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#13 1951 German Grand Prix

2021-04-08 00:00

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#1951, Fulvio Conti, Ludovico Nicoletti, Translated by Caterina Fioretti,

#13 1951 German Grand Prix

Drivers from eight nations will be busy on Sunday 20th July 1951 on the 22.100 kilometres of the classic Susia-Moncenisio. The record of this race bel

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Drivers from eight nations will be busy on Sunday 20th July 1951 on the 22.100 kilometres of the classic Susia-Moncenisio. The record of this race belongs to Giovanni Bracco with the time of 14’23”0, set last year on a Ferrari. The regulations of the competition provides for a category for cars without limits in engine size (Formula 2 and 3). In this category stand out the names of De Graffenried (Swiss champion) who will race with Maserati 1500, the Austrian Hans Von Stuck on A.F.M., the English Ken Warton on E.R.A., the swiss Deatwyler on Alfa Romeo 4500 supercharger, Franco Cortese with Ferrari 2000, the American Harry Shell on the light Cooper 1100. In the sport category over 1100cc stand out Clemente Biondetti (for long waiting for a comeback to victory and that will race with Jaguar 3500) and the drivers of the Scuderia Marzotto. Antonio Stagoli can’t also be ignored, currently leading the championship of the absolut championship of the mountain, who will drive a Ferrari 2000. In the minor categories of the Sport championship, it is not difficult to forsee a shortlist of favorites in which there are Bordoni, Leonardi, Scala, Dellla Beffa, Florio and Giletti among the 750cc, and Bertone, Macchieraldo, maybe Slghinolfl in the 1100cc. for this purpose, on Friday 22nd July 1051 a tenth of drivers are practicing on the track of the velocity race Susia-Moncenisio. They are practicing the Austrian Von Stuck, the swiss Deatwyler, the engilish Wharton, the French lady Yvonne Simon, Cortese and Valenzano. Through the practices the mechamnics of Von Stuck work hard (they are going to work for the whole night) among the A.F.M. of the Austrian driver: during the practices the engine had a serious mechanical failure. Almost certainly the car will be ready for Sunday. In the evening arrive in Susa five E.K.A. cars of swiss drivers, with the swiss champion De Graffenried who will join the race with a Maserati 1500cc. On Saturday are waited lots of other participants, some of them have already show the car to the verifying operations in the yard of the Automobile Club of Turin.

 

Great is the wait mostly for the arriving of the Scuderia Marzotto that enrolled four cars; it is certain that of the driver will be Bracco, record holder of the Susia-Moncenisio ; the champion will chose, after the practices, the car for Sunday race. It is not excluded that to Saturday practices there will be also of the Marzotto brothers, maybe Giannino. The central police station tells that with a decree of the prefect it was commanded the closure of the Susia-Moncenisio track, both for the official practices on Saturday 21st July 1951 and for the race on Sunday 22nd July 1951. From 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. of Sunday, no car will be able to enter the rolling stock beyond Susa. The cars that after 12:00 a.m. will be on the track will be forced to come back to Susa or reach the plateau of Moncenisio. It is forbidden to the public that is going to attend the race to bring dogs or other anumals. During the race the public can’t stand neither on the track (road plan and grass-lined eyelashes) nor downstream of the race surface, but they have to sit only on the upstream side of the road and in places that overhand the rolling stock by at least two metres. The floe of the pedestrian from Susa on the road to Moncenisio will be forbidden from 2:00 p.m. for the official practices that are going to take place on Saturday 21st July 1951, the track will be closed to the traffic from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. These are the ways the public must follow to go, on Sunday, to Moncenisio without passport: for special agreements whit Italian and French authorities it is allowed the access to Moncenisio hill with cars or motorbikes with a mark that is going to be sell on Saturday of the Automobile Club of Turin. On Sunday morning, besides in Turin, the marks will be sold also in Susa on the way to Moncenisio. These marks represents them only valid document for the costums Italian and French authorities for free transit, while from  the boundary police will be reliesed - without special formality and freely - a pass for every spectator that crosses the boundary line. This pass is valid for the track up to the lodging and the hotels of Moncenisio.

