Welcome to the IMSA History unofficial website

This site is aimed at bringing you memories from the glory days of sportscar racing in the US.

Contribute

 Contact

 1  9 PORSCHE 935K3 009 00030 Bob Garretson-Brian Redman-Bobby Rahal 708 Laps 1.GTX
 2  5 PORSCHE 935K3 009 00016 Bob Akin-Craig Siebert-Derek Bell 695 Laps 2.GTX
 3 62 PORSCHE 911 Bill Koll-Jeff Kline-Rob McFarlin 644 Laps 1.GTU
 4 23 DATSUN 280ZX Frank Carney-Dick Davenport-Rameau Johnson 626 Laps 2.GTU
 5 24 LANCIA BETA MONTECARLO 1010 Carlo Facetti-Martino Finotto-Emmanuele Pirro 609 Laps 3.GTX
 6 14 BMW M1 4301021 Hans Stuck-Alf Gebhardt-Walter Brun 608 Laps 1.GTO
 7 98 MAZDA RX7 Lee Mueller-Kathy Rude-Philippe Martin 606 Laps 3.GTU
 8 84 PORSCHE 935 930 670 0171 Jamsal-Eduardo Barrientos-Carlos Gonzales 595 Laps 4.GTX
 9 55 MAZDA RX7 Roger Mandeville-Amos Johnson-Diego Febles 595 Laps 4.GTU
10  7 MAZDA RX7 Walt Bohren-Jim Mullen-Kurt Roehrig 589 Laps 5.GTU
11 50 MAZDA RX7 Jim Downing-Irv Hoerr-Scott Hoerr 585 Laps 6.GTU
12 58 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 560 9121 Chuck Kendall-Pete Smith-Steve Earle 585 Laps 2.GTO
13 45 PORSCHE 914/6 914 043 0593 Dwight Mitchell-Mark Speer-Ray Ratcliff 581 Laps 7.GTU
14 07 PORSCHE 935 930 770 0958 Ludwig Heimrath-Ludwig Heimrath Jr 575 Laps 5.GTX
15 34 PORSCHE 911 George Drolsom-Rob Hoskins-Bill Johnson 563 Laps 3.GTO
16  2 BMW M1 4301269 David Hobbs-Marc Surer-Dieter Quester 555 Laps 6.GTX
17 27 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Steve Southard-Jay Kjoller-Jean Kjoller 548 Laps 4.GTO
18  3 LANCIA BETA MONTECARLO 1011 Hans Heyer-Ricardo Patrese-Henri Pescarolo 545 Laps 7.GTX
19 42 CHEVROLET CAMARO Nort Northam-Ed Kuhel-Dick Neland 532 Laps 5.GTO
20 04 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Tico Almeida-René Rodriguez-Miguel Morejon 526 Laps 6.GTO
21 02 FORD MUSTANG John Morton-Tom Klausler 517 Laps 8.GTX
22 36 PORSCHE 924GTR Paul Miller-Pat Bedard-Skeeter McKitterick 515 Laps 7.GTO
23 82 MAZDA RX7 Bob Bergstrom-John Casey-Jim Cook 513 Laps 8.GTU
24 51 PORSCHE 935 930 890 0013 Rolf Stommelen-Howard Meister-Harld Grohs 500 Laps 9.GTX
25 16 MAZDA RX7 Jim Burt-Doug Grunette-Steve Paquette 471 Laps 9.GTU
26 52 PORSCHE 911 Dick Gauthier-Tom Cripe-Jack Swanson 450 Laps 10.GTU
27 43 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Bob Gregg-Bob Young-Len Jones 446 Laps 8.GTO
28 81 MAZDA RX7 Tom Winters-Steve Dietrich-Carter Alsop 429 Laps 11.GTU
29 70 MAZDA RX7 Chris Doyle-Hubert Phipps-Robert Overby 429 Laps 12.GTU
30 46 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 360 1099 Honorato Espinosa-Pedro de Narvaez-Jorge Cortes 385 Laps 9.GTO
31 65 FERRARI 512BB 34445 Rick Knoop-Tony Adamowicz 373 Laps 10.GTX
32 01 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 360 0601 Siegfried Brunn-Robert Kirby-John Hotschkis 361 Laps 10.GTO
33 25 BMW M1 4301040 Kemper Miller-David Cowart-Ricardo Londono 346 Laps 11.GTO
