Autodromo di Monza (I), 9 September 1934
116 laps x 4.310 km (2.678 mi) = 499.96 km (310.66 mi)


2Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW253.4S-8
4Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
6Antonio BrivioAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT593.3S-8DNA - did not start
8Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariMaserati6C-343.7S-6
10Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-16
12Luigi FagioliDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW253.4S-8
14Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
16Earl HoweEarl HoweBugattiT512.3S-8
18Goffredo ZehenderOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8C-30003.0S-8
20August MombergerAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-16
22Ernst HenneDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW253.4S-8
24Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
26Whitney StraightWhitney Straight Ltd.Maserati8CM3.0S-8
28Hermann zu LeiningenAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-16
30Gianfranco ComottiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
32Hans RüeschH. RüeschMaserati8CM3.0S-8

Caracciola and Fagioli win the Italian Grand Prix

by Hans Etzrodt
The 1934 Italian Grand Prix was one of the hardest fought races. It took place over 116 laps of a new 4.31 km twisting course. The new circuit taxed drivers to the extreme on a very hot day. It also demanded continuous turning, braking and gear shifting through the 11 sharp turns of every lap. Initially Stuck (Auto Union) held the lead and Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) followed in second place. After 59 laps Fagioli, who had retired earlier, relieved Caracciola and drove the remaining 57 laps faultlessly winning the race to the cheers of the huge crowd. Stuck was relieved by Leiningen and finished second. Varzi in the fastest Alfa Romeo retired after 94 laps, but Trossi/Comotti and Chiron in Alfa Romeos followed next with Nuvolari fifth in the new 6-cylinder Maserati. There were five other finishers and five retirements. Rüesch (Maserati) was disqualified for receiving outside help. The race was free of serious accidents.
The 12th Gran Premio d'Italia was held on September 9 at autodromo di Monza over a modified circuit. The Commissione Sportiva of the RACI (Reale Automobile Club d'Italia) and the Società Autodromo di Monza were in charge of the organization. Because of the fatal accidents at the previous Italian Grand Prix, the RACI changed the circuit layout for the 1934 Grand Prix. Instead of using the entire 10 km course they utilized just part of it. The cars started on the straight in front of the stands and drove to the right into the large South Turn of the Oval. Near mid turn they reached a newly erected chicane, braking heavily for a right-angled left turn leading to the inside of the circuit where they faced a right-angled right turn along a short straight towards another right-angled right turn followed by a right-angled left turn leading back onto the original wide South Turn. They continued along it for a short distance and along the short straight part, braking for the right-angled left turn into the short Florio Link which had been used in 1930. At the following junction with the road circuit they had to brake again for a right-angled left turn and proceed along the road circuit through the wide right turn before the pits. In the middle of that turn the second new chicane had been installed, consisting of another right - left - left - right diversion, before joining the road section leading back past the stands and pits. At the point where the North Turn of the oval began, the cars had to brake hard for a severe left hairpin turning back past the grandstands along the starting straight. Altogether there were ten right-angled turns plus the 180 degrees hairpin. One lap measured 4.310 km and 116 laps made a total of 499.960 km, fractionally short of the minimum required distance of 500 km. The short, sharp turns that followed one after another were designed to lower the speed and thus prevent accidents.
      The prize money amounted to 200,000 lire. The winner received 50,000 lire, second 40,000, third 30,000, fourth 20,000, fifth 15,000, sixth 12,000, seventh 10,000, eighth 9,000, ninth 8,000 and tenth 6,000 lire.
Auto Union arrived with four cars for Hans Stuck, August Momberger and Hermann Prinz zu Leiningen. The reserve driver was the chief mechanic Wilhelm Sebastian who had raced for the first time at Pescara. He had been Caracciola's riding mechanic at the 1931 Mille Miglia, which they won in a Mercedes SSKL.
      During the Italian Grand Prix, a feature of the Auto Union design caused an unforeseen problem. The day of the race was very hot and the Auto Unions were equipped with a cowling around the front axle which resulted in little cooling for the drivers' feet and the pedals. With the engine at the rear and the radiator in front, the hot cooling water was routed not through rubber hoses but through the steel chassis tubes, in order to save weight. The temperature of the hot water transferred to all the metal parts attached to the frame including the gear lever and pedals. As a result, the driver sat in the center of the frame surrounded by very hot flowing cooling water, which was actually Glycol which could be heated to higher temperatures than water. Despite shoe insoles made of asbestos the soles of the drivers' feet were burned and the pain became unbearable.
      Mercedes-Benz arrived with four W25 cars. Caracciola had Chassis No.105193/3, which was the same car that he had driven at the Swiss Grand Prix. Fagioli drove No.86120/1 which was the practice car ever since the Avusrennen. Ernst Henne drove in place of von Brauchitsch, who, after the Swiss Grand Prix, had renewed problems suffering from a fractured skull causing internal bleeding and pressure on the optic nerve. For ten weeks he was not allowed to do anything, just rest. Henne had set the fastest speed of 300 km/h at Pescara during practice and now drove car No.105195/5 which was last driven by Fagioli at the Swiss Grand Prix. Car No.105194/4 was again the practice car as it had been at the Swiss Grand Prix. Hanns Geier was their reserve driver.
      Alfa Romeo had their racing arm Scuderia Ferrari entering four 2900 cc Alfa Romeo P3s for Achille Varzi, Carlo Felice Trossi, Louis Chiron, and Gianfranco Comotti. Attilio Marinoni and Mario Tadini were the reserve drivers.
      Maserati entered a new more powerful 6-cylinder car for Nuvolari. This car was not yet finished at the beginning of practice. While the factory worked under great pressure to complete it, Nuvolari drove his regular 8-cylinder car during early practice. On Friday the new car finally appeared at the track for its first inspection runs. The new car used an 8CM chassis with a 6-cylinder 84 x 112 mm of 3724 cc capacity producing 270 hp which enabled it to reach a top speed of 250 km/h. Independent Swiss driver Hans Rüesch had an 8CM Maserati and Guglielmo Sandri was his reserve driver. Whitney Straight started with his 8CM Maserati while Goffredo Zehender drove an 8C-3000 on a 26M chassis.
      Bugatti appeared with only one car for Brivio, who drove the 3.3-Liter car. He was not their best driver, but Dreyfus had taken a leave of absence. Earl Howe drove as an independent in an older 2.3-Liter Bugatti T51.
began on Monday the 3rd of September from 9:00 AM until 12:30 PM and resumed at 2:00 until 4:30 PM. Under the supervision of team manager Willy Walb, Sebastian drove a few laps in an Auto Union and reached a best time of 2m22s at an average speed of 109.27 km/h. Alfa Romeo appeared in the afternoon with chief mechanic Marinoni driving a few laps. Auto Union invited the drivers from Mercedes and Alfa Romeo to test their car. Chief mechanic and reserve driver Sebastian, after driving a few laps, handed the wheel to Chiron, who was the first to take advantage of the offer by making several laps, the best in 2m42s. Next, Caracciola tried the Auto Union and finally Varzi with a lap in 2m40s. Naturally all three were limited to a simple test without ever pushing hard. The impression reported by the three drivers was very similar. The Auto Union possessed great power and excellent road holding at high speed. On the other hand, the three drivers were less enthusiastic about the brakes and the handling of the car in the turns.
      Mercedes-Benz reserve driver Hans Geier made his fastest time in 2m33s. Caracciola was considerable faster with 2m25s at an average speed of 107.00 km/h. The straight in front of the stands was 1000 meters in length and cars reached an average speed of 180 km/h.
      After the racetrack closed for practice, the pits were assigned to the various manufacturers' representatives present: Neubauer for Mercedes, Walb for Auto Union, Varzi for Scuderia Ferrari, Renzo Castagneto and some Commissioners. The pits were designated as follows: pits numbers 1, 2 and 3 were for Auto Union; Alfa Romeo had numbers 7, 8 and 9; Maserati 18, 19 and 20; Mercedes 23, 24 and 25 and Bugatti 26, 27 and 28, they were lucky to receive 3 pits when they only had one car.
      On Tuesday more cars practiced. Auto Union was present with all their drivers completing many laps without forcing the cars. The technicians tried to determine the best gear ratios for this new circuit. Auto Union team manager Walb also made a few laps. Caracciola and Fagioli were very active, the German with 2m20s at 110.83 km/h average and Fagioli reached 2m22s. The Alfa Romeo reserve driver Marinoni made his fastest lap in 2m21s while Whitney Straight in a privately entered Maserati was timed at 2m25.2s. Varzi, Chiron and Comotti were merely inspected the course. Zehender and Rüesch in Maseratis were on the track for the first time without registering remarkable times but neither of them was particularly fast. On Tuesday afternoon Scuderia Ferrari had a practice car for Varzi, Tadini and Comotti who took turns driving it. Varzi made laps in 2m28s and 2m29s. Henne made his best lap in 2m26s, Fagioli in 2m22.2s and Caracciola 2m20s.
      On Wednesday morning Chiron made exploratory laps in an Alfa Romeo practice car. Varzi, Comotti and Trossi were also on the track. Varzi who was very active made his best lap in 2m24s. The number of spectators exceeded all expectations. All three Auto Union drivers were practicing. After several laps, Stuck was able to reach 2m17s and finally 2m16s at an average of 114.09 km/h, which was the latest record on Wednesday evening. Momberger, Sebastian and Leiningen were also on the track, with Leiningen making a lap in 2m19s.
      On Thursday Nuvolari finally made his appearance on the track. He practiced for a long time, but not with the new six-cylinder car, which had not yet arrived, but with his three-liter eight-cylinder, with which he was able to do remarkable times the best being 2m22s. Brivio also took to the track with his Bugatti, merely to become familiar with the circuit. The German teams were very active. In the morning Stuck improved upon his previous time with a lap in 2m13s at an average of 116.620 km/h which was a new circuit record. Momberger and Leiningen, were timed at 2m16s. The Mercedes drivers also improved, Fagioli with 2m17s and Caracciola with 2m19s, but Henne could do no better than 2m21s. Nuvolari's best lap was 2m22s. Varzi managed 2m23s, Comotti 2m23s, Trossi 2m21s which was the fastest time for a non-German car, Chiron 2m26s and Straight 2m33s.
      Friday practice was dramatic. After observations that the road surfaces in the newly erected chicanes were a bit 'dusty', the Monza Circuit Management ordered the treatment with a dust binder. They had the two new chicanes sprayed with a dust binding substance, which dried quickly as a result of the great heat and there was no longer any dust. Race managers and Commissioners had brake tests done on the treated sections with the cars sliding in all directions. The track was now very slippery making driving at race speeds impossible. As a result, there was great unrest amongst the drivers. Since the cars could not practice on the track, a quick solution had to be found. The areas that had been sprayed were then covered with straw which was doused with gasoline and ignited. The heat burned the tar-like dust binder and the straw. The resultant ash was white in color and dried the track from the remaining liquid tar. Altogether about 2000 liters of gasoline were burned at the two chicanes on Friday late evening and night. Saturday morning after the fire, the chicanes were covered by white ash. After that a further practice session was arranged on Saturday afternoon with all drivers and teams active, however rather short with no special results. The track had improved but was still slippery. Stuck's Auto Union remained the fastest with 2m15s while most of the other times were around 2m20s.
      Scrutineering for Auto Union took place on Saturday morning from 8 to 9 AM, from 9 to 10 for Mercedes, from 10 to 11 Bugatti, from 11 to 12 Maserati and from 12 to 1 PM Alfa Romeo. The regulations required a weight of no more than 750 kg and the results of weight check were:
Rüesch (Maserati)731 kg
Leiningen (Auto Union)737 kg
Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)739 kg
Stuck (Auto Union)740 kg
Momberger (Auto Union)740 kg
Howe (Bugatti)741 kg
Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)742 kg
Henne (Mercedes-Benz)742 kg
Nuvolari (Maserati)742 kg
Zehender (Maserati)746 kg
Varzi (Alfa Romeo)747 kg
Chiron (Alfa Romeo)747 kg
Comotti (Alfa Romeo)747 kg
Straight (Maserati)747 kg
Brivio (Bugatti)748 kg
Trossi (Alfa Romeo)749 kg
There were an estimated 100,000 spectators on a very hot Sunday with bright sunshine. The stands were filled to capacity.
      Auto Union went into the race with a serious handicap. Since Team manager Willy Walb had serious stomach cramps on Sunday morning and lay in a car behind the pits, in the vain hope of being to help Wilhelm Sebastian who was now in charge of the Auto Union pits. Trossi in one of the Alfa Romeos had the cowling between windscreen and hood removed, to get more fresh air for cooling during the hot race. Car #6 of Brivio (Bugatti) did not start since it had broken its supercharger drive during practice.
      The cars were pushed from the pits past the stands onto the starting grid with most drivers walking beside their cars to the sound of the various national anthems and the cheers of the Italian crowd. The cars lined up on the Monza grid in order of their race numbers which had been determined by ballot and made public one week before the race. The numbers were allotted to the manufacturers. For instance, Mercedes got #2, #12 and #22. Mercedes then put their fastest driver, Caracciola, in their car on the front row and their slowest driver, Henne, at the back of the grid. That explains how Varzi, Nuvolari and Stuck, the fastest cars in their particular teams, all ended up at the front of the grid.
Pole Position

