Jump to content


Photo

The first USGP in 1959


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 Megatron

Megatron
  • Member

  • 3,688 posts
  • Joined: January 99

Posted 04 August 2001 - 17:40

I was told the other day that the 59 race at Sebring was started using a rollling start while another source said it was a standing start. Can anyone confirm either of these? Also, is it true it was BITTERLY cold that day?

Advertisement

#2 Gil Bouffard

Gil Bouffard
  • Member

  • 597 posts
  • Joined: August 00

Posted 04 August 2001 - 19:09

According to a friend of mine (an SCCA official who was there), it was a standing start and it wasn't all that cold.

The Grumpy Old Bastard.

#3 David M. Kane

David M. Kane
  • Member

  • 5,399 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 04 August 2001 - 20:57

Sebring is in the major area where they grow Oranges in the States. It rarely gets below freezing there and if it does it
usually means a major financial disaster for the Orange growers.
It happens, but only about once a decade.

#4 Milan Fistonic

Milan Fistonic
  • Member

  • 1,767 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 04 August 2001 - 21:46

It was definitely a standing start and pictures I have of people standing around in the pits dressed in short sleeved shirts would indicate that it was not particularly cold.

#5 Gary Davies

Gary Davies
  • Member

  • 1,942 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 05 August 2001 - 14:25

All this prompted me to check Doug Nye's book on the history of the United States Grand Prix and sure, lots of people in short sleeve shirts and a standing start but I noticed a curiosity in skimming through the text.

Nye says: "Moss ... took pole and Brabham and Schell qualified alongside him with Brooks and Trintignant on the second row. But the grid formed up differently, with Brooks (3:05.9) ahead of Schell (3:05.2). Officialdom insisted that the Franco-American had not bettered 3:11.2 and, with high school majorettes counter-marching and Metropolitan tenor Jimmy Melton singing the anthem in the background, a violent argument started between Schell, Ferrari team-manger Tavoni and the organizers. Schell won, and while his Cooper was wheeled on to the outside of the front row, Brooks's Ferrari was relegated to the inside of row two!"

High farce indeed.

So how come the small matter of 3:05.2 vs. 3:11.2 wasn't ironed out before Jimmy Melton broke into song!

Don, Gil, Bobbo - one of you must have been there! What happened?

Vanwall.

#6 bobbo

bobbo
  • Member

  • 841 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 05 August 2001 - 15:12

Hey, Vanwall:

I WISH I could have been there, but I was only 10 years old! Oh, well! :D

Bobbo

#7 Barry Boor

Barry Boor
  • Member

  • 10,854 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 05 August 2001 - 19:16

I'm sure I'm not the only person who is aware of the enormous significance of the row between Schell and Tavoni.

Harry cheated. Of that there seems to be absolutely no doubt. A short-cut out in the country (I suspect at the very tight right-hand hairpin about half-way round the lap) and a lap time way quicker than he should have had.

The significant thing is that had Tony Brooks been on the front row, he would almost certainly not have been run into at the start by whoever (von Trips?) and so he would not have stopped to check the car etc etc etc.

Perhaps if they had had a rolling start...... :)

The 1959 World Champion might well have been someone different from Uncle Jack.

#8 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Nostalgia Forum Moderator

  • 24,256 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 05 August 2001 - 22:10

Originally posted by Vanwall
All this prompted me to check Doug Nye's book on the history of the United States Grand Prix and sure, lots of people in short sleeve shirts and a standing start but I noticed a curiosity in skimming through the text.

Nye says: "Moss ... took pole and Brabham and Schell qualified alongside him with Brooks and Trintignant on the second row. But the grid formed up differently, with Brooks (3:05.9) ahead of Schell (3:05.2). Officialdom insisted that the Franco-American had not bettered 3:11.2 and, with high school majorettes counter-marching and Metropolitan tenor Jimmy Melton singing the anthem in the background, a violent argument started between Schell, Ferrari team-manger Tavoni and the organizers. Schell won, and while his Cooper was wheeled on to the outside of the front row, Brooks's Ferrari was relegated to the inside of row two!"

High farce indeed.

So how come the small matter of 3:05.2 vs. 3:11.2 wasn't ironed out before Jimmy Melton broke into song!

Don, Gil, Bobbo - one of you must have been there! What happened?

Vanwall.


Brabham, in his autobiography, remembers it differently (although he was writing eleven years after the event):

"Originally the grid formation had been: Moss (Cooper Climax), myself, and Tony Brooks in the leading Ferrari. As the cars started to form up, the organisers suddenly 'discovered' that they had failed to notice Harry Schell's fastest lap put up in a 2.2 litre Cooper-Climax. Harry was suddenly advanced into the front row with Moss and myself, while poor old Tony was relegated back to the second row.

The confusion this caused was no one's business. Ferrari's team manager, Tavoni, took an exceedingly poor view of it - particularly when no one seemed to know exactly what this fast time of Harry's had been. His official time until then was 3 minutes 11.2 seconds. Frankly, I just cannot see how Harry in the 2.2 litre car could have managed to make a time of between 3 minutes 3 seconds, which was my fastest practice lap, and 3 minutes 5.8 seconds, which was Tony's. But, despite the commotion it caused, Harry made the front row and Tony went back to row two ..."

Sheldon states baldly that "Harry Schell missed part of the course out and was hence credited with a time sufficient for the outside of the [front] row".

Barry: Sheldon says it was Cliff Allison who rammed Brooks at the start, Brabham and Mike Lang both say Trips, but later on lap 1 - perhaps they both hit him!!.:)

I'm sure I've read an interview with Schell in which he admitted his misdemeanour, but I can't remember where or when ....

#9 Milan Fistonic

Milan Fistonic
  • Member

  • 1,767 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 06 August 2001 - 03:42

The Road & Track report of the race has von Trips hitting Brooks on the first lap and the 1959 Autocourse has a photo of the von Trips Ferrari showing the damage caused by the collision.

#10 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 10 August 2001 - 18:40

Here is what I wrote about all this some time ago:

When everyone finally assembled in mid-December in the wilds of central Florida, it seemed that the team personnel just might outnumber the spectators. And it was obvious to even the untrained eye that organizers of what was being hailed as the "II United States Grand Prix," were organizationally-impaired if you will. And the grid was, well, different and unique.

Wearing number "1" and qualifying for the race with a time of 3:43.8, compared to Moss' pole position time of 3:00.0, was Rodger Ward, the winner of that year's Indianapolis 500. He was at the wheel of an 11-year old Kurtis Kraft midget powered by a 1.7-litre Offy converted to run Avgas rather than methanol. It had a two speed gearbox and a two speed rear end. And in keeping with the usual midget practice, the braking was done using a brake lever rather than a pedal. It ran on Firestone slicks mounted on 12-inch wheels. And hangs a tale as they say. Most folks never ask the obvious question: whatever possessed someone to run a midget in a Grand Prix race? The answer is found in four words: "Lime Rock" and "Watkins Glen."

The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) was founded and run as an amateur organization. Races were run for tin cups and the fun of racing. However, this is America we're talking about and some of the owners looked at their Terribly Expensive Race Cars, the Tin Cups, then back at their Terribly Expensive Race Cars, and then at their wallets. They began to think that perhaps there was a greater appeal to the concept of professional racing than they realized.

The United States Auto Club (USAC), which was formed in 1956 after the American Automobile Association Contest Board ceased operations as the sanctioning body for US international races, stepped up to the plate and began offering racing for cash to the road racers. The "I United States Grand Prix" was a USAC-sanctioned sports car race at the Riverside circuit that saw Chuck Triumph driving a Scarab, and get paid for the win. The battle between the Pros and the Amateurs was to mar US road racing until 1963 when the SCCA finally caved in and established a Pro Racing division.

In the Fall of 1959, Lime Rock held a USAC-sanctioned Formula Libre race. It was "run what ya brung." And one of those appearing for the race was Indy winner Rodger Ward in his Kurtis-Offy midget, alcohol fuel and all. Only politeness kept the Sports Car set from howling with laughter and falling on the ground in hysterics. Tony Bettenhausen, Russ Klar, Brett Brooks, and Duane Carter also had midgets on hand for the race. With some adjustments to the torsion bar suspension to allow turns to the left and right, different cams in the engines, and the alterations to the gearboxes and rear end gears, they were pretty much as raced on the midget circuits.

The entries that were expected to do well were Chuck Daigh in a Maserati 250F just acquired from Joakim Bonnier by Camoradi USA, Lance Reventlow (of Scarab fame) in a F2 Cooper, George Constantine in a Aston Martin 4.2 DBR2, as well as John Fitch's literally just off the boat Cooper Monaco, and teenager Pedro Rodriguez in a 3-litre Maserati, as well as Denise McCluggage in Porsche RSK. It was an excellent entry for such a relatively minor race, but the lure of dollars brought out the entries.

The race was run in a format of two 20-lap heats and a 60-lap final. Jaws literally dropped as Ward grabbed the pole from Constantine by nearly a second. And in sixth place on the grid was Klar. In the first heat, as the flag dropped on the rolling start, Ward got caught lagging the revs and Constantine went past into the lead. Once Ward had the engine really revving, he took off after Constantine. Passing Daigh's Maserati, he was at the bumper of the Aston very quickly. Although the Aston finished ahead of the midget, Ward trailed by only two seconds. And Klar managed to bring his midget home in seventh.

Ken Breen, Ward's entrant, managed to perform a gear change in the 20 minutes between the heats to the astonishment of the Sports Car crowd. Tony Bettenhausen replaced Klar in the Caruso midget. At the start of the second heat, Ward made sure that he didn't get caught again and was first into the first corner. Constantine passed Ward several laps later and started to pull out a slight lead, but at the Esses Ward had an off course excursion and since he never lifted was once again right on the rear bumper of the Aston. Constantine was surprised to see Ward there since he assumed that Ward would have flown off into the countryside. At the halfway point, Ward passed the Aston and pulled away to win the heat.

In the final, Constantine and Daigh made sure that they elbowed Ward out of the way at the start as they shot off ahead of the field. The traded the lead until the Aston pitted with a rear axle stub bearing failure. Ward closed on Daigh and passed him with ten laps to go and drew away for a very convincing win. Needless to say, it was a shock to the Sporty Car crowd.

In mid-October, USAC sanctioned another Formula Libre event, this time at Watkins Glen. Although it was a crushing victory for Stirling Moss - five laps ahead of second place - what was significant was that the second place car was driven by Eddie Johnson at the wheel of his Jerry Zello midget. The midget was clear of all the sports cars and, except for Moss, the fastest car on the circuit - and this despite rain, sleet and snow that fell during the race.

At Sebring, practice was even more of a shambles than usual. Sebring was an active airport, only the 12-hour race in mid-March used the circuit, and facilities were minimal. The circuit was a collection of runways, taxiways, access and service roads, and even a stretch that went through the former garrison area of the air base. Flat and featureless were among the nicer things said about the place. The 8.369 km circuit did not win any rave reviews from the teams or the press.

When the dust literally settled, Moss was on the pole as mentioned and Ward at the rear. On the front row with Moss were Brabham, three seconds adrift, and - not Brooks, but Harry Schell in his Ecurie Bleue Cooper. Schell's fastest lap had been overlooked, he claimed when he saw the timing sheets. It was his lap of 3:05.2 that mattered, not his lap of 3:11.2. The organizers were convinced that Schell was correct and placed his Cooper on the front row. And the Ferrari team came unglued!

After a World Class bout of arm waving, shouting, profanity in several languages, and finger pointing, Schell was still on the front row. That Harry had timed his lap carefully was obvious - he simply waited and took a short cut on the backside of the circuit and cut six seconds off his lap time. And he also noted that not all the marshal posts were manned during practice, so he did what he did as a grand and great joke. Only the Scuderia seemed to fail to appreciate his humor.


When Moss rocketed into the lead, Brabham tucked in behind him with the game plan of staying as close as possible and waiting for Moss to break. It wasn't a long wait. After five laps, Moss suddenly found he didn't have any gears and that was that. Brabham and teammate Bruce McLaren droned around the track. At about 10 laps left in the race, Trintignant began to turn up the wick on his Rob Walker Cooper. He had been moving up on the leaders, but now he really started to attack the McLaren Cooper. When the gap got to less than five seconds, McLaren managed to draw away and keep the gap at between five and seven seconds.

On the final lap, while going down The Straight, with only the Back Straight, and the pit turn and straight between himself and victory, Brabham's Cooper started to sputter and stammer. Then it started running very rough and just after turning onto the Back Straight, the engine died. Brabham had somehow run out of fuel. McLaren slowed to see what the problem was then realized that Trintignant was almost on top of him and rocketed off to finish the race. McLaren took the checkered flag from Trintignant by less than second. Bruce McLaren is still the youngest driver to win a World Championship event. Tony Brooks crossed the line in third.

Realizing that he was less than 500 meters from the finish line, Brabham started pushing the Cooper towards the pits to be classified as a finisher. Almost five minutes after McLaren inherited the victory, Brabham nosed the Cooper across the finish line for fourth place and was now officially the World Champion for 1959. This rated a double Cooper victory roll - one for the race win and another for the Championship. The final tally had Brabham with 31 points, Brooks with 27 points, and Moss with 25.5 points.

It was satisfying to see the Cooper team's hard work rewarded with the Drivers and Constructors Championships, albeit the latter with help from the Rob Walker equipe. It was now clear, at long last, that the engine in a Grand Prix car perhaps belonged in the rear after all. Their persistence with the layout had finally paid off for Cooper.

It was a letdown for Ferrari to salvage only second in both Championships. Brooks had been plagued with problems all year and only managed to gain points in four events. Things were not going well for the Scuderia, especially in a year expected to be theirs.

It was a year that saw Brabham emerge as a leading driver and a man to be reckoned with in the future. Bruce McLaren had won a Driver to Europe scheme from his native New Zealand in 1958. A part of the scheme was an F2 Cooper. When he asked John Cooper where his car was, Cooper pointed to a pole of tubes and other assorted pieces and told him that if he wanted a car to drive, well, there it was. McLaren built up the car himself and used it to finish fifth, and win the F2 class, in the German Grand Prix that year.

Dan Gurney had less than 20 races in all classes when he finished second at the AVUS. He went from SCCA regionals to Ferrari team driver in two years. Phil Hill was the foundation of the Ferrari team in a troubled year. In spite of no end of problems and turmoil, Hill consistently performed well. He was a far better Formula One driver than he is credited with being. The death of Jean Behra took away a true character from the sport. He was a difficult man and could be exasperating to deal with, but he was a Racer.

The tenth season of the Championship was a year that saw the revolution - that few perceived even happening - break forth over Grand Prix racing. After this year, there was a certain difference that was hard to define initially, but later became clear: a shift of power had taken place in Grand Prix racing, from Italy to Britain. From here out, it was to be primarily green with splotches of red or blue from time to time.


http://www.atlasf1.c...can/mirror.html

The weather was pleasant, but while not balmy, warm enough to go about in shortsleeves without any problems.

#11 David J Jones

David J Jones
  • Member

  • 448 posts
  • Joined: August 00

Posted 10 August 2001 - 19:07

I find what Aree did to be very sad.

I always liked and respected him but this incident maybe denied the Championship to a true sportsman and a great driver.

I find no amusement in it whatsoever.

#12 Don Capps

Don Capps
  • Member

  • 5,933 posts
  • Joined: May 99

Posted 11 August 2001 - 02:24

At the time, it was not a "big" deal and everyone laughed about it. The Scuderia basically had no sense of humor back then, willing to dish it out, but whining when they had it thrown back at them.

What is truly sad is that we don't seem to have any more Harry Schell's on the grid -- and wouldn't know how to deal with one if he did make it that far. The photos of Harry at Monte Carlo when he spun the BRM are priceless....

#13 Mike Argetsinger

Mike Argetsinger
  • Member

  • 948 posts
  • Joined: April 00

Posted 11 August 2001 - 02:41

I'm a big Tony Brooks admirer too - as I write this I'm looking at a photo on my wall of myself with my father and Tony Brooks (Wilkie Wilkinson is in the picture too) arm-in-arm together moments after Brooks got of his car after his final Grand Prix race (he was 3rd - Watkins Glen 1961) - but I find it a hell of a reach to suggest that Schell somehow denied Brooks the Championship in '59.

#14 David J Jones

David J Jones
  • Member

  • 448 posts
  • Joined: August 00

Posted 11 August 2001 - 07:28

Don / Mike

I am only mentioning the WDC as a maybe for Tony Brooks here. In all probability he would have not been involved in the first lap collisions which in the ultimate deprived him of his final chance.

I believe Tony was critiscised at Ferrari for not staying out and coming in to have the car checked. However Tony was a thinker and would play safe if necessary. Somewhat similar to the opening race of the 60 season when Cliff Allison was also critiscised for not pushing harder when his tyres were shot.

I think a bit of fun is one thing but bending the rules in this way is another. Smacks of bad organisation that it could and is farcial that it should have been resolved badly on the grid.
Could it be that Aree's part US breeding had something to do with it?

That being said it did not take me long to forgive him and it was with extreme sadness that I attended my first race at Silverstone the day after Aree had crashed at Abbey and died.
The atmosphere in the paddock area was sombre

#15 HDonaldCapps

HDonaldCapps
  • Member

  • 2,482 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 25 November 2008 - 14:47

After the publication of the Joel Finn book, Sunshine, Speed, and a Surprise, on the Sebring GP, it is interesting that this thread did not resurface.

That the "I United States Grand Prix for Sports Cars" -- note the title -- held on 12 October 1958 at Riverside led to the "II United States Grand Prix" at Sebring in was one of those Alec Ulmann deals that has long puzzled me. Glenn Davis, Director of Special Projects for the Los Angeles Times, organized and promoted the Riverside event, which I always thought was the "Los Angeles Times Grand Prix" for that reason. However, MotoRacing and other sources refer to it as the "USGP" moniker.

To the best of my knowledge, Alec Ulmann not only had nothing to do with the 1958 Riverside event, but was under no "obligation" to use the "II" in the title of the USGP he promoted at Sebring. I have often wondered why that came about. I have some thought and ideas, but nothing that seems to provide any rationale for Ulmann doing this.

(I am doing this at work, casting furtive glances left and right as I write this which means I am doing it off the top of my head....)

It is merely a small grain of sand on a vast beach and whether the Sebring event was the "I USGP" or "II USGP" is really somewhat irrelevant in the overall scheme of things since know how mallable The Past is when it comes to such things, but it is simply another one of those little pieces of grit that is of interest only to historians as a matter of curiosity rather than for any earth-shaking importance.

However, just what was Ulmann thinking?

Part of what prompted this was my looking into the background of how the USGP came to Watkins Glen in 1961. How Ulmann delayed and delayed giving up his promotion of the USGP is a story now often lost in the mists of time. It was interesting to realize how many places seemed to pop up as the site of the 1961 USGP, with Florida being a popular location since Ulmann looked at several sites there before letting ACCUS know that he was not going to promote the race. It appears that Ulmann fully expected ACCUS to come back to him and work out a deal for the November date on the calendar at some venue, only to be surprised when Cameron Argetsinger trumped him with a successful Watkins Glen bid for the event. I can still recall the smile on Argetsinger's face when he related Ulmann's reaction to me when I interviewed him on this some years ago.

#16 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 8,052 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 25 November 2008 - 17:35

I still wonder how Schell managed to judge his "short" lap so precisely that he achieved a time that was just on the limits of cedibility. That is of course assuming that he did the "short" lap with the intention of producing a false time. I rather suspect he did it for some other reason and it was only when he noticed the time on the list that he pointed it out and demanded his front row place.

And what was the story behind Phil Hill's car being in US blue and white? Was it simply to give the locals someone competitive to cheer for?

I know, I know, it's a side alley of history compared to the far more important political wranglings between Alec Ullman, Cameron Argetsinger and Glenn Davis. I would like to know the full story of Tony Brooks being "robbed" of the title. There are so many allegations of "home town decisions" floated regarding this race and the Clark/Jones affair at Indianapolis that I would like to know the truth.

#17 ZOOOM

ZOOOM
  • Member

  • 517 posts
  • Joined: April 08

Posted 25 November 2008 - 21:11

Perspective.... perspective...
Anyone care to comment on the state of F1 racing this year and the incredable decisions in favor of Ferrari?

I thought not....

Now, since the American Midgets used by Ward, et. al... had no starters and were pushed off to get them started, I wonder how Ward overcame that problem? Was there really a flying start?

The Watkins Glen race featured a flying start so that wouldn't have been a problem....

I'm just saying............

ZOOOM

#18 David Beard

David Beard
  • Member

  • 4,887 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 25 November 2008 - 21:43

We have a TNFer who was there as a Lotus mechanic...calling Maurice!

#19 HDonaldCapps

HDonaldCapps
  • Member

  • 2,482 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 25 November 2008 - 22:02

It was a standing start at Sebring, Ward included.

Since I am doing this from memory at the moment, I will have to check, but the CSI introduced a regulation in 1958 stipulating that cars had to started using a starting device rather than being push-started. Apparently, this was a 'challenge' with the early FPF engines. Again, follow-up needed on this.

I am still trying to sort how this became focused on Tony Brooks being "robbed" of the title in 1959, but that the contest was even close twix Brabham, Brooks, and Moss is more a matter of neither Brooks nor Brabham closing the deal while Moss was floundering with duff gears in the Colotti gearboxes and trying to find a competitive ride. Brooks only scored points in three of the championship rounds going into Sebring -- two of which were wins, so whatever points he gained he could count. Meanwhile Brabham went into Sebring already maxed out on events he could count needing a third or better to increase his total. Moss was also max on events, but two of those were for fastest laps so he could count seven if he won and eight if he won and set fastest lap.

The ARCF (Automobile Racing Club of Florida) was the club that Ulmann used at Sebring for the scoring & timing. In March, the ARCF T&S crew well and truly dropped the ball, it taking several days following the even to sort it all out, the Official Results changing several of the positions of those as indicated in the Provisional Results. Much unhappiness among the teams and this does not even broach the topic of the fuel issue.

So, Our Harry saw that his lap during which he used a bit of 'creative driving' was recorded as a practice lap, but then either discounted or overlooked. That the lap in question was not used earlier for grid placement than the waning moments prior to the race is something I am not clear about, but race organization at the time tended to be less than stellar at times. Our Harry may have mentioned the problems of T&S in March to help make his case, but whatever the merits -- or lack thereof -- of his argument may have been in retrospect, his car was rolled to a position on the front row of the grid.

If anyone "robbed" Brooks of the title, I would suggest that the search for suspects being in an Italian town containing a small-scale producer of automobiles and a grand prix racing team. With points from only a second and two wins -- one including the fastest lap, Brooks needed to win the race -- along with setting the fastest as insurance -- or else. Second and fastest lap was not enough. That Brooks was out at Monza in literally the opening moments of the race put him behind the power curve. A decent finish in that race, teammates Hill and Gurney were second and fourth, could have made a difference, of course. Of course, no points in Portual, Britain or the Netherland were also a factor.

Had Brooks managed to pull off the performance necessary to win the championship at Sebring, would have been truly a remarkable feat, one that we would still be shaking our heads over. However, the pace did not belong to the Ferraris, but to the Coopers. Even had the incident on the starting grid not happened, it is doubtful that Brooks could have beaten the covey of Coopers.

The blue & while Ferrari was simply a gesture on the part of the team for Phil Hill.

Advertisement

#20 sandy

sandy
  • Member

  • 1,064 posts
  • Joined: August 03

Posted 25 November 2008 - 22:11

If this has been mentioned elsewhere just move on, but I recall reading that Stirling Moss in practice at Reims turned left off the circuit instead of right at the right hand corner leading onto the main straight. He drove along the country road for several hundred metres, did a U turn and accelerated hard back onto the main straight which meant that he passed the timing point far faster than if he had merely taken the corner normally. His subsequent lap time was spectacular. Jack Brabham twigged to what had happened and did the same.

As I type this, it dawns on me that it all seems to be bit odd. Isn't the start - finish - timing point at Reims a fair way down the straight? Would Moss have really been going that much faster? Perhaps my memory is playing tricks? Could someone confirm that this happened? I believe that that I read it in a DSJ report in MS.

The combination of Reims + Moss + Brabham would probably mean that it would be in 1959 or 1960.

#21 sandy

sandy
  • Member

  • 1,064 posts
  • Joined: August 03

Posted 25 November 2008 - 22:38

Doing my homework after the event I find that Moss never started as No.1 on any grid at Reims so maybe it was another race. But I did read it somewhere!

#22 RStock

RStock
  • Member

  • 1,340 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 25 November 2008 - 22:41

Originally posted by ZOOOM


Now, since the American Midgets used by Ward, et. al... had no starters and were pushed off to get them started, I wonder how Ward overcame that problem?


It was fitted with a two speed gearbox and clutch .

#23 Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor
  • Member

  • 1,094 posts
  • Joined: March 02

Posted 26 November 2008 - 00:18

Motorsport Magazine, January 1960, notes that the Grand Prix had "the motliest collection of also-rans that had ever graced a Grand Prix circuit" (sic). Many of the front running drivers complained about the mobile chicanes that were occupying the track and especially complained about their "erratic behaviour as they were being lapped".

#24 HDonaldCapps

HDonaldCapps
  • Member

  • 2,482 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 26 November 2008 - 02:20

Joel Finn goes into some of the saga behind Our Harry and the practice time that put him on the front row. It was, contrary to what Barry thought and I thought -- it wasn't cheating per se and someone did report it. The chief timer discounted the time as a timing error after the originally accepting it.

What happend as that Our Harry came upon Connaught of Bob Said at the Esses. Said suddenrly moved right at the last second apparently to let OH by, but OH was now blocked had to swerve left, went onto the grass, kept his foot down, and regained the track on the other side. The corner crew thought that OH did the right thing since he avoided a potential accident and the diversion was not deliberate.

That the time was changed after everyone left the track was part of why the problem began, no one informing OH at the that he was no longer on the front row. OH was an Unhappy Harry and dealt with the problem in his own inestimable fashion. There was indeed a stating grid flare up with OH waving the timing sheet and pushing his Cooper to the front of the grid. After a nuclear exchange involving OH, Tavoni, Joe Lane -- the chief scorer, ACCUS and varios FIA officials -- including Charles Moran, Lane admitted that the time was indeed correct but that the circumstances under which it was made should disallow it. Lane lost and there was a trade of an Unhappy Harry for a Thermonuclear Tavoni.

Ah, how we should miss the likes of OH and Innes Ireland.....

Finn also reminds us that the original date of 22 March was just one of three dates considered for the USGP, including 5 April at the new Daytona circuit or 18 October at Watkins Glen. However, that is all another part of the story....

#25 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 53,959 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 26 November 2008 - 02:39

Originally posted by sandy
Doing my homework after the event I find that Moss never started as No.1 on any grid at Reims so maybe it was another race. But I did read it somewhere!


Maybe it wasn't about getting pole, but getting further up the grid against Ferrari opposition?

Or maybe Jack did a better job anyway?

But it's quite likely that a 200 or 300-yard run up would be plenty to ensure a faster 'exit' from a hairpin than coming through in the conventional manner... and that speed would be carried all the way down the straight. At least until the ultimate top speed of the car was reached.