Teams1952 Formula One Season By Jeremy McMullen
Rudolf Fischer had two insatiable appetites. One was for food. The other was for motor racing. He would use his career as a restaurant owner to help fund his other career, that of a grand prix driver.
Though born in Germany, the proud Swiss would end up forming a team comprised of fellow gentlemen drivers. The team would become known as Ecurie Espadon, which literally meant the 'Sword Stable'. Its members were Fischer, Rudolf Schoeller, Peter Hirt, Peter Staechelin, Max de Terra and Paul Glauser.
Although a gentleman racer, Fischer had proven to be quite talented behind the wheel of a grand prix car and had some noted success throughout the very early 1950s. Quite adept behind the wheel, one thing was certain about Fischer: 'he never made a fool of himself behind the wheel'.
Together, Fischer and his other gentlemen drivers, were to make their Formula One World Championship debut at the Swiss Grand Prix in 1951. However, the team would not arrive for the race. Heading into 1952, a couple of important changes would happen that would prepare the team of gentlemen racers to enter the world stage in a very big way.
First of all, the governing-body over the Formula One World Championship had made the decision to run 1952 and 1953 according to Formula 2 specifications. This was a direct result of Alfa Romeo's departure from Formula One at the end of the 1951 season due to increasing costs. Because of the lack of competition for Scuderia Ferrari, and also because of the ever-increasing costs of Formula One, the organizers of the World Championship had to come up with a competitive, and cheaper, alternative. They needed time to do this. And so, upon looking around, the organizers noticed the competition within the Formula 2 field, they noticed the number of smaller teams and privateers entered in the races, and, they looked at the lower costs associated with the minor series. The organizers decided Formula 2 specifications would be an acceptable interim measure. Therefore, 1952 and '53 would run according to Formula 2 specifications.
Secondly, Ecurie Espadon would have the opportunity to purchase a very important car heading into the 1952 season. Ferrari had made its new Ferrari 500 F2 available for purchase and Fischer purchased one. This would put the team on almost equal footing with the most dominant team at the time, Scuderia Ferrari. In addition to the new 500, the team also had gotten their hands on an older 125 chassis that had a 1.5-liter V12 engine. The car would undergo the necessary revisions to be able to take part under the Formula 2 specifications and would become known as the Ferrari 212.
World Championship races weren't the only events that would take place throughout 1952. There would be a number of other non-championship races that would take place all over the European continent. In fact, one of the team's first races of the season would be a non-championship event in Sicily.
In the middle-part of March, Ecurie Espadon would travel to Syracuse, Sicily to take part in the 2nd Grand Prix of Siracusa. The race took place on the 16th and was schedule for 60 laps of the 3.34 mile street circuit.
The field would host a number of Ferrari 500 chassis besides Fischer's. Scuderia Ferrari had arrived with a team of four drivers including: former World Champion Giuseppe Farina, 1951's runner-up Alberto Ascari, Luigi Villoresi and Piero Taruffi. Ecurie Espadon would bring only its one Ferrari 500 and Fischer would be its pilot.
Right away, Fischer showed his prowess behind the wheel, especially with the potent Ferrari 500 as his weapon of choice. Alberto Ascari would end up setting the fastest lap during practice with a lap time of two minutes and sixteen seconds. He was joined on the three-wide front row by two of his Ferrari teammates, Villoresi and Farina. Villoresi's best lap time was only eight tenths slower, while Farina's was a full seconds slower.
Espadon showed itself to be the next-fastest team when Fischer followed the Scuderia Ferrari drivers in practice. Fischer's best time in practice was over six and a half seconds slower than Ascari's time. However, the lap time was a good result. The first-four positions on the grid were occupied by Scuderia Ferrari drivers. Fischer would start the race 5th; in the middle of the second row.
At the start of the race it was all Ferrari, both the team and the car. In fact, the first nine spots on the starting grid were Ferrari chassis of some kind. Ascari roared away with the lead. He was followed, almost in order, by his fellow Ferrari teammates. Then came Fischer in his Ferrari.
Attrition started to strike the field, but most of the troubles would strike those with older Ferrari model chassis. The newer 500 chassis continued to carry on strongly—almost. Toward the later-half of the race Villoresi was falling off the pace. Meanwhile, Ascari was pulling away in the lead.
Ascari would go on to win the race by fifty-nine seconds over Piero Taruffi. Giuseppe Farina would finish the race in 3rd, down a minute and a half to Ascari. Fischer, being the talented racer he was, still couldn't keep up with the professional racer that Ascari was. Before the end of the race, Fischer would end up a lap down. However, he would prove to be the fastest of the rest of the field and would finish the race 4th. This was an amazing start to the season for Ecurie Espadon! Armed with the 500 chassis, the team, and especially Fischer, had the confidence to believe it would continue.
To find out whether the success would continue or not, the team next entered the 6th Grand Prix of Valentino, held on the 6th of April at the Valentino Park circuit. The race took place along a 2.61 mile street course that ran though the Valentino Park and along the river Po.
Ecurie Espadon would again face Scuderia Ferrari in the race. However, this time, Fischer wouldn't be alone. Peter Hirt came with the team and would drive the Ferrari 212. As at Syracuse, Ecurie Espadon would prove to be right there with Ferrari.
Unfortunately, the team wasn't 'right there' enough to wedge itself between Ferrari's drivers. Because of the rather late decision to switch to Formula 2 regulations there were a number of races throughout 1952 that still allowed cars conforming to Formula One regulations to take part. The Grand Prix of Valentino was one of those races. Therefore, Ferrari had brought three of its dominant 375 chassis that nearly won the championship in 1951. Giuseppe Farina would take the 375 and would prove it was still dominant as he would end up setting the fastest lap time during practice. In fact, all three of the 375s would prove fastest. And, all four of Ferrari's drivers would be faster than the rest of the field. Farina would; therefore, be joined on the front row by Ascari in 2nd, Villoresi in 3rd and Taruffi in 4th. Once again, Fischer proved to be very fast behind the wheel. As in Syracuse, the Swiss driver would start the race 5th. Hirt would have a much tougher race on his hands. He and the car would have troubles throughout practice. As a result, Espadon's second car would start from the fourth, and final, row in 13th position—dead last on the grid.
The field roared away at the start of the 60 lap race with Ferrari out front. Runners at the back of the pack were pushing hard, perhaps too hard, in an effort to move forward. Three drivers would end up out of the race before the completion of a single lap due to a crash. With only thirteen starting the race, the field was quickly becoming whittled down. Unfortunately, the attrition wasn't over with, and it would prove very unfortunate for Espadon. On the 6th lap of the race, the engine in Hirt's Ferrari expired. He was out of the race.
