TeamsGould's Garage: 1956 Formula One Season By Jeremy McMullen
It's not unheard of for an individual to move closer to a loved one. In 1955 Horace Gould would do his best to cozy up to Maserati by moving to Italy. Using every bit of his larger than life personality, Gould would do his best to work his way into the Maserati family and gain the use of every bit of spare parts he could get his hands on. Patching together his Formula One effort, Gould would hope to put together a successful championship challenge.
Following Prince Bira's decision to retire from motor racing there would be a brand new Maserati 250F not being used. Horace Gould would see this as his opportunity to invest just about everything he had into his Formula One career. He would, therefore, approach Bira about the use of his Maserati.
Gould would end up driving for Bira at the Grand Prix d'Albi. If the purchase of the car was performance-based then Gould could not have done much better than having earned a 3rd place finish in the race. By June, the Maserati would be in Gould's possession and he would go on to a couple of top three results in heat races in non-championship events.
Horace knew, however, that for him to be as competitive as possible he would need the latest 250F coming out of the Maserati factory. Gould would go on to sell Bira's Maserati to Bruce Halford and he would try his best to negotiate a newer chassis for himself. Sure enough, Gould would manage to secure the use of chassis ‘2514' that had been used by Luigi Musso and Roberto Mieres. Gould would come to use the car late in the season in 1955 and would end up securing a 3rd place in the Daily Telegraph Trophy race and would finish 2nd in the Avon Trophy race at Castle Combe.
Gould had the latest Maserati and was heading into the 1956 season having earned a number of good results. Therefore, Gould's confidence would be growing as he looked forward into the future.
Still making his home in Modena to be closer to the Maserati factory, Gould would turn his attentions toward the 1956 season ready to make an even bigger mark in Formula One history.
In spite of all of his charm and wit, Gould could not negotiate a factory-supported drive, and therefore, would not make the trip across the Atlantic to take part in the Argentine Grand Prix. Instead, Horace would look forward to the start of the grand prix season in Europe.
Now the first Formula One race of the 1956 season in Europe would be a non-championship race that would take place at Goodwood on the 2nd of April. The event was the Easter Monday races and would be a very popular event with regional and international drivers. But even though Gould was a Bristolian he would not be at Goodwood for the race. Instead, he would choose to look a little closer to his new-found home of Modena. This meant waiting until the 15th of April and being on the island of Sicily to take part in the 6th Gran Premio di Siracusa.
Based in the important ancient city of Syracuse, the Gran Premio di Siracusa would be an 80 lap race around a 3.48 mile circuit that traversed the Sicilian countryside and some of the city streets to the west of downtown. Lined with paved walls, the circuit was fast and provided little to no room for error.
Given Sicily's location in the Mediterranean Sea, the race would be a warm one and would be a perfect setting for one of the first races of the season. This would be a change from the year before when the race was one of the last Formula One races of the season. Alternating year after year, the 1956 edition of the race would be back in the spring time following the surprise dominant victory by Tony Brooks and Connaught back in October.
Gould had been present at the race back in October and would be one of those that would be utterly dominated by Brooks and the B-Type Connaught. Still, Horace would come through to score a decent result in the race after starting from 7th on the grid. While all attention would be lost to the surprising performance of the Connaught, Gould would manage to finish the race a fine 4th place, some two laps behind.
The 1956 edition of the race would see a dramatic difference. The factory Maserati team, after being embarrassed about six months before, would only dispatch a single entry to be driven by Jean Behra. Tony Brooks would move on to drive for Owen Racing and this left the returning champion Connaught team with just Desmond Titterington and Piero Scotti to uphold the team's honors. What's more, unlike six months before, Scuderia Ferrari would be present at the event. Having fully secured the rights to the Lancia D50 chassis, Ferrari would be just returning from taking victory in the first round of the 1956 World Championship and would bring no less than four Lancia-Ferraris to the 278 mile event.
Certainly the Lancia-Ferrari had the advantage and it would show during practice when Juan Manuel Fangio would take the pole with a lap time of 1:58.0. Eugenio Castellotti would further show the strength of the D50 by garnering the 2nd place starting position following a best lap just nine-tenths of a second slower than Fangio. Jean Behra would do his best to represent Maserati. His best lap in practice would be a little more than a second and a half slower than Fangio but would be good enough to earn the 3rd, and final, front row starting spot.
Compared to the D50s and the Maserati of Behra, Gould would be somewhat off the pace. Posting a best lap time of 2:09.1, Horace would be more than 10 seconds slower than Fangio and would end up on the fourth row of the grid in the 10th starting spot.
Nearly three hours of racing awaited the 15 starters of the race. It could be expected that there would be some attrition, but in the case of more than one competitor the trouble would come much earlier than desired. Jean Behra would be the first of these to suffer as his race would come to an end after just a single lap due to lubrication issues.
Unfortunately, it would be Gould that would be the next to suffer trouble. There would be no doubt as to whether his race would be over after just 2 laps when the final drive on the Maserati failed. And so, there would be no chance for the Bristolian to either repeat or improve upon his previous best.
At the front of the field, Fangio would be absolutely flying as he led the fleet of Ferraris around the 3.48 mile circuit. Running in lock-step, the four Ferraris would look strong. But not even the mighty Ferrari team would be immune to trouble of some kind. That trouble would come at the halfway point of the race when Eugenio Castellotti would lose his concentration just slightly and would end up paying for it by crashing out of the race. This left three D50s still in the race and all three would be at the front of the field running practically in echelon formation.
There would be no repeat victory for Connaught either as both B-Types would be out of the running by the 24th lap of the race. Therefore, Fangio would be leading home an absolute dominant and storming victory by the Ferrari team. Averaging a little more than 97 mph en route, Fangio would show his team the way completing the 80 laps race in just under two hours and 49 minutes. Fangio would take the victory while Luigi Musso would earn himself 2nd place finishing just two-tenths of a second behind Fangio. Just three-tenths of a second would be the difference between Musso and the 3rd place finisher, which would be Peter Collins in the other D50.
To say it was a dominant victory for Ferrari would be more than just an understatement. By the end of the race it would appear as if Ferrari were competing against first-timers in lower formula cars as Luigi Villoresi would head the rest of the field and he would finish the race a little more than 3 laps behind.
It truly would have been difficult for Gould to repeat his performance from the previous year, but the retirement on the 3rd lap of the race certainly didn't help him try. Gould's race would actually be in practice when he turned more laps. Now he would have to return to Modena and try and beg, borrow and steal a new final drive from the Maserati factory.
If Gould was to make his next race he would have to do some quick negotiating with Maserati and then would have to take the part and run. Just one week separated the dismal failure in Syracuse from the BARC Aintree ‘200' event on the 21st of April. Were he to try and take part in the race he would have to make the journey of more than 1800 miles in under 7 days with a broken car. Even under the best of circumstances such an undertaking would not be easy, but in the case of Gould following the race in Syracuse such a trip had become impractical and he would not arrive for the race at the Aintree Racecourse as a result of the repairs not being able to be done in time.
