Article contributed by Mitch Talley
Corvette fans can breathe a sigh of relief now that John Fitch, driver of the 1960 Briggs Cunningham Le Mans winning Corvette and the first manager for the Corvette racing team, has been found since being reported missing on Sunday.
Mr. Fitch enjoyed an 18-year racing career, winning several times,including the 1951 Argentine Grand Prix, 1955 Mille Miglia, Dunrod Tourist Trophy, the Sebring endurance race, and numerous lesser races. He may be best known to Corvette Racing fans as one of the drivers behind Corvette’s first class win at the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans in the #3 Briggs Cunningham Corvette.
His driving efforts have not been limited to just cars, though. He piloted a P-51 in World War II and was reportedly one of the first pilots to shoot down a German jet fighter.
Family members became concerned about Mr. Fitch’s safety since the 94-year-old didn’t have his oxygen with him and is dependent upon it because of his emphysema. He also has mild dementia.
Fortunately, Connecticut State Police and the Stockbridge, Mass. Police Department combined efforts to locate Mr. Fitch Monday morning and say he is in good condition.
“We had done several things,” Lt. Paul Vance, spokesman for the Connecticut State Police said “including notifying all law enforcement agencies in Connecticut and over the line into Massachusetts, telling them that he was missing and the facts and circumstances. We had great cooperation and are pleased he was located in good health.”
Mr. Fitch is also known for his inventions that made driving safer on the race track and highway, including the portable impact-absorbing barriers used on race tracks and highways. He also pushed for better safety on race tracks and offered his knowledge on vehicle handling and dynamics to many research and government organizations.
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