Scuderia Ferrari wasn't immune to the troubles either. While battling with Ascari at the front of the field, Farina would make a mistake and would crash out of the race just past the midway point of the race. This left Ascari alone at the front, but even he would get hit by troubles before the end of the race.
Ascari and Villoresi were leading the way. They were able to lap the field, up to 3rd place, twice. However, just four laps from the end, Ascari's race came to an end because of fuel tank troubles. This left Villoresi to take the victory.
Villoresi would hold on in the sole remaining 375 and would take the victory by more than a minute over Ferrari teammate Taruffi in the 500. The finish provided clear evidence of the difference in pace between the Formula One spec 375 and the Formula 2 spec 500. Though just going a second lap down to Taruffi at the finish, Fischer would greatly impress as he would earn a 3rd place finish for himself and the team! After two races, Fischer's worst result had only been a 4th place! All of a sudden, Ecurie Espadon went from small-time competitor, to big-time competition!
Having such a strong competitive car, Ecurie Espadon decided to take part in two championships in 1952. In addition to the Formula One World Championship, France was hosting its own Formula 2 Championship. The championship consisted of eight rounds and each were three-hour timed events.
The first of the eight rounds took place in Pau, France on the 14th April. The race was the 13th Grand Prix of Pau and the race took place around the tight 1.75 mile street course in Pau's downtown.
Having the car, and the opportunity to earn another championship, Scuderia Ferrari also entered the championship full-force. In addition to Espadon and Ferrari, Equipe Gordini would also enter the championship with a number of cars.
In practice, the competition was much tighter than what it had been throughout the team's first couple of races. However, Fischer would end up proving to be more than capable as a racing driver.
Ascari would end up being the fastest in practice. His best time would be one minute and forty-three seconds. Villoresi was within seven tenths of that time and would start on the front row in 2nd. Lance Macklin, for HWM-Alta, would end up being the third-fastest in practice and would finish-off the front row.
Fischer would end up getting beat by Emmanuel de Graffenried by half a second and would end up starting the race from the second row in 5th. Besides Ferrari's drivers of Ascari and Villoresi, Rudolf managed to be the next-fastest of those who drove the Ferrari 500.
The race would get underway with Ascari and Villoresi, once again, leading the way. The two friends were pulling away from the field just slightly with each lap completed. Fischer remained amongst the top-five right from the start. Unfortunately, he wouldn't be there long.
The race soldiered on with Ascari pulling away, even after a couple of laps. Then, on the 4th lap of the race, it all came to an end for Fischer, who had been enjoying a highly successful start the season. On the 4th lap his oil pipe broke loose. This ended his day. But, it would also end Yves Giraud-Cabantous' day as well when he spun in the oil and retired from the race.
Troubles continued to strike the field, with the exception of Ascari who was out front, way out front. On the 78th lap of the race, Villoresi fell out of the race due to a crash. This truly left Ascari all alone, who, by that time, had already lapped the entire field at least once. Lance Macklin, who started the race from 3rd, couldn't keep up with the pace and would slip down the order as he just tried to make it to the end.
Ascari absolutely blew-away the field. At the end of the three hours, Alberto would complete 99 laps and would hold a three lap margin over Louis Rosier in his own Ferrari 500. As if barely hanging on, Jean Behra would take his Equipe Gordini T11 and would finish five laps down in 3rd.
Fischer's failure was truly disappointing for the team after having enjoyed great success at the first couple of races in the season. It was also frustrating to the team as it was the first round of the French F2 Championship. A retirement was not a good way to start the championship effort. The result was doubly frustrating when the World Championship's first round, which was the Swiss Grand Prix, was drawing ever-closer.
The Swiss-based team looked to recover its successful ways, but it would not do so by entering the second round of the French F2 Championship. Instead, the team would wait until the week before the Swiss Grand Prix before it would compete again.
The Ecurie Espadon team travelled across the English Channel, to Silverstone, to take part in what was the 4th BRDC International Trophy race on the 10th of May.
The International Trophy race was a rather different event. The entire race consisted of two 15 lap heat races and one 35 lap final. Each of the races took place around Silverstone's 2.88 mile road course.
The entire field was split up into respective heats. Espadon would enter its two cars. Fischer drove the Ferrari 500. Peter Hirt returned to drive the repaired Ferrari 212. Peter Hirt would be entered in the first 15 lap heat race. He would end up facing such professional racers as Jean Behra, Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins.
As usual, grid positions for the heat race were determined by the best practice times of each driver. Mike Hawthorn would greatly impress in his Cooper-Bristol T20 as he would end up recording the fastest time during practice and would start the race from the pole. He would be joined on the front row by Peter Collins, Jean Behra and Lance Macklin. Hirt's best time in the 212 was ten seconds slower than Hawthorn's. This put the Swiss driver down on the fourth row, 12th overall.
The race, itself, seemed more like an exhibition than a race, with the exception of the early duel between Behra and Collins. Once he got past Collins, Behra took the fight to Hawthorn. However, Hawthorn would end up being able to hold off Behra and would take the heat victory. Behra, having gotten the better of Collins, would finish 2nd. He would end up only two seconds behind Hawthorn. Peter remained right where he started—12th. By the end of the heat, Hirt would finish a lap down in 12th. However, compared to his only other race to that point in '52, finishing was a small victory.
Practice began for the second heat. Rudolf would have to face drivers like Robert Manzon and Reg Parnell. However, armed with the Ferrari 500, Fischer would look to be in a good position for a great result.
Robert Manzon would end up recording the fastest lap in practice. His best time was two minutes and one second. Four drivers would end up posting the same time, which was; exactly, one second slower than Manzon's. One of those four was Fischer. As a result, Fischer would end up also on the front row. The front row consisted of Manzon on the pole, Kenneth McAlpine 2nd, Fischer 3rd and Duncan Hamilton 4th.
Due to the nature of the very close times set in practice, the race pace would be furious. This would hurt a number of competitors. The number of retirements in the second heat, compared to the first, was over three times greater. Hamilton would not finish the heat due to problems with his HWM-Alta's differential failing. None of this bothered Fischer. In fact, the restaurant owner would end up recording the fastest lap of the heat race. His time was four seconds faster than his best practice time and was faster than the pole-times set in practice for either heat!