Honestly, it wouldn't make much sense for Gould to make the trip all the way to just outside Liverpool with a car that needed a certain amount of attention. Yes, he would lose out on the starter and prize money, but the failure in Syracuse made him vulnerable, especially over such a large distance. He could have found the whole thing, especially the cost involved, to have been an entire waste had his Maserati not been properly repaired. As a result, Horace would do the sensible thing and would remain in Italy thoroughly repairing 2514.
Gould didn't need to travel too far. He just needed to have a little patience and the next opportunity for him to take part in a Formula One race would practically come to him. While some teams and drivers headed to England to take part in the 8th BRDC International Trophy race held at Silverstone on the 6th of May, the Englishman Gould would remain in Italy and would head to Naples in order to take part in the 9th Gran Premio di Napoli held the next day.
Situated along the coast Tyrrhenian Sea and sporting fantastic views of Mount Vesuvius, the area on the western end of the Bay of Naples would rightly earn the name 'Posillipo'. Meaning 'respite from worry', the whole setting of Posillipo speaks of elegance and ease. Sporting some very dramatic cliffs and absolutely beautiful architecture it would be a little wonder why the area would serve as the Italian President's residence during visits to Naples.
Situated high atop the steep cliffs of Posillipo a 2.55 mile street circuit would be fashioned that drove like Monaco and boasted of scenery as good or better. With the exception of a rather long straight situated right at the very top of the cliffs, nearly the entire circuit would be a never-ending array of twisting turns along the edges of the cliffs. This certainly gave the circuit a rather distinct look and feel, but it did little to increase the speed around the circuit.
Heading into the 1956 edition of the Gran Premio di Napoli just 10 cars would arrive and practice. Two Scuderia Ferrari entries would be present while the other two would be at Silverstone for the International Trophy race. Besides the rather new Scuderia Centro Sud team the rest of the field would consist of privateer single-car entries.
While the D50 had shown itself to have the power and torque for the faster circuits like those of Syracuse, Castellotti and Musso would do their best to show the cars ability on the slower-speed circuits as well. Come to find out, the D50 was strong on just about any circuit as Castellotti would take the pole by just one-tenth of a second over his teammate Musso.
Following the sheer dominance by Ferrari at Syracuse it would not be too much to imagine people expected more of the same over the course of the 60 lap race around the 2.55 mile Posillipo circuit. However, as the race got underway, it wouldn't take too long before that theory took a hit.
Castellotti would start the race from the pole and would look set to lead home a Ferrari one-two. However, after the 2nd lap of the race Eugenio would be out of the race due to oil pump failure. This would leave just Luigi Musso to uphold Maranello honor. The presence of one D50 certainly seemed more than enough to do just that.
The prospects of a Ferrari victory would look better early on when Luigi Villoresi retired after 21 laps. But not all would be well with the second Ferrari. By the 30th lap of the race it would become apparent Musso was falling off the pace. And, he would end up out of the race altogether after 37 laps due to engine troubles. This meant the race was wide-open.
Starting from 6th place on the grid, Gould would have the look of a man determined to take victory no matter what. Aided by the retirement of Villoresi, Castellotti, Godia-Sales and Musso, Gould would find himself well inside the top three and chasing a surprising Robert Manzon for the lead of the race.
Manzon would surprise many when he took the 3rd, and final, front row starting spot in an aged Gordini T16. While nearly 5 seconds a lap slower than the two Ferraris, Manzon would get away from the grid well and would inherit the lead when the Ferraris failed.
But to say Gould had little to no chance against Manzon would be giving the T16 too much credit. Manzon had left the Equipe Gordini team a couple of years earlier because of the unreliability of the Gordini chassis and since returning to the team providence still seemed to be against him.
So Gould had hope. But with each passing lap it would erode a little more. Lap after lap Manzon would manage to urge the little car on and it would respond with a strength few had ever seen before.
Manzon and the T16 would be unbeatable that 6th of May. Heading into the final lap of the race the Frenchman would have more than 10 seconds in hand over the displaced Englander. Averaging 65 mph over two hours and 20 minutes, Manzon and the T16 would surprise just about everybody and would bring home the victory by a little more than 10 seconds over Gould in 2nd.
While beaten by Manzon in the usually fragile T16, Gould would have little to be down about, especially given the dominant performance he had put together in the 2nd place position. Gerino Gerini would finish the race in 3rd place but he would be some 3 laps behind Manzon and Gould.
It had been an impressive performance by Gould over a long run. It seemed the car's ills had been cured. And this would be good timing for it would provide Gould the confidence he needed to brave yet another tight street circuit, one of utmost importance.
Gould's first foray into a Formula One World Championship event had been back in 1954 at the British Grand Prix. In that race Gould had qualified and raced in a Formula 2 Cooper-Bristol. And though he had been well off the pace throughout, he would still come through to finish in 15th, some 46 laps behind. While it would be considered by anyone with a dream to enter a Formula One race a race finish, it was more than obvious Gould looked nothing more than some kind of car circulating around the track meant to provide some kind of backdrop to the proceedings.
The following year, Horace would get serious about his Formula One endeavor and would end up taking part in three rounds of the World Championship. However, he would not come to procure the use of the Maserati 250F in time to take part in Formula One's crown jewel event.
While the Italian, Belgian and British Grand Prix had all been a part of the World Championship from the very beginning, neither could touch the place of importance, nor the sense of coming home, the Monaco Grand Prix provided when it returned to the series in 1955. It was just right. And, on the 13th of May in 1956 the Monegasques braced themselves for the return of Formula One.
Already a dramatic location for a motor race, the 1955 edition of the Monaco Grand Prix would serve up some of the most memorable moments in Formula One history as it would be the final time Mercedes-Benz would take part in a grand prix around the principality's streets until the new millennium, it would also provide a surprise winner in Frenchman Maurice Trintignant and of course it would be well-remembered for Alberto Ascari's dip into the bay when he was about to take over the lead of the race.
Having come from Posillipo and having earned a strong 2nd place result, Gould would see it as the perfect time to take part in the Monaco Grand Prix. Therefore, he would pack up his Maserati and would make his way from Naples to the French Riviera in time to unload and prepare for practice. Upon arriving, Horace would find the usual suspects looming in the paddock. And in practice, those usual suspects would rule the circuit.
While tight and twisty, the 1.95 mile Monaco street circuit still played to the strengths of the Lancia-Ferrari with its greater torque and power. As a result, Fangio would capture the pole with a lap time of 1:44.0. Stirling Moss would show the Maserati 250F was not outclassed at all when he posted a fastest lap just six-tenths of a second slower and took 2nd spot on the grid. Eugenio Castellotti would prove to be fast in his own right and would then garner the 3rd, and final, spot on the front row.
Times up and down the field would be quite close with the exception of the number 18 Maserati belonging to Horace Gould. Inexperienced on tight, twisty street circuits, Gould would struggle to keep pace and would actually end up the slowest in practice. Horace would eventually turn a lap time of 1:51.7 but it would still be nearly 8 seconds slower than Fangio. As a result, Gould would be starting the 100 lap race from the sixth, and final, row in the 14th position overall. With the troubles of the BRMs, Gould would be handed the unfortunate honor of starting on the sixth row all by himself.
