View Full Version : 1962 Mosport Players 200

Steve Holmes
09-16-2011, 02:25 AM

I love old racing footage, especially when in colour. Another Roaring Season member, Mike Feisst, forwarded this beautiful coverage of the 1962 Players 200, at the newly built Mosport Park, in Ontario, Canada to me. When this event was filmed, the track had only been open for just over a year, and this was the second running of the Players 200 sports car event. Stirling Moss won that first race in a Lotus 19.

The line-up for the 1962 event was star-studded, and although Moss wasn’t in attendance, the second and third place finishers from the ’61 event, Jo Bonnier, and Olivier Gendebien, had returned. Additionally, Innes Ireland was also entered. The more localized drivers were headed by the bespectacled Masten Gregory, as well as Dan Gurney, Jim Hall, Roger Penske, Jerry Grant, Bob Holbert, and two-time Indy 500 winner Rodger Ward.

But the line-up of cars was just as fascinating as that of the drivers. The early 1960s marked the cross-over in sports car racing from front-engined to rear-engined machinery that had taken place in single seaters a few years earlier. So the field was fairly evenly divided between front and rear-engined cars. Bonnier was entered in a Porsche RS61, while Gendebien was to drive an American special, a Dailu MkI. The Dailu (the name being an acronym of owners David Greenblatt and Luigi Cassiani’s first names) was copied from a Sadler MkIV. It featured a tube-frame chassis, small block Chevy, and Jaguar rear suspension. Unfortunately, oil pressure problems in practice meant the car was scratched from the race, and a Porsche RS60 was hurried in for Gendebien to drive. The beautiful Dailu caught fire later that same year at the Nassau Speed Week and burned to the ground.

A Ferrari 246SP was brought in for Innes Ireland to drive, while Masten Gregory was given a Lotus 19, as was Gurney. Jim Hall was driving his own creation, the Chaparral 1. This car was actually designed and built by Dick Troutman and Tom Barnes, who had built a number of significant sports racing cars during the 1950s, including Lance Reventlows Scarabs. In 1961, now out on their own, they built a prototype front-engined sports racer powered by a small block Chevy, with which they planned to go into production, and Jim Hall eventually came in as an investor, which gave him the rights to name the car.

Rodger Ward was entered to drive a Cooper Monaco, on which he’d spent some of his Indy 500 winnings to have Bob McKee squeeze an alloy 254ci Buick V8 in to. Bob Holbert was entered in a brand new Porsche RS62. Holbert became one of the first authorized Porsche dealers in the US, when his Holberts Garage began selling the little sports cars in 1954, and he became a prominent Porsche racer throughout the 1950s and ‘60s.

Also of interest in this line-up is the mid-engined Sadler MkV Chevy, designed and built by Canadian Bill Sadler, and driven by fellow Canadian Dan Shaw. This was one of the first Canadian/American specials to go the mid-engined route. Within a few short years, virtually every sports car racing throughout Canada and America would follow the Sadler route of mid-engined Chevy power.

Another interesting ‘special’ was that of Stan Burnett, which Burnett built in 1959, at 23 years of age. The Burnett special was built around a tube-frame, on top of which was attached a Devin body, with power coming from a small block Chevy.

Amateur racers were, and are, the back-bone of motor racing in the US and Canada, even though many cars were heavily outclassed, and outdated, such as John Cannons ancient Jaguar D Type.

The 1962 Players 200 was split into two separate 100 mile races, with final results based on each drivers overall time for both races. Gurney took pole position, from Penske, Gregory, Ireland, Hall, Shaw, Francis Bradley (Lotus 19), Bonnier (fastest Class 1 car), Holbert, and Ward.

Gurney won the opening 100 mile encounter, from Gregory, Penske, Hall, and Bonnier. However, Gurney retired in the second heat with head gasket failure, and Gregory skipped off to win both the heat, and the overall, from Penske, Holbert, Bradley, and Bonnier.

Enjoy. This is great footage.