1961 12 Hours of Sebring

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The Sebring 12-Hour Florida International Grand Prix of Endurance for the Alitalia Group took place on 25 March 1961, on the Sebring International Raceway, (Florida, United States). It was the opening round of the F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship. This was also the second round of the F.I.A. GT Cup.



A massive total of 74 racing cars were registered for this event, of which 67 arrived for practice. Only these, 65 qualified for, and started the race.[1]


As was the normal for Sebring and because they was no qualifying sessions to set the grid, the starting positions were decided according to engine size with the 4.6 litre Chevrolet Corvette C1 of Don Yenko and Ben Moore being given first place.[2]


Most of the 40,000 spectators expected Phil Hill to win the race in his Ferrari 250 TRI/61, provided the car lasted the distance.

Stirling Moss had a bad start due to his Maserati Tipo 61 having problems starting as the battery was flat. It took the Englishman over six minutes to coax the car into life. However, after driving flat out for two hours, he handed the car over to Graham Hill. During the third hour, the car was withdrawn as it exhaust system fell apart.[3]

After 12 hours of racing, the race was won the Sefac Automobile Ferrari of Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien, two laps clear of their teammates. Giancarlo Baghetti, Willy Mairesse, Richie Ginther and Wolfgang von Trips. The winning cars, completed 210 laps, covering 1,081.6 miles after 12 hours of racing, averaging a speed of 89.861 mph. The podium was complete by another Ferrari of Pedro Rodríguez (racing driver) and his brother Ricardo who were a further lap behind.[4][5]

Official Classification[edit]

Class Winners are in Bold text.

