England's Stirling Moss won the Argentina Grand Prix with a small Cooper-Climax, routing world champion Juan Manuel Fangio, driving a Maserati.
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SPORT: CAR RACING
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Background: England's Stirling Moss won the Argentina Grand Prix with a small Cooper-Climax, routing world champion Juan Manuel Fangio, driving a Maserati.
Italian Luigi Musso, also driving a Ferrari, came in second. British driver Mike Hawthorn, Ferrari, third, and Fangio, Maserati, fourth.
Moss, No 1 runner up to five-time champion Fangio last year, was a doubtful entry up to starting time because of an injured eye. Moss nursed the Cooper the 80 laps without a pit stop. He had to baby his tyres throughout the final laps to get them through the race without a change. Moss came in with the cords showing through his tyres.
Moss beat Musso by only two and seven-tenths seconds.
During the 10th lap of the 312-km race on the Municipal Autodrome, Fangio was leading, followed by Hawthorn, Behra, Moss, Musso, Menditeguy, Schell, Godia and Gould.
During the 18th lap, Moss began to creep up on Behra and Hawthorn, the former two being close together at that time.
Lap 21 saw Moss close to Hawthorn in the bends which his smaller Cooper Climax used to advantage. However, in long straight runs, the more powerful Ferrari pulled ahead again.
Finally, in the 35th lap, when Fangio pulled into the pit to change tyres, Moss led the way to the end of the 80 laps.
Moss was mobbed at the end of the race and was kissed by his beautiful Canadian wife Katie, who only on Friday night had accidentally stuck her finger in her husband's left eye.
Moss won eight points toward the world championship now held by Fangio. Fangio, who had won the Grand Prix the last four years in a row, had an early lead of 18.7 seconds when he had to change tyres.
Moss was 2.7 seconds ahead of Musso. The official standings were:
Moss 2:19:33.7; Luigi Musso, Italy, Ferrari, 2:19:36.4; Mike Hawthorn, Great Britain, Ferrari, 2:19:46.3; Juan Manuel Fangio, Argentina, Maserati, 2:20:26.7; Jean Behra, Franco, Maserati, 2:2:11.4 (78 laps); Harry Schell, U.S.A., Maserati, 2:19:45.1 (77 laps); Carlos Menditeguy, Argentina, Maserati, 2:19:34.1 (76 laps); Francisco Godia, Spain, Maserati, 2:20:21.8 (75 laps) Horace Gould, Britain, Maserati, 2:19:37.2 (71 laps)
Lap record, Fangio: 1:41:8 minutes in the 30th lap for an average of 138.354 k.p.h.
Moss had an average of 134.559 kilometres per hour. All nine drivers who got away from the starter's flag finished. Usually in this race only three or four cars make it all the way.