET

Eläintarharata - Helsinki (FIN), 9 May 1937
25 laps x 2.0 km (1.24 mi) = 50.0 km (31.1 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

11Hans RüeschH. RüeschAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8
12Herbert BergH BergAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8DNS - engine
14Aleksi PatamaA. PatamaFordSpecial.V-8Class-B
15Helge HallmanH. HallmanFordSpecialV-8Class-B
16Karl EbbK. EbbMercedesBenz SSK7.1S-6
17Eugen BjørnstadE. BjørnstadERAA1.5S-6
18Helmer CarlssonVästerĺs Racer KompaniAlfa RomeoMonza2.6S-8DNS - oil pump
18Helmer CarlssonVästerĺs Racer KompaniBugattiT35C2.0S-8
19Emil EloE. EloBugattiT35?
20Karl-Emil RolanderK-E. RolanderBugattiT35C2.0S-8DNS - driver injury
21Arne SundstedtA. SundstedtBugattiT35B2.3S-8



Easy victory for Rüesch

by Leif Snellman
Rüesch's Alfa Romeo was too superior to the rest of the competitors to make the race interesting. Rolander crashed his Bugatti during practice and was forbidden to race by the doctor. Carlsson took over the Bugatti as his own Alfa Romeo suffered from oil pump problems. Rüesch took the start followed by last year's winner Bjřrnstad (ERA) and local hero Karl Ebb (Mercedes-Benz). Bjřrnstad had engine problems and had to let Ebb by but the Finn did not have any chance against Rüesch. The race turned into a rather monotonous event with Rüesch winning from Ebb and Bjřrnstad.
It was to be the largest motor race event in Finland thus far with 21 foreign competitors (including the MC drivers) taking part. For 1937 the race track had been improved and made wider in some sections. There were two car races, a 10 lap event for sports cars in three classes and a 25 lap event for race cars in classes "A" and "B" corresponding to "real" race cars and rebuilt standard cars. Prizes were to be 7000, 5000, 3000 and 1500 Fmk in class "A" and 3000 and 2000 Fmk in class "B"
Entries:
Rüesch was obviously going around Europe for some easy victories in minor races. After having taken part in both South African and British events earlier in the year he now came to Finland straight from Paris, where he had taken a class victory in an event at Montlhéry and was planning to continue from Finland to Chimay, Belgium, for the Frontieres GP. Entering his independent sprung Alfa Romeo 8C-35 he instantly became the clear favourite for the Finnish GP. Later Rüesch's car would feature a white nose (colour rules specified for a white bonnet on Swiss cars) but at least in May 1937 Rüesch's Alfa was red all over apart from the white radiator circle seen on most 8C-35 Alfas.
      Instead of the Alfa Romeo Monza familiar to the Finnish spectators, Bjřrnstad entered his Turin winning red painted ERA (R1A). However, Helmer Carlsson entered an (ex-Widengren) Monza, painted white with a blue yellow band and equipped with double rear wheels, and German Herbert Berg also entered a Monza. Ebb was ready to once again race his by now rather ancient Mercedes-Benz SSK. Karl-Emil Rolander arrived with his Bugatti T35C (#4696/#4928) and Arne Sundstedt raced his father's T35B Bugatti (#4922). Finnish driver Emil Elo also entered a Bugatti. The "B" class was a local affair between the Ford specials of Patama and Hallman.
Practice:
Saturday practice started at 4 a.m. in the morning! Even with such an odd time some two thousand spectators had arrived to the track. The event started with the 400m standing start qualifying test for the sports cars followed by the similar qualifying test for three race cars. First off was Ebb with a time of 13.6s, then Rüesch did a 13.1s and Patama a 14.5s. Then the trio had another try with Ebb improving to 13.3s and Rüesch to 12.5s while Patama did another 14.5s start. Qualifying continued with Bjørnstad (13.0s/13.3s) Carlsson (13.2s/13.3s), Sundstedt (13.4s/14.2s), Rolander (14.3s/14.5s), Hallman (15.2s/15.3s) and Elo (16.6s/17.8s). Herbert Berg with his Monza was a non-starter due to engine problems. After qualifying followed free practice that went on to 7 a.m. As expected Rüesch proved to be fastest. (Note 1).
      Carlsson's Monza went airborne over some badly placed sandbags in the greenhouse curve and moments later Rolander crashed his Bugatti against the same sand bags. The Bugatti turned over and Rolander scratched his right hand against the asphalt so badly that the doctor forbade him to start. Carlsson had oil pump problems with his Monza. The pressure went right down on the straight and Carlsson immediately shut down the engine. Just to be sure he changed rod bearings while waiting for a new oil pump that was sent express from Stockholm. But when the oil pump was delayed at the customs Carlsson took over Rolander's Bugatti instead for the race.
Race:
Mother's Day came with beautiful sunny weather and a huge number of spectators arrived along the roads to the park, creating, as a local newspaper put it, "long black snakes". The official number of tickets sold was 35,553, the grand total number was probably somewhere around 40,000. The event started at 13:00 with the first of the motorcycle races. After German Ewald Kluge had won the small class and Swede Ragnar Sunnqvist the bigger class it was time for a short 10 lap sports car event where German Roth (BMW) dominated. Then finally it was time for the race car event. The eight participants lined up according to their qualifying results:
Pole Position
17
Bjřrnstad

ERA
13.0s

11
Rüesch

Alfa Romeo
12.5s

18
Carlsson

Bugatti
13.2s*

16
Ebb

Mercedes-Benz
13.3s

21
Sundstedt

Bugatti
13.4s


**




15
Hallman

Ford
15.2s

14
Patama

Ford
14.5s

19
Elo

Bugatti
16.6s

* Qualified with a Alfa Romeo
** 20 Rolander (Bugatti) 14.3s DNS




Rüesch took the lead from his pole position. He was followed by Bjørnstad, Ebb, Patama, Carlsson, Sundstedt, Hallman and Elo. That order was to remain the same for the first six laps. Rüesch made the first lap in 1m13s and after the second lap he had opened up a 4 seconds gap to Bjørnstad, whose mechanic had worked on the ERA engine all night but failed to get it to run properly. Ebb followed two seconds behind the Norwegian. After three laps Rüesch was leading by seven seconds while Ebb now was following Bjørnstad closely.
      Situation after 5 laps:
1. Rüesch (Alfa Romeo)5m35.0s
2. Bjørnstad (ERA)5m48.8s
3. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)5m49.5s
4. Patama (Ford)6m03.5s
5. Carlsson (Bugatti)6m04.0s
6. Sundstedt (Bugatti)6m18.5s
7. Hallman (Ford)6m26.5s
8. Elo (Bugatti)6m59.5s

