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Gruppo Inter's Ferraris


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#1 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 09:31

I was trying to find some more information about the Stockholm GP 1948 the other day, when it struck me that I hadn't sorted out the participating Ferraris. While searching through my books and articels I was getting very confused. I haven't followed the recent Ferrari resaerch, but does anyone know which cars belonged to Gruppo Inter in May 1948?

I saw somewhere that Nuvolari's MM-car was given the same chassisnumber as the car that Folland bought - 010I. But the car Nuvolari drove looks like a copy of Biondetti's Stockholm car and the Folland car is a copy of the car Sommer drove at Stockholm (and Troubetskoy in Monaco).

I just found out that the Sommer and Biondetti car arrived in Stockholm on a truck, together with Shell's Cisitalia, directly from Paris. And teamleader was Freddy Zehender. So my guess is that the cars in Sweden was the Gruppo Inter cars.

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#2 Scuderia SSS

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 16:51

Well Biondetti drove chassis 003S with Navone on the 2/05/1948 but that was for Scuderia Ferrari and Sterzi & Righetti drove 001S in the same race (not sure of the Team name). 004C which was a Spyder Corsa was driven by Soave & Gabrielle Besana.
Nuvolari drove 010I with Scapinelli in the same race.
The only other reference to 010I is at Pescara in August of 1948 driven by Biondetti and entered by Troubetskoy

#3 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 17:29

From a picture I have of Biondetti's Pescara Ferrari, it seems to be the same car as he drove in Stockholm. And that doesn't have the same body as the car car troubetskoy drove at Monaco or Sommer had in Stockholm.

#4 Scuderia SSS

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 17:49

Any possibility of it being rebodied by Motto. Plenty of others around that time were. Even the Nuvolari/Landi 002C was rebodied in a short space of time between various races.

#5 starlet

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 21:02

Biondetti's car was c/n 006I and Sommer's car was c/n 010I.
006I, the second all new spyder "SC" was delivered in March 25, 1948, to Gruppo Inter for Count Bruno Sterzi. He raced the car or loaned it to other drivers and sold it in 1949.
010I, was delivered to Gruppo Inter in March 1948 for Prince Igor Troubetzkoy. He and other drivers raced it. At the end of the season, Troubetzloy retired and sold the car via Zehender to Folland.

#6 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 08:22

Thank you starlet!
:clap:
My other sources including "the black book" just confused me. I also have an old interview that DCN did with Troubetskoy, where the prince said that Biondetti had loaned his car for Stockholm. That comment even confused Nye!

#7 Michael Müller

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:57

I do not agree. Biondetti drove the "horseshoe grille" #010I, and Sommer #006I.

The individual ownership of the cars is somewhat confusing caused by the fact that Troubetskoy was French citizen, and therefore never owned legally one of the cars in order to avoid paying import duties. Also the roadster #001S, which was used by Troubetskoy for road use was registered at Milano.

The Troubetskoy interview with Doug Nye is in fact confusing. He claimed having been owner of #010I, the car Nuvolari drove in the 1948 MM, but in fact Troubetskoy mainly raced #006I (Monaco, Bern, Reims). Only at Salo he used #010I, his car at Albi and Firenze is still unidentified.
Troubetskoy also claims that he never knew Righetti, which is strange, because he was his team mate at Albi.

Most confusing indeed is the fact that the Folland car, which is claimed having been #010I, looks like #006I, it has not the horseshoe grille but the standard SC one. On the other side Doug confirms in his 1993 article that the car has damages and repairs which perfectly fit to Nuvolari's Mille Miglia incidents. And #006I was sold after the 1949 GdS to Luigi Bordonaro.
If one looks to the Folland car more accurately (sorry guys, no photos here due to board rules!) it can bee seen that the grille obviously is no original one. It looks like a rather crude copy of the standard SC grille, made by somebody with no real experience in metal processing.
During the winter 1948/49 most of the Inter SC were facelifted with new noses similar to the eggcrate grilles of the 1949 monoposti. But despite #006I did receive this new nose type, #010I did not. For unknown reasons somebody fitted a 1948 nose with a "home made" grille to her.

#8 alessandro silva

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 15:37

I agree 100% with Michael reconstruction. I wish to add a few remarks.

