STUCK COMING TO SIEIELSILEY
HANS Stuck gave an interesting interview to a group of journalists last month. In describing the long joumies a driver has to make between different races he gave as an example his own programme of the Tripoli G.P. one week-end and She’sley Walsh the next! I think we may take it, then that an Auto Union will at last be seen in this country. Incidentally, from April to September Stuck will only have one free week-end !
Talking of his record attempt in Italy, the Auto-Union driver said that he thinks the streamlined model will be able to reach 220 m.p.h. in favourable circumstances. He contradicted the rumour that closed cockpits will be used by the German cars for road races. No driver could stand the heat, which in the case of the Auto-Union at Florence, was 60° C., even though the air stream from the narrow aperture in the radiator passed through the cockpit. As for the maximum speed possible on land, Stuck stated that this depended on tyres and road surface. He was full of enthusiasm for the new road being built at Karlsruhe in Germany, where a really long straight will allow terrific speeds to be attained. He thinks that Sir Malcolm Campbell will go there, instead of to Daytona. A remarkable feature of the Auto-Union as a record breaker, which he
puts down to the light weight and independent springing, is that the set of tyres he used in Italy, with ultra-thin treads, covered 300 kilometres at really high speed.
No man is better fitted to talk of hillclimbing than Stuck, and it is his opinion that this form of the sport is more difficult than G.P. racing. The reason he gave was the fact that your only adversary at a hill-climb is the stop-watch, which sometimes results in a good G.P. driver being an indifferent hill-climber.
The Germans are renowned for their thorough organisation, and it is interesting to hear that four mechanics are sent with each Auto-Union to a hill-climb, and five to a road race. On top of this, a tyre expert, a petrol expert, and a racing manager accompany the team.
Talking of different circuits, Stuck confirmed the report, exclusively given in these columns last November, that Monza is to be completely rebuilt, so that the fiasco of last year’s race there will not be repeated. The new course will have corners not unlike those on the Circuit de la Fora de Bremgarten at Berne, where Hamilton met his death last year. Given a dry road, he thinks his present lap record of close on 100 m.p.h. could be improved. Some of the corners could be taken at 155 m.p.h.—by a brave man !
One of the most serious aspects of motor racing, in his view, is to find new drivers capable of controlling the really fast modern car. Apparently the AutoUnion trials at Nurburg Ring last autumn were an expensive failure. Several of the drivers were actually slower on the Auto Union than on their own cars, such as 1 flitre Bugattis I Three perfectly good Auto-Unions were mauled about so badly that they were only fit for the scrap heap, and the *hole experiment of trying new drivers cost the firm the tidy sum of 250,000 marks, or nearly £20,000!
Asked what he thought was the chief asset of a driver, Stuck replied that physical fitness was absolutely necessary for a 500 kilometre race. The path of a successful racing driver is not a bed of roses, and endless disappointments have to be overcome in acquiring experience. He must never be too proud to learn an extra wrinkle ; he must be able to take a defeat with a smile ; and if he ever has feelings of indecision or fear—he had better stop before it is too late. Stuck finished with some impressions of the Auto-Union. In Italy it was revving at 6,500 r.p.m. The temperature of the atmosphere has a great influence on the engine, which can easily overheat if the sun is shining. Although he greatly admires its road-holding and steering—he would still rather have the engine in front of him