Mercedes Benz


Alfa Romeo





Auto Union


Mercedes Benz


Alfa Romeo






Auto Union


Mercedes Benz


Alfa Romeo




Auto Union


Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo

The start took place at 11:00 AM. There was great excitement as the cars roared away, leaving a cloud of sweet, scented haze. Stuck, Varzi, Caracciola and Nuvolari shot into the lead.
      On the first lap the cars arrived in a tight pack with Fagioli breaking at the end of the straight for the hairpin, with Stuck, Varzi, Nuvolari, Caracciola and Trossi on his heels. Henne, made an error at the hairpin and almost hit Chiron and Straight. Then Henne's left front wheel locked up and his car bumped into the tail of Trossi's car which spun backwards, ending up against the wall with its engine stalled. He restarted and rejoined at the back of the field. Henne had damaged the radiator and bent the steering linkage of his Mercedes and had to retire on the second lap, a fate well deserved. Fagioli lost time at the hairpin curve and was passed by four cars. After the first lap the order was Stuck, Varzi, Nuvolari, Caracciola, Fagioli, Straight, Leiningen, Chiron, Zehender, Comotti, Momberger, Rüesch, Howe, Trossi und Henne.
      By the second lap Stuck had established a lead of five seconds over Varzi, who was five seconds ahead of Caracciola, who had passed Nuvolari. On lap three Nuvolari repassed Caracciola who was 12 seconds ahead of Leiningen and Fagioli. Stuck completed the third lap in 2m20s. Varzi held a small lead over the next two cars, but on lap five he was overhauled by Caracciola who had regained third place from Nuvolari. Stuck's average race speed was 109.24 km/h and he completed the fifth lap in 2m13.6s at 116.148 km/h. His average lap time for the first 5 laps was 2m22.4s. The order after five laps was as follows:
1.Stuck (Auto Union)11m50.2s
2.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) 11m58.4s
3.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)12m16.4s
4.Nuvolari (Maserati)12m18.2s
5.Leiningen (Auto Union)12m19.4s
6.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)12m22s
7.Comotti (Alfa Romeo)12m38s
8.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)12m39s
9.Momberger (Auto Union)12m39s
10.Straight (Maserati)12m40s
11.Zehender (Maserati)12m43s
12.Rüesch (Maserati)12m54s
13.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)15m02s1 lap behind
14.Earl Howe (Bugatti)16m06s1 lap behind

The race progressed with several battles for position. At the back of the field, Rüesch (Maserati) had passed Howe (Bugatti) and Chiron (Alfa Romeo). At the front, after Caracciola had taken second place behind Stuck, Nuvolari passed Varzi for third place. On lap eight they were both passed by Leiningen, who had rapidly caught up with them. On the 10th lap Stuck lapped Howe's Bugatti in last place. Stuck's average lap time for the first 10 laps was 2m22.6s and his average speed was 108.787 km/h with the times as follows after 10 laps:
1.Stuck (Auto Union)23m46.6s
2.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)24m06.2s
3.Leiningen (Auto Union)24m12.0s
4.Nuvolari (Maserati)24m15.8s
5.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)24m20.0s
6.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)24m34s
7.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)24m35s
8.Momberger (Auto Union)24m40s
9.Comotti (Alfa Romeo)24m44s
10.Straight (Maserati)25m02s
11.Zehender (Maserati)25m16s
12.Rüesch (Maserati)25m23s
13.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)27m20s1 lap behind
14.Howe (Bugatti)29m15s1 lap behind

