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 14 PORSCHE 962 103 Chip Robinson-Derek Bell-Al Unser Jr-Al Holbert 753 Laps 1.GTP
 2  3 PORSCHE 962 128 Oscar Larrauri-Gianfranco Brancatelli-Massimo Sigala 745 Laps 2.GTP
 3 16 PORSCHE 962 120 Price Cobb-Rob Dyson-Vern Schuppan 742 Laps 3.GTP
 4  1 PORSCHE 962 HR4 A.J Foyt-Al Unser-Danny Sullivan 723 Laps 4.GTP
 5 10 PORSCHE 962 HR3F John Hotschkis-Jim Adams-John Hotschkis Jr 719 Laps 5.GTP
 6  5 PORSCHE 962 113 Hans Stuck-James Weaver-Bob Akin 700 Laps 6.GTP
 7 11 FORD MUSTANG Tom Gloy-Bill Elliot-Lyn St James-Scott Pruett 685 Laps 1.GTO
 8 98 TOYOTA CELICA Tc Chris Cord-Steve Millen 681 Laps 2.GTO
 9 22 FORD MUSTANG Deborah Gregg-Bobby Akin-Scott Pruett 649 Laps 3.GTO
10 71 MAZDA RX7 Amos Johnson-Dennis Shaw-Buddy Lazier 642 Laps 1.GTU
11 01 SPICE FIERO PSGTPL3 Bob Earl-Don Bell-Jeff Kline 630 Laps 1.Lights
12 42 FABCAR Porsche FGTP-701 Howard Cherry-John Higgins-James King-Chip Mead 626 Laps 2.Lights
13 82 MAZDA RX7 Dick Greer-Mike Mees-John Finger 622 Laps 2.GTU
14 36 BADGER BB Mazda John Grooms-Tom Bagley-Frank Jellinek-Augie Pabst 621 Laps 3.Lights
15 30 CHEVROLET CAMARO Buz McCall-Walt Bohren-Paul Dallenbach 616 Laps 4.GTO
16 19 TIGA GT285 Mazda 286 Jim Brown-Scott Schubot-Linda Ludemann 597 Laps 4.Lights
17 99 TOYOTA CELICA Tc Ricky Rudd-Jerrill Rice-Juan Fangio II 591 Laps 5.GTO
18 09 PORSCHE 911 Peter Uria-Larry Figaro-John Hayes-Harlow-Kyle Rathbun 580 Laps 3.GTU
19 38 MAZDA RX7 Roger Mandeville-Kelly Marsh-Danny Smith 572 Laps 6.GTO
20 33 FORD MUSTANG Bruce Jenner-Todd Morici-Gary Baker 571 Laps 7.GTO
21 27 ARGO JM16 Mazda 106 Dave Cowart-Kenper Miller-Jim Fowells 566 Laps 5.Lights
22 66 ROYALE RP40 Mazda JM16/097 Charles Morgan-Chris Gennone-Jim Rothbarth 554 Laps 6.Lights
23 75 MAZDA RX7 Max Jones-Bart Kendall-Tom Kendall 522 Laps 4.GTU
24 21 CHEVROLET CAMARO Rob Peters-Tom Nehl-Kent Painter 520 Laps 8.GTO
25 20 CHEVROLET CAMARO Tom Juckette-Bill McDill-Mike Laws 520 Laps 9.GTO
26 26 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Ken Bupp-Guy Church-Del Taylor 510 Laps 10.GTO
27 68 MAZDA RX7 Steve DePoyster-Mike Jocelyn-Jim Kurz-Bob Schader 503 Laps 5.GTU
28 78 MAZDA RX7 Dennis Chambers-Mike Meyer-Tom Burdsall 498 Laps 6.GTU
29 29 CHEVROLET CAMARO Gene Felton-Oma Kimtrough-Hoyt Overbagh-Lee Perkinson 470 Laps 11.GTO
30 00 PORSCHE 911 Charles Slater-Ernie Senator-Dave Duttinger 414 Laps 7.GTU
31 28 CHEVROLET CAMARO Greg Pickett-Darrell Waltrip-Terry Labonte 410 Laps 12.GTO
32 96 TIGA GT286 Mazda 342 Tom Hessert-Keith Rinzler-Eduardo Dibos 409 Laps 7.Lights
33 24 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Craig Rutright-Garrett Jenkins-Roy Newsome 404 Laps 13.GTO
34  6 CHEVROLET CAMARO Wally Dallenbach Jr-John Jones-Tommy Riggins 402 Laps 14.GTO
35 47 MAZDA RX7 Richard Oakley-Chaunce Wallace-Doug Mills 386 Laps 8.GTU
36 51 TIGA GC286 Ford 336 Costas Los-John Schneider-David Andrews 354 Laps 7.GTP
