CARACCIOLA WINS THE GERMAN G. P. ALFA-ROMEO WIN UNLIMITED AND 1,500 c.c. CLASSES. M.G. MIDGET’S EASY VICTORY IN 800 c.c. CLASS.
THE Niirburg Ring, on which the German Grand Prix was run on July 17th, has come to be regarded as the most difficult road race circuit, with the exception of the Targa Florio, in the world. In the course of its length of 14 miles the road takes on many different aspects, for there are 170 corners, and the rise and fall in the land amounts to 1,000 feet. In some places there are gradients of 1 in 6,. and the road is never straight. The factor which makes the circuit less stringent than that used for the Targa Florio is that the surface of the road is for the most part good, smooth, tarmacadam. The accommodation for spectators is almost unlimited, and on Sunday, the 17th July, there assembled the colossal number of 150,000 people, while 30,000 cars were parked in the
official enclosures ! Taking no chances of a serious accident, the authorities have just completed a new fence which keeps the public well back from the road all round the course. In view of their invincible form this season, the official team of Alfa-Romeos driven by Nuvolari, Caracciola and Borzacchini, was strongly fancied, and as events proved, this confidence was not misplaced. Bugatti had entered two cars, both 2.3 litre models, to be driven by Chiron and Varzi. At the last moment, however, Varzi decided not to start, as he had not
yet recovered from a wounded eye sustained at Rheims a few weeks earlier. Chiron was ably supported by two’ independents,’ that excellent driver, Rene Dreyfus, and Marcel Lehoux, both of whom could be relied upon to give a good account of themselves. The unlimited class was completed by two German drivers of Bugattis, and Ruggeri at the wheel of a Maserati.
In the 1,500 c.c. class there were many interesting entries. Earl Howe was down to drive his veteran 11litre Pelage; the well known German drivers, Hartmann and Tauber had entered a Bugatti and an Alfa-Romeo respectively ; Ernesto Maserati had turned up with an interesting 4-cylinder 1,100 c.c. Maserati; Scaron would provide stern opposition with his very fast Amilcar, and everyone was interested to see how Vane and Eric Siday would get on with the new ” blown ” o.h.v. Frazer Nashes. Lastly, in the 800 c.c. class, there were 2 B.M.W.’s, 1 D.K.W., 2 Austins, and H. C. Hamilton at the wheel of a Montthery Midget.
In spite of grey skies, with lowering clouds, there was a tremendous crowd present at the start, when the cars were sent away en bloc. From the outset it became apparent that it was going to be a 1, 2, 3, Alfa Romeo victory, for Caracciola immediately t oo k the lead, followed by Nuvolari and Borzacchini. Bugatti hopes were quickly dashed, fox
after a few laps Lehoux had to retire with a broken rear axle, and Chiron encountered a series of troubles which led ultimately to his withdrawal. After passing Borzacchini, his Bugatti developed a slight ignition trouble which cost him 8 precious minutes. No sooner had he got going again than an oil leak started, and he was practically blinded by a squirt of oil. With great courage he continued after receiving medical attention, only to have the bad luck to fracture his rear axle. The public can never accuse the Alfa-Romeo team, even when their cars are undeniably faster than their rivals, of not providing a thrilling spectacle. Nuvolari caught and passed Caracciola, after a stern fight, so that after 10 laps the order in the various classes was as follows :
1. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo), lb. 53m., 30s.
2. Caraeciola. (Alfa-Romeo), lh. 53m. 34s.
3. Borzacchini (Alfa-Romeo), lb. 56m. 26s.
4. Dreyfus (Bugatti), lh. 57m. 40s.
1. Tauber (Alfa-Romeo), 2h. 6m. 16s.
2. Gyulas (Mfa-Romeo), 2h. 8m. 23s. 3. Hartmann (Bugatti), 2h. 12m. 6s,
1. Hamilton (M.G.), 2h. 19m. 28s.
2. Kohlrauseli (13.M.W.), 2h. 27m. 50s.
3. Bauraer (Austin), 2h. 40m. 38s. It will be seen that Ruggeri had already fallen out with his 8-cylinder ‘Maserati, while Earl Howe had dropped right back on his Pelage in the 1,500 c.c. class. After a neck and neck struggle with Tauber for many laps he had the misfortune
to develop a mysterious loss of pressure. This delay cost him many places, and it was not until it was decided to scrap the mechanical fuel pump and rely on hand pressure that the car resumed once more its usual regular running. The popular champion,” Ruddy” Caracciola, succeeded in passing Nuvolari, and in the 1,500 c.c. class, Gyulas, who had been holding second place, dropped out. At the end of 15 laps the order ‘was:
UN LIMITED .
I. Caracciola (Alfa-Romeo), 2h. 52m, 8s.
2. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo), 2h. 53m. 125.
