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Ospedaletti


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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 08:08

Having had my Brussels circuit problem so rapidly solved by Roger, sorry people, but I have another quest you may be able to help me with.
Being an old anorak (aren't we all?) if I find myself in the vicinity of any old race tracks I have to go and have a look. During the summer I located, walked around, drove around and videoed the Ospedaletti circuit, scene of the San Remo Grand Prix races from the late 1940's and early 1950's. I have written a feature for a website about the place, but sadly I have very little material with which to do the 'then and now' type pictures that Motor Sport use in their old circuit articles.
In fact, the only picture I have that I was able to use for comparison is the shot of Ascari turning into the first corner on the lap, taken during the Lancia team's 3 day test there early in 1955. This is from Chris Nixon's brilliant 'Rivals' book.
I have over a hundred motor sport based books, but none has any photos of San Remo races, or at least none that show enough background to be able to make a comparison. So, everybody, is there anyone out there................?

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#2 Flicker

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 09:23

Map from Darren Galpin's GEL Website:
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#3 fines

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 09:57

Barry, I do have some pictures from some old books and magazines, but no scanner! :mad: However, I will try to get them posted anyway, but I'll need a little time.

#4 Boniver

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 10:34

Barry,

see http://www.retroraci...uk/features.htm

with a foto of San Remeo GP
Boniver

#5 fines

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 10:40

Boniver, noticed the name of the author? :lol:

#6 Barry Boor

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 14:13

Well spotted, fines!
Incidentally, the map from Darren Galpin's site was the very one I took with me to Italy. You see, I have an old book produced by Autosport in 1955, with all the, then current, circuit maps in it. I scanned in and e-mailed to him many of the circuits from the book that Darren didn't have on his site. Which reminds me, as it is half term, I must do some more for him.

#7 Barry Boor

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 14:15

Soory, fines, I should have thanked you re the San Remo pictures. Time is not an important factor!

Many thanks.

#8 Brent

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Posted 22 October 2000 - 07:27

"Boniver, notice the name of the author?" :lol: :lol: :)

#9 John Cross

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Posted 22 October 2000 - 14:31

Here's a picture of the start of the 1949 race:

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That's the only one I have found so far. The site can be a bit slow, but the picture is definitely there!

#10 Barry Boor

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Posted 22 October 2000 - 14:43

What a great picture! Thanks, John. I'll have to get back into my video of the track and find the closest view I have of that part of the circuit. The big problem I think, is that I was on the other side of the road, as there is actually no pavement on the side where this photo was taken from. I suspect the photographer was actually hanging over the wall of the Royal Hotel!
Anyway, thanks again.

#11 fines

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Posted 22 October 2000 - 21:26

That was one of the pics I was going to scan, so that saves me time - Thank you, John ;)

#12 fines

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Posted 01 November 2000 - 21:47

Wow, this thread has already slipped down to page 3!!

Anyway, here's one of the pictures I promised:

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Fangio winning his very first race for Alfa Romeo, Apr 16, 1950.

Not a very good one, I fear! There's more to come, though.

#13 Barry Boor

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Posted 02 November 2000 - 07:45

Thanks, fines! This one is a bit difficult to locate, due to the sea being to the left. I can't quite work out where it is on the circuit; but then, that's my problem !

#14 Roger Clark

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 20:20

Barry,

Are you still looking for pictures of Ospedaletti? i've recently come across a picture of the start, taken from the other side of the road from John's, and several pictures of the hairpin. All from 1951.

#15 Barry Boor

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 22:18

Yes, yes, yes! Anything you have would be wonderful.
Are you able to attach them to an e-mail to me? Or will you put them up on the Forum? Either way they would be greatly appreciated.

What nice people you meet on this Forum business !!!

#16 mhferrari

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 22:32

Nice track, better than most modern ones.

#17 Roger Clark

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 22:41

http://www.jumbani.d.../SanRemo001.JPG
http://www.jumbani.d.../SanRemo002.JPG
http://www.jumbani.d.../SanRemo003.JPG
http://www.jumbani.d.../SanRemo004.JPG

Let me know if the captions aren't readable and I'll post them



#18 Barry Boor

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 22:47

Roger, maybe it's me but I'm only getting the top couple of centimetres of each of the 4 images. Any ideas?

#19 Roger Clark

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 23:04

No, it was me, but it should be alright now.

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#20 Roger Clark

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 23:17

One thing i can't understand, is how Lancia manged to do a three day test (Barry's first post) in what was obviously a circuit in the middle of the town. did they close the town just for them?

#21 Barry Boor

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 23:24

Yes, that's exactly what they did. However, I suppose that in 1955 very few people owned cars, so if anyone wanted to 'go to the shops'or whatever, they simply walked along the pavement (sidewalk). As the start/finish straigh is the main coast road from France through to Genoa and beyond, quite how through traffic got on I can't imagine.

