1953 World Sportscar Championship

The 1953 World Sportscar Championship was the first FIA World Sportscar Championship. It was a seven race [1] international motor racing series for sports cars contested from 8 March to 23 November 1953. The championship was won by Ferrari.[1]

1953 World Sportscar Championship
Previous: none Next: 1954


Ferrari 340 MM (1953)
Ferrari won the championship with its 340 MM (pictured) and 375 MM models
Rétromobile 2011 - Jaguar Type C - 1953 -6
Jaguar placed second with its C-Type
1952 Aston Martin DB3
Aston Martin placed third with its DB3 (pictured) and DB3S models
Lancia D24 (24716921540)
Lancia placed equal fourth with its D20 & D24 models. A D24 is pictured above
Cunningham C4R
Cunningham placed equal fourth with its C4-R (pictured) and C5-R models

The 1953 World Sports Car Championship was contested over a seven race series. Now legendary and shockingly dangerous races such as the Mille Miglia and the Carrera Panamericana were part of an international race calendar, accompanied by the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 24 Hours of Spa, with the inaugural race being the 12 Hours of Sebring in the United States.

The Championship was for manufacturers, and works teams such as Scuderia Ferrari, Lancia, Aston Martin and Jaguar leading the way, but the majority of the fields were made up of amateur or gentlemen drivers, often up against professional racing drivers with experience in Formula One. Sometimes, even the Drivers World Champion joined in.

Entries were divided into classes based on engine displacement. Scuderia Ferrari were a dominant force in 1953, winning three of the seven races.

Season results


Round Date Event Circuit or Location Winning driver Winning team Winning car Results
1 08/03 United States 12 Hours of Sebring Sebring International Raceway United States Phil Walters
United States John Fitch
United States Briggs Cunningham Cunningham-Chrysler C4-R Results
2 26/04 Italy Mille Miglia Brescia-Rome Italy Giannino Marzotto
Italy Marco Crosara
Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 340 MM Results
3 13/06
France 24 Hours of Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe United Kingdom Tony Rolt
United Kingdom Duncan Hamilton
United Kingdom Jaguar Cars Ltd. Jaguar C-Type Results
4 25/07
Belgium 24 Hours de Spa Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Italy Giuseppe Farina
United Kingdom Mike Hawthorn
Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 375 MM Results
5 30/08 West Germany ADAC 1000km Nürburgring Nürburgring Italy Alberto Ascari
Italy Giuseppe Farina
Italy Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 375 MM Results
6 05/09 United Kingdom RAC Tourist Trophy Dundrod United Kingdom Peter Collins
United Kingdom Pat Griffith
United Kingdom Aston Martin Ltd. Aston Martin DB3S Results
7 19/11
Mexico Carrera Panamericana Tuxtla Gutiérrez-Ciudad Juárez Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio
Italy Gino Bronzoni
Italy Scuderia Lancia Lancia D24 Results


Pos. Manufacturer Seb MM LM Spa Nur TT CP Total
1 Italy Ferrari (1) 8 (2) 8 8 3 27 (30)
2 United Kingdom Jaguar 4 8 6 6 (4) 24 (28)
3 United Kingdom Aston Martin 6 2 8 16
4= Italy Lancia 4 8 12
4= United States Cunningham 8 4 12
6 Italy Alfa Romeo 6 6
7 West Germany Borgward 4 4
8= France D.B. 3 3
8= West Germany Porsche 3 3
10= Italy O.S.C.A. 2 2
10= West Germany Veritas 2 2
10= France Talbot 2 2
13= Italy Maserati 1 1
13= France Gordini 1 1
13= United Kingdom Frazer Nash 1 1

Championship points were awarded for the first six places in each race in the order of 8-6-4-3-2-1. Manufacturers were only awarded points for their highest finishing car with no points awarded for positions filled by additional cars. Only the best 4 results out of the 7 races could be retained by each manufacturer. Points earned but not counted towards the championship totals are listed within brackets in the above table.

The cars

The following models contributed to the net championship point scores of their respective manufacturers.


  1. ^ a b World Sports Car Championship (Makes), 1974 FIA Yearbook of Automobile Sport, Grey section, page 122

External links

1953 1000km of Nürburgring

The 1953 ADAC 1000 Kilometer-Rennen Nürburgring took place on 30 August, on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, (West Germany). It was also the fifth round of the F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship. This was the first time the event had taken place, although it would not run again until 1956.

1953 12 Hours of Sebring

The 3rd Grand Prix, 12 Hours of Sebring, was the inaugural round of the first F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship and was held at the Sebring International Raceway, on 8 March 1953.

1953 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 1953 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 21st Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 13 and 14 June 1953, at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans (France). It was also the third round of the F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship.British drivers Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton won the race with one of three factory-entered Jaguar C-Types, the first cars ever to race at Le Mans with disc brakes.