37 63 ARGO JM19 Mazda 107 Jim Downing-John O'steen-John Maffucci 352 Laps 8.Lights
38 32 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Mark Kennedy-Karl Keck-Mark Montgomery-David Fuller 346 Laps 15.GTO
39 87 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Tommy Morrison-Richard Ceppos-Don Knowles-Stu Hayner 337 Laps 16.GTO
40  7 FORD MUSTANG PROBE Whitney Ganz-David Hobbs-Gianpiero Moretti 328 Laps 8.GTP
41 83 PONTIAC FIREBIRD Tom Gaffney-Paul Reisman-Richard Stone-Bob Hebert 316 Laps 17.GTO
42 08 MAZDA RX7 Vance Swifts-John Drew-Dean Hall-Paul Romano 298 Laps 9.GTU
43  8 PORSCHE 962 123/HR6 Brian Redman-Chris Kneifel-Elliot Forbes Robinson 283 Laps 9.GTP
44 90 BUICK SOMERSET Andy Peterey-Les Delano-Craig Carter 281 Laps 18.GTO
45 17 MAZDA RX7 Al Bacon-Rod Millen-Bob Reed 277 Laps 10.GTU
46 89 SPICE FIERO Steve Durst-Mike Brockman-Tony Belcher-Mark Abel 273 Laps 9.Lights
47 76 CHEVROLET CAMARO 861 Jack Baldwin-Eppie Wietzes 261 Laps 19.GTO
48 52 CHEVROLET CORVETTE GTP T8610-HU1 Sarel Van der Merwe-Doc Bundy 255 Laps 10.GTP
49 80 ALBA AR2 Ferrari Roger Andrey-Angelo Pallavicini-Uli Bieri 246 Laps 10.Lights
50 25 MARCH 85G Chevrolet Jerry Brassfield-Michael Roe-John Bauer-Norton Gaston 245 Laps 11.GTP
51 31 GEBHARDT JC853 BMW Stanley Dickens-Frank Jelinski-Gary Robinson-Greg Hobbs 236 Laps 11.Lights
52 64 FORD MUSTANG Ken Johnson-Maurice Hassey-Lanny Hester 225 Laps 20.GTO
53 55 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Nort Northam-Scott Lagasse-Dennis Krueger 223 Laps 21.GTO
54 44 JAGUAR XJR7 005 Bob Tullius-Hurley Haywood-John Morton 226 Laps 12.GTP
55 92 CHEVROLET CAMARO Lance Van Every-Ash Tisdelle-Rusty Bond 202 Laps 22.GTO
56 86 PORSCHE 962 121 Klaus Ludwig-Jochen Mass 144 Laps 13.GTP
57 77 CHEVROLET CAMARO Bobby Archer-Tommy Archer-Robert Lappalainen-Leo Franchi 121 Laps 23.GTO
58  4 FORD MUSTANG GTP 001 Scott Pruett-Pete Halsmer-Tom Gloy 120 Laps 14.GTP
59 23 ARGO JM16 Buick George Petrilak-Graham Duxbury-Bill Jacobson-Helmut Silberberger 119 Laps 12.Lights
60  9 TIGA GT285 Mazda Steve Phillips-Howard Katz-Ron Nelson 111 Laps 13.Lights
61 13 OLDSMOBILE CALAIS Keith Lawhorn-Vince Gimondo-Ken Grostic 104 Laps 24.GTO
62 67 PORSCHE 962 108B/C-01 Bob Wollek-Jim Busby-Darin Brassfield 89 Laps 15.GTP
63 50 CHEVROLET CORVETTE Paul Canary-Jerry Winston-Phil Currin 88 Laps 25.GTO
64 54 PORSCHE 911 911 210 0224 Bill Auberlen-Karl Durkheimer-Dieter Oest-Gary Auberlen 87 Laps 11.GTU
65 88 CHEVROLET CORVETTE John Heinricy-Bob McConnell-Bill Adam-Bobby Carradine 77 Laps 26.GTO
66 74 OLDSMOBILE TORONADO Paul Gentilozzi-Irv Hoerr-Ted Boody 52 Laps 27.GTO
67 43 FABCAR Porsche FEP-002 Tom Pumpelly-Scott Overby-Tim McAdam-Thomas Schwietz 42 Laps 14.Lights
68 41 MAZDA RX7 Hugo Gralia-Dennis Dobkin-Carlos Padrera-Secondo Tagliero 30 Laps 12.GTU
69 79 ALBA AR5 Oldsmobile 006 Paul Lewis-Skeeter McKitterick-Tom Winters 28 Laps 15.Lights

