Vanwall was a motor racing team and racing car constructor, active in Formula One during the 1950s. Founded by Tony Vandervell, the Vanwall name was derived by combining the name of the team owner with that of his Thinwall bearings produced at the Vandervell Products factory at Acton, London. Entering modified Ferraris in non-championship races, Vanwall constructed their first cars to race in the 1954 Formula One season; the team achieved their first race win in the 1957 British Grand Prix, with Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks sharing a VW 5, earning the team the distinction of constructing the first British-built car to win a World Championship race. Vanwall won the inaugural Constructors' Championship in Formula One in 1958, in the process allowing Moss and Brooks to finish second and third in the Drivers' Championship standings, winning three races each. Vandervell's failing health meant. Tony Vandervell was one of the original backers of British Racing Motors. In the early 1950s he entered a series of modified Ferraris in Formula Libre races under the name "Thinwall Special".
The first actual Vanwalls were known as Vanwall Specials and were built for the new Formula 1 regulations in 1954 at Cox Green, Maidenhead. The chassis was built by the Cooper Car Company; the 2.0 L engine was designed by Norton engineer Leo Kuzmicki, was four Manx single-cylinder 498 cc engines with a common waterjacket, cylinder head and valvetrain, with induction by four AMAL motorcycle carburetors. This combination was fitted to a Rolls-Royce "B"-engine crankcase, copied in aluminium. Designed for Formula Two, supplanted before it appeared, the car debuted in a Grande Epreuve in the 1954 British Grand Prix. Against 2½ litre Formula One competition, it was at a decided disadvantage; the Goodyear disc brakes proved successful, but the front suspension and fuel and cooling systems were troublesome. Development continued with a switch to Bosch fuel injection, while retaining the AMAL throttle bodies. Vanwall increased the capacity of the engines, first to 2,237 cc for Peter Collins at Monaco 1955, a full 2,489 cc. Vanwalls ran for a season in F1 without much in the way of success.
At the end of the 1955 season, it was plain that the engine was sound, but that the Ferrari-derived chassis needed improvement. It was suggested to Vandervell that he should hire the services of a young up-and-coming designer to improve their cars; the designer was Colin Chapman. The new 1956 cars designed by Chapman were of space frame construction, the De Dion rear axle's unsprung weight reduced and front torsion bar added. Furthermore, a fifth gear and Porsche synchromesh were added to the transmission; the driving seat was placed above this and could not be reduced below 13 in above the road, making the height problematic, the handling was suspect despite Chapman's best efforts. The solution which today is obvious, mounting the engine behind the driver, would take two more years to be accepted. Costin made the most of it, produced a car "much faster in a straight line than any of its rivals"; the new car showed early promise in 1956 by winning the non-championship F1 race at Silverstone against strong opposition.
It set the lap record at Syracuse Stirling Moss drove the car to victory in what was his only drive for Vanwall that year, as he was still contracted to drive for Maserati in F1. Talented drivers Harry Schell and Maurice Trintignant were the full-timers for the season. However, neither of them had much success. With the car developing and becoming more competitive, Moss decided to drive for the team in 1957, he was joined by Tony Brooks and Stuart Lewis-Evans. As the 1957 season unfolded, the cars became more reliable. Moss and Brooks duly shared Vanwall's first Grand Prix victory in Britain at Aintree, Moss went on to win both the Italian and Pescara Grands Prix. At the end of 1957, alcohol fuels were banned and replaced by a compulsory 130-octane aviation gasoline; this caused problems for Vanwall and BRM with their large bore engines that required methanol for engine cooling. As a result, the Vanwall's power dropped from 290 bhp at 7,500 rpm to 278 bhp on the test bed. During the race, where revs were reduced, only 255–262 bhp at 7,200–7,400 rpm was available.
