Mercedes-benz w125 rekordwagen

The record

Rudolf Caracciola’s record of 432.7 km/h (268 mph) over the flying kilometre on 28 January 1938, remained the fastest ever officially timed speed on a public road until broken on 5 November 2017 by Koenigsegg in an Agera RS driven by Niklas Lilja, achieving 445.6 km/h (276.9 mph) on a closed highway in Nevada. It also was the fastest speed ever recorded in Germany until Rico Anthes bested it with a Top Fuel Dragster on the Hockenheimring drag strip.

This record breaking run was made on the Reichs-Autobahn A5 between Frankfurt and Darmstadt, where onlookers were rattled by the brutal boom of the side spewing exhaust stacks as the silver car hurtled past. By nine that morning, Caracciola and team chief Alfred Neubauer were having a celebration breakfast at the Park Hotel in Frankfurt.

Chassis and suspension

The W125 cockpit

The W125 had a much stiffer tubular frame construction compared to the previous W25 model. This was achieved using oval tubes made of nickel-chrome molybdenum steel which flexed considerably less than the frame used in the W25.[citation needed]

The bodywork of the W125 was aluminium metal, which like its predecessor was left unpainted in its bare silver colour. This brought Mercedes’ cars during this period (and rivals Auto Union, whose cars were the same colour) the nickname of Silver Arrows, the racing colours of Germany being silver (German racing colours were white but stripped paint to the aluminium metal for weight savings).[citation needed]

Concept

Due to the uncompetitiveness of their W25 car, Mercedes pulled out of the 1936 Grand Prix Season midway through the year in order to concentrate on designing a car that would see them return to the top of the rankings. A new racing department (‘Rennabteilung’) was set up within Mercedes-Benz in order to work on the car. Rudolf Uhlenhaut, previously a production car engineer for the company, was selected to lead the design team in late 1936. Uhlenhaut had not previously designed a racing car, but had significant experience testing road cars on the Nürburgring race track, experience which allowed him to adapt his knowledge relatively easily to racing cars.[citation needed]

When testing the old W25 car, Uhlenhaut remarked that the suspension was too stiff, preventing the wheels from following the road. During the test session, a wheel came off the car, yet Uhlenhaut continued to drive the car as if nothing had happened. This stiffness caused the chassis to flex and the rear axle to bend by up to 7–10 cm (3-4 inches) under braking. The brief for the new car included a stiffer chassis and more travel on the suspension to avoid the problems experienced in the 1936 car.[citation needed]

История

Mercedes-Benz W125, построенный в 1937 году немецким инженером Рудольфом Уленхаутом для участия в различных соревнованиях, генерировал 595 лошадиных сил благодаря своему 8-цилиндровому рядному мотору, на который приходилась ровно треть веса всего автомобиля. В ходе испытаний выяснилось, что двигатель, работающий на смеси метанола и бензола, способен вырабатывать ещё большую мощность — пиковый показатель составил почти 640 л.с. на 5800 оборотах в минуту. Даже на 2000 оборотов этот мотор генерировал почти 290 лошадей. Во время испытаний в 1937 году Mercedes-Benz W125 развил максимальную скорость в 300 км/ч.

Модель Mercedes-Benz W125 «Rekordwagen» является развитием модели Mercedes-Benz W125 «Formel-Rennwagen» 1937 года. Благодаря конструкторским изменениям мощность была увеличена до 725 лошадиных сил. Именно на данном автомобиле был установлен мировой рекорд скорости на дорогах общего пользования. В 1938 году, после внесения очередных изменений в правила и регламенты Гран-при автомобиль перестал соответствовать предъявляемым требованиям. Компания Mercedes-Benz была вынужден заменить его моделью Mercedes-Benz W154. Тем не менее, W125 считался самым быстрым и мощным гоночным автомобилем ещё в течение 30 лет с момента его разработки, пока американские двигатели V8 не достигли похожих показателей по мощности.

