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Bernd Rosemeyer - Auto UnionRudolf Caracciola - Mercedes-BenzManfred von Brauchitsch - Mercedes-Benz

XI ADAC EIFELRENNEN

Nürburgring (D), 13 June 1937
10 laps x 22.810 km (14.173 mi) = 228.10 km (141.73 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

1Bernd RosemeyerAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16
2Ernst von DeliusAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16
3Luigi FagioliAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16DNS - illness
4Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16
5Hermann MüllerAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16
6Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8
7Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8
8Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8
9Richard SeamanDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8
10Christian KautzDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8
11Tazio NuvolariScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12
12Giuseppe FarinaScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12
14XScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12DNA - did not appear
15Luigi SoffiettiL. SoffiettiMaserati6C-343.7S-6
16László HartmannL. HartmannMaserati8CM3.0S-8
17Henri SimonetH. SimonetAlfa RomeoTipo B2.9S-8DNA - did not appear
18Hans RüeschH. RüeschAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8
19Renato BalestreroR. BalestreroAlfa RomeoTipo B P32.9S-8
20Franco CorteseF. CorteseMaserati6CM1.5S-6DNA - did not appear
21Adolfo MandirolaEcurie GenevoiseMaserati8CM3.0S-8
22Paul PietschP. PietschMaserati6C-343.7S-6DNA - did not appear
23Ernõ FesteticsGraf FesteticsMaserati8CM3.0S-8
24Guglielmo CarraroliG. CarraroliAlfa Romeo2900A2.9S-8


Rosemeyer's third consecutive Nürburgring victory.
Rosemeyer took the start, only to be passed by Caracciola's Mercedes. Rosemeyer then retook the lead on the third lap. After a tremendous duel with Caracciola Rosemeyer managed to open up a gap after the pit stops. Caracciola tried his best but on this track he could do nothing against Rosemeyer, who took his third Nürburgring victory in a row.
Entries:
Both German teams had of course a full five car entry for the Eifelrennen.
      Auto Union was much depending on Bernd Rosemeyer with Rudolf Hasse as second driver as Hans Stuck was in South America and Luigi Fagioli was suffering from rheumatism and had to miss the race, spending his time at a spa in Venice instead. He would not race again until Coppa Acerbo two months later. Ernst von Delius was to start but he was in pain and a bit shaken by the test crash one week earlier when he got hit by a sparrow. Motorcycle racer Hermann Müller made his Auto Union race debut.
      Daimler-Benz entered five cars to be driven by their regular drivers Rudolf Caracciola, Manfred von Brauchitsch and Hermann Lang and by junior drivers Richard Seaman and Christian Kautz. Kautz made his racing debut with the team in a car fitted with the new experimental suction carburettor supercharger system.
      Scuderia Ferrari entered two 12 cylinder cars for Tazio Nuvolari and Giuseppe Farina.
      The rest of the entries were also-runners with no chance for a top position. Hans Rüesch entered his Alfa Romeo 8C-35 with the same appearance as it had had at Helsinki, red with a white oval surrounding the radiator. Renato Balestrero was to race his Tipo B P3 colored with a white front part and dark rear part. Guglielmo Carraroli was to race an Alfa Romeo 2900A sports car.
      Lazlo Hartmann was there with his Maserati 8CM painted in Hungarian red-white-green as was Soffietti with his narrow nosed Maserati 6C-34. Mandirola entered a Maserati 8CM painted in the Swiss colors, red with white bonnet, and Hungarian Count Festetics was also to race an 8CM.
Practice:
Instead of the usual rain and fog Nürburgring was hit by a heat wave with 35°C (95°F) during Friday practice! Rosemeyer was fastest in practice and took pole position with a time of 9m57s, being 3 seconds slower than during the pre-race test. He was joined in the front row by von Brauchitsch and Caracciola.
      There were problems with von Brauchitsch's car and he had to take over Seaman's. A new car for Seaman was sent from Stuttgart and it arrived on Saturday night on a special built fast going lorry.
Race:
At dawn the weather did not look too good but it improved with the sun eventually breaking through the clouds. An estimated 300,000 spectators turned up for the event.
      The event started off as early as 8 o'clock with two motorcycle races with entries in several classes. It was followed by a five lap sports car race, in which some 31 cars in 6 classes took part. The overall winner was Indian-British driver Alfred Fane (Agabeg) in a Frazer Nash-BMW 328 with an overall time of 1h03m05.6s. Ex-Mercedes driver Henne tried to challenge Fane but he crashed at Hocheichen and injured a shoulder. After the race Fane did a lap of honor with Korpsführer Hühnlein as a passenger.
      After that it was finally time for the racing cars. As this was only a ten lap race, less than half the distance for the German Grand Prix, no refueling was needed. Herr Dietrich of Continental, which delivered the tyres to the German teams, expected that doing lap times below 10m20s meant that the rear tyres had to be changed at half distance.
      Unlike the sports cars, which had used a 4-3-4 grid, the Grand Prix cars were lined up in 3-2-3 formation:
Pole Position
6
Caracciola

Mercedes-Benz


8
Brauchitsch

Mercedes-Benz
~10m05.6s

1
Rosemeyer

Auto Union
9m57.6s

4
Hasse

Mercedes-Benz

7
Lang

Mercedes-Benz

12
Farina

Alfa Romeo

11
Nuvolari

Alfa Romeo

2
von Delius

Auto Union

5
Müller

Mercedes-Benz

10
Kautz

Mercedes-Benz

16
L Hartmann

Maserati

9
Seaman

Mercedes-Benz

18
Rüesch

Alfa Romeo

15
Soffietti

Maserati

24
Carraroli

Alfa Romeo

20
Mandirola

Maserati

19
Balestrero

Alfa Romeo

23
Festetics

Maserati



The race was started with red-amber-green lights. On the grid several cars kept moving forward and when the amber light turned to green Nuvolari's Alfa had already almost reached the front line. Rosemeyer took the lead, only to be passed at the back straight between Südkehre and Tribunenkurve by Caracciola's Mercedes. Spectators at the main stand got reports from the Karussel indicating that Caracciola was leading there by two seconds. The last reporting station was at Galgenkopf at the start of the main straight and there Caracciola held on to his lead.
      The first lap finished with seven German cars at the top. Caracciola was leading by 5 seconds after having done the first lap with a standing start in 10m13.4s. He was followed by Rosemeyer, von Brauchitsch, Lang, von Delius, Seaman and Hasse. Nuvolari was the first Alfa driver in eighth place.
      On the second lap Seaman had to retire at Fuchsröhre with fuel feed problems. Rosemeyer did the second lap in 9m58.8s. Rosemeyer was now challenging Caracciola and managed to pass him for the lead only to be re-passed. Starting the third lap Caracciola was leading by 1.4 seconds. Then after a tremendous duel between the Mercedes-Benz and the Auto Union drivers, Rosemeyer took the lead at Aremberg, passing Caracciola on the outside in the corner, and started to open up the gap to the Mercedes cars of Caracciola and von Brauchitsch. The rest of the cars, led by Lang, were already far behind. Meanwhile Kautz did a low profile race with his new experimental Mercedes. He pitted with his car leaking oil but was sent out again.
      After five laps the pit stops started with Caracciola coming in first with his left rear tyre worn down to the canvas and he was soon followed by von Brauchitsch. The Mercedes mechanics worked 38 seconds on Caracciola's car and 35 or 36 seconds on von Brauchitsch's car and then they were away again, holding on to their positions.
      Order at half point:
1. Rosemeyer (Auto Union)
2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)
3. von Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)
4. Lang (Mercedes-Benz)
5. Hasse (Auto Union)
6. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)
7. Rüesch (Alfa Romeo)
8. Müller (Auto Union)

