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, USA
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 Cooper (incl non-works), BRM (incl. non-works)
Non-works Maserati, Behra-Porsche, Lola, Lotus,
Entries 46 (38 starts)
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 3
Career points 21
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First entry 1957 Monaco Grand Prix
Last entry 1965 Italian Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
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 an American racing driver. 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",[2] Masten Gregory was born in Kansas City, Missouri as the youngest of three children; his elder brother was Riddelle L. Gregory Jr., also a race car driver, and his elder sister Nancy Lee Gregory married, as her second husband, the Anglo-American fashion designer Charles James. An 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 parents divorced when he was very young, and his father died when he was three years old. As an adult, 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.

Coming to Europe[edit]

Throughout 1954 and 1955, Gregory competed in European races, usually driving Ferraris.[3] His record includes 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.[4] 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 Guglielmo 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 third-place finish, the first podium for an American in an F1 Grand Prix. He followed this with a string of good results, coming eighth in the German Grand Prix, and fourth in both the Pescara and Italian Grands Prix. Despite only competing in half of the races, Gregory ended the 1957 season in sixth 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 fourth 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 third place at the Dutch Grand Prix, and a career-best second 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 eighth 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's early years of competition were marked by lots of crashes, often the result of pushing sub-par machinery past its ability. He flipped a thankfully rollbar-equipped Maserati at the Venezuelan Grand Prix in 1957, totalled two sports cars in 1958, and another two in 1959 (a Lister-Jaguar and a Tojeiro-Jaguar). In the latter of these incidents he broke his leg and shoulder, keeping him away from his Formula 1 commitments. In 1960, trying to qualify an outdated Cooper-Maserati at Nürburgring he went off the track and was thrown clear of the car. After this period, however, his driving style matured and he began to develop a reputation as an elegant and careful driver.[5]

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 fourth, 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 1962 Kanonloppet race at Karlskoga in Sweden, but this race did not feature any top teams.

After Formula One[edit]

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 the man who was to become 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 2013, Gregory was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America.

Gregory is in a distinct club of motorsport being only one of nineteen 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 are: Louis Chiron, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Graham Hill (who won all three), Dan Gurney, Jochen Rindt (who won two), Mario Andretti, Mark Donohue, Jackie Stewart, Denny Hulme, Danny Sullivan, Vern Schuppan, Stefan Johansson, Michele Alboreto, Eddie Cheever, Jacques Villeneuve, Juan Pablo Montoya (who has won two) and Fernando Alonso (who has won two).

Racing record[edit]

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
1955 France Mike Sparken France Mike Sparken Ferrari 750 Monza S
3.0
23 DNF DNF
1957 United Kingdom D. Hamilton United Kingdom Duncan Hamilton Jaguar D-Type S
5.0
299 6th 6th
1958 United Kingdom Ecurie Ecosse United Kingdom Jack Fairman Jaguar D-Type S
3.0
7 DNF DNF
1959 United Kingdom Ecurie Ecosse United Kingdom Innes Ireland Jaguar D-Type S
3.0
78 DNF DNF
1960 United States Camoradi U.S.A. RT United States Chuck Daigh Maserati Tipo 61 S
3.0
82 DNF DNF
1961 Germany Porsche System Engineering United States Bob Holbert Porsche 718 RS 61 S
2.0
309 5th 1st
1962 United Kingdom UTD Laystall Racing Team United Kingdom Innes Ireland Ferrari 250 GTO GT
3.0
165 DNF DNF
1963 United States North American Racing Team United Kingdom David Piper Ferrari 250 GTO GT
3.0
312 6th 3rd
1964 United States Ford Motor Company United States Richie Ginther Ford GT40 Mk.I P
5.0
63 DNF DNF
1965 United States North American Racing Team Austria Jochen Rindt Ferrari 250LM P
5.0
348 1st 1st
1966 United States North American Racing Team United States Bob Bondurant Ferrari 365 P2 P
5.0
88 DNF DNF
1968 United States North American Racing Team United States Charlie Kolb Ferrari 250LM S
5.0
209 DNF DNF
1969 Switzerland Scuderia Filipinetti Sweden Jo Bonnier Lola T70-Chevrolet S
5.0
134 DNF DNF
1970 Italy Autodelta S.P.A. Netherlands Toine Hezemans Alfa Romeo T33/3 P
3.0
5 DNF DNF
1971 United States North American Racing Team Canada George Eaton Ferrari 512S S
5.0
DNF DNF
1972 United States North American Racing Team United States Luigi Chinetti Jr. Ferrari 365 GTB/4 GT
5.0
226 DNF DNF
Source:[6]

