Fred Windridge

Fred Windridge

28/2/1931 - 28/1/2000

Sports car racer from the USA. Raced a number of different cars including a Mercedes-Benz at Sebring in 1957, Jaguars and a Ferrari 250MM, but he is most well known for driving Corvettes.

Sports car racer from the USA. Raced a number of different cars including a Mercedes-Benz at Sebring in 1957, Jaguars and a Ferrari 250MM, but he is most well known for driving Corvettes.

He drove for Briggs Cunningham in 1959 and 1960. Competing at Le Mans and Sebring in 1960. In 1960 when the Club Automobile de l'Ouest decided to limit prototypes by introducing more Grand Touring-friendly rules. The changes allowed for larger-displacement engines in the GT class, making the Corvette, with its 283-cubic inch fuel-injected V8, a contender.

Briggs entered three Corvettes and Jaguar's experimental E2A. Briggs Cunningham would share duties with Bill Kimberly, Fred Windridge joined Dick Thompson and John Fitch would co-drive with Bob Grossman. It was not a happy event. Rain threatened early Saturday evening, just as Bill Kimberley was taking over from Briggs' first stint. Alfred was arguing with Firestone engineers, who wanted to save their rain tires until absolutely necessary. Three-quarters of a lap later, their concern was rendered moot when Kimberly drove head on into a wall of rain, losing the car in a series of rolls, then miraculously escaping unhurt before the car burned to the ground. Dick Thompson, ever the charger, drove the number two 'Vette straight into the sandbank at Mulsanne, destroying a large portion of its bodywork, before digging out over an hour later. Thompson's co-driver, Fred Windridge, managed on Sunday morning to inject some humor into Team Cunningham's now seemingly desperate fortunes when his Corvette, still streaming the tatters of its few remaining bits of fiberglass bodywork, blew its engine in a cloud of smoke and glory as it passed the pits. Unable to make the escape road, Windridge exited the car as it was swarmed by firemen, medical attendants, gendarmes and track marshalls all nattering at him in French about where to push the car. Recognizing a nearby photographer who was a local friend of Team Cunningham, Freddy shouted to him, 'Please tell them to leave the car alone! You know how fussy Briggs is!'

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