Posts Tagged ‘1961 Prima Coppa Italia’

baghetti syracuse gp 1961

Giancarlo Baghetti on the way to his maiden Grand Prix win in his first GP aboard Ferrari 156 chassis 0008. He won four Grands Prix in 1961; the French at Reims, and three non-championship events here at Siracusa on April 24, in Napoli thee weeks later, and the Coppa Italia at Vallelunga in October …

The Syracuse locals are enjoying Giancarlo’s delicate touch and the glorious howl of the little 1.5-litre V6 around the 3.478 mile Sicilian street circuit, look closely at the kids in the trees!

While the 156 was the class of the field in 1961, Baghetti beat a field of depth in Syracuse. Dan Gurney and Jo Bonnier were second and third in Porsche 718s, then came Jack Brabham’s works Cooper T55 Climax, Roy Salvadori’s Cooper T53 Climax, and in sixth and seventh places were Jim Clark and Lorenzo Bandini in Lotus 18 Climax and Cooper T51 Maserati respectively.

John Surtees’ Cooper Climax sandwiched by the Gurney and Bonnier Porsche 718s at Syracuse in 1961 (Motorsport)
Moss chasing Baghetti and Gurney; Lotus 18, Ferrari 156 and Porsche 718 (B Cahier)
Moss in a Rob Walker Lotus 18 Climax chases Jo Bonniers’ Porsche 718 at Syracuse. Jo was third and Moss eighth with a misfiring engine (unattributed

Despite the presence of the-greats, Baghetti popped the Ferrari into second slot on the grid behind Gurney on pole. He didn’t make a great start, appearing in seventh place at the end of the first of 56 laps, but used the power of the car to progress forward through the field to lead Gurney and Surtees by the end of the sixth lap.

Once in front he led with calm, consistent precision, keeping Dan at bay to win by five seconds. The youngster’s only mistake was to whistle up the escape road at the hairpin on his victory lap when he missed his braking point whilst waving to an adoring Sicilian crowd!

The car Giancarlo raced is the very first mid-engined Ferrari – the 246P Richie Ginther debuted at Monaco in 1960, chassis 0008. This morphed progressively from a 2.5-litre GP car into the prototype 1.5-litre GP 156 by the 1960 season’s end. See this story about a most significant Ferrari, it is a great pity Enzo destroyed it along with all of its other 156 brothers and sisters; https://primotipo.com/?s=ferrari+246p

0008 always raced with the 65-degree 1.5-litre V6 rather than the definitive 1961 120-degree variant which Richie Ginther was to give debut at Syracuse, but didn’t at the last minute due to oil scavenge problems revealed in testing at Modena. Checkout this article on the testing of the 120-degree motor here; https://primotipo.com/2018/09/11/ferrari-156-testing/

Innes Ireland and Jim Clark- #20 is Jim’s Lotus 21 Climax (B Cahier)
Graham Hill, BRM P48/57 Climax FPF (unattributed)
Giancarlo, Syracuse 1961 (unattributed)

By the start of 1961 0008 was already an old nail, so Ferrari were happy to hand the machine over to a grouping of Italian car clubs – the Federazione Italiane Scuderia Automobolistiche (FISA) as a means of developing promising Italian drivers. While the car was entered by FISA, it was prepared by the factory – very well prepared as it transpired!

Giancarlo had impressed in 1960 at the wheel of a Dagrada Lancia Formula Junior, and was awarded the FISA drive. About ten of these front-engined FJ’s were built by Milanese, Angelo Dagrada who was known to Giancarlo via modifications he had made to Baghetti’s industrialist father’s Alfa Romeo 1900 road car, the family owned a foundry in Milan. Giancarlo cut his racing teeth with this Alfa and Abarths in local events.

These interesting cars bucked the Italian trend of using the ubiquitous Fiat inline-four in favour of the Lancia Appia 1098cc ten-degree V4 which was light and compact – and powerful after vast development of the standard cylinder head turned it into a crossflow unit.

