1963 12 Hours of Sebring – Race Profile Page Ten
At one point, early in the race, the Chaparral 1 driven by Jim Hall, weird fins and all, actually led the race for a couple of laps. This was only the second time since 1953, when a Cunningham won, that an American-built race car led such a distinguished field. Unfortunately the Chaparral began to overheat and Hall slowed his pace to deal with it. What he did not realize was that he had blown a radiator hose and by the time he pitted the engine was cooked and the car retired after completing only 15 laps.
Retiring at 10:52 a.m. was the Dick Thompson – Don Yenko Corvette with a blown gearbox after completing 14 laps. Much to his disappointment co-driver Don Yenko never got a chance to drive but both men would be called upon later to drive another Corvette.
Following those cars behind pit wall after 22 laps was the Cobra of George Reed and Nathan Karas with ignition problems. The Denise McCluggage – Christabel Carlisle MGB succumbed to bearing failure after completing 32 laps. In fact both Ecurie Safety Fast team MGB’s retired for the same reason. It seems that the experimental bearings they were using were not up to the demands of a one-hour race, let alone a twelve-hour race.
Out on the course Jerry Grant had parked his Corvette and was seen walking to the pits. When he arrived he asked for a change of plugs and some tools and returned to his car. The car would retire after 46 laps.
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