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The importance assumed, for number and quantity, by the starting lists of the participants of the Susa-Moncenisio, brings us back to the times in which the uphill race, timed, was the queen of the races, much appreciated, hard-fought and clapped than any other circuit or Gran Prix. In this direct and hard rebellion against gravity laws, the audience discovered an enthusiastic technical meaning of the new car. Every creations of the European automotive industry were crowned or failed in uphill races; and of the acknoòedge reasons of the success of the young industry of turin was, at that time, having had at hand testing benches like the Sassi-Superga or  the Susa-Moncenisio. And all the great champions of the period - Lancia, Nazzaro, Bordino, Campari, Ascari, Salamano, Birilli Peri - before competing in the international Gran Prixes, acquired fame on the scales of Moncenisio. Later, the progress of the car moved the technical interest towards much more quick and hard races, and the uphill races reduced to mere spectacular roles. But when the further progress made the circuits more enjoyable than instructive, and it was necessary to go as far as the agnoys of Mille Miglia or to 200 km/h of a Gran Prix to establish reliable mechanical scales, uphill races found again their faithful audience of protagonists and observers. Indeed, in the mmeantime, the grown technical possibilities allowed the drivers to exasperate their virtuosities; and became at this point, most of the cars, exuberant along the way, the rankings came back to show the skills of the drivers. With these forewords, it was summed up the history of this glorious event, born on the slopes of the Napoleonic Hill 49 years before, that in the edition of 1951 broke every record of internationality, with drivers from seven countries. It is also known that Bracco, there with the Ferrari 4100 of the Scuderia Marzotto, nothing will leave of course to counter mates and himself; that Giannino Marzotto, the new star of the post-war period, dreams of joining the golden book of a classic race; that Von Stuck, the unforgettable pure speedster, is impressive also uphill; that the English Warton on ERA is ready and hardened.

 

Thrown as international motor race on the most classic of the alpine passes, the Susa-Moncenisio really follows its programme, achieving a marked international success. As variety of sign ups (eight countries represented: Italy, France, Switzerland, England, Austria, Germany, U.S.A. and Greece) and as nationality of candidates for places of honor, starting from the new record man of the race and from the two that follow him in the general absolute ranking. Also the audience, eventually, exceptionally numerous on the lake basin, at the end of the strenuous twenty two kilometres, from the Italian slope and the French one, with registered cars of every European country - and the original order service disengaged by the French gendarmerie in cordial collaboration with the Italian oganizers and the commissioners - highlight this characteristic: for a day, drivers, tourists, orginzers and officials can delude themselves of testing the europ of tomorrow, with the boundaries reduced to a touristic curiosity. A success to be carved in the chronicles deeper than the simple success of a spectacular parade. Remarkable, however, also as spectacular event, in the frames at times a little pouty and with some attempts at water winkle (enough to put in difficulty the first group of starters) without crashes, without complaints, without the well-known bottling of the mass return through the two french customs posts and the two Italian ones. In the technical results, contrary to the expectation that favoured equally the sport cars of the maximum class and the racing cars with free formula, there is clear success of the second one. The audience expect that, if the surprising and almost inespugnable record beaten by Bracco the previous year should be improved, could not be that from the same Bracco, who, moreover, shortly interviewed before the start, didn’t hide his proud programme. Instead the champion from Biella, with his Ferrari 4100 of Scuderia Marzotto, is forced to limit to win his category, with a magnificent but definitely higher that the record of the previous year.

