XII ADAC EIFELRENNEN
Nürburgring (D), 21 May 1939
10 laps x 22.81 km (14.17 mi) = = 228.1 km (141.7 mi)
Another victory for Lang after a wheel to wheel duel with Nuvolari
Eifelrennen was the first race of the season for Auto Union. The team came to the race with no less than six drivers.
Mercedes was also out in force with five cars. One of them had the new two stage supercharger engine
but the only driver willing to race it was Lang as both Caracciola and von Brauchitsch distrusted its reliability.
The only other cars were three Maseratis and two Talbots.
Before and after the race there were special sessions when the German cars were filmed on the track.
On the second day von Brauchitsch actually managed to collide with the camera car.
Seaman and von Brauchitsch were fastest during the first practice with a time of 9m58s followed by Caracciola with 10m04s.
On the second day it was raining but on the third day Lang, who had had trouble with his engine earlier,
finally took the pole.
Stuck managed to sprain his ankle while playing skittle after a practice session and his place was taken
over by motorcycle driver Meier. But then something went wrong with the car and he was also scratched.
Before the race Lang and Caracciola run a lap of honour with the Mercedes 1.5 litre cars to show them to the German
During practice Nuvolari had done tests whether the tyres could stand a non stop race. The Mercedes team decided that
all their drivers should go flat out and make one pit stop, Lang on lap 4, von Brauchitsch on lap 5, Caracciola
on lap 6 and Seaman on lap 7.
When the lights turned to green both von Brauchitsch and Seaman, who made his first race of the season, made tremendous
starts but their eagerness had a high price as both cars got a slipping clutch. Seaman had to retire immediately, while
von Brauchitsch was passed by Lang and started to fall back in the field.
After the first lap the order was Lang, Caracciola, von Brauchitsch and Nuvolari.
During the first laps Lang was really flying and soon opened up a 14 second gap.
Caracciola answered the challenge by making a 9:54 lap and pulling in the gap to 8 seconds and he took over the lead as
Lang went in for a 33 s pitstop on lap 4.|
Lang returned to the race in third place behind Caracciola and Nuvolari, and he immediately did a lap in 9:59 with his
two stage supercharged Mercedes car.
Caracciola went in for his routine stop on the sixth lap. The stop took longer than Caracciola expected (37 s) and
he came back just behind Lang.
Nuvolari's Auto Union was now leading but
Lang was using his new engine to the limit and by doing a lap in 9:52.2 he broke Rosemeyer's record from 1936
and caught Nuvolari. There was a wheel to wheel race for the lead until Lang managed to pass the Auto Union at
Döttinger Höhe. Nuvolari tried to follow but finally admitted defeat as he was on a non stop strategy and had to
spare the tyres.
Lang therefore took the chequered flag followed by Nuvolari, Caracciola and von Brauchitsch.
Nuvolari's tyres could have survived yet another lap, i.e. 11 laps, an important thing for the team to know for the future
as the length of the German GP in July was to be 22 laps.
After the race there was trouble in the Mercedes team as the long time relationship between Neubauer and Caracciola,
a team manager-driver relationship comparable to Colin Chapman - Jim Clark, broke down completely.
On a meeting the following day with Mercedes manager Dr. Kissel and engineer Uhlenhaut,
Caracciola accused the team for favouring Lang, for sabotaging the pit stops.
for filling the tank with 300 litres instead of just the necessary 100 litres during the stop thus making Caracciola's car
heavy, for giving the best engine to Lang, for bad tyres, grid positions and engines during the last seasons etc. etc.