Pos No Class Driver Entrant Chassis Laps Reason Out
1st 14 S3.0 United States Phil Hill Belgium Olivier Gendebien Sefac Automobile Ferrari Ferrari 250 TRI/61 12hr 02:11.00, 210
2nd 415 S3.0 Italy Giancarlo Baghetti
United States Richie Ginther
Belgium Willy Mairesse
West Germany Wolfgang von Trips
Sefac Automobile Ferrari Ferrari 250 TRI/60 208
3rd 17 S3.0 Mexico Pedro Rodríguez Mexico Ricardo Rodríguez NART Ferrari 250 TR 59/60 207
4th 10 S3.0 United States Hap Sharp United States Ronnie Hissom Hap Sharp Ferrari 250 TR 59 203
5th 51 S1.6 United States Bob Holbert United States Roger Penske Brumos Porsche Company Porsche 718 RS 61 199
6th 22 S2.5 United States Jim Hall United States George Constantine NART Ferrari Dino 246 S 199
7th 47 S1.6 United States Don Sesslar
United States Ernie Erickson
United States Bob Donner Bob Donner Porsche 718 RS 61 199
8th 16 S3.0 United States George Reed United States Bill Sturgis McCook Window Company Ferrari 250 TR 59/60 196
9th 39 S1.6 Canada Peter Ryan
Canada Ludwig Heimrath
Canada Francis Bradley Eglinton Caledonia Motors Porsche 718 RS 61 189
10th 12 GT3.0 United States Denise McCluggage United States Allen Eager Denise McCluggage Ferrari 250 GT SWB 183
11th 4 GT+3.0 United States Delmo Johnson United States Dave Morgan Johnson Chevrolet Chevrolet Corvette C1 181
12th 18 GT3.0 Switzerland Gaston Andrey
United States Robert Publicker
United States Allen Newman Scuderia Serenissima Ferrari 250 GT California 180
13th 64 S1.15 United States Charles Kurtz United States Millard Ripley Lola America Lola-Climax Mk.1 179
14th 44 GT1.6 United States Jack Flaherty United States Jim Parkinson British Motors Corp. (USA) MG A 175
15th 66 S1.15 United States Joe Buzzetta United States Glenn Carlson Donald Healey Austin-Healey Sebring Sprite 174
16th 43 GT1.6 United Kingdom Peter RIley United Kingdom John Whitmore British Motors Corp. (USA) MG A 173
17th 42 GT1.6 United Kingdom Peter Procter
South Africa Bob Olthoff
United Kingdom Peter Harper Jack Brabhams Motors Sunbeam Alpine 173
18th 37 S2.0 United States William Helburn
United States John Fulp
United States Skip Hudson NART Ferrari Dino 196 S 173
19th 31 S2.0 United States Briggs Cunningham
United States Walt Hansgen
United States William Kimberly Momo Corporation Maserati Tipo 60 171
20th 71 S850 United States George Peck
United States Bob Richardson
United States John Hoffman Clearwater Motors Osca S750 171
20th 32 GT2.0 United States Max Goldman United States Ralph Durbin S. H. Arnolt Arnolt Deluxe 166
22nd 83 GT+3.0 United States Bud Gates United States Harry Heuer Chevrolet Corvette C Bud Gates, Inc. 166
23rd 87 GT2.0 United States Bud Seaverns United States Robert Hil S. H. Arnolt Arnolt Deluxe 164
24th 33 GT2.0 United States Tom Payne United States Ray Cuomo S. H. Arnolt Arnolt Deluxe 163
25th 65 S1.15 Canada Ed Leavens United States John Colgate Donald Healey Austin-Healey Sebring Sprite 161
26th 30 GT2.0 United States Al Rogers United States James Bailey Salter Auto Imports Morgan 4/4 156
27th 58 GT1.3 United States Ross Durant United States Art Swanson Arthur Swanson Alfa Romeo Giuletta Veloce 155
28th 60 GT1.3 Mexico Fred van Beuren Mexico Carlos Sales Autosport S. A. Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale 155
29th 26 GT2.0 United States Ike Williamson United States George Waltman George Waltman Triumph TR3 154
30th 29 GT2.0 United States James Rushin United States Don Parsons Suburban Foreign Cars Triumph TR3 153
31st 55 GT1.6 United States Filippo Theodoli United States Freddie Barrette Filippo Theodoli Sunbeam Alpine 153
32nd 1 GT+3.0 United States Don Yenko United States Ben Moore Yenko Chevrolet Chevrolet Corvette C1 151
33rd 59 GT1.3 United States Allan Jacobson
United States Jim O'Brien
United States Tom O'Brien Thomas O'Brien Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale 151
34th 40 GT1.6 United Kingdom Paddy Hopkirk United Kingdom Peter Jopp Rootes Motors, Inc. Sunbeam Alpine 149
35th 46 GT1.6 United States Ed Gelder
United States Bill Fuller
United States Peggy McClure Carl Haas Automotive Elva Courier 149
36th 45 GT1.6 United States Don Horn United States Ed Tucker Carl Haas Automotive Elva Courier 144
37th 67 S1.15 United Kingdom Cyril Simson Australia Paul Hawkins John Sprinzel Austin-Healey Sebring Sprite 144
NC 3 S1.6 United States George Robertson
United States Bill Warren
United States Ben Burroughs Red Vogt Chevrolet Corvette C1 133
DNF 50 S2.0 West Germany Hans Herrmann East Germany Edgar Barth Porsche Auto Porsche 718 RS 61 Engine
DNF 60 S2.0 Sweden Jo Bonnier United States Dan Gurney Porsche Auto Porsche 718 RS 61 Clutch
DNF 57 GT1.3 United States Ralph Troiano United States Harry Theodoracopulos Lou Comito Alfa Romeo Giulietta Zagato 103
NC 80 S1.15 United States Lars Giertz United States Bob Liess Abarth DFL Co. Fiat-Abarth Record Monza 110 Water & oil leak
DISQ 56 GT1.3 United States Charlie Rainville United States Jake Kaplan Jake Kaplan Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale Illegal refuel
DNF 25 S3.0 United States Dave Causey United States Luke Stear Rallye Motors Maserati Tipo 61
DNF 68 S1.15 United States L. Fritz Taylor United States James Calhoun Abarth DFL Co. Fiat-Abrath 1000 S Broken head stud
DNF 63 S1.15 United States Chuck Hall United States Alan Ross Lola America Lola-Climax Mk.1 Ignition failure
DNF 26 S2.5 United States Ed Hugus United States Alan Connell NART Ferrari Dino 246 S Transmission
DNF 69 S850 United States David Cunningham
United States Tom Fleming
United States Den Price NART Osca S1000 Transmission
DNF 20 S3.0 United States Walt Hansgen New Zealand Bruce McLaren Momo Corporation Maserati Tipo 63 Rear axle
DNF 8 GT+3.0 United States Sherman Decker United States Bob Bucher David Ash Aston Martin DB4 GT Broken hub
DNF 48 S1.6 United States Chuck Cassel United States David Lane Association Automovilisti Santaneca Porsche 718 RS 61 Blown engine
DNF 36 GT2.0 United States Frank Laughton United Kingdom Robert Bowers A.C. Cars Ltd. AC Ace
DNF 70 S850 United States Gene Beach
United StatesJohn Bentley
United States Henry Grady Begra Cars Begra-Saab Mk II Engine
DNF 11 GT3.0 France Fernand Tavano United States George Arents Scuderia Serenissima Ferrari 250 GT SWB Differential
DNF 7 GT+3.0 United States Bob Grossman United States Duncan Black David Ash Aston Martin DB4 GT Broken hub
DNF 2 GT+3.0 United States Roy Reardon United States John Kilbourn Yenko Chervrolet Chevrolet Corvette C1 Blown engine
DNF 24 S3.0 United States Masten Gregory
United Kingdom Stirling Moss
United States Lloyd Casner Camoradi USA Maserati Tipo 63 Suspension
DNF 27 S2.5 United States Richie Ginther West Germany Wolfgang von Trips Sefac Automobile Ferrari Ferrari Dino 246 SP Steering arm
DNF 41 GT1.6 United States Ed Wilson United States Vince Tamburo Rootes Motors, Inc. Sunbeam Alpine Oil leak
DNF 21 S3.0 United States John Fitch United States Dick Thompson Mono Corporation Maserati Tipo 61 Transmission
DNF 23 S3.0 United Kingdom Stirling Moss United Kingdom Graham Hill Camoradi USA Maserati Tipo 61 Exhaust manifold
DNF 38 S1.6 United States Bill Wuesthoff United Kingdom Augie Pabst Porsche Car Import Porsche 718 RS 60 Main seal
DNF 35 GT2.0 United States Leo May United States James Johnston A.C. Cars Ltd. AC Ace Accident
DNF 72 S850 United States Howard Hanna United States Frank Manley YBH Sales D.B. Le Mans Valve failure
DNF 9 S3.0 United States Pete Lovely United States Jack Nethercutt Jack Nethercutt Ferrari 250 TR 59 Oil pump
DNS 5 GT+3.0 United States Jack Moore United States Bob Johnson Glenn Campbell Chevrolet Chevrolet Corvette C1 Reserve
DNS 53 S2.5 United States Robert Publicker United States Charlie Kolb Robert Publicker Lotus-Climax 19 Engine
DNS 86 S1.6 United States Herb Swan United States Ed Johnson Lester Castings Porsche 718 RSK Reserve
DNS 1P GT3.0 Yenko Chevrolet Chevrolet Corvette C1 T-car


