Belgrade Grand Prix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Belgrade Grand Prix
Kalemegdan Park
Race information
Circuit length 2.79 km (1.74 mi)
Race length 139.55 km (87.00 mi)
Laps 50
Last race (1939)
Pole position
Fastest lap
  • 0:01':14.4'

The Belgrade Grand Prix is a former grand prix from the Grand Prix motor racing era - precursor to Formula One. Only one championship event was held, in 1939. This race saw 5 drivers take part - two Mercedes-Benz, two Auto Unions and a Bugatti, which finished 15 laps down - and was won by Tazio Nuvolari.[1] The Kalemegdan Park circuit is no longer operational.

The race, held on September 3, 1939, was sponsored by King Peter II of Yugoslavia, generating major interest among the Belgraders as more than 100,000 (quarter of the city's entire population at the time) came out to see the world famous racers such as Tazio Nuvolari and Manfred von Brauchitsch.

Considering it capable of showing the King in good historical light, Yugoslavia's post-war communist authorities did their best to erase this race event from collective national memory. As a result, later generations in Serbia, even the most ardent Formula One fans among them, have almost no knowledge about this major event in not-too-distant local history.[2]

The 1939 Belgrade race also holds distinction as the only Grand Prix event to be held during World War II, which had begun two days before with Nazi Germany's invasion of Poland. It is also significant for being the very last win of the great Tazio Nuvolari's illustrious career. He was 46 at the time.