Star After the disappointing performance of their new cars Alfa Corse decided to suspend their racing until they had got the cars race worthy. The team had also lost three cars in two races. The Auto Unions were still not ready. The Eifelrennen organizers therefore decided to cancel the race as only Mercedes would have entered. For this reason there was no GP race between 15 May and 3 July!

Manfred von Brauchitsch - Mercedes-BenzRudolf Caracciola - Mercedes-BenzHermann Lang - Mercedes-Benz


Reims-Gueux (F), 3 July 1938
64 laps x 7.826 km (4.86 mi) = 500.86 km (311.22 mi)


2Philippe EtancelinTalbot DarracqTalbotT150C4.5S-6
4René CarrièrèTalbot DarracqTalbotT150C4.5S-6
6XTalbot DarracqTalbotT150C4.5S-6DNA - did not appear
8Robert MazaudLouis DelageDelage4.5V-12DNA - did not appear
10Eugène ChaboudS.E.F.A.C.SEFAC3.02x4
12Achille VarziOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8CTF3.0S-8DNA - did not appear
14Carlo Felice TrossiOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8CTF3.0S-8DNA - did not appear
16Christian KautzAuto Union AGAuto UnionC/D3.0V-12
18Hermann MüllerAuto Union AGAuto UnionC/D3.0V-12DNS - practice crash
20Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionC/D3.0V-12
22Jean-Pierre WimilleAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT59/50B33.0S-8
24Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW 1543.0V-12
26Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW 1543.0V-12
28Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW 1543.0V-12
30René DreyfusEcurie BleueDelahaye1454.5V-12DNA - boycotted race
32Gianfranco ComottiEcurie BleueDelahaye1454.5V-12DNA - boycotted race

