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Pescara, August 15th
After booking a date for a 12-hour sports-car race and a Formula 1 event, the Automobile Club of Pescara cancelled the sports-car event and concentrated on racing cars, holding a 22-lap event over the magnificent circuit on the Adriatic coast of Italy. Having been organising events since 1924 it was not surprising that the meeting was exceedingly well run and caused no adverse criticism, unlike many events this season. Fourteen entries were accepted and of these three were from the Maserati factory, the drivers being Musso, on one of the Nurburgring cars with rear-mounted oil-tank, Moss on his own car, completely rebuilt since the Nurburgring and given a new coat of glistening red paint with a green band round the radiator air-intake, and the third one by X. This blank in the entry was hoped to be filled by Fangio, who was actually in Pescara, but he decided he'd rather have a holiday, so the third Maserati entry was not used. This left thirteen cars to turn out for practice at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning under a blazing sun and the sort of blue sky that only Italy can produce. The heat was almost too much and as a result no one got down to any very serious practising, and added to this the 25.579-kilometre course was going to need a great deal of learning and the three-hour session allowed would not have been sufficient even had all the cars behaved themselves. Ferraris only entered one car, this being one of the "stumpy" 1954 models, driven by Maglioli, the factory taking the opportunity to use this comparatively small meeting to experiment a bit more with the new car. They did not get very far, for after a quick change of rear axle ratio in the paddock Maglioli only completed half a lap before mechanical trouble stopped the car out on the far side of the course and the morning's efforts were over for the Scuderia Ferrari. Manzon had had his car completely rebuilt since the Nurburgring, as well as having it, painted red with a blue noseband and undertray, while the yellow Ferrari of Swaters was fresh from the factory, having been fitted with one of the new 1953/54 engines with the 100-deg. valve layout. Rosier completed the four-cylinder Ferrari quartet and a fifth Ferrari was an early 2-litre twelve-cylinder in a long-chassis de Dion car, driven by Taraschi. Gordini entered his usual three cars, the second one now having a five-speed gearbox and the drivers were Behra, Bucci and Guelfi, the last-named having his first try in a single-seater, though he has put up some fine performances with sports Gordinis. Completing the field were Schell and Daponte with their private 1953/54 Maseratis and Bira with his de Dion car.