This put them at a disadvantage to the new Dino Ferrari V6 cars with a claimed 290 PS at 8,300 rpm. The Vanwall's superior road holding, streamlining, 5-speed gearbox, disc brakes helped to offset this. All three drivers stayed with the team in 1958, Moss and Brooks each won three champ
Maserati is an Italian luxury vehicle manufacturer established on 1 December 1914, in Bologna. The Maserati tagline is "Luxury and style cast in exclusive cars", the brand's mission statement is to "Build ultra-luxury performance automobiles with timeless Italian style, accommodating bespoke interiors, effortless, signature sounding power"; the company's headquarters are now in Modena, its emblem is a trident. It has been owned by the Italian-American car giant Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and FCA's Italian predecessor Fiat S.p. A. since 1993. Maserati was associated with Ferrari S.p. A., owned by FCA until being spun off in 2015, but more it has become part of the sports car group including Alfa Romeo and Abarth. In May 2014, due to ambitious plans and product launches, Maserati sold a record of over 3,000 cars in one month; this caused them to increase production of the Ghibli models. In addition to the Ghibli and Quattroporte, Maserati offers the Maserati GranTurismo, the GranTurismo Convertible, has confirmed that it will be offering the Maserati Levante, the first Maserati SUV, in 2016, the Maserati Alfieri, a new 2+2 in 2016.
Maserati is placing a production output cap at 75,000 vehicles globally. The Maserati brothers, Bindo, Carlo and Ernesto, were all involved with automobiles from the beginning of the 20th century. Alfieri and Ernesto built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto. In 1926, Diatto suspended the production of race cars, leading to the creation of the first Maserati and the founding of the Maserati marque. One of the first Maseratis, driven by Alfieri, won the 1926 Targa Florio. Maserati began making race cars with 4, 6, 8, 16 cylinders; the trident logo of the Maserati car company is based on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna's Piazza Maggiore. In 1920, one of the Maserati brothers, artist Mario, used this symbol in the logo at the suggestion of family friend Marquis Diego de Sterlich, it was considered appropriate for the sports car company due to fact that Neptune represents strength and vigour. Alfieri Maserati died in 1932, but three other brothers, Bindo and Ettore, kept the firm going, building cars that won races.
In 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the company to the Adolfo Orsi family, who in 1940, relocated the company headquarters to their home town of Modena, where it remains to this day. The brothers continued in engineering roles with the company. Racing successes continued against the giants of German racing, Auto Union and Mercedes. In back-to-back wins in 1939 and 1940, an 8CTF won the Indianapolis 500, the only Italian manufacturer to do so; the war intervened and Maserati abandoned car making to produce components for the Italian war effort. During this time, Maserati worked in fierce competition to construct a V16 town car for Benito Mussolini before Ferry Porsche of Volkswagen built one for Adolf Hitler; this failed, the plans were scrapped. Once peace was restored, Maserati returned to making cars. Key people joined the Maserati team. Alberto Massimino, a former Fiat engineer with both Alfa Romeo and Ferrari experience, oversaw the design of all racing models for the next ten years.
With him joined engineers Giulio Alfieri, Vittorio Bellentani, Gioacchino Colombo. The focus was on the best chassis to succeed in car racing; these new projects saw the last contributions of the Maserati brothers, who after their 10-year contract with Orsi expired went on to form O. S. C. A.. This new team at Maserati worked on several projects: the 4CLT, the A6 series, the 8CLT, pivotally for the future success of the company, the A6GCS; the famous Argentinian driver Juan-Manuel Fangio raced for Maserati for a number of years in the 1950s, producing a number of stunning victories including winning the world championship in 1957 in the 250F. Other racing projects in the 1950s were the 200S, 300S, 350S, 450S, followed in 1961 by the famous Tipo 61. Maserati retired from factory racing participation because of the Guidizzolo tragedy during the 1957 Mille Miglia, though they continued to build cars for privateers. Maserati became more focused on building road-going grand tourers; the 1957 3500 GT marked a turning point in the marque's history, as its first ground-up grand tourer design and first series produced car.
