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Odoardo Govoni Maserati 250F


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#1 rudi

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 06:56

While looking into the great Don Capps work "A Case History of the Maserati 250F", I was surprised by the last lane of the #2507 Logbook.

#2507/23/22 entered by Scuderia Centro Sud at the 1959 Trento-Bondone hillclimb finished second driven by Govoni.

In fact Govoni finished second but in his Maserati 200SI entered by his Scuderia San Giorgio.

But Govoni is on photos testing the car at Modena, so there is perhaps a link. An other hill climb ?



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#2 DCapps

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 02:11

Two things, the first being that the A6GCM/250F thing is being completely revised at the moment given that the current one is quite obsolete and generally outdated. The database it is currently built upon has been tossed out and a new, totally reworked one has been developed from scratch and which is still being updated at the moment. We expect it to be available in the not too distant future and only after several scrubs and the many headaches that result have been dealt with, of course. How we will be dealing with the issue of identity will no doubt ruffle more than a few feathers, but so what, I am already over that.

 

Second thing is that Barrie Hobkirk has Govani in 2522 (as in 2507/23/22, but actually it should be known by its engine being used at the time, 2522 in this case) at the hillclimb venue on that date. Highly unusual for Barrie to drop the ball, as they say. I do remember asking Barrie about that event, but apparently he seemed quite convinced about it. He reminded me that these events had a multitude of classes besides the International/European hillclimb championship events -- which is what I was familiar with and always tended to focus upon. This is also one way as to how Barrie figured out the Erwin Sommerhalder outings in 2518. Well, having the build sheet didn't hurt, of course. So, Barrie did take a look at the 250F in the hillclimbs, even if only a cursory one. I always tended to agree with Barrie -- and David, as well, of course -- when it came to such things, although we sometimes had some real back-and-forths later on as I asked lots of questions about some things that I thought did not quite fit. That, of course, was one of the things that eventually led me to a rethink on how to perceive Identity for these machines (and the Maserati machines in general...).

 

Adam Ferrington seems to have picked up the torch for the Trident of late, so he is another good source of information and thoughts on all of this.

 

All that said, errors of interpretation and fact are inevitable and, to be honest, expected in this sort of thing. The lack of the copies of the necessary Carnets, the too few build sheets, and especially the absence of the racing department worksheets make this an interesting challenge. Not to mention that the historiography for this can be the source of chasing no end of wild geese if one is not careful....



#3 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 11:20

This is rather puzzling.

 

'Auto Italiana', July 15, 1959, reports that year's Trento-Bondone climb and that Govoni (Maserati) set 2nd FTD in his "Maserati due litre di vecchia data" - his '2-litre Maserati of older date' - the front-engined 200SI as Rudi mentions above.  There is absolutely no mention in the Trento-Bondone report of any class catering for 2 1/2-litre Formula 1 single-seaters.  I would have been surprised had there been one.  

 

Nor is there any mention of a potential demonstration climb by Govoni in such a car.  I'd therefore bet that no Maserati 250F ran at Trento-Bondone - at least, not at the European Mountain Championship-qualifying event held there - that year.

 

However - in the October 1 issue of 'Auto Italiana' there is a feature on the Centro Sud racing drivers' school at Modena Aerautodromo.  It's accompanied by these two photos of Govoni in their Maserati 250F...  Perhaps some Modena/Trento wires became somehow crossed during later research.

 

Below:  Govoni in the cockpit.  Fellow hill-climber Edoardo Lualdi Gabardi is the dark-shirted, helmeted driver leaning on the right.  Clearly a day for the uphill specialists to try their hands in the obsolescent F1 car.

 

IMG-0543.jpg

 

IMG-0544.jpg

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 21 February 2021 - 13:30.


#4 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 13:06

........

 

However - in the October 1 issue of 'Auto Italiana' there is a feature on the Centro Sud racing drivers' school at Modena Aerautodromo.  It's accompanied by these two photos of Govoni in their Maserati 250F...  Perhaps some Modena/Trento wires became somehow crossed during later research.