1953 Carrera Panamericana

The 1953 Carrera Panamericana was the fourth running of the Carrera Panamericana Mexican sports car racing event, and the first edition as a part of the World Sportscar Championship. The race took place from 19–23 November, and was run from Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, to Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, over 8 stages and 3,077 kilometres (1,912 mi). 182 cars started the race, and 60 finished all 8 stages.

1953 Mille Miglia

The 1953 Mille Miglia, was the second round of the 1953 F.I.A. World Sportscar Championship and was held on the open-road of Italy, on 26 April 1953. The route was based on a round trip between Brescia and Rome, with start/finish, in Brescia.A total of 577 cars were entered 1953 running of the Mille Miglia, across eight classes based on engine sizes, ranging from up to 750cc to over 2.0 litre, for both Touring Cars and Sport Cars. Of these, 490 cars started the event. Although this not strictly a race against each other, this is race against the clock, as the cars are released at one-minute intervals with the larger professional class cars going before the slower cars, in the Mille Miglia, however the smaller displacement, slower cars started first. Each car number related to their allocated start time. For example Juan-Manuel Fangio’s car had the number 602, he left Brescia at 6:02am, while the first cars had started late in the evening on the previous day.

1953 RAC Tourist Trophy

The 1953 RAC Tourist Trophy took place on 5 September, on the Dundrod Circuit, (County Antrim, Northern Ireland). It was also the sixth round of the F.I.A. World Sports Car Championship, held just six days after the previous round, 1000km of Nürburgring.

1953 Spa 24 Hours

The 1953 24 Heures de Spa Francorchamps took place on 25 and 26 July 1953, at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, (Belgium). It was also the fourth round of the FIA World Sports Car Championship. This was the first time the event had taken place since Luigi Chinetti and Jean Lucas won in 1949. The race was not run again until 1964.Although the 1953 season places two 24 hour races in two months would not be an easy maneuver. But, Spa is a favourite amongst the drivers and teams, therefore, the event would be a popular one, not to be missed by the top teams and their star drivers

6 Hours of Nürburgring

The 6 Hours of Nürburgring (formerly the Nürburgring 1000 km) was an endurance race for sports cars held on the Nürburgring in Germany and organized by the ADAC since 1953.

Carrera Panamericana

The Carrera Panamericana was a border-to-border sedan and sports car racing event on open roads in Mexico similar to the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio in Italy. Running for five consecutive years from 1950 to 1954, it was widely held by contemporaries to be the most dangerous race of any type in the world. It has since been resurrected along some of the original course as a classic speed rally.

Driver deaths in motorsport

Due to the inherently dangerous nature of auto racing, many individuals, including drivers, crew members, officials and spectators, have been killed in crashes related to the sport, in races, in qualifying, in practice or in private testing sessions. Deaths among racers and spectators were numerous in the early years of racing. However advances in safety technology, and specifications designed by sanctioning bodies to limit speeds, have reduced deaths in recent years. Spectacular accidents have often spurred increased safety measures and even rules changes. Widely considered to be the worst accident amongst them is the 1955 crash at Le Mans that killed driver Pierre Levegh and approximately 80 spectators with over 100 being injured in total.

This is a list alphabetically sorted, and structured after the kind of competition, of the more notable drivers, excluding motorcycle riders. In addition, several famous racing drivers have been killed in public road crashes; see List of people who died in road accidents.

Felice Bonetto

Felice Bonetto (9 June 1903 in Manerbio, near Brescia, Italy – 21 November 1953 in Silao, Mexico) was a courageous racing driver who earned the nickname Il Pirata (The Pirate).

He was a road racing legend, who started racing in the 1930s, and enjoyed a brief Formula One career, including a win in the non-Championship Grande Premio do Jubileu in 1953. During his Formula One career, he raced Italian cars, starting with a privateer Maserati for Scuderia Milano, then the works Alfa Romeo, and finally the works Maserati, achieving two shared podiums finishes in the World Championship. His greatest successes were in sport cars, winner of the 1952 Targa Florio, but his career and life were cut short when he fatally crashed into a lamp post in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana whilst leading.

Frazer Nash

Frazer Nash was a brand of British sports car manufactured from 1922 first by Frazer Nash Limited founded by engineer Archibald Frazer-Nash. On its financial collapse in 1927, a new company AFN Limited was incorporated. In 1929 control of AFN passed to Harold John Aldington.

Until the Second World War, AFN continued to produce a small number of sports cars badged Frazer Nash incorporating a unique multi-chain transmission. It continued after the war making another 85 sports cars before ending manufacture in 1957. The post-war cars had conventional transmissions.

UK agents for BMW, they arranged coachwork and made modifications, including badging the cars Frazer Nash BMW.

Also UK agents for Porsche, control of AFN Limited passed from the Aldington family to Porsche in 1987.

List of 1953 motorsport champions

This list of 1953 motorsport champions is a list of national or international auto racing series with a Championship decided by the points or positions earned by a driver from multiple races.

Maserati in motorsport

Throughout its history, the Italian auto manufacturer Maserati has participated in various forms of motorsports including Formula One, sportscar racing and touring car racing, both as a works team and through private entrants.


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