Teams1952 Formula One Season By Jeremy McMullen
The private lives of public figures are rather non-existent. In many instances, what happens in private seems to be made public before those involved even come to know about it. One rather private, and yet, public figure that would manage to remain virtually unknown would be G. Caprara.
Mystery and speculation surrounds the person of Caprara. Even his first name is a source of debate. This would make sense since one of the favored theories surrounding his life centers around avoiding to pay taxes.
Whether wanting to remain anonymous for private, or for less than ethical reasons, G. Caprara would manage to secure the use of a Ferrari 500 F2 chassis for the 1952 season, and, he would provide one of the greatest opportunities for Roy Francesco Salvadori and others to exhibit their skills in a grand prix car.
One could argue for hours as to whether Salvadori and the others should have gotten involved with such an unknown, and mysterious, figure as Caprara, but nonetheless, they would. Whether legit, or not, G. Caprara's race season would get underway in the early part of May at Silverstone.
Silverstone had played host to the British Grand Prix, and the World Championship, since its inaugural year in 1950. However, it was also the site of the BRDC International Trophy race. Silverstone itself was just one of a number of decommissioned airbases throughout England and the whole of Europe to be converted to host motor racing events.
Located near the small village of Towcester, Silverstone was a Royal Air Force bomber station during World War II. Upon war's end, the typical triangle-shaped airbase sat unused. Then, in 1947, it would host its first motor race. Some local racers would hold an informal race on the circuit. It would be in this inaugural use that Silverstone would experience its first racing fatality. In the midst of the race, a race would wonder onto the base in a part that was being used for part of the circuit. The sheep would be struck and killed. In spite of its inauspicious beginning, Silverstone would soon come to host the British Grand Prix and would take over from Brooklands as Britain's home for motor racing.
It would be at Silverstone in which G. Caprara would bring its new Ferrari 500 for the first time. For the International Trophy race, the team would hire Bobbie Baird to do the driving. Baird, who was the managing director for the Belfast Telegraph in Ireland, was an amateur driver that would have the honor of taking the Ferrari 500 to the track for the first time.
The International Trophy race would test the new car. The race consisted of two heat races and a final. All of the competitors were divided into one of two heats, which were 15 laps of the 2.88 mile. The finishing times of each competitor from each heat determined the final starting order for the 35 lap final. Baird, and his Ferrari, would take part in the second heat. He and the others in the second heat would have the opportunity to watch those in the first heat duke it out.
In the first heat race, a young Mike Hawthorn would prove fastest during practice and would sit on the pole for the 15 lap race. He would be joined on the four-wide front row by two HWM-Altas. Peter Collins would start 2nd, while Lance Macklin would start 4th. In 3rd, Jean Behra turned in a best lap that was two seconds slower than Hawthorn.
While Behra set a time in practice two seconds slower than Hawthorn, during the race, he would be all over the back of Hawthorn. Hawthorn would lead right from the start. Behra would dispatch Peter Collins in 2nd and would quickly be breathing down the back of Hawthorn's Cooper-Bristol.
The fastest lap time turned during the first heat would be two minutes flat. Surprisingly, attrition was rather low in the field as only two cars would fail to finish the first heat. However, there would be a number of others that would find themselves well off the pace.
Hawthorn and Behra would battle all throughout the race. Hawthorn would manage to hold on to take the win in the heat by two seconds over Behra. Peter Collins would hold on to 3rd after losing his starting position to Behra.
Since starting positions were determined by the finishing time of each competitor in their respective heat, the second heat competitors had a slight advantage in that they knew what kind of pace they needed in order to have higher starting positions than those who took part in the first heat.
In practice, it seemed the first heat would prove to be just a little faster no matter what. The Equipe Gordini driver, Robert Manzon, would turn in the fastest lap of practice with a time that was actually one second slower than Hawthorn's qualifying time in the first heat.