34 30 PORSCHE 935J 930 890 0014 Gianpiero Moretti-Charles Mendez-Mauricio de Narvaez 339 Laps 11.GTX
35 57 PORSCHE 914/6 Jeff Scott-Volker Bruckmann-David Goodell 339 Laps 13.GTU
36 71 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Philip Keirn-Gail Engle-Bard Boand 328 Laps 12.GTO
37 67 AMX SPIRIT THB307 Dennis Shaw-Steve Whitman-Les Blackburn 303 Laps 13.GTO
38 03 PORSCHE 934 930 670 0178 Angelo Pallavicini-Neil Crang-John Sheldon 290 Laps 14.GTO
39  0 PORSCHE 935K3 000 00010 Ted Field-Milt Minter-Danny Ongais 287 Laps 12.GTX
40 11 PORSCHE 924GTR 003 Al Holbert-Rick Mears-Doc Bundy 263 Laps 15.GTO
41  4 LANCIA BETA MONTECARLO 1009 Michele Alboreto-Beppe Gabbiani-Piercarlo Ghinzani 235 Laps 13.GTX
42 86 PORSCHE 935 000 00024 Hurley Haywood-Jurgen Barth-Bruce Leven 232 Laps 14.GTX
43 73 CHEVROLET CAMARO Clark Howey-Dale Koch-Tracy Wolf 208 Laps 16.GTO
44 19 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Lance van Every-Ash Tisdelle-Rusty Bond 194 Laps 17.GTO
45 19 CHEVROLET MONZA Dekon 1012 Chris Cord-Jim Adams 191 Laps 15.GTX
46 80 CHEVROLET CAMARO Maurice Carter-Eppie Wietzes-Richard Valentine 188 Laps 16.GTX
47 38 PORSCHE 911 Ron Case-Dave Panaccione-Ren Tilton 169 Laps 14.GTU
48  1 PORSCHE 935K3 000 00011 John Fitzpatrick-Jim Busby-Bob Wollek 167 Laps 17.GTX
49 22 PORSCHE 914/4 Wayne Baker-Dan Gilliland-Frank Harmstad 143 Laps 15.GTU
50 33 PORSCHE 914/6 Aro Zitza-Douglas Zitza-Ara Dube 128 Laps 16.GTU
51 17 BMW 3.0CSL Bruno Beilcke-Kurt Konig-Rudi Walch 126 Laps 18.GTO
52 37 PORSCHE 935J 930 990 0032 Pepe Romero-Mandy Gonzales-Luis Mendez 121 Laps 18.GTX
53 40 BMW M1 4301225 Rudy Bartling-David Deacon-Mike Freberg 118 Laps 19.GTO
54 54 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Tony Garcia-Albert Naon-Luis Sereix 112 Laps 20.GTO
55 99 CHEVROLET CAMARO Joe Cogbill-Dave Heinz-Chris Gleason 108 Laps 21.GTO
56 60 AMX SPIRIT Bob Lee-Sammy Miller-Vicki Smith 87 Laps 22.GTO
57 94 PORSCHE 935K3 930 670 0152 Don Whittington-Bill Whittington-Dale Whittington 84 Laps 19.GTX
58 75 MAZDA RX7 Eddie Joosen-Dirk Vermeersch-Jean Paul Libert 83 Laps 23.GTO
59  6 PORSCHE 935J 000 00012 Volkert Merl-Jochen Mass 59 Laps 20.GTX
60 18 PORSCHE 935JLP2 009 00043 John Paul-John Paul Jr-Gordon Smiley 53 Laps 21.GTX
61 44 CHEVROLET CAMARO Terry Labonte-David Pearson-Billy Hagan 50 Laps 22.GTX
62 87 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 460 0035 George Stone-Bob Beasley-Werner Frank 48 Laps 24.GTO
63 15 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Doug Lutz-Dave White-Robin Boone 47 Laps 25.GTO
64 09 PORSCHE 935K3 930 890 0021 Preston Henn-Bob Bondurant-Dale Whittington 30 Laps 23.GTX
65 28 DATSUN 280ZX Sam Posey-Fred Stiff 29 Laps 26.GTO
66 66 MAZDA RX7 Jack Dunham-John Maffucci-Stan Barrett 20 Laps 17.GTU
67 49 MAZDA RX7 Bpb Speakman-Al Cosentino 12 Laps 18.GTU
68 06 FERRARI 365GTB4 16407 Joe Crevier-Pete Halsmer-Al Unser Jr 9 Laps 27.GTO
69 10 FERRARI 308GTB Turbo 18935 Carlo Facetti-Martino Finotto 4 Laps 24.GTX

