In the Grand Prix of Modena, Stirling Moss did not have the slightest difficulty in imposing himself on the other thirteen drivers admitted to the race, which was not valid for the World Championship. Lacking the official team of Ferrari, that is, the only cars that could have - thanks to the proven superiority of performance - put Moss in difficulty, these did not struggle to reduce to reason the opponents, of which only Joachim Bonnier in the German Porsche managed not to be overwhelmed by the class of the great English racer. Not even this year will be able to win that world title that more than any other deserves, but that for at least five years adverse circumstances deny him. In the two seasons preceding the current one, despite the superiority of the British Formula 1 cars to which Stirling Moss wanted to remain faithful, after the experience with Mercedes and the withdrawal from the Maserati races, the London racer has played the title (in favor of Jack Brabham) for having too often tortured their cars, so as to create the fame, probably free, or at least too severe, of driver without mechanical sensitivity. This year Moss had started with the exemplary victory of Monaco, but the great superiority of the new Ferraris compared to his Lotus forced him to give up, except on the tracks very busy, as at the Nurburgring, where against the class also the mechanical qualities pass in the second line. But one wonders what Moss could have done with a Ferrari. Perhaps an ambitious question, since it seems, the one between the two parties, an impossible marriage. However, since in all likelihood the Italian Grand Prix will end on Sunday in Monza the series of episodes valid for the 1961 World Championship in whatever way things go the title will not escape Phil Hill or Von Trips, the two best placed Ferrari men in the ranking.
And Moss will again have to postpone his aspirations, even if, apparently, he attributes to the title itself a purely formal value. To return to the Modena Grand Prix, no particularly interesting technical indications offered the race. Evidently, lacking a comparison with the single-seaters of Maranello - which are currently the true touchstones in the field of motorsport - it is not possible to go beyond generic considerations. On the other hand, the beautiful, but unfortunately not lucky, test of Lorenzo Bandini, who despite a certain inferiority of the mechanical vehicle has been able to fight bravely against opponents of him more savvy and experienced. The promising Milanese driver is more than ever, alongside Giancarlo Baghetti and Carlo Mario Abate (which last has beautifully won Sunday the 500 kilometers of the Nurburgring, international championship test for touring cars, at the wheel of the fast Fiat-Abarth 1000) one of the best young riders. Meanwhile, we enter the week of preparation for the Italian Grand Prix, which is always one of the most classic tests in the world. It is likely that even before the start of the official tests, some of the competitors will take to the Monza circuit to prepare with particular care for the great race. And in the meantime, some technical innovations have been announced; it seems certain that at least three or four British cars will have the new eight-cylinder engine that should compensate for the current inferiority in power against Ferrari. And power will be needed, in Monza, since the Grand Prix will be held not on the road circuit but on the complete ring of 10,000 meters, including the track with elevated curves: the average of the race will be more than 200 kilometers per hour.
It is becoming a tradition - for the Italian Grand Prix - to be able to host a season finale open to any result, and 1961 is no exception. Once again, more than one driver is fighting for the victory of the World Championship. The Italian Grand Prix - as usual - is held in September, in a period in which the various teams have now completed the development of their cars and are already able to bring the new models to debut: The latter are often used during the test session while the old models, theoretically more reliable, are instead used for the race. The scenery of the dispute is the very fast Brianza track with its peculiar combination of road and elevated track. The circuit is flat and very fast even if it has three slow curves, while the basin is an oval circuit with lateral slopes that reach up to 80% and consists of two semicircular curves joined by two parallel straights for a length of over four kilometers. The two sections combine in the wide straight between the pits and the grandstands, divided by a row of signage cones. For the spectators in this area there is an unusual spectacle: you can hear the cars on the side of the pits that move away accelerating out of the South Curve in the direction of the elevated north, and you can see the cars - grandstands side - speed towards the Curva Grande of the road, just after being exited at high speed from the South elevated. For safety reasons last year the British teams and their drivers, considering the entire elevated track dangerous, had refused to take part in the event, leaving space on that occasion only to Ferrari, Porsche and some private teams. The British had issued an ultimatum, stating that they would not participate unless the race was held on the road circuit alone. The Automobile Club of Milan had concisely and sharply rejected their request, and so the race was held on the combined road-track circuit without the British teams. The dreaded gradients of the elevated ring did not lead then to those incidents that the British had prophesied, so for 1961 everyone enrolled regularly, while the circuit remained unchanged. This time the protests are not lacking, but they are more moderate than those of last year: the British accept the solution of the combined track but do not fail to emphasize the fact that once again they would prefer to run on the road circuit only.
The only exception for this year is the reduction of the race distance from 500 to 430 kilometers. Anyone who has not appreciated the provisions is free not to participate in the event, this is the disdainful position of the Automobile Club of Italy. Thirty-seven competitors entered the Grand Prix, including official and private drivers who managed to prepare a two-liter car for the event. When Enzo Ferrari defected to the recent race in Modena he said he was focused on the preparation of the Monzese event, which he demonstrated by registering for the race four official cars and entrusting a fifth to Giancarlo Baghetti who runs as a privateer. Phil Hill, Wolfgang von Trips and Richie Ginther of the official team are all equipped with engines at 120 degrees while the fourth member of the team, the young Mexican debutant Ricardo Rodriguez, has an older car, equipped with a 60-degree engine. A new car with a 120-degree engine was entrusted to Giancarlo Baghetti, a member of a local team, the Scuderia Sant Ambroeus. But it is the Scuderia Ferrari that takes care of the car and the driver. As T-car is available to all five drivers a car with a 60-degree engine, with the front suspension forged quadrilateral, used for all tests at the beginning of the season. With six cars almost identical, the Scuderia Ferrari fleet is really impressive. Cooper has new car with V8 Coventry-Climax engine, first seen at Nurburgring last month, with Jack Brabham once again driving, while Bruce McLaren has one equipped with the Coventry-engineClimax with 4 cylinders and another was brought as a reserve. The Lotus Team was unable to purchase a V8 Coventry-Climax engine, so Innes Ireland and Jim Clark use the 1961 4-cylinder cars, while the RRC Walker team bought a V8 Coventry-Climax and installed it in a Lotus chassis for Stirling Moss to drive. With the help of Ferguson Research, this new engine, identical to that of Cooper, was inserted into the chassis of the Lotus Walker. This meant cutting the entire back of the chassis from behind the driver’s seat and redesigning the layout of the car. While in this way the 1961 rear suspension is incorporated, using a transverse strut from the top of each frame support, thus lightening the transmission shafts of all suspension loads and giving space to the Hardy Spicer.