The pace was too much for McAlpine. He would quickly drop down the order. This allowed Fischer to take the fight to Manzon. The two would fight it out throughout the heat race. In the end, Manzon would be able to barely hold on for the victory. Fischer would finish in 2nd, only a little over two seconds behind. Thirteen seconds later, Tony Rolt would come across the line in 3rd.
The grid positions for the 35 lap final race were to be determined by the finishing time of each competitor in their respective heat. Manzon and Fischer dueled it out throughout the second heat and would end up finishing their heat races with faster times than what Hawthorn had in the first. As a result, Manzon would start from the pole for the final. Fischer would start right beside Robert on the front row in 2nd. The two were joined on the front row by Hawthorn and Behra. Hirt's sedated journey in the first heat relegated him to the sixth row and 20th overall.
From the drop of the green flag, Fischer and Manzon were back battling each other. They were closely followed by Hawthorn and Behra. Many other competitors were also right there with the leaders at the start. In fact they would be close enough that should there be any troubles they could take advantage. This would end up happening to Fischer. After the first lap, Manzon's race came to an abrupt end when his car suffered transmission failure. This undoubtedly held up Fischer. This enabled others to get by. Of course, nothing much could be done if one or two drivers were just in the 'zone'. Fischer was in that 'zone' during his heat race. HWM-Alta's drivers, Lance Macklin and Tony Rolt, were the ones who had all cylinders firing in the final.
Tony Rolt had made a great start and was challenging for the lead throughout much of the race. In tow behind him came his HWM-Alta teammate, Lance Macklin. Macklin had also made a tremendous start. He had started in 10th, but was close behind Rolt. Fischer was their prey. Even Emmanuel de Graffenried could not be denied coming up from 7th.
Fischer continued to drop down the order. Rolt and Macklin would get by. Fischer would then find himself in a battle with de Graffenried throughout most of the remaining portion of the race. Hirt, meanwhile, was slowly making his way up from 20th on the grid. He would be helped by the retirements of many of those who had dropped out of the race in front of him on the road.
Only a few laps remained. Macklin had taken the lead and had Rolt close in tow behind. Fischer and de Graffenried continued to fight it out. Macklin crossed the line in 1st. Rolt would end up ten seconds behind in 2nd. Emmanuel de Graffenried would be able to get by Fischer and would pull out an eight second advantage by the end of the race. Fischer crossed the line wondering 'what could have been?' Though thoroughly out of the running, Hirt would also end up finishing his first race for the team in 1952. He would end up three laps down and in 15th.
After the second heat race it appeared Fischer was en-route to another podium finish, perhaps even a victory if troubles struck competitors. However, Fischer couldn't match the pace he put together in the heat race during the final. It appeared Fischer lost a great opportunity, especially with Ferrari absent from the race. Fischer, and Ecurie Espadon, had to hope they could take advantage of the opportunities presented them from now on as the very next race was the first round of the Formula One World Championship. And it took place on home soil.
Ecurie Espadon arrived in its home country to prepare for the Swiss Grand Prix. The grand prix was the first round of the World Championship and it took place on the 18th of May, one week after the team's near miss of the podium at Silverstone.
The race took place at the 4.52 mile Bremgarten circuit outside of Bern, Switzerland. The race was scheduled for 62 laps, but there was a pleasant surprise waiting for Ferrari's competitors. Alberto Ascari, the championship runner-up the year before, was absent from the race. He had departed for the United States so he could take part in the Indianapolis 500 at the end of the month. However, Ferrari wasn't lacking talent. The team still entered three cars to be driven by Giuseppe Farina, Piero Taruffi and Andre Simon.
Ecurie Espadon entered its two cars yet again. As with the two previous times the team entered its two cars, Rudolf Fischer was behind the wheel of the Ferrari 500, and Peter Hirt would be behind the wheel of the 212.
During practice, Ferrari's drivers showed they didn't necessarily need Ascari to almost guarantee victory. Farina would end up setting the fastest lap time in practice. He would end up lapping the 4.52 mile Bremgarten Circuit in two minutes and forty-seven seconds. Piero Taruffi would record the second-fastest time with a lap two and a half seconds slower than Farina's. Robert Manzon would be able to push his Equipe Gordini T16 to beat out Andre Simon for the 3rd place starting position. His time was over four and a half seconds slower.
Fischer seemed to like starting races from the 5th position on the grid as that was where he would start the race after recording a lap time of two minutes and fifty-three seconds. Fischer had helped to make it four Ferrari 500s in the first-five positions of the starting grid. Hirt struggled for pace in the 212. His best time during practice was three minutes and ten seconds. This meant his time was over twenty-two seconds slower than Farina's. This positioned Hirt well down in the field. He would start the race 19th.
Ecurie Espadon, Fischer and Hirt looked to put in a good performance in front of the home crowd. They would end up doing just that. They would almost give the fans reason to riot in celebration.
Fischer knew he had the car. He just needed to stay out of trouble, push hard enough that the car wouldn't break and he would have a chance. However, at the start of the race, it seemed the best Fischer could hope for was a points-paying position as Farina charged ahead with the lead. Taruffi followed closely behind. Manzon was pushing hard in his T16.
Four cars were out of the race before 5 laps had been completed. Two of those failures were due to engines letting go. This was not a good sign when there were more than 50 laps still remaining. Fischer would end up getting some relief behind him when two HWM-Altas, including 6th place starter Peter Collins, dropped out of the race due to driveshaft failure. This helped Fischer keep his focus squarely in front of him.
Peter Hirt was riding the wave of adrenaline offered by the home crowd and was coming up through the field from his 19th place starting position. On the 16th lap of the race, Fischer would receive more help and would cause him to move forward in the order. Giuseppe Farina's car retired from the race due to a magneto failure. This helped Fischer move forward. However, Ferrari's and Farina's next decision would help him move forward all the more.
Andre Simon had been carrying on in the third Ferrari quite well. However, Farina's retirement led to a predicament. The former World Champion was without a ride. This led to Simon being called in. He would end up giving up his car to Farina for what would be the rest of the car's race. This dropped another front-running car out of the picture. Fischer had freedom to move up further.
Piero Taruffi took over the lead when Farina's car fell out of contention. Taruffi would perform well upholding Ferrari's honor. With all of the other top-qualifiers out of the race, Fischer was in a great position for a podium result. Not close enough to challenge Taruffi, Fischer would just hold on to finish the race.
Piero would go on to take the victory for Scuderia Ferrari. This would be the first of a record-setting number for the Ferrari 500. A little over two and a half minutes later, Rudolf Fischer set off the Swiss celebration as he crossed the line to finish the race 2nd! Jean Behra would come from 7th place to finish 3rd, one lap down.
