Alt-1959: Enter Monaco!

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Dom_Wings
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Re: Alt-1959: Enter Monaco!

Post by Dom_Wings »

Owen Racing Organisation confirm the deal and with a heavy heart wish Alan Stacey all the very best at Team Lotus.
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tommykl
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Re: Alt-1959: Enter Monaco!

Post by tommykl »

May 10th 1959, Monaco Grand Prix
After some early chaos on the starting grid where the race was started with some drivers out of position, Brabham grabbed the lead from Stirling Moss into Casino Square, with Moss, Ramos, Gregory and Graham Hill following close behind. Ramos' challenge quickly petered out as his clutch started to smell and then caught fire after completing just two laps.

Brabham soon hit a run of slower pace. This led to the formation of a close pack behind him and allowed Graham Hill and John Surtees to make some gains. By lap 5, B.C.M.A. held the first three positions, though this only lasted for two laps. Moss finally found his way through on lap 8, while his teammate dropped back to fourth behind Moss, Hill and a charging Peter Collins. Hill's very promising race would not last long however, cruelly interrupted by Brabham's attempt at returning to the front. At Portier, Brabham caught the moustachioed Brit sleeping, causing a tangle that sent Hill off piste and into the hay, ending his race. Fernand Tavano, who had managed a sensational start to the race to run in fourth, had similarly retired with suspension trouble.

Ferrari were the first to inherit from these retirements, taking up fourth, fifth and sixth places. Of particular note was Gerino Gerini, previously unremarkable, who was now fourth in his Ferrari début. Jo Bonnier was fifth, but only lasted a couple of laps longer before a puncture stopped him on the way up from Sainte-Dévote. O.S.C.A.'s race was brought to a complete halt on the next lap when González's gearbox started to lose chunks of itself. The ninth place he inherited went to Lex Davison's Lotus, but he didn't last long either as Maurice Trintignant punted him off into the straw at the Gasworks hairpin.

By lap 17, Brabham had fallen back to fourth, with Peter Collins and Phil Hill getting the better of him. This proved to be a mere blip of form though, as Brabham was back in second place on lap 20, a ways behind Moss who had just set the race's fastest lap. Brabham set about catching up to his younger teammate, while André Simon picked up where Tavano left off and drove his Voeckler through the pack to reach third place by the time lap 25 started off.

Brabham had caught Moss by this point, and Simon briefly joined the battle for the lead as Moss began to struggle for pace. On lap 28, the Brit made one mistake too many, running wide at Mirabeau and allowing Brabham into the lead. Though Moss spent the following five laps searching high and low for a way past, the Australian fought off all advances until his teammate's tyres began to require some rest. He then set about building a comfortable gap back to Moss in second, then Simon in third, Gerini in fourth and a recovering Masten Gregory in fifth. Alan Stacey's gearbox put him out of his misery shortly thereafter, the Brit having failed to make any headway in the cut-throat midfield traffic.

John Surtees had remained in the mix in the lower half of the top ten for the previous laps, passing Phil Hill for sixth place on lap 30. Peter Collins was also involved in this battle for the last point, as was Maurice Trintignant, and as the battle intensified, so did the desperation of some of the moves. On lap 36, coming up to Massenet, Hill attempted a gutsy move on the outside of Collins. The Brit did not back down, and the American wound up in the escape road, stalled and out of the race. 12 drivers remained, and Surtees had successfully not only escaped the fight, but overtaken Gregory for fifth.

The main on-track skirmishes at this point were between Moss and Simon for second, Collins and Trintignant for seventh and McLaren and Gurney for tenth. The first of them was most eagerly followed for obvious reasons, and it warranted the attention. Simon briefly had second place on lap 38, then took it again more permanently on lap 44, allowing Gerini to join the fight. Moss was clearly the fastest of the three, but Simon put up a masterclass of defensive driving, to the point where Gerini was able to snag third place on lap 47.

However, that battle for seventh heated up very quickly when Jim Russell in the Cooper-BRM finally caught up after a dozen laps of chipping away at the gap. He'd managed to pass Collins for eighth place and set his sights on Trintignant ahead. Under braking for the chicane, Trintignant moved left to defend the inside line just as Russell stuck his nose inside of the Voeckler. The Frenchman spun right into the retaining wall at fairly high speed, while Russell's out-of-control machine clipped a hay bale and overturned. The F3 champion was thrown out of his car in the process. Both drivers were stretchered away to the nearby hospital, Russell unconscious, Trintignant in visible pain.

The sight of the accident was enough to calm everyone right down, and the rest of the race was at least damage-free. Gerini's foray into the top three did not last long, as Moss took the place back on lap 51. Five laps and several spirited attempts later, he took second place as well. This time it lasted four laps, Simon resuming his lead over Moss on lap 60. This was all to Brabham's advantage, setting a new fastest lap as he pulled away further.

