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Hawtorne incident in Porto 1958


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#1 Neri Moreira

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 09:57

Hi Fellows :)

Being very interested in everything related to the 1958 Portuguese Grand Prix in Porto (please stop calling Oporto to my town :) ), I would like to know if anyone of you could have an idea of where exactly was the famous Hawthorne incident in the Boavista circuit during the "Grande Prémio do Porto".

I read in some places (like here) that he started his car "in the sidewalk" but I also remember to read that he did it in a paralel road (?)

The big straight line (2.200 m) called Av. da Boavista was (is) in fact three parallel streets and it goes up.

The midlee one is (was) were the trams had their rails, so it is probably more likely that the incident was there, but....., anyone has a clue ????

Yours
Neri :wave:

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 10:06

I've read about this in Stirling Moss' books, both A Turn at the Wheel and All But My Life, but I don't know that the latter one gives much detail.

Maybe if someone has Champion Year they might be able to see what it says?

Or Motor Sport for that matter...

#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 11:12

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Or Motor Sport for that matter...


Lap 49:

Leaving the main road on the back of the circuit to go into the narrow side-turning the Ferrari slid sideways.....

Lap 50, after the Vanwalls had taken the flag:

At precisely the same corner as on the previous lap Hawthorn really spun this time and stalled the Ferrari engine. The two Vanwalls, having finished rheir race, were coming along slowly to find Hawthorn busily pushing his Ferrari trying to restart it. Moss stopped .... Lewis-Evans went by .... back at "drama corner" many officials wanted to help Hawthorn, but he and Moss both waved them away. Having spun up the escape road Hawthorn was pushing the Ferrari back towards the course, and was naturally so busy pushing and cursing his stupidity that he did not really look where he was going. Having got up enough speed he jumped in and jammed it into gear, and at that point the car mounted the footpath going in the opposite direction to the circuit. After a few hiccoughs and splutters the engine fired, so Moss drove on and Hawthorn swung round in the wide main road and carried on to complete his 50th lap and receive the chequered flag.


Motor Sport, Oct 1958, page 679

#4 Gary Davies

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 12:51

Neri, Mike's account in Champion Year doesn't pin the locations down totally (at least for one who has not had the pleasure of visiting Porto), but DSJ does somewhat better. Here are passages from the Hawthorn book and from October 1958 Motor Sport, together with the circuit map appearing in at the head of the Grande Premio de Portugal report.

I'm sure as a local, you can piece it all together.
Posted Image

MOTOR SPORT - OCT 1958
"The Ferrari brakes were still hopeless and Hawthorn, seeing a Vanwall in his mirror after getting a sign reading "+4 sec. Evans" as he passed the pits, thought it was Evans immediately behind him. Leaving the main road on the back of the circuit to go into the narrow side-turning the Ferrari slid sideways and that allowed Moss to go by. Thinking his mistake had let Evans by into second place, Hawthorn was looking very unhappy as Moss went by; the Vanwall leader thought, " Poor old Mike, he looks really upset at being lapped by me," whereupon he slowed down and waved Hawthorn in front again. Realising the situation regarding the two Vanwalls which had been behind him, Hawthorn was quick to take advantage of the courteous act by Moss and charged off down the hill to the sea-front. Back at the pits the three cars appeared in unchanged order from the previous lap and Hawthorn crossed the line to start his 50th lap, still in second place, but almost a whole lap behind the leader. Then Moss received the chequered flag, and Lewis-Evans was flagged-off, in third place, one lap and some yards behind Moss. Naturally all three cars went on, Hawthorn to complete his 50th lap and the two Vanwalls to do a lap of honour.

"At precisely the same corner as on the previous lap Hawthorn really spun this time and stalled the Ferrari engine. The two Vanwalls, having finished their race, were coming along slowly to find Hawthorn busily pushing his Ferrari trying to restart it. Moss stopped, and sat with his engine running, to see how Hawthorn was going to get on, while Lewis-Evans went by and toured round to the pits on his own, much to the consternation of everyone who was waiting, for Hawthorn to be flagged in second and for Moss to complete his lap of honour. Back at "drama corner" many officials wanted to help Hawthorn, but he and Moss both waved them away. Having spun up the escape road Hawthorn was pushing the Ferrari back towards the course, and was naturally so busy pushing and cursing his stupidity that he did not really look where he was going. Having got up enough speed he jumped in and jammed it into gear, and at that point the car mounted the footpath going in the opposite direction of the circuit. After a few hiccoughs and splutters the engine fired, so Moss drove on and Hawthorn swung round in the wide main road and carried on to complete his 50th lap and receive the chequered flag.

CHAMPION YEAR
"Just before the downhill section begins there is a left-hander; as I went round I hit the straw, bales with the tail, but it bounced off again quite safely and as I drew away the Vanwall came up alongside me. I turned head round, and to my astonishment it was not Stuart, but Stirling. I pulled a face at him as though to say: Oh no, not this, the final indignity! Stirling saw my expression of surprise and woe, and obviously thought: Well, I mustn't rub it in -- and very sportingly dropped back behind me. Stuart was there, too as Stirling had given him a “tow" to take him past Behra into third place; Stirling had, of course, lapped him and it was through this that there was some confusion later over the final positions.

"On I went, with Stirling behind me and Lewis-Evans behind him. At this point Moss had half a lap to go whereas I had a lap and a half. As I flashed past the finishing line to set off on my final, 50th lap, I caught a glimpse of Stirling getting the flag, and Lewis-Evans, too; having been lapped, he had completed his race. Geographically I was the rearmost car in the field, but if I finished my 50th lap I would be second because I would have done 50 laps to Lewis-Evans' 49. In the stress of the moment I forgot this and thought that at all costs I must keep ahead. Then my brakes just packed up on me altogether. Somehow I got round the first left-hander after the straight, but then on the next one I stepped on the brakes and there weren't any. I had no brakes at all. I wound it down through the gears but I obviously hadn't a hope of getting round so I took the escape road. In turning round I stalled the engine, I leapt out to push-start it and I had got it on to the pavement prior to pushing it off into the road when a spectator rushed up to give me a hand. I lashed out at him furiously, because if he had touched the car I would have been disqualified, It bad already happened to Tony Brooks earlier in the race, although I did not know that at the time. I am told that I hit this poor chap quite hard; if he should happen to read this, in the rare event of it being translated into Portuguese I hope he will accept my apologies. He was obviously only trying to help me and could not have known that his action might have resulted in my disqualification

"Stirling had stopped on his lap of honour and he could see me pushing the car on to the pavement and then off to get some way on it. Then I got it going in reverse, but again it stalled. I pushed it round again, ran it about a yard down the hill and then it started. I got it round and went slowly and utterly miserably back to the pits ...”

#5 Neri Moreira

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Posted 06 March 2003 - 14:37

Thank you all very very much :yawn:

After Vanwalls quote:

"Then my brakes just packed up on me altogether. Somehow I got round the first left-hander after the straight, but then on the next one I stepped on the brakes and there weren't any. I had no brakes at all. I wound it down through the gears but I obviously hadn't a hope of getting round so I took the escape road."

I am prety sure that the incident ocurred at T3, between Av. Antunes Guimarães(not named in this map), that is the second straight line after Av. da Boavista , and Rua do Lidador, so I think this mistery is solved :)


I will try also to contact ACP (Automóvel Clube the Portugal) to see if I can get a copy of the incident report (who knows?)

Thank you again very very much for your help :up:

Yours
Neri :wave:

(BTW I live right in T2 betwwen Av. da Boavista and Av. Antunes Guimarães):)