#88 1960 Netherlands Grand Prix

2021-10-12 01:00

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#1960, Fulvio Conti, Cristina Oi,

#88 1960 Netherlands Grand Prix

Car racer Giuseppe Farina will appear for trial before the Court of Ivrea to answer, together with miller Giovanni Sado, a resident of Cascine Romano,


Car racer Giuseppe Farina will appear for trial before the Court of Ivrea to answer, together with miller Giovanni Sado, a resident of Cascine Romano, for manslaughter against engineer Domenico Montagnani, director of Anfia. The indictment, after a request made by the Public Prosecutor, was ordered on Friday, June 3, 1960, by investigating judge Dr. Gervasi. The accident that provoked the court case, had occurred last October on the Turin-Ivrea road near Strambino. In an 1100, traveling toward Ivrea were Giuseppe Farina and Anfia director Engineer Montagnani. Just before the junction for Cascine Romano, the 1100, in order to avoid the pickup truck driven by Giovanni Sado that was turning left, moved to the right but still hit the vehicle and ended up against the parapet of a bridge. Engineer Montagnani died a short time later in Ivrea hospital, while driver from Turin was seriously injured. Giuseppe Farina always denied that he was behind the wheel of the car at the time of the disaster: the investigating judge, however, came to a different conclusion and remanded him for trial Along with the former World Motor Racing Champion, Giovanni Sado will also appear in court for dangerous maneuvering. For some reason best known to themselves, the FIA breaks one of their own rules when they sanction the holding of the Dutch Grand Prix just one week after the Monaco Grand Prix, for International rules say there should be a minimum of a fortnight between major races. Luckily the Dutch race is scheduled for Whit-Monday and practice on the previous Saturday and Sunday, but, bearing in mind the wreckage after the Monte-Carlo race and the fact that the two circuits are nearly 1.000 miles apart, there is a lot of overtime put in by the mechanics of the various teams. Most of the entrants from Monaco are at Zandvoort, with the addition of Aston Martin, making their first Continental appearance this season.


Brabham’s Cooper has to return to Surbiton to be bent straight on the building jig, the B.R.M. team brings out a brand new car to replace the one crashed by Graham Hill, while all three cars has to have the rear suspension uprights reinforced and engines are changed, there being a remarkable number of B.R.M. engines about the place at Zandvoort-some on their way back to Bourne for overhaul, new ones to put in the cars, and spare ones just in case. Lotus does all their work at Monte-Carlo before leaving, having to straighten the chassis on Ireland’s car due to being bent by kerb-clouting, new engine mountings has to be fitted on Stacey’s car, and the gearbox rebuilt on the third car. Ferrari overhauls their front-engined cars and also dismantles the rear-engined car to inspect everything, after its first race. The front-engined cars are fitted with anti-roll bars on the rear suspension. The Scarabs arrive early and ready to go, once axle ratios had been settled, and Aston Martin has their 1960 car ready and a 1959 one standing by as spare. The Yeoman Credit Team repairs Bristow’s car and has three Formula One cars, and a 2-litre car as spare, for in this race they are giving Henry Taylor a try-out as well as retaining Brooks and Bristow. CentroSud has only two of their Cooper-Maseratis, for Trintignant and Gregory, while the entry list is made up to 21 cars by the Dutchman de Beaufort with a brand new F2 Cooper-Climax, made 4in longer in the cockpit to accommodate his great length. Taking a leaf from the book of the Monaco organizers, the Dutch decides to have qualifying conditions for the entry, and though 21 cars are invited only 15 are due to start, these being the fastest 15 in practice. Instead of the fastest practice lap to count, the three fastest laps by each driver are to be taken and added together. On a track such as Zandvoort, where 25 cars could easily be accommodated, it is difficult to see why only 15 are going to be accepted if, as is suggested, total starting money is limited then why not divide it by 20 instead of 15, so that more people can be certain to race, and not give the stars quite so much gold.