Mercedes-Benz triple victory in France

by Hans Etzrodt and Leif Snellman
At the Grand Prix de la Automobile Club de France only manufacturers were allowed, Mercedes-Benz, Auto Union, Maserati, Bugatti, Talbot, Delage, Delahaye and S.E.F.A.C. The event changed into a fiasco when from 16 entries only 9 cars appeared at the start. The 3 Mercedes of Lang, Caracciola and Brauchitsch led from the first lap, while the Auto Unions of Hasse and Kautz both crashed out of the race on the first lap. The Bugatti of Wimille retired on lap one and Chaboud's SEFAC completed just 2 laps. After the second of the 64-lap-race the field was down to 5 cars, the 3 silver Mercedes ahead of the 2 blue Talbots driven by Etancelin and Carrière. The German drivers entertained the spectators by passing each other at high speed, driving one record lap after the other. Lang in the lead was soon passed by Caracciola. After 22 laps Lang fell one lap behind with plug problems. On lap 30 Brauchitsch took the lead, which he held till the end to finish ahead of Caracciola, Lang and Carrière. Etancelin had retired on lap 39.
The 24th Grand Prix de l'ACF took place on the 7.826 km Reims-Gueux road-circuit over 64 laps, a total of 500.86 km. Great thank was due to in the instigator, Paul Marchandeau, French Minister of Finance, and Mayor of Reims, and his directors, the active leaders of the AC de Champagne and, especially its devoted Secretary General, Raymond Roche - Toto Roche. Improvements were made to the circuit which was ready for the great event. The road stretch from the Garenne corner at the main road Paris-Reims up to about 800 meter after the grandstands had been newly prepared with good grip. The three sharp right turns however were treacherous on account of soft fresh tar, they were smeared and slippery. The road stretch not prepared began 800 meter after start, though the village Gueux up to the junction at Garenne corner. This section was rather narrow, about 5 meter wide and consisted just of extremely smooth tar without stone splinters. The Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France was endowed with 200,000 francs of prizes in cash with 100,000 to the winner.
were received from eight manufacturers for only 16 cars listed.
      Daimler-Benz team manager Alfred Neubauer entered three Mercedes-Benz W 154 cars with 3-liter, V-12-cylinder engine for Rudolf Caracciola, Manfred von Brauchitsch and Hermann Lang with an additional T-car for practice, which had already been used at pre-practice in mid-June. Richard Seaman was reserve driver. Their grand prix cars had success 7 weeks before with a triple victory in Tripoli.
      Auto Union with engineer Eberan von Eberhorst und team manager Dr. Karl Otto Feuereissen came with four cars for their first Grand Prix of 1938, two new streamliners and two old type C open cars with new 3-liter, V-12-cylinder engine and new type rear axle. These cars had already been tested at the Nürburgring. The drivers were H.P. Müller, Rudolf Hasse and Christian Kautz (ex-Mercedes) while Ulrich Bigalke was reserve driver.
      During Thursday practice the team lost two of their chassis which were damaged in crashes. Team Manager Feuereissen was reluctant to quit as it was imperative to learn about the new cars and their inherent problems for the upcoming German Grand Prix. The remaining two cars, an open spare car and Müller's streamliner were in good condition. They removed the streamlined body and used its good chassis and drivetrain to rebuild an open car with spare body parts. The second open car of the spare chassis was then also rebuilt. Auto Union was determined to start in the race but without Müller, who had suffered injuries in his crash and recovered at the Reims hospital.
      Talbot had no new cars ready for the race. Anthony Lago removed lamps and mudguards from his two T150C sports cars with 6-cylinder 4.5-liter engines and entered them in Grand Prix disguise for Etancelin and Carrière with Le Bégue as reserve driver. A third Talbot was planned but did not appear.
      Bugatti appeared eventually with a single car on Saturday noon, did not practice but passed scrutineering. The car had a modified 1937 style body but now with a 3-liter s/c 8-cylinder engine. Jean-Pierre Wimille was the driver with Veyron the reserve driver.
      S.E.F.A.C. dated back to 1934 with the car still shrouded in great security. For the new formula a single car appeared with a streamlined front, powered by two 4-cylinder twin OH-cam engines to be driven by Eugène Chaboud and reserve driver Trémoulet.
      Maserati was supposed to show up with the type 8 CTF for Trossi and Varzi but they did not appear. After Trossi had retired the 8 CTF at Tripoli, the grand prix cars remained in the factory.
