Masten Gregory

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Masten Gregory
GregoryMasten1965.jpg
Masten Gregory waits in the cockpit of his BRM, at the Nürburgring in 1965 German Grand Prix.
Born (1932-02-29)February 29, 1932
Kansas City, Missouri, US
Died November 8, 1985(1985-11-08) (aged 53)
Porto Ercole, Tuscany, Italy
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality United States American
Active years 19571963, 1965
Teams Maserati, Cooper, Behra-Porsche, Lotus, Lola, BRM
Races 46 (38 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 3
Career points 21
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1957 Monaco Grand Prix
Last race 1965 Italian Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1955, 19571966, 19681972
Teams Mike Sparken
Duncan Hamilton
Ecurie Ecosse
Camoradi USA
Porsche System
UDT Laystall
NART
Ford Motor Company
Scuderia Filipinetti
Autodelta SpA
Best finish 1st (1965)
Class wins 2 (1961, 1965)

Masten Gregory (February 29, 1932 − November 8, 1985) was a racing driver from the United States. He raced in Formula One between 1957 and 1965, participating in 43 World Championship races, and numerous non-Championship races.[1]

Career[edit]

Known as the "Kansas City Flash", Masten Gregory was born in Kansas City, Missouri as the youngest of three children (brother Riddelle L. Gregory Jr, sister Nancy James) and heir to an insurance company fortune. Gregory was well known for his youngish looks and thick eyeglasses, due to his "terrible" eyesight. Although he attended the Pembroke-Country Day School in Kansas City, he left school before completing his senior year, and married Luella Simpson at the age of 19. His father died when he was three years old, and Gregory used his inheritance to buy a Mercury-powered Allard, which he drove in his first race, the 50-mile (80 km) SCCA race in Caddo Mills, Texas in November 1952. He retired from that race due to head gasket failure, but installed a new Chrysler hemi-powered engine in his car to race at Sebring in 1953, where he again retired, this time due to a rear suspension failure. Gregory's first win came in just his third race, in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Changing to a Jaguar, Gregory won several races in America, including the Guardsmans Trophy in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco and a race at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska. At the end of 1953, Gregory was invited to his first international sports car race - the 1000 km Buenos Aires in Argentina, which he finished in 14th due to water pump problems.

Throughout 1954 and 1955, Gregory competed in European races, including the Tourist Trophy at Dundrod and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (although his co-driver Mike Sparken retired before Gregory got a chance to drive). He also won the inaugural Nassau Trophy at the Bahamas Speed Week in 1954.[2] Moving back to America in 1956, Gregory entered several SCCA races, often winning. In 1957, he had another attempt at the Argentine 1000 km race, this time winning. This performance got him a drive with Mimo Dei's Scuderia Centro Sud, a privateer Formula One team using the Maserati 250F. His first race was the 1957 Monaco Grand Prix, where he scored an impressive 3rd place finish, the first podium for an American in an F1 Grand Prix. He followed this with a string of good results, coming 8th in the German Grand Prix, and 4th in both the Pescara and Italian Grands Prix. Despite only competing in half of the races, Gregory ended the 1957 season in 6th place in the championship.

Gregory only competed in four Grands Prix in the 1958 season, due to injuries sustained through one of his trademark bailouts when his car was set to crash, this time in a sports car race at Silverstone in England. He did manage a 4th place at the Italian Grand Prix, and a 6th in the last race of the year, this Moroccan Grand Prix. Moving to Cooper-Climax for the 1959 season alongside Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren, he scored two podium finishes - a 3rd place at the Dutch Grand Prix, and a career-best 2nd at the Portuguese Grand Prix. However, he missed the final two races of the season, again due to injuries sustained jumping from a car moments before it crashed. He finished 8th in the Championship, and with teammate Brabham winning the World Championship, Cooper won their first Constructor's Championship. Gregory scored a pole position and set a course record at the non-Championship race at Aintree, but his contract with Cooper was not renewed for the following year.

Gregory continued in Formula One until 1965, but mainly with uncompetitive independent teams. He was unable to reproduce the results he obtained early in his career, his best being a 6th at the 1962 United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen with the UDT Laystall team, in a Lotus 24. Running 4th, just behind eventual winner Dan Gurney at the French Grand Prix, Gregory retired with ignition problems, losing possibly his best chance at a maiden Grand Prix victory. Gregory did manage a win in the non-Championship Kannonloppet race at Karlskoga in Sweden, but this race only featured six drivers (only four of whom finished), and no top teams.

After his release from Cooper, Gregory also went back to competing in sports car races, setting the overall fastest lap at the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans. He won the 1961 1000 km Nürburgring, driving alongside Lloyd "Lucky" Casner in a Maserati Tipo 61 for the America Camoradi Racing Team. In the same year, Gregory finished 5th in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Porsche RS61 Spyder. 1962 saw Gregory win the Canadian Grand Prix sports car race at Mosport Park in a Lotus 19-Climax. In 1964, Gregory again competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, this time in a Ford GT40. He retired from the race in the 5th hour due to gearbox difficulties. The following year, Gregory teamed up with 1970 Formula One World Champion, Austrian Jochen Rindt, and the pair won the race in a North American Racing Team Ferrari 250 LM. 1965 was also the year in which Gregory raced in the Indianapolis 500, starting from the back of the grid and working his way up to 5th before being forced to retire due to an engine problem.