3. Borzacchini (Alfa-Romeo), 2h. 57m. 2s.
4. Dreyfus (Bugatti), 2h. 59m. 45s.
1. Tauber (Alfa-Romeo), 3h. 12m. 29s.
2. Hartmann (Bugatti), 3h. 18m. 6s.
1. Hamilton (M.G.), 3h. 36m. 42s.
2. Kolalrausch (B.M.W.), 3h. 45m.
3. I3atuner (Austin), 3h. 56m. 27s.
Hamilton’s M.G. Midget was astonishing the vast crowd of spectators. The neat little black car had completely outstripped its rivals, and was well up with the 1,500 c.c. class. A little B.M.W. driven by Kohlrausch was lying second, while Walter Baumer was in third place on his Austin Seven. So much faster was Hamilton than the other competitors that he was signalled to reduce speed, and soon after, the 19 laps which the 800 c.c. class had to cover, were completed, the cars finishing in the above order, Hamilton’s average speed being 59.08 m.p.h. Earl Howe was making great efforts to retrieve the places lost through his stoppage at the pits, and b6gan to pick up gradually. Tauber had by this time piled up a comfortable lead over his nearest rival, Hartmann (Bugatti), and there were some excellent performances being put up among the slower cars in this class. Mme. Itier was making steady progress on her 1 i-litre Bugatti, and wascreating a very favourable impression by her calm, regular lap speeds. The new 4cylinder 1,100 c.c. Maserati was badly handicapped through having to compete on level terms with cars of 1,500 c.c., but was nevertheless holding its own. When Ruggeri, who had been driving the larger Maserati, retired, Ernesto Maserati handed over the 1,100 c.c. car to the veteran driver. Scaron’s Amilcar laboured under a similar handi
cap of engine size, but for once this famous little cat was not in form. The three Alfa,Romeos in the unlimited class continued to have things all their own way, for Rene Dreyfus, in spite of driving magnificently was unable, by reason of the inferior speed of his Bugatti, to approach the leaders. Caracciola continued to lead, hut Nuvolari decided that a scrap would enliven things a little, and began to gain slowly on the German champion. On one lap he broke the record for the course, by recording the wonderful average speed of 771 m.p.h. for the winding, difficult circuit of 14 miles. In the grandstand it was rumoured that he experienced a terrific skid on the far side, but this did not seem to disturb the fiery Tazio, and he roared past the pits, only 16 seconds behind the leader. Then on the next lap he pulled into the pits to change tyres, and fill up with petrol, oil and water, so that at 20 laps the order was :
U N LIMITED .
I. Caracciola (Alfa-Romeo), 31i. 49m. 18s.
2. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo), 3h. 50m. 16s.
3. Borzacchini (Alfa-Romeo), 3h, 55m. 47s.
4. Dreyfus (Bugatti), 4h. Ow. 4s.
I. Tauber (AM.-Romeo), 411. 16m. 30s.
2. Hartmann (Bugatti), 4h. 26m. 59s.
3. Maserati (Maserati), 4h. 35m. 34s.
Then Caracciola pulled in for replenishments, but by quicker work-he took only lm. 35s. as against Nuvolari’s 2in. 40s.-he was in no danger of losing the lead. The best pit stop of all was made by Borzacchini, who only took lm. 15s. And so the race went on, Caracciola driving with the utmost regularity, cool, calm and polished ; Nuvolari, never quite the same, either apparently lagging or else putting in a record lap to show what he could do ; and in third place, the steady Borzacchini, completely to be depended upon, safe and restrained.
The 1,500 c.c. class, having covered 325.9 miles, were flagged in, Tauber winning comfortably on his fleet Alfa-Romeo at an average speed of 66.36 m.p.h. 13 minutes later came Hartmann, who in turn was followed 6 minutes later by Ruggeri at the wheel of the 4-cylinder Maserati. Earl Howe, despite heroic efforts, was unable to do better than 4th place, 2 minutes behind the Maserati.
No further incident took place, save that Nuvolari began to have qualms as to the welfare of his Ma-Romeo, and made a quick pitstop to check his oil-level, but this delay did not alter the position of the cars, and Caracciola came home a popular victor at the splendid average speed of 74.24 m.p.h. Only 30 seconds separated him from Nuvolari, who was 7 minutes ahead of Borzacchini.
Special praise must be. given to II. C. Hamilton, whose M.G. Midget made one of the finest performances of its career to score such a clearcut victory ; Earl Howe, for a plucky effort to wipe off the big handicap of a long pit-stop in the early stages of the race and Mme. Itier, for her competent and steady handling of her 11–litre. Bugatti.
Lastly, the organisation was entirely perfect. Under the direction of Herr. Fritsch, every phase of the complicated business of organising a great race on such a vast circuit was carried out with characteristic thoroughness, combined with an amiability which infected officials and spectators alike with an air of festivity. RESULTS: CLASS 1 (oVER 1,500 C.C.), DISTANCE 354i AIME&
1. R. Caracciola (Alfa-Romeo), 4h. 47m. 22 4/5s, Average speed, 74.24 m.p.h.
2. T. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo), 4h. 47m. 53 2/5s.
3. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo), 4h. 54m. 33s.
4. Dreyfus (Bugatti), 5h. 1m. 5s. CLASS 2 .(800 TO 1,500 C.C.), DISTANCE 325.9
1. H. C. Tauber (Alfa-Romeo), 4h. 54m. 46 4!5s. Average speed, 66.36 m.p.h.
2. Hartmann (Bugatti), 5h. 7m. 22s.
3. E. Maserati and Ruggeri (Maserati), 5h. 13m. 46s.
4. Earl Howe (Delage), 5h. 15m. 3s.
5. C. Wagner (Bugatti), 5h. 15m. 44s.
6. J. Searon (Amilcar).
7. Mme. Itier (Bugatti).
CLASS 3 (350 TO 800 C.C.), DISTANCE 269.29 NILES.
1. H. C. Hamilton (M.G. Midget), 4h. 33m. 29s. Average speed, 59.08 m.p.h.
2. Kohlrausch (B.M.W.), 411. 46m. 15s.
3. Walter Baumer (Austin).