A Well-Deserved Win
ROUEN-LES ESSARTS, FRANCE, JUNE 28th.
Although the Grand Prix of the Automobile Club of France has not been held 50 times, this year celebrated a 50th anniversary as far as they were concerned, and it also was the 70th anniversary of the first motor competition, which was the Paris to Rouen run in 1894, so that it was fitting for the French Grand Prix to be held at Rouen this year. The 6.542 kilometre circuit of "les Essarts," just south of the town of Rouen, in Normandy, is the one that will always conjure up memories of the great Fangio when he was at the top of his career, in 1957. Possibly the finest action photographs ever taken were made at Rouen in 1957, when Fangio threw his 250F Maserati into opposite-lock power-slides down the 130-m.p.h. swerves after the pits, mainly just for the fun of it and to let everyone appreciate that he really was master of his machine. Since those old-fashioned days science and design have improved Grand Prix cars out of all recognition and if a car needs opposite steering lock through a fast bend then there is something amiss and adjustments must be made. Today, 1957 seems like an "heroic age," but I have no doubt that in 1975 this year's French Grand Prix will seem like an "heroic age."