Home>Autosport during WWII>Autosport in 1939, when many were still racing!
1939
Autosport during WWII

Autosport in 1939, when many were still racing!

While Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 and many races were cancelled in Europe, it did not mean the end of the Autosport season at all. Especially outside Europe there were races held up. Up to 1941, many events were organised. Even when the war escalated in mid-1943 when Nazi Germany was losing their battle in the east and the west, and Italy arrested Mussolini. To be fair it is pretty harsh to do a proper research on this as there is only little information available.

It may be also controversial as Nazi Germany did race in 1939 and was planning to held races in 1940 and 1941. Plenty of races were cancelled in 1939 while other countries just kept on racing until mid-1940. For now, I will publish the list with races who were held or postponed/cancelled included their date.  The idea is to make background stories of it race by race. Be aware this is a long-term project. I want to be sure that I did my research on a decent way.

For now, here are the races of 1939 listed by held and postponed/cancelled. As said by date, country, and additional comments. A new section is made on the website named Autosport during WWII. I have a excel sheet which contains much more information. If you are interested you can find it here.

About the 1939 season; In America and South America, they kept on racing during the year. As the country was not involved yet in the war. Even in 1940, events were regularly held until pearl harbour. Also in Australia and Africa, races were still held during the year. In Europe, many races were cancelled. However, there were still races held. I choose to Augustus 1939 as starting month for the research. A month prior the war started. Therefore, you have an idea how it looked like before the war.

August

DateRaceCountryCircuitComments
1-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCastle Hill Speedway – New York 
2-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New York 
2-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaSportsman Park – TexasHeld in differents heats, see link
3-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaWest Have Speedway – Connecticut 
4-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaHinchliffe Stadium – New JerseyCancelled – resurfacing the track
5-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New York 
5-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaGladewater – Texas 
5-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaYellow Jack Speedway – PennsylvaniaCancelled due to rain
6-8-1939HillclimbGermanyGroßglockner 
7-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaAlumni Field – Massachusetts 
8-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCaste Hill Speedway – New York 
8-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaPynchon Park, West Springfield 
9-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New York 
9-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaSportsman Park – TexasTime Trial + Race
10-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaWest Have Speedway – Connecticut 
11-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaHinchliffe Stadium – New JerseyCancelled – resurfacing the track
11-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaPynchon Park, West Springfield 
11-8-1939Trengwainton HillclimbEngland  
12-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New YorkCancelled
12-8-1939Vintage SCC EnglandDonington Park 
12-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaGladewater – Texas 
12-8-1939Midget Race AmericaRoosevelt Raceway – WestburyNational Championship
13-8-1939 AmericaHammond – Indiana 
13-8-1939 AmericaFranklin – Indiana 
14-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaAlumni Field – Massachusetts 
14-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaNewfield Park – Bridgeport 
14-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaYellow Jack Speedway – PennsylvaniaDirt Oval
15-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaPynchon Park, West Springfield 
15-8-1939XV Coppa AcerboItalyPescara150CC
15-8-1939VI Coppa Ciano JuniorItalyPescara 
16-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New York 
16-8-1939 AmericaSportsman Park – TexasCancelled due to rain
17-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaWest Have Speedway – Connecticut 
18-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaPynchon Park, West Springfield 
19-8-1939Lewes Speed TrialsEngland  
19-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New YorkCancelled due to rain
19-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaIllionois State Fairgrounds – Springfieldthree leading AAA drivers withdrew due to revoked sanctions
19-8-1939Prix de BremgartenSwitzerlandBremgarten 
20-8-1939VI Großer Preis der SchweizSwitzerlandBremgarten 
20-8-1939Poole Speed TrialsEngland  
20-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCastle Hill Speedway – New YorkCancelled due to rain
21-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaAlumni Field – Massachusetts 
21-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaNewfield Park – Bridgeport 
22-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCastle Hill Speedway – New York 
22-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaPynchon Park, West Springfield 
23-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New York 
25-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCastle Hill Speedway – New YorkCancelled due to rain
25-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaHinchliffe Stadium – New JerseyCancelled due to rain
25-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaPynchon Park, West SpringfieldCancelled due to rain
26-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New YorkCancelled due to rain
26-8-1939Liege Grand PrixBelgiumLiegeCancelled between practice and qualifying after the mobilisation
26-8-1939Imperial TrophyEnglandCrystal Palace 
27-8-1939Milwaukee 100AmericaMilwaukee 
28-8-1939Campbell TrophyEnglandBrooklands 
28-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaAlumni Field – Massachusetts 
29-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaPynchon Park, West Springfield 
29-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCastle Hill Speedway – New YorkCancelled due to rain
30-8-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New YorkCancelled due to rain
31-8-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaWest Have Speedway – ConnecticutCancelled due to rain