A Colotti Type 32 gearbox was attached to the Coventry-Climax engine and the new chassis was designed around the complete unit. This includes a frame that forms part of the rear end of the frame and has the two upper side rails integrated, while the entire assembly is screwed to the main frame by large bolts, also screwed to the ends of the tubes, which are plugged and tapped. This structure is made of small diameter tubes, well arranged at the corners and must be detached completely before the engine or gearbox can be removed. The Coventry-Climax V8 engine uses four downdraught Weber IDF type carburetors that are mounted in the V of the blocks. The car also features an intricate arrangement of exhaust pipes so the tubes from the left and right cylinders are joined together, so that all eight slide up to a junction above the clutch housing, where they merge into two tail tubes that sprout from the rear of the car body, above the gearbox. The car was finished in a hurry so as to keep the old Lotus engine hood, with a huge bulge added to turn on the four carburetors, while the bulge on the left side for the 4-cylinder engine is still rather clumsy. The car arrives in Monza without ever being tested and the other Lotus of the Walker team, with 4-cylinder engine, that Stirling Moss used to win in Modena last week, is brought as a forklift. The B.R.M. team made a wonderful effort and by force of hard work created two brand new machines. The British team arrived in Monza well before the start of the tests with these and the two normal 4-cylinder cars with Coventry-Climax engine that had raced in Modena. The new cars are those with V8 engines, entirely designed by B.R.M. and are completely new, although the suspension, layout and gearboxes are those used on 4-cylinder cars.
The whole general layout and shape of these new cars with V8 engine are a natural development of the tried and tested cars of 1960/61, but a new chassis is designed to take the V8 B.R.M. engine to 90 degrees. Last April this new engine was still on the drawing table, but in July the parts were beginning to be produced and the project to take shape and now, at the beginning of September, two complete cars are in Monza, Engines undergo several test laps and cars are briefly tested at an airport, while at Bourne headquarters a third car is about to be completed. This represents real progress and, before the official tests for the Italian Grand Prix start on Friday, the car is tested on the Monza track, so much so that one of these has some problems and another is modified. The large bore and short stroke make the V8 B.R.M. engine very low and compact, although a large cup is used to prevent foam from forming in the crankcase. The cylinder blocks are at an angle of 90 degrees and each bank has two overhead camshafts driven by a cluster of gears from the front of the crankshaft. Two valves per cylinder are used, with spiral springs and single 10mm spark plugs in each cylinder, powered by a Lucas transistor ignition system, such as the one used on the Coventry-climax V8 engine. The segments on the flywheel provide at counted intervals of sparks instead of make-and-break contacts and these are fed to an 8-contact distributor head, driven by the gears at the front of the motor. Since there are no Weber Italian carburetors easily available and compatible with the structure of the B.R.M., and there is no British carburetor manufacturer interested in making racing carburettors, a Lucas injection system is used. This is a low pressure system that injects fuel into the inlet ports; the pressure is supplied by an electric pump at about 100lb/sq-in and each cylinder has a conical inlet horn.
This new B.R.M. engine is very compact, neat in its external appearance and well finished and fits perfectly into the chassis, with new cars that are even lower than those equipped with 4-cylinder engines. The four exhaust pipes that exit from each side of the engine are tucked, although they are of tuned lengths and merge into individual tail tubes on each side down along the gearbox side. The body is narrower than the previous models, and the nose is shorter and longer, and has a very elegant contour along its entire length. The suspension fork and spiral for all four wheels are the same as the previous cars and the disc brakes are mounted on all four hubs; the front wheels are Dunlop brand, with removable hubs, while the rear wheels are alloy and with a design B.R.M., also knock-off, with very wide and strongly webbed rims between the rim and the hub). The Owen Racing Organization has two members, Graham Hill and Tony Brooks. Porsche only has two cars, one for Jo Bonnier and one for Dan Gurney. Both cars use well-established 4-cylinder engines with swingarm front suspension. As a test car and for the tests the team has at its disposal the new experimental car driven by Barth at Solitude, which has the cooling fan mounted horizontally and a lower body line. A third registered Porsche is the private one of the Dutch Care Godin de Beaufort, equipped with 4-cylinder engine and used throughout the season. This was again painted silver after her appearance in orange at the Nurburgring. John Surtees and Roy Salvadori have two Cooper-Climax standard Yeoman Credit Team, although the former has a new experimental car to test during testing. This model features a Formula Junior Cooper chassis, shorter than two inches of the Formula 1 chassis, equipped with Formula 1 suspension and brakes. It is fitted with a 4-cylinder Coventry-Climax engine, coupled with the latest 5-speed Coloni gearbox: the Type 29, which uses a different internal gear method than the 21 and 32.
The new Yeoman Credit Special, equipped with Formula Junior bodywork, had been briefly tested in Modena, mounting 13-inch front wheels. The new car brings the strength of the Yeoman Credit team on the Brianza track to six cars: two Formula 1, two special Formula 1 and two Inter-Continental, all Cooper-Climax. Their rival, the UDT-Laystall, brings three cars for two drivers, Masten Gregory and Henry Taylor. These are the old Lotus-Climaxes equipped with a new Colotti gearbox and the last of an original Colotti box, while all three cars are equipped with the Lotus bodywork, which is thinner. The private Three Musketeers Team is present as a whole, with Tim Parnell and Ashmore driving the Lotus and Pilette having an Emeryson at their disposal. All three cars have Coventry-Climax engines, while Brian Naylor has a Climax engine in his JBW. Fairman has an old and rather run-down Cooper-Climax belonging to Fred Tuck, and Seidel has one of his white Lotus-Climaxes. The Scuderia Centro Sud registered Lorenzo Bandini and their Cooper-Maserati, with Bertocchi della Maserati in charge of the engine, and the Scuderia Serenissima also had a Maserati engine on their Cooper, with Maurice Trintignant driving the Italian team’s car. Other cars with Maserati engine are the Lotus of Gaetano Starrabba and the Cooper of Renato Pirocchi, while in a stunning way Mennato Boffa joins a Cooper-Lotus but does not show up at Monza. To complete the list of runners there are three cars of the small factory De Tomaso: the one with 1.5 liter Juliet engine built by Conrero, with a double candle head, driven by Nino Vaccarella, and the other two with OSCA engines driven by Roberto Businello and Roberto Lippi. Despite the acceptance of all of these varied cars and several non-tier-one drivers, the club rejected the registration of Jackie Lewis and his Cooper-Climax. Fortunately, Mimmo Dei has a reserve entry for Scuderia Centro Sud and gives it to Lewis, much to the disappointment of the Milan club, who, having made a mistake with the registrations, was not willing to let him go on track.