Cars that did not start

   00 PORSCHE 935K3 Ted Field-Danny Ongais-Milt Minter GTX
   05 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 460 9050 Tico Almeida-René Rodriguez-Fred Flaquer GTO
   69 PLYMOUTH VOLARE Ralston Long-Kal Showket-Bob McGraw GTO
   88 CHEVROLET CAMARO Herb Adams-Jerry Thompson-Don Sherman GTO
   89 PORSCHE 911 Klaus Bitterauf-James Moxley-Jim Leo GTU
   97 SHELBY 350GT Don Cummings-Bill McDill-Guido Levetto GTO
    8 PORSCHE 935 John Paul Jr-Gordon Smiley GTX
   12 PORSCHE 924GTR Doc Bundy GTO
   13 FORD COBRA II Charlie Kemp-Art Pasmas-Carson Baird GTX
   21 LOTUS ESPRIT 78 03 07 66H Bill Shaw-Bud Cashen GTU
   22 MACLAREN M12GT 60-05 Paul Canary-Richard Valentine GTX
   26 CHEVROLET CAMARO Tom Nehl-Milton Moise-Patty Moise GTO
   31 LANCIA STRATOS Anatoly Arutunoff-José Marina GTU
   32 AVO MAZDA 13 Vincent P.Collins-Paul Nacol-Lojza Vosta GTX
   39 CHEVROLET CAMARO Glenn Worthington-Rick Kump-Vinnie Hollar GTO
   53 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Don Nooe-Jim Stricklin-John Eckelberry GTO
   56 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 210 0224 Rick Borlase-Don Kravig-Michael Hammond GTO
   61 CHEVROLET CORVETTE C.C Canada-Earle Moffitt GTO
   63 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Dale Kreider-Bill Nelson GTO
   64 CHEVROLET CAMARO C.C Canada-Graham Shaw GTO
   73 MAZDA RX7 GTP Jean Paul Libert-Hervé Regout-Jean Xhenceval GTX
   74 MAZDA RX7 GTP Pierre Honegger-Pierre Dieudonné-Ernesto Soto GTX
   76 MAZDA RX7 Armando Rodriguez-Chiqui Soldevilla-Ralph Sanchez GTU
   77 CHEVRON B21 ALFA ROMEO Del Taylor-Rex Ramsey-Ernie Smith GTX
   79 FERRARI 365GT4BB 17577 Michael Keyser-Don Devendorf GTX
   85 PORSCHE 935 930 890 0018 Bruce Leven-Hurley Haywood-Jurgen Barth GTX
   90 PORSCHE 935K3 009 0005 Roy Woods-Ralph Kent-Cooke-Brian Redman GTX
   91 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Roger Schramm-Werner Frank GTO
   93 PORSCHE 935 Don Whttington-Bill Whittington-Dale Whittington GTX
   95 CHEVROLET MONZA Don Cummings-Tom Juckette-Emory Donaldson GTX
   96 DATSUN 240Z Scott Smith Jr-Mike Gassaway-Jim Miller GTU