Although Manzon's two minutes and one second was one second slower than Hawthorn's best time for the first heat, the gap separating the top seven would be quite a bit tighter. The other three drivers that would start on the front row would all record lap times of two minutes and two seconds. In fact, only three seconds would separate Manzon's pole time and that of the Tony Rolt, who would start 7th. The top ten in the second heat would only end up being separated by five seconds compared to seven in the first.
Kenneth McAlpine, Rudolf Fischer and Duncan Hamilton would be those that would join Manzon on the front row. The times were so close that just a couple of seconds meant a starting position much further down in the starting order than at some other races. Baird would find this out. His best time around the 2.88 mile circuit would only end up being three seconds slower than Manzon. However, Baird would start the race from the third row in 9th.
While the practice times may have been slightly slower than those of the first heat, the actual race pace would be quite a bit faster. Right at the start, Manzon and Fischer were on the gas. They would end up being on the gas so much that the 2nd place starter, McAlpine, would drop off the pace and would end up a lap down by the end of the 15 lap heat.
Fischer would prove to be the fastest in the second heat as he would turn a fast lap of one minute and fifty-eight seconds. But he wasn't the only one that had his foot buried to the floor. Manzon, despite Fischer's pressure, would remain in the lead. Tony Rolt, who had started 7th, was also within the top five and moving further forward. And Bobbie Baird had come up from his 9th place position to also be running inside the top five.
In spite of the incredible pressure put on him by Fischer, Manzon would hold on to take the second heat by two seconds. Rolt would come from 7th to finish in 3rd, some thirteen seconds behind. Amazingly, the amateur racer, Baird, would only be another ten seconds behind Rolt in 4th position.
The starting grid for the 35 lap final race was then set. Both Robert Manzon and Rudolf Fischer would end up completing their 15 laps faster than what Hawthorn and Behra had during the first heat. Therefore, the front row consisted of Manzon on the pole, Fischer in 2nd, Hawthorn in 3rd place and Jean Behra rounding-out the front row in 4th. Bobbie Baird would use his incredible run to start the final race from the middle of the three-wide second row in 6th position.
If there had been any betting going on prior to the start of the race there would have been some people that went away without their shirts despite making a bet on what they thought was a sure thing. The 35 lap final would end up being wide open, and it would become that way right at the start of the race.
Only 1 lap into the race, Manzon's Gordini T16 would develop transmission trouble that would cause him to retire from the race. Incredibly, Jean Behra; Manzon's teammate at Equipe Gordini, would also retire just 2 laps later, also with transmission failure.
Mike Hawthorn and Rudolf Fischer had been pushing the pace in each of the heat races. However, in the final, it would be them that were off the pace. Initially, Hawthorn was on it. He would end up recording what would end up being the fastest lap of the race, but just as soon as he would do that the car began to fade. This left the door wide open for Tony Rolt once again. However, he too would be outshone by his HWM-Alta teammate Lance Macklin, who would come from nowhere to be amongst the front-runners. Sticking right there amongst the front-runners as well G. Caprara's Bobbie Baird.
Baird continued to look good in the Ferrari. He was running well until there were just a few laps remaining in the race. As Baird completed the 29th lap of the race the Ferrari 500 developed an oil leak. This would slow the Irishman's progress, and ultimately, would lead him to not be classified at the end in spite of driving so strongly.
Macklin would gladly take the difficulties of his fellow competitors. He would manage to come up from his 10th place starting position and would take the win by ten seconds over his HWM-Alta teammate Tony Rolt. Emmanuel de Graffenried, who started the final 7th, would also end up being able to defeat many of the faster competitors and would finish in 3rd, some fifteen seconds behind Rolt. The best finisher of the front row starters would be Rudolf Fischer. He had set the fastest lap of the entire event, but he would only manage to finish 4th in the final.
In spite of the end results, Baird had proven the Ferrari 500 chassis quite capable of running fast and competitive. He had proven the team could pull off some good results.
Having a fast Ferrari 500 chassis, the team was in a position of having to weigh out its options. Of course, confidence would only be improved had the team travelled to another non-championship race and performed well there. Therefore, the team decided to put in an entry for the 22nd Grand Prix des Frontieres held at Chimay in Belgium on the 1st of June. However, the team would also weigh out its other option, which was to just throw themselves into the fray and see how they perform. The team would decide to skip the event at Chimay and would, instead, decide to throw themselves in with the wolves.
