Constantini (Bugatti)Wagner (Peugeot)Boillot (Peugeot)


Medio Circuito Madonie - Palermo (I), 3 May 1925.
5 laps x 108 km (67.1 mi) = 540 km (335.6 mi)
1100 and 1500cc: 3 laps x 108 km (67.111 mi) = 324 km (201.334 mi)
Coppa Florio: 4 laps x 108 km (67.111 mi) = 432 km (268.445 mi)


1Christian DauvergneSA des Automobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeot174 S4.0S-4
2Louis RigalSA des Automobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeot174 S4.0S-4
3Louis WagnerSA des Automobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeot174 S4.0S-4
4André BoillotSA des Automobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeot174 S4.0S-4
5Fritz HückelF. HückelTatra111.1S-4
6Karl SponerK. SponerTatra111.1S-4
7Luigi PlatèL. PlatèChiribiriMonza S1.5S-4
8Meo CostantiniAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-8
9Pierre de VizcayaAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-8
10Fernand de VizcayaAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-8
11Luigi LopezSA Automobile e Velocipedi E. BianchiBianchi181.5S-4DNA - did not arrive
12CarusoSA Automobile e Velocipedi E. BianchiBianchi181.5S-4DNA - did not arrive
13Renato BalestreroR. BalestreroOM6652.0S-6
14Domenico AntonelliD. AntonelliBugattiT352.0S-8DNA - did not arrive
15Giulio MasettiC. MasettiBugattiT352.0S-8DNS - did not start
16Salvatore CasanoS. CasanoAlfa RomeoRLTF243.0S-6DNA - did not arrive
16BSilvio De VitisS. De VitisItalaSpecial3.0S-4
18Guido GinaldiG.GinaldiAlfa RomeoRLTF243.0S-6
19Fritz CockerellCockerell FahrzeugwerkeCockerell2-stroke0.9S-4DNA - did not arrive
20Giuseppe PiroG. PiroFiat501 S1.5S-4DNA - did not arrive

