12/12/1959

US Grand Prix, Sebring

Sebring, The World Championship remained open until the final race of the year at Sebring. Jack Brabham, Stirling Moss and Tony Brooks were all in the running and after practice on the airfield circuit Moss was fastest in his Rob Walker Cooper-Climax. Brabham was second fastest in his factory Cooper while Harry Schell ran a similar car under the Ecurie Bleue banner and was third on the grid. This was rather better than expected and there were suggestions that it was not entirely correct. Schell had his Cooper moved from the 10th to the 3rd starting position by convincing officials to accept a "suspiciously" fast practice time - he had shortcut a remote section of track. Certainly the Ferrari team was upset and filed a complaint because Brooks had been pushed back onto the second row. The protest was ignored. The field included a few local drivers, notably Rodger Ward at the wheel of a Leader Cards Kurtis-Kraft roadster which was 43 seconds off the pace set by Moss. Brabham took the lead at the start but Moss soon took over and began to build up an advantage. After five laps Moss went out with another broken transmission and it left Brabham leading his teammate McLaren. Cliff Allison was third in his Ferrari but he fell victim to clutch trouble and had to retire. Trintignant provided the late-race excitement as he bid for victory. With just a few hundred meters to go and Trintignant closing fast, McLaren ducked out from behind Brabham and took the lead, Trintignant followed and almost overtook McLaren as well - the two finishing just 0.6 seconds apart. Brabham had run out of fuel but he was able to push the car to the finish, although Brooks beat him to the line for third place. Brabham was the World Champion and Bruce McLaren, at the age of 22 years and 104 days, became the youngest driver to win a F1 Grand Prix. (to that date)

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