Ebb did several failed attempts to find a way past Bjørnstad, who was clearly blocking and was about to receive a warning, when the Finnish Mercedes driver finally was able to pass on lap seven. Rüesch had already opened up a big gap and it was already clear that he had no real opposition from the rest of the field. The race now turned into a rather monotonous event,
      Order after 10 laps:
1. Rüesch (Alfa Romeo)11m10s
2. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)11m36s
3. Bjørnstad (ERA)11m51s
4. Patama (Ford)11m59s
5. Carlsson (Bugatti)11m59s
6. Sundstedt (Bugatti)11m30s
7. Hallman (Ford)12m47s
8. Elo (Bugatti)14m08s

Somewhere before the 15th lap Carlsson passed Patama's Ford for fourth. At 14 laps Rüesch was already ready to put third positioned Bjørnstad a lap down but the Norwegian held his ERA in the middle of the track and failed to give room, slowing down Rüesch by 4 seconds a lap.
      Order after 15 laps:
1. Rüesch (Alfa Romeo)16m44.0s
2. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)17m20.0s
3. Bjørnstad (ERA)17m50.8s
4. Carlsson (Bugatti)17m53.0s
5. Patama (Ford)17m59.8s
6. Sundstedt (Bugatti)18m32.5s
7. Hallman (Ford)19m15.7s
8. Elo (Bugatti)21m19.0s

As the flag men were failing to do their job it took until lap 16 before Bjørnstad realized he had the leader behind him. On the main straight he went to the side to give room and a fist shaking Rüesch went by. Rüesch continued to put in 1m06s-1m07s laps, Ebb 1m08s-1m09s laps, while Bjørnstad's laps were around 1m10s-1m12s.
      Order after 20 laps:
1. Rüesch (Alfa Romeo)22m22s
2. Ebb (Mercedes-Benz)23m02s
3. Bjørnstad (ERA)23m42s
4. Carlsson (Bugatti)23m45.0s
5. Patama (Ford)24m05.6s
6. Sundstedt (Bugatti)24m40s
7. Hallman (Ford)25m44ss
8. Elo (Bugatti)28m39s

Without challenge Rüesch cruised on to, what he afterwards called "an easy victory". He added that he was impressed by the spectator numbers and enthusiasm and that he of course could have gone faster if needed. Ebb finished second, the only driver on the same lap as Rüesch. A struggling Bjørnstad was third and Helmer Carlsson fourth. Patama, who claimed his Ford had hardly ever been in better shape, was a cheerful winner of the "B" class.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.11Hans RüeschH. RüeschAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-82527m53.7s
2.16Karl EbbK. EbbMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-62528m41.3s+47.5s
3.17Eugen BjørnstadE. BjørnstadERAA1.5S-62529m31.1s+ 1m37.7s
4.18Helmer CarlssonH. CarlssonBugattiT35C2.0S-82529m40.0s+ 1m46.3s
5.14Aleksi PatamaA. PatamaFordSpecial2530m12.3s+ 2m16.6sClass B
6.21Arne SundstedtA. SundstedtBugattiT35B2.3S-82530m39.6s+ 2m45.9s
7.15Helge HallmanH. HallmanFordSpecialV-82532m26.3s+ 4m32.5sClass B
?19Emil EloE. EloBugattiT35??
Fastest lap: Hans Rüesch (Alfa Romeo) in 1m05s = 110.8 km/h (68.8 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 107.5 km/h (66.8 mph)
Weather: fine and sunny

Footnote:
1. Local paper Helsingin Sanomat gives Rüesch's practice lap times as 65s - 64s - 63s - 61s - 60.5s. I don't know what to make of it as the fastest lap in the race was 65s.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Helsingin Sanomat, Helsinki
Hufvudstadsbladet, Helsingfors
Suomen Urheilulehti, Helsinki
Uusi Suomi, Helsinki
Also:
Geitel, Juurikkala, Talvitie: "Kuolemankurvasta Moukaripörssiin"



Eddie Hertzberger (M.G.)
8 Eddie Hertzberger
E. Hertzberger
M.G. K3 Magnette
Nando Alexandre (Bugatti)
4 Nando Alexandre
P. Alexandre
Bugatti T37


XII GRAND PRIX DES FRONTIÉRES
(2000cc)


Chimay (B), 15 May 1937 (Saturday)
10 laps x 10.87 km (6.75 mi) = 108.7 km (67.5 mi)
Shortened to:
8 laps x 10.87 km (6,75 mi) = 87.0 km ( 54.0 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Roger ChambardR. ChambardBugattiT37A1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
4"Nando" AlexandreP. AlexandreBugattiT371.5S-4
6Adrian Conan-DoyleA. Conan-DoyleDelageGP1.5S-8DNA - did not appear
8Eddie HertzbergerE. HertzbergerMGK3 Magnette1.1S-6
10John DuPuyEcurie du Puy & de GraffenriedMaserati6CM1.5S-6DNA - did not appear
12Emmanuel de GraffenriedEcurie du Puy & de GraffenriedMaserati4CM1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
14Ciro BasadonnaEcurie HelvetiaMaserati4CM1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
16Armand HugA. HugBugattiT51A1.5S-8
18Raymond MilhavetR. MilhavetSalmson1.1S-4
20"Alexander Todd""A. Todd"MGK3 Magnette1.1S-6DNA - did not appear
22Herbert BergH BergAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8added to race



One man show

by Leif Snellman
Only four cars turned up for the 2 litre race so Berg in Alfa Romeo Monza was added to the grid. Favourite Hertzberger took the lead in his M.G. from Berg and Hug in a Bugatti. But Hug was soon out of the race with mechanical failure. When also Berg and Milhavet (Salmson) called it a day, only two cars were left and the organizers cut the race short.
     
