In the mid-1950s, the best pilots in the world showed their talent in our country through two relevant competitions: the Argentine Formula 1 Grand Prix and the 1.000 Kilometers of the City of Buenos Aires de Sport. Both races were held in January, a few days apart, in the Municipal Autodrome of Buenos Aires.
Although the then young F.1 captured a lot of interest in the successes of the Balcarceño Juan Manuel FangioSport events also had their appeal as they allowed vehicles of different classes to be seen in action with excellent performance required to the maximum for more than six hours, almost twice the time of a Grand Prix.
The first tournament of the World Sport Championship was held in 1953 and its calendar consisted of seven dates: the 12 Hours of Sebring in the United States, Mille Miglia in Italy, 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, 1.000 Kilometers by Nürburgring in Germany, RAC Tourist Trophy in Great Britain and the Panamericana Carrera en Mexico City.
The success of the first edition of the Formula 1 Argentine Grand Prix held in '53 gave our country the possibility of being one of the six dates of the 1954 World Sport Championship. Those first 1.000 kilometers of the City of Buenos Aires were won by the Italians Giuseppe Farina y Umberto Maglioli at the controls of a Ferrari MM 375 official.
The race was held in the perimeter circuit of the Autodromo and in a sector of Av. General Paz, from the Puente La Noria (on the provincial side) to the current Richieri Highway. The decision to also run out of the then called Autodromo 17 de Octubre It cost the organization to lose a lot of money since the public followed the race for free alongside General Paz instead of paying a ticket and having a place in the stands ...
However, the experience was repeated in 1955. The route was even extended by seven kilometers including part of the Richieri to reach an area of 17.136 meters. To give the fans extra appeal, he joined the Road Tourism as an independent category to the Sport World Cup.
Although the uncertainty of the completion of the competition made several official teams give up running, such as spear, Jaguar, Aston Martin o Alfa Romeo, there was a total of 55 enrolled, of which 52 started. Those scored by the World Cup were divided into three classes according to their engine size: more than 3.000 cm3, from 1.501 to 3.000 cm3 and up to 1.500 cm3.
The victory in the general was for the Argentine duo composed of Enrique Sáenz Valiente y Jose Maria Ibáñez, who alternated in the conduction of a Ferrari 375 Plus equipped with a 4.500 cm3 engine that developed 330 horses at 6.500 laps. Originally, the idea of Sáenz Valiente was to share his car with Fangio, who was enthusiastic about the idea, but decided not to do it because of his commitment to Mercedes-Benz.
That January 23 and under a temperature of 34 degrees, the Sáenz Valiente-Ibáñez duo had a tough fight with the duo formed by the reef José Froilán González And French Maurice Trintignant and with a Ferrari 118LM from Scuderia Ferrari. The two Maranello-built cars stood out from the rest of the competitors with a final speed of close to 300 km / h on the long straight that went down Richieri towards Ezeiza.
In the first half, Sáenz Valiente and Trintignant had a particular fight in which the vanguard alternated several times until the Argentine achieved a good advantage that exceeded one minute and a quarter. On lap 20, of the 58 contested, the leaders entered the pits for the change of drivers.
González came out with the knife between his teeth and came to deduct 40 seconds taking advantage of the benefits of his machine and the lack of timing of Ibáñez, who had not competed for a year. However, Pepe's Ferrari couldn't keep up and dropped out on the 27th lap due to the broken water pump. Before Cabezón set the lap record with 6m06s1 / 10 at 168,504 km / h ...
The leader did not have time to feel relief by the absence of the rival: a dog crossed in the middle of the track, rammed him at 280 km / and damaged the radiator of his machine. That incident forced three entries to the pits and that allowed him to get closer to Clemar bucci, who shared an official Ferrari 750 Monza with Maglioli. Bucci got within 10 seconds of Ibáñez, but a mechanical failure knocked him out of the way on lap 33.
With the Scuderia cars sidelined, Sáenz Valiente, who got on again at the end of the test, and Ibáñez won with more than five minutes of advantage over Carlos Najurieta-Cesar Rivero (Ferrari 375MM) and two laps over José Faraoni-Ricardo Grandio (Maserati A6GCS).
