Bill Krause

Bill Krause

2/1/1933

Bill Krause started racing in midgets before pressure from his family switched him to raing sports cars. His mother thought open wheel racing was too dangerous and after a couple of accidents his father bought him a 3.4 liter D Type Jaguar in early 1956. In 27 races, he had 13 firsts, seven seconds, three thirds and three fourths. He retired in 1966 to concentrate on his growing Honda motorcycle dealership.

Mainly a sportscar driver, Bill's a father was involved in midget racing and ran a machine shop. Thus when Bill started racing at 18 it was in midgets.

In 1955 he won a midget title, but after a couple of big accidents his mother thought open wheel racing was too dangerous. So his father bought him a 3.4 liter D Type Jaguar in early 1956 in which he won his first sportscar race starting from 13th.

Krause bored the engine to 3.8 litres, and entered the Riverside Times Grand Prix, finishing third behind Chuck Daigh and Dan Gurney. Behra, who finished fourth, commented that Billy was the best driver there, from a field of GP, Indy and top SCCA race drivers. For 1959, Krause raced Jack Brumby's Maserati 450S, finishing 2nd at Pomona. The Jaguar was upgraded with a Chevrolet engine, and raced this as well as a new birdcage Maserati for Brumby, winning the Times GP ahead of Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney in Lotus 19's. The car was sold in 1961, but Krause was hired in the Autumn of 1962 to develop the new Shelby Cobra. However, Mickey Thompson offered him a ride in a Corvette, with the offer of a drive in the Indy 500, so he switched teams. Due to GM politics, he only raced once, during the Daytona Speedweek of 1963.

He did attempt to qualify for the Indy 500, but after the engine let go and sprayed oil in his face at 200mph, Krause lost confidence and went home to California, opening a Honda dealership. He raced only sporadically thereafter.

Still alive & living in California. After retiring in 1966, Bill went on to run bike & car dealerships. He still has ties with Penske & spends most of his time restoring cars and playing golf.

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