      Delage had entered one car which they had planned to race with Joseph Paul as driver. When Paul was injured at the International Trophy at Brooklands, he was replaced by Robert Mazaud but the team was unable to get the car ready for the race.
      Delahaye was confident that they should get the money to develop their new almost finished Type 155 GP car. In February 1938 the French government added another million francs for the Fonds of Course committee to spend on French GP racing. After winning both the Pau and the Cork GP with their old sports cars, Delahaye was confident that they should get the money. To the horror of the Ecurie Bleue team 600,000 francs went instead to the Talbot factory when Anthony Lago showed a couple of blueprints and a promise of a new car for the French GP. Ecurie Bleue owner Lucy Schell threatened to boycott the French GP. The French Automobile club ACF answered by declaring that only manufacturers that started in the French GP could expect further awards. The other French manufacturers, Bugatti, Talbot and SEFAC, showed up for the GP but after a long fight with the ACF and a considerable amount of ill-feeling Lucy Schell moved her team headquarters to Monaco and no Delahayes were present at Reims. That the French Minister of Finance, Paul Marchandeau, with interests in the Fonds de Course also was Mayor of Reims had of course nothing to do with the change!
Practice: Two weeks before official practice on June 14 and 15, Daimler-Benz tested their racecars at Reims. On Tuesday morning Neubauer arrived with Caracciola, Lang, von Brauchitsch and Geier. Caracciola smashed the record at 173 km/h. Lang and Brauchitsch also broke the old record held by Chiron in 2m53.6s at 162.290 km/h. On Wednesday between 8 and 10 a.m., the circuit was closed again to traffic, so the Mercedes team could complete their tests. Two cars were used, each of the three drivers alternately boarding one and the other. Caracciola was fastest in 2m42.2s at 173.697 km/h, Lang 2m42.4s and Brauchitsch 2m49.6s. The tests were timed by the Mercedes team.
June 15 Reims test times
Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)2m42.2s
Lang (Mercedes-Benz)2m42.4s
Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)2m49.6s
June 29 - Wednesday afternoon, from 2 to 4 p.m. was the first official practice session with sunshine. Only Mercedes was at the track. Lang drove 13 laps with the best time in 2m43.6s at 172.210 km/h. Caracciola achieved 2m49.2s at 166.510 km/h and improved to 2m46.3s at 169.414 km/h. Von Brauchitsch made a lap in 2m47.8s at 167.899 km/h and 2m48.2s at 167.500 km/h. These figures compared with 1935 times by Dreyfus in the Alfa Romeo in 2m50.8s at 164.950 km/h average speed. Seaman after having made a lap in 2m57.3s at 158.903 km/h with the T-spare car, drove another in 2m55.7s at 160.350 km/h with Caracciola's car but had to stop, due to a broken oil pipe. Finally, the engineer Rudolf Uhlenhaut did a few laps to realize the possibilities of the Mercedes on the circuit.
Wednesday times
Lang (Mercedes-Benz #28)2m43.6s
Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz #26)2m48.2s
Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz #24)2m49.2s
Seaman (Mercedes-Benz #24)2m55.7s
Seaman (Mercedes-Benz T-car)2m57.3s
June 30 - Thursday afternoon was the second practice again with sunshine. At the very beginning Hasse drove the #20 streamlined car successively for six laps, the fastest in 2m55.1s. On his 7th lap, after leaving the village Gueux about 200-meter later at the light right turn, he suddenly lost the rear end, spun off the slippery road, ripped out a kilometer marker and went sideways into a wheat field. Chassis and streamlined body were seriously damaged on the right by the impact with the marker-stone. The car came to a stop without turning over. Hasse was not injured and walked back to the pits.
      Müller drove with the #18 streamlined Auto Union 11 laps, the fastest in 2m51s. Thereafter he waited to drive the open racecar #16 from Kautz who successively drove for 10 laps, the fastest in 2m56s. Afterwards Müller took over the car to get a comparison to the streamliner. He drove successively for 7 laps with full tank, the fastest time in 2m45.0s. Müller stated that the open car was considerably better suited for the course than the streamlined car. Thereafter the car was prepared with only 100-liter fuel for qualification runs. Müller drove successively for 5 laps, the fastest in 2m43s.
      On his 6th lap, Müller's car was sliding at the slippery right turn of La Garennne, when suddenly he lost the rear end, unable to correct with opposite steering, which had no grip. The car climbed up an embankment and rolled over sideways several times then landed on its wheels, crossways standing on the road. Approaching cars could be stopped in time. L'Auto reported that Etancelin, who was following, stopped, and released Müller, who was brought to the Reims hospital where X-rays revealed that he suffered a fracture of the sacrum and slight skin abrasions. Auto Union reported that the car's chassis and body panels were seriously damaged but the engine was not damaged.