With Allison still in hospital, the Ferrari team comprises Phil Hill, von Trips and Ginther; Lotus has lost Surtees, as he has gone to the Isle of Man to do some serious motorcycle racing, so they have Ireland, Stacey and Clark, the last-named being a worthy substitute; Moss is still driving for RRC Walker; Yeoman Credit has Brooks, Bristow and Taylor; Coopers their two down-unders Brabham and McLaren; B.R.M. has Bonnier, Gurney and Graham Hill; Aston Martin has only one entry, for Salvadori; Trintignant and Gregory are driving for Centro-Sud, de Beaufort for himself; and Reventlow and Daigh are again on the Scarabs. With nearly everyone coming from Monte Carlo there is not much to be seen on the technical scene, except that Aston Martin resurrects the de Dion axle, after it was deemed dead and buried at Monaco, and they are also stuck with front-engine, the new six-cylinder having its inlets and exhausts reversed from last year and using Lucas low-pressure fuel-injection with a battery-driven electric pump supplying the pressure. This new car has reverted to torsion-bar front suspension, though now running longitudinally and coupled to a strong I-section arm which forms, effectively, a lower wishbone of the front suspension, there being a normal top one. At the rear the de Dion tube now runs across the car ahead of the gearbox/ differential unit, guided by a pad running in a slot on the front of the unit, and at its ends by double radius rods. As the final drive unit is Maserati 250F of 1957 design, this re-positioning of the de Dion is understandable; longitudinal torsion bars are coupled to the hub carriers by short links, and, as at the front, telescopic shock-absorbers are used. The Zandvoort track being a permanent circuit, available at all times, an unofficial try-out session is allowed on the Friday evening, during which time Clark has the bottom-gear pinion of his Lotus fly apart, the B.R.M. with rear engine seems as well suited to the circuit as the old front-engined cars did, Aston Martin are showing that their fuel-injection gives beautifully clean pick-up out of corners, especially compared with Lotus tuning, but the 1960 car is not so stable as the older and heavy car, and McLaren is working hard with the 1960 Cooper, it not looking so easy to drive as last year’s cars.


On the Saturday morning official practice begins and the race against time starts, with Moss being easily the fastest of all, with a lap in 1'33"8, which makes sense against last year’s fastest practice lap of 1'36"0, remembering the progress in technical development, if not in design, since last year. The Ferrari drivers are not happy with their handling (but then they seldom are), the rear anti-roll bars altering the handling to the opposite extreme. Yeoman Credit gives Henry Taylor a run in their 2-liter car before letting him loose in one of the Formula 1 cars, and the Lotus team are performing more to the standard expected of them after their showing at Goodwood and Silverstone. The Scarabs are still slow, but not so bad that they has no hope. With the regulations taking the three best times by each driver there is no way of following the progress of practice until it is all over, and this is something the organizers has overlooked, for it meant that it will not be possible to decide on the lucky 15 starters until all practice is over, so there would be no last-minute attempts to qualify. Before the next practice session took place, on the Saturday afternoon, the organizers receive a deputation from the entrants and this matter is thrashed out, and the decision made to scrub the rule and take only the fastest lap by each driver to count for qualification. It is also agreed that a maximum of 20 cars would be permitted to start, but it is not going to be possible to pay starting money to the extra five cars. These are very reasonable decisions made by the Dutch organizers, unlike some organizers who will not even listen to the entrants’ complaints, let alone change regulations, but it is not enough for the entrants for they all want starting money, whether they are in the first 15 or not, but quite justifiably the organizers turn that one down. The afternoon practice sees everyone out again except Bonnier, who has broken his B.R.M. gearbox in the morning, and anyone who considers himself a driver, or a car that can be rated as a Grand Prix car, is well below 1'40"0. Once again Moss is by far the fastest, with 1'33"6, his nearest rival being Brabham with 1'34"5.