Gregory then began to wind down his motor racing career, continuing to compete in international sports car races with some good results including a second-place finish at the 1966 1000 km race at Monza alongside John Whitmore. Following his good friend Jo Bonnier's death at the 1972 Le Mans race, Gregory stopped racing, and retired to Amsterdam, where he worked as a diamond merchant before operating a glassware business. On November 8, 1985, Gregory died in his sleep of a heart attack at his winter home in Porto Ercole, Italy. He had four children, Masten Jr., Debbie, Scott and Michael. Gregory was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, the Kansas City C.A.R.B. (Central Auto Racing Boosters) Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Watkins Glen Walk of Fame in 2012. In August of 2013, Gregory was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

Gregory is in a distinct club of motorsport being only one of seventeen drivers to compete in all three legs of the Triple Crown of Motorsport (Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Monaco Grand Prix) and to have won at least one of those events. The others were Louis Chiron, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Graham Hill (who won all 3), Dan Gurney, Jochen Rindt (who won 2), Mario Andretti, Mark Donohue, Jackie Stewart, Denny Hulme, Danny Sullivan, Vern Schuppan, Stefan Johansson, Michele Alboreto, Eddie Cheever and Jacques Villeneuve.


Formula One results[edit]

Complete World Championship results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 WDC Pts
1957 Scuderia Centro Sud Maserati 250F Maserati I6 ARG MON
3
500 FRA GBR GER
8
PES
4
ITA
4
6th 10
1958 Scuderia Centro Sud Maserati 250F Maserati I6 ARG
DNA
MON BEL
Ret
FRA ITA
4*
NC 0[3]
H.H. Gould NED
Ret
500
Owen Racing Organisation BRM P25 BRM I4 GBR
DNA
GER POR
Temple Buell Maserati 250F Maserati I6 MOR
6
1959 Cooper Car Company Cooper T51 Climax I4 MON
Ret
500 NED
3
FRA
Ret
GBR
7
GER
Ret
POR
2
ITA USA 8th 10
1960 Camoradi International Behra-Porsche RSK Porsche F4 ARG
12
NC 0
Scuderia Centro Sud Cooper T51 Maserati
Straight-4
MON
DNQ
500 NED
DNS
BEL FRA
9
GBR
14
POR
Ret
ITA USA
1961 Camoradi International Cooper T53 Climax I4 MON
DNQ
NED
DNS
BEL
10
FRA
12
GBR
11
GER
DNA
NC 0
UDT Laystall Racing Team Lotus 18/21 Climax I4 ITA
Ret
USA
Ret
1962 UDT Laystall Racing Team Lotus 18/21 Climax I4 NED
Ret
18th 1
Lotus 24 BRM V8 MON
DNQ
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
ITA
12
USA
6
RSA
Climax V8 GBR
7
GER
1963 Reg Parnell Racing Lotus 24 BRM V8 MON BEL NED FRA
Ret
GBR
11
GER ITA
Ret
NC 0
Lola Mk4A Climax V8 USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
RSA
1965 Scuderia Centro Sud BRM P57 BRM V8 RSA MON BEL
Ret
FRA GBR
12
NED GER
8
ITA
Ret
USA MEX NC 0

* Shared drive with Carroll Shelby

Non-Championship results[edit]

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
1959 Cooper Car Company Cooper T51 Climax I4 GLV
5
AIN
Ret
INT OUL SIL
1960 Scuderia Centro Sud Cooper T51 Climax I4 GLV INT
6
SIL
Ret
LOM OUL
1961 Camoradi International Cooper-Climax Climax I4 LOM GLV PAU
WD
BRX VIE AIN
5
SYR NAP LON SIL SOL KAN DAN
Ret
MOD
NC
FLG OUL
5
LEW VAL RAN
Ret
NAT
Ret
RSA
Ret
1962 UDT Laystall Racing Team Lotus 18/21 Climax I4 CAP
4
BRX LOM
Ret
LAV GLV
5
PAU AIN
Ret
INT
8
NAP MAL
5
CLP RMS
Ret
SOL
WD
KAN
1
MED DAN
2
OUL
6
MEX
5
RAN NAT
1963 Tim Parnell Cooper-Climax Coventry-Climax LOM GLV IMO SYR AIN INT ROM SOL KAN
6
MED AUT OUL
Ret
RAN
Scuderia Tomaso De Tomaso Ferrari V6 PAU
WD
1965 Scuderia Centro Sud BRM BRM V8 ROC
Ret
SYR
Ret
SMT INT MED
DSQ
RAN

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Formula One Archives". Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  2. ^ Smith, Steven Cole (December 24, 2012). "Bahamas Speed Week Revival". Autoweek 62 (26): 20–21. ISSN 0192-9674. 
  3. ^ no points awarded for shared drive in the 1958 Italian Grand Prix
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jean Guichet
Nino Vaccarella
Winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans
1965 with:
Jochen Rindt
Succeeded by
Bruce McLaren
Chris Amon