      Lang was fastest Mercedes driver with a lap in 2m39.2s at 176.970 km/h, Brauchitsch 2m40.7s at 175.318 km/h and Caracciola 2m41.9s at 174.019 km/h. Carrière in the Talbot reached 2m59.7s at 156.781 km/h and Etancelin (Talbot) who helped Müller at his accident 3m01.3s at 155.398 km/h.
Thursday times
Lang (Mercedes-Benz)2m39.2s
Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)2m40.7s - 2m41.9s
Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)2m41.9s - 2m40.7s
Müller (Auto Union #16)2m43.0s - 2m47.1s - 2m45.4s - 2m45s
Seaman (Mercedes-Benz)2m43.5s
Müller (Auto Union #18)2m51.0s
Hasse (Auto Union #20)2m55.1s - 2m49.0s - 2m51.5s
Kautz (Auto Union #16)2m56.0s - 2m55.6s
Carrière (Talbot)2m59.7s - 3m05.3s
Etancelin (Talbot)3m01.3s - 3m04.8s
July 1 - Friday afternoon under an overcast sky was the third practice session. Seaman made the best lap in 2m41.6s at 174.342 km/h at the wheel of the Mercedes training car. Caracciola did in the same car a lap in 2m42.5s at 173.376 km/h and with his own racecar, he made 2m44.4s at 171.372 km/h. Lang's fastest lap was 2m44.2s at 171.581 km/h and von Brauchitsch 2m55.0s at 160.992 km/h.
      After the crashes on Thursday, the Auto Union mechanics kept very busy preparing two cars for Friday. The damaged #16 car was rebuilt using a spare chassis with engine from their training car and the spare grand prix body. Hasse's damaged #20 streamliner was completely rebuilt with chassis and engine from Müller's streamliner and fitting repaired body panels from the crashed #16 car. However, the #20 car could not be completed for Friday. Only the #16 car, now painted with #20 for Hasse to qualify and he drove 12 laps, the fastest in 2m50.9s at 164.854 km/h. Then Kautz drove the same car, now with the number changed to #16. He drove 10 laps, the fastest in 2m47.1s at 168.603 km/h. Then reserve driver Ulrich Bigalke drove 10 laps, the fasted was clocked in 2m59.8s at 156.694 km/h.
      Carrière with the Talbot improved his time from Thursday and did a lap of 2m57.0s at 159.173 km/h, while Etancelin made a lap in 3m00.7s at 155.914 km/h. Shortly before the end of practice, the SEFAC appeared with Chaboud and covered a few laps, the fastest at almost 132 km/h in 3m33.4s.
Friday times
Seaman (Mercedes-Benz)2m41.6s - 2m41.2s
Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)2m42.5s - 2m44.4s
Lang (Mercedes-Benz)2m44.2s
Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)2m55.0s
Kautz (Auto Union #16)2m47.1s - 2m47s   - 2m48s
Hasse (Auto Union #20)2m50.9s - 2m50.0s
Bigalke (Auto Union #16)2m59.8s - 3m00.0
Carrière (Talbot)2m57.0s
Etancelin (Talbot)3m00.7s
Chaboud (SEFAC)3m33.4s - 3m34.0s
July 2 - Saturday morning 6 to 8 a.m. was the 4th practice session. Because of the two practice crashes, Auto Union requested a special practice on Saturday morning, which was allowed after great difficulties and only with pressure that Auto Union would not start and bring an early end of the Grand Prix meeting. Kautz drove the #16 car for 10 laps with one stop in between and was quoted 2m45s for the start. Hasse had car #20 and drove 14 laps with two stops in between, the fastest lap in 2m47.0s, but was later quoted at 2m44.8s by the team. After readjusting the engine, he did six additional laps.
      Chaboud with the SEFAC completed several laps at a reduced pace. His fastest lap recorded was 3m25.2s at 137.298 km/h. Mercedes did not practice on Saturday. As there were only nine entries after practice, to improve the situation, Neubauer offered to enter a fourth Mercedes for Seaman but was refused by the organizers who insisted on a maximum of three cars per team.
      Practice was thus finished and the teams now prepared for scrutineering and weighing the cars which took place in the afternoon. The Bugatti arrived on Saturday noon, so Wimille did not practice.
Mercedes-Benz #24Caracciola975 kg
Mercedes-Benz #26Brauchitsch978 kg
Mercedes-Benz #28Lang982 kg
Auto Union #16Kautz907 kg
Auto Union #18Hasse890 kg
SEFAC #10Chaboud931 kg
Bugatti #22Wimille888 kg
Talbot #4Carrière977 kg
Talbot #2Etancelin977 kg
An hour before the start a shower of rain had fallen but not enough to wet the roads before the sun came out again. An estimated 60,000 to 70,000 spectators were present. Half an hour before the start the speaker introduced the drivers walking alongside their cars in a celebrated parade to the sound of the national anthems to the starting area, in front the German drivers, cheered with much applause, then the French drivers and cars. At 2:20 p.m., the race director gathered the drivers to give them the final recommendations while the nine cars lined up on the grid in order of their practice times.
Pole Position







