ARA Race Facts Bulletin (01/25/98): Consistent Winners and Model Review
29 January 1998
AUTO RACING ANALYSIS RACEFACTS BULLETIN JANUARY 25, 1998 AUTO RACING ANALYSIS CONSISTENT WINNERS ARA has pioneered the concept of honoring Consistent Winners, defined as those drivers with at least one win in a major point championship series each season. ARA lists the ten drivers currently qualified with major series wins in 1997 in order of the longevity of their winning streak. Klaus Ludwig Qualified with four FIA GT wins (Nurburgring, A1-Ring, Sebring, Laguna Seca) for Mercedes. Win streak began in 1974, includes wins in European, German, and World Touring Car series; German and European GT series; German Sports Car, IMSA Camel GT, World Sports Car, SCCA Trans-Am, and International Touring Car series. Rich Vogler Remains permanently on the list in memoriam of his achievements. His final win came in USAC Sprint Cars at Salem in 1990. Win streak began in 1975 in USAC National Midgets, includes wins in USAC Speedrome Midgets, Silver Crown, and Sprint Cars and ALL-STAR and CRA Sprint Cars. Ron Shuman Requalified with a June 28 SCRA Sprint Car win at Manzanita plus a November 8 victory at Imperial en route to the 1997 SCRA title! Win streak began in 1977 in USAC National Midgets, includes wins in USAC Silver Crown and Sprint Cars, WoO and NARC Sprint Cars, and NCRA Dirt Champcars. Steve Kinser Earned retention on the list with four WoO Sprint Car wins! Win streak began in 1978 in WoO and includes wins in ALL-STAR, NSCA, USA, and USAC Sprint Cars and USAC Silver Crown and in IROC. Mark Martin Earned his position on the list by taking six 1997 NASCAR Busch Grand National victories (two at Rockingham plus Richmond, Atlanta, Texas Motor Speedway and Talladega), four NASCAR Winston Cup wins (Sears Point, Talladega, Michigan, and Dover) and two IROC wins (Charlotte and California Speedway)! Martin also won the IROC title. Win streak began in 1978 in ASA and ARTGO and also includes ARCA, ASA Gran Marque, IMSA GTS, and NASCAR Northwest Tour and Craftsman Truck wins. Sam Swindell Ensured position of honor with twenty WoO Sprint Car wins en route to the 1997 title! Win streak began in 1978 in WoO and includes wins in NSCA and USA Sprint Cars and NCRA Dirt Champcars. Rusty Wallace Retained position with March 2, 1997 Richmond NASCAR Winston Cup win. Win streak began in 1978 in ARTGO and ASA and includes wins in ALL-PRO, NASCAR All-American and Grand American and USAC Stock Cars. Jack Hewitt Requalified with three USAC Sprint Car victories (Lincoln Park, Eldora, Terre Haute). Also won an UMP Modified race at Eldora! Win streak began in 1979 in WoO Sprint Cars, includes wins in ALL-STAR, CRA, USA, and USAC Sprint Cars, USAC Silver Crown, UMP Late Models, and NAMARS and USAC Midgets Rick Hood Earned position with a July 5, 1997 SCOA (Sprint Car Owners of Arizona) Sprint Car victory at Saguaro. Win streak began in 1980 in ALL-STAR and WoO Sprint Cars, includes wins in ASCS and CRA Sprint Cars, NCRA Dirt Champcars, and USAC National and Western States Midgets and Silver Crown. Larry Phillips Retained his position with victories in the NASCAR Winston Racing Series. Win streak began in 1980 in NCRA Late Models, includes wins in ARTGO, ASA, ALL-STAR, PROS, STARS, USAC, and WoO Late Models and NASCAR Winston Racing Series stock cars. Ken Schrader Ken scored wins in NASCAR Winston West on the California Speedway and Las Vegas superspeedway venues and in ARCA at Toledo! Also won an I-CAR Modified race at Anderson! Win streak began in 1980 in USAC National Midgets, includes wins in ALL-STAR and USAC Sprint Cars, ARCA Supercar, USAC Speedrome Midgets, Silver Crown, Late Models, and Stock Cars, NASCAR Winston Cup, Winston West, Busch Grand National, Busch Grand National