On the sixth lap it was Rosemeyer's and Lang's turn to change rear tyres. The Auto Union mechanics did a record job sending Rosemeyer back after only 25 seconds, Lang's pit stop taking 45 seconds. The Auto Union mechanics were sent out from the pit to receive applause from the spectators. (Note 1)
      Because of the fast pit stop and Caracciola's earlier tyre trouble Rosemeyer was now leading Caracciola by 45 seconds. So Rosemeyer could ease up, just concentrating on keeping the gap. Von Brauchitsch was still third, Hasse cruising to save tyres fourth and Nuvolari fifth, making an excellent effort as usual.
      On the seventh lap Lang was back in the pit to change his wet plugs and lost two places to Hasse and Nuvolari. All Mercedes cars had plug problems during the race because of the fuel pump, which either gave too much fuel or did not work at all.
      Hasse made a late stop on the 8th lap to change rear tyres just in case, but with the car already up on the jack the team, noticing the tyres looked ok, frantically signaled him to continue as Nuvolari was approaching fast. Hasse got off the jack and rejoined the race just behind Nuvolari. On the back straight behind the pits the Alfa Romeo driver waved the faster Auto Union by, a gesture much appreciated by the crowd.
      Farina retired around lap 8 with engine trouble. Already gone were Festetics, Mandirola and Balestrero.
      Rüesch was the fastest privateer, working hard to keep newcomer Müller behind.
      But no one could do anything against Rosemeyer, who after having done 10m10s laps speeded up a bit on the last lap, doing a 10m03s to win by some 50 seconds and receiving an enthusiastic welcome by the team as well as by the spectators. Rosemeyer took his third consecutive Nürburgring victory calmly. The Eifelrennen was after all raced on the 13th of June and 13 was Rosemeyers's lucky number.
      The Auto Union success interrupted the line of victories Mercedes had had during the first part of the season. Caracciola and von Brauchitsch finished second and third. Hasse finished fourth, having to save the tyres, and Nuvolari fifth receiving a great ovation, the Mantuan always being popular by the Nürburgring crowd. Lang was sixth having done the later part on the race on 7 cylinders.
      Hans Rüesch in his Alfa Romeo was the first privateer to take the flag in a very honorable eighth position before newcomers Kautz, and Müller.
      After the race the engine on Rosemeyer's Auto Union was removed from the car and sealed, as it was to be used for a planned speed record attempt.

      Fastest laps: Rosemeyer 9m58.4s, Caracciola 10m02.1s, von Brauchitsch 10m02.2s, Lang 10m25.0s, Hasse 10m26.1s, Nuvolari 10m26.2s.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.1Bernd RosemeyerAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16101h42m11.1s(Note 2)
2.6Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8101h43m01.4s+ 50.3s
3.8Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8101h43m56.4s+ 1m45.3s
4.4Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16101h45m35.0s+ 3m23.9s
5.11Tazio NuvolariScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.0V-12101h45m46.0s+ 3m34.9s
6.7Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8101h48m06.1s+ 5m55.0s
7.5Hermann MüllerAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16101h48m35.1s+ 6m24.0s
8.18Hans RüeschH. RüeschAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8101h48m44.1s+ 6m33.0s
9.10Christian KautzDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8101h49m38.4s+ 7m27.3s
10.2Ernst von DeliusAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16101h50m43.3s+ 8m32.2s
11.15Luigi SoffiettiL. SoffiettiMaserati6C-343.7S-69
12.16László HartmannL. HartmannMaserati8CM3.0S-89
DNF12Giuseppe FarinaScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.0V-12
DNF19Renato BalestreroR. BalestreroAlfa RomeoTipo B P32.9S-8
DNF21Adolfo MandirolaEcurie GenevoiseMaserati8CM3.0S-8
DNF23Ernõ FesteticsGraf FesteticsMaserati8CM3.0S-8
DNF24Guglielmo CarraroliG. CarraroliAlfa Romeo2900A2.9S-8
DNF9Richard SeamanDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-81fuel feed
Fastest lap: Bernd Rosemeyer (Auto Union) in 9m58.4s = 137.1 km/h (85.2 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 133.9 km/h (83.2 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 137.5 km/h (85.5 mph)
Weather: nice and sunny
In retrospect:
At the post race party the question about the Vanderbilt Cup came up. Elly Rosemeyer was hesitating to follow her husband on the long and very costly journey twice over the Atlantic Ocean for just a race weekend (she was pregnant as well). Doktor Richard Bruhn, Chairman of Auto Union, who fully understood that Elly's presence had a positive influence on Bernd's driving, declared that Auto Union of course would pay her ticket.

Footnote:
1. It must have been a memorable moment for the team as chief mechanic Ludwig Sebastian even begins his biography with this pit stop.

2. There are altenative results in the British papers, where the decimals were recognized as 1/5 seconds instead of 1/10s i.e 1h42m11.1s would mean 1h42m11 1/5s = 1h42m11.2s etc. including the fastest lap which in this case would be 9m58.8s instead. As none of the original Eifelrennen results (including sports cars and motor cycles) have decimals higher than 4 there might indeed have been a mistake in the initial results service.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
Il Littoriale, Roma
La Stampa, Torino
Le Figaro, Paris
Motor Sport, London
Motorwelt (DDAC), München
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
The Autocar, London
Books:
Elly Beinhorn - Bernd Rosenmeyer - Mein Mann der Rennfahrer
George Monkhouse - Motor racing with Mercedes-Benz
Ludwig Sebastian - Hinter dröhnenden Motoren

Star 19 June 1937: Rudolf Caracciola married Alice "Baby" Hoffman-Trobeck, who worked as Mercedes timekeeper. When Chiron, who had been dating "Baby" for years, heared the news he was furious, but had only himself to blame as he several times had refused her suggestions to get married.
Star 19-20 June 1937: Wimille/Benoist (Bugatti) wins the "Les 24 Heures du Mans" race on the Circuit de la Sarthe in France. Early in the race seven cars were involved in a chain collision at White House. Both René Kippeurt (Bugatti) and ERA's works driver Pat Fairfield (Frazer Nash-BMW) received fatal wounds and "Raph" (BMW) was badly injured while Fritz Roth (BMW), Raoul Forestier (Riley), and Jean Tremoulet (Delahaye) only recieved minor injuries. (Results)



Eugenio Siena - MaseratiAldo Marazza - MaseratiFranco Cortese - Maserati

II° CIRCUITO DI MILANO
(Voiturette 1500cc)

Sempione Park - Milano (I), 20 June 1937
50 laps x 2.4 km (1.49 mi) = 120 km (74.6 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Ettore BiancoE. BiancoMaserati1.5DNA - did not appear
4Reggie TongueR. TongueERAB1.5S-6
6Aldo MarazzaA. MarazzaMaserati4CS1.5
8Giovanni LuraniScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati4CM1.1S-4
10Eugenio SienaE. SienaMaserati4CM1.5S-4
12Francesco SeveriScuderia MaremmanaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
14John WakefieldJ. WakefieldMaserati6CM1.5S-6
16Ferdinando RighettiF. RighettiMaserati4CM1.5S-4
18Pino BaruffiGruppo VoltaMaserati4CM1.5S-4
20Ferdinando BarbieriScuderia MaremmanaMaserati1.5DNA - did not appear
22Luigi VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
24Sergio CarnevalliGruppo VoltaMB
26Giuseppe GileraG. GileraMaserati1.5DNS - did not start
30Luciano UboldiL. UboldiMaserati1.5DNA - did not appear
32Eugenio MinettiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati4CM1.5S-4
34"B Bira""B Bira"ERAB1.5S-6
36Vittorio BelmondoV. BelmondoMaserati4CM1.5S-4
38Giovanni RoccoG. RoccoMaserati6CM1.5S-6
40Luigi CastelbarcoL PlatéTalbot
42Franco CorteseScuderia MaremmanaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
48Gianbattista AzziG. AzziMaserati4CM1.5S-4
50Gino RovereOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-6
52Emilio VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
54Peter WhiteheadP. WhiteheadERAB1.5S-6