Auto Union


Auto Union









At 2:30 p.m. when the starting flag was dropped to the earsplitting exhaust notes of the 9 cars, the silver cars took off like bullets. Lang and Brauchitsch in front followed by Kautz and Hasse while Caracciola was delayed spinning his wheels. The Bugatti at the very back passed the other three French cars.
      At the end of the first lap, the three Mercedes of Lang, Brauchitsch and Caracciola arrived at the stands together passing the pits at a speed of 260 km/h. About 200 meters behind followed the two Talbots of Etancelin and Carrière and then the SEFAC. The minutes passed and the Auto Unions and Bugatti did not appear. Then Wimille in the Bugatti completed his first lap driving slow with blue smoke escaping from its hood. He stopped at his pit and retired. Wimille who had followed Hasse, had to avoid the German's spinning Auto Union at Garenne corner, steered his Bugatti into the field where the oil pipe broke. Chaboud's SEFAC stopped on lap 3, after the Garenne corner where he retired with clouds of blue smoke from the engine and parked alongside Hasse's stranded Auto Union.
      At last, the Auto Union of Kautz appeared slowly at the pits. At the first corner after the start in the village of Gueux, the rear of his car spun suddenly around and his right rear wheel hit a house wall on the opposite road side. With a bent rear hub and buckled wheel, he slowly limped back and stopped at the pits to have the right rear wheel changed. The damaged wheel hub nut could not be removed and when it was discovered that the right side of the chassis was broken, the car was retired.
      Hasse's Auto Union spun at slippery Garenne corner where the car ended up in the road ditch. He eventually brought the undamaged car back onto the road but the engine stalled. After several attempts to restart, Hasse had no success and gave up. (After the race the mechanics picked up the car, which started after pushing for 5-meter. The car was in impeccable condition. They also remarked that Hasse obviously had behaved rather unskillful, since at this place, he could have had the car roll by itself in the direction Paris, and he could have restarted without a problem).
      The first lap from a standing start was covered by Lang in 3m04.8s at 152.454 km/h, the second in 2m54.7s at 161.268 km/h and the third in 3m50.3s at 165.435 km/h. Caracciola, at the third pass was in second position. Lang broke the record on the 4th lap in 2m49.5s, at 166.216 km/h and Caracciola did so on the fifth lap in 2m47.9s, at 167.800 km/h. The order, after the 5th lap was Lang, Caracciola, Brauchitsch, Etancelin and Carrière. On the 7th lap, Brauchitsch broke the record in 2m47.4s, at 168.301 km/h and on the next lap Caracciola, who closely followed Lang, took the lead. He was one lap ahead of the Talbots, whose positions were reversed, Carrière ahead of Etancelin. Caracciola led at 164.191 km/h average speed with the times as follows, after 10 laps:
1.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)28m35.9s (164.2 km/h)
2.Lang (Mercedes-Benz)28m39.5s
3.Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)28m58.5s
4.Carrieré (Talbot)31m47.1s
5.Etancelin (Talbot)31m47.5s

