Rus Articles Journal

How there was one of the most awful tragedies in the history of motorsport?

1951. Record on extent, the most thorough image an organized race circuit on the place of the former French provincial town Mang. Remind of the small villages which were here once only names of high-speed pryamik and turns - Myulzan, Arnazh, Unodyer... On the former rural small streets of speed reach 300 km/h now!

Race steadily attracts the most eminent participants. This time the famous American racer Briggs Cunningham decided to act on Cadillac. Typically American car, massive and clumsy, causes sneers... He fights for a victory not with somebody, and with Ferrari, Maserati, Frezer - Nash, Hili, Allard, the newest car of the Jaguar. However several hours is in the lead (imagine!) old Talbo - Lago 1938 more of construction. Driving - the French racer Pierre Leveg. Strangely enough, he drives the car at a mad speed over 12 hours! For any reason contrary to rules he did not give way to the workmate, and nobody considered it necessary to interfere. However it is up to one finish less than an hour. But the terrible fatigue prevails, and the brave Frenchman makes a mistake in the transfer choice. - and a victory the Jaguar gets break of a rod...

But the management of the strongest racing team of Mercedes already paid attention to the outstanding racer. It is only possible to represent how such racer will go on one of the best, the most high-speed and reliable racing car! The invitation followed immediately.

Of Mercedes prepared the tremendous car for a sports season of 1955! Streamline aluminum body on an easy spatial framework, the motor with system of direct injection of fuel and a suspension bracket from a race car of the Formula 1 W196, brake Alfin drums where in aluminum the pig-iron ring for durability is pressed.

At the sight of this car and now you are lost in contemplation of its smooth, prompt forms. Sliding a look from a roundish nose on a long cowl, you stop on the huge exhaust pipes which are sticking out sideways, you pass to an open cockpit behind which two humps - a fairing tower., It seems, these decisions became outdated, but actually they - are eternal as any art...

Great sir Stirling Moss brilliantly won by this car well-known Frechcha Rossa - Millet Milia`s race in Italy. With it it was helped by the editor-in-chief of the " magazine; " Motor; Englishman Dennis Dzhenkinson to whom the remarkable thought came to mind. Together with Moss they passed all route in advance and wrote down the most favorable modes for each high-speed site and turn. During race Dzhenkinson constantly scrolled a long paper roll with records and prompted to Moss what to choose transfer what to support now speed, as ensured them a victory.

Nevertheless sir Moss remembered that sometimes he specially had to shake the car here and there that the dense crowd of the audience standing on roadsides preventing to make out the following turn parted. Besides - many tried to touch hands the flying like an arrow cars!

1955, Mang. Solemn start of race. Elegantly dressed audience in the stands. SLR Mercedes conducted by Moss is in the lead, the Jaguar type D under control of Mike Hautorn afterwards rushes. Suddenly brings Hautorn and develops across the route. Leveg rushing behind him tries to go round it, but on his way there is Austen - Hili with Lens Maklinz driving. Its sloping stern works as a springboard. Mercedes flies up and, having flown by several tens meters by air, falls directly in the middle of the main tribune and explodes. Fire wave is extensively rolled, flying the fragments striking on the spot...

Incredibly, but, despite such tragedy, race did not stop though 82 persons died and over one hundred were wounded. However, Mercedes recalled two remained cars from the route at once...

Flags are lowered a little, Mike Hautorn drives up to the finish. Victory... How the Englishman, the gentleman could, being in fact indirect responsible for the awful tragedy, to accept a cup?! In any case, motorsport history will never forget this case.

After it Mercedes left big-time sports more than for 30 years...