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1953 12 Hours of Sebring

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 3rd Grand Prix, 12 Hours of Sebring, was the inaugural round of the 1953 World Sportscar Championship and was held at the Sebring International Raceway, on 8 March 1953.[1]

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A total of 81 cars were entered for the event, across eight classes based on engine sizes, ranging from up to 750cc to over 8.0 litre. Of these 59 cars practised, 54 qualified to race.[1]

Amongst the mostly American entrants, the greatest news for the 1953 race was that the famous English Aston Martin team would join the French factory DB’s for the 12 Hour competition. In fact, David Brown and René Bonnet, heads of these European manufacturers, both went to Florida to watch the race. Bonnet also took part in the race.[2]


Sebring in 1953
Sebring in 1953

The race started at noon, and ran until midnight, on a day described as "partly cloudy and mild", in front of an estimated crowd of 12,500 spectators.[2]

The Aston Martins made a great start, leading the first 32 laps of the Florida road course before losing the lead as a result of an accident. The #57 Cunningham CR-4 then took over lead and was never headed for the rest of the race.[2]

The car was driven by Phil Walters and John Fitch took the winner spoils for Briggs Cunningham’s team. They were boosted to the lead when the front running Aston Martin of Geoff Duke and Peter Collins collided with a Jaguar, and was forced to retire with accident damage. Walters and Fitch, driving their Florida license plated Cunningham-Chrysler C4-R, to victory covering a distance of 908.9 miles, averaging a speed of 75.338mph. One lap adrift in second place was the Aston Martin DB3 of the Reg Parnell and George Abecassis, despite reportedly being hampered by having one of its headlamps not working due to an earlier collision with a bollard filed with concrete marking the circuit on what was at the time largely an airfield.[2][3]

There was one car fire, the Allard-Cadillac J2X of Paul Ramos was destroyed when a fuel line split, however the driver, Anthony Cumming escaped unharmed. Another competitor, Randy Pearsall, also escaped injury when he flipped his Jaguar XK120.[2]


Sebring 12 hours

Class Winners are in Bold text.