Eugenio Siena scores
Once again it was 3 private ERAs against a field of Maseratis. This time the Maseratis took command from the start with Severi leading from Rovere and Siena. However, both Severi and Rovene were soon in trouble leaving Siena to win. Marazza once again did a fine job in his old 4CS car.
Entries:

     
Practice:

     
Race:

     
Pole Position
12
Severi

Maserati

50
Rovere

Maserati

10
Siena

Maserati

52
E Villoresi

Maserati

6
Marazza

Maserati

42
Cortese

Maserati

38
Rocco

Maserati

34
"B Bira"

ERA

22
L Villoresi

Maserati

24
Carnevalli

MB

14
Wakefield

Maserati

4
Tongue

ERA

16
Righetti

Maserati

8
Lurani

Maserati

36
Belmondo

Maserati

32
Minetti

Maserati

*



40
Castelbarco

Talbot

48
Azzi

Maserati

54
Whitehead

ERA

18
Baruffi

Maserati

* 26 Gilera (Maserati) DNS



Once again it was 3 private ERAs against a field of Maseratis. This time the Maseratis took command from the start with Severi leading from Rovere and Siena. However, both Severi and Rovene were soon in trouble leaving Siena to win. Marazza once again did a fine job in his old 4CS car.
     

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.10Eugenio SienaE. SienaMaserati4CM1.5S-4501h13m02.95s 
2.6Aldo MarazzaA. MarazzaMaserati4CS1.5501h13m35.64s+ 32.69s
3.42Franco CorteseScuderia MaremmanaMaserati6CM1.5S-6501h13m44.03s+ 41.08s
4.4Reggie TongueR. TongueERAB1.5S-6501h14m50.03s+ 1m47.35s
5.36Vittorio BelmondoV. BelmondoMaserati4CM1.5S-4501h15m39.31s+ 2m36.36s
6.22Luigi VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6501h16m40.70s+ 3m37.75s
7.12Francesco SeveriScuderia MaremmanaMaserati6CM1.5S-6501h17m08.54s+ 4m05.59s
8.54Peter WhiteheadP. WhiteheadERAB1.5S-6501h17m35.34s+ 4m32.39s
9.16Ferdinando RighettiF. RighettiMaserati4CM1.5S-4501h18m27.66s+ 5m24.71s
10.14John WakefieldJ. WakefieldMaserati6CM1.5S-6501h19m13.29s+ 6m11.34s
11.8Giovanni LuraniScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati4CM1.1S-4471h17m36.41s 
12.18Pino BaruffiGruppo VoltaMaserati4CM1.5S-4461h17m05.10s 
DNF32Eugenio MinettiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati4CM1.5S-435 
DNF52Emilio VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-625 
DNF24Sergio CarnevalliGruppo VoltaMB29  
DNF50Gino RovereOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-622engine 
DNF34"B Bira""B Bira"ERAB1.5S-620engine 
DNF40Luigi CastelbarcoL PlatéTalbot5  
DNF38Giovanni RoccoG. RoccoMaserati6CM1.5S-64  
DNF48Gianbattista AzziG. AzziMaserati4CM1.5S-43  
Fastest lap: Luigi Villoresi (Maserati) on lap 5 in 1m25.20s = 101.4 km/h (63.0 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 98.6 km/h (61.2 mph)
Pole position lap speed: ?
Weather:



Tazio Nuvolari - Alfa RomeoGiuseppe Farina - Alfa RomeoHans Rüesch - Alfa Romeo

II° CIRCUITO DI MILANO

Sempione Park - Milano (I), 20 June 1937
70 laps x 2.4 km (1.49 mi) = 168 km (104.4 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

56Andrea BrezziA. BrezziAlfa RomeoTipo B2.9S-8
58Hans RüeschH. RüeschAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8
62Emilio RomanoE. RomanoAlfa RomeoDNA - did not appear
64"B Bira"Scuderia MaremmanaMaserati6C-343.7S-6
66Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12
68Luigi VillaL. VillaBugattiDNA - did not appear
74László HartmannL. HartmannMaserati8CM3.0S-8
76Ernõ FesteticsGraf FesteticsMaserati8CM3.0S-8
78Giuseppe FarinaScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12
82Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0
84Piero DusioScuderia MaremmanaAlfa RomeoTipo BS-8
86Giovanni MinozziG. MinozziAlfa RomeoTipo B2.9S-8
88Tazio NuvolariScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12



Alfa Romeo gives Auto Union a lesson
On the twisty park circuit Hasse's long Auto Union had no chance against the more nimble Alfa Romeos and he had to see himself beaten not only by Nuvolari's and Farina's Scuderia Ferraris but also by Rüesch's private Alfa.
Entries:

     
Practice:

     
Race:

     
Pole Position
66
Trossi

Alfa Romeo

58
Rüesch

Alfa Romeo

88
Nuvolari

Alfa Romeo

86
Minozzi

Alfa Romeo

78
Farina

Alfa Romeo

82
Hasse

Auto Union

76
Festetics

Maserati

64
Bira

Maserati

56
Brezzi

Alfa Romeo

84
Dusio

Maserati

74
L Hartmann

Maserati

(Note 1)




      There could hardly have been any race track that suited worse for the high speed Auto Union cars than the twisty little Milan circuit in the Sempione Park with its two tight hairpins. Varzi had had a humiliating defeat there in 1936 but for some reason Auto Union still decided to enter Hasse for the 1937 race. The results were expected, with a double victory for Scuderia Ferrari with Rüesch's private Alfa third. Hasse finished in fourth place a lap behind Nuvolari. Trossi and Minozzi (both in Alfas) finished fifth and sixth.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.88Tazio NuvolariScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12701h37m15.2s
2.78Giuseppe FarinaScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12701h39m19.4s+ 2m04.2s
3.58Hans RüeschH. RüeschAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8691h39m38.4s
4.82Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16691h39m49.0s
5.66Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12671h38m00.6s1h38m08.6s?
6.86Giovanni MinozziG. MinozziAlfa RomeoTipo B2.9S-8661h38m04.4s
7.56Andrea BrezziA. BrezziAlfa RomeoTipo B2.9S-8631h38m31.8s
8.74László HartmannL. HartmannMaserati8CM3.0S-8621h38m43.4s
DNF64"B Bira" / G de RhamScuderia MaremmanaMaserati6C-343.7S-648fuel
DNF76Ernõ FesteticsGraf FesteticsMaserati8CM3.0S-832
DNF84Piero DusioScuderia MaremmanaAlfa RomeoTipo BS-816
Fastest lap: Tazio Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo) on lap 60 in 1m20s = 108.0 km/h (67.1 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 103.6 km/h (64.4 mph)
Pole position lap speed: ?
Weather:

Footnote:
1. A picture from the grid show that at least the first row and possible the other was like this i.e. a mirror image of what is shown is Sheldon's book.


Star 26 June 1937: A. H. Langley/C. Goodache/Mrs. Kay Petre (Austin) wins the L.C.C. Relay at Brooklands.