Entries:
The entry list looked decent and included among others three Bugattis, three Ecurie Helvetia Maseratis and Adrian Conan-Doyle's Grand Prix Delage. But one by one the entries failed to turn up and in the end there were just four cars in the 2000cc class: last year's winner Eddie Hertzberger with his orange MG, rebuilt with a streamlined nose, young Swiss Armand Hug with a white-red Bugatti T51, local driver Paul Alexandre with an old Bugatti T37 and French Raymond Milhavet in a little Salmson that had seen better days.
      With only these four cars available the organizers decided to move Herbert Berg's white 2.3 litre Monza, equipped with mudguards and headlights, from the 2000cc plus race to the 2000cc race, disregarding engine size, to fill up the field a little bit.
Race:
After two motorcycle races in the morning it was time for the first car race of the day. Under a grey sky the five cars lined up on the grid for the 13:00 start. Hertzberger was the favourite even if Berg on the paper might have seemed to be the strongest card.
Pole Position
22
Berg

Alfa Romeo

8
Hertzberger

MG

16
Hug

Bugatti

4
Alexandre

Bugatti

18
Milhavet

Salmson



Hertzberger took the lead in his MG from Berg and Hug and was leading after the first lap by a few seconds. Milhavet and Alexandre were already far behind. On the second lap Hug retired his Bugatti with mechanical failure. Hertzberger did a 5m16 lap, equaling his fastest lap of 1936, and opened up a 12.2 seconds gap to Berg, who now was in second position. But after four laps Berg retired to the pits. Then Milhavet also retired leaving only two cars in the race, Hertzberger in the lead and Alexandre several laps behind. The organizers then made a wise decision and cut the race short while there still were cars remaining. So the chequered flag came out for Hertzberger after 8 laps while Alexandre continued alone for another 20 minutes to reach the same distance.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.8Eddie HertzbergerE. HertzbergerMGK3 Magnette1.1S-6842m22.0s
2.4"Nando" AlexandreP. AlexandreBugattiT371.5S-481h02m52.4s+ 20m30.8s
DNF18Raymond MilhavetR. MilhavetSalmson1.1S-44mechanical
DNF22Herbert BergH BergAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-83mechanical
DNF16Armand HugA. HugBugattiT51A1.5S-81mechanical
Fastest lap: Eddie Hertzberger (MG) in 5m16s = 123.8 km/h (76.9 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 123.2 km/h (76.5 mph)
Weather: cloudy
In retrospect:
Hertzberger's medium speed corresponds to lap times of 5m17.75s. Noticing that the fastest lap time was 5m16s and considering that the first lap usually is a bit slower than the rest, that doesn't give much margin for latitude in the lap times. Either Hertzberger was extremely consistent, doing 5m16s or 5m17s on every lap, or then the time keeper had fallen asleep (and in this case, who could really blame him).



Hans Rüesch (Alfa Romeo)
4 Hans Rüesch
H. Rüesch
Alfa Romeo 8C-35
Arthur Legat (Bugatti)
20 Arthur Legat
A. Legat
Bugatti T35B
Pierre Levegh (Bugatti)
16 Pierre Levegh
P. Bouillin
Bugatti T57


XII GRAND PRIX DES FRONTIÉRES

Chimay (B), 15 May 1937 (Saturday)
10 laps x 10.87 km (6.75 mi) = 108.7 km (67.5 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Ernő FesteticsGraf FesteticsMaserati8CM3.0S-8DNA - did not appear
4Hans RüeschH. RüeschAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8
6Herbert BergH BergAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8DNS - raced in another class
8Guido BarsottiBarsottiAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8DNS - accident
10Henri SimonetH. SimonetAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8DNA - did not appear
12Paul BenazetP. BenazetDelahaye1353.6S-6
14Michel RoumaniM. RoumaniBugattiT35B2.3S-8
16"Levegh"P. BouillinBugattiT573.3S-8
18"Daniell"D. PorthaultDelahaye1353.6S-6
20Arthur LegatA. LegatBugattiT35B2.3S-8
22Léon BougardF. BougardAmilcarCGS1.1S-4



Rüesch dominates again

by Leif Snellman
In the Grand prix class Hans Rüesch totally dominated the race in his 3.8 litre Alfa Romeo. Pierre "Levegh" managed to take second position after a good duel with Artur Legat but then he had to make a pit-stop, leaving over the position to the Belgian.
Entries:
Just like in the 2000cc class several entries never appeared, leaving the field to just seven cars. Of those Herbert Berg was moved to the 2000cc race but instead Belgian Bougard, who had been denied entry in the sports car race, removed the mudguards and headlights from his Amilcar, and was permitted to take part in this race. Favourite was Swiss Hans Rüesch, fresh from his Finnish GP victory, who entered his Alfa Romeo 8C-35, the only relatively modern race car in the event. French driver Michel Roumani and Belgian Artur Legat both entered Bugatti T35Bs, the latter an ex-Georges Bouriano car. Pierre "Levegh" Bouillin entered a stripped Bugatti T57. There were two sports Delahaye 135 Competition Spéciale. N° 46084 was driven by Daniel Porthault under the pseudonym "Daniell" and N° 46625 was entered by Paul Bénazet.
     
Practice:
While trying to avoid another car Italian Guido Barsotti crashed his red Alfa Romeo Monza against a tree. The car was badly damaged and Barsotti was hospitalized for several days. As expected Hans Rüesch was fastest in practice to share the front line of the grid with "Daniell" in a Delahaye.
Race:
After a sports car race that ended in a victory for Ernst Henne in a BMW it was finally time for the race for cars over 2000cc.
Pole Position
18
"Daniell"

Delahaye

4
Rüesch

Alfa Romeo

16
"Levegh"

Bugatti

20
Legat

Bugatti

12
Benazet

Delahaye

14
Roumani

Bugatti

22
Bougard

Amilcar



Rüesch took the start and that was about the last the other competitors saw of him, as he would totally dominate the event in his 3.8 litre Alfa Romeo. "Daniell" held second position at the start but was soon passed by Legat and "Levegh", who then started a good duel with each other. "Levegh" managed to take over second position but then, on lap 7, he had to make a fast pit-stop, leaving back the position to the Belgian Bugatti driver. Rüesch put in a new lap record of 4m49s and took the victory by over 3 1/2 minutes. Bougard had to retire his Amilcar but the other five competitors made it to the flag.
     

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.4Hans RüeschH. RüeschAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-81049m49s
2.20Arthur LegatA. LegatBugattiT35B2.3S-81053m22s+ 3m33s
3.16"Levegh"P. BouillinBugattiT573.3S-81055m12s+ 5m23s
4.18"Daniell"D. PorthaultDelahaye1353.5S-61056m40s+ 6m31s
5.12Paul BenazetP. BenazetDelahaye1353.6S-61058m00s+ 8m11s
6.14Michel RoumaniM. RoumaniBugattiT35B2.3S-81059m14s+ 9m25s
DNF22Léon BougardF. BougardAmilcarCGS1.1S-4??
Fastest lap: Hans Rüesch (Alfa Romeo) in 4m49s = 135,4 km/h (84.1 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 130.9 km/h (81.4 mph)
Weather: cloudy

