1937 Donington Grand Prix

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

1937 Donington Grand Prix
Donington Park 1937.svg
Race details
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

Race reportEdit

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

EntriesEdit

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

ClassificationEdit

Starting grid positionsEdit

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

Notes:

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

RaceEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  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 linksEdit


Grand Prix Race
1937 Grand Prix season
Previous race:
1936 Donington Grand Prix
Donington Grand Prix Next race:
1938 Donington Grand Prix