Sixth Grand Prix of Caen

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L’Equipe Walker scores a double

Caen, July 20th.

Held over 86 laps of the 3.52-kilometre circuit, the Grand Prix of Caen was a combined event for Formula I and Formula II cars, and nine of twelve drivers taking part crossed over from Silverstone during the night. The B.R.M. team brought over their other two 1958 cars for Behra and Schell, the former having an old four-bearing engine, the latter a new one, with pipe-line oil-tank layout. L’Equipe Walker had their 1958 Cooper, now fitted with a 2.2-litre Climax engine, for Moss to drive and the ex-Leston 1,500-c.c. car for Trintignant. The Scuderia Centro-Sud had sent their other blue-and-white Maserati to Caen, and Gerini drove this, while Bonnier drove his own 1956 Maserati and Milford made up the Modena trio with his car. Gibson entered two 1957 Coopers, with the 1,560-c.c. for himself and the 1,500-c.c. for Ballisat, and the rest of the F. II field comprised Lewis-Evans in the “Pa-Moss” Cooper, Wicken (Cooper) and Lefton in Fisher’s Lotus.

Practice for the drivers arriving from Silverstone took place in the morning the race being at 4 o’clock in the afternoon in dry but windy conditions. The tempo of the race was disturbed at the end of lap one when Ballisat’s Cooper lost its off-side front wheel as he passed the pits, and then as he skated to rest Leston was having a private accident a bit farther down the road.

These two incidents unconnected, but close together, threw the organisers into a flap, and the resultant flag-waving confused most of the drivers. However, Moos and Behra started duelling for the lead, followed by Bonnier and Halford, while Schell was hampered by a locking rear brake. Trintignant was well ahead of the other Formula II cars, Lewis-Evans being badly hampered by Gerini, so that Wicken was firmly in second place. Schell eventually retired when a gearbox oil leak added to his troubles, and as the leaders began to lap the rest of the field, Beira dropped behind Moss, the B.R.M. being quite unable to make any impression on the Cooper. Just before half-distance Behra’s engine broke, and that left Moss an unchallenged winner, followed by the Maserati of Bonnier and Halford; fourth place was Trintignant, followed by Wicken and Lewis-Evans. Towards the end of the race Lewis-Evans put on speed and just as he was catching Wicken, the latter’s crown-wheel broke up, but he was able to limp in to the finish. After blowing out oil smoke for the whole race, Gerini’s engine went rough on the last lap and then he span on the last corner and finished by pushing his car backwards the line.

Results:

Sitxth Grand Prix of Caen—Formula I and II—86 laps—302 Kilometres—Dry
1st: S. Moss (Cooper 2.2-litre) . . . 2 hr. 00 min. 09.7 sec.—151.156 k.p.h.
2nd: J. Bonnier (Maserati 250F) .. .. 2 hr. 00 min. 09.7 sec. 1 lap behind
3rd: B. Halford (Maserati 250F) .. .. 2 hr. 00 min. 09.7 sec. 1 lap behind
4th: M. Trintignant (Cooper 1.5-litre) .. .. 2 hr. 00 min. 09.7 sec. 2 laps behind
5th: S. Lewis-Evans (Cooper 1.5-litre) .. .. 2 hr. 00 min. 09.7 sec. 4 laps behind
6th: G. Gerini (Maserati 250F) .. .. 2 hr. 00 min. 09.7 sec. 4 laps behind
7th: C. Wicken (Cooper 1.5-litre) .. .. 2 hr. 00 min. 09.7 sec. 4 laps behind

Fastest lap: J. Behra (B.R.M.), 1 min. 20.8 see.—156.832 k.p.h.
Retired: K. Ballisat (Cooper), lost wheel; L. Leston (Lotus), crash; R. Gibson (Cooper). overheating; H. Schell (B.R.M.), oil leak; J. Behra (B.R.M.), engine.

Sports-car race at Vila Real (July 13th)

Sports car racing returned to Portugal with a 242 km, race at Vila Real, in which the chief protagonists were Moss and Behra with 3-litre 6-cylinder Maseratis.

1st: S. Moss (Maserati);
2nd: J. Behra (Maserati)
3rd: F. Gudia (Maserati).