Friday, September 8, 1961 at 3:00 p.m. the official practice session that will continue until 6:30 p.m., preceded first by a session dedicated to driving on the only elevated track organized for the rookies of the Brianzolo circuit. Although it may appear to many people an annoying precaution, It is fundamental for those who have never driven on an elevated track and need a consistent number of laps at high speed to take confidence with the exorbitant heights and inclinations of Monaco banking. Scuderia Ferrari had already run several tests in August on the 10-kilometre composite circuit and again the week before the official event. In Ferrari they know that their cars are able to run in 2'46"0, a reference not far from the record of 2'41"4 recorded by Phil Hilll the previous year. Richie Ginther, Ricardo Rodriguez and Wolfgang von Trips are the first to take to the track. The first two are immediately able to sign interesting times, the American runs in 2'46"8 with his engine at 120 degrees and the Mexican in 2'49"6 with the engine at 60 degrees. Phil Hill also joins them, turning in 2'48"9, then the rain starts to fall on the track. The light drizzle at first discourages the drivers to sink the accelerator pedal on the incredible folds of banking, then, increasing in intensity, turns the curves of Lesmo and Parabolica into real skating rinks not recommending anyone to go on the track. Although the rain does not last very long and most of the track dries quickly and wet spots remain on the track, such as to prevent the realization of competitive times. About the British cars Moss takes to the track with the Lotus Climax V8 and Brabham with the Cooper Climax, always V8, but both appear in difficulty, the Lotus has problems of overheating while the second of the troubles to the plumbing.
When not slowed down by problems, both cars turn rather well and their engines resound in fantastic way. Stirling Moss' tearing scream even makes people rush to the edge of the track to see the passage of his Lotus. The new B.R.M. did not take to the track in the first tests: both Graham Hill and Tony Brooks use cars equipped with 4-cylinder engines, because one of the V8 was damaged during the tests, the other was developed for the Saturday practice session. Looking at the treacherous Curva Sud, where the surface is very smooth and the rain contributes to making it very slippery, insufficient to wash away the oil and rubber deposited, it is fascinating to see Ricardo Rodriguez dancing around the long hairpin bend, gently swinging from one end to the other, indifferent to the slip of the car, while Giancarlo Baghetti appears more worried and tries to maintain a constant steering angle. The latter gradually drifts outwards into a very sweet understeer, always managing to keep away from the grass, but giving the idea of being in precarious balance. In sharp contrast, the De Tomaso appear rather nervous mainly because of the inexperience of the pilots. The most impressive is Jack Fairman who, on board an old Cooper, is able to turn on tiptoe, keeping the engine revolutions and speeds constant and showing himself in that fastest stretch of the Ferraris. In his aid comes the circumstances to have a much less powerful engine than the one produced in Maranello, which does not allow the latter, in the same difficult conditions, to show the same fluidity of driving. Towards the end of the afternoon, when the whole track became dry, except for a strange patch, the activity definitely increased with Scuderia Ferrari deciding to keep Giancarlo Baghetti and Ricardo Rodriguez busy all the time during the current session, both on their cars and the T-car.
That not everything is going well in the pits of the V8 Coventry Climax is seen when Jack Brabham returns to the pits without the engine cover, while Stirling Moss emerges from nowhere aboard the 4-cylinder Walker Lotus. The Lotus-Climaxes are very good and Jim Clark makes his engine sing on the elevated, high or low for him does not make a difference, and on one occasion he bypasses Barth on board an experimental Porsche; the German driver plays the role of the reserve of the Porsche team. The Yeoman Credit team does not appear to be in good condition because Roy Salvadori spends most of his time breaking in a new engine while John Surtees has problems with both his cars. Because of a misunderstanding on the registration, Jackie Lewis can not turn in the early afternoon of practice and is forced to look from outside drivers such as Pilette, Pirocchi, Businello, Parnell, Lippi and Naylor who are barely running. Saturday, September 9, 1961, at the usual 3:00 p.m. with a track in perfect condition everything is ready for the start of another qualifying session - always preceded by a session dedicated to the high-speed ring - whose deadline is once again set for 6:30 p.m. The Scuderia Ferrari sees its entire crew manage to turn below the limit of 2'50"0. The two cars with V8 engines by Coventry-Climax are still struggling with the cooling system. The problem is not so much the engine overheating as the circulation systems seem to be inadequate for the flow generated by the enlarged V8 pumps. Both Stirling Moss and Jack Brabham make short runs of a round or two at a time, but they are never satisfied and neither is able to spin for long. When both come out without lids, engine or side panels it is understood that the problems are serious and seem to worsen since Brabham is forced to use the car equipped with the 4-cylinder engine.
On the other hand things are not much better in B.R.M.: after taking part in the session with some delay, Graham Hill does not go far before further problems force him to stop. He is certainly not the only one to stop along the circuit, many other rivals find themselves like him in difficulty, forced to stop in rather difficult sections of the track so that the race directors stop the session while the crashed cars are recovered and only after they restart the session. The trouble at B.R.M. isn’t that serious, since a new distributor cap puts things right. Graham Hill is once again on track and scores a time of 2'50"0, which is very encouraging for the B.R.M.team, especially because the V8 Climax engines do not push their chassis over the limit of 2'51"0. Despite not making a great number of laps Graham Hill marks an excellent 2'48"7, which puts him on a par with Ferrari. The two young drivers on board the cars of Maranello continue to work hard but, while Giancarlo Baghetti is rather cautious, Ricardo Rodriguez is very fast and not long after Wolfgang von Trips marks the time of 2'46"3 with the car with a 120-degree engine, the Mexican driver responds with a time of 2'46"4 with the old car with a 60-degree engine, a fantastic performance to the point that his teammates refused to believe the timekeepers. John Surtees is still struggling with the Yeoman Credit Coopers and trying to get some practice, he puts his numbers on the 4-cylinder Cooper works that Jack Brabham used to make some laps. Tony Brooks scores a time of 2'52"2 with the 4-cylinder B.R.M., while the UDT drivers are not fit and, like the Yeoman Credit drivers, are all overshadowed by Jackie Lewis who with his private Cooper-Climax runs in 2'54"0.
