Victory for the Tipo 61. Maserati
Adenau, May 22nd
By the time these words appear in print the 1,000-kilometre race on the Nurburgring, for sports cars and Gran Truismo cars, counting towards the Sports-Ca, Championship, will have passed into history. Also, the Le Mans 24 Hour race will have taken place, so that the Championship will in all probability have been decided. It is, therefore, of little point to record a minute-by-minute· account of the German race, but rather to review the happenings of that miserable foggy day in May and possibly draw some conclusions.
Anyone who saw the performance of the Tipo 61 Maserati 2.89-litre car in the Targa Florio in’ the hands of Maglioli and Vaccarella must have held great hopes for a Maserati victory in Germany, so that it was little surprise that a sister ·car from the Camoradi stable, driven by Moss and Gurney, directed by Taruffi and prepared by the Maserati factory, dominated the race, even though it did not lead throughout. Conditions for the 44-lap race were the worst ever, starting in a thin mist that later turned to rain and then fog so thick that visibility was down to 150 yards. From the start Moss built up an enormous lead, being quite unchallenged by Bonnier (Porsche 1,650-c.c.), Allison (V12 Ferrari), von Trips (VI2 Ferrari) or Clark (Aston Martin DBR1/300) he drove non-stop for 14 laps of the arduous Nurburgring, the Maserati on Goodyear tyres on the front and Pirelli on the rear, handling extremely well in the wet conditions. However, the four-cylinder Maserati engine, running a very high oil pressure of 9 kg./sq. cm., was breathing oil out all over the place, and while it was refuelled and refilled with oil there was a lot of mopping-up to be done in the cockpit. This did not lose the Maserati the lead and Gurney took over and kept up the pace that Moss had set, driving a splendid race and doing a wonderful job of supporting Moss.
Bonnier handed the second-place Porsche over to Gendebien and von Trips the third-place Ferrari to Phil Hill, and with the pit stops and superior wet-road driving of the American the Ferrari pulled up into second position, with the Allison/Mairesse Ferrari in fourth place. During these first pit stops for fuel and driver changes, Scarlatti stopped to hand over the factory Dino 246 rigid rear axle car to Scarfiotti, and the Ferrari mechanics ” did an Aston Martin ” and set fire to the pits. The blaze was one of the biggest ever witnessed in motor racing, and. though the Ferrari was completely burnt-out only Scarlatti received slight burns on his left hand. The fire-brigade did a good job of keeping the blaze concentrated and though. there was no hope of saving the car they prevented the fire spreading to other pits, which were full of petrol and tyres.
After 20 laps Gurney was still leading comfortably but then an oil pipe broke and.he had to stop at the pits for a repair, during which time Phil Hill went by into the lead, followed by Gendebien into second place, and then Mairesse into third place. The Camoradi-Maserati team had a second car competing, driven by Gregory/Munaron, which was lying in sixth position and for a while it looked as though Taruffi might have decided to put Moss and Gurney into that car and hope to regain the lead, but the number-one car was repaired and Gurney set off again, as he was proving quite capable of lapping at the same speeds as Moss. The leading Ferrari stopped for fuel and for von Trips to take over, and the pit-stop was rather slow without the pressure refuelling plant, and having to rely on gravity feed, but even so they managed to maintain their lead over the Bonnier/Gendebien Porsche. The whole circuit was now completely enveloped in fog and Gurney was gaining ground rapidly, now being in fourth position. When Mairesse stopped for fuel and to hand over to Allison, the Maserati moved up into third place and Gurney kept the pressure on. Then the second-place Porsche stopped for fuel and for Bonnier to take over, and Gurney gained more ground, and though Bonnier drove magnificently, the Porsche being very fast in the wet, running on Dunlop SP tyres, the German version of Michelin “X”, nothing could prevent the Maserati from taking second place on lap 26. Having got past the Porsche Gurney set after van Trips in the leading Ferrari, simply eating up the gap, and Bonnier drew inspiration from the big man from California and kept up with him. In the damp and fog the V12 Ferrari, with independent rear suspension, was no great fun to drive, and on lap 28 both Gurney and Bonnier swept past the red car, the white-and-blue Maserati being back in the lead and the Porsche in second place and hanging on grimly.