Etancelin set off again after Carrière. Both went wheel to wheel for three laps and finally, Etancelin passed his teammate. Brauchitsch broke the record on the 13th lap in 2m47.2s at 168.502 km/h, then on the 15th lap in 2m46.7s at 169.008 km/h. But the order remained unchanged, Caracciola still had a five-second lead over Lang and seven over Brauchitsch. The latter beat the lap record on the 16th lap in 2m46.4s at 169.313 km/h, then Lang beat the record on the 17th lap in 2m45.3s at 170.439 km/h. On the next lap, Carrière stopped his Talbot at his pits with brake failure. After 6m23s he carried on, now four laps behind. On the 20th lap, Caracciola had lapped Etancelin for the second time and led at 165.362 km/h average speed with the cars in the following order after 20 laps:
1.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)    56m47.5s (165.4 km/h)
2.Lang (Mercedes-Benz)    56m51.8s
3.Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)    56m54.1s
4.Carrieré (Talbot)1h03m02.5s
5.Etancelin (Talbot)1h07m10.3s

On lap 22, Lang stopped to refuel and plugs were changed. When the car refused to start, the plugs were changed again. Lang had lost 4m25s before he restarted and was now one lap down. Brauchitsch, who had closed in on Caracciola, passed him and, after 23 laps, the new order was Brauchitsch, Caracciola, Lang, Etancelin and Carrière. But Brauchitsch stopped at the end of lap 26 to refuel and started again after 1m26s. Then Caracciola regained first place when he refueled on lap 30, which took 1m47s as his car refused to start right away. Brauchitsch now led at 164.255 km/h average with the cars in the following order after 30 laps:
1.Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)1h25m45.7s (164.3 km/h)
2.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)1h27m40.3s
3.Lang (Mercedes-Benz)1h30m04.9s
4.Etancelin (Talbot)1h34m00.8s
5.Carrieré (Talbot)1h38m14.8s

After half the race which had been driven at 163 km/h average speed in the first part, hardly any wear was seen on the Continental race tires, so tire changes were not needed. During the race the practice times were not reached. The record lap was at 2m46s while during practice it was 2m39s driven by Lang. The General average speed had dropped to only 162.609 km/h on the 32nd lap, at halfway. While in fourth position on lap 39, Etancelin stopped at Thillois bend and retired with a broken valve. So, there were then only four cars left. Etancelin walked to the pits and was cheered by the crowd. Brauchitsch led at 163.223 km/h average speed with the cars in the following order after 40 laps:
1.Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)1h55m04.3s (163.2 km/h)
2.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)1h56m43.2s
3.Lang (Mercedes-Benz)1h58m43.4s
4.Carrieré (Talbot)2h09m37.5s

Lang refueled for the second time on lap 43 in 40 seconds. There was no longer any battle, and the race had become monotonous. Brauchitsch was still leading at an average of 163.804 km/h after 50 laps:
1.Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)2h23m19.8s (163.8 km/h)
2.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)2h25m38.6s
3.Lang (Mercedes-Benz)2h28m11.5s
4.Carrieré (Talbot)2h41m37.0s

On the 51st lap Brauchitsch stopped for the second time to refuel for 40 seconds and he retained the lead. On the next lap, Carrière stopped because the engine was misfiring. The mechanics found a valve cotter had broken and were able to repair the engine in 10m47s.
      On lap 58, Lang broke the lap record in 2m45.1s at 170,846 km/h. Unlike Brauchitsch and Lang, who stopped twice, Caracciola only stopped once to refuel and yet the capacity of the tanks of the three cars was the same. To explain this, the halfway point was at the 32nd lap. However, Lang stopped on lap 22 and Brauchitsch on lap 27. They therefore did not refill with enough fuel to go to the end, while Caracciola only refueled at the 30th lap, so he was able to complete the entire route with a single refueling. Brauchitsch led at 162.866 km/h average speed with the times as follows, after 60 laps:
1.Brauchitsch (Mercedes-Benz)2h52m59.2s (162.9 km/h)
2.Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz)2h54m33.3s
3.Lang (Mercedes-Benz)2h56m17.5s

Von Brauchitsch crossed the finish line after 3h04m38.5s with Caracciola second and Lang flagged off one lap behind, while Carrière was ten laps down. The crowd invaded the circuit but the pits gradually emptied. The German anthem rang out; then Lang was led to the official platform where he received congratulations from Mr. Paul Marchandeau, Minister of Finance, Deputy Mayor of Reims.