Raymond Mays - ERARené Dreyfus - MaseratiJohn Wakefield - Maserati

XIII GRAND PRIX DE PICARDIE
(Voiturette 1500cc)

Peronne (F), 27 June 1937
2 heats of 10 laps x 9.765 km (6.068 mi) = 97.65 km (60.68 mi)
Final of 15 laps x 9.765 km (6.068 mi) = 146.475 km (91.02 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2"B Bira""B Bira"Delage15S81.5S-8
4John du PuyJ de PuyMaserati6CM1.5S-6
6René DreyfusOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-6
8Anne-Cecile Rose-ItierMme. Rose-ItierBugattiT51A1.5S-8
10Herbert BergSüddeutsche RenngemainshaftMaserati1.5DNS - did not start
12Nicholas EmbiricosH W CookERA1.5DNA - did not appear
12Reggie TongueR. TongueERAB1.5S-6
16Alphonse de BurnayA. de BurnayAmilcarC61.1
18Robin HansonR. HansonMaserati6CM1.5S-6
20Adrian Conan-DoyleA. Conan-DoyleDelage1.5DNA - did not appear
22Raymond MaysR. MaysERAC1.5S-6
24John WakefieldJ. WakefieldMaserati6CM1.5S-6
26Emmanuel de GraffenriedJ de PuyMaserati4CM1.5S-4
28Fritz GollinSüddeutsche RenngemainshaftMaserati6CM1.5S-6
30Charles MartinC. MartinERAA1.5S-6
32Peter WhiteheadP. WhiteheadERAB1.5S-6
34Louis VilleneuveL. VilleneuveBugatti1.5DNA - did not appear
36Harry HerkuleynsH. HerkuleynsMGK3 Magnette1.1



Mays with his ERA dominates
The race was run in two heats plus final. B Bira led the first heat before retiring, leaving Dreyfus to take the victory. Then Mays in the ERA-C dominated both the second heat and the final. Dreyfus and Wakefield finished second and third with their Maseratis.
Entries:

     
Practice:

     
Heat 1:

     
Pole Position
6
Dreyfus

Maserati
4m10s
2
"B Bira"

Delage
4m04s

Rest of grid unknown




     

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.6René DreyfusOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-61041m34.2s 
2.18Robin HansonR. HansonMaserati6CM1.5S-61045m36s+ 4m01.8s
3.4John du PuyJ de PuyMaserati6CM1.5S-61047m41s+ 6m06.8s
4 NC8Anne-Cecile Rose-ItierMme. Rose-ItierBugattiT51A1.5S-81049m27s+ 7m52.8s
NC2"B Bira""B Bira"Delage15S81.5S-88clutch 
5.16Alphonse de BurnayA. de BurnayAmilcarC61.17 
DNF12Reggie TongueR. TongueERAB1.5S-60piston 
Fastest lap: René Dreyfus (Maserati) in 4m02s = 145.3 km/h (90.2 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 140.9 km/h (87.6 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 144.1 km/h (89.5 mph)
Weather:
Heat 2:

     
Pole Position
22
Mays

ERA
3m48s

Rest of grid unknown



     

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.22Raymond MaysR. MaysERAC1.5S-61041m30.6s 
2.26Emmanuel de GraffenriedJ de PuyMaserati4CM1.5S-41045m12s+ 3m41.4s
3.24John WakefieldJ. WakefieldMaserati6CM1.5S-61046m41s+ 5m10.4s
4.28Fritz GollinSüddeutsche RenngemainshaftMaserati6CM1.5S-69  
5.36Harry HerkuleynsH. HerkuleynsMGK3 Magnette1.18 
DNF32Peter WhiteheadP. WhiteheadERAB1.5S-61piston 
DNF30Charles MartinC. MartinERAA1.5S-61piston 
Fastest lap: Raymond Mays (ERA) in 4m05s = 143.5 km/h (89.2 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 141.1 km/h (87.7 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 154.2 km/h (95.8 mph)
Weather:
Final:

     
Pole Position
6
Dreyfus

Maserati

22
Mays

ERA

18
Hanson

Maserati

26
de Graffenried

Maserati

4
du Puy

Maserati

24
Wakefield

Maserati

28
Gollin

Maserati

8
Rose-Itier

Bugatti

36
Herkuleyns

MG




      Both Maserati and ERA works teams entered cars for the Peronne race and Bira was racing his ex. Seaman Delage as both of his ERAs were out of action.
      In the first heat Bira led but had to retire leaving Dreyfus to win from Hanson and Du Puy (both Maserati 6CM). Bira's misfortune created a serious internal conflict in the "White Mouse Stable" ending with the chief mechanic resigning. In the second heat Mays was in a class of his own lapping almost the entire field. Second was de Graffenried (4CM) and third Wakefield (6CM).
      In the final Mays was once again in command, the Maserati drivers having no real chance against the ERA works car.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.22Raymond MaysR. MaysERAC1.5S-61559m47.6s 
2.6René DreyfusOfficine A MaseratiMaserati6CM1.5S-6151h01m30.6s+ 1m43.0s
3.24John WakefieldJ. WakefieldMaserati6CM1.5S-6151h03m52.6s+ 4m04.4s
4.26Emmanuel de GraffenriedJ de PuyMaserati4CM1.5S-414  
5.28Fritz GollinSüddeutsche RenngemainshaftMaserati6CM1.5S-614  
6.18Robin HansonR. HansonMaserati6CM1.5S-614  
DNC8Anne-Cecile Rose-ItierMme. Rose-ItierBugattiT51A1.5S-812mechanical 
7.36Harry HerkuleynsH. HerkuleynsMGK3 Magnette1.111  
DNF4John du PuyJ de PuyMaserati6CM1.5S-615  
Fastest lap: Raymond Mays (ERA) in 3m54s = 156.2 km/h (97.1 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 147.0 km/h (91.3 mph)
Weather:

Star 3 July 1937: The J. C. C. Members Day was held at Brooklands with two One-Hour High-Speed trials and one and two lap handicap events for amateurs.
Star 4 July 1937: Chiron (Talbot T150C) wins the Grand Prix de l´Automobile Club de France sports cars race at Montlhéry, Paris. (Results)



Bernd Rosemeyer - Auto UnionRichard Seaman - Mercedes-BenzRex Mays - Alfa Romeo

II GEORGE VANDERBILT CUP RACE

Roosevelt Raceway - New York (USA), 5 July 1937
(Monday) (delayed two days due to rain)
90 laps x 3 1/3 mi (5.364 km) = 300 mi (482.8 km)


No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

1Mauri RoseT. B. MartinMaseratiV8RI
2Jimmy SnyderH.C. HenningBoyle-Miller
3Ted HornH HartzWetteroth-Miller
4Bernd RosemeyerAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16
5Tazio NuvolariSquderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12
7Billy WinnB WinnSummers-Miller4.2
8Deacon LitzMalmacaan TeamMaseratiV8RIDNA - did not appear
9Ernst von DeliusAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16
10G. FarinaScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-36V-12
12Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8
14Rex MaysB. WhiteAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8
15Richard SeamanDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8
16Eugen BjørnstadBalmacaam TeamAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
17George ConnorJ. MarksAdams-Miller
18Bill CummingsJ. MooreMiller-Offenhauser
19H. LewisK. PetilloDeBaets-Studebaker
21Babe StappH. J. ToppingMaseratiV8RI
22Joe ThorneJ. ThorneAlfa RomeoTipo B2.9S-8
24Frank BriskoElgin PP Co.Stevens-Brisko FD
25Kelly PetilloK. PetilloWetteroth-Miller
27Albert CusickGustav-SchumacherSchumacher-Cusick-Ford
28Bob SwansonBob SwansonBugattiDNA - did not appear
31Chester GardnerC. GardnerDuesenberg-Offenhauser
33Frank WearneP. WierickMiller
34Shorty CantlonWilliam CantlonMillerDNA - did not appear
42Wern OldenduffF GriswoldAlfa RomeoDNA - did not appear
43Lucky TeeterFowlerDNA - did not appear
44Ronnie HouseholderR. HouseholderStevens-Miller
45Enzo FiermonteFiermonte-RandMaseratiV8RIDNS lack of experience
45Wilbur ShawFiermonte-RandMaseratiV8RI
46MorettiVirgil WilliamsWilliamsDNA - did not appear
49Henry BanksL. KimmelKimmel-Offenhauser
54Herb ArdingerL. WelchWelch-Offenhauser4.2
63Benny BradfonB BradfonDuesenbergDNQ - did not qualify
65Milt MarionM. MarionMiller
66Gus ZarkaG. WattsAmbler
67Ora BeanR. B. LynchAmbler
72R. SnowbergerF. M. GardnerPackard-Miller4.2