From my walk around the place, I could see no other way through. Maybe they just held the traffic up and let the car/s run for half and hour or so, and then stopped them for lorries etc to pass by.

The devil in me has a scenario where they just let the traffic carry on through, and Ascari dodged it ! No, too silly.

#22 Barry Boor

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 23:34

Images 2, 3 and 4 are brilliant. Many thanks, Roger.

Er....#1 seems a bit iffy.....

#23 Roger Clark

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Posted 07 November 2000 - 00:32

#1 should be alright now. (I've got a new FTP prgram and my uploading seems a bit hit and miss.)

#24 Barry Boor

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Posted 07 November 2000 - 07:52

Superb, Roger, thanks again.

I'll be sending some of these pictures down to Retro Racing, along with my video images from this August for them to do some 'then and now' comparisons to add to my story.

#25 Roger Clark

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Posted 08 November 2000 - 00:02

Barry,

Is your Retroracing story still available? i can't access it.

#26 Barry Boor

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Posted 08 November 2000 - 00:08

Yes. It's at http://www.retroracing.co.uk under the title 'Ghost of San Remo'.

#27 fines

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Posted 18 November 2000 - 20:37

Again, back from page 3...

Posted Image
Posted Image

#28 Barry Boor

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Posted 18 November 2000 - 22:48

Thanks Michael ! All these wonderful San Remo images are much appreciated.

To be honest, having walked and driven the entire circuit, if I didn't know that these pictures were from that track, I'd be pushed to identify the place. The surroundings seem to have altered a lot, even from when these pictures were taken to when Lancia tested there in 1955.

But then I suppose if one looks at pictures of the lovely old station at Monaco, and then at the Monaco Grand Hotel (formerly Loewes) you would have to say the same thing again.

It's progress, but is it improvement ?

#29 fines

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Posted 19 November 2000 - 11:57

You old sentimental bloke, you... :) :);)

#30 karlcars

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Posted 19 November 2000 - 18:11

Just to mention that there are a fair number of San Remo photos in my 'Fangio' book and my new book on Ascari. Regarding the latter, I'm sorry to say that it's been held up in the bindery so it won't be available until early December.

I haven't seen 'Rivals' by Nixon but I'll bet a dollar to a doughnut that any photos of Lancia testing at San Remo were from our archives, taken by Rudy Mailander.

#31 Barry Boor

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Posted 22 January 2001 - 18:17

I've resurrected this thread to answer today's enquiry from Michael Smart about this circuit.

#32 fines

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Posted 01 March 2001 - 22:23

Barry, still looking for pics of Ospedaletti? Try this:

http://fangio.hyperm...1949sanremo.htm

Or this:

http://fangio.hyperm...1950sanremo.htm

and this:

http://fangio.hyperm.../bari51moss.jpg

A wonderful site, albeit in Spanish, with hundreds of pics, most of which I've never seen before, lots of track maps for Darren Galpin (Parque Palermo, Terme di Caracalla, Bari, Piriápolis, Marseille, Bordeaux etc.), info about South American Libre races for Tony Kaye, Ferrari pics for Michael Müller and Egon Thurner, and, best of all, a link to Atlas F1 ("Pagina en ingles sobre actualidad en la F1. Muy buena")! Posted Image

#33 Ray Bell

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Posted 01 March 2001 - 23:30

The pic of Moss, it's in the HWM Alta... it says Bari. That's not San Remo, is it?
And according to All But My Life he drove that at Bari in 1950, a Ferrari in 1951....

#34 Roger Clark

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Posted 01 March 2001 - 23:40

But in neither case did he carry number 16. He did at San Remo in 1951. In fact, I posted a very similar picture earlier in this thread.

#35 Ray Bell

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Posted 02 March 2001 - 00:03

So did he drive somebody else's car with that number?
It is a HWM alta, isn't it?

By the way, one photo there carries a Karl Ludvigsen credit... has he been holding out here?

#36 Roger Clark

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Posted 02 March 2001 - 06:32

Sorry, Ray. Imeant to say that http://fangio.hyperm.../bari51moss.jpg is almost certainly San REmo, not Bari Look at the bottom of http://www.jumbani.d.../SanRemo002.JPG

#37 fines

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Posted 02 March 2001 - 13:45

Yes, the picture's certainly mistitled and misplaced, like some others on the site. Nevertheless, it's worth a visit!!!

#38 Barry Boor

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Posted 02 March 2001 - 21:03

It's great to still be getting San Remo images.

For final confirmation on the Moss #16 matter, see
http://www.jumbani.d.../SanRemo004.JPG

#39 Roger Clark

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Posted 12 March 2001 - 22:42

This is a map of the Ospedaletti circuit which accompanied Autosport's report of the 1951 race

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Compare it with the map Barry Boor posted above, and this:

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You can see on the second map a road which would give the same shape as the Autosport map. The trouble is that the second map comes from Autocourse's report on that same 1951 race! Both magazines say that the lap distance was 2.1miles.

