MERCEDES WIN EIFEL RACE
THE first clash between MercedesBenz and Auto-Union this year resulted in a win for the former when Hermann Lang won the Eifel Race at the Nurburg Ring on May 21st. It will be remembered that the last two races of 1938, the Italian and Donington Grand Prix, both went to Auto-Union, and it was known during the winter that the Stuttgart firm were making every endeavour to improve their cars for 1939. In this they seem to have been eminently successful, for at the Nurburg Ring the Mercedes were definitely faster than
their rivals. Nuvolari (Auto-Union) actually finished only a dozen seconds behind Lang, the winner, but the latter had a pit-stop, whereas the little Italian went through the race non-stop. Furthermore, it was obviously the driving virtuosity of Nuvolari rather than the speed of the Auto Union which enabled him to finish second, some twenty seconds ahead of Caracciola’s Mercedes. The race was run at record speed even though the present cars have engines of only 3-litres as compared with the 5ilitre giants of the. previous Grand Prix Formula. Lang’s winning speed of 84.14 m.p.h. is the fastest ever recorded at Nurburg and he also smashed Roserneyer’s lap record of 85.57 m.p.h. with a speed of 86 m.p.h. (9 mins. 52.2 secs.). The
previous best 3-litre lap was accomplished by seamen last year at 83.76.rn.p.h. The race itself was a duel between the
two German firms. The Alfa-Romeo team did not turn up, although they had entered ; only one Darracq started, as the other (driven by Carriere) had crashed in practice ; and the 11-litre Maseratis were naturally outpaced.
Lang led for the first few laps, until a pit-stop for wheels and fuel put him back a couple of places. He went after Caracciola and Nuvolari, and the order changed again when ” Carratsch ” made his pit-stop and Lang passed the Italian. Von Brauchitsch did not seem in quite his usual form, and Seaman had the bad luck to damage his clutch at the start. He crawled round for one lap and retired. The Auto-Union boys had some good scraps, notably Hasse and Muller. Victory went to the former, after Muller had cracked his engine in trying to get
ahead. Ulrich Bigalke, a newcomer, drove quietly and well to finish sixth. Meier, the motor-cyclist for whom great things are expected by Auto-Union, was a last-minute non-starter through mechanical trouble. In the sports-car class, events the 2-litre class was naturally dominated by B.M.W.s, P. 0. Cristea driving the win
ning car. Hillegaart’s British H.R.G. looked an easy winner of the 1,500 c.c.
class until a faulty plug on the very last lap reduced his speed and he had to he content with third place. This race was won by a B.M.W., with an M.G. second. An N.S.U.-Fiat won the 1,100 c.c. class.
1. H. Lang (Mercedes-Benz), lb. 40m. 57.11 (84.14 m.p.h.).
2. T. Nuvolari (Auto-Union), lb. 41m. 8.3s.
3. R. Caraeciola (Mercedes-Benz), lb. 41m. 28.4s.
4. M. von Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz), 1h. 42m. 53s.
5. R. Hasse (Auto-Union). lh. 42m. 56.1s.
6. U. Bigalke (Auto-Union), lh. 44m. 52.1s.
7. H. Muller (Auto-Union), lb. 46m. 31.28.
8. Hugo Hartmann (Mercedes-Benz), 1h. 48m. 10.4s.
0. P. Pietsch (1,500 c.c. Masemti), one lap behind. 10. L. Soft (Masemti).
IL P. Etancelin (41-litre Darracq).
12. H. Dipper (1,500 c.c. Maserati).
Fastest Lap : Lang (Mercedes-Benz), 86 m.p.h. Retired • Seaman (Mercedes-Benz) after one lap, with clutch trouble.
Pit Stops : On the fourth lap, Lang, rear tyres and fuel, 32s. Lap 5: Brauchitsch, rear tyres but no fuel, 24s. Lap : Cara,cciola, rear tyres and fuel, 37s.
Distance of the race 10 laps of the Nurberg Ring, 1421 miles.
24itre Sports-Cars (6 laps 851 miles) : 1, P. G. Cristea (13.M.W.), 1 h. 11m. 24.4s. (71.47 m.p.h.) . 2, F. Werneck (B.M.W.), lb. I 1m. 46s.; 3, W. Brion (B.M.W.), lh. 12m. 84.1s.
1,500 ex. Sports-Cars (5 laps 714 miles): 1, R. Roese lb. 5rn. 13.48. (65.08 m.p.h.);
2, W. Nunberger lb. Om. 48s.; 8, W.
Hillegeart (H.R.G.), 1h. 9m. 53.4s.
1,100 o.e. Sports-Cars (4 laps 57 miles) : 1, A. Reichenwallner (Fiat), 56m. 13.28. (61.48 m.p.h.); 9 j. Hummel (B.M.W.), 56m. 338.; 3, M. Neuber (‘lat), 57m. 39-2s.