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This honour is for three foreign drivers, who in the order, and gradually, increasly affect the absolute record. It starts the English Wharton, with his E.R.A., to break the record by two fifths of a second (set, mind you, with the electric chronometer), while the audience on the finish line claps to the speaker who tells the news, arrives the Austrian Hans Von Stuck doing a progress of another second; and shortly after, before everyone could compliment to him, here it breaks the finish line the swiss Deatwyler, with his old and big Alfa Romeo of 4.5 litres, in 14'20"0, that is with almost four second of agvantage on the record of Bracco. Spaced out by this small group, behind by almost thirty seconds, here it comes also the same time of Franco Cortese on the 2 lotres Ferrari and De Graffenried on the Maserati 1500. It is curious to observe how the cars of the terzet that improved the record are cars built with a supercharger: and two of them the authentic veterans, more suitable, from still, to arouse a smiling curiosity than admiration. The E.R.A. of Wharton, in particular, was even equipped with double rear tyres, as the fashion of twenty years ago, remained today for the motor trucks. Tremendously high and large, seeing it arrive, rising clouds of dust, on the straight of the Hill, dominates the landscape, like a meteoric apparition. Neither the Alfa is much more slender, build for an old Gran Prix of Tripoli, recklessly driven by the absolut winner and new recordman, Dewtwyler. He is a revelation, that is a Cameade. Younger sister, as seniority, of Susa-Moncenisio, but made famous for a deep technical and sporting interest as well, the race Aosta-Gran San Bernardo framed by an imponent Alpine scenario is going to take place on Sunday 29th July 1951 his 13th edition. The two races, the Moncenisio one and this one that as the finish line has a thousands years old hospice, follow one another just a week away, have almost the same group of participants and, queens of the uphill races, they are linked by an independence that makes one complement to the other.

 

This year the link is particularly strong, the response of the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo will also be used as key to explain the unexpected result of the Susa-Moncenisio, where old, big, more powerful than manageable cars, grabbed all the success and broke the record of Bracco. On Sunday the benchmark will be breaking the record of the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo set by the small and silver Cistalia of Von Stuck with the time of 24'26"2, with an average speed o 83.224 km/h. it is a record of more agility than strength, the reverse of the challenge of Deatwyler and Wharton respectively first and third on the Susa-Moncenisio with their big Alfa Romeo 4500 and 2 litres E.R.A. with supercharger. Challenged on the Nurburgring track the winner of last Sunday can’t give revenge to hi enemies uphill. But there will be Wharton; and Bracco - absolute winner in 1947 - will drive the Ferrari Sport of more than four litres and Biondetti a Jaguar. On the other side of the barricade, in the sector of the wightless cars, the party that prefers the jerk and the manageability will be particularly defended by the A.F.M. Formula 2 of the expert Von Stuck, second in the Susa-Moncenisio, by the Osca 1100 of Fagioli, the 2 litres Ferrari of Cortese, Cacciari and Stagnoli and  also by that Fiat 1100 Stanguellini of Sighinolfi, third last year. For Bracco the event is like a rehabilitation. Beaten by the rivals on the Susa-Moncenisio 1951, and by the misfortune in the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo of the previous year (the tank of his car broke and emptied bumping into a bump), the wild and skilled champion of Biella aspire to reconcile to the victory on mountains field, his favourite battlefield. The endless turns of the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo and the record are for Bracco the ideal environment for the challenge.

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Taste of revenge also in the fight for class and category successes. There will race also  the three winners of the sport category of the Susa-Moncenisio: Giletti, Macchieraldo, Bracco, the two classified Leonardi, Capelli and Biondetti. The forecast is uncertain for the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo, even though the official practices propose the names of the best drivers. The difficulty of the track, winds through more that 400 turns for the 32.900 kilometres of the circuit, with 1850 metres of difference in height, can always create the surprise, like it happened last year with the win of Tony Bianca. However the test ranking picks up, even before the race, a true success of the great amount of drivers that attend the practices. Arouses a lot of curiosity on the start line the presence of a Formula 2 car, the SVA, built in Valle d’Aosta in St. Vincent. This will be driven by the old Crema, perfect expert of the track. Sighinolfi doesn’t train, since he prefers to cure the aspect of the preparation of the car; but he will attend the race. A M.G. car of a swiss driver crashes, during the practices, against a rock wall: no seriuous consequences. At the punching there are fourty seven cars. The start to the first driver will be given at 10:00 a.m. in Aosta. So, after 9:00 a.m., no private car will be able to go from Aosta to Gran San Bernardo through the road of the race. The parking lots will be allowed only in Cantina under crossing (Italian custums), in Etroubles in the yard in front of the police station and in Prà d’Are. To the finish line will be able to enter only the cars with a special green triangular mark. The traffic from Aosta to Gran San Bernardo will be closed until 6:00 p.m. In parallel the wait is enormous of the enthusiasts of the motorsport also for the German Gran Prix, that will take place on the famous Nurburgring circuit, 22.810 kilometres long and very difficult for the great amount of turns, some of which have the arrangement of an U. The race will count for the ranking of the world championship.