On the 13th lap Fagioli arrived slowly at the pits and retired with an engine problem, variously ascribed to ignition and supercharger failure. Apparently when Fagioli made a faulty gear shift, second gear jumped out and the engine momentarily revved above its maximum engine revs which allegedly broke the supercharger. Now team manager Neubauer had to concentrate on Caracciola with signals from the pits. Up to the 12th lap Momberger in the third Auto Union, had held seventh place but he now advanced lap by lap. Varzi passed Nuvolari on lap 13. Caracciola averaged laps at 2m22s and was 13 seconds behind Stuck. On the19th lap Momberger was able to overtake both Varzi and Nuvolari to climb to fourth place. Now, German cars held the first four places and pushed the Italian cars into mid-field. Other changes showed that Varzi and Nuvolari traded positions in a cat and mouse game for 5th place which Nuvolari held after 20 laps, only meters apart. Stuck's average lap time for the last 10 laps was 2m21.8s, with 109.085 km/h race average speed and the field down to 13 cars after 20 laps:
1.Stuck (Auto Union)47m25.0s
2.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)47m38.2s
3.Leiningen (Auto Union)47m53.8s
4.Momberger (Auto Union)48m20.4s
5.Nuvolari (Maserati)48m30s
6.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)48m30s
7.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)48m54s
8.Comotti (Alfa Romeo)49m01s
9.Straight (Maserati)49m45s
10.Zehender (Maserati)50m00s1 lap behind
11.Rüesch (Maserati)50m38s1 lap behind
12.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)51m32s1 lap behind
13.Howe (Bugatti)55m35s3 laps behind

On the 21st lap Varzi again passed Nuvolari's Maserati. On the 26th lap Stuck put Chiron one lap down. After 30 laps Nuvolari was only a second and a half behind Varzi. That close-fought battle had continued since the race began. A terrific battle between two top Italians and the spectators loved it. The pace remained the same without position changes. Stuck's average lap time for the last10 laps was 2m21.6s, and he was leading at 109.246 km/h average speed with the times as follows after 30 laps:
1.Stuck (Auto Union)1h11m01.2s
2.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) 1h11m30.2s
3.Leiningen (Auto Union)1h11m52.4s
4.Momberger (Auto Union)1h12m05.4s
5.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h12m46.4s
6.Nuvolari (Maserati)1h12m48s
7.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)1h13m11s
8.Comotti (Alfa Romeo)1h13m22s
9.Straight (Maserati)1h14m30s1 lap behind
10.Zehender (Maserati)1h15m04s1 lap behind
11.Rüesch (Maserati)1h16m09s2 laps behind
12.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)1h16m28s2 laps behind
13.Howe (Bugatti)1h25m21s7 laps behind

The race continued without changes and the fast pace continued. On the 36th lap Momberger stopped at the pits suffering great pain from burns and blisters on his foot received from the glowing hot brake pedal, which was mounted near the chassis tube which carried the hot water to the radiator. He also suffered from the immense heat of the day and the extreme physical demand on his legs due to the continuous operation of the clutch and brake pedals. Sebastian who was now in charge of the Auto Union pits relieved Momberger and joined the race in 8th place. As a result, Professor Porsche now took over managing the Auto Union pit. After 35 laps Zehender stopped with brake trouble. On lap 39 Nuvolari stopped to change rear tires and refueled in 1m14s. In the meantime, Sebastian (for Momberger) passed Nuvolari while the Italian was in the pits to gain 7th place. Trossi advanced from seventh to fifth place after Momberger and Nuvolari stopped at the pits. Stuck's average lap time for the last 10 laps was 2m23.6s and his average speed had slowed to 108.951 km/h with the field in the following order after 40 laps:
1.Stuck (Auto Union)1h34m57.0s
2.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) 1h35m34.4s
3.Leiningen (Auto Union)1h35m58.4s
4.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h37m15.0s
5.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)1h37m46.2s1 lap behind
6.Comotti (Alfa Romeo)
7.Sebastian/Momberger (A. U.)
8.Nuvolari (Maserati)
9.Straight (Maserati)
10.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)
11.Rüesch (Maserati)
12.Zehender (Maserati)
13.Earl Howe (Bugatti)

Varzi improved his lap times to 2m21s and 2m22s, but could not avoid being lapped by Stuck on lap 42. The Maserati of Zehender was still at the pits with a brake problem. The order of Stuck, Caracciola, Leiningen, Varzi and Trossi remained. Comotti was sixth, followed by Sebastian (for Momberger) and Nuvolari. When Comotti stopped at the pits to refuel, he dropped behind several minutes. Stuck's average speed had also dropped because the Auto Union began to have braking issues. On lap 47 Chiron stopped to change a tire and refuel, all in two minutes. On lap 48 Varzi, who was timed at 2m19.2s, was gaining ground and trying to avoid being caught by Trossi. Stuck had increased his lead to nearly one minute over the Mercedes since he had slowed less than Caracciola who was in great pain from his leg which was not yet fully healed. Zehender who had stopped several times at the pits with a brake problem retired 50 laps into the race, though he had only completed 45 laps. Stuck's average lap time for the last10 laps was 2m23.9s and he was leading at 108.720 km/h average race speed after 215 km with the field in the following order after 50 laps:
1.Stuck (Auto Union)1h58m56.2s
2.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) 1h59m48.0s
3.Leiningen (Auto Union)2h00m09.8s
4.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)2h01m50.2s1 lap behind
5.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)2h02m29.4s1 lap behind
6.Sebastian/Momberger (A. U.)2h04m39s2 laps behind
7.Nuvolari (Maserati)2h04m53s2 laps behind
8.Straight (Maserati)2h05m50s2 laps behind
9.Comotti (Alfa Romeo)2h06m25s3 laps behind
10.Rüesch (Maserati)2h07m35s3 laps behind
11.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)2h09m17s4 laps behind
12.Zehender (Maserati)2h12m47s5 laps behind
13.Earl Howe (Bugatti)2h19m35s8 laps behind

After the first half of the race the refueling stops increased. On lap 53 Trossi stopped at the pits to change tires as well in 2m23s. Leiningen who held third place, did not pass his pits after the 54th lap. He was stranded somewhere on the circuit and arrived on foot to report that he had run out of fuel. This was due to not being called in by the signaling team for refueling. Leiningen had used more fuel than what was known by prior calculation. As explained previously, when Sebastian became relief driver for Momberger, Professor Porsche took over the pit management, but he could not oversee everything. The retirement of Leiningen's Auto Union in third place significantly affected the positions in the race. On lap 56 Sebastian stopped at the pits to change tires and refuel. He had taken over Momberger's car on lap 36, but now he climbed out of the Auto Union and Momberger took over again, all in 2m20s. He rejoined in 7th position. On the 57th lap Stuck stopped at the pits to refuel and change all four wheels in 2m53s, receiving applause from the large crowd. In the meantime, Caracciola had taken the lead and he arrived at his pit on lap 59 to refuel. He had injured his left arm with a hard hit against the cockpit of the car and was not able to carry on. Totally exhausted he climbed out of the car. After refueling, the tires did not have to be changed and no water was added. Fagioli, who had been resting since the thirteenth lap, jumped into the seat and left after 2m12s. Earlier Stuck had led by one minute, but it was not enough to keep the Auto Union in front and he passed the pits 15 seconds after Fagioli had left. So now the Mercedes was in the lead. On the same lap Varzi stopped at the pits and beat Caracciola's pit time by completing the operation in 2m05s. Meanwhile Caracciola sat totally exhausted in the pits, his painful leg stretched out. Dr Gläser, the doctor for the German teams, took care of Caracciola's right arm which was blue and red and severely swollen.
      On the finish straight by the stands Rüesch had stopped his Maserati out of fuel. The Swiss had to walk about 500 meters to get to his pits, take a can of gasoline and bring it back to his car. For several laps Rüesch had approached the Maserati pits to refuel but each time Zehender's Maserati occupied the pits and Rüesch was signaled to do another lap. His reserve driver Guglielmo Sandri had rushed towards him with a can of the needed fluid which was a violation of the regulations. Race officials had the right to disqualify Rüesch for this, but whether such a decision was taken was not known until the end of the race. Eventually after overcoming difficulties restarting the car, Rüesch made it to the pits where the car was refueled and Sandri took the wheel. Stuck, who was less than 30 seconds behind, was the only real threat to the Mercedes as all the others had been lapped at least once. Fagioli's average lap time for the last 10 laps was 2m35.7s and he was leading at 106.461 km/h with the times as follows after 60 laps:
1.Fagioli/Caracciola (Mercedes)2h25m45.4s
2.Stuck (Auto Union)2h26m09.4s
3.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)2h28m51s1 lap behind
4.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)2h29m55s1 lap behind
5.Nuvolari (Maserati)2h30m30s1 lap behind
6.Comotti (Alfa Romeo)2h32m34s2 laps behind
7.Momberger/Sebastian (A. U.)2h33m07s2 laps behind
8.Straight (Maserati)2h33m58s3 laps behind
9.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)2h34m16s3 laps behind
10.Earl Howe (Bugatti)2h46m19s7 laps behind
11.Sandri/Rüesch (Maserati)2h48m57s8 laps behind