Production jumped from a dozen to a few hundreds cars a year. Chief engineer Giulio Alfieri took charge of the project, turned the 3.5 L inline six from the 350S into a road-going engine. Launched with a Carrozzeria Touring 2+2 coupé aluminium body over superleggera structure, a steel-bodied short wheelbase Vignale 3500 GT Convertibile open top version followed in 1960; the 3500 GT's success, with over 2200 made, was critical to Maserati's survival in the years following withdrawal from racing. The 3500 GT provided the underpinnings for the small-volume V8-engined 5000 GT, another seminal car for Maserati. Born from the Shah of Persia's whim of owning a road car powered by the Maserati 450S racing engine, it became one of the fastest and most expensive cars of its days; the third to the thirty-fourth and last example produced were powered by Maserati's first purely road-going V8 engine design. In 1962, the 3500 GT evolved into the Sebring, bodied by Vignale and based on the Convertibile chassis.
Next came the two-seater Mistral coupé in 1963 and Spider in 1964, both six-cylinder powered and styled by Pietro Frua. In 1963, the company's first saloon arrived, the Quattroporte styled by Frua. If the 500
Doctor Emilio Giuseppe "Nino" Farina, was an Italian racing driver and was the first official Formula One World Champion, gaining the title in 1950. He was the Italian Champion in 1937, 1938 and 1939. Born in Turin, Farina was the son of Giovanni Carlo Farina who founded the Stabilimenti Farina coachbuilder, he began driving a two-cylinder Temperino, at the age of just nine. Farina became a Doctor of Political Science, he cut short a career as a cavalry officer with the Italian army to fulfil a different ambition: motor racing. While still at university Farina purchased his first car, a second-hand Alfa Romeo, ran it in the 1925 Aosta-Gran San Bernardo Hillclimb. While trying to beat his father, he crashed, breaking his shoulder and receiving facial cuts, establishing a trend that continued throughout his crash-prone career, his father finished fourth. During the 1933 and 1934 seasons Farina returned to the sport, racing Maseratis and Alfa Romeos for Gino Rovere and Scuderia Subalpina, began a friendship with Italian racing legend Tazio Nuvolari.
It was Nuvolari who to guided Farina's early career. In 1935, he raced for the factory Maserati team, showing enough promise to impress Enzo Ferrari, who recruited him to drive for Scuderia Ferrari, the team that ran the works-supported Alfa Romeos, it was in an Alfa Romeo 8C that he finished second in the Mille Miglia, after driving through the night without lights. He made mistakes aplenty, but kept coming back for more and became a Grand Prix winner, when he won the 1937 Grand Prix of Naples. Although he was noted for his driving style and intelligence, he had a petulant streak and disregard for his fellow competitors whilst on the race track, he was involved in two fatal accidents. The first was during the 1936 Grand Prix de Deauville, when he tried to pass Marcel Lehoux for second. Farina's Alfa Romeo 8C collided with Lehoux's ERA, causing the ERA to catch fire. Lehoux was thrown out, received a fractured skull and died in hospital, while Farina escaped with minor injuries. Two seasons during the 1938 Gran Premio di Tripoli, László Hartmann's Maserati 4CM cut a corner in front of Farina.
The cars overturned. Farina survived without major injuries. In 1938, the official Alfa Romeo team, Alfa Corse, returned to motor sport and Farina was a member. Driving the new Alfa Romeo 158 Voiturette in 1939, he won the Grand Prix d'Anvers, Coppa Ciano and the Prix de Berne, to become the Italian Champion for the third year in succession; the following year, he won the Tripoli Grand Prix and finished second in the Mille Miglia for the third time. After World War II, Farina returned to Alfa Corse to drive their 158, he won the 1946 Grand Prix des Nations. However, he left Alfa Corse after a disagreement over team leadership and sat out the whole of the 1947 season, he came back to the sport in 1948 with a entered Maserati and a works Ferrari. During this period, he got married to Elsa Giaretto. In her opinion motor sport was a silly and dangerous activity, she tried to persuade Farina to stop. Three days after their high society wedding, Farina flew to Argentina where he drove his Maserati 8CL to victory in the Gran Premio Internacional del General San Martín.
