Logo



Farina (Alfa Romeo) Biondetti (Alfa Romeo) Wakefield (Maserati)

VI PRIX DE BERNE
(Voiturette 1500cc)


Lang (Mercedes-Benz)Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)von Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)

VI GROßER PREIS DER SCHWEIZ

Bremgarten - Bern (CH), 20 August 1939
Separate heats for 1500cc och 3000cc, combined final
2 Heats of 20 laps x 7.280 km (4.52 mi) = 145.6 km (90.5 mi)
Final: 30 laps x 7.280 km (4.52 mi) = 218.4 km (135.7 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

Grand Prix Class:
2Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12
4Hermann MüllerAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12
6Tazio NuvolariAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12
8Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12
10Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12
12Hans Hugo HartmannDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12
12Heinz BrendelDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12DNS - reserve
14Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12
16Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12
18Robert MazaudR. MazaudDelahaye135S3.6S-6
20Raymond SommerR. SommerAlfa RomeoTipo 3083.0S-8DNA
22Luigi ChinettiEcurie Lucy O'Rilley SchellDelahayeDNA
24Max ChristenM. ChristenMaserati26B2.0S-8
26?Ecurie Lucy O'Rilley SchellDelahayeDNA
28René DreyfusEcurie Lucy O'Rilley SchellMaserati8CTF3.0S-8
30"Raph"Ecurie Lucy O'Rilley SchellMaserati8CTF3.0S-8
32Kenneth EvansK EvansAlfa RomeoTipo B3.0S-8
72Emmanuel de GraffenriedBaron de GraffenriedMaserati6C-343.0S-6
 
 
Voiturette Class:
40Paul PietschOfficine A. Maserati?Maserati4CL1.5S-4
42Heinz DipperSüddeutsche RenngemeinschaftMaserati6CM1.5S-6DNA
44Leonhard JoaSüddeutsche RenngemeinschaftMaserati4CM1.5S-4
46Marc HorvilleurM. HorvilleurMaserati4CM1.5S-4
48Robert AnsellR. AnsellERAB1.5S-6
50Allen PollockA. PollockERAA1.5S-6
52Tony RoltA. RoltERAB1.5S-6DNA
54John WakefieldJ. WakefieldMaserati4CL1.5S-4
56Guido BarbieriG. BarbieriMaserati6CM1.5S-6
58Ettore BiancoE. BiancoMaserati4CL1.5S-4DNA
60Giovanni RoccoOfficine A. Maserati?Maserati4CL1.5S-4
62Emilio RomanoE. RomanoMaserati6CM1.5S-6DNA
64Giuseppe FarinaAlfa CorseAlfa Romeo1581.5S-8
66Clemente BiondettiAlfa CorseAlfa Romeo1581.5S-8
68Arialdo RuggeriScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati4CL1.5S-4DNA
70Piero TaruffiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati4CL1.5S-4DNA



A hard Mercedes duel in the last Grande Épreuve before the war
Entries:
The Swiss organizers wondered how to attract the Italians to enter the GP race and finally came upon a unique solution. The race was run in two heats, one for Voiturettes and one for GP cars, with the best from each heat going to a combined final.
      Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union sent four cars each. Auto Union was without Meier as he was in hospital after a serious crash in the Swedish motorcycle GP at Malmö. Hans Hugo Hartmann started as fourth Mercedes driver. The Schells entered their new, ex-works Maserati 8CTF cars and there were also some privateers including local driver Emmanuel de Graffenried with a Maserati.
      Alfa Romeo sent two of their type 158 for Farina and Biondetti. This was the 3rd race for the "Alfettas" in 3 weeks. The cars had been rebuilt with improved cooling and wider bodies. Maserati was not officially involved but two works 4CL's appeared at Berne for Pietsch and Rocco. Wakefield's and Bianco's private 4CLs were also present.
     
Practice:
Lang was fastest in all three practice sessions but not without problems. During t he first session the old engine problems that Mercedes thought they had cured reappeared. A new engine was sent from Stuttgart while Lang used the T-car. During the last session Lang made the fastest lap to take the pole with the new engine but he preferred the T-car so during the night before the race the new engine was moved to the T-car. Von Brauchitsch was second fastest but the real surprise was Farina who was third fastest with his 1.5 L Alfa beating GP drivers like Caracciola, Nuvolari and Stuck.
Race:

Pole Position
40
Pietsch

Maserati
2m50.1s

60
Rocco

Maserati
2m48.1s

64
Farina

Alfa Romeo
2m45.2s

66
Biondetti

Alfa Romeo
2m53.6s

64
Wakefield

Maserati
2m50.9s

48
Ansell

ERA
3m18.1s

44
Joa

Maserati
?

50
Pollock

ERA
3m05.5s

56
Barbieri

Maserati
3m45.3s

46
Horvilleur

Maserati
3m34.7s



Farina took the lead at the start followed by Rocco, Pietsch and Biondetti. From a standing start Farina broke the Voiturette lap record on the very first lap and continued in dominant style. His team mate Biondetti soon passed Pietsch and on lap 5 he also passed Rocco's Maserati to make it into an Alfa Romeo 1-2. After ten laps Farina had a 28 seconds lead over Biondetti. In the latter part of the race Wakefield showed his class by challenging the "works" Maseratis and passing them for third position. Farina won the heat and thereby also the "Prix de Berne". The 6 best Voiturettes were to start in the Grand Prix final (?)