 

Until the recent British Gran Prix, raced on Silverstone circuit, the dominance of the Alfa Romeo 1500cc cars with supercharger was practically absolute; but nothing human is eternal and working hardly to their 4.5 liters cars without supercharger Scuderia Ferrari achived in Silverstone the challenge dreamd for so long. The British Gran Prix have been won by the Argentinian Gonzales on Ferrari 4500cc after a duel, frightening as impetuosy, with the Argentinian Fangio, Alfa Romeo driver. Verified the possibility to beat Alfa Romeo, the team of Maranello doubled its efforts and will line up five drivers: Gonzales, Ascari, Villoresi, Taruffi and the twenty one years old Stirling Moss, who is the most recent hirig of Ferrari; however, Stirling Moss will not race in the German Gran Prix. Alfa Romeo will line up its formidable couple Farina-Fangio, Bonetto and a fourth driver to be chosen between the French Chiron, man of extraordinary experience, and the young swiss Deatwyler winner of the most recent Susa-Moncenisio. The new situation of balance between the two rival teams overcomes as importance even the traditional rivalry between the world champion Farina and his bitter enemy Fangio, who are used to split the successes until Alfa Romeo dominates. Now the need to hold back the attack of Ferrari would perhaps impose some caution to internal duels. The rivalry Farina-Fangio remains however one of the spiciest theme also at Ardenau’s eve because in the ranking of the world championship the Argentinian has 21 points while the champion from torino 15. Too great appears the bet to make the integrally possible orders and agreements in the team, the title of world championship is a really important thing, and it is logic and human that Farina defends it with all his strength, and that Fangio wishes equally earnestly to conquer it. For the sum of all these elements, technical and humane, sporting and mechanical blended with a great dose of luck, the German Gran Prix, the first of the post war valid for the World Championship, focuses the attention of all the motorsport enthusiasts and it is expected as an extraordinary event.

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For the first time since before the Second World War, the German Grand Prix will return to the grand prix calendar. Germany has been banned from competing in motor racing, its grand prix taken from the calendar and its manufacturer's barred entry as part of recompense for its part in the Second World War. In 1951, the nation that had dominated grand prix in the 1930's will finally have its motor racing restrictions lifted. There are some doubts of returning to the gruelling Nürburgring. The notorious Nordschleife circuit has a reputation as being one of the most dangerous in the world, not to mention the symbolic home of Nazi Germany's presence in motor racing during the time of the Mercedes and Auto Union domination of the 1930's. Alfa Romeo will of course be defending their honours in Germany. However, the team is no longer the undisputed number one of grand prix racing, the Ferrari team has final caught up in the development race and has won its first grand prix in Silverstone. The reigning champion, Giueseppe Farina is growing frustrated. He is sitting only six points behind teammate Fangio, the leader of the current championship. Fangio, who had clearly been the fastest of the Alfa Romeo drivers in 1951 is suggested to have been getting preferential treatment by his mechanics according to Farina. There are rumours suggesting Farina may leave the team, having engaged talks with B.R.M., the team pushing back their championship charge to 1952 after their successful debut in Silverstone. Fangio however remains comfortable in the team, however Consalvo Sanesi in the final car has not been quick throughout 1951. Sanesi opts to return to his role as test and reserve driver with Felice Bonetto getting the full time seat for the remainder of the season following his successful Silverstone debut. Ferrari are left rejuvenated following their British victory.

