8th November 2018

PESCARA GRAND PRIX, Bari

MOSS WINS, FERRARI ALMOST ABSENT

As a couple of the regular Grand Prix circuits were missing from the 1957 World Championship schedule - Holland, Belgium - the F.I.A. decided to include a race at Pescara, down the east coast of Italy to bump up the number of championship races. The Pescara circuit is very long, with two basically straight sections and the third side of the triangle winding though the hills above the town. The lap length was even longer than the Nurburgring at over 16 miles. However, at almost the last minute - just a few days before practice was due to begin - it was decided that Pescara really wasn't suitable for a Grand Prix so everyone had to up sticks and travel the 250 or so miles further down the Adriatic coast to the town of Bari where a 3.4 mile, harbourside circuit could be used for the race. The circuit was first used in 1951 and satisfied the Italian Automobile Club that it would be a satisfactory replacement for Pescara - though with nothing like the same challenge for the drivers. Perhaps the oddest fact was that the name of the race was retained as the Pescara Grand Prix.

Enzo Ferrari was very much a law unto himself and initially, for reasons that are unclear, he was in some sort of dispute with the Italian government and/or the motor sporting authorities and initially opted out of sending any cars down to Bari. Possibly under some pressure from his one Italian driver, Luigi Musso, he eventually relented and agreed to allow one car to compete, with Musso as the driver. Conversely, Maserati arrived in force with four cars for Fangio, Behra, Schell and Scarlatti. Scuderia Centro Sud brought along two cars, both painted white but with blue stripes for Masten Gregory and a single blue and yellow stripe for Swede Jo Bonnier.

A further four Maseratis were there, to be driven by their owners, Halford, Gould, Godia-Sales and Piotti. As in Germany, B.R.M. decided not to make the long trip south but the gallant Cooper team did, with cars for their now regular drivers Jack Brabham and Roy Salvadori. The Vanwall team arrived feeling ever more confident, having won the previous two Grands Prix and Moss, Brooks and Lewis-Evans were hopeful of an equally strong performance in Italy.

1957 had been a dismal year for Juan Fangio, with his fortunate victory at Monaco, after Moss' steering failed, being his only highlight so far. Finally, his Maserati didn't fail and the Argentine hero made it to the finish of a Grand Prix. But only in second place, beaten fair and square by Stirling Moss who completed a hat trick of championship victories leading all the way coming home almost a minute ahead of Fangio's 250.F. It was an absolute demonstration of superb driving by Stirling who, naturally enough, also took the fastest lap. Fangio was followed home by Musso's Ferrari with Behra rounding out those who completed the full 80 lap distance. Stuart Lewis-Evans brought his Vanwall home in 5th place with Masten Gregory, showing continued excellent form following his third place in Germany, taking a good 6th place although two laps behind Lewis-Evans and three behind the winner.

The remaining four finishers were the three Maseratis of Halford, Gould and Godia-Sales with the plucky little Cooper of Salvadori bringing up the rear, five laps behind but on the same lap as Gould and Godia. Of the rest, both Schell and Brooks went out of the race by lap 4, Harry managing just one lap before crashing and Brabham followed soon after. In fact, all six of the retirements happened before half distance, leaving the other ten to circulate for a further hour or more.

HERE IS THE RESULT OF THE THE 80 LAP RACE:

   1.
26
S. MOSS VANWALL VW.5
2.58.08'62
   2.
2
J. FANGIO MASERATI 250.F
2.59.04'27
   3.
34
L. MUSSO FERRARI 801
2.59.43'94
   4.
4
J. BEHRA MASERATI 250.F
3.00.26'30
   5.
30
S. LEWIS-EVANS VANWALL VW.1
79 laps
   6.
14
M. GREGORY MASERATI 250.F
77 laps
   7.
20
B. HALFORD MASERATI 250.F
77 laps
   8.
18
H. GOULD MASERATI 250.F
75 laps
   9.
10
F. GODIA-SALES MASERATI 250.F
75 laps
   10.
22
R. SALVADORI COOPER CLIMAX T.43
75 laps
Fastest lap:   S. MOSS, VANWALL VW.5,   on lap 75,   2.07'65

Retired:
8
G. SCARLATTI MASERATI 250.F
38 laps
16
J. BONNIER MASERATI 250.F
30 laps
12
L. PIOTTI MASERATI 250.F
13 laps
24
J. BRABHAM COOPER CLIMAX T.43
8 laps
28
T. BROOKS VANWALL VW.7
3 laps
6
H. SCHELL MASERATI 250.F
1 lap

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