On the 19th of July, the G. Caprara team was making final preparations to its Ferrari 500 F2 for the 7th RAC British Grand Prix held at Silverstone. This was to be the G. Caprara's first World Championship race in its history. Driving for the team would be the thirty year-old from Dovercourt, Roy Salvadori. This was also his first-ever World Championship race.
Many of the competitors at the race had already been to Silverstone earlier in the year competing in the BRDC International Trophy race. During practice and the race itself, laps times barely ventured down below two minutes around the 2.88 mile circuit. However, by the time Silverstone played host for the fifth round of the World Championship, many of the drivers and teams had come to grips with the capabilities of their cars. As a result, the lap times in practice would easily venture south of two minutes. Unfortunately for Salvadori, this would be his first time at Silverstone in the Formula 2 Ferrari 500 chassis. His lap times would have been great back in May, but there were dragging behind many others come July.
Scuderia Ferrari drivers, the former World Champion Giuseppe Farina and Alberto Ascari, were locked in a battle during practice seeing who would turn the fastest lap of the circuit. Each of them would turn times of one minute and fifty seconds. However, Farina's time would be just slightly faster. As a result, Farina would manage to take the pole. Ascari would start 2nd.
Utilizing the old perimeter road around the airbase, the circuit would be wide enough to have a four-wide front row. Joining Farina and Ascari on the front row would be another Ferrari driver, Piero Taruffi, and the Equipe Gordini driver Robert Manzon. The entire front row would be separated by less than five seconds, and each had set a time under two minutes.
Salvadori would have looked really good for the International Trophy race back in May as he would push personal lap times down around the two minute mark. And then, in the end, he would actually record a lap time of two minutes. He would end up being one of five that would have lap times of two minutes. However, Kenneth McAlpine and Eric Brandon would prove to be just a little faster. Therefore, Salvadori would start his first World Championship race from the sixth row of the grid in the 19th position.
As the green flag waved to start the race, the pole-sitter; Farina, would end up spinning his tires too much. As a result he would momentarily sit stationary before his Ferrari's tires gripped the track. This was all of the opening that Ascari was looking for and needed. Alberto would streak into the lead and would already have a one or two car margin over the rest of the field.
While Farina would suffer from a terrible start, a number of British drivers would enjoy good starts. Mike Hawthorn would quickly move forward from his 7th place starting position. The Connaught Engineering drivers, Dennis Poore and Eric Thompson, would also move quickly forward. And, despite starting down in 19th position, Salvadori would also make a good start and was starting to move his way up through the field.
Salvadori's movement up through the field would be helped by a number of retirements of those running right around him. While Salvadori was having to push hard to make his way up through a packed field with his Ferrari 500, another Ferrari 500 pilot was out in front of the pack and able to set the pace he so desired. And Ascari's pace would be incredible.
Right around 30 laps into the race, Salvadori would see Ascari come and go for what would be the first of three laps he would put on Salvadori. In spite of being well off Ascari's pace, Roy was continuing to move forward.
By about the midway point of the race, Salvadori was sitting right around the top ten. His movement even further forward would be helped by his own pace and the retirements of another couple of runners that started further up the order than he. Alan Brown had fallen well off the pace. Stirling Moss, Duncan Hamilton and Peter Collins would all suffer retirements. This all went to move Salvadori inside the top ten as the end of the race neared.
There was little to no race at all at the front of the field. In fact, the race was over by the first corner of the 1st lap. Once Ascari had the lead through the first corner, the race was over. Ascari stamped his authority over the rest of the field very early on when he would take less than 10 laps to turn what would end up being the fastest lap of the race. The time would end up being only two seconds slower than his 2nd place starting time. And it would end up proving too fast for the rest of the competitors.
