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Hungarian Grand Prix


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#1 Dennis David

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Posted 27 November 1999 - 02:43

In 1936 other cars known as die Silberpfeile or Silver Arrows raced in Hungary, that time on a 3.1 mile course within the Budapest Public Gardens. In the previous year the cars from Mercedes-Benz dominated the Grand Prix scene and captured nine of the eleven major events they entered. These victories included the Monaco, French, Belgian and Swiss Grands Prix and resulted in the crowning of the original regenmeister (rainmaster), Rudolf Caracciola as European Champion. Of their losses last year, none was more painful than Tazio Nuvolari’s legendary victory in the German Grand Prix driving a Scuderia Ferrari entered Alfa Romeo. Nothing less than the same was expected for this year, only Auto Union stood in their way. Auto Union had an ace in their pocket by the name of Bernd Rosemeyer. His career likened to a shooting star had just scored a tremendous victory in the Eifel Grand Prix held on the Nurburgring. In dense fog he lapped that monstrous course an astounding 30 seconds faster than his closest pursuer Nuvolari.

The scene was now set for a battle between two great champions, Caracciola, Nuvolari and the German Wunderkindt, Rosemeyer. Budapest the beautiful Hungarian capital situated on the Danube never looked more so. More than 100,000 spectators turned out to watch this battle around the twisty figure eight circuit. Nuvolari looked impressive driving a 3.8 liter V8 Alfa Romeo but against him were three Mercedes and a likewise number of Auto Unions. After Rosemeyer’s victory over Nuvolari some began to question whether Tazio was getting too old and that maybe he had met his match in the young German. The Italian said nothing, for him his driving would do the talking.

The flag dropped and Rosemeyer surged into the lead, followed by von Brauchitsch, Caracciola and Nuvolari. Caracciola then stole the lead and held it for the next 16 laps before he was forced to retire with engine failure. While von Brauchitsch and Nuvolari were involved in a war of nerves Rosemeyer who had started behind the leading pack assumed the lead. Von Brauchitsch never the calmest driver in the field began to wilt under the pressure exerted by the Italian. Coming into a corner too fast only to spin out, von Brauchitsch was narrowly missed by the Alfa Romeo. It was now just after half distance and Nuvolari had his eyes set on the race leader Rosemeyer. Each earlier call for his retirement would now serve to fuel Nuvolari’s efforts. Slowly he reeled in his young rival and on the 33rd lap Nuvolari made his move and passed the Auto Union for the lead. Nuvolari continued to extend his lead until the end thereby avenging his defeat of one week ago. Von Brauchitsch, the last Mercedes still in the race spun again two laps from the finish and suffered terminal damage to his car. Alfred Neubauer, the Mercedes team manager flung down his control flags in disgust.

By Dennis David


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Dennis David
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Life is racing, the rest is waiting

Grand Prix History
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#2 Dr.DeDion

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Posted 05 December 1999 - 17:18

Nuvolari's speed created some controversy even before the race got underway at that inaugural Hungarian GP of 1936.Nuvolari qualified his own car well, but not on pole for the race.In the meantime an Alfa Romeo teammate, Mario Tadini, had not qualified well and was complaining of a lack of performance from his 8C-35, so Tazio took it out for a test.It should not come as a big surprise that Il Maestro broke the track lap record in Tadini's car and the Hungarians awarded him the pole.

Even though Mercedes was having a bad year in 1936 and stood no chance of winning the pole or the race against the faster Auto Unions and Alfas, their team manager Alfred Neubauer was quite insensed by Nuvolari's gaining pole in another driver's car.Neubauer and his entourage burst into the track office and threatened in a quite overbearing manner to withdraw both the Mercedes and Auto Union teams if the Italian were not demoted to his proper place on the starting grid.The organizers realized that they had made an error but the sin of pride, which is very common in Hungarians, along with Neubauer's arrogance, induced them to refuse his rightful demand by saying that they would permit Nuvolari to start in Tadini's car if he chose to do so.When "the great little man" was informed of the controversy, he de-fused the situation by refusing to take advantage of the opportunity to start from the pole position (possibly with no German cars in the race).His secretary conveyed his gracious refusal to the Hungarians along with the comment that, "When the time comes for him to lead the race, he will"...and of course, he did!

I vaguely recall reading somewhere regarding Rosemeyer's famous win in the fog at the Nurburgring in 1936 that in the weeks before the race Bernd had taken advantage of the opportunity to run many practice laps in foggy conditions at the 'Ring with the intention of gaining an advantage in the not unlikely event of similar conditions in the race.Can anyone shed any light on that story?I don't think it would take much away from his victory if he had done that.It would just show that he was crafty and very dedicated.

[This message has been edited by Dr.DeDion (edited 12-05-1999).]

