THE EIFEL RACES
TROSSI AND TENNI ON MASERATIS SECURE FIRST TWO PLACES IN 1-LITRE RACE. ” BIRA ” (E.R.A.) THIRD. ROSEMEYER (AUTO-UNION) BRINGS VICTORY TO GERMANY IN THE BIG EVENT AFTER GREAT BATTLE WITH NUVOLARI ON THE ALFA.
After last year’s success in the 1,500 c.c. race by Raymond Mays on the E.R.A. our hope for another English victory were high. Practising showed two formid able rivals to the Bourne team, one the new six-cylinder Maserati driven by Count Trossi and Hartmann and the other the Delage driven by Dick Seaman, fresh from his success in the Isle of Man. These tWo had made the fastest times, and a thrilling struggle was anticipated. • , On the week-end of the race thundery conditions prevailed over most of western Europe, and the high plateau of the Eifel
was no exception. Intense heat on Saturday had given place to dark rainclouds on the day of the race, and heavy rain was falling at eight o’clock.
The meeting began with a series of motor-cycle races, and the unfortunate riders set off in teeming rain.
By eleven o’clock the course was clear again and the small racing cars took their places on the concrete in front of the stands. Two sports-car events, confined to German drivers, were to be run at the same time, so the field was an impressive one. The racing cars had to cover 8 laps of the 141-mile circuit and there were sixteen starters. These were as follows :-E.R.A.; Lehoux, Mays, Lord Howe, Embiricos and “Bira.” The Maserati official team consisted of Trossi, Hartmann and Tenni, the two former on the independently sprung sixes, with the independents Villoresi, Gessner, Kautz and Ruesch. Seaman had his Delage, Baumer had entered two Austins, driving himself one of the overhead camshaft cars, Kohlrausch the Magic Midget, the other starter being Troeltsch, who was driving aBugatti.
The sixteen shot away with a stirring roar, heading for the hairpin bend beyond the end of the stands. As they returned down the parallel straight, Seaman on his black Delage was leading, then came a confused bunch of E.R.A.s and Maseratis. As they shot away towards the flying ground, the Maseratis were ,evidently gaining, and Trossi headed the bunch as they disappeared from view.
With 14 miles of hills and corners to cover, it was some time before they came into view again. Trossi was undoubtedly in the lead, fully half-a-minute ahead of ” Bira,” who was hotly pursued by Tenni on the 4-cylinder Maserati. Tremendous cheers for Balmier who had actually pushed his 750 c.c. Austin into fourth place ahead of Lord Howe and Lehoux. Raymond Mays came into the pits to have a plug terminal secured, a stop which put paid to any chances of -another win. For a quarter of an hour there was no news of Seaman, then came the report that he had run Off the road and damaged his oil-tank ; the driver was unhurt. On the second lap Trossi was leading by a clear minute, his speed now 07.7 m.p.h. Tenni had now overhauled ” Bira” and had an advantage of 12 seconds, but the Siamese was going magnificently. B-aumer aided by the handiness of the little Austin and his experience of the course hummed past in fourth place keeping at bay Lord Howe and Lehoux. Hartmann on the third of the official Maseratis was seventh. Mays was again in the pits having that plug terminal fixed, and another visitor
was Kohlrausch with his historic little car the Magic Midget.
Trossi seemed firmly fixed in the lead, so we turned our attention to the sportscars. Here Henne, record-breaking motor-cyclist and for a short time driver of Auto-Unions, had been leading from the start on his 2-litre B.M.W., successfully keeping at bay Berg’s blown 2-litre Alfa-Romeo.
The order at half-distance was the following.
1. Count Trossi (Maserati) 68.1 m.p.h.
2. 0. Tenni (Maserati) 53s. behind.
3. ” B. Bira ” (E.R.A.) 2m. behind.
4. W. Baumer (Austin) 21n 6s, behind.
Kohlrausch, who was Baumer’s only rival for the 800 c.c. class, had stopped for 11 minutes out in the country, so the double-camshaft Austin was firmly set. The course was drying. Trossi’s speed rose steadily, and Tenth’s mounted in sympathy. On the fifth lap ” Bira” started to pull away in spite of a further spurt by Baumer, and on the sixth Lehoux, who had already passed Lord Howe, at last succeeded in displacing
the impertinent Austin from fourth place.
