My last post on the subject of the Pescara circuit, unless something compelling comes up, hopefully with some interesting info in here.
One of the reasons the race was important, is that it put on the map a city that when it was first run did not exist yet. Name and reputation of the race and the city grew up together. Pescara initially was only the part of town on the south of the river (the Aterno-Pescara), while the one on the north side, bigger, was called Castellammare Adriatico (denomination now completely disappeared locally, not even a borough; I became aware of that name quite late). The two towns were unified on 2 January 1927 by royal decree to give Pescara as it is now known. What was Castellammare provided the current city centre, with the station, Piazza Salotto etc. The name Pescara prevailed as it was favoured by D’Annunzio, who was born south of the river… As the race never crossed the river [I was wrong in one of my previous posts, the race never went on the Tiburtina, which is located past the river; the Mille Miglia did], Enzo Ferrari won the first edition in 1924 in Castellammare Adriatico, not properly Pescara.
I don’t have available at the moment a “then” picture, if not this one, a Franco Zagari one published on Rombo and taken on the flying kilometre
And this, supposedly showing Henne followed by Moll, right before they got into the fatal straight, which would show they were running very close indeed at that point
and this is the location, today, where Moll fatal accident took place on Ferragosto day in 1934, at the junction between Via Vestina and Via Danubio (which street I doubt existed at the time):
The cars came towards the camera in this picture, along the SS16bis:
This is towards the sea, in the race direction:
That is all modern urbanization, I suspect at the time houses were much sparser, if non-existent at all. It was reported the car careened on to the wall of a “casa cantoniera” (road maintenance building), which makes sense, probably the only building in the zone at the time, except few houses at Villa Carmine, one kilometre before. At Villa Carmine, part of Montesilvano, there is a Piazza and a Parco Guy Moll.
This location is about 1.9 km before the curve into the Adriatica, this stretch was the so called chilometro lanciato, the flying kilometre, where they took times and speed. The record was held by Fangio on the Alfetta in the 1950 edition, clocked at 310 km/h.
The cause of the accident was never clear, reports on La Stampa and Il Littoriale suggest Moll lost control of the car for some unknown reason, right in the place of top speed, while dealing with the lapping of Henne. Il Littoriale reported that both drivers were clocked at 12 seconds and 2/5, which equates at 290 km/h exactly over 1000 metres (I am assuming, it is not specified on which length those 12 seconds were clocked).
In a couple of columns on Autosprint, Franco Gozzi related several theories, as told to him by people who were there that day – Enzo Ferrari, Nello Ugolini, Brivio, Guidotti – but in the end not conclusive and not reliable for some unresolved contradictions. He says it was ascertained – “questo e’ dunque accertato” - Moll and Henne had a contact. It doesn’t seem that was ever ascertained beyond doubt. I think it is fair to say Moll lost control while dealing with the other car, that is expected and reasonable (otherwise he could have lost control in any previous lap, not when dealing with another car running at the same speed). Precisely how, we’ll never know. Henne, who lived to old age, obviously always denied any involvement or responsibility.
This is Moll at the hairpin of Cappelle, with the P3 n. 46:
Edited by Regazzoni, 02 June 2019 - 17:28.