The Lotus Team proceeds beautifully, experiencing few problems with Jim Clark, who is able to score a time of 2'49"2 and Innes Ireland, very close, in 2'50"3, while Bruce McLaren with the Cooper equipped with 4-cylinder engine is not able to get close to them. Other good results are those of Jo Bonnier with a time of 2'49"6, with Dan Gurney for once not able to match his teammate, and Carel Godin de Beaufort that goes surprisingly well. Among the various Italians, Nino Vaccarella scored a good time of 2'56"0 with the De Tomaso equipped with Conrero engine, beating both Lorenzo Bandini and Maurice Trintignant both motorized Maserati. Scuderia Ferrari, with all its drivers below 2'50"0, can be very satisfied, even if Phil Hill, convinced of having a faulty engine, finally manages to convince the mechanics to mount a new one before the race. The drivers of the V8 Climax are far from happy; Stirling Moss decides not to use his V8 car, while Jack Brabham is willing to spin until the water comes out or better, as long as it remains inside. The B.R.M. team is quite satisfied with the performance of the cars, but they are not all convinced that they are ready to race; during the tests the fuel injector presents problems and the lubrication system is far from perfect, and the engine leaves small patches of oil on the ground every time it stops. While running Bourne’s V8 it is surprisingly quiet, even though it runs at almost 10,000 rpm and releases 175 horsepower, if not more. It’s 170 horsepower for the Coventry Climax V8. With another twelve months of development work it is easy to estimate that these new engines will reach almost 200 horsepower, a power that Ferrari has already decided to find with its V6 at 120 degrees. The regulation says that anyone who is slower than the second fastest test time will be eliminated, and this rule sees only Pilette be excluded, despite the fact that there is another group of drivers not able to break down the wall of three minutes on the lap.
Sunday, September 10, 1961 is a hot day, which in the morning opens with two races for Gran Turismo cars lasting three hours and with the circuit invaded by a huge crowd with cars, scooters, motorcycles and bicycles that continue to pour in the direction of the circuit; a crowd that had not been seen in Monza for many years. While the last minute preparations are underway in the paddock, Stirling Moss decides not to use the car equipped with the V8 engine and Innes Ireland offers, with noble gesture, to give him his car. The car was then fitted with the upper dark blue body of the Walker-Lotus, retaining its dark green underside, and the number 28 of Stirling Moss. Meanwhile, on the dark blue Lotus, the green top of the reserve car is fitted, because the car of the owner does not match, and is affixed the number 38, that of Innes Ireland. Having seen the time that Jim Clark had gotten in practice, Innes Ireland knew that Stirling Moss, with the same car, could have done even better and that’s why he makes him this offer, since the Lotus Walker of the British ace had come out rather tried from the Grand Prix of Modena. Both B.R.M. drivers are on board cars equipped with a 4-cylinder Climax engine, as the V8 is not ready. Therefore, once again, it is Jack Brabham the only one to be able to get on track with the new engine, however well aware that it will not last long. Meanwhile, in the box of the Scuderia Ferrari, at about 11:00 a.m. Phil Hill takes on the arm the sports director of the Maranello team, Romolo Tavoni, and confesses to him:
"Romolo, I have no desire to run. Wolfgang von Trips is good and he’s faster than me. I’ve seen him bend, he does it safely. I don’t even know if the first corner turns left or right. I’ll do three laps, then I’ll stop".
To calm him down, Romolo Tavoni spills a bottle of water on Phil Hill’s head. Seeing his teammate so agitated, Trips asks Tavoni why the American driver feels. The Scuderia Ferrari sports director explained the reasons to the German driver, who replied:
"Romolo, I am a friend of Phil. He has always been very nice to me; in America we traveled together. Tell him that I am not his opponent in this race. We will play it at the end of the championship".
"You tell him, if you want to tell him".
So Trips goes to Phil Hill, and he confesses:
"Phil, I’ll stand behind you, I’ll protect your back, don’t worry: you’ll win this race. I’m not your opponent here".
Shortly thereafter, the news became known to the press. German journalist Richard von Frankenberg asked Trips:
"But why do you do it? You have a chance to become the first German World Champion".
"For me the man is worth more than everything else. And then I already have a contract with Ferrari. The car is strong: we win this year, we will win in 1962".
Everything seems ready for an overwhelming triumph of Ferrari. With the main straight divided in two, the 32 participants in the Italian Grand Prix line up in pairs, The Scuderia Ferrari mechanics have removed the engine side panels while Stirling Moss' car appears to be a jumble of blue tops, dark bottoms and yellow wheels. The Scuderia Ferrari mechanics have removed the engine side panels. At the signal of 1 minute at the start all have their engines running, and among them you can warn Richie Ginther that keeps the revolutions of his engine at a constant level, high in the lap scale until Lord Howe raises the Italian flag for the last five seconds. Only at this moment the American driver begins to slip, preparing for the start of the race. At the start of the Italian Grand Prix Graham Hill managed to insert his B.R.M. dark green among the red cars produced in Maranello, and also Jim Clark was quick to recover positions.
All thirty-two drivers parade regularly and pass the Curva Grande and then face the difficult Curves of Lesmo and, while the snake passes along the opposite straight, from the grandstands you can see the Lotus of Jim Clark fit between Ferrari. Arriving on the main straight, on the pit side to head towards the North Bend, Richie Ginther and Jim Clark are side by side, followed by Phil Hill, Ricardo Rodriguez, Wolfgang von Trips, Jack Brabham and Giancarlo Baghetti. All the cars overcome the pitfall of the first lap on the high speed ring except Ashmore who, taking the Parabolica too fast, loses control of the car and ends up off the track. Coming out of the Curva Sud, at the end of the first lap, the ranking sees Phil Hill leading the group, followed by Richie Ginther, Ricardo Rodriguez, Jim Clark, Jack Brabham, Wolfgang von Trips and Giancarlo Baghetti, all so close together that, By the time they appear back to view, their order has completely changed. The first, enclosed in a small group, begin to create a small gap with the rest of the competitors, led by Jo Bonnier, Dan Gurney, Stirling Moss and John Surtees. Before the start of the Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari drivers are warned that the valve springs are defective. Therefore, drivers will be forced to spin 500 laps/minute less than the maximum limit. Colin Chapman, who comes to discover the defect of the Ferrari engines, sends Jim Clark on track with the full tank in half, not to lose contact with the first and try to push the Ferrari drivers to the maximum, resulting in a breakdown of the engine. During the second lap, at the approach of the Parabolica curve, Jim Clark, who is busy not to lose contact with the Ferraris, approaches Wolfgang von Trips. The German driver, in turn, is however busy not to let the Scotsman pass, intent as he is in wanting to boast his teammate, who continues at the head of the race. Trips therefore misses Clark’s arrival and closes the trajectory to his left, braking fifty meters before the braking point.
