VIR - 1957 October - Pre-race Press

Virginia International Raceway - October 26-27, 1957


The 1957 President's Cup will be placed for challenge by the Sports Car Club of America at VIR in endurance races Oct. 26-27, and presentation of the cup will be made at the White House the Tuesday following the race. Above, Bill Spear of Southport, Conn., is being presented the cup by President Eisenhower following the 1954 Inaugural event. The nation's leading sports car drivers will compete at VIR.

Hansgen Favorite
"Flying Dentist" Seeks Honors In VIR Field

Dick Thompson is a dentist by profession, but around the nation's capitol they call him the "Flying Dentist" and in sports car racing circles he's already a national champion - for 1957.

The Washington, D. C., speedster captured the Sports Car Club of America's national title in Class B Production for the current season which is rapidly coming to a close, and he achieved this top position in a Chevrolet Corvette.

But in the 2-1/2 hour endurance road race for the President's' Cup, awarded in the name of President Eisenhower, which will feature the Oct. 26-27 schedule at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), the dentist will slide behind another wheel in pursuit of th favorite, Walt Hansgen of Westfield, N.J., in his D-type Jaguar, and of a loaded field of the nation's best sports car drivers.

At Watkins Glen, N. Y., three weeks ago he was going to drive an Aston Martin, and did so in practice. But he flipped the car in trials, luckily escaping serious injury. He came back two weeks later in the Marlboro, Md., Raceway finale, and this time he was piloting a Jaguar XK-SS. The doctor established an unofficial lap record for the two-mile track. Meanwhile his Corvette has been shipped to Venezuela for a South American Grand Prix.

Hansgen, winner of the last two national Grand Prix events, has also clinched Class C Sports championships, driving one of Briggs Cunningham's white D-Jaguars all season. The Jersey star finished second in the VIR Inaugural Grand Prix in August and his knowledge of the treach-erous 3.2-mile rolling road course near here will be placed to good advantage in pursuit of the President's Cup, the SCCA's most coveted award of the season.

However, the 2-1/2 hour battle of man and machine against VIR's dangerous curves and turns will not be the only sports car racing for a million dollars worth of foreign cars on Oct. 26-27. The first date, Saturday, will consist of practice runs and qualifying time trials, six hours worth. The Sunday schedule of four races, a full six hours of racing, begins at 10 a.m. with a 45-minute distance run for F-G Production - H Sports cars


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