24 Hours of Daytona 1981 : victory of a newcomer


This race was the first of the 1981 season and it seemed that the Porsche 935s would find a little opposition from Europe. The paddock was crowded with 935s, and we could find no less than twenty of them, six were spare cars. The most of them were Kremer K3s, these types being some evolutions of the basic model. John Fitzpatrick entered his own car. Since 1980, Dick Barbour had experienced financial setbacks, and he did suffer from health trouble too. The Whittington bros had two cars, and Preston Henn had his car that he shared with Bob Bondurant and Dale Whittington. Gianpiero Moretti had a Franz Blam prepared car, and he shared it with Charles Mendez and Mauricio de Narvaez, it was a Joest car, different from the K3s. Bob Akin had his own K3, he drove it with Derek Bell and Craig Siebert. Joest had brought his own car. It was driven by the highly effective hands of Jochen Mass, Reinhold Joest himself and Volkert Merl. Andial had a brand new car : it was a highly modified K3 for Rolf Stommelen-Harald Grohs and Howard Meister. This car was barely regular one but the tech inspectors would approve the entry. Bob Garretson had his own car, fitted with a 3,2L and a spare car, as John Paul had. Hurley Haywood had the Bruce Leven car, a K3 replica, fitted with a 3,2L too. He was co-driven by Bruce Leven and Jurgen Barth. Ludwig Heimrath entered his own 2,8L prepared car and he shared it with his son. Two other cars were entered by local teams : they were not as efficient but would make for the start. Pepe Romero entered a car for himself, Luis Mendez and Steve Shelton, and Jamsal, from El Salvador, had his car for Raffaele Barrientos and Mandy Gonzales. This Porsche contingent was to face three Lancia Betas and one sole Ferrari 308GTB Turbo. The Lancias were not fitted with the big engine, which was quite a disappointment on such a track. The 1,4L Turbo engine could not give more than 380hp. They could not hope any chance for victory. The driver line-up was World class with Ricardo Patrese, Hans Heyer, Henri Pescarolo on the first car, and Michele Alboreto, Piercarlo Ghinzani and Beppe Gabbiani on the second works car. The Jolly Club car had the same drivers as the Ferrari 308GTB Turbo, that is to say Carlo Facetti and Martino Finotto, plus Emmanuele Pirro. The Ferrari, fitted with a 3,0L turbo, was very powerful. It was not completely race ready though. Two Ferrari 512BBs were entered and could count on their reliability. Michael Keyser-Don Devendorf drove the conventional car that would not start the race and Tony Adamowicz-Rick Knoop drove a much modified car. Handling was the improved feature as Fran├žois Sicard worked on the brakes and the suspension.

The Joest Porsche 935 was running strong when it retired.

Some American cars were entered too, and the most efficient ones were as per usual the Chevrolet Monza driven by Chris Cord-Jim Adams and the Canadian Camaro driven by Mo Carter-Richard Valentine. These were tube-frame cars. Very fast, they would have to be reliable too. The Stratagraph car was a special car driven by Stock Car drivers Terry Labonte-David Pearson and team owner Billy Hagan. A MacLaren Mustang, powered by a BDA 2,0L engine, given for 270hp, was here to test Firestone radial tyres. It was driven by John Morton and Tom Klausler.

A lot of GTO cars were entered too, and the new BMW M1s were the favorites. The works car was driven by Marc Surer, David Hobbs and Dieter Quester. This one would have to fight against the Bavarian Motors car, driven by Hans Stuck-Alf Gebhardt and Walter Brun. The Kenper Miller-David Cowart-Ricardo Londono car would be an outsider, as were the two other private cars. The Porsche 924GTRs, newly introduced in the GTO class, were on their maiden race in the US. The best car was the Holbert Racing one. It wore the usual blue and yellow colors. Al Holbert-Doc Bundy and Rick Mears would share the driving chores. The Herman+Miller car would prove very fast with Paul Miller-Pat Bedard and Skeeter McKitterick. Many Camaros, Corvettes and Porsche Carreras were entered as usual, but they would prove quite unreliable. They would make for a not so huge field of 69 cars. The GTU battle would display the henceforth familiar Mazda-Datsun battle with Porsche as a witness. But the race would prove very surprising at the end and the winner would emerge as high as third overall!

