This year’s Targa Florio was an exciting and arduous race. Out of 186 starters, only 79 finished. Alberto Ascari led at first in the new 2.4-litre V12 Ferrari, but 680 miles in the rain is long way, and Biondetti, who won for Ferrari in 1948 and 1949, but who this year was driving an XK 120 Jaguar, was pressing Ascari hard until engine trouble put him out. Then Rol in an experimental 2½-litre Alfa-Romeo came up into the lead, chased by Cortese in a Le Mans Frazer-Nash—and how encouraging it is that crack Continental drivers now drive British cars from choice. Alas, the petrol tanks of both these cars gave way, and Bornigia’s 2½-litre Alfa-Romeo moved up to first place.
Lance Macklin had the misfortune to end up in one of those ravines for which the Targa Florio is famous, putting paid to the chances of the 2½-litre Aston-Martin and Sydney Allard’s Cadillac-Allard crashed, the occupants got out, the fuel came out and the car was burnt out—bad luck indeed. Wisdom and Hume did distinctly better in the “Silverstone” Healey, finishing fourth in their class.
No one caught the Bornigias, who won easily at 53.87 m.p.h., chased home by the 2-litre Ferraris of Bernebei and Lamotta. Villoresi ditched his Ferrari, went on, was delayed with gearbox trouble, but finished 13th. Scotti’s fourth place with the 1,100-c.c. Ermini was a stout effort.