The Swiss Baron, Emmanuel de Graffenried, would finish a surprising 6th place in front of the home crowd in his Maserati-Plate. Ecurie Espadon's second entry, driven by Peter Hirt, would keep the surprises coming for the home crowd. Peter Hirt would come all the way from 19th to finish the race six laps down in 7th. He had only missed out on a points-paying position by two places!
The first round of the Formula One World Championship had proven to be a great success for Ecurie Espadon. They would capitalize on the opportunities presented to them to great measure. For his, and the team's efforts, Fischer left Bremgarten 2nd in the World Championship standings with six points!
After the thrilling success in front of the home crowd at the Swiss Grand Prix, Ecurie Espadon looked to keep its momentum rolling as it headed to Germany for a non-championship race to be contested on the long and twisty Nordschleife in Nurburg.
Ecurie Espadon arrived at the Nurburgring for the 16th running of the Internationales ADAC Eifelrennen. The race was to take place on the 25th of May on the 14 mile long Nordschleife road course that wound through the Eifel Mountains.
Ecurie Espadon arrived with its two cars but with a different driver line-up. Rudolf Fischer was present to drive the Ferrari 500. However, German racer, Fritz Riess would be entered as the driver of the Ferrari 212.
Riding the wave of momentum of the 2nd place finish at Bremgarten, Fischer went out during practice and ended up proving he would be the guy to beat during the race. Fischer would set the fastest lap time during practice; and therefore, would start the 7 lap race from the pole. He was joined on the front row by Stirling Moss, Duncan Hamilton and Ken Wharton. Interesting, not a single German racer started the race from the front row. Fritz Riess would start the race from down in the order.
The race began with the sound of squealing tires and the smell of burning rubber. Fischer held onto the lead from the outset. Moss slotted into 2nd and would begin his pursuit. Taking almost eleven minutes to complete a single lap, the majority of the fans could only hear the action. It seemed to take forever before the cars reappeared for the completion of the 1st lap.
The crowd witnessed Fischer retaining his lead at the front of the pack. He was chased by Moss, Wharton and Hamilton. Troubles began to hit the sixteen-car field after the 1st lap. Two entries would retire after the 1st lap due to clutch and engine problems. This only helped Riess, who was coming from further down in the field.
Although the field would begin to separate, it still remained relatively in touch with one another, especially considering one lap took almost eleven minutes. Fritz Riess was looking good to finish in his first race for Ecurie Espadon. However, one lap before the end, Riess would end up retiring from the race. Espadon's hopes rested with the man in the lead.
Fischer made it clear he was going for the victory as he would set the fastest lap of the race with a time of ten minutes and fifty-one seconds around the Nordschleife. This helped to increase his lead. It would end up being more than enough.
Rudolf would finish the 7 lap race in just under one hour and seventeen minutes. He would defeat Stirling Moss by a margin of forty-one seconds! Ken Wharton finished over two minutes down to Fischer in 3rd. Finally, Ecurie Espadon had earned a victory! This was a tremendous follow-up performance to what Fischer had been able to achieve only a couple of weeks prior in Switzerland. It was a sign that though the team was comprised of gentlemen-racers, the team was committed to winning. Once again, the team took advantage of the opportunities presented.
After suffering the early departure from the first round of the French F2 Championship, the team would not enter the second round. Nor would they end up entering the third round as they were too busy scoring victory at the Nurburgring. The next race the team would enter would be another of the grand prix races that allowed Formula One cars to enter.
On the 1st of June, Ecurie Espadon was in Albi preparing for the 14th Grand Prix of Albi. Scuderia Ferrari would send two of its 375s to the race. They would be driven by Louis Rosier and Chico Landi. The race would also mark the first time in the season Ecurie Espadon would also have to face the troubled BRM P15.
Another notable entry was present for the race. In what was one of the last races in which he would be able to take part for 1952, Juan Manuel Fangio was entered as one of the drivers of the BRM P15. Showing his mastery, Fangio would end up the quickest in practice. He would lap Albi's triangular-shaped 5.55 miles Les Planques Circuit with a time of two minutes and fifty-five seconds. He averaged greater than 105 mph doing so. Such pace was going to be difficult for Fischer to overcome, especially since Fangio was just one of a number of Formula One entries in the race.
In fact, the entire front row was made up of Formula One entries. Fangio was on pole in the BRM P15. He was joined on the front row by fellow Argentinean, and BRM driver, Jose Froilan Gonzalez in 2nd and Louis Rosier in 3rd with a Ferrari 375. Down on power compared to the Formula One entries, Fischer still put in an impressive performance. His best time was eighteen seconds slower than Fangio's, but good enough for him to start from the third row in 8th position.
The BRMs had always been known more for their bark than their bite. This race would prove to be no exception. As the 34 lap race began, Fangio screamed ahead in the lead. Fischer was doing all he could to hang with the more powerful Formula One machines, especially at a place like Albi, which was basically nothing more than three long straights separated by hairpin turns. This played into the hands of the larger-liter engine cars.
But the larger, more-powerful cars first had to make it to the finish to be able to have a chance at victory. This was a notoriously hard challenge for the BRMs. Sure enough, one was out by the time 5 laps had been completed. Gonzalez would have cylinder problem and would have to retire from the race. Then, on the 15th lap of the race, Fangio would have a cylinder head stud break loose. This ended his race. This opened the doors to the dominant Ferrari 375s yet again.
Fischer would hold on for dear life, but could do nothing against the onslaught delivered by the Ferrari 375s. Fischer would end up being lapped before the end of the race. There would be little chance at a victory this time. However, despite being lapped, his pace was still quite good.
Louis Rosier would help the Ferrari 375 to take yet another victory. He would end up seventeen seconds ahead of the second 375 driven by Chico Landi. An almost forgotten about car, the Talbot-Lago T26C; driven by Yves Giraud-Cabantous, would end up finishing the race 3rd. The 4.5-liter T26C couldn't match the Ferrari's pace and would end up down over a minute at the end. Considering the presence of the more-powerful Formula One machines, Fischer once again proved to be more than the average gentleman-racer as he would finish one lap down in 6th. Momentum was still rolling in the team's favor.
One week after withstanding the Formula One onslaught, Ecurie Espadon would travel to Italy for the 5th Grand Prix of the Autodromo of Monza, which was held on the 8th of June.
While the Formula One machines would not be allowed to enter the race, one potent figure had returned to take part. Alberto Ascari had returned from the United States and was back behind the wheel of his Ferrari 500.