Star 16 May 1937: The "Grand Prix de Tunisie" sports car race is run in 3 heats of 8 laps at the Carthage circuit.
Results:
1.Raymond SommerTalbot T150C2h01m41.0s
2.René DreyfusDelahaye 135CS2h05m48.6s
3.Laury SchellDelahaye 135CS2h07m48.6s
4.René CarričreDelahaye 135CS2h09m00.4s
5.Joseph PaulDelahaye 135CS2h11m35.8s
6.de Brémond / PerrotDelahaye 135CS2h11m48.8s
Star 16 May 1937: Charles Rigoulot (Chenard & Walcker) wins the "Bol d'Or" 24-hour race at Montlhéry.
Star 17 May 1937: The B.A.R.C. Whitsun Meeting was held at Brooklands.
C. T. Baker-Carr (Bentley 4.4 L) wins the Coronation Race for "The Gold Star" Trophy and J. O. C. Samuel (Frazer-Nash 1.7 L) the Coronation Mountain Handicap. Other handicap races were won by Michael May (Alvis 2.0 L), V. H. Tuson (Fiat 1.0L), G. P. Harvey-Noble (M.G. 0.7 L), S. Mond (Bugatti 1.5L), J. B Wilson (M.G. 0.7 L) and J. P. Almack (Austin Seven 0.7 L).
Star 21 May 1937: Mercedes-Benz showed up for another AVUS test. Besides their regular team members some of their "cadet" drivers were also given a chance to put in some laps.
Star 22 May 1937: The Cork Grand Prix handicap race, run by the Irish Motor Racing Club, was held on the Carrigrohane track, Ireland. Henry Bryce Prestwitch (M.G. Magnette 1.1 L) with a three lap handicap won the race with a time of 2h25m33s from Antony Powys-Lybbe (Alfa Romeo 2.3L) who had an one lap handicap and Charlie Martin (Alfa Romeo 2.9L) who started from scratch. "B. Bira" crashed his Maserati but escaped unhurt. However Cyril Mervyn-White died of brain damage in hospital in Cork on 24th May, after having crashed his ex-Howe Bugatti on 20th May while practicing for the race.
Star 23 May 1937: The "Grand Prix de Bône" sports car race in Algeria is run in two heats.
Results:
1.Jean-Pierre WimilleBugatti T59/57
2.Joseph PaulDelahaye 135CS
3.René CarričreDelahaye 135CS
4.JanninDelahaye 20CV
5.RancurelBugatti



Francesco Severi (Maserati)
16 Francesco Severi
Officine A Maserati
Maserati 6CM
Giovanni Lurani (Maserati)
32 Giovanni Lurani
Scuderia Ambrosiana
Maserati 4CM
Ettore Bianco (Maserati)
10 Ettore Bianco
Officine A Maserati
Maserati 6CM


XXVIII° TARGA FLORIO
(Voiturette 1500cc)

Favorita Park - Palermo (I), 23 May 1937
60 laps x 5.26 km (3.27 mi) = 315.6 km (196.1 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Vincenzo SciandraV. SciandraFiatBalilla1.1S-4
4Giovanni RoccoG. RoccoMaserati6CM1.5S-6
6Franco BertaniGruppo VoltaMaserati4CM1.5S-4
8Ferdinando BarbieriF. BarbieriMaserati4CM1.5S-4
10Ettore BiancoOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-6
12Fabrizio AdragnaF. AdragnaFiatBalilla1.1S-4
14Luigi VilloresiOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-6DNA - did not appear
16Francesco SeveriOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-6
18Giuseppe MatraxiaG. MatraxiaFiatBalilla1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
20Pasquale ContiniP. ContiniMaserati4CM1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
22Francesco ToiaF. ToiaFiatBalilla1.1S-4
24Mario ColiniScuderia ImperoMaserati4CM1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
26Agostino ProsperiA. ProsperiFiatBalilla1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
28Guido "Ninive"G. NiniveBugattiT37A1.5S-4
30Albino FerraraA. FerraraFiatBalilla1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
32Giovanni LuraniScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati4CM1.1S-4
34Vittorio BelmondoV. BelmondoMaserati6CM1.5S-6
36Francesco SiracusaF. SiracusaAlfa Romeo6C-15001.5S-6



Severi wins as Rocco retires

by Leif Snellman
The Targa Florio was held as a voiturette race at Favorita Park in Palermo. Maseratis dominated the all-Italian field. Rocco was fastest at the start and then pulled up a half a minute lead from Bianco and Severi. But a few laps after the halfway pit-stop Rocco was out of the race, leaving Severi and Bianco to fight for the victory. Bianco had to make a long stop for repairs so Severi could win easily. Behind him Barbieri was a late retirement, giving over second position to Count Lurani, with Bianco finishing third.
Huge changes were made to the classic Targa Florio race in the mid 1930s. From 1935 onwards Count Vincenzo Florio himself was no longer involved in organizing the event. In 1936 the character of the race was changed totally as the Formula Libre rules that had encouraged amateurs were replaced by strict 1.5 litre sports cars rules. And finally for 1937, the Targa deserted the Circuito Madione where it had been run since 1919. The Targa Florio, now a shadow of its former greatness, was instead held as a 1.5 litre voiturette race at the "Parco della Favorita" in Palermo in an attempt to attract back the crowd they had lost the years before. The new circuit was quite featureless, running on straight narrow park roads that were surrounded by tight bushes, and circling a little hippodrome in the south-east end of the park where the pits and start/finish line were located. Targa Florio was also the first "Prince of Napels Cup".
Entries:
The all-Italian field included Maseratis, a Bugatti, an Alfa and Fiats. Rocco, Bianco, L. Villoresi and Severi were to start with the 6CM cars making them the clear favourites. Of the 4 cylinder Maseratis Lurani and Colini started in cars with the smaller 1.1 litre engines. Francesco Siracusa was to race a 6 cylinder Alfa, "Ninive" a Bugatti T37A and the field was filled up with small Fiat Balillas.
Practice:
Rocco was fastest in practice to take the position in the middle of the first row with Severi and Bianco being second and third fastest.
Race:

     
Pole Position
10
Bianco

Maserati
2m39.2s

4
Rocco

Maserati
2m38.4s

16
Severi

Maserati
2m38.6s

34
Belmondo

Maserati
2m39.8s

8
Barbieri

Maserati
2m46.0s

36
Siracusa

Alfa Romeo
3m16.8s

28
"Ninive"

Bugatti
?

