THE FASTEST RACE IN THE WORLD MERCEDES-BENZ TRIUMPHANT ONCE AGAIN IN THE CLASH WITH AUTO-UNION AND ALFA-ROMEO. FAGIOLI AVERAGES 148 M.P.H. CHIRON’S FINE DRIVE.
THE Avus race was a renewal of the of the battle started at Tripoli, with the difference that the birnotore AlfaRomeos now had some experience and some satisfactory tyres. Tyres were again the deciding factor, but the shorter distances at Avus enabled a careful driver to
get through the zoo kilometre final without a tyre change. At Tripoli the fastest cars had to change at least every 150 kilometres. At first it was announced that all the cars would have to make a compulsary wheel change in the final at the end of loo kilometres, but this was waived in the actual race.
There were 21 entries, five teams and five independents. Auto-Unions and Mercedes-Benz each had four cars in the field, thereby doing their best to ensure a German victory. Their chief competitors were the two twin-engined Alfas of the Scuderia Ferrari, handled by Nuvolari and Chiron. The third man, Dreyfus, was driving a 3.2-litre monoposti. Two more Italian scuderias, the Subalpina and the Gruppo San Giorgio, were represented by Maseratis and a single Alfa. All the independents were Maseratis, except the sole British entry, Dudley Froy on ManbyColegrave’s 4.9-litre Bugatti. Etancelin, chef du file af the Subalpina stable, had been promised his new 4-litre independently sprung Maserati, but the car could not be finished in time and he drove a 3.7-litre 6 cyl. car instead.
On the first day of practice only AutoUnions appeared at the track. Varzi, in particular, was most enthusiastic about his mount, and said he had never been so fast in his life before ! The next day the Mercs tuned out as well, followed by the bitnotore Alfas and Balestrero’s Maserati. Before rain set in, Stuck staggered everyone by covering a standing-start lap in 4m. 37secs., at 158 m.p.h. No one had previously reached this figure with a flying start ! He was holding too m.p.h. on the straight. The Mercs lapped at a sedate 140 m.p.h. odd, and the Alfas at a 125 m.p.h. crawl. Rain put an end to further practice.
On the last day before the race the cars had to cover timed laps to decide starting positions, and Stuck turned out to be the fastest with a wonderul lap in 4m. 3t.3secs., at 162 m.p.h., the fastest lap ever recorded at Avus. Second fastest time was shared by Auto-Union and Mercedes-Benz, Varzi and Von Brauchitsch (MercedesBenz) both clocking 4m. 47secs. Next came the ex-motor-cyclist, Rosemeyer, who was making his debut as an Auto-Union driver. His time was 4m. 4osecs. Nuvolari was wounded on his right arm by a piece of his windscreen which had worked loose, but he managed to get round in 4m. 5 ‘secs. Caracciola and Fagioli, on Mercedes-Benz, did 4m. 52secs. and 4m. 53secs. respectively. Prince Lei ninigen (Auto-Union) also clocked 4m. 53secs, and the only other competitor to beat 5 minutes was Geier (Mercedes-Benz) 4m. sosecs. Some surprise was felt when it was seen that the second and third-string AutoUnion drivers, Prince Leininigen and Rosemeyer, were entrusted with the ultra
Lyre change on the second lap. The bimotore Alfa-Romeo is not yet an point,. and it is impossible to hold more than 175-ISO m.p.h. for any distance without losing the tyre treads. With 50 m.p.h. in hand it was too much to expect Nuvolari to let the German cars leave him on the straights !
At the other end of the scale Dudley Froy was hopelessly outclassed, on a car which two years ago was fast enough to win therace ! Times have certainly changed.
Then came some retirements. Rosemeyer blew up his Auto-Union ; Siena stopped with an undiagonised trouble on his. Maserati, and Freddie Zehender, on the second Subalpina Maserati ; retired with a faulty supercharger. Only Farina, of the Maserati drivers, held his place and was going well.
streamlined, enclosed cockpit cars with which Stuck broke world’s and class records last year. Dr. Porche informed the press, however, that Stuck’s and Varzi’s car, although of the open cockpit type, were fitted with brand-new engines which gave even more power than last year’s cars.
More than to,000 people watched the practicing on Saturday afternoon, proof, if any were needed, of the immense enthusiasm for motor-racing in modern Germany. Ruesch and Ghersi both failed to turn up, and were accordingly scratched.
By the time the first heat was due to begin on the Sunday a, crowd of 15o,000 persons had assembled round the track. Many of them were motor-cyclists who had come to see the motor-cycle races held on the same day. On the fall of the flag, Stuck (AutoUnion), shot into the lead, and at the end of the first lap he had a clear lead over Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz) and Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo). The latter was soon out of the running, pulling up at his pits for a
Although Fagioli was not pressing him? Stuck put on speed, and on the third lap he averaged 162 m.p.h., a new record for the track. The previous best was the 140 m.p.h. lap covered by Momberger on an Auto-Union last year. No one could possibly trouble Stuck and Fagioli, while Dreyfus (3.2 Alfa-Romeo) was driving his usual polished race in third place. The interest now centred on the problem of who would be the fourth driver to qualify for the final. Farina was making a great effort, and with Nuvolari and Geier (Mercedes-Benz) both stopping for
tyres, his prospects looked rosy. The latter, however, made a quick change and overhauled him just before the finish, so that two Mercs, an Auto-Union and a 3.2-litre Alfa qualified for the final.
