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.



 1  9 PORSCHE 934 009 00030 Wayne Baker-Jim Mullen-Kees Nierop 231 Laps 1.GTO
 2  5 PORSCHE 935K3 000 00013 Bob Akin-Dale Whittington-John O'steen 231 Laps 1.GTP
 3 86 PORSCHE 935 000 00028 Al Holbert-Hurley Haywood 229 Laps 2.GTP
 4 61 CHEVROLET MONZA Band&Trivette Don Courtney-Brent O'neill-Luis Sereix 227 Laps 2.GTO
 5 22 NIMROD NRA/C2 Aston Martin 003 Reggie Smith-Lyn St James-Drake Olson 224 Laps 3.GTP
 6 66 MAZDA RX7 Jack Dunham-Jeff Kline-Jon Compton 224 Laps 1.GTU
 7 65 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 560 9119 Luis Gordillo-Manuel Villa-Chiqui Soldevilla 224 Laps 3.GTO
 8 82 MAZDA RX7 Joe Varde-Jack Baldwin-John Casey 223 Laps 2.GTU
 9 01 FORD MUSTANG John Morton-Tom Klausler 222 Laps 4.GTO
10 35 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR 911 460 9113 Paul Gilgan-Al Leon-Wayne Pickering 222 Laps 5.GTO
11 10 LOLA T600 Chevrolet HU1 Ralph Kent-Cooke-Jim Adams-Josele Garza 221 Laps 4.GTP
12 94 PORSCHE 935K3 Don Whittington-Bill Whittington 218 Laps 5.GTP
13  3 GRID S1 Ford GA01 Milt Minter-Skeeter McKitterick 216 Laps 6.GTP
14 37 MAZDA RX7 Tom Burdsall-Peter Welter-Nort Northam 216 Laps 3.GTU
15 23 PORSCHE 911 911 230 0030 Tim Selby-Earl Roe 210 Laps 4.GTU
16 83 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Rainer Brezinka-Rudy Bartling-Roger Schramm 204 Laps 6.GTO
17 92 MAZDA RX7 Lee Mueller-Terry Visger 204 Laps 5.GTU
18 63 MAZDA RX7 Jim Downing-John Maffucci-Chuck Ulinski 204 Laps 6.GTU
19 11 PORSCHE 911 Paul Goral-Larry Figaro-Peter Uria 202 Laps 7.GTU
20 69 PORSCHE 934 930 670 0161 Hiram Cruz-Mandy Gonzalez 201 Laps 7.GTO
21  7 MAZDA RX7 Pete Halsmer-Rick Knoop 199 Laps 8.GTO
22 90 PORSCHE 911 911 030 1263 Mike Schaefer-Doug Zitza-Jack Refenning 198 Laps 8.GTU
23 06 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Juan Lopez-Luis Mendez 192 Laps 9.GTO
24 89 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Jamsal-Eduardo Barrientos-Eduardo Gladamez 188 Laps 10.GTO
25 27 MAZDA RX7 Jim Fowells-Ray Mummery-Steve Potter 185 Laps 9.GTU
26 14 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Carl Shafer-Carlos Ramirez-Mike Meldeau 185 Laps 11.GTO
27 68 PORSCHE 911 Jack Rynerson-Van McDonald-Chris Wilder 183 Laps 10.GTU
28 57 CHEVROLET CAMARO Dave Heinz-Jerry Thompson-Paul Gentilozzi 181 Laps 12.GTO
29 03 FORD MAVERICK Bob Lee-Tim Lee-Gary Myers 180 Laps 13.GTO
30 91 BMW 2002 Charles W.Bryant-Alex Priest-Mike Guido 178 Laps 11.GTU
31 93 PORSCHE 911 John Higgins-James King-Chip Mead 175 Laps 12.GTU
32 30 PORSCHE 911 Ron Case-Craig Case-Dave Panaccione 173 Laps 13.GTU
33 60 MAZDA RX7 Jim Cook-Steve Dietrich-Al Bacon 168 Laps 14.GTU
34 51 MAZDA RX7 Doug Carmean-Don Herman 167 Laps 15.GTU
35 78 PORSCHE 924GTR Deborah Gregg-Kathy Rude-Bonnie Henn 165 Laps 14.GTO
36 96 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Phil Byrd-Freddy Baker-Robert Kirby 162 Laps 15.GTO
37 42 PORSCHE 911 Gary Wonzer-Bill Bean-Buzz Cason 162 Laps 16.GTU
38 95 RENAULT R12 Ned Skiff-Jim Leo 159 Laps 17.GTU
39 19 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Lance Van Every-Ash Tisdelle 153 Laps 16.GTO
40 02 FORD MUSTANG Ronnie Bucknum-John Bright 153 Laps 17.GTO
41  4 CHEVROLET CAMARO Billy Hagan-Gene Felton-Sam Moses-Lloyd Frink 153 Laps 18.GTO
42 04 PORSCHE 911 Vince DiLella-Manuel Cueto 152 Laps 18.GTU
