1958 United States Grand Prix for Sports Cars

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.

Riverside International Raceway

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]

EntryEdit

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 ($136,186.27 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]

QualifyingEdit

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 S 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 S 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 S 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 735 LM Rodger Ward
DNQ EM #114 Sebring 2000SS Hank Tubman

Race resultEdit

Class winners marked in bold.

Pos Class No Team Drivers Car Laps
1 BM 5 Reventlow Automobile Incorporated   Chuck Daigh Scarab Mk II 62
Chevrolet Corvette 5.5L V8
2 CM 69 Frank Arciero   Dan Gurney Ferrari 375 Plus 62
Ferrari 5.0L V12
3 CM 27 Frank Millard   Bill Krause Jaguar D-Type 62
Jaguar XK 3.9L I6
4 FM 7 Porsche AG   Jean Behra Porsche 718 RSK 61
Porsche 1.5L Flat-4
5 DM 211 Ferrari Representatives of California   Richie Ginther Ferrari 250 TR 61
Ferrari Tipo 128 3.0L V12
6 DM 159 David Brown   Roy Salvadori Aston Martin DBR1 61
Aston Martin 2.9L I6
7 BM 70 Motor Trend Magazine   Max Balchowsky Ol'Yaller Mk.1 60
Buick 5.3L V8
8 BM 14 Dean Van Lines   Bill Pollack Lister 60
Chevrolet Corvette 5.8L V8
9 EM 50 Precision Motor Cars   Ken Miles Porsche 550 RS 60
Porsche 1.6L Flat-4
10 FM 49 Top Equipment Co.   Bob Drake Cooper 58
Coventry Climax 1.5L I4
11 CM 88 John Edgar   Masten Gregory Ferrari 410 S 57
Ferrari 5.0L V12
12 EM 26 Gordon Glyer   Gordon Glyer Ferrari 500 TR 57
Ferrari Tipo 131 2.0L I4
13 CM 129 Team Empire   Ralph Ormsbee HWM 57
Chevrolet 5.0L V8
14 FM 117 Tim Considine   Harry Hanford Osca TN 57
Osca 1.5L I4
15 EM 135 Alan Markelson   Alan Markelson Ferrari 500 TR 56
Ferrari Tipo 131 2.0L I4
16 EM 9 Mar-Chris Co.   Bill Cantrell Meyer-Drake Special 56
Offenhauser 1.7L
17 EM 121 Team Empire   Frank Becker Ferrari 500 TRC 55
Ferrari 2.0L I4
18 GM 127 Skip Conklin   Skip Conklin Lotus Eleven 55
Climax 1.1L I4
19 FM 124 Team Empire   George Keck Porsche 550 RS 54
Porsche 1.5L Flat-4
20 DM 118 Jean Pierre Kunstle   Jean Pierre Kunstle Porsche 356 Carrera GT 54
Porsche 1.5L Flat-4
21 DM 259 William de Creeft   William de Creeft Aston Martin DB3S 52
Aston Martin 2.9L I6
22 EM 35 C. Vernon   Pearce Woods Osca 2000 47
Osca 2.0L
23 DM 138 West Coast Racing   Bill Love Duncan Special 44
Triumph TR2 2.2L
24 EM 23 John Timanus   John Timanus Lotus Mark X 39
1.4L (Supercharged) I4
25
DNF
CM 2 Ferrari Representatives of California   Phil Hill Ferrari 412 S 55
Ferrari 4.0L V12 DOHC
26
DNF
GM 125 Team Empire   Pete Lovely Lotus Eleven 54
Coventry Climax FWA 1.1L I4
27
DNF
FM 126 Team Empire   Pat Pigott Lotus Eleven 46
Coventry Climax 1.5L I4
28
DNF
FM 4 Team Empire   Lew Florence Lotus Eleven 25
Coventry Climax 1.5L I4
29
DNF
BM 93 Floyd Burt   Floyd Burt Buick Special 23
Buick
30
DNF
BM 149 Ray Crawford   Ray Crawford "Zidar Special" Kurtis 20
Chevrolet Corvette 5.5L V8
31
DNF
BM 181 Chuck Porter   Johnnie Parsons Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Special 16
Chevrolet Corvette (Supercharged) 5.0L V8
32
DNF
BM 264 Fred Knoop   Fred Knoop Huffaker-Chrysler Special 13
Chrysler 5.2L V8
33
DNF
BM 3 Reventlow Automobile Incorporated   Lance Reventlow Scarab Mk II-Chevrolet 9
Chevrolet Corvette 5.5L V8
34
DNF
BM 140 Alex Budurin   Bill Cheesbourg Kurtis Kraft 8
Buick
35
DNF
BM 172 Mickey Thompson   Jerry Unser Kurtis 500 X2 7
Cadillac 5.6L V8
36
DNF
BM 6 Bill Murphy's Buick   Troy Ruttman Kurtis Kraft 7
Buick 5.1L V8
37
DNF
FM 122 Team Empire   Tom Meehan Cooper 6
Porsche 1.5L Flat-4
38
DNF
CM 78 Temple Buell   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   Bobby Unser Caballo de Hiero Mk II 3
Oldsmobile 6.2L V8
41
DNF
EM 155 Sam Weiss   Sam Weiss Ferrari 500 TR 1
Ferrari Tipo 131 2.0L I4
42
DNF
CM 11 Ferrari Representatives of California   John von Neumann Ferrari 335 S 0
Ferrari 4.0L V12 DOHC
43
DNF
BM 111 Ak Miller   Ak Miller Devin Special 0
Chevrolet 5.6L V8
DNS CM 59 David Brown   Bob Oker Aston Martin DBR2
Aston Martin 3.9L I6
DNS BM 98 John Engar   Jim Rathmann Maserati 450S
Pontiac 6.3L V8
DNS BM 229 Clem Proctor   Clem Proctor Chevrolet Special
Chevrolet (Supercharged) 4.6L V8
DNQ FM 8 Dusty Miller   Dusty Miller Maserati 150S
Maserati 1.5L I4
DNQ BM 16 Reventlow Automobile Incorporated   Lance Reventlow Scarab Mk I-Chevrolet
Chevrolet Corvette 5.5L V8
DNQ BM 52 Engine Masters   Bert Ruttman Kurtis Kraft
Chevrolet Corvette V8
DNQ CM 77 Italia Motors   Rodger Ward Ferrari 735 LM
Ferrari 4.4L I6
DNQ EM 114 Dean Van Lines   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 racesEdit

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]

ReferencesEdit

  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 7 July 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  5. ^ "Riverside (BP+CP+DP+EP+FP)". Racing Sports Cars. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Riverside (GM+HM+GP+HP)". Racing Sports Cars. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
Preceded by USAC Road Racing Championship
1958 season
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by Riverside Grand Prix Succeeded by
Preceded by United States Grand Prix Succeeded by