Costantini wins the Targa Florio, Boillot with Peugeot the Coppa Florio

by Hans Etzrodt
The Targa and Coppa Florio ran simultaneously, yet at the Coppa only the Peugeot team could participate while the Targa was also open to the Bugatti team and independent drivers. During the first lap the Peugeots of Boillot, Wagner and Dauvergne held the lead ahead of Costantini's Bugatti followed by Rigal, the de Vizcaya brothers, Balestero, Ginaldi, Hückel, Sponer, Platè and De Vitis. The same group of 13 cars completed the second lap but in a different order. Dauvergne crashed on lap three, when Costantini took the lead ahead of Boillot and Wagner. Pierre de Vizcaya was far behind with no chance of a leading position. On the fourth lap the Coppa Florio was decided in Boillot's favor but Costantini still maintained a small lead ahead of the two Peugeots. After Rigal crashed the field had shrunk to eight cars. The three smaller cars of Hückel, Sponer and Platè ended their race after three laps. The fifth lap was exciting with a closely matched battle for the Targa between the leading trio and was finally won by Costantini and his mechanic Solderini ahead of Wagner and Boillot.
The Targa and Coppa Florio were named after their founder, Count Vincenzo Florio. The 1925 race was the 16th Targa Florio and was staged to free formula regulations. The entries were split into four: Category I for cars up to 1100 cc, which had to do only three laps or 324 km. The same distance had to be covered by category II cars from 1101 cc to 1500 cc. Category III from1501 cc to 2000 cc and category IV over 2000cc had to complete five laps of the 108 km circuit equal to 540 km. The maximum time allowed was 10 hours.
      The Coppa Florio was awarded to the competitor who spent the shortest time completing the four laps of the Circuito delle Madonie (432 km). Only competitors registered by a factory or works team could compete. The Coppa Florio was retained for a year at the winning factory after the deposit of L. 30,000. This year it was to be decided who would win the Coppa in perpetuity. According to the regulations eight makes qualified for this final battle, Peugeot, Fiat, Itala, Ballot, Mercedes, Alfa Romeo, Nazzaro and Isotta-Fraschini. Nazzaro had stopped production and Itala had not entered races for a long time while none of the other companies had placed entries except Peugeot. Mercedes made it known that they would not race this year and Alfa Romeo placed no entries because they prepared for the European Grand Prix in Spa.
      The Reale Automobile Club d'Italia and the Automobile Club di Sicilia offered the overall winner 50,000 lire, the 1925 variant of the Targa Florio trophy in bronze, a gold medal donated by the King and a large gold medal from the A.C. di Sicilia. The second placed driver received a large gold medal, the third placed driver a small gold medal and there was a large silver medal for the fourth.
      Five laps around the Medium Madonie Circuit totaled 540 km. In use since 1919, it included approximately 1400 corners per lap through the mountainous Madonie region of Sicily, making the Targa Florio a race of over 7000 corners. The narrow circuit with its steep gradients was a true measure of both driver and machine. The start and finish took place near the Cerda train station just a few meters above sea level. The road led several miles up to Cerda village at 273 meters altitude. From here the course twisted uphill to Caltavuturo at 640 meters. From this village the tight, twisting roads wound through the Madonie Mountains and turned back past a depot to refuel and change tires in the town of Polizzi, 917 meters above sea level. Tortuous hairpin bends followed next, snaking downhill through the mountain village of Collesano at 500 meters and then on to Campofelice, just 50 meters above sea level. From there it was downhill to the seven km fast coastal straight where it was possible to use top gear and pass other cars. Finally, the circuit turned inland going back to the finish near the Cerda train station.
      The roads of the circuit had been improved and higher speeds were expected. The Puricella Company which had built the Monza Autodrom and the Automobile roads near Milan had improved the circuit over more than three months. The AC di Sicilia had spent 50,000 Lire to spray the entire course with a special oil preparation to prevent any dust.
Mercedes, who won the Targa and Coppa Florio the year before with Christian Werner, announced that they would not take part this year. Also missing was the entire Italian industry, since the Italian cars in the race were all independent entries. Cavaliere Florio had visited Mercedes in Untertürkheim and factories in his own country to encourage participation but it was of no avail. As a result, there was a small field of only twenty entries.
      Peugeot, a French team, brought their 3,990cc 4-cylinder sleeve valve race cars for their French drivers Dauvergne, Rigal, Wagner and Boillot. The latter had won the race in 1919 with the EX5 Peugeot.
      This was to be the first Targa Florio for the Bugatti works team and they arrived with unsupercharged 8-cylinder 2000 T35s. The drivers were Meo Costantini and the brothers Pierre and Fernand de Vizcaya. A fourth car was made available for Giulio Masetti, who won the 1921 and 1922 races.
      The two new Tatra cars were independently entered by the Industrialist Fritz Hückel and Karl Sponer, both members of the Morovia-Silesia AC in Czechoslovakia. The small yellow painted Tatra 11 cars had an air-cooled flat 2-cylinder 1056 cc OHV engine, producing just 12 hp with a top speed of 70 km/h.
      Balestrero's OM was works-assisted but privately entered. He was the OM Agent in Lucca, so racecars were provided to him under this arrangement.
      A 3.0 -Liter Alfa Romeo RLTF24 was independently entered by Ginaldi, who raced it only during 1925. At the preceding Rome Grand Prix he had finished in third place. Silvio De Vitis entered a 3.0-Liter Itala Special, based on a 512 sports car. Michael Müller informed us that De Vitis was not happy with the unlucky number 17 assigned to his car and was allowed to use number 16B. This change took place just in the last moment before the race and there are photographs of his car displaying the number, one photo even in the Rapiditas publication.
      The Gockerell prototype had a 4-cylinder 2-stroke engine of 905 cc which was built by the designer Fritz Gockerell in his motorcycle factory in Munich, Bavaria.
      The final twist was about Giulio Masetti at the wheel of the fourth Bugatti. First Carlo Masetti, winner of the 1925 Royal Rome Grand Prix, was reported to be driving this car but when Carlo was indisposed, his brother Giulio, the winner of the Targa 1921 and 1922, and the idol of the Cerda crowds, was offered the drive in the Bugatti. La Stampa reported that when Masetti enthusiasm runs, it can be a moment of hysteria. Therefore, it was natural that the Targa crowd was so numerous, they had come to admire their idol. But Masetti was not in the race on Sunday. As the grandstands filled and the cars began to rumble, the news that Giulio Masetti would not run started to spread. Nobody wanted to believe it, but Masetti himself immediately confirmed the news. Bugatti was firmly opposed to entrusting him with the car, the rationale being that Masetti was used to success on the Madonie Circuit. If for one reason or another Masetti failed to come first, the public would undoubtedly blame the car. This logical reasoning by Bugatti was considered illogical by the public who were deprived of their hero and greatly disappointed.
In the first hours of Sunday morning an enormous pilgrimage of local enthusiasts arrived by special trains, car and on foot. They came to take possession of the best viewpoints around the entire circuit before these places were overcrowded. The cloudless morning was beautiful with a light fresh breeze. The race was well organized, and the spectators were informed of the latest developments through loudspeakers.
      The final entry list was not decided until very late in the evening before the race. The start on the following morning was therefore of special interest and indeed a considerable number of changes took place. From the twenty entries only thirteen cars appeared at the start. Amongst the non-starters was the only German, Engineer Cockerell who had to stop near Naples with an engine defect. Both Bianchi entries of Lopez and Caruso failed to appear at the start. The AAZ reported that Giulio Masetti, who wanted to replace his indisposed brother Carlo at the wheel of a Bugatti, arrived too late to prepare himself sufficiently for this difficult race. Eventually, Peugeot was the only contestant for the Coppa Florio and had the privilege of starting first, while the remaining entries were decided by drawing lots. The cars started individually in order of their race numbers at intervals of four minutes beginning at 7:00 in the morning.
7:001DauvergnePeugeot4000 cc
7:165HückelTatra1100 cc
7:247PlatèChiribiri1500 cc
7:288CostantiniBugatti2000 cc
7:329P. de VizcayaBugatti--"--
7:3610F. de VizcayaBugatti--"--
7:4416BDe VitisItala Spl3000 cc
7:4818GinaldiAlfa Romeo--"--
First lap:
The four large Peugeots started without problems and rushed into the lead while the Bugattis took off at a slower pace. Of the independent entries, Balestrero was the fastest and the Chiribiri of Platè was faster than the two Tatra cars up to Caltavuturo. On the stretch to Polizzi, the highest point of the course, Wagner dropped one minute behind Boillot. Costantinis gap behind Wagner increased to two minutes. Balestrero fell behind the Bugatti team and the two little Tatras were three minutes ahead of Platè. De Vitis' three-liter Itala was delayed for unknown reasons behind those tiny cars. Boillot maintained his fast pace to Cerda, closely followed by Wagner and Dauvergne in third place. Boillot's first lap over 108 km was a new lap record in 1h28m44s at an average speed of 73.027 km/h which was only bettered on the last lap by Costantini. All the drivers completed the first lap in the following order:
1.Boillot (Peugeot)1h28m44s
2.Wagner (Peugeot)1h28m58s
3.Dauvergne (Peugeot)1h29m37s
4.Costantini (Bugatti)1h32m05s
5.Rigal (Peugeot)1h33m25s
6.P. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)1h35m43s
7.F. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)1h37m11s
8.Balestrero (OM)1h39m50s
9.Ginaldi (Alfa Romeo)1h44m41s
10.Hückel (Tatra)1h50m41s
11.Sponer (Tatra)1h50m51s
12.Platè (Chiribiri)1h55m47s
13.De Vitis (Itala Specil)1h57m57s