 

Below:  Govoni in the cockpit.  Fellow hill-climber Edoardo Lualdi Gabardi is the dark-shirted, helmeted driver leaning on the right.  Clearly a day for the uphill specialists to try their hands in the obsolescent F1 car.

 

IMG-0543.jpg

 

 

 

DCN

 

And at the far right Piero Taruffi.



#5 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 13:29

Indeed - 'The Silver Fox' was in effect the Centro Sud school's headmaster - chief instructor - and a fantastic example to every aspiring racer.  He seemed to be near fluent in English, French and German in addition to his native language and if that was indeed the case then it would have helped widen the school's appeal immensely.  I am unconvinced, however, of how many star drivers learned much really useful from any school - without having true talent inborn, and being essentially self-taught...and probably at enormous risk to the fellow users of their local communities' roads.

 

DCN



#6 DCapps

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 17:49

As mentioned, this one has puzzled me for some time. After Rudi mentioned it, I started going back through my file folders earlier today. I had a question mark for this one that is still on the worksheet that Barrie sent me Way Back Then.

 

For starters, I was quite puzzled how a 250F could even been able to compete in a championship hillclimb event since the cars were initially limited to 2,000cc and then to 1,500cc -- which meant the championship round in 1959 for the Pikes Peak round went to an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spyder Veloce (1,300cc) -- about five minutes slower than the time set by Bobby Unser -- with an RSK in 6th place. Which brings me back to 12 July 1959 and the Bodone event. In some results I find Giovani list as second, wedged between Barth and Seidel, in others, Giovani is not listed at all. If Giovani was indeed in a 200SI -- as I have long suspected -- then unless it was carrying an engine of  under1,500cc then it was not eligible for the championship event. That Giovani is listed in some places and not others is something that I had forgotten. In the results given in the Automobile Year No. 7 for instance, Giovani is not listed -- at all. I no longer have any email or notes of a fax exchange on this, the former longer given up to the Ether and no idea as to what may have happened to the former. Maybe brighter minds can resolve this since I am, as usual, somewhat flummoxed by it.

 

I think that it is clear that sufficient reason exists to excise the Giovani entry from the record -- which would have probably happened during the scrub, but full credit to Rudi and Doug for making the case to do so.

 

Speaking of Erwin Sommerhalder, at the Grand Prix Suisse de la Montague held at Lenzerheide on 25 August 1957, there were four classes for sports cars -- up to 1,000cc, 1,101cc-1,500cc, 1,501cc-2,000cc, and over 2,000cc; and four for racing cars -- up to 500cc, 501-1,100cc, 1,101cc-1,500cc, and over 1,500cc. Sommerhalder was the sole entry in the over 1,500cc class, making runs of 3 min 45.4 sec and 3 min 45.8 sec, while von Trips made runs of 3 min 28.6 sec and 3 min 28.8 sec in a Porsche RS. Both rate photographs, by the way in that year's Automobile Year (No. 5).

 

As usual, pity the poor historian...!



#7 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 18:06

Just possibly Giovani doesn't appear in those records because here we're talking about Odoardo Govoni...  And if he did indeed run the 200SI - as I believe he did - then he could easily have contested only the Italian national Championship that day - and set his 2nd FTD overall - yet not appear at all in the filtered EMC scorings of the self-same event, because his car did not comply for that competition.  

 

Tell you what - you edit your's and I'll delete mine?   :cool:

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 22 February 2021 - 09:00.


#8 JoBo

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 18:31

As mentioned, this one has puzzled me for some time. After Rudi mentioned it, I started going back through my file folders earlier today. I had a question mark for this one that is still on the worksheet that Barrie sent me Way Back Then.

