Roger Penske, future Team Penske founder, was 24 years old when he debuted in Formula One with private Cooper T53 in the USA Grand Prix in 1961. The 1961 season had already marked an important US milestone in Formula One with Californian Phil Hill being crowned the first American World Champion. The interest to the race held in Watkins Glen was quite high, and many local drivers were entered in addition to regular Grand prix contenders. Among the locals were Hap Sharp, Walt Hansgen, Jim Hall, and Lloyd Ruby. Roger Penske was 16th in the qualifying ahead of Sharp, Hall, and Ruby. In Sunday’s race watched by crowd of 60,000, Penske ran in the back of the peloton and finished in 8th position in 4 laps behind the winner, Innes Ireland in Lotus 21.
|Roger Penske||6||John M. Wyatt III|