VIR - 1957 August - Race Report - Newspaper

Virginia International Raceway - August 3-4, 1957

About Autos…Thompson Cinch for Title

By Dick Darcey, Staff Reporter

DANVILLE. Va., Aug. 5- Those heavy-footed Washington, D. C. region sports car drivers came, saw and conquered the Virginia International Raceway here over the weekend, placing in the top three in seven out of eight races.

Dr. Dick Thompson, who toils as a dentist weekdays in the Columbia Medical Building, was the busiest driver, winning twice in his Chevrolet Corvette and finishing third and fourth in other cars.

Dick now has won 5800 points with his speedy fuel-injection Chevy, and leads the nation in both Class B Production and over-all total points. With the racing season more than half over, the flying dentist appears a cinch to be the top driver of the year. His only complaint is that the abundance of races this year are hurting his golf game, although his low score of. the year is a 76.

Thompson also drove two cars for Manhattan Auto in other races to round out his day. Against the very fast Porsche RS's in class F-Modified, Dick brought a brand new Porsche Gran Turismo Carrera into third place, behind Bob Holbert and Charlie Wallace, and finished fourth in the feature race in the Jaguar XK-SS, behind two D-Jags and Carroll Shelby's 4.5 liter Maserati.

Shelby's big "Maser" is identical to the car Juan Manuel Fangio drove to victory in the Sebring race, and with which he won his fifth world championship Sunday in the Grand Prix of Germany.

Bob Holbert, Warrenton, Pa., who beat Charlie Wallace in the Marlboro National, again conquered the Bethesda hairdresser in another close race. Wallace was leading when he did a wild spin-out, sliding almost 100 yards off the rain-soaked course, and lost more time than he could make up against sure-footed Holbert.

CONTINENTAL'S Arthur Tweedale and Jack Pry's Dick Nash took turns beating each other in the Porsche Production race, with Art winning the qualifying event and Nash the feature.

Harold Hurtley, of United Auto's team, turned in a spectacular performance in his Triumph TR-3, keeping well up with the faster AC Bristol cars. Hurtley gained in each of the 12 turns of the 3.2-mile course, but couldn't catch enough of the faster Bristols on the 3500-foot straightaways to earn a trophy.

Jim Robinson whipped all the Production Jaguars, but was having trouble on the slippery track and lost a close race to George Constantine's Aston Martin for second place. In an earlier qualifying run, on a dry track, he beat the Aston.

Air Force Col. Fred Moore was beaten for the first time this season in the Austin Healey class, when he finished second to Harold Kung, of New York. Bob Hathaway brought his Healey in third.

CHARLIE Kolb placed his E-Modified Triumph Monza in the final race, while his Continental teammate, Frank Baptista, failed to score for the first time this year. Frank slid sideways off the slippery course, over an embankment and about 30 feet through the air before he touched-down and came to a stop. "Now I know what it feels like to ditch an airplane," Frank said.

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