Sunday, September 13, 2009

Juan Manuel Fangio Photo, Winner of Grand Prix at Pau in a Maserati, 1949

Juan Manuel Fangio ( 24 June 1911 - 17 July 1995), nicknamed "El Chueco" ("knock-kneed") or "El Maestro" ("The Master"), was an Argentinean race car driver who dominated the first decade of post WWII Formula 1 racing. The winner of five F1 championships, many still consider him to be the greatest driver of all time. Born in Argentina in 1911, he began his racing career in Argentina in 1934, driving a rebuilt Ford Model A. Later he drove Chevrolets and became Argentine National Champion in 1940 and 1941. He first came to Europe to race in 1948, funded by the Argentine Automobile Club and the Argentine government.
Unlike most Formula One drivers then and now, Fangio started his racing career at a mature age and was the oldest driver in many of his races. During his career, drivers raced almost without protective equipment. He had no compunction about leaving a team, even after a successful year or even during a season, if he thought he would have a better chance with a better car. As was common at the time, several of his race results were shared with team-mates after he took over their cars during races w8hen his own had technical problems.
Fangio's first entry into Formula One came in the in the French Formula 1 race at Reims where he started from 11th on the grid but retired. He did not drive in F1 again until the following year at but having upgraded to a Maserati 4CLT/48 sponsored by the Automobile Club of Argentina he dominated the event, winning both heats to take the aggregate win by almost a minute over Prince Bira. Fangio entered a further six F1 races in 1949, winning four of them against top-level opposition.

Designer: Ernesto Maserati
Technical specifications
Light alloy ladder
Front Suspension: Independent, torsion springs and friction dampers
Rear Suspension: Live axle, leaf springs and friction dampers
Track-width F: 1,250 mm (49.2 in) R: 1,276 mm (50.2 in)
Wheelbase:2,500 mm (98.4 in)
Engine: Maserati 1,491 cc (91 cu in) straight-4, single-stage supercharger, front mounted
Maserati 4-speed manual
Tires: Pirelli
The Grand Prix de Pau is located in Pau, Pyrénées-Atlantiquess, southwestern Francee. The race was first held in 1901, and started running regularly in 1933, with a race being held more-or-less every year since, excluding the years during WWII. The race is run around a street circuitt laid out on the French town, and is in many ways similar to the more famous Formula One Monaco Grand Prix. The race cars are set up with plenty of suspension travel to minimize the effect of running on the typical undulating tarmac of the street circuit.

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