Before the end of the race, Ascari would lap the entire field, even his Ferrari teammate Piero Taruffi in 2nd place. While the rest of the field was demolished by Ascari, the spirit of the British fans was upheld and restored somewhat when Mike Hawthorn managed to finish in 3rd, albeit two laps down. In fact, Hawthorn would lead home a gaggle of British drivers that would help to lift the British souls.
Behind Hawthorn in 3rd, Dennis Poore and Eric Thompson would finish 4th and 5th for Connaught Engineering. Then, in 7th place would come the popular Reg Parnell driving a Cooper-Bristol T20 for Archie Bryde. Only seven seconds would separate Parnell from the 8th place finisher, which would be Roy Salvadori.
This would be an incredible result for the small team in its first World Championship race. Salvadori managed to come all the way from 19th to finish 8th. He would also only miss out on the points by three positions. Although he would end up down three laps to Ascari, Salvadori could hold his head up high as a number of other more experienced drivers, a World Champion even, would end up at least one lap down to Ascari that day.
Convinced of the pace of the Ferrari 500, G. Caprara would enter it and the team's other Ferrari chassis in the Daily Mail Trophy race in very early August.
Deciding to remain within the English borders, the G. Caprara would travel a short distance east from London and would arrive at the Boreham circuit for the 2nd Daily Mail Trophy race on the 2nd of August.
Another of the former World War II airbases turned motor racing venue, Boreham hosted the Daily Mail Trophy race the day before the sixth round of the World Championship, the German Grand Prix. Deciding which race to take part in was not an easy decision for any team, especially a Formula 2 team. The Daily Mail Trophy race was a straight-forward race on the 2.99 mile Boreham road circuit. However, the race included Formula One machines like the Ferrari 375 and the BRM P15. The German Grand Prix was void of the Formula One machines but it took place on the notorious 14 mile long Nordschleife. After a rather impressive finish at the British Grand Prix, Caprara was convinced the Formula 2 Ferrari 500 could do rather well even against the mighty Formula One cars.
Located in Essex, England, Boreham suited the Formula 2 cars rather well. The design of the circuit featured only one rather long straight and a number of shorter straights where acceleration was practically more important than top speed. Generally flat due to being a former airbase, the perimeter road used to make up the circuit was wide and only consisted of a couple of slow corners. Otherwise, the rest of the circuit was taken quite fast. But this put a heavy premium on handling.
In practice; however, the conditions were nice and the horsepower advantage the Formula One cars enjoyed would come into play. Luigi Villoresi had been dispatched by Scuderia Ferrari with one of their Ferrari 375s. In practice, the might of the 375 would prove too tough for many, even the other Formula One cars present for the race. Villoresi would turn in the fastest lap time in practice, and therefore, would start from the pole.
Ferrari wasn't the only team to dispatch one of their Formula One cars to Boreham. BRM would also bring two of their troubled P15s to the race. In practice, Jose Froilan Gonzalez would take the powerful 16-cylinder, howling, P15 and would turn in the second-fastest time. Starting 3rd on the front row would be another Ferrari driver in a 375. Chico Landi, Brazil's first World Championship competitor would come with Villoresi to the race. He would end up being sandwiched between the two BRMs of Jose Froilan Gonzalez in 2nd, and Ken Wharton, who would start 4th. The circuit was rather wide, and therefore, enabled a five-wide front row as well as the third, fifth and so on. Starting in the 5th, and final, position on the front row would be Louis Rosier. He too was driving one of Ferrari's 375s.
G. Caprara had sent its two Ferrari chassis to the race. Driving the team's Ferrari 500 would be Bobbie Baird. The team's other chassis was a 166. This car would end up being driven by Roy Salvadori.
Against the presence of the Formula One chassis, Baird and Salvadori would struggle. In practice they couldn't keep pace. As a result, both of G. Caprara's team cars would start the race from outside the top fifteen. Obviously, Caprara's drivers needed some help against the superior power and performance of the Formula One competitors.
Whether Boreham's design was suited to the Formula 2 cars or not, it was obvious nothing could be done when the Formula One cars had at least 100 hp in hand over the rest of the Formula 2 cars. The Formula 2 cars, like that of G. Caprara, needed some help. Thankfully, there was something that could help equalize the power advantage—rain.
