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Pre-War South American "Grands Prix"

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#1 O Volante

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 00:40

I have put "Grands Prix" in quotation marks because not all races on the following list were termed Grands Prix or so, rather the races in which the imported European Grand Prix cars participated. Mostly, I should add, because it is neither a complete list of all their races (there may have been more!) nor did European Grand Prix cars race in all races on the list!

I became interested in South American races, both pre- and post WWII, because so many cars of my favourite marques Alfa Romeo and Maserati were exported into Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, and apparently enjoyed a lot of success in "local events". IIRC it were Hull/Slater who wrote in their Alfa history something like "the story of the Alfa Romeos in Argentina would fill a different book" - but what story was this?

For the period in question, Hull/Slater themself provided some info. Extremely helpful proved a list of Alfa race results supplied by my friend David McKinney some years ago. In fact, as David explained, this list was based on another list compiled by Antonio Watson from Argentina, plus his own researches in various period magazines. Later I did some own research in the Portuguese magazine "O Volante", which gave valuable information especially about Brazilian races. Then I received from David extracts from Alfredo Parga's four vol. history of Argentine racing, more recently I got hold the one vol. edition of the same book (more text, less tables!), plus a number of other Argentine and Brazilian books. Besides, I had contact with some fellows from Argentina, a number of related topics were discussed here at TNF, and last December or so Jimmy Piget send his latest list of races and race winners: These are my sources for the following compilation.

No, I was never interested in ALL races in South America during the period, or earlier. But were to draw a line - what about the early Bugattis or Delage (plus others ...)? Well, while collecting material, I learned more details and suddenly noted a change especially in the Argentine scene taking place during the 1930s: the rise of racing in the parque.

I found this term in Jorge Auge Bacque's history of racing in the "Parque Independencia" at Rosario, and accordingly the very first race of that kind in Argentina has been the 1935 Paraná event. In the following years, more races of that kind - paved tracks in down-town city-parks - filled the Argentine calendar for the "Ecoches especial", and the - before - standard circuit races "en la terra" - most famous example: the Argentine 500 at Rafaela - were reduced in number. This shift definitely favoured the European Grand Prix cars against the locally adopted Specials (including even the various Mercedes Benz).

In Brazil, the pattern was apparently different, but it must be clear there were more races than the annunal event at the "classic" Gávea circuit plus the specially build Interlagos track.

Here's the South American "GP" list - additions and corrections are VERY welcome:

Date/Place/Circuit/Race (Remarks)

8 October 1933/Rio de Janeiro/Gávea/1° Grande Prêmio Cidade de Rio de Janeiro

3 October 1934/Rio de Janeiro/Gávea/2° Grande Prêmio Cidade de Rio de Janeiro

20 April 1935/Paraná/Parque General Urquiza/?
2 June 1935/Rio de Janeiro/Gávea/3° Grande Prêmio Cidade de Rio de Janeiro
8 August 1935/Rafaela/Rafaela/6° 500 Millas Argentinas
15 November 1935/Porto Alegre/Farroupilha-Crystal/1° Grande Prêmio Cidade de Porto Alegre
1935/Campinas/?/Circuito do Chapadao

March 1936/Pacos de Caldas/?/Grande Premio Termal
10 May 1936/San Francisco
7 June 1936/Rio de Janeiro/Gávea/4° Grande Prêmio Cidade de Rio de Janeiro
12 July 1936/Sao Paulo/Circuito do Jardim America/Grande Premio de Sao Paulo
2 August 1936/Venado Tuerto/-/Gran Premio de Venado Tuerto
23 August 1936/Rosario/Parque Independencia/1° Gran Premio Ciudad de Rosario
13 September 1936/Rafaela/Rafaela/7° 500 Millas Argentinas
3 October 1936/Concordia/Hippodrome(!)/?
10 October 1936/Lincoln
18 October 1936/Buenos Aires/Costanero Sur/1° Gran Premio Ciudade de Buenos Aires
8 November 1936/Tres Arroyos
15 November 1936/Santa Fe/Circuito Avenida de Costanera/?
13 December 1936/La Tablada/-/Gran Premio de Turismo
20 December 1936/Paraná/Parque General Urquiza/?
1936/Porto Alegre/Farroupilha-Crystal/? (possibly here the 1937 event is meant!)
1936/Campinas/?/Circuito do Chapadao