An interesting entry was the Z and W Mazda GTP for Pierre Honegger-Jean Paul Libert. It was a tubular chassis car and could have an interesting race. Unfortunately, the car was not even completely built when it arrived at the track. The practice sessions did not allow any driver to beat the existing track record. Rolf Stommelen was the fastest and would start on the pole in 1m43s104. Second was John Fitzpatrick who was just ahead of Jochen Mass, Hurley Haywood, John Paul, Carlo Facetti, Gianpiero Moretti, Bob Akin, Bill Whittington and Ted Field. As expected, it was one Ferrari against nine Porsches. At the start of the race, the weather was somewhat cloudy but it did not seem to get worse for the race The 69 cars lined up for a Le Mans start, and Rolf Stommelen immediately took the lead, but Bill Whittington, who started tenth, surged from nowhere and passed Stommelen to take the lead. He would immediately pull away from the rest of the field. Following Rolf Stommelen was Jochen Mass, John Fitzpatrick, John Paul and Carlo Facetti. The Ferrari driver was aware of his car suffering from water in the lubrication system. He wanted to show the potential of the 308 Turbo and pushed hard. Soon he would overtake Stommelen and Paul. He tried to attack Jochen Mass who would not let him pass for second place, and finally slowed down and pitted a few minutes later to become an early retirement. Facetti had settled a new lap record for this race in 1m48s14. As Whittington went his way, clearly willing to have some kind of a security margin, the hierarchy was getting established and Jochen Mass was a good second, John Paul third and Rolf Stommelen was ahead of John Fitzpatrick and Ted Field. Hurley Haywood was one of the first to pit with an ignition problem. Hans Stuck stopped and would get back to the race in 67th position. He would then work his way through the field to win the GTO class, surely one of the best run in the race. Chris Gleason and Pepe Romero had a collision just before entering the banking, no one would be hurt but the two cars would get back to the pits for minor repairs. After 18 laps, Bill Whittington went to his pits with a broken engine. His mechanics would then begin an engine swap, a good work that was to get done in 35 minutes. Of course, Jochen Mass was now in a commanding position, and should it be bis repetita for the Joest team?

John Paul kept his position, Rolf Stommelen was third, John Fitzpatrick followed the leading trio, just ahead of Brian Redman, who was already there. The Lancias were completely outpaced here at Daytona and the Jolly Club car was having ignition trouble. Soon the works cars would be stopped with valve problems. The works BMW , driven by Hobbs, would stop with clutch problems.

