Pre-War W163 Mercedes-Benz Twice Beaten by 2—litre Ferrari at Buenos Aires
THE return to racing of Mere&lesBenz, when they entered a team of 1939 two-stage, 3-litre V I 2 IN163 ears for the Buenos Aires races, was one of the highlights of this new season. The ears were tested at the Nurburg Ring kinder the disguise of I wing filmed, and Farina, Lang and Kling were appointed to drive them. They were shipped to the Argentine and, after they were well out on the high seas, the race organisers insisted that Fangio should handle (ate of the ears. Nlereedes-Beitz apparently refused, but the organisers cabled that. in that ease no spectators would want to attend the mees and they would be can
celled. In this " eleetric atmOsphere. Me/Wales-Benz, faced with the loss of' finance over preparing and shipping the cars, reluctantly gave in. Farina was naturally cross and has lodged a protest with the F.I.A. The first race, for the Peron Cup, took place on February 18th, Over 45 laps of the Circuit of Costanera, a total distance of nearly 100 miles. Lang's MercedesBenz led at first, followed by Fangio (Mercedes-Benz) and Gonzales' short chassis, 2-litre V12 Ferrari. On the .**.********* *****4 ••••• difficult course with its many corners the greater power of the Mereedes-Benz was more than matched by the good handling
qualities of the Ferraris. Moreover, Fangio had a defective front sltockabsorber and had to pause for a wheelchange.
Lang 's lead of a mere 1:1 seconds was worn down by Gonzales, Aviv.) took the had on lap 23. Ile increased this to a voltam-table half-minute, lost all this advantage because of it pit-stop, but caught and pAssed Lang for the second time, winning by 16.4 seconds. Kling, t he mot or-cycle rider, lost so much time that his Mercedes-Benz was right out of the picture. Results :
ist Gonzales !Ferrari), 1 hr. 35 min. 1S.9 see: (61.45 m.p.h.).
21141: Lang (Mercedes-Benz), 1 hr. :35 min. 35.3 see. 3rd : Fangio (51.ereedes-Ben3), 1 hr. 36 min. 10.4 see. I;atvex' Ferrari, lian's Maserati and Kling's eompleted 44 laps. The second race, for the Eva Peron Cup, was run off on February 25th, over the sante distance and circuit. as the first. This time the three Mercedes-Benz led for six laps--we .envy the Argentinians this sight --before Gonzales overtook t hem. `file Ferrari built up an unassailable lead, winning front Kling by 2 min. 12.5 so... Lang was third lint
Merceas-Beriz, which really is his, as he has recently putrehased it, retired after 17 of tlw 45 laps. It seems that Mercedes-lhaix again found the twisty circuit unsuited to their power and also couldn't get their fuel right.-they are somewhat sensitive to Ow roei-otix, as the Amerieans know to their cost.
It will be exceedingly interesting to see what Mereilies-Benz do to atone for these defeats. As t hey have sold one of the 3-litre ears to Fangio the team may not be raeed again, or they may use a spare car with which to reform it.. At all events, Fangio will presumably make good use of his ! Incidentally. how nice if MerekiCs-Berrz were to enter ollieiall■,* for the B.R.D.C. Manx Cup Formula Libre race in the I.O.M. on June 14th.
1st : Gonzales (Ferrari), 1 hr, 35 min. 40.6 see. (62.21 mph.).
2ml : Kling (Nleree!kie Tens), 1 hr. 3; min. 53.1 see. 3rd : fang (5tere6KsNMI.), .43 laps. Stso s, tic only 111:,4:ignalenZ,Tvi
Romeo, which managed 35 laps. *.**.****** OM*