Giancarlo aboard his Dagrada Lancia FJ at Monza on 25 April 1960 (unattributed)

Giancarlo was seventh in the 1960 Campionato ANPEC/Auto Italiana d’ Europa Formula Junior Championship with one win from only three point scoring rounds. In front of him was Colin Davis, Jacques Cales, Denny Hulme, Lorenzo Bandini, Henri Grandsire and Henry Taylor.

Baghetti’s win depicted in the advertisement below was a big one, the VIII Trofeo Bruno e Fofi Vigorelli at Monza on April 24-25 attracted 43 cars, 16 were non-qualifiers. Giancarlo won both his heat and one of the two finals, to win on aggregate from Juan Manuel Bordeu and Henri Grandsire aboard Stanguellini Fiats. The class field included such notables as Colin Davis, Carlo Facetti, Carroll Smith, Lorenzo Bandini, Rob Slotemaker, Ludovico Scarfiotti, Geki Russo, Gerhard Mitter, Eric Carlsson, John Whitmore, Teodoro Zeccoli and Tony Maggs.

In the Campionato Italiano, he was equal fourth with Geki Russo behind Renato Pirocchi, Roberto Lippi and Antonio Maglione, and second in the Prova Addestrativa behind Antonio Maglione.

Some sources have it that Giancarlo was a controversial choice for the FISA ride, but if you look at the races entered/won, his strike rate looks pretty good. In addition, his Dagrada was generally felt to be an inferior weapon to the Stanguellini Fiat used by most of his rivals; the choice stands the sniff test I think, whatever the case, he certainly grasped the opportunity with both hands.

Baghetti’s purple patch continued at Posillipo a month later when he won the Gran Premio di Napoli on May 14, again at the wheel of 0008.

On this occasion he finished the 60 lap, 150km road course race in front of Peter Ashmore’s Lotus and Bandini’s Centro Sud Cooper T51 Maserati, after Roy Salvadori gave chase early in the race, only to be thwarted by a puncture in his Yeoman Credit Cooper Climax.

The entry was devoid of championship front runners on this occasion, they were otherwise engaged at Monaco, Stirling Moss in one-of-those drives won the race aboard Rob Walker’s Lotus 18 Climax, one of three championship events which didn’t go to the 156 that season. The German GP also fell to Maestro Moss in the nimble, less powerful Lotus 18, and at Watkins Glen Innes Ireland won the first GP for Team Lotus, and himself, aboard a Lotus 21 Climax.

GP di Napoli, Posillipo 14 May 1961 grid. Baghetti 156 at left, Roy Salvadori, Cooper T53 Climax and then Gerry Ashmore’s Lotus 18 Climax at right. Row two is Ian Burgess’ Lotus 18 Climax at left and Lorenzo Bandini’s Cooper T51 Maserati at right. Row three is Giovanni Alberti, de Tomaso Osca at left and Menato Boffa, Cooper T45 Climax at right. Baghetti won from Ashmore and Bandini (unattributed)
Hill, Ginther and Von Trips – Ferrari 156 by three front row at Reims in 1961 (unattributed)
Reims start with Thillois in the distance, July 2, 1961. Up front its Hill, Ginther and von Trips from left to right, with Moss in the Walker Lotus 18/21 Climax on his own, and the rest- winner Giancarlo was Q12 but started poorly and is the red spec almost straddling the dashed-yellow line, about six cars from last. All of which says a lot about the Italian cars power and torque out of the slow Muizon and Thillois corners (Motorsport)
Who said the Lotus 21 had better brakes than the Ferrari 156?! Innes Ireland runs into strife under brakes whilst attempting to slip under Giancarlo watched by Jim Clark in another 21, Graham Hill, BRM, Jo Bonnier, Porsche 718, Bruce McLaren’s Cooper T55 Climax and Dan Gurney in the other works Porsche 718, Reims 1961

0008 went back to the factory for a freshen up and then joined the three factory entries of Phil Hill, Taffy von Trips and Richie Ginther at Reims on the July 2 weekend for the French Grand Prix.