"No, don’t do this Taffy".
Says Jim Clark inside himself, desperately braking to avoid contact with Wolfgang von Trips' car. But there is nothing to do. The wheels of the two cars launched at over 200 km/h hook just before the braking point. Phil Hill, Richie Ginther and Ricardo Rodriguez, who are in front of them, parade normally, which fortunately can also be said for Giancarlo Baghetti and Jack Brabham who are instead next to the two drivers involved in the accident. The two cars end up in the escape route outside the track but, while the Scottish driver’s car manages to dampen the inertia force against the side embankment and to stop in the grass without too much damage, the German driver’s Ferrari takes off spinning on itself, crashing into the protective net, behind which are assiepate dozens of spectators. The car then bounces back and darts into the middle of the track, while the pilot is ejected out of the cockpit, bouncing off the embankment and flying a hundred meters away from the point of contact of the car against the nets. Despite the prompt intervention of the doctors there is nothing to do for the unfortunate Wolfgang von Trips, who loses his life due to the fracture of some cervical vertebrae, as well as presenting the exposed fracture of a humerus and signs of chest compression. The German driver will have no way of knowing that his Ferrari, racing against the protective nets, caused the disappearance of eleven spectators leaning against the fence and injured many others, three of whom died a little later. With the whole deployment still slightly grainy, it is almost a miracle that no other car was involved in the accident. For all the spectators in the stands and in the pits, or along the rest of the circuit, the race goes on as normal: the details of the accident are unknown and are not disclosed by the organizers.
At the end of the second lap the order of the standings sees Phil Hill leading the race, followed by Richie Ginther, Ricardo Rodriguez, Giancarlo Baghetti and Jack Brabham, leading the race with a good gap on Stirling Moss just ahead of the two Porsches of Jo Bonnier and Dan Gurney, then John Surtees, Bruce McLaren, the two B.R.M. of Graham Hill and Tony Brooks, Innes Ireland and Jackie Lewis. The four Ferrari drivers are threatened by the presence of Jack Brabham: the V8 Cooper-Climax allows the Australian driver to comfortably maintain the pace of the cars of Maranello. Even Stirling Moss, engaged in a furious battle with Dan Gurney, behaves well, considering the fact that he is struggling with the different behavior of a car he has never driven before. During the third lap, at the South Bend, Jo Bonnier and John Surtees collide. The Cooper Yeoman Credit of the British driver hits the tail of the Porsche driven by the Swedish driver: so, John Surtees is forced to return to the pits with the damaged car, not concealing a clear disappointment for the maneuver, while Jo Bonnier continues while feeling heavy vibrations coming from the back of the car. As time goes by, groups of drivers form along the circuit. The leading one sees Jack Brabham skillfully mingling with the four Ferraris, with Phil Hill leading the group for most of the time, albeit with reduced gaps. Further and further behind follow Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney, often side by side, and a length or two from Jo Bonnier and Bruce McLaren. They follow Graham Hill and Tony Brooks at par, with Jackie Lewis in the lead, and follow all the other competitors, including Carel Godin de Beaufort, engaged together with Gregory, Vaccarella and Taylor in a fight between them. During the fifth lap Innes Ireland was stopped by problems with the gearbox, while Masten Gregory, also returned to the pits for mechanical problems, is able, at least for the moment, to continue. While the front of the array is still compact and tidy, the end is a messy row of cars that, one after the other, retire.
During the ninth lap Jack Brabham, having noticed that his engine has lost a lot of water, decides that it’s time to go back to the pits to retire, before causing much more damage, but he’s still very satisfied that the V8 was fast enough to keep up with the Ferraris. With Brabham stopped in the pits during the eighth lap, while the four cars of Maranello finish the ninth lap with Richie Ginther in the lead, followed by Phil Hill, Ricardo Rodriguez and Giancarlo Baghetti, the race seems already over, since there is not even any hint of a withdrawal for some mechanical boredom by the first four. The first four continue the race comfortably, with twenty seconds ahead of the duo Moss-Gurney, regularly gaining ground, turning in about 2'50"0. At this speed there would have been no need to change the tires and therefore 20 seconds appear a large advantage. Meanwhile, for a ride or two Graham Hill visibly upps his pace, and so and young Lewis bypasses him. The reason became apparent when the Climax engine in its B.R.M. broke and Graham Hill returned to the pits to retire on lap 10. Fairman, Ireland and Naylor were also forced to retire between the fifth and sixth laps, and as a result the starting line-up quickly tapered. Jo Bonnier seems to be the next one to have to retire, as the vibration is constantly getting worse and, even if she stops at the pits, the problem cannot be solved. The Swedish driver must finally surrender on lap 14, after a few laps. After thirteen laps the four Ferraris lead the race serenely, with Richie Ginther ahead of Phil Hill, although the two swap positions several times. Ricardo Rodriguez and Giancarlo Baghetti follow the lead duo. The four Ferrari drivers are seen down the straight of the road circuit, towards the place of the terrible accident, but then only two of them emerge from the south corner and pass through the pits, that is Phil Hill and Richie Ginther. Shortly afterwards, however, on lap 13, Ricardo Rodriguez came out of the corner and headed for the pits.
