Zeltweg Airfield, Austria
ON September 18th the Austrian motor-sporting public had a great day, for they were able to see World Champion Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss in action with F.2 cars on the short aerodrome circuit at Zeltweg. Brabham was naturally driving a Cooper-Climax and Moss had the R. R. C. Walker Porsche single-seater, while against these two were Hermann and Barth with factory Porsches, three Centro-Sud F1 Coopers, Tony Marsh with a Lotus-Climax and numerous private Cooper-Climax cars. The Italian Scuderia entered Trintignant with his ex-Walker Cooper with Colotti five-speed gearbox, the Portuguese driver Cabral with a standard Cooper and Masten Gregory with a Cooper-Maserati, but this failed to start though it practised. The Equipe National Belge entered their two cars, driven by the younger of the Bianchi brothers and ” Blary ” who has driven in G.T. racing previously.
The race was held over 59 laps of the 3.2 kilometre circuit, making a total of 188.8 kilometres and altogether sixteen cars lined up on the grid. When Brabham retired with fuel pump trouble Moss had things all his own way, but let Herrmann keep up with him right to the finish to keep the interest going.
Results; 59 laps of 3.2km circuit; 188.8km
1st. S. Moss (Porsche F.2) 1hr 20mins 13.2sec
2nd. E. Herrmann (F.2 Porsche) 1hr 20min 13.9sec
3rd. E Barth (Porsche F2) 1hr 21min 29.1sec
Modena Airfield, Italy
On October 2nd the Modena Automobile Club held a 100 lap F.2 race round the perimeter track of the small aerodrome in the home of Ferrari and Maserati. Known as the Autodromo this 2.366 kilometre flat circuit has recently been resurfaced and generally tidied up while the bend before the pits straight has been altered slightly to stop cars drifting towards the outer edge of the track and heading for the Pit area. A good entry was received, including two works Ferraris, von Trips with the rear-engined F.2 car and Ginther with a front-engined F.2 car. Having suffered defeat on their home ground at Solitude back in the summer the Porsche team were out for a revenge and entered three cars, driven by Bonnier, Barth and Herrmann. The circuit being opposite the workshops and clubhouse of the Scuderia Centro-Sud they naturally turned out in full force and entered Trintignant and Cabral with Cooper-Climax cars. Burgess with a Lotus-Maserati and Scarlatti with a Cooper-Maserati. Reg Parnell entered his son Tim with a Cooper-Climax and Stirling Moss with a rear-engined Lotus-Climax, while Marsh drove his own Lotus-Climax and Seidel and Campbell-Jones their own Cooper-Climax cars. The Scuderia Castellotti entered a de Tomaso built car with a rear-mounted Giulietta engine, driven by Bussinello and von Trips loaned his Cooper-Climax to “Wal-Ever,” a local driver.
Of the 16 entries the fastest 12 were accepted for the start and practice on Saturday morning and afternoon sorted out the fast ones, while there was a lot of unofficial practice going on the day before. Bussinello crashed the Tomaso car so there were only three non-qualifiers and these were Seidel, Parnell and “Wal-Ever.” The The front row comprised Bonnier, Moss and von Trips, all three lapping below the one minute mark, which used to be agood time for a F.1 car, but no doubt the resurfacing helped a great deal. On such a short ‘circuit timing was a bit “split-hair” and the front row had times of 59.2 sec., 59.3 sec. and 59.4 sec.!
