Racing drivers, when pinned down, find it difficult to express just what it is that inspires in them such devotion to so dangerous a sport. Stirling Moss of England (SI, Nov. 14) thought it was acceleration, the supreme thrill of power from a perfectly tuned engine. Spain's Marquis de Portago, pondering the matter, came up with "courage—the challenge to one's courage of a fierce competition in awareness of death." Whatever it is, it grips men like a fever. It can be read in the faces on the opposite page—Dave Michaels (top), of Montclair, N.J., in his Bandini-Offy; Alexis DuPont, of Montchanin, Del., in his bullet-fast Cooper; Ray Saidel, of Manchester, N.H., in his big Allard-J. It can be seen also in the pictures which follow, and it will find its ultimate expression this Saturday in the biggest of U.S. sports car events, the Florida International 12-Hour Grand Prix of Endurance on a former airfield in Sebring. For more about that event, its cars and its drivers, turn to page 23.
In Florida, World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio whips Lancia through curve in Sebring's 12-hour endurance run. This week's renewal brings the world's top drivers to the U.S.
In Illinois, steaming engine brings an Austin-Healey in for a quick pit stop during a Chanute Field race
In California, an acrobatic official gives a zestful wave of the checkered flag to a winner in the Golden Gate meet
March 26, 1956
AT PEBBLE BEACH, CALIF., FAMILIES AND FANS WATCH BEHIND TEMPORARY FENCES AS THE CARS FALSH BY