The Scarabs are improving, Daigh getting down to 1'42"7, but Reventlow can not even beat de Beaufort with his Formula 2 Cooper. The Aston Martin is not happy, lacking power for its weight, as always, and Salvadori not being convinced about the handling, thinks it did not look too bad around the circuit, and sounds wonderful. In the morning it has been credited with 1'37"8, but it never approaches that again, being unable to crack 1'40"0. Gurney is not looking at all happy in the rear-engined B.R.M., seeming to work unnecessarily at correcting rear-wheel movements that are not really there, whereas Graham Hill looks completely relaxed and almost bored while he is doing 1'35"1. Taylor is enjoying himself in the Yeoman Credit car and, although putting a lot of effort into his driving, he is going well and has a big dice with Ginther in a front-engined Ferrari, finally catching him, but meanwhile Phil Hill in another front-engined car catches and passes them both, going very fast and clocking 1'36"4. Bristow is driving very fast indeed and even catches and passes his team-mate Brooks, although by the end of the afternoon they have both recorded 1'37"6, slower than they had done in the morning. The Centro-Sud cars are going quite well and Gregory is looking tremendously exciting, continually on opposite lock, but, nevertheless, Trintignant is faster. When this second practice session finishes there is still a lot of unrest among the also-rans, saying they would not start without being paid, even though the organizers has agreed to take 26 cars. Just why anyone who is not good enough to qualify against the best should be worth any money at all is one of those mysteries that form part of the big-business of motor racing. Next day, Sunday, there is one practice session in the afternoon, and once again Moss sets the pace with 1'33"8, but he is not so secure this time, for Brabham is out there really working with the new Cooper, and after driving in a manner that all can see is right on the limit, be docked 1'33"4.


This does not please Moss, especially as Ireland has recorded 1'33"9, also working at a high pressure, so he goes out again, first on very worn rear tyres and, then on not-so-worn ones, and finally recors 1'33"2. Most people are working hard, but few can approach the times of the first three, there being a substantial gap between them and the rest. Yeoman Credit are content with their first day’s times for their two main runners, but let Taylor do a lot of practice as he is improving all the time, and he finally records 1'36"4, but then he has an accident. It is not while trying to improve on this time; but on his slowing-down lap after being ragged in, for he has been concentrating so hard that he relaxes too much and goes right off the road in a big way. Luckily he is quite unhurt and the car is undamaged, and while Bristow goes out in it to see if it is all right, Yeoman Credit sends Taylor out again in the 2-litre car before he has time to think about being frightened, which is a very good bit of clear thinking on the part of the organization of the Yeoman Credit Team, and something one does not often see in these days of slap-happy Grand Prix racing. The Aston Martin can not get below 1'40"0 and Reg Parnell let Moss have a go in it, but he is obviously unimpressed and does not even try very hard. The Scarab team are scratching away at the end of the pits to try and make some sort of impression and Chuck Daigh is beginning to get in the swing of Grand Prix racing, showing immense courage and determination. After being overtaken by Brabham, while the Australian is busy in the 1'34"0 bracket, Daigh gets well under 1'40"0 and begins some consistent 1'38"0 laps. The Ferrari team are about as happy as they are ever likely to be and has brought along the rear-engined car for this last session, von Trips doing all the driving this time, while Ginther is doing an enormous number of laps in a front-engined car and thoroughly enjoying his second Grand Prix race meeting.