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 WDC Pts
1957 Scuderia Centro Sud Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 ARG MON
3
500 FRA GBR GER
8
PES
4
ITA
4
6th 10
1958 Scuderia Centro Sud Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 ARG
DNA
MON BEL
Ret
FRA NC 0[7]
H.H. Gould NED
Ret
500
Owen Racing Organisation BRM P25 BRM P25 2.5 L4 GBR
DNA
GER POR
Temple Buell Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 ITA
4*
MOR
6
1959 Cooper Car Company Cooper T51 Climax FPF 2.5 L4 MON
Ret
500 NED
3
FRA
Ret
GBR
7
GER
Ret
POR
2
ITA USA 8th 10
1960 Camoradi International Behra-Porsche RSK Porsche 547/6 1.5 F4 ARG
12
NC 0
Scuderia Centro Sud Cooper T51 Maserati 250S 2.5 L4 MON
DNQ
500 NED
DNS
BEL FRA
9
GBR
14
POR
Ret
ITA USA
1961 Camoradi International Cooper T53 Climax FPF 1.5 L4 MON
DNQ
NED
DNS
BEL
10
FRA
12
GBR
11
GER
DNA
NC 0
UDT Laystall Racing Team Lotus 18/21 ITA
Ret
USA
Ret
1962 UDT Laystall Racing Team Lotus 18/21 Climax FPF 1.5 L4 NED
Ret
18th 1
Lotus 24 BRM P56 1.5 V8 MON
DNQ
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
ITA
12
USA
6
RSA
Climax FWMV 1.5 V8 GBR
7
GER
1963 Tim Parnell Lotus 24 BRM P56 1.5 V8 MON BEL NED FRA
Ret
ITA
Ret
NC 0
Reg Parnell Racing GBR
11
GER
Lola Mk4A Climax FWMV 1.5 V8 USA
Ret
MEX
Ret
RSA
1965 Scuderia Centro Sud BRM P57 BRM P56 1.5 V8 RSA MON BEL
Ret
FRA GBR
12
NED GER
8
ITA
Ret
USA MEX NC 0
Source:[8]

* Shared drive with Carroll Shelby therefore no points awarded.

Complete Formula One Non-Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

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
1957 Scuderia Ferrari Lancia D50 Ferrari DS50 2.5 V8 BUE
DNS
SYR
Scuderia Centro Sud Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 PAU
4
GLV NAP
5
RMS
7
CAE INT
5
MOD MOR
1958 Scuderia Centro Sud Maserati 250F Maserati 250F1 2.5 L6 GLV SYR
Ret
AIN INT
3
CAE
1959 Cooper Car Company Cooper T51 Climax FPF 2.5 L4 GLV
5
AIN
Ret
INT OUL SIL
1960 Scuderia Centro Sud Cooper T51 Maserati 250S 2.5 L4 GLV INT
6
SIL
Ret
LOM OUL
1961 Camoradi International Cooper T53 Climax FPF 1.5 L4 LOM GLV PAU
DNA
BRX VIE AIN
5
SYR NAP LON SIL SOL KAN
UDT Laystall Racing Team Lotus 18/21 Climax FPF 1.5 L4 DAN
Ret
MOD
NC
FLG OUL
5
LEW VAL RAN
Ret
NAT
Ret
RSA
Ret
1962 UDT Laystall Racing Team Lotus 18/21 Climax FPF 1.5 L4 CAP
4
BRX
Ret
LOM
Ret
LAV GLV
5
PAU AIN
Ret
MAL
5
CLP
Lotus 24 Climax FWMV 1.5 V8 INT
8
NAP
BRM P56 1.5 V8 RMS
Ret
SOL
DNA
KAN
1
MED DAN
2
OUL
6
MEX
5
RAN NAT
1963 Reg Parnell Racing Lotus 24 BRM P56 1.5 V8 LOM GLV PAU IMO SYR AIN INT ROM SOL KAN
6
MED AUT OUL
Ret
RAN
1964 Scuderia Centro Sud BRM P57 BRM P56 1.5 V8 DMT NWT SYR
6
AIN INT SOL MED RAN
1965 Scuderia Centro Sud BRM P57 BRM P56 1.5 V8 ROC
Ret
SYR
Ret
SMT INT MED
DSQ
RAN
Source:[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Formula One Archives". Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  2. ^ Cox, Michael. ""The Kansas City Flash": The Lives & Times of Masten Gregory". Atlas F1. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Johansson, Lars-Erik (September 1962). "Möt Masten Gregory" [Meet Masten Gregory]. Illustrerad Motor Sport (in Swedish). No. 9. Lerum, Sweden. p. 12. 
  4. ^ Smith, Steven Cole (December 24, 2012). "Bahamas Speed Week Revival". Autoweek. 62 (26): 20–21. ISSN 0192-9674. 
  5. ^ Johansson, p. 13
  6. ^ "Masten Gregory, United States". racingsportscars.com. Retrieved July 3, 2017. 
  7. ^ no points awarded for shared drive in the 1958 Italian Grand Prix
  8. ^ Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 164. ISBN 0851127029. 
  9. ^ "Maten Gregory- Involvement Non World Championship". statsf1.com. Retrieved February 10, 2016. 
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