|1.||16||Hermann Lang||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W154||3.0||V-12||10||1h40m57.1s|
|2.||2||Tazio Nuvolari||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||D||3.0||V-12||10||1h41m08.3s||+ 11.2s|
|3.||12||Rudolf Caracciola||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W154||3.0||V-12||10||1h41m28.4s||+ 31.3s|
|4.||14||Manfred von Brauchitsch||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W154||3.0||V-12||10||1h42m53.1s||+ 1:54.0|
|5.||8||Rudolf Hasse||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||D||3.0||V-12||10||1h42m56.1s||+ 1m59.0s|
|6.||10||Ulrich Bigalke||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||D||3.0||V-12||10||1h44m52.1s||+ 2m14.0s|
|7.||6||Hermann Müller||Auto Union AG||Auto Union||D||3.0||V-12||10||+ 2m30.0s|
|8.||20||Hans Hugo Hartmann||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W154||3.0||V-12||10||+ 5:22.0|
|9.||22||Paul Pietsch||P. Pietsch||Maserati||6CM||1.5||S-6||9|
|10.||26||Leonhard Joa||Süddeutsche Renngemeinschaft||Maserati||4CM||1.5||S-4||9|
|11.||28||Philippe Etancelin||Automobiles Talbot-Darracq||Talbot||MD||4.5||S-6||9|
|12.||24||Heinz Dipper||Süddeutsche Renngemeinschaft||Maserati||6CM||1.5||S-6||8|
|DNF||18||Richard Seaman||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||W154||3.0||V-12||0||clutch|
Fastest lap: Hermann Lang (Mercedes-Benz) 9m52.2s = 138.7 km/h (86.2 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 135.6 km/h (84.2 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 138.2 km/h (85.9 mph)
29 May 1939: B.A.R.C. Whitsun Meeting at Brooklands.|
The handicap races were won by Robin Hanson (ERA), C. K. Mortimer (M.G.), Kenneth Evans (Alfa Romeo),
Arthur Dobson (Delahaye), Tony Rolt (ERA), R. R. C. Walker (Delahaye), Robert Ansell (ERA), G. A. Wooding (Talbot) and Gerald Sumner (M.G.)
XXVII INDIANAPOLIS 500
Indianapolis (USA), 30 May 1939 (Tuesday)
200 laps x 4.02 km (2.5 mi) = 804.67 km (500 mi)
|1||Floyd Roberts||Burd Piston Ring||Wetteroth||Offenhauser||4.4||S-4|
|3||Chet Miller||Boyle||Summers FD||Offenhauser||4.2||S-4|
|4||Ted Horn||Boyle||Miller FD||Miller||4.4||S-8|
|7||Duke Nalon||Belanger||Miller||DNQ - crankshaft|
|8||Joel Thorne||Thorne Engineering||Adams||Sparks||4.4||S-6|
|10||Jimmy Snyder||Thorne Engineering||Adams||Sparks||3.0||S-6|
|14||Frank Wearne||Burd Piston Ring||Wetteroth||Offenhauser||4.4||S-4|
|15||Rex Mays||Thorne Engr||Adams||Sparks||3.0||S-6|
|17||George Bailey||Miller||Miller 4D||Miller||3.0||S-4|
|21||Russ Snowberger||-||Snowberger FD||Miller||4.2||S-4|
|23||George Robson||W. A. Rotary Valve||Wehr||DNQ|
|26||Billy DeVore||Duray - Barbasol||Weil||Duray||3.0||S-4|
|28||George Robson||Deacon Litz||Maserati||Mas||DNQ|
|29||Frank Brisko||National Seal||StevensFD||Brisko||4.4||S-6|
|31||Babe Stapp||Alfa Romeo||Alfa Romeo||Alfa Romeo||3.0||S-8|
|33||Tom Hinnershitz||Kimmel||Miller||Voelkr||DNQ - connecting rod|
|35||Kelly Petillo||Kay Jewelers||Wetteroth||Offenhauser||4.4||S-4|
|36||Doc Williams||Quillen Bros. Refrig||Miller FD||Miller||DNQ|
