Posted 21 October 2000 - 08:08
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................?
Posted 21 October 2000 - 09:23
Posted 21 October 2000 - 09:57
Posted 21 October 2000 - 14:13
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.
Posted 21 October 2000 - 14:15
Posted 22 October 2000 - 14:31
That's the only one I have found so far. The site can be a bit slow, but the picture is definitely there!
Posted 22 October 2000 - 14:43
Anyway, thanks again.
Posted 22 October 2000 - 21:26
Posted 01 November 2000 - 21:47
Anyway, here's one of the pictures I promised:
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.
Posted 02 November 2000 - 07:45
Posted 06 November 2000 - 20:20
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.
Posted 06 November 2000 - 22:18
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 !!!
Posted 06 November 2000 - 22:47
Posted 06 November 2000 - 23:17
Posted 06 November 2000 - 23:24
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.
Posted 06 November 2000 - 23:34
Er....#1 seems a bit iffy.....
Posted 07 November 2000 - 00:32
Posted 07 November 2000 - 07:52
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.
Posted 08 November 2000 - 00:02
Is your Retroracing story still available? i can't access it.
Posted 18 November 2000 - 22:48
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 ?
Posted 19 November 2000 - 18:11
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.
Posted 22 January 2001 - 18:17
Posted 01 March 2001 - 22:23
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 01 March 2001 - 23:30
And according to All But My Life he drove that at Bari in 1950, a Ferrari in 1951....
Posted 01 March 2001 - 23:40
Posted 02 March 2001 - 00:03
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?
Posted 02 March 2001 - 13:45
Posted 12 March 2001 - 22:42
Compare it with the map Barry Boor posted above, and this:
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?
Posted 12 March 2001 - 23:37
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.
Posted 13 March 2001 - 00:08
Posted 13 March 2001 - 19:48
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?)
Originally posted by Barry Boor
(This situation would mirror the inaccurate Reims circuit so often seen in books.)
Posted 13 March 2001 - 20:57
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!
Posted 13 March 2001 - 23:29
Posted 14 March 2001 - 07:20
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.
Posted 14 March 2001 - 19:54
Posted 14 March 2001 - 21:15
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!
Posted 14 March 2001 - 23:50
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....
Posted 14 March 2001 - 23:58
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.