FANGIO CLAIMS 2nd SUCCESSIVE WIN BUT ASCARI KEEPS HIM HONEST – 1951 Historic Formula de solitaire season Race #4 of 7 – Silverstone

Posted: September 19, 2013 in Formula de, wargames
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Following the Summer break Formula de moved to Silverstone GB.  Piero Taruffi returned but Baron Emmanuel de Graffenried who was injured at Rheims was absent. Qualifying in the wet passed uneventfully. On race day, rain continued.

Exiting Club on Lap 1, Bonetto comes in too hot allowing the rest of the field to prepare to overtake

Exiting Club on Lap 1, Bonetto comes in too hot allowing the rest of the field to prepare to overtake

LAP 1 – With wet conditions and more importantly 3 cars starting abreast on each of the grids it was always likely that there would be a coming together which is exactly what happened when Luigi Fagioli (Alfa Romeo) clipped Jacques Swaters (Talbot-Lago privateer) and further back Reg Parnell (Ferrari privateer and the only British entrant who qualified a disastrous 19th) shunted a slow moving Rudi Fischer (Ferrari privateer). All 4 cars failed to pass the start line with Fagioli unlikely to be able to make the next race owing to injury. Gus Mairesse (Talbot-Lago privateer) in just his 2nd race, stalled and was unable to restart thus retiring from the race without moving.  The field slowly spread as most drivers drove conservatively in the conditions keen not to collide with each other. At Club corner Felice Bonetto (Alfa Romeo) and Johnny Claes (Talbot-Lago privateer) paid the price going into the corner too fast which allowed the rest of the lead pack to move up to higher gears and pass them as they charged into Abbey straight.  Even the more experienced drivers had difficulty here as Alberto Ascari‘s Ferrari clipped Juan Manuel Fangio‘ s Alfa Romeo who luckily just managed to avoid going into a spin. Giuseppe Farina in his Alfa Romeo crossed the line first to take the bonus point but his cars suspension had collapsed driving over the debris left from the start of the race forcing him to pull after crossing the line.
Sanesi leads, Farina and Fangio take opposite lines while Ascari tries to force his way through and comes into contact with Fangio. Bonetto takes evasive action behind while Claes tries to catch up

Lap 1 – Abbey Straight – Sanesi leads, Farina & Fangio are neck and neck while Ascari tries to force his way through and comes into contact with Fangio. Bonetto immediately behind takes evasive action with Claes in the distance.

Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Farina (Alfa-Romeo) retired immediately after crossing line,  2nd – Consalvo Sanesi (Alfa-Romeo), 3rd – Fangio (Alfa-Romeo), 4th – Ascari (Ferrari) 5th – Louis Rosier (Talbot-Lago)

LAP 2 – With Farina’s retirement Fangio moved up to Sanesi and passed him without incident, Ascari followed suit after a quick splash ‘n dash pit stop. As the lap wore on the lead 2 cars extended their lead with Ascari finding it increasingly difficult to stay in touch with the leader. Further back Yves Giraud-Cabantous (Talbot) also came to grief at the same spot as Farina, other retirements were Maurice Trintignant (Gordini) collision, Philippe Etancelin (Talbot) puncture leaving a field of 11 from the 20 starters. At the end of the lap at Luffield a number of cars struggled with worn tyres and grip (see photo inset).

Top 5 positions at end of lap. 1st – Fangio (Alfa-Romeo), 2nd – Ascari (Ferrari), 3rd – Sanesi (Alfa-Romeo), 4th – Claes (Talbot),  5th – Louis Rosier (Talbot)

Lap 2 - Drivers fail to take heed of gloomy skies at Luffield. Rosier & Simon spin ahead of Trintignants stricken Gordini, Bonetto & Villoresi check their speed while Claes struggles to slow in the wet.

Lap 2 – Drivers fail to take heed of gloomy skies at Luffield. Rosier & Simon spin ahead of Trintignants stricken Gordini, Bonetto & Villoresi check their speed while Claes struggles to slow in the wet.

LAP 3 – The final lap became somewhat processional as Fangio extended his lead over Ascari who in turn pulled ahead of the chasing pack with these positions staying the same to the chequered flag.  The remaining 3 points paying places were fought over in a battle royale by no less than 5 drivers who changed positions right to the end. Sanesi eventually took the last podium place from Luigi Villoresi (Ferrari), Taruffi (Ferrari), Rosier (Talbot) and Bonetto (Alfa-Romeo). Claes and Andre Simon (Gordini) were the final retirees.

Result

1st – Juan Manuel Fangio (ARG) Alfa Romeo – 8 points

2nd – Alberto Ascari (IT) Ferrari – 6 points

3rd – Consalvo Sanesi (IT) Alfa Romeo – 4 points

4th – Luigi Villoresi (IT) Ferrari – 3 points

5th – Piero Taruffi (IT) Ferrari – 2 points

Lap Leader bonus point – Giuseppe Farina (IT) Alfa Romeo

The result means that Fangio extends his lead to 4 points over nearest rival Ascari.

Championship placings after 4 races

1st Fangio (ARG) Alfa Romeo – 26 points

2nd Ascari (IT) Ferrari – 22 points

3rd Sanesi (IT) Alfa Romeo – 16 points

4th Farina (IT) Alfa Romeo – 9 points

5th Villoresi (IT) Ferrari – 7 points

NEXT – WEST GERMANY – Nurburgring

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