|37||Ira Hall||Greenfield Service||Nowiak||Studebaker||4.4||S-8|
|38||Harry McQuinn||Elgin Piston Pin||Blume||Brisko||4.4||S-6|
|39||Henry Banks||Cheesman Maserati||Maserati||Maserati||DNQ - crankshaft|
|41||George Barringer||Bill White||Weil||Offenhauser||3.7||S-4|
|42||Al Miller II||Kennedy Tank||Adams||Offenhauser||4.4||S-4|
|44||Emil Andres||Chicago Flash||Stevens||Offenhauser||4.2||S-4|
|45||Louis Meyer||Bowes Seal Fast||Stevens||Bowes Seal||2.9||S-8|
|47||Shorty Cantlon||Auto Service||Stevens||Offenhauser||4.3||S-4|
|49||Mel Hansen||Joel Thorne||Shaw FD||Offenhauser||4.4||S-4|
|51||Tony Willman||Burd Piston Ring||Lencki||Lencki||4.4||S-6|
|54||Cliff Bergere||Offenhauser||Miller FD||Offenhauser||4.4||S-4|
|55||Louis Tomei||Indiana Fur||Buick||DNQ|
|56||Floyd Davis||W R W||Miller||Offenhauser||4.2||S-4|
|58||Louis Tomei||Alfa Romeo||Alfa Romeo||Alfa Romeo||4.3||S-8|
|61||Johnny Seymour||Miller||MillerRE4D||Miller||DNQ - crash|
|62||Tony Gulotta||Burd Piston Ring||Stevens||Lencki||4.4||S-6|
Shaw wins Indy 500 with a Maserati Tipo 8CTF
Situation after 20 laps:|
Snyder, Meyer, Shaw, Horn, Swanson, Mays, C. Miller, Roberts, Bergere; Bailey
Situation after 40 laps:
Shaw, Meyer, Mays, Horn, Snyder, C. Miller, Roberts, Hansen, Bailey; Petillo
Situation after 60 laps:
Shaw, Meyer, Horn, Mays, Snyder, C. Miller, Roberts, Hansen, Petillo, Hepburn
Situation after 80 laps:
Snyder, Mays, C. Miller, Horn, Meyer, Shaw, Roberts, Petillo, Hepburn, Hansen
Situation after 100 laps:
Snyder, Meyer, Shaw, Horn, C. Miller, Mays, Hepburn, Bergere, Hansen, Connor
Situation after 120 laps:
Meyer, Shaw, Horn, Snyder, Bergere, Willman, Petillo , Connor, Stapp, Gulotta
Situation after 140 laps:
Meyer, Shaw, Snyder, Horn, Bergere, Willman, Connor, Stapp, Barringer, Thorne
Situation after 160 laps:
Meyer, Shaw, Snyder, Horn, Bergere, Willman, Connor, Stapp, Barringer, Thorne
Situation after 180 laps:
Meyer, Shaw, Snyder, Bergere, Horn, Connor, Willman, Stapp, Barringer, Thorne
Shaw, Snyder, Bergere, Horn, Stapp, Barringer, Thorne, Rose, Wearne, Devore
|2.||10||Jimmy Snyder||Thorne Engineering||Adams||Sparks||3.0||S-6||200||4h22m35.61s|
|3.||54||Cliff Bergere||Offenhauser||Miller FD||Offenhauser||4.4||S-4||200||4h23m51.40s|
|4.||4||Ted Horn||Boyle||Miller FD||Miller||4.4||S-8||200||4h28m08.82s|
|5.||31||Babe Stapp||Alfa Romeo||Alfa Romeo||Alfa Romeo||3.0||S-8||200||4h29m42.68s|
|6.||41||George Barringer||Bill White||Weil||Offenhauser||3.7||S-4||200||4h30m12.60s|
|7.||8||Joel Thorne||Thorne Engineering||Adams||Sparks||4.4||S-6||200||4h31m42.04s|
|9.||14||Frank Wearne||Burd Piston Ring||Wetteroth||Offenhauser||4.4||S-4||200||4h38m16.65s|
|10.||26||DeVore/Banks||Duray - Barbasol||Weil||Duray||3.0||S-4||200||4h47m43.37s|
|11.||62||Gulotta/McQuinn||Burd Piston Ring||Stevens||Lencki||4.4||S-6||200||4h48m38.01s|
|12.||45||Louis Meyer||Bowes Seal Fast||Stevens||Bowes Seal||2.9||S-8||197||crash|
|14.||51||Tony Willman||Burd Piston Ring||Lencki||Lencki||4.4||S-6||188||fuel pump|
|15.||58||Tomei/Hansen||Alfa Romeo||Alfa Romeo||Alfa Romeo||4.3||S-8||186|
