Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is a motor-racing circuit located in Stavelot, Belgium. It is referred to as Spa and is the venue of the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix, the Spa 24 Hours and 1000 km Spa endurance races, it is home to the all-Volkswagen club event, 25 Hours of Spa, run by the Uniroyal Fun Cup. It is one of the most challenging race tracks in the world due to its fast and twisty nature. Spa is a favourite circuit of many racing fans. Despite its name, the circuit is not in Spa but lies in the vicinity of the town of Francorchamps within the boundaries of the municipality of Stavelot, with a part in the boundaries of Malmedy. Designed in 1920 by Jules de Thier and Henri Langlois Van Ophem, the original course used public roads between the Belgian towns of Francorchamps and Stavelot; the track was intended to have hosted its inaugural race in August 1921, but this event had to be cancelled as there was only one entrant. The first car race was held at the circuit in 1922, 1924 saw the first running of the now famous 24 Hours of Francorchamps race.
The circuit was first used for Grand Prix racing in 1925. The original Spa-Francorchamps circuit was a speed course, with drivers managing higher average speeds than on other race tracks. At the time, the Belgians took pride in having a fast circuit, to improve average speeds, in 1939 the former slow uphill U-turn at the bottom of the Eau Rouge creek valley, called the Ancienne Douane, was cut short with a faster sweep straight up the hill, called the Raidillon. At Eau Rouge, southbound traffic was allowed to use the famous uphill corner, while the opposite downhill traffic had to use the old road and U-turn behind the grandstands, rejoining the race track at the bottom of Eau Rouge; the old race track continued through the now-straightened Kemmel curves to the highest part of the track went downhill into Les Combes, a fast banked downhill left-hand corner towards Burnenville, passing this village in a fast right hand sweep. Near Malmedy, the Masta straight began, only interrupted by the Masta Kink between farm houses before arriving at the town of Stavelot.
The track progressed through an uphill straight section with a few bends called La Carriere, going through two high-speed turns before braking hard for the La Source hairpin, that rejoined the downhill start finish section. Spa is located in the Belgian Ardennes countryside, the old circuit was, still is, used as everyday public road, there were houses, electric poles and other obstacles located right next to the track. Before 1970, there were no safety modifications of any kind done to the circuit and the conditions of the circuit were, aside from a few straw bales identical to everyday civilian use. Former Formula One racing driver and team owner Jackie Oliver was quoted as saying "if you went off the road, you didn't know what you were going to hit". Spa-Francorchamps was the fastest road circuit in Europe at the time, it had a reputation for being dangerous and fast – it demanded calmness from drivers, most were frightened of it; the old Spa circuit was unique in that speeds were high with hardly any let-up at all for three to four minutes.
This made it an extraordinarily difficult mental challenge, because most of the corners were taken at more than 180 miles per hour and were not quite flat – every corner was as important as the one before it. If a driver lifted the throttle more than expected whole seconds, not tenths, would be lost; the slightest error of any kind carried multiple harsh consequences, but this worked inversely: huge advantages could be gained if a driver came out of a corner faster. Like the Nürburgring and Le Mans circuits, which ran on public roads, Spa became notorious for fatal accidents, as there were many deaths each year at the ultra-high-speed track. At the 1960 Belgian Grand Prix, two drivers, Chris Bristow and Alan Stacey, were both killed within 15 minutes and Stirling Moss had crashed at Burnenville during practice and was injured; when Armco crash barriers were added to the track in 1970, deaths became less frequent, but the track was still notorious for other factors. The Ardennes forest had unpredictable weather and there were parts where it was raining and the track was wet, other parts where the sun was shining and the track was dry.