Though not as noteworthy as Ascari, Peter Hirt was also back behind the wheel. He would rejoin behind the wheel of the Ferrari 212 at Ecurie Espadon.
Ascari would prove in practice he had not lost anything while gone to the United States. He would regain his touch very quickly. He would set the fastest time in practice and would start the heat race from the pole.
The Grand Prix of Monza was a different race. Similar to the BRDC International Trophy race, the grand prix featured heat races. However, the heat races ran differently. The final results were determined by the aggregate time of the individual driver in each heat race. Therefore, the entire entry field would end up taking part in both heat races, at least those still running.
In an attempt to thwart Ferrari's domination, Maserati had returned to grand prix racing with a brand-new race car, the A6GCM. Maserati would prepare three of its new cars for Gonzalez, Felice Bonetto and Juan Manuel Fangio, who was running late from Ulster.
Farina would overcome the new Maserati and would set the second-fastest time in practice and would join Ascari on the front row. Gonzalez would put one of the new A6GCMs on the front row in 3rd. He would be flanked by another Ferrari driver, Luigi Villoresi, in 4th on the grid. Fischer would again be right there in practice. He had been riding a momentum wave and looked in decent position after practice. He would start from the second row in 7th. Hirt would struggle and would not have the pace. He would end up starting much further down in the field. He would start from the sixth row in 21st position.
The first heat race would vastly dwindle the field. Unfortunately for Ecurie Espadon, that would include one of their cars. Peter Hirt's race never got much further than the starting grid. As the race started, Peter's race ended. Mechanical problems would force his retirement without having completed a single lap. He wouldn't be alone. In all, ten cars would fall out of the race by the time the first 35 lap heat race had reached 10 laps. Of course, none of those retirements were more meaningful to the competition than Fangio's on the 2nd lap.
Fangio had arrived tired. He had missed his connecting flight from Ireland. Perhaps because of his weariness, Fangio crashed and would break his neck. He would spend the rest of 1952 recuperating.
Unaffected by all of the happenings, Ascari carried on in the lead of the race, and only widened his margin over the rest of the field. Fischer was finding the road tough-going facing the might of Ferrari and Bonetto in the remaining A6GCM. Unfortunately, Fischer might as well have been standing still as that was how it appeared when Ascari would lap him twice before the end of the heat.
Ascari would win the first heat by more than a minute over Farina in 2nd. Andre Simon made it a Ferrari one-two-three. Fischer would end up two laps down in 5th place. Though down, he certainly was not out. There was still another 35 lap heat race to go. Should the front runners have problems, like what happened at Bremgarten, he would be in a good position to take advantage.
Starting positions were determined by finishing order of the first heat. This moved Fischer up to a 5th place starting spot. Ascari would start from the pole, just as he had for the first heat race. Fischer started just off Ascari's left shoulder; a good position to be to gain advantage at the start.
Fischer would make a good start. Ascari went ahead into the lead. Farina and Simon gave chase. Fischer remained around the top-five throughout the early going.
It appeared Ascari would totally destroy the field. He was driving a comfortable pace. However, he had to finish. His car wouldn't let him. Ascari was in the lead when, on the 14th lap, the camshaft failed on his Ferrari. He was out. Farina would take over the lead. Immediately, Farina set the fastest lap of the heat and would open up a big margin over Simon and Bonetto. The pace would be such that Bonetto could not keep up and began slipping down the order.
Farina would end up winning by a minute and a half over Simon. Though a lap down, Fischer would hold on to finish the race 3rd. Fischer's, and Espadon's, fortitude would be rewarded.
When the results were added together, Farina was declared the winner by a lap over Andre Simon. Although things didn't look good heading into the second heat, Fischer would end up being rewarded for his willingness to continue. Fischer would finish the race 3rd, down four laps. Despite being down a number of laps at the end, Fischer would earn yet another podium finish.
Fischer was always known to focus on only certain locations in which to go racing. The 1952 World Championship would be no different. Despite running 2nd in the championship at the time, Fischer would not travel to Spa, Belgium for the third round of the World Championship. Instead, the team would wait and head to Rouen for the fourth round.
The French Grand Prix, which was the fourth round of the World Championship and the fifth round of the French F2 Championship, took place on the 6th of July at Rouen-Les-Essarts. Rouen was one of the favorite venues for the teams as the track featured modern pits and the course wound beautifully through the Seine valley.
The team would bring two cars for the race. Fischer would drive the 500 and Peter Hirt would again drive the 212. This would be an interesting race for Fischer and the team. The only other French F2 Championship event the team had taken part in ended in failure. In fact, it was the only retirement Fischer had experienced to that point in the season. But now, the French Grand Prix counted toward both the World and French F2 Championship. The question was whether providence would be with the team or not? The answer; however, seemed to come straight-away during practice. Troubles hit the team right away. While Fischer was practicing with his 500, the engine let go. Since it was Fischer's team, he would take over driving the 212. Fischer would struggle getting up to speed with the 212.
Alberto Ascari would prove to be the fastest during practice. He would complete a lap of the 3.16 mile road course in two minutes and fourteen seconds. Farina would again be the second-fastest in practice. His time was a second and a half slower. Taruffi would make it a sweep for Ferrari when he recorded a time only two seconds slower. Fischer was well off the pace with the older 212. Fischer's best time was nineteen seconds slower and only good enough to start the race from 17th on the grid.
At the start of the race, Ascari picked up where he left off at Spa. He would take the lead and would draw away. Fischer was still struggling in the 212. Chances for a points-paying position were all-but lost. This would be a fact not lost on Fischer.
At the top of the order, the cars continued on with little trouble. The pace was furious. Even the top-five was coming under fire from Ascari's furious pace. Recognizing there was practically no chance at any points, Fischer would complete 33 laps, and then would pit to allow Peter Hirt to take over for the rest of the race. By this time, the car was over five laps down and well out of the running. Nonetheless, Hirt would go on to circulate the track in hopes of failures of others to help the team out.
Since the race was part of the French F2 Championship, the race was a three-hour timed event. It didn't matter whether the race was only fifteen minutes, Ascari would have dominated no matter what. Ascari, en-route to the victory, would lap the entire field. Farina would finish a very quiet and defeated 2nd. Taruffi would make it a Ferrari one-two-three although Taruffi was down two laps at the end. Hirt never gave up. Though eleven laps down at the end, Hirt would take the 212 and would finish 11th. This was a decent result considering the car started the race 17th.
