It happened today – 13 July

It happened today - 13 July

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On 13th July 1952, the Grand Prix de Sable d’Olonne was held in France. It was a three hour race run over a 2.439 km circuit, as the sixth round of the French Formula 2 series, running the cars that were used in the 1952 and ’53 Formula 1 championships. That meant the entry list featured plenty of drivers racing in the higher category.

Ferrari was present with three factory 500s for Luigi Villoresi, Alberto Ascari and Giuseppe Farina. Then there was one for customer team Ecurie Espadon for Swiss driver Rudolf Fischer. Fastest in qualifying was Ascari with a 1.12.9, one tenth faster than Farina. Villoresi seemed to be having a harder time and would start from the second row having lapped 3.5 seconds slower than his team-mate’s pole time. Third was local hero Robert Manzon in a Gordini.

However, in the race Villoresi came out on top after the two better placed Ferraris went out one after the other, on laps 44 and 45 respectively. Luigi won by three laps from Peter Collins in the HWM and was five laps ahead of Johnny Claes in the Simca Gordini.

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