GUY MOLL’S FINE VICTORY AT AVUS
AUTO UNIONS FAIL TO GET BETTER THAN THIRD PLACE AT THEIR FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE—VEYRON WINS THE 1,593 c.c. RACE FOR BUGATTI.
A: GREAT deal of enthusiasm . was aroused before the Avus Grand Prix, in which the new German racing cars, the Auto Union and MercedesBenz, were expected to sweep all before them in their initial race. For this reason the day took on the aspect of a national celebration in Berlin, and an immense crowd of people thronged to the Avus track before the race began, being estimated at 200,000.
The small car race took place at 2 o’clock, over a distance of 10 laps, or 195 km. 730. A good field assembled at the start, among them two Austins, driven by the &Winer brothers; and three M.G.s, a Midget in the hands of Brudes, a Magnette driven by Fork, and the famous ” Magic Midget,” which holds so many records in Class H. was being handled by Kolrausch. Earl Howe decided not to start with his Delage, and in his absence the two most fancied drivers were Pierre Veyron and Burggaller, both driving 11-litre Bugattis.
The race was not an interesting one, for Veyron and Burggaller shot ahead of the rest and soon built up a commanding lead. In the rear some minor duels were being fought out, and a good deal of interest was centred on the German Zoller cars. These cars suffered from teething troubles, however, and all retired. Veyron kept ahead of Burggaller who, in turn, had the measure of the Czechoslovakian Bugatti driver, Sojka. The long straight had a bad effect on many of the cars and retirements from engine trouble were frequently announced. I3oth the Austins, the two small Maseratis driven by Sandri and Vagniez, and finally Sojka’s Bugatti all dropped out.
With the latter’s retirement third place was taken by Count L. Castelbarco on a Maserati, who was running all on his own without any other competitors near him. A different state of affairs was going on behind him, however, where Simons (Bugatti) and Fork (M.G. Magnette) were haying a titanic struggle for fourth place. The English car had the better of it right until the end, when Simons wrested fourth place from Fork almost on the finishing line. That was the finishing order, Veyron, Burggaller, Simons and Fork.
Although there is not officially an 800 c.c class in the Avus race, a special prize is given for the first car of this capacity to finish. Kolrausch was naturally favoured as the winner, for his car was the fastest in the world for its size. He never settled down with the Magic Midget, however, and came into the pits after five laps complaining of cramp. This left Brudes’ Midget as the sole survivor and the gallant little car finished 13 seconds behind Seibel’s Bugatti.
RESULT OF 1,500 c.c. RACE.
I. P. Veyron (Bugatti), Ili. 4m. 36s. 113.52 m.p.h.
2. E. G. Burggaller (Bugatti), lb. Sm. 9.1s. 112.47 m.p.h.
3. Count L. Gastelbarto (Maserati), lb. Sm. 8.4s. 107.53 m.p.h.
4. H. Simons (Bugatti), lb. 12m. 16.1s.
5. T. Fork (M.G. Magnette), lb. 12m. 16.2s.
6. W. Briem (Amilear), lh. 13m. 465. 7. W. Siebel (Bugatti), Ih. 21m. 59.1s,
8. A. Brudes (M.G. Midget), lb. 22m. 12s.
From the original -entry list the large car race should have been a magnificent affair. Three Mercedes-Benz, three Auto Unions, and a team of Ferrari Alfa Rorneos. Great disappointment was felt, as a consequence, when it was announced that the Mercedes-Benz were non-starters owing to petrol pump trouble. These sleek aluminium cars were favoured to win, for Caracciola, racing for the first time since his accident at Monaco, had covered a lap at the phenomenal speed of 143 m.p.h. in practice. However, the German crowd consoled themselves with the thought that the
mediately Stuck shot away in .front, and had already gained a clear lead before the cars disappeared from sight. Some six minutes later he appeared again, and by now he had put a whole minute between his Auto Union and Chiron’s Alfa Romeo. The latter was well ahead of Varzi and Moll, with the rest strung out in a long tail. Stuck continued to build up his lead, hurtling down the Straights at close on 180 m.p.h. Moll, with the fastest Alfa Romeo, was given signals to take up the chase, and he accordingly passed Varzi and Chiron. The latter then experienced
Auto larions were still the fastest cars in I la. raw. What plans had the so far invincil)le Ferrari stable made to deal with this German opposition ? To begin with a special streamlined body was fitted to a Type B monoposto chassis, having a large stabilising fin on the tail. Then the engine was increased in size to 3.2-litres, and the result was a car capable of 1$0 m.p.h. Varzi, as No. 1 driver of the scudcria, was offered this car as his mount, but he declined to drive it and his place was accordingly taken by Guy Moll. The remaining Alfa Romeos were the normal 3-litre jobs, handled by Varzi and Chiron, and a solitary ” -2.6 -” entered by Pietsch.
The Maserati contingent consisted of Earl Howe and Tazio Nuvolari, who was still suffering from his injuries received in the Bordino race. Finally, the Auto Unions were in charge of Hans Stuck, Prince Von Leiningen, and A. Momberger, and the American driver, Peter de Paolo, was there with his Miller.
The start was delayed for a short time in order to allow the road to dry after a heavy shower, but some fears Were felt as to the safety of the drivers with their tremendously fast and light machines. At last the cars were arranged in order and the starter dropped his flag. Ii
trouble with his car, and called at the pits for a sufficient time to reduce his position in the race. The first retirement came when Prince Von Leiningen withdrew his Auto Union with mechanical trouble.
So far, then, the German hopes of success were reasonable, for Stuck was a long way ahead of Moll, and Momberger, on the remaining Auto Union, was trailing Varzi. As for the rest of the field, Nuvolari earned the admiration of everyone for his gallantry, but his driving was not up to his usual standard. One leg in plaster is hardly an assistance ! Earl Howe was lapping regularly at a good speed, but his maximum of 155 m.p.h. naturally caused him to drop astern, in company with de Paolo on the Miller.
On the 10th lap Stuck came into the pits for fuel and tyres, a stop which allowed Moll to slip by into the lead. There was still time for the German driver to regain first place, but at that moment that most exasperating of all car troubles, clutch-slip, set in. After a few more stops Von Stuck was forced to retire, and an Alfa Romeo was assured, in spite of the fact that Louis Chiron had already fallen out. The rest of the race passed off uneventfully. Moll was a certain winner, and was at last flagged home at an average
speed for the whole race of 127.56 m.p.h. One and a half minutes later Varzi came past, scoring an additional Italian triumph, with Moinberger on the remaining Auto Union close on his heels. Earl Howe gained a meritorious fourth place, followed by Nurolari and Pietsch. Thus the much vaunted Auto Unions had failed to win their first race, and the
Ferrari stable had continued their unbroken run of victories. The German crowd was naturally disappointed, but were consoled by the fact that the Auto Union was definitely the fastest car in the race and could easily be cured of its clutch trouble. The cars had lived to fight another day-they were bound to win in the end.
RESULT OF UNLIMITED RACE (194 k.m. 4111).
I. G. Moll (Alfa Romeo), 1h. 26m. 3s. 127.56 m.p.h.
2. A. Varzi (Alfa Romeo), lb. 27m. 30s. 125.43 m.p.h.
3. A. Momberger (Auto Union), lb. 27m. 48s. 125.0 m.p.h.
4. Earl Howe (Maserati), lb. 35m. 18s. 115.17 m.p.h.
5 T. Nuvolari (Maserati). 6. P. Pietsch (Alfa Romeo).