Here, the muzzle cover is removed and the mechanics work between the batteries and the oil tank. Soon after, Stirling Moss appeared, accompanied by Dan Gurney, while Giancarlo Baghetti was forced to return to the pits. After taking a quick look under the hood of the engine, the #32 car is also taken away with the engine broken. It is not long before Ricardo Rodriguez’s car is also taken away, perhaps due to problems with the fuel pump but something more serious is suspected. This sudden change in the situation leaves Phil Hill and Richie Ginther on the track alone, running closely, but aware that if two cars can give up then they can do even four, and therefore begin to slow down the pace. The two leading drivers cannot relax completely, however, because Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney continue to push each other, continually surpassing each other and always keeping the tension high. Then there is Bruce McLaren, followed by Tony Brooks, Jackie Lewis, Roy Salvadori, Maurice Trintignant, Care Godin de Beaufort, Nino Vaccarella and Lorenzo Bandini, with the other competitors who follow delayed. Masten Gregory abandons his UDT - Laystall Lotus outside the South Corner due to suspension problems during lap 11. The two surviving Ferraris now run in 2'53"0; the drivers no longer seem as confident as at the start of the race, and with Moss and Gurney continuing to battle each other, we begin to wonder if we can witness another victory of the British driver. Scuderia Serenissima box signals Maurice Trintignant to enter. When the French driver stops at the pits Count Volpi gives him the sad news of the disappearance of Trips and suggests him to withdraw from the race, but the rider does not agree and continues the race, with the Cooper-Maserati that for once behaves quite well. Halfway through the race, when the leaders go to the pits after completing twenty-one laps, the order of the standings sees Phil Hill leading the race, followed by Richie Ginther. Distant Pia follows Stirling Moss ahead of Dan Gurney.
The latter are less than 20 seconds from Ferrari. Follow Bruce McLaren, Tony Brooks, Jackie Lewis and Roy Salvadori, who are the only drivers at full laps. Then came Carel Godin de Beaufort, Maurice Trintignant, Lorenzo Bandini and Tim Parnell, with Trevor Taylor and Renato Pirocchi far behind. These are the fourteen drivers left in the race, of the thirty-two starters. On the next lap, however, Richie Ginther lost positions and during the 24th lap he entered the pits: another Ferrari was taken away with the engine broken. Now a victory for Stirling Moss appears to be an increasingly concrete eventuality, given also that the Englishman reduces the gap from the last surviving Ferrari and increasingly manages to contain the pressure of Dan Gurney’s Porsche. As an increasingly worried Phil Hill takes the Curva Grande, Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney rush out of the Curva Sud: the gap is still around 20 seconds. Bruce McLaren is racing a solitary race, while Ian Brook starts to see Jackie Lewis in the mirrors of his B.R.M. The young driver from Stroud is racing a magnificent race, clean, always keeping a constant pace. The most encouraging aspect for Phil Hill is the awareness that his car has been equipped with a new engine, not stressed by the tests, and gradually returns his advantage to 28 seconds, while Jackie Lewis in the meantime comes less than ten seconds from Tony Brooks; Likewise, although delayed, Lorenzo Bandini is slowly but progressively recovering ground on Carel Godin de Beaufort. Stirling Moss' possible comeback stops after passing thirty laps. At first, the British driver keeps close to his rival, at least until, during the thirty-sixth lap, he is forced to return to the pits and retreat: the bearing of the left front wheel gives way and the latter swings on the pin. The continuous stress of the external wheel in the right-hand corners and in the two demanding raised curves finally leads to the final breakdown of the component.
For the first time since the start of the race Dan Gurney finds himself alone, and the Italian Grand Prix once again has two American drivers in the lead, although this time on different cars. With the mechanics present at the pits of Scuderia Ferrari keeping their fingers crossed, always unfortunately in the sad awareness of the tragic fate that struck Wolfgang von Trips, the race of the Maranello team continues safely, scrolling the remaining laps without problems whatsoever to the engine or any sign of a mistake of his driver; likewise Dan Gurney safely follows to second place. Meanwhile, Lorenzo Bandini reaches Carel Godin de Beaufort and passes him, but the Dutchman, revived by the duel, promptly revises the Italian and the two end up engaging in a hard fight. During the 40th lap Jackie Lewis is right behind Tony Brooks, and during the next lap he passes in front of the rival, but only a few inches. This happens as Phil Hill crosses the pits for the last time, before facing the North and South Curve and finally receiving the welcome checkered flag. His second consecutive victory of the Italian Grand Prix also gave him the necessary points for the mathematical conquest of the title of World Champion. A title that however the American driver cannot celebrate as he would like, being reached on arrival by the news of the tragic fate that fell on his teammate during the second lap of the race. Dan Gurney comes in second and Bruce McLaren comfortably third, while in the rear the battle for fourth place has yet to be resolved. Tony Brooks tries to undermine the position of Jackie Lewis in the sprint but the final finish rewards the latter by only a tenth of a second. A lap away is Roy Salvadori, and two Carel Godin de Beufort and Lorenzo Bandini, who come to the finish line with only four other competitors behind them, for a total of twelve cars to the finish on thirty-two starters in what was a tough and ruthless race. There is little joy for the Scuderia Ferrari mechanics and for the victory of Phil Hill, a triumph sadly marred by a serious catastrophe, undoubtedly unfortunate, but at the same time not entirely unpredictable.
The tragedy of Monza takes on even more tragic proportions during the evening. Another person, in fact, who had been hospitalized in very serious conditions, expires without having regained consciousness on Monday evening, thus bringing to fifteen the total number of victims of the accident. Of the injured, three others are still in desperate condition at the hospital in Monza, so that it is not excluded that the tragedy can take on an even more chilling and painful aspect. The fifteenth victim died in the evening: it is the nineteen year old Rinaldo Girod, from Arnaz, in Valle d'Aosta. Rinaldo Girod had been under the oxygen tent all day in a desperate attempt to snatch him from death. Meanwhile, in the morning, the investigating judge leading the investigation had first questioned the British pilot Jim Clark, finally out of the state of shock in which he had fallen after the disaster. As is well known, on board his Lotus launched at 200 km/h, he hit Baron Von Trips' Ferrari, causing it to go off the track and catapulting it in part among the people seated beyond the protective net. Clark, still impressed by the terrible tragedy, had answered the questions asked by the instructor judge, Dr Imorota, reconfirming the thesis already provided at the end of the tragic race:
"Von Trips stood next to me, even a little more in front of me; suddenly, 200 meters from the porphyry curve, he moved to the left to better approach the raised curve. So he cut me off the road and my right front wheel bumped into the left rear one of the German runners causing the accident".
