1937 Donington Grand Prix

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United Kingdom  1937 Donington Grand Prix
Race details
Donington Park 1937.svg
Date 2 October 1937
Official name III Donington Grand Prix
Location Donington Park
Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Course Permanent racing facility
Course length 5.029 km (3.125 mi)
Distance 80 laps, 402.3 km (250.0 mi)
Pole position
Driver Mercedes-Benz
Time 2:10.4
Fastest lap
Drivers Germany Bernd Rosemeyer Auto Union
Fastest lap Germany Manfred von Brauchitsch Mercedes-Benz
Time 2:11.4
Podium
First Auto Union
Second Mercedes-Benz
Third Mercedes-Benz

The 1937 Donington Grand Prix was a Grand Prix motor race held on 2 October 1937 at the Donington Park circuit.

Race report[edit]

In the race, Hermann Lang led the first few laps but retired with a broken damper, and British driver Richard Seaman followed shortly after. The lead changed hands several times between Manfred von Brauchitsch, Bernd Rosemeyer and Rudolf Caracciola. Whilst in the lead for a second time, von Brauchitsch suffered a puncture, allowing Rosemeyer to pass him and lead the race while his Auto Union teammates could not keep up with the tricky mid-engined car. Rosemeyer stayed in the lead until the end and took the win after 80 laps, with four other German cars completing the full distance within the next minutes before the race was flagged off for good.

In "When the Germans came to Donington", Rodney Walkerley[1] describes the impression the German cars made on British journalists who had not yet witnessed them, being confident in the skills and machinery of British racers.

Away beyond the woods we heard the approaching scream of a well-tuned E.R.A. and down the winding slope towards us came Raymond Mays. He changed down, braked, skirted round the Hairpin and was gone.

"There's the winner," remarked one of my friends. "Knows this course backwards."

Half a minute later came the deeper note of a 2.9-litre Maserati, and "B. Bira" (Prince Birabongse of Siam, Mays’ nearest rival and a new star in the racing firmament) shot past us, cornering with that precision which marked him as the master he was.

"Or him," said another.

We waited again. Then they came.

Far away in the distance we heard an angry, deep-throated roaring – as someone once remarked, like hungry lions impatient for the arena. A few moments later, Manfred von Brauchitsch, red helmeted, brought a great, silver projectile snaking down the hill, and close behind, his teammate Rudolf Caracciola, then at the height of his great career. The two cars took the hairpin, von Brauchitsch almost sideways, and rocketed away out of sight with long plumes of rubber smoke trailing from their huge rear tyres, in a deafening crash of sound.

The startled Pressmen gazed at each other, awe-struck.

"Strewth," gasped one of them, "so that's what they're like!"

That was what they were like.

Manfred Von Brauchitsch, Mercedes-Benz
Percy Maclure, Riley
Rudolf Hasse, Auto Union
Robin Hanson, Maserati

Entries[edit]

No Driver Entrant Constructor Car
1 Nazi Germany Rudolf Caracciola Daimler-Benz AG Mercedes-Benz W125
2 Nazi Germany Hermann Lang Daimler-Benz AG Mercedes-Benz W125
2 Switzerland Christian Kautz Daimler-Benz AG Mercedes-Benz W125
3 Nazi Germany Manfred von Brauchitsch Daimler-Benz AG Mercedes-Benz W125
4 United Kingdom Richard Seaman Daimler-Benz AG Mercedes-Benz W125
5 Nazi Germany Bernd Rosemeyer Auto Union Auto Union Type C
6 Nazi Germany Rudolf Hasse Auto Union Auto Union Type C
7 Nazi Germany Hermann Paul Müller Auto Union Auto Union Type C
8 United Kingdom Raymond Mays H. W. Cook ERA
9 United Kingdom Earl Howe H. W. Cook ERA
10 United Kingdom Arthur Dobson H. W. Cook ERA B
19
11 Thailand Prince Bira Private Maserati 8CM
12 United Kingdom Arthur Hyde Private Maserati 8CM
14 United Kingdom Antony Powys-Lybbe Private Alfa Romeo Monza
15 United Kingdom Robin Hanson Mrs M. E. Hall-Smith Maserati
16 United Kingdom Peter Whitehead Private ERA
16 United Kingdom Peter Walker Private ERA
17 United Kingdom Reginald Tongue Private ERA
18 United Kingdom Charles Martin Private ERA
Maserati 6CM
20 United Kingdom Percy Maclure Private Riley 2000/6