Porsche Rekordwagen

The body of the vehicle is formed like a very basic diffuser thus using the Bernoulli principle in order to create downforce and improve stability and traction at high speeds. This may be one of the very first uses of the Ground Effect, decades before it appeared on the BRM and Chaparral Formula One racers of the 60s.

Another great innovation of that design/patent of Mickl was the integration of an inverted wing which was responsible for the creation of downforce, thus increasing the stability of the vehicle. Most of the people believe that the use of wings to create downforce on vehicles is an idea of the 1960s pioneered by Colin Chapman and his Lotus 49 racer. However, the truth is that the German rocket powered rail-racer of the late 1920s Opel-RAK.3 was the earliest example of a vehicle equipped with wings creating downforce. This vehicle, however, did not use inverted wings but rather normal wings that were pitched to a negative angle of attack such that they would generate «negative lift».

The racer of Mickl, however, employs an inverted wing, located directly on top of the rear wheel axles and in the «clean» air inflow stream in order to produce downforce and to translate it directly to tire traction at high speeds. The inverted wing was even equipped with a large aileron, such that the driver could adjust the generated downforce in such a way that the vehicle could achieve high traction during the acceleration phase and low drag (i.e. low downforce) during the high-speed phase of the race. A further invention was presented with the implementation of an airbrake option. In this case the aileron of the wing would deflect almost 90° thus hugely increasing drag and acting as a high speed air brake. That action could be manually controlled by the driver via a separate air-brake lever or could be coupled to the wheel brake system of the vehicle.

Complete results

European Championship

(results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Team Engine Drivers 1 2 3 4 5
Daimler-Benz AG Mercedes-Benz M125 BEL GER MON SUI ITA
Hermann Lang 3 7 2 2
Christian Kautz 4 6 3 6 Ret
Manfred von Brauchitsch Ret 2 1 3 Ret
Rudolf Caracciola 1 2 1 1
Richard Seaman Ret 4
Goffredo Zehender 5
Colour Result Points
Gold Winner 1
Silver 2nd place 2
Bronze 3rd place 3
Green Completed more than 75% 4
Blue Completed between 50% and 75% 5
Purple Completed between 25% and 50% 6
Red Completed less than 25% 7
Black Disqualified 8
Blank Did not participate 8

Non-championship results

Year Team Engine Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Daimler-Benz AG Mercedes-Benz M125 TRI AVUS EIF VAN ACE MAS DON
Hermann Lang 1 9 DNF DNF
Rudolf Caracciola 6 DNF 2 DNF 5† 1 3
Richard Seaman 7 5 DNF 2 DNS/5† 4 DNF
Manfred von Brauchitsch DNF 3 2 2 2

†Seaman’s car was destroyed in practice and did not start. During the race, Seaman took over Caracciola’s car and finished fifth.

Racing history

The W125 made its first competitive outing in May at the 1937 Tripoli Grand Prix with Mercedes-Benz entering four cars. German Hermann Lang won his first Grand Prix motor race to give the W125 a victory on its début and provide Mercedes with their first victory over rivals Auto Union since May 1936. The next race was held at the AVUS motor-racing circuit in Germany, a 12-mile (19 km) long circuit consisting of two long straights of approximately 6 miles (10 km) length joined at either end by a curve. As such, it was possible for a car to reach its top speed. Mercedes entered two W125 cars, a streamliner which was modified from the original design to increase its top speed on the straights and a standard car driven by Richard Seaman in case of problems with the streamliner. The streamliner had a top speed 25 km/h (16 mph) faster than the regular car. On lap three of the race, the streamliner retired while leading due to a gearbox failure. Seaman’s regular W125 finished in fifth position.

Hermann Lang demonstrating a Mercedes-Benz W125 at the Nürburgring in 1977. Lang drove a W125 to victory on its début.