This factor was a commonality on long circuits, but the unpredictable weather at Spa, combined with the fact that it was a track with all but one corner being high-speed, made it one of the most dangerous race tracks in the world. As a result, the Formula 1 and motorcycle Grands Prix and 1000km sportscar races saw smaller than usual fields at Spa because most drivers and riders feared the circuit and did not like racing there. Multiple fatalities during the 1973 and 1975 24 Hours of Spa touring car races more or less sealed the old circuit's fate, by 1978, the last year Spa was in its original form, the only major races held there were the Belgian motorcycle Grand Prix and the Spa 24 Hours touring car race. In 1969, the Belgian Grand Prix was boycotted by the F1 drivers because of the extreme danger of Spa. There had been ten car racing fatalities in total at the track in the 1960s, including five in the two years previous
Consalvo Sanesi was best known as the Alfa Romeo works' test driver in the period following World War II, but he competed in races with the Alfa Romeo Tipo 158/159 cars in the period before the Formula One World Championship came into being. He competed in five Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 3 September 1950. Although, on his day, his experience with the cars meant that he was one of the fastest men on the racetrack, somehow this translated into good results, he scored only 3 championship points. He found some success driving in sports car racing. On the 1953 Mille Miglia he posted the fastest stage average speed, 112.8 mph, beating greats such as Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio, but on this occasion his car let him down and he failed to finish. A year he won his class in the Carrera Panamericana. Sanesi entered an Alfa Romeo in the November 1954 Pan American race in Mexico. In the European touring car class of the event he led at one juncture with a total time of 8 hours, 29 minutes, 24 seconds.
He was overtaken by Sergio Mantovani and Mario Della Favera. A couple of days Sanesi established a 17-minute lead in his car, with the Alfa Romeo marque sweeping the first five positions of the European touring car division, he gave up front line racing following a near-death accident during the 1964 12 Hours of Sebring race, when following a crash his Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ burst into flames. Only the prompt and courageous actions of Jocko Maggiocommo, a fellow driver watching at the trackside who dived into the flames and pulled Sanesi clear, saved his life. Sanesi was paired with driver Roberto Bussinello in the event. Maggiacomo received a Gentleman of the Road award in November 1964 for his effort in rescuing Sanesi. Maggiacomo was the proprietor of Jocko's Speed Shop in New York; the commendation was presented by the Milan Automobile Club
Piero Taruffi, was a racing driver from Italy. He is the father of a daughter, Prisca Taruffi, a rally driver. Taruffi began his motorsport career racing motorcycles, he won the 1932 500cc European Championship on a Norton and in 1937 set the motorcycle land speed record at 279.503 km/h. Taruffi drove a newly introduced 2-litre, 4-cylinder Ferrari, which placed third in the 360 kilometre race Grand Prix de Bari at Bari, Italy, in September 1951, he finished behind Juan Manuel Fangio and Froilán González with a time of 2 hours 58 minutes 40 3/5 seconds. Taruffi and Alberto Ascari participated in the Carrera Panamericana in the mountains of Mexico in November 1951, they placed first and third over the course from Mexico City to León, Guanajuato, a 267-mile leg. Taruffi led second-placed Troy Ruttman by more than four minutes. Taruffi trimmed 15 minutes on the Mexico City-Leon leg and another 21 minutes between Leon and Durango. In the process he climbed from 12th to third overall. Taruffi won the race on 25 November, with a time of 21:57:52, over mountains and plains of the southeastern tip of Mexico.
He had an average speed of 87.6 mph. Taruffi set a world record for 50 miles in an auto of 22 cubic centimetre displacement in January 1952, he attempted a 100-mile record but his motor burned out after 98 miles. Taruffi was in a two-litre Ferrari for the running of the third Grand Prix de France, in Paris in May 1952, he captured first place with a time of three hours over a distance of 285 miles. His average speed was 95 mph. Taruffi placed second to Fangio in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana, with a time of 18:18:51 in a Lancia, his time was better than the previous year. In March 1954, Taruffi lost the Florida International Grand Prix with an hour to go, after having led the first three hours, when his Lancia stopped, he pushed it to the pits and team mechanics began working on it with diligence. Taruffi was still out of the car when the O. S. C. A. Shared by Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd crossed the finish line. Taruffi had averaged 81.1 miles per hour. Taruffi won the 1,080-kilometre Tour of Sicily in April 1954.
