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An Italian Road Race
PESCARA, ITALY, August 15th
THIS year's event was the twenty-seventh in the annual series organised by the Automobile Club of Pescara, the first being as long ago as 1924, and though always known as the Grand Prix of Pescara it has varied from World Championship Formula One events to sports car and Formula Junior races. The last pure Grand Prix race at Pescara was in 1957 when Moss gained Vanwall's first Continental victory over the then all-powerful Italians. This year the A.C. of Pescara made a new landmark in their history by having their race count towards the Sports Car Manufacturers Championship, and being the final round in the 1961 series.
A lot of people think, and some even put into print, that racing on the public roads in Italy is a thing of the past and is now forbidden, but clearly they haven't been to Naples, Caserta, Teramo, Messina, Siracusa, Pescara and such places, where true roadracing still flourishes, The Pescara circuit is 25.579 kilometres to the lap and is roughly triangular in shape with two long straights joined by an incredibly twisty mountain section. The pits and starting area are on the main road along the Adriatic coast running South into Pescara, but instead of turning left over the level crossing and into the centre of the town, as the Mille Miglia route used to do, the road racing circuit turns right through the outskirts of the town and winds and twists up into the hills, passing through two villages and then descending by some fast swerves onto a very long and fast straight that runs back to the main road, which it joins at Montesilvano, turning right to travel full throttle again for a number of kilometres back along the coast road to the start and finish. The lap record stands to Moss with the Vanwall at 157.507 k.p.h. (approximately 98 m.p.h.) and laps at under 10 minutes by the fast cars are rare indeed.