Second lap:
The blue Peugeots drove at high speed into the second lap without stopping. Pierre de Vizcaya stopped at the pits to change both rear tires. Ten or more enthusiastic spectators helped him which explains why he could leave after only 1m26s whilst remaining in his seat. All of this was observed by the officials. Platè had a harder time. Due to the officials' instructions, he had to change one front wheel and spark plugs with only his mechanic to help him, which took more than six minutes. Fernando de Vizcaya stopped at the pits for a few minutes. His car had a damaged crankcase and the oil dripping from the engine would eventually cause his retirement. Ginaldi encountered difficulties but pressed on, while De Vitis arrived after a considerable delay and continued at a reduced pace.
      At the beginning of the second lap, Wagner passed Boillot on the climb up to Caltuvoturo, but Boillot recovered the lead going up to Polizzi. However, Boillot was hindered by tire trouble which enabled Wagner to get first place. Fernando de Vizcaya dropped to second to last place due to an engine problem at Caltovuturo but stopped 5 km before Polizzi at KM 53. After he made a repair he resumed and completed his second lap in last place, over one hour behind De Vitis. He stopped at the pits where he left after a few minutes. Up to Polizzi, Platè regained time and was one minute ahead of the two small Tatras. On the last stretch to Cerda, Dauvergne gained slightly on Boillot which put him in second position. Rigal lost much time against Costantini who had increased his pace. Sponer had passed his teammate Hückel at a fast pace, establishing a new lap record for the 1100 category in 1h48m56s at an average speed of 59.455 km/h. All drivers finished the second lap in the following order:
1.Wagner (Peugeot)2h59m06s
2.Dauvergne (Peugeot)2h59m48s
3.Boillot (Peugeot)3h00m02s
4.Costantini (Bugatti)3h02m49s
5.Rigal (Peugeot)3h07m58s
6.P. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)3h15m37s
7.Balestrero (OM)3h19m48s
8.Ginaldi (Alfa Romeo)3h30m04s
9.Sponer (Tatra)3h39m47s
10.Hückel (Tatra)3h40m36s
11.Platè (Chiribiri)3h56m13s
12.De Vitis (Itala Specil)4h06m58s
13.F. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)5h12m14s

