Classic Car Catalogue

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German Grand Prix
19 July 1931
Nürburgring race track
Race 4 in the 1931 European Championship
Group I over 1100 cc: 22 laps = 501 km
Group II up to 1100 cc: 18 laps = 410 km


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Entries and results (group I over 1100 cc):
No.   Driver: Car: Engine:   Entrant: Postiton: Laps: Time:
2 Manfred von Brauchitsch Mercedes-Benz SSKL 7.1 S-6 Manfred von Brauchitsch dnf 12 -
4 Ernst Burggaller Bugatti T35B 2.3 S-8 German Bugatti Team dnf 03 -
6 Heinrich-Joachim von Morgen Bugatti T35B 2.3 S-8 German Bugatti Team dnf 21 -
8 Rudolf Caracciola Mercedes-Benz SSKL  7.1 S-6 Rudolf Caracciola 01st 22 4h 38m 10.0s
10 Hans Stuck Mercedes-Benz SSKL 7.1 S-6 Hans Stuck 06th 22 4h 47m 34.0s
12 Otto Merz Mercedes-Benz SSKL 7.1 S-6 Alfred Neubauer 05th 22 4h 43m 54.0s
14 Luigi Fagioli Maserati 26M 2.8 S-8 Officine Alfieri Maserati dnf 13 -
16 René Dreyfus Maserati 26M 2.5 S-8 Officine Alfieri Maserati dnf 16 -
18 Clemente Biondetti Maserati 26M 2.5 S-8 Officine Alfieri Maserati dna - -
20 –– Boris Ivanowski Mercedes-Benz SSK 7.1 S-6 –– Boris Ivanowski dna - -
22 Otto Spandel Mercedes-Benz SSK 7.1 S-6   Fürst Hohenlohe-Jagstberg 09th 22 4h 54m 45.0s
24 Henry Birkin Maserati 26M 2.5 S-8 Henry Birkin 10th 22 5h 01m 03.0s
26 Louis Chiron Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 Automobiles Ettore Bugatti 02nd 22 4h 39m 28.0s
28 Achille Varzi Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 Automobiles Ettore Bugatti 03rd 22 4h 42m 10.0s
30 Albert Divo Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 Automobiles Ettore Bugatti dnf 02 -
32 Guy Bouriat Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 Automobiles Ettore Bugatti 07th 22 4h 50m 04.0s
34 Marcel Lehoux Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 Marcel Lehoux acc 14 -
36 William Grover-Williams Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 Automobiles Ettore Bugatti drove #30 - -
38 Phil Shafer Shafer Special Buick 4.3 S-8   R. Shafer dnf 12 -
40 Juan E. Zanelli Bugatti T35B 2.3 S-8   Comte d'Arnoux dna - -
42 Earl Howe Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 Earl Howe 11th 22 5h 08m 19.6s
44 Tazio Nuvolari Alfa Romeo Monza 2.3 S-8 Scuderia Ferrari 04th 22 4h 43m 54.0s
46 Baconin Borzacchini Alfa Romeo Monza 2.3 S-8 Scuderia Ferrari dna - -
48 Jean-Pierre Wimille Bugatti T51 2.3 S-8 Jean-Pierre Wimille 08th 22 4h 52m 08.0s
18 Ernst Kotte Maserati 26M 2.5 S-8 Officine Alfieri Maserati dna - -
  Hans Stuber Bugatti T35B 2.3 S-8 Hans Stuber dna - -
  Luigi Arcangeli Alfa Romeo Monza 2.3 S-8 Scuderia Ferrari dna - -
      Bugatti     AC Luxembourg dna - -
    H. Urban-Emmrich Talbot     H. Urban-Emmrich dns - -
Fastest lap: Achille Varzi (Bugatti) in 11m48s = 115.98 km/h (72.07 mph)
Winner's average speed: 108.2 km/h (67.3 mph)
