Further to Raymond Sommer’s 1950 Belgian GP (‘Economy drive’, MOTOR SPORT, January 1999).
Apparently, sole survivor Geoffrey Crossley ran his Alta in the 1949 Belgian Grand Prix as well as in the 1950 race, so he probably knew that Louis Rosier’s Talbot cameled its way to a win over the Ferraris in ’49. Was this the genesis of Sommer’s plan for the 1950 race against the equally thirsty Alfas? Sommer postponed his retirement to drive at Le Mans a week later, where he broke the lap record several times in an ex-Mille Miglia Ferrari berlinetta, before retiring to a glass of Bolly.
The Talbots actually did best that year on circuits with the longest straights! Rosier was third to Fangio and Fagioli at Spa, and second to Fangio at Pescara. At Le Mans, Rosier lapped above 100 mph for the first time, despite the Talbot’s barn-door drag, Talbots coming first and second. Benign, fairly fast camels, those Talbots. Go Rebaque!
I am, yours, etc. Clarrie Mitchell, Melbourne, Australia