On his return to Europe, he won 1948 Monaco Grand Prix. Using Ferrari's first Grand Prix car, the Ferrari 125, he won the Circuito di Garda before giving the Temporada another visit; this resulted in victory in the Copa Acción San Lorenzo in February 1949. The rest of the year he raced Maseratis for Scuderia Milano and Scuderia Ambrosiana, at times in his own 4CLT/48, he won the Lausanne Grand Prix and was re-signed by Alfa Corse. In 1950, Farina returned to Alfa Romeo for the inaugural FIA World Championship of Drivers; the opening race of the season was held in front of 150,000 spectators. Farina won, from teammates Luigi Fagioli and Reg Parnell, completing an Alfa Romeo 1-2-3. There was plenty of drama to be had during the season. At Monaco, just eight days a multiple pile-up on the first lap, at the Tabac Corner, saw Farina spin out of a race that Juan Manuel Fangio went on to win. In the 1950 Swiss Grand Prix, Farina beat his teammate Fagioli into second; the next race, at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, saw Fangio beat Fagioli, with Farina finishing in fourth with transmission problems.
At this stage, Farina still led the championship on points: Farina 22. When Fangio won the 1950 French Grand Prix, Farina finished outside of the points in seventh. By the season finale on 3 September, the 1950 Italian Grand Prix, Farina was trailing his teammate by two points. For Alfa, Monza was home territory and so they fielded an additional car for Piero Taruffi and Consalvo Sanesi, it was the Ferrari of Alberto Ascari who put pressure on the Alfas during the early stages of the race, lying in second, in the knowledge his car only needed one fuel stop to the Alfas' two, but his eventual lead was temporary as his car expired in a cloud of smoke. Soon after, Fangio's gearbox failed and Taruffi handed over his car, only for it to drop a valve and retire. Instead, first position and therefore the championship went to Farina, he continued with Alfa Romeo for the 1951 season, but had to give best to Fangio, who secured the title for the Milanese marque. As for Farina, he finished the season in fourth place, with his only world championship victory coming in the 1951 Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps.
Farina switched back to the Scuderia Ferrari for 1952, when Grand Prix racing switched to Formula 2 specification, but
A sports car, or sportscar, is a small two-seater automobile designed for spirited performance and nimble handling. The term "sports car" was used in The Times, London in 1919. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, USA's first known use of the term was in 1928. Sports cars started to become popular during the 1920s. Sports cars may be spartan or luxurious. Sports cars are aerodynamically shaped, have a lower center of gravity than standard models. Steering and suspension are designed for precise control at high speeds. Traditionally sports cars were open roadsters, but closed coupés started to become popular during the 1930s, the distinction between a sports car and a grand tourer is not absolute. Attributing the definition of'sports car' to any particular model can be controversial or the subject of debate among enthusiasts. Authors and experts have contributed their own ideas to capture a definition. A car may be a sporting automobile without being a sports car. Performance modifications of regular, production cars, such as sport compacts, sports sedans, muscle cars, pony cars and hot hatches are not considered sports cars, yet share traits common to sports cars.
Certain models can "appeal to both muscle car and sports car enthusiasts, two camps that acknowledged each other's existences." Some models are called "sports cars" for marketing purposes to take advantage of greater marketplace acceptance and for promotional purposes. High-performance cars of various configurations are grouped as Sports and Grand tourer cars or just as performance cars; the drivetrain and engine layout influences the handling characteristics of an automobile, is crucially important in the design of a sports car. The front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout is common to sports cars of any era and has survived longer in sports cars than in mainstream automobiles. Examples include the Caterham 7, Mazda MX-5, the Chevrolet Corvette. More many such sports cars have a front mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, with the centre of mass of the engine between the front axle and the firewall. In search of improved handling and weight distribution, other layouts are sometimes used; the rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout is found only in sports cars—the motor is centre-mounted in the chassis, powers only the rear wheels.
