1958 United States Grand Prix for Sports Cars

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The 1958 United States Grand Prix for Sports Cars was a sports car race held at Riverside International Raceway on October 12, 1958. It was the fourth and final round of the 1958 USAC Road Racing Championship season, the seventeenth round of the Sports Car Club of America's Pacific Coast Championship, the second running of the Riverside Grand Prix, and the first post-World War II running of the United States Grand Prix. The race was held over 62 laps of Riverside's 3.3-mile (5.3 km) circuit, for a total of 203.1 miles (326.9 km). Chuck Daigh won the race overall, driving one of Lance Reventlow's Scarab-Chevrolets. The race is also noteworthy in the annals of international racing, as the strong second-place finish by a local driver named Dan Gurney earned him a test drive in a factory Ferrari Formula 1 car, effectively launching the Californian's legendary racing career.

The weather at this event was very warm, even for a desert climate that routinely saw daytime temperatures of 100F plus during the summer. On race day the temperature reached an extraordinary high for the era 95 °F (35 °C); with winds gusting up to 9.9 miles per hour (15.9 km/h) on race day.[1] Even with the global warming that emerged decades after the late 1950s, the maximum temperature of Riverside, California never exceeded 79.2 °F (26.2 °C) for the month of October 2013.[2]

Entry[edit]

The race was open to cars meeting the Sports Car Club of America's B Modified through G Modified classes. Although named "modified", most of the cars in classes C through G were factory-built sports racing cars. The field was unusually large for an American sports car race, attracted in large part by a large purse consisting of $14,500 ($118,525.37 in today's money).[3]

Class Displacement
B Modified 5000-8000cc
C Modified 3000-5000cc
D Modified 2000-3000cc
E Modified 1500-2000cc
F Modified 1100-1500cc
G Modified 750-1100cc
[4]

Qualifying[edit]

Pole position winners in each class are marked in bold.

Pos Class Car Driver Lap Time
1 BM #5 Scarab Mk II-Chevrolet Chuck Daigh 02:04.0
2 CM #2 Ferrari 412 MI Phil Hill 02:06.0
3 BM #3 Scarab Mk II-Chevrolet Lance Reventlow 02:08.1
4 CM #59 Aston Martin DBR2 Bob Oker 02:09.7
5 CM #69 Ferrari 375 Plus Dan Gurney 02:10.2
6 CM #11 Ferrari 335 Sport John von Neumann 02:10.8
7 BM #70 Ol' Yaller Mk.I-Buick Max Balchowsky 02:11.1
8 DM #159 Aston Martin DBR1 Roy Salvadori 02:11.6
9 DM #211 Ferrari 250 TR Richie Ginther 02:12.3
10 BM #172 Kurtis 500X-Cadillac Jerry Unser 02:12.4
11 CM #27 Jaguar D-Type Bill Krause 02:13.6
12 BM #111 Devin-Chevrolet Special Ak Miller 02:13.7
13 FM #7 Porsche 718 RSK Jean Behra 02:14.3
14 BM #14 Lister-Corvette Bill Pollack 02:15.5
15 CM #88 Ferrari 410 Sport Masten Gregory 02:15.6
16 CM #78 Maserati 450S Carroll Shelby 02:15.6
17 BM #229 Chevrolet Special Clem Proctor 02:17.6
18 BM #264 Huffaker Special-Chrysler Fred Knoop 02:17.7
19 EM #50 Porsche 550 RS Spyder Ken Miles 02:18.0
20 FM #126 Lotus Eleven Pat Pigott 02:18.6
21 EM #155 Ferrari 500 TR Sam Weiss 02:18.8
22 BM #149 Zidar Special (Kurtis-Corvette) Ray Crawford 02:19.8
23 GM #125 Lotus Eleven Pete Lovely 02:21.8
24 BM #98 Maserati 450S-Pontiac Jim Rathmann 02:22.9
25 GM #127 Lotus Eleven-Climax Skip Conklin 02:23.4
26 EM #9 Meyer-Drake Special-Offenhauser Bill Cantrell 02:24.0
27 FM #49 Cooper-Climax Bob Drake 02:24.3
28 FM #117 Osca TN Harry Hanford 02:24.4
29 FM #4 Lotus Eleven Lew Florence 02:24.6
30 EM #135 Ferrari 500 TR Alan Markelson 02:24.9
31 CM #129 HWM-Chevrolet Ralph Ormsbee 02:25.3
32 BM #96 Kurtis-Ford Marvin Porter 02:25.4
33 BM #110 Caballo de Hiero Mk II-Oldsmobile Bobby Unser 02:26.3
34 EM #121 Ferrari 500 TRC Frank Becker 02:26.3
35 BM #93 Buick Special Floyd Burt 02:27.6
36 FM #122 Cooper-Porsche Tom Meehan 02:28.2
37 FM #124 Porsche 550 RS Spyder George Keck 02:28.3
38 DM #259 Aston Martin DB3S William de Creeft 02:28.8
39 EM #35 Osca 2000 Pearce Woods 02:29.0
40 BM #140 Kurtis-Buick Bill Cheesbourg 02:30.1
41 EM #23 Lotus Mark X John Timanus 02:30.4
42 DM #118 Porsche 356 Carrera GT Coupe Jean Pierre Kunstle 02:34.2
43 DM #138 Duncan Special Bill Love 02:35.3
44 EM #26 Ferrari 500 TR Gordon Glyer 02:36.5
45 BM #6 Kurtis-Buick Troy Ruttman no time
46 BM #181 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL-Corvette Johnny Parsons no time
DNQ FM #8 Maserati 150S Dusty Miller
DNQ BM #16 Scarab Mk I-Chevrolet Lance Reventlow
DNQ BM #52 Kurtis-Corvette Bert Ruttman
DNQ CM #77 Ferrari 4.4 Rodger Ward
DNQ EM #114 Sebring 2000SS Hank Tubman

