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1955 Italian Grand Prix


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#1 dgs

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 10:44

The 1963 Italian Grand Prix at Monza is the only race that had two different circuit configurations during the meeting.

Originally scheduled to be run over the full road and track circuit (10.000km/6.214ml). During first practice a number of drivers experienced problems on the banked part of track. Session stopped and later recommenced on the road circuit only (5.750km/3.573ml). All further practice and race was run over this circuit.

However this is not the only time this happened. By September 1955 the Monza circuit length had been increased by the addition of the banked circuit. This new road and track circuit was to be used for the first time at 1955 Italian GP. Mike Lang in his book 'Grand Prix Volume 1' mentions "that for the first practice session (Thursday) the organisers restricted drivers to the new banked circuit only, so they could get accustomed to the new driving techique required". After Thursday's experiment the full 10.000km/6.214ml circuit was opened and practice/ race took part oner this circuit.

Was the Thursday practice session timed? If so does anyone have the drivers times?

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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:34

La Stampa (9/9/55) gives the following times and also mentions that Farina crashed, after which there was some concern about tyres:

Fangio 1'00.2"
Farina 1'01.3"
Castellotti 1'02.3"
Trintignant 1'03.9"
Maglioli 1'04.1"
Hawthorn 1'05.8"
Taruffi 1'06.0"
Da Silva Ramos 1'07.1"
Moss 1'07.9"
Schell 1'08.4
Kling 1'10.1"

For the full article, follow this link. Fill in the date in the "Data specifica" section, select "data esatta" and click on "Cerca". The article is on the fifth page of the resulting search:

http://www.archiviol...rdata/Itemid,3/

[edited to fix link!]

Edited by Vitesse2, 26 January 2013 - 16:44.


#3 nicanary

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:43

Da Silva Ramos faster than Moss and Kling, presumably in streamliners. And he in the old Gordini 16. Que?

#4 Michael Ferner

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 15:38

The 1963 Italian Grand Prix at Monza is the only race that had two different circuit configurations during the meeting.


Not the only one. Happened quite frequently with beach races, e.g. Daytona/Ormond Beach (FL) 1905 Jan 30, Galveston (TX) 1909 Aug 5 & 1914 Aug 3, etc.

#5 D-Type

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 16:05

Interesting - How do those times compare to the "Race of Two Worlds" times?

Even then it's a mere curiosity as not all the drivers would have been trying, which explains Da silva Ramos being faster than the two Mercedes.

#6 Geoff E

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 16:31

Interesting - How do those times compare to the "Race of Two Worlds" times?


http://en.wikipedia...._and_qualifying


#7 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 16:33

Interesting - How do those times compare to the "Race of Two Worlds" times?

Even then it's a mere curiosity as not all the drivers would have been trying, which explains Da silva Ramos being faster than the two Mercedes.

Fangio's speed is about 30 km/h slower than Musso's 1958 pole time in a 4 litre Ferrari.

#8 Eric Dunsdon

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 17:44

http://en.wikipedia...._and_qualifying

The Two Worlds race was run on the banked oval circuit only.

#9 D-Type

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 19:28

The Two Worlds race was run on the banked oval circuit only.


Exactly. The 1955 Thursday lap times were also on the banked oval.

They therefore allow a direct comparison between 1955 GP cars and 1957-58 USAC cars (but allowiance must be made for the fact that the GP cars were not being driven competitively)

Edited by D-Type, 26 January 2013 - 19:29.


#10 Vitesse2

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 19:52

Exactly. The 1955 Thursday lap times were also on the banked oval.

They therefore allow a direct comparison between 1955 GP cars and 1957-58 USAC cars (but allowiance must be made for the fact that the GP cars were not being driven competitively)

I don't think Fangio, Farina and Castellotti (at least) were ever the sort who would be accused of not trying ;) Even allowing for journalistic licence I think we can infer that Farina was trying very hard indeed! Fangio was just being Fangio ...

#11 dgs

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 20:27

Not the only one. Happened quite frequently with beach races, e.g. Daytona/Ormond Beach (FL) 1905 Jan 30, Galveston (TX) 1909 Aug 5 & 1914 Aug 3, etc.


Michael Ferner is correct that a number of race meetings have been run over more than one configuration over a race weekend.

I was of course only discussing the World Championship Grand Prix's that have taken place since May 1950.

I have a small database of events (other than WC Grand Prix's) that have used two race configurations during a race weekend, including a World Sports Car Championship race (1957) pre-war Grand Prix a number of British hill climbs and even a F3 race where F3 cars raced clockwise and the motorcycle races (at same meeting) ran anti-clockwise.

#12 Geoff E

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 20:54

... and even a F3 race where F3 cars raced clockwise and the motorcycle races (at same meeting) ran anti-clockwise.


At the earliest Cadwell Park meetings, sidecars raced clockwise and solos anticlockwise.


#13 D-Type

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 21:13

I don't think Fangio, Farina and Castellotti (at least) were ever the sort who would be accused of not trying ;) Even allowing for journalistic licence I think we can infer that Farina was trying very hard indeed! Fangio was just being Fangio ...

But had there been grid positions at stake, they would probably have been faster and someof the others such as Moss and Kling would have been a lot faster.

