9th October 2010




It's always very exciting when the first race of a brand new series comes along - and this one is no different. My new set of F.1 cars from 1959 is sufficiently complete to allow the running of 1959's first event, the Glover Trophy race at Goodwood. This was always the traditional season opener, run on Easter Monday at the Sussex track.

I have stayed true to the actual entry that took part 51 years ago, so the grid will consist of five Coopers, two B.R.Ms, two Lotuses and four elderly 250.F Maseratis. Four of the Coopers are brand new T.51s with Climax engines while one, with a Maserati engine is a slightly older T.45. The latter, owned by Tommy Atkins, is driven by Roy Salvadori. The Cooper factory is running three cars this year, driven by Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren and Masten Gregory, while Stirling Moss has the first of Rob Walker's new Coopers.

The B.R.M pairing is from last year, Jo Bonnier and Harry Schell. Behra has left to join Ferrari. One Lotus is a factory-entered car from last year, driven by Graham Hill whiler David Piper has a brand new car, painted in B.P. (Bee Pee???) green. The four Maseratis are to be driven by da Silva Ramos, Jack Fairman, Giorgio Scarlatti (with yellow stripes) and Ken Kavanagh.

The circuit was rather slow for the first practice session and in the end two drivers finished with identical fastest times; Stirling Moss and Jack Brabham. The two B.R.Ms came next with David Piper surprisingly beating both the other works Coopers and Hill in the works Lotus. The four Maseratis brought up the rear.

It looked as though Bonnier would grab pole position because with just seconds left in the final session he was atop the list but Moss pulled out a superb lap on his very last tour to beat the Swede by over two seconds. It was a nigh on perfect lap. Brabham completed the front row with Schell and Gregory forming row 2. Piper slipped back behind McLaren and Salvadori but remained a fraction ahead of Hill while three of the Maseratis improved enormously from the first practice but still could not break into the British cars. Only Scarlatti had serious problems but these have, allegedly, been solved after practice ended with a change of certain electrical items.


If the Glover Trophy race is an indication, there may be some very interesting races to come in this 1959 season. That Stirling Moss won the race came as little surprise but it was no walk in the park. For half the race he trailed Jp Bonnier's B.R.M and by as much as 20 seconds after 15 or so laps, but then the B.R.M began to lose its edge and Stirling found his, getting quicker and quicker and closing down the gap by huge chunks, finally passing JoBo on lap 28. The B.R.M driver offered little resistance and with a splendid fastest lap and a run of ten laps that averaged faster than anyone other than he himself managed in practice, he drew well away to win by almost half a minute.

Harry Schell in the second B.R.M had battled with Jack Brabham's Cooper for half the race, eventually seemingly getting the better of the little Cooper, but his car, like his team-mate's, faded towards the end and Brabham was able to re-pass 'Arree for third.

Masten Gregory was a rather disappointed 5th in his Cooper, almost being caught at the finish by Jack Fairman who had a splendid race in one of the Maseratis. Neither Lotus finished while the only other retirements were McLaren, who sensed a transmission problem with his Cooper and Australian Ken Kavanagh whose engine went sick on his Maserati.


   1.     7 S. MOSS COOPER CLIMAX T.51     1. 04. 30'60
   2.     2 J. BONNIER B.R.M Type 25     1. 04. 59'90
   3.   10 J. BRABHAM COOPER CLIMAX T.51     1. 05. 30'24
   4.     1 H. SCHELL B.R.M Type 25     1. 05. 36'22
   5.     8 M. GREGORY COOPER CLIMAX T.51         41 laps
   6.     4 J. FAIRMAN MASERATI 250.F         41 laps
   7.     3 H. da SILVA RAMOS MASERATI 250.F         40 laps
   8.   11 R. SALVADORI COOPER MASERATI T.45         40 laps
   9.     5 G. SCARLATTI MASERATI 250.F         40 laps
Fastest lap:   S. MOSS, COOPER CLIMAX T.51,   on lap 32,   1.28'63
    6 K. KAVANAGH MASERATI 250.F     31 laps
  12 G. HILL LOTUS CLIMAX 16     31 laps
  15 D. PIPER LOTUS CLIMAX 16     28 laps
    9 B. MCLAREN COOPER CLIMAX T.51     25 laps


  • The speed and handling of Rob Walker's Cooper caused the Surbiton factory eyebrows to raise somewhat. So.....
  • ...the Cooper team stayed on in Sussex to do a little testing - finding that with some adjustments all three cars improved considerably.
  • Even more disatisfied was Roy Salvadori whose Maserati engine was no match for the Climaxes.
  • The B.R.Ms showed excellent pace but the race was only half a Grand Prix in length so their reliability must improve.
  • David Piper in his new Lotus went extremely well early on but an electrical fault halted his progress.
  • Graham Hill in the factory car struggled with the handling and blamed it on old tyres.
  • The venerable old Maseratis all ran well, Fairman failed by less than two seconds to catch Gregory.
  • Although his car retired, Ken Kavanagh was very happy with his efforts and promises to try again.
  • The next appearance of the 1959 F.1 cars will be the Aintree 200 which will include two Ferraris.
  • Word coming out of Italy is that the cars have been very disappointing so far...

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