The race started promptly at 3 p.m. in warm sunshine and the Porsches set the pace, but could not shake off the Ferraris, nor Moss in the Lotus, while for the opening laps Burgess went well in the Lotus-Maserati. For lap after lap Bonnier (Porsche) Ginther (front-engined Ferrari), and von Trips (rear-engined Ferrari) raced wheel-to-wheel, chopping and changing the lead while Moss was always along with them. At 20 laps the two Ferraris were in front and the crowd of nearly 20,000 excited Italians became even more excited and Moss stirred things up with a lap record of 59.4 sec, and by nipping into third place ahead of Bonnier. No sooner had he done this than his Climax engine went onto three cylinders and he stopped at the pits to have a plug changed but it was no use for the valve gear had broken and he was out of the race. The Ferrari/Porsche battle continued unabated, and von Trips took the lead from his teammate, but there was little gap between the leading three cars and they had lapped most of the rest of the field. Ginther improved the lap record to 59.2 sec. and kept ahead of Bonnier until just before half distance, when the Porsche scratched by into second place and at 50 laps the order was von Trips (Ferrari), Bonnier (Porsche) and Ginther (Ferrari) with the other Porsches of Herrmann and Barth following some way behind.
During the next ten laps the crowd nearly went mad for von Trips and Bonnier passed and repassed as many as three times in a lap and at 60 laps the Porsche led, but one lap later the rear-engined Ferrari was back in the lead and the crowd screamed with delight. Nobody was pulling any punches for the average speed was getting higher and higher as the race went on and the two cars were still side by side most of the time. At 70 laps Bonnier led, but at lap 77 von Trips was back in the lead again and on lap 79 he Set a record of 59.0 sec. These two were setting such a hot pace that Ginther was being left behind, and he was the only one on the same lap as the leaders. Before another ten laps had passed Bonnier was back in the lead as they passed the timekeepers, but round the circuit they were still side-by-side. By 90 laps, with but ten more to go it was still anybody’s race, though von Trips was beginning to lose his brakes, for unknown to him a pipeline to a rear brake had cracked and he was losing fluid, so had to pump the pedal. On lap 89 Bonnier equalled the lap record at 59.0 sec. exactly, but even this did not shake off Ferrari; in the closing laps von Trips suddenly found his brakes disappearing fast as the fluid ran out and he had to ease off, and on lap 98, with only two laps to go, Ginther took second place from him and the two Ferraris followed the Porsche home, so that the defeat of the Stuttgart firm at Solitude back in July had been avenged, but it had been a great fight and one can anticipate similar duels next season in the new Formula 1 which begins on January 1st, 1961.
Results; 100 laps of 2.366km circuit; 236.6km
1st. J. Bonnier (Porsche F.2) 1hr 40min 45sec
2nd R. Ginther (Ferrari 156) No time given
3rd. W. von Trips (Ferrari Dino 156 F2/60) No time given
Montlhery Autodrome, France
On Sunday, October 9th, the XVI Coupe du Salon took place over the combined road and track circuit at Montlhery, for a distance of 167 kilometres, comprising 50 laps of the 3.341 kilometre circuit. The entry was robbed of three starters as the Frenchman Laureau crashed his Cooper in practice without too much personal injury, and the Reg Parnell cars which son Tim and Andre Pilette should have driven arrived just too late to start. Their mechanics had driven non-stop through the night from Innsbruck where the cars had been racing the previous day and would have made it but for being delayed at the French frontier. In pouring rain nine cars lined up on the grid with Bianchi (Cooper-Climax), Lewis (Cooper-Climax) and John Turner (Emeryson-Climax) on the front row.
The French driver Schlesser (Cooper) led for two laps, then Bianchi took the lead and on lap 11 Lewis went in front. Once there the young Englishman got into his stride and in spite of the appalling weather conditions he forged on into a comfortable lead. Schlesser retired with bearing trouble, and the Emeryson was going well and holding its own with the leaders until Turner spun and lost two laps restarting. He rejoined the race just behind Bianchi and stayed with him, working his way through the field until he took third place from Utley, driving Bob Hick’s 1959 Lotus. However, in so doing Turner missed the chicane, made of straw bales, leading on to the banking a number of times and was disqualified.
In continuous rain Lewis drove an impeccable race to gain his second victory at Montlhery in two seasons of Formula 2 racing. D.S.J.
1st. J. Lewis (Cooper Climax) 1hr 30min 14.4sec
2nd. L. Bianchi (Cooper Climax) 1hr 31min 12.9sec
3rd. R. Utley (Lotus Climax) 4 laps behind