Behind the Sport squad, Turismo Carretera had its own battle for the first date of its championship. The TCs started two minutes after the World Cup participants and had the order to keep their right on the long straights so as not to hinder the fast pace of the World Cup vehicles.
The one who hit the tip at the start was Juan Carlos Garavaglia (Ford), who in qualifying had lost pole to Paul birger (Ford) for 14 seconds. Garavaglia held the point until it gave in to the pressure of Oscar Galvez (Ford), who stayed at the front of the pack despite having to stop a couple of times in the pits. Already towards the end of the competition the TCs had to pick up the pace to try to reach the finish line, something that only nine of the 28 cars that started did did.
El Aguilucho, eighth in the general classification of the 1.000 Kilometers six laps behind the winners, prevailed among the TCs with a lap advantage over Garavaglia, who closed the Top Ten. While the last step of the podium remained for Guillermo Airaldi (Alfa Romeo 1900), eleventh among all classes.
That edition of the 1.000 Kilometers of Buenos Aires, of which 60 years had already passed, was the only time that the Sports World Cup and Road Tourism shared a track. Something to remember.
1.000 BAM BUENOS AIRES CITY 1955 (58 LAPS)
|POS.||PILOTS||AUTO / CLASS||TIME / DIF.|
|1||Enrique Sáenz Valiente-José María Ibáñez||Ferrari 375 Plus / Sport 3.0||6h35m15s|
|2||Carlos Najurieta-César Rivero||Ferrari 375MM / Sport 3.0||6h40m12s|
|3||José Faraoni-Ricardo Grandio||Maserati A6GCS / Sport 3.0||on 2 rounds.|
|4||Jaroslav Juhan (GTM) -Jorge Salas Chaves||Porsche 550 Spyder / Sport 1.5||on 2 rounds.|
|5||Elie Bayol (FRA) -Harry Schell (USA)||Gordini T24S / Sport 3.0||on 4 rounds.|
|6||Jorge Camano-Oscar Camano||Ferrari 212 / Sport 3.0||4 rounds|
|7||Alejandro De Tomaso-Oscar Reyes||Maserati A6GCS / Sport 3.0||on 6 rounds.|
|8||Oscar Gálvez-Eduardo Martins (BRA)||Ford V8 / TC||on 6 rounds.|
|9||Louis Milan-Elpidio Tortone||Ferrari 625TF / Sport 3.0||on 7 rounds.|
|10||Juan Carlos Garavaglia-Manuel Rodríguez||Ford V8 / TC||on 7 rounds.|
HISTORY 1.000 KM BUENOS AIRES
|1954||Giuseppe Farina (ITA) -Umberto Maglioli (ITA)||Ferrari 375 Plus|
|1955||Enrique Sáenz Valiente (ARG) -José María Ibáñez (ARG)||Ferrari 375 Plus|
|1956||Stirling Moss (ING) -Carlos Menditeguy (ARG)||Maserati 300S|
|1957||Masten Gregory (USA) -Eugenio Castellotti (ITA) -Luigi Musso (ITA)||Ferrari MM 290|
|1958||Peter Collins (ING) -Phil Hill (USA)||Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa|
|1960||Phil Hill (USA) -Cliff Allison (ING)||Ferrari 250 TR59 / 60|
|1970||Jean-Pierre Beltoise (FRA) -Henri Pescarolo (FRA)||Matra-Simca MS630 / 650|
|1971||Jo Siffert (SUI) -Derek Bell (ENG)||Porsche 917k|
|1972||Ronnie Peterson (SUE) -Tim Schenken (AUS)||Ferrari 312 PB|
For winning the 1.000 Kilometers of Buenos Aires in 1955, the Enrique Sáenz Valiente-José María Ibáñez duo won 85.000 pesos. Sáenz Valiente, owner of the car, wanted to share the financial recognition with his partner. However, Ibáñez did not accept it. "You put the car and the expenses, how am I going to accept a prize if you let me run for free?" Told him.
Likewise, the pair came to be in negotiations with Ferrari to race an official car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year, but the negotiations did not come to fruition.