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Snapshot, 1930: Caracciola cannot be stopped

It’s 9 August 1930, and all hell is breaking loose on the Klausen Pass. At the ‘Great Mountain Prize of Switzerland’, the world's best drivers race through 136 bends on the most dangerous road in the Alps. Rudolf Caracciola is there, at the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz SSK…

Dust and petrol fumes are in the air on this August day in 1930, as the thundering of engines echo off the mountains and the cheers of 10,000 spectators enthusiastically greeting the racers bounce off the rock faces. Now in its ninth year, the Klausenrennen is already the biggest challenge in the young sport of automobile racing. Racing against such opponents as Josef Kessler and Hans Stuck, Rudolf Caracciola is driving his Mercedes-Benz SSK with his glasses and cap on, in an attempt to protect himself from the dust and dirt thrown up as his mighty Mercedes growls over the 21.5km mountain range. ‘Caratsch’ is already a living legend, despite his young age, and at 29, he has already won the German Grand Prix twice. The Renngötten has proven just as handy on the mountain, and with a blinding performance, he will secure a class victory. He will also soon make an appearance in the history books of the Klausenrennen and, indeed, all of motor racing, with an incredible average speed of 83.9 km/h over this most challenging of races…

Photo: Daimler

From 21 to 25 June, the Passione Caracciola will follow in the footsteps of the legendary pre-War racing driver across Italy and Switzerland. Classic Driver will be reporting live from the event, kindly supported by IWC.