Third lap:
Dauvergne had driven the first and second laps at the same pace but at the beginning of the third lap he may have forced his car too much. Shortly after Cerda at KM 13, he took a not particularly difficult wide bend too fast and the car overturned and caught fire. Some reports claimed the accident happened due to a locking front brake. W.F. Bradley in his book Targa Florio gave the following account: "Dauvergne took a turn too fast and overturned. The mechanic was thrown clear and lay stunned on the road, while the driver was pinned under the car, which began to burn. As Dauvergne felt the flames creeping up his leg, he began to shriek for help, with the result that the mechanic was brought back to consciousness and with the help of peasants who rushed in from the fields, struggled to liberate the imprisoned man. Wagner came by at this time and stopped to give help, Christian Dauvergne was freed in a horribly burned condition, but had to lie by the roadside until an ambulance could be found in this thinly populated district. These incidents delayed Wagner and allowed Costantini to finish with a lead of nearly five minutes." Wagner stopped at all the control stations to report the accident and as a result lost much time. The unlucky driver had burn wounds over his entire body and a broken arm as well. At the end of the race, completely wrapped in bandages, he was transported to a hospital.
      At the beginning of the third lap, Rigal and Boillot passed close together and immediately after the grandstands Boillot passed his teammate. At the beginning of lap three, Platè once again changed his wheels and was unable to recover the lost time. De Vitis also lost a lot of time with a repair between Caltavuturo and Polizzi. Between Polizzi and Cerda Costantini took the lead and at the end of the lap was three minutes ahead of the two Peugeots. Wagner lost the lead because he helped Dauvergne and dropped to third after he was passed by Boillot who kept second place. After the third lap the field was down to 12 cars in the following order:
1.Costantini (Bugatti)4h31m47s
2.Boillot (Peugeot)4h34m20s
3.Wagner (Peugeot)4h35m26s
4.P. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)4h49m51s
5.Rigal (Peugeot)4h53m06s
6.Balestrero (OM)4h59m30s
7.Ginaldi (Alfa Romeo)5h17m37s
8.Hückel (Tatra)5h31m29s
9.Sponer (Tatra)5h36m17s
10.Platè (Chiribiri)5h49m02s
11.De Vitis (Itala Specil)6h22m39s
12.F. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)7h08m47s

Fourth lap:
At the beginning of the fourth lap the two Tatra cars of Hückel and Sponer completed their race as they were required to do only three laps. Hückel established a new record for the 1100 category in 5h31m29s at 58.550 km/h average speed over the 324 km race distance. Platè did not stop after three laps but continued unofficially. He broke down on the fourth lap and reached the finish only after 7h44m54s, the end of the race. At the beginning of the fourth lap, Rigal took a wrong road at Cerda, in fact at KM 9, where he crashed at full speed into a barrier. The Peugeot caught fire and was out of the race. The driver escaped without injuries but the mechanic suffered burns. There was great suspense about who would win the Coppa Florio. Two of the Peugeots were out of the running which left just Boillot and Wagner. Costantini's Bugatti was not a factor due to the regulations. But the general public hoped that Costantini, an Italian driver, would unofficially contest the trophy, which is exactly what happened. Boillot who could no longer be caught by Wagner won the Coppa for Peugeot but Costantini with the Bugatti made a better time than the official winner. This was the order at Polizzi and remained the same at Cerda, where after the fourth lap the field was down to seven cars in the following order:
1.Costantini (Bugatti)6h03m49s
2.Boillot (Peugeot)6h04m25s
3.Wagner (Peugeot)6h06m50s
4.P. de Vizcaya (Bugatti)6h21m21s
5.Balestrero (OM)6h43m21s
6.Ginaldi (Alfa Romeo)7h02m40s
7.Platè (Chiribiri)7h44m54s