His time of 10 hours 24 minutes 37 seconds established a record for an event which opened Italy's sports car racing season. It was 14 years old at the time, he averaged 64.4 miles per hour in a Lancia 3300. Taruffi and Harry Schell placed fifth overall in the 1955 Florida Grand Prix. Taruffi claimed first place in a Ferrari, at the 1955 Tour of Sicily, with an overall time of 10 hours 11 minutes 19.4 seconds, with an average speed of 105.998 kilometres per hour. Taruffi dropped out of the 1955 Mille Miglia, when he encountered a broken oil pump on the course north of Rome, he and eventual winner, Stirling Moss, were vying for the lead in the early stages of the race. Cesare Perdisa won by 22 seconds in the 1955 Grand Prix of Imola. Taruffi spun his car into a straw bale at the edge of the track on the first lap, he was uninjured, though his car was damaged, he was forced to retire from the race. Jean Behra and Taruffi teamed to secure a fifth-place finish in a Maserati at the 1956 12 Hours of Sebring.
Taruffi established a world record for Class E cars in June 1956. He raced 100 miles in 46 minutes 27.2 seconds, an average of 129.9 miles per hour. At Monza, Taruffi broke the one-hour mark of 212.543 kilometres per hour. A third record he performed was for 200 kilometres, his time was 53 minutes 14.5 seconds. In the 17th running of the Tour of Sicily, in 1957, Taruffi had a small crash while in pursuit of leader Olivier Gendebien, he continued in his Maserati. Gendebien won in a Ferrari; the event was marred by the death of J. Olivari, burned to death when his Maserati hit a wall in one of the course's 11,000 curves. Taruffi's final triumph was at the 1957 Mille Miglia, the last competitive edition of the famous Italian race. At this tragic race, Alfonso de Portago crashed his car with great loss of life. Taruffi won in a Ferrari 315S. Following the race he pledged to his wife, that he would never race again, he was 50 years of age. Taruffi was the author of The Technique of Motor Racing. In November 1957 the Saturday Evening Post published Taruffi's article, Stop us before we kill again.
The former racer discussed the 1955 Le Mans and 1957 Mille Miglia races in which drivers and numerous spectators died. In August 1952 Taruffi protected a racing car design under patent 2,608, 264; the patent had three torpedo-shaped parallel bodies joined together. Independent twin motors and wheels were in the two larger bodies, at right; the driver and the passengers sit in the car's central part. The central portion is both smaller than the others. Taruffi commented on low centre of gravity of his design, he participated in 18 World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on 3 September 1950. He scored a total of 41 championship points, he participated in numerous non-championship Formula One races. Taruffi drove a Ferrari to victory in the May 1952 Swiss Grand Prix, he led with the Ferrari of Rudolf Fischer coming in second. The Piero Taruffi museum is in Bagnoregio, a small town between Viterbo and Orvieto in Central Italy, it has vintage motorbikes of his era. Taruffi drove a Ford stock car owned by Floyd Clymer of Los Angeles in the 2,000-mile Pan-American race held in November 1954.
* Indicates shared drive with Juan Manuel Fa
Motorsport or motor sport is a global term used to encompass the group of competitive sporting events which involve the use of motorised vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition. The terminology can be used to describe forms of competition of two-wheeled motorised vehicles under the banner of motorcycle racing, includes off-road racing such as motocross. Four- wheeled motorsport competition is globally governed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile; the Union Internationale Motonautique governs powerboat racing while the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale governs air sports. In 1894, a French newspaper organised a race from Paris to Rouen and back, starting city to city racing. In 1900, the Gordon Bennett Cup was established. Closed circuit racing arose. Brooklands was the first dedicated motor racing track in the United Kingdom. Following World War I, European countries organised Grand Prix races over closed courses. In the United States, dirt track racing became popular.
After World War II, the Grand Prix circuit became more formally organised. In the United States, stock car racing and drag racing became established. Motorsports became divided by types of motor vehicles into racing events, their appropriate organisations. Motor racing is the subset of motorsport activities which involve competitors racing against each other; the Red Bull RB8, the 2012 Formula One World Championship winning car Formula racing is a set of classes of motor vehicles, with their wheels outside, not contained by, any bodywork of their vehicle. These have been globally classified as specific'Formula' series - the most common being Formula One, many others include the likes of Formula 3, Formula Ford, Formula Renault and Formula Palmer Audi. However, in North America, the IndyCar series is their pinnacle open-wheeled racing series. More new open-wheeled series have been created, originating in Europe, which omit the'Formula' moniker, such as GP2 and GP3. Former ` Formula' series include Formula Two.