North, All-Star Tour, Northwest and Southwest Tours and Craftsman Truck, SuperDIRT, and IMCA Modifieds, a total of 19 series! ARA MODEL REVIEW MERCEDES BENZ W154/M163 GP 1939 BRUMM 1:43 The Brumm (R37 bis) model of the car #16 Mercedes Benz W154/M163 Grand Prix car of 1939 is an accurate representation of this legendary, successful racer! The silver 1939 "Silver Arrows" GP car was classically streamlined for the period and Brumm has duplicated the appropriate bodywork and exhaust system details. As with the Auto Union Type C, the very "no nonsense" and "straight up" driver seating of the period is well illustrated. Car #16 was driven to victory by Hermann Lang in the Nurburgring Eifelrennen and the Swiss GP at Bremgarten; Lang's car also carried #16 when he retired due to mechanical causes in the 1939 German GP at the Nurburgring. Rudolf Caracciola's entry carried #16 in the 1939 French GP at Reims; he wrecked in that event. The 1938-39 W154/M163 featured a supercharged V12 engine of 2962 cc displacement producing 483 horsepower for the new for 1938 Grand Prix formula. The 1938 Mercedes W154 took five wins in nine races, including three 1-2-3 finishes and one 1-2! Hermann Lang led a 1-2-3 in the 1938 Tripoli GP at Mellaha; Manfred Von Brauchitsch led a 1-2-3 in the 1938 French GP at Reims; Dick Seaman led a 1-2 in the German GP at the Nurburgring; Lang won the Coppa Ciano at Livorno (Leghorn, Italy); and Rudolf Caracciola led a 1-2-3 in the Swiss GP at Bremgarten! Regarding our review subject, the Brumm 1939 W154, as L.J.K. Setright notes in his book, The Grand Prix, concerning the 1939 "evolution" of the 1938 Mercedes Benz W154/M163 GP car: "Yet it was Mercedes-Benz who continued to prevail in engineering merit, in race results and in general esteem. Both the German teams had subscribed for 1939 to the aviation doctrine of two-stage supercharging, an idea that was certainly not novel inasmuch as the American Chadwick had employed three-stage supercharging as long ago as 1908. It is never too late to mend: by setting two Roots blowers in series, Mercedes and Auto Union realised inlet manifold pressures of 2.6 and 2.65 atmospheres respectively." Setright noted: "The Auto Union presented less frontal area than the Mercedes. However, Mercedes-Benz contrived a body of better shape, more completely enclosing the suspension and evidently inducing less drag. The 1939 Mercedes Benz probably had the best roadholding of any pre-war GP car." The 1939 European Championship consisted of four events (Belgian GP at Spa, French GP at Reims, German GP at the Nurburgring, Swiss GP at Bremgarten); Mercedes won three, two by Hermann Lang (Spa and Bremgarten) and one by Rudolf Caracciola (Nurburgring). Auto Union took the other victory, the French GP at Reims, with Hermann Muller. Muller won the 1939 title due to consistency, as his win was joined by a second in the German GP and a fourth at Bremgarten as he failed to finish only at Spa. For Mercedes, Lang finished second in points (wins at Spa and Bremgarten but mechanical retirements at Reims and the Nurburgring), Caracciola third (he won at the Nurburgring, was second at Bremgarten but crashed out at Spa and Reims) and Von Brauchitsch (third at Spa and Bremgarten, mechanical retirements at Reims and the Nurburgring) tied for fourth. The 1939 Mercedes GP entries contested seven races with 25 entries and won five, also achieving three runnerup finishes and three third-place finishes for a total of 11 "podium" positions of a possible 21, or 52.4%. Lang and Von Brauchitsch finished 1-2 at Spa and Lang, Caracciola, and Von Brauchitsch finished 1-2-3 at Bremgarten. The 1939 Mercedes GP entries also achieved a fourth and a fifth for a total of 13 Top Six positions, and five placings in the seventh through