September

DateRaceCountryCircuitComments
1-9-1939Midget RaceAmericaCaste Hill Speedway – New York 
1-9-1939Midget RaceAmericaHinchliffe Stadium – New Jersey 
1-9-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaPynchon Park, West Springfield 
2-9-1939HillclimbRomaniaBrasov 
2-9-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New York 
2-9-1939Tourist TrophyEnglandDonington ParkCancelled
3-9-1939La Baule Grand PrixFranceLa BauleCancelled
3-9-1939Dieppe Grand PrixFranceDieppeCancelled
3-9-1939Belgrade Grand Prix YugoslaviaBelgrade 
3-9-1939Syracuse 100AmericaNew York 
3-9-1939Dowerin RacesAustraliaDowerinCancelled
3-9-1939Bucharest Grand PrixRomaniaBucharest 
4-9-1939Midget RaceAmericaAlumni Field – Massachusetts 
4-9-1939PontedecimoItalyGioviCancelled
4-9-1939Pikes Peak HillclimbAmericaPikes Peak 
4-9-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaYellow Jack Speedway – PennsylvaniaCancelled due to rain
5-9-1939Midget RaceAmericaCastle Hill Speedway – New York 
5-9-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaPynchon Park, West SpringfieldCancelled due to rain
6-9-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New York 
9-9-1939 AmericaAckerley – Pennsylvania 
9-9-1939Shelsley Walsh HillclimbWalesShelsley Cancelled
9-9-1939Phoenix Park Grand PrixIrelandPhoenix Park Races 
10-9-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New York 
10-9-1939Paris 12 HoursFranceAutodrome de Linas – MontlhéryCancelled
10-9-1939Italian Grand PrixItalyMilanCancelled
10-9-1939500 mile RafaelaArgentinaRafaela 
11-9-1939Midget RaceAmericaAlumni Field – Massachusetts 
11-9-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaYellow Jack Speedway – Pennsylvania 
13-9-1939Midget RaceAmericaCedarhurst Speedway – New York 
13-9-1939Time trialAmericaSportsman Park – Texas 
15-9-1939Midget RaceAmericaCaste Hill Speedway – New York 
15/15 september 1939Berlin – Rome RallyGermany/Italy Cancelled
16-9-1939Brooklands meetingEnglandBrooklandsCancelled
16-9-1939JCC 200Unknown  
17-9-1939Vienna Grand PrixAustriaViennaCancelled
23-9-1939HillclimbIrelandBallinascorney 
23-9-1939Mancunian TrophyEnglandBelle Vue Speedway Manchester 
24-9-1939Premio SemanaArgentinaTucumán  
24-9-1939Masaryk Grand PrixCzechoslovakia Cancelled
30-9-1939Donington Grand PrixEnglandDonington ParkCancelled
30-9-1939Farewell TrophyEnglandBelle Vue Speedway Manchester 

October

DateRaceCountryCircuitComments
1-10-1939HillclimbRomaniaFeleacCancelled
2-10-1939100 Miles raceAustraliaBathrust 
2-10-1939Midget Car RacingAustraliaSportsground Speedway Sydney 
6-10-1939Midget RaceAmericaCastle Hill Speedway – New York 
7-10-1939Speedway RacingAustraliaSportsground Speedway Sydney 
7-10-1939London Grand PrixEnglandCrystal PalaceCancelled
8-10-1939GP of the National ExhibitionSwitzerlandZurichCancelled
8-10-1939Zurich Grand PrixSwitzerlandZurichCancelled
8-10-1939Grand Prix Rio de JaneiroBrazil Cancelled
9-10-1939Midget Car RacingAustraliaSportsground Speedway Sydney 
9-10-1939AAA Midget RaceAmericaYellow Jack Speedway – Pennsylvania 
10-10-1939Midget RaceAmericaCaste Hill Speedway – New York 
10-10-1939Italian Grand PrixItalyMonzaCancelled – Circuit was not ready
10-10-193912 Hours of Paris SportscarFranceParisCancelled
11-10-1939HillclimbAustraliaBathrust 
14-10-1939Autumn Meeting BrooklandsEnglandBrooklandsCancelled
15-10-1939HillclimbAustraliaWaterfall 
15-10-1939HillclimbArgentinaCasilda 
19/20 oktober 1939Rally raceArgentinaGran Premio Nacional  
28-10-1939Midget Car RacingAustraliaSportsground Speedway Sydney 
28-10-1939HillclimbAustralia  
29-10/15-11 1939Gran Premio ExtraordinarioArgentina  
29-10-1939Brazilian Grand PrixBrazilII Circuito da Gávea Nacional 
31-10-1939Midget Car RacingAustraliaSportsground Speedway Sydney 

November

DateRaceCountryCircuitComments
1-11-1939Gran Premio ExtraordinarioArgentinaGran Premio Extraordinario 
5-11-1939HillclimbAustraliaBullsbrook 
6-11-1939Midget Car RacingAustraliaSportsground Speedway Sydney 
13-11-1939Midget Car RacingAustraliaSportsground Speedway Sydney 
18-11-1939 ChileSan Felipe 
30-11-1939Indy 500AmericaIndianapolis 

December

DateRaceCountryCircuitComments
2-12-1939Speedway RacingAustraliaSportsground Speedway Sydney 
9-12-1939Rally raceArgentinaMil Millas Argentinas  
10-12-1939Bangkok Grand PrixThailandBangkokCancelled due to outbreak of the war
16-12-1939HillclimbSouth AfricaBurman Drive 
26-12-1939HillclimbIrelandBallinascorney