There he took a stunning victory a tenth of a second clear of Gurney’s Porsche 718 with Jim Clark’s Lotus 21 Climax a further minute adrift. It was an all Ferrari front row with Hill on pole and Ginther and von Trips alongside, Giancarlo was Q12.

Hill led from the start, in that order, until Richie spun giving third place to Moss’ Lotus 18 Climax – behind this group there was a massive slipstreaming battle involving the Gurney and Bonnier Porsche 718s, the works Lotus 21 Climax’ of Jim Clark and Innes Ireland, Graham Hill’s BRM P48/57, Bruce McLaren’s Cooper T55 Climax and Giancarlo.

Two of the most important aspects of longevity for a race photographer are a sense of self preservation and fleetness of foot …Bonnier, Baghetti, Clark and Gurney, Reims 1961 (unattributed)
Clark, Baghetti and Ireland exit Thillois (Motorsport)
Spinner Ginther in front of Lucien Bianchi, Lotus 18/21 Climax (B Cahier)
Gurney and Baghetti in the final stages (B Cahier)

Taffy had engine trouble after 18 laps so he was out, Phil Hill spun on the surface which was becoming very slippery in the intense heat on lap 38, he managed to restart but was a lap down. Then Ginther led, but he too spun, and had no sooner recovered before having engine problems – no oil pressure after 40 laps, Moss had brake problems so he too retired after completing 31 laps.

Progressively the challengers fell away leaving a man-on-man battle which went on for many laps, with the lead changing by the lap between Dan Gurney – one of the finest drivers of the era – and still to win his first championship Grand Prix, and GP debutant Giancarlo Baghetti.

On the final lap, Dan out-braked Giancarlo into Thillois, the last corner, but on the sprint to the line – with more punch than the four-cylinder Porsche – Baghetti dived out of Gurney’s slipstream a couple of hundred yards before the finish in a perfectly timed move to win by the narrowest of margins from Gurney, Clark, Ireland and McLaren.

Giancarlo’s 1961 run of success wasn’t over yet, as noted at the outset, he won the minor, Prima Coppa Italia at Vallelunga on October 12. This time he raced a Porsche 718, winning both 30 lap, 106 km thirty minute heats from pole, taking the overall win on aggregate from Ernesto Prinoth, Lotus 18 Climax, and Nino Vaccarella’s Cooper T51 Maserati.

The balance of Baghetti’s career is dealt with in this article, sadly, the precocious talent of 1961 faded way too quickly; https://primotipo.com/2015/05/08/giancarlo-baghetti-lotus-49-ford-italian-grand-prix-1967/

Aintree 1961 (Echo)
Coppa Italia, Vallelunga October 12, 1961. #24 Nino Vaccarella rebodied Cooper Maserati T51, #2 Ernesto Prinoth, Lotus 18 Climax and at right Giancarlo Baghetti, Porsche 718. The Lotus 18 Maserati on row two is Gaetano Starrabba (unattributed)

The 1961 Ferrari 156 : Technical…

For early 156 Dino enthusiasts these photographs of 0008 taken by Bernard Cahier at Siracusa on this Tuesday April 25, 1961 long-weekend will be of great interest as they show the first chassis in its definitive 1961 form.

All 156’s built and raced in 1961-1962 started right here, or I guess twelve months before if you argue that the original 2.4-litre 246P version of 0008 was the starting point, which of course factually it was.

The bodywork of the car is ‘unique’ in that it has two supplementary air intake slots on the cowling, it’s very sleek compared to 0008 as it was in early 1960, to the form shown above. The shark-nose was supposedly low-drag, Carlo Chiti deployed it in his 1961 sportscar designs as well, the approach was a function of work in Ferrari’s scale-model wind tunnel.