Fifth lap:
Boillot had officially won the Coppa Florio, which in all fairness actually should have been given to Costantini. With great excitement the crowd waited for the final outcome, which due to the delayed starts dragged on until the arrival of Costantini. At Caltovuturo the times of the three contenders were as follows:
1.Costantini (Bugatti)6h29m
2.Boillot (Peugeot)6h30m
3.Wagner (Peugeot)6h32m

Boillot and Costantini were now in a heated battle and Wagner also tried once more to make up lost ground. He managed to reduce the gap to Boillot by one minute up to Polizzi, where the times were:
1.Costantini (Bugatti)6h50m
2.Boillot (Peugeot)6h51m
3.Wagner (Peugeot)6h52m

On the next stretch to Collesano Wagner actually succeeded in beating Boillot with a time of 7h19m while Boillot showed up with just 7h21m. With immense excitement everybody waited for Costantini's time which was announced only after Boillot's arrival. It was 7h15s and if the driver carried on at the same pace without any incidents, he would win the Targa.
      A Cannon shot announced the arrival of the winner, who came thundering down the hill to Cerda rail station. Costantini crossed the finish line five minutes ahead of Wagner and completed the last lap in 1h28m37s at an average speed of 73.067 km/h, having beaten Boillot's record from the first lap. Costantini established a new record for the 540 km Madonie Circuit in 7h32m27s at an average speed of 71.610 km/h. The significant road improvements contributed to new records which were set in the various categories. Without them Costantini would not have beaten Werner's 1924 record of 66.018 km/h.

Targa Florio Results


1.8Meo CostantiniAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-857h32m27s
2.3Louis WagnerSA des Automobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeot174 S4.0S-457h37m20s+ 4m53s
3.4André BoillotSA des Automobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeot174 S4.0S-457h40m33s+ 8m06s
4.9Pierre de VizcayaAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-857h53m12s+ 20m45s
5.13Renato BalestreroR. BalestreroOM6652.0S-658h21m18s+ 48m51s
6.18Guido GinaldiG. GinaldiAlfa RomeoRLTF243.0S-658h56m41s+ 1h24m14s
DNF2Louis RigalSA des Automobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeot174 S4.0S-434h53m06scrash
DNF16BSilvio De VitisS. De VitisItalaSpecial3.0S-436h22m39smechanical
DNF1Christian DauvergneSA des Automobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeot174 S4.0S-422h59m48scrash
DNF10Fernand de VizcayaAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT352.0S-825h12m14scrank case
Fastest lap: Meo Costantini (Bugatti) on lap 5 in 1h28m37s at 73.1 km/h (45.4 mph).
Winner's average speed: 71.6 km/h (44.5 mph).
Weather: sunny, hot and windy.

Results of 1100 cc and 1500cc category


1.5Fritz HückelF. HückelTatra111.1S-435h31m29.0s 
2.6Karl SponerK. SponerTatra111.1S-435h36m17.2s+ 4m48.2s
3.7Luigi PlatèL. PlatèChiribiriMonza S1.5S-435h49m02.4s+ 7m32.4s
Winner's average speed: 58.6 km/h (36.4 mph).

Coppa Florio Results


1.4André BoillotSA des Automobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeot174 S4.0S-446h04m25s
2.3Louis WagnerSA des Automobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeot174 S4.0S-446h06m50s+ 2m25s
DNF2Louis RigalSA des Automobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeot174 S4.0S-434h53m06s - crash
DNF1Christian DauvergneSA des Automobiles et Cycles PeugeotPeugeot174 S4.0S-422h59m48s - crash
Winner's average speed: 71.1 km/h (44.2 mph).
In retrospect:
Christian Dauvergne was admitted to Professor Orestano's clinic. On Monday after the race Dauvergne's condition was improving. The doctor's prognosis was 45 days for recovery. Rigal's mechanic, who was admitted to the same clinic with burn injuries, also improved and was expected to recover in 11 days.

We encountered numerous differences in the various sources with final classification times and individual lap times. We believe that we have selected the correct ones for this report.