This version seems supported by a detail: the right front of Clark’s #36 Lotus appears semi-smashed. But keep in mind that this damage could be attributed to the subsequent exit of the green car of the English driver, which in turn went to hit the embankment. It will be up to the current technical investigation to determine exactly (if this is possible) the precise causes of the accident. Two other versions on the accident of Monza and that would appear at first fairly reliable were formulated in the last hours and also on these concerns the technical investigation that complements and complements the judicial. According to one of these, after being overtaken by Trips, Clark gets to the point of the crash at high speed to try to overcome the antagonist again. In order to do so, it delays the necessary braking during cornering. Clark arrives on the tail of Trips at 200 km/h, while the German Ferrari went perhaps to 180 km/h. Just passed, the car of Trips discards to the left and ends up against the net where the public gathers. In this very serious case would be the responsibility of Clark, who would have made a rash maneuver: in fact, in order to gain ground against Trips and overcome it again after being in turn exceeded, he would have delayed the braking decidedly, being forced to try to overtake the Ferrari abruptly. Having done this too fast, he couldn’t have avoided touching Trips' car. The third version attributes the first cause of the accident to the McLaren driver. He would hit Trips, pushing him to the left, where the German would later be hit by Clark’s car.
This third version of the facts, however, has not yet been substantiated by reliable evidence. In an attempt to reconstruct as accurately as possible the accident the Instructor Judge, accompanied by three injured, the director of the Monza circuit, the managers of the Automobile Club Milano (organizer of the race)by the authorities of Fr. S. and the carabinieri cooperating in the investigation, carried out an on-site inspection of the disaster. For the occasion it was requested the intervention of Lotus trucks with all the cars of the British company that participated in the Italian Grand Prix (except, of course, for Clark’s car, already seized on Sunday at the time of the accident with that of Trips). Behind closed doors and with the strictest restraint, a series of deceleration, braking and curve tests were carried out at the same location as the collision between the two racing cars that triggered the frightening accident. These tests were repeated at various speeds, in an attempt to acquire a first sure element: to determine the exact speed at which the cars were racing at that point of the circuit. Of course nothing has been leaked about the results of the investigation. However, it seems that the responsibility of the Englishman has been excluded since he was able to leave for London on Monday afternoon, where in any case it will be held at the disposal of the Italian judicial authority for any developments in the investigation. As for the safety conditions of the track, interesting are the statements made by Dr Luigi Bertett, president of the Automobile Club Milano, organizer of the competition ended so tragically.
"I believe that motor racing is necessary. All manufacturers, even those that do not participate directly, are interested in these races, which are much more than pure and simple sports competitions. When a car of ours wins abroad, not only one House wins, but the whole Italian industry wins. When a car triumphs, it is the best demonstration of a people’s progress. You say that we run too fast here: it is not true, we also run for the fathers of families, for the ladies, for the boys of eighteen, who can drive private cars at speeds very close to those of the Monza track. Disc brakes, direct injection engines, certain experiences on suspension would not have been possible without Grand Prix competitions. Today on the road car of the Sun there are curves designed for speeds of 160 km/h. If a father of a family, a lady, an 18-year-old can face those veil quotes, they also owe it to the drivers who risk their lives in Monza".
Dr Bertett continues:
"He wondered why we didn’t stop the race after the tragedy. First of all, it is a sporting tradition that a race never stops: it did not even happen at Le Mans. Secondly, it is a prudential rule not to do so, to prevent the public from panicking. What would have happened if, once the news of the disaster had been communicated, the crowd had poured into the place of the tragedy or had lost their calm?"
Dr Bertett then addressed the point of view concerning the safety conditions of the runway.
"For me it was just a tragic accident. The track was safe (and was also secured with a maximum of 500.000.000.000 lire, which would be paid to the victims as soon as possible). In the measurements that the judge also made today it was found that on the site of the accident the protective net is 1.65 meters high and the embankment that supports it is 1.60 meters high, that is, we are at 3.25 meters above the track. The embankment, moreover, is ten meters from the asphalt, with a slope of the grassy shore to 45 hectares".
Why was the placement of a guardrail not planned?
"Because if a driver bumps into you he returns to the track, and every driver must have a certain space of maneuverability; that is that strip of grass".
Couldn’t you place a double protective guardrail at the network level?
"But how could a car be predicted to fly off in a straight line? In any other place of the circuit we could fear a disaster less than in that point".
But don’t you think that the audience was still too close to the track? Wouldn’t it have been prudent to push it back a lot?
"Don’t be cruel with the Monza circuit. Despite what has happened, I consider it the most protected circuit in the world. People are quick to criticize: they have not seen how to run abroad, with spectators even on the edges of the track, touched by the wheels of the cars".
On Tuesday, September 12, 1961, the funeral of the victims took place in Monza, and they were transported one by one to the funeral home set up in one of the two gyms of the Centro Studi di Monza. Sixteen catahawks had been prepared to receive the coffins, but only ten of them are occupied. There were sixteen because the condition of another of the wounded did not leave hope and unfortunately expects its end at any moment. The coffins of Mario and Roberto Brambilla (father and son) leave today for Gorgonzola, where the family tomb is located, while in the night they were moved those of the two Biella, Paolo Perazzone and Laura Zorzi. Trips depart around 5:00 pm from Linate Airport to Hemmersbach Castle (near Cologne). The funeral of the other victims will take place, as has been said, at 5:00 pm in the Duomo. Monsignor Ripamonti, Archpriest of Monza, will celebrate a Mass in suffrage, giving the psalms good pontifical diction. The conditions of the patients in the hospital remain stationary, although there are few hopes for Renato Janin, another young Valdostan, for the Swiss Rostmarie Bakman. Meanwhile, at the Desio Hospital, the brothers Maurizio and Bernardo Skordelet, from Freiburg, who received a visit from the Swiss Consul in Milan, have improved considerably. There will be an echo of the disaster in Monza in the Italian Parliament, following the three questions tabled so far (others, however, are announced) by the Christian Democrat Isgrò, the Communist Plrastu and the Socialist Pieruccini, Mr Isgrò is essentially calling on the government to impose greater guarantees for the safety of the public on the organizers of motor racing, while the other two Members are calling for the complete abolition of motor racing. Mr Pieraccini points out, inter alia, that:
"Nor can the demands of technical progress in the automotive sector be raised in defense of the continuation of these races, since many large companies in the sector have not participated in such events for years, while developing their production efficiently".