1.26Manfred von BrauchitschDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW 1543.0V-12643h04m38.5s
2.24Rudolf CaracciolaDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW 1543.0V-12643h06m19.3s+ 1m40.8s
3.28Hermann LangDaimler-Benz AGMercedes-BenzW 1543.0V-12633h04m54.3s
4.4René CarrièrèTalbot DarracqTalbotT150C4.5S-6542h06m28.8s
DNF2Philippe EtancelinTalbot DarracqTalbotT150C4.5S-638engine
DNF10Eugène ChaboudS.E.F.A.C.SEFAC3.02x42mechanical
DNF16Christian KautzAuto Union AGAuto UnionC/D3.0V-121crash damage
DNF22Jean-Pierre WimilleAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT59/50B33.0S-81oil line
DNF18Rudolf HasseAuto Union AGAuto UnionC/D3.0V-120crash
Fastest lap: Hermann Lang (Mercedes Benz) on lap 58 in 2m45.1s = 170.6 km/h (106.0 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 162.8 km/h (101.1 mph)
Pole position lap speed: 177.0 km/h (110.0 mph)
Weather: sunny, overcast, dry

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Auto Union Staatsarchiv, Chemnitz
DDAC Motorwelt, München
Gazzetta dello Sport, Milano
Kölnische Zeitung, Köln
La Vie Automobile, Paris
L'Auto, Paris
Le Miroir des sports, Paris
L'Ouest-Éclair, Rennes
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Rheinisch-Westfälische Zeitung, Essen
Special thanks to:
Giuseppe Prisco
Bernhard Völker

Star 6 - 9 July 1938: After the French GP catastrophe drastic measures were needed for Auto Union. The team called in Hans Stuck and Louis Chiron to have their troublesome cars tested at Nürburgring. The top drivers found that nothing was basically wrong with the cars.
Star 8 July 1938: Tazio Nuvolari tested the Auto Union at Nürburgring.
Star 9 July 1938: "B Bira" (ERA) wins the Nuffield Trophy handicap race at Donington Park, England.
Star 9 - 10 July 1938: wins the Les 24 Heures de Spa at the Spa-Francorchamps race course in Belgium.
  1.Carlo Pintacuda / Francesco SeveriAlfa Romeo2296.1 km
  2."Bob" Gérard / MonneretDelage2972.6 km
=3.Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe/Ralph RoeseBMW 3282675.6 km
=3.Paul Heinemann / RugersBMW 3282675.6 km
=3.Willi Briem / ScholzBMW 3282675.6 km
  6. Huschke von Hanstein / Heinrich von der Mühle-EckartAdler2539.8 km

Luigi Villoresi - Maserati (Scuderia Ambrosiana)Luigi Soffietti - MaseratiLuigi Platé - Talbot

(Voiturette 1500cc)

Les Planques - Albi (F), 10 July 1938
2 heats of 20 laps x 8.9 km (5.53 mi) = 178.0 km (110.6 mi)
Total distance 356.0 km (221.2 mi)


2Ettore BiancoScuderia SubauraMaserati4CM1.5S-4
4Luigi VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
6Luigi SoffiettiGruppo VoltaMaserati6CM1.5S-6
8Armand HugEcurie HelvetiaMaserati4CM1.5S-4
10Herbert BergH BergMaserati6CM1.5S-6
12Raymond MaysR. MaysERAB1.5S-6
14Jean DelormeJ. DelormeBugattiDNA
16Luigi PlatéL. PlatéTalbot7001.5S-8
18Dioscoride LanzaScuderia SubauraMaserati4CM1.5S-4DNA
20Edoardo TeagnoScuderia SubauraMaserati6CM1.5S-6
24Luciano UboldiGruppo VoltaMaserati6CM1.5S-6DNA

Villoresi wins two heat race

Race was run in two parts with times added at the end. With the new Alfa Romeos failing to show up and with Mays as only British driver the field was disappontingly small. Mays led the first heat until he had to retire because of the Zoller compressor, leaving Luigi Villoresi to win. Bianco was hospitalized after a bad crash. Villoresi led the second heat but was later passed by Hug, who had retired in the first heat and thus was no treat to Villoresi's overall victory.

