Autosport 70: mile­stones at Sil­ver­stone

Autosport (UK) - - CONTENTS -

20 July 1951

Fer­rari fa­mously won the Bri­tish

Grand Prix this week in 1951, end­ing five years of Alfa Romeo dom­i­na­tion and record­ing the team’s first vic­tory in the world cham­pi­onship. But that didn’t make Autosport’s cover, and the edi­to­rial opened on the per­for­mance of the BRMS!

While Jose Froilan Gon­za­lez’s bril­liant drive did re­ceive praise in the re­port of “the great­est race ever seen at Sil­ver­stone”, the ef­forts of cover star Reg Par­nell on his way to fifth for BRM grabbed at­ten­tion. The V16 project had been a sham­bles, but the points-scor­ing fin­ish – five laps be­hind Gon­za­lez – and Peter Walker’s sev­enth were seen as ri­postes to BRM’S de­trac­tors.

“Par­nell and Walker saved the day for Bri­tish mo­tor rac­ing,” reck­oned Autosport. “Their hero­ism in stick­ing to their task while suf­fer­ing from ag­o­nis­ing burns will en­able the BRM de­sign­ers to go ahead and mod­ify the cars to make them com­pletely race­wor­thy.”

If we’re be­ing gen­er­ous, we would point out that these were dif­fer­ent times and Gon­za­lez’s mighty Fer­rari 375 had been on the cover the pre­vi­ous week…

Sadly for BRM, the V16 would never score an­other point, and it would take nearly eight more years for the team to score a world cham­pi­onship GP vic­tory.

Thanks to Jaguar, how­ever, Bri­tish suc­cess could be found in sportscar com­pe­ti­tion. Autosport pub­lished the fastest laps of each car from the pre­vi­ous month’s Le Mans 24 Hours, just re­leased by the Au­to­mo­bile Club de l’ouest. The crush­ing pace of the C-types, one of which had won in the hands of Walker and Peter White­head, was un­der­lined by the best laps of Stir­ling Moss (4m46.8s) and Walker (4m47s) be­ing com­fort­ably clear of the rest. The quick­est non-jaguar was the Tal­bot of Juan Manuel Fan­gio, who man­aged a lap of 4m54.3s.

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