SEASON 3 – Farina claims first win of the season amid multiple driver injuries and Ascari’s abortive return – 1952 Historic Formula de solitaire season Race #4 of 7 – Silverstone

Posted: November 23, 2014 in Formula de, wargames, wargames chrome

Silverstone welcomed Alberto Ascari’s Ferrari return after his serious crash at the seasons opener at Bremgarten. It would require a herculean effort to overturn Fischer’s privately entered Ferrari and team mate Farina’s points tally by the last race but such as Ascari’s pedigree that he showed no signs of defeatism as he confidently claimed the 4th quickest time in in qualifying putting him on the 4th grid behind the drivers who already had accumulated points. Talented youngster Stirling Moss also returned from injury with his ERA. Robert Manzon (Gordini) was absent after his crash in the previous race. His replacement was once again the Maserati privateer entrant of Gino Bianco. 

LAP 1 – The heavens opened prior to the start and as the cars took up position on the grid Ascari could be seen gesticulating wildly toward the Ferrari pit wall.  As the lights went out his car remained stationary.  He was in company as championship leader Fischer and Prince B Bira’s privately entered Maserati also stalled.  The latter 2 both managed to get away eventually but it was not to be the case for Ascari who despite his frantic efforts could not get going. An ignominious return for the reigning World Champion.

Back marker Gino Bianco (Maserati privateer) soon joined Ascari as an early retiree when he clipped a gaggle of cars ahead of him and crashed into the hay bales on the road side. Medical staff extricated the driver quickly from his car but it was obvious that his injuries were serious. Further up in the midfield pack, Johnny Claes (Gordini) shunted Alan Brown’s privately entered Cooper. Losing control Claes careered into the corner collecting privateer Eric Brandon’s Cooper before coming to a halt.  Claes also had to be helped from his car by medical staff. Paul Frere’s HWM then came to grief at the same corner driving over the debris left from the aforementioned collision.

As Farina stole a march on everyone, Peter Collins led the chasing pack as more drivers found their race coming to a premature end at Maggotts. Maurice Trintignant (Gordini) caught Moss’s ERA. Felice Bonetto (Maserati) then also collided with Moss who appeared to be knocked unconscious from the force of the second collision. Then another collision with potentially far reaching implications when Lance Macklin (HWM) took out himself and Championship leader Fischer at Club Corner. Fischer was the 4th driver to be admitted to the medical tent and due to the extent of his injuries will not be able to take part in the next race at the very least.  Other first lap retirements were Bira (Maserati privateer), Hawthorn (Cooper).

Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Giuseppe Farina (Ferrari), 2nd – Peter Collins (HWM), 3rd – Jean Behra (Gordini), 4th – Luigi Villoresi (Ferrari), 5th – Dennis Poore (Connaught)

Lap 2 Copse Corner carnage - #21 Villoresi (Ferrari), #19 Poore (Connaught) & #30 Wharton (Frazer-Nash) negotiate the debris left from the first lap madness

Lap 2 Copse Corner carnage – #21 Villoresi (Ferrari), #19 Poore (Connaught) & #30 Wharton (Frazer-Nash) negotiate the debris left from the first lap madness

LAP 2 Just 7 cars remained which soon became 6 as Villoresi’s Ferrari succumbed driving over the detritus left at Maggots. Up front, Farina’s lead was cut dramatically for a short while as Collins got up to 5th gear approaching Stowe, unfortunately he lost control exiting the corner and spun undoing all his hard work by having to restart in 1st gear. Having to negotiate all the debris left at Club, Maggots and Copse inevitably forced the drivers to take more off corner entry points and Behra and Poore joined Collins spinning at various stages in the race. Fortunately all drivers managed to regain control and continue.

Top 5 at end of lap. 1st – Farina (Ferrari), 2nd – Collins (HWM), 3rd Behra (Gordini), 4th Pierro Taruffi (Ferrari), 5th – Poore (Connaught) 

LAP 3 – Farina leading from the very start extended his lead to by a massive unassailable margin despite damage to his suspension at Maggots. This in the main was due to Collins’ fate as he exited the pits for the last lap. Still in contention at that point his luck finally ran out as his fragile HWM succumbed almost inevitably at Copse driving over the debris that covered the entire corner. Behra (Gordini) now found himself in 2nd with Pierro Taruffi (Ferrari) who had had an abysmal season up to that point in 3rd. Farina took the win with ease but the battle for 2nd raged all the way to Luffield as Behra somehow managed to fend off Taruffi’s far more powerful Ferrari.  Poore who was in 4th had a horrific crash at Maggots but by way of there only being 4 other cars running collected 5th place and the points as the best of the non finishers. Scant reward for the multiple injuries received.  Ken Wharton in his Frazer-Nash gave the home fans some crumbs of comfort by managing to come in last of the runners in 4th and taking a handful of valuable points. 

RESULT

1st – Giuseppe Farina (IT) Ferrari  – 8 points +1 bonus point for 1st lap leader   

2nd – Jean  Behra (FRA) Gordini – 6 points 

3rd – Pierro Taruffi (IT) Ferrari – 4 points 

4th – Ken Wharton (GB) Frazer-Nash – 3 points 

5th – Dennis Poore (GB) Connaught – 2 points (DNF)

Championship placings after 4 races

1st –  Farina (IT) Ferrari – 27 points (1 win)

2nd – Behra (FRA) Gordini – 21 points (1 win)

3rd – Fischer (SWI) Ferrari privateer – 20 points (2 wins)

4th – Wharton (GB) Frazer-Nash – 6 points (0 wins)

A mouth watering set up for the second half of the season as the top 3 drivers are separated by a single race win –  NEXT – Race #5 – WEST GERMANY – Nurburgring

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