16th March 2011

B.R.D.C. INTERNATIONAL TROPHY, Silverstone

ASTONS IMPRESS BUT MOSS WINS

ENTRY

The first truly representative F.1 entry is assembled for this 50 lap race around the Silverstone airfield circuit. As well as entries from the three regular British teams, Cooper, B.R.M and Lotus this race will see the long-awaited debut of the Aston Martin F.1 cars. Roy Salvadori and Carroll Shelby will drive the cars. Ferrari have sent two of their Dino 246s with Tony Brooks and Phil Hill down to pilot them. Strangely, only Lotus have two cars on the F.1 list with American Pete Lovely joining regular Graham Hill. Both Cooper with Jack Brabham and B.R.M with Ron Flockhart have just the one factory entry although F.1 Coopers will also be handled by Jack Fairman (Maserati-powered) and Ian Burgess (Climax, 2.2 litre) both entered by Tommy Atkins' equipe.

The B.R.M factory will be keeping a close eye on the pale green B.R.M that Stirling Moss is driving once more entered, ostensibly, by the British Racing Partnership. There will be no less than six Maserati-engined cars in this race because as well as the aforementioned Atkins car there will be four old 250.F Masers, driven by Maria de Filippis, Herrmann, Scarlatti and da Silva Ramos. The final car with Maserati power is the brand new J.B.W that Brian Naylor is planning to contest the season with. A surprising absentee from this race is the Rob Walker Cooper which, when Moss is otherwise occupied, is usually handed over to Maurice Trintignant - but not this time. The dark blue Cooper is usually brought along anyway in case Stirling is unhappy with the B.R.M but on this occasion it has been left in the workshop down in Dorking.

The 16 F.1 cars are joined by 8 F.2 machines, of which all but one are Coopers and all but one are Climax-powered. Innes Ireland has a Lotus, this being the car that Bruce Halford drove at Syracuse. It has been borrowed back by Team Lotus as they do not have another car ready and Halford did not have an entry for this race. Bueb's Cooper (B.R.P) has its regular Borgward motor. Two semi-works Coopers are entered for Bruce McLaren and Mike Taylor - deputising for Masten Gregory) while the other four Coopers are in the hands of Jim Russell, Tim Parnell, Tony Marsh and newcomer Bill Moss.

PRACTICE

Sirling Moss set the fastest time in both practice session and therefore sits on pole position with Salvadori, Brabham and Brooks completing the four car front row. The performance of the brand new Aston Martin was very impressive; the car looking smooth and quick while handling beautifully. Shelby's car was not quite as good, lining up in 9th place on the third row but a gearbox change and some alterations to its steering geometry mean that the American goes into the race with much more confidence.

The fastest of the F.2 cars was Bruce McLaren who starts 10th, ahead of all the Maserati engined cars. The best of those being Herrmann in 14th. Naylor was at the bottom of the list after the first session but made some progress in session two moving up to 21st. The J.B.W has potential but may take a while to find it.

NOTE

Due to serious chassis problems, Innes Ireland's Lotus Climax was a non-starter and hence is missing from the entry photo shown above.

THE RACE

It could be said that Stirling Moss gave a perfect demonstration of his supreme talent in winning the International Trophy race at Silverstone. From pole position, the light green B.R.M went straight into the lead and extended that lead bit by bit all the way through to the end of the 50 lap race. And this is true.... but it was no cakewalk for Stirling because Roy Salvadori driving one of the brand new Aston Martins kept the pressure on all the eay and made sure that Moss could never relax. As Stirling went faster so Roy would improve his lap times too so that the gap between them grew but slowly; e.g. after 10 laps Salvadori was only 1 second behind. That grew to 10 seconds by lap 20 and at half distance Moss was 14 seconds ahead. By lap 40 it was 22 seconds and finally Salvadori eased off slightly to make sure of reaching the finish allowing the gap to open to just over 31 seconds at the end. It was a consummate piece of race driving by Stirling Moss but a very, very encouraging start for the Aston Martin team and their new car.

Aston's delight was compounded by Carroll Shelby's excellent 4th place - the American having a really good ride after his practice problems had been sorted. Carroll started slowly as he got the feel of the car with its revised front end but once he gained confidence he steamed up from an early 8th place to run 4th and then briefly 3rd when he passed Tony Brooks' Ferrari at half distance. Brooks eventually got past Shelby again but the Aston harried the red car all the way and crossed the line only 15/100ths of a second behind.