32
Lurani

Maserati
2m55.6s

22
Toia

Fiat
3m24.0s

6
Bertani

Maserati
3m17.0s

12
Adragna

Fiat
3m44.0s

2
Sciandra

Fiat
3m41.0s



Rocco made an excellent start from his pole position to take the lead from Belmondo, Severi and Bianco. Rocco passed the pits at the end of the first lap some 300m in front of the others. Barbieri stopped to change a spark plug but was fast away again. Belmondo fell behind Severi and Bianco, who started a good fight for second position. Bianco finally managed to pass Severi at the corner after the long "Hercules" avenue. On the seventh lap Rocco set the fastest lap of the day with a time of 2m35.6s. Behind him followed Bianco and Severi in one group and Belmondo, Lurani and Barbieri in another. Belmondo stopped to change a spark plug and to refuel while "Ninive" retired with a broken valve.
      After 20 laps Rocco was leading by 33s with Bianco and Severi still having a tough fight for 2nd and 3rd positions. On the 23rd lap both Rocco and Barbieri made their pit stops. At the same time Severi re-passed Bianco to take the lead of the race. Severi made his stop on lap 25 giving back the lead to Bianco. Rocco was back up to third, 1m09.2s behind the new leader. Meanwhile Adragna had to retire with an engine failure. Race leader Bianco now made his stop for fuel and was away again in 1m34s. But soon afterwards he had to make a 6 minute pit-stop to repair a broken oil pipe and Severi could retake the lead. On the 32rd lap Rocco, who had been second, came back to the pit on foot after a piston had broken on his Maserati. Severi now held a comfortable lead over Barbieri with Lurani third in the 1.1 litre car.
      After 50 laps the order was:
1. Severi (Maserati)2h23m09s
2. Barbieri (Maserati)2h29m40s
3. Lurani (Maserati)2h35m24s

Severi continued to the chequered flag to take an overwhelming victory by a two lap margin. Then with just a few laps to go Barbieri stopped on the back straight and Lurani could take over second position and Bianco ended up third.

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/Status

1.16Francesco SeveriOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-6602h55m49.0s
2.32Giovanni LuraniScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati4CM1.1S-4582h57m28.6s
3.10Ettore BiancoOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-6552h58m46.0s
DNF8Ferdinando BarbieriF. BarbieriMaserati4CM1.5S-454mechanical
DNF6Franco BertaniGruppo VoltaMaserati4CM1.5S-451retired
4.34Vittorio BelmondoV. BelmondoMaserati6CM1.5S-6512h57m23.0s
5.2Vincenzo SciandraV. SciandraFiatBalilla1.1492h58m10.0s
DNF4Giovanni RoccoG. RoccoMaserati6CM1.5S-637piston
DNF12Fabrizio AdragnaF. AdragnaFiatBalilla1.1?
DNF22Francesco ToiaF. ToiaFiatBalilla1.1?
DNF28Guido "Ninive"G. NiniveBugattiT37A1.5S-4?
DNF36Francesco SiracusaF. SiracusaAlfa Romeo6C1.5?
Fastest lap: Rocco (Maserti) on lap 7 in 2m35.6s = 121.7 km/h (75.6 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 107.7 km/h (66.9 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 119.5 km/h (74.3 mph)
Weather: sunny



Charles Martin (ERA)
12 Charles Martin
C. Martin
ERA A
Luigi Platé (Maserati)
14 Luigi Platé
L. Castelbarco
Maserati 4CM
Edoardo Teagno (Maserati)
17 Edoardo Teagno
E. Teagno
Maserati 6CM


VI INTERNATIONALES AVUS RENNEN
(Voiturette 1500cc)

AVUS - Berlin (D), 30 May 1937
7 x 19.286 km (11.984 mi) + 545 m (596 yd) start = 135.547 km (84.225 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

1Ernst Dietrich TroeltschSüddeutsche RenngemeinschaftBugattiT51A1.5S-8
2Hans KesslerSüddeutsche RenngemeinschaftMaserati4CS1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
3Adrian Conan-DoyleA. Conan-DoyleDelageGP1.5S-8DNA - did not appear
4Ciro BasadonnaEcurie HelvetiaMaserati4CM1.5S-4
5Armand HugEcurie HelvetiaBugattiT51A1.5S-8
6Eugen BjørnstadE. BjørnstadERAA1.5S-6
7Franco CorteseScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
8Piero DusioScuderia TorinoMaserati6CM1.5S-6DNA - did not appear
9Fritz GollinSüddeutsche RenngemeinschaftMaserati6CM1.5S-6
10Bobby KohlrauschB. KohlrauschMGCDNA - did not appear
11Gerhard MacherG. MacherZoller1.512DNS - did not start
12Charles MartinC. MartinERAA1.5S-6
14Luigi PlatéL. CastelbarcoMaserati4CM1.5S-4
15Raymond SommerR. SommerMaserati4CM1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
16Luciano UboldiEcurie HelvetiaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
17Edoardo TeagnoE. TeagnoMaserati6CM1.5S-6
18Luigi CastelbarcoL. PlatéTalbot7001.5S-8



Martin plays the tyre game right

by Leif Snellman
The race was run for six laps on the rebuilt Avus circuit. The ERAs of Charles Martin and Eugene Bjørnstad were fastest but Bjørnstad unfamiliar to speed circuits had made the wrong tyre selection and fell back due to two punctures. Saving his tyres Martin was challenged by Franco Cortese (Maserati) until the last lap when Cortese at Südschleife suffered a burst tyre and crashed. That gave Martin the victory half a lap in front of Luigi Platé (Maserati) with Edoardo Teagno (Maserati) finishing third.
There had been no AVUS race in 1936 but in 1937 the event was back on the rebuilt circuit (see the main race account for more details)
Entries:
There were no works cars entered in the AVUS Voiturette race so the race became a fight between private ERA and Maserati drivers but the entry list was still interesting. Favourite was Eugene Bjørnstad with his red ERA (R1A) with its typical white-blue lines over the bonnett while Charles Martin entered a dark green ERA (R3A) that he just had bought from Norman Black. Regarding thr Maserati entries infomation differs as usual but looking at the car appearence from pictures one can see that Gollin's silver car as well as Cortese's and Tegano's cars were 6CMs while Basadonna's white-red car as well as Platé's car were typical 4CMs. Uboldi's car had its own appearance being probably a 4CM with a rebuilt radiator. Hug, teamed up with Basadonna, raced a white-red Bugatti while Troeltsch's Süddeutsche Renngemeinschaft Bugatti was silver colored. Castelbarco raced one of Luigi Platé's rebuilt 1926 Talbot GP cars a.k.a. "Platé Special".
Practice:
Practice took place between Wednesday and Saturday. Fastest was Martin with his new ERA with a time of about 5m50.3s with Teagno second fastest.
Race:
An estimated 380,000 spectators turned up for the event. The stands were packed to capacity and there were huge crowds as the side of the track, outside as well as the infield, especially near the Nordschleife. The event took off with 350cc and 250cc motor cycle races and after that it was the voiturette car's turn. The cars lined up two and two on the grid for the 1:45 p.m. start.
Pole Position
17
Teagno

Maserati

12
Martin

ERA

18
Castelbarco

Talbot

9
Gollin

Maserati

5
Hug

Bugatti

6
Bjørnstad

ERA

14
Platé

Maserati

7
Cortese

Maserati

4
Basadonna

Maserati

16
Uboldi

Maserati

1
Troeltsch

Bugatti

(Note 1)