Some high-performance sports car manufacturers, such as Ferrari and Lamborghini have preferred this layout. Porsche is one of the few remaining manufacturers using the rear-wheel-drive layout; the motor's distributed weight across the wheels, in a Porsche 911, provides excellent traction, but the significant mass behind the rear wheels makes it more prone to oversteer in some situations. Porsche has continuously refined the design and in recent years added electronic stability control to counteract these inherent design shortcomings; the front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout layout, the most common in sport compacts and hot hatches, modern production cars in general, is not used for sports cars. This layout is advantageous for small, lower power sports cars, as it avoids the extra weight, increased transmission power loss, packaging problems of a long driveshaft and longitudinal engine of FR vehicles. However, its conservative handling effect understeer, the fact that many drivers believe rear wheel drive is a more desirable layout for a sports car count against it.
The Fiat Barchetta, Saab Sonett, Berkeley cars are sports cars with this layout. Before the 1980s few sports cars used four-wheel drive, which had traditionally added a lot of weight. With its improvement in traction in adverse weather conditions, four-wheel drive is no longer uncommon in high-powered sports cars, e.g. Porsche and the Bugatti Veyron. Traditional sports cars were two-seat roadsters. Although the first sports cars were derived from fast tourers, early sporting regulations demanded four seats, two seats became common from about the mid-1920s. Modern sports cars may have small back seats that are really only suitable for luggage or small children. Over the years, some manufacturers of sports cars have sought to increase the practicality of their vehicles by increasing the seating room. One method is to place the driver's seat in the center of the car, which allows two full-sized passenger seats on each side and behind the driver; the arrangement was considered for the Lamborghini Miura, but abandoned as impractical because of the difficulty for the driver to enter/exit the vehicle.
McLaren used the design in their F1. Another British manufacturer, TVR, took a different approach in their Cerbera model; the interior was designed in such a way that the dashboard on the passenger side swept toward the front of the car, which allowed the passenger to sit farther forward than the driver. This gave the rear seat passenger extra room and made the arrangement suitable for three adult passengers and one child seated behind the driver; some Matra sports cars had three seats squeezed next to each other. The definition of a sports car is not precise, but from the earliest first automobiles "people have found ways to make them go faster, round corners better, look more beautiful" than the ordinary models inspiring an "emotional relationship" with a car, fun to drive and use for the sake of driving; the basis for the sports car is traced to the early 20th century touring cars a
Scuderia Ferrari S.p. A. is the racing division of luxury Italian auto manufacturer Ferrari and the racing team that competes in Formula One racing. The team is nicknamed "The Prancing Horse", with reference to their logo, it is the oldest surviving and most successful Formula One team, having competed in every world championship since the 1950 Formula One season. The team was founded by Enzo Ferrari to race cars produced by Alfa Romeo, though by 1947 Ferrari had begun building its own cars. Among its important achievements outside Formula One are winning the World Sportscar Championship, 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Spa, 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Bathurst 12 Hour, races for Grand tourer cars and racing on road courses of the Targa Florio, the Mille Miglia and the Carrera Panamericana; as a constructor, Ferrari has a record 16 Constructors' Championships, the last of, won in 2008. Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Räikkönen have won a record 15 Drivers' Championships for the team.
Since Räikkönen's title in 2007 the team narrowly lost out on the 2008 drivers' title with Felipe Massa and the 2010 and 2012 drivers' titles with Fernando Alonso. Michael Schumacher is the team's most successful driver. Joining the team in 1996 and departing in 2006 he won five drivers' titles and 72 Grands Prix for the team, his titles came consecutively between 2000 and 2004, the team won consecutive constructors' title from 1999 until the end of 2004. Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc are the two main race drivers; the team is known for its passionate support base known as the tifosi. The Italian Grand Prix at Monza is regarded as the team's home race; the Scuderia Ferrari team was founded by Enzo Ferrari on 16 November 1929 and became the racing team of Alfa Romeo and racing Alfa Romeo cars. In 1938, Alfa Romeo management made the decision to re-enter racing under its own name, establishing the Alfa Corse organisation, which absorbed what had been Scuderia Ferrari. Enzo Ferrari disagreed with this change in policy and was dismissed by Alfa in 1939.