 

The team has finally draw level with the Alfa Romeo's and are expecting a follow-up victory at the Nurburgring. Defending their honour are their four cars of Ascari, Taruffi, new signing González and the returning Piero Taruffi, who has missed the previous two rounds due to illness. For the second race this season, Rudolf Fischer will be entering his private Ferrari sportscar into a Formula One event. After withdrawing from the British race, the Simca-Gordini squad returns for the German race. Their usual line-up of Robert Manzon, Maurice Trintignant and Andre Simon are representing their cars. After a diminished representation in Silverstone, the Talbot-Lago's are once again the major representation of the field in Germany. Ecurie Rosier fielded Louis Rosier and Louis Chiron whilst there are other private entrants of Philippe Étancelin, Yves-Giraud Cabantous, Duncan Hamilton, Pierre Levegh, Johnny Claes and the debutant, Jacques Swaters. Enrico Platé returns to the grid with cars prepared for Emmanuel de Graffenried and Paul Pietsch, the German veteran being the only representative of Germany in the return of the German Grand Prix. Antonio Branca has made his grand prix return for 1951 at Germany, the mysterious Swiss driver now racing in a more modern Maserati 4CLT/48. Brazil's best racing driver, Chico Landi, will also make his Formula One debut with his Brazilian race team in a private Maserati 4CLT/48. Prince Bira and his Maserati-OSCA entrant once again withdraw their entry. Erik Lundgren, the notable Swedish racer who has notably competed throughout his career in a self-built motor racing car known as an EL, powered by an old Ford V8 engine is planning to make his race debut. It is a disappointment when motorsports self-made man fails to show up at the circuit with his home made car. Paul Pietsch has started practice in his Enrico Platé Maserati, however part way through the first practice, Alfa Romeo invites Pietsch to guest drive one of their cars for the race.

 

The team's original entrant, Consalvo Sanesi has decided to resign as a driver and thus the team offers the car to Pietsch who gladly accepts. Pietsch is one of the last remaining active drivers to have raced for the dominant silver arrows cars of the 1930's. The home crowd are now hoping that their man, now in competitive machinery can help return some of the lost glory that Germany had during the times of Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union in the sport. However it seems the Alfa Romeo's are losing their competitiveness, it is the Ferrari squad that are proving the fastest on the Nurburgring circuit. Ascari takes the first pole position of his championship career, two and a half seconds ahead of González in second place with a time of 9:58.8. Aside from Ascari and González, Fangio is the only driver to set a sub ten minute time on the circuit. The best Alfa Romeo car is remarkably four seconds adrift of the best Ferrari. Farina is fourth ahead of the other Ferrari's of Villoresi and Taruffi. Pietsch's first race for Alfa Romeo puts him in seventh position, whilst the final Alfa Romeo of Bonetto can only manage a dismal tenth position on the grid. Rudolf Fischer is running competitively in his sportscar Ferrari to take eighth on the grid ahead of the impressive Robert Manzon, who puts his little Simca-Gordini ahead of Bonetto's Alfa Romeo on the grid. Cabantous is the first Talbot-Lago in eleventh, ahead of Simon's Simca-Gordini in twelfth and then Chiron and the final Simca-Gordini of Trintignant. The little Simca-Gordini is now quickly surpassing the now outdated Talbot-Lago T26's. Rosier is fifteenth whilst the Maserati's are losing all competitiveness with De Graffenried and Branca sixteenth and seventeenth. The final grid positions are occupied by a consortium of Talbot-Lago's belonging to Claes, Levegh, Hamilton, Étancelin and Swaters. The Scuderia Ambrosiana Maserati of David Murray has a huge accident during the Saturday practice sessions, luckily Murray is unhurt however his car is wrecked. 