As the red start light turned yellow and then green Teagno was first away followed by Martin. Martin immediately took over the lead and when the cars returned six minutes later Martin had opened up a 400 m gap and the dark green ERA went around the "wall of death" and away onto the next lap before Cortese, who was second came into view. Following him closely was Bjørnstad in third position and behind him came Platé, Uboldi, Teagno, Hug, Troeltsch, Basadonna and Gollin. Castelbarco's Talbot was already out of the race as the engine refused to start.
      On the second lap Bjørnstad, who was driving flat out passed Cortese for second and begun to close in on Martin. Further back Teagno passed Uboldi for fifth position.
      Martin had hardly any experience with the ERA but he had experience of racing at Brooklands and had selected special track tyres against most of the other competitors, including Bjørnstad. who were using ordinary road racing tyres. On the third lap Bjørnstad pulled into the reserve pit at the south end of the track with his right rear tyre torn to shreds and returned to the race in eight position. Troeltsch had retired his Bugatti after two laps. After three laps the gap between the leading Martin and Cortese was 8 seconds. The ERA was faster on the straights while the independent suspension Maserati was supreme in the two corners.
      The duel between Teagno and Uboldi continued, now for fourth position, due to Bjørnstad puncture. On the fourth lap Uboldi got the upper hand in the fight.
      The race order was thus: Martin, Cortese, Platé, Uboldi, Teagno, Hug, Basadonna, Bjørnstad and Gollin. The last one retired after the fourth lap.
      Cortese managed to pull in the gap to Martin, who was trying to save the tyres and after five laps the cars were just a second apart.
      On the sixth lap Bjørnstad burst another tyre. Martin started to pull away again and even if Cortese put in a 5m55 lap the gap was up to four seconds as they went out for the last lap. It was only Martin that returned. In the Südschleife Cortese's worn tyres could not stand it anymore. One of them burst and Cortese spun and crashed.
      Martin took the flag, having a half a lap lead over Platé who now was second with his 4 cylinder car. Teagno finished third after having had a spin in the Südschleife himself. Uboldi was fourth, Hug fifth, Basadonna was classified sixth and Bjørnstad managed to limp in somehow, seventh and last . His ice racing technique and road racing tyres was not a winning combination on the brick surfaced banked circuit.
      Still sitting in the car Martin recieved a huge victor's laurel wreat by NSKK-Korpsführer Hühnlein. According to "The Autocar" Martin was quite overcome by the event that would be the highlight of his racing career, being cheered by 380,000 spectators. As best non-German of the weekend Martin could also carry home a giant extra trophy that he recieved from Joseph Goebbels.
      It was to be the last voiturette race in Germany before the war. The organizers were from now on encouraged to promote races in the GP and sports car classes only.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.12Charles MartinC. MartinERAA1.5S-6742m13.0s
2.14Luigi PlatéL. CastelbarcoMaserati4CM1.5S-4745m05.4s+ 3m52.4s
3.17Edoardo TeagnoE. TeagnoMaserati6CM1.5S-6745m30.2s+ 4m17.2s
4.16Luciano UboldiEcurie HelvetiaMaserati4CM1.5S-4745m47.8s+ 3m34.8s
5.5Armand HugA. HugBugattiT51A1.5S-8747m15.2s+ 5m02.2s
NC7Franco CorteseF. CorteseMaserati6CM1.5S-66crash
6.4Ciro BasadonnaC. BasadonnaMaserati4CM1.5S-4642m22.2s
7.6Eugen BjørnstadE. BjørnstadERAA1.5S-6650m01.0s
DNF9Fritz GollinF. GollinMaserati6CM1.5S-64
DNF1Ernst Dietrich TroeltschE. TroeltschBugattiT51A1.5S-82
DNF18Luigi CastelbarcoL. CastelbarcoTalbot7001.5S-80mechanical
Fastest lap: Charles Martin (ERA) on lap 7 in 5m51.2s = 197.6 km/h (122.8 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 192.6 km/h (119.7 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 198.2 km/h (123.1 mph)
Weather: sunny, hot



Hermann Lang (Mercedes-Benz)
37 Hermann Lang
Daimler-Benz AG
Mercedes-Benz W125
Ernst von Delius (Auto Union)
32 Ernst von Delius
Auto Union AG
Auto Union C
Rudolf Hasse (Auto Union)
34 Rudolf Hasse
Auto Union AG
Auto Union C


VI INTERNATIONALES AVUS RENNEN

AVUS - Berlin (D), 30 May 1937
2 x heats of 7 laps x 19.286 km (11.984 mi ) + 545 m (596 yd) start = 135.55 km (84.23 mi)
Final of 8 laps x 19.286 km (11.984 mi ) + 545 m (596 yd) start = 154.83 km (96.21 mi)





No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

31Bernd RosemeyerAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16streamliner
32Ernst von DeliusAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16
33Luigi FagioliAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16streamliner
34Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16
35Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8streamliner
36Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW25K-DAB5.6V-12streamliner
37Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW25K-M1255.7S-8streamliner (long model)
38Richard SeamanDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8
39Goffredo ZehenderDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW25K-DAB5.6V-12DNS - car not ready
40Tazio NuvolariScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo 12C-364.1V-12DNA - withdrawn
41Antonio BrivioScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo 12C-364.1V-12DNA - withdrawn
42Giuseppe FarinaScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo 12C-364.1V-12DNA - withdrawn
43T. Cholmondeley-TapperT. Cholmondeley-TapperMaserati8CM3.0S-8DNA - did not appear
44Renato BalestreroR. BalestreroAlfa RomeoTipo B/P3S-8
45Ettore BiancoE. BiancoMaserati8CM3.0S-8DNS
46?DNA - did not appear
47László HartmannL. HartmannMaserati8CM3.0S-8
48Luigi SoffiettiL. SoffiettiMaserati8CM3.0S-86C-34?



