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1955 World Sportscar Championship season

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Title: 1955 World Sportscar Championship season  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Mercedes-Benz W196, 1955 1000 km Buenos Aires, 1955 Le Mans disaster, Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, World Sportscar Championship
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

1955 World Sportscar Championship season

The 1955 World Sportscar Championship season was the third season of FIA World Sportscar Championship motor racing. It featured a series of six endurance races for sportscars, contested from 23 January to 16 October 1954.

The champions from 1953 and 1954, Ferrari, would find their dominance challenged with the arrival of Mercedes-Benz.


  • Season 1
  • Season results 2
    • Results 2.1
    • Championship 2.2
  • The cars 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


Mercedes-Benz won the championship with the 300 SLR

The 1955 World Sports Car Championship was contested over a six race series. With legendary races such as the Mille Miglia and the RAC Tourist Trophy now part of an international race calendar, they were accompanied by the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring. The championship started in January, with a trip to Argentina for the 1000 km Buenos Aires. The Carrera Panamericana was dropped from the 1955 calendar, and while the 1000 km Nürburgring was due to run, this was later cancelled following the events at Le Mans. They were replaced with another legendary road race, the Targa Florio. [1]

The Championship was open for manufacturers, with works teams such as Scuderia Ferrari, Officine Alfieri Maserati, Daimler-Benz and Jaguar Cars 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.

Classes were split between closed cars (GT) and open cars (Sports), with further divisions due to engine displacement. The 1955 season was a very bittersweet one for Daimler-Benz, with their Mercedes-Benz 300 SLRs. After missing the opening two, non-European rounds, which allowed Ferrari to gain a 14-point head start on Mercedes, the German team joined the championship. Aided by an English journalist, Denis Jenkinson, Stirling Moss would romp to victory in the Mille Miglia. However the elation achieved by this English pairing, would be quickly subdued at Le Mans a month later, when Pierre Levegh’s 300 SLR would be launched into the air and into the crowd, killing more than 80 spectators. Daimler-Benz would withdraw from the race, and motor sport altogether at the end of the season. [2]

This difficult decision would be made a little easier when Moss, and John Fitch drove to victory at the Dundrod Circuit, winning the RAC Tourist Trophy. This race was marred by the deaths of three drivers. The victory put Mercedes back in the hunt for the championship. The last race of the season, the Targa Florio, would see Moss win again, this time aided by Peter Collins, ensuring the manufacturers title was won by the German marque.

Season results


Date Round Event Circuit or Location Winning driver Winning team Winning car Results
23/01 Rd. 1 1000km of Buenos Aires Autódromo Municipal-Avenida Paz Enrique Sáenz Valiente
José-Maria Ibanez
Ferrari 375 Plus Results
13/03 Rd. 2 12 Hours of Sebring Sebring International Raceway Mike Hawthorn
Phil Walters
B. S. Cunningham Jaguar D-Type Results
01/05 Rd. 3 Mille Miglia Brescia-Rome Stirling Moss
Denis Jenkinson
Daimler Benz AG Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Results
Rd.4 24 Hours of Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe Mike Hawthorn
Ivor Bueb
Jaguar Cars Ltd. Jaguar D-Type Results
18/09 Rd. 5 RAC Tourist Trophy Dundrod Stirling Moss
John Fitch
Daimler Benz AG Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Results
16/10 Rd. 6 Targa Florio Circuito delle Madonie Piccolo Stirling Moss
Peter Collins
Daimler Benz AG Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Results


Ferrari placed second with the 750 Monza (pictured) and other models
Jaguar placed third with the D-Type


  • Championship points were awarded for the first six places in each race in the order of 8-6-4-3-2-1.
  • Manufacturers were awarded points only for their highest finishing car with no points awarded for positions filled by additional cars.
  • Only the best 4 results out of the 6 races could be retained by each manufacturer. Points earned but not counted towards the championship totals are listed within brackets in the accompanying table.
Pos Manufacturer R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total
1 Mercedes-Benz 8 8 8 24
2 Ferrari 8 6 4 (1) 4 22 (23)
3 Jaguar 8 8 16
4 Maserati 4 4 3 2 (2) 13 (15)
5 Aston Martin 6 3 9
6 Porsche 3 3 6
7 Gordini 2 2
8 Austin-Healey 1 1

The cars

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


  1. ^
  2. ^

Further reading

  • János L. Wimpffen, Time and Two Seats, 1999, pages 170–200
  • The Automobile Year Book of Sports Car Racing, 1982

External links

  • Championship race results & points table at
  • Championship race results, programs and images at
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