MERCEDES-BENZ “GRAND SLAM” AT SAN SEBASTIAN
Even though they may have suffered defeat on one or two occasions, there is little doubt that the Mercedes-Benz racing cars are the finest the world has ever
seen. Their superiority was confirmed anew last month when the team gained the first three places in the Spanish Grand Prix, in the face of Auto-Union, Alfa-Romeo and Bugatti opposition.
The most remarkable feature of the three practice sessions was a phenomenal lap by Achille Varzi (Auto-Union) in 6 minutes 8 seconds. The nearest to this was Caracciola’s 6 minutes 22 seconds. Wimille covered a significant lap in 6 minutes 23 seconds.
After a glorious Saturday, the weather on Sunday, September 22, was distinctly uncertain. Most of the teams accordingly changed over to ” grooved ” tyres, ‘n anticipation of rain. The broadcast talk on the race showed that Auto-Unions were the favourites, but pUblic feeling was most sympathetic towards Nuvolari. TI Auto-Union to be handled by Pietsch w;e, withdrawn, making the total number of starters fourteen. This time it was Stuck’s turn to make the most rapid getaway, and he leading Rosemeyer by 6 seconds at ft end of the first lap—in spite of havin
started in the fourth row. The res (followed in this order Fagioli, Caracciola, Wimille, Varzi, Nuvolari, Chiron, Brauchitsch, Siena, Lehoux, Sommer, Benoist and Leoz, the last named on an old 2.3 Bugatti. On the second lap the order was unchanged, hut Varzi pulled into the pits with his face streaming with blood. .? stone had smashed his windscreen, and ;I
fragment had out his cheek. Pietsch took over for a bit. Farther down the pits Siena drew up and retired. The next lap saw another Auto-Uniou casualty, for Rosemeyer pulled up for adjustments. Fagioli was now in second place behind Stuck, and ahead of Caracciola and Wimille (Bugatti). The last name,’ was driving a magnificent race. Behind
him, in turn, came Chiron, von Brauchitsch, Nuvolari, Benoist and Pietsch. The race was being fought out with the
utmost determination. In response to orders from Neubauer, Fagioli and Caracciola made an attack on Stuck. The latter was in touch with his pit, however, and kept the two MercedesBenz at a set distance of 15 seconds, try as they might to reduce it. In doing so, Stuck set up a new lap record in .6 minutes 11 seconds. Past the grandstands he was timed unofficially at 145 m.p.h. Von Brauchitsch had also received orders, to pass Chiron. .But it was not so easy as all that, and these two waged a glori
VICTORY FOR CARACCIOLA. VARZI (AUTO-UNION) BREAKS LAP RECORD BEFORE RETIRING. BUGATTI’S DO WELL. ous scrap. As for Nuvolari, he did not seem to take much interest in the pro
ceedings. After 8 laps he retired with broken suspension.
Caracciola had now passed Fagioli and was chasing Stuck for all he was worth. The most he could do was to cut down his lead by 3 seconds. The lap record was now his at 6 minutes 9.6 seconds. But now a new force had to be reckoned with as a lap record breaker. Varzi had taken over his Auto-Union once more, and proceeded to accomplish some amazing circuits. First of all he did 6 minutes 2 seconds, and then followed this up with 5 minutes 58 seconds I Even
so, his early stop had put him back to ninth place. Bit by bit Caracciola began to pick up on Stuck, who was having difficulty with the transmission of stopped at the pits the opportunity was At half distance his Auto-Union. He for adjustments, and taken to refuel. Caracciol a was now
leading comfortably from Fagioli. Wimille (Bugatti) was an excellent third. Roseineyer was fourth, Chiron fifth, von Brauchitsch sixth, Benoist seventh, Varzi eighth, Sommer ninth, Lehoux tenth and Leoz eleventh. The latter retired, after .a gallant drive, on the twenty-second lap.
By contrast with the first half, the last part of the race was unexciting, Von Brauchitsch was given the signal to take third place, and promptly did so, at the expense of Wimille. Chiron, who was obviously still a sick man, after his accident at Berne, retired on the twentyeighth of the thirty laps. Nothing could now stop a sweeping re6dt..,s-Benz victory, and Caracciola finally howled over the line to the .accom
paniment of great applause.
30 Laps. 519 km. 450.
1. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz), 3h. 9m. 9.18.
1(14.150 k.p.h. (Last year’s average by Fagioli ; 150.226 k.p.h.)
Fagioli Olen-Ides-Benz), ;3h. 10m. 42s.
Von ilnitIcIlitseh (Afermie5-Benz), 3h. Wm. 425.
Windlle (Roza* 31i. 12m. 535.
Rost•ineyer (Auto-Union), 3h. -17m. 35s.
.11en(is1 (11m.satH), 1 lap behind.
7. Sommer (Alfa-Romeo), 3 laps behind.
Lehoux (Alaserati) 5 laps behind. Also Ran : Varzi-Pietsch. (Auto-Union); Siena (Maserati); Nuvolari (Alla-Romeo); Stuck (AutO
I Mon) ; Chiron (Alla-Romeo): and Leoz (Bugatti). Fastest lap by Varzi, in 5m 588. Previous record
by Stuck (Auto-Union) 0m. 20s.