French F2 events seemed to be Fischer's undoing. He just could not get a top-notch performance at the three hour races. Unfortunately, because the race was also a World Championship event, Fischer's position in the World Championship also suffered. This was disappointing given the success at Bremgarten.
Determined to overcome the struggles suffered at French F2 events, Ecurie Espadon would arrive in Les Sables for what was the 2nd Grand Prix de Sables d'Olonne. The race was the sixth round of the French F2 Championship. It was only the third round in which Espadon would compete in '52. The previous French F2 experiences had proven to be very disappointing. Therefore, the team prepared for the 13th of July race looking for a much better result. The team entered only one of its cars. Fischer had been riding quite a wave of momentum before taking part in the French Grand Prix at Rouen. The reality was Fischer's only bad results came at French F2 Championship races.
Whatever the reasons were for the struggles, Fischer was off the pace during practice. Perhaps the engine failure at Rouen slowed the Swiss driver's pace? Anyway, Ascari would lead the way during practice. His fastest lap was a one minute and twelve second circulation of the 1.45 mile street circuit. Giuseppe Farina would set a lap time only one tenth slower. The next-closest to Ascari and Farina was Robert Manzon with a time of one minute and fourteen seconds. That meant a difference of two seconds. And so, the front row consisted of Ascari, Farina and Manzon. Fischer would not be near the front row, however. Fischer's best time during practice was six seconds slower than Ascari's. This put the Swiss driver in the middle of the fifth row and 12th overall. He would have a lot to overcome.
At the waving of the green flag to start the race, Ascari was in control. Farina would head up the chase. Fischer would try to make his way up from deep down in the field. Ascari's pace for the three-hour race was closer to a sprint race. Within the first 40 laps, Ascari would lap the field and looked well on his way to the win.
One of the things Fischer had had to learn to do was take advantage of opportunities presented to him. He would end up being delivered a huge opportunity. While Ascari and Farina circulated out front of the rest of the field, they came upon Harry's Schell's expired Maserati-Plate 4CLT/48. Unfortunately, Schell's engine let go and it was suspected it released oil on the track. Like dominoes, cars would lose control and crash out of the race, including Ascari and Farina. This provided Fischer the opportunity for which he was looking.
Fischer tried to take advantage of the opportunity. Unfortunately, his Ferrari 500 just did not like racing in the French F2 Championship for some reason. Less than forty minutes separated Fischer from another good result. However, on the 102nd lap, mechanical problems would arise and end his race. Though a bitter disappointment, this was only the third retirement the gentleman racer had experienced to that point in the season. It appeared Fischer could do nothing in the French F2 Championship.
One week after the missed opportunity and another failure in the French F2 Championship, Ecurie Espadon would be back across the English Channel for the fifth round of the Formula One World Championship and in search of much better results.
The team travelled back to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. The team travelled looking for the momentum it had before it decided to skip the Belgian Grand Prix back in June. Silverstone had been good to the team earlier in the season. Perhaps it would be good to the team just once more.
The team would again bring two cars to the race. Fischer was driving the 500 and Hirt was again driving the 212. However, neither one would be near the pace. When the team had last been at Silverstone, the best practice times around the 2.88 mile road course bordered on the two minute mark. During the International Trophy race Fischer actually set the fastest time of the race with a lap under two minutes. In practice for the British Grand Prix; however, Fischer's best time from the race back in May was slow.
Ascari and Farina would end up recording the same fast lap during practice. The time was eight seconds faster than Fischer's best time back in May. Though they would record the same time, Farina would be awarded the pole. Piero Taruffi would make it another Ferrari one-two-three when he was able to record a lap of the one minute a fifty-three seconds. His time was three seconds slower than Farina and Ascari's. Fischer remained right around his best lap time set back in May. Unfortunately, it would only be good enough for his to start the race from 15th on the grid. Hirt's best lap was a further five seconds slower. This meant Peter would start the race from 24th on the grid.
At the start of the race, Ascari got a good jump and would take the lead going into the first turn. Farina; however, would be slow off the line and would drop to 5th. Each of the Espadon cars were jockeying for a better position; one that would enable them to move further forward.
Immediately the pace picked up. This was tough on the cars, especially those in pursuit as they would push a bit harder to keep up, and possibly try and get by. This was not an easy maneuver for the old drum brakes used at the time. Pushed too hard, the drum brakes would fade terribly, or, they would just fail. After just 2 laps, Hirt would have his brakes fail on him. He was out of the race. This left just Fischer running for the team, and he was trying to make his way forward from his 15th starting position.
Meanwhile, out front, Ascari was in the lead and quickly pulling away. British driver, Mike Hawthorn, had managed to move up around the top-three and was giving the home fans something to really cheer about.
Out of the thirty-one that started the race, twenty would still be running by the end. But none would be running as fast as Ascari. Ascari would lead every one of the 85 laps and would be dominant as he did. Ascari would average a little over 90 mph. But that pace was more than enough to lap the entire field. Capitalizing on Farina's poor getaway at the start of the race, Taruffi would come up and hold on to finish the race 2nd. Mike Hawthorn would receive the loudest cheers as he would come from 7th to finish two laps down in 3rd. Fischer would be stuck amongst the mid-pack runners throughout the race. He would end up five laps down by the end and wouldn't be anywhere near the points as he would finish 13th.
After the first round of the World Championship, Fischer was sitting in 2nd place. Now, after the fifth round, Fischer was out of the top-five and far behind Ascari and Taruffi, who were the top-two leaving Silverstone. After the Swiss Grand Prix, Ecurie Espadon looked to be on the upward trend. After Silverstone, they seemed to be on a downward one.
Fischer, and Ecurie Espadon, needed to turn the ship around and find some smoother sailing. The best result the team ever had in the two previous years of the Formula One World Championship was a 6th place earned at the notorious 14 mile long Nordschleife in Nurburg, Germany. Of course, earlier in the year, Fischer had earned a victory there. Therefore, team would leave England and head back to Switzerland to prepare its cars before it headed off to Germany for the sixth round of the World Championship.
At the end of July, Ecurie Espadon travelled across the border to Nurburg, Germany for the German Grand Prix. The German Grand Prix was the sixth round of the World Championship in 1952 and was held on the 14 mile Nordschleife, which was situated in the Eifel mountains.
Each lap of the Norschleife felt like an eternity, and for grand prix racing, it was. Lap times, even for the Formula One cars, were in excess of nine minutes. For the Formula 2 cars, the lap times would be even longer. Each lap was like three or four at other circuits. This would not make it easy for driver concentration when a lap just seemed to go on forever.
