Donington Grand Prix – 1936

Alfa Romeo, Donington, Dick Seaman, klemcoll

Here we see a photo of the British driver Richard Seaman at “full chat” in an Alfa Romeo 8C35 during the Donington Grand Prix on October 3, 1936. The Alfa Romeo was an ex-Scuderia Ferrari car which had been sold to the well-known Swiss “gentleman diver” Hans Ruesch. Ruesch had previously raced other Alfas, two 8C2300s and a Tipo B. Ruesch had entered his car for the Donington race and had invited Seaman to co-drive for this over 300 mile event which would take well in excess of four hours. The Donington race was not officially the British Grand Prix but in fact was so in all but name.

Seaman did his job and he and Ruesch won handily, some three minutes ahead of an Alfa Romeo Tipo B driven by Charles Martin which was in turn three minutes ahead of the ERA B-Type of Peter Whitehead and Peter Walker. There were 22 starters.

This was Seaman first race in a modern Grand Prix car and was important in his signing by Mercedes-Benz for the 1937 season. With Seaman now riding high at Mercedes, Ruesch continued to race this Alfa 8C35 for over two more years with considerable success before selling it is 1939 to a British driver who continued to use the Alfa which had an additional postwar career as well. Today it still appears in American historic racing.

Hans Ruesch raced into the early 1950s before retiring to become a well known writer. Richard Seaman continued to race with success for Mercedes but died from burns received in a crash while leading the 1939 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

Photo by Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com

To see more photos from our archive go to: http://www.klemcoll.com/TheGallery.aspx

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