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1955 Targa Florio

Sunday, October 16, 1955
Fastest Lap:
Moss, 43m07.4
1955 season:

Youth to the Fore

Palermo, October 16th

This year the age-old Targa Florio took on a new lease of life as it was included in the events counting for the manufacturers' world Championship of sports cars. With the points marking leaving the situation very open between Jaguar, Ferrari, and Mercedes-Benz, the race took on the position of the final decision for the honours in this championship. Mercedes-Benz went to Sicily in full force. while Ferrari did the best they could and Jaguar did not bother to compete, so the final issue lay between Maranello and Stuttgart.

The Targa Florio must rate as the toughest motor race remaining on the International Calendar and thus year the length of the race was nearly doubled, to comply with world championship regulations, making it the hardest Targa ever. The Madonie circuit which is used for this race lies in the north of Sicily and on one of the normal public roads front sea level up into the wild mountains and down again, passing through three villages on the way. The total length of one lap is 72 kilometres (approximately 45 miles) and with the exception of a four-kilornetre straight is one long succession of corners, both up hill and down. At the best of times the Sicilian roads are far from perfect, and recent bad weather played havoc with them, so that the week before the race there were signs of the whole thing being washed away. Cloudbursts kept washing mud and rock on to the roadways as fast as they could be cleared, and throughout the day before the race local labour worked endlessly to try and keep the roads clear.