|DNF||15||Rex Mays||Thorne Engr||Adams||Sparks||3.0||S-6||145||piston|
|DNF||35||Kelly Petillo||Kay Jewelers||Wetteroth||Offenhauser||4.4||S-4||141||piston|
|DNF||49||Mel Hansen||Joel Thorne||Shaw FD||Offenhauser||4.4||S-4||113||crash|
|DNF||38||McQuinn/Putnam/Brisko/Robson||Elgin Piston Pin||Blume||Brisko||4.4||S-6||112||ignition|
|DNF||3||Chet Miller||Boyle||Summers FD||Offenhauser||4.2||S-4||109||crash|
|DNF||1||Floyd Roberts||Burd Piston Ring||Wetteroth||Offenhauser||4.4||S-4||106||fatal crash|
|DNF||37||Ira Hall||Greenfield Service||Nowiak||Studebaker||4.4||S-8||89||head gasket|
|DNF||21||Russ Snowberger||-||Snowberger FD||Miller||4.2||S-4||50||radiator|
|DNF||17||George Bailey||Miller||Miller 4D||Miller||3.0||S-4||47||valve|
|DNF||56||Floyd Davis||W R W||Miller||Offenhauser||4.2||S-4||43||suspension|
|DNF||42||Al Miller II||Kennedy Tank||Adams||Offenhauser||4.4||S-4||41||throttle pedal|
|DNF||29||Frank Brisko||National Seal||StevensFD||Brisko||4.4||S-6||38||air pump|
|DNF||44||Emil Andres||Chicago Flash||Stevens||Offenhauser||4.2||S-4||22||plugs|
|DNF||32||Bob Swanson||SMI||Stevens||Sampson||3.0||V-16||19||rear axle|
|DNF||47||Shorty Cantlon||Auto Service||Stevens||Offenhauser||4.3||S-4||15||main bearing|
Fastest lap: Jimmy Snyder in 1m08.83s = 210.4 km/h (130.757 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 185.1 km/h (115.035 mph)
Pole poition speed: 209.4 km/h (130.138 mph)
Donington Park (GB), 10 June 1939 (Saturday)
64 laps x 5.029 km (3.125 mi) = 321.9 km (200.0 mi)
The German and Italain teams refused an invitation and the new E-type ERA became a non starter after engine trouble during practice. Prince Bira in his ERA totally dominated the race, being fastes even if he was on a non stop strategy.
Mays, afraid to push the car in his new status as privateer, was as sure of his second position while Whitehead made it a ERA 1-2-3. Hanson was a late retiremwent after holding 4th position.
The Nuffield Trophy a.k.a. "The British Light Car Classic" was first raced in 1934 as a handicap race. For 1939 the event was changed to a 64 lap scratch race in a move to tempt the new Mercedes voiturettes and the
Italians to take part . A suggestion was made to Mercedes -Benz during the Eifelrennen but the Germans had no time to prepare two cars and were unwilling to send a single one. Also Alfa Romeo made only vague promises
so only Maserati was showing any real interest. The thing was not made better by the fact that the event clashed with Picardie GP and that the continental European privateers selected the latter. |
There was no starting money but the prize money was good.
ERAs dominated the entry list. Former works drivers Mays and Bira had their Zoller blown ERAs, R4D in black and R12C "Hanuman" in new Siamese colors blue and yellow.
ERAs with Murray-Jamieson supercharger included Pollock's gray R2A, Wilson's dark blue R4A, Rolt/Horsfall in Ex-Bira R5B "Remus" now in gray livery, Hanson's red R6B, Ansell's dark blue R9B with red wheels,
Whitehead's black R10B and Aitken's pale blue ex-Tongue R11B.