Fitting, given the setting and the importance of the race within the Formula One series, the 13th of May would be bright and sunny. Thousands upon thousands would assemble all around the principality and would even fill the hillsides just to catch a glimpse of the upcoming action. Of course Gould would have it all to see starting from the last row all by himself.
After the usual pre-race festivities Gould and the other drivers would slide in behind the wheel of their cars and would prepare for a long day of racing. At the drop of the flag there would be an intense battle plowing into the tight Gazometer hairpin. On the run toward the tight hairpin it would be Moss slightly in the lead but Castellotti would be to the inside holding a tight line around the hairpin. Further back, Gould would get a great start off the line and would swing out wide to get by Louis Rosier and Maurice Trintignant. By the Station Hairpin it would be Moss clearly in the lead ahead of Castellotti and Fangio. Gould would make further progress and would be ahead of Andre Pilette and others to be in the 10th position.
At the end of the first lap it would be Moss in the lead with about 4 seconds in hand over Fangio as Castellotti would make a misstep through the final half of the lap. Gould's early progress would be slowed somewhat as he struggled through the tunnel and around Tabac. At the line at the end of the first lap Gould would lose a couple of positions but would be running well in 12th place.
Moss would continue to lead the way. Behind him the drama would be just beginning when Fangio made a rare mistake and spun around dropping all the way down to 5th place in the running order. This would open the door to Peter Collins to take over 2nd while Jean Behra would come all the way up from 5th to run in 3rd place.
By the quarter mark of the race it would still be Moss out front with Collins running in 2nd place. Fangio would recover from his early spin and would overtake Behra for 3rd place. Horace Gould would not be the fastest around the circuit but would continue to nevertheless. He would also be slowed as a result of failing brakes. As a result, Gould would end up coming into the pits for an extended pitstop. Upon returning to the race, Gould's advantage over Louis Rosier would be all but lost. Rosier would take advantage of his vast experience and superior pace to then overtake Gould for 9th.
Gould continued to run dead-last but at least was still in the race, which was more than could be said for Trintignant and Castellotti. Moss would continue to hold onto the lead while Fangio would be pushing incredibly hard in the Lancia-Ferrari. Running into other cars and touching walls in an effort to draw in Moss, Fangio's car would really begin to show signs of wear and tear. Sheetmetal would be twisted and would have holes punched through it. This would lead to Fangio losing some ground and eventually turning his battered car over to Castellotti for the remainder of the race.
Just past the halfway mark of the race Moss would be enjoying a very comfortable lead at the head of the field. Collins would be called into the pits and would end up being called upon to hand his car over to Fangio. Gould would continue to run in last place and would be losing ground to Moss at quite a rate.
Heading into the final 20 laps, Moss would still be in the lead. Having a lead of nearly a minute, Moss would look after his car saving the tires and the brakes. This would cause Moss to slow his pace and would allow Fangio to draw in the lead.
With every single lap Fangio would close the distance to Moss. Fangio's pace would be truly awe inspiring as he would continue to click off fast lap after fast lap. Still, Moss would be in total control of the field.
Coming around on the final lap of the race, Moss would be waiving to the crowd totally in control. Waving emphatically, Moss would cruise to the victory having averaged nearly 65 mph en route to the victory. One of the most impressive performances would come via Fangio who would push each and every lap after taking over Collins' D50. Even on the final lap of the race Fangio would be pushing as hard as he could. In the end, he would end up 6 seconds short but would garner the fastest lap of the race honors. Jean Behra would be a lap behind and would end up completing the podium in 3rd place.
Gould's failing brakes would not help him to try and maintain touch with the rest of the field. And, as a result, Horace would find himself being visited by Moss nearly every 7 laps to be put another lap down. This would continue over the course of the race and would lead to him finishing 15 laps behind. As a result, even though he would be running 9th, Gould would finish the race not classified.
Even though he would end up not classified by the end of the race, Gould would still perform well around the streets of Monaco. While car unreliability would slow his experience, Horace still had finished a World Championship event. Something he hadn't been able to do since his first experience back in 1954.
Following the Monaco Grand Prix Gould would head back to his home away from home. This would be more than just a return home, however, for on the 20th of May there would be a non-championship Formula One race just 180 miles to the west in Turin. The 7th Gran Premio del Valentino would be a 90 lap race around the 2.60 mile Valentino Park circuit. The race expected three entries from Scuderia Ferrari and two from the factory Maserati team. However, both of the factory entries would withdraw from the event leaving just a total of five cars still planning on attending. Unfortunately, the lack of numbers led to the race's organizers making the decision to cancel the event altogether.
The cancellation of the Formula One race in Turin meant there would be a gap of a couple of weeks between races. There would not be another non-championship Formula One event until the end of June. However, on the 3rd of June there would be the fourth round of the World Championship. The race was the Belgian Grand Prix and it would be held at the daunting Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
The Belgian Grand Prix was another one of those races in which Gould was yet to participate. However, having made a start in the Italian Grand Prix the year before, he would not be all that inexperienced coming to the 8.77 mile Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Deep in the heart of the Belgian Ardennes Forest, the public roads that comprised the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, at any other time of the year would seem nothing more than modest roads winding their way through the heavily-wooded hills of the Low Country. However, when put together as one and tackled as fast as possible the seemingly unassuming roads would become a roller coaster ride of blindingly-quick bends and some heart-stopping elements that would take on a life all their own. All anyone would have to say would be 'Eau Rouge', 'Masta Kink' or 'Stavelot' and immediately the initiated could picture and imagine what was being talked about. As with the Nurburgring, the Spa-Francorchamps circuit would be considered one of the pure road courses. However, perhaps even more so than the fearsome Nordschleife, the Spa circuit required a certain amount of bravery to be as fast as possible given the high average speeds around the narrow circuit lined with trees and residences.
Just on the other side of Switzerland and the Alps, Gould would make the journey from Modena to the southeastern corner of Belgium for the race on the 3rd of June. Undoubtedly, the road from Italy to Belgium looked like a parade route with the Scuderia Ferrari and factory Maserati team making the journey as well. The Ferrari cavalcade would be impressive with no less than five D50s making the journey. Officine Alfieri Maserati would dispatch four of its 250Fs to the circuit while Gould would come with his single-car entry.
Being all about speed, the Lancia-Ferraris would show their strength in practice as Fangio would go on to take the pole with a lap time of 4:09.8. This time would extremely impressive as Stirling Moss would prove to be second-quickest. However, his best would be about 5 seconds slower than Fangio. Peter Collins would complete the three-wide front row. His best would be six-tenths slower than Moss.
In spite of his experience at Spa-Francorchamps it would be hard for Gould to compete with the outright pace of the factory Ferrari and Maserati drivers. Obviously Gould did not possess the talent of either Moss or Collins and it would show as Gould would be well off the pace in practice. In the end, Gould would end up on the sixth, and final, row of the grid in the 15th position after posting a time some 40 seconds slower than Fangio.
