Froilán González, emblem of Argentine motorsport

José Froilán González, whose death will mark a decade tomorrow, became an emblem of Argentine motorsports without becoming world champion in Formula 1, when he competed alongside another legend like Juan Manuel Fangio. The life of Pepe, the Arreciefeño whom Don Enzo Ferrari adored in life, went out on Saturday, June 15, 2013, at the age of 90, due to respiratory problems.

In times when driving competition cars demanded massive efforts, the man from Buenos Aires knew how to make the most of his talent and showed an integrity that was valued by all the members of the Formula 1 planet at that time.

Because Froilán became on July 14, 1951 at the traditional Silverstone racetrack, the first winning driver of the Ferrari house, that icon of Italian sport based in Maranello. For this reason, perhaps, the creator of the most famous brand in the history of the highest automobile category always had ‘Cabezón’ on the pedestal.

He was born on October 5, 1922 and from a young age he felt a passion for ‘iron’. He took his first steps in zonal categories and won for the first time in 1947, with a Ford B, one year after his debut.

González was betting on driving Fuerza Libre cars, predecessors of the Argentine Formula 1 Mechanics and special cars. That allowed him to feed the illusion of running in the highest automobile division.

He made his F1 debut in 1950, the inaugural year, when he sat aboard a Maserati 4 CLT at the Monaco Grand Prix, retiring on the first lap after being involved in an accident involving 10 machines.

At the beginning of 1951, in the so-called Free Force and with a Ferrari, Froilán demonstrated his driving skills in an armed street layout around the Bosques de Palermo. The man from Arrecife beat the powerful Mercedes, one of them driven by ‘Chueco’ Fangio.

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The moving victory came at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and the Argentine entered –automatically– in the heart of the ‘typhoses’ of the Italian team.

From this conquest, the relationship with “Il Commendatore” was strengthened, to such an extent that he did not need to announce himself to the businessman’s secretaries every time he wanted to visit Don Enzo in Maranello.

Among other milestones in his sporting career, González also prevailed in 1954, under the rain, in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with a Ferrari that he shared with the Frenchman Maurice Trintignant. That year he was also runner-up in Formula 1, behind Fangio.

In local motorsports, Froilán also left his mark on Road Tourism, when together with Aldo Bellavigna, they introduced the Chevitú (Chevrolet 400), which Jorge Cupeiro handled with skill.

In Formula 1 he participated in 26 Grand Prix, with two wins, 15 podiums, 3 pole positions and 6 lap records.

Once his sports career ended, Froilán continued to be close to motorsports, establishing himself as an excellent engine preparer for Chevrolet units of the TC and Fuerza Libre.

And, in addition, he always accompanied the values ​​of Argentine motorsports who wanted to insert themselves in the European continent, such as Carlos Reutemann, Oscar Larrauri, Enrique Mansilla and Norberto Fontana, among others.

His excellent relationship with Enzo Ferrari allowed him to even recommend Lole to be hired by the Italian brand, back in 1977.

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