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When men were men


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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 22:41

Although you may shy away from this post due to its apparent frivolous nature, please bear with me for a minute and you may get the point.

As I was completing a Pau Grand Prix with my 1950-51 slot cars today, I discovered that it was the longest race I had ever run. 110 laps of a circuit with a lap time of a shade under 10 seconds. When I use my unique multiplying up method, I find that Ascari's winning time equates to well over three hours. It certainly was a hard, challenging 110 laps.

I looked up the real 1951 race and found that Villoresi won it with a time five minutes longer than my theoretical Ascari time.

This set me wondering how tiring that must have been to be winding a 4.5 litre Ferrari around those hairpins for well over three hours. Or was it? Surely much harder work than, say, Jim Clark winning there in 1963 in two and three-quarter hours with a 1.5 litre car. And how does it all compare with the physical effort of driving a modern F.1 car for half that time, with power steering, but huge g-forces etc etc etc.

So who were/are the REAL men? Or is it in fact, all of them.

(And PLEASE, no sheep jokes!)

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#2 LittleChris

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 23:06

Rene Dreyfus 1938 in the Delahaye was the REAL REAL man Barry, the rest were just REAL men !!!

#3 SWB

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 01:06

I think a shift down t'pit lasted more than three hours, which I think would have been marginally more dangerous and tiring. So was Ascari working hard? I think if he'd come last he may have felt he'd worked harder than he did coming first, so its in the eye of the beholder and if you are enjoying it.

Steve


#4 jj2728

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 01:19

Maybe it's just me, but folly or not, I consider what Pierre Eugène Alfred Bouillin(Levegh) did at Le Mans in 1952 to be a real man man's effort......

#5 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 07:53

Maybe it's just me, but folly or not, I consider what Pierre Eugène Alfred Bouillin(Levegh) did at Le Mans in 1952 to be a real man man's effort......


:up: to that.

Wasn't he driving for over 20 hours and leading when the car broke down :confused:

#6 Barry Boor

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 08:21

Closer to the end than that, actually.

The general view is that his tireness caused a bodged gear-change which wrecked the gearbox. True or not, it was a magnificent, but stupid attempt, which caused motor racing to change forever three years later.

#7 Giraffe

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 08:22

It would be an interesting question to pose to someone who had actually raced in more than one era, such as Chris Amon who raced Maserati 250F and Matra MS120, or Jack Brabham, Dan Gurney or several other drivers whilst they're still around to recount their experiences. Somehow, I think this may well have already been done?

Edited by Giraffe, 24 April 2010 - 08:23.


#8 D-Type

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 16:32

What about doing the Mille Miglia in an Alfa Romeo "Matta" (jeep)?

Didn't Chinetti drive something like 23 1/2 of the 24 hours at Le Mans in 1949 as Lord Selsdon was taken ill?

I suppose the question could be rephrased as "What was the most tiring circuit?"

Edited by D-Type, 24 April 2010 - 16:33.


#9 Roger Clark

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 17:13

What about doing the Mille Miglia in an Alfa Romeo "Matta" (jeep)?

Didn't Chinetti drive something like 23 1/2 of the 24 hours at Le Mans in 1949 as Lord Selsdon was taken ill?

I suppose the question could be rephrased as "What was the most tiring circuit?"

Moss said that it took him longer to recover from the 1958 Nurburgring !,000kms, when he drove 36 of 44 laps, than it from the 1955 Mille Miglia. I suspect that Le Mans, especially in the 1940s, was leisurely in comparison.

It's also possible that Nuvolari was ready for a rest after the 1931 Targa Florio - nine hours without relief and not on the mickey mouse circuit used after the war either.

#10 dretceterini

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 17:29

IMO, Nuvolari's drive in the 1947 MM was equally outstanding

#11 thomaskomm

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 17:56

Oh, Yes the first REAL MENS were the first racing driver at example the Renault Brothers. They drove 6 or 8 hours straight on streets there was no streets only with grave path and with about 100 miles. Believe one dog or cat or thick stone and your live was away.... this was the first real mens, believe me. I saw the first Grand Prix 1906 in France DVD. boaah, what cars, primitive and other real mens there was the driver in usa they drove in the twenties of ovals of wood with tempis about 150 miles per hour!! With this tyres! Think on Gaston Chevrolet his death 1920 with this famous Frontenac. Yeaah, don´t think on today driver they driver on ovals of wood had higher g-force than in europe. The turns have more than 50 degrees and with this hell of pace...I forget the Rodriguez brothers, they were so brave and hard driving. Pedro I thought for him was it clear he would dying on the race track, cause he drove mostly wet races absolutely over limit. Have a look here:http://www.dickralstin.com/
Thomas

Edited by thomaskomm, 25 April 2010 - 07:55.


#12 arttidesco

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 21:35

The demands on drivers have changed over the century, how many of the drivers on the grid at Silverstone in 1950 would even fit into the cockpit of their counter parts on the grid in 2010 ?

In the past a fair amount of brawn was needed to handle a car these days a fair amount of fitness is required to withstand the G forces experienced on the corners and accelerating and equally braking.

I remember the first time i drove a formula first and used the brakes really hard I felt like my head was going to be ripped off and that after whizzing around all day in a lame by comparison XR3i !

