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 1  6 PORSCHE 935L 935L Bob Wollek-Claude Ballot Léna-Preston Henn-AJ Foyt 618 Laps 1.GTP
 2 88 MARCH 83G Chevrolet 1 Randy Lanier-Terry Wolters-Marty Hinze 612 Laps 2.GTP
 3  7 MAZDA RX7 Pete Halsmer-Bob Reed-Rick Knoop 598 Laps 1.GTO
 4 24 PORSCHE 935JLP2 009 00043 Mark Speer-Ken Madren-Ray Ratcliff 578 Laps 3.GTP
 5 50 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 560 9115 Diego Febles-Kikos Fonseca-Roy Valverde 568 Laps 2.GTO
 6 10 LOLA T600 Chevrolet HU1 Ralph Kent-Cooke-Jim Adams-John Bright 563 Laps 4.GTP
 7 05 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 460 9050 Tico Almeida-Miguel Morejon-Ernesto Soto 561 Laps 3.GTO
 8 77 MAZDA GTP Walt Bohren-Pierre Honegger-David Palmer 553 Laps 5.GTP
 9  9 PORSCHE 934 009 00030 Wayne Baker-Jim Mullen-Bob Garretson 551 Laps 4.GTO
10 35 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 460 9113 Paul Gilgan-Al Leon-Wayne Pickering 547 Laps 5.GTO
11 47 PORSCHE 935M16 930 990 0032 Pepe Romero-Frank Rubino-Doc Bundy-Dale Whittington 546 Laps 6.GTP
12 92 MAZDA RX7 Lee Mueller-Hugh McDonough-Terry Visger 544 Laps 1.GTU
13 58 PORSCHE 924GTR Kathy Rude-Deborah Gregg-Bonnie Henn 531 Laps 6.GTO
14 90 PORSCHE 911 911 030 1263 Mike Schaefer-Jack refenning-John Belperche-Doug Zitza 525 Laps 2.GTU
15 61 CHEVROLET MONZA Band&Trivette Brent O'Neill-Don Courtney-Luis Sereix 525 Laps 7.GTO
16 86 PORSCHE 935 000 00028 Hurley Haywood-Bruce Leven-Al Holbert 515 Laps 7.GTP
17 60 MAZDA RX7 Steve Dietrich-Chris Ivey-Jim Cook 514 Laps 3.GTU
18 85 PORSCHE 924GTR Richard Lloyd-George Drolsom-Jonathan Palmer 500 Laps 8.GTO
19 38 MAZDA RX7 Roger Mandeville-Amos Johnson-Danny Smith 476 Laps 4.GTU
20  4 CHEVROLET CAMARO Billy Hagan-Gene Felton-Lloyd Frink 467 Laps 9.GTO
21 63 MAZDA RX7 Jim Downing-John Maffucci-Steve Potter 466 Laps 5.GTU
22 29 CHEVROLET CAMARO Robert Overby-Chris Doyle-Don Bell 438 Laps 10.GTO
23 37 MAZDA RX7 Tom Burdsall-Peter Welter-Al Bacon 436 Laps 6.GTU
24 26 CHEVROLET CAMARO Tom Nehl-Nelson Silcox-Richard Valentine 426 Laps 11.GTO
25  1 PORSCHE 935JLP3 JLP3 John Paul Jr-Rene Rodriguez-Joe Castellano 412 Laps 8.GTP
26 13 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Duane Eitel-Mike Brummer-Phil Pate 411 Laps 12.GTO
27 28 AVANTI II Herb Adams-John Martin-Joe Ruttman-Leonard Emmanuelson 410 Laps 13.GTO
28 40 BMW M1 4301225 Uli Bieri-Duff Hubbard-Matt Gysler 406 Laps 14.GTO
29 97 TOYOTA CELICA Wally Dallenbach-Willy T Ribbs-Whitney Ganz 365 Laps 7.GTU
30 75 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Bard Boand-Richard Anderson-Mike Stephens 358 Laps 15.GTO
31 83 CHEVROLET CAMARO Mike Gassaway-Scott Smith Jr-Joe Cogbill-Joe Cogbill Jr 357 Laps 9.GTP
32 52 PORSCHE 911 Tom Cripe-Dick Gauthier-David Duncan-Jack Swanson 312 Laps 8.GTU
33 71 DATSUN 280ZX Charles Morgan-Bill Johnson-Jim Miller 305 Laps 9.GTU
34 27 MAZDA RX7 Jim Fowells-Ray Mummery-Tom Sheehy 300 Laps 10.GTU
35 78 PORSCHE 911 Klaus Bitterauf-Vicki Smith-Scott Flanders 299 Laps 11.GTU
36 65 FERRARI 512BB 38179 Carson Baird-Chip Mead-Tom Pumpelly 294 Laps 10.GTP
37 23 CHEVROLET CAMARO Raul Garcia-Vince DiLella-Armando Fernandez 285 Laps 16.GTO
38 01 FORD MUSTANG John Morton-Tom Klausler-Ronnie Bucknum 284 Laps 17.GTO
39 72 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Gary Baker-Sterling Marlin 284 Laps 18.GTO
