2 What is included?
3 The race accounts
4 Speed calculations
5 Types of events
6 The driver section
7 The circuit section
8 The car section
9 The championship tables
10 The speed records section
11 Hans Etzrodt's sections
12 Country Codes
13 Conversion factors
14 1930s Exchange rates
15 Technical info
Back in the late 1990s I noticed that while there were lots of books about post war Grand Prix racing, there were, except for the hard to obtain Sheldon series, hardly any books nor any Internet sites that gave a race-by-race account of the pre war Grand Prix races. Therefore I decided to make such a list myself for the benefit of all those who are interested in the era. The format of this site was initially influenced by Mike Lang's excellent book series: Grand Prix! Later the format got a bit more towards Sheldon/old Autosport with entry and results lists in table form.
When I started making this home page my aim was to keep as high quality as I could. That has proved to be the right decision as some of the greatest experts of pre-war racing found the site interesting enough to make them spend their time assisting me with suggestions, corrections and further information. This contribution enabled me to develop this page to a quality that was beyond my wildest imagination when I started off with this project.
If you are looking for fancy pictures and graphics you won't find much of it on this site! This site was deliberately made to be fast and easy to download so I have tried to minimize any unnecessary graphics. There is no mysterious hidden Java stuff here except for what's needed for the visitor counters and the clickable map that uses the "Overlib" Java script library.
What you will find here instead is information, information and more information! This site includes the most complete compilation of pre war Grand Prix and voiturette racing you can find anywhere with the most correct results.
The results have not been copied directly from books but I have tried to verify every result for its correctness.
The main object of this site was to give the reader a race-by-race account of Grand Prix and voiturette racing during the period 1934-1940 with the aim to have the most correct information that can be found anywhere about the races from the era. With the help of Hans Etzrodt I was also able to expand the period back into the 1920s.
While I have done my best to record all information as correct as possible, I have no illusions. There still have to be errors on my site, probably a lot of them. Corrections and comments are highly appreciated.
Race accounts in chronological order with starting lists, grids, and results for Grand Prix, formula libre and 1.5 litre voiturette type races during the period between the wars, with color drawings of the top three cars in each race. For the 1924-1931 seasons only accounts of the major Grand Prix races have so far been written, with some minor events on occasion. Some Scandinavian ice races and some South American races in which some race cars appeared and had international entries are included as well. 1100 cc voiturettes, cycle cars and sports cars classes are included only if they raced contemporary with the Grand Prix classes. American AAA (Indy) racing accounts are only included from 1938 onwards when the formula was the same as the one for Grand Prix racing.
From 1933 onwards I have placed between the race accounts short notes about major handicap races, sports car races, mountain/hill climbs and AAA races and about other motor racing related matters.
Supporting the race accounts are:
A picture of the top three finishing cars.
They are made to a scale of 1.8 cm = 1 pixel, While I have done my best to find information about the appearance and color of each car, especially the colors of the cars are sometimes a guess.
Name of the event.
Regarding the fonts used, see the "Types of events" section below. I have tried to get the event name as correct as possible in the local language. In multi-language cases the names are separated with a "/". Beware that there are also several cases where there are different opinions about the correct race name. Also, beware that the correctness of the numbers indicating the event order is not assured.
Name and country of the circuit with a link to the circuit section.
Again, there are different opinions about the correct circuit name. The name is given followed by the city separated by a "-" and finally the country code in brackets.
Date of the event.
In case it was not run on a Sunday, it is mentioned in brackets. That includes British races, Easter races, Coppa Acerbo (held on The Assumption Day) etc.
Number and length of laps and total length of race in metric with imperial lengths in brackets.
Much work has been done trying to find the correct length of each race course. Race speeds given by contemporary sources have been of much help here. But wrong calculations and printing errors are common in the newspapers and there are also cases where the exact circuit lengths are available on circuit plans but the official time keepers have used other numbers in their calculations.
All calculations here have been done with all decimals using metric values and then transformed into imperial and rounded off in the end (except for British and American races where I have computed with imperial values and then transformed the results into metric). Regarding the rounding off, see the speed calculation section. The multiplication factor for miles to km is 1.609344.
Entry table with race number, driver, entrant, car, car type, engine size and engine type, additional comments.
Sometimes race numbers were changed between practice and race. If so, both numbers will be listed if available with comments.
With shared drives only the driver starting the race with that particular car is listed. Sometimes alternative drivers and cars are listed as well.
Entrant names are very hard to find out. We have tried to keep the names as consistent as possible (like always using "Officine A. Maserati" or "Automobiles E. Bugatti") for the works teams, rather than trying to change the names according to variants found in available race programs etc. Usually we have used the name of the driver with first name as an initial for independent entries.
In the rather few cases where engine manufacturer is different from the car manufacturer we have followed the standard practice of giving the name of the car manufacturer followed by the name of the engine manufacturer.
Engine sizes have been rounded off to closest 1/10 of a liter. Engine type is indicated with a "S" for straight, "F" for flat, "V" for V engines, and "*" for radial engines followed by the number of cylinders. Most of the race engines in that era were supercharged. Exceptions are usually mentioned in the "Entries" section.