Primary sources researched for this article:
ACI - rivista, Torino
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
Euro Motor, Wien
La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milano
L'Auto, Paris
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
MOTOR, Berlin
Omnia, Paris
Rapiditas, Palermo
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Giuseppe Prisco
Michael Müller

Merz (Mercedes)Kolb (Bugatti)Kaufmann (Steiger)


Solitude-Stuttgart (D), 17 May 1925.
10 laps x 22.3 km (13.86 mi) = 223.0 km (138.6 mi)


Class up to 1500 cc
Carl JörnsAdam OpelOpel9511.1S-4
Hans von OpelAdam OpelOpel9511.1S-4
Robert GockenbachR. GockenbachEgo1.1S-4
25Arthur WernerNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU5/40 hp1.3S-6
Hans BirkH. BirkBugattiRabag T-131.5S-4
Franz WaldhierF. WaldhierAlfi1.5S-4
Hans Joachim SchaedeH.J. SchaedeLeySport1.5S-4
Margot von EinsiedelCountess M. v. EinsiedelBugattiT221.5S-4DNS - practice crash
Class 1501 to 2000 cc
14Karl SailerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes1924 TF2.0S-4
15Otto MerzDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes1924 TF2.0S-4
9Hans KolbH. KolbBugattiT352.0S-8
Karl KapplerK. KapplerSimsonSupra2.0S-4DNS - sports car start
TatenhorstTatenhorstDükopp P8A2.0S-4DNA - did not appear
Class over 2001 cc
11Walter KaufmannWalter Steiger & Co.Steiger10/50 hp2.6S-4
18Helmuth TaxisH. TaxisAlfa RomeoRL3.4S-6

Otto Merz wins the Solitude-Rennen with Mercedes

by Hans Etzrodt
At the first Solitude Circuit race there were 114 Automobile entries and 180 for motorcycles, all racing for two days in several events. This report reviews the main event, which was the 10-lap race of the 16 racecars. After Countess von Einsiedel crashed in practice and Kappler with Tatenhorst did not appear, there were only 13 starters for Sunday's afternoon race. The 2-Liter Mercedes cars of Merz and Sailer led the first lap ahead of Taxis (3400 Alfa Romeo) and Kolb (2000 Bugatti). As both Mercedes slowed with problems, Taxis took the lead on lap two, which he held until he retired on lap four. As Sailer also retired, Merz took the lead and held it until the end finishing first ahead of Kolb, Kaufmann (2600 Steiger), Birk (1500 Bugatti), Werner (1300 NSU) and Waldhier (Alfi) sixth. The 1100 Opels of Jörns and Hans von Opel had to complete only nine laps and finished in this order.
The Solitude hill climbs from 1922 to 1924 were leading up to Solitude castle. In 1925 a new 22.3 km circuit was created which led past the castle through the woods southwest of Stuttgart. The ADAC with the Motorcycle Club Stuttgart, the Stuttgart Automobile Club and the Württemberg AC organized the 1925 race on the narrow dirt road circuit of an undulating nature with 28 turns. Start and Finish was near the Solitude Castle from where the course snaked anticlockwise through the forests, then leading steep downhill through a hairpin bend past the village of Eltingen. From there through a valley past the health resort Glemseck with two sharp turns, next climbing to the highest point at Frauenkreuz and from there downhill through forests winding though some turns past the health resort Schatten. From here the road went downhill straight through a forest, then winding uphill to the finish at the Solitude Castle. For the spectators 15 stands had been erected at various places. The roads were coated with Vialit to prevent dust build-up. The first day of racing on Saturday was for small motorcycles and touring cars. The Sunday races were for large motorcycles, large sports cars and the main event for racecars over 10 laps or 223 km in the afternoon.
Entries and Practice:
The Stuttgart driver Helmuth Taxis entered his 3.4-Liter 6-cylinder Alfa Romeo RL race car while the engineer Walter Kaufmann from Laupheim started with a 1924 Targa Florio 2.6-Liter Steiger which he had raced at the 1924 race. At the Solitude he drove with front fenders fitted. The Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft entered two of their 1924 Targa Florio cars for Karl Sailer and Otto Merz. They were 4-cylinder supercharged 2-Liter racecars. Sailer's car was white and the one of Merz red, its original 1924 color.
      Hans Kolb, a driver from Munich, entered his 2-Liter 8-cylinder Bugatti not supercharged. He also had driven at the 1924 Targa Florio with a Steiger. The engineer Hans Birk from Mannheim arrived with his 1500 Rabag Bugatti, which was built under license by the Rheinische Automobilbau AG in Mannheim, with the bodies built in Düsseldorf.
      On the last day of practice, Countess Margot von Einsiedel and her riding mechanic had an accident in the old Bugatti which was probably on loan. Karl Kappler with a 2000 Simson Supra and Tatenhorst in a 2000 Dürkopp did not appear.
      There were four 1100 cars, the two Opel single-seaters of Carl Jörns and Hans von Opel, the Ego of Gockenbach and the Alfi of Flick. The 13 cars are listed at the beginning of this report.
There were over 100,000 estimated spectators. After the Sunday morning races for sport and touring cars, the battle of the racecars in the afternoon was the main event and the conclusion of activities. The racecars were released at single starts with short intervals, starting the large cars first with Taxis (Alfa Romeo), Kaufmann (Steiger), Sailer (Mercedes), Merz (Mercedes) and Kolb's 2000 Bugatti. Next started the small cars: Waldhier (1500 Alfi) and Flick (1100 Alfi), Birk (Rabag), Schaede (Ley), Werner (NSU), Gockenbach (1100 Ego), Jörns (Opel) and Hans von Opel (Opel). At the planned 3:00 PM start, all 13 cars were already on the course racing.
      After the first lap the Mercedes of Merz was half a minute ahead of Taxis' Alfa Romeo. Sailer in the other Mercedes was second and Kolb's Bugatti followed in fourth place.
      After the second lap Merz lost about 1½ minutes and Sailer with the other Mercedes dropped even further behind. Kolb's Bugatti had also lost time and passed the grandstand late with a dented tail section after spinning against a tree. The Alfa Romeo was now in the lead but only until the third lap, as Taxis retired with a defect on lap four. Flick in the 1100 Alfi retired on the third lap. On lap four, Sailer in the other Mercedes retired at Eltingen, supposedly with an ignition problem. Schaede's 1500 Ley car retired with a broken oil pipe probably also after 3 laps. The 1100 Ego of Gockenbach stopped on the fourth lap when the driver was seen walking back to the finish. As of lap four Merz led the race and drove with astonishing regularity lap after lap winning the race. He also made the fastest lap at 99.3 km/h average speed. Kolb held second place and later drove without hood, supposedly for better engine cooling but his gap to Merz had increased to 7m23s due to an engine problem. In third place finished Kaufmann in the Steiger ahead of Birk's 1500 Rabag, winning his class. The NSU of Werner was at times ahead but finally was beaten by half a minute, followed by Waldhier's Alfi. The two Opel single-seaters of Carl Jörns and Hans von Opel were the only 1100 cars that lasted until the end of the required 9 laps and a total of only 200.70 km which Jörns finished at 72.3 km/h average speed.