The Italian President-in-Office of the Council, both Mr Scelba and Mr Folcili, has taken an interest in the tragic event and the questions involved: to the latter has given directives for the establishment of the small technical committee based on the most recent experience ascertains and indicates the conditions under which the Monza circuit can be used for sports competitions. The Commission shall report within a maximum period of one month on the measures required to give a new technical regulations port to motor racing so that the usability of the circuit is subject to the essential guarantees of safety of spectators. In the meantime it is rumored (but the rumor is not confirmed in Modena, where the managers of Scuderia Ferrari are unavailable) that the House of Maranello renounces to play the last round of the World Championship, the United States Grand Prix scheduled for October 8, 1961 in Watkins Glen. This is not so much because his first driver phii Hill is now mathematically World Champion, as for the very human reaction of Enzo Ferrari in front of the huge accident of Monza. Considering the end of the 1961 racing season, in mourning for the disappearance of its rider Wolfgang von Trips and for the innocent victims of Sunday, Ferrari certainly could not be criticized, and Phil Hill himself, who should have received the official consecration for the conquest of the title before his countrymen, would certainly be the first to understand the correctness of this decision. Everything is to see if the collected voice is true, and if the commitments already taken by Ferrari with the organizers of Watkins Glen can be put back. On the other hand, it is not the first time that in the aftermath of a serious accident, resolutions of renunciation have been heard. It would be surprising if this were not the case. How could one remain insensitive in the face of so many bereavements?
It is nice to say that the people of the trade, pilots, builders, technicians, are always prepared for the worst and that they have formed a professional mentality battled against feelings. When the irreparable happens, everyone becomes normal again, and they also say enough, we can’t do it anymore. Then the days pass, things take on another aspect, hope and trust begin again. It is the game of life, which from time to time seems to stop for something bigger than us that fills us with dismay, and then resumes its normal flow. We stop for a moment of recollection, and immediately after we dive back into the fray. Even Sunday evening, in Monza, we hear many people say, with conviction, that everything is over, that racing would not have wanted to hear more. Yet, decisions like this cannot be made under the impulse of a moment of discouragement. In fact, in the history of motor sport are very rare. The most recent is that of the Lancia, which in 1955, the day after the tragic death - still in Monza - of its team leader Alberto Ascari, closed the short, glorious cycle of its competitive activity. But, we repeat, it is usually not late for second thoughts. And while keeping alive the memory of the fallen, everything starts again as before. This is perhaps the inexorable destiny of motor sport and its protagonists: to go on at the price of any sacrifice and pain, to stifle regret in the hard tension of the next goal, not to allow human piety to take over. There is perhaps an unwritten, cruel law that requires us to forget, not to stop: it will be a virile custom, but it really serves something? On the deserted circuit a car slips in the east straight, widens to the left, runs on the black trails that the tires of Trips Ferrari and Clark Lotus scored on the track.
The magistrates of the investigation reconstruct the disaster of Sunday in its culminating stages. But Monday, September 11, 1961 their attention is turned to the carnage. Tuesday, instead, moves on the moments that preceded the tragic collision. Not even the film shot by the young Italian television operator Sergio Chesani has been clarifying on this point. Perhaps the one who managed to fix the tragedy in its initial phase is a German television operator, Rusch, whose reels will probably be requested by the Italian judicial authority. No matter how many eyewitness, photographic and cinematographic testimonies have been collected so far, Sunday’s disaster still remains largely mysterious, certainly more complex than it seemed in the beginning. A first novelty, for example, is announced on the medical-legal level. Not all fourteen spectators killed in the disaster died from being hit directly by the Trips car. Some of them don’t have external injuries. One of them died of a chest injury caused by a pointed body. It is thought to be a woman’s shoe heel, one of those stilettos, which could have penetrated the chest cavity of the unhappy person to the point of hitting him in the vital organs. The explanation of this strange death is sought: the spectator was probably overwhelmed and trampled by the crowd, who sought escape from the disaster. The detail appears even more hallucinatory if you think that a few tens of meters from the scene of the disaster people either did not know, or did not want to know anything; continued to enjoy the ride keeping the radios on, having picnics on the grass. We began to talk about a hypothesis that had already been faced at the first moment: another car, that of McLaren or Brabham, would have grazed the car of Trips, making it skid and throwing it on Clark’s wheel. But of that, no evidence.
Another surprise: the small car of Aosta that stood on the embankment and that had been held jointly responsible for the carnage, for keeping the spectators compressed against the net, preventing them from leaving, He was about a hundred feet from where the accident happened. It does not seem, therefore, that it has greatly hindered the movement of the crowd. It remains incredible that a few dozen meters from the point of misfortune you would snack and keep the radios on, while you already knew, or guessed, that death had entered the enclosure of the public: It is true that nothing could have been done by the crowd pouring on the exits. But this indifference puts a new and merciless emphasis on the present misfortune, and suggests a kind of callosity and neglect in the popular soul, as if the message of Sundays is now to look after only themselves, and to enjoy, without looking too much to look who has not had luck. The technical investigation brings out other psychological backgrounds of the unfortunate Sunday in Monza. What was the mood of the riders at the start? Men are now the most unpredictable instrument, the least manageable on board these perfect speed machines. And now let’s look at the men who were dropped into the Lotus and Ferrari car seats. They were not quiet men, on the contrary, they were divided not only by the nervous sporting rivalry, but something more, a personal and acrid feeling. On the eve of the race, Lotus had decided to give Stirling Moss the best car, taking it away from Jim Clark, who is the official Lotus driver. The discussion dragged on painfully during rehearsal days. Sunday it was stipulated that Clark should deliver the car to Moss.
But this did not happen. They are not runners, men who endure impairments of prestige. One can imagine that the explanations between the two drivers were rather harsh. Certainly there is that Jim Clark left satisfied; Moss, instead, gloomy. But there is also another detail: Lotus was less powerful than Ferrari. Clark knows that to win, to show his House that he fully deserves to be the leader, he must take advantage in the corners. The Ferraris run the straight. Here is Jim Clark with two great stimuli: one leads him to show himself better than Moss, the other pushes him to get rid of rivals with the only means available, reckless boldness in the curves. And this man, so inclined to assert his own personality, runs into another man, Baron Wolfgang Graf Berghe Von Trips, who in turn masks in the race a discontent, a resentful personality, under appearances of glacial indifference. The collision between Clark and Trips starts on the first lap. Clark surprises Trips' Ferrari on the curve and overtakes it. In the Tettifilo, however, Trips overtakes Clark: And here they are on the second lap, again ahead of the curve. Clark heels Trips and he realizes that the competitor threatens to repeat the joke before. But this time, instead of putting his hand on the lower gears, Clark pushes on the accelerator. Trips tries to stop him, he doesn’t want to lose the record, neither of them is willing to lose. This is the preamble of the disaster, what no camera or photograph could fix.