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.64Giuseppe FarinaAlfa CorseAlfa Romeo1581.5S-82056m28.0s
2.66Clemente BiondettiAlfa CorseAlfa Romeo1581.5S-82057m05.0s+ 37.0s
3.54John WakefieldJ. WakefieldMaserati4CL1.5S-42057m36.9s+ 1m08.9s
4.60Giovanni RoccoOfficine A. Maserati?Maserati4CL1.5S-42058m14.9s+ 1m46.9s
5.40Paul PietschOfficine A. Maserati?Maserati4CL1.5S-41958m05.9s
6.48Robert AnsellR. AnsellERAB1.5S-61959m21.5s
7.44Leonhard JoaSüddeutsche RenngemeinschaftMaserati4CM1.5S-41858m05.9s
8.50Allen PollockA. PollockERAA1.5S-617
DNF56Guido BarbieriG. BarbieriMaserati6CM1.5S-6?
DNF46Marc HorvilleurM. HorvilleurMaserati4CM1.5S-41
Fastest lap: Giuseppe Farina (Alfa Romeo) in 2m46.5s = 157.4 km/h (97.8 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 154.7 km/h (96.1 mph)
Pole position spped: 158.6 km/h (98.6 mph)
Weather:

Race:

Pole Position
14
Caracciola

Mercedes-Benz
2m35.6s

10
Brauchitsch

Mercedes-Benz
2m34.3s

16
Lang

Mercedes-Benz
2m33.3s

6
Nuvolari

Auto Union
2m36.2s

8
Stuck

Auto Union
2m35.8s

12
Hartmann

Mercedes-Benz
2m40.9s

4
Müller

Auto Union
2m39.6s

2
Hasse

Auto Union
2m38.8s

28
Dreyfus

Maserati
2m50.0s

18
Mazaud

Delahaye
?

32
Evans

Alfa Romeo
3m04.1s

72
Graffenried

Maserati
?

24
Christen

Maserati
3m19.5s



It was past noon before the GP heat started. Lang immediately took command of the race and led it all the way to the finish. Caracciola finished second in his "home race" and made the fastest lap. The heat was totally dominated by the Mercedes team and only Nuvolari managed to pass junior driver Hartmann to hinder a 1-2-3-4 for the Silver Arrows. It was not a good day for Ecurie Schell with "Raph" retiring, Dreyfus finishing a disappointing 9th and Mazaud with the Delahaye car finishing dead last. That meant that Mazaud was out of the final as only the 11 best cars qualified for that race.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.16Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-122053m40.0s
2.14Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-122053m44.8s+ 4.8s
3.10Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-122054m10.7s+ 30.7s
4.6Tazio NuvolariAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-122054m20.5s+ 40.5s
5.12Hans Hugo HartmannDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-122055m33.1s+ 2m53.1s
6.8Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-121954m04.7s
7.4Hermann MüllerAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-121954m32.7s
8.2Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-121954m34.7s
9.28René DreyfusEcurie Lucy O'Rilley SchellMaserati8CTF3.0S-81956m28.2s
10.32Kenneth EvansK EvansAlfa RomeoTipo B3.0S-81855m10.7s
11.72Emmanuel de GraffenriedBaron de GraffenriedMaserati6C-343.0S-61856m43.1s
12.18Robert MazaudR. MazaudDelahaye135S3.6S-61756m39.3s
DNF24Max ChristenM. ChristenMaserati26B2.0S-8
DNF30"Raph"Ecurie Lucy O'Rilley SchellMaserati8CTF3.0S-8
Fastest lap: Rudolf Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) in 2m36.0s = 168.0 km/h (104.4 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 162.3 km/h (101.1 mph)
Pole position speed: 171.0 km/h (106.2 mph) Weather:

Race:

Pole Position
10
Brauchitsch

Mercedes-Benz

14
Caracciola

Mercedes-Benz

16
Lang

Mercedes-Benz

12
Hartmann

Mercedes-Benz

6
Nuvolari

Auto Union

66
Biondetti

Alfa Romeo

8
Stuck

Auto Union

64
Farina

Alfa Romeo

2
Hasse

Auto Union

4
Müller

Auto Union

28
Dreyfus

Maserati

60
Rocco

Maserati

54
Wakefield

Maserati

49
Ansell

Maserati

40
Pietsch

Maserati

72
Graffenried

Maserati

32
Evans

Alfa Romeo



The skies opened before the final started and the rain was making the cobbled track extremely slippery. The cars were lined up for the start with Lang, the GP heat winner, on pole position followed by 4 other GP cars with Farina, the Voiturette winner back in 6th place.
      When the flag dropped for the last pre-war Grande Epreuve Lang took the start to lead the race after the first lap but the extraordinary thing was that second, five seconds behind the Mercedes, was Farina with the Alfa. Behind them followed Caracciola, Nuvolari, von Brauchitsch, Hasse and Biondetti. While Lang opened up the gap by 2 seconds a lap Farina was making a joke of all efforts by the Grand Prix drivers to pass. The rain stopped and finally on lap 7 after 15 minutes of humiliation Caracciola managed to pass the Voiturette Alfa with his Mercedes-Benz to take up the chase of his teammate. Von Brauchitsch found it equally hard to pass the flying Alfa and behind him Hasse and Nuvolari were waiting for their turn.
      The track was still wet and Caracciola, cheered on by the crowd, used all his skills to catch Lang. After 20 laps he had closed the gap to 12 seconds. Only now the Auto Union drivers managed to pass Farina. It was not much of a consolation for Hasse for he was in trouble and soon had to retire.
      Neubauer gave an order to Lang to slow the pace, but at is was obvious that Caracciola wasn't going to stop the chase, Lang's wife placed herself near Neubauer and urged Lang to speed up again! With 4 laps to go the gap was down to 6 seconds and when the last lap started Lang's margin was just 2 seconds. Both drivers were driving on the limit. Lang made the very last lap in 2:38.4, the fastest lap of the race, to take the victory in the Swiss Grand Prix, 3 seconds in front of Caracciola. Von Brauchitsch made it into a Mercedes 1-2-3 with Müller and Nuvolari being 4th and 5th after a disappointing performance. Farina made a fantastic race to finish seventh as best Voiturette driver, beating Dreyfus' 3 litre Maserati and Stuck's Auto Union!
In retrospect:

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.16Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12301h24m47.6s
2.14Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12301h24m50.7s+ 3.1s
3.10Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12301h25m57.5s+ 1m09.9s
4.4Hermann MüllerAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12301h27m01.3s+ 2m13.7s
5.6Tazio NuvolariAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12301h27m08.6s+ 2m25.0s
6.12Hans Hugo HartmannDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12291h25m00.0s
7.64Giuseppe FarinaAlfa CorseAlfa Romeo1581.5S-8291h26m01.6s
8.28René DreyfusEcurie Lucy O'Rilley SchellMaserati8CTF3.0S-8281h25m13.7s
9.66Clemente BiondettiAlfa CorseAlfa Romeo1581.5S-8281h25m40.6s
10.8Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12281h25m44.6s
11.32Kenneth EvansK EvansAlfa RomeoTipo B3.0S-8271h27m38.6s
12.54John WakefieldJ. WakefieldMaserati4CL1.5S-4261h26m02.2s
13.48Robert AnsellR. AnsellERAB1.5S-6251h25m23.6s
DNF72Emmanuel de GraffenriedBaron de GraffenriedMaserati6C-343.0S-622
DNF2Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-1220lubrication
DNF40Paul PietschOfficine A. Maserati?Maserati4CL1.5S-47
DNF60Giovanni RoccoOfficine A. Maserati?Maserati4CL1.5S-43
Fastest lap: Hermann Lang (Mercedes-Benz) in 2m38.4s = 165.4 km/h (102.8 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 154.5 km/h (96.0 mph)
Weather: rainy




Stapp (Boyle)Barringer (Weil)Durant (Schoof's)

MILWAUKEE 100 Mile
(AAA National Championship)

Wisconsin State Fair Park Speedway, 27 August 1939
100 laps x 1.609 km (1.0 mi) = 160.9 km (100.0 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarEngine

2Babe StappBoyleOffenhauserS-4
4Ted HornRiverside TireMillerMiller
6Duke NalonBurd Piston RingOffenhauserS-4
8Joel ThorneThorne EngineeringAdamsSparks
15Rex MaysOffenhauserOffenhauserS-4
16Mauri RoseBurd Piston RingShawOffenhauserS-4
18George ConnorMarksAdamsMiller
19Floyd DavisWest Allis AutoWetterothOffenhauserS-4
21Russ SnowbergerMiller D-XSnowbergerMiller
23George RobsonMarionMiller
26Frank McGurkConzeOffenhauserS-4
28Louis DurantSchoof's
37Lou "Spider" WebbGreenfield ServiceNowiakStudebaker
38Frank BriskoElgin Piston PinBlumeBrisko
41George BarringerBill WhiteWeilMiller
44Emil AndresRiverside TireStevensOffenhauserS-4
47Shorty CantlonAssociated Ent.StevensOffenhauserS-4
Billy DeVoreDNQ/DNA?
Sam HanksDNQ/DNA?
Al PutnamDNQ/DNA?
Milt MarionDNQ/DNA?
Harold RobsonDNQ/DNA?
Charley PetersonDNQ/DNA?
Johnny SawyerDNQ/DNA?



Connor dominates, Mays stars, but Stapp wins in the end
Connor held the lead for the first 81 laps. he was followed by Andres and Stapp. Mays was an early retirement but then took over Thorne's car and started the chase on the leading group. Near the end of the race Stapp lead from Mays as first Andres and then Connor retired. When Mays also had to retire Stapp won easily followed by Barringer and Durant.
The Milwaukee 100 Mile race was one of three AAA national Indycar Championship races during 1939 with Indianapolis 500 and Syracuse being the other two. As the 1938-39 AAA race formula was the same as the GP formula (274.59 ci normally aspirated or 183.06 ci supercharged), the race is included here. 23 entries were to fight for the 18 positions in the grid. The qualifying took place at noon with the race starting at 2.30 p.m. the same day. The $7,500 price purse was to be divided between the top 14 drivers with $2,200 going to the race winner.
Entries:
California was strongly represented in the entry list with drivers including Babe Stapp, Joel Thorne, Mauri Rose and Frank McGurk from Los Angeles, Rex Mays and Louis Durant from Glenadale, George Robson from Alhambra and Lou "Spider" Webb from Huntigton Park.
      Duke Nalon, Frank Brisko and Emil Andres were from Chicago and Floyd Davis from Springfield, Illinois. Russ Snowberger and George Barringer came from Indianapolis and George Connor from Gary, Indiana. Shorty Cantlon came from Detroit, Michigan and Ted Horn, finally, was from Hawthorne, New Jersey. Indy winner Wilbur Shaw was not present but six of the other top ten drivers of the Indy 500 where there (including Billy Devore that did not make it into the race).
Qualifying:
The time trials took place at noon on race day. Andres proved to be fastest during qualifying taking the pole with a speed of 88.582 mph.
Race:
The interest in the race was so huge that the 30,000 tickets were sold out before the race started. Hundreds of fans were left outside as the ticket windows were closed.
Pole Position
44
Andres