It may well be that the shark-nose design was suggested to Chiti by Medardo Fantuzzi, one of Ferrari’s favoured external body-builders. He modified a Maserati 250F for Kiwi Ross Jensen (#2508) in this manner in late 1957, and then two other 250Fs for Temple Buell (#2533 and 2534). Fantuzzi built the 156 and sportscar bodies.

Maserati 250F ‘2508’, ex-Moss/Jensen, when owned and raced by Brian Prescott at Wigram, NZ in April 1961. Medardo Fantuzzi nose to the fore (Classic Auto News)

Medardo Fantuzzi with the three ‘shark nose’ Maserati 250Fs at his Modena factory in late 1957 or early 1958. Jensen’s at left – he finished second to Jack Brabham in the January 11, 1958 NZ GP in his upgraded car – the two Temple Buell machines alongside (unattributed)

Doug Nye described the chassis thus ‘The multi-tubular chassis itself was crude and hefty looking, not as unimpressive as a Cooper’s – not least of all its tube runs were straight – but not a patch on the lightweight lattice of a Lotus, BRM or even a Porsche.’ Big, butch, beefy and crude the chassis was, but it certainly did the job in 1961. It was only when the chassis sophistication of the Brits was harnessed to the power of the Coventry Climax and BRM V8s in 1962 that the class of ’61 became the dunce of ’62.

The main chassis rails were made of 1 1/2 inch steel spaced vertically 15 inches apart, the 120-degree motor required bulged top rails for installation, whereas the 65-degree unit did not, its rails were straight. The 120-degree frame swallowed the earlier motor whereas the wide engine wouldn’t fit into the narrower 65-degree frame.

Suspension front and rear comprised upper and lower braced wishbones and coil spring/damper (Koni) units, roll bars were adjustable both front and rear although it appears Giancarlo didn’t race with a rear fitted in Siracusa. Chiti set the cars up with bulk static negative camber, I guess the race Dunlops fitted to the 156 liked the setup.

156 cockpit, Monaco 1961
Engine bay of 0008 at Syracuse. Note the beefy spaceframe chassis Doug Nye described as being welded together by ‘Mr Blobby’. 65-degree second series Tipo 156 V6, bore/stroke 73×58.8mm, circa 180bhp fed by three 38mm Webers. The 120 degree engine had two bespoke triple choke Weber 40IF3C carbs. Note the large transaxle and starter motor, no rear roll bar fitted, suspension by upper and lower wishbones, ventilated disc brakes are inboard

The 1.5-litre Vittorio Jano (and team) designed 65-degree V6 first appeared as a front-engined F2 car in 1958. The DOHC, chain-driven, two-valve, twin-plug, triple Weber fed motor developed circa 180bhp @ 9000rpm and was fitted to a scaled down version of the then current 2.5-litre Lancia D50 derived – and then further evolved – V8 engined 801 F1 chassis, then designated 156.

The capacity of Jano’s V6 engine grew progressively to 2417cc in which form the Ferrari Dino 246 won the 1958 drivers championship for Mike Hawthorn.

As time went on it became clear Ferrari had the makings of an excellent car for the new 1.5-litre F1 which commenced on January 1, 1961, and which was expressed in the evolution of 0008 from a chubby, pudgy 2.4-litre F1 car at Monaco in May 1960 a svelte shark-nosed 1.5-litre F2 machine before Monza in September.

Chiti’s definitive engine for 1961 was a new variant of the Dino using a very wide-angle V6 of 120-degrees to lower the engines centre of gravity, and simplify manufacture of the engine’s crank. A motor of this width would not have fitted comfortably into the front-engined Dino 246/256 chassis.

The two camshafts were still chain driven, the heads still two-valvers, and still twin-plug. The dimensions of the 1960 Solitude 65-degree engine were adopted – bore/stroke of 73mm x 58.8mm for a capacity of 1476.6cc. Nye reports that all of the major castings were made in Siluminum, the 120-degree engine weighed 225 pounds, 30 pounds less than the good ‘ole Coventry Climax 1.5-FPF four cylinder motor.

