The Story Behind Team Corvette’s 1957 Raid On Sebring
Sebring International Raceway has always been a place for the sports car elite to prove their dominance. Back in 1957 General Motors decided it was their time to officially enter the 12 hours of Sebring. Thinking they might have higher odds to bring a car into the winner circle against a field dominated with European teams, GM prepped four race ready corvettes for the event.
First on hand was Zora Duntov’s alloy bodied Corvette Super Sport. The blue number one shaved 1000 pounds and with it’s aluminum heads gave his car over 30 additional horsepower than the stock production Corvette.
The number two Sebring Racer was there as well with new red paint and white stripe. GM brought two additional production F.I. Corvettes that had been modified for Sebring racing.
Along with the other cars General Motors brought a Corvette SS which was nicknamed “P” for “Practice”. This was a stripped down car that basically had plain white paint on the fiberglass body. After John Fitch ran his practice laps, Dunton gave the wheel to two famed GP racers, Juan Fangio from Argentina and Stirling Moss of England. Both men from Team Maserati were allowed to run courtesy laps in the practice car.
Previous to this day the track record stood at 3:29.7, Fangio broke this time in his second lap and on his third lap broke it again running 3:27.4. Then it was time for the Moss to sit behind the wheel. He broke the record set in 1956 and ran a 3:28. Unfortunately Team Corvette could only get within a few seconds of the record, but couldn’t break it. In the end the team could not overcome the many challenges which plagued them and could only last 23 laps of the race before calling it quits.