Might it be possible that Lancia's 1955 testing ws done on the loop excluded from the "Autosport" circuit which looks as though it avoided the town centre?



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#40 Barry Boor

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Posted 12 March 2001 - 23:37

I bet you KNEW I'd come back on this one, Roger.

The first thing that strikes me is that the upper map you posted shows the race direction as clockwise. This leads me to think that maybe this was a projected track that may never actually have been used.

(This situation would mirror the inaccurate Reims circuit so often seen in books.)

Having walked around the track, I feel that had they used the roads to link the northern end of the circuit to the start/finish straight, the drivers would have found those roads too narrow for sensible racing. I can clearly picture the junction near the Piazza Nuova and I can remember that the road leading onto the main street was extremely narrow.

The photograph of Ascari turning into the first corner that is used in Nixon's book shows that Lancia certainly used that end of the track, but any cutting off of the western end of the lap would have gained nothing from the town point of view because the main part of the town is within both the versions posted by Roger.

Still, it's a fascinating variation. Thanks for posting it, Roger.

#41 Roger Clark

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Posted 13 March 2001 - 00:08

Did you ever resolve the problem of the picture Fines posted of Fangio with the sea on his left? :)

#42 fines

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Posted 13 March 2001 - 19:48

Originally posted by Barry Boor
(This situation would mirror the inaccurate Reims circuit so often seen in books.)

Barry, can you point some out? I'm not aware of any inaccurate track maps of Reims. (or maybe I just didn't notice they're incorrect?)

#43 Barry Boor

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Posted 13 March 2001 - 20:57

In my Autosport Directory 1955, there is a Reims (Rheims) circuit map. It is wrong. The same map appears in Adriano Cimarosti's 'History of Grand Prix Motor Racing' and Peter Lewis' 'Motor Racing Through the Fifties'.

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This is it. Where did it come from? My only explanation (with which Chris Nixon is in agreement, although neither of us says it with any certainty) is that when they decided to by-pass the village of Gueux, they planned this one and then something happened to change their plans; e.g. topographical conditions or maybe a bolshie farmer who did not want noisy, smelly racing cars roaring past his cows!

#44 Ray Bell

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Posted 13 March 2001 - 23:29

Another one to chalk up to TNF... probably a fairly well known event of the fifties, forgotten in the sixties.

#45 Roger Clark

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Posted 14 March 2001 - 06:16

What is wrong with that map?

#46 Barry Boor

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Posted 14 March 2001 - 07:20

Roger, this is what the Reims circuit was really like.

Posted Image

I can vouch for the authenticity of this shape because I was lucky enough to go there and drive around it in 1998. It is not in the Rouen/Spa/Ring class, but it must have been a maginificent stretch of road for those who liked sitting there with your foot flat on the floor going VERY fast for long bits of the lap.

#47 Roger Clark

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Posted 14 March 2001 - 19:54

The village of Geux was first by-passed in 1952. The circuit was further modified before the 1953 race. I don't have any details, but lap times increased by about about 12 secs while speeds increased by 12kph. Could the first map be the 1952 circuit?

#48 Rob29

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Posted 14 March 2001 - 21:15

I think your right Roger;If you look at the first map it actually shows BOTH circuits.I'm sure I've seen a version which shows the short cicuit as the "practice" circuit.
Unfortuately I've never been there.In 1997 I was booked to go to a retro event which was cancelled due local politics-I ended up going to Basildon instead!

#49 Barry Boor

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Posted 14 March 2001 - 23:50

This is an interesting theory and one that has not been put forward before.

It just doesn't feel right, to me. Although I cannot say that the roads on the latest map were there even when the old circuit existed (into Gueux and out again), I would have thought that if they had re-routed it for a third time, after just 2 years, I would have expected some vestiges of the old roads still to exist - they don't!

Perhaps more concrete evidence is forthcoming when you look at the lap length. The old track is shown as 4.857 miles. After the changes, it goes up to 5.187 (1953) and changes slightly to 5.159 in 1954. The 'wrong' circuit would have been MUCH longer than the 'right' one. My book gives the lap length as 5.2 miles, which tallies with the 'right' shape. The slight variation of 0.028 miles is easily accounted for by the 'rounding-off' of the Thillois hairpin after the 1953 race which again, my book mentions.

So unless proven otherwise, I do not believe the 'wrong' version of this circuit ever existed.

As an aside, when I was in Reims 3 summers back, I was told by an old gentleman that I would be hard-pressed to find many people who lived in the city who even knew there used to be a race track near their home at all, let alone that it was a World Championship Grand Prix circuit. Very sad....

#50 Ray Bell

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Posted 14 March 2001 - 23:58

This is alarming, Barry. Something that I've struck repeatedly in my pursuit of old circuits in this country.

But I've aroused interest in many, too. And I've had some nice surprises, meeting and finding people who remember pre-war events on dusty roads and the like.