1.15Otto MerzDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes1924 TF2.0S-4102h22m09.1s 
2.9Hans KolbH. KolbBugattiT352.0S-8102h29m24.2s+ 7m15.1s
3.11Walter KaufmannWalter Steiger & Co.Steiger10/50 hp2.6S-4102h35m33.3s+ 13m24.2s
4.Hans BirkH. BirkBugattiRabag1.5S-4102h37m14.4s+ 15m05.3s
5.28Arthur WernerNeckarsulmer FahrzeugwerkeNSU5/40 hp1.3S-6102h37m53.1s+ 15m44.0s
6.Franz WaldhierF. WaldhierAlfi1.5S-4102h58m48.1s+ 36m39.0s
7.Carl JörnsAdam OpelOpel9511.1S-492h46m05.3s 
8.Hans von OpelAdam OpelOpel9511.1S-482h53m17.2s 
DNFHans Joachim SchaedeH.J. SchaedeLeySport1.5S-43oil pipe 
DNF18Helmuth TaxisH. TaxisAlfa RomeoRL3.4S-63  
DNF14Karl SailerDaimler Motoren GesellschaftMercedes1924 TF2.0S-43ignition 
DNFRobert GockenbachR. GockenbachEgo1.1S-43  
Fastest lap: Otto Merz (Mercedes) in 13m28.0s = 99.4 km/h (61.7 mph).
Winner's average speed: 94.1 km/h (58.5 mph).
Weather: sunny and warm.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
Badische Presse, Karlsruhe
Karlsruher Tagblatt, Karlsruhe
MOTOR, Berlin
Stuttgarter Neues Tagblatt, Stuttgart
Wiener Sport-Tagblatt, Wien
Special thanks to:
Hugo Boecker
Michael Müller
Bernhard Völker
Alessandro Silva


© 2021 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 01.07.2021