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The team are force to pack up and withdraw, Murray being denied the opportunity to race. As was the case in practice, the weather at the Nurburgring remains bright and sunny ahead of the race day on the treachorous circuit. At the start, from fourth on the grid, Farina gets a perfect start and takes the lead ahead of Fangio, Ascari and González. However before the end of the first lap, all three drivers had made their way past Farina and the champion fell back into his starting position. Fangio then begins to pull out a slight three second lead over Ascari in second place, Ascari having his own short lead over González and Farina behind him. The top four are already opening up a solid lead over the next group of cars consisting of Pietsch, Villoresi and Taruffi. On lap two, De Graffenried becomes the first retirement with engine troubles, a lap later both Branca and Chiron have followed him out of the race. On lap four, Étancelin becomes the next to fall when his Talbot-Lago encounters gearbox trouble. Pietsch who is running well in fifth at his home race, spins his Alfa Romeo on the second lap. Luckily, he is able to continue, however he rejoins in the last position of the race. Fangio's lead on the race begins to reduce as Ascari's Ferrari has begun to catch up to him. On lap eight, Ascari forces his way into the lead at the Breidscheid corner. After losing the lead, the Alfa Romeo's begins making their moves to the pits. Farina, however will not get the opportunity to pit as his car retires with overheating trouble. With Fangio having pitted, Ferrari leads a one-two with Ascari leading González. Fangio is third ahead of Villoresi whilst Taruffi has dropped back when he comes in for an unscheduled pit-stop to change his spark plugs. The Ferrari's as expected are later to pit than the Alfa Romeo's, their cars heading for the pits approaching half distance. Fangio retakes the lead, the two Ferrari's losing out after their pitstop with Ascari and González exiting second and third. Simon retires on lap eleven with overheating whilst Pietsch who is left down in the midfield following his earlier spin, goes off the circuit and crashes into the embankment of the North Curve. Pietsch is out of the race and only moments later, Bonetto's Alfa Romeo has retired with magneto problems.

 

All of sudden, Fangio is the last surviving Alfa Romeo in the race, the Alfa squad has not once yet had all of its cars finish out the points or retire. Fangio is their last hope of defending that honour. The better fuel economy of the Ferrari's is proving to be a major advantage, the more thirsty Alfa Romeo of Fangio is forced back into the pits on lap 14. A gearbox problem meant that Ascari has developed a significant lead over Fangio whilst González is still distanced in third place. The final retirements of the race sees Hamilton pull over his Maserati, Trintignant suffer a blown engine and then Cabantous having another big accident on lap 17 with his Talbot-Lago. Luckily the Frenchman emerge unscathed. Ascari is well in position to take his first championship victory, following Fangio's final pit stop, the Ferrari lead man have taken control. However on lap 17 he begin to develop a slow puncture, there is fear that once again Ascari would be denies a race win. However Ascari's lead is so large that even in losing time in an unscheduled pit-stop, he maintained the lead to Fangio in second place. Ascari goes on to take his first World Championship victory, 30 seconds ahead of Fangio, his Alfa Romeo rival. For the second race in succession, the Alfa Romeo has been outclassed by the Ferrari 375. Fourth position being tied between González, Villoresi and Farina in the championship. Farina's title defense has not been going to plan, he has only one win after a series of mechanical failures that sees him drop from second to fifth in the standings following Germany. Villoresi and Taruffi round out the final points finishers, Ferrari having all of their cars finish the race and occupying four out of the five points places. Even the private sportscar of Rudolf Fischer does well to finish the race a lap adrift in sixth. Manzon is the lone Simca-Gordini to finish ahead of the Talbot-Lago's of Rosier, Levegh, Swaters and Claes. After the unexpected and recent success of the Ferrari cars in the British race at Silverstone, the prognostication for the German Motor Grand Prix was slightly in favor of the Maranello team; and this was mainly based on the assumption that Alfa Romeo had not had enough time to regain the lost ground, in the preparation of its supercharged beasts.

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The victory of Ascari, on Ferrari 4500 without supercharger, was so extraordinary to confirm the current supremacy of Scuderia Ferrari in the duel with Alfa Romeo for the absolut world championship. Now they miss the Italian Gran Prix and the Spanish Gran Prix for the appointment of the title. The misfortune persecuted again the world championship Giuseppe Farina, forced to retire for some problems on the Alfa driven by him. This has certainly contributed to make less difficult the flattering success of Ferrari; but however it was a big, great affirmation. The scope of Ferrari’s victory is soon said, if it is taken into account that all the five cars ready on the start line, after marching for three hours and a half with an impressive regularity, crossed the finish line. On the other hand, out of the four Alfa Romeo’s cars, the ones driven by Farina, Bonetto and the german Pietsch, retired, while Fangio, on the fourth car, had to accept the second place. The world champion and Bonetto were scratched by irreparable mechanical issues, instead the german Pietsch had a terrible crash, right before the straight of the stands. However he wasn’t injured, only some bruises. Also the French Giraud (Talbot) almost at the end of the race went off track, getting away with a leg injury, an injury that is not a concern; eventually Fangio had an innocent off-track, going back immediately on track like nothing happened. After the German Gran Prix, Fangio, placing second and having set the fastest lap, is ahead in the world championship ranking; the Argentinian has now 28 points, Ascari 17, Farina, Villoresi and Gonzales 15 points each. Anyway, the result will be confirmed from the Italian Gran Prix to the soanish one. Who did a great jump ahead in the championship is Ascari, while Farina hasn’t lost all his hopes of winning again the world championship. Also at Nurburgring the misfortune has harshly persecuted the generous driver from turin, forced to retire for mechanical issues.