40.46s

18
Connor

41.26s

15
Mays

41.44s

2
Stapp

42.19s

16
Rose

42.19s

19
Davis

42.20s

38
Brisko

42.21s

47
Cantlon

42.21s

21
Snowberger

42.36s

8
Thorne

?

6
Nalon

42.45s

4
Horn

42.48s

41
Barringer

42.54s

23
Robson

43.12s

28
Durant

43.46s

26
McGurk

44.11s

37
Webb

44.46s



Connor took over the lead on the first lap and then held on to it for the first 81 laps. First out of the race was Rex Mays with engine trouble on the ninth lap. But soon afterwards Mays was back in the race, having taking over Joel Thorne's car on lap 14. Mays returned 2 1/2 laps behind the leader. Mays then set out in wild pursuit of the rest of the field. On lap 21 Frank McGurk had to call it a day. Mays caught leader Connor on the 41st lap and unlapped himself. Andres was second and Stapp third. On the same lap Shorty Cantlon retired from fifth position. Favourite Ted Horn was the next one to retire and on lap 60 Stapp took over second position as pole man Andres retired. Stapp had done a steady drive so far but was notable to push Connor.
      Then with less than 1/4 of the race remaining things really began to happen. Both Mauri Rose in third position and and Floyd Davis in fourth position disappeared from the race soon after each other, and on the 82nd lap Connor, who had built up a half a lap lead, suddenly retired with clutch trouble and Stapp took over the lead. Mays now found himself in second position and on the lead lap some 3/4 of a mile behind the new leader. Barringer was third and Durant fourth. Mays was closing in on the leader but with eight laps to go the strain was too much for the engine. A connecting rod went through the crank case and Mays, skilfully keeping the car under control, had to retire for the second time of the day. With Stapp now in a secure one lap lead attention turned to the fight for second position between Barringer and Durant. On the 98th lap Durant was able to take over second position on the front straight but Barringer retook it on the back straight and then held it to the flag with Durant, less than a second behind, finishing third.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.2Babe StappBoyleOffenhauserS-41001h11m43.60s
2.41George BarringerBill WhiteWeilMiller1001h12m46.56s+ 1m02.96s
3.28Louis DurantSchoof's1001h12m47.39s+ 1m03.79s
4.21Russ SnowbergerMiller D-XSnowbergerMiller99
5.23George RobsonMarionMiller99
6.6Duke NalonBurd Piston RingOffenhauserS-499
7.37Lou "Spider" WebbGreenfield ServiceNowiakStudebaker98
8.38Frank BriskoElgin Piston PinBlumeBrisko98
DNF8Joel Thorne/Rex MaysThorne EngineeringAdamsSparks92engine/oil line
DNF18George ConnorMarksAdamsMiller82clutch shaft
DNF19Floyd DavisWest Allis AutoWetterothOffenhauserS-480throttle/oil line?
DNF16Mauri RoseBurd Piston RingShawOffenhauserS-476clutch/drive shaft?
DNF44Emil AndresRiverside TireStevensOffenhauserS-460air pump
DNF4Ted HornRiverside TireMillerMiller55two flat tyres
DNF47Shorty CantlonAssociated Ent.StevensOffenhauserS-441engine
DNF26Frank McGurkConzeOffenhauserS-421connecting rod
DNF15Rex MaysOffenhauserOffenhauserS-48wrist pin
Fastest lap: ?
Winner's medium speed: (134.62 km/h) 83.651 mph
Pole position speed: (142.495 km/h) 88.582 mph
Weather:



Source: The Milwaukee Sentinel.
With special thanks to Richard A. Salomon.



Stapp (Boyle)Barringer (Weil)Durant (Schoof's)

SYRACUSE 100 Mile
(AAA National Championship)

New York State Fairgrounds, Syracuse, 2 September 1939
100 laps x 1.609 km (1.0 mi) = 160.9 km (100.0 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarEngine

2Babe StappBoyleOffenhauserS-4
3George ConnorBurd Piston Ring
4Ted HornRiverside TireMillerMiller
6Duke NalonBurd Piston RingOffenhauserS-4
15Rex MaysOffenhauserOffenhauserS-4
16Mauri RoseBurd Piston RingShawOffenhauserS-4
17Lou WebbBrommeMillerDNQ
18George ConnorMarks MillerMillerMillerDNQ - conn rod
19Floyd DavisPetilloWetterothOffenhauserS-4
23George RobsonMarionOffenhauserS-4
26Frank McGurkConzeOffenhauserS-4
27Billy DeVoreBrommeMillerDNQ
28Deacon LitzLitzMaseratiMaseratiDNQ,
29Louis DurantSchoof's
37Al PutnamGreenfield ServiceNowiakStudebakerDNQ
38Frank BriskoElgin Piston PinBlumeBrisko
41George BarringerBill WhiteWeilOffenhauserS-4
44Emil AndresRiverside TiresStevensOffenhauserS-4
47Shorty CantlonAuto ServicesStevensOffenhauserS-4