Rain would fall all over the circuit leading up to the start of the race. It was unclear whether the rain would continue throughout the race or if it would taper off at some point. In a storm of mist, the cars would set off on the first 36 laps. Moss would get the best jump of anyone and would clearly lead the way into the quick left-right climb at Eau Rouge. Fangio would be very slow off the line and would be well behind his teammates Castellotti and Collins. Gould would take a page out of Moss' playbook and would make a meteoric start of his own climbing up a number of positions even before reaching the hill at Eau Rouge. By Stavelot, Moss would have three Ferraris all in line chasing after him. However, by La Source, he would have a lead of a couple of seconds over his Ferrari pursuers.
Moss would lead the first lap with Castellotti in 2nd place followed by Peter Collins and Juan Manuel Fangio. A little further back, Gould's great start would hold together over the course of the first lap and he would come across the line in 10th place and looking quite good.
Moss would continue to hold onto the lead as Fangio overtook Collins for 3rd place. Gould would be showing great promise early on in the race as his fast pace would cause him to become embroiled in a short battle with Cesare Perdisa for 9th place. To be battling for position instead of relying on attrition would be a good sign at such an early stage. Gould would end up completing the 2nd lap in 9th place. But any celebration would be premature as gearbox issues would cause Gould to have to retire after just 2 laps giving up his 9th place.
And so, while Gould's race would be over, the grand prix itself would just be getting going. And, after 4 laps of Moss in the lead, Fangio would finally recover his pace and would overtake the Brit going through Stavelot to take over the lead.
Some 10 laps gone and Fangio would continue to lead the way. Climbing the hill at Eau Rouge, Fangio would disappear into the distance well on his way. Moss would follow Fangio up the hill but would not reappear minutes later. As Fangio carried on for another lap, Moss would be seen running down the hill at Eau Rouge making his way to the Maserati pits. His car had lost a wheel going up the hill and forced him to abandon his ride. Two laps later, Moss would rejoin the race having taken over Perdisa's car.
Fangio would be leading the way and would look like an unstoppable train. It would take Moss more than a couple of laps but he would soon catch up to Harry Schell. Passing Schell, Moss would move into 5th place with a little more than 10 laps remaining in the race.
Moss would certainly be going after some points, but it seemed the maximum number of points would be headed Fangio's way as he continued to easily lead the way. That would all change 12 laps from the end. Heading into Stavelot, Fangio's Ferrari seemed absolutely flawless. Then, suddenly the car would slow to a halt on the bend. Fangio would be left with a long walk back as a result of the gearbox failing in the car. Suddenly, Peter Collins would find himself in the lead of the race. Belgian Paul Frere would heighten the tensions slightly when he managed to overtake Jean Behra for 2nd. In time, Behra would fall into the clutches of his teammate Moss who would be storming up through the field in a fashion similar to Fangio at Monaco just a couple of weeks earlier.
Collins would be in control having a very comfortable margin over his one-off Ferrari teammate Frere. Five laps from the finish and Jean Behra would lose his 3rd place to Moss as a result of an unhealthy engine. Still circulating, but very slowly, Behra would be trying to time everything perfectly to finish just behind the leader so he wouldn't have to make his Maserati complete another lap.
It was clear Collins was on his way to his first-ever World Championship victory. In the drier conditions the only thing that would be able to prevent him from completing the last couple of miles and taking the win would be some kind of mechanical problem. Approaching La Source for the final time, Collins would be able to coast across the line to take the victory if he had to. No such tactic would be necessary as he would power out of the corner and over the line to take his first-ever victory. A minute and 51 seconds later and the Belgian faithful would rise to their feet as Paul Frere would come flashing across the line to capture a truly special 2nd place. Stirling Moss' performance over the last 10 laps, which would include setting the fastest lap of the race equal to his qualifying effort, would enable him to finish just a little more than 3 minutes behind in 3rd.
The Belgian Grand Prix would be a special race for all of the Belgians gathered to witness it. Unfortunately for Gould, the race wouldn't be so memorable. But not all was a loss given his early pace and great start. If he could keep that up over the course of the remaining races of the season he was bound to have another great result.
Back in April Gould had an entry in the BARC Aintree 200 event. However, following the early retirement in the Syracuse Grand Prix there would not be enough time for him to make the necessary repair to the car's transmission and traverse the nearly 2,000 miles in order to take part in the race. However, after the Belgian Grand Prix on the 3rd of June, he would have an opportunity to try to make it to Aintree once again. On the 24th of June, three weeks after the fourth round of the World Championship, the 3.0 mile road course at the Aintree Racecourse would play host to the 1st Aintree 100.
Being from just down the road in Bristol traveling to Aintree would be like coming home for Gould. What's more, the race would be a lesser draw amongst the Formula One community and would offer Gould the opportunity to build up his confidence after a poor run of races. A good result in Aintree could help set him up well for the remainder of the season.
For chassis 2514, the 250F that Gould have come to own from the Maserati factory, heading to Aintree would be something of a homecoming as it had taken part in the 1955 British Grand Prix at Aintree. Unfortunately, both Gould and the car would be looking forward to a much better result since it would last just 15 laps in the grand prix before the gearbox failed.
Driving Prince Bira's Maserati in the race, Gould would last just a few laps longer during the 1955 British Grand Prix before he would retire with brake issues. Therefore, both the driver and the car would be looking for some retribution. Facing off against mostly regional drivers, it was entirely possible Gould could do it.
Built within and without the famed Aintree Racecourse made famous for the Grand National steeplechase, the grand circuit would measure 3.0 miles to the lap and would be flat and featureless. The circuit itself would be straight-forward and not very dramatic. However, the large grandstands built for the Grand National would make for a great stadium effect when the cars powered their way out of Tatts and streaked down the finishing straight toward Waterway.
Just because the majority of the entry list would include regional British drivers it didn't mean Gould could relax. In fact, Archie Scott-Brown would show just how hard Gould would have to work when he posted a lap time in practice that would end up being nearly 5 seconds faster than Roy Salvadori's best. Salvadori would capture the 2nd place starting spot but would do so with a Formula 2 Connaught A-Type. This would be a little embarrassing as Salvadori would manage to beat out Gould for 2nd place on the front row. Instead, Horace would have to make do with 3rd while Bill Holt would complete the four-wide front row.
If Gould could make it through the first couple of laps of the race then the likelihood that he would go on to finish increased dramatically. And against such a field as had assembled for the Aintree 100, making it to the end of a race had the potential of yielding some big returns.
Gould's cause would be helped even before the start of the race when engine-related problems would cause Tony Brooks not to take his position on the starting grid. Still, there would be Scott-Brown and Salvadori that Gould would have to concern himself with over the course of the 34 lap, 102 mile, race.
The start of the race would see Gould get away well along with Salvadori and Scott-Brown. Over the course of the first lap it would become quite clear that Holt did not have the pace in the A-Type Connaught and he would lose ground to the others. At the end of the first lap Gould would be running well and looking quite strong.
Gould would make it through the first couple of laps without an issue of any kind. The same could not be said of Scott-Brown who would find his race come to an end after 8 laps. Battling with Salvadori in his A-Type Connaught, Gould would find he had an advantage over the course of the whole of the race.
Putting together a fast lap in a Formula 2 car was certainly possible, but to maintain the pace of a Formula One car over the course of a race would require qualifying-like laps each and every time around the circuit. Salvadori would do his best but he would not be able to consistently do this each and every lap. As a result, Roy would lose ground and would eventually lose touch with the leaders.