The terms of his leaving forbade him from motorsport for a period of four years. In 1939, Ferrari started work on a racecar of his own, the Tipo 815; the 815s, designed by Alberto Massimino, were thus the first Ferrari cars. World War II put a temporary end to racing, Ferrari concentrated on an alternative use for his factory during the war years, doing machine tool work. After the war, Ferrari recruited several of his former Alfa colleagues and established a new Scuderia Ferrari, which would design and build its own cars; the team was based in Modena from its pre-war founding until 1943, when Enzo Ferrari moved the team to a new factory in Maranello in 1943, both Scuderia Ferrari and Ferrari's roadcar factory remain at Maranello to this day. The team owns and operates a test track on the same site, the Fiorano Circuit built in 1972, used for testing road and race cars; the team is named after Enzo Ferrari. Scuderia is Italian for a stable reserved for racing horses and is commonly applied to Italian motor racing teams.
The prancing horse was the symbol on Italian World War I ace Francesco Baracca's fighter plane, became the logo of Ferrari after the fallen ace's parents, close acquaintances of Enzo Ferrari, suggested that Ferrari use the symbol as the logo of the Scuderia, telling him it would'bring him good luck'. In May 1947, Ferrari constructed the 12-cylinder, 1.5 L Tipo 125, the first racing car to bear the Ferrari name. A Formula One version of the Tipo 125, the Ferrari 125 F1 was developed in 1948 and entered in several Grands Prix, at the time a World Championship had not yet been established. In 1950, the Formula One World Championship was established, Scuderia Ferrari entered in this first season, it is the only team to have competed in every season of the World Championship, from its inception to the current day. In fact the Ferrari team missed the first race of the championship, the 1950 British Grand Prix, due to a dispute about the'start money' paid to entrants, the team debuted in the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix with the 125 F1, sporting a supercharged version of the 125 V12, three experienced and successful drivers, Alberto Ascari, Raymond Sommer and Gigi Villoresi.
The company switched to the large-displacement aspirated formula for the 275, 340, 375 F1 cars. The Alfa Romeo team dominated the 1950 Formula One season, winning all eleven events it entered, but Ferrari broke their streak in 1951 when rotund driver José Froilán González took first place at the 1951 British Grand Prix. After the 1951 Formula One season the Alfa team withdrew from F1, causing the authorities to adopt the Formula Two regulations due to the lack of suitable F1 cars. Ferrari entered the 2.0 L 4-cyl Ferrari Tipo 500, which went on to win every race in which it competed in the 1952 Formula One season with drivers Ascari, Giuseppe Farina, Piero Taruffi. In the 1953 Formula One season, Ascari won only five races but another world title; the 1954 Formula One season brought new rules for 2.5 L engines. Ferrari had only two wins, González at the 1954 British Grand Prix and Mike Hawthorn a
Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss, is a British former Formula One racing driver. An inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, he won 212 of the 529 races he entered across several categories of competition and has been described as "the greatest driver never to win the World Championship". In a seven-year span between 1955 and 1961 Moss finished as championship runner-up four times and third the other three. Moss was born in London, son of Alfred Moss, a dentist of Bray and Aileen, he was brought up at Long White Cloud house on the right bank of the River Thames. His father was an amateur racing driver who had placed 16th at the 1924 Indianapolis 500. Aileen Moss had been involved in motorsport, entering prewar hillclimbs at the wheel of a Singer Nine. Stirling was a gifted horse rider as was his younger sister, Pat Moss, who became a successful rally driver and married Erik Carlsson. Moss was educated at several independent schools: Shrewsbury House School in Surbiton, Clewer Manor Junior School, the linked senior school and Imperial Service College, located at Hertford Heath, near Hertford.
