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ARA RaceFacts Bulletin and Model Review (11/16/97)

17 November 1997


	Jeff Gordon (DuPont Hendrick Chevrolet Monte Carlo)
finished 17th Sunday in Atlanta's NAPA 500 and won the 1997
NASCAR Winston Cup title; he achieved a "modern era"
(1972-97) NASCAR Winston Cup milestone and tied an all-time
(1949-97) record!
	The milestone?  By winning the 1997 title, Jeff has two
Winston Cup championships in his first five Winston Cup
seasons, the quickest achievement of multiple Winston Cup
titles in the "modern era!"  The feat matches the
achievement of Herb Thomas, who won two Winston Cup titles,
in 1951 and 1953, in his first five Winston Cup seasons
	Jeff's first full Winston Cup season (1993) saw him
finish 14th in points, while Herb Thomas placed 25th in his
(and the series') first season in 1949.  In 1994, his second
season, Jeff ranked eighth in points, while Thomas' second
season, 1950, produced an eleventh-place ranking.  Jeff won
his first Winston Cup title in his third season, 1995, as
Herb Thomas did in his third season, 1951!  Jeff's fourth
season, 1996, and Herb's fourth season, 1952, produced the
same result: a runnerup finish in the championship!  Herb
then won the 1953 title, completing a three-season 1-2-1
sequence Jeff has emulated!
	Bobby Labonte's win (Interstate Batteries Gibbs Pontiac
Grand Prix) was his first of 1997 in Winston Cup and the
fifth Winston Cup victory of his career, all for Joe Gibbs
Racing.  The victory was Bobby's first driving a Pontiac
Grand Prix.  His previous wins came in Chevrolet Monte
Carlos.  He has now won two consecutive Atlanta NAPA 500s
plus the 1995 Charlotte 600 and both Michigan 400s in 1995.
	The victory was the seventh for Joe Gibbs Racing, as
Dale Jarrett won the 1993 Daytona 500 and 1994 Charlotte 500
for Gibbs driving Chevrolet Luminas.
	Pontiac won more than one Winston Cup race (2 in 1997)
for the first time since 1995's two-race victory total; the
Grand Prix won only once in 1996.  Pontiac was winless in
1994 after its best "modern era" (1972-97) season of ten
wins in 1993.
	With the Ford Taurus replacing the Thunderbird in 1998,
the Thunderbird's Winston Cup victory total is 190, second
to the Chevrolet Monte Carlo's 248!
	During the 1995-1997 era of the "new Monte Carlo" the
Chevrolet Monte Carlo has won 49 races, the Ford Thunderbird
40, and the Pontiac Grand Prix 5.
	Harris Devane (Georgia Peanuts C.L. Jones Ford
Thunderbird) won a thrilling 3-way finish-line shootout to
take victory in Saturday's Reese's 400 ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde
Supercar event!  The victory was the first ever for Devane!
	Devane ranked seventh in 1995 ARCA points and third in
1996 but has run a limited schedule in 1997!