When the day’s lap times are finally computed there are some very obvious errors, for Daigh has been given 1'36"7, which none of his own pit-staff agreed with, and Reventlow is given 1'38"8, which he knows for certain is incorrect, and Ginther is said to be fastest Ferrari; so, as at Monte-Carlo, the timekeepers come in for some pretty loud abuse. In the past lap times in practice have not been so vital, as everyone is going to start and get paid anyway, the timekeeping and computing is seldom questioned, but since the organizers have started this qualifying business everyone naturally starts checking on things, and there seems to be an awful lot wrong. The final list of best times is published and it is seen that von Trips, Gregory, Salvadori, Trintignant, Reventlow and de Beaufort are the unlucky ones, the first five being permitted to start but without being paid. Reventlow covers his two cars up and refuses to take any further interest in the meeting, even though Daigh has qualified, talking about playing fair and sportsmanship, two words which may exist in American amateur racing but which disappeared from the European racing vocabulary many, many years ago. Poor Mr. Dei of the Scuderia Centro-Sud badly wants to race his cars but without starting money could not risk a mechanical blow-up; however, by a bit of diplomacy he comes to an arrangement with the organizers and Trintignant is a definite starter. Aston Martin, like Reventlow, packs up and loses interest in the race on principle, while Ferrari are embarrassed at finding von Trips ruled out of the gold, but relieved that Reventlow’s withdrawal of Daigh allows von Trips to move up a place into the money. The other withdrawals allows de Beaufort to move in, which he does with great pleasure.
Until now the weather has been wonderful, if somewhat sticky, but on Monday morning rain falls in torrents and things look ominous, but by the time the race is due to take place, at 3:15 p.m., the warm, dry weather is back again and everyone is happy. Altogether 17 Cars line up before the pits and set off on a warming-up lap; a sensible arrangement this. Hill and von Trips are using small aero-screens on their Ferraris, while Ginther has a wrap-around screen, all three ears being the all-independent front-engined models. Moss has splash guards tilted to his Lotus, but they are removed when the rain threat disappears. As Bristow motores round the circuit on his warming-up lap his Yeoman Credit Cooper dies on him, luckily on the loop just behind the pits, but it is a Iong time before his mechanics realize this for they are expecting him on the starting grid with the other 16 cars and are looking up the long straight for him. With only a few minutes to go they run to his aid, to find that a pivot in the throttle linkage has worn right through and fractured. While the rest of the holds are being assembled on the grid the Yeoman Credit Mechanics work at high speed fitting a complete new throttle linkage assembly, which they have in the pits, and Bristow deserves every praise for standing quietly by while they get on with the job. Many more experienced drivers would have been leaping up and down and shooting and yelling in such a situation. Finally the car was starts but there is no time to complete the warming-up lap for the grid was already in order and waiting to go, so the light green car is hustled through the straw bales on the edge of the circuit and rushes into its place on the third row, the organizers very decently having taken a long time to give the 3-min.-to-go signal. 


As the flag is raised Brooks starts creeping from the fourth row until he is alongside his team-mate in the third row, while at the back Trintignant is more than ready to go. It is a first-class start, clearly given with no fuss and bother, and all 17 cars shoot away towards the first corner. Having crept forward, Brooks is right behind Graham Hill but the B.R.M. makes a hesitant start compared with the rest and Brooks was badly balked. As he tries to turn left towards the outside of the track Trintignant goes by like a rocket and frightens Brooks back into his place. The little Frenchman has been told that if he could get into the first to in the opening stages of the race he would get paid starting money, so the Cooper-Maserati is put on the line with only a gallon of fuel in the tank and Trintignant is out to do a sprint-race, unbeknown to the rest of the field. Phil Hill has made a terrific start from row five and at the end of the first lap he is in fifth place, behind Brabham, Moss, Ireland and Stacey. Trintignant is already in 13th place. It needs only three laps of the 75 for a pattern to form, and that is Brabham out in front with Moss sitting quietly behind him, then a short gap and Ireland and Stacey running neck-and-neck, passing and re-passing, obviously not having been given any team orders, then McLaren on his own, and, already some way back, Phil Hill, Gurney, Bristow, Ginther, Bonnier, Graham Hill, Brooks, Clark and Trintignant running nose-to-tail and waiting an opportunity to sort things out. Taylor and de Beaufort quietly bring up the rear. On the fifth lap Brooks stops behind the pits with a broken gearbox, while Trintignant is displaced by Clark and von Trips. On the next lap Gurney, Bristow and Phil Hill get away from the others and formed a race on their own. Clark roars by Bonnier and just let Graham Hill, while Trintignant passes von Trips and Bonnier and takes 12th place, for it is obvious that the Swedish driver’s B.R.M. engine is not going properly.