Moss raced from 1948 to 1962, winning 212 of the 529 races he entered, including 16 Formula One Grands Prix. He would compete in as many as 62 races in a single year and drove 84 different makes of car over the course of his racing career, including Cooper 500, ERA, Lister Cars, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz and Vanwall single-seaters, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz sports cars, Jaguar saloons. Like many drivers of the era, he competed in several formulae on the same day, he preferred to race British cars, stating, "Better to lose honourably in a British car than win in a foreign one". At Vanwall, he was instrumental in breaking the German/Italian stranglehold on F1 racing, he remained the English driver with the most Formula One victories until 1991 when Nigel Mansell overtook him after competing in more races. Moss began his career at the wheel of his father Alfred's 328 Frazer Nash, DPX 653. Moss was one of the Cooper Car Company's first customers, using winnings from competing in horse-riding events to pay the deposit on a Cooper 500 racing car in 1948.
He persuaded his father, who opposed his racing and wanted him to be a dentist, to let him buy it. He soon demonstrated his ability with numerous wins at national and international levels, continued to compete in Formula Three, with Coopers and Kiefts, after he had progressed to more senior categories, his first major international race victory came on the eve of his 21st birthday at the wheel of a borrowed Jaguar XK120 in the 1950 RAC Tourist Trophy on the Dundrod circuit in Northern Ireland. He went on to win the race six more times, in 1951, 1955, 1958 and 1959, 1960 and 1961. A competent rally driver, he is one of three people to have won a Coupe d'Or for three consecutive penalty-free runs on the Alpine Rally, he finished second in the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally driving a Sunbeam-Talbot 90 with Desmond Scannell and Autocar magazine editor John Cooper as co-drivers. In 1954, he became the first non-American to win the 12 Hours of Sebring, sharing the Cunningham team's 1.5-liter O. S. C. A. MT4 with American Bill Lloyd.
In 1953 Mercedes-Benz racing boss Alfred Neubauer had spoken to Moss's manager, Ken Gregory, about the possibility of Moss's joining the Mercedes Grand Prix team. Having seen him do well in a uncompetitive car, wanting to see how he would perform in a better one, Neubauer suggested Moss buy a Maserati for the 1954 season, he bought a Maserati 250F, although the car's unreliability prevented his scoring high points in the 1954 Drivers' Championship he qualified alongside the Mercedes front runners several times and performed well in the races. He achieved his first Formula 1 victory when he won the non-Championship International Gold Cup in the Maserati. In the Italian Grand Prix at Monza he passed both drivers who were regarded as the best in Formula One at the time—Juan Manuel Fangio in a Mercedes and Alberto Ascari in a Ferrari—and took the lead. Ascari retired with engine problems, Moss led until lap 68 when his engine failed. Fangio took the victory, Moss pushed his Maserati to the finish line.
Neubauer impressed when Moss had tested a Mercedes-Benz W196 at Hockenheim, promptly signed him for 1955. Moss's first World Championship victory was in the 1955 British Grand Prix at Aintree, a race he was the first British driver to win. Leading a 1–2–3–4 finish for Mercedes, it was the first time he beat Fangio, his teammate and arch rival, his friend and mentor, it has been suggested. Moss himself asked Fangio and Fangio always replied: "No. You were just better than me that day." The same year, Moss won the RAC Tourist Trophy, the Targa Florio, the Mille Miglia. In 1955 Moss won Italy's thousand-mile Mille Miglia road race, an achievement Doug Nye described as the "most iconic single day's drive in motor racing history." Motor Trend headlined it as "The Most Epic Drive. Ever."Moss 25 years old, drove one of four factory-entered Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR sports-racing cars. Based on the W196 Grand Prix car, they had spaceframe chassis and magnesium-alloy bodies, their modified W196 engines ran on a mixture of petrol and alcohol.