1) At the beginning of the season 1948 Ferrari had planned to reserve official works participation to F1 races only, leaving to customers the new international F2 races. When Igor and Sterzi got acquainted and compared their ideas about going to car racing, it was suggested that Zehender should be the go-between with Ferrari. Goffredo Zehender, who was at the time dealing in Mercedes touring cars in France and Italy, when it was of course forbidden to import German goods into these countries. In order to close the deal with the two prospective drivers in a satisfactory way, Zehender put the accent on the fact that the cars could be obtained very cheaply in view of Ferrari’s need of cash and that the team could be run by Zehender himself. Troubeztkoy was familiar with Zehender, both of them being members of the Paris racing fraternity. Ferrari, moreover, would arrange that their cars would be the only Ferraris entered for the Targa Florio and the Mille Miglia. Sterzi and Troubeztkoy agreed, and a third car, a road-going 166, c/n 001S was thrown in as part of the deal. A racing stable, called Scuderia Inter (see below) was set up with Zehender as manager and Troubeztkoy was reported practicing in the Ferraris as early as the beginning of March at Monthléry, under Zehender’s supervision. These three Ferraris cost 15,000$, a large sum, and it was agreed that they were to be kept and maintained by the factory, which would become the cause of the early walkout by Sterzi. Ferrari and Zehender, in fact, did not keep a large part of their promises. The price paid was the opposite of cheap; moreover a total of four Ferraris arrived for the Targa and five came for the Mille Miglia! Yet Troubeztkoy managed to win the Targa, thanks also to his co-driver Biondetti, in 001S. There is no doubt that the Scuderia Inter cars were loaned to other drivers when the principals did not use them. Sterzi found out about this at Vercelli and did not accept it as he did not accept that Ferrari was planning to enter official cars in F2 racing, to contrary of what he had declared at the beginning of the season. In fact he did not arrive at Bari at the end of May, having officially interrupted his relationship with the Scuderia Inter. He wanted nothing more to do with Zehender, so that, at the end of the summer, he sold 006I to Troubeztkoy, who thus found himself the sole owner of three Ferraris, which he disposed of, always with the help of Zehender of course, at the end of the year when he quit racing. Sterzi was rewarded by Ferrari with an official car drive at Garda (maybe also at Pescara, but I am not sure) and they made up their differences.

2) I have no idea why Scuderia Inter is often called today Gruppo Inter. I have not found this diction in any contemporary Italian sources. I would like very much to see a 1948 proof of its use.

#9 Michael Müller

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 16:34

Posted Image Hoohoo, Sandro...

Correct and comprehensive as always...! As I understand the main reason to win the TF/GdS with a roadgoing car was the fact that the racing fuel made available by the organizers was contaminated with water, causing troubles for all the high-rev machinery. #001S was running on normal pump fuel and therefore not affected by this.

Troubetskoy was no real racing driver, we was a Playboy with large financial resources made available to him by his wife, Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress. He lived at Paris and appeared only sporadically at same races. I believe it was something like “Prince, we have put your car to the grid, please have a seat, and when the flag falls you simply have to follow all the other”.
But Sterzi was an integral part of the Italian racing scene, competing not only in F2 but also in sports car races and hill climbs. So he for sure rather early realized the game Ferrari and Zehender were playing.
Was Bari really boycotted by Sterzi because at Vercelli he was confronted with with the fact that Righetti was driving #010I? Bari was at the same weekend as Stockholm, so there was no car available for him. Could it be that Ferrari and Zehender sent both Inter cars with the SF drivers Sommer and Biondetti to Stockholm despite Sterzi wanted to participate at Bari? That would really be heavy...!