40 41 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Rusty Schmidt-Scott Schmidt 263 Laps 19.GTO
41 49 CHEVROLET MONZA Hoyt Overbagh-Pete Kirill-David Price 243 Laps 20.GTO
42 66 MAZDA RX7 Jack Dunham-Jeff Kline-Jon Compton 242 Laps 10.GTU
43 45 CHEVROLET CAMARO Gene Felton-Tom Williams-Lloyd Frink 223 Laps 21.GTO
44 21 NIMROD NRA/C2 Aston Martin 003 Lyn St James-John Graham-Drake Olson 208 Laps 11.GTP
45 79 PORSCHE 924GTR Bob Bergstrom-Tom Winters-Peter Dawe 193 Laps 22.GTO
46 55 BMW M1 4301040 Diego Montoya-Terry Herman-Tony Garcia 172 Laps 23.GTO
47 14 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Bob Raub-Sam Moses-Carl Shafer 165 Laps 24.GTO
48 16 PORSCHE 911 Paul Goral-Larry Figaro-Nort Northam 161 Laps 13.GTU
49 74 CHEVRON B36 Buick Del Taylor-Mike Angus-Wayne Dassinger 152 Laps 12.GTP
50 44 JAGUAR XJR5 003 Bob Tullius-Bill Adam-Pat Bedard 130 Laps 13.GTP
51 98 TOYOTA CELICA Dennis Aase-Al Unser Jr-Mike Chandler 130 Laps 14.GTU
52 89 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Jamsal-Eduardo Barrientos-Eduardo Gladamez 122 Laps 25.GTO
53 31 CHEVROLET CAMARO Dale Kreider-Dick Neland 122 Laps 26.GTO
54 11 NIMROD NRA/C2 Aston Martin 002 AJ Foyt-Darrell Waltrip-Guillermo Maldonado 121 Laps 14.GTP
55 67 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Elliot Forbes Robinson-Gary Witzenburg-Tony Swan 121 Laps 27.GTO
56 42 PORSCHE 911 119 220 830 Bill Bean-Buzz Cason-Gary Wonzer 118 Laps 15.GTU
57 99 TOYOTA CELICA Gene Hackman-Masanori Sekiya-Kaoru Hoshino 118 Laps 16.GTU
58 64 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR John Hulen-Ron Coupland-Bob Speakman 118 Laps 28.GTO
59 15 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Doug Lutz-Dave Panaccione-Larry Connor-Fern Prego 113 Laps 29.GTO
60 81 CHEVROLET CAMARO Robert Whitaker-Bill McDill-Karl Keck 98 Laps 30.GTO
61 36 PORSCHE 924GTR Paul Miller-Jim Busby-Ron Grable 91 Laps 31.GTO
62 06 MAZDA RX7 Bobby Diehl-Roy Newsome 87 Laps 32.GTO
63 43 CHEVROLET CAMARO Bob Gregg-Bob Young-Bob Richardson 85 Laps 33.GTO
64 04 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Paul Canary-Jean Paul Libert-Pascal Witmeur-Roger Carmillet 85 Laps 34.GTO
65 32 MAZDA RX7 Rick Cline-Paul Romano-Mike Powell 82 Laps 17.GTU
66 84 CHEVROLET CAMARO Emory Donaldson-Steve Pope-Mike Murray 79 Laps 35.GTO
67 07 PORSCHE 924GTR Ludwig Heimrath-Ludwig Heimrath Jr 71 Laps 36.GTO
68 30 PORSCHE 911 Jack Rynerson-Ron Case 67 Laps 18.GTU
69 51 MAZDA RX7 Doug Carmean-Don Herman-John Finger 57 Laps 19.GTU
70 82 MAZDA RX7 Joe Varde-John Casey-Jack Baldwin 52 Laps 20.GTU
71 87 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 460 0035 Bob Beasley-Jack Lewis-John Ashford 52 Laps 37.GTO
72  0 LOLA T600 Chevrolet HU6 Ted Field-Bill Whittington-Danny Ongais 47 Laps 15.GTP
73  5 PORSCHE 935K3 Bob Akin-John O'steen-Dale Whittington 43 Laps 16.GTP
74 03 PORSCHE 935 Angelo Pallavicini-Werner Frank 24 Laps 17.GTP
75 02 FORD MUSTANG Milt Minter-Ronnie Bucknum 24 Laps 38.GTO
76  8 PORSCHE 935JLP4 JLP4 John Paul-Phil Currin 15 Laps 18.GTP
77 25 MARCH 82G Porsche 2 Dave Cowart-Kenper Miller-Mauricio de Narvez 14 Laps 19.GTP
78 09 CHEVROLET CAMARO Tom Ciccone-Vic Shinn-Joe Cogbill 6 Laps 39.GTO
79 19 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Lance Van Every-Ash Tisdelle 0 Lap 40.GTO