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Entries and results (group II 500 - 1100 cc):
No.   Driver: Car: Engine:   Entrant: Position: Laps: Time:
52 Toni Bauhofer DKW FWD 0.5 S-2 Zschopauer Motorenwerke dnf 4 -
54 Hans Simons DKW FWD 0.5 S-2 Zschopauer Motorenwerke dnf 4 -
56   Fritz Theissen DKW FWD 0.5 S-2 Zschopauer Motorenwerke 7th 15 5h 24m 18.6s
58 Rudolf Steinweg Amilcar 1.1 S-6 Rudolf Steinweg acc 2 -
60 –– Boris Ivanowski Austin 0.75 S-4 –– Boris Ivanowski dna dna -
62   A. Schlumberger Rally 1.1 S-4   A. Schlumberger dna dna -
64   Curt Weichelt BMW Wartburg 0.75 S-4   C. Weichelt dna dna -
66 Hugo Urban-Emmrich MG Midget Type C 0.85 S-4 Hugo Urban-Emmrich acc 2 -
68 Gerhard Macher DKW RWD 1.0 S-4 Gerhard Macher 6th 16 5h 13m 50.0s
70   Kurt Volkhart Neander-Volkhart Special 1.1 S-2   Kurt Volkhart dna dna -
72 Engelbert Graf Arco Amilcar 1.1 S-6 E. Graf Arco-Zinneberg 2nd 17 4h 32m 18.0s
74   Georges Loridant Amilcar 1.1 S-6   Georges Loridant dna dna -
76 Luigi Premoli Salmson 1.1 S-4 Conte L. Premoli dnf 4 -
78 Dudley Froy Riley Nine Dudley Froy 1st 18 18 4h 23m 56.6s
80 E. Markiewicz Austin 0.75 S-4 E. Markiewicz dna dna -
82 José Scaron Amilcar 1.1 S-6 José Scaron 3rd 17 4h 32m 52.5s
84   August Frings Amilcar 1.1 S-4   August Frings dns dna -
86 Benoit Falchetto Amilcar 1.1 S-6   F. Benoit dna dna -
88 Francis Samuelson MG Midget Type C 0.85 S-4 Captain F.H.B. Samuelson 5th 16 5h 09m 52.2s
90   Marcel Rouleau Amilcar 1.1 S-6   Marcel Rouleau 4th 16 5h 07m 22.0s
92 Louis Decaroli Salmson 1.1 S-4 R. Boucly dna dna -
94 Roger Boucly Salmson 1.1 S-4 R. Boucly dns dns -
96   Canotti Salmson 1.1 S-4 R. Boucly dna dna -
Fastest lap: José Scaron (Amilcar)
Winner's average speed: 93.3 km/h (58.0 mph)
Motor SportAugust 1931
The German Grand Prix
Another Mercedes Victory-Riley Success in 1,100 c.c. Class.

ON Sunday, July 19th, Rudolf Caracciola proved once again his wonderful driving ability under difficult conditions, when he brought his big Mercedes into first place on the hilly and tortuous circuit of the Nurburg Ring, at an average speed of 67.29 m.p.h.
A British victory was recorded in the 1,100 c.c. class, when Dudley Froy scored a win in his Riley over a strong team of Amilcars.
The results were as follows :
R. Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz), 4h. 38m. 10s. 69.29 m.p.h.
L. Chiron (Bugatti), 4h. 39m 28s. 66.92 m.p.h.
A. Varzi (Bugatti), 4h. 42m. 10s. 66.24 m.p.h.
T. Nuvolari (Alfa-Romeo), 4h. 43m. 16s.
O. Merz (Mercedes-Benz), 4h. 43m. 50s.
Von Stuck (Mercedes-Benz), 4h. 47m. 34s.
R. Bouriat (Bugatti), 4h. 50m. 4s.
Wimille (Bugatti), 4h. 52m. 8s.
Spaudel (Mercedes-Benz), 4h. 54m. 45s.
Sir Henry Birkin (Maserati), 5h. lm. 13s.
Earl Howe (Bugatti), 5h. 8m. 19s.
Dudley Froy (Riley), 4h. 23m. 56s. 58.03 m.p.h.
Count Arco (Amilcar), 4h. 32m. 18s. 56.23 m.p.h.
Scaron (Amilcar), 4h. 34m. 52s. 55.73 m.p.h.
Rouleau (Amilcar), 5h. 7m. 22s.
Samuelson (M.G. Midget), 5h. 9m. 52s.
