The 1936 Grand Prix season was the third year of the 750 kg Formula. The next iteration of the Mercedes-Benz did not prove successful and the team withdrew during the season to instead prepare for the next one. It therefore fell to the resurgent Auto Union team to dominate the racing. In particular, it was their young, new superstar, Bernd Rosemeyer, who mastered the tricky car and who showed superlative skill in wet conditions. Rosemeyer easily won this season's European Championship by winning three of the four Grands Prix.
Mercedes-Benz had been the best cars in 1935 and for this season, they introduced a new 5.6-litre V12 engine. However, this bigger engine was heavier and with a 750 kg maximum weight, savings had to be found elsewhere. Along with a revised gearbox and suspension, the car was shortened by 25 cm. However, the car was found to be virtually undriveable, so the team had to urgently bore out the current 4-litre engine to 4.7-litres and dropped into the new chassis.
A week of speed events was next, on two wheels and four, for the Eifelrennen. On the Sunday morning was the voiturette race. The month previous, Dick Seaman and his 1927 Delage had won the Light Car Race on the Isle of Man ahead of a swarm of ERAs. They all arrived at the Nürburgring for one of the premier 1.5-litre races of the season. The Maserati team had four cars entered with the new 6CM model for Trossi and the Hungarian Hartmann. There were also two local entries in the 750cc class: Bobby Kohlrausch had a new MG R-Type while Walter Bäumer had an Austin 7 loaned from the factory after his strong showing the week before at the recent Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill Climb (even beating Stuck and his Auto Union in the rain). After hot sunshine during practice, race-day had heavy rain. Seaman and Rüesch both slid off in the first lap. On the twisty circuit, in difficult conditions, the Maseratis had the measure of the ERAs and Trossi had an easy 1-2 with Tenni. Bira and Lehoux were next with Bäumer an impressive fifth in the little Austin.With AVUS being rebuilt and used in the upcoming Olympics, the main event of the Eifelrennen was the first showing for the season for the German teams in Germany, and they were there in force. Mercedes had four cars, although Faglioli did not arrive, and his place was taken by reserve driver Lang. Auto Union, likewise, had four cars with von Delius joining the regular trio. To combat this German might, Ferrari had four cars with both Nuvolari and Brivio now given the new 12C. The race was held after the voiturette race by which time the rain had eased to drizzle. In front of an estimated 300,000 spectators the grid lined up, the cars still allocated by ballot teams with the team putting their fastest drivers in the front cars. From the start, Caracciola darted from the third row to the front and led for the first 3 of 10 laps. However, in his haste he skated wide damaging the fragile suspension, retiring soon after. Nuvolari passed him and after an hour, (at half-distance), still led as the rain eased. Meanwhile, Rosemeyer had been putting in remarkable laps, and overtook the Alfa on lap 7 whereupon a heavy fog dropped over the circuit. As other drivers slowed to the conditions, Rosemeyer kept up his pace and took a fine victory, over two minutes ahead of the Alfas of Nuvolari, Brivio and Farina. Lang was the first Mercedes home, nearly six minutes back in fifth.
In the Berne Grand Prix for the voiturette class, the Maserati works team did not appear. Dick Seaman dominated the race, winning ahead of the privateer ERAs of Embiricos and Reggie Tongue. Bira had retired from second with engine issues and the works ERA team had another wretched day, never being competitive.A week later, the British Junior Car Club revived their \"200 Mile\" race, this time at the Donington Park circuit. Voiturettes were run alongside Grand Prix cars, and easily had their measure. This time the ERA team was far more competitive, with Fairfield taking pole position in practice and Earl Howe initially leading the field. However, his car needed to refuel but the Delage did not, and Seaman went on to claim his third victory in three weeks, with Howe second. The only Grand Prix car to be classified was the Maserati 8CM of Cholmondeley-Tapper, with the rest a number of laps behind and outside the mandatory ten-minute time-limit. The following weekend, at the Ards Circuit in Northern Ireland, Jack Chambers crashed into the crowd during the RAC Tourist Trophy sports car race. Eight people were killed and fifteen seriously injured in the worst motor-racing accident in British history.
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