#3 Geza Sury

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Posted 26 May 2005 - 19:52

I've been planning to walk around the old Népliget Grand Prix track for a while, but never had the time when I travelled to the the Capital for one reason or another. Early this week I realized my dream and I'm happy to share the images I made with you. Unfortunately the Népliget (which means something like "People's Park" in Hungarian) is in a very bad state. One part of it is closed form traffic and I can imagine it hadn't been resurfaced since the inagurual Hungarian Grand Prix! The other part looks somewhat better and nowadays a happy hunting ground for learner-drivers! So this is how nowadays the track looks:

The start-finish straight:
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The first, sharp corner which is closed from traffic:
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Leaving the first corner, you can see the surface is deteriorating:
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The second corner:
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A bit further up:
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A slow corner:
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There are vitually no straight sections at all:
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A part of a track which was resurfaced:
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A some places weren't:
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This section used to lead onto the busy street which you can see in the background, but now it is closed:
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This is the beginning of the section, which is open for traffic:
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This section looks has been resurfaced:
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A fast, sweeping corner:
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And the straight which follows it:
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At the end of the straight, the track turns left:
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This is the junction, where the pre-war track goes straight and the post-war track turns to the left:
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The 90-degree corner which leads to the start-finish straight:
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The original kerbs are still lining the track almost everywhere:
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After walking round the circuit I perfectly understood why it was Tazio Nuvolari, who won the Hungarian Grand Prix. To race down these park lanes must have required superb skills, courage and great precision...

#4 RobertS

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 10:42

Rare footages from Budapest-Népliget 1968-69-70:

http://lepoldsportvi...get_1968_70.wmv

#5 Duc-Man

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 12:39

Believe it or not. There is an onboard video of this track on youtube.
Budapest GP Track
It is recorded in a few shots and cut together in a pretty proper way.

#6 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 20:54

Rare footages from Budapest-Népliget 1968-69-70:

http://lepoldsportvi...get_1968_70.wmv

We can see something like Hungarian F. Vee there (from 3'04" to 3'18", from 4'24" to 4'57" etc.) - the front suspension obviously from VW Beetle, and the engines most probably have the same origin. Can anyone tell us more about this national formula?

#7 angst

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 21:44

Wasn't an early plan for the revival of the Hungarian GP, as a World Championship race in the eighties, to be at a re-worked Nepliget?


#8 RStock

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 22:41

Wasn't an early plan for the revival of the Hungarian GP, as a World Championship race in the eighties, to be at a re-worked Nepliget?


I believe the original intent was for a street race , and there were several street circuits proposed . I'm not certain Nepliget was one of them however .

A propsed Nepliget circuit can be found here...

http://www.the-fastl...racingcircuits/

It says 1986 though , which would be after the race plans were finalized and the Hungaroring built .

#9 hansfohr

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:06

We can see something like Hungarian F. Vee there (from 3'04" to 3'18", from 4'24" to 4'57" etc.) - the front suspension obviously from VW Beetle, and the engines most probably have the same origin. Can anyone tell us more about this national formula?

I think there wasn't a Formula Vee series of any kind in Hungary, Nepliget must have been a round for the FV European championship I guess. The image shows the 1969 champion Alfred Vogelberger in an Olympic, splashing through the Budapest park.

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Edited by hansfohr, 16 February 2010 - 01:11.


#10 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:38

I think there wasn't a Formula Vee series of any kind in Hungary, Nepliget must have been a round for the FV European championship I guess. The image shows the 1969 champion Alfred Vogelberger in an Olympic, splashing through the Budapest park.

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Just checked Race Report/Rennreport 3, which covers 1969. The European FV Cup that year was arranged in four regional groups: three races in each group, with the best six drivers progressing to the 2-heat final at the Nürburgring. No mention of Hungary in the text and no details of the regional races, but countries like Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are included, so perhaps the group listings refer to driver nationalities rather than venues?

#11 sat

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 05:49

There was races scheduled at 11.6.1967 and 11.5.1969 with ETC races. I have no results

Edited by sat, 16 February 2010 - 05:52.


#12 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 16:46

Unfortunately the image quality is too low to read the drivers' names on the cars and to decide whether it was a national or an international F. Vee event :well:

#13 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 08:50

In a 1936 Scuderia Ferrari magazine I found this rather scenic presentation of the track. In their magazine the Scuderia Ferrari also previewed tracks of upcoming events, besides reporting afterwards.

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#14 sramoa

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 08:59

Oh!This is a very special photo for Budapest-I never see this profile(Took for Gellért Hill)
Is this only cover or have any describe?