Class Winners[edit]

Class Winners
Sports 3000 – Class S-12 14 Ferrari 250 TRI/61 Hill / Gendebien
Sports 2500 – Class S-11 22 Hall / Constantine Ferrari Dino 246 S
Sports 2000 – Class S-10 37 Helburn / Hudson / Fulp Ferrari Dino 196 S
Sports 1600 – Class S-9 51 Porsche 718 RS 61 Holbert / Penske
Sports 1150 – Class S-7 64 Lola-Climax Mk.1 Kurtz / Ripley
Sports 850 – Class S-5 71 Osca S750 Peck / Hoffman / Richardson
Grand Touring +3000 – Class GT-13/15 4 Chevrolet Corvette C1 Johnson / Morgan
Grand Touring 3000 – Class GT-11/12 12 Ferrari 250 GT SWB McCluggage / Eager
Grand Touring 2000 – Class GT-10 32 Arnolt Deluxe Goldman / Durbin
Grand Touring 1600 – Class GT-9 44 MGA Flaherty / Parkinson
Grand Touring 1300 – Class GT-8 58 Alfa Romeo Giuletta Spider Veloce Durant / Swanson


Standings after the race[edit]

Pos Championship Points
1 Italy Ferrari 8
2 West Germany Porsche 2
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included in this set of standings.

Championship points were awarded for the first six places in each race in the order of 8-6-4-3-2-1. Manufacturers were only awarded points for their highest finishing car with no points awarded for positions filled by additional cars. Only the best 3 results out of the 5 races could be retained by each manufacturer. Points earned but not counted towards the championship totals are listed within brackets in the above table.


Further reading[edit]

  • Alec Ulmann. The Sebring Story. Chilton Book Company. ASIN B0006CUAP2.

World Sportscar Championship
Previous race:
24 Hours of Le Mans
1961 season Next race:
Targa Florio
Previous race:
4 Hours of Sebring
1961 season Next race:
Targa Florio