Rose wins after Mays crashes
Mays held the lead followed by Nalon, Connor and Stapp. Mays crashed hard, Nalon and Stapp retired with engine trouble. Rose came through to take the lead and dominate the latter part of the race.
The Syracuse 100 Mile race was the third and last AAA national Indycar Championship race during 1939 with Indianapolis 500 and Milwaukee being the other two. As the 1938-39 AAA race formula was the same as the GP formula (274.59 ci normaly aspirated or 183.06 ci supercharged), the race is included here.
Entries:
The entry list was very similar to Milwaukee. Of those who had qualified for Milwaukee only Joel Thorne and Russ Snowberger failed to turn up for Syracuse. The only new face in the list was Deacon Litz while Billy DeVore and Al Putnam, who both had failed to qualify for Milwakee, had a new try.
Qualifying:
The time trials took place the day before the race (Friday) with Mays taking the pole position.
Race:
The race started on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Pole Position
15
Mays

40.04s
6
Nalon


3
Connor


4
Horn


16
Rose


2
Stapp


19
Davis


26
McGurk


23
Robson


41
Barringer


38
Brisko


47
Cantlon


29
Durant


44
Andres




In the early part of the race Mays held the lead followed by Nalon, Connor and Stapp. One fourth into the race Mays was firmly in the lead with Nalon and Connor trying their best to keep up with the pace. Rose had passed Stapp for fourth. On the 29th lap Mays, who was trying to lap the entire field, lost control and crashed hard into the North Turn concrete wall. The race pace was slowed down, all drivers holding to their positions and forbidden to close the gaps while work was done on removing Mays from the wreck. Luckily Mays escaped from the crash without any serious injuries. After the Offenhouser wreck had been towed to the pits the race was restarted with Nalon now leading followed by Connor and Rose.
      Nalon's time at halfway through the race was 39m04.92s corresponding to a good 76.76 mph regardless of the earlier "Safety Car" situation. Rose passed Connor for second position and started to close in on the leader. Stapp was in fourth position with Horn fifth. On lap 55 Rose took over the lead as Nalon pitted and retired with engine troubles. At 65 laps Rose had opened up a half lap gap to Connor with Stapp in third position, almost a lap behind the leader. On lap 63 Stapp was forced to retire and Horn was now up to third. Five laps later it was Robson's turn to retire with engine problems. At 3/4 distance Rose caught second positioned Connor and put him a lap down. Rose's time at 75 laps was 59m38.72s corresponding to 75.45 mph so the pace of the race had actually slowed down. In the end Rose took it easy and Horn was able to unlap himself (i.e. from two laps down to one lap down) on lap 85. Rose took the flag from Connor and Horn. Mays also got a fair share of the ovations as he walked out from the hospital unit and waved to the spectators from the grandstand.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarEngineLapsTime/Status

1.16Mauri RoseBurd Piston RingShawOffenhauserS-41001h20m06.48s
2.3George ConnorBurd Piston Ring100
3.4Ted HornRiverside TireMillerMiller100
4.19Floyd DavisPetilloWetterothOffenhauserS-4100
5.41George BarringerBill WhiteWeilOffenhauserS-4100
6.38Frank BriskoElgin Piston PinBlumeBrisko100
7.29Louis DurantSchoof's99
8.47Shorty CantlonAuto ServicesStevensOffenhauserS-499
9.44Emil AndresRiverside TiresStevensOffenhauserS-498
DNF23George RobsonMarionOffenhauserS-468engine
DNF2Babe StappBoyleOffenhauserS-463engine
DNF6Duke NalonBurd Piston RingOffenhauserS-455engine
DNF15Rex MaysOffenhauserOffenhauserS-429crashed, overturned
DNF26Frank McGurkConzeOffenhauserS-420?
Fastest lap: ?
Winner's medium speed: 120.54 km/h (74.899 mph)
Pole position speed: 89.910 mph
Weather:



Source: "The Syracuse Herald Journal"
With special thanks to Richard A. Salomon



Nuvolari (Auto Union)von Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)Müller (Auto Union)

I BEOGRAD CITY PARK RACE/BEOGRAD GP

Kalemegdan Park - Beograd (YU), 3 September 1939
50 laps x 2.794 km (1.736 mi) = 139.70 km (86.8 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12
4Tazio NuvolariAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12
4Ulrich BigalkeAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12DNS - reserve #8?
6Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12
8Hermann MüllerAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12
8Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12DNS - did not practice
10Walter BäumerDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12shared car #2
12Bosko MilenkowitschB. MilenkowitschBugattiT512.3S-8
14Raymond SommerAlfa Corse?Alfa RomeoTipo 3083.0S-8DNA
16?Alfa Corse?Alfa RomeoTipo 3083.0S-8DNA
18Luigi VilloresiOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8CTF3.0S-8DNA
20Paul PietschOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8CTF3.0S-8DNA