 

"I have very little chance to keep the title...".

 

And who does he think is his likely successor?

 

"In the sport the key word is: may win the best…and the luckiest".

 

Also Fangio?

 

"Also Fangio, all the more since the Argentinian is my teammate at Alfa Romeo. But I don’t forget I’m Italian and, under this point if view, I’d rather hand over to one of my countrymen, maybe to Ascari. The title would be in great hands".

 

What happened in Germany?

 

"The same crashed that forced me to retire in Silverstone, at the British Gran Prix. At Nurburgring I felt from the first lap that the car wasn’t working in the right way. Already during practeces the mechanical performance did not satisfy me".

 

Fangio had the same Alfa as Farina?

 

"A little bit different. More agile better manageable. It was sent from Milan when we were already in Germany".

 

With a car like the Fangio’s one the things would have been different?

 

"I would have like to, in the quality of champion of the world, drive a car like Fangio’s one".

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What does he think about Fangio?

 

"Me? I always said that Fangio is a great driver. He is really quick".

 

The Argentinian in Germany had a crash?

 

"Yes, his car, during practices, stopped standing on the rear wheels, against a fence, in front of a jump of fifty metres. He can also light a candle to the Consolata".

 

How was the race of Gonzales?

 

"Gonzales confirmed that his victory in Silverstone was deserved. The Nurburgring is an hard exam and Gonzales finished in third place".

 

With the same car of Silverstone?

 

"No, with another Ferrari. That was given to Ascari".

 

Is it true that the swiss Deatwyler, winner of the Susa-Moncenisio, was challenged, behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo, during the practices at Nurburgring?

 

"That’s right. The experiment didn’t work. Gran Prix cars need so much experience".

 

Farina also talks about his hopes and purposes. Now the Ferrari of Ascari, Gonzales and Villoresi go really fast and the Italian driver wishes himself to be in the best conditions for the Italian Gran Prix, that will take place in Monza, and in Barcelona, in the last two races of the World Championship.

 

"Otherwise I will have to take a decision".

 

Changes on track?

 

"If I’m not mistaken the British team B.R.A. would gladly give me one of its cars. I would find to place myself elsewhere…but for the moment I don’t move. My battle isn’t already lost, also the one for the world championship, at least in a theorical way. I only would like, as I said, to see clearer my position in the team. Soon I will have a meeting with my Milanese directors".

 

The latin says: in medio stat virtus; it would be the motto of the motor race Aosta-Gran San Bernardo held with great sporting success and with brilliant weather conditions. In medio stat virtus, that is the authentic value is the sum of lots and different qualities. From their balance the perfection of the things is born. The theme proposed by the almost thirty three kilometres of the uphill race consisted in this: they would have won the most powerful and heavier cars, like eight days before in the Susa-Moncenisio, or the less bulky and better equipped with snap cars. What is needed for a quick climb of the alpine passes? Is it needed a horsepower in quantity or a docile steering wheel? Bracco found again himself with Ferrari and he has juggled wonderfully with his excellent car, achiving the second place and the first in the sport category. Then he said:

 

"I couldn’t do more, to win I needed a agiler car".

 

While Franco Cortese says about his two litres racing and lean Ferrari:

 

"It is a good car, but I would have needed more power".