43 79 PORSCHE 924GTR Bob Bergstrom-Tom Winters-Peter Dawe 148 Laps 19.GTO
44 24 PORSCHE 935JLP2 009 00043 Mark Speer-Ken Madren-Ray Ratcliff 145 Laps 7.GTP
45 49 CHEVROLET MONZA Hoyt Overbagh-Peter Kirill-Paul Romano 145 Laps 20.GTO
46 13 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Paul Fassler-Steve Pope-Carl Shafer 142 Laps 21.GTO
47 18 CHEVROLET CAMARO Carmen Lista-David Marks-Roy Newsome-Bobby Diehl 140 Laps 22.GTO
48 76 FORD CAPRI Tim Lee-Al White-Irwin Ayes 140 Laps 19.GTU
49 15 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Doug Lutz-Mike Brummer-Larry Connor 139 Laps 23.GTO
50 36 PORSCHE 924GTR Paul Miller-Jim Busby-Ron Grable 132 Laps 24.GTO
51 87 PORSCHE 911 Robert Gottfried-Tom Turner-Donald Flores 131 Laps 20.GTU
52 16 MARCH 83G Chevrolet 82G-4 Marty Hinze-Randy Lanier-Terry Wolters 128 Laps 8.GTP
53 33 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Karl Keck-Bill McDill-Robert Whitaker 128 Laps 25.GTO
54 29 CHEVROLET CAMARO Robert Overby-Don Bell-Chris Doyle 127 Laps 26.GTO
55 75 FORD PINTO Cameron Worth-Alan Crouch-Janis Taylor 127 Laps 21.GTU
56 09 PORSCHE 935L 935L Derek Bell-Michael Andretti-John Paul Jr 125 Laps 9.GTP
57  8 FERRARI 512BB 30559 Steve Shelton-Tom Shelton 120 Laps 10.GTP
58 44 JAGUAR XJR5 004 Bob Tullius-Bill Adam 95 Laps 11.GTP
59 34 PORSCHE 924GTR George Drolsom-Steve Cohen-Bill Gelles 94 Laps 27.GTO
60 26 CHEVROLET CAMARO Tom Nehl-Nelson Silcox-Patty Moise 92 Laps 28.GTO
61 21 NIMROD NRA/C2 Aston Martin 002 Victor Gonzalez-Drake Olson 86 Laps 12.GTP
62 05 PORSCHE 935J 930 990 0032 Tico Almeida-Ernesto Soto 82 Laps 13.GTP
63 99 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Gustavo Londono-Carlos Munoz-Hugo Gralia 81 Laps 29.GTO
64 20 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Paul Canary-Jim Sanborn 78 Laps 30.GTO
65 52 PORSCHE 911 Dick Gauthier-Tom Cripe-Ron Collins 67 Laps 22.GTU
66 77 MAZDA GTP Pierre Honegger-Walt Bohren 61 Laps 14.GTP
67 64 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Marcus Opie-Tim Morgan-Grant Bradley 59 Laps 31.GTO
68 78 PORSCHE 911 Klaus Bitterauf-Vicki Smith-Scott Flanders 59 Laps 23.GTU
69 28 BMW M1 Fomfor-Arnoldo Kreysa-Albert Naon 58 Laps 32.GTO
70 38 MAZDA RX7 Roger Mandeville-Amos Johnson-Danny Smith 56 Laps 24.GTU
71 54 CHEVROLET CAMARO Reynaldo Fernandez-Daniel Vilarchao 56 Laps 33.GTO
72  6 CHEVROLET CAMARO Craig Shafer-George Shafer-Joe Maloy 55 Laps 34.GTO
73 74 CHEVRON B36 Buick Del Taylor-Larry Figaro 53 Laps 15.GTP
74 12 CHEVROLET MONZA Don Cummings-Craig Rutright-Charles Gano 50 Laps 16.GTP
75 25 MARCH 82G Porsche Dave Cowart-Kenper Miller-Mauricio de Narvaez  46 Laps 17.GTP
76 31 PORSCHE 914/6 Jack Griffin-John Zouzelka 38 Laps 25.GTU
77 50 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Kikos Fonseca-Diego Febles-Tato Ferrer 36 Laps 35.GTO
78 08 MAZDA RX7 Bobby Diehl-Roy Newsome 29 Laps 26.GTU
79 39 PHOENIX JG1 Chevrolet JG-1 John Gunn-Ricardo Londono 26 Laps 18.GTP
80 40 BMW M1 4301225 Uli Bieri-Matt Gysler-Duff Hubbard 21 Laps 36.GTO
81 07 PORSCHE CARRERA RSR Fred Flaquer-Gustavo Londono-Rene Rodriguez  21 Laps 37.GTO
82 17 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Billy Dingman-Roger Bighouse 11 Laps 19.GTP
83 47 MARCH 83G Chevrolet Bill Whittington-Pepe Romero-Doc Bundy 8 Laps 20.GTP
84 62 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Bill Nelson-Dale Kreider-Lojza Vosta 1 Lap 38.GTO

