UNESCO Patronage for the Belgrade Grand Prix

The event Under the Patronage of UNESCO held on September 8th 2019, organized by the Serbian Federation of Historical vehicles in cooperation with FIVA Culture Commission, celebrated the “80th Anniversary of the First Belgrade international automobile and motorcycle races“. The event was held at the Automobile museum in Belgrade. Aleksandra Kovač, Secretary-General of the Serbian National Commission for UNESCO, and Nataša G. Jerina, FIVA Vice President and Chairwomen of FIVA Culture Commission, took part in the event, with both giving speeches.

On this occassion Mrs. Jerina presented the FIVA plaque to the Mrs. Kovač, expressing gratitude for the support and assistance of National UNESCO for this particular and impotant local project that has received the Patronage. FIVA strives towards preserving, protecting and promoting historic vehicles. Celebrating 80 years of racing, through joint efforts, viribus unitis, we encourage young people to understand our past and to work towards preserving historic vehicles as mobile heritage, to nurture as well as commemorate car racing and motorsport for future generations. This is the first message we are here to pass – collectively, to all of us. Many connoisseurs, mobility heritage admirers, diplomats, politicians and fans of automotive racing history attended the event. Celebrating the anniversary, Serbian Federation published a publication that explains the history of Kalemegdan races through well know historians end experts. To the publication, the Patronage of UNESCO was granted as well. Foreword by Serbian National Commission for UNESCO: As the United Nations Agency in charge of Education, Science and Culture, UNESCO strongly advocates the power of heritage as a positive force to preserve identity and the sense of belonging, of communities and individuals, especially for younger generations. Protecting, promoting and transmitting heritage is one of UNESCO’s Strategic Objectives, alongside fostering creativity and the diversity of cultural expressions, whose purpose is to popularize innovation, creative economies and the empowerment of women and youth to participate fully in cultural life. “For over a century, the historic vehicles, which represent the motoring heritage of humanity, played a formative role in the modern world.

They had a profound impact on the development of modern societies, culture, economies and innovation. The motoring heritage incorporates symbiotic and interdisciplinary approach in practice that brings together movable and immovable, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and helps the comprehensive implementation of the two Strategic Objectives. It is also relevant for the UNESCO’s Global priority Gender equality, since the activities related to this heritage today encourage equal participation and access of women and men around the globe.It is for these reasons that UNESCO decided to grant its Patronage to mark the celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Belgrade Grand Prix in the form of Classic Car Race and Parade under the title “Tour Historique”, on 8th September 2019.” Dr. Peter Kirchberg The Beginning of the End of Auto Union: Last Race – Last Victory “The drivers reacted to these concerns with high speed and a robust driving style, the officials by quick reactions to incidents on and around the racetrack. At the end of the race, the radiator of Nuvolari’s car, who was driving for Auto Union, was first over the finishing line. After 1 hour, 4 minutes and 3.8 seconds he finished just 8 seconds before v. Brauchitsch as the winner of the race. There would be no other start for the racing cars in 1939. Nobody could even dream that this would last much longer and especially that there would be no other start ever for Auto Union.” Dr. Harry Niemann A Victory Given Away. 1939 Belgrade Grand Prix wrote, “When the race started, Brauchitsch and Lang took the lead, followed by Tazio Nuvolari in an Auto Union racing car. Nuvolari was trying to follow in the footsteps of Bernd Rosemeyer, who sadly died too early. Again, a duel followed between Lang and Brauchitsch.

Consequently, Lang’s glasses were broken by a whirling stone. He had to give up. Now Brauchitsch was leading by far, but instead of slowing down a little bit, he continued accelerating. One lap record followed the other. Neubauer was waving threateningly with a hammer at the edge of the track, but Manfred was now in his own world, intoxicated by speed. As expected, the inevitable finally happened: the increasingly oversteering car turned around, despite the courageous counter-steering. Since the road was very narrow, Brauchitsch had to drive a short distance in the opposite direction in order to be able to turn back. Nuvolari shot rapidly forward at exactly this moment, he was barely able to miss Brauchitsch’s car and prevent a catastrophe.

Shortly after, he crossed the finish line as the winner. The time of the Grand Prix was over for the time being.” In Mercedes-Benz Classic Archives & Collection1939 Belgrade Grand Prix: end point of a glorious Silver Arrows era, it was written, “The Silver Arrows are an outstanding part of the technical and cultural heritage of their time and an important chapter in automotive and motorsport history. Conscious of this importance, Mercedes-Benz Classic maintains them as an historical asset and brings them to the public again and again. Formerly used and abused for political interests, today the Silver Arrows connect people across borders and generations. This means that young target groups in particular can dive into automotive history and motorsport history. This allows them to develop an important understanding for how significant the preservation of original vehicles and race tracks is as well as remembering events such as the 1939 Belgrade Grand Prix.

 Aleksandar Vidojković, CC member