In fact Sterzi at Pescara showed up in a works car (must have been #012I), whereas his own #006I did not appear. #010I was driven by Biondetti there. Up to now I had no doubt that at Salo Sterzi was driving #006I again, but after Sandro’s posting I checked the photos again. Correct, it does not look like #006I! So which car was it?
#002C was present with Soave Besana, their other car - #004C – was sold already to Mosters at that time if I remember correctly. #010I was at Garda with Troubetskoy, #012I with it’s new owner Bracco, and #016I was in America already. So we have #008I and #014I remaining, both SWB works cars. But Bianchetti and Righetti also both drove 166 Inter SC at Garda, so there’s no car left for Sterzi...! Looking at the photos again Sterzi’s car at Garda definitively is a SWB version, so it must be either #008I or #014I. Sterzi in a works car would make sense, because Ferrari originally entered a car for Biondetti, but Clemente then took over Righetti’s car who felt sick.
Only solution could be that either Righetti or Bianchetti drove the 2nd Besana car #0024C. Sandro...?

#10 Michael Müller

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 16:38

Originally posted by Michael Müller
Only at Salo he used #010I

I have to correct this. This is based on Sterzi driving #006I at Salo, but if Sterzi drove a works car it could well be that Troubetskoy used #006I. I have no photo of him from that event.

#11 alessandro silva

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 18:53

There are two photos in Millanta-Orsini-Zagari "Ferrari Automobili" showing Sterzi practicing around Maranello in the car which would be driven by Nuvolari or Farina (now I forgot which) at Bari. These photos can be dated between the Vercelli and Bari races. Maybe Sterzi was trying (had this been promised?) to get a works car for Bari. He had severed - in any case - his ties with Scuderia Inter. Sterzi reappeared, in 006I I believe, shortly afterwards at Mantova. After this only Trobeztkoy drove this car, Albi and Garda included.
At Garda Sterzi drove a SWB car, I believe 008I (photo in the same book as above).

#12 Michael Müller

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 20:17

Bari was the maiden race for the 3 works cars, 2 SWB (008I & 014I) and one LWB (014I). The SWB cars obviously handled better, 008I was Nuvolari's favourite, and the 014I - should I say of course? - was offered to Farina. Unfortunately both cars are full twins, for me it is impossible to identify them one from the other.

Yes, Mantova is 006I, but whether Salo is 008I or 014I I cannot say.
On 14 Nov 1948 then was the Vermicino-Rocca di Papa Hill Climb, where Sterzi participated again in a 166 Inter SC, which one - no idea.

#13 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 21:03

This is getting better and better! :)

I am no expert about these cars but I can see from photos that Biondetti drove a car in Stockholm, that looked just like the Nuvolari MM car. And that Sommer's car in Stockholm was a copy of the car that Troubetskoy drove in Monaco and Reims. My older sources said something else. I am pretty sure that Sommer drove an Inter car there.


But I'll go for 010I for Biondetti and 006I for Sommer if that's what you say.

I used the name "Gruppo Inter" because that is the name Troubetskoy used in the inerview.

#14 Michael Müller

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 22:10

Originally posted by Tomas Karlsson
But I'll go for 010I for Biondetti and 006I for Sommer if that's what you say.

Correct! :)

#15 Michael Müller

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 17:12

Originally posted by alessandro silva I have no idea why Scuderia Inter is often called today Gruppo Inter. I have not found this diction in any contemporary Italian sources. I would like very much to see a 1948 proof of its use.

I think the reason is that Troubetskoy in his 1993 interview with Doug Nye used this. The interview has been published in Historic Race & Rally and is still used as important source today.

#16 Michael Müller

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 17:16

Originally posted by alessandro silva
There are two photos in Millanta-Orsini-Zagari "Ferrari Automobili" showing Sterzi practicing around Maranello in the car which would be driven by Nuvolari or Farina (now I forgot which) at Bari. These photos can be dated between the Vercelli and Bari races. Maybe Sterzi was trying (had this been promised?) to get a works car for Bari.

The r/n 6 ist already painted on the car, so it must have been #008I which has been raced by Nuvolari/Cortese at Bari. But on the Sterzi photos the grille has a crankhole, which disappeared at Bari...! Any conclusions?

#17 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 20:10

In the Millanta, Orsini, Zagari book on early Ferraris there is a picture of the Nuvolari/Cortese car in Bari # 6. And it has a little crank-hole in the grille. Just like the Inter car 006I had. So it didn't disappear.