Edit: I've just remembered Mercedes had done some pre-race testing at Monza. Was it Moss and Kling who did the testing? I know that in some way the track was changed, possibly resurfaced, between the tests and the race and Mercedes decided that the long wheelbse streamliner was a better bet than the medium wheelbase version. could this be why Moss and Kling were significantly slower than Fangio? Mercedes built up two long wheelbase cars in record time and used Uhlenhaut's high speed transporter to get them to Monza in time for saturday practice and the race.

Edited by D-Type, 26 January 2013 - 23:10.


#14 Ray Bell

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 21:54

Oran Park's Toby Lee F5000 races had heats on the two different circuits...

It was commonplace at Oran Park to do this, but a waste of practice periods.

#15 Roger Clark

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 00:22

But had there been grid positions at stake, they would probably have been faster and someof the others such as Moss and Kling would have been a lot faster.

Edit: I've just remembered Mercedes had done some pre-race testing at Monza. Was it Moss and Kling who did the testing? I know that in some way the track was changed, possibly resurfaced, between the tests and the race and Mercedes decided that the long wheelbse streamliner was a better bet than the medium wheelbase version. could this be why Moss and Kling were significantly slower than Fangio? Mercedes built up two long wheelbase cars in record time and used Uhlenhaut's high speed transporter to get them to Monza in time for saturday practice and the race.

It's possible that only Fangio drove a long wheelbase car on Thursday and that the medium wheelbase cars were so much worse as to account for Moss's and Kling's poor times. However, Moss has said (I think in Design and Behaviour) that he tried the long wheelbase car and decided that it was for him and it was this that caused D-B to hit the panic button. Was this on Thursday? Moss would normally be a little slower than Fangio but not eight seconds on a 60 second lap in the same car. Perhaps the quoted lap times did not include Moss's effort in Fangio's car. One might also expect D-B to see how the cars performed over the whole circuit before deciding to send for new cars. On the other hand, if the medium wheelbase car really was eight seconds slower round the banked track they may have had no choice. DSJ wrote that Moss did not try very hard in Friday practice because he was waiting for a long wheelbase car.

It does, therefore, seem likely that the medium wheelbase cars were very poor on Thursday.

It's also interesting that they used the high speed transporter to get the new cars from Stuttgart to Monza. Did it make two journeys?

Whatever the truth of all this, I find it amazing how much effort D-B were prepared to put into the last race of the W196's career. No question of winding down gently.

#16 Roger Clark

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 00:31

Exactly. The 1955 Thursday lap times were also on the banked oval.

They therefore allow a direct comparison between 1955 GP cars and 1957-58 USAC cars (but allowiance must be made for the fact that the GP cars were not being driven competitively)

They ran in opposite directions, of course. That may not have made much difference to lap times but the USAC cars were designed for this type of racing, they had engines almost 50% bigger (or supercharged) and, most crucially, they had much more suitable tyres. D-B did investigate the possibility of running a W196 at Indianapolis but it would have required at least a 3-litre engine to be competitive and probably a lot more modification to achieve the superiority they normally required in those days.

#17 Michael Ferner

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:34

Well, the 3-litre engine was readily available by 1955. ISTR they raced them in FLibre in the Argentine in February...

#18 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:31

Originally posted by Roger Clark
.....I find it amazing how much effort D-B were prepared to put into the last race of the W196's career. No question of winding down gently.


But did they know it was the final race of the car's career?



#19 dgs

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:57

At the earliest Cadwell Park meetings, sidecars raced clockwise and solos anticlockwise.


The circuit that held F3 car races(clockwise) and motorcycle races (anti-clockwise) was Beveridge Park, where they did'nt bother to put straw bales in front of the park benches!

Perhaps the ultimate circuit change was Rounds 3-4 of the British Formula 3 International Series in 2005. These rounds were to have been held at Spa-Francorchamps (6.973km/4.333ml) on 17th April. Qualifying for both races took place and qualifying results published. Races were abandoned due to fog at circuit. Re-scheduled as Round 13 at Monza circuit (5.793km/3.600ml) on 9th July and Round 14 at Silverstone (5.140km/3.194ml). Qualifying times as recorded at Spa-Francorchamps circuit were used for grids at both Monza & Silverstone.

This meant to complete this round of the championship three different circuits in three different countries were used.

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#20 Tim Murray

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 13:08

But did they know it was the final race of the car's career?

Yes. MB had announced their withdrawal from Grand Prix racing much earlier in the season, but it was thought that they would still continue in sports cars. They then announced their complete withdrawal after the Targa Florio at the end of the season.

#21 Roger Clark

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 13:22

Well, the 3-litre engine was readily available by 1955. ISTR they raced them in FLibre in the Argentine in February...

And in the 300SLR, of course. Karl Ludvigsen, in Quicksilver Century, says that D-B seriouslyY considered an Indianapolis entry. They calculated that a 3-litre streamlined W196 could lap at 142.4 mph, compared with a fastest lap in 1956, by Russo's Novi V-8, of 146.6 mph. They calculated that the W196 could match the Novi with 20% more power and 31% less weight or with 11% less weight and 40% more power. Ludvigsen says that the latter strategy was well within D-B's capability.