Cars that did not start

   00 LOLA T600 Chevrolet Ted Field-Danny Ongais-Bill Whittington GTP
    2 PORSCHE 935 930 770 0960 Marty Hinze GTP
   17 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Billy Dingman-Roger Bighouse-John Gunn GTO
   18 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Vincent P.Collins-Bill Nelson-Lojza Vosta GTO
   20 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Dale Kreider-Dave Heinz GTO
   39 PORSCHE 911 Donald Flores-Robert Gottfried-Howdy Holmes GTU
   69 PORSCHE 911 Ricardo Londono-Diego Londono-Fred Flaquer GTU
   73 PORSCHE 914/4 Ken Grostic-Keith Lawhorn GTU
   61 BUICK SKYHAWK Don Courtney-Brent O'neill-Luis Sereix GTO
    3 GRID S1 Ford GA01 Fred Stiff GTP
   12 HARRIER LR4 Mazda Les Blackburn-Roy Baker-David Palmer GTP
   22 NIMROD NRA/C2 Aston Martin GTP
   80 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Charles Kleinschmidt GTO

Bob Wollek and AJ Foyt.


This event was to be the first race of the 1983 schedule, and it had begun in an odd fashion. A storm had been announced by the media and had shortened, as much as possible, the first practice session. The second practice session had been scheduled on February 3rd and would last no less than four hours. The entry list was the now usual American GTP-GTX field, with a great deal of GTOs and GTUs to make for a huge seventy nine car field. From Europe, only two Aston Martin Nimrod were entered. They would be driven by a mix of US and non US drivers. Darrell Waltrip-AJ Foyt-Tiff Needell-Guillermo Maldonado were on the first one and Lyn St James-John Graham-Drake Olson drove the second one. Jaguar was represented by Group 44 and had a brand new XJR5 for Bob Tullius-Bill Adam and Pat Bedard. The previous car had been destroyed during the 1982 Daytona Finale. Two Marches were there too, a 83G for Motorsport Marketing, driven by Randy Lanier-Terry Wolters and Marty Hinze and a 82G Porsche for the Red Lobster Team. This car had a particular paint scheme and was finished prior to the beginning of the first session. Fitted with a 3,2L Porsche found usually on the Porsche 935s, the car would have a lot of trouble running during the practice session. Three Lolas were there : Interscope Racing had two cars, a normally aspirated car and the new V6 Turbo prepared by Ryan Falconer. They were driven by Danny Ongais-Ted Field and Bill Whittington. The other car was the Cooke Racing driven by Ralph Cooke-Jim Adams-Dana Leung and John Bright.