Heat 1:

Pole Position


L Villoresi










L Platé






Only 9 cars showed up for the Albi race, one of which was Mays' works ERA. Once again the race was run in two parts with times added at the end. There was a nasty accident in the first heat when Bianco (Maserati 4CM) hit a telegraph pole putting himself into hospital. Mays, who initially led, was soon out with compressor problems leaving Villoresi, Teagno, Soffietti and Berg to take the four first places for Maserati. Villoresi led the second heat but Hug (Maserati 4CM), who had retired in the first heat, passed him at lap 7 and went on to win. Villoresi finished second and Soffietti third with Luigi Platé in a 12 year old Talbot GP car finishing 4th and 3rd overall. The overall winner was Villoresi.



1.4Luigi VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6201h12m31.2s
2.20Edoardo TeagnoScuderia SubauraMaserati6CM1.5S-6201h12m48.0s+ 16.8s
3.6Luigi SoffiettiGruppo VoltaMaserati6CM1.5S-6191h13m53.0s
4.10Herbert BergH BergMaserati6CM1.5S-6181h12m49.0s
DNF22"Raph""Raph"Maserati6CM1.5S-617cylinder head
5.16Luigi PlatéL. PlatéTalbot7001.5S-8151h14m20.0s
DNF2Ettore BiancoScuderia SubauraMaserati4CM1.5S-48crash
DNF12Raymond MaysR. MaysERAB1.5S-67supercharger
DNF8Armand HugEcurie HelvetiaMaserati4CM1.5S-47oil filler cap
Fastest lap: Raymond Mays (ERA) in 3m24s = 157.1 km/h (97.6 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 147.3 km/h (91.5 mph)
Heat 2:

Pole Position




L Villoresi


L Platé








1.8Armand HugEcurie HelvetiaMaserati4CM1.5S-4201h13m05.2s(Note 1)
2.4Luigi VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6201h14m38.0s+ 1m32.8s
3.6Luigi SoffiettiGruppo VoltaMaserati6CM1.5S-6201h16m55.0s+ 3m49.8s
DNF10Herbert BergH BergMaserati6CM1.5S-617out of fuel
4.16Luigi PlatéL. PlatéTalbot7001.5S-8171h14m33.0s
DNF20Edoardo TeagnoScuderia SubauraMaserati6CM1.5S-68gearbox
Fastest lap: Armand Hug (Maserati) in 3m33s = 150.4 km/h (93.5 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 146.1 km/h (90.8 mph)

Results (Aggregate):


1.4Luigi VilloresiScuderia AmbrosianaMaserati6CM1.5S-6402h27m09.2s
2.6Luigi SoffiettiGruppo VoltaMaserati6CM1.5S-639
(3)10Herbert BergH BergMaserati6CM1.5S-635NC
4.16Luigi PlatéL. PlatéTalbot7001.5S-832
(5)20Edoardo TeagnoScuderia SubauraMaserati6CM1.5S-628NC
(6)8Armand HugEcurie HelvetiaMaserati4CM1.5S-427NC
Fastest lap: Raymond Mays (ERA) in 3m24s = 157.1 km/h (97.6 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 145.2 km/h (90.2 mph)

1. Contemporary newspaper "Il Littoriale" gives 1h13m05 2/5s , possibly an error due to using 1/5 seconds in the results.

Star 16 July 1938: J. Willing / Ronnie Jarvis (Delahaye 3.5L) wins the L.C.C. 3 hour sports car race at Brooklands, England.


© 2023 Leif Snellman, Felix Muelas Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 03.02.2023