VARZI WINS THE AVUS RACE
DRIVEN BY VARZ1 AND CZAIKOWSK1 AT 129 m.p.h. SWEEPING VICTORY FOR 4.9
THE Avus Grand Prix, held on May 21st, resulted in a splendid victory for Bugatti, when Achille Varzi was returned the winner at a speed of 129 m.p.h. for the distance of 184 miles. Varzi drove a 4.9 litre Bugatti, and he was followed only 1/5th of a second later by Count Czaikowski on a similar car.
The practice rounds during the week were marred by a fatal accident to the German driver, Otto Merz, who was taken unawares by a rain shower which caused him to skid. His aerodynamically streamlined Mercedes-Benz turned over, killing the driver instantly. Merz had been employed in an official capacity for the Mercedes company for many years, but had not actually raced since 1930. His victory in the German G.P. at Nurburg in 1927 will probably he remembered by our readers. The day opened with a race for cars up to 1,500 c.c., which produced 16 starters. Of these there were five Bugattis, Earl Howe’s Delage, and an Alfa Romeo of 1,500 c.c., two Amilcars of 1,100 c.c., and the rest were composed of Horton’s M.G.Midget, Barnes and Goodacre’s Austins, two other Austins, a B.M.W. and a D.S.W. of 750 c.c. This wide divergence in the matter of engine size led to much straggling of the cars, so that there were in fact two races being run at the same time. On the fall of the flag the German driver, Burggaller (Bugatti) took the lead, and kept ahead for over a lap. Then Veyron, on an 8 cylinder car of the same make, got by and remained in the lead until the end. Burggaller continued to press, but Earl Howe was not fast enough on his Delage and fell steadily behind. Of the 750’s, a great duel was waged
between the Austins and Horton’s Midget, the latter eventually winning by 39 seconds from Barnes. Great excitement was predicted for the unlimited capacity race. During the first lap the lead Was taken by Count Czaikowski’s 4.9 Bugatti, a car which
15 days previously had broken the world’s hour record on this very track. It was obvious that the 4.9 Bugattis were much the fastest machines in the race, and the Count and Achille Varzi soon left the rest of the field astern. Von BrauchitSch did his best to uphold the name of his native land, but was forced to change
many tyres on his Mercedes-Benz, with consequent loss of time. Nuvolari and Borzacchini eventually Outlived the rest of their immediate competitors, but were unable to prevent the 4.9 Bugattis from steadily gaining. ground. Chiron was Soon in difficulties with his Alfa Romeo, and Williams retired after an outbreak of fire on his 4.9 Bugatti.
As a spectacle of sheer speed the Avus race is magnificent, for the cars tear down the long straights between pine woods at anything up to 160 m.p.h. The greater engine size of the Bugattis began to tell.
and barring accidents, their ultimate victory was assured. Of the drivers, there seemed nothing to choose between Varzi and Czaikowski. For 13 out of the 15 laps the latter led. Then Varzi made his spurt, and with a great effort got into the lead on the 14th lap. But Czaikowski was not yet beaten.
Tremendous excitement reigned all round the course as the cars entered their last lap. Czaikowski used all his intimate knowledge of the difficult corners joining the two six mile straights to wrest the lead from Varzi, but he could not do it. Varzi was his match, and by a piece of superb driving held on to his lead tenaciously until the end, thereby winning the Hindenburg Cup. Nuvolari and Borzacchini brought there All over the line simultaneously to tie for third place. The results were as follows :
Over 1,600 c.c.
I. A. Varzi (Bugatti 4,900 c.c.), lb. 24m. 24 2/5s. Average speed 128.56 m.p.h.
2. Count Czaikowski (Bugatti 4,900 c.c.), lb. 25m. 24 2/3s. 3. T. Nuvolari and M. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo 2,600 c.c.), 111. 30m. 55 4/5s,
5. C. JePeu (Alfa Romeo 2,300 c.c.), 11z. 35m. 33 2/4s.
6. Von Brauchitsch (Merc-ed4s-Benz 7,020 c.c.), lb. 39m. 42 3/5s.
7. I… Hartmann (Bugatti 2,300 c.c.), 111. 44m. 14s. Under 1,500 c.c.
1. P. Veyron (Bugatti 1,500 c.c.), lb. 4m. 54 4/5s. Average speed 113 m.p.h.
2. H. Burggaller (Bugatti 1,500 c.c.), lb. 4m. 55 1/5s.
3. Earl Howe (Delage 1,500 c.c.), lb. 81n. ’24 1/5s.
4. H. Ruesch ( AlfaRomeo 1,500 c.c.), lb. 16m. 14s.
5. R. T. Horton (M.G. 746 c.c.), lb. 21m. 3s.
6. J. Barnes (Austin 747 c.c.), th. 21m. 42s.
7. G. Mather (D.K.W. 798 c.c.), lh. 22rn. 13 3/5s. S. L. Goodacre (Austin 747 c.c.), /b. 23m. 48s.
9. W. Slibel (Bugatti 1,500 c.c.), lh. 26m. 9s.
10. V. Delius (B.M.W. 748 c.c.), 1h. 26m. 12 1 /5s.