This equalizer would come before the race began. The rain had been a good soaking rain which made the entire circuit quite wet. And in the wet conditions the lighter, more nimble Formula 2 cars would prove capable of more than holding their own.
Right from the start, the Formula One cars struggled for grip in the wet conditions. The excessive power would just cause the wheels to slip instead of grip the track. On the other hand, the Formula 2 cars were able to apply what power they had more efficiently to the wheels. This was best demonstrated by Mike Hawthorn in his Cooper-Bristol T20.
Throughout the early portion of the race, Hawthorn held the lead over Villoresi and the other Formula One cars. On the 3rd lap, one of the main threats, Gonzalez, would end up crashing his P15, thereby ending his race.
Lap-after-lap of the 67 lap race, Hawthorn would come through in the lead, pursued by Villoresi and Landi. Both Salvadori and Baird were working hard to take advantage of the conditions to move further up the running order as well. Baird would be aided by a number of retirements, unfortunately including Salvadori.
Only 21 laps into the race, Salvadori's would come to an end. However, he would end up not being alone. In all, thirteen cars would end up retiring from the race. In spite of the rainy conditions, Hawthorn would manage a pace that would be fast enough that another two cars would end up too far back to be classified at the end.
The rain had stopped during the earlier part of the race. As a result, the track was quickly drying out. Toward the last 10 laps or so, the circuit had dried out almost completely. This swung the advantage back in favor of the Formula One cars. Due to Wharton's gearbox troubles with only 6 laps remaining, the Scuderia Ferrari 375s were the only Formula One machines close enough to take the fight back to Hawthorn.
Baird, like Hawthorn, had managed to take advantage of the conditions and was running inside the top ten toward the end of the race. He had managed to put a number of the aged Talbot-Lago T26Cs behind him despite coming from well outside the top fifteen at the start of the race.
In the dry conditions, the power of the 375s was just too much for Hawthorn to fend off. Villoresi would manage to get by, as well as, Landi. Once by Hawthorn, they would set sail into the distance. Hawthorn's pace throughout the race had been more than enough. Therefore, he found himself safe in 3rd position once Villoresi and Landi had gotten by.
Villoresi would race on to the victory. He would complete the 67 laps with a margin of ten seconds over Landi. A minute and six seconds would end up being the difference between Villoresi and Hawthorn at the end.
While the crowd, and the racing community, had been wowed and impressed by Hawthorn's battle at the front, Baird's performance was almost as impressive, but quickly overlooked. Baird would manage to successfully fight off a number of the Formula One competitors and would finish the race in 8th position. He was only two laps behind Villoresi at the end and was only beat by four other Formula One machines. This was made all the more impressive considering he came from well down in the field.
In spite of the team's rather good results throughout the races in which the team had competed, the team would not venture outside of the British border. Therefore, the last three rounds of the World Championship would be skipped by the team. In fact, it would be well over two months before G. Caprara would take part in another race.
Toward the end of September, the Caprara team decided it would take part in some more races before the end of the season. However, it would, once again, remain within the borders of England.
On the 27th of September Goodwood hosted a number of races. One of those races Goodwood hosted was the 5th Madgwick Cup race. The race was a 7 lap affair around the 2.39 mile Goodwood Circuit.
The team would bring one car to the race. It was their Ferrari 500. It would be driven by Roy Salvadori. They would face mostly British talent with their British-built chassis. In fact, Caprara would enter the only Ferrari 500 in the field and one of just two Ferrari chassis altogether.
Held on the 2.39 mile road course, the layout of the Goodwood circuit was another quite similar to that of Silverstone and Boreham. It was an auxiliary airfield during World War II and was built on the Goodwood Estate belonging to the Duke Richmond. Although a grass airfield, the wide perimeter road made for the perfect motor racing circuit. A motor racing enthusiast, the Duke of Richmond would turn the decommissioned airfield over to become a motor racing venue.
