Belgian GP Spa June 22, 1952
The field rushes through Eau Rouge on lap one of the Belgian GP led by Ascari and Farina, pursued by Jean Behra’s Gordini, Mike Hawthorn’s Cooper-Bristol, Ken Wharton’s surprisingly effective Frazer Nash FN48, and Stirling Moss in the ugly and unsuccessful ERA G-type. Ascari won the race easily from Farina with Robert Manzon 3rd for Gordini and Hawthorn 4th despite stopping twice for fuel caused by a leaking tank. The demise of Alfa Romeo’s racing team and the failure of BRM’s V16, the obsolescence of the Talbot Lagos, Maseratis, assorted ERAs, and other even less-likely machinery, left only Ferrari (and soon Maserati) with viable cars. Thus the 2-liter F2 championship came about, supposedly as a temporary measure as organizers wanted the big cars, but in reality the 1.5-liter s/c and 4.5-liter unblown cars were consigned to lesser events and eventually history. This suited Enzo Ferrari, who had an already-developed a 4-cylinder racer, the 500, and Alberto Ascari backed up by “Nino” Farina and others. The competition was led by Maserati, whose 6-cylinder A6GCM was almost a match for Ferrari, with Gordini, Connaught, HWM, Cooper, et al. making up the numbers.