The leader would be Gould, but he too could not take things too easy as Bob Gerard would be on an absolute tear coming from further down on the starting grid. Driving his 2.3-liter Cooper-Bristol T23, Gerard would make up quite a bit of ground and would find himself in 2nd place. Bruce Halford had had a very tough time at Aintree earlier in the year but was running well on this day and would be holding down 3rd.
Scott-Brown's early departure would yield control of the event over to Gould and he would certainly take advantage. Posting what would be the fastest lap of the race with a lap just two-tenths off of Scott-Brown's pole-winning effort and a number of seconds ahead of his own qualifying time, Gould would eventually break away from the rest of the field toward the later-part of the race and would be absolutely in control.
It would be a remarkable run for Gould. Averaging 83 mph over the course of the 34 laps, the Bristolian would come powering his way across the line to take a well-earned victory in very dominant fashion. Though earlier concerned with Gerard, Gould would end up taking the victory by some 35 seconds over Gerard. Bruce Halford would be a further 25 seconds behind in 3rd place.
It would be just what Gould both was looking for and needed. A demonstrative victory on home soil would go a long way to building the privateer's confidence and would be perfect timing heading into the dog days of summer when the rounds of the World Championship would come much more frequently.
Just 7 days separated Gould from the Aintree 100 victory and the next race on his calendar. He had scored a dominant victory in Aintree but the next race on the calendar would be the French Grand Prix held at Reims, another of the ultra-fast circuits. It would be good if he could have the time to thoroughly prepare the car for the arduous French race. Unfortunately, time was something he did not have the luxury of having. He would have to leave Aintree quickly in order to get himself to Reims in time to settle in and make the final preparations to the Maserati for the race. Thankfully, the race took place in Reims, which was truly just across the Channel. Still, Gould didn't want to suffer making the journey only to find his race come to an early end.
What's more, the British Grand Prix was just a couple of weeks afterward. And for a man already operating on a shoestring budget leaving England just to return a couple of weeks later didn't seem to make a whole lot of sense. So even though he had an entry in the French Grand Prix he would not arrive to make use of it. Instead, he would stay in England and would set about preparing his car for the British Grand Prix coming up on the 14th of July.
Unfortunately for Gould, the British Grand Prix for 1956 would not take place at Aintree. He had just taken victory in the Aintree 100 and certainly could have used the confidence and the momentum to his advantage for the British edition of the World Championship. Instead, Gould would have to travel east to Silverstone, the site for the first British Grand Prix as part of the Formula One World Championship.
Alternating with Aintree as host for the British Grand Prix, Silverstone would welcome back the grand prix for 1956. As the teams began arriving they would find not much had changed to the circuit from the last time it had hosted the British Grand Prix back in 1954. In fact, the biggest changes around the circuit would be found right in the paddock. Mercedes-Benz would be gone from Formula One, so Fangio was off to Ferrari while Moss was at the wheel of a factory Maserati. Not even the weather had changed all that much as cloudy gray skies blanketed the circuit as the teams made preparations for the start of practice.
Generally flat and wide-open, the 2.9 mile Silverstone circuit didn't offer the speeds of Reims, Spa or Monza but it was still very much a fast circuit. Plus, being just an hour and a half north of London, the circuit would be a popular venue for English racing enthusiasts of all ages.
British manufacturers were really beginning to come on strong by 1956. Therefore, the number of entrants for the race would be extremely large. Facing the likes of Vandervell Products, Connaught Engineering and Owen Racing Organization the Italian teams could no longer expect to dominate. As a result, Scuderia Ferrari and Officine Alfieri Maserati would come in force. Ferrari would unload five D50s while the factory Maserati team would bring four of its latest 250Fs.
Although the skies would look threatening the conditions would remain dry and this would enable some truly fast laps around the circuit. Two years earlier Fangio would break the track record in a Mercedes W196 having been the first to average more than 100 mph around the circuit. He would just pull it off. Two years later, Moss would be pushing a little more than 103 mph as he would take the pole with a lap time of 1:41. This time would be mere hundredths of a second faster than Fangio in the Lancia-Ferrari. The delight amongst the British fans would only increase as Mike Hawthorn would take the 3rd place spot on the front row and Peter Collins would complete the front row in 4th. The excitement for the British fans would be incredible having three of their countrymen lined up along the front row.
The front row was certainly where Gould would have like to have been. He would not line up there, but he wouldn't be all that far back either. Posting a fastest lap time just 7 seconds slower than Moss, Gould would find himself on the fourth row of the grid in the 14th position. It would be incredible. Just 10 seconds would separate the first 21 cars on the grid. Things were shaping up for one interesting race.
Even on the day of the race the dark skies would remain. Still, the threat of rain was practically non-existent and this would be a break from the last couple of British Grand Prix held at the Silverstone circuit. An incredible throng of fans would gather all around the circuit as the drivers would walk with their cars to the grid. Already a larger-than-life character, Gould would be captured with a smile on his face and a spring in his step as he marched with his car in a sports coat toward the grid. He seemed confident of his potential after the last race he took part on English soil.
The engines would come to a roar and the spectators would rise to their feet in many places around the circuit. Some 28 cars would be ready to go. The flag would drop and the race would get underway to a crescendo of engines straining toward the first turn at Copse. Jose Froilan Gonzalez would reduce the total number of cars by one when his Vanwall broke right as he attempted to leave the grid. Coasting some hundred yards or so, Gonzalez would be the first to retire from a race notorious for attrition.
Though starting on pole, Moss would get away poorly from the grid and would find himself well down through the first corner. The BRMs, on the other hand, would make a terrific start and would have Hawthorn leading the way just ahead of his teammate Brooks who had made an outstanding start from the third row. Gould would avoid Gonzalez's stricken car and would make a good start on the outside heading into the first corner.
At the completion of the first lap it would be Hawthorn leading with Brooks just a few car lengths behind in 2nd. Fangio would be in 3rd place leading another small group of cars a couple of seconds behind the BRM pair. Gould's good start would be hindered by the sheer number of cars trying to funnel their way through the corners. As a result, Gould would actually come across the line at the end of the first lap in 15th place, but still in a strong position once he settled down and got into a rhythm.
One that would be in a rhythm would be Hawthorn. He would stretch out his advantage over his teammate as Fangio began to apply the pressure to Brooks for 2nd. Moss would be fighting to recover from his poor start and would begin to move back up the order. Gould would hold station in 15th trying to get his wits about him before he mounted any kind of charge up the running order.
It was going to be a long day of racing as the scheduled race distance would cover a total of 295 miles, or 101 laps. Therefore, Gould would be in no rush early on as it had been the early stages of a race that had proven to be the toughest for his Maserati. Hawthorn, on the other hand, would be driving in the only fashion he knew how—flat out. Driving as though the race was just 10 laps long he would add to his advantage over Brooks. Fangio would be all over Brooks and then would try on the 9th lap of the race to get by for the position. He would end up pushing a little too hard and would end up spinning out in the D50. Brooks would also get tripped up mentally and would end up losing a couple of places a couple of laps later. But as a result of his spin, Fangio would be forced to make his way back up from 6th. At this point in time Moss had fully recovered from his poor start and he would take full advantage of the mistake and shaken concentration of Brooks to take over 2nd in the running order by the 11th lap of the race. Coming with Moss would be Roy Salvadori in the Gilby Engineering Maserati.
