25th January 2019

MODENA GRAND PRIX

SCHELL BEATS BEHRA IN MASERATI ROUT

The circuit in Modena will forever be remembered as the place where Eugenio Castellotti was killed testing a Ferrari earlier in 1957. There was never much chance that the small F.1 race around the simple little circuit, which is made up of the perimeter road of a small airfield in the centre of Maserati's home town was going to attract a very large entry and so it proved. Maserati themselves made the effort to enter three factory cars, and with Fangio missing due to having hurt his wrist in a road accident, the other three regulars were in the cars; Behra and Schell back from their efforts for B.R.M. at Silverstone, joined as usual by Scarlatti. Their cars being easily driven from the factory to the circuit - a distance of a few hundred meters.

It would have been a poor show if Ferrari had failed to enter, Maranello being not too many kilometers away from Modena, but their decision to send along two cars that were basically Formula 2 machines but with engines enlarged to just under 2 litres showed that they were hardly taking the race very seriously. The drivers for this event were to be Collins and Musso. To their credit, B.R.M. made the journey out from Lincolnshire - probably on the promise of some decent starting money - but of course, they had to find one different driver from Silverstone as Behra and Schell had returned to Maserati duty. Ron Flockhart was retained and the second car was in the capable hands of Jo Bonnier, the Swede having parted company with Centro Sud. Three other Maserati 250.Fs made up the ten car field. Halford and Gould from England were joined by Italian resident Englishman Colin Davis who was following in father Sammy's footsteps as a racing driver.

The race was run in two identical 40 lap heats, with the results being calculated by addition of times from each heat. It was a Maserati festival, as Musso's Ferrari broke very early in heat 1 and Collins' car did not last a great deal longer. It was left to Behra and Schell to make a race of it for the enthusiastic spectators, many of whom probably worked in the factories where many of the cars on show were built. Heat 1 was won, very narrowly, by Behra. But when it came to heat 2, Harry Schell obviously decided that he fancied picking up a race win for himself. He shot away at the start and although Behra stayed pretty close to 'Arree for the entire 40 laps and set the fastest lap of the whole race just two laps from the end, the lead that Schell had over him at the end was sufficient, when heat times were added up, to put Schell ahead, to win by just over three seconds. If you compare the race time of heat 2 you will see that Schell was pushing much harder to win that heat than Behra had been doing in heat 1.

Scarlatti managed to stay on the same lap as his team mates in the first heat but such was their speed in the second that he finished a lap behind, so his third place is shown as having completed 79 laps. Flockhart brought the B.R.M. home in 4th place, a further lap adrift and Gould and Halford completed the finishers three and four laps behind, respectively. Jo Bonnier had the distinction of retiring twice from the race. In the first heat he was one of four retirements, on lap 25, with Colin Davis joining the two Ferraris out of the event but the B.R.M. mechanics got the car running again and he was allowed to start heat 2. Alas, the car broke down after a further 13 laps - clearly fate had decided that JoBo was destined not to finish at Modena.

HEAT WINNERS 40 laps:

   1.
4
J. BEHRA MASERATI 250.F
42.56'81

   2.
6
MASERATI 250.F B.R.M. Type 25
42.35'51

HERE IS THE RESULT OF THE THE 80 LAP RACE - ADDITION OF HEAT TOTAL TIMES:

   1.
6
H. SCHELL MASERATI 250.F
1.25.35'59
   2.
4
J. BEHRA MASERATI 250.F
1.25.38'85
   3.
8
G. SCARLATTI MASERATI 250.F
79 laps
   4.
10
R. FLOCKHART B.R.M. Type 25
78 laps
   5.
20
H. GOULD MASERATI 250.F
77 laps
   6.
22
B. HALFORD MASERATI 250.F
76 laps
Fastest lap:   J. BEHRA, MASERATI 250.F,   on lap 39, heat 2,   1.01'49

Retired:
12
J. BONNIER B.R.M. Type 25
Heat 2 - 13 laps
12
J. BONNIER B.R.M. Type 25
Heat 1 - 25 laps
28
P. COLLINS FERRARI Dino
Heat 1 - 16 laps
30
C. DAVIS MASERATI 250.F
Heat 1 - 12 laps
26
L. MUSSO FERRARI Dino
Heat 1 - 12 laps

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