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Targa Florio regulations


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#1 Mal9444

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 07:05

Can anyone tell me why, for the 1955 Targa Florio, Mercedes, Ferrari and perhaps others fitted extra spotlights to their cars?   In the Mercedes case - and presumably for others - these were the same cars that had raced the previous month at Dundrod, without such lights, so there seems no doubt they were fitted specially for this race. Why? It was a 5 - 6 hour race starting early in the morning and thus bound to finish in daylight. That the lights were not used - for example to warn slower cars of an overtaker's approach - may be seen from all those photographs that show the spots with their covers still on.

 

Was it some special race regulation?

 

Thanking you in kind anticiaption of your helpful answers... :wave:



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#2 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 08:12

The race was originally scheduled to start at 9am which would have meant the latest starting cars finishing in the dark. It was changed to 7am.

#3 Mal9444

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 08:43

Thank you, Roger. Just over the hour, so not quite a TNF record - but pretty close :clap:

 

I knew someone would have an explanation.

 

But were the extra lamps mandated - or were Merc, Ferrari etc just playing safe, in case one of their drivers became lost, perhaps? Even starting two hours later than they eventually did Neubauer can hardly have expected Moss, Collins, Fangio et al still to be out there when darkness fell.



#4 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 09:06

They might have finished in the dark with a 9am race start - that would have been for the earliest cars remember, the fast cars would have started much later - and the race was in October.



#5 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 10:10

Just to emphasis the point, there were 47 starters at 30 second intervals, so with a 9am start, the sfast cars would have started about 9:20.  Moss/Collins took 9hrs 45 mins so would have finished at about 7pm.  DSJ (Dec 55, A Sojourn in Sicily) said that it gets dark at about 5:30 that time of the year in Sicily.

 

Incidentally, there's a nice little story in that article that I hadn't noticed before:

 

"..after lunch I went out to the circuit to put in some laps as passenger in a certain type of German sporting coupe, driven by a well-known driver....At one point there was no rain and we saw a very sound umbrella lying in the middle of the road so, after stopping, we reversed back to pick it up, for an umbrella would be a real asset we thought. Just as the driver was leaning out of his door to pick it up I looked back and saw a 190SL sideways across the road and making straight for us. When I opened my eyes again it had gone past and the umbrella was in the 300SL, but for a tense moment Daimler-Benz nearly lost two cars and the two Targa Florio winners, to say nothing of MOTOR SPORT losing its Continental Correspondent."



#6 Mal9444

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 14:48

Well I never - and there's me all these years thinking the race was run - and planned to be run - entirely in daylight.

 

By the way, have you seen this thread, in Historical Research: http://forums.autosp...orio-lap-chart/ ? with Jenks Lap Chart for the race.

 

I'm afraid I even mis-read that and thought that Moss/ Collins took 5hr 19min and 30 secs - whereas that is of course their finish time :blush: :o :blush:

 

Thank you.


Edited by Mal9444, 17 May 2014 - 15:03.


#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 15:34

The results on the WSRP site:

http://wsrp.ic.cz/wsc1955.html#6

show that the last car to finish the full 13 laps took over 11 hours 20 minutes, so even with the 7.00 am start it, and some of those in front of it, must have driven a fair bit of the race in the dark.

#8 Sharman

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 16:41

Roger

I don't have access to that particular item, at least I can't find it. Presumably Jenks was with Moss but he could equally have been with Collins as both practised in both 300SL and 190SL. Apart from the MM connection, is there any reason it is sure he was with SCM? 

John

 

typo edit


Edited by Sharman, 17 May 2014 - 16:43.


#9 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 19:09

He does refer, in The Racing Driver, to a ride with Moss in a 300 SL during Targa Florio practice.

Edited by Roger Clark, 17 May 2014 - 19:10.