Both leading drivers, Fagioli (for Caracciola) in the Mercedes and Stuck in the Auto Union had an advantage over Varzi in the Alfa Romeo of around three minutes. This lead was a good insurance for the Germans. Up to lap 70 the positions of the leading drivers remained the same though the rested Fagioli was able to drive at a faster pace than Caracciola had done before him. As a result, he gradually increased his lead. Fagioli's average lap time for the last 10 laps was 2m27.1s and he was leading at an average speed of 106.321 km/h with the times as follows after 70 laps:
1.Fagioli/Caracciola (Mercedes)2h50m16.4s
2.Stuck (Auto Union)2h51m00.6s
3.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)2h54m05.0s1 lap behind
4.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)2h54m11.2s1 lap behind
5.Nuvolari (Maserati)2h56m02.8s2 laps behind
6.Comotti (Alfa Romeo)
7.Momberger/Sebastian (A. U.)

On the 74th lap Stuck stopped at the pits again to be relieved by the rested Leiningen, like Momberger earlier in the race. Stuck suffered great pain in his foot from the hot brake pedal of his car which was mounted near the chassis tube that carried the hot water to the radiator. Additionally, there was the physical demand of nearly three hours behind the wheel on this hot day. The mechanics struggled to start the engine and when Leiningen left after 2m30s the car had dropped to 4th place behind Varzi and Trossi both of whom had passed the Auto Union. In order to preserve his second place, Varzi now pushed hard and completed several fast laps, including one in 2m20s. Accordingly, Leiningen (for Stuck) had to work hard to make up the lost time. On the 77th lap Momberger stopped at the pits to be relieved again by Sebastian. They had to hurry not to lose their 7th place. On lap 80 Comotti in sixth place stopped at the pits to refuel. The tank was overfilled and the fuel ignited. In a moment tall flames shot up, but a fire marshal was present and immediately extinguished the flames. In the struggle Comotti had become unconscious and was replaced by the reserve driver Marimoni. Fagioli's average lap time for the last 10 laps was 2m25.6s and he led at 106.356 km/h average speed after 80 laps:
1.Fagioli/Caracciola (Mercedes)3h14m32.2s
2.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)3h18m28.2s  1 lap behind
3.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)3h18m42.2s  1 lap behind
4.Leiningen/Stuck (Auto Union)3h19m01.4s  1 lap behind
5.Nuvolari (Maserati)3h21m29.2s  2 laps behind
6.Marinoni/Comotti (Alfa Romeo)3h23m06s  3 laps behind
7.Sebastian/Momberger (A. U.)3h24m12s  3 laps behind
8.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)3h24m39s  4 laps behind
9.Straight (Maserati)3h25m34s  4 laps behind
10.Sandri/Rüesch (Maserati)3h40m34s10 laps behind
11.Earl Howe (Bugatti)3h41m33s11 laps behind

On lap 82 Nuvolari stopped at the pits, quickly refueled and lost only 1m08s. Trossi continued magnificently but could not maintain third position which Leiningen (for Stuck) took away from him on the 86th lap but only for a short time. The German stopped again at the pits to hand the steering wheel over to Stuck, losing another 36 seconds, which allowed Trossi to regain third position. Fagioli's average lap time for the last ten laps was 2m28s and he led at 106.182 km/h average race speed with the following times after 90 laps:
1.Fagioli/Caracciola (Mercedes)3h39m12s
2.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)3h43m20s  1 lap behind
3.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)3h43m41s  1 lap behind
4.Stuck/Leiningen (Auto Union)3h44m04s  1 lap behind
5.Nuvolari (Maserati)3h47m57s  3 laps behind
6.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)3h49m37s  4 laps behind
7.Sebastian/Momberger (A. U.)3h49m58s  4 laps behind
8.Comotti/Marinoni (Alfa Romeo)3h50m24s  4 laps behind
9.Straight (Maserati)3h51m01s  4 laps behind
10.Earl Howe (Bugatti)4h08m49s12 laps behind
11.Sandri/Rüesch (Maserati)4h08m50s12 laps behind

On lap 92 Varzi, who was holding second place, stopped at his pit. He made two further stops before retiring at his pit on lap 95. Scuderia Ferrari then put Tadini behind the wheel of Varzi's Alfa Romeo, but he drove only three further laps before retiring with a defective gearbox on lap 97. This enabled Marinoni (for Comotti) to advance to fifth place. Chiron who was far behind did not require a relief driver nor did Straight and Earl Howe who drove consistent races with rather old cars.
      Stuck in the pit had received medical treatment for the burns and blisters on the soles of his feet which were covered with salve and dressing. His bandaged feet would not fit into his shoes and only after borrowing shoes from one of the big-footed Italian Carabinieris was Stuck again ready for action. Leiningen was signaled to stop at the pit and on lap 95 Stuck took the wheel again. In the heat of the battle Stuck did not feel any pain. Lap after lap he advanced towards the front and made a final attack with times close to 2m25s. Trossi stopped on lap 99 and Comotti took over the car. While the car was refueled in 1m05s, Stuck overtook and advanced to second place. Immediately afterwards, Chiron also stopped to refuel. Only Chiron, Nuvolari, Straight, Rüesch and Howe were not relieved by other drivers. Fagioli's average lap time for the last 10 laps was 2m31.5s and he was leading at 105.816 km/h average speed after 100 laps:
1.Fagioli/Caracciola (Mercedes)4h04m27.2s
2.Stuck/Leiningen (Auto Union)4h08m34.4s1 lap behind
3.Trossi (Alfa Romeo)4h10m07.6s2 laps behind
4.Nuvolari (Maserati)4h13m48.0s3 laps behind
5.Comotti/Marinoni (Alfa Romeo)4h15m25.2s4 laps behind
6.Sebastian/Momberger (A. U.)
7.Straight (Maserati)
8.Earl Howe (Bugatti)
9.Chiron (Alfa Romeo) Note: car in wrong position.

The last 16 laps brought no changes. The drivers were all worn out with the continuous braking work, double clutching, shifting and turning left and right like an auto scooter at the country fair. Everyone was concerned about holding their position and not losing it so near the end. Fagioli had the least worries as he was leading and was at least one lap ahead of everyone else, unchallenged with a large advantage and he was sure of victory. From his pits he was signaled to slow down, especially since Stuck was not attacking. On the other hand, Marinoni, Chiron and Nuvolari were making up time in the last few laps. They even beat the leaders in time and were faster than the cars ahead of them, to the applause of the crowd. But their delays had been too large to be able to hope for changes in the order. The end approached and finally Fagioli in the Mercedes crossed the finish line as winner after 116th laps. The band played the German national anthem and then the Marcia Reale and the Giovinezza. The Germans had won again but once again an Italian driver contributed to their victory, which was cheered by the large crowd. Second was the unfortunate Stuck who drove the last part of the race with a severely burned right foot. At the end of the race Stuck was lifted out of his car completely exhausted. Third was the daring Trossi, assisted by Comotti, and fourth was Nuvolari, who had driven the new Maserati brilliantly. Momberger, Sebastian and Leiningen all had blisters on the soles of their right foot and suffered from pain.
      The exhausting race ended after 4h45m47s at 105.175 km/h average speed, without great emotions. But the enthusiastic and patient crowd remained in place until the end.