In the Madgwick Cup race, Salvadori would face a large contingent of Connaughts and Cooper-Bristols. Despite the records the Ferrari 500 had managed to set in the hands of Alberto Ascari throughout 1952, it would be the Connaught of Eric Thompson that would start from the pole. In fact, the four-wide front row would consist of two Connaught A-Type chassis and two Cooper-Bristol T20s. Kenneth Downing would start 2nd in another Connaught. Duncan Hamilton and Alan Brown would start 3rd and 4th, both in Cooper-Bristols.
Although beaten out for the front row, Salvadori would end up not being that far behind in his Ferrari. Roy would end up being right there on the second row in the 6th position. Although on the second row, he was positioned in between Downing and Hamilton, and therefore, would have an opportunity to move forward at the start.
The unfortunate part about the race being only 7 laps long was that a poor start almost spelled the end. There just wouldn't be enough time to be able to do a whole lot should a competitor have made a bad start. Besides a poor start, there would be another way in which position could be lost at the start of a race. And this scenario would end up playing out in the 7 lap race.
Duncan Hamilton would end up not starting the race due to engine related problems. This offered Salvadori an opportunity. Unfortunately, the events at the start of the race would cause the door of opportunity to slam shut. Heading down through the first right-hander, the field was bunched up. Andre Loens and Stirling Moss made contact with each other. Even the pole-sitter, Thompson, would suffer damage at the very start of the race. This caused Moss and Loens to fall out of the race, but it also held up a number of other drivers, including Salvadori.
After the 1st lap, Thompson would retire from the race due to the damage suffered on the 1st lap. This allowed Downing to pull out an advantage. He would be chased by the 5th place starter Dennis Poore. Salvadori, due to the troubles, had slipped further down in the running order.
Once in the lead, all Downing had to do was hold on. While being chased by Poore, he was up far enough that his main concern was holding the car on the track. Salvadori's main concern was trying to get back up at least where he had started the race.
Taking a little less than twelve minutes, Downing, who averaged a little over 84 mph, would go on to win the race by thirteen seconds over Dennis Poore. Alan Brown would come home in 3rd place. Brown would finish four seconds behind Poore.
Salvadori had lost out at the start of the race. Although he had started from the 6th place position, Salvadori was locked in a battle just to get back to 6th place. Pitched in a serious fight with Ninian Sanderson, Savladori would try everything possible to try and get by. The fight would come right down to the line. However, Sanderson would manage to stave off Salvadori by one-tenth of a second at the line and would take 6th place. Salvadori would finish a rather bitter 7th.
What seemed to hold so much promise ended so bitterly for Salvadori and Caprara. The whole team would; therefore, look to avenge for the frustrating result at Goodwood. The next opportunity would come a little less than a hundred miles to the north.
Joe Fry was known for two things: the family chocolate-making company and for hillclimb racing. At the 1950 Blandford Hillclimb, Fry was killed while at the wheel of his famous Freikaiserwagen. A memorial race was established in his honor and was held at Castle Combe on the 4th of October in 1952. It was this race that G. Caprara would be looking to avenge for its frustrations suffered at Goodwood.
Castle Combe was yet another former World War II airbase that had been converted to a motor racing circuit. Virtually a large triangle with rounded corners and small kinks in its layout, lap times around the 1.83 mile circuit were fast. Though simple in its layout, it required a certain level of bravery from racers in order to be truly fast.
In practice, Stirling Moss proved his bravery as he would turn the fastest lap. He would end up taking the pole for the 20 lap race with a lap time of one minute, eighteen and four-tenths seconds. Peter Whitehead would also set a lap time of one minute, eighteen and four-tenths seconds. However, he would be just slightly slower and would; therefore, start 2nd.
Roy Salvadori was on it right from the very start of practice. He would push the Ferrari 500 hard and would record a lap time a little over a second slower than Moss on the pole. Because of this, Salvadori would start the race from the front row in the 3rd position. Alan Brown would complete the first row with a time that was four-tenths of a second slower than Salvadori. In all, sixteen cars and drivers would prepare to take the green flag for the Joe Fry Memorial Trophy race.