Nuvolari wins Auto Union's final Grand Prix race.
by Hans Etzrodt, slightly edited by Leif Snellman
The second Belgrade City Race in Yugoslavia was run despite the fact that WW II had already started. Nuvolari on Auto Union won the brief 81.3 mph battle between only five cars over this bumpy city circuit. Von Brauchitsch took the lead right at the start, only to lose it to Müller's Auto Union after a spin on lap 16. When Müller encountered tire problems on lap 30, Nuvolari inherited the lead, never to lose it again. Lang retired due to injury early in the race, when a stone smashed his goggles. Such was the pace of the 50 lap race that three drivers beat Brauchitsch's fastest practice time. The cause for the unusual tire problems may have been the strong grip on the small cobblestones in conjunction with the cars jumping high over the bumps. The cars from Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz had been evenly matched.
The Belgrade City Race was held in honor of the birthday of the young King Peter II. The 2.794 km road circuit, at the Sava and Danube river junction in Belgrade, encircled a little mountain, crowned by the huge old Turkish fortress Kalemegdan. The course went counter clockwise, had eight left hand turns, one fast right kink and no straight worth mentioning to do passing maneuvers. For the most part, the cobblestone streets were narrow, slippery and bumpy, causing the cars to briefly lift off the ground and jump through the air. The drivers also had to cope with tram lines on this rather short circuit, a bit longer than Pau but shorter than Monaco. The 50 lap race lasted just over an hour and with only five cars at the start, the event gave the impression of a demonstration run instead a grand prix. A Yugoslavian Grand Prix it was not. (Note 1)
      The international political atmosphere was extremely tense. A heavily armored Nazi Germany had seized Austria on 12 March of 1938, followed half a year later by the occupation of Czechoslovakia on 3 October. Gasoline had been rationed in Germany in early August of 1939. Per car, only five liters of fuel were issued at a tank stop. The stress and uncertainty of the times were felt even at the Swiss Grand Prix, two weeks prior to the Belgrade race. Headlines in the newspapers raised the fear of a looming war. Then, early morning of September 1, German troops had marched into Poland, starting World War II. Two days later, when the Belgrade race was run, both Britain and France were at war with Germany.
Entries:
Travel was not easy in these times of political tension and uncertainty. Somehow the German teams made it to Yugoslavia, a three day trip from Germany over Vienna and Budapest to Belgrade. Mercedes-Benz arrived with only two cars and a large tanker truck filled with fuel. Team manager Alfred Neubauer was accompanied by Hermann Lang, Manfred von Brauchitsch and Walter Bäumer as reserve. According to Neubauer, Rudolf Caracciola did not race because his leg had become worse again. Rudi also planned to drive only at the most important grand prix races in the future. Auto Union had H.P. Müller, Tazio Nuvolari, Hans Stuck and Ulrich Bigalke as reserve driver. Why they needed four drivers for two cars had probably something to do with the uncertainty of these times. The only local entry came from Bosko Milenkovic with a 2.3-liter Bugatti T51, at least four years old. It had not been an easy decision for the Mercedes-Benz team to travel to Belgrade in times like these. Probably for the same reason, the expected Alfa Romeos and Maseratis did not show up.
Practice:
The first practice session on Thursday, August 31, was from four to six in the afternoon. Because of the political uncertainty, the atmosphere in Belgrade was very tense. Lang drove car W154-8 and did 19 laps, the fastest in 1m16.2s. Brauchitsch's best time with car W154-16 was 1m17.3s after 17 laps. Both cars were equipped with the altered fuel supply system introduced at the Swiss Grand Prix, to eliminate plug and piston ring problems they were plagued with in France and Germany. Only one Auto Union practiced, driven by Müller. His fastest out of 16 laps was 1m18.3s with car 76011. Wild rumors about German troops at the Polish border and a possible war persisted all evening.
      The following morning, the fears turned to reality. The Belgrade newspapers sold special editions: "Germany at war with Poland." In all this excitement, a lot of foreign visitors left the hotels for their home destinations. The German teams were now undecided whether to race or immediately drive back to Germany. The organizers asked them to stay. Declining to start would have been a great financial loss for the promoter. The two hour practice started again at 4 PM. Lang improved his time to 1m15.4s after 10 laps, whereas von Brauchisch's best was 1m18.4s out of 10 laps. Müller practiced again with car 76011, the fastest time of 1m18.2s. He pitted after 13 laps because oil and water temperatures were at 105 °C instead the 95 desired. Air and ground temperatures were 30 and 40 degrees respectively. Müller did another seven laps without the front hood, resulting in a faster time of 1m17.2s. However, the temperatures remained the same. Since Nuvolari had not yet shown up, reserve driver Bigalke took out the second car, 76010, his best time was 1m37.0s. After five laps, he returned to the pits with fuel feed problems. Since a quick check revealed nothing, Müller drove the car for nine laps, his fastest at 1m16.8s. The German preferred car 76010, with the stronger roller-bearing engine revving at 7200 rpm. It had been destined for Nuvolari, but since the Italian's arrival was still uncertain, the car was now assigned to Müller. Later, after changing the final drive ratio on his five-speed transaxle, Müller was able to use third gear only, for the entire circuit.
      Saturday morning, Nuvolari and Stuck finally arrived in the capital with the same train. Since Auto Union had only two cars, the faster practice time was to decide between Stuck and Müller to start next to Nuvolari. After some discussion, Stuck was asked to abstain from practice and the race. The reasoning was, that Müller, with 45 laps already well familiarized with the circuit, would try anything to outdo Stuck's time. Stuck on the other hand, would have requested an equal amount of laps to approach Müller's best time. Therefore, the engine would already have been stressed with higher rpm's during practice and this was not acceptable.
      At 12:00 noon, the promoters had allowed a special practice session for Nuvolari. At the end of ten laps, his best time with car 76011 was 1m20.2s. After another six laps he was down to 1m17.2s. At the official training between 4:00 and 6:00 PM, lap times tumbled further. Both Mercedes-Benz cars were fastest again. Manfred von Brauchitsch (Note 2) did 1m14.2s and Lang could only improve to 1m15.0s. He promptly wanted to go out again to beat von Brauchitsch's time, but Neubauer objected, since Lang already occupied the front row. Within another six laps, Nuvolari bettered his time to 1m16.3s. His car had the weaker plain bearing engine, revving only at 6800 rpm. He then took his Auto Union out again for two five lap stints, to scrub in two sets of tires. Müller got stranded with fuel feed problems, after having done six laps. Practice was interrupted to tow the Auto Union back to the pits. After the faulty carburetor was repaired, Müller did another seven laps and lowered his time to 1m15.2s.
Race:
The 50,000 spectators, aware that Germany had attacked Poland two days ago, knew since this Sunday morning, that Great Britain and France in support of Poland, were at war with Germany. The helpless German teams felt not inclined to race. After all, Alfred Neubauer returned from the German embassy with the news that they were going to race. In spite of all this, three races for motorcycles and four for sports cars were run since the morning, with the grand prix car battle crowning the day's events in the late afternoon. The cars lined up as follows:
Pole Position
2
Lang

