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When Mercedes concentrate on the top tier of motor racing it often succeeds: 1908, 1914, the 1930s, 1954-55 and in modern times are testament to that.
Its early superstar was Christian Lautenschlager who beat Benz duo Victor Hémery and René Hanriot into second and third at Dieppe. Mercedes team-mate Otto Salzer and the Fiat’s of both Felice Nazzaro and Louis Wagner all led but failed to stay the course. Hémery’s Benz then led the way before Lautenschlager overtook to score a famous victory.
GP racing expanded across the Atlantic Ocean with the American Grand Prize organised in addition to the already established Vanderbilt Cup. That race at Savannah, Georgia, attracted the Europeans and was won by Louis Wagner’s Fiat with Hémery second once more.
The Automobile Club de France announced new rules for its 1909 race that stipulated a minimum weight of 900 kgs. However, manufacturer after manufacturer withdrew from the sport amid the economic downturn of the time. The Grand Prix was cancelled and did not return to the calendar until 1912.