Cuban Grand Prix

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Cuban Grand Prix
Camp Freedom
Race information
Number of times held 3
First held 1957
Last held 1960
Most wins (drivers) United Kingdom Stirling Moss (2)
Most wins (constructors) Italy Maserati (2)
Circuit length 5.21 km (3.23 mi)
Race length 260.50 km (161.50 mi)
Laps 50
Last race (1960)
Pole position
Podium
Fastest lap

The Cuban Grand Prix was a sports car motor race held for a brief period in the late 1950s. The race is now defunct, having been held for the last time in 1960. The race is best remembered as the backdrop to the kidnapping of Formula One World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio by anti-government rebels linked to the 26th of July Movement.[1]

The race was established in 1957 as the Batista Government envisioned creating an event to attract wealthy tourists, particularly from the nearby United States. A street circuit was established on Malecon Avenue on the beachfront of Havana. The first race was a great success. The race was won by Fangio driving a Maserati 300S, leading home Carroll Shelby driving a Ferrari 410 and Alfonso de Portago in a Ferrari 860.

The following year the official Maserati team arrived in force with their fleet of Maserati 300S cars and Fangio and Stirling Moss as drivers. On the eve of the race Fangio was abducted from his hotel by an armed man.[1] The Cuban government ordered the race to continue. Moss and Masten Gregory led the race which was red flagged after just six laps. Armando Garcia Cifuentes had crashed his Ferrari into the crowd, killing seven.[2]

The 1959 race was cancelled as Fidel Castro's revolution entered its final stages. The race returned in 1960, at a new venue on service roads around a military airfield. Moss, driving a Maserati Birdcage for privateer team Camoradi, had a comfortable victory over NART run Ferrari 250 TR59 driven by Pedro Rodríguez with Masten Gregory third in a Porsche 718.[3]

Winners of the Cuban Grand Prix[edit]

Year Driver Constructor Location Report
1960 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Maserati Tipo 61 Camp Freedom[4][5] Report
1959 Not held
1958 United Kingdom Stirling Moss Ferrari 335 S Malecon Avenue Report
1957 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati 300S Malecon Avenue Report

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Laurence Edmondson (20 July 2010). "Kidnapped in Cuba". ESPN F1. ESPN. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "A Grand Prix in Havana?". grandprix.com. 24 November 1997. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Stirling Moss Race History: 1960 Cuban Grand Prix". stirlingmoss.com. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.motorsportsmarketingresources.com/short-stories/mmr-stories/1960-havana-grand-prix.html
  5. ^ http://www.stirlingmoss.com/articles/feature/stirling-moss-race-history-1960-cuban-grand-prix