As we cannot compete with Autosport's classic headline "T4 two" (Tea for two) from 1979, we have mostly tried to be informative rather than innovative. (We have actually been criticized for "spoiling the fun" by declaring the winner in the headline).
All race accounts are written by Leif Snellman unless it is specifically noticed that the text is written by Hans Etzrodt (or Don Capps in the case of Tripoli 1933).
A short summary of the event.
This is to give the reader the possibility to quickly see what the event was about, without having to read through the entire text. This was a feature introduced by Hans Etzrodt and it will eventually be included for all races.
Includes items like race organization, circuit descriptions or circuit rebuilding, race prizes and on occasion historic facts.
We have not fallen into the trap of trying to include all chassis numbers (a quite impossible task). However, in some cases known chassis numbers that might be of interest are mentioned in this section, especially for the well researched ERA cars.
Practice (including qualifying)
Qualifying for grid positions in Grand Prix racing was introduced at Monaco 1933. Before that grid positions were decided by ballot and some of the events continued to use that system for several years. Therefore complete practice and qualifying results, having no impact on the grid, are hard to find, especially from Saturday, as they mostly failed to reach Sunday papers in time and Monday papers naturally concentrated on the race itself.
Grids are, if available, given for each race (heat, repechage or final). Where possible the grids have been either confirmed or corrected from picture, video or news paper evidence and in some cases the grids have been reconstructed from scratch, often as a team job. Pole position is indicated with a triangle. Cars in different classes have been indicated by different shades of grey text, the smaller the class, the lighter the shade.
Race account including available intermediate results
We are trying to give an as complete account of each race as possible. The advantage we have over a book is that there is practically no size limits nor any deadlines. The text might jump a bit between English and American spelling. I hope you don't mind.
Results table with result, race number, driver, entrant, car, car type, engine size and engine type, laps completed, time and time difference to the winner or reason for retirement.
As with the grids, results are given for each race (heat, repechage or final) and sometimes for each class as well. The results have not been copied directly from any book but we have tried to check and recheck every result as often as possible using contemporary sources.
The results table includes much of the same information as the entry list. As with the grids different classes have been indicated by different shades of grey, this time the background rather than the text and the smaller the class, the darker the shade.
Note that generally the competitors are listed in finishing order, so for example von Brauchitsch is listed at the top at Coppa Ciano 1938 even when he was later disqualified. With shared drives the driver names will have the first name as an initial to save space.
Regarding the number of laps it is sometimes a bit hard to sort out "retired after having done 37 laps" from "retired during lap 37", especially when dealing with foreign language news papers.
Results often differs from source to source and we have taken great effort trying to get as correct information as possible, always rechecking the results with available published speeds, sometimes having to make educated guesses of what is correct.
Time difference to the winner is included as well for cars finishing all the laps, to make it easier to see the gaps.
"Status" mostly indicates the reason for a retirement.
Details of the local weather are often hard to find, unless it was raining or very hot.
Regarding "Pole position", "Fastest lap" and "Medium speeds", see the "Speed calculations" section below.
Here we discuss things that don't fit into the race account itself including oddities, incident investigations and conflicts regarding the results or material available.
Primary sources, i.e contemporary news papers, are listed as is sometimes special literature about the subject, while the standard literature is not usually mentioned.
Giving the speeds with 3 decimals, claiming it to be the exact value, is mathematically objectionable, and also practically incorrect as the following example will show you:
If a car runs a 5.0 km circuit in 90.0 seconds it means it has a speed of about 200 km/h. But measuring the time with 1/10 s accuracy those 90.0 seconds can be anything between 89.95 seconds and 90.05 seconds and giving the circuit length as 5.0 km with one decimal accuracy could mean anything between 4.95 km and 5.05 km. So in fact the true speed can be anything between 197.890 km/h and 202.112 km/h!
Still race organizers through the ages have not hesitated to give speeds with three decimals in their results and newspapers, motor sports magazines and books have copied and printed them blindly. Before the advent of modern computers organizers mostly got the speeds through interpolation from speed tables pre-calculated for that circuit, possibly using slide rulers, so in most of the cases at least the last digit ended up wrong, even assuming the times and circuit length had been exact, which they mostly were not.
Accuracy of the circuit lengths varies a lot with one German source giving the length of AVUS as 19,573.05m while the Italians, having a more relaxed view of life, give the length of Alessándria as "about 8 km". While there was electrical timing during speed events and the Italians experimented with electrical timing for the GPs, mostly the timing was done manually with 1/5s accuracy. So like with computers it was a case of "garbage in - garbage out".
One decimal should be enough in the results and mathematically, several races even fail the critera for one decimal.
Therefore I have not included any original published speeds but rather recalculated ALL the numbers with all decimals, and then transformed to imperial (except for British and American races where I have computed with imperial values and then transformed the results into metric), and rounded off to ONE decimal in the end.