At the end of only eight laps McLaren’s Cooper breaks the inboard universal joint on its left-hand drive shaft as he passes the pits, and he coasts to rest at the large radius Tarzan hairpin, so Trintignant is now 11th. By 10 laps Brabham and Moss are 17sec ahead of the two works Lotus. Ireland and Stacey are still running wheel-to-wheel, so that one either has to decide that Ireland is driving badly or that Stacey is driving brilliantly. They are both driving fast for they are holding on to third and fourth positions, well ahead of Gurney, who is 30sec behind the leaders in fifth position. Bristow disappears from the B.R.M.’s slipstream when his engine seized up, and then Gurney disappears quite literally from the race. As he comes down the straight past the pits at 140mph and breaks for the Tarzan hairpin a pipe to the rear brakes broke, and with his front wheels locked he goes straight on over the bank and down quite a considerable drop, being very lucky to escape with only minor abrasions. Bristow having retired, Trintignant moves up to 10th place, but he has von Trips almost alongside him and is having to drive like a maniac to make sure of his loth place, but having done so he stops on lap 12 to take on fuel and start the serious business of motor racing. On the 16th lap Brabham and Moss are still nose-to-tail, the Lotus obviously biding its time before passing the Cooper, and as they goes through the woods on the far side of the circuit on their 17th lap Brabham put his wheels down on the inside of a curve, over the edge of the track, as he has been doing all along, but one of the large flat granite squares which arc sunk into the sand to mark the edge of the track, breaks in two and the Cooper’s rear wheel picks up one piece, about the size of a good book, and flings it at the Lotus. This is on a left-hand curve and Moss is leaning on his outside front tyre when there is a crash and this huge lump of granite smashes the wheel rim and bursts the tyre.


He limps back to the pits while Brabham goes on his way. The pit stop is a real laugh. First the jack would not go under the front suspension with the car sitting down on one side, and then comes the absurd business of dismantling the hub and roller races in order to get the wheel off and another one on, for Lotus design, like Cooper, does not envisage changing wheels in a hurry. Of course, while all this is going on everyone storms past, and Brabham is just appearing for the second time when Moss rejoins the race. There are thirteen cars still left in the race and Moss is 12th; but it is obvious that he is not going to stay there for long, and he starts one of those outstanding drives of his, where he is against impossible odds but refuses to give in and fights every inch of the way. Brabham is fairly safely out in front, 27sec ahead of Ireland, who is still playing games with Stacey, while further back Clark is doing a splendid job harrying Graham Hill’s B.R.M. Then comes the three Ferraris in line-ahead, making a nice noise if nothing else, with Ginther leading, and then Brabham is round again, having lapped the rest of the field, which consists of Bonnier on his own, Trintig-nant. Taylor and de Beaufort. Moss is gaining 2sec a lap on Brabham but there is no need for the Australian to hurry unduly for there is no possible chance of Moss catching him, unless, of course, the Cooper runs into trouble, but the rest of the runners are not so comfortable. Although Brabham is leading the race he now becomes rather overlooked, for he is circulating quietly and consistently on his own, but behind, Ireland and Stacey still appears to be having a private duel, though in fact they are just keeping each other company, but Clark is giving Graham Hill a has time, and on lap 29 he goes by the B.R.M. as they passes the pits, but the Lotus then run wide on the hairpin under braking and the B.R.M. gets back into fourth place.