Cars that did not start

    2 PORSCHE 935 930 770 0960 Marty Hinze-Randy Lanier-Terry Wolters GTP
   53 CHEVROLET CAMARO Raul Garcia-Eugenio Matienzo GTO
   80 LANCIA STRATOS Anatoly Arutunoff-José Marina GTU
    0 LOLA T600 Chevrolet Danny Ongais-Ted Field GTP
   00 LOLA T600 Chevrolet Danny Ongais-Ted Field GTP
   32 DATSUN 280ZX George Alderman-Carson Baird GTU
   41 CHEVROLET CORVETTE William Wessel-Charles Gano-Mike Williamson GTO
   43 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Vincent P.Collins-Lojza Vosta GTO
   55 BMW M1 4301040 Diego Montoya-Albert Naon-Tony Garcia GTO
   71 DATSUN 280ZX Charles Morgan-Bill Johnson GTU
   73 PORSCHE 914/4 Ken Grostic-Keith Lawhorn GTU
   84 CHEVROLET CAMARO Ken Murray-Emory Donaldson GTO
   97 CHEVROLET CAMARO Vince Gimondo-John Hood GTO
   98 CHEVROLET MONZA Alfredo Sesana-Jorge Cortes GTO

A GTO wins overall!

The third race of the 1983 Championship was to take place, as per usual, on the Sebring circuit. An old airfield which was used since 1973 by the IMSA Championship. Yet, it always has been one of the most popular race of the season. For this race, the track has been modified and had lost 0,44 mile. The very extreme part of the track had been deleted and a brand new section was to be used by the racers. What's more, the road had been entirely repaved, which was a good thing, from the racers point of view. The Sebring spirit remained the same with a lot of extra-race action. Many spectators were there not only for the race but to spend some time watching cars while drinking and having a good time : that was Sebring. The entry for this year was plentyful but potential winners were not to be more than nine or ten cars. It was essentially the Jaguar XJR5, the single Lola T600, the two March 83Gs and the 82G Porsche powered, and the four best Porsche 935s, plus the unusual Grid S1 Cosworth. The other cars could not hope victory if the best cars proved reliable. But on such a track, everything remained possible.

87 cars would take the green, which was a record for this race. But many old cars would take the start, and quantity did not make quality, it was an obvious fact for this very race, but it would make any spectator happy. The different practice sessions were splitted by category, and the last one would be run by every car in a free running session. At the end, it was John Paul Jr, who had been hired by Preston Henn, who took the pole in 2m23s965, just ahead of a surprisingly fast Jaguar XJR5, who did 2m25s590. Third was John Gunn, on his Phoenix JG1 Chevrolet, just a little bit behind the Jag. This homebuilt car proved quite fast but the reliability was really the problem. Fourth was the March 83G Chevrolet driven by Marty Hinze-Randy Lanier-Terry Wolters and the single Lola, driven by Ralph Cooke-Jim Adams and Josele Garza. Two Porsche 935s took the sixth spot, the Bob Akin Coke car leading Bruce Leven's one, driven by Leven himself, Al Holbert and Hurley Haywood, a team that you could not underestimate! Then, Pepe Romero's pink March 83G Chevy driven by Doc Bundy and Bill Whittington, the second Swap Shop car, the Grid driven by Milt Minter-Skeeter McKitterick was tenth and this car led the first GTO car : the Stratagraph Camaro driven by a fantastic Gene Felton. He was no less than six seconds ahead of eventual winner Wayne Baker, on his Porsche 934! A pair of good Oftedahl Pontiac Firebirds, a very fast Mazda RX7 and a bunch of Porsches, Corvettes and Mustangs would make for the huge field. The GTU category was led by John Casey's Mazda RX7 driven by Joe Varde-Jack Baldwin and John Casey. Two other Mazdas followed, the Kent Racing car driven by Lee Mueller-Terry Visger and the Mandeville car, driven by Roger Mandeville himself and Amos Johnson-Danny Smith. The next car was the BF Goodrich Porsche 924GTR driven by Paul Miller-Jim Busby-Ron Grable. Plenty of close racing should have to be seen in this category.