3 January 1937/Mar del Plata
24 January 1937/Llavallol
March 1937/Petropolis
21 March 1937/La Plata/El Bosque
2 May 1937/Santa Fe/Circuito de Costanero/? (same as 1936?)
16 May 1937/San Francisco (said to be the second race)
6 June 1937/Rio de Janeiro/Gávea/5° Grande Prêmio Cidade de Rio de Janeiro
18 July 1937/Tucumán/Parque 9 de Julio/200 Millas de Tucumán
22 August 1937/Rosario/Parque Independencia/2° Gran Premio Ciudad de Rosario
12 September 1937/Rafaela/Rafaela/8° 500 Millas Argentinas
19 September 1937/Campinas/?/2° Grande Premio Cidade de Campinas (sometimes results of a 1937 Sao Paulo GP surface - I think they are refering to this race: Campinas in a town in the Federal state of Sao Paulo ...)
3 October 1937/San Isidro
10 October 1937/Casilda
19 December 1937/Paraná/Parque General Urquiza/?

9 January 1938/Mar del Plata
27 March 1938/Necochea (first race at Necochea)
24 April 1938/Paraná/Parque General Urquiza/?
15 May 1938/San Francisco (said to be the third race)
29 May 1938/Rio de Janeiro/Gávea/Prêmio Comendador Sabbado D'Angelo
12 June 1938/Rio de Janeiro/Gávea/6° Grande Prêmio Cidade de Rio de Janeiro
30 August 1938/Rosario/Parque Independencia/3° Gran Premio Ciudad de Rosario (originally scheduled for 28 August, postponed because of bad weather)
11 September 1938/Rafaela/Rafaela/9° 500 Millas Argentinas
25 September 1938/Olavarria
2 October 1938/Casilda
13 November 1938/Tres Arroyos/?/400 Kilómetros de Tres Arroyos

9 April 1939/Paraná/Parque General Urquiza/?
30 April 1939/Mendoza/Plumerillo/1° Gran Premio de la Vendemia
7 May 1939/La Plata/El Bosque/Gran Premio Ciudad de La Plata
30 July 1939/San Francisco/Ceres/4° Circuito de Ceres (does the 4th mean the other three races at San Francisco also took place at Ceres?)
20 August 1939/Rosario/Parque Independencia/4° Gran Premio Ciudad de Rosario
10 September 1939/Rafaela/Rafaela/10° 500 Millas Argentinas
24 September 1939/Tucumán/Parque 9 de Julio/Premio Semana de Tucumán (I'm not 100% sure about the track in the park)
14 October 1939/Casilda
29 October 1939/Rio de Janeiro/Gávea/Grande Prêmio Sabbado D'Angelo
26 November 1939/Sao Paulo/Interlagos/Grande Premio de Sao Paulo - this first race at the brand new track was cancelled after practice!

10 March 1940/La Plata/El Bosque
31 March 1940/Mendoza/Plumerillo/2° Gran Premio de la Vendemia
7 April 1940/Concordia/Parque Rivadavia
12 May 1940/Sao Paulo/Interlagos/Grande Premio de Sao Paulo
26 May 1940/Paraná/Parque General Urquiza/?
4 August 1940/San Justo/?/? (This was a "Pirat-Race": race authorithies declared the track unusable, but the drivers "organized" a 3 laps race ...)
10 November 1940/Rio de Janeiro/Gávea/3° Circuito da Gavea (means apparently that the two Sabbado D'Angelo races were 1° and 2° Circutos da Gávea - or that this was a third Sabbado D'Angelo race ... or both!)
10 September 1940/Rafaela/Rafaela/11° 500 Millas Argentinas

6 April 1941/Mendoza/Plumerillo/3° Gran Premio de la Vendemia
3 August 1941/Concordia/Parque Rivadavia/100 Millas de Concordia
24 August 1941/San Justo/?/Premio Ciudad de San Justo
28 September 1941/Rio de Janeiro/Gávea/7° Grande Prêmio Cidade de Rio de Janeiro (seems to have been last race for race cars to have been held "pre-war" in Brazil)
1 November 1941/Santa Fe/Parque de la Avenida Siete Jefes/3° Circuito Ciudad de Santa Fe
23 November 1941/Buenos Aires/Puerto Nuevo/2° Gran Premio Ciudade de Buenos Aires (Puerto Nuevo is apparently the same place which was called post-war Retiro!)

