GUIDELINES



Contents

1       Introduction
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


Introduction

The villagers became curious and asked what the travellers were doing with the stone. They answered that they were making a "stone soup", which would taste wonderful. But they were still missing a little bit of garnish that might still improve the flavor. (Old folk story)

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.


What is included?

The contents of the site are:

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 1928-1931 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:
  • Technical information about the major Grand Prix and voiturette car models and pictures showing appearace and different variants.
  • Driver index with short biographies and race links for over 1300 drivers.
  • Information about the race circuits from the era with over 115 track diagrams.
  • Information about the 1925 to 1930 World Championships, the 1931 to 1932 and 1935 to 1939 European Championships with tables.
There are also extra pages with:
  • Information about world speed record attempts.
  • Bibliography with list of books for further expert studies.
  • Articles about special subjects.
And finally you will also find Hans Etzrodt's spectacular lists of Hill Climbs and Grand Prix Winners.


The race accounts

The most important part of this web site are the race accounts. They consist of the following elements (some of them optional):

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, "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.

Headline
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).

Author
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.

Introduction
Includes items like race organization, circuit descriptions or circuit rebuilding, race prizes and on occasion historic facts.

Entries
We have not fallen into the trap of trying to include 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 race, 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.

Grid
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.

Codes used in the results tables
DNA-did not appear
DNC-did not classify
DNF-did not finish
DNQ-did not qualify
DNS-did not start
DSQ-disqualified
~- like in ~1.0 km, it means approximately 1 kilometer.


In retrospect
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.

Sources
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.


Speed calculations

.. an overall list of times was produced which seemed to pacify all the teams and which made the official times look as though they were clocked on a Mickey Mouse watch. (Jeff Hutchinson, Autosport, US GP West 1978)

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.


Types of events

The events are divided into several types with the font indicating the type:

CHAMPIONSHIP EVENT

Names of events that counted for the European Championship are underlined.

GRANDES ÉPREUVE

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.

VOITURETTE RACE

Other races in the voiturette class.

star

Sports car races, mountain climbs, handicap events, local races and non race information have been marked by a star.


The driver section

Only drivers that participated in European Grand Prix, formula libre, voiturette or ice racing or similar are included. The event lists include all results from these races but only mention victories for major sports cars, mountain climb and handicap events.

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.


The circuit section

All circuit plans are made at approximately the same scale, 1 pixel ~ 8.47 m, and if possible with north upwards. Start/finish is indicated with a chequered flag and race direction with arrows. Grandstands are shown in red color. In some cases where the circuits are huge the scales of the maps have been changed and that is always indicated with a note. For some small circuits there is an additional triple sized map indicated by "X 3" to show more details.

(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.)


The car section

In the car section I have tried to give the reader an overall picture of the different racing car models of the era without going into too many technical details. Such details can in most cases be found in the special literature. On the other hand I have not hesitated to include interesting details such as chassis numbers etc. that are not generally known. Also I have tried to show how the appearence differed during the season with as much variants as possible included of the more famous models. This section is made especially for model car builders and historic slot car racers and for those who want to identify cars in pictures. Model builders should note that there is a limit of details you can give when working with small GIFs and that the illustrations aim to show the differences sometimes at the cost of exact scale but I hope they will still be useful for you.

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.


The championship tables

The tables are probably the most accurate you will be able to find anywhere. Yet, research and discussions are still going on, especially regarding how shared drives were handled, so don't take these tables as the definite truth.


The speed records section

As much more information is available for me now than when I started, the speed record section will eventually be remade from scratch.


Hans Etzrodt's sections

Hans Etzrodt's list of Hill climb winners 1897-1949 and his list of Grand Prix Winners 1895-1949 each have their own guidelines.


International Country Codes

A= AustriaFIN= FinlandP= Portugal
AUS= AustraliaFL= LiechtensteinPL= Poland
B= BelgiumGB= United KingdomRA= Argentina
BR= BrazilGBG= GuernseyRCH= Chile
CDN= CanadaGR= GreeceRO= Romania
CH= SwitzerlandH= HungaryRUS= Russia
CS= CzechoslovakiaI= ItalyS= Sweden
D= GermanyIRL= IrelandT= Siam
DK= DenmarkL= LuxembourgTN= Tunisia
DZ= AlgeriaMC= MonacoUSA= United States
E= SpainN= NorwayYU= Yugoslavia
EST= EstoniaNL= NetherlandsZA= South Africa
F= FranceNZ= New Zealand


Note that these are modern codes and differ somewhat from the 1930s codes used by Hans Etzrodt in his Hill climb winners lists.


Conversion factors and units

1 mile = 1.609344 kilometers
1 kilometer ≈ 0.6213712 miles
1 cubic inch = 0.016387064 liter
1 liter = 61.0237440947323 cubic inch
1 atm ≈ 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


1930s Exchange rates

"... and the jury eagerly wrote down all three dates on their slates, and then added them up and reduced the answer to shillings and pence. (Lewis Carroll)

Table for 1930s exchange rates into US dollars.

exchange rates into US dollars

Table for 1930s exchange rates into UK pounds.

exchange rates into UK pounds


Example:
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).

Of course the results will be approximate, but still give a good indication of the value.


Technical info

All pages are written with a PFE 32 bit text editor. No HTML editor has been used because I wanted to retain full control over everything in the files. Some differences may occur in the appearance of the pages, but most viewers should hopefully work. The pages are initially tested on Mozilla Firefox as they are written and later tested on Google Chrome. The latter, as some other modern (read: inferior) viewers, demands Cascaded Styling Sheets, so a transformation of the pages to CSS has been necessary and while the main pages should be ok the transformation is still underway for some of the less used pages.
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).


Copyrights

All car illustrations, track plans, maps and text © 1999 - 2015 Leif Snellman

For photos, work of art, Hans Etzrodt's lists and other special articles, see copyright info included in each case.




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© 2015 Leif Snellman - Last updated: 03.04.2015