Race result[edit]

Class winners marked in bold.

Pos Class No Team Drivers Car Laps
1 BM 5 Reventlow Automobile Incorporated United States Chuck Daigh Scarab Mk II 62
Chevrolet Corvette 5.5L V8
2 CM 69 Frank Arciero United States Dan Gurney Ferrari 375 Plus 62
Ferrari 4.0L V12 DOHC
3 CM 27 Frank Millard United States Bill Krause Jaguar D-Type 62
Jaguar XK 3.9L I6
4 FM 7 Porsche AG France Jean Behra Porsche 718 RSK 61
Porsche 1.5L Flat-4
5 DM 211 Ferrari Representatives of California United States Richie Ginther Ferrari 250 TR 61
Ferrari Tipo 128 LM 3.0L V12
6 DM 159 David Brown United Kingdom Roy Salvadori Aston Martin DBR1 61
Aston Martin 2.9L I6
7 BM 70 Motor Trend Magazine United States Max Balchowsky Ol'Yaller Mk.1 60
Buick 5.3L V8
8 BM 14 Dean Van Lines United States Bill Pollack Lister 60
Chevrolet Corvette 5.8L V8
9 EM 50 Precision Motor Cars United Kingdom Ken Miles Porsche 550 RS 60
Porsche 1.6L Flat-4
10 FM 49 Top Equipment Co. United States Bob Drake Cooper 58
Coventry Climax 1.5L I4
11 CM 88 John Edgar United States Masten Gregory Ferrari 410 Sport 57
Ferrari 4.9L V12
12 EM 26 Gordon Glyer United States Gordon Glyer Ferrari 500 TR 57
Ferrari Tipo 131 2.0L I4
13 CM 129 Team Empire United States Ralph Ormsbee HWM 57
Chevrolet 5.0L V8
14 FM 117 Tim Considine United States Harry Hanford Osca TN 57
Osca 1.5L I4
15 EM 135 Alan Markelson United States Alan Markelson Ferrari 500 TR 56
Ferrari Tipo 131 2.0L I4
16 EM 9 Mar-Chris Co. United States Bill Cantrell Meyer-Drake Special 56
Offenhauser 1.7L
17 EM 121 Team Empire United States Frank Becker Ferrari 500 TRC 55
Ferrari 2.0L I4
18 GM 127 Skip Conklin United States Skip Conklin Lotus Eleven 55
Climax 1.1L I4
19 FM 124 Team Empire United States George Keck Porsche 550 RS 54
Porsche 1.5L Flat-4
20 DM 118 Jean Pierre Kunstle United States Jean Pierre Kunstle Porsche 356 Carrera GT 54
Porsche 1.5L Flat-4
21 DM 259 William de Creeft United States William de Creeft Aston Martin DB3S 52
Aston Martin 2.9L I6
22 EM 35 C. Vernon United States Pearce Woods Osca 2000 47
Osca 2.0L
23 DM 138 West Coast Racing United States Bill Love Duncan Special 44
Triumph TR2 2.2L
24 EM 23 John Timanus United States John Timanus Lotus Mark X 39
1.4L (Supercharged) I4
25
DNF
CM 2 Ferrari Representatives of California United States Phil Hill Ferrari 412 MI 55
Ferrari 4.0L V12 DOHC
26
DNF
GM 125 Team Empire United States Pete Lovely Lotus Eleven 54
Coventry Climax FWA 1.1L I4
27
DNF
FM 126 Team Empire United States Pat Pigott Lotus Eleven 46
Coventry Climax 1.5L I4
28
DNF
FM 4 Team Empire United States Lew Florence Lotus Eleven 25
Coventry Climax 1.5L I4
29
DNF
BM 93 Floyd Burt United States Floyd Burt Buick Special 23
Buick
30
DNF
BM 149 Ray Crawford United States Ray Crawford "Zidar Special" Kurtis 20
Chevrolet Corvette 5.5L V8
31
DNF
BM 181 Chuck Porter United States Johnnie Parsons Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Special 16
Chevrolet Corvette (Supercharged) 5.0L V8
32
DNF
BM 264 Fred Knoop United States Fred Knoop Huffaker-Chrysler Special 13
Chrysler 5.2L V8
33
DNF