#18 Marc Ceulemans

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 21:03

Originally posted by Alessandro Silva: 2) I have no idea why Scuderia Inter is often called today Gruppo Inter. I have not found this diction in any contemporary Italian sources. I would like very much to see a 1948 proof of its use


Alessandro, a proof of the use of the term in a French publication, Auto-Magazine (beginning of 1948), about the Italian teams:
Les écurie italiennes ont formé les équipes pour cette année 48:
Scuderia Ferrari: Farina, Sommer, Wimille
Alfa Romeo: Sanesi, Trossi, Varzi
Cisitalia: Dusio, Taruffi, Stuck (sous licence autrichienne)
Groupe Inter, formé dernièrement à Milan: Cortese, Prince Igor, Zehender, Comte Sterzi. Cette écurie participera avec la Ferrari 166 Inter aux course de voitures de sport et courses selon la formule 2.

I have not translate the original French text. Remark: Wimille in the Scuderia Ferrari and not in the Alfa Romeo works team !

#19 Michael Müller

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 21:32

Originally posted by Tomas Karlsson
In the Millanta, Orsini, Zagari book on early Ferraris there is a picture of the Nuvolari/Cortese car in Bari # 6. And it has a little crank-hole in the grille. Just like the Inter car 006I had. So it didn't disappear.

Hmmm, not on this one....

Posted Image

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#20 Doug Nye

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 22:53

All - wonderful detailed thread, as is so often the case when you particular players are in the game - but I would just like to mention that when I discussed this affair with Prince Igor he was very specific about his arm's length relationship with Freddy Zehender. I recall him telling me that Zehender was "...a very experienced racer based in Paris and Milan who knew all about this business and the best way for me to have some fun in it. I knew nothing of the cars between races. I let Zehender handle all that and the dealings with Ferrari. But I was told that we would be the only people running a new Ferrari in the Targa Florio and when we arrived at the docks" - Naples I think? - "...there were all these other new Ferraris waiting to go on the same boat!".

When I asked the Prince if it could have been possible for one of his cars to be used without his knowledge as a works entry...in, perhaps, the Mille Miglia...he thought for a moment and then admitted that although he did not recall any such 'loan' it did, in retrospect, seem quite conceivable. I was left in no doubt that at the end of the affair he had been left with a rather more realistic view of Zehender's business ethics than he had when wearing his rose-tinted spectacles at the beginning of their relationship.

Re 'Gruppo Inter' in period I am sure I recall seeing a photograph of one of the cars with capital lettering on the scuttle, declaring that team title. But sadly I cannot locate it right now.

DCN

#21 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 15:37

Thanks Doug!
So I'll stick to my "Gruppo" then.

Originally posted by Michael Müller:
Hmmm, not on this one....



Very strange indeed. I'll send you a scan of the picture in the book.

#22 dretceterini

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 19:12

Originally posted by Michael Müller

Correct! :)


Which brings us back full circle to the question: Does 010I as it exists today have any realtionship to 01C?

#23 Michael Müller

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 19:26

Is the topic dead in FerrariChat? No surprise....!
:rolleyes:

#24 alessandro silva

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 19:41

Originally posted by Tomas Karlsson
Thanks Doug!
So I'll stick to my "Gruppo" then.


Posted Image


I would wait a bit, Tomas......
Bern 1948, Scuderia Inter pit.

#25 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 19:45

I love TNF :love:

#26 Michael Müller

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 20:00

Tomas, thanks for mailing the photo. I cutted away some unnecessary surroundings, here's the corpus delicti:

Posted Image

400 %:

Posted Image

I'm not sure whether the crankhole indeed is a hole, or only due to the rather bad quality of the scan.

For comparison here Sterzi in what I believe is 008I at Maranello:

Posted Image

The photos in the Zagari book are of excellent quality as you can see (this is only a small cutout from the whole photo), so a better scan of the Bari photo would remove all doubts.

Nuvolari at Bari had a lightcolored dust cap, the one of the photo above is dark. Okay, Cortese took over the car because Tazio was sick again, so it could be him. But Sterzi for sure had a dark cap, so is it possible that he drove the car not only around Maranello, but also at Bari in training? And that he damaged it, and the Ferrari guys fixed a new grille without crankhole?

Here the full photo, can somebody identify Bari?