Right at the start, one of the main threats would end up out of the race. Peter Whitehead would suffer an accident that would cause him to have to retire from the race. Then, 6 laps into the race Moss was out. The ERA G-Type chassis had proven rather troublesome throughout the year. The pole-position had been a pleasant surprise. But the retirement was not unexpected.
Moss' retirement only fanned into flame Salvadori, who was already on it. Salvadori's pace in the race would prove his practice times were exactly that—practice. Moss' pole time was one minute, eighteen and four-tenths seconds. During the race, Salvadori would turn the fastest lap. His time would be one minute, seventeen and six-tenths seconds. He was almost a full second faster. This enabled him to pull away from the rest of the field.
Salvadori's pace would be such that in just 20 laps he would lap all but 2nd and 3rd. With such a pace as he was managing to turn it was no wonder he would come home the victor by more than ten seconds over Ken Wharton. Ninian Sanderson, who Salvadori battled at Goodwood, would end up clearly beaten in 3rd place.
The victory was the best possible way the team could have avenged the bitter disappointment at Goodwood. With his victory, Salvdori would be done racing in 1952. The team; however, would have one more race on its calendar.
On the 11th of October, the Charterhall Circuit prepared to host the 1st Newcastle Journal Trophy race. This was one of the last races in all of Europe for the 1952 season. However, due to the fact the race would take place in the Scottish Borders region of southeastern Scotland the majority of the field would be made up of drivers from around the British Isles. One of those drivers would be G. Caprara's Bobbie Baird. Only one week after Salvadori's triumph, Baird undoubtedly was looking for a repeat performance from the car.
Notoriously known as 'Slaughter Hall' during the Second World War, Charterhall was a training base for night fighters with the Royal Air Force. Yet another decommissioned airbase that would host motor racing, Charterhall's circuit was one of the few that still used one of the runways for a portion of the circuit. The start/finish line was located along the entire length of one of the runways. The circuit then turned sharply at the first turn and joined a portion of the perimeter road that ran the circumference of the entire airbase. Were it not for the two tight turns that led onto and off of the start/finish straight, the average speeds around the circuit would have remained relatively high.
Following its reputation from the war years, the 40 lap race in 1952 would see 'Slaughter Hall' reduce the running field with great swiftness and efficiency. Unfortunately for any driving a Frazer-Nash chassis, Charterhall seemed especially keen on destroying any model Frazer-Nash. Out of the seven Frazer-Nash cars entered in the race, there would not be a single one that would make it to the end.
A similar attack was made against Cooper-Bristols. Six Cooper-Bristol T20s would be entered in the race. However, over the course of the 40 laps, only one would prove capable of escaping the onslaught.
Out of the twenty-eight that started the race, at the end of the 40 laps, only seven would still be running. Still running amongst those seven was Bobbie Baird in the Ferrari 500. Unfortunately, the attrition of Charterhall was not touching any of the Connaught A-Types. Baird was pushing hard in the Ferrari but the Connaughts of Connaught Engineering just kept running faster.
Dennis Poore would manage to escape the carnage to take the win. He would lead home a Connaught Engineering sweep of the podium. Kenneth McAlpine would finish 2nd a little over thirty seconds behind Poore. McAlpine would be followed six seconds slower by Mike Oliver in the third Connaught A-Type entered in the field.
Looking for the same kind of result Salvadori managed at Castle Combe, Baird would finish the race rather disappointed. In spite of having the same car that had won the World Championship, Baird would only manage to finish 5th behind the Connaughts and Stirling Moss.
Compared; however, to the twenty-one others that had not survived 'Slaughter Hall', Baird and G. Caprara could look at the end of the season with fondness. Many other teams had a considerably worse season than what Caprara had. Much of this was due to the Ferrari 500 the team had at their disposal. Thankfully for the team, they had the tool that enabled them to cheat the system and earn some impressive results. However, due to team's precarious situation it was questionable whether or not the team would race or evade the 1953 season.