1.2R. Caracciola / L. FagioliDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW253.4S-81164h45m47.0s
2.10H. Stuck / H. zu LeiningenAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-161154h47m25.2s
3.14C. Trossi / G. ComottiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-81144h45m49.4s
4.24Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-81134h45m59.2s See "In retrospect"
5.8Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariMaserati6C-343.7S-61134h46m46.4s
6.30G. Comotti / A. MarinoniScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-81134h47m27.8s
7.20A. Momberger / W. SebastianAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-161124h47m27.2s
8.26Whitney StraightWhitney Straight Ltd.Maserati8CM3.0S-81124h47m27.6s
DSQ32Hans Rüesch / SandriH. RüeschMaserati8CM3.0S-81054h48m20.4s DSQ - outside assistance
9.16Earl HoweEarl HoweBugattiT512.3S-81044h48m28.6s
DNF4A. Varzi / M. TadiniScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-897gearbox
DNF28Hermann zu LeiningenAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-1654out of fuel
DNF18Goffredo ZehenderOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8C-30003.0S-845brakes
DNF12Luigi FagioliDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW253.4S-812engine supercharger
DNF22Ernst HenneDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW253.4S-81radiator
Fastest lap: Hans Stuck (Auto Union) on lap 5 in 2m13.6s = 116.2 km/h (72.2 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 105.0 km/h (65.2 mph)
Weather: sunshine, very hot
In retrospect:
Louis Chiron was placed in sixth position by a timekeepers' mistake with 112 laps in 4h45m59.2s. Alice Hoffman, who later married Caraccciola, was known in the Twenties as a top timekeeper for Bugatti and in 1934 joined Scuderia Ferrari as timekeeper for Chiron and timed for the crew in the pits. The official timers had missed one of Chiron's laps, placing him sixth, while in reality he had placed fourth as the correct timing roll of Alice Hoffman proved. After publishing the incorrect results, based on her timing data the official timekeepers later reviewed and corrected their mistake. They had missed one of Chiron's laps early in the race, and now placed Chiron in fourth place with 113 laps in 4h45m59.2s. This moved Nuvolari to fifth place and Comotti to sixth. The timekeepers only corrected Chiron's final position but not his individual lap times and positions which must therefore also be incorrect in this report.

Hans Rüesch was removed from the classification after the race when the RACI sport commissioners disqualified him due to outside help as his mechanic gave him a can of fuel while stranded on the circuit. The regulations did not allow help outside the pits. Otherwise Rüesch with 105 laps would have finished ninth after 4h48m20.4s.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
DDAC-Motorwelt, München
La Domenica Sportiva, Milano
La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'Auto, Paris
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
National Zeitung, Essen
RACI settimanale, Roma
Special thanks to:
Anthony Kaye
Giuseppe Prisco
Markus Neugebauer

Star 9 September 1934: "Shorty" Cantion (Weil-Miller) wins the 100 lap Syracuse Indycar championship race.

Falchetto (Maserati)Brunet (Alfa Romeo)Léoz-Abad (Bugatti)


Montlhéry Paris (F), 9 September 1934
750/1100cc: 14 laps x 5.0 km (~3.1 mi) = 70.0 km (43.5 mi)
1100/1500cc: 16 laps x 5.0 km (~3.1 mi) = 80.0 km (49.7 mi)
Unlimited: 18 laps x 5.0 km (~3.1 mi) = 90.0 km (55.9 mi)

1100cc s/s, 1500cc u/s

1 P DuvalP. DuvalBNCDNA - did not appear
2Armand GirodA. GirodSalmsonGP 8C1.1S-8
3Just VernetJ. VernetSalmsonDNA - did not appear
4G. MalivoirG. MalivoirBNC
5F. VernotF. VernotLa Pintade
6R ToniR. ToniBugattiT371.5S-4
7Maurice MestivierM. MestivierAmilcarMC01.1S-6
8Charles DruckC. DruckSalmson
9 MancoMancoBugatti T371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
10 Clemente-Auguste MartinC-A. MartinAmilcar
11Raymond ChambostA. ChambostSalmsonDNA - did not appear


1Albert PerrotA. PerrotBugattiT35C?2.0S-8
2Roger CésureR. CésureBugattiT37A1.5S-4
3André VagniezA. VagniezBugattiT37A1.5S-4
4Michel RoumaniM. RoumaniBugattiT35C2.0S-8
6Jean CattaneoJ. CattaneoBugattiT51A1.5S-8
7"Sim Devil""Sim Devil"BugattiT35C2.0S-8
8Jean RenaldiJ. RenaldiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
10Robert BrunetEcurie BraillardAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
11Raymond SommerEcurie BraillardMaserati8CM3.0S-8DNA - did not appear
12Benoît FalchettoEcurie BraillardMaserati8CM3.0S-8
14Andre TestutA. TestutBugattiT35C?2.0S-8
15Bernard ChaudeEcurie ArgoBugattiT512.3S-8
16Max FournyM. FournyBugattiT35C2.0S-8
17Genaro Léoz-AbadG. Léoz-AbadBugattiT512.3S-8
18Albert ChambostAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT593.3S-8DNA - did not appear
19Charles MontierC. MontierMontier-Ford

Falchetto dominates the car class in a motorcycle event

This was mainly a motor cycle event but it included three car races. Dutch driver Herkuleyns (M.G.) was the winner in the cycle car class. In the voiturette class Girod with his Salmson was victorious after a fierce duel with Mestivier (Amilcar). In the main race Falchetto with a Maserati 8CM was in his own class.
The "Union Motocycliste Française" held a series of races for different motorcycle and car classes at the Montlhéry combined oval and road track. The minor car race has often been called the "Grand Prix de France" but it is not to be confused with the French GP!
      The event, in which some 220 competitors took part, concentrated mostly on motorcycle racing. There were altogether 10 races, 3 of which were for cars. A 5 km long variant of the Montlhéry circuit was used.

The race for 750cc supercharged and 1100cc unsupercharged cars was 14 laps or 70 km.
The race for 1100cc supercharged and 1500cc unsupercharged cars was 16 laps or 80 km.
The race for cars with unlimited engine size was 18 laps or 90 km.
For the unlimited race Ecurie Braillard entered an 8-cylinder Maserati for Benoit Falchetto and an Alfa Romeo Monza for Robert Brunet. Apart from Charles Montier's own creation the rest of the field consisted of Grand Prix and voiturette Bugattis.
      The most interesting car in the class for 1100cc s/s and 1500 u/s was Armand Girod with his 8-cylinder Salmson GP. Designed by Emil Petit back in 1927 and featuring semi-desmodromic valves only two cars were built as they proved to be rather a disappointment. Girod had bought them both in 1932.
Race 1:
The event started off at 7:15 a.m. with two 100 km "Championnats de France" amateur races where cycle cars raced together with the motorcycles. Binoche (Darmont) was the fastest car in the 750cc class and Dhome (Darmont) fastest in the 1100cc class.
      Then followed the first car race of the day planned for 9:30 a.m. That was the 16 lap race for 1100cc supercharged and 1500cc unsupercharged cars.
Grid not available

Seven cars took part in the race that started a little before 10 a.m. Mestivier took the lead followed by Girod and Druck while the rest of the cars were unable to follow the trio. Martin, who got away late, retired his Amilcar after 4 laps. The race developed into a terrific duel between Mestivier and Girod. On the fifth lap, Malivoir retired his B.N.C. On the sixth lap Girod took over the lead of the race. Vernot retired his La Pintade as did and Druck with his Salmson. There were no more position changes and Girod won the race in his B.N.C. from Mestivier's Amilcar with Toni in a Bugatti third.