The team's main race rivals were the factory-entered Ferraris of Piero Taruffi, Eugenio Castellotti, Umberto Maglioli, Paolo Marzotto. Journalist Denis Jenkinson was Moss's navigator, he had intended to go with John Fitch
Sports car racing
Sports car racing is a form of motorsport road racing which utilizes sports cars that have two seats and enclosed wheels. They may be related to road-going models. A type of hybrid between the purism of open-wheelers and the familiarity of touring car racing, this style is associated with the annual Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race. First run in 1923, Le Mans is one of the oldest motor races still in existence. Other classic but now defunct sports car races include the Italian classics, the Targa Florio and Mille Miglia, the Mexican Carrera Panamericana. Most top class sports car races emphasize endurance and strategy, over pure speed. Longer races involve complex pit strategy and regular driver changes; as a result, sports car racing is seen more as a team endeavor than an individual sport, with team managers such as John Wyer, Tom Walkinshaw, driver-turned-constructor Henri Pescarolo, Peter Sauber and Reinhold Joest becoming as famous as some of their drivers. The prestige of storied marques such as Porsche, Corvette, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, BMW is built in part upon success in sports car racing and the World Sportscar Championship.
These makers' top road cars have been similar both in engineering and styling to those raced. This close association with the'exotic' nature of the cars serves as a useful distinction between sports car racing and touring cars; the 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Daytona, 24 Hours of Le Mans were once considered the trifecta of sports car racing. Driver Ken Miles would have been the only to win all three in the same year but for an error in the Ford GT40's team orders at Le Mans in 1966 that cost him the win in spite of finishing first. According to historian Richard Hough, "It is impossible to distinguish between the designers of sports cars and Grand Prix machines during the pre-1914 period; the late Georges Faroux always contended that sports-car racing was not born until the first 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1923, while as a joint-creator of that race he may have been prejudiced in his opinion, it is true that sports-car racing as it was known after 1919 did not exist before the First World War."
In the 1920s, the cars used in endurance racing and Grand Prix were still identical, with fenders and two seats, to carry a mechanic if necessary or permitted. Cars such as the Bugatti Type 35 were equally at home in Grands Prix and endurance events, but specialisation started to differentiate the sports-racer from the Grand Prix car; the legendary Alfa Romeo Tipo A Monoposto started the evolution of the true single-seater in the early 1930s. During the 1930s, French constructors, unable to keep up with the progress of the Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union cars in GP racing, withdrew into domestic competition with large-capacity sports cars – marques such as Delahaye and the Bugattis were locally prominent. Through the 1920s and 1930s the roadgoing sports/GT car started to emerge as distinct from fast tourers and sports cars, whether descended from roadgoing vehicles or developed from pure-bred racing cars came to dominate races such as Le Mans and the Mille Miglia. In open-road endurance races across Europe such as the Mille Miglia, Tour de France and Targa Florio, which were run on dusty roads, the need for fenders and a mechanic or navigator was still there.
As Italian cars and races defined the genre, the category came to be known as Gran Turismo, as long distances had to be travelled, rather than running around on short circuits only. Reliability and some basic comfort were necessary. After the Second World War, sports car racing emerged as a distinct form of racing with its own classic races, from 1953, its own FIA sanctioned World Sportscar Championship. In the 1950s, sports car racing was regarded as as important as Grand Prix competition, with major marques like Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin investing much effort in their works programmes and supplying cars to customers. Top Grand Prix drivers competed in sports car racing. After major accidents at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1957 Mille Miglia the power of sports cars was curbed with a 3-litre engine capacity limit applied to them in the World Championship from 1958. From 1962 sports cars temporarily took a back seat to GT cars with the FIA replacing the World Championship for Sports Cars with the International Championship for GT Manufacturers.
In national rather than international racing, sports car competition in the 1950s and early 1960s tended to reflect what was locally popular, with the cars that were successful locally influencing each nation's approach to competing on the international stage. In the US, imported Italian and British cars battled local hybrids, with very distinct East and West Coast scenes; the US scene tended to featu