THE SECOND DAY’S RACE
Ends in Decisive Merce s Victory.
THl i outstanding feature of the senior race of the Irish Grand Prix was the great Mercedes-Bentley duel, which resulted in a win for Caraeciola’s Mercedes, by a useful margin, at the wonderful speed of 85.88 m.p.h. Camparils Alfa-Romeo was second, at 78.00 m.p.h., thus providing a remarkable repetition of the Ulster T.T. of last year when the Same drivers on the same makes of car, occupied the first two places. Conditions were variable during the event, owing to short showers which forced the drivers to exercise caution, but the terrific .speeds of the leaders, showed that it takes more than rain to slow such men as Caracciola, Birkin, Campbell, and the other famous drivers who came to the line for that event
Five minutes before the start the drivers took their places in the cars, and at the fall of the flag the whole entry got away perfectly, with the “Metes ” and Bentleys in the van. On the first lap Caracciola came past the stands with nearly 400 yds. lead over Birkin’s Bentley. Then came Campbell and Howe on the other Mercede,,s.
13irkin started with 2 laps to his credit over the Mered-des on handicap, but he did not look like holding it. Caracciola was now fighting an even battle, with a team to back him up should anything happen. His speed through the stands was terrific, and his second lap broke all records for the Phoenix Park course at 90.8 m.p.h.
Harcourt-Wood’s Bentley was an early visitor to the pits for a change of plugs, which only lasted him for a few laps, however, when he called again for more. At the same time Jean ChaSsagne came ii:i This after Only 15 minutes of the race gone !
The team of 2350 c.c. °Al.’s were some of the neatest jobs we have ever seen in a race, and were driven by the famous trio, Fronteras, Miuoia,..and Ramponi. A. C. Bertelli, the famous designer and
driver of Aston-Martins, was now in the role of counsellor and guide to the O.M. team; and as a report came through that Fronteras had a buckled back wheel, arrangements were made to receive him. However he roared past with the near side back wheel shaking in a nasty manner.
The next lap however saw him at the pits With grass all over both near side wheels ! The subsequent wheel change was one of the neatest and quickest we have ever seen, and the crowd raised a cheer as he got away again.
A sudden shower of rain lasting only a few minutes made conditions very slippery, and Caracciola very nearly came to grief on one of the fast bends on the far side of the course. He went into a terrific skid, and turned several complete circles, but continued as fast as ever. As is his habit, the rain did not appear to worry him in the least.
Harcourt-Wood after only three quarters of an hour’s running called at the pits for the fourth time and remained for some minutes before getting the engine running again. However, Birkin was still running, and driving the great race that we have learned to expect of him. However he had not quite all the speed he would like, and it became increasingly evident that Caracciola was not having to go all out to keep the speed scheduled for him, and was only cutting his supercharger in and out as he travelled past the stands at some 120 m.p.h. or more. Mountjoy and Gough corners were both giving some excitement after the rain, Campari’s Alfa-Romeo being among those to skid badly at the latter turn.
Birkin was still going magnificently and clinging grimly to his lead on handicap, a few seconds in front of Caracciola. However his team mates were in constant trouble, and one or both of them were at the pits almost all the time. After each getaway however, they sounded healthy enough. The Talbot team were running beautifully. Very fast, and uncannily silent,
they were again impressing every one with their faultless performance.
At last it seemed that Harcourt-Wood was in for some better luck, and had cured his trouble, as his mechanic signalled ” thumbs up ” to his pit as he went by, and the driver seemed so pleased about it that he very nearly went off the road by taking Mountjoy corner too fast on his very next lap.
One and a quarter hours after the start Campbell came in. to refuel. He used a filling funnel which resembled a small water tower, and actually stood on legs ! He also had to adjust the clutch which was slipping, and lost 71 minutes. Had this not happened we should in all probability seen a Mercedes 1, 2, 3, victory.
Although the Mercedes-Bentley duel was occupying everyone’s attention, a very interesting dog-fight was going on between those great and worthy rivals O.M. and Alfa-Romeo. Remarkably alike, in size and build, and each team containing the pick of Italy’s road racing drivers, these men were doing all they knew, and the old rivalry of the Tarp Florio and past 1,000 miles races was once more in evidence.
On the far stretch of the course a good impression of this scrap could be gained as the low red cars screamed through the very fast S-bends, sometimes alone, sometimes in pairs or threes, shaving the grass banks by inches. Sometimes a small cloud of earth and stones would show that it had been cut a bit too flue, but the speeds continued as high as ever. The roads were still treacherous after the intermittent rain and the cars were slipping and sliding as the drivers endeavoured to cut seconds off their laps. Birkin was driving beautifully but his Bentley was not quite as rock steady as the Mercedes, which even when it skidded, did so with an absolutely smooth motion that appeared entirely safe. Caracciola’s stop for refuelling was very short, and though a considerable quantity of fuel was spilt no harm was done. fir
kin took the same time (30 secs.) to refuel, and for a moment looked like taking fire, but was promptly extinguished.
one of the things which saved the Mercedes time was the fact that it was not necessary to replenish the oil supply.
Birkin was keeping going finely and his driving was superb. However, the tables were turned with a vengeance now, and ” Mercs ” were taking revenge for Le Mans. Birkin was playing a lone hand and Caracciola’s lead was increasing, till near the end he could afford to take things comparatively easily and the intervals between the screams of the blower grew longer. Earl Howe was now in the running for a place and his pit signalled ” Go for it ! ” and go for it he did. Birkin had dropped back and Caraceiola came home an easy and popular winner. The second man home was G. Campari (Alfa-Romeo) who had driven throughout like the veteran that he is, and Earl Howe (encouraged by a series of exhortations and comic drawings displayed by his pit) ran into third place after a very fine race. .Birkin, often unfortunate, but ever game, at last got his 4.4 litre Bentley
through a no -tvouble race, bat lacked the speed on the straight to hold the wonderful Mercedes. He has. shown, however, that as a driver he must be e( wilted among the world’s .best, and everyone will wish him luck in his plucky fight to uphold British prestige.
_Malcolm Campbell brought the third Mercedes into fifth place, thus fittingly completing this great triumph. Another very fine performance indeed was that of the Talbot team who gained 6th, 7th and 8th places.
Quiet. steady, and fast, they ran from start to finish without. 811V trouble, and with absolute regularity. This is becoming quite a habit of these cars, and shows not only their reliability, but also the great skill and accuracy of their drivers.
To Messrs. Bryan Lewis, H. S. Eaton, and T. E. Ross-Richards, we offer our hearty Congratulations on a very fine performance. The 0.M.-Alfa duel had produced heavy casualties. Pronteras overturned at Mounl joy corner and Ivanovsky who had been keeping his Alfa chose on the ().M.’s tail only just managed to avoid him. Driver and mechanic were fortunately
unhurt but the steering was damaged and the car was compelled to retire. Minoia had to retire with a blown gasket, leaving Ramponi to bring the other 2,350 c.c. O.M. home, while R. V. Oats, driving his usual steady race finished with the 2-litre car of the same make.