Pos. No. Class Drivers Entrant Car - Engine Laps Reason Out
1st 57 S8.0 United States Phil Walters United States John Fitch Briggs Cunningham Cunningham-Chrysler C4-R 173
2nd 30 S3.0 United Kingdom Reg Parnell United Kingdom George Abecassis Aston Martin Ltd. Aston Martin DB3 172
3rd 74 S5.0 United States Sherwood Johnston United States Bob Wilder A. H. Feverbacher Jaguar C-Type 162
4th 311 S5.0 United States Bob Gegen United States Harry Grey David Hirsch Jaguar C-Type 155
5th 59 S1.5 United States Briggs Cunningham United States Bill Lloyd Briggs Cunningham Osca MT4 1350 153
6th 49 S2.0 United States Ed Lunken United States Charles Hassan E. P. Lunken Ferrari 166 MM 153
7th 38 S5.0 United States Charles Wallace United States Chuck Sarle Jack Pry Ltd. Jaguar XK120 151
8th 45 S3.0 United States Peter Yung United States Robert Yung Peter S. Yung Ferrari 225 S 148
9th 91 S1.1 United States James Simpson United States George Colby James Simpson Osca MT4 1100 146
10th 28 S5.0 United States Russ Boss United States Jake Kaplan J. Kaplan Jaguar XK120M 144
11th 25 S750 France René Bonnet United States Wade Morehouse Hobart Cook DB HBR Panhard 143
12th 18 S5.0 United States Walt Hansgen United States Don McKnought Walter Hansgen Jaguar XK120 142
13th 12 S1.5 United States David Ash United States Frank Ahrens David H. Ash MG Special 135
14th 53 S1.5 Canada Phil Smyth United States Bob Said Lt. Col. Wojdiech Kolaczkowski Frazer Nash Mille Miglia 134
15th 53 S1.5 United States James Shields United States Bob McKinsey James Shields MG TD 132
16th 42 S1.5 United States William Wellenberg, Jnr. United States William Wonder William Wellenberg, Jnr. MG TD 132
17th 29 S5.0 United States Fred Dagavar United States Al Garz Fred Dagavar Jaguar XK120 132
18th 63 S750 United States Harry Beck United States Charles Devaney Paul Hessler Siata-Crossley 300BD 132
DISQ 24 S750 United States Bill Cook France André Moynet Hobart Cook DB HBR Panhard 130 Pit violation
19th 44 S1.5 United States Fred Allen United States Robert Longworth Fred Allen MG Special 127
20th 56 S750 United States Thomas Scatchard United States Henry Wessells Thomas Scatchard Siata-Crossley 300BD 127
21st 27 S1.1 United States Paul Farago United States Lou Torco Robert T. Keller Siata 300BC Special  123
22nd 111 S750 United States George Sachrafft United States Jim Hamlett Geo. F. Schrafft Palm Beach-Crossley Special 119
23rd 55 S3.0 United States Mike Rothschild United States Jack Nile Mike Rothschild Morgan Plus 4 119
24th 32 S8.0 United States Arnold Stubbs United States Jack McAfee Jack Burkhard Allard-Cadillac J2 116
25th 6 S1.5 United States Rees Makins United States Frank Bott Rees T. Makins Osca MT4 1100 115
26th 15 S5.0 United States George Huntoon United States Phil Stiles Jack Shepperd Jaguar C-Type 114
27th 64 S2.0 Argentina Walter von Schoenfeld Argentina René Soulas Walter E. von Schoenfeld Maserati A6GCS 110
28th 14 S1.5 United States Alan Patterson United States Hubert L. Brundage Alan Patterson MG Special 99
29th 16 S5.0 United States Morris Carroll United States Randy Pearsall Geo. E. Tilp Jaguar XK120 94
30th 51 S5.0 United States Walt Grey United States Dale Duncan Walter S. Grey Allard-Cadillac J2 94
31st 37 S1.1 United States Roger Wing United States Stephen Spitler Jack Pry, Ltd. Morris Minor 93
32nd 11 S1.1 United States Paul Ceresole United States Logan Hill Paul Ceresole Cisitalia Spider 88
33rd 2 S3.0 United States Hal Ullrich United States Dick Irish Brooks Stevens Excalibur-Willys J 86
34th 23 S5.0 United States Charles Schott United States John van Driel Charles M. Schott Jaguar XK120 63
DNF 5 S3.0 United States Jim Kimberly United States Marshall Lewis Jim Kimberly Ferrari 225 S 95 Transmission
DNF 60 S1.5 United States Dickson Yates United States William Kinchloe Dickson Yates MG TD Engine
DNF 80 S1.5 United States Richard Toland United States Howard Hanna Richard Toland Porsche 356 did not finish
DNF 61 S2.0 United States Ray Leibensperger United States Howard Class Ray Leibensperger MG Special 78 did not finish
DNF 39 S750 United States William Eagar United States Otto Linton Speedcraft Enterprises Siata Amica Special 63 Engine
DNF 8 S3.0 United States Bill Spear United States Phil Hill William Spear Ferrari 225 S 56 Differential
DNF 19 S5.0 United States Norman Christianson United States Austin Conley Austin L. Conley Jaguar XK120 56 Accident
DNF 31 S3.0 United Kingdom Peter Collins United Kingdom Geoff Duke Aston Martin Ltd. Aston Martin DB3 52 Accident damage
DNF 98 S8.0 United States Erwin Goldschmist United States Paul O’Shea Erwin Goldschmidt Healey Silverstone-Cadillac 45 Rear end
DNF 33 S1.5 France Bernard Cahier United States Miles Collier René Bonnet DB HBR Panhard 37 Brakes
DNF 58 S2.0 United States John Gordon Bennett United States Charles Moran Briggs Cunningham Frazer Nash Targa Florio 28 Unknown
DNF 26 S750 United States Ralph Deshon United States Don Quackenbush Ralph Deshon Crosley Special 25 Suspension
DNF 66 S5.0 United States Tony Cumming United States Paul Ramos Paul Ramos Allard-Cadillac J2X 20 Fire
DNF 36 S8.0 United States Masten Gregory United States Tony Newcomer Masten Gregory Allard-Chrysler J2X 16 Transmission
DISQ 48 S2.0 Argentina Jorge Daponte United States Fritz Koster Fritz Koster Maserati A6GCS 15 pit rule violation
DNF 97 S8.0 United States Beau Clarke United States Bob Said Mark B. Deitsch Allard-Cadillac J2 9 Engine
DNF 3 S3.0 United States Ralph Knudsen United States Jim Feld Brooks Stevens Excalibur-Willys J 4 Engine
DNF 1 S2.0 United States Tony Bonadies United States George Rice Stuart Donaldson Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica Mk II 2 Engine
DNF 9 S2.0 United States Johnnie Rogers United States Russ Klar Stuart Donaldson Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica Mk II 2 Engine
DNS 17 S750 United States George Sanderson United States N. J. Coscoros Geo. Sanderson Crosley Hotshot Engine
DNS 21 S1.5 United States Larry Kulok United States Harry Grey Lawrence Kulok Porsche 356 1500 Super Gearbox
DNS 41 S1.1 United States Randy Pearsall United States William Eager F. Randolph Pearsall Cisitalia Spider Engine
DNS 65 S5.00 United States Tom Cole United States Bill Lloyd William Lloyd Ferrari 340 America Engine
DNS 75 S5.00 United States Miles Collier United States Cameron Argetsinger Cameron Argetsinger Jaguar XK120 Engine


Class Winners

Class Winners
Class B – Sports 8000 Walters / Fitch Cunningham-Chrysler C4R
Class C – Sports 5000 Johnston / Wilder Jaguar C-type
Class D – Sports 3000 Parnell / Abecassis Aston Martin DB3
Class E – Sports 2000 Lunken / Hassan Ferrari 166 MM
Class F – Sports 1500 Cunningham / Lloyd Osca MT4 1350
Class G – Sports 1100 Simpson / Colby Osca MT4 1100
Class H – Sports 750 Bonnet / Morehouse DB HBR Panhard


Standings after the race

Pos Championship Points
1 United States Cunningham 8
2 United Kingdom Aston Martin 6
3 United Kingdom Jaguar 4
4 Italy Osca 2
5 Italy Ferrari 1
  • Note: Only the top five positions are included in this set of standings.

Championship points were awarded for the first six places in each race in the order of 8-6-4-3-2-1. Manufacturers were only awarded points for their highest finishing car with no points awarded for positions filled by additional cars. Only the best 4 results out of the 7 races could be retained by each manufacturer. Points earned but not counted towards the championship totals are listed within brackets in the above table.


  1. ^ a b c d "Sebring 12 Hours 1953". Racing Sports Cars. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Sebring 1953". 2 April 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b c "1953 Sebring 12 Hours". 8 March 1953. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  5. ^ "SPAM protection / Ochrana proti SPAMu". Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014.

World Sportscar Championship
Previous race:
1953 season Next race:
Mille Miglia
This page was last edited on 26 September 2019, at 19:23
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