Posted Image

#27 Michael Müller

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 20:04

Originally posted by alessandro silva
I would wait a bit, Tomas......
Bern 1948, Scuderia Inter pit. [/B]

:lol:

#28 Michael Müller

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 20:06

Posted Image

And the board is even in French....




#29 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 21:46

'Groupe' - 'Gruppo' - 'Scuderia' - we know the 'Inter' bit is right - I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't use 'Groupe' on the entry paperwork for perhaps French events, 'Gruppo' lettering on the scuttle of at least one of their cars at some time and meanwhile 'Scuderia' was emblazoned upon the truck. In that period no team employed a proof reader. :lol:

DCN

#30 alessandro silva

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 22:04

Originally posted by Doug Nye
'Groupe' - 'Gruppo' - 'Scuderia' - we know the 'Inter' bit is right - I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't use 'Groupe' on the entry paperwork for perhaps French events, 'Gruppo' lettering on the scuttle of at least one of their cars at some time and meanwhile 'Scuderia' was emblazoned upon the truck.

DCN


This is probably how it was, Doug.

For those interested in early Ferrari history I point out a second Troubeztkoj's interview, in La Vie Automobile #854, 20/08/1998. With amusing politically non-correct remarks about Gordini, Ferrari and Wimille's private life.

#31 dretceterini

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 23:12

Originally posted by Michael Müller
Is the topic dead in FerrariChat? No surprise....!
:rolleyes:


Maybe not dead, but on life support. Marcel Massini hasn't said anything one way or the other...

#32 dretceterini

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 23:20

Originally posted by Michael Müller
Tomas, thanks for mailing the photo. I cutted away some unnecessary surroundings, here's the corpus delicti:

Posted Image

400 %:

Posted Image

I'm not sure whether the crankhole indeed is a hole, or only due to the rather bad quality of the scan.

For comparison here Sterzi in what I believe is 008I at Maranello:

Posted Image

The photos in the Zagari book are of excellent quality as you can see (this is only a small cutout from the whole photo), so a better scan of the Bari photo would remove all doubts.

Nuvolari at Bari had a lightcolored dust cap, the one of the photo above is dark. Okay, Cortese took over the car because Tazio was sick again, so it could be him. But Sterzi for sure had a dark cap, so is it possible that he drove the car not only around Maranello, but also at Bari in training? And that he damaged it, and the Ferrari guys fixed a new grille without crankhole?

Here the full photo, can somebody identify Bari?

Posted Image


We don't need more things that make one go hummmmmmmmm... :)

#33 Michael Müller

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 23:54

I'm getting more and more convinced that there is indeed a crankhole at #6 at Bari (if it is Bari!). Checked a lot of photos of Cortese in 1948, but also 1947 and 1949, and he always had a lightcolored dust cap. So it is very likely that the picture in question shows also Sterzi, testing the car shortly before the Bari race, either at Bari itself or any other place. And something must have happened that 008I more or less over night appeared with a new grille.

#34 Frank Verplanken

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 00:05

Originally posted by Michael Müller
Here the full photo, can somebody identify Bari?
Posted Image

On the Fangio tribute website are a few photos of the GP di Bari 1950 : http://www.jmfangio.org/gp1950bari.htm Some of them show what look like exactly the same light poles to me. The general background and tarmac look similar too.

#35 alessandro silva

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 13:14

It is Bari allright and it is 99.99% Sterzi driving.

Something very funny must have happened at Bari the days before the race: Sterzi found himself without a car and Gaby Besana was also forced - with no small inducement though - to hand over his to Landi.

Also Orsini-Zagari put the date of the break-up between Sterzi and Scuderia Inter at the Bari race.

#36 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 17:53

And Nuvolari, who was entered for the Stockholm race, but had to stay at home because he was sick, did race at Bari!!

#37 dretceterini

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 20:44

Originally posted by alessandro silva
It is Bari allright and it is 99.99% Sterzi driving.

Something very funny must have happened at Bari the days before the race: Sterzi found himself without a car and Gaby Besana was also forced - with no small inducement though - to hand over his to Landi.

Also Orsini-Zagari put the date of the break-up between Sterzi and Scuderia Inter at the Bari race.


I agree it is Bari and that the picture shows a hole for the crank. How/why is another question... :(