Valiant efforts from Masten Gregory kept Surtees at bay from the top five for a long time, but after a back-and-forth lasting the best part of ten laps, the Brit took fifth for good on lap 68. By this point, Gerini had started to struggle for pace, and fewer than ten laps down the line, Surtees took fourth place off the Italian, making it a B.C.M.A. 1-2-4 given Moss' resumption of his second-place run at the two-thirds mark. Moss reclaimed the fastest lap as well, and was closing the gap to Brabham, though the three-time champion's advantage was too great to ever fully nullify.

There were still events of interest though. Roy Salvadori had been running in last place all race, hoping to save his car for a late attack against a more diluted field, but an oil leak put an end to his race before the strategy could come to fruition. Further ahead, Gregory caught Gerini and put serious pressure on the Ferrari for several laps. However, despite a temporarily ailing car, Gerini made his car the widest on track, enough to negate Gregory's pace advantage and ending for good the American's ambition to catch Surtees ahead. Those few laps also contributed to bits of debris clogging up Gregory's radiator, forcing the Lotus to slow and allow the Coopers of Collins and a charging Bruce McLaren to catch up.

In the dying laps, B.C.M.A. began to hope of a 1-2-3 finish as Surtees began to challenge Simon's third place. However, before he could apply more consistent pressure, Surtees was faced with a devastating puncture, ending his race 15 laps from the finish. The 1-2 hopes were also dashed less than 10 laps away from the chequered flag, when the 1952 Monaco winner Simon unlocked one last crucial pocket of pace to sneak past Moss at Tabac one last time.

Ultimately, Brabham was - some early difficulties aside - absolutely imperious and secured his second Monaco victory, five years after the first, snatching the fastest lap away from Moss on the very last lap for good measure. Simon was left to take a fifth career podium and his second in Monaco, one lap behind. Moss took a comfortable third. Gerini showed the 1958 Ferrari could still be relatively competitive with fourth place, while Masten Gregory held off the Coopers for a nonetheless promising fifth. Collins held off McLaren for the final point, helped by Brabham lapping the Kiwi shortly before taking the chequered flag. Dan Gurney was classified eighth and last, though he ran out of fuel two laps short of taking the flag.

1. Jack Brabham (B.C.M.A.) 2:54:58.41
2. André Simon (Voeckler-O.S.C.A.) +2 laps
3. Stirling Moss (B.C.M.A.) +3 laps
4. Gerino Gerini (Ferrari) +4 laps
5. Masten Gregory (Lotus-O.S.C.A.) +5 laps
6. Peter Collins (Cooper-Climax) +6 laps
7. Bruce McLaren (Cooper-Climax) +7 laps
8. Dan Gurney (Lotus-O.S.C.A.) +9 laps/Out of fuel
Ret. John Surtees (B.C.M.A.) +16 laps/Puncture
Ret. Roy Salvadori (Vanwall) +34 laps/Oil leak
Ret. Maurice Trintignant (Voeckler-O.S.C.A.) +53 laps/Collision
Ret. Jim Russell (Cooper-BRM) +53 laps/Collision
Ret. Phil Hill (Ferrari) +65 laps/Collision
Ret. Alan Stacey (B.C.M.A.) +70 laps/Gearbox
Ret. Lex Davison (Lotus-O.S.C.A.) +84 laps/Collision
Ret. José Froilán González (O.S.C.A.) +85 laps/Gearbox
Ret. Jo Bonnier (Ferrari) +86 laps/Puncture
Ret. Graham Hill (O.S.C.A.) +89 laps/Collision
Ret. Fernand Tavano (Voeckler-O.S.C.A.) +91 laps/Suspension
Ret. Hernando da Silva Ramos (O.S.C.A.) +98 laps/Clutch

Fastest lap: Jack Brabham (B.C.M.A.) - 1:39.85

Lap chart
Image

Championship standings
Drivers

1. José Froilán González - 9 (1 win, 1 Ret)
2. Jack Brabham - 9 (1 win)
3. André Simon - 6 (1 2nd, 1 Ret)
4. Wolfgang von Trips - 6 (1 2nd, 1 DNQ)
5. Stirling Moss - 4
6. Gerino Gerini - 3
7. Masten Gregory - 2
8. Peter Collins - 1

Constructors
1. O.S.C.A. - 9 (1 win, 1 2nd)
2. B.C.M.A. - 9 (1 win, 1 3rd)
3. Voeckler-O.S.C.A. - 6
4. Ferrari - 3
5. Lotus-O.S.C.A. - 2
6. Cooper-Climax - 1

Entrants
1. British Commonwealth Motorsport Association - 9 (1 win, 1 3rd)
2. Officine Secializzate Costruzione Automobili - 9 (1 win, 4 Rets)
3. Écurie Voeckler - 6 (1 2nd, 5 Rets)
4. Scuderia Centro Sud - 6 (1 2nd, 2 DNQs)
5. Scuderia Ferrari - 3
6. Team Lotus - 2
7. Cooper Car Company - 1

Prize money to come in due course.
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