VIR - 1957 August - Race Report - Newspaper

Virginia International Raceway - August 3-4, 1957

Wahington Daily News, Monday August 5, 1957

Area Drivers Shine at VIR Inaugural  
Shelby Wins in Big Maserati

Carroll Shelby proved the new 4.5 V8 Maserati is worth the $22,000 price tag as be scored easily in the 64-mile feature at the Virginia International Raceway yesterday.

Some 10,000 spectators panted thru 100-degree humid heat before being drenched by a driving rainstorm as the new 3.2-mile road course got enthusiastic reviews from sports car drivers in its inaugural program.

The sensational flips marked the program but there were no injuries despite the rain which made the course dangerously slick during the final four events.

The 3.5 Ferrari formerly owned by the late Marquis de Portago, and driven by owner Gene Greenspun of New York, slid off the sweeping turn back of the home stretch. The car hit a deep rut as it went off the shoulder, flipped sidewise, tossing Greenspun 10 feet in the air, then went end-over-end as Greenspun "landed" safe away from the car.

George Bull, driving for the United Auto team, rolled over his Triumph three times in the opening race, coming to rest upside down. Bull came out unscathed but the car was badly damaged.

Dick Thompson boosted his point total to a dominating 5800 points in the race for the national driving crown. Dick won a preliminary in Dick Doane's Corvette, then scored with the same Car in the 14--lap race which counted nationally-. Dick had a busy day, driving Manhattan Auto 's new Porsche Carrera to third place in the F-Modified 5th race then taking fourth place in the 64-mile feature behind Shelby, Walt Hansgen and Charlie Wallace.

The fifth was the most thrilling race of the day. Bob Holbert and Charlie Wallace, the two who have staged nip and tuck duels previously, battled Bob Holbert and Charlie Wallace driving spectacularly in the driving rain see-sawed back and forth for the lead. Charlie had a four-second edge over his talented rival when he shot off the sweeping turn 100 yards into the high grass, turned without stopping and got back on the course again. The excursion cost Charlie his lead and put Holbert 20 seconds to the good. Holbert won easily by 15 seconds.

Frank Baptista, leading the country with 4000 points in G-Modified was forced to watch Dr. M.R.J. Wyllie

Win after Frank's Monza Lotus soared off track and into a bog.

Dick Nash, driving Jack Pry's Porsche 1600, soared in the 14-lap national 4th event, edging Art Tweedale of Continental Motors for the class prize. Tweedale nosed out Dick in the earlier 7-lap race.

Jim Robinson scored handily over George Constantine's Aston-Martin in the 7-lap prelim race, but the smooth, green Aston edged him out in the 14-lap test.

Wallace finished third twice in one of Briggs Cun-ningham's two D-Jags in a7-lapper and later, in the feature. Charlie stayed right on Walt Hansgen right thru the big race, running most neck and neck with his teammate until he spun on 14th lap.

Big Fred Fuller got the toughest break of the day in the seventh race. Leading after five laps, Fuller's car was knocked off the track when Ed Welch accidentally smacked the rear fender. Welch's driving was protested but no immediate action was taken.