	The Brumm (R38) #4 Auto Union Type C model is a very
accurate representation of the 1936 Type C carrying #4
driven by Achille Varzi at Monaco in 1936 (second place),
Hans Stuck in the 1936 GP of Tunis at Carthage (retired with
engine failure), and driven to wins by Bernd Rosemeyer in
the 1936 German GP at the Nurburgring, the 1936 Swiss GP at
Bremgarten, and the 1936 Italian GP at Monza.
	The Auto Union Type C was one of racing history's most
unusual appearing Grand Prix cars!  The silver Brumm model
#4 captures this unusual appearance stunningly; the bodywork
segmenting and detail is verifiably accurate per
contemporaneous photography!  A nice added touch: dashboard
gauge detail!
	Perspective on the famed Auto Union-Mercedes Grand Prix
battle of the 1930s is provided by L.J.K. Setright in his
book The Grand Prix: "The Auto Union had a V16 with but one
camshaft high up between the two banks of cylinder heads and
its crankshaft was built up from no less than thirty-three
component parts.  It had two valves seated in each
combustion chamber."
	Setright continued: "The cars (Auto Union and Mercedes)
varied considerably in a large number of details such as
suspension geometries, supercharging techniques, use of
bearings, but all of these details were subordinate to the
principal contrast that in the Mercedes the engine was in
front of the driver and in the Auto Union it was behind
	Setright notes: "The chief designer of the Auto Union
was the late Doctor Ferdinand Porsche, who had been
responsible for the design of the cars which had carried the
names of Mercedes and Mercedes-Benz into racing up to 1931."
	Setright continues: "The Auto Union was a car that very
few people could drive effectively; and only one man, Bernd
Rosemeyer, whose previous competition experience was on
motorcycles, was able to drive it so fast as consistently to
extend the Mercedes-Benz opposition.  The Auto Union
oversteered wildly and often unpredicatably; all its
designers' care in endowing it with what was conceived to be
an ideal weight distribution was valueless in face of the
dynamic peculiarities of the suspension.  Even the pains
taken to ensure consistent handling and constant weight
distribution by locating the fuel tank at the centre of
gravity bore little fruit, the most remarked effect being to
force the driver's seat even further forward."  This
evaluation was echoed by Nigel Roebuck in his Rosemeyer
appreciation in Grand Prix Greats and by David Owen in his
Automobile Quarterly Fall-Winter 1970 article, Porsche: The
	Setright elaborates on the fine year Auto Union
achieved in 1936: "The tables were turned in 1936. 
Mercedes-Benz enlarged their engine to 4.3 and then to 4.74
litres from which, with alcohol fuel, they obtained as much
as 494 bhp, still at 5800 rpm; but Auto Union, this time
increasing both the stroke and bore of their engine and
raising the permitted crankshaft rate even higher, emerged
with a full 6 litres and a mighty 520 bhp at 5000 rpm.  Add
to this the poor controllability of the new short chassis
adopted by Mercedes Benz and the virtuosity of the young
Rosemeyer, and it is easy to see why the fortunes of the
latter team were as favourable to them in 1936 as they had
been unfavourable the previous year."
	In fact, in 1936 the Type C entered 12 races and won
six of them, scoring two 1-2-3 and two 1-2 finishes!
	While the World Championship did not begin until 1950,
a "European Championship" was contested in the 1930s; four
races were part of this Championship in 1936 (Monaco, German
GP at the Nurburgring, Swiss GP at Bremgarten, Italian GP at
Monaco) and Auto Union C types contested all four events,
winning three (1-2 at Nurburgring, 1-2-3 at Bremgarten,
first and third at Monza, second and third at Monaco) as
Rosemeyer won three of the four events, ceding victory only
to Rudolf Caracciola (Mercedes-Benz W25) at Monaco!
	Not surprisingly, Auto Union drivers Bernd Rosemeyer
and Hans Stuck finished 1-2 in the Championship with Auto
Union pilots Achille Varzi, Ernst Von Delius and Rudolf
Hasse fourth, tied for seventh, and tied for tenth,
respectively.  Interrupting the Auto Union driver dominance
were Tazio Nuvolari and Raymond Sommer, third- and
fifth-ranking, respectively, driving Alfa Romeo entries, and
Mercedes' Caracciola in sixth.
	In addition to the four "Grand Epreuve" European