G. Macher (D.K.W.), 5h. 13m. 50s.
Theissen (D.K.W.), 5h. 25m. 18s.
There were eight retirements in the big class, including Schafer, on an Indianapolis type of car, the Schafer special, which was quite unsuited to the course but put up a plucky show while in action.
The small class showed seven retirements, which included two D.K.W.'s, two Amilcars, two Salmsons, and an M.G. driven by Urban Emmrich.
The course of the Nurburg-Ring, although artificial in the sense of having been specially built for road racing, has some of the fist natural scenery in the world as its setting. The thickly-wooded slopes of the mountains have given an opportunity for the construction of a road racing course which seems almost to surpass in difficulty the famous Targa Florio circuit in Sicily. It is 14¼ miles round, and contains every variety of corner and gradient, but practically no straight anywhere.
Small wonder that the event attracted a large crowd, and in spite of the financial crisis, 100,000 people paid the equivalent of over £16,000 to watch the race. And yet there are still people in this country who say that the general public are not interested in road-racing!
Thirty-three cars faced the starter, of which 19 were over 1,100 c.c. and the rest below that limit. The full 17 mile circuit was not being used, the short loop being omitted, and the length being thereby reduced to 14½ miles.
At the fall of the flag Fagioli on a Maserati shot ahead, closely followed by Caracciola and Sir Henry Birkin, and the cars screamed off through the blinding rain. The famous German driver soon began to show that he is indeed a wizard on wet roads, and he was soon in the lead.
Concurrently the battle of the 1,100's was being waged in earnest, and at the end of the first lap the Mercedes and Scaron (Amilcar) were leading their respective classes. Fagioli and Von Morgen on a Bugatti were hot on the leaders' heels, but Carracciola was obviously not going to be caught, barring accidents.
On the third lap each leader had a minute in hand over his nearest rival, while a terrific scrap ensued between Chiron, Nuvolari and Fagioli. Earl Howe and Birkin, in spite of the appalling conditions, and the fact that the very difficult circuit was comparatively strange to them, were driving magnificently, although unable to hold the official Bugs and Maseratis.
Then Chiron and Varzi started to put on speed, though the light Bugattis were handicapped on the slippery roads against the heavier Mercedes and its wonderful driver. Lehoux lost five valuable minutes changing plugs, while Williams and Bourgaller retired early in the race.
At about half distance Caracciola was leading Chiron by the narrow margin of 1min. 50s, with Nuvolari only 10 secs. behind the second man. Then followed Varzi (Bugatti), Otto Merz and Von Stuck on Mercs, and Fagioli, Von Morgen (Bugatti), Wimille (Bugatti), Birkin, Lehoux, Bouriat, and Dreyfus in that order.
In the 1,100 c.c. class Seaton was leading Froy on the Riley by 3 minutes, with Count Arco 4 minutes behind. Caracciola came in to fill up at half distance and changed the rear tyres at the same time, the whole being accomplished in 1 minute 20 seconds, and was the fastest of any.
When four-fifths of the race was run, the rain ceased, at this point the German driver's lead being 1 minute 45 seconds from Chiron, With Varzi 2 minutes behind Chiron, and Nuvolari in fourth place. Chiron was driving all he knew, and the soaking crowd were thrilled by his great effort to catch the Mercedes. On his nineteenth lap he caught up 15 seconds but Caracciola got a pit signal to increase speed, and the next lap saw both cars go round in 12 minutes 15 seconds.
The feeble sun was hardly enough to dry the road, but the better visibility enabled all the drivers to put on a spurt. On entering his last lap, Caracciola, who had lapped in 12 minutes, 7 seconds, had a lead of 1 minute 30 seconds on Chiron who replied with a lap in 12 minutes 4 seconds: Varzi then gave a taste of his true form and broke the lap record in 11 minutes 44 seconds, a truly astounding performance for such a circuit.
Their efforts could not catch the Merc., however, and Caracciola roared home to the deafening cheers of the crowd, who also gave a great ovation to Chiron and Varzi.
In the small class a great race had been in progress, and Scaron, who had led from the start, and entered his last lap with a six minute lead over the Riley, struck trouble and could only finish third behind Froy and Count Arco.