The standard reader might find my method a bit radical, as it differs a lot from the standard practice of giving results, i.e. giving 3 decimals that mostly are totally garbage. But I think it is time to stop the readers from getting blinded by the journalistic idea that the more decimals you put in, the more correct is the result. In fact it is the opposite!
Note that the same applies to race lengths as well. If the race is run 52 laps on a 3.7 km track, giving the total race length as exactly 192.4 km would be wrong. With 3.7 km meaning anything between 3.65 and 3.75 km the total race length could in fact be anything between 189.8 km and 195.0 km! So the decimal have to go and I'll give the race length as just 192 km and the length in miles will be rounded off as well to 120 miles instead of 119.6.
Names of events that counted for the European Championship are underlined.
Names of classic international non championship Grand Prix races are written in bold text.
MAJOR GRAND PRIX RACE
Other major races, or races with entries of high class, are marked like this. In modern times these races would have had championship status.
MINOR GRAND PRIX RACE
Races for Grand Prix type cars that can't be included in any of the categories above. It includes local events, ice racing etc. and also a few 2000cc races.
MAJOR VOITURETTE RACE
That's to indicate the unique status of Tripoli 1939.
Other races in the voiturette class.
Sports car races, mountain climbs, handicap events, local races and non race information have been marked by a star.
Drivers are listed according to the British alphabet, letter by letter, ignoring spaces, special characters and diacritical marks. So umlauts will be found under their corresponding British letters.
I have been trying to give as correct spelling as possible for all names (except for Prince Bira in Siamese!) and have therefore in a few cases been forced to use codes not supported by the ANSI 8 bit standard. On some systems/browsers it is possible that certain letters of the Czech, Slovak or Polish language (like č ě ň ř ś š) will show up as boxes or question marks.
For the 1927 season only (so far) the results are in another format with class results indicated by a "c" followed by overall results (ex: 2c/5 indicates 2nd in class and 5th overall)
(The reason for the rather odd scale is as follows. Scanning a 1:100,000 map with 100 dpi and then multiplying the result by 3 will result in a map where one inch will correspond to 33,333 inch, and a pixel to 1/100 of that i.e. 333.33 inch or 846.66 cm.)
Most of the illustrations in the car section are at the moment to the scale of 1.8 cm = 1 pixel, sized up twice. I have started to replace them with new double sized illustrations of the cars, i.e. to the scale of 0.9 cm = 1 pixel.
1 Mechanical horsepower = 33,000 ft-lbf/min ~745.7 W. Used in England and USA
RAC hp = 2/5 D2n where D is the bore (in inches) and n the number of cylinders. RAC horsepower was used in England in the early 20th-century for taxation.
1 mile = 1.609344 kilometers
1 kilometer ≈ 0.6213712 miles
1 cubic inch = 0.016387064 liter
1 liter = 61.0237440947323 cubic inch
1 atm (1,013.25 mbar, 760 mm Hg) ≈ 14.69595 psi
°F = °C x 1.8 + 32
°C = (°F-32) / 1.8
1 gallon (US) = 3,78541178 liter
1 liquid gallon = 231 cubic inch
1 imperial gallon = 4,54609 litre
1 benz = 1m/s has not seen widespread use or acceptance. In some 1930s German papers it was incorrectly used as 1 km/h.
1 lb (UK 1898-1959) = 0.45359243 kg (750 kg was thus ~ 1653.5 lb)
N/S or "near side" (UK) = left
O/S or "off side" (UK) = right
Table for 1930s exchange rates into US dollars.
Table for 1930s exchange rates into UK pounds.
The second positioned driver of the 1933 Swedish GP received 5,000 Skr. How much was that in dollars or pounds? You locate the column marked "S" for Sweden and notice that under it says 100 Skr. You therefore first will have to divide 5,000 Skr with 100 Skr. The result is 50. Now you continue down along the S column to the 1933 rows in both tables and find the numbers for dollars (21.32) and for £/s/d (5/2/9). Now you multiply those numbers with your former result (50) and get the final result $1066 or £256.17s.6d. (That's of course in 1933 dollars or pounds, not in current currency).
At AVUS 1937 the best tickets, rows 1-4 at the grandstand at Nordschleife, costed 25.20 RM. The cheapest tickets (standing in the woods) costed 1.60 RM. How much was that in French Franc? You locate the columns in the first table marked "D" for Germany and "F" for France and notice that under it says 100 Dmk and 100 Fr. As both says 100 you don't need to multiply or divide by 100. Locating row 1937 you read 40.13 and 4.46, so one DM was worth 40.13 / 4.46 ≈ 9.00 Fr. Computing gives 25.20 x 40.13 / 4.46 ≈ 226.70 Fr and 1.60 x 40.13 / 4.46 ≈ 14.40 Fr (again 1937 Franc of course).
Of course the results will be approximate, but still give a good indication of the value.
All illustrations are made by me with Corel Photo Paint 4.0.
Most calculations have been done on a Hewlett Packard 32SII Scientific RPN calculator (12 digits precision).
For photos, work of art, Hans Etzrodt's lists and other special articles, see copyright info included in each case.