RACING NEWS. THE GERMAN GRAND PRIX.
ANOTHER WIN FOR MERCEDES DRIVEN BY MERZ.
THE German Grand Prix for Sports cars, which was run on Sunday, 17th July, was the first important motor race on the Nurburg Ring, the new mountainous road circuit near Adenau on the Rhine. The race proved a triumph for the Mercedes cars, which finished first, second and third, the winner Merz averaging 63.75 m.p.h. The German Grand Prix was for 318 miles, or 18 laps of the Nurburg Ring, which is 17.7 miles round, and attracted 20 starters, divided into three classes. In the first class for cars with engines of more than 3,000 c.c., a single Steyr with a 6-cylinder engine of 4,850 c.c, driven by Paul von Guilleaume, had to face the competition of seven Mercedes of the well known 6-cylinder 6,789 c.c. type. These cars were, of course, supercharged, and the engines had been made to develop 220 h.p. Five of them were entered by the firm, and had Werner, Caracciola, who won the race last year, Rosenberger, Merz and Walb as their drivers. The other two were private entries, and were driven by Max Prinz za Schaumburg-Lippe and Georg Kimpel.
The second class was for cars with engines of 1,500-3,000 c.c., and attracted six starters. Of these four were Bugattis, of which one, driven by Count Kalnein, was of the 2,300 c.c. Targa Florio type. The other three were 2-litre cars, and had Franz Baader, Carl Kappler and Madame Junek, who did so well in the opening rounds of this year’s Targa Florio, as their drivers. Their opponents were a 6-cylinder 2-litre O.M. driven by Willy Werner and a 2-litre Bignan with Pierre Clause, the well known French driver, at the wheel. There were six starters also in the smallest class for cars up to 1,500 c.c. One of these was a real racing car in the shape of one of the 4-cylinder 1,500 c.c. “invincible” Talbots, which was driven by Hugo Urban-Emmerich of Prague. It will be remembered that this car appeared in last year’s Grand Prix de Boulogne. Its fastest rival was an 8-cylinder Bugatti driven by Willy Cleer, who was driving an Alfa-Romeo last year, while the third French car was a 1,098 c.c. B.N.C. with a Cozette supercharged S.C.A.P. engine, driven by C. H. de Jouey. The German industry was represented by a 1,487 c.c. 4-cylinder Hag-Gastell, a 1,088 c.c. Opel and an 1,104 c.c. Pluto.
As soon as the word to start was given, the big Mercedes shot to the front, Rosenberger taking the lead at the outset. Sixteen minutes after the tail enders had disappeared from view, the scream of the superchargers was heard again at the grandstands, and Rosenberger shot past, with his team-mate Caracciola hot on his heels. Behind them came the other Mercedes, and then, easily outclassed, the 6-cylinder Steyr, which was being gradually overhauled by the smaller cars. The latter were running well, but the public attention was concentrated on the much faster Mercedes. At the end of the second lap Werner had come up to third place, while two laps later Merz, the ultimate winner, improved his from seventh to fourth. Caracciola had meanwhile crept up to within 30 yards of Rosenberger, but Werner was spending his time making lap records and breaking them, and looked like gaining the lead. He covered a circuit at 65 m.p.h., increased it to 66.25, and finally set up the lap record at 66.875 m.p.h. At the end of the fifth round, Caracciola, who was still in second place, drew up at the pits and retired, with gear-box trouble, the spring of his selector mechanism having broken. This let Werner up into second place, but on the next lap he passed Rosenberger and gained the lead. Rosenberger was now second, with Walb and Merz third and fourth.
About this time, Kappler, who was driving one of the 2-litre Bugattis, found that his throttle had jammed open just as he was approaching one of the numerous bends on the circuit. He went into the bend at full speed and crashed, but luckily got off with minor injuries. This left only Baader and Madame Junek on their Bugattis as serious contestants in the 3-litre class. In the smallest class Urban-Emmerich held the lead on the Talbot, hotly pursued by Cleer on the Bugatti. In the meantime, however, important changes had taken place in the order of the big cars. On the ninth round, or just before half distance, Rosenberger was put out with the same trouble as Caracciola had suffered, and on the next lap Werner was passed by Merz, who now gained the lead. On the thirteenth lap, however, Werner regained it, but on the last round but one he decided to stop for refreshment, and lost the lead for good to Merz, to whom he finished a good second. Walb, the other remaining member of the official Mercedes team, finished third. The 3-litre class was actually won by Baader (Bugatti), but as he was disqualified for a breach of the rules, the winner was officially Madame Junek, who drove her Bugatti with great skill and finished second. In the smallest class Urban-Emmerich (Talbot) was never headed, and finally finished first, with Cleer (Bugatti) second. The results were as follows :
CLASS I. OVER 3,000 c.c.
1. Merz (Mercedes), 4 hrs. 59 mins. 35.6 secs. Average 63.75 m.p.h.
2. Werner (Mercedes), 5 hrs. 2 mins. 54.6 secs. Average 63.13 m.p.h.
3. Walb (Mercedes), 5 hrs. 10 mins. 49.4 secs. Average 61.5 m.p.h.
4. Guilleaume (Steyr), 6 hrs. 10 mins. 24.4 secs.
CLASS II. 1,500 c.c.-3,000 c.c
1. Baader (Bugatti), 5 hrs. 34 mins. 14.6 secs. Average 57.25 m.p.h. (Disqualified.)
2. Madame Junek (Bugatti), 5 hrs. 40 mins. 7.6 secs. Average 56.18 m.p.h.
CLASS III. UP TO 1,500 c.c.
1. Urban-Emmerich (Talbot), 6 hrs. imns. 32 secs. Average 52.94 m.p.h.
2. Cleer (Bugatti), 6 hrs. 7 mins. 11 secs. Average 51.5 m.p.h.
The Niirburg Ring has certainly proved itself one of the most marvellous courses for real motor racing in the world, and it is to be hoped that next year we shall see there a big international Grand Prix counting for the Championship of the World.