The same thing happens on the next lap but then the Lotus begins to develop trouble in its transmission and Clark has to drop back a bit. Brabham laps all the Ferraris, Phil Hill having slowed due to erratic throttles, and Ginther has conceded sixth place to von Trips but is sitting. close behind him. On lap 40 Trintignant fails to come round, as the transfer gears between engine and gearbox breaks, and on the next lap Phil Hill comes in to have his carburetters looked at. Clark is making despairing signs at his gear-lever and on lap 43 he retires as something has broken between the engine and the rear wheels. There are now only four drivers on the same lap, Brabham, Ireland, Stacey and Graham Hill, in the order Cooper, Lotus, Lotus, B.R.M. Moss is still going as fast as ever, lapping in 1'34"4 on lap 39 to set a new record, and he is in sixth place between the Ferraris of von Trips and Ginther, and is soon going to be fifth. He is also just behind the two works Lotus on the road, about to get back onto the same lap as them, but not yet back on the same lap as Brabham. The dark blue Lotus roars past the two green ones, and as their pit staff has never told them who was leading the race, merely telling them they are second and third, they assume Moss is in the lead and are depressed when he lapped them. Phil Hill is still in dire trouble, with what now sounded like electricity, the engine cutting in and out violently, and he finally gives in. On lap 58 Ireland comes by on his own and Stacey comes slowly into the pits, something having broken in his transmission, as has happened to Clark, so Graham Hill is now third, and as Moss has overtaken von Trips he is now fourth, 46sec behind the B.R.M.


Bonnier has been drifting aimlessly along at the back of the field until he is lapped by von Trips, whereupon he seems to wake up and starts going quite fast again, but then the oil-filter bowl comes adrift and before he knows what has happened all the oil falls out over his rear wheels; the engine breaks and he spins off the track, bending the B.R.M. but escaping any personal injury. With 15 laps to go the only possible thing that Moss might achieve is fourth place from Graham Hill, and many drivers in his position would have given up trying, but not Golden Boy. He is still driving as hard as the Lotus would go and gobbling up the seconds between himself and the B.R.M., and in the process he catches and passes Brabham, who is touring along in the lead. This put him on the same lap as Brabham but 1'34"5 behind him. The B.R.M. team is signaling Hill the closing gap in seconds and giving him the faster signal, and the quiet and unruffled Graham is doing sums in his head, working out so much a lap for so many laps equals and driving a very fast and smooth race, refusing to let the pressure of Moss and the excitement of the spectators disturb him. Moss is catching the B.R.M. at around 4sec a lap and when Brabham completes his 75th lap to actually win the race no one seems very interested, nor do they when Ireland arrives home second. Meanwhile the B.R.M. and the Lotus are round the back of the circuit and within sight of one another. All eyes are turned up the long finishing straight, but as the two cars come into view the outcome is settled, Moss has failed, or should one say Graham Hill has succeeded. Whichever way it makes a splendid finish to the race, and to cap things the last lap Moss does is in 1'33"8, which is another new lap record.


World Champion Jack Brabham, at the wheel of a Cooper, wins the Dutch Grand Prix on the fast Zandvoort circuit. Behind him came three British drivers in order: Ireland in a Lotus, Graham Hill in a B.R.M. and Stirling Moss in a Lotus. The race was unfortunately marred by a serious accident that killed an 18-year-old spectator and lightly injured five others. It was still in the early stages of the race when American Dan Gurney's B.R.M. went off the road in a rather difficult corner and came to a halt on one of the sand dunes surrounding the circuit, running over a group of six spectators Of the six injured spectators, the young man appeared to be in a desperate condition right away and died on the ambulance taking him to the hospital. His name has not yet been released for now, pending notification of his family by the authorities. The driver, having recovered from severe shock, later made his reappearance in the pits. Two bandages on his wrists will cover the injuries Gurney had sustained when he crashed into the dashboard. The American driver explained the accident by a sudden brake failure, which would not allow him to reduce speed at the entrance to the corner. The race was very fast and recorded the absolute domination of Brabham, who jumped into the lead at the starting signal and no longer allowed any rival to take the first position away from him.


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