Hold on to your hats. Early September, the ‘Blitzen Benz’ – the first European car to officially crack 200 kph – will go flat-out once more at the Kilomètre Lancé. The 1-kilometre drag race is held at the Engadin airport in St Moritz (Switzerland) from 2 – 4 September.
The Kilomètre Lancé is part of the International St Moritz Automobile Week (ISAW), held between 2 – 11 September. From 2 until 4 September, the runway at the Engadin airport will feature cars and bikes in a classic drag run.
Biggest Benz engine
This year, Hermann Layher, the director of the Sinsheim and Speyer transport museums in Germany, will bring along the famous Blitzen Benz from the collection. In 1909, this was the first European car to break through the 200 kph barrier in Brooklands, England. In Daytona in 1911, it even recorded a speed of 228.1 kph on the beach, in the hands of Bob Burman. The 21.5-litre four-cylinder engine was capable of delivering around 200 hp. It is still the biggest engine Mercedes has built for a car.
Layher has switched the car to a streamliner bodywork. “Together with the Goodwood Revival, the International St Moritz Automobile Week is our biggest appointment for this car this year,” Layher says. The record at the 1939-running of the Kilometre Lancé was Louis Chiron’s 192.5 kph in his 16-cylinder Bugatti. That race was run with a flying start, as the name says. Now, the organisers keep with the original standing start the event historically started with.
Earlier, the organiser told us about another initiative. This linked prince Leopold von Bayern to a synthetic fuel initiative in a BMW CSL ‘Batmobile’.