5 April 1942/Mendoza/Plumerillo/4° Gran Premio de la Vendemia
3 May 1942/Santa Fe/Avenida Siete Jefes/2° Gran Premio de Santa Fe (apparently same track as used the year before; does 2nd GP de SF mean 1941 was first edition? - definitely last race for race cars to have been held "pre-war" in Argentina)

Hans et al. - apparently no 1941 Interlagos "GP" ...
Jimmy - for races on your list not included here I do not have separate evidence ...


#2 panzani

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 02:49

This is the list of the races held at Gávea circuit I have handy:

GP Cidade do Rio de Janeiro :
1933 – Manuel de Teffé BRA - Alfa Romeo – 67,162 km/h
1934 – Irineu Corrêa BRA - Ford V-8 – 70,817 km/h
1935 – Ricardo Carú ARG - Fiat – 68,792 km/h
1936 – Vittorio Coppoli ARG - Bugatti – 70,776 km/h
1937 – Carlo Pintacuda ITA - Alfa Romeo – 82,827 km/h
1938 – Carlo Pintacuda ITA - Alfa Romeo – 78,372 km/h
1941 – Chico Landi BRA - Alfa Romeo – 80,889 km/h
1947 – Chico Landi BRA - Alfa Romeo – 78,969 km/h
1948 – Chico Landi BRA - Alfa Romeo – 85,710 km/h
1949 – Luigi Villoresi ITA - Maserati – 82,806 km/h
1952 – José Froilán González ARG - Ferrari – 90,321 km/h
1952 - ?
1954 – Emmanuel de Graffenried SUI - Maserati – 76,275 km/h

Circuito da Gávea Nacional :
1938 – Arthur Nascimento Jr. BRA - Alfa Romeo – 81,608 km/h
1939 – Manuel de Teffé BRA - Maserati – 81,602 km/h
1940 – Rubem Abrunhosa BRA - Studebaker – 78,861 km/h

I am sure I've stolen (borrowed sounds better) this list from somewere, and I am not sure it is complete, but I hope it could be useful. If I recall the original source I'll let you know.

#3 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 20:34

Originally posted by O Volante
...Hans et al. - apparently no 1941 Interlagos "GP"...

Thank you for clearing up the South American races. :up:
I am just a very interested observer, unable to contribute, lacking the proper source material. :(

#4 alessandro silva

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Posted 21 March 2004 - 21:22

O Volante, please check your mail.

#5 Don Radbruch

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Posted 25 July 2004 - 15:33

I am trying to verify that 1931 Indy winner, Lou Schneider, competed in a race at Parana, Argentina. I don't know the year but it was probably 1935. I have a copy of "NSSN Foto Review Series No. 3" that was issued in May of 1945. This is the third of a series NSSN put out during World War 2. The publication is about 14 pages of photos from the NSSN (previously National Auto Racing News) files. Included is a photo of the start of a road race at Parana with "Lou Snyder" leading. There is no date given. Odds are this is Lou Schneider but I'd like to verify this. "Snyder" is driving what looks like a one man Miller.

Lou Schneider raced for the IMCA and J. Alex Sloan in late 1934. I am wondering if Sloan had soimething to do with Schneider's appearance at Parana which may have been in April of 1935. There are reports of Sloan running a IMCA "winter circuit" in South America in the 1930s but one would think this would be dirt track racing.

Any information will be greatly appreicated. Thank you

Don Radbruch

#6 ry6

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Posted 27 July 2004 - 11:25

When I researched the Indy Studebaker's there was some "talk" that one of the cars had gone to Argentina.

Don was this perhaps the Studebaker that Rubens Abrunhosa drove?

(The South Americans were clever and resourceful builders of fast "specials" so it may not be.)

#7 Pablo Vignone

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Posted 28 July 2004 - 01:38

There were six races in Parque Urquiza track at Paraná (You can drive now some parts of the road).
April 20th, 1935
December 20th, 1936
December 19th, 1937
April 24th, 1938
September 9th, 1939
May 26th, 1940
Until now, not a single clue of Louis Schneider there

#8 Repco von Brabham

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Posted 29 July 2004 - 03:03

Please., Don't forget the marvelous races maked in the fantastic "Circuito de La Tablada" in Córdoba, Argentina, place where competed cars like Alfa Romeos, Capronis, Lorraine-Dietriches..

Our bud Jorge Auge Bacque was wrote a excellent article in the Magazine "Autos de Época", about the Circuito de La Tablada, and his race history, with marvelous pictures indeed!

I promise talk more about it.