Heat 1 results


1.2Armand GirodA. GirodSalmsonGP 8C1.1S-81640m40.4s 
2.7Maurice MestivierM. MestivierAmilcarMC01.1S-61640m48.2s+ 7.8s
3.6R ToniR. ToniBugattiT371.5S-414  
DNF5F. VernotF. VernotLa Pintade   ?  
DNF8Charles DruckC. DruckSalmson   6  
DNF4G. MalivoirG. MalivoirBNC   5  
DNF10Clemente-Auguste MartinC-A. MartinAmilcar   4  
Fastest lap: N/A
Winner's medium speed: 118.0 km/h (73.3 mph)
Weather: .
Race 2:
Now followed two races for 175cc and 250cc motor cycles. About noon there was a show event where Benoît Falchetto in his Maserati raced against French air acrobat Marcel Doret with his Dewoitine D35 aeroplane that featured a 230 hp Hispano-Suiza engine. The aeroplane proved to be much faster than the Maserati and the pilot had time to do some manoeuvres during the race to the joy of the spectators.
      At 12:30 p.m. it was time for the second car race of the day, a 14 lap race for 750cc supercharged and 1100cc unsupercharged cars. There were 20 participants.
      Marcel Dhôme in a Darmont took the lead of the race followed by the MGs of Harry Herkuleyns and Bol d'Or winner Philippe Mallard-Bruné. Dhôme held the lead for five laps until Herkuleyns in his Q type MG Midget passed him to lead the rest of the race and to take the victory with Dhôme 33.6s behind in second position and Mallard-Bruné third.

1. Harry Herkuleyns (MG 0.7)1437m20.4s (112.5 km/h)
2. Marcel Dhôme (Darmont 1.1)1437m54.0s
3. Philippe Mallard-Bruné (MG 0.7)1438m44.4s
4. A. Debille (Salmson 1.1)13
5. G. Boussin (Amilcar 1.1)13
6. R. Dupont (Salmson 1.1)

Race 3:
Then followed two races for 500cc and 350cc motor cycles before it was time for the last car race of the day, the 18 lap race without engine restrictions. The race started at 3:30 p.m.
Grid not available

Falchetto took the lead with his Maserati. Initially he was challenged by his team mate Brunet with the Alfa Romeo Monza but soon he pulled away to win by almost two minutes. The old Bugattis never had a chance against the 8-cylinder Maserati and the Monza. They had their own race in which Spanish driver Léoz-Abad came up on top.

The day ended with a race for side car motorcycles.



1.12Benoît FalchettoEcurie BraillardMaserati8CM3.0S-81838m36.5s
2.10Robert BrunetEcurie BraillardAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-81840m36.2s+ 1m59.7s
3.17Genaro Léoz-AbadG. Léoz-AbadBugattiT512.3S-817
4.6Jean CattaneoJ. CattaneoBugattiT512.3S-817
5.8Jean RenaldiJ. RenaldiBugattiT35C2.0S-817
?1Albert PerrotA. PerrotBugattiT35C?2.0S-8
?2Roger CésureR. CésureBugattiT37A1.5S-4
?3André VagniezA. VagniezBugattiT37A1.5S-4
?4Michel RoumaniM. RoumaniBugattiT35C2.0S-8
?7"Sim Devil""Sim Devil"BugattiT35C2.0S-8
?14Andre TestutA. TestutBugattiT35C?2.0S-8
?15Bernard ChaudeEcurie ArgoBugattiT512.3S-8
?16Max FournyM. FournyBugattiT35C2.0S-8
?19Charles MontierC. MontierMontier-Ford
Fastest lap: N/A
Winner's medium speed: 139.9 km/h (86.9 mph)

Primary sources researched for this article:
L'Auto, Paris
Echo de Paris, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
Motor Sport, London

Star 16 September 1934: The second Eesti Suursõit (Estonian Grand Prix) is held at Pirita-Kose. The event included a car race where seven cars took part.
Results over 1500 cc:
1.4 Hans TaelChevrolet78.72 km/h
2.2 Johannes LorupAuburn72.72 km/h
DNF1 Julius JohansonBuick7 laps engine
Results up to 1500 cc:
1.6 T. Ferrier (GB)Singer74.05 km/h
2.7 Johannes MannertDKW69.50 km/h
3.8? K. Stadie (D)Hannomag67.05 km/h
DNF5 A. KochMG1 lap
Star 16 September 1934: Hans Stuck (Auto Union) wins the Mt. Ventoux hillclimb in France.
Star 22 September 1934: Freddie Dixon (Riley 2.0L) wins the B.D.R.C. 500 Mile handicap race on a rainy Brooklands track.



Lasarte - San Sebastian (E), 23 September 1934
30 laps x 17.315 km (10.759 mi) = 519.45 km (322.8 mi)


2Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW25S-8
4Jean-Pierre WimilleAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT593.3S-8
6Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-16
8Achille VarziScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
8Carlo Felice TrossiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8DNS - alternative driver
10Luigi SoffiettiScuderia SienaMaserati8CM3.0S-8
12Tazio NuvolariAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT593.3S-8
14René DreyfusAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-8
16Louis ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8
18Luigi FagioliDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW25S-8
20Marcel LehouxWhitney Straight Ltd.Maserati8CM3.0S-8
20Whitney StraightWhitney Straight Ltd.Maserati8CM3.0S-8DNS - alternative driver
22Hermann zu LeiningenAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-16
22August MombergerAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-16DNS - alternative driver
22Tazio NuvolariAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-16DNS - testing
24Robert BrunetEcurie BraillardMaserati8CM3.0S-8
26Benoît FalchettoEcurie BraillardMaserati8CM3.0S-8
28Antonio BrivioAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-8
30Eugen BjørnstadE. BjørnstadAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8DNS - car too heavy
?Ernst HenneDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW25AS-8DNS - reserve, practised