After 30 laps Gurney’s job was done and he stopped for fuel and oil and for Moss to take over, all of which was done in 50 sec., but Bonnier had gone past into the lead and von Trips went by into second place as Moss set off. The fog was beginning to clear and the track was drying, so that Moss caught the second-place Ferrari in no time at all, whereupon the engine of the Ferrari blew-up and von Trips was out. At a relentless and consistent 12 seconds a lap Moss overhauled the leading Porsche, and caught it just as it pulled into the pits after 36 laps, for fuel and for Gendebien to take over. Setting a number of fastest laps, Moss finally went round in 9 min. 37 sec., a bare 5 sec. outside his own lap record made last year under perfect conditions. All he had to do was to complete the 44 laps and bring well-deserved victory to the Maserati and to Cassner and his Camoradi team. Meanwhile the second Porsche 1,650-c.c., driven by Herrmann and Trintignant, had caught Allison in the V12 Ferrari with de Dion rear axle, and with their best 12-cylinder car out of the race the Scuderia Ferrari called Allison in and put Phil Hill in the car in the hope of regaining third place, and this he did in a very forceful manner, finding the de Dion-axled V12-cylinder car much easier to drive round· the Nurburgring than the independently-rearsprung V12 car.
As usual, the entry for this race was enormous and consisted of numerous classes for sports and G.T. cars. As well as winning outright the Maserati won the 2-3-litre sports class, and Maserati were well pleased for in addition their second car finished the race as well, quietening those people who have been maintaining that the Tipo 61 always breaks as it is too fragile. Of the four cars entered, only one factory Ferrari finished, the i.r.s. Dino 246 going out early with a water leak in the engine while driven by Ginther. Of the three private DBR1/300 Aston Martins that were entered only one finished, that being the carefully-driven car of Baillie and Greenall. The Border Reivers car broke its factory-loaned engine early on and the Whitehead car broke its transmission also early in the race. Naturally, Porsche cleaned-up the 1,601-2,000-c.c. class; although the young Mexican driver Ricardo Rodriguez was challenging strongly in the opening half of the race with his Dino 196 Ferrari, keeping up remarkably well with the established factory drivers and leading many well-known names. Later, while his elder brother was driving, the car wrecked its engine, which put them out. There were two Lotus Fifteens, entered by Taylor and Crawley, but minor troubles delayed them so that they presented no serious challenge.
The 1,151-1,600-c.c. sports class was dominated by Barth and Graham Hill until the German driver got mixed up with a slower car and went off the road, leaving the class victory to the Swiss pair, Walter/Losinger, with an early RSK Porsche. In this class were two experimental Porsche coupes running, entered by the Stuttgart factory, and not being homologated G.T. cars they competed as sports cars. One was an Abarth-bodied Carrera, fitted with Porsche’s own disc brakes and driven by Linge/Greger, and the other was a production Reutter-Carrera fitted with a push-rod Super 90 engine, although the name Carrera was left on the back, to fool the peasants. This Super 90 engine was experimental, having fuel-injection into the ports from a highpressure metering pump driven by an internally-toothed rubber belt. The exhaust system consisted of four separate pipes of equal length with reverse-cone megaphones, and Porsche disc brakes were also fitted to this car, which was driven by Schulze/ Graf Einsiedel. Although the fuel-injection system proved very satisfactory, the disc brakes suffered heavy pad wear, while the drum brakes on the RS6o sports cars gave no trouble at all. The South African driver Fraser-Jones should have been in this class with his new RS6o but he crashed badly in unofficial practice so his place was taken by another new RS6o, owned by de Beaufort and co-driven by Frere. The 851-1,150-c.c. sports class was completely dominated by Lola cars, there being four of them, all of which finished the race, headed by Voegele/Ashdown. The de Selincourt/Lawrence car was interesting as it was running with a single American Fish carburetter on a very ordinary manifold, and it proved to be as fast as any of the Lolas as far as maximum speed was concerned. In the opening stages Hitches led the class from Voegele, de Selincourt and Broadley, but then when they changed drivers Ashdown took the Swiss-owned car into the lead and Lawrence led Hicks, while Bertram brought up the rear, and these second-drivers decided the ultimate outcome of the class. There was a 501-850-c.c. sports class which contained but three cars, the Le Mans coupe D.B. of Laureau/Jaeger which should have won, but was delayed by electrical trouble so that a production D.B. won. The third car was a very pretty little FiatAbarth coupe which was unfortunately turned over in practice, but then beaten straight enough to compete and finish the race.
