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1951 International Trophy


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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 12:04

I have searched, though not overly extensively, to see if I could find some info about this event but have thus far failed to find the answer to my query.

 

The race is well-documented and I have the Motor Sport archive to refer to but I am left puzzled by one aspect of the event.

 

I am trying to work out how the grid for the final was arrived at. Fangio won heat 1, Farina heat 2, but they started the final from 13th and 16th respectively. Whitehead and Trintignant started the final from the front row of the grid next to the other two Alfa Romeos but were only 8th and 5th in heat 2.

 

Were these positions drawn from a hat? In which case, what was the point of having two heats?

 

This all seems very odd and given what happened in the final, seems to be wholly appropriate.

 

At least it gets me away from "who were the best drivers never to win a championship?" etc etc etc.



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#2 Bloggsworth

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 12:20

Tombola...



#3 David McKinney

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 13:40

Presumably - without checking - the grid for the final was based on lap-times in the heats

#4 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 14:44

In which case, surely the driver setting the fastest lap time in each of the two heats (Fangio and Farina respectively) would have been on the front row? As Barry says, they were not.

 

Edit: looking more closely at the data in the F1R Black Book, the grid for the final does appear to be based on practice times, although some of the grid positions allocated don't quite tie up with the fastest practice times quoted.


Edited by Tim Murray, 19 January 2014 - 14:57.


#5 Tim Murray

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 15:26

Here’s how the grid lined up for the final, with best practice time alongside. The only anomalies appear to be Bonetto and Gaze (or Richardson):

 

Sanesi             1’52”

Bonetto            1’58”

Whitehead       1’57”

Trintignant       1’57”

Gerard             1’58”

Manzon           2’00”

Shawe-Taylor 2’01”

Murray             2’01”

Hamilton          2’02”

Foth’m Parker 2’03”

Louveau          2’04”

Rosier              2’04”

Fangio             2’06”

Parnell             2’07”

Etancelin         2’08”

Farina              2’09”

Martin              2’10”

Gaze               2’14”

Richardson      2’13”

Moss               2’15”

Rolt                  2’22”

Abecassis        2’22”

Hampshire      2’24”

Claes               2’26”

Watson            2’26

etc



#6 Barry Boor

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 21:19

This seems (almost) to make sense. 

 

But I repeat, why did they bother with heats? I wonder if this was why Ferrari decided not to appear.



#7 Rob29

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 08:20

This seems (almost) to make sense. 

 

But I repeat, why did they bother with heats? I wonder if this was why Ferrari decided not to appear.

Maybe to provide more entertainment for the public? Heats were abandoned from 1955 when more support races apppeared.



#8 Roger Clark

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:41

Autosport said that grid positions in the final were decided by ballot. However Autocouse said:

"Starting positions in both heats and final were determined by practice laps in the car to be driven in the race. The Alfa Romeo drivers used only cars Nos. 3 and 4 (Bonetto's and Sanesi's) on the first day of practice when the track was wet. Fangio unofficially broke the lap record established by Farina in 1950 with a lap of 1' 46" and Farina lapped in 1' 52". The grid positions of Fangio and Farina were determined on cars Nos. 1 and 2 on the second day's practice when it was raining heavily".

Autocourse also said that the form of the race was advanced by Ferrari as the reason for the non-appearance of their cars, though the regulations did not change after their entry was accepted.

#9 D-Type

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 15:57

On a different note, I have just read the Motor Sport report of the race in the June 1951 magazine (they dated it sensibly then!).  It includes the following paragraph:

The B.R.D.C. emphasised that the race was cancelled and the prizes awarded as a gesture.  Ten days later the Daily Express referred to Parnell's Ferrari "in which he won the International Trophy at Silverstone".

Then in the 1951 Season's results in the January 1952 edition they list the race as "Abandoned".

 

So, Reg Parnell In the Thinwall didn't really win the race and all the people (myself included) who have said that the International Trophy was the first time that Ferrari beat the Alfettas are wrong and Gonzalez winning the British GP was actually the first one.



#10 Tim Murray

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 16:41

It's interesting (and puzzling) to note that on all the other occasions the International Trophy was run with heats and a final, the grid for the final was based on performance during the heats (either heat race time or finishing position). Why did they choose to do it differently in 1951?

Edited by Tim Murray, 20 January 2014 - 17:37.


#11 Barry Boor

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 17:20

It's all very odd.

 

Anyway, I based my grid for the final on heat race times - so there!



#12 D-Type

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 18:55

:evil:  How do you replicate the weather?  :confused:  

 

-  Copious quantities of olive oil?



#13 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 18:58

I suppose Bonetto won?

 

Rough justice must apply somewhere...



#14 Barry Boor

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 19:00

D-type - I don't!



#15 Roger Clark

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 00:07

Thanks to Adam Ferrington, I have obtained a copy of the Supplementary Regulations for the race.

Rule 3 says: " the composition of the final will be the first 15 cars from each of the two heats which heats will comprise not more than 30 starters in each".

Rule 7 says: "in both the heats and the final all cars will be started simultaneously and starting positions will be determined according to the lap speeds set up by competitors during officially timed practice laps".

#16 Barry Boor

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 07:19

Thanks, Roger.  

 

IMMTHO a rather odd idea.



#17 Tim Murray

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 07:43

Yes indeed. The temptation must surely have been to take the heats very steadily and save the car for the final, knowing that the grid positions for the final were already set. There were 16 starters in the first heat, but only 14 in the second, so all starters in this heat had no worries about making the final as long as they finished the heat. Interesting that there were no retirements in this heat.


Edited by Tim Murray, 25 January 2014 - 07:50.


#18 Paul Parker

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 18:23

Yes indeed. The temptation must surely have been to take the heats very steadily and save the car for the final, knowing that the grid positions for the final were already set. There were 16 starters in the first heat, but only 14 in the second, so all starters in this heat had no worries about making the final as long as they finished the heat. Interesting that there were no retirements in this heat.

 

As it was only 6 laps retirements would have been minimal anyway, whilst allowing for the downpour which slowed everybody to very low speeds.

 

Please forgive my pedantry but according to the stats on the ORC website two cars were listed as retirements, Philip Fotheringham-Parker in Hamilton's ERA R5B and Edward Miles-Martin's ERA R2A.



#19 Tim Murray

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 18:43

Paul, the info you quote relates to the final. If you check my post again you'll see that I was referring to the second heat, which was run over 15 laps and in which both ORC and the F1R Black Book agree that there were no retirements.