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Cortese placed third absolute. In fourth place there is the ERA of the English Wharton, a car that is the old prototype of the massive strength, with, very little meneageability. The Austrian Stuck has got everyone in agreement, winning the absolute record and improving by 5 seconds the record of the race set by him in 1948 behind the wheel of a Cisitalia. Von Stuck clambered like a lizard, up the street flanked firstly by vineyards and than by intense fir trees; up until the field surrounded by naked and majestic rocks that wear a crown to the hospice of San Bernardo; speeds on the straights and hovers with confidence among the four hundred turns, using the remarkable but not excessive power of his car, taking advantage of its great meneagability. The great expertise, the experience of the over fifty or young Austrian champion complete the right dose. It resulted the perfect balance between the different needs of the cars and of the drivers. The double challenge of Stuck, absolute win and record, confirms that the best is always the one who has the greatest amount of qualities. Another great exploit is made by the turinese Gino Valenzano, breaker of the record of the 750 sport category. Sighinolfi, who is certainly not a stranger, wins in the upper category (the one of 1100cc) whit a better time only by a fifth of second than the time of Valenzano. This simple comparison is very eloquent on the great day of the Turinese. Right after Valenzano, in the best engine sizes, there is Deatwyler. The swiss driver already won the Susa-Moncenisio. For the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo tried a couple of times the track. The swiss driver didn’t make scenes about the choice of the ratios, or the oil, or anything else arouses, in most of the drivers, long and amletic doubts.

 

Deatwyler threw himself in the lurch, with his quick car, playing the whole thing for everything and obtaining results that let foresee in him a great driver as soon as the time will give him experience. Among the unluckies there are Fagioli, stopped by an innocent crash shortly after the start, in order to not run over some unruly spectators; Brancoli, lingered by a spin and loss of time to put the reverse and go back on track; Stagnoli, retired for a mechanical failure, near the finish line; Cortese who had to slow down because the chassis, too low, grazed the ground on the last bumpy stretch; Scala bothered by gearbox problems. Lots of importance it had, once again, the choice of the ratios. It was so difficult to guess them right both for the track until Saint Remy, and for the roughest fatigue call the end of the race. Also here it was matter of balance and right mean, most of all in the smaller engine sizes. Almost 30.000 people attended the race, enjoying at some time the majestic spectacle of the white peaks under a blue sky and the panoramic view of the fourty drivers that, one by one, clambered, up through the valley echoing the mighty roar of engines. Von Stuck's record in the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo uphill car race had stood since 1948, and it seemed a record that was difficult to surpass. Official training sessions held on Saturday afternoon had reinforced the opinion of those, including runners, who thought the feat impossible. The deterioration of the last and arduous unpaved section of the course was one of the most consistent reasons for the general pessimism. Instead, the Austrian ace improved his record by as much as 5 seconds to 24'21"2, a time corresponding to an average speed of 83.507 km/h.

 

Stuck won the fight against the stopwatch mainly by virtue of his great dols as a specialist in mountain races, races that demand an uncommon sum of technical prowess and lucid, combative temperament. The car he used, a two-liter A.F.M. without a supercharger, a Formula 2 Grand Prix car, had never given persuasive evidence in pure speed races. Almost always, after a few laps at a very fast pace, Stuck had to stop or slow down because of mechanical woes. Perhaps it harms A.F.M. the prolonged effort. On the 33.900 kilometers of the Aosta-Gran San Bernardo, the Austrian driver was able to victoriously complete the short test without mechanical failures. Von Stuck's car proved to be very suitable for mountain races, demanding them balance in the performance of the various mechanical organs. Excessive attention to a single factor, such as power or agility, always comes back to the detriment of the proper proportion of forces from which success arises. This was the case with Bracco's Ferrari 4100 placed second and with Wharton's E.R.A., which placed fourth; and the same can be said of Cortese, who finished third in a very maneuverable but not powerful enough 2-liter Ferrari. Stuck beat the record and negative predictions because among the competitors aspiring to overall success he was the only one who prepared and presented himself for the race taking into account all the requirements of a mountain race. The observation also applies to Valenzano, winner and new record-holder in the 750 cc class of the sport category, on a N.D. machine in a time of 25'51"0. For such feats one needs to be on a great day, but what is most needed is the balance between the various mechanical and human factors, including the choice of the right ratios. It is on this point that almost all the losers got it wrong.


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