The G.T. classes are always interesting at the Nurburgring and this year was no exception, for in the over-2,000-c.c. class there was due the first competition clash between the 3-litre V12- cylinder 250GT Ferrari coupes and the 3.7-litre six-cylinder DB4GT Aston Martin. Italy was represented by two 1959 cars driven by Colin Davis/Abate and Schlesser/Bianchi, while England was represented by Innes Ireland and SiefI with a 1960 Aston Martin. Unfortunately, the battle came to nought as the Aston Martin had not been homologated sufficiently long to be accepted, so that the Davis/Abate car had an easy win as the Aston Martin was refused permission to start. There were two 1960 Ferrari 250GT coupes in the same situation, these being the latest short-chassis cars with disc brakes, but being under 3 litres they could compete as sports cars. The Aston Martin just did not fit in anywhere. The young Italian driver Carlo Mario Abate did a splendid drive on his first appearance at the Nurburgring, leading all the regular Nurburgring Porsche G.T. drivers, and, ably supported by Davis, won the class and finished a very creditable eighth overall. In the 1,301-2,000-c.c. class Porsche Carreras dominated the scene, though there were two A.C.-Bristols competing, that of Staples/Shepherd-Barron finishing the race unscathed. Strahle and Walter with the former.>s Carrera-Abarth won the class, while a similar car was third behind a ReutterCarrera. In this class the battle for second place went on to the very end, there being 13 sec. between second and third teams and a mere 2 sec. between third and fourth, all after more than 7! hours of racing.
At one time the 1,001-1,300-c.c. class was the domain of the old 1,300 Super Porsche, but then Alfa-Romeo came along with the Giulietta and drove the small Porsche from the scene. Now Lotus has come along and done the same. to Alfa-Romeo with their Elite. Altogether nine Elites were entered in this class, one was crashed in practice, so that eight started, against eight Giuliettas. By the time engines had blown up, three more Elites had crashed, gearboxes had gone, suspensions had collapsed, and the race was over, there remained but three Elites and four Giuliettas, with a resounding victory going to Lotus and the Team Elite car of Wagstaff and Stacey. However, the first half of the race saw a truly brilliant drive by M. J. Parkes, in Sir Gawaine Baillie’s dark blue Elite, who not only led the class but a great many of the Porsche Carreras as well. Unfortunately the owner of the car took over and spun off into the ditch. It is worth recording Parkes’ fastest lap, a record for the class, of 10 min. 47.9 sec. and comparing it with the fastest lap by a Carrera, of 10 min. 44.4 sec., and the G.T. Ferrari of Abate/Davis, 10 min. 41.2 sec.
Returning to the outright victors of the 1960 A.D.A.C. 1,000-km. race, this was the third consecutive win for Stirling Moss and he paid Dan Gurney the finest compliment he could when he said afterwards that he really enjoyed the race because it was so nice to have a co-driver who could keep up the pressure, after the previous two wins. Previously one has been justified in saying, “Moss wins the r,ooo kilometres of Nurburgring,” but this year one can truly say, ” Moss and Gurney win the 1,000 kilometres.” In spite of the appalling weather on race day and during the three days of practice, there was a record crowd of over 250,000 people and more than 80,000 cars, presumably because a Porsche victory was hoped for, after the Targa Florio, and every American serviceman must have been there to see the blue-and-white Maserati of Camoradi achieve a great victory. Having seen the A.D.A.C. lose a great deal of money on the early 1,000-kilometre races, when a· mere handful of spectators turned up, it is nice to see them making a profit for their perseverance. – D.S.J