At the Eifelrennen held at the Nürburgring circuit, Mercedes entered five W125’s, including one driven by Christian Kautz fitted with the new suction carburettor supercharger system. Kautz finished in ninth, while teammates Rudolf Caracciola and Manfred von Brauchitsch finished in second and third places. For the next race, Mercedes split their entries between two races which occurred within a week of another. Two cars were sent to the USA to compete in the Vanderbilt Cup, one of which was fitted with the suction carburettor supercharger used on Kautz’s car, and three cars went to Belgium to compete in the first round of the 1937 European Championship. Richard Seaman finished second in the Vanderbilt, and third and fourth place were achieved in the Belgian Grand Prix. Following Seaman’s success in the Vanderbilt with the new supercharger system, it was fitted to all of the W125s.[citation needed]

The following two races were also both part of the European Championship. The next round in Germany saw both Mercedes and rivals Auto Union competing on home soil. Mercedes triumphed, as Rudolf Caracciola took his first victory of the year and Manfred von Brauchitsch followed him home in second position. In the next round at Monaco, the positions were reversed as von Brauchitsch won and Caracciola finished in second. A third Mercedes W125, driven by Christian Kautz, took third place.

The non-championship Coppa Acerbo in Italy was the next event the W125 entered. During practice Richard Seaman crashed into a house and destroyed his car. Therefore, only von Brauchitsch and Caracciola started the race. During the race, Seaman took over from Caracciola and despite an engine fire, he finished the race fifth. von Brauchitsch fared better finishing in second position. The Swiss Grand Prix was the penultimate round of the 1937 European Championship. Like in Monaco, Mercedes W125s finished in the top three places, Caracciola taking the win with Hermann Lang in second and von Brauchitsch third. The final round of the championship marked a return to Italy, where at the Livorno Circuit, Caracciola held off teammate Lang to win the race by 0.4 seconds and become European Champion. von Brauchitsch retired from the race and took second place overall in the Championship. Kautz and Lang took third and fourth places meaning Mercedes drivers occupied the top four positions in the championship table.[citation needed]

The W125 entered into two non-championship events before the end of the season. The Masaryk Grand Prix in Czechoslovakia gave the W125 its final victory when Caracciola won the race, von Brauchitsch finished second and Seaman came in third. The race was marred as Hermann Lang had crashed into spectators on lap five, resulting in twelve injuries and two deaths.[citation needed]

Manfred Von Brauchitsch driving the W125 at the 1937 Donington Grand Prix

The final competitive race Mercedes entered the W125 into was the 1937 Donington Grand Prix. Rosemeyer prevailed, von Brauchitsch finished in second place and Caracciola in third while both of the other W125s failed to finish. The British ERA were outclassed, failing to get classified in their home race.[citation needed]

The record

Rudolf Caracciola’s record of 432.7 km/h (268 mph) over the flying kilometre on 28 January 1938, remained the fastest ever officially timed speed on a public road until broken on 5 November 2017 by Koenigsegg in an Agera RS driven by Niklas Lilja, achieving 445.6 km/h (276.9 mph) on a closed highway in Nevada. It also was the fastest speed ever recorded in Germany until Rico Anthes bested it with a Top Fuel Dragster on the Hockenheimring drag strip.

This record breaking run was made on the Reichs-Autobahn A5 between Frankfurt and Darmstadt, where onlookers were rattled by the brutal boom of the side spewing exhaust stacks as the silver car hurtled past. By nine that morning, Caracciola and team chief Alfred Neubauer were having a celebration breakfast at the Park Hotel in Frankfurt.

Popular driver Bernd Rosemeyer was killed later the same day when trying to beat that record for Auto Union. This also put an end to the record attempts of Mercedes, even though Hans Stuck later wanted to beat the overall land speed record with the Porsche-designed Mercedes-Benz T80 which was powered by a 3,000 horsepower (2,200 kW) airplane engine.