With one lap to go Lehoux was only 18 seconds behind ” Bira.” while Tenni made a supreme effort to catch Trossi, lapping at 71.8 m.p.h., a really tremendous effort with the 4-Cylinder car. Hartraann on the third ” official ” Maserati had now moved up to sixth place, and the race ended with the Italian colours firmly in the ascendant. 1,500 c.o. Racing Cars
1. Trossi (daserati) 69.0 m.p.h.
2. Tenni (Maserati) 46s. behind.
3. “13. Bira ” (E.R.A.) 2m 56$. behind.
4. M. Lehoux (E.R.A.) 3m. 12s. behind.
5. W. Balmier (Austin).
6. Hartmann (Maserati).
7. Kautz (Maserati). S. Earl Bowe (E.R.A.).
9. L. Villoresi (Maserati).
10. R. Mays (E.R,A.).
11. N. Embiricos (E.R.A.).
12. E. ‘Geo= (Maserati). -800 0.0. Racing Cars
1. W. Baumer(Austin).
Sports Cars trnsupercharged, 2,000.0.0.
1. E. J. ‘Jenne (B.M.W.) 63.03 m.p.h.
2. P. Schweder (Adler) 3m. 88. behind.
3. U. Richter (B.M.W.) 6m. 11s. behind.
Sports Cars, Supercharged, 2000 c.o.
1. H. Berg (Alfa-Romeo) 60.7 m.p.h.
2. A. Petwld (Ford N.8.) 40s. behind.
3. F. Golan (Bugatti) 1.m. 36s. behind.
Sports Cars, Unsupercharged, 1,500 c.c.
1. W. Zinn (Fiat) 52.4) m.p.h.
2. J. Htunmell (Fiat) 20s. behind.
3. ()hr. Odendahl (MA.).
A further downpour started at the end of the car race, and once again an unhappy gang of motor-cyclists were sent off into the thick of it. The big event of the day, for unlimited racing ears was scheduled at 8.15, and though the rain shosi,ed signs of slackening, quite evidently the ” bolides ” were in for a .cliflicult and dangerous time.
The big-car event is not 41. ” formula” race, and so a factory is at liberty to enter its biggest and most formidable cars. The Auto-Unions had 5.8-litre engines and were driven by Stuck, Varzi, Delius and Rosemeyer. Mercedes-Benz were represented by Caracciola, von Brauchitsch, Lang and Chiron, who were driving the new low short-wheelbase cars.
Ranged against them was the formidable Ferrari team with their Alfa-Romeos.
Nuvolari and BriVio drove 12-cylinder cars, and Farina and Seven i were mounted on the smaller eights. There was one Maserati, a 3.8-litre V8 driven by Zanelli. Charlie Martin on a 3.2-litre monopoato
Alfa, was the only English driver taking part. The big-car event was run over a distance of 10 laps, or 142 miles. During practice, the fastest lap was put up by von Trauchitsch at 81.25 m.p.h. This was a record for the course, but not being made in actual racing was not recOgnised as such. Rosemeyer and Nuvolari were the next fastest. These three therefore occupied the front rank, and excitement increased to fever pitch as first silver and then red cars were pushed to their positions on the rain
washed concrete. In spite of weather -conditions it was estimated that no less than 300,000 spectators were gathered round the course, and every vantage point in sight was packed with crowds ten or twelve deep. With two minutes to go the engines were started, and the wail of the Mercedes and the boom of the Auto-Unions and Alfas made the hair stand on end. As the flag dropped Rosemeyer was the first to move, but as his wheels spun furiously Caracciola came through somehow from the third lbw and took the lead. Further sorting took place before the cars appeared up the return stretch behind the pits and then Nuvolari was in second place, sandwiched between the two
German drivers. Away down in the valley Caracciola was still in the lead, N avolari second and Rosemeyer ‘third, Brauchitsch was fourth and then an indistinguishable flock of Germans and Italians.