tenth range. Eleven of the 25 entries, or 44.0%, failed to finish, with six eliminated by mechanical failures and five by accidents. A Mercedes GP entry led in each of the seven events contested, with multiple Mercedes drivers leading four of the events. A Mercedes GP car set the Fast Lap in six of the seven races and achieved four Fast Qualifications. The team's first 1939 race was April 2 on the streets of Pau (France); Hermann Lang won with Manfred Von Brauchitsch, the Fast Qualifier, finishing second after leading and setting Fast Lap. Rudolf Caracciola suffered a mechanical retirement. At the Nurburgring on May 21 for the Eifelrennen, Lang won carrying #16 after achieving both Fast Qualifier and Fast Lap honors. Caracciola led the race and finished third while Von Brauchitsch took fourth. Hugo Hartmann finished eighth and the five-car effort saw Dick Seaman retire with mechanical problems! At Spa on June 26 for the Belgian GP, Lang won and set Fast Lap with Von Brauchitsch third. Caracciola wrecked. Dick Seaman led but wrecked, and unfortunately died of his injuries. Lang's three-race win streak ended at Reims for the French GP on July 9. Lang was Fast Qualifier, set Fast Lap, and led the race but retired with mechanical problems. A mechanical retirement also eliminated Von Brauchitsch and Caracciola wrecked. Hermann Muller won for Auto Union. The July 23 German GP at the Nurburgring produced victory and Fast Lap for Caracciola! Mechanical problems eliminated Lang, who led the race, and Von Brauchitsch. Heinz Brendel wrecked. Lang won the August 20 Swiss GP at Bremgarten after winning the qualifying race; he set Fast Lap in the final. Caracciola finished second and Von Brauchitsch third with Hugo Hartmann seventh! The September 3 Yugoslav GP in Belgrade saw Von Brauchitsch take Fast Qualifier honors and lead before spinning and finishing second. Lang was running second when he was hit by a stone; he was relieved by Walter Baumer who then crashed but ranked fifth in the final order! Tazio Nuvolari was the upset winner for Auto Union! Lang led the 1939 Mercedes drivers with four wins in seven events; he also achieved a fifth and a tenth although both were retirements. He was a retirement once due to Baumer's accident and twice for mechanical reasons. He led six of the seven races, set Fast Lap in four, and was Fast Qualifier for two. Caracciola's six races produce a win, a second, and a third plus a tenth-place retirement. He wrecked twice and retired once for mechanical reasons. Rudi led two races and set one Fast Lap. Von Brauchitsch did not win a race but finished second twice and third twice plus one fourth; his other two races ended in retirements for mechanical reasons. He led two races, was Fast Qualifier for two and set Fast Lap in one. Seaman was a mechanical retirement in the first of his two 1939 starts and crashed fatally after leading in his final effort at Spa. Hugo Hartmann finished seventh and eighth in his two starts. Heinz Brendel wrecked in his only start. It is an interesting footnote that the May 7, 1939 Tripoli GP at Mellaha was held to 1939 Italian rules, making it essentially a 1500 cc "voiturette" event. Mercedes-Benz surprised the racing world by slightly modifying (physical appearance to W154/M163 was similar) the 1939 W154/M163 design to create the W165, powered by a new 1500 cc V8 engine! Two of the cars, #16 for Lang and #24 for Caracciola, were entered, and finished 1-2 in their only appearance! Our website features color photography of this fine model! Our website at http://members.aol.com/autoracg/ provides a wealth of useful and interesting auto racing information! Visit our website several times throughout the "off season" for new Model Reviews including Brumm, Quaker American, and Revell!