On March 24th, the date of the 12-Hour Sports-Car Race, the weather was perfect for motor racing and sixty starters came up to the line. The Le Mans-type getaway saw Moss move off first, with Hawthorn close behind, and Fangio some way down the field in the four-cylinder Ferrari.
Hawthorn in the D-type Jaguar (with fuel injection) had taken the lead from Moss in the first lap, and before long Fangio had crept slowly up to third place. This order remained at midday but soon after Menditguy overturned on a bend and suffered severe head injuries, from which he is now recovering. By half time the pace had showed up the inequalities of the cars. Now in the lead was the Fangio-Castellotti Ferrari, the Moss-Collins Jaguar engine having seized. Other troubles encountered were those of brakes which began to give out under the strain, and towards the end of the race Hawthorn had to retire with only about 1½ hours to go, leaving Fangio in front with Musso, in another Ferrari, and Parnell (Aston Martin) next in line. Parnell also had to retire, leaving fourth place open to Salvadori in the remaining Aston Martin, with Sweikert and Ensley third in a Jaguar.
1st: Fangio/Castellotti (3.5 Ferrari) 194 laps 84.0 m.p.h.
2nd: Musso/Schell (3.5 Ferrari) 192 laps 83.2 m.p.h.
3rd: Sweikert/Ensley (3.4 Jaguar) 188 laps 81.5 m.p.h.
4th: Salvadori/Shelby (2.9 Aston Martin) 186 laps 80.7 m.p.h.
5th: Behra/Taruffi (2.9 Maserati) 186 laps 80.7 m.p.h.
6th: Herrmann/Von Trips (porsche 1,500) 179 laps 78.9 m.p.h.
Fastest lap: Behra (Maserati), 3 min. 29.8 sec.
Index of Performance:
1st: Herrmann/Von Trips (Porsche); 2nd: McAfee/Lovely (Porsche); 3rd: Fangio/Catellotti (Ferrari).
Series Production (Sports Cars):
1,500 c.c.: Herrmann/Von Trips (Porsche) 78.9 m.p.h.
2-litre: Ballinger/Stewart (Arnolt-Bristol) 68.5 m.p.h.
3-litre: Sweikert/Ensley (Jaguar) 81.5 m.p.h.
Unlimited: Davis/Gatz (Chevrolet Corvette) 58.9 m.p.h.