BM 3 Reventlow Automobile Incorporated United States Lance Reventlow Scarab Mk II-Chevrolet 9
Chevrolet Corvette 5.5L V8
34
DNF
BM 140 Alex Budurin United States Bill Cheesbourg Kurtis Kraft 8
Buick
35
DNF
BM 172 Mickey Thompson United States Jerry Unser Kurtis 500 X2 7
Cadillac 5.6L V8
36
DNF
BM 6 Bill Murphy's Buick United States Troy Ruttman Kurtis Kraft 7
Buick 5.1L V8
37
DNF
FM 122 Team Empire United States Tom Meehan Cooper 6
Porsche 1.5L Flat-4
38
DNF
CM 78 Temple Buell United States Carroll Shelby Maserati 450S 4
Maserati 4.7L V8 DOHC
39
DNF
BM 96 Marvin Porter Kurtis Kraft 4
Ford
40
DNF
BM 110 Ak Miller United States Bobby Unser Caballo de Hiero Mk II 3
Oldsmobile 6.2L V8
41
DNF
EM 155 Sam Weiss United States Sam Weiss Ferrari 500 TR 1
Ferrari Tipo 131 2.0L I4
42
DNF
CM 11 Ferrari Representatives of California United States John von Neumann Ferrari 335 Sport 0
Ferrari 4.1L V12
43
DNF
BM 111 Ak Miller United States Ak Miller Devin Special 0
Chevrolet 5.6L V8
DNS CM 59 David Brown United States Bob Oker Aston Martin DBR2
Aston Martin 3.9L I6
DNS BM 98 John Engar United States Jim Rathmann Maserati 450S
Pontiac 6.3L V8
DNS BM 229 Clem Proctor United States Clem Proctor Chevrolet Special
Chevrolet (Supercharged) 4.6L V8
DNQ FM 8 Dusty Miller United States Dusty Miller Maserati 150S
Maserati 1.5L I4
DNQ BM 16 Reventlow Automobile Incorporated United States Lance Reventlow Scarab Mk I-Chevrolet
Chevrolet Corvette 5.5L V8
DNQ BM 52 Engine Masters United States Bert Ruttman Kurtis Kraft
Chevrolet Corvette V8
DNQ CM 77 Italia Masters United States Rodger Ward Ferrari 4.4
Ferrari 4.4L V12
DNQ EM 114 Dean Van Lines United States Hank Tubman Sebring 2000 SS
2.0L
  • Time of race: 2 hours, 17 minutes, 15 seconds
  • Average speed: 88.87 mph (143.02 km/h)

Support races[edit]

Two support races were held: a production car race won by Skip Hudson in a Chevrolet Corvette, and an under-1400cc race won by Jock Ross in a Cooper-Climax.[5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Weather information for the 1958 United States Grand Prix for Sports Cars". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  2. ^ "Weather comparison - 2010s climate vs 1950s climate". The Old Farmers' Almanac. Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  3. ^ Dredge, Bill (10 October 1958). "Berha arrives to drive in $14,500 U.S. Grand Prix". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Haybale: Official Sports Car Racing Program, New England Championship". Etceterini. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  5. ^ "Riverside (BP+CP+DP+EP+FP)". Racing Sports Cars. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "Riverside (GM+HM+GP+HP)". Racing Sports Cars. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
Preceded by
1958 Watkins Glen Formula Libre Grand Prix
USAC Road Racing Championship
1958 season
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by
1957 Riverside National Championship Sports Car Races
Riverside Grand Prix Succeeded by
1959 United States Grand Prix for Sports Cars
Preceded by
1916 American Grand Prize
United States Grand Prix Succeeded by
1959 United States Grand Prix