George Wintersteen

West Grove PA

George’s road racing career was comparatively short…only a decade…but he squeezed two decades worth of success and fun into those years when there were only SCCA and FIA to contend … The popular hillclimbs in eastern Pennsylvania first caught George’s fancy, and by the time the 1962 season rolled around, he’d already traded his Porsche 1600 for an ex-Pedro Rodriguez Porsche RSK which he bought from Bob Holbert. That car, on SCCA road courses, the next year earned him an E Modified championship for the Northeast Division …The next rung on the ladder was a huge one, buying an Elva-Porsche, but first he shared Ed Lowther’s thundering 427 Cobra at Sebring to an unremarkable result … The Elva was used in the Mosport Players 200 race to a seventh place, then was quickly replaced with Roger Penske’s Cooper-Chevrolet for the West Coast series … A good run at Riverside until the engine broke encouraged George to step up the ladder and purchase Penske’s Corvette Grand Sport Coupe which he drove in the famed Nassau Speed Weeks events. The SCCA noted the quality of George’s presence and his driving ability by awarding him their coveted Kimberly Cup for the year. … He started 1965 with a soggy 14th place finish in the infamous Sebring “deluge” race with the Corvette, and after some USRRC races was invited to England for the Guards Trophy at Brands Hatch in a McLaren.Mk-1A … in 1966 George became the driver for Penske’s first races as a non-driving entrant, driving the Corvette at both Daytona and Sebring, the latter to a 9th place finish and winning the GTO class, then bought the Corvette (chassis #002) and raced in selected USRRC events … won the SCCA’s Formula B National Championship in the Northeast Division with a Brabham …went open wheel racing in 1968 with a Gurney-Eagle in the SCCA’s Formula 5000 series, winning at Lime Rock Park and Donnybrooke Raceway, and even though he had to miss two races, he still took the championship down to the final race of the season. …1969 was a consistent season in F/5000, finishing inside the top five at every race he entered, and became a feature in actor/driver James Garner’s “The Racing Scene” movie by destroying his Lola in the first lap at St. Jovite. …Gerorge paired with Dick Smothers for the 1970 F/5000 season using a pair of Lotus 70s. His best finish was his third consecutive rnner-up finish at Laguna Seca in three races.

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