In 1923, when the era of supercharged racing cars began, the Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim appointed Ferdinad Porsche as new chief designer. The development of a new supercharged vehicle soon got under way based on based on the 1923 Indianapolis car. The new car was prepared for the 1924 Targa Florio. The two-liter engine, built in 1923, was completely done over and modified to include a number of innovations, like filling the exhaust valves with mercury for an improved heat abstraction. The racing engines used in the 1924 Targa had a power output of 50 kW (67.5 hp) without supercharger and 93 kW (126 hp) with supercharger at 4,500 rpm. The engine could be revved for short periods to 4,800 rpm. Towards the end of 1924, the last version of this high-performance engine delivered as much as 110 kW (150 hp). In April 1924, Mercedes entered for Targa Florio three racing cars with the following pairings: Christian Werner with co-driver Karl Sailer, starting number 10; Christian Lautenschlager with co-driver Wilhelm Traub, starting number 32; Alfred Neubauer (later Mercedes-Benz race director) with co-driver Ernst Hemminger, starting number 23. The new Mercedes racing cars had been painted red for the Targa instead of the usual German white racing livery. Reportedly, this was meant to stop spectators at the Targa Florio from recognizing the car as a competitor’s marque and throwing stones at it, a common practice at the time. The race on the extremely narrow and winding mountain roads of the Madonie Circuit near Palermo on Sicily, was a complete triumph for the Daimler team. Werner won, Lautenschlager took second place, and Neubauer was third. Christian Werner, born in 1892, began his professional career at Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft in 1911 as a “mechanic and chauffeur”, served as a driver in the First World War and promoted to Daimler’s “master driver” at the end of 1918. His first great race was the 1922 Targa Florio, in which he finished second in the over 4.5-litre class. Victories in 1924 Targa Florio and Coppa Florio races were the greatest triumph of his racing career. The plastic model of Werner’s car in 1:43 scale is made by Cursor.
|1924||Formula Libre||Targa Florio|
|Christian Werner||10||Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft|