Ulster Trophy, Dundrod (June 7th)

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The 252-mile Formula I Ulster Trophy Race at Dundrod was a most absorbing affair. It should have been a BRM benefit but once again these unhappy, ill-prepared, but all too predictable cars retired. Winston Churchill spurred on our troops during the war with his famous Victory Sign, but if Raymond Mays isn’t careful he will see more vigorous signs of this sort directed at the BRM round the circuits of Europe.

Only one BRM appeared for official practice, Fangio and Moss sharing it. It never went very fast. The remaining BRM was being run-in at an adjacent airfield, where at least it may have felt thoroughly at home !

When the flag fell Moss and Fangio were in the back row. Moss stalled his engine, did two laps and stopped with overheating. After a long delay he completed a third lap, or 22 miles, and retired. Mike Hawthorn had got away brilliantly in the Cooper-Bristol and this grand Formula II car led for eight laps. After this Taruffi, driving the Thinwall Ferrari with new nose-cowl, washed out a stalled start and took the lead. Fangio was now third, after spinning at the hairpin and finishing the first lap in eighth place just behind Moss. Fangio clocked 141.8 mph over the measured section before the rain began, but Taruffi’s three-year-old Ferrari replied with 144.9 mph.

Hawthorn hung grimly to second place and when Taruffi stopped for rear tyres and fuel the Cooper-Bristol was able to snatch a slender lead. it was, however, suffering clutch slip and losing water from a warped head, so Mike had his own pit-stop and reverted to second place—still, a magnificent show. Kelly’s blown Alta went really well, to finish third, but Rosier’s Ferrari was clearly tired after Albi. Fangio’s BRM run ended after 25 laps, or 1821/2 miles, with fuel-feed trouble. According to the daily Press, Mays said all that was wrong was the date of the race–had it been four days later BRM would certainly have won !

1st : Taruffi (41/2 Ferrari), 3 hr 5 min 47 sec, 81.43 mph. 2nd : Hawthorn (2.0 Cooper-Bristol). 3 hr. 9 min 13.4 sec. 3rd : Kelly (11/2 s/c Alta). 1 lap behind: 4th : Rosier (Ferrari); 5th Etancelin (Talbot); 6th : Moore (HWM). Fastest lap : Tauffi, 91.12 mph.