A Mazda GTP was entered by Z and W Racing for Pierre Honegger-Walt Bohren and David Palmer. Fitted with a 13B engine, this car would prove efficient in spite of an obvious lack of power. The chassis making for this lack. Facing those GTP cars, a bunch of Porsche 935s were entered. The most efficient seemed to be the Andial prepared T Bird Swap Shop car driven by Bob Wollek-Claude Ballot Léna-Preston Henn. It was a Moby Dick chassis that would prove very efficient. JLP Racing had a more standard car for John Paul Jr-René Rodriguez and Joe Castellano. The Pink Panzer was here too with Frank Rubino-Pepe Romero and Doc Bundy. Bayside Disposal Racing had a much modified car for an all-star field of drivers : Al Holbert-Hurley Haywood and Bruce Leven. Bob Akin had his Coke machine for himself, he shared it with John O'steen and Dale Whittington. Pegasus Racing had a nearly standard car for Ken Madren-Mark Speer and Ray Ratcliff. Marty Hinze was here too with his own K3 but he had no co-driver! John Paul Sr had a K3 for himself and Phil Currin. Angelo Pallavicini, from Switzerland was entered on a quite standard 935, not updated to K3 specs. The GTO cars were next, and you could find some very good cars, able to threaten the best, if they proved reliable. The two Stratagraph Chevrolet Camaros were the favorites, with Gene Felton-Tom Williams and Lloyd Frink on the first one, and Billy Hagan-Terry Labonte and Lloyd Frink again on the second one. They would have to face a pair of well driven Pontiac Firebirds entered by always optimistic Gordy Oftedahl. Bob Raub-Carl Shafer-Sam Moses were on the #14 and Mike Brummer-Phil Pate-Duane Eitel drove the #13. Auriga Racing entered a very good Camaro for Nelson Silcox-Tom Nehl and Richard Valentine. One of the most surprising entry for this race was undoubtedly a Studebaker Avanti driven by Herb Adams-John Martin-Joe Ruttman and Len Emmanuelson. This was to be one of the fastest car on the banking and the biggest surprise of this race. A new Porsche 934 was entered by Garretson Enterprises for Wayne Baker-Jim Mullen and Kees Nierop. It was a specially prepared car that would later be the surprise of the year. Ludwig Heimrath had his own 934 for himself and his son. The last competitive car was a Mazda RX7 entered by Racing Beat for Pete Halsmer-Rick Knoop and Bob Reed. Fitted with a 13B engine, it would be quite fast. The remainder of the GTO field was the usual Corvettes, Camaros, Porsche Carreras and two Ford Mustangs entered by Marketing Corporation for John Morton-Tom Klausler-Ronnie Bucknum and Milt Minter-Ronnie Bucknum. Two Chevrolet Monzas were to be seen as well as Porsche 924GTRs and BMW M1s.

The GTU category was no more your usual Mazda-Datsun battle as All American Racers entered three brand new Toyota Celicas for Wally Dallenbach-Whitney Ganz-Willy T Ribbs, Dennis Aase-Michael Chandler-Al Unser Jr and Kaoru Hoshino-Masanori Sekiya-Gene Hackman. An all-star team! They would have to face the usual Mazda RX7s, a single Datsun 280ZX and some Porsche 911s.

The weather did not look fine when the practice sessions were to begin. A tornado was heading towards Florida and relentless messages were to be seen on the TV screens throughout the week. The first practice session would be run under a very dark weather. However, the first qualifying session would be run on a dry track. As the first ten positions would be set during that session, everyone was willing to have a go at it. Bob Wollek would shatter the previous record in 1m42s155, and Preston Henn was quite happy in spite of an engine loss by his star driver. He was followed by four other Porsche 935s, the best one driven by John Paul Jr but four seconds slower. The two Lolas were then, Bill Whittington would have a big fear when he punctured on the banking and destroyed his car partially. The best GTOs were just behind. The day after, Bob Wollek would not be beaten but Danny Ongais did a 1m42s554, that brought him very close to the French driver. But he would start in eleventh position. He would explode a tyre too. The team would enter the V6 Turbo car only. Gene Felton, as per usual should we say, was the best GTO qualifier on his Chevrolet Camaro, and Lee Mueller powered his Kent Racing Mazda RX7 to the best GTU position, starting on the thirty fourth position. The Red Lobster March 82G Porsche would not run at all, but was allowed to start the race, dead last.

The pink Porsche 935 driven by Pepe Romero, Frank Rubino and Doc Bundy was amongst the entry list.