A lot of very old cars were allowed to make for the start, such as a Ford Capri, a Renault 12 and a BMW 2002. That was racing in those days. The start of the race was to take place at 11am. A fine weather was there to welcome a big crowd in the early morning. At the start, the Jaguar jumped in the lead but she was soon overtaken by Bill Whittington driving Pepe Romero's pink March 83G. Pushing hard, he extended his lead over the British car up to 30 seconds by the seventh lap. He would go no further as the transmission let go on the next lap. He knew that the car would not survive so he did pushed it to the limit. The Porsche 935L driven by Derek Bell did not run strong as handling did not seem to be allright and turbos lost pressure. He would stop to get his problems fixed and was eleventh at the end of the first hour. Don Whittington then hit something on the track and would lose a lot of time in the pits for lengthy repairs. The Stratagraph Camaro hit the wall too and would lose two hours for repairs. It would be obvious that the section of the track was quickly fading and pieces of tarmac were getting torn away as cars passed by. Soon, the race direction would decide to have the race stopped. The pace-car was out and wiping cars would clean the track. The race was off for 43 minutes. The Jaguar had taken the lead of the race but she had put up a good fight with the Bayside Racing Porsche 935. It would last until the end of the fourth hour but the Jaguar would be stopped by a broken head gasket. The Porsche 935 driven by Al Holbert-Hurley Haywood would soon have a clear race of its own. The Lola T600 driven by Ralph Cooke had a tyre burst and broke oil lines, the car was badly damaged. The Grid had to stop to change the front end and the Preston Henn's Moby Dick 935 was to be stopped at regular intervals, running fast between two pit stops. Running smoothly, the leading car was soon hampered by minor problems. A broken body prop and a gearbox failure. Lying in ambush, two cars were soon fighting for the lead. The Coke machine driven by Bob Akin-Dale Whittington-John O'steen and the March 83G Chevy driven by semi-pro drivers Marty Hinze-Randy Lanier-Terry Wolters. Those two cars would swap their positions on every lap and captivate the crowd. But luck was not to be on the March side as a stone would soon tear its radiator. The car would retire quickly after the engine broke. The Porsche 935 driven by Michael Andretti retired at the same moment. The Bob Akin Porsche 935 was a clear leader at this moment and was two laps ahead of the fantastic Racing Beat Mazda RX7 driven by Rick Knoop and Pete Halsmer. The Bayside Porsche was third overall but this car was now constantly slowed down by electric problems. The Grid was working its way to the top spots and was a clear fourth. After ten hours of racing, the Coke Porsche was always leading the race. Dale Whittington took the wheel but suddenly could not restart the engine. Losing more than half an hour, the mechanics would soon discover that water was found in the gas. That same incident that took place at Daytona in 1976 and, all of a sudden, panic would spread like gunpowder. Meanwhile, a small car had just taken the lead of the race : the Mazda RX7. The car was running a constant 2m52s per lap but losing a clear 10s per lap on the Grid and the Bayside Disposal car. The Mazda drivers did believe in their chance to win and were pushing hard. Unfortunately, Pete Halsmer would spin at the Camel hairpin and damage his left-rear wheel. Coming back to the pits, his mechanics would do their best but the car had suffered too much, it was a retirement for the valiant little car. The Grid was now in the lead but began to experience handling troubles. Haywood-Holbert were closing on and, with one hour left, no one could guess who could win the race. But the two cars would surprisingly stop many times for minor checkouts. The Grid was having its front-end checked and the Porsche was having its lights fixed. A wheelnut would definitively stop the Grid. At that moment, Bruce Leven was reasonably thinking about a new victory, after the '81 one. Then came the Porsche 934 driven by Kees Nierop-Jim Mullen and Wayne Baker.

Wayne Baker, Jim Mullen and Kees Nierop took an overall victory with their Garretson entered Porsche 934.

Running very constantly from the beginning of the race, it was now in second position. As the leading car did not have its lights working correctly, the Porsche 934 finally took the lead as the Bayside Porsche stopped again and again. This car would finally lose the second place to the Coke machine, who had finally his water in the gas trouble resolved. Dale Whittington had stormed back to second place and was aiming at victory. But his effort was not to be rewarded by luck as, when the chequered would fall, he would be still 1m34s down the winner. This car was a complete surprise winner and was, to his owner Bob Garretson, looking like a revenge. Jim Mullen, Kees Nierop and Wayne Baker were the greatest upset victory of those glory days. The Porsche 935 was winning the GTX category and a Mazda RX7 won the GTU class with Jack Dunham-Jeff Kline-Phil Compton just ahead of Joe Varde-Jack Baldwin-John Casey similar car.