RESULT OF HEAT 1. 5
5 laps. 98.280 kilometres.
1. Stuck (Auto-Union), 23 m. 44.8 sees., 155 m.p.h.
2. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz) 24 m. 17 secs.
3. Dreyfus (Alfa-Romeo), 26 m. 52.4 sees.
4. Geier (Mercedes-Benz), 27 m. 5 secs.
5. Farina (Maserati), 27 in. 48 secs.
6. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo), 29 in. 15.6 secs.
7. Froy (Bugatti), one lap behind. Also ran: Rosemeyer (Auto-Union), Siena (Maserati), and Zehender (Maserati).
In the second heat Varzi (Auto-Union) sprang into the lead, pursued by Caracciola and Von Brauchitsch on Mercedes-Benz, and Prince Leinirtgen’s Auto-Union. On the second lap the Prince passed the two “Mercs,” but the effort overstrained his engine and he retired almost immediately. Varzi and Caracciola came into the pits simultaneously, and for one lap von Brauchitsch reigned in the lead. Then he, too, came in for a change of tyres, and so his position remained unchanged. Caracciola took the lead by virtue of a quicker pit
stop, Chiron was driving his bitnotore Alfa-Romeo steadily, and was comfortably holding fourth place-and his qualification for the final. Etancelin was the only other retirement, experiencing like his teammate Zehender, supercharger trouble.
RESULT OF HEAT 2. 5 98.280 kilometres.
5 laps: 98.280 kilometres.
1. Caracciola (Mera:R3s-Benz), 24 m. 47 sees., 148 m.p.h.
2. Varzi (Auto-Union,) 25 tn. 41.3 secs.
3. von Brauchitsch (Merades-Benz), 26 in. 29.3 secs.
4. Chiron (Alfa-Romeo), 27 in. 21.5 secs.
5. Barbieri (Alfa-Romeo), 28 m. 6.4 secs.
6. Hartmann (Maserati), 29 m. 14.5 secs.
7. Dalestrero (Alfa-Romeo), 30m. 22.5secs. Also Ran: Prince Leininaen (Auto-Union), Etancelin (Maserati). The select eight in the final made an im pressive sight as they roared away from the
starting line when Korpsfiihrer Huhnlein dropped the flag. Stuck (Auto-Union) and Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) were out in front, followed by Fagioli (Mercede.s-Benz) Varzi (Auto-Union) and von Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz). Dreyfus was fiddling with his helmet. Stuck held his lead on the first lap, and Varzi passed the two “Mercs” to get into znd place, 300 yards behind Stuck. Behind these two came Fagioli, Caracciola, von Brauchitsch, Chiron, Geier, and Dreyfus last of all.
Stuck’s second lap was covered at an average of 153 m.p.h., appreciably slower than his speed in the heat. Everyone was obviously taking care not to stress their tyres too much, owing to the longer distance they had to cover. Fagioli passed Varzi after a struggle, and on the third lap overhauled Stuck on the North curve. The latter’s left hand rear tyre was groggy, and he changed it in 40 secs. Soon afterwards Varzi, Caracciola, von Brauchitsch and Geier all stopped at the pits, the latter retiring from the fray for good.
Varzi took up the chase with great vigour, and at half-distance was only 12 seconds behind Fagioli. Chiron, who was taking the corners in his inimitably smooth style and was bolding his car back on the straights, was now in third place, with Caracciola fourth, Stuck fifth, Dreyfus sixth and von Brauchitsch last. Varzi was driving with desperation, and had to change tyres for a third time-in
200 kilometres! Nearer and nearer camethe end, and Fagioli was finally flagged int a popular and thoroughly deserving winner. His tyres had just lasted the race,, being worn down to the very canvas. 95, seconds later Chiron flashed past, having. driven one of the best judged races of his. career, and depriving the Germans of a 1, 2, 3 victory. Of all the drivers running. at the end, Chiron’s last lap was the fastest. Varzi came home third, a rear tyre through to the canvas. Stuck wasfourth and von Brauchitsch fifth. Dreyfus who had not stopped at all, just escaped being lapped by Fagioli. His Alia incidentally, was the actual car with which’ Moll won the race last year.
Fagioli’s performance is all the more remarkable when it is remembered that he used the same set of tyres for the final ashe did for the heat. And this is not all. The fastest all-out speed in the race was. made by Fagioli, who was timed over a measured kilometre in i x-4secs. or igom.p.h.
RESULT OF FINAL.
10 laps: 196.560 kilometres.
1. Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz), 49 m. secs.. 148.2 m.p.h.
2. Chiron (Alfa-Romeo), 50 tn. 48.4 secs.
3. Varzi (Auto-Union), 51 M. 27.4 sees.
4. Stuck (Auto-Union), 61 in. 36.4 secs.
5. von Brautchitsch (Mercedes-Bens),53m, 18.4 secs.
6. Dreyfus (Alfa,-Romeo). 54 M. 24.4 secs.
Also ran: Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz), Geier (Merced’es-Benz).