 

For starters, I was quite puzzled how a 250F could even been able to compete in a championship hillclimb event since the cars were initially limited to 2,000cc and then to 1,500cc -- which meant the championship round in 1959 for the Pikes Peak round went to an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spyder Veloce (1,300cc) -- about five minutes slower than the time set by Bobby Unser -- with an RSK in 6th place. Which brings me back to 12 July 1959 and the Bodone event. In some results I find Giovani list as second, wedged between Barth and Seidel, in others, Giovani is not listed at all. If Giovani was indeed in a 200SI -- as I have long suspected -- then unless it was carrying an engine of  under1,500cc then it was not eligible for the championship event. That Giovani is listed in some places and not others is something that I had forgotten. In the results given in the Automobile Year No. 7 for instance, Giovani is not listed -- at all. I no longer have any email or notes of a fax exchange on this, the former longer given up to the Ether and no idea as to what may have happened to the former. Maybe brighter minds can resolve this since I am, as usual, somewhat flummoxed by it.

 

I think that it is clear that sufficient reason exists to excise the Giovani entry from the record -- which would have probably happened during the scrub, but full credit to Rudi and Doug for making the case to do so.

 

Speaking of Erwin Sommerhalder, at the Grand Prix Suisse de la Montague held at Lenzerheide on 25 August 1957, there were four classes for sports cars -- up to 1,000cc, 1,101cc-1,500cc, 1,501cc-2,000cc, and over 2,000cc; and four for racing cars -- up to 500cc, 501-1,100cc, 1,101cc-1,500cc, and over 1,500cc. Sommerhalder was the sole entry in the over 1,500cc class, making runs of 3 min 45.4 sec and 3 min 45.8 sec, while von Trips made runs of 3 min 28.6 sec and 3 min 28.8 sec in a Porsche RS. Both rate photographs, by the way in that year's Automobile Year (No. 5).

 

As usual, pity the poor historian...!

Govoni indeed drove in his own 200S, chassis #2413, in the Bodone-event. And I am pretty sure that the car was NOT modified with a smaller 1,5 liter engine! Sometimes officials of the Italian race events are not very accurate to record the capacity of the nominated cars.

#2413 is located today in Austria.

Perhaps I am wrong but I never saw any photo of a 250F driven in an Italian hill climb....

 

JoBo



#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 21 February 2021 - 19:34

A 250F in Swiss hill-climbs yes - in Italian climbs, as JoBo says - no, I haven't either...as far as I can recall these days.

 

DCN



#10 rudi

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 07:11

Odoardo Govoni could probably clear things, he is 90. I tried to contact Maurizio Messori who wrote an unpublished book with Govoni.



#11 rudi

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Posted 22 February 2021 - 15:51

Below: Govoni in the cockpit. Fellow hill-climber Edoardo Lualdi Gabardi is the dark-shirted, helmeted driver leaning on the right. Clearly a day for the uphill specialists to try their hands in the obsolescent F1 car.

IMG-0543.jpg

IMG-0544.jpg

DCN


The photos with Govoni and Gabardi (the pupils) were taken for publishing in the SCS Driving School brochure, there is an other one with them and the A6GCS.

#12 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 08:04

Indeed - 'The Silver Fox' was in effect the Centro Sud school's headmaster - chief instructor - and a fantastic example to every aspiring racer.  He seemed to be near fluent in English, French and German in addition to his native language and if that was indeed the case then it would have helped widen the school's appeal immensely.  I am unconvinced, however, of how many star drivers learned much really useful from any school - without having true talent inborn, and being essentially self-taught...and probably at enormous risk to the fellow users of their local communities' roads.

 

DCN

 

In the June 19th, 1964 issue of Autosport, Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema Jr reports on a week at this racing school. And reports of the several training sessions Taruffi led his pupils. Costing 95 quid or 25 when using your own car, with additional charge for tyres. 

By mid 1964 the school had moved to Monza instead.

Roelfzema pursued a racing career and did end up in Formula 3, yet got caught up in the sixties and left racing. 



#13 Roger Clark

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 08:40

Autocourse  has a report of Trento-Bondone. Govoni is shown as second overall and winner of the 2-litre sports class. Seidel who was third overall is shown in the championship table with 6 points for second. There is no mention of a racing car class although there is in other events. Essentially the same as Auto Italiana.