29th May 2018

REIMS GRAND PRIX

MUSSO AT LAST

Having lost the championship round to Rouen, the organisers at Reims decided to hold a full F.1 race on the same weekend as the annual 12 hour sports car race. The Scuderia Ferrari brought along four cars, as usual, but there was one change in the driver line up with Belgian sports car driver Olivier Gendebien replacing Maurice Trintignant but with a different car to the one Trintignant used at Rouen. Maserati presented the same four cars that ran at Rouen and with the same four drivers, Fangio, Behra, Schell and Menditeguy. However, unlike the previous race where Horace Gould was the only other Maserati, at Reims they were everywhere! Masten Gregory and Ivor Bueb were in Centro Sud cars, Jo Bonnier had Andre Simon's 250.F and there were driver-owned cars for Paco Godia-Sales, Bruce Halford, Luigi Piotti and the aforementioned Horace Gould.

Vanwall retained the same two drivers from Rouen with neither Moss nor Brooks yet being fit so Salvadori and Lewis-Evans were in the green cars. Of B.R.M. there was no sign whatsoever - presumably they had gone home to prepare for Silverstone and there was just the one Cooper this time, handled by its regular pilot Jack Brabham.

I am sure that Juan Fangio was glad to leave France after the Reims weekend because yet again his car failed him, this time after just 3 laps. This being a non-championship event, there was no question of his taking over another team car so he probably packed up his helmet and goggles and left the circuit at the first opportunity. Harry Schell fared little better. He was out of the race 5 laps after Fangio.

At the sharp end of the field things finally came right for Luigi Musso. The Italian had suffered a miserable run of poor races and non-finishes but at Reims, everything worked perfectly and the yellow-nosed Ferrari was the class of the field right from the start. His lead grew and grew and there was no doubt that as long as everything held together, it would be Luigi's day It did and it was. Peter Collins was able to drive a steady race, with no points to worry about and he seemed very happy at the success of his team mate when he climbed out of his second place Ferrari, with which he finished 50 seconds behind Musso. Once again Jean Behra was left to fly the flag for Modena and once again he finished third behind two Ferraris, just as he had at Rouen. Stuart Lewis-Evans and Roy Salvadori did a solid job for Vanwall, sandwiching Hawthorn's Ferrari with Lewis-Evans 4th and Salvadori 6th.

All but one of the remaining finishers were Maseratis, with Brabham the only interloper in 11th place. Similarly, all the retirements bar one were also Maseratis with Gendebien's Ferrari being the odd man out and the only Ferrari to fail to finish. Musso's excellent day was rewarded with fastest lap, too.

HERE IS THE RESULT OF THE THE 61 LAP RACE:

   1.
2
L. MUSSO FERRARI 801
2.29.38'87
   2.
4
P. COLLINS FERRARI 801
2.30.29'36
   3.
12
J. BEHRA MASERATI 250.F
2.30.51'17
   4.
26
S. LEWIS-EVANS VANWALL VW.8
60 laps
   5.
6
M. HAWTHORN FERRARI 801
60 laps
   6.
24
R. SALVADORI VANWALL VW.7
60 laps
   7.
18
M. GREGORY MASERATI 250.F
60 laps
   8.
32
C. MENDITEGUY MASERATI 250.F
59 laps
   9.
16
F. GODIA-SALES MASERATI 250.F
58 laps
   10.
20
I. BUEB MASERATI 250.F
58 laps
   11.
38
J. BRABHAM COOPER CLIMAX T.43
58 laps
   12.
40
H. GOULD MASERATI 250.F
58 laps
Fastest lap:   L. MUSSO, FERRARI 801,   on lap 12,   2.23'55

Retired:
34
B. HALFORD MASERATI 250.F
33 laps
36
J. BONNIER MASERATI 250.F
20 laps
22
L. PIOTTI MASERATI 250.F
11 laps
14
H. SCHELL MASERATI 250.F
8 laps
8
O. GENDEBIEN FERRARI 801
5 laps
10
J. FANGIO MASERATI 250.F
3 laps

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