Virginia International Raceway - May 3-4, 1958
The Jaguar team of Briggs Cunningham rules the 1958 sports car circuit, and it will be favored in the feature events at VIR May 3-4 in the sports car spring sprints. Left to right, Peter Templer, Ed Crawford, Walt Hansgen and Russ Boss. Hansgen is the defending national champion in the big car specialty.
No question about it: the big cars entered in the feature event of the 1958 spring sprint sports car road races at Virginia International Raceway next weekend offer the finest competition ever.
When the sports cars arrive for practice and time trials in national championship running Saturday, the Jaguar team will still be the favorite. The entry of this Briggs Cunningham team right now has Walt Hansgen, the 1957 champion from Westfield, N.J., in the D-Jaguar with young Eddie Crawford of Chicago in the new Lister-Jaguar.
But the Saturday practice runs will determine which driver will take which car, and last Sunday at Marlboro, Md., Hansgen took over the Lister which has the same 3.9 engine of the D-Jag with a lighter body and less. frontal space. Alfred Momo, the director of the team, may well order another change at the last minute.
Bark Henry of Washington will compete with his 300s Maserati, the car which won at Nassau two years ago and which did well at Marlboro a week ago before spinning out.
Duncan Black of Parkton, Md., drives the 4.5 Ferrari which captured the first President's Cup three years ago, and Black finished a good sixth in the national championships last season.
Gaston Andrey of Newton, Mass., will have the Ferrari Testa Rosa which he drove at Sebring, and New York's young David Cunningham, who had the near-serious wreck last October at VIR, will have a brand new Ferrari GT. Jim Robinson of Alexandria, Va., has a D-Jaguar and George Constantine also has a powerful D-Jag.
Too, there is the 5.1 Ferrari which George Reed brings down from Midlothian, Ill. Among the Porsche RS Spyders are Robert Holbert of Warrington, Pa., and Roy Schechter of Miami.
But the sleeper in the fast crowd is the late entry of Lance Reventlow, the young sportsman of Florida, California, and Europe, who has a specially built Corvette which will be competing for the first time in the East.
The entire Virginia-Carolina racing area, aided by the good weather and promise of continued sunshine, has seen interest in the VIR season opening rise to new peak for the 5-1/2 hours of sports car road racing here.
VIR President Ed Kemm predicts a Sunday crowd of 20,000 and with the fierce competition for starting positions the Saturday practice runs and time trials are also taking on added interest. The cars take the 3.2 miles of rolling road course all day Saturday to get last-minute experience on the more treacherous turns and dips at the Virginia International.
Most of the drivers and car owners will arrive in Danville Friday morning for early registration. The safety inspection will take place at the course Saturday morning.
Officials for the spring sprints have been announced by the Danville Region SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) which conducts the event. Kemm is race chairman. George Zuver of Washington again serves as chief steward while the colorful Jesse Coleman of Nashville, Tenn., will be the chief starter, Sam Miller handles all the registration.