What would become known as 'The Green Hell' was little problem for Alberto Ascari. Throughout practice he was fast. He would end up setting the fastest lap in practice and would; therefore, start from the pole once again. Ascari would take his Formula 2 500 and would record a best lap of ten minutes and four seconds. Keeping with routine, Farina would start the race 2nd after he was some seconds slower than Ascari in practice. Maurice Trintignant would upset Ferrari's little world as he would push his Gordini T16 hard and would start the race 3rd.
Ecurie Espadon would bring two cars, as usual. What was unusual was the fact its 212 would be driven by a different driver. Rudolf Schoeller would have his turn behind the wheel and would do so at one of the most demanding circuits in all the world.
The team needed a confidence boost after a series of disappointing results. Schoeller wouldn't be able to provide the lift as he would not even complete a single lap in practice. As a result, Schoeller would start the race 24th. Fischer; however, would provide the lift for which the team was looking. Unlike at the British Grand Prix, Fischer would not be mired down in the pack. Instead, he seemed to relish the challenge the Nordschleife posed. Fischer would go on to post a lap time of ten minutes and forty-one seconds during practice. While this was thirty-seven seconds slower than Ascari's pole time, it was still good enough for Fischer to start the race 6th.
The actual race was 18 laps, or, a total of 254 miles. Right from the start, Ascari assumed control of the race. Very quickly he began to pull away. Fischer was right there with the top-five and looking to move forward. Schoeller was well back in the pack and was trying to remain patient as he looked to move forward.
As stated earlier, one lap around the Nordschleife was like three or four at other circuits. However, this would do little to comfort the large number of entries that would drop out of the race without technically completing even one lap. In total, eight drivers would end up out of the race before the 1st lap had been completed. Among those out on the 1st lap was the 3rd place starter Maurice Trintignant. He suffered an accident very early on in the lap. This helped Fischer to move forward further.
Fischer was running around the top-five, and Schoeller was making his way up from 24th. All appeared good for Espadon throughout the first twenty-five minutes of the race. Then, troubles struck. While trying to settle in and move forward, Schoeller's suspension would suffer a failure and would lead to the Swiss driver's retirement. Despite Schoeller's struggles, Fischer was still running well up near the front of the field.
After 8 laps, Fischer would receive more help. Robert Manzon had started the race 4th, but would retire having suffered an accident. This helped Fischer move even further forward. However, he had a chance at more. Taruffi was right ahead of him.
Ascari was absolutely dominant once again. He would go on to lead every one of the 18 laps of the race. This was truly impressive given the fact he had pitted before the last lap of the race for oil. The stop was lengthy and allowed Farina to go into the lead. However, Ascari would not be denied the victory after dominating as he had. Ascari's pace, upon resuming, was such that he easily tracked Farina down and would get by into the lead once again. Ascari would go on to win the race by fourteen seconds over Farina.
Fischer was a totally different racer at the German Grand Prix than what he had been over the previous few races. No doubt inspired by his victory back at the end of May in the Eifelrennen, his pace, especially for a gentleman-racer, was tremendous. He would end up getting by Ferrari's third driver, Taruffi, and would leave him behind. In fact, Ascari would end up lapping Taruffi before the end, but not Fischer. Fischer was a further three minutes up the road from Taruffi. Therefore, Fischer would come home a truly stupendous 3rd! What is more, he would finish 3rd while remaining on the same lap with Ascari! The team, and Fischer, had absolutely received a confidence boost leaving Nurburg. In addition to a confidence boost, Fischer received a points boost as well. Fischer would leave having beaten the Nordschleife and moved up to 4th in the World Championship with 10 points.
Perhaps wanting to quit while they were ahead, Ecurie Espadon would skip the seventh round of the World Championship, which was the Dutch Grand Prix held at Zandvoort. They would also wisely pass-up the seventh and eighth round of the French F2 Championship, which was held at St. Gaudens and La Baule. Despite taking part in a number of the French F2 Championship races, none of Ecurie Espadon's drivers would earn a single point in the championship.
After a break of about a month, Ecurie Espadon was present at Monza, Italy for the eighth, and final, round of the Formula One World Championship. The Italian Grand Prix was the last round of the championship and would be held on the 3.91 mile Monza road course.
Coming into the final race, Fischer was still sitting 4th in the World Championship standings, but was coming under fire from Mike Hawthorn. Fischer; therefore, needed just one more good result and he would end up a fantastic 4th in the World Championship. This would be a truly incredible result for the gentleman-racer, should it happen.
Ecurie Espadon would bring its two cars. Besides Fischer driving the 500, Espadon would provide the German, Hans Stuck, with a drive at the wheel of the team's 212. The team's two entries would be merely two of a gaggle of entrants vying for twenty-four spots on the starting grid.
It was noted coming into the race there were a number of drivers specifically focused on breaking up Alberto Ascari's winning streak. Most notably among those vocal about it was Jose Froilan Gonzalez driving the new Maserati A6GCM. However, it would end up business-as-usual during practice. Ascari would record the fastest time in practice and would start the race from the pole. His time was right around the same time he had turned during the Grand Prix of Monza back in early June. Unlike most all of the other races, Farina would not end up being the next-fastest qualifier. That honor went to Luigi Villoresi. Farina would start the race 3rd.
Back in early June, the last time Fischer raced at Monza, he had managed to start the first heat race from the 7th place on the grid. It was not to be at the World Championship race in early September. The best Fischer could do was turn a lap about six seconds slower. This put him 14th on the grid. At least Fischer fared better than Stuck in the 212. The best time Stuck was able to achieve in the aging 212 was a lap of two minutes and twenty-two seconds. Unfortunately, this was still five seconds slower than the 24th place starter Gino Bianco's time. As a result, Stuck would not qualify for the 80 lap race.
Asari had already won the World Championship when he was victorious at the German Grand Prix. However, he would not slow any as the final race started. He was looking to write records. He first of all had to chase down Jose Froilan Gonzalez in his Maserati. Gonzalez had decided to start the race with only a half-full fuel tank. This allowed him to sprint out ahead of Ascari. He was hoping to open up enough of a gap to keep the lead when he would stop for fuel.
Fischer would have liked just to make it to lap 4 of the race. It was not to be. While on the 3rd lap, the Ferrari engine expired. Fischer was left holding his breath. He had to hope Hawthorn would have an equally frustrating day so he could retain 4th place in the championship standings.