Edited by arttidesco, 24 April 2010 - 21:35.


#13 ensign14

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 22:00

I think Emile Levassor set the record for real man's man in the sort-of first race. :)

Otherwise, what about the Bol D'or? 24 hours with no driver changes?

#14 Dan333SP

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 02:51

Paris-Peking. 'nuff said.

#15 Allan Lupton

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 07:14

Paris-Peking. 'nuff said.

Wrong way!

#16 Dan333SP

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 13:56

Paris<-Peking
:blush:

#17 AllTwelve

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 23:50

What about doing the Mille Miglia in an Alfa Romeo "Matta" (jeep)?

Didn't Chinetti drive something like 23 1/2 of the 24 hours at Le Mans in 1949 as Lord Selsdon was taken ill?

I suppose the question could be rephrased as "What was the most tiring circuit?"


Lord Selsdon was not ill - he was drunk.

#18 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 06:42

It'd be interesting to ask someone like Mario Andretti, who was still competitive at the top level into the early 90s, and did Le Mans in 2000.

#19 ensign14

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 07:12

He'd probably mention Langhorne. One mile around and yet for 20 years it was more deadly than the Nurburgring.

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#20 Stephen W

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 08:45

Lord Selsdon was not ill - he was drunk.


Makes you proud to be British!

On the more serious point I would have thought the shorter twistier venues would have been the more tiring for the driver. These venues would have necessitated more laps to be completed to get up to the sort of race distances that were the norm.

:wave:

#21 Doug Nye

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 09:25

Might I suggest a round of applause for the star drivers in the modern World Rally Championship? Against the present background of health & safety in all things, they give us all a proper sense of perspective... Certainly impress me, anyway.

DCN

#22 sterling49

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 09:27

So true Doug, no armco barriers where they go :eek:

#23 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 14:20

Might I suggest a round of applause for the star drivers in the modern World Rally Championship? Against the present background of health & safety in all things, they give us all a proper sense of perspective... Certainly impress me, anyway.

DCN


I fully agree with that. I would add to the list the top drivers that participate each year in the Dakar Rally.

#24 2F-001

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 16:32

I should think Liege-Sofia-Liege was fairly gruelling too, give the roads and the schedule it entailed.

#25 VAR1016

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 17:02

I should say that Castelotti's 1956 Mille Miglia deserves a mention.. Mostly heavy rain for the 1000 miles and from memory, he averaged about 85mph in a Ferrari 290MM - and he didn't put a dent in it either!

Edited by VAR1016, 27 April 2010 - 17:02.


#26 RStock

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 19:36

Seems Levegh's effort at Le Mans is the ultimate testimony to manliness , and is hard to top .

As for GP/F1 competition , one would naturally assume that the equipment , or lack thereof , used in days of yore would certainly lend itself to a much higher test of manhood . The Italian GP of 1934 being a good example . Muscling those machines around for 4 & 3/4 hours is not something I would want to try , though most did split time with other drivers .

One thing that I believe can be said for the physical demands of F1/GP machinery was attested to by Michael Parkes in a story he did for Shell on the differences between F1 and sport car racing . That being the F1 cars require a higher degree of concentration , and the need to be "on it" at all times . He seemed to indicate that an F1 race was much more intense and deemanding than a long distance sport car competition , though I suppose it would be more mental than physical . Here are his words on the matter ,

Michael Parkes - This is most important in Formula 1 driving, which is a much more delicate and precise skill than driving a relatively heavy sports car. The Grand Prix car is a more sophisticated piece of machinery, designed to reach a relatively higher standard of performance, but which has to be driven closer to its ultimate limit over the full distance and duration of a race than does the two-seater … In Grand Prix races, which usually last only two hours, the pressure is on all the time, and you are having to drive that much closer to the knife-edge . … You have to produce a standard of skill very close to the maximum. Once you let your standard of driving fall off from this, the car’s performance drops off very rapidly indeed. In Grand Prix racing it marks the difference between a potential race-winner and an also-ran

http://s154140382.we...-1966-and-1967/


There is also Chris Amon's testimony , in an interview with Alan Henry I think , concerning the 1967 Monaco GP , held on a rather warm day and lasting around 2 & 1/2 hours , where he tells of becoming dehydrated in the car , to the point of becoming "cold" . He goes on to say he thinks that same thing happened to Bandini and caused a momentary lapse in concentration with caused Bandini's fatal collision .

And something must be said for 500 miles on a hot summer day in a close cockpit stockcar . Not a walk in the park either .

So , my point being , all racing has it's different challenges and they are all real men .

Edited by REDARMYSOJA, 27 April 2010 - 23:47.


#27 Barry Boor

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 19:46

Even Danica Patrick????

#28 Giraffe

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 19:47

Even Danica Patrick????

She's more of a man than many to be fair to her (but not in that sense, Barry!)


#29 RStock

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 19:50

She's more of a man than many to be fair to her (but not in that sense, Barry!)


She does have balls , I'll give her that .


#30 RStock

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 23:47

The 1967 Monaco GP lasted just over 2 & 1/2 hours.



Correct . I don't know why I got 3 in there .