Engine and transmission

With no regulations limiting engine size, other than the 750 kg (1,650 lb) total car weight limit, Mercedes designed a 5.6 litre engine configured with eight inline cylinders and double overhead camshaft for the W125. Named the M125, the engine was also fitted with a Roots type supercharger producing 632 lb⋅ft (857 N⋅m) of torque at the start of the season. The engines built varied in power, attaining an output between 560 and 640 horse power (418-444 kW) at 5800 rpm. Fuel used was a custom mix of 40% methyl alcohol, 32% benzene, 24% ethyl alcohol and 4% gasoline light. The engine weighed 222 kg (490 lbs) — approximately 30% of the total weight of the car, and was mounted in the front of the car.

Like its W25 predecessor, the W125 used a 4-speed manual transmission. The gearbox design was changed to a constant mesh type, which provided better reliability compared to the sliding mesh transmission of the M25. In a constant mesh gearbox, the transmission gears are always in mesh and rotating, but the gears are not rigidly connected to the shafts on which they rotate. Instead, the gears can freely rotate or be locked to the shaft on which they are carried. The previous sliding mesh transmission required the gears to be spinning at roughly the same speed when engaged; otherwise, the teeth would refuse to mesh.[citation needed]

Mercedes-Benz W125

Mercedes-Benz W125 at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2009

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Porsche Rekordwagen

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The body of the vehicle is formed like a very basic diffuser thus using the Bernoulli principle in order to create downforce and improve stability and traction at high speeds. This may be one of the very first uses of the Ground Effect, decades before it appeared on the BRM and Chaparral Formula One racers of the 60s.

Another great innovation of that design/patent of Mickl was the integration of an inverted wing which was responsible for the creation of downforce, thus increasing the stability of the vehicle. Most of the people believe that the use of wings to create downforce on vehicles is an idea of the 1960s pioneered by Colin Chapman and his Lotus 49 racer. However, the truth is that the German rocket powered rail-racer of the late 1920s Opel-RAK.3 was the earliest example of a vehicle equipped with wings creating downforce. This vehicle, however, did not use inverted wings but rather normal wings that were pitched to a negative angle of attack such that they would generate «negative lift».

The racer of Mickl, however, employs an inverted wing, located directly on top of the rear wheel axles and in the «clean» air inflow stream in order to produce downforce and to translate it directly to tire traction at high speeds. The inverted wing was even equipped with a large aileron, such that the driver could adjust the generated downforce in such a way that the vehicle could achieve high traction during the acceleration phase and low drag (i.e. low downforce) during the high-speed phase of the race. A further invention was presented with the implementation of an airbrake option. In this case the aileron of the wing would deflect almost 90° thus hugely increasing drag and acting as a high speed air brake. That action could be manually controlled by the driver via a separate air-brake lever or could be coupled to the wheel brake system of the vehicle.

Примечания

  1. ↑  (англ.). Daimler AG media (январь 2013). Дата обращения 14 августа 2015.
  2. Игорь Владимирский. . Авторевю (7 ноября 2017). Дата обращения 8 ноября 2017.
  3. Vijay Pattni.  (англ.). Top Gear (07-11-2017). Дата обращения 8 ноября 2017.
  4.  (англ.). Grand Prix History. Дата обращения 14 августа 2015.
  5. Gianni Rogliatti. Great Collectors’ Cars. — 1-е изд.. — Smithmark Pub, 1973. — С. 100-102. — 318 с. — ISBN 978-0448019147.
  6. Kevin Hackett.  (англ.). The National (1 февраля 2013). Дата обращения 15 февраля 2017.
  7. Reuss, Eberhard. Hitler’s Motor Racing Battles: The Silver Arrows under the Swastika / пер. Angus McGeoch. — Сомерсет: Haynes Publishing, 2008. — С. 314-315. — ISBN 978-1-84425-476-7.
  8. Pressetext Hersteller.  (нем.). Prova (18.03.2004). Дата обращения 29 декабря 2015.
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