Formula One is a class of single-seat and open-wheel grand prix closed course racing, governed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, organized by the owned company Formula One Group. The formula regulations contain a strict set of rules which govern vehicle power and size. Formula E is a class of open-wheel auto racing; the series was conceived in 2012, the inaugural championship started in Beijing on 13 September 2014. The series is sanctioned by the FIA and races a spec chassis/battery combination with manufacturers allowed to develop their own electric power-trains; the series has gained significant traction in recent years. A series originated on June 1909 in Portland, Oregon at its first race. Shortly after, Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened in 1909 and held races that ranged from 50-200 miles, its premier race is the Indianapolis 500 which began on May 11th, 1911 and a tradition was born. Today, Indycar operates a full schedule with over 40 different drivers; the current schedule includes 14 tracks over the course of 17 races per season.
Josef Newgarden was crowned current champion of the Indycar Series at Sonoma Raceway on September 17th, 2017 in Sonoma, California. Enclosed wheel racing is a set of classes of vehicles, where the wheels are enclosed inside the bodywork of the vehicle, similar to a North American'stock car'. Sports car racing is a set of classes of vehicles, over a closed course track, including sports cars, specialised racing types; the premiere race is the 24 Hours of Le Mans which takes place annually in France during the month of June. Sports car racing rules and specifications differentiate in North America from established international sanctioning bodies. Stock car racing is a set of vehicles that race over a speedway track, organized by NASCAR. While once stock cars, the vehicles are now purpose built, but resemble the body design and shape of production cars. Bootleggers throughout the Carolinas are credited for the origins of NASCAR due to the resistance during the prohibition. Many of the vehicles were modified to increase top speed and handling, to provide the bootleggers with an advantage toward the vehicles local law enforcement would use in the area.
An important part to the modifications of stock cars, was to increase the performance of the vehicle while maintaining the same exterior look giving it the name Stock car racing. Many legends in NASCAR originated as bootleggers in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina like Junior Johnson. Organized oval racing began on Daytona Beach in Florida as a hobby but gained interest from all over the country; as oval racing became larger and larger, a group gathered in hopes to form a sanctioning body for the sport. NASCAR was organized in 1947. Daytona Beach and Road Course was founded where land speed records were set on the beach, including part of A1A; the highlight of the stock car calendar is the season-opening Daytona 500 nicknamed'The Great American Race', held at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. NASCAR has now held over 2,500 sanctioned events over the course of 70 seasons. Richard Petty is known as the king of NASCAR with over 200 recorded wins in the series and has competed in 1,184 races in his career.
Touring car racing is a set of vehicles, modified street cars, that race over closed purpose built race tracks and street courses. Off-Road Racing is a group
Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p. A. is an Italian luxury car manufacturer, founded by Frenchman Alexandre Darracq as A. L. F. A. on 24 June 1910, in Milan. The brand is known for sporty vehicles and has been involved in car racing since 1911; the company was owned by Italian state holding company Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale between 1932 and 1986, when it became a part of the Fiat Group. In February 2007, the Alfa Romeo brand became Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p. A. A subsidiary of Fiat Group Automobiles, now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Italy; the company that became Alfa Romeo was founded as Società Anonima Italiana Darracq in 1906 by the French automobile firm of Alexandre Darracq, with Italian investors. In late 1909, the Italian Darracq cars were selling and the Italian partners of the company hired Giuseppe Merosi to design new cars. On 24 June 1910, a new company was founded named A. L. F. A. Still in partnership with Darracq; the first non-Darracq car produced by the company was the 1910 24 HP, designed by Merosi.