There were high expectations on seeing the new E-type ERA in action against the European teams. The ERA works team entered the car for their new no 1 driver Arthur Dobson . But the car was not ready developed as works
had recently moved from Bourne to Donington and the team was in crisis. Cook , having already spent £75000 of his own money, had announced that he urgently needed another £8000 to save the team.
Maserati had entered two cars for Villoresi and Rocco but they never appeared as the Italians were unwilling to spend the costs of transporting the cars all the way to England for just a voiturette race. In the end the only
continental entries proved to be Parisian Roger Loyer driving a dark blue ex Herbert Berg Maserati 6CM and Bob Gerard's Riley.
Maclure had a dark blue supercharged Riley with the engine from the famous "White Riley".
Tongue had his new fast Maserati 4CL (1567) while Loyer , Dodson and Hanson had 6CMs. The rest of the field consisted of Hadley's Austin, Brooke's Alta-engined special and Nicolls' MG, while Reg Parnell's mysterious Challenger,
a new ERA-engined car of advanced design, was not ready.
There was a cold wind blowing on Thursday but apart from that the weather was good. Bira proved fastest with a time of 2m21.5s followed by Dobson in a troublesome new Era with 2m25s.
During Friday practice Bira lowered his time to 2m20.4s. He was followed by Mays, Horsfall (in Rolt's ERA), Whitehead, Dobson, Maclure and Tongue (see grid for times). Tongue broke the final drive on his Maserati,
making him a non-starter. A broken oil pump destroyed the engine of the E-type ERA and while a spare was available it had not been run in, so instead of destroying that one as well in the long race, Cook withdrew the works entry.
There were more spectators than in the former years as the cars lined up on the grid according to their fastest practice times.
||* 4 Tongue (Maserati) 2m25.4s DNS ** 3 Dobson (ERA) 2m25.0s DNS|
Rest of grid unknown.
As the flag dropped Mays and Bira were slow off the line and Whitehead stalled totally. It was instead Maclure in the Riley who took the lead followed by Ansell, Aitken, Bira and Mays. Bira and Mays soon moved up to second
and third and that became first and second when Ansell, who had opened up a 10 seconds gap, suddenly retired after only five laps with gearbox trouble. Gone was already Hampshire with a blown piston on his Maserati and Rolt
had made the first of several pit stops because of plug trouble.|
Bira had full control over the race, opening up the gap to Mays by a second a lap. At ten laps Bira was leading with Mays 13 seconds behind followed by Whitehead, who had fought his way up to third, and Ansell.
When passing backmarkers Mays got the gap down to 6 seconds but it was clear that neither Bira nor Mays, who was now without works support and worried about the spare parts situation, was pushing. Following pit signals Bira
easily opened up the gap back to 13s after 20 laps. Whitehead was a further 37s behind. Gone was Nicolls with engine trouble on his M.G. and next to retire was Wilson with a broken gearbox.
By thirty laps Bira was leading by 16s. Hanson had passed Ansell for fourth position. Loyer had overheated his engine and on lap 33 the field lost two further cars as Brooke got gearbox troubles and Rolt, after having made three
pit stops and trying to regain positions by throwing the ERA round the corners, overdid it and crashed.
At 40 laps the order was Bira, Mays (20s behind), Whitehead, Hanson, Ansel, Pollock, Aitken, Dodson, Hadley and Gerard and it remained still the same ten laps later.
On lap 52 Mays was in for a rushed 29s stop, fuel splashing all around the pits during tanking. After the stop his engine started to misfire. It soon became clear too that Bira just like last year had decided to do the race
non-stop and with a lead of 85s Bira started to cruise as did Mays, securing his second position.
On lap 59 Hanson in fourth position had to retire with gearbox problems.
So Bira took a dominant victory from Mays. The only non ERA in the top seven was Dodson's Maserati.
Main sources: Chula Chakrabongse's Blue and Yellow , ERA Gold Portfolio, Venables' Racing Five-Hundreds, Sheldon Vol 4.