Notes:

  • Arthur Dobson was entered with both number 10 and 19.
  • Christian Kautz was a reserve driver but took part in practice sessions.
  • Charles Martin used both an ERA and a Maserati during the practice sessions.

Classification[edit]

Starting grid positions[edit]

1st Row 1 Pos. 2 Pos. 3 Pos. 4 Pos.
Germany
von Brauchitsch
Mercedes-Benz
2:10.4
Germany
Rosemeyer
Auto Union
2:11.4
Germany
Lang
Mercedes-Benz
2:14.3
United Kingdom
Seaman
Mercedes-Benz
2:15.4
2nd Row 1 Pos. 2 Pos. 3 Pos.
Germany
Müller
Auto Union
2:15.4
Germany
Caracciola
Mercedes-Benz
2:15.8
Germany
Hasse
Auto Union
2:19.0
3rd Row 1 Pos. 2 Pos. 3 Pos. 4 Pos.
Thailand
Bira
Maserati
2:25.0
United Kingdom
Mays
ERA
2:26.2
United Kingdom
Howe
ERA
2:26.2
United Kingdom
Hanson
Maserati
2:27.6
4th Row 1 Pos. 2 Pos. 3 Pos.
United Kingdom
Dobson
ERA
2:28.4
United Kingdom
Martin
ERA
2:31.6
United Kingdom
Whitehead
ERA
2:32.0
5th Row 1 Pos.
United Kingdom
Maclure
Riley
2:35.2

Notes:

  • Arthur Hyde withdrew before qualifying, thinking he was too slow.

Race[edit]

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid
1 5 Germany Bernd Rosemeyer Auto Union 80 3:01:02.5 2
2 3 Germany Manfred von Brauchitsch Mercedes-Benz 80 +37.5 1
3 1 Germany Rudolf Caracciola Mercedes-Benz 80 + 1:16.3 6
4 7 Germany Hermann Paul Müller Auto Union 80 +3:47.5 6
5 6 Germany Rudolf Hasse Auto Union 80 + 8:47.5 7
6 8 Thailand Prince Bira Maserati 78 + 2 Laps 11
NC 9 United Kingdom Earl Howe ERA 77 + 3 Laps 10
NC 19 United Kingdom Arthur Dobson ERA 74 + 6 Laps 12
NC 15 United Kingdom Robin Hanson ERA 72 + 8 Laps 11
Ret 20 United Kingdom Percy Maclure Riley 67 Rear axle 15
Ret 8 United Kingdom Raymond Mays ERA 51 Brakes 9
Ret 4 United Kingdom Richard Seaman Mercedes-Benz 29 Suspension 4
Ret 2 Germany Hermann Lang Mercedes-Benz 26 Suspension 3
Ret 18 United Kingdom Charles Martin ERA 18 Piston 13
Ret 16 United Kingdom Peter Whitehead ERA 11 Engine 14
DNS 16 United Kingdom Peter Walker ERA
DNS 12 United Kingdom Arthur Hyde Maserati
DNS 2 Switzerland Christian Kautz Mercedes-Benz

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walkerley, Rodney. "When the Germans came to Donington". Grand Prix History. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
Session results taken from:
  1. "1937 AIACR European Driver Championship". The GEL Motorsport Information Page. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 
  2. "III Donington Grand Prix". The Golden Era of Grand Prix Racing. Retrieved 2007-07-25. 

External links[edit]


Grand Prix Race
1937 Grand Prix season
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1936 Donington Grand Prix
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1938 Donington Grand Prix