A. L. F. A. Ventured into motor racing, with drivers Franchini and Ronzoni competing in the 1911 Targa Florio with two 24-hp models. In August 1915, the company came under the direction of Neapolitan entrepreneur Nicola Romeo, who converted the factory to produce military hardware for the Italian and Allied war efforts. In 1920, the name of the company was changed to Alfa Romeo with the Torpedo 20–30 HP the first car to be so badged. In 1921, the Banca Italiana di Sconto. Nicola Romeo & Co, went broke and the government needed to support the industrial companies involved, among, Alfa Romeo, through the "Consorzio per Sovvenzioni sui Valori Industriali". In 1925, the railway activities were separated from the Romeo company, in 1928, Nicola Romeo left. In 1933, the state ownership was reorganized under the banner of the Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale by Benito Mussolini's government, which had effective control; the company struggled to return to profitability after the Second World War, turned to mass-producing small vehicles rather than hand-building luxury models.
In 1954, it developed the Alfa Romeo Twin Cam engine, which would remain in production until 1994. During the 1960s and 1970s, Alfa Romeo produced a number of sporty cars, but struggled to make a profit, so Istituto per la Reconstruzione, the state conglomerate that controls Finmeccanica sold the marque to the Fiat Group in 1986. Alfa Romeo has competed in Grand Prix motor racing, Formula One, sportscar racing, touring car racing, rallies, it has competed both as a constructor and an engine supplier, via works entries, private entries. The first racing car was made in 1913, three years after the foundation of the company, Alfa Romeo won the inaugural world championship for Grand Prix cars in 1925; the race victories gave a sporty image to the marque, Enzo Ferrari founded the Scuderia Ferrari racing team in 1929 as an Alfa Romeo racing team, before becoming independent in 1939. It has had the most wins of any marque in the world; the company's name is a combination of the original name, "A. L. F.
A.", the last name of entrepreneur Nicola Romeo, who took control of the company in 1915. The company that became Alfa Romeo was founded as Società Anonima Italiana Darracq in 1906 by the French automobile firm of Alexandre Darracq, with some Italian investors. One of them, Cavaliere Ugo Stella, an aristocrat from Milan, became chairman of the SAID in 1909; the firm's initial location was in Naples, but before the construction of the planned factory had started, Darracq decided late in 1906 that Milan would be more suitable and accordingly a tract of land was acquired in the Milan suburb of Portello, where a new factory of 6,700 square metres was erected. Late 1909, the Italian Darracq cars were selling and Stella, with the other Italian co-investors, founded a new company named A. L. F. A. Still in partnership with Darracq; the first non-Darracq car produced by the company was the 1910 24 HP, designed by Giuseppe Merosi, hired in 1909 for designing new cars more suited to the Italian market. Merosi would go on to design a series of new A.
L. F. A. Cars, with more powerful engines. A. L. F. A. Ventured into motor racing, with drivers Franchini and Ronzoni competing in the 1911 Targa Florio with two 24-hp models. In 1914, an advanced Grand Prix car was designed and built, the GP1914, with a four-cylinder engine, double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, twin ignition. However, the onset of the First World War halted automobile production at A. L. F. A. for three years. In August 1915, the company came under the direction of Neapolitan entrepreneur Nicola Romeo, who converted the factory to produce military hardware for the Italian and Allied war efforts. Munitions, aircraft engines and other components and generators based on the company's existing car engines were produced in a vastly enlarged factory during the war. After the war, Romeo invested his war profits in acquiring locomotive and railway carriage plants in Saronno and Naples, which were added to his A. L. F. A. Ownership. Car production had not been considered at first, but resumed in 1919 since parts for the completion of 105 cars had remained at the A.
L. F. A. Factory since 1915. In 1920, the name of the company was changed to Alfa Romeo with the Torpedo 20–30 HP the first car to be so badged, their first success came in 1920 whe
Juan Manuel Fangio
Juan Manuel Fangio Déramo, nicknamed El Chueco or El Maestro, was an Argentine racing car driver. He dominated the first decade of Formula One racing, winning the World Drivers' Championship five times. From childhood, he abandoned his studies to pursue auto mechanics. In 1938, he debuted in Turismo Carretera, competing in a Ford V8. In 1940, he competed with Chevrolet, winning the Grand Prix International Championship and devoted his time to the Argentine Turismo Carretera becoming its champion, a title he defended a year later. Fangio competed in Europe between 1947 and 1949 where he achieved further success, he won the World Championship of Drivers five times—a record which stood for 47 years until beaten by Michael Schumacher—with four different teams, a feat that has not been repeated. He is regarded by many as one of the greatest F1 drivers of all time and holds the highest winning percentage in Formula One – 46.15% – winning 24 of 53 Formula One races he entered. Fangio is the only Argentine driver to have won the Argentine Grand Prix, having won it four times in his career—the most of any driver.
