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A Race of Surprises
Rouen-Les Essarts, July 8th.
Every five years the Grand Prix de l'A.C.F. leaves the Reims circuit and is held at Rouen-Les-Essarts, having done so in 1952, 1957 and now in 1962. The Rouen circuit does not have the amenities nor the grandness and atmosphere of Reims, but the circuit itself is one of the best in Europe from the point of view of driving and spectating.
All the British teams that had been at Reims the previous week were present and, in addition, the works Porsche team turned up, at last satisfied with their 8-cylinder cars. The Scuderia Ferrari were absent, the industrial strike in Italy still preventing the Ferrari mechanics from preparing the cars. The works Porsches had undergone many detail modifications in the course of some serious development work at the Nürburgring, and among these were radius rods from the front top wishbones back to the chassis frame, completely redesigned gear-change mechanism, the provision of "catch tanks" for the engine breathers and on Bonnier's car the top rear wishbones had been filled in with fibreglass to provide more stiffness; both cars had been re-worked about the body lines around the cockpit, and the seating position had been lowered and made more reclining, necessitating quickly removable steering wheels. Anti-roll bars had been fitted to the rear suspension mounted internally and operated from extensions to the wishbones as with the front suspension. The horizontally opposed 8-cylinder engines were still using Weber carburetters and had wire gauze covers over the fibreglass horizontal cooling fan.