#15 pnegyesi

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 06:38

Last year when Audi celebrated its 100th anniversary, I was asked by the local Audi distributor to do a booklet on the history of Audi and Auto Union in Hungary.
Much to my surprise I received a bunch of photographs on the 1936 Hungarian Grand Prix from the Audi Archives. Makes me wonder whether Mercedes-Benz and Alfa Romeo got similar images stored somewhere...

BTW if anyone's interested I still have some surplus copies of the booklet, which is unfortunately is available only in Hungarian. But I believe I have a German translation of the text somewhere

Anyhow, if anyones is interested I'd need the p&p costs covered via PayPal, otherwise the booklet is free

#16 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 07:48

Oh!This is a very special photo for Budapest-I never see this profile(Took for Gellért Hill)
Is this only cover or have any describe?

It is a one page picture only. No description of the race, just an anouncement. It would indeed look like a cover, but it isn't. In the following number they reported about the win of Nuvolari and some race pics.

#17 RobertS

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 11:46

We can see something like Hungarian F. Vee there (from 3'04" to 3'18", from 4'24" to 4'57" etc.) - the front suspension obviously from VW Beetle, and the engines most probably have the same origin. Can anyone tell us more about this national formula?

Unfortunately the image quality is too low to read the drivers' names on the cars and to decide whether it was a national or an international F. Vee event :well:

I have colour-slides from this race, I tried to identify the cars:

at 3'18" >
probably start no.6
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at 4'24" >
probably start no.3 - green car, with Shell-stickers

Edited by RobertS, 25 February 2010 - 14:46.


#18 RobertS

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 14:13

In a 1936 Scuderia Ferrari magazine I found this rather scenic presentation of the track. In their magazine the Scuderia Ferrari also previewed tracks of upcoming events, besides reporting afterwards.

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Interestingly - the other inserted photo was the Cathedral of Szeged(Szegedi Dóm) >

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Szeged is the 4th biggest town in Hungary, near the Serbian border.

Oh!This is a very special photo for Budapest-I never see this profile(Took for Gellért Hill)

The old Erzsébet-bridge is visible on the photo also. The Germans destroyed it on 18th of January 1945.
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Until November of 1964 there was no bridge here, I found an old negative in my archives from the early 60's:
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Edited by RobertS, 25 February 2010 - 14:42.


#19 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 16:54

The European Formula Vee Cup was arranged in four zones:

Northern Zone: Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway
Western Zone: Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Monaco, UK, Ireland
Middle Zone: Germany, Italy, San Marino, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary
Southern Zone: Spain, Portugal, Andorra

Each zone held preliminary rounds, the best drivers from each zone progressing to the finale races, for example held at Zolder and the Nürburgring in 1968.

I don't have details at hand, but the FV races in Nepliget Park may well have been preliminary rounds of the Middle Zone.

There was also an international FV race in Hungary in 1968, this time over 2 x 15 laps of a very fast 5.2 km circuit in Sopron - fastest lap 151.8 km/h. This did not count towards the European Cup. It was won by Gerold Pankl ahead of Werner Riedl and Helmut Bross.

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#20 sramoa

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 21:12

There was also an international FV race in Hungary in 1968, this time over 2 x 15 laps of a very fast 5.2 km circuit in Sopron - fastest lap 151.8 km/h. This did not count towards the European Cup. It was won by Gerold Pankl ahead of Werner Riedl and Helmut Bross.


It was a circuit in Sopron?Until this time I never hear this circuit...(Sopron a very nice and silent town in Western Hungary)
Do you have any info?

#21 pnegyesi

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 07:50

sramoa sent me this great link, showing the 1936 Hungarian GP:
Video on 1936 Hungarian GP

#22 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 11:30

It was a circuit in Sopron?Until this time I never hear this circuit...(Sopron a very nice and silent town in Western Hungary)
Do you have any info?


Unfortunately, I have no further details about this circuit. Sopron does have more motorsport history: the Hungarian GP for motorcycles took place there on a 5.275 km circuit on 15 May 1932.

There was a further motorcycle race on the same course on 4 June 1933. This was a 'battle' between Austrian and Hungarian riders, which the latter won with 137 points vs 64 for Austria.

#23 pnegyesi

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 16:36

During pre-war times the Sopron Automobile Association organized the Brennberg race three times between 1929-1931.

Through sheer and utter luck a huge "yearbook" featuring newspaper clippings, photos etc. survives and depicts the history of the Association. Unfortunately racing programmes are not included in this yearbook, but we have managed to put together a list of entries for most of these races.

#24 RobertS

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 21:24

" 1970 Budapest Grand Prix - Joachim Düker, Kaimann(?) "

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#25 arttidesco

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 00:23

Lovely Pics RobertS, for the second time today I have seen images of LKW (Lorry/Truck) Cross, does anyone know how that came about ?