The fastest race

There had been no AVUS race in 1936 but in 1937 the event was back on the rebuilt track. A prominent feature was now the new Nordschleife with its a massive "wall of death," banked at 43,6 degrees enabling higher lap speeds than before and replacing the old sweeping turn at the north end.
      Because of the two long straight runs the Avus was the only track in the world, which made it possible for a racing car to really demonstrate its end speed. The Avus already had established itself as the fastest track in the world, when Fagioli won for the 1935 race at 238.5 km/h, faster than Indianapolis at 175.5 km/h in 1936, Tripolis at 213.5 km/h in 1937 or Brooklands with Cobb's 230.8 km/h lap record.
      The event was to be run in two seven laps heats with the four best from each heat going to the final. Change of drivers during the race was forbidden.
Entries:
Stuck had taken an Auto Union car to the Rio de Janeiro GP, missing both the AVUS and Eifelrennen, but most other drivers of the German teams were present. Both teams had done a tremendous amount of work for just this Formula Libre race, building special streamliners, developed from their speed record cars. The teams had also done several pre-race test sessions (test 1, test 2, test 3). The result was the most spectacular entry of sheer speed in the pre-war era.
      Auto Union entered two rebuilt speed record cars and two normal type C cars. Caracciola raced the new streamliner based upon both the speed record car and the 1937 GP car. Von Brauchitsch had a 1936 car rebuilt to a streamliner with Mercedes' infamous 700HP V12 DAB engine making its race debut. Zehender had another of the W25 - V12 combinations, this one with a normal body. Lang had a 1936 speed record car rebuilt with a long wheelbase and a straight 8 engine. Because of concerns that the streamlined bodies could increase to tyre wear due to weight and overheating, Mercedes also entered a normal 1937 GP car to be driven by Seaman. That car had 25 km/h lower top speed than the streamliners. The field was filled up by a private Alfa Romeo and two Maseratis.
     
Practice:
Lang's streamliner was fitted with covers over the wheels and while doing 390 km/h on the straight air became trapped under the car and the front wheels lifted from the ground! Luckily the driver kept calm and finally managed to bring the wheels back down. A shaken Lang demanded the wheel covers to be removed before the race. Zehender missed his opportunity to make his Mercedes debut as he blew up the 12 cylinder DAB engine.
      During practice Rosemeyer did a 4:04.2 lap (284.31km/h - 176.7mph!) but the best official time and pole went to Fagioli with 4:08.2. Before the practice Neubauer had told the organizers that if Fagioli and Caracciola were drawn in the same heat Mercedes would not race! (see Tripoli) Fortunately as Fagioli was fastest and Caracciola only fourth fastest there was no such problem.
     
Heat 1:
The National Socialists of course turned the international Avusrennen into a great propaganda show. The event stood under the patronage of Propaganda Minister Dr. Goebbels and the NSSK-Motor Brigade Berlin was ordered to carry out the race.
      With a wonderful weather a crowd of 300,000-400,000 had gathered at Berlin AVUS in the Grunewald for the race, a race that has become to stand as a symbol of the whole racing era. After seeing Martin win the Voiturette class it was time for the big cars. The race was held in two seven lap heats plus an eight lap final. Driver changes were not allowed between heats and final. Substantial money awards were waiting for the drivers with an unusual high amount of a total 36200 Reichs Mark available. The winner of the race would get 12000 RM for winning the final, provided he also won his heat. The winners of the heats would get 2000 RM, second place 1000 RM.
      There had been much speculation about the tyres, and the teams were prepared for a pitstop after 3 laps.
      At 3 PM the 5 cars lined up.
Pole Position
35
Caracciola

Mercedes-Benz-S
4m15.2s

31
Rosemeyer

Auto Union-S
4m09.2s

38
Seaman

Mercedes-Benz
4m29.4s

32
von Delius

Auto Union
4m25.2s

44
Balestrero

Alfa Romeo

*


* 39 Zehender (Mercedes-Benz) DNS



The lighter GP cars got the best start, von Delius taking the lead followed by Seaman. Then came the streamliners and passed the GP cars on the straight only to be re-passed in the Südschliefe where the GP cars had the edge. After one lap, Von Delius had opened up a 6 second lead from Seaman, Rosemeyer and Caracciola. Balerstero's Alfa was already 1:47 behind!
      Now it was time for Rosemeyer with his streamliner to pass the others on the straight and take the lead. When they came through the North Turn von Delius, in the faster cornering car, tried to regain first place from Rosemeyer without success. After two laps, Rosemeyer was leading with von Delius and Seaman following closely and with Caracciola 4 seconds behind. The situation was the same on lap three but on lap four Caracciola put his streamliner up into second place. All cars were still in contact with each other except for Balestero, who already had been lapped.
      The race had started at a low pace to save the tyres with lap times from 5 min. down to 4 min. 40 s but on lap 5 the real race began between Rosemeyer and Caracciola, the latter taking the lead by outbraking Rosemeyer in great style in front of the Nordkurve and the lap times dropped to 4:33. The mass of spectators jumped from their seats in excitement as the streamlined cars passed and re-passed each other up to 5 times per lap using slipstream maneuvers at 380 km/h on the straights, the drivers skillfully balancing their cars through the dangerous Nordschleife at 180 km/h.
      During lap 6 the times dropped to 4:27 but von Delius and Seaman were still able to hang on. As the last lap started, the four cars were only 3 seconds apart with Caracciola leading. But then the race was only between Caracciola and Rosemeyer, both driving flat out, leaving the GP cars behind. Rosemeyer gained on Caracciola and into the Nordschliefe they went side by side, the Auto Union low, the Mercedes very high. With the gained momentum Caracciola slung the car over the line 0.7 seconds in front of Rosemeyer.
      No driver had made any pitstops during the race, the slow start having saved the tyres.
      Rosemeyer's car was running on only 13 cylinders and the driver's goggles were almost unusable due to oil. Even then he had done the last lap on an incredible 4:11.2. With 276.39 km/h (171.78 mph) that is the fastest lap EVER done in a formula race and it would take 34 years before such speeds were seen at INDY 500.(Note 2)

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.35Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8732m29.3s
2.31Bernd RosemeyerAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16732m30.0s+ 0.7s
3.32Ernst von DeliusAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16732m37.4s+ 7.9s
4.38Richard SeamanDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8732m48.8s+ 19.1s
5.44Renato BalestreroR. BalestreroAlfa RomeoTipo B/P3S-8533m30.3s
Fastest lap: Bernd Rosemeyer (Auto Union) on lap 7 in 4m11.2s = 276.39 km/h (171.74 mph)
Winner's medium speed:
Pole position lap speed: 278.61 km/h (173.12 mph)
Weather:
Heat 2:

     
Pole Position
36
Brauchitsch

Mercedes-Benz-S
4m12.4s

33
Fagioli

Auto Union-S
4m08.2s

34
Hasse

Auto Union
4m20.0s

37
Lang

Mercedes-Benz-S
4m19.1s

48
Soffietti

Maserati

47
L Hartmann

Maserati



At 3:50 PM the second heat started. This heat opened in a much more fierce and faster tempo than the first. Hasse in the GP car took the lead but Fagioli passed him before the Nordschleife and did the first lap in 4:40.1. Lang, Hasse and von Brauchitsch followed closely, Hartmann was 1 1/2 minute behind and poor Soffietti almost 2 min. behind. On leaving the "wall of death" Fagioli brushed the grassy right edge, throwing up a cloud of dust to the excitement of the huge crowd. Fagioli now got gear shift problems and von Brauchitsch led after 2 laps followed by the others, the times already down to 4:22!
      Lang was the next leader doing the third lap in 4:17.2 and now Hasse was unable to follow, falling 14 seconds behind in his GP car. After three laps Soffietti was already one lap behind!
      On lap four the three streamliners were still close together but now the pace took its toll. After having done a 4.17.0 Fagioli retired with a jamming shift lever caused by a faulty transmission and Lang had a high speed tyre blow out. Fortunately the car remained stable at high speed, only when Lang braked for the South Turn emergency depot for a wheel change did he have trouble.
      Von Brauchitsch was now alone in the lead, slowing down to 4:26 on the next lap. Hasse and Seaman followed 38 s and 73 s behind respectively. On lap six Soffietti was lapped for the second time doing 7 minutes laps against 4:42 for the Mercedes driver. Hasse had closed the gap to 26s and Lang to 45 s.
      Von Brauchitsch calmly took the flag after the 7th lap but 20 seconds behind him there was a drama. Lang's last lap was almost down to Rosemeyer's top time in the first heat and he caught Hasse in the Nordschleife putting the Mercedes near the left rear wheel of the Auto Union. Coming out from the curve Hasse pulled his car to the left and Lang had to stand on the brakes to avoid a catastrophe. Later Hasse apologized and explained he just had not seen the Mercedes. Fourth was Hartmann who had also had a moment in the banked section as the Hungarian had drifted right over the upper white line, touching the top vertical lip and was thrown down the banking, miraculously pulling his car out of this power dive.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/Status

1.36Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW25K-DAB5.6731m32.6s???
2.34Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16731m50.0s+ 21.1s
3.37Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW25K-M1255.7S-8731m53.4s+ 21.7s
4.47László HartmannL. HartmannMaserati8CM3.0S-8636m53.2s
5.48Luigi SoffiettiL. SoffiettiMaserati8CM3.0S-8534m40.1s
DNF33Luigi FagioliAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-164transmission
Fastest lap: Hermann Lang (Mercedes-Benz) on lap 7 in 4m11.2s = 276.39 km/h (171.74 mph)
                  or Manfred von Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz) 4m08s?
Winner's medium speed:
Pole position lap speed: 279.73 km/h (173.82 mph)
Weather:
Final:

     
Pole Position
35
Caracciola

Mercedes-Benz-S

36
Brauchitsch

Mercedes-Benz-S

31
Rosemeyer

Auto Union-S

37
Lang

Mercedes-Benz-S

32
von Delius

Auto Union

34
Hasse

Auto Union

47
L Hartmann

Maserati

38
Seaman

Mercedes-Benz

  v Delius - Hasse possibly in other order



A protest from Neubauer had been accepted and Hasse was placed behind Lang on the grid.
      Auto Union mechanic Ludwig Sebastian had not been able to replace the cylinder head gasket on Rosemeyer's car in the two hours interval between heat and final. Rosemeyer, running on 13 cylinders, was therefore already handicapped before the start.
      When the final started at 5.45 PM the strategy of the Mercedes team was clear. Caracciola and Seaman should go flat out and do a pitstop. The others should try to do a non stop race. So Caracciola immediately took control of the race and tried to open up a gap. After only half a lap von Brauchitsch came slowely rolling and parked his Mercedes on the grass medium opposide the pits. Inside the streamliner it was so hot that an oil line soldered to the gearbox had come loose as the solder melted.
      Caracciola led the first lap doing a 4:33, Rosemeyer was leading the rest of the field 8 seconds behind. On the second lap the pace was already down to 4:19. The situation was as before: Caracciola, then Rosemeyer, Lang, Seaman, von Delius and Hasse together and Hartmann's Maserati 3 1/2 minutes behind.
      But now Rosemeyer had already destroyed his tyres and had to make a stop for a new right rear tyre at the emergency depot in the South Loop, Lang taking over the chase. Seaman kept up with Lang by going flat out, loosing on the straight and gaining in the corners. Lang's heavy streamliner was about 40 km/h faster on the straight, but Seaman in the lighter open car was able to brake later. Lap three went in 4:18 but then suddenly Caracciola retired with the same problem as von Brauchitsch earlier.
      Now Lang was the first one over the line followed by von Delius. 18 seconds behind them came Hasse and Seaman, then Hartmann, who was a lap down, and last Rosemeyer, 1 minute behind. Seaman, who had to go flat trying too keep the pace of the streamliner, got two thrown treads on his tyres and had to do a pitstop.
      Lang was trying to calm down the tempo. Lap four went in 4:21, lap five in 4:25. Von Delius was still trying to follow the leader and Hasse was a comfortable third and Rosemeyer was fourth with Seaman catching fast.
      Lang did the sixth and seventh lap in 4:28 keeping a 6 seconds lead and he easily held off von Delius' last 4:18 lap challenge to take the victory at the fastest race ever run so far. For the three last laps there was a fight between Rosemeyer and Seaman for the fourth place. The fight was decided when Seaman destroyed his tyres once again.
      Lang had been lucky, his Mercedes car had the latest type of gearbox, with no soldering! He split the high cash awards equally among his team drivers, a customary thing for the Mercedes team drivers.
      Totally oiled up from the broken engine Rosemeyer had to be lifted out of his car. His wife, right away washed his overall and shirt in gasoline to make Bernd look halfway decent. Meanwhile Tazio Nuvolari, as guest in the Auto Union pits, took pictures with his camera of of his friend Bernd dressed only in underpants.
      It had been the fastest race ever and it remained so until the 1958 Monza 500 mile race.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/Status

1.37Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW25K-M1255.7S-8835m30.2s??
2.32Ernst von DeliusAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16835m32.4s+ 2.0s
3.34Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16836m06.2s+ 36.0s
4.31Bernd RosemeyerAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16836m37.0s+ 1:06.8s
5.38Richard SeamanDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8836m50.4s+ 1:20.0s
6.47László HartmannL. HartmannMaserati8CM3.0S-8636m50.2s
DNF35Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-83gearbox
DNF36Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW25K-DAB5.6V-120gearbox
Fastest lap: Bernd Rosemeyer (Auto Union) in 4m17.4s = 269.73 km/h (167.61 mph)
Winner's medium speed:
Weather:

Footnote:
1. Grid reconstructed from picture evidence (with thanks to Simon Davis) and should be correct.

2. Peter Revson took the INDY pole in 1971 with 287.52 km/h (178.696) mph.

Special thanks to:
Vladislav Shaikhnurov



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© 2022 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt, Felix Muelas - Last updated: 04.08.2022