Chris Cord, navigating around the fifteenth position, pitted for an engine swap before the end of the first hour. The first refueling session began after fourty five minutes of racing. Jochen Mass was the first to pit, just before Ludwig Heimrath, seventh and Preston Henn, who did not appear in the top ten standings. Gianpiero Moretti would then be relayed by Charles Mendez, and Rolf Stommelen by Howard Meister. At the end of the first hour, Jochen Mass was ahead of John Paul, Brian Redman, Ted Field, Howard Meister, John Fitzpatrick, Ludwig Heimrath, Ricardo Patrese, Terry Labonte and Bob Akin. As the race was going on, John Paul was soon pitting for an engine swap too. The Joest Porsche was easily leading the race. Brian Redman was now on the second place. Ted Field was an excellent third but later, a Porsche Carrera would hit the wall. Ted Field, followed by the MacLaren Ford Mustang, swerved to avoid the Carrera. The 935 and the Mustang collided and went in for repairs. Always leading, the Joest Porsche was in the lead, followed by Bob Garretson, John Fitzpatrick and Ludwig Heimrath. Everyone seemed to think of a Joest domination but Volkert Merl would spin and damage his suspension. Unable to get back to the pits, it was an early retirement as well. Bob Garretson inherited the lead and would fight with the John Fitzpatrick-Bob Wollek entry. They were one-two at the 3Hour mark and Danny Ongais-Ted Field-Milt Minter were back in third. Fighting for fourth place, Bob Akin-Derek Bell-Craig Siebert were just ahead of the Heimraths, father and son. The Andial car was surprisingly running sixth, just ahead of the first Lancia, driven by Michele Alboreto. As the race went on, some top drivers would soon retire from the race. John Fitzpatrick had to replace an engine and lost ground to the leaders, later in the race, Bob Wollek would have a transmission broken, and he retired. It was at the 5Hour mark and the Ted Field car inherited the lead, just before experiencing an ailing connector change. Brian Redman and his teammates had lost the lead for two hours, but they were running at a steady pace, and they were back in the lead. Ted Field-Danny Ongais were still second, and the three followers, Bob Akin-Derek Bell, Ludwig Heimrath Sr and Jr and Rolf Stommelen-Harald Grohs were fighting hard. The Andial car would lose some ground due to a faulty valve. Just before midnight, the three leaders would spin on oil, Derek Bell damaged his car during this piece of action, and went back for repairs. The leading car had a one lap advantage over his next pursuer.

At that moment, Brian Redman was wondering who was leading, and he asked Bobby Rahal : "who is leading". "We are" answered Bobby. Brian Redman then shouted :"It's too early, it's too early". But the other cars were just falling out. A cracked exhaust header would stop them for 15 minutes. But they would simply not lose the lead. Danny Ongais was on his way to take the lead when he collided with two Mazdas. It was a retirement for the Interscope car. Ludwig Heimrath, working his way to second, pitted with engine problems. So the Andial car, running quietly, was again second. At halfway point, the third place was held by a steadily Ferrari 512BB driven by Rick Knoop-Tony Adamowicz. This car was now ahead of two Porsche 935s. Unfortunately, this car would later retire from the race, after a collision with Gianpiero Moretti's car, who had a puncture. The Andial car would change an engine too and the leading car was now far ahead from every entrant! The closest one was ten laps down, it was the Coke machine, owned by Bob Akin.

The race would then go the monotonous way, as no major change would be recorded for hours. After fifteen hours, the best GTU cars were in fourth and fifth position. The fantastic Kegel Enterprise Porsche 911 driven by Bill Koll-Jeff Kline and Rob McFarlin had just upset everybody, not to speak about the Mazda contingent! Jeff Kline explained later that they were grinding away, but they kept faith in their reliable Porsche. This car was just ahead of the New Raytown Datsun driven by Frank Carney-Dick Davenport and Rameau Johnson. These two cars would make it to the finish line. The Andial car, still running in third place, would retire after the car would be on fire. During the last hours of race, the first places would not change, but the leading GTU car was now as high as third overall! The Datsun would be challenged for second, first by the leading Mazda, driven by John Casey-Jim Cook and Bob Bergstrom. This car later broke its direction and the Kent Racing car would take third place in class. But this car was too far to be a real threat to the Datsun. The two leading Porsche 935s were now running together, with a twelve lap advantage for the leading car. The two following cars would have no trouble. The following Mazdas would have to pit for various reasons. The best one broke its gearbox on the last hour, this car finished the race running on fourth gear. The remaining Lancia overtook this car to finish fifth, and the Bavarian Motors BMW M1, driven by Hans Stuck, had just come back to finish sixth overall, and first in the GTO category. At the end, it was a well deserved victory for the Garretson Porsche 935, with Brian Redman-Bobby Rahal and Bob Garretson cruising to a very quiet race. It was a true endurance winner, as they did not try to go faster than they had planned. This strategy was the best for this 1981 race. At the end of the race, everyone was wondering why this car run so well. So it was inspected, but the secret of the team was a little additive that made the turbos run cooler, and it worked! Their secret held in one word : duration.