17.4.13

GRAND PRIX d'ALSACE - Strasbourg

ROSIER IS TOO GOOD FOR THE MASERATIS

The presence of Ascari and Villoresi in Maseratis looked too strong for the French opposition on the Strasbourg circuit but despite their first and second positions on the grid it was Louis Rosier who dominated the race to reward the French crowd with a home win.

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There are no names on the entry list for this race that did not take part in the real Grand Prix d'Alsace back in 1947. As always, the cars are necessarily correct - only the drivers. Sadly there is no place for Pierre Meyrat as I simply do not have a suitable car for him. Sorry Pierre!

ENTRY

As is normally the case in these relatively minor French races, there were no Alfa Romeos on the entry list so no appearances by Fangio, Farina or any of the other regular Alfa drivers. The absence of any of the cars from Maranello was quite unusual but happily for the organisers the two top names from Ferrari arrived to drive the rival cars from down the road in Modena. Thus the Maserati contingent numbered five cars with Louis Chiron making his regular appearance with 'Raph' and Toni Branca completing the quintet.

The rest of the fourteen car entry was pure French. Four Talbots arrived for Rosier, Louveau, Giraud-Cabantous and the never-before-seen Edmund Mouche. Gordini brought two cars for Manzon and Wimille. Then there were the usual three pre-War runners that always turn up at the races; Pozzi with the Delahaye while the two Delages were handled on this occasion by Eugène Chabout and Pierre Varet. There was another Delahaye on the entry with a Monsieur Pierre Meyrat as the driver but of this car there was no sign whatsoever.

PRACTICE

It came as no surprise whatsoever to find Ascari and Villoresi in the first two places on the grid with Ascari lapping the 3.6 kilometer street circuit over a second faster than his good friend and mentor. Villoresi was, in turn, almost a second ahead of Rosier, whose Talbot seemed more suited to this circuit than anywhere else it has been recently. Chiron was slightly disappointed to be behind the Talbot and quite a long way behind it too - 2.6 seconds! Two Talbots sandwiched Manzon's Gordini before the other two Maseratis appeared on the grid. Wimille followed on behind the Masers but was less than satisfied with his car so the team rushed a third chassis down from their base enabling Jean-Pierre to start the race in a different car to that in which he practised. Mouche was quicker than the two Delages and Pozzi brought up the rear in the large, cumbersome Delahaye.

Here is the full list of practice times:

1.
10
A. ASCARI MASERATI 4.CLT
1.47'20
2.
8
L. VILLORESI MASERATI 4.CLT
1.48'41
3.
18
L. ROSIER TALBOT LAGO T.26
1.49'33
4.
2
L. CHIRON MASERATI 4.CLT
1.51'95
5.
22
H. LOUVEAU TALBOT LAGO T.26
1.52'74
6.
34
R. MANZON SIMCA GORDINI 15
1.53'70
7.
16
Y. GIRAUD-CABANTOUS TALBOT LAGO T.26
1.54'19
8.
6
'RAPH' MASERATI 4.CLT
1.54'57
9.
24
A. BRANCA MASERATI 4.CLT
1.55'70
10.
32
J-P. WIMILLE SIMCA GORDINI 15
1.57'84
11.
28
E. MOUCHE TALBOT LAGO T.26
1.58'73
12.
4
E. CHABOUD DELAGE D6.70
1.59'47
13.
30
M. VARET DELAGE D6.70
2.00'23
14.
14
C. POZZI DELAHAYE 135
2.01'40
N.S.
26
P. MEYRAT DELAHAYE 135.S
WITHDRAWN

THE RACE

Rosier made a beautiful start and although the accepted wisdom was that he would quickly be reeled in by the two Italians in their Maseratis, apart from a short period between laps 30 and 40 when Rosier eased off for reasons unknown, allowing Ascari to lead for a while the Talbot driver was in total control and as Ascari's engine began to lose power around half distance, causing his retirement, Rosier was able to cruise to an untroubled victory. Villoresi was never able to get anywhere near the Frenchman and his second place was almost 90 seconds behind the winner.

Yet again Chiron's car let him down, leaving the battle for 4th position - which became 3rd following Ascari's retirement - to be fought out between Giraud's Talbot and the very impressive 'Raph' in his Maserati. Giraud led the pairing until lap 45 when the Maserati got past the Talbot after which 'Raph' was able to pull away to a splendid 3rd place. Believe it or not it took Branca until lap 70 to find a way past the lumbering Delahaye and both these two finished well ahead of both Mouche's Talbot and Varet in the surviving Delage.

Other retirements in addition to Ascari and Chiron included both Gordinis, neither of which ever really got going, neither making it past lap 10; Louveau was going very well early on running steadily in 6th place but he retired on lap 37 with engine maladies. Chaboud's Delage didn't seem to want to stop and he went off on lap 13.

Here is the full result of the 85 lap race:

1.
18
L. ROSIER TALBOT LAGO T.26
2.40.34'80
2.
8
L. VILLORESI MASERATI 4.CLT
2.42.02'95
3.
6
'RAPH' MASERATI 4.CLT
84 laps
4.
16
Y. GIRAUD-CABANTOUS TALBOT LAGO T.26
83 laps
5.
24
A. BRANCA MASERATI 4.CLT
80 laps
6.
14
C. POZZI DELAHAYE 135
80 laps
7.
28
E. MOUCHE TALBOT LAGO T.26
79 laps
8.
30
M. VARET DELAGE D6.70
79 laps

Fastest lap:   L. ROSIER, TALBOT LAGO T.26   on lap 39,   1. 49'08

Retired:
10
A. ASCARI MASERATI 4.CLT
62 laps
22
H. LOUVEAU TALBOT LAGO T.26
36 laps
2
L. CHIRON MASERATI 4.CLT
18 laps
4
E. CHABOUD DELAGE D6.70
12 laps
34
R. MANZON SIMCA GORDINI 15
9 laps
32
J-P. WIMILLE SIMCA GORDINI 15
8 laps

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