Eläintarhan ajot

Eläintarhan ajot (Suomen Grand Prix in Finnish, Djurgårdsloppet in Swedish, Eltsun ajot in slang) or Suomen Suurajot (Finnish Grand Race) as it was called in 1932 was a motor racing competition arranged between years 1932 and 1963 in Eläintarha, Helsinki, Finland. The idea for the race came from a racing driver, S. P. J. Keinänen. Its racing history included the pre-war Finnish Grand Prix.

Eläintarha track profile, length 2,034 m (1.26 mi) (1932), 2,000 m (1.24 mi) (from 1933)
A start in the motorcycle class in the 1930s.

First raceEdit

The first Grand Prix-race was a success and it attracted around 25,000 spectators. There were ten cars in the first start, six of them Finnish and four Swedish. The very first win went to the Swede Per Viktor Widengren who drove a Mercedes-Benz, second to qualify was S. P. J. Keinänen in a Chrysler and the third place went to Karl Ebb driving a Mercedes-Benz.


Motorcycle races were also held from the beginning – the first motorcycle win was also taken by a Swede – Gunnar Kalén. The best-placed Finn was Raine Lampinen who finished second in the lower class.

Last raceEdit

The accident which ended the races in May 1963

The Eläintarha race was an annual happening in Helsinki for almost 30 years until the final race was held in 1963. The winner of this last race was Timo Mäkinen, although the main start (Formula Junior) was canceled after a fatal accident. At the start a driver (whose identity has not been confirmed) hit Curt Lincoln's Brabham BT6 (Formula Junior), and the car slid to the left side of track. Most drivers managed to avoid a collision but the Swedish Örjan Atterberg hit his countryman Freddy Kottulinsky. Unfortunately Atterberg's car flipped over and the driver was pinned under his vehicle. As a result of the crash Atterberg sustained fatal injuries. The race was stopped by the race officials one minute after crash and the jury told the race was over.

As the setup was considered too dangerous this was the final race to be conducted on the city circuit. The racing events that followed the ill-fated Eläintarha race were held at Keimola Motor Stadium between 1966–1978.

In the 1930s motor racing events were also arranged couple of times in Munkkiniemi, a residential district in northwest Helsinki.


The race has been arranged three times since to honour its memory – the first time was in 1982, then 1992 and the last time was in 2002. In the 1992 event Juan Manuel Fangio was present. Around 2005, a detailed and driveable virtual recreation of the circuit appeared for the Grand Prix Legends historical racing simulation.


  • Active years: 1932–39 and 1946–63
  • Circuit length: 2,034 m (1.26 mi) (1932), 2,000 m (1.24 mi) (from 1933)[1]
  • Lap record: David Hitches, Lola Mk 5 Ford, time: 57.1 seconds/126 km/h (78 mph) (1963)
  • Most spectators: 82,597 (1958)
  • Most wins: Curt Lincoln (14)

Results 1932–1963Edit


Year Driver Car Class Report
1932   Per-Viktor Widengren Mercedes-Benz SSK Grand Prix Report
1933   Karl Ebb Mercedes-Benz SSK Grand Prix Report
1934   Eugen Bjørnstad Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza Grand Prix Report
1935   Karl Ebb Mercedes Benz SSK 7.1L Grand Prix Report
1936   Eugen Bjørnstad Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza Grand Prix Report
1937   Hans Rüesch Alfa Romeo 8C-35 3.8L Grand Prix Report
1938 Not held
1939   Adolf Westerblom Alfa Romeo Monza 2.6L Grand Prix Report
1946 Only motorcycles
1947   Asser Wallenius Ford Roadster 1934 Class B
  Helge Hallmann Ford special Formula Libre
1948   Magnus Knutsson BMW Class A
  Leo Mattila Ford Roadster Class B
  S. P. J. Keinänen Chrysler special Formula Libre
1949   S. P. J. Keinänen BMW 328 Class A
1951   S. P. J. Keinänen Jaguar XK120 Production
1952   Michael Head Jaguar XK120 Division +2000
  Valdemar Stener Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta Division 2000
  Roger Laurent Talbot-Lago T26C 1952 Formula One season Report
1953   Robert Nelleman Allard +2000 GT
  Valdemar Stener Ferrari 166 MM Touring Barchetta 2000 GT
  Rodney Nuckey Cooper T23 1953 Formula One season Report
  Curt Lincoln Cooper-Norton Formula 3
1954   Michael Head Jaguar C-type GT +2000
  John Bengtsson Ferrari 166 Touring Barchetta GT 2000
  Rodney Nuckey Cooper-Bristol F2 Formula Libre
  Eric Brandon Cooper-Norton Formula 3
1955   Michael Head Jaguar D-type Division +2000
  Curt Lincoln Jaguar C-type +2000 production
  Joakim Bonnier Alfa Romeo 1900 Sprint 2000 production
  Eric Brandon Cooper Formula 3
1956   Curt Lincoln Jaguar D-type +2000 production
  Harry Saaristo Triumph TR2 2000 production
  John Kvarnström Ferrari 750 Monza +2000
  Eric Brandon Halselec-Climax 2000
  Eric Brandon Cooper Formula 3
1957   Joakim Bonnier Maserati 200S S+2.0
  Curt Lincoln Ferrari 500 TR S 2.0
  Arne Lindberg Mercedes-Benz 300 SL GT+2.0
  J.A. Iversen Porsche 356 Carrera GT 2.0
  Curt Lincoln Cooper T 42 Mark XI Formula 3
1958   Graham Whitehead Aston Martin DB3S Division +2000
  Ivor Bueb Lotus 12 Coventry Climax Division 2000
  Curt Lincoln Ferrari 250 GT TDF GT +2000
  Curt Lincoln Cooper T 42 Mark XII Formula 3
1959   Carl-Otto Bremer Ferrari 750 Monza S+2.0
  Curt Lincoln Cooper Monaco S 2.0
  Carl-Gunnar Hammarlund Porsche 356 Carrera GT
  Curt Lincoln Cooper T 42 Mark XII Formula 3
1960   Jimmy Blumer Cooper Monaco S 2.0
  Heimo Hietaranta Cooper/Norton Formula 3
  Curt Lincoln Cooper Formula Junior
1961   David Hitches Lola 2000
  Heimo Hietaranta Cooper/Norton Formula 3
  Carl-Otto Bremer Elva 100 Formula Junior
1962   Carl-Gunnar Hammarlund Porsche 356 Carrera GT +1300cc
  Curt Lincoln Lotus Elite GT 1300cc
  Curt Lincoln Cooper T 42 Mark XII Formula 3
  Olle Nygren Cooper T56 Formula Junior
1963   Holger Laine Volvo PV544 ST +1600cc
  Timo Mäkinen Morris Mini Cooper ST 1150cc


  1. ^ a b "ELÄINTARHARATA / DJURGÅRDSBANAN – Helsinki (FIN)". kolumbus.fi/leif.snellman. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
  2. ^ "Pre-war Races". wsrp.ic.cz. Archived from the original on 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2007-12-14.
  3. ^ "Formule Libre races in Europe 1945–57". pgleize.club.fr. Archived from the original on 2008-05-11. Retrieved 2007-12-15.

Coordinates: 60°11′20″N 24°55′55″E / 60.189009°N 24.931991°E / 60.189009; 24.931991

External linksEdit