Harry Schell's early struggles would allow Gould to move up to 14th in the running order by the 7th lap and he would remain right there following along behind Jack Fairman in one of the B-Type Connaughts.
The BRM was fast but was still suffering from a lot of teething issues. As a result, Moss would take over the lead of the race by the 16th lap and Hawthorn would continue to fall down the running order until his car had to be retired as a result of an oil leak. Brooks, however, would continue and would be running quite strongly.
The order by the quarter distance mark would be Moss leading over a surprising Roy Salvadori. Fangio would be in 3rd place ahead of Brooks and Collins. Gould would really start to take advantage of the attrition and would find himself in 10th place, still behind Fairman.
For 30 amazing laps Roy Salvadori would stay ahead of Fangio for 2nd place. He certainly seemed more than capable of retaining the position too until a tank strap would break loose on the Maserati causing him to have to slow his pace handing over the position to Fangio at the halfway mark. Over the previous 10 laps Gould had begun to get his dander up and began to challenge Fairman for 7th place. Finally, on the 46th lap Gould would take the position away from Fairman and would not look back until an issue later on dropped him back down to 9th.
Moss looked every bit as dominant as when he took victory in the Monaco Grand Prix. However, after leading more than 50 laps, Moss would stop in the pits to have a misfire addressed. This would hand the lead over to Fangio, who was blessed just to be in the race after his spin early on. At the same time Moss would be handing over his lead to Fangio, Gould would be fully recovered and would be running in 7th place again, this time behind Castellotti and Fairman.
Moss' pace over the course of the more than 50 laps he had been in the lead enables him to rejoin the race in 2nd place despite a car clearly ailing. Further back, Gould would be stuck in something of a stalemate as Jean Behra, Jack Fairman and Eugenio Castellotti all continued to click off the miles without any issue whatsoever. But the race wasn't over just yet.
Heading into the final 10 laps of the race it was still Fangio leading the way over Moss, who was struggling each and every lap with a car that was, for all intents and purposes, falling apart with each passing mile. Castellotti would retire from the race and would hand his car over to Alfonso de Portago for the remainder of the time. This would move Gould up to 6th place, just one spot outside the points. It was shaping up to be a very special day for the man from Bristol.
Then, with 7 laps remaining, the day would get even better for Gould as Moss would be forced to retire with gearbox failure. This would promote Gould up into 5th place and 2 championship points if he could hold everything together over the final 6 laps.
Entirely unchallenged throughout the remain 5 laps of the race Fangio would cruise home to victory completing the race distance in just under 3 hours at an average speed of 98 mph. Absolutely dominant, Fangio would enjoy a margin of victory of more than a lap over Peter Collins in de Portago's Ferrari. Collins had taken over de Portago's car around the 85th lap after his own car had to be retired with falling oil pressure. Jean Behra would be a very quiet 3rd place finisher. He would complete the race a little more than 2 laps behind Fangio.
Following along behind Moss, Fangio enjoyed a thoroughly dominant pace that left the victory in absolutely no doubt. But while Fangio would runaway with the race people like Gould would have reason to celebrate as well. It would certainly seem as though the decision to miss the French Grand Prix would be a good one as Gould would enjoy yet another race finish. It would be just the second time all season long he had managed to finish two races in a row. And what a finish they would be for Gould over the last two races. Following the victory at Aintree, Gould would come across the line at the British Grand Prix down a little more than 4 laps behind Fangio, but in 5th position. At the Monaco Grand Prix, Gould would be the final car still running out on the circuit. While technically he would end the race not classified because of being too far behind, he would still finish the race in 8th place. This had been his best result in a World Championship race, that is, until the British Grand Prix. Gould wouldn't just finish inside the top ten. He would finish in the points. He would leave Silverstone having earned 2 points toward the World Championship. All of a sudden, Gould would be inside the top 20 in the Drivers' Championship standings! Confidence was certainly riding high at that moment.
Home soil had proven good to Gould. Granted, he had to travel to Italy to get the car capable of turning the races on home soil in his favor, but still, good things were happening to Gould. Therefore, why leave?
Thankfully for the sake of his confidence and momentum, there would be no reason to do so. On the 22nd of July, Horace would have another opportunity to build upon his ever-growing confidence. On that day, over at the Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit there would be the 1st Vanwall Trophy race. Similar to the Easter Monday races held at Goodwood, the Vanwall Trophy race would be just one of a number of races held on a weekend of racing at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk.
Named for the village only a little more than a mile to the northwest, Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit would actually get its start, like so many other motor racing circuits throughout England, as an air force base during the Second World War. RAF Snetterton-Heath, as it originally was known, would be constructed in 1942 and would be commissioned in 1943. Originally, the base was to be intended for Royal Air Force use. However, when the United States entered the war the base would be reassigned to the United States Army Air Force and would be designated Station 138.
The base would become the home of the 386th Medium Bombardment Group flying B-26 Marauders. This group would begin arriving in early June of 1943. Just days later, elements of the 96th Heavy Bombardment Group would begin arriving. This group would fly B-17 Flying Fortresses and would be involved in some of the most famous bombing raids in the war's history. Following the end of the war the base would be returned to RAF hands and would host the 262nd Maintenance Unit until the base's eventual closure in 1948.
Using the example of Silverstone, Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit would be born in 1952 and would make use of the 2.70 mile perimeter road that had been part of the base when used for housing bombers.
The entry list for the race would list some 12 tentative participants. Of course, the actual number of participants that would arrive would be much less as many would still be suffering from the effects of the British Grand Prix just 8 days earlier. Bruce Halford, Bob Gerard and Paul Emery would all be on the entry list but would not arrive for the race as a result of repairs not having been done in time. And so, just 6 cars would arrive to take part in the Vanwall Trophy race.
In spite of the numbers, Gould could not expect a top result. Roy Salvadori, Archie Scott-Brown and Jack Brabham were all in the field with cars fully capable of fending off Gould. Of course Salvadori had been running strongly in 2nd place during the British Grand Prix until the tank strap broke. So a victory was by no means a certainty.
And then there was the tendency for Gould's Maserati to suffer problems very early on in races. The race would be only 15 laps in length, but Gould had run into trouble after just a couple of laps at times during the season.
Reality would strike during practice when Roy Salvadori set the pace in the Gilby Engineering Maserati. Salvadori would take the pole while Archie Scott-Brown took 2nd. Gould would line up in 3rd place while Jack Brabham would complete the front row in 4th.
In such a short event Gould would need to make his move early or else there would be little chance of mounting a challenge later on. However, as the flag dropped to start the race it would be Scott-Brown and Salvadori that would make their move early.
Scott-Brown would be flying in the early laps of the race and would end up turning what would be the fastest lap of the race within those first half dozen laps. Averaging nearly 96 mph, Scott-Brown would be pushing the tiny field hard, but it would only come back to haunt him as his race would come to an end after 6 laps due to a broken oil pipe.
