It is the terrible strain on brakes (not to mention gearboxes) which gives the highly developed smaller cars a glimmer of hope for the over-all prize. Porsche, for example, with a weight of only 1,166 pounds in its all-out Spyder model, maintains that a recent test in which the brakes were used to decelerate from 120 mph to 30 mph as quickly as possible, 320 times in rapid succession, wore only .04 inch from the brake lining (of secret composition) and caused neither excessive heat nor significant fade.
Important as brakes, foreign cars and drivers are, they must yield center stage to the SS. It is tempting, indeed, to herald the SS as the first concrete symbol of a bold new day for American motor sports and indulge the notion that some time, in the not too distant future, more of the Detroit titans might get their feet wet, too. It could happen. Yet history says the largest manufacturers, with the shining exception of Mercedes-Benz, avoid the hay bales. On the other hand, Detroit, more and more openly, is supporting a large-scale program of stock car racing, and it is precisely this which has lifted stock cars to a major sports level.' Le Mans has announced that three Corvettes and two Ford Thunderbirds will compete in the 24-hours. Chevrolet disclaims any such entry—but make no bets that the SS will not be there, if it proves to be a sound racer.
In any event there will be a bold new Sebring this Saturday; one to encourage hopes that future U.S. racing will be as exhilarating.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]