Mercedes-Benz
1m15.0s

6
Brauchitsch

Mercedes-Benz
1m14.2s

8
Müller

Auto Union
1m15.2s

4
Nuvolari

Auto Union
1m16.3s

12
Milenkovic

Bugatti


(Note 3)



At 4:45 PM, the race was on. Lang wanted to do a really quick start but had rear-wheel shatter, enabling von Brauchitsch to shoot into the lead. A furious Lang, who was keen to win what would surely would be the last race for a considerable time, tried to pass, only to be pushed onto the pavement. For the first six laps the order remained the same: von Brauchitsch, Lang, Nuvolari, Müller, and Milenkovic. Von Brauchitsch was driving very wild, with Lang glued to his tail, looking for a chance to pass. Neubauer waved his house-flag, but Manfred maintained his wild style. On lap seven, Brauchitsch had taken one of the corners too fast, his car slid to the edge of the road and on acceleration, threw up dirt and stones. One stone shattered the wind-screen of Lang's Mercedes and both glasses of his goggles. Lang, momentarily blinded by the impact, ran off the road but recovered. He pulled into the pits with a bleeding eye. Dr. Gläser, the German team doctor, pulled the glass splinters out of both eyes. Bäumer, in the meantime, was ordered into Lang's car, which had fallen back two laps. He pulled out of the pits just before the leading Mercedes came by and hindered an angry Brauchitsch.
      Still driving spectacular and needlessly going ever faster, von Brauchitsch led Müller, who had gone by Nuvolari, followed by Bäumer, now three laps back. On lap 15, von Brauchitsch established a new lap record of 1m14.0s. He was 13.8 seconds ahead of Müller who had Nuvolari glued to his tail. On lap 16, Brauchitsch had taken a right-hand uphill turn too fast, spinning his car around in front of the French embassy and stalling the engine in the process. The car faced the wrong way and he was able to re-start by letting his car roll downhill in the wrong direction. This was a rules violation, a maneuver not noticed by any of the officials. The moment Brauchitsch turned his car around the Auto Union tandem arrived in hot pursuit. As Müller passed Brauchitsch tried to return to the race straight in front of Nuvolari, who, only by performing an exceptional run-around maneuver, avoided a collision with the Mercedes.
      Müller was now the new leader from lap 16 to 29, five seconds ahead of Nuvolari and eight ahead of Brauchitsch. Trying desperately to catch up with the Auto Unions, Brauchitsch spun again, and Bäumer in Lang's car went by. When Manfred caught up again with the other Mercedes, he tried to pass. Since Bäumer did not immediately moved over, Brauchitsch pressured him so much that the reserve driver went into the straw bales. On lap 22, Müller equaled Brauchitsch's lap record of 1m14.0s.
      On lap 30, Müller had a large portion of the left rear tire breaker fly away and lost time to get back to the pits. Milenkovic had to make a lengthy pitstop because of overheating. His mechanic didn't manage to unscrew the radiator cap, so he had to do it by himself, losing additional time. Nuvolari was now the leader, five seconds ahead of von Brauchitsch. With no obstructions ahead, Nuvolari equaled the lap record set by Brauchitsch, who had to stop on lap 36 with totally destroyed rear tires. Nuvolari's advantage increased therefore to 50 seconds, until he also had to stop for new tires on lap 39. After refueling and changing tires in only 26 seconds, the mechanics push-started the Auto Union instead of using a portable starter. This was an obvious rule violation and Mercedes-Benz team manager, Neubauer, wanted to protest. But Wilhelm Sebastian from Auto Union, pointed to von Brauchitsch's illegal maneuver before. Nuvolari kept his lead, always eight to six seconds ahead of the Mercedes.
      After just 64 minutes it was all over, with Nuvolari 7.6 seconds clear of von Brauchitsch and 30.6 seconds ahead of Müller. Milenkovic, driving 19 laps behind, was flagged off. The Prince Regent, Paul, presented Nuvolari with the cup of King Peter II. It was to be Auto Union's last grand prix victory and also the last grand prix of 1939 for the 3-liter supercharged formula, which carried on until after the war in 1946. The Belgrade City Park Race had concluded the era of The Golden Thirties.
Postscript:
Neubauer organized a caravan of all the German trucks. Off they went trying to reach the German border. With rumours that all fuel would be confiscated in Hungary the caravan instead chose to take some dirty country roads through Slavonia, Croatia and the mountains of Slovenia into Austria. To see through the dust the trucks had to leave a one mile gap between each other. Finally reaching the factory gates the trucks were confiscated by the German army. The great GP teams were no more.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.4Tazio NuvolariAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12501h04m03.8s
2.6Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-12501h04m11.4s+ 7.6s
3.8Hermann MüllerAuto Union AGAuto UnionD3.0V-12501h04m34.4s+ 31.6s
4.12Bosko MilenkowitschB. MilenkowitschBugattiT512.3S-8311h04m27.2s
DNF2H. Lang / W. BäumerDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW1543.0V-1217crash by Bäumer
Fastest lap: Müller & Nuvolari (Auto Union) and v. Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz) all in 1m14.0s = 135.9 km/h (84.5 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 130.8 km/h (81.3 mph)
Pole position speed: 135.6 km/h (84.2 mph)
Weather: warm, sunny.