Championship events, Auto Union contested eight other
nonchampionship events.
	At Monaco on April 13, 1936, Varzi finished second with
Stuck third; Stuck also set Fast Lap.  Rosemeyer retired due
to a wreck.
	On May 10 at Mellaha (Tripoli), Varzi won and set Fast
Lap with Stuck second; Rosemeyer retired due to a fire.
	May 17 at Carthage (Tunis) produced three retirements;
Rosemeyer led, set Fast Lap, but retired due to another fire
but still placed fifth.  Varzi wrecked and Stuck suffered
engine failure.
	June 7 at Montjuich Park (Barcelona) saw Ernst Von
Delius make his first 1936 appearance; he finished fourth
with Rosemeyer fifth.
	The June 14 Eifelrennen at the Nurburgring saw
Rosemeyer win and set Fast Lap; Varzi, Stuck, and Von Delius
finished 7-8-9.
	June 21 at Budapest saw Rosemeyer lead and finish
second with Varzi third and Stuck (relieved by Von Delius)
	Only Varzi competed in the June 28 Milan event; he led,
set Fast Lap, and finished second.
	Rosemeyer won the July 26 German GP at the Nurburgring;
he also set Fast Lap; Stuck was second, Rudolf Hasse (in his
first 1936 appearance) fourth and Von Delius sixth; Varzi
did not compete.
	The August 2 Coppa Ciano at Montenero saw Rosemeyer
(relieved by Stuck) finish fourth; Varzi led but retired
with brake problems, placing sixth.
	Rosemeyer won the August 15 Coppa Acerbo at Pescara
with Von Delius second and Varzi third!  Stuck wrecked in
practice and did not start.
	Auto Union scored another 1-2-3 in the August 23 Swiss
GP at Bremgarten, Rosemeyer leading Varzi and Stuck to the
podium as Rosemeyer also set Fast Lap.  Hasse was fifth!
	The final 1936 appearance, the September 13 Italian GP
at Monza, saw Rosemeyer qualify fastest, set Fast Lap in the
race and win!  Von Delius finished third.  Varzi, relieved
by Hasse, retired with engine failure while Stuck, who had
led the race, wrecked.
	All told, the 1936 Auto Union Type C effort made 36
starts in 12 races, won six times, achieved seven runnerup
finishes and five thirds for 18 "podium" finishes, a 50%
success rate!  Three finishes apiece in fourth and fifth
place plus two sixths gave the marque 26 finishes in the Top
Six positions; six more placings in positions seventh
through tenth were achieved.  Only eight retirements were
posted, five due to mechanical causes and three due to
	An Auto Union driver led 10 of the 12 events, and Auto
Union accounted for eight Fast Laps!
	Rosemeyer was the most successful 1936 Auto Union
driver, with five wins, a second, a fourth and a fifth in
eleven events.  He led seven races and set Fast Lap in five. 
Bernd retired from two events due to mechanical reasons and
wrecked in one.
	Varzi took a win, three runnerup finishes, two thirds
and a sixth in ten races.  He wrecked once and suffered two
mechanical retirements.  Achille led three races and set two
Fast Laps.
	Stuck achieved no wins but took two seconds, two
thirds, a fourth and a fifth in eight races.  Hans wrecked
once and suffered one mechanical retirement plus one Did Not
Start due to an accident.  He led one race (Monza before
wrecking) and set one Fast Lap (Monaco).
	Von Delius started five races, Hasse two; each also
drove in relief in one event.  Von Delius' five starts (plus
one relief effort) saw him take a second, a third, a fourth,
a fifth (the relief effort), a sixth and a ninth as he
posted no retirements!
	Hasse started only two races, finishing fourth and
fifth, and relieved Varzi at Monza only to have the engine
	While the specifications of the Type C changed slightly
in 1937, the appearance of the car remained very similar and
thus the Brumm model of car #4 provides a fairly accurate
representation of Rosemeyer's winning car in the 1937
Roosevelt Raceway Vanderbilt Cup "Indycar" event!
	In addition to that race, the Type C appeared in twelve
other 1937 events and achieved a total of five wins in the
13 events.  In addition to Rosemeyer's Vanderbilt Cup
victory, he also won the 1937 Nurburgring Eifelrennen race,
the 1937 Coppa Acerbo at Pescara, and the October 2, 1937
Donington Park (England) GP.  Rudolf Hasse won the 1937
Belgian GP at Spa in a Type C.

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* * Final Weekly Racefacts Bulletin of 1997!  Next Weekly
Bulletin January 18, 1998 * *

* * Look for Special Bulletins throughout the Off-Season! *