This would hand the advantage over to Salvadori who would do a pretty good job in his own right pushing the pace at the head of the field. Gould and Brabham would be forced to do whatever they could just to keep up with the Gilby Engineering driver.
Brabham would be one of the first to lose touch dropping well back within the first few laps of the race. Gould would try with everything he had and would maintain touch a bit longer. However, it wouldn't be too long before he too would begin to lose touch hand over fist.
Heading into the final couple of laps of the race the only hope Gould would have of catching and passing Salvadori for the lead would be if Salvadori ran into a problem of some kind. During the British Grand Prix Salvadori had shown an ability to run with the best and at just 15 laps in length it would be unlikely a problem would develop in the remaining few laps. As a result, the situation was looking less and less likely for Gould.
Pushing a pace of over 92 mph over the course of the 15 laps it would take Salvadori just a little more than 26 minutes to complete the 41 miles to take the victory. The margin of victory would be a demonstrative one as even in that short of a race Gould would finish a minute and 8 seconds behind. Brabham would be even worse off having lost a whole lap before crossing the line to finish 3rd.
Gould had secured another strong finish but there really would be very little to celebrate given just how far behind he had been to Salvadori by the end. It was still a 2nd place result, but it likely wouldn't have added to the confidence and the momentum as much as Gould would have liked. What's more, it would be a potential victory that wouldn't just slip through Horace's fingers. Instead, it would be ripped away from him before he even had a chance to take grip of the situation.
But on the bright side of things, the 2nd place result would be the first time all season long in which Gould had managed to finish three-straight races. Things were still certainly looking up. And he would need it heading into the next race on the season.
The month of July had been a good one for Gould. He would certainly hope it carried on into August given the next race on the calendar, for the next race would take the hand of providence to see a car and driver safely through. It was the seventh round of the Formula One World Championship and it was the German Grand Prix.
Only a matter of miles east of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit there would be another infamous road course. This monster, hidden deep within its lair within the Eifel Mountains, would wind its way around the tiny village of Nurburg and would keep guard of the ancient Nurburg Castle sitting high above the region. A formidable defensive barricade, this Nordschleife would rise and fall numerous times and would present all challengers more than 170 corners to negotiate. Blind crests and heart-stopping bends presented perhaps the toughest gauntlet known in the world. The Nordschleife would be considered 14 miles of pure seduction by only a rare few. For most others, the circuit would be nothing more than a veritable 'green hell'.
Built during the Middle Ages, the Nurburg Castle would serve as a beacon for motor racing enthusiasts the world over. Considered a place of some questionable and highly debatable early history, one thing would be certain, Nurburg would become a place of pilgrimage for just about anyone that had any interest at all in motor racing.
Coming into the 1956 German Grand Prix there would be a lot of change. The last time Formula One had visited the circuit it had been in 1954 and Fangio would end up coming through to take victory in a Mercedes-Benz W196. This victory would ignite the German fans into great celebration. One year later, the mood would be much different as the tragedy at Le Mans would lead to the organizers making the decision to cancel the race. Of course Mercedes had withdrawn from the 24 hour race out of respect for the French people. Unfortunately, 1955 would be the final year for Mercedes-Benz. And so, when the World Championship returned to the circuit in 1956 there would be no German team for the German people to cheer on to victory. In fact, there wouldn't even be a German driver in the field.
But while there wouldn't be a German car or driver in the field there would be plenty of Italian pieces of machinery that would be entered in the race. Out of the 22 cars that would be unloaded and that would take part in practice 19 of them would be Italian made. The dominance would be impressive.
As the cars were being unloaded rain would pour down on the paddock and the entire circuit. This would make the already treacherous circuit all the more fearsome. Nonetheless, Fangio would go out in his D50 and would post the fastest time of practice. His best lap of 9:51.2 would end up being just three-tenths of a second faster than Peter Collins in another D50. Eugenio Castellotti would make it three D50s on the front row when he turned in a lap time of 9:54.4. Because of the wet conditions the gaps between drivers would be much more pronounced. This would be partly the reason why Moss would end up on the front row despite being more than 12 seconds slower than Fangio.
The wet conditions would only further separate the men from the boys. There were very few Ringmeisters and the conditions would prove that as Gould would be more than off the pace during practice. Struggling to keep his Maserati on track throughout the whole of just a single lap, Gould would be slow, posting a best lap of 11:32.2. This was pushing 2 minutes slower than Fangio. Nonetheless, Gould would still garner a decent starting position. When it was all said and done Horace would be on the fourth row of the grid in the 13th position.
After a couple of days of heavy rain, the skies would brighten up and the circuit would dry for the race on the 5th of August. This would enable the speeds to pick up and drivers, like Gould, to gain a little more confidence. As always, an incredible crowd would assemble around the circuit in preparation for the 22 lap, 311 mile, race.
The engines would come to life. So too would the crowd. As the flag dropped to start the race it would be Peter Collins that would get the better launch toward the first turn. Fangio and Moss would be side-by-side fighting for 2nd place. Gould would get hung up off the grid and would be a ways behind heading through the first turn. However, a single lap was long and surely eventful. There would be plenty of time for him to make up for lost ground.
By the end of the epic 14 mile first lap, Fangio would be in the lead with Collins and Moss running 2nd and 3rd respectively. Gould would get things under control and would be showing a much better pace in the dry conditions than he had in the wet. However, not all would be well. As he crossed the line for the first time he would be in 14th place with Castellotti running right there behind him, but, he would immediately make his way to the pits and would have the throttle adjusted on his Maserati before heading back out.
Throughout the first couple of laps the order at the front would remain unchanged. Fangio would lead the way over Collins while Moss and Jean Behra made up 3rd and 4th in the order. Gould would make use of his throttle adjustment and would still be ahead of Castellotti and would even be able to make his way back up to 13th after the retirements of Scarlatti, Manzon and Salvadori within the first couple of laps.
The 4th lap of the race would see Gould's race take an even worse turn. Already slowed by the throttle adjustment and his inexperience at the circuit, Gould would find himself getting in Fangio's way as he would go a lap down within the first couple of laps. But this wasn't the biggest blow to his race. While heading around the circuit on the 4th lap of the race Gould would notice falling oil pressure. This sign was of a terminal problem and at the end of the lap he would be in the pits and out of the race. But he would still have a role to play.
Fangio and Collins continued to carry on around the circuit separated by just a couple of seconds. Moss would be doing his level best but would be nearer 20 seconds in arrears. Each would up the pace in an effort to outdo each other. Fangio would push the pace of the race to well under 9:50 and Collins would take it even lower. Then, in a bid to keep touch, Moss would set an even faster time.
The pace was taking its toll on the field. Following Gould's retirement, Umberto Maglioli and Castellotti would drop out. Harry Schell would come into the pits with his Maserati and would be suffering from overheating. He would continue but it seemed clear he was fighting a losing battle.