The famous Karussell turn where the road sweeps round in a saucer-shaped banking, lies half-way round the course; and from here we got our next report. Carratch and Nuvolari were still first and I second. i
The order remained the same as the carl appeared again, with Caracciola 4 second’ ahead of Nuvolari and 18 ahead o Rosemeyer, having averaged 72.5 m.p.h 4 over those soaking 14 miles. Luckily; the course is surfaced with concrete and is reasonably skid-proof even under the; worst conditions. Behind them in closci company was von Brauchitsch, Langi (Mercedes-Benz) and Stuck (Auto-Union) Martin was twelfth with Zanelli and Seven i bringing up the rear. The Mantovano Volante was on hisi,. mettle and completed his second lap ink’ 11 mins. 44 secs., an average of 72.9 m.p.h.! booming through now only a single second behind Caracciola. Nose to tail they fought their way round the circuit until away on the north side of the circuit the Alfa scraped in front. ” Nuvolari leads” cried the announcer from the Karussell I
There was a breathless wait as the cars approached the stand. Nuvolari’s red AMa was still in front, with a five-second lead from the Mercedes, Rosemeyer was four seconds behind. Caracciola, von Brauchitsch and Stuck respectively 15 and 21 seconds further in rear and Varzi (Auto-Union) sixth, making only 45 seconds between the first six. The only retirement so far was Seveni (4-litre Alfa-Romeo) who had dropped
out with oil-pump trouble. Martin continued twelfth. Whatever the merits of a rear-engined car on a wet road, Rosemeyer would not be denied, and on the fourth lap electrified the crowds by passing Caracciola and shooting past the stands with a lead of four seconds. Tazio meanwhile had built
up a lead of 18 seconds. Stuck was forced to come into the pits to change plugs, but the whole sixteen were whipped out and replaced in one-and-a-half minutes. The fifth lap saw Rosemeyer pressing hard on the Alfa, a lap in 11 mins. 34 secs. (73 m.p.h.) bringing him within less than
nine seconds of the Alfa. Caracciola was slowing up too, and Brauchitsch had passed him. Rudi pulled into his pit amid the sympathy of the crowd and retired with a damaged shockabsorber. Here is the position at halfdistance.
1 Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo) 72.62 m.p.h.
2. Rosemeyer (Auto-Union) 9s. behind.
3. Von Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz) 38s. behind.
4. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) 48s. behind.
Lap six was destined to be an exciting one. From the other side of the course Rosemeyer was reported as just on Nuvolari’s tail, but the Italian warded off the threat for the five miles leading back to the start. Then just as they were entering the straight in sight of the stands, the 5.8 litres of the Auto-Union took effect and the German car drew ahead, passing the frantic crowds in the stands with a lead of three lengths.
Martin had been missing for some time, but news now came through that the car had overturned somewhere out on the course, but the driver was unhurt.
Conditions were bad enough in the pouring rain, but now another danger developed, banks of mist which rolled up from the lower ground. Conditions down there must have been extremely treacherous, but in spite of this Rosemeyer cracked on more speed, coming round next time with a lead of 15 seconds. Brauchitsch was still going well in third place, but Lang had been off the road near the ” Schwalbenschwanz ” and turned round several times. Spectators pushed his car back on to the road again and he continued. This incident let Brivio and Farina on their Alfa-Romeos into fourth and fifth places. Lang came in for a tyre change, and presumably a drink of water.
Through the thickening mist Rosemeyer continued with undiminished speed, having now a lead of 50 seconds over Nuvolari. Brivio and Farina were over a minute behind, holding hands as it were, and there was no sign of Brauchitsch. A minute later he appeared and coasted into the pits. He had been off the road at a corner and had damaged the undershield of the car so much that it was not safe to continue. Lang was now the leading Mercedes-Benz driver, and was
still going strong. Chiron’s car was sulky in the early stages, and now it was too late to force the pace. Rosemeyer must have been able to smell his way through the mist, for conditions were still as thick as ever when he made his ninth lap at a speed of 72.96 m.p.h. At last he was out on the final circuit, the clouds began to disperse and life became more bearable. Booming out of the mist with undiminished speed this silvery pencil of a car streaked down the Finishing Straight and the crowd rose up to give Rosemeyer the reception he so thoroughly deserved. Nuvolari was two minutes behind, but he and his fellow-drivers of the Alfa-Romeos, were greeted with no less enthusiasm, after a
fast and consistent performance on a notoriously difficult circuit.
1. Rosemeyer (Auto-Union) 72.71 m.p.h.
2. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo) 2m. 13s. behind.
3. Brivio (Alfa-Romee) 2m. 498. behind.
4. Farina (Alfa-Romeo) 3m. 17s. behind. 6. Lang (Mercedes-Benz).
6. Chiron (Mercedes-Benz).
7. Varzi (Auto-Union).
8. Stuck (Auto-Union). 0. Delius (Auto-Union). 10. Zanelli (Maserati).