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Syracuse, April 7th.
This year the race at Syracuse opened the European Formula 1 season with a flourish, and the entry was of a very high order. Works teams of Ferrari, Maserati, Vanwall and Connaught filled the list, with the addition of many private owners, and when practice started on the Friday before the race almost everyone was present. The weather was most unlike Sicily, with the rain only just stopping before practice got under way, leaving the track with patches of wet in the shaded places. With the course being exactly as in previous years, times were going to be comparable and any improvements in design and performance would soon make themselves felt. The existing lap record had been set by Fangio during the 1956 race with a lap in 1 min. 59.9 sec., though he had recorded 1 min. 58 sec. in practice that year, so it was the latter time that people were aiming at.