But then even more things changed. The pace amongst the front-runners would even begin to take its toll as Peter Collins would suffer a split in his fuel line and would be forced to retire his car after 8 laps. This meant a total of 7 cars out before the 10th lap of the race. Another D50 retirement, this time Castellotti in Luigi Musso's Lancia-Ferrari, meant there were 8 cars out by the halfway mark.
Right around the halfway mark of the race it would be Fangio leading the race still by about 20 seconds over Moss. Jean Behra's consistency had enabled him to move up to 3rd place following Collins' retirement. It would be at this moment that Gould would find he still had a role to play in the 1956 German Grand Prix.
Fellow Brit Bruce Halford was running inside the top 6 when he had a moment and ended up spinning off course. He would damage the tail of his Maserati slightly. The bigger concern however would be the fact the exhaust running back along the side of the car had been broken away and this was doing harm to the Maserati engine. Halford would make it back to the pits to have some servicing done. Quickly Gould would come running over to Halford and his team of mechanics and would signal Bruce to get back into the race. Gould had realized the problem and would promptly take off to get the exhaust off of his own Maserati.
By the time Halford returned to the pits Gould would have the exhaust in hand ready to be attached to Halford's Maserati. While the exhaust was busy being attached, Behra would be in the pits having a broken tank strap replaced. Schell would return with his overheating problems and would promptly exit the race. Halford would rejoin the race and would find himself just outside the points.
At the front, Fangio would just go faster and faster. On the 14th lap he would end up turning in the fastest lap of the race with a lap time of 9:41.6 at an average speed of 87 mph. This would absolutely shatter the lap record and would enable the Argentinean to open up his lead over Moss even more.
Heading into the final couple of laps it seemed certain Fangio was going to win the race going away. The big question was further down. Bruce Halford would find himself all the way up into 4th place when he would receive the word he was disqualified. The reason for the disqualification would be receiving outside assistance. Thus, the 4th place would be stripped away from him and given to Chico Godia-Sales.
Going into the final lap of the race there would be just 6 cars still running out on the circuit. Miles ahead of them all would be Fangio. And, after three hours and nearly 39 minutes of racing he would come flying across the line to take yet another victory. Some 46 seconds later Moss would come through to claim 2nd. Jean Behra's tank strap problem would not prevent him from claiming the final step on the podium as he would finish a little more than seven minutes and 38 seconds behind.
Gould had done everything he could to aid Halford in his bid to finish in the points. Truly fitting of his character, Gould would not hold back just because he was out of the race. And so, in many respects, while it would not help earn him prize money or anything like that, the gesture would go a long way toward earning him even more respect amongst his competitors. Of course, Gould would certainly be more interested in points results and victories.
The German Grand Prix would see Gould's string of results come to an end. And, once again, his race would come to an early end. Following the German Grand Prix there would be a gap of nearly a month before the final round of the World Championship. However, on the 26th of August, three weeks after the Nurburgring, there would be a non-championship event. The race was the 4th Grand Prix de Caen and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Gould to regain some lost confidence and momentum before heading off to one of the most important races of his season.
The largest city in Lower Normandy, Caen would be a strategically-important city during the Second World War. As a result, during the war, the city would incur a lot of damage from the fighting. Buildings would be leveled and much of the city destroyed. All of a sudden, the second largest municipality in Normandy would be mostly rubble.
Having been involved in battles dating all the way back to William the Conqueror, Caen had always found a way to rise from the ashes like the legendary Phoenix. And, in just a decade since the terrible destruction as a result of the war, the city would be back hosting Formula One looking like it had only come back stronger than before.
The last few races on Gould's calendar had taken place at permanent road courses or airfields turned into motor racing circuits. Caen would be much more a step into the past as the city streets and the La Prairie Park just to the south of the city's center prepared for the non-championship event.
La Prairie would be a popular spot in Caen as its hippodrome would host horse races and other sporting events. The grand prix would consist of a 2.19 mile circuit that ran around the park and made use of Boulevard Yves Guillou and Cours du General Koenig that runs parallel to the River Orne. Short and relatively fast, the circuit would be technically difficult, especially in changing conditions.
With the exception of Harry Schell, who would manage to talk Officine Alfieri Maserati into allowing him to enter a factory Maserati, the vast majority of the field would be comprised of privateers, French privateers. Still, there would be a number of strong cars and drivers on the entry list and Gould would certainly find this out during practice.
Roy Salvadori would end up being the fastest. Louis Rosier would show his old form taking the 2nd, and final, spot on the two-wide front row. Gould would struggle a little around the circuit and would end up down on the third row of the grid in the 6th position.
At 70 laps, the Grand Prix de Caen would be about longevity as much as it would be about speed. This mean the drivers had to be fast, but they also had to be careful. Well at least the should have realized this before the start of the race.
Schell would take full advantage of his factory Maserati and would come up the order pretty quickly. Of course, Salvadori would look like one of the men to beat following his taking pole and then setting what would be the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:26.2 at an average speed of more than 91 mph.
But then things would change. The conditions would change and many drivers would be caught out by it, including Gould.
Hermanos da Silva Ramos and Paul Emery would be out of the running before the 10th lap of the race. But then on the 11th, Gould would set off a chain of events that would dramatically change the make-up of the race.
Gould would lose his concentration for just a moment and would end up crashing off the circuit. The damage would be too great to continue, and so, he would be out of his second race in a row. Ten laps later, Bruce Halford would do the same thing and would end up having to retire because of the extensive damage to his car. Another 10 laps later and Robert Manzon would make the same mistake and would crash out of the race. It would be incredible. At 10 lap intervals drivers were crashing out of the race.
Rosier would follow suit but his departure would come just 4 laps after Manzon's departure. Salvadori's early pace would leave him over the course of the event and it would be Schell out front holding onto a sizable lead over Andre Simon who had started the race all the way down in 7th position.
Due to the pace of Schell, the changing conditions and the lack of concentration by the other drivers, Schell would cruise to victory holding a lead of 70 seconds over Simon in 2nd place. Roy Salvadori would hold on after looking so dominant earlier on. He would finish a lap down in 3rd.
Gould had a problem. He had a severely broken race car, little to no confidence or finances and just 7 days before the Italian Grand Prix. There was a lot of work to do if he season was to have one more race.
The crash at Caen could not have been any more ill-timed. Only 7 days before the Italian Grand Prix, Gould would need a Maserati operating absolutely perfectly for the ultra high-speed Monza circuit if he was to have any aspirations of trying for another points-paying result. Perhaps the race in Caen was not the best idea?
It would certainly seem this way. Gould would have an entry for the final round of the 1956 Formula One World Championship. But he was already operating on a limited budget in the first place. What's more, Maserati would be busy preparing their cars for the home grand prix. It certainly didn't look good for Gould. And, as a result, he would not arrive at Monza but would head back to his home in Modena instead. His 1956 season was over.
In spite of the fact the season had come to a terrible end, there were still a couple of memorable highlights. Of course perhaps none of them would be any better than the 5th place earned in the British Grand Prix. Going up against the best teams and drivers in the world and coming away with 2 championship points was certainly a nice way to end one's home grand prix.
And so, even though Gould was living on a very limited budget and was having to beg, borrow and probably steal everything for his racing interests he was proving to be successful and would certainly be around for the 1957 season.