Stuck fastest but Mercedes still takes a double victory

by Leif Snellman
Stuck (Auto Union) took the early lead but he had to retire after only four laps. The lead was taken over by Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) followed by Wimille (Bugatti) and Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz). The Bugatti team had at last found some speed on the car and the French driver made a great effort to split the Mercedes cars. Sadly his effort came to nothing as the Bugatti developed carburettor problems and Wimille had to make a long pit stop finally finishing sixth. After the pit stops Caracciola was still leading but Fagioli just went faster and was able to catch his team mate. When Fagioli challenged for the lead a tired Caracciola gave up and for the rest of the race just held on to the second place. Nuvolari, now racing for Bugatti, could not do much about the Mercedes cars but did a solid effort and finished third. Stuck, who had taken over zu Leiningen's Auto Union after retiring his own car, put in some fast laps and advanced to finish fourth.
The ninth Gran Premio de España organized by the Automobile Club de Guipúzcoa was for a long time in doubt due to the political situation. That was nothing new as the Spanish Grand Prix (not to be confused with the San Sebastian Grand Prix) had been cancelled five years in a row between 1928 and 1932. Three weeks before the race the decision was finally made to go ahead with the event. In a great hurry the arrangements started. Stands and pits were erected and the road surface was improved with the bumps getting special attention.
      The race was one of the Grandes Èpreuves of the year, being run to the 750 kg formula. The cars had to do 30 laps on the 17.315 km long, fast Lasarte circuit near San Sebastian for a total of 519.45 km. To make the race easier for the spectators to follow a scoreboard was erected that featured three laps beside each driver's name, a blue lamp indicating when a driver passed Andoain 5 kilometres from the start, a yellow lamp for Armeta at 10 km and a red lap for Irubide at 14 km. This board proved to be very popular.
      There was a timed kilometre near the end of the lap that included a 750 m long straight and 250 m of a curve with 620 m radius.
      Prizes were 20,000 Pesetas and the President's Cup for the winner with 10,000 Pts, 5,000 Pts and 2,500 Pts for the second to fourth finishers.
In the race calendar the Spanish race was placed between the Italian and the Czech GP, into which both German teams entered three cars, but with some effort they both managed to prepare two cars for San Sebastian as well. Auto Union entered Hans Stuck and August Momberger with Hermann zu Leiningen as reserve while Mercedes-Benz entered Rudolf Caracciola and Luigi Fagioli as drivers with Ernst Henne as reserve. It is not known whether Mercedes-Benz used the old 3.3 litre 25A engine or the interim 3.7 litre 25AB engine
      Scuderia Ferrari entered two cars for Louis Chiron and Achille Varzi with Count Trossi and Gianfranco Comotti as reserves.
      Bugatti team came in full force with four cars for Tazio Nuvolari, René Dreyfus, Jean-Pierre Wimille and Antonio Brivio with Nuvolari's car red coloured. However, Nuvolari had worries as his son Giorgio was seriously ill suffering from Typhoid Fever.
      There were four Maserati entries. Scuderia Siena entered for Luigi Soffietti a narrow chassis Maserati (#3016?) with aluminium wings on the side to follow the 850 mm bodywork rule. Ecurie Braillard entered two cars of the narrow chassis type with wings, #1 for Benoît Falchetto (#3009) and #2 for Robert Brunet (#3015) both featuring these numbers and Ecurie Braillard's white pigeon on the side of the car. It seems that Brunet's car was repainted in a rush between the practice seasons to the same colour as Falchetto's (blue?). All these three cars featured a blank radiator cowl.
      Whitney Straight entered a Maserati (#3012) for Marcel Lehoux, who had left Scuderia Ferrari. Finally there was Norwegian Eugen Bjørnstad with his Alfa Romeo Monza (#2111041)
The race numbers and grid were decided by ballot before practice so the times set did not have any significance.
      Some 12 cars took part in the Thursday practice session 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. including the Mercedes, Auto Union and Bugatti teams while Scuderia Ferrari only arrived later that day. Stuck was fastest in his Auto Union with a lap time of 6m36s (157.4 km/h). Caracciola for Mercedes did 6m47s. Fagioli, Dreyfus and Wimille did times between 6m54s and 6m55s. Dreyfus and Brivio for Bugatti, Momberger for Auto Union and Soffietti, Lehoux, Brunet and Falchetto also took part in the session. The sensation of the first day was when Nuvolari tested an Auto Union creating a lot of rumours. The session was watched by a huge crowd of spectators under bright sunshine but once the session was over it started to rain.
      Second practice session was on Friday from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. with almost all drivers taking part except Bjørnstad who had not yet arrived. The Bugattis proved to be fastest, Dreyfus breaking the lap record with a time of 6m27s (160.1 km/h) and Wimille doing a 6m33s lap improving the time made on Thursday by Stuck. Nuvolari did 6m39s and Brivio was the slowest of the Bugattis with a time of 6m55s. Of the German entries Stuck was fastest with a time of 6m35.2s. Caracciola put in a 6m36s lap and Fagioli, who was not satisfied with his car and considered changing to the spare, 6m44s. Momberger did only 7m24 s. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers only took part in the final moments of the session. Chiron was fastest doing 6m45/46s against Varzi's 6m48/49s. The Maserati drivers also practiced but their times were inferior to the others.
      The Saturday practice took place from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The Bugattis were once again fastest, Nuvolari making 6m29s (160.2 km/h). Brivio also practiced while Dreyfus and Wimille thought they already were well prepared for the race. Caracciola made 6m32s. Fagioli did not feel well and Henne replaced him for the practice. Momberger's Auto Union suffered a gearbox problem but that was quickly repaired. Momberger himself however suffered from arthritis and the team considered replacing him with Prince zu Leiningen, who also took part in the session, for the race. Of the Ferrari drivers Varzi was fastest, this time doing 6m39s against Chiron's 6m42 s. Comotti was also prepared to race. All the Maserati drivers also took part in the session.

The weight-in took place at the Orio factory after the last training session. The Bugattis were found too heavy but somehow managed to clear the limit as did Lehoux with his Maserati after carefully emptying their tanks and radiators and probably after some rather hectic argumentation as well. Bjørnstad's car was found to be too heavy and was excluded from the race, rather needlessly as he had done the trip across whole Europe and his old Monza certainly was not a threat for the more modern cars.
On early Sunday morning the weather was cloudy with mild temperatures but later in the morning the sun started to shine. From early morning hordes of automobiles were going towards the circuit and long before the event began the spectator areas were filled to capacity.
      Auto Union driver Momberger was not able to take part because of arthritis. He was replaced by zu Leiningen. At first there were worrying news about the condition of Nuvolari's son but shortly before the start better news arrived that he was recovering.
      At a quarter to 12 there was the parade of cars before the main stand. Then the cars were lined up in the grid in numerical order:
Pole Position





Auto Union


Alfa Romeo








Alfa Romeo






Auto Union







As the flag was dropped at noon Stuck took the lead of the race to make the first lap in 6m36.4s (157.4 km/h). Stuck made the flying kilometre past the stands in 17.7s corresponding to a speed of 203.4 km/h. Four seconds behind Stuck followed Caracciola, then Wimille, Chiron, Fagioli, Dreyfus, Varzi, Nuvolari, who had made a bad start, Falchetto, Lehoux, Brivio, zu Leiningen, Soffietti and Brunet.
      Stuck did the second lap in 6m34s and this time the kilometre in 16.8s (214.3 km/h). Caracciola was some 200 meters behind followed by Wimille and Fagioli. Further behind zu Leiningen had passed Lehoux for 10th position while Brivio had dropped to 13th.
      On the third lap Stuck cut one second from his previous lap time. Nuvolari with his Bugatti found a way past Varzi's Alfa Romeo for 7th and Brivio took 11th position from Lehoux.
      But Stuck failed to appear after four laps as he had retired at the village of Andoain with a broken oil pipe. The lead was taken over by Caracciola followed by Wimille and Fagioli. The Bugatti team had at last found some speed on the car and the French driver made a great effort to keep with the Mercedes cars. Caracciola made the fifth lap in 6m32s. Nuvolari passed Dreyfus for fifth and Soffietti made a stop dropping to last. Brivio also made a pit stop, the first of four stops he would do during the race. The race order after 5 laps:
1.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)33m01s(157.3 km/h)
2.Wimille (Bugatti)33m15s
3.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)33m34s
4.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)33m51s
5.Nuvolari (Bugatti)33m52s
6.Dreyfus (Bugatti)33m54s
7.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)34m06s
8.Leiningen (Auto Union)35m07s
9.Brivio (Bugatti)35m37s
10.Lehoux (Maserati)35m37s
11.Falchetto (Maserati)36m14s
12.Brunet (Maserati)39m10s
13.Soffietti (Maserati)39m30s

The Bugattis were doing an impressive race with Wimille still holding on to second position and Nuvolari passing Chiron for fourth on lap 6. Dreyfus was sixth while Brivo on the other hand had to surrender his ninth position to Lehoux. Passing the village of Lasarte Nuvolari, as usual in great form, managed to pass Fagioli for third but the Mercedes driver was soon able to retake his position. Caracciola set a new lap record of 6m24s (162.3 km/h).
      According to Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung Stuck had, with the help of a taxi, somehow managed to find a way back to the pit. On the ninth lap zu Leiningen, who was claimed to have been fatigued, stopped in the pit and was literally lifted off his Auto Union with Stuck taking his place. The race order after 10 laps looked like this:
1.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)1h05m52s(157.7 km/h)
2.Wimille (Bugatti)1h06m09s
3.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)1h06m21s
4.Nuvolari (Bugatti)1h06m47s
5.Dreyfus (Bugatti)1h06m53s
6.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h07m35s
7.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)1h07m43s
8.Stuck (Auto Union)1h10m19sLeiningen's car
9.Lehoux (Maserati)1h10m26s
10.Falchetto (Maserati)1h11m51s
11.Brivio (Bugatti)1h14m53s
12.Soffietti (Maserati)1h16m37s
13.Brunet (Maserati)1h18m51s?

On the 11th lap Fagioli had caught Wimille and he passed the Bugatti for second position on the next lap bettering the lap record to 6m23s (162.8 km/h). Now two Mercedes cars were followed by three Bugattis. The distance between the top three was just 21 seconds.
      Chiron's Alfa Romeo had gearbox troubles and Chiron stopped and handed the car over to reserve driver Comotti. Nuvolari and Dreyfus made their planned pit stops after 14 laps giving fourth position over to Varzi.
      After 15 laps Fagioli had caught Caracciola and the cars were racing together with Wimille in third position 15 seconds behind:
1.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)1h38m49s(157.3 km/h)
2.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)1h38m49s
3.Wimille (Bugatti)1h39m04s
4.Varzi (Alfa Romeo)1h40m57s
5.Nuvolari (Bugatti)1h41m41s
6.Dreyfus (Bugatti)?
7.Stuck (Auto Union)1h42m52sLeiningen's car
8.Lehoux (Maserati)1h45m52s
9.Comotti (Alfa Romeo)1h46m21sChiron's car
10.Falchetto (Maserati)1h50m39s
11.Brivio (Bugatti)1h52m27s
12.Soffietti (Maserati)1h52m55s
13.Brunet (Maserati)1h57m57s?