For Jack Brabham this was a very disappointing race. The little Cooper, dwarfed by the big front-engined cars around it, could simply not match the pace of B.R.M, Aston Martin or Ferrari. Jack wrung its neck, especially in the second half of the race and did close to within 10 seconds of the Shelby/Brooks battle but 5th was not the sort of result Cooper were looking for. At least Brabham did finish ahead of one of the B.R.Ms - that of Flockhart who started rather slowly, falling to 10th early on but then Ron found the key to quick laps and moved up into the top six when Phil Hill's Ferrari broke down at Copse. Both works Lotuses finished as did three of the four Maseratis with both Herrmann and Signora de Filippis having excellent races.

In the F.2 class there was a race-long battle between Ivor Bueb in the B.R.P Cooper Borgward and Mike Taylor in the Alan Brown-run semi-works Cooper. Bruce McLaren, Taylor's team-mate led the F.2 cars early on but mysteriously lost pace for a time in the middle of the race, dropping from an early 12th to 19th. The speed suddenly re-appeared and Bruce was flying - until he went straight on at Woodcote on lap 41 by which time he had closed right up on Taylor again. In the end it was Bueb who sneaked past da Silva Ramos' Maserati a lap or two from the end, leaving Taylor behind the big red car, giving B.R.P a double with Moss winning the race outright.

So a good race with a typical Stirling Moss drive has left The Boy with a problem. The Monaco Grand Prix comes up next and the choice of what to drive will be a difficult one. There is no doubt that the pale green B.R.M is a beautiful car but will the nimble little Cooper be more suited to the Monaco streets? We await the outcome with interest.

HERE IS THE FULL RESULT:

   1.     7 S. MOSS B.R.M Type 25     1. 24. 16'90
   2.     1 R. SALVADORI ASTON MARTIN DBR4-250     1. 24. 48'66
   3.     8 T. BROOKS FERRARI Dino 246     1. 25. 55'45
   4.     2 C. SHELBY ASTON MARTIN DBR4-250     1. 25. 55'60
   5.     3 J. BRABHAM COOPER CLIMAX T.51     1. 26. 04'83
   6.     6 R. FLOCKHART B.R.M Type 25       49 laps
   7.     4 I. BURGESS COOPER CLIMAX T.45       49 laps
   8.   11 G. HILL LOTUS CLIMAX 16       49 laps
   9.   16 H. HERRMANN MASERATI 250.F       49 laps
 10.   12 P. LOVELY LOTUS CLIMAX 16       49 laps
 11.   14 M. de FILIPPIS MASERATI 250.F       49 laps
 12.   26 I. BUEB COOPER BORGWARD T.45       48 laps
 13.   17 H. da SILVA RAMOS MASERATI 250.F       48 laps
 14.   18 M. TAYLOR COOPER CLIMAX T.51       48 laps
 15.   20 T. MARSH COOPER CLIMAX T.45       48 laps
 16.   21 J. RUSSELL COOPER CLIMAX T.45       48 laps
 17.   23 W. MOSS COOPER CLIMAX T.45       46 laps
Fastest lap:   S. MOSS, B.R.M Type 25,   on lap 31,   1.37'36
Retired:
  19 B. MCLAREN COOPER CLIMAX T.51     40 laps
    9 P. HILL FERRARI Dino 246     30 laps
  22 T. PARNELL COOPER CLIMAX T.45     26 laps
    5 J. FAIRMAN COOPER MASERATI T.45     23 laps
  10 B. NAYLOR J.B.W. MASERATI     12 laps
  15 G. SCARLATTI MASERATI 250.F       9 laps
  24 I. IRELAND LOTUS CLIMAX 16     D.N.S.

Note: F.2 entries listed in black.

SILVERSTONE SOUNDINGS:

  • A perfect day for the B.R.M team - pole position, flag to flag win plus fastest lap AND the F.2 race win too.
  • A superb debut by Aston Martin - what a pity they will not be going to Monaco.
  • Speaking of which, Moss is fairly sure he will drive the Cooper in the Principality.
  • Cooper stayed on at Silverstone for some testing and found a lot of time in comparison to Brabham's race performance.
  • Ferrari will go to Monaco with renewed optimism, and four new cars!
  • It seems a shame that B.R.M did not bring Bonnier to Silverstone, especially after his Goodwood victory.
  • At one point the three surviving Maseratis ran around in formation. And very nice they looked too.
  • Innes Ireland's Lotus' problem before the start was that basically, the chassis fell to pieces!
  • Bruce McLaren was unable to explain his strange retirement. The car just went straight on.
  • It was a very safe race with no crashe - McLaren did not hit anything - and very few spins.
  • Before the F.1 cars assemble in Monaco there will be an F.2 race ar Oulton Park - the British Empire Trophy.

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