The weather was Floridian when the cars would be set on the grid and they were seventy nine. At the start, Bob Wollek was the quickest but he had to be very attentive not to be overtaken by his pursuers. In fact, Preston Henn had told him to stay in front while CBS did cover the race, in live. A Porsche Carrera would hit the wall at the very first bend of the very first lap : Lance van Every was the first retirement of the race. After three laps, he was overtaken by Bob Akin who was willing to show his Coca Cola car in front by all means. He was not the sole driver with such desires and it was then Bob Tullius with his Jaguar XJR5 who was in the lead after six laps. In fact, the TBird car had trouble following the leaders as a turbo pressure problem did appear, slowing the car. The left turbocharger was changed, then the right one, relegating the car in 58th position at the end of the first hour, six laps down. Hurley Haywood had taken the lead, and fought with the JLP Racing car. John O'steen would hit the wall after forty three laps. The Interscope Lola would hit a Ford Mustang driven by John Morton-Tom Klausler, but the turbo was finally the cause for its retirement later. As the Jaguar would stop at longer intervals, the British car would take the lead by the second hour.

A big surprise was the Ferrari 512BB which was third when the night fell on the circuit. Carson Baird-Chip Mead and Tom Pumpelly would even take the lead at the six hour mark! The different Porsche 935s would begin to be decimated, as René Rodriguez car, losing a wheel and hitting the wall twice. The Preston Henn car was carefully carving its way back to the lead, but the gap was slowly reducing. The Bayside Disposal car would have a fire and it was the Motorsport Marketing March 83G Chevrolet that was a surprise leader. Bob Wollek and Claude Ballot Léna were eleven laps down but could turn up the boost. The unbelievable would happen, with the March driven by unknown drivers and the Ferrari 512BB swapping the lead for hours. Many off-course were to happen as was Pascal Wittmeur, driving a Pontiac Firebird. With no brakes, he went right into the wall, avoiding a group of cars preceding him. The safety car was out for a new caution period. The two Aston Martins were very far away from the leaders and would retire later with a broken engine.

After six hours, Randy Lanier was leading and Carson Baird was second, then the Racing Beat Mazda RX7 was third with Pete Halsmer and Rick Knoop driving. Bob Wollek and Claude Ballot Léna were fourth, seven laps down. They were running strong while the car had some minor feed trouble, they had to stop every twenty laps, and had to pump the brakes pedal not to lose turbo pressure! The Avanti, probably needing a big repair, was seen on a trailer going to a local garage to undergo some internal work. The car would be seen later and finished the race. It was then the big "coup" for Preston Henn, seeing AJ Foyt without any drive left, after the Aston Martin Nimrod retirement. He would offer him a drive on the Porsche 935L presently driven by Bob Wollek and Claude Ballot Léna! He could have a rest at his hotel, he was to take his drive at 8AM! For a couple of thousand dollars the deal was OK. His co-drivers did not have it easy, and were steadily closing in on the leaders. The March 83G had been slowed by ignition problems, with water in the distributor, that cost them four laps.

The Porsche took the lead in the early morning and was two laps ahead of the March. The Ferrari 512BB was out of the race in the early morning with a broken crankshaft. Bob Wollek would go angry at Preston Henn's decision, arguing from the fact that AJ was a total rookie on this type of car. A real storm was about to burst in the pits. But in fact, it would later come from mother nature as a big storm would happen, flooding the track and the safety car was out once again. AJ Foyt, driving under the rain, proved unsuspected abilities to drive such a car in such conditions, while the March drivers would spin every two laps. Bob Wollek would soften his speech, apparently relieved at this sight. The track became so sodden that the race direction took a the right decision, and the race was stopped. The sweepers would dry the track. It would last fifty four minutes and the race restarted for a very short time as Hurley Haywood hit the wall, and went back three wheeling to his pits. Yellow flag for one more hour at thirty miles per hour. Everyone thought that the race would be definitively stopped. But CBS was here and they would have to go to the end of the race. Bob Wollek refused to take his ride at noon, and explained that AJ Foyt could drive a little more! He would take the wheel of the leading car at 1PM, and AJ did prove he was a great driver, as his rides were run under the wet, with no mistake.

He would recognize the fact that victory was gained by the two French drivers, mainly, but he proved that he could become a good one too. But the car was probably the best of that race, in spite of a broken valve, Bob Wollek-Claude Ballot Léna and AJ Foyt cruised to a well deserved victory with a six lap advantage over the March 83G Chevrolet driven by Randy Lanier-Terry Wolters and Marty Hinze. Third and first in the GTO class was the Mazda RX7 driven by Pete Halsmer-Rick Knoop and Bob Reed, which finished twenty laps down. The winning GTU car was finally Dave Kent's Mazda RX7 driven by Lee Mueller-Terry Visger and Hugh McDonough.