Preis von Ostschweiz

Ferrari Preis von Ostschweiz, klemcoll, Rudi Fischer

In the immediate postwar years there was a Grand Prix race in the city of Erlen in Switzerland, in English perhaps the Prize of East Switzerland [No doubt a reader will suggest a better translation!].  Erlen is located about 70 km. northeast of Zurich near Lake Constance, the Bodensee in German. The circuit was of the temporary street variety and just over 1.7 miles in length. It was triangular with the start/finish on the main straight followed by a hairpin to the right and a straight with a sweeping right to a 90º right corner after which there was an “S” bend with a straight section to another right hand hairpin onto the main straight. Works teams did not attend, so the field was made up of private entrants. Here is the start of the Formula 2 race on August 12, 1951 with the Ferrari 212F2  of the popular Swiss driver Rudolf “Rudi” Fischer in the lead.

Ferrari, Preis von Ostschweiz, klemcollHere Fischer is to the left entering one of the hairpin corners. Fischer’s car was probably a 1949 or 1950 Formula 1 chassis but redone with updated bodywork and a two liter single cam per bank F2 motor. He raced this privately-owned Ferrari numerous times. To the left at the start, having taken pole position, is an HWM-Alta driven by a young Stirling Moss who will not finish due to suspension failure. Car n. 14 to the right is a Veritas Meteor driven by Toni Ulman which will be another non-finisher.

Two other F2 Ferraris were in the race. One was an older F1 car, re-engined with an F2 motor and handled by the British driver Peter Whitehead who was sixth on the grid. Another more recent F2 Ferrari was entrusted to ex-Scuderia Ferrari driver Franco Cortese. Whitehead would have a race-long duel with Fischer and took the win by 15 seconds with Robert Manzon’s Gordini T11 third another 7 seconds back. Cortese finished seventh, three laps down.

Photos from the JJF Archive ©The Klemantaski Collection –

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