Footnote:
1. Contemporary magazines like Motor und Sport as well as books by Herzog, Kirchberg, Tragatsch and others refer to this race as the Belgrade City Park Race or Belgrade Grand Prix. Therefore, this event will not be adopted here as the Yugoslavian Grand Prix, as it is referred to in many publications after WW II.

2. According to Mercedes-Benz team manager, Alfred Neubauer, Brauchitsch attempted to quit and fly to Switzerland on Saturday morning. Only quick-witted action by Neubauer prevented this from happening, when he pulled the escapee off the plane.

3. Several sources place Milenkowitsch to the left on the grid. However, film evidence shows Milenkowitsch to the right on the grid at the start.



de Teffé (Maserati) - looking for picturesB. Lopes (Alfa Romeo) - looking for picturesde Avellar (Ford V8) - looking for pictures

II CIRCUITO DE GÁVEA NACIONAL

Gávea - Rio de Janeiro (BRA), 29 October 1939
20 laps x 11.16 km (? mi) = 223.2 km (? mi)




---
Entries:

     
Practice:
Race:

Pole Position?
B Lopes
Alfa Romeo

de Teffe
Maserati

Nascimento
Alfa Romeo

F Landi
Alfa Romeo

Rest of grid unknown.



In retrospect:

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarLapsTime/Status

1.Manuel de TefféMaserati202h44m06.8s
2.Manuel LopesAlfa Romeo202h46m36.5s+ 2m29.7s
3.Geraldo de AvellarFord V8202h50m11.3s+ 6m04.5s
4.Amaral Jr.Ford V8202h51m04.9s+ 6m58.1s
5.José dos Santos SoeiroFord V8202h51h38.4s+ 7m31.6s
6.Ângelo GonçalvesFord
7.F LandiAlfa Romeo
8.Domingos GonçalvesFord
9.Júlio de MoraesWanderer
10.José BernardoFord
DNFRodrigo MirandaBMW
DNFFrancisco CredentinoMaserati19mechanical
DNFRubem AbrunhosaBugatti-Studebaker16damage
DNFQuirino LandiFiat15engine
DNFNewton TeixeiraAlfa Romeo7accident
DNFLuiz Tavares MoraesMaserati6fire
DNFA. Nascimento JúniorAlfa Romeo6differnential
?Diogo da Costa e SilvaWillys
?Domingos LopesBugatti
?Gino Bianco Bugatti-Chrysler
?José ChichelliLancia
?Luis TeixeiraFord
?Oldemar RamosAlfa Romeo
Fastest lap: A Nascimento Júnior (Alfa Romeo) in 7m48.2s
Weather:




Star 10 December 1939: Was the intended day for the first Bangkok Grand Prix, a 60 laps race on a 2 mile track for
1500 cc Voiturettes. Planned by B. Bira the preliminary entry list consisted of:
SommerMaserati
GérardMaserati
"Raph"Maserati
PietschMaserati
AitkenERA
MaclureRiley
MaysERA
HerkuleynsMG
LuraniMaserati
TaruffiMaserati
de GraffenriedMaserati
"B Bira"ERA

The cars needed to be shipped in October. For obvious reasons the race was never held.
(Info supplied by Rudiger de Jonghe)




AIACR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE





PREVIOUS 1939 INDEX NEXT
MAIN INDEX


© 2014 Leif Snellman, Felix Muelas - Last updated: 04.05.2014