Gonzalez had to pit for fuel. He had managed to open a gap of twenty seconds. But it wasn't enough. When he rejoined the race, Gonzalez was all the way down in 5th and trying to track down Ascari throughout the remaining portion of the race. Once Ascari had the lead, he would disappear with it and would never be caught. Ascari would record the same fastest lap time as Gonzalez on light tanks. This helped the Italian stretch out his lead over the field. This ended up being too much for a number of other drivers, including Hawthorn.
Ascari would go on to win the race having completed the 80 laps in two hours and fifty minutes. Gonzalez would put together a splendid drive trying to track down Ascari. He would end up in 2nd, down by over a minute. Villoresi would finish 3rd, another fifty-six seconds behind Gonzalez. Hawthorn faded badly and would end up not classified and down 38 laps. This help to ensure that Fischer would end up taking 4th in the World Championship, despite being tied with Hawthorn in points.
The gentleman-racer had done it! Despite falling out early on in the race, Fischer managed to hold to finish 4th in the World Championship! His finishing positions ended up being better than Hawthorn's, which enabled him to take 4th in the championship standings. Armed with the potent Ferrari 500, Ecurie Espadon took advantage of the situation it was handed and was awarded as a result. Over the course of the three years in which it had at least entered a World Championship event, the best result the team experienced before 1952 was a 6th place finish at the German Grand Prix in 1951. In neither 1950, nor 1951, did Ecurie Espadon earn a single World Championship point. However, in 1952, the team would go from nowhere near the top-ten in the Driver's Championship standings to having one of its drivers end up 4th! This was the best way for Fischer to end his Formula One World Championship career.
Although the World Championship was over, the season wasn't. And, one week later, Ecurie Espadon was in Modena, Italy for the 3rd Grand Prix of Modena.
On the 14th of September, Ecurie Espadon was making final preparations for the start of the Grand Prix of Modena. The race was 100 laps around the rather short 1.42 mile road course that utilized the local aerodrome.
Practice had been a repeat of what the season had been. Ascari had set the fastest time in practice with a time of one minute and four seconds. Villoresi had managed to eclipse Farina once again with a time eight tenths slower than Ascari. Farina would start on the second row in 3rd after setting a time only two tenths slower than Villoresi's. Fischer was within five seconds of Ascari's time. Unfortunately, so too were a number of other drivers. Fischer would start on the fifth row in 10th. Hans Stuck's time had been another three seconds slower than Fischer's. This meant the German would start the race from 14th on the sixth row of the grid.
The race began with a fury. At just over a minute a lap, the laps were being whittled away very quickly. Ascari would end up in trouble this time. On the 18th lap, Ascari's race would come to an end due to a problem with his oil system. This created a battle between Villoresi and Gonzalez for the lead. Farina had begun to slowly drop back. Fischer was pushing hard to move forward from 10th. Slowly, he was able to move up the order. He would be helped by the retirement of Ascari and Manzon from the race. Everything else he would earn, he would earn all by himself. Stuck was stuck throughout the first half of the race. However, he would begin to move up the order.
Villoresi would literally beat Gonzalez by a nose. The battle between Villoresi and Gonzalez throughout the remainder of the race had been something special. They each recorded the same fastest lap times. The battle was that close between them. Not to be left out in one of the remaining races of the season, Ascari managed to take over Sergio Sighinolfi's Ferrari for the remainder of the race and would finish within twenty-eight seconds of Villoresi and Gonzalez.
Fischer would end up three laps down by the end of the race. However, he would put together another good result as he would finish the race 5th. Stuck would also be a number of laps down by the end of the race. However, he too would have a good race. Stuck was able to come from 14th to finish the race 9th. Thankfully the race wasn't 101 laps. For if it were he probably would have not been classified at the end; it was that close for him.
Just one race remained for Ecurie Espadon in 1952. Throughout its grand prix history, Germany had been good to the team. Fischer's one and only victory on the season at come back at the end of May at the Eifelrennen at the Nordschleife. Therefore, at the end of September, the team headed to Germany, just once more, to see if it could end 1952 on another good note. They would be glad they made the trip.
The team arrived at the AVUS circuit in western Berlin for the 8th Internationales Avusrennen. The race, which took place on the 28th of September, utilized approximately half of the original AVUS circuit and was 5.13 miles in length. The circuit featured the very scary 'Wall of Death', which was a steeply banked north curve, which was made entirely of bricks and had no retaining wall. Driver concentration was paramount, but especially heading into the unprotected banked north curve. Should the driver miss his turn in point he would easily fly off the track having been launched through the air by the banking. The driver's had to hold their breath every time they approached the corner.
This was Ecurie Espadon's last race of the season. And so, it would enter both of its cars in the race. The Ferrari 500 was driven by Fischer. Hans Stuck would again be behind the wheel of the Ferrari 212. Throughout practice, Fischer was amongst the fastest competitors. Even Stuck would fare rather well. The race would end up going exceedingly well for both competitors. It would end up allowing Fischer to get the one thing he had been missing during the season.
Because of the banked turn, and rather straight run down the autobahn, the average lap speeds were incredibly high. Fischer would prove just how high they were during the race. The race was just 25 laps, but they would end up being the best 25 laps of Espadon's season.
Right from the start, Fischer was dominant. Even Stuck was looking really good in the 212. Eighteen started the race, but a number would fall out before even 3 laps had been completed. Fischer continued at the head of the pack. He would end up setting the fastest lap of the race. He would average a speed of 126 mph over the course of the lap! With a pace such as that, Fischer would go on to lap the entire field. All he would have to do to win the race was to hold on throughout the remaining laps.
Fischer would hold on to take the victory by a lap over Hans Klenk and Fritz Riess. In his victorious ride, Fischer averaged over 115 mph. Espadon would receive further good news as Hans Stuck would come through to finish the race 5th, two laps down to Fischer.
Ecurie Espadon, and Rudolf Fischer, capped 1952 off in the best way possible—with a win. In their very last opportunity, Espadon would take advantage of the situation to turn in a victorious performance.
Although Fischer would not take part in another World Championship event, Ecurie Espadon would go on to compete in 1953, its final season as part of the World Championship. However, the team would not experience the success of 1952.
In spite of the poor results the following year, Ecurie Espadon had wielded its Ferrari 500 weapon wonderfully. The team had proven that despite being gentlemen racers, they were intent on being competitive. No one could doubt they were competitive. They serve as an inspiration for many small teams and privateers. With the right weapon, any team could prove to be competitive. The 'Sword Stable' brandished its well. Ecurie Espadon