FAGIOLI WINS AT BARCELONA
An easy race for the Mercedes-Benz, in spite of gallant opposition by Nuvolari’s Alfa-Romeo
NOT until a few weeks before it was actually run was it a matter of certainty that the Penya Rhin G.P. would be held. However, the alteration in the date from June znd to 3oth was finally sanctioned by the A.I.A.C.A., and the circuit in the Montjuich Park, Barcelona, put into shape.
After the usual negotiations with the various teams and independents, an entry of eleven cars was finally obtained. Of these the two Mercedes-Benz and the Ferrari Alfa-Rorneos were by far the most important. At first the Auto-Unions had promised to attend, but the troubles they have been experiencing with carburation on the new 5.6-litre cars decided Dr. Porsche to cancel all engagements until the German G.P. on July 29th.
The race was not a long one, being 70 laps of the 3 km. 790 circuit, or 265 kilometres in all. The start was given at 4.30 p.m. by the president of the Penya Rhin. On the line there were two Mercedes-Benz, driven by Caracciola and Fagioli; three Alfa-Romeos, driven by Nuvolari, Brivio, and •Mile. Helle-Nice; four Maseratis, driven by Zehender, Etancelin, Soffietti, and Villapadierna ; and two aged Bugattis driven by Rey and Garcia. Caracciola shot ahead at the start, and Nuvolari got in between the two” Mercs.” He did not stay there for long, however, and the two silver cars were in the lead when the pack came past the stands at the end of the first lap. Nuvolari was going great guns about 25 yards behind Fagioli, with Brivio an equal distance astern on
the second Ferrari Alfa-Romeo. Then came a little gap, and Soffietti and Zehender roared past on their Maseratis. Villapadierna, Etancelin and Mlle. 1-IdleNice were some way back, and finally the two old Bugattis droned by.
There was absolutely no change in this order for twenty laps, when Zehender passed Soffietti. The two other Maseratis were both in trouble. Etancelin’s car had been misfiring from the start, and now he retired, to be quickly followed by Villapadierna. On the 23rd lap Fagioli went into the lead, although Caracciola had previously beaten the lap record with a time of 2
3.6 secs (110.945 k.p.h.). The previous figure was 2 mins. 8 secs. (106.112 k.p.h.) made by Chiron’s Alfa-Romeo in 1934. Nuvolari and Brivio were making a gallant effort to cling to the MercedesBenz, Nuvolari and Brivio being 30 and 40 secs. behind respectively. On the 24th lap Nuvolari pulled in for some more fuel, and got away just as the ” Mercs ” were lapping him. At half distance the order was: 1. Pagioli (Mercedes-Benz), lb. 1211. 45s,
2. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz), 108. behind. 8. Brivio (Alfa-Romeo). lin. 5s. behind.
4. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo), 1 lap behind.
5. Zehender (Maserati), 2 laps behind.
6. Soffietti (Maserati),_ 4 laps behind. Mlle. Helle-Nice (Alfa-Romeo), and Garcia were both outdistanced. On the 42nd lap Caracciola decided to take the lead once more, but 5 laps later Fagioli resumed first place. While this
was going on Nuvolari came up behind the Mercedes-Benz. There was terrific excitement when he passed Caracciola, and the applause of the crowd showed that they cared little for the fact that Nuvolari was still a lap in arrears. Brivio had been driving splendidly in his first race since his terrific crash at Tripoli, and he now came into the pits to re-fuel. A few laps later he was in again for plugs, and this additional stop allowed Nuvolari to get back into third place. The ” Mercs ” came in to re-fuel ; Fagioli getting away In 2 secs. against Caracciola’s one minute.
The last stages of the race were enlivened by the spectacle of Nuvolari passing Fagioli and cutting down the latter’s lead by a clear 30 seconds. Caracciola, who had chased his team-mate with great spirit after the pit stop, now gave up all idea of catching him and slowed considerably, as did Fagioli himself, who finished with a lead of 48 seconds over the second Mercedes-Benz. It is worth noting that the winner’s time was 5+ minutes faster than that of Varzi last year.
1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz), 2h. 27m. 40s. 107.815 k.p.h.
2. Caracciola (Mereedba-Benz). 2h. Wm. 28s.
3. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo), 2h. 29m. 15s. 4. Brivio (Alfa-Romeo). 2 laps behind leader,
5. Zehender (Maserati), 8 laps.
6. Soffietti (Maserati), 6 laps.
7. Garcia (Bugatti), outdistanced.
Also Ran: Etancelin (Maserati), de Villapadierna (Maserati), Rey (Bugatti). Mlle. Eelle-Nice (Alfa-Romeo).