For 1963, Shelby hired a young tiger by the name of Dave MacDonald. He was anxious to get a full-time professional ride and happily accepted what Shelby was able to pay. The Californian was already well aware of the Cobra's potential, having watched Cobra taillights show the way around Riverside for an hour in 1962. In that race, Shelby had seen his potential and was willing to take a chance with the relatively unknown driver.
When the regional races at Riverside were held in January 1963, Shelby and his team had worked the bugs out of the Cobra and could sense that their first victory was just around the corner. MacDonald, together with teammate Ken Miles, trounced the Corvettes, driving off into the distance. The pair of Cobras were simply the class of the field. So much so, that Miles took advantage of his massive performance advantage to stop in the pits for a drink only to exit and re-pass the Corvettes without even breaking a sweat.
Driving his first race in a Cobra, MacDonald earned the Cobra its first of many victories... and on the following day he brought home the Cobra's second victory! The future was looking bright... very bright!