THE SWEDISH WINTER GRAND PRIX
210 Miles Over Ice-Bound Roads
ONE of the most sporting events which has taken place for a long time was undoubtedly the first Winter Grand Prix of the Automobile Club of Sweden, which was run off on 23rd February last. The race was run over the Raemshyltan circuit, which measures 50.2 kilometres, or rather over 30 miles round, and, which consists in part of the frozen surface of Lake Ramen and in part of snow-bound roads. This circuit had to be covered seven times, making the total distance of the race approximately 210i miles. No fewer than twenty-five entries were received for this exciting event, and consisted of the following cars and drivers :— .j. W. Anderson (Chrysler) ; Eric Bake (Buick) ; Clemens Bergstrom (Chrysler) ; B. Borgeson (R.N.) ; Rudolf Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) ; Karl Ebb (Auburn) ; Olof Grouldrst (Otin) ; K. Hansen (Bugatti) ; B. Hillern-Flinsch (GrahamPaige) ; Folke Hjelm (Chevrolet) ; Carl Jonssen (Chevrolet) ; Harry Larsson (Ford) ; N. Menomen (Merced s) ; 0. V. Nordenswan (Tracta) ; Per Nas (Chrysler) ; Nars (Special) ; Anders Olsson (Chrysler) ; Johan Ramsey (Chrysler) ; F. Rasmussen (Ford) ; H. Stenfeldt
(Ford) ; K. G. Sunstedt (Oakland) ; Werner Swenson (Hudson) ; K. F. Thelander (Graham-Paige) ; Wiktor
Widengren (Mercedes-Benz) ; Tore Wistedt (Chevrolet) ; J. Zauelli (Bugatti).
As soon as the start was given it was apparent that this was going to be a driver’s race and that the winner was likely to be the man who had most experience of driving on ice and snow. The Finnish driver, Karl Ebb, took the lead from the outset, on his stripped Auburn two-seater, which looked much more like a European than an American car. Behind him came the Swede, Widengren, on his supercharged MercecEs-Benz, and then Anders Olsson’s Chrysler, while the German champion, Rudolf Caracciola, also on a Mercedes-Benz, had to be content with fourth place. Forty thousand spectators are estimated to have come to see the race, and at times caused considerable uneasiness to the drivers by crowding as close as possible to the course. The fastest stretch on the circuit was a part of the road section where there was a straightaway of about a dozen miles. Here high speeds could be indulged in, but the frozen and
slippery corners had to be treated with considerable respect. All the cars used chains or specially studded rubber nonskid tyres, or a combination of both. The pits were located on the ice of the lake and presented at times an animated scene.
On the second lap Widengren on his big Merced .s-Benz passed Ebb on the Auburn to take the lead. He held it for some time at a tremendous speed until his car got into a bad skid in the snow at one of the corners, left the road and landed in the ditch, badly damaging its gear box. Caracciola in the meantime was being held back by trouble with his wheelchains, and soon afterwards he fractured a petrol pipe and was put out of the race.
With both the German cars out of it it was obvious that Karl Ebb had the race well in hand, and he finally crossed the line a winner, averaging 43.8 m.p.h. for the full distance. The final results were as follows :—
1. Karl Ebb (Auburn), 5h. 28m. 52s.
2. Johan Ramsey (Chrysler), 5h. 41m. 528. 3. Clemens Bergstrom (Chrysler)
4. Harry Larsson (Ford).