A sad little tale from Italy

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A sad little tale comes from Italy about the winter testing that Ferrari has been doing, with the first of the 5-litre Group 5 Sports cars and the flat 12-cylinder Grand Prix car. Knowing that Sicily is the land of sunshine and that the Enna circuit is a nearly-flat-out oval, the team went down there to give the 512 a high-speed thrashing.

When the transporter arrived at Naples to take the boat to Palermo there was a “technical hitch”, and after hanging about for six hours it was announced that the boat would not sail. The mechanics had no alternative but to drive on down through southern Italy to Reggio Calabria and take the ferry across to Messina and then over the mountains to Enna. Maranello to Naples is about seven hours, Naples to Reggio a goad day (or night’s) motoring and Messina to Enna is absolute hell. When they finally got to Enna the rain was pouring down, the wind was blowing a hurricane and all hopes of any high-speed motoring was out. They hung about for four days and finally gave up in despair when one of the new drivers, Arturo Merzario, spun off in the wet and slightly damaged the 512. It is worth realising that most British teams can get to a test circuit within about two hours of leaving their factory. It is not all sunshine and roses on the Continent.—D.S.J.