The long journey
Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz split their effort, half the team going to New York and half the team remaining in Europe for the Belgian Grand Prix. Seamn challenged Rosemeyer but at the end the British driver had to make an extra stop for fuel and Rosemeyer could take a flag as winner.
Both German teams and Scuderia Ferrari decided to go to New York for the 1937 Vanderbilt cup, after the organizers had promised to move the race from July 4th to July 3rd so that there were ample time for the teams to catch the ship home even in case of a race delay due to rain. As the race clashed with the Belgian GP it meant that the teams were split up, with two drivers from each team entering each race.
      The German teams entered SS. Bremen (Note 1) in Bremerhaven 22 June, while the Ferrari team went to Le Havre and entered SS Normandie (Note 2). On Normandie Nuvolari who recently had lost his father learned the terrible news that his oldest son Giorgio had died (Note 3).
      Prizes: First: $20,000; second, $10,000; third, $5,000; fourth, $3,500; fifth, $3,000; sixth, $2,200; seventh, $1,800; eighth, $1,600; ninth, $1,500; tenth, $1,400. Consolation money outside first ten: $10,000
Entries:

     
Practice:
The track had been changed since last year and made more faster. The European drivers did not particularly like the track, however, the hidden curves making it hard to find the brake points. For some curious reason the American organizers had asked the Germans to paint swastikas on their cars. (Note 4)
      Qualifying speed was was taken as the avarage for 10 laps with 3 attempts permitted. Caracciola was fastest in practice from Rosemeyer and Californian driver Rex Mays, who raced in the Alfa Romeo 8 cylinder car that had been used as a spare car for the Ferrari team during the 1936 race. The car was heavily modified and with a new larger supercharger Mays proved to be faster than the works 12 cylinder cars to the disgust of the Ferrari team.
      Before the race the Mercedes-Benz team decided to change to the new suction carburettor supercharger system on all their cars to better the supercharger response at medium revs. Mercedes would retain the new system; gone forever was now the typical Mercedes-Benz scream of the blower supercharger that had filled the GP races since Eifelrennen 1934.
     
Race:
At Saturday 1.30 PM when the cars were already lined up for the start it began to rain. The race was immediately postponed until Monday.
Pole Position
12
Caracciola

Mercedes-Benz
85.850 mph

4
Rosemeyer

Auto Union
84.370 mph

14
Mays

Alfa Romeo
84.054 mph

15
Seaman

Mercedes-Benz
83.172 mph

5
Nuvolari

Alfa Romeo
83.048 mph

10
Farina

Alfa Romeo
82.375 mph

7
Winn

Miller
82.062 mph

9
Delius

Auto Union
81.817 mph

3
Horn

Miller
81.461 mph

44
Householder

Miller
80.644 mph

21
Stapp

Maserati
79.800 mph

17
Connor

Miller
79.255 mph

25
Petillo

Offenhauser
79.074 mph

2
Snyder

Boyle
78.052 mph

22
Thorne

Alfa Romeo
77.636 mph

1
Rose

Maserati
77.607 mph

33
Wearne

Miller
77.483 mph

18
Cummings

Miller
77.470 mph

49
Banks

Jumire
77.279 mph

16
Bjørnstad

Alfa Romeo
77.154 mph

72
Snowberger

Packard
76.557 mph

24
Brisko

Miller
75.884 mph

31
Gardner

Miller
75.606 mph

45
Shaw

Maserati
75.034 mph

67
Bean

Ambler
73.430 mph

66
Zarka

Ambler
73.344 mph

65
Marion

Miller
73.123 mph

54
Ardinger

Rawhide
72.378 mph

27
Cusick

Schumacher
69.348 mph

19
Lewis*

Debaets
69.300 mph

* Car qualified by Enzo Fiermonte, who withdrew.

(Note 5)



At 2 PM Monday 5th 80,000 spectators finally saw Ralph de Palma wave the flag. Rosemeyer pulled his Auto Union hard to the left and took the first corner in front of Caracciola and Mays. Then followed Nuvolari, Seaman and Farina. On lap two Seaman moved into fourth position and on the next lap Caracciola took over the lead and opened up a 6 seconds gap. American Billy Winn was doing a great job having passed Farina and Nuvolari and was fighting with Seaman for fourth place before having to fall back with mechanical problems. On lap 11 it was Rosemeyer's turn to take the lead, he and Caracciola having a tough fight and pulling away from the others. Mays was still third now followed by Nuvolari, who had decided to start after all. Nuvolari was driving flat out as usual, having already passed Seaman. Nuvolari's efforts ended on lap 16 when the engine could not stand the pace anymore and threw a rod.
      Caracciola was the next to retire with supercharger failure on lap 22. Caracciola was however not particularly disappointed as the America trip doubled as his and "Baby's" honeymoon trip. Seaman had started to advance and the order was now Rosemeyer, Seaman, Mays, von Delius and Farina.
      On lap 38 Rosemeyer made a 35 seconds pitstop for fuel and tyres, Seaman now being the new leader by 30 seconds. Mays was also in for a 78 seconds stop and at lap 40 Farina came in and gave over his car to Nuvolari.
      Rosemeyer pulled in Seaman's lead and caught the Mercedes just as Seaman pulled into the pits for his stop on lap 46. The order after the pitstops were: Rosemeyer, Seaman, Mays, von Delius, Nuvolari, Winn and Horn.
      Nuvolari was in great form, passing von Delius and then challenging and passing Mays. But on lap 50 the Flying Mantuan was back in the pits having destroyed his second engine of the day and gave back the Alfa to Farina, who limped on to finish fifth after having to do an extra pitstop on lap 70.
      Near the end Seaman was rapidly closing in on Rosemeyer but then the Mercedes run out of fuel and Seaman had to make an unscheduled stop one lap from the finish, leaving Rosemeyer to win by 50 seconds.
      After having been promoted to SS-Obersturmführer for his victory at Eifelrennen 1936, Rosemeyer was now promoted to SS-Hauptsturmführer (Captain).
     
     

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.4Bernd RosemeyerAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16903h38m00.75s
2.15Richard SeamanDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8903h38m51.78s+ 51.03s
3.14Rex MaysB. WhiteAlfa Romeo8C-353.8S-8903h44m35.82s+ 6m35.07s
4.9Ernst von DeliusAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16903h48m09.50s+ 10m08.75s
5.10G. Farina/T. NuvolariScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-36V-12903h51m29.75s+ 13m29.00s
6.22Joe ThorneJ. ThorneAlfa RomeoTipo B2.9S-8903h59m56.10s+ 21m55.35s
7.18Bill CummingsJ. MooreMiller-Offenhauser904h02m54.30s+ 24m53.55s9th ?
8.72R. Snowberger/K. FowlerF. M. GardnerPackard-Miller904h03m47.40s+ 25m46.65s
9.45Wilbur ShawFiermonte-RandMaseratiV8RI904h04m03.42s+ 26m02.67s
10.54Herb ArdingerL. WelchWelch-Offenhauser904h17m18.43s+ 39m17.68s
11.33Frank WearneP. WierickMiller904h19m19.42s+ 41m18.67s
12.31Chester GardnerC. GardnerDuesenberg-Offenhauser904h22m00.37s+ 43m59.62s
13.24Frank BriskoElgin PP Co.Stevens-Brisko FD87
DNF1Mauri RoseT. B. MartinMaseratiV8RI85universal joint
14.65Milt MarionM. MarionMiller78
DNF16Eugen BjørnstadBalmacaam TeamAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-860transmission
DNF3Ted HornH HartzWetteroth-Miller59transmission
DNF17George ConnorJ. MarksAdams-Miller55transmission
DNF67Ora BeanR. B. LynchAmbler42flywheel bolts
DNF25Kelly PetilloK. PetilloWetteroth-Miller39pinion bearing
DNF2Jimmy SnyderH.C. HenningBoyle-Miller39gear lever
DNF19H. LewisK. PetilloDeBaets-Studebaker25magneto coupling
DNF49Henry BanksL. KimmelKimmel-Offenhauser24rear axle
DNF12Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-817supercharger
DNF5Tazio NuvolariSquderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-1216connecting rod
DNF27Albert CusickGustav-SchumacherSchumacher-Cusick-Ford11left rear hub
DNF21Babe StappH. J. ToppingMaseratiV8RI8piaton
DNF44Ronnie HouseholderR. HouseholderStevens-Miller8oil pipe
DNF7Billy WinnB WinnSummers-Miller8transmission
DNF66Gus ZarkaG. WattsAmbler2connecting rod
Fastest lap: ?
Winner's medium speed: 132.9 km/h (82.6 mph)
Pole position lap (2m19.78s) speed: 138.16 km/h (85.85 mph)
Weather:

Footnote:
1. North German Lloyd's turbine steamer "Bremen". ( 51731 GRT, 135,000 SHP 28.5 knots) had held the "Blue Riband" as the fastest Atlantic liner in 1933.

2. CGT's Turbo-electric "Normandie" (83423 GRT, 165,000 SHP 32.2 knots) was at that time of the 1937 trip the world's largest liner. She had just lost the "Blue Riband" to Cunard-White Star's "Queen Mary" but won it back in July.

3. Some sources says typhoid, other talks about heart failure.

4. While swastikas were often to be seen on German record cars and streamliners, this is one of the very few times that swastikas apperared on Grand Prix cars in race condition.

5. Qualifying results giving as speed. Caracciola's pole speed corresponds to a 2m19.78s lap. Sheldon (1st ed) has the speed recalculated to time for 10 laps but as he has used 3 miles instead of 3 1/3 miles for track length all his times are wrong.


Star 10 July 1937: The B. A. R. C. Meeting was held at Brooklands.
H. L. Hadley (Austin 0.7 L) wins the National Race. The other handicap races were won by R. Parnell (M. G. 1.1 L), C. H. Masters (Fiat 1.0 L), Michael May (Alvis 2.0 L) and Arthur Dobson (ERA 1.5 L).



Rudolf Hasse - Auto UnionHans Stuck - Auto UnionHermann Lang - Mercedes-Benz<

VII GRAND PRIX DE BELGIQUE

Spa-Francorchamps (B), 11 July 1937
34 laps x 14.864 km (9.236 mi) = 505.38 km (314.03 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8
4Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8
6Christian KautzDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8
8Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16
10Luigi FagioliAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16DNA - did not appear
12Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16
14Hermann MüllerAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16
16Raymond SommerScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12
18Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12
20Franz GouvionF. GouvionMaserati8CM3.0S-8DNS - blown engine



Hasse's greatest day
by Hans Etzrodt
The major contenders had to split their teams in half because of clashing dates with the Vanderbilt Cup race in the USA. A steady driving Hasse (Auto Union) became the unexpected winner at the fast Spa circuit, ahead of the chargers Stuck (Auto Union) and Lang (Mercedes-Benz). This latest victory made it three in a row for Auto Union. The under-powered Alfa Romeos of Sommer and Trossi did not feature at all, while the Belgian driver Gouvion broke his Maserati's engine during practice and Fagioli did not appear. Although there were only eight starters, it proved to be one of the more exciting races. While Hasse decided on a one stop race, Stuck and Lang planned for a faster pace and had to stop twice for tires. In their battle, Stuck, Lang and Hasse swapped the lead several times and the outcome of the three hour race was not decided until the end. This kept everybody on their toes while all records were shattered. When it looked like Lang was going to seize the lead for the last time, his Mercedes let him down and he fell back to third place. Stuck's faster pace required two pit stops but did not work to his advantage and he was fairly beaten by his calculating teammate Hasse. It was not to be von Brauchitsch's weekend since he once again encountered trouble when his speeding Mercedes left the road during practice. It was a wonder that he was not seriously injured after the car made a complete somersault. During the race a supercharger failure caused his retirement. Kautz (Mercedes-Benz) finished fifth while Müller (Auto Union) retired.
In 1936 the Belgian Grand Prix was held as a 24 hour sports car race but the following year, despite French entreaties, the R.A.C.B. (Royal Automobile Club de Belgique) decided to hold the Grand Prix de Belgique again for racecars to the current 750 kg formula. The last time grand prix cars had raced at Spa was in 1935, when Caracciola won in a Mercedes-Benz at 157.369 km/h and von Brauchitsch established the existing lap record of 166.698 km/h. The race was to be run again over 34 laps on the same 14.864 km road circuit, a total of 506 km, so that time comparisons were possible with the 1935 race.
Entries:
The Belgian Grand Prix took place just one week after the Vanderbilt Cup race in the USA. To render participation possible in both races, it was necessary to split the teams of the Scuderia Ferrari, Auto Union and Daimler-Benz. In 1937 the only existing transatlantic passenger air service was by airship. Originally it was planned for Caracciola and Rosemeyer to return with the dirigible "Hindenburg" in time for practice at Spa. Their tight schedule, with the Hindenburg due to depart New York on July 7, never materialized. Two months earlier this gigantic airship, within seconds, was completely destroyed, when the 804-foot "Hindenburg" went up in flames upon landing at Lakehurst, N.J. Instead, the two European champions were now on the high seas aboard the "S.S. Europa" on their return from America and were expected to arrive on July 13. With Nuvolari, Farina, Rosemeyer, von Delius, Caracciola and Seaman still at sea, the entry at Spa was reduced to only nine cars. Scuderia Ferrari was represented by Count Felice Trossi and reserve driver Raymond Sommer in 12C-36 Alfa Romeos. Count Antonio Brivio had recently married and was unavailable, while Brivio and Pintacuda had not yet returned from Brazil where they had raced with success in the Rio de Janeiro Grand Prix, although Stuck made it back in time from Brazil.
      Auto Union entered three Type C cars for Hans Stuck, Rudolf Hasse and their new man, the 25 year old motorcycle racer H. P. Müller. Fagioli, still unwell with rheumatism, did not appear for this race. Daimler-Benz arrived with four of their W125's, which for the last time were equipped with the old pressure carburation system, causing the fearsome, shrill scream of the supercharger every time the driver backed off the throttle. A suction-carbureted car, delivering more power, had just been successfully raced by Seaman in the Vanderbilt Cup race. At Spa the racing crew had a suction-carburetor kit available, but it was not utilized. Instead of Rudolf Uhlenhaut, long time engineer Jakob Krauss was responsible for the engineering and Karl Kudorfer, Daimler-Benz press expert, took Alfred Neubauer's place as team manager. Hermann Lang, Manfred von Brauchitsch and the 23 year old Swiss, Christian Kautz, were at hand and the newcomer Hans Hugo Hartmann was the reserve driver. His parents had had to sign his contract with Mercedes, because he was not yet 21 at the time. Besides these three factory teams the only independent driver was the Belgian Lancia dealer Franz Gouvion in an old 8CM Maserati which was totally outclassed.
Practice:
On Wednesday, the first practice day, von Brauchitsch crashed the W125/1 training car at Frontier bend. This was the right uphill hairpin just past the left Eau Rouge bend, which was to be eliminated in 1939. He had braked too late and when his car hit the embankment, it somersaulted off the track landing on its wheels in a meadow. Driver and car were lucky to escape serious injury. Manfred got away with bruises and a cut on the shoulder. After a sleepless night and against doctors' orders, the German sat behind the wheel again on Friday, the third practice day. He did several fast laps, the fastest in 5m11s with his W125/2. This performance made him the favorite for the race. Kautz in a new W125/6 had problems when his car kept jumping out of gear. Hasse, one of the youngest drivers, was quite familiar with this circuit as he had driven around the course dozens of times with the Adler sports car during the 1936 24 Hours at Francorchamps. H. P. Müller, in only his second race with Auto Union encountered engine problems. Gouvion broke the engine of his Maserati and could not repair it in time for the race.
Race:
About 50,000 people lined the beautiful Ardennes circuit. It had been raining up to just before the start. The young Belgian King Leopold III and his brother, Prince Charles, were the most prominent visitors, seated in the royal box. Before the start the King met with the drivers, who explained their cars in which the monarch showed great interest. The line-up for the starting grid was not in order of the achieved practice times, but instead by ballot. Lots were drawn by the teams and then the team managers usually assigned their best drivers to the front positions. This old-fashioned arrangement, which was customary at Spa, once again placed a slower car to the front of the grid where the 8 drivers lined up as follows:
Pole Position
8
Stuck

