Sunday, 27 March 2011

Female Drivers at the 12 Hours of Sebring: Part I, 1955-1979


Anita Taylor, Donna Mae Mims and Janet Guthrie in 1966 (not at Sebring)

The 12 Hours of Sebring is the second-oldest sportscar race on the calendar, after Le Mans. It has run almost continuously since 1952, with only one break, caused by the 1974 energy crisis.
After one year as a non-championship event, the 12 Hours was run as a World Sportscar Championship round between 1953 and 1972, when it became an IMSA GT event. Its early-season position makes it a favoured early shakedown for Le Mans.

Beginning in 1955, women drivers have competed at Sebring in most runnings, although there was a lull in the 1970s. Below are their results between 1955 and 1979. Denise McCluggage was the most frequent starter during this period, and Isabelle Haskell has the highest finish: eighth, with a class win.

The rest follows here.

1955
Isabelle Haskell/Dick Irish (Bandini) - DNF
Greta Oakes/Sydney Oakes (Austin-Healey 100M) - DNF

1956
Margaret Wyllie/M.R.J. Wyllie (Lotus Mk IX) - 24th
Isabelle Haskell/Alejandro de Tomaso (Maserati 150S) - DNF

1957
Gilberte Thirion/Nadège Ferrier/G. Spydel (Renault Dauphine) - 35th
Evelyn Mull/John B. Mull (AC Ace) - DNF
Margaret Wyllie/M.R.J. Wyllie/Charles Moran (Lotus Eleven Le Mans) - disqualified
Isabelle Haskell/Alejandro de Tomaso (OSCA MT4 750) - DNF

1958
Isabelle Haskell/Alejandro de Tomaso/Robert Ferguson (OSCA S750) - 8th, class win
Denise McCluggage/Ruth Levy (Fiat-Abarth 750 Zagato) - DNF
Margaret Wyllie/M.R.J. Wyllie/Chuck Dietrich (Elva Mk. II) - DNS (accident in practice)

1959
Isabelle Haskell/Alejandro de Tomaso/Denise McCluggage/Ricardo Rodriguez (OSCA S750) - 18th
Smokey Drolet/Fred Lieb (Turner 750 Sport) - 43rd
Margaret Wyllie/M.R.J. Wyllie/Skip Lange (Elva Mk. IV) - DNF

1960
Denise McCluggage/Marianne “Pinkie” Windridge (OSCA 187S) - DNF

1961
Denise McCluggage/Allan Eager (Ferrari 250 GT) - 10th, class win
Peggy Gelder/Ed Gelder/Jim Fuller (Elva Courier) - 35th

1962
Denise McCluggage/Allan Eager (OSCA S1000) - DNF

1963
Denise McCluggage/Christabel Carlisle (MG B) - DNF

1964
Donna Mae Mims/Alan Pease (Austin-Healey Sprite) - DNF

1966
Donna Mae Mims/John Luke (Yenko Stinger) - DNF

1967
Denise McCluggage/Marianne “Pinkie” Windridge (Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Spyder) - 17th
Suzy Dietrich/Donna Mae Mims (ASA 411) - not classified
Smokey Drolet/Anita Taylor (Alpine-Renault A110) - not classified
Liane Engeman/Janet Guthrie (Matra Djet 5S) - not classified

1968
Janet Guthrie/Liane Engeman (AMC Javelin) - not classified
Donna Mae Mims/Michael Summers (Yenko Stinger) - not classified

1969
Janet Guthrie/Donna Mae Mims/Liane Engeman (Austin-Healey Sprite) - 23rd
Smokey Drolet/Rosemary Smith (BMW 2002) - 26th

1970
Janet Guthrie/Rosemary Smith/Judy Kondratieff (Austin-Healey Sprite) - 19th, class win
Donna Mae Mims/Jim Corwin (Chevrolet Corvette) - 21st

1971
Janet Guthrie/Rosemary Smith/Jennifer Birrell (Chevron B16) - DNF

1974
No race due to fuel crisis

1976
Janet Guthrie/Stephen Behr (Chevrolet Monza) - 63rd

1978
Lyn St. James/Luis Sereix/Phil Currin (Chevrolet Corvette) - 17th
Kathy Wallace/Tom Wallace/Gene Rutherford (Oldsmobile Cutlass) - 53rd

1979
Bonnie Henn/Lyn St. James/Janet Guthrie (Ferrari 365 GTB/4) - 17th

(Image from http://www.1966shelbynotchbackmustang.com/PhotosRingFree.html)

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