THE GERMAN G.P.–continued from page 284
the German, with a 1i-litre Maserati. This latter had been showing considerable speed for so small a car, and was 4 mins. ahead of the English driver,
Hyde, with his 3-litre Maserati. All these three cars had now been lapped by von Brauchitsch and Seaman, while the others who were still running at halfdistance were Balestrero (Alfa-Romeo), Cortese (ii-litre Maserati), and Ghersi (Alfa-Romeo). So one came to the momentous six teenth lap. Von Brauchitsch arrived first, 13 secs. ahead of Seaman, and both drivers drew in to their pits for the
second refuel and tyre change. Armies of mechanics leapt at the two cars. Wheels were flung about, and from the pressure refuelling apparatus arose a great hissing, while clouds of vapour went up, and then a fountain of fuel rose over the tail of von 13rauchitsch’s car.
There was a staccato roar from the engine—a flash at the rear, a wicked tongue of flame ! The mechanics started back. Neubauer, never losing his head for an instant, seized von Brauchitsch by the arm and dragged him from the car. As the driver rolled on the ground fire extinguishers appeared from everywhere. The flames spread rapidly, and the great pool on the ground went up with a roar. It was an amazing scene. Affrighted spectators on top of the pits leapt the railings, fearing that the whole place would go up. Pandemonium reigned, save where Neubauer stuck to his post. Beating at the flames with his flag, he directed operations. The jets from the portable
extinguishers were reinforced by a small fire-engine, run rapidly up from the end of the pits. As the great hose sprayed its liquid on the flames, the car became snow white in an instant, and at last the blaze was quelled.
Without pausing a second, mechanics began to swab the car down, and the spell-bound spectators in the grandstand cheered madly, for the dauntless von Brauchitsch was actually climbing back into the car !
The engine started at once, then stopped. Again the mechanics applied the electric starter, and amid a roar of cheering von Brauchitsch went off, gingerly at first, then displaying the tremendous acceleration as all seemed well. He came back behind the pits travelling as fast as though nothing had happened ! So plucky an action has rarely been seen.
Meanwhile, scarcely noticed in the tumult, Seaman had got away successfully, losing little time. His car had been only a few yards from the blaze, and might easily have been involved as well. One realised now that a British driver was actually leading by a substantial margin in a Grand Prix race, and that barring unforeseen calamities he was likely to win !
Lang had gone through to take second place, having got his refuel over on the previous lap, but was nearly 4 mins. behind Seaman. Von Brauchitsch was still third, but a groan went up a few minutes later when it was announced that the plucky driver had run off the road near the Quiddelbacher Hohe, and that his effort was over.
Baumer on No. 14 Mercedes had had to stop several times again for plugs, and on the sixteenth lap the car was withdrawn. Another retirement was that of Hasse, who was now in third place. On the seventeenth lap he had engine trouble somewhere on the long straight, and ran in to the pits, though why he ran it was difficult to say.
The Englishman, Hyde, also came by no more, for he had crashed with his Maserati just after the Tribunenkurve, and the car lay sadly on its side in a ditch. Hyde was said to be badly hurt. He was on his fifteenth lap. Just as Seaman flashed past at the end of his eighteenth lap, there was a stir of cheering, and von Brauchitscla was seen to be walking in, carrying his steering wheel. The fact that this was detachable had probably saved his life when the fire
broke out. Korpsfiihrer Hiihnlein hurried down from his stand to congratulate the Mercedes driver on his effort, and the crowd clapped and clapped.
As Seaman crossed the line victorious, “God Save the King” blared sonorously from the loudspeakers, and the whole vast crowd stood with right arms uplifted in salute of the British driver. “Deutschland ‘Ober Alles ” followed for his car. RESULT
1. H. J. B. Seaman (Mercedes-Benz), 80.61 m.p.h.
2. H. Lang (Mercedes-Benz), 3m. 208. behind.
3. H. Stuck (Auto-Union), 8m. 5(3s. behind.
4. T. Nuvolari (Auto-Union), 9m. 328. behind.
5. R. Dreyfus (Delahaye), 1 lap behind.
6. P. Pletseh (Maserati), 2 laps behind.
7. It. Ballestrero (Alfa-Rorneo), 2 laps behind.
8. P. Oberst (Alfa-Romeo), 2 laps behind.
9. F. Cortese (Maserati), 3 laps behind.