At the end of the 15th lap both Caracciola and Wimille made their refuelling stops so Fagioli took the lead of the race. At the end of the pit stop Wimille's engine refused to restart and he lost about a minute to Caracciola, whose car was just filled up with fuel, oil and water while no tyres were changed. Caracciola was away again in 1m02s. On the 16th lap it was Fagioli's turn to stop, the pit crew being a bit faster doing the same manoeuvre, the weather and track conditions allowing the cars to use the same tyres for the whole race. Fagioli's stop took 58 seconds but he had given back the lead to Caracciola. Varzi also stopped and gave over his Alfa Romeo to Chiron. Several others made their routine stops as well including Stuck, whose stop took about one minute.
      There was a change in the lead on the 18th laps as Fagioli passed Caracciola. After 19 laps Fagioli had already opened up a seven seconds gap to his team-mate, who still not 100 % fit gave up and settled for second position. Falchetto retired his Maserati to the pit due to a clutch failure. The situation after 20 laps:
1.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)2h12m39s(156.6 km/h)
2.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)2h12m57s
3.Wimille (Bugatti)2h13m48s
4.Nuvolari (Bugatti)2h14m38s
5.Dreyfus (Bugatti)2h14m50s
6.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)2h15m32sVarzi's car
7.Stuck (Auto Union)2h16m24sLeiningen's car
8.Lehoux (Maserati)2h21m08s
9.Comotti (Alfa Romeo)2h25m18sChiron's car
10.Brivio (Bugatti) 2h28m18s
11.Soffietti (Maserati)2h31m06s
12.Brunet (Maserati)2h38m13s

After 22 laps Fagioli's lead had increased to 38 seconds and Neubauer gave him a signal not to push further. Caracciola on the other hand was warned by Wimille, who was closing in. The race however was very much decided on the 23rd lap as the carburettor on Wimille's Bugatti broke and he had to stop for repairs for some six minutes and dropping to seventh position, being passed by Nuvolari, Dreyfus, Chiron and Stuck. The bad luck for the Bugatti team continued as Dreyfus had to make a stop for carburettor adjustments returning in sixth position after being passed by Chiron and Stuck. Also on the 23th lap Brunet suffered a brake failure and crashed his Maserati. Luckily the driver walked away from the scene with only slight bruises.
      After 25 laps Fagioli was leading Caracciola by 22 seconds with Nuvolari, who had been pushing to close the gap to the Mercedes drivers, another 52 seconds behind in third position. The order after 25 laps was:
1.Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)2h46m20s(156.1 km/h)
2.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz) 2h46m44s
3.Nuvolari (Bugatti)2h47m36s
4.Chiron (Alfa Romeo)2h48m35sVarzi's car
5.Stuck (Auto Union)2h48m52sLeiningen's car
6.Dreyfus (Bugatti)2h50m17s
7.Wimille (Bugatti)2h53m39s
8.Lehoux (Maserati)2h55m58s
9.Comotti (Alfa Romeo)3h01m32sChiron's car
10.Brivio (Bugatti)3h03m48s
11.Soffietti (Maserati)3h08m15s

Wimille was racing flat out in his hopeless attempt to make up for the long pit stop. He was doing laps some 10-15 seconds faster than Caracciola and passed him on the straight but was still almost a lap behind the German.
      Stuck was finally up to speed in Leiningen's car doing the timed kilometre in 219.5 km/h. On the 27th lap he passed Chiron for fourth position and his next lap was the fastest of the race with a time of 6m20s (164.3 km/h), Stuck winning a cup and 2,000 Pesetas for the effort.
      Dreyfus had to make one more pit stop giving over sixth position to Wimille and getting lapped by the Mercedes cars.
      After 30 laps Fagioli took the chequered flag followed 42.8 seconds behind by Caracciola. Nuvolari was third less than 25 seconds behind in one of the best Bugatti performances of the season. Stuck was fourth, Chiron fifth in Varzi's car and Wimille sixth. Only those six made the full distance.



1.18Luigi FagioliDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW25S-8303h19m41.6s
2.2Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW25S-8303h20m24.4s+ 42.8s
3.12Tazio NuvolariAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT593.3S-8303h20m48.0s+ 1m07.4s
4.22H. zu Leiningen / H. StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-16303h21m03.0s+ 1m22.4s
5.8A. Varzi / L. ChironScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8303h21m49.0s+ 2m08.5s
6.4Jean-Pierre WimilleAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT593.3S-8303h26m21.8s+ 6m41.2s
7.14René DreyfusAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-8293h20m50s
8.20Marcel LehouxWhitney Straight Ltd.Maserati8CM3.0S-8293h22m31s
9.16L. Chiron / G. ComottiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.9S-8283h23m02s
10.10Luigi SoffiettiScuderia SienaMaserati8CM3.0S-8273h22m51s
11.28Antonio BrivioAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT592.8S-8273h24m35s
DNF24Robert BrunetEcurie BraillardMaserati8CM3.0S-822crash
DNF26Benoît FalchettoEcurie BraillardMaserati8CM3.0S-819clutch
DNF6Hans StuckAuto Union AGAuto UnionA4.4V-163oil pipe
Fastest lap: Hans Stuck (Auto Union) on lap 27 in 6m20.0s = 164.0 km/h (101.9 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 156.1 km/h (97.0 mph)
Weather: sunny.
In retrospect:

Intermediate times for every fifth lap were published by El Mundo Deportivo. Sadly the timekeepers seem to have made several errors. Especially the times for the Maseratis are a mess. Brunet's time for 15 laps, 1h51m57s, 11th position, should probably be 1h57m57s, 13th position. Soffietti's time for 10 laps, 1h19m19s, is hardly correct while Motor Sport's 1h16m37s is more believable. On the other hand Motor Sport had 29 laps for Soffietti, but it should be 27 laps. Motor Sport also claims that Comotti did 29 laps in 3h30m50s while El Mundo Deportivo and Il Littoriale say he did only 28 laps in 3h23m02s. Dreyfus, Lehoux and Soffietti had already been flagged off before Comotti finished his 28th lap. Why would Comotti have been allowed to do another lap?

We believe this report to be as accurate as is possible to do. Sadly L'Auto's race report was not to be found but a picture from the results table near the end of the race helped a bit.

Fastest laps and pit stops. El Mundo Deportivo published the fastest laps in their race report with Dreyfus doing 6m10s but the time keepers had made a mistake, mixing up the Bugattis as explained later in L'Auto. Fastest laps published by Automobil Revue and L'Auto a few days later agree with each other and these are shown here:

Driver/CarFastest lapPit stop
Stuck (Auto Union)6m20s car #22 2 stops1m47s
Fagioli (Mercedes-Benz)6m23s 1 stop     58s
Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)6m24s 1 stop1m02s
Wimille (Bugatti)6m29s 2 stops9m01s
Dreyfus (Bugatti)6m31s 3 stops4m20s
Nuvolari (Bugatti)6m31s 1 stop1m45s
Stuck (Auto Union)6m32s car #6-
Varzi (Alfa Romeo)6m36s car #8see Chiron
Chiron (Alfa Romeo)6m36s car #8 1 stop1m00s
Lehoux (Maserati)6m41s 1 stop1m23s
Chiron (Alfa Romeo)6m42s car #16see Comotti
Leiningen (Auto Union)6m47s car #22see Stuck
Brivio (Bugatti)6m56s 4 stops8m14s
Falchetto (Maserati)7m00s 2 stops6m10s
Soffietti (Maserati)7m04s 2 stops2m57s
Brunet (Maserati)7m34s 1 stop1m39s
Comotti (Alfa Romeo) ?         car #161 stop3m07s

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
L'Auto, Paris
El Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona
Il Littoriale, Roma
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
The Motor, London
Special thanks to:
Hugo Boecker
Markus Neugebauer


© 2019 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt, Felix Muelas - Last updated: 06.12.2019