Carburettors were bespoke, beautiful Weber triple-choke type 40 IF3C. Ferrari initially claimed 190bhp @ 9500rpm but ‘initial tests only yielded 177, which was still 30 more than the FPF’ used by the English teams in 1961. Jano also gave the existing 65-degree engine a bit of a tickle as a second-string unit, pending enough 120-degree engines to go around the three car Scuderia Ferrari team. When the FISA team were present four 156s presented a formidable challenge to the opposition…

Compare and contrast. Richie’s 156 0001, the prototype 120-degree engine chassis during the 1961 Monaco GP weekend. Note how low that engine sits in the chassis, trick triple throat Webers clear
(G Cavara)
0008 butt, Syracuse 1961
(B Cahier)

While the V6s in either format were delicate, compact little things, the transaxle was anything but- however it did prove problem free, as Ferrari gearboxes down the eons have tended to be. The same ‘boxes were used with both engines – these 16.25 inch long units were developed versions of the five speed and reverse transaxle used in 0008, with the clutch assembly exposed to the breeze on the end plate. The thing looks bigger than it actually was due to a wide bell-housing between engine and transmission to push the engine forward in the frame to obtain the weight distribution Chiti sought.

Nye records that Ferrari appear to have built eight chassis during 1961. 0008 was numbered in the 246 Dino sequencing, in addition there were new chassis’ serials 0001-0006, with two appearing under the 0003 number. Von Trips won the Dutch and British GP’s in 0004 which was destroyed in his fatal Monza accident, Hill won at Spa in 0003, and Monza in 0002 while Giancarlo won at Reims in our friend, 0008.

And what about poor old 0008 you ask?

Giancarlo raced it at Aintree in the British GP the week after Reims (#58 below) doing enough damage to the prototype for it to be scrapped; he crashed at Waterways Corner while avoiding another competitor having his own moment when running in twelfth place from Q19. Of course all the 156s were ultimately destroyed, but if only one of the many chassis built between 1960-1962 were to have been preserved surely it would be this one…

(Echo)

Giancarlo above while up front Taffy von Trips won the July 15 British Grand Prix from his teammates Hill and Ginther, Jack Brabham was best of the rest, 68 seconds behind Von Trips in his Cooper T55 Climax.

0008 in the Aintree paddock, note the different nosecone fitted to the car compared to that used in the Syracuse heat. Wire wheels were very much old hat by this stage, Ferrari retained them in 1962 but Campagnolo’s were part of the 156/63 package in 1963.

Etcetera…

(B Cahier)

Whether the shark-nose was more aerodynamic or not is a moot point. Didn’t Carlo Chiti put his styling stamp on the Ferraris of the time with these oh-so-distinctive visual cues.

I’m cheating a bit here, this Ferrari launch shot in Maranello was in February 1962 not that the 156 was much different, to its cost – 246SP at left.

(B Reeves)

Baghetti in the FISA 156 from Moss’ Rob Walker Lotus 18 Climax at Syracuse in 1961. Nice.

(Echo)

Dry practice at Aintree, Baghetti from Von Trips, the winner, chassis 0008 from 0004. The former was scrapped after this race, the latter destroyed in Taffy’s horrific accident at Monza in September.

Bibliography…

‘History of the Grand Prix Car’ Doug Nye, Veloce Today article by Pete Vack, F2Index, Wikipedia, F1.com

Photo Credits…

LAT, Motorsport, Bernard Reeves, Giuseppe Cavara, Getty Images-Bernard Cahier, Echo Liverpool, B St. Clare-Tregilgas, Classic Auto News

Tailpieces: Giancarlo Baghetti at the wheel of his Ferrari 156 during 1961…

baghetti 1961 (unattributed)

 

(unattributed)

Listen Mauro, I think we need to try this. Baghetti, place unknown in 1961, Ferrari 156.

Finito…