After retirement, Fangio presided as the honorary president of Mercedes-Benz Argentina from 1987, a year after the inauguration of his museum, until his death in 1995. In 2011, on the centenary of his birth, Fangio was remembered around the world and various activities were held in his honor. Fangio's grandfather, Giuseppe Fangio, emigrated to Buenos Aires from Italy in 1887. Giuseppe managed to buy his own farm near Balcarce, a small city in southern Buenos Aires Province, within three years by making charcoal from tree branches, his father, emigrated to Argentina from the small central Italian town of Castiglione Messer Marino in the Chieti province of the Abruzzo region. His mother, Herminia Déramo, was from Tornareccio to the north, they married on 24 October 1903, lived on farms where Herminia was a housekeeper and Loreto worked in the building trade, becoming an apprentice stonemason. Fangio was born in Balcarce on San Juan's Day 1911 at 12:10 am, his birth certificate was mistakenly dated 23 June by the Register of Balcarce.
He was the fourth of six children. In his childhood he became known as El Chueco, the bandy legged one, for his skill in bending his left leg around the ball to shoot on goal during football games. Fangio started his education at the School No. 4 of Balcarce, Calle 13 before transferring to School No. 1 and 18 Uriburu Av. When Fangio was 13, he worked as an assistant mechanic; when he was 16, he started riding as a mechanic for his employer's customers. He developed pneumonia, which proved fatal, after a football game where hard running had caused a sharp pain in his chest, he was bed-ridden for two months, cared for by his mother. After recovering, Fangio served compulsory military service at the age of 21. In 1932 he was enlisted at the Campo de Mayo cadet school near Buenos Aires, his driving skills caught the attention of his commanding officer, who appointed Fangio as his official driver. Fangio was discharged before his 22nd birthday after taking his final physical examination, he returned to Balcarce.
Along with his friend José Duffard he received offers to play at a club based in Mar del Plata. Their teammates at Balcarce suggested the two work on Fangio's hobby of building his own car and his parents donated space in a small section of their home where a rudimentary shed was built. After finishing his military service, Fangio raced in local events, he began his racing career in Argentina in 1934, which he had rebuilt. These local events were unlike anything in Europe or North America, they were long-distance races held on dirt roads up and down South America. During his time racing in Argentina, he drove Chevrolet cars and was Argentine National Champion in 1940 and 1941. One particular race, which he won in 1940, the Gran Premio del Norte, was 10,000 km long; this race started in Buenos Aires and ran up through the Andes to Lima and back again, taking nearly two weeks with stages held each day. Following many successes driving modified American stock cars. In the Tourism Highway category, Fangio participated in his first race between 18 and 30 October 1938 as the co-pilot of Luis Finocchietti.
Despite not winning the Argentine Road Grand Prix, Fangio drove most of the way and qualified in seventh place. In November of that year, he entered the "400 km of Tres Arroyos ", but it was suspended due to a fatal accident. In 1939, the circuit was in Forest, which conformed well with his last involvement with a Ford V8. With Hector Tieri as his partner, they led Turismo Carretera that year with a Chevrolet, competing for the Argentine Grand Prix. Suspended by a strong rain and resumed in Cordoba, he managed their first stage victory, winning the fourth stage from Catamarca to San Juan. In October, after 9500 km of competition in Argentina and Peru, he won his first race in Turismo Carretera, the Grand Prix International North, he became the first TC Argentine Champion to have driven a Chevrolet. In 1941, he beat Oscar Gálvez in the Grand Prix Getúlio Vargas in Brazil. For the second time, Fangio was crowned champion of Argentine TC. In 1942, he ended South Grand Prix in tenth place in accordance with the general classification.
In April he won the race "Mar y Sierras" and had to suspend the mechanic