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Antonio Ascari


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#1 speedman13

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 17:42

Can anyone tell me the location of the Antonio Ascari memorial at Montlhery.

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#2 33 route d'orleans

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 18:05

The Memorial Ascari is located just before "Le Chateau d'eau", way down "Les Deux Ponts" when you come from what we call "le circuit routier".
You can see it on Mémoire des Stands : http://memoiresdesta...r-d-ascari.html

#3 speedman13

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 19:02

Many thanks for that information.

#4 taylov

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:09

I have recently acquired a copy of the fabulous book " Les Grandes Heures de Montlhery" by Pascal published in 2004. In this book the Alberto Ascari accident is discussed alongside the famous photo of the driver being carried from his wrecked Alfa to a waiting ambulance. The location is stated to be "...dans the courbe de Saint-Eutrope...."

Several sources agree and place the accident at the high speed righthand curve after the water tower ie shortly after leaving the startline. Kevin Desmond in his book about Ascari, father and son, places it this point, but has the crash occuring on the return leg, ie. at the parallel left hand curve.

However that location contradicts several other accounts of the accident, particuarly those that have appeared in English books over the years, which place the scene at the far end of the road course near Les Biscornes.

Leif Snellman states on the Golden Era website page on Montlhery - "The first French GP at Montlhéry in 1925 ended in tragedy as Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Ascari crashed fatally near Les Biscornes.

Three locations - Does anyone have a definitive answer?

Tony

#5 f1steveuk

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:31

Best I can offer is to ask Kevin where he got his information from?

#6 cpbell

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:31

This photo:

Posted Image

appears to show the water tower in the background, with the direction of the circuit heading towards it and to the left of it i.e. the cars look as though the water tower will be on their right as they pass it.

#7 Michael Ferner

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:44

From memory, I'd have said it was the left-hander on the backstraight, but I went back to the most original report I have, which is a bad German translation of a French report in a contemporary magazine, and it said St. Eutrope straight. However, the accident was explained as Ascari hitting the palisades with his left wheel after turning in too sharply, suggesting a left-hand corner! The St. Eutrope straight was named after a nearby hotel, if I'm not mistaken, and maybe the confusion comes from the fact that the accident happened at the curve next to the hotel, but on the return leg.

The Biscornes section of the track was a succession of slow corners, not at all congruent with the reports of a high speed accident.

#8 Michael Ferner

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:47

Ah, great picture! I think that settles it.

#9 cpbell

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:59

Ah, great picture! I think that settles it.



Not being familiar with the subtleties of the circuit plan (other than a rough image in my mind), which location does the photo I found appear to show?

#10 taylov

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:09

Posted Image

The photo places the accident at the long fast left hand band just past the 9km stone on the map returning to the banked track (the upper road) before Chateau d'eau (the water tower) which stood between the two roads.

BTW, the crowd on the far side are standing on the outward road. The two roads have a very narrow divide at this point. Well worth a look on Google Earth to see the track as it was in 2003,2008 and 2011. The Water Tower still stands.

Thank you all.

Tony

Edited by taylov, 10 July 2012 - 12:47.


#11 cpbell

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:14

Posted Image

The photo places the accident at the long fast left hand band just past the 9km stone on the map returning to the banked track (the upper road) before Chateau d'eau (the water tower) which stood between the two roads.

Thamk you all.

Tony


Thanks.

#12 robert dick

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:50

André Boillot witnessed the accident near the 9-km stone.
Charles Faroux wrote in the magazine "Très Sport", 1 September 1925:

"La vérité sur la mort d'Ascari:
L'accident qui coûta la vie au malheureux Ascari a fait couler beaucoup d'encre. Alors qu'il remontait vers l'autodrome, Ascari à l'entrée d'une courbe à gauche de grand rayon, heurte un des piquets de soutien qui consolident la palissade bordant la piste. La voiture, qui roulait à 190 kilomètres-heure (estimation d'André Boillot, témoin oculaire), commence à pivoter autour du point d'impact: elle pivote autour d'un axe vertical, se renverse sur le côté, après avoiir projeté Ascari en l'air, retombe sur la jambe gauche d'Ascari revenu au sol avant elle, fait encore un saut périlleux et retombe sur les roues en bordure de la route.
Si pas de palissade, pas de piquet; si pas de piquet, pas d'accident. Voilà qui est clair. Or, le jeudi précédant l'épreuve, Ascari lui-même me disait avoir demandé l'enlèvement de ces palissades, d'ailleurs dangereuses pour un simple touriste. Prescience tragique! Et nous nous étonnons qu'on ait point tenu compte de la demande d'Ascari. A quoi M. de Knyff répond: 'Mais les coureurs de Delage ont demandé le maintien des palissades; celles-ci d'ailleurs avaient pour but d'empêcher le coureur de quitter le ciment pour la bordure de terre non tassée où il eût été bien dangereux pour lui de rouler.' Ce dernier argument ne me convainc pas; celui du coureur de Delage est plus sérieux. Sans doute, aurait-on pu provoquer une réunion contradictoire entre Ascari et Divo ou Benoist. Mais, on n'y songe qu'après."


#13 Michael Ferner

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:38

Thanks, Robert. As always, to the point with a contemporary source. :up:

"Pas de Piquet, pas d'accident."

Somehow, I liked that.  ;)