Further Races in the Argentine

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Racing continued in the Argentine, although Peter Whitehead returned home before it was over, fed-up with the patchy organisation.

The Grand Prix of Mar Del Plata Was run off on January 15th over 37 laps, or about 95 miles. Fangio led in the initial stages from Ascari, but the Italian driver eventually got in front. Unfortunately Villoresi’s Ferrari developed defective steering and was involved in an accident with Fangio’s car, both being eliminated. Ascari led, unchallenged, to the finish, his Ferrari winning at 69.12 m.p.h., with Farina’s Maserati 2nd and Tarulli’s Maserati 3rd. Chiron, in his Maserati, was 4th, de Graffenried (Maserati) 5th, Gonzalez (Maserati) 6th, in spite of an incident which put both his car and Etancelin’s Lago-Talbot into the straw, Biondetti (Maserati) 7th, Rosier’s Lago-Talbot 8th, “Bira,” recovered from his leg injury, 9th in his Maserati, but two laps short of full distance, Parnell’s Maserati 10th, Etancelin 11th, and Carini’s Maserati 12th. There was, in addition, a sports-car race, won by Menditeguy’s Ferrari, at 59.6 m.p.h., from Mieres (Alfa-Romeo), Redrigo (Alfa-Romeo), and Tornquiat (Alfa-Romeo). Alas, a spectator tried to cross the road in front of one of the cars and received fatal injuries.

The series of Argentine Grands Prix seem to have been overshadowed by unhappy incidents this year. The last one was held on January 22nd and Fangio took the lead from the start, in his Ferrari. Ascari chased him in earnest and his Ferrari, until the gear-lever broke off in his hand. Fangio then had an accident trying to pass a slower car, and after some difficulty in passing Campos (“1.7” Maserati), Villoresi (Ferrari) took the lead, finally winning the 87-mile race at 57.68 m.p.h. Campos lost time having a wheel changed, but came in second, 1 min. 22.9 sec. later, while Dr. Farina, also driving one of the “enlarged” 1,720-c.c., 16-valve Maseratis, was third, creditable in view of a lap washed-out for him because his plugs had grown tired. Parnell was a lap behind in his 1½-litre Maserati, Bucci a lap behind Reg., in a 4½-litre Maserati, while Etancelin (Lago-Talbot) and Gonzales (1½-litre Maserati) also completed 47 of the 50 laps. Taruffi (Maserati), Serafini (Ferrari) and Biondetti (Ferrari) were amongst those who retired.

The Argentinian score was, therefore: Villoresi, three ”firsts,” Ascari two “firsts”—nice start, Luigi!