VIR - October 1958 Qualifying Report - Newspaper Article

Virginia International Raceway - October 4-5, 1958

The Danville Register

Walter Hansgen Paces Time Trials
First Of Three Big Races Today Starts At 11:30 A. M.

Lister Jaguar Master Tours 3.2-Mile Paved Course With 80.5 MPH Average

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Walter Hansgen topped the qualifiers for today's big race in the No. 60 Lister Jaguar with a speed of 80.5 MPH.

Joseph Kenrick, driving a Jaguar XK-140, car No. 125, won the novice race with an average speed of 60.8 MPH for Class C Production cars.

Walter Hansgen, the Lister Jaguar master from Westfield, N.J., served notice yesterday afternoon that he is the man to beat in the national championship Autumn Festival Sports Car Races today at Virginia International Raceway.

Hansgen won pole position for the 96-mile feature from a standing start and also scored the best round in time trials.

It appeared at the end of the practice runs that Hansgen's principal opposition will come from Fred Windridge of Arlington, Va., in a Lister-Corvette and Rich Lyeth of Grosse Point, Mich. in a Hi-Tork Special.

Driving Briggs Cunningham's national point winning speedster for 1958, Hansgen rounded the 3.2 mile paved course at 2:32 from a standing start and later tallied the day's best mark by averaging 80.5 m.p.h. on a single lap.

Windridge averaged 78.2 on his best round. Lyeth recovered from serious trouble to push the leaders. Hansgen's running mate, Ed Crawford of Chicago, was unable to appear because of illness but other threats included John Haas in a 4.5 Maserati.

But the big cars will not hold the whole show this afternoon since competition is keen in national point standings in 13 other categories as set up by the Sports Car Club of America,

Bob Holbert of Warrington, Pa., pushed his Porsche Spyder to the front to stake a claim to the national title for F-Modified cars. Frank Baptista of Hyattsville, Md., in his Elva, was ahead of the rest of the G-Modified cars when he hit the open field and was unable to return.

The only race yesterday was for budding drivers in a novice event. While times were relatively slow, all finishing cars - plus a couple which slowed properly when someone tried to cross the track - were declared eligible for their first race today.

Included was Joe Grant, a Danville disc jockey who pushed his Austin Healey to the head of the field at one stage but spun out and ended up third overall.

The novice winners approved for Sunday races were: Joseph Kenrick, Chevy Chase, Md., Jag XK 140; David Williams, Rocky Mount, Morgan; Joe Grant in an Austin Healey; W. M. Brown, Lancaster, O., Porsche Coupe; J. J. Putney, Kingsport, Tenn., Austin Healey; Henry Loche, Raleigh, N. C., Berkeley; Dorothy Teeuwen, Washington, Berkeley; H. C. Whims, Jr., Chapel Hill, N.C., Triumph 2; and A. M. Forsythe, Pittsburgh, Corvette.

After three days of rain, the sun broke through yesterday and it appeared VIR would have perfect weather for today's three major races starting at 11:30 a.m.

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