Auto Union

4
Brauchitsch

Mercedes-Benz

16
Sommer

Alfa Romeo

12
Hasse

Auto Union

2
Lang

Mercedes-Benz

14
Müller

Auto Union

6
Kautz

Mercedes-Benz

18
Trossi

Alfa Romeo

About 20 minutes before the start, during warming up in front of the grandstand, the radiator on von Brauchitsch's car sprang a leak. With everyone lined up at the start, the concerned Mercedes mechanics completed this repair quickly on the grid by soldering the radiator. But then the cooled down engine refused to start. Thus, when King Leopold gave the starting signal at 1:00 PM, one mechanic was still desperately cranking the starting handle in front of Brauchitsch's Mercedes, which was parked in the first row. In all this excitement Stuck streaked away like lightning, followed by Sommer, Hasse, Lang and Müller, with the stranded Mercedes-Benz balking Kautz and Trossi. Finally, as Trossi's Alfa reached the stationary Mercedes, von Brauchitsch's engine fired up and he chased after the field.
      The on form Stuck immediately set down an incredibly fast pace. He completed the first lap at an average of 165.758 km/h with a gap to Lang, then Hasse, Kautz and Müller. Instead of a record first lap, von Brauchitsch stopped at his pit to have his windshield and goggles cleaned, as they were covered with oil from Müller's Auto Union, when the Mercedes driver tried to pass him. It was not going to be von Brauchitsch's day as he had fallen back again to last place. On the second lap, Trossi stopped the Alfa Romeo at the pits. Stuck completed the third lap in 5m19s at 167.7 km/h, beating von Brauchitsch's 1935 record of 166.698 km/h. Trossi blew the engine of his Alfa on his third lap when he was already two laps behind the leaders. Lang's Mercedes caught up with the Stuck's Auto Union and followed right behind him.
      On the fourth lap Stuck did a 5m15s lap at 169.9 km/h, while Brauchitsch drove a lap at 168.977 km/h. Stuck, Lang and Hasse was the order for the first seven laps. Stuck completed lap seven in 5m08s at 173.7 km/h. But the pace was too much for his tires, and his Auto Union threw a thread and he stopped for new tires, which put Lang into the lead on lap eight. Stuck, now with fresh tires, resumed the race in fifth place. For the next four laps it was Lang leading with Hasse not far behind, then Kautz, while von Brauchitsch also had to change tires.
      At the end of lap 11 while Lang made a pit stop for new tires and refueled at the same time, Hasse's Auto Union took the lead. The order on lap 12 was Hasse, Lang, Kautz, Stuck, von Brauchitsch, Müller and Sommer bringing up the tail. Stuck caught up and quickly passed Brauchitsch and Kautz. After 13 laps the order was as follows:
1. Hasse (Auto Union)1h08m56s = 168.2 km/h
2. Lang (Mercedes-Benz)1h09m53s = 165.8 km/h
3. Stuck (Auto Union)1h10m21s = 164.7 km/h
4. Kautz (Mercedes-Benz)no time
5. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)no time
6. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)no time
7. Müller (Auto Union)no time

On lap 14 Müller retired with a broken oil pipe and the field was down to six cars. Rudi Hasse, ahead of Lang and Stuck, lapped the circuit at 173.804 km/h and was leading by 42 seconds. Hasse knew that he had to save his tires until half distance, when he would have to stop for a change. He drove his regular laps to make the tires last till the end of lap 17 when he pulled into the pits as planned, to change tires and refuel. He had come in just in time because the white signal-strip of the left rear tire was already visible. As the engine of Hasse's Auto Union was fired up again, Lang's Mercedes flashed by into the lead with Stuck behind him. So, Hasse was now in third place chasing after the leaders. On lap 18, Lang pulverized the lap record in 5m05s at 175.446 km/h while trying to put some distance between himself and the Auto Unions. On a 1/2 km stretch of the Masta straight Lang's Mercedes was timed at 310.595 km/h, while Stuck's Auto Union was doing 281.628 km/h. When Stuck's Auto Union had to make one more tire stop, Hasse inherited second place from his team mate. Brauchitsch passed Kautz, who also had to stop for fuel. The six car field was split into two groups with Lang, Hasse and Stuck in front, then, after a long gap came Brauchitsch and Kautz, almost like twins. Much further behind was Sommer's Alfa Romeo, which had already been lapped by Lang's Mercedes. After 22 laps the order was:
1. Lang (Mercedes-Benz)1h56m21s = 168.2 km/h
2. Hasse (Auto Union)1h57m13s = 167.3 km/h
3. Stuck (Auto Union)1h58m07s = 166.0 km/h
4. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)no time
5. Kautz (Mercedes-Benz)no time
6. Sommer (Alfa Romeo)1 lap down

Lang's tires did not withstand this fast pace and on lap 23 he had to pull in with a defective thread for his second tire change. His Mercedes limped into the pits and he lost the advantage he had established. With Lang in the pits, Hasse took the lead but the Mercedes left the pit just before Stuck's Auto Union arrived.
      The outcome of the race was uncertain, since there were still 11 laps to go to the finish. Hasse drove the second part of the race at a faster pace but in smooth style. His lap times were between 5m12s and 5m08s. Lang in second place, with his third set of tires, continued his chase and was getting ever closer to the leading Auto Union. Stuck also came towards the front, passing third man Kautz. On lap 28, Hasse was leading Lang by 54 seconds with Stuck's Auto Union a further 31 seconds behind.
      Lang would probably have been able to pass Hasse and win, if he had not have been forced to slow down. All of a sudden, on lap 29, Lang's Mercedes began to wander at the rear and the car skidded all over the road where trees stood right next to it. His swerving car missed an apple tree by a hair, so Lang slowed his pace to keep the Mercedes in the center of the road. He stopped at the pits but was immediately sent out again. One universal joint at the rear axle had partially broken and every time he accelerated, the car swerved severely. Lang's problem enabled Stuck to close up, and was only five seconds behind. The only thing Lang could do was to slow down and on lap 30 he let Stuck by without a fight. When Manfred von Brauchitsch stopped at the pits to change spark plugs, Kautz passed him to gain fourth place. Eventually Brauchitsch retired with supercharger trouble on lap 32 while in fifth place.
      The smooth driving Hasse, who had taken the lead on lap 23, finished a deserving winner, having beaten his senior team mate fair and square. It was Hasse's first Grand Prix win in his second year with Auto Union. His average, a new record of 167.189 km/h was faster than Brauchitsch's 1935 lap record of 166.698 km/h. Stuck finished 42 seconds behind Hasse, which was about the time he lost with his second wheel change. This shows that overall Stuck had not driven faster than Hasse. After Lang's car broke down, he had to slow down and content himself with third place, two minutes behind Stuck at the finish. Kautz came fourth, 18 seconds behind Lang, not bad for the junior driver in only his second Grand Prix race. On top of this fine performance, Kautz had lost valuable time by spinning off at Malmédy, when he had an encounter with a dog on the course. The Swiss driver came to a stop with the front of his Mercedes in a shallow ditch with the engine stalled, but managed to get out again and push-start his stalled car by himself. Tony Kaye observed, no-one was injured, but it could so easily have been a disaster. His car finished up just a couple of feet from where spectators were lining the edge of the circuit. His car demolished a cameraman's stand and the cameraman narrowly escaped the out-of-control car by running into the middle of the road. Fortunately no other cars were following. Sommer was the last finisher in the under-powered Alfa Romeo, one lap behind.
      The cheerful Auto Union mechanics carried the tall Rudi and Hans Stuck on their shoulders to King Leopold III, who shook their hands and personally presented the trophy. Before the King left the circuit to drive away he stopped near the Mercedes pit when he saw Manfred von Brauchitsch, left his car and shook his hand to express his appreciation of the German's valiant performance.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.12Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16343h01m22s
2.8Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-16343h02m04s+ 42s
3.2Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8343h04m07s+ 1m45s
4.6Christian KautzDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-8343h04m25s+ 3m03s
5.16Raymond SommerScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-12333h05m54s
DNF4Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1255.7S-831supercharger
DNF14Hermann MüllerAuto Union AGAuto UnionC6.0V-1613broken oil pipe
DNF18Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa Romeo12C-364.1V-125engine
Fastest lap: Hermann Lang (Mercedes-Benz) on lap 18 in 5m04.7s = 175.1 km/h (108.8 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 167.2 km/h (103.9 mph)
Weather: overcast, dry


Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
IL Littoriale, Roma
La Croix,
La Stampa, Torino
Le Figaro, Paris
Motor Post, Berlin
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Motorwelt (DDAC), München
Special thanks to:
Marco Kieser



Raymond Mays - MaseratiCharles Martin - ERAReggie Tongue - ERA

GRAND PRIX DE L´ALBIGEOIS
(Voiturette 1500cc)

Les Planques - Albi (F), 11 July 1937
2 heats of 20 laps x 8.901 km (5.531 mi) = 178.0 km (110.6 mi)
In total: 356.0 km (221.2 mph)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Raymond MaysH W CookERAB1.5S-6
4Humphrey CookH W CookERAB1.5S-6
6Reggie TongueR. TongueERAB1.5S-6
8Charles MartinC. MartinERAA1.5S-6
10John du PuyJ de PuyMaserati6CM1.5S-6
12Emmanuel de GraffenriedJ de PuyMaserati4CM1.5S-4
14Luigi VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
16Emilio VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
18Ciro BasadonnaEcurieMaserati4CM1.5S-4Helvetia
20Ferdinando RighettiF. RighettiMaserati4CM1.5S-4
22Fritz GollinSüddeutsche RenngemeinshaftMaserati6CM1.5S-6
24ToniToniToniSpeciale



The ERA works team triumphs
The race was decided on aggregate times of two heats. Mays dominated the first heat from Luigi Villoresi intil Mays' car broke a half shaft and Luigi Villoresi spun giving Emilio Villoresi a surprice victory. Mays took over Cooks 3rd positioned car for the second heat and opened up such a gap that the combination wwon not only the second heat but the whole event.
Entries:

     
Practice:

     
Heat 1:

     
Pole Position
4
Cook

ERA
3m52.0s

16
E Villoresi

Maserati
3m51.8s

2
Mays

ERA
3m23.0s

22
Gollin

Maserati
3m55.4s

14
L Villoresi

Maserati
3m55.8s

18
Basadonna

Maserati
4m18.0s

12
de Graffenried

Maserati
4m01.8s

20
Righetti

Maserati
3m59.0s

6
Tongue

ERA

10
de Puy

Maserati

24
Toni

Toni

8
Martin

ERA



The race was run in 2 heats with the times added for the final result. Cook, co-founder of ERA, was back as works driver replacing the deceased Fairfield. Mays took the lead in the first heat and opened up the gap to Emilio Villoresi but the ERA retired on lap 17 leaving Villoresi to win from Tongue and Cook. Mays took over Cook's car for heat two and once again he was in a class of his own. Villoresi, who had a 2 minute bonus over Mays from heat one, followed the ERA but then made a mistake and destroyed his car leaving Mays to win heat two from Martin and Righetti (Maserati).
     

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.16Emilio VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6201h13m58s 
2.6Reggie TongueR. TongueERAB1.5S-6201h14m16s+ 18s
3.4Humphrey CookH W CookERAB1.5S-6201h14m56s+ 58s
4.14Luigi VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6201h16m29s+ 2m31s
5.20Ferdinando RighettiF. RighettiMaserati4CM1.5S-4201h17m28s+ 3m30s
6.8Charles MartinC. MartinERAA1.5S-6201h17m35s+ 3m37s
7.22Fritz GollinSüddeutsche RenngemeinshaftMaserati6CM1.5S-6191h16m04s 
8.18Ciro BasadonnaEcurieMaserati4CM1.5S-4181h15m30s 
DNF2Raymond MaysH W CookERAB1.5S-617half shaft 
9.10John du PuyJ de PuyMaserati6CM1.5S-6181h15m57s 
DNF24ToniToniToniSpeciale14lost wheel 
DNF12Emmanuel de GraffenriedJ de PuyMaserati4CM1.5S-45gearbox 
Fastest lap: Raymond Mays (ERA) in 3m21s = 159.4 km/h (99.1 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 144.4 km/h (89.7 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 157.9 km/h (98.1 mph)
Weather:
Heat 2:

     
Pole Position
4
Mays

ERA

6
Tongue

ERA

16
E Villoresi

Maserati

20
Righetti

Maserati

14
L Villoresi

Maserati

18
Basadonna

Maserati

22
Gollin

Maserati

8
Martin

ERA

12
de Graffenried

Maserati

10
de Puy

Maserati




     

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.2Raymond MaysH W CookERAB1.5S-6201h11m46s 
2.8Charles MartinC. MartinERAA1.5S-6201h13m51s+ 2m05s
3.20Ferdinando RighettiF. RighettiMaserati4CM1.5S-419  
4.6Reggie TongueR. TongueERAB1.5S-619  
5.12Emmanuel de GraffenriedJ de PuyMaserati4CM1.5S-419  
6.22Fritz GollinSüddeutsche RenngemeinshaftMaserati6CM1.5S-618  
7.14Luigi VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-618  
8.18Ciro BasadonnaEcurieMaserati4CM1.5S-417  
DNF10John du PuyJ de PuyMaserati6CM1.5S-620  
DNF16Emilio VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-62crash 
Fastest lap: ?
Winner's medium speed: 148.8 km/h (92.5 mph)
Weather:


Results (Aggregate)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.2H Cook / R MaysH W CookERAB1.5S-6402h26m42s 
2.8Charles MartinC. MartinERAA1.5S-6402h31m28s+ 4m46s
3.6Reggie TongueR. TongueERAB1.5S-639  
4.20Ferdinando RighettiF. RighettiMaserati4CM1.5S-439  
5.14Luigi VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-638  
6.22Fritz GollinSüddeutsche RenngemeinshaftMaserati6CM1.5S-637  
NC18Ciro BasadonnaEcurieMaserati4CM1.5S-435  
NC12Emmanuel de GraffenriedJ de PuyMaserati4CM1.5S-424  
Winner's medium speed: 145.6 km/h (90.5 mph)


Star 17 July 1937: "B Bira" (ERA) wins the London Grand Prix at the Crystal Palace track in England.
Star 18 July 1937: Wimille (Bugatti) wins the Grand Prix de la Marne sports car race at the Reims-Gueux track in France. (Results)
Star 24 July 1937: "B. Bira" / Hector Dobbs (Delahaye) wins the Donington 12 Hours sports car race at Donington Park (GB).



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© 2014 Leif Snellman, Felix Muelas - Last updated: 26.09.2014