2nd January 2018

NAPLES GRAND PRIX

COMFORTABLE DAY FOR COLLINS

There was, no doubt, a degree of disappointment for organisers and fans alike when the factory Maserati team opted not to send any of their 250.F cars down to Posillipo Park for the Gran Premio di Napoli. Maserati were well represented by an array of 250.Fs, five in all, but the truth is that only Masten Gregory in the Centro Sud car would offer any serious opposition to the three works Ferraris of Hawthorn, Collins and Musso. The remaining four Maseratis were in the hands of Bruce Halford and Horace Gould from the U.K, the little-known Luigi Belluci and the Swiss driver Ottorino Volonterio. A third Italian manufacturer was represented by the OSCA of Fernando Natella, about whom, nothing whatsoever is known.

Naples could loosely be classed as an international race because it in cluded cars from England, France and Germany. Umberto Maglioli arrived with a Porsche sports car - the organisers turned a blind eye to that one - while from France came a little Gordini for the French-born Brazilian Nano de Silva Ramos. Two cars made the long trip south from England. Stuart Lewis-Evans was to drive a standard-bodied Connaught rather than the Toothpaste Tube from Goodwood and an H.W.M. was on hand for Alan Mann. Completing the entry was an old 166 Ferrari driven by Bernardo Taraschi.

Thanks to the efforts of Masten Gregory, the race was something more than a Ferrari demonstration. The 60 lap race would run for well over two hours and it is to Masten's great credit that he managed to get amongst the Ferraris and actually beat one of them, taking third place at the finish. In fact, as well as finishing almost a quarter of a minute ahead of Musso, he pushed Hawthorn hard and was only three and a bit seconds behind Mike at the end. But it was Peter Collins, who has looked very good this year so far, who cantered away to win by 15 seconds although I suspect he was actually cruising all the way; as probably was Hawthorn too, making a race of it to keep the customers satisfied. Musso was still struggling with a car that handled quite erraticly and much to his disappointment he was unable to stay with 'the English' or indeed, the American.

Behind the four Italian cars, Lewis-Evans was a creditable 5th just one lap behind and ahead of Taraschi's old Ferrari and the H.W.M., both of which were two laps adrift. All the rest retired, except for Horace Gould who did not make the start after his Maserati broke during practice. The extent to which the leading two Ferraris were just touring round can be underlined by the fact that Gregory set the fastest lap of the race in his pursuit of Hawthorn.

HERE IS THE RESULT OF THE THE 60 LAP RACE.

   1.
20
P. COLLINS FERRARI 801
2.22.00'28
   2.
14
M. HAWTHORN FERRARI 801
2.22.15'40
   3.
36
M. GREGORY MASERATI 250.F
2.22.19'03
   4.
24
L. MUSSO FERRARI 801
2.22.33'43
   5.
2
S, LEWIS-EVANS CONNAUGHT B-type
59 laps
   6.
18
B. TARASCHI FERRARI 166
58 laps
   7.
6
A. MANN H.W.M. ALTA
58 laps
Fastest lap:   M. GREGORY, MASERATI 250.F,   on lap 19,   2.14'26

Retired:
16
U. MAGLIOLI PORSCHE RSK
55 laps
22
B. HALFORD MASERATI 250.F
49 laps
10
L. BELLUCI MASERATI 250.F
32 laps
26
F. NATELLA OSCA
25 laps
4
N. da SILVA RAMOS GORDINI T.16
25 laps
28
O. VOLONTERIO MASERATI 250.F
12 laps
8
H. GOULD MASERATI 250.F
d.n.s.

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