Cars that did not start

   18 BMW M1 Henning Hagenbauer-Hans Lotec GTO
   45 HAWK Buick 10 Jim Crawford-Tommy Byrne GTP
   72 BARDON DB2 Saab Tc C200/01 Robin Donovan GTP
   97 CHEVROLET CAMARO Jack Baldwin-John Lloyd-Eppie Wietzes GTO

Holbert Racing, at last

It was the time Porsche dominted the IMSA Championship. In 1986, Al Holbert was crowned with his Holbert Racing Porsche 962. For 1987, you could expect a Porsche 962 to win again the Championship, but which one? The season seemed to start with trouble in mind for the IMSA board, as soon as they got to know that neither BMW, Ford, Nissan or Jaguar would go for a full season. A new era seemed to be born at Daytona in 1987, with the IMSA season beginning without Ford and BMW. A lonely Jaguar was to take the green, and no Hawk Buick to be counted upon for the race. It seemed that Porsche had the victory served on a silver plateau. Nine cars were entered, and the best entrants were to fighting hard. Holbert Racing fielded a 2,8L powered car for Al Holbert-Al Unser Jr-Chip Robinson and Derek Bell. The Bayside Motorsports car was driven by Klaus Ludwig-Jochen Mass and Bruce Leven. Dyson Racing had another car for Rob Dyson-Price Cobb and Vern Schuppan. Busby Racing had Bob Wollek and Darin Brassfield drive the BF Goodrich shod car. AJ Foyt brought his own car for himself, Al Unser Sr and Danny Sullivan. Bon Akin relied on Hans Stuck and James Weaver who would drive the Coke machine. Oscar Larrauri-Massimo Sigala and Gianfranco Brancatelli were at the wheel of the Brun Motorsport car, while Primus Motorsports fielded a car for Brian Redman-Chris Kneifel and Elliot Forbes Robinson. Hotschkis Racing seemed to be the weakest entry, with John Hotschkis Sr and Jr and Jim Adams. The Chevrolet Corvette GTP was to be a strong contender, but the car was short on reliability. Who knows? Sarel van der Merwe and Doc Bundy would have to concentrate on the pole. The Group 44 Jaguar XJR6 seemed to be able to run for the win. Bob Tullius-Hurley Haywood and John Morton were confident, but this would require a great deal of luck. The only real new car was the Ford Maxxum, which was the Roush version of the GTP. Powered by a 6,5L V8 engine, it was not so different as the Probe, but it claimed to be unique. Scott Pruett and Pete Halsmer would drive this car. The Zakspeed car was a Probe, and David Hobbs-Whitney Ganz and Gianpiero Moretti would co-drive this car! The De Atley March 85G Chevrolet could only settle for second fiddle, even with John Bauer-Jerry Brassfield-Michael Roe behind the wheel. Roy Baker was also fielding his Ford powered Tiga GC286. Costas Los-John Schneider and Andrews drove this car. It was a 3,3L engine with a DFX cylinder head. Roy Baker Racing was here to learn the track apparently.

The Lights class would be much more attractive, with two Argo JM19 Mazda, one being entered by Jim Downing. The second one was the MSB Racing car driven by Jim Fowells and Ray Mummery. They would face two Spice Fieros. Don Bell was partnered by Jeff Kline and Bob Earl while Steve Durst and Mike Brockman had a brand new car. Both cars were surprisingly fast. Essex Racing entered two Tiga GT285 Mazda with Howard Katz-Steve Phillips and Ron Nelson and Scott Schubot-Linda Ludemann and Bobby Brown. Tom Hessert-Keith Rinzler and Eduardo Dibos drove another Tiga, which was a GT286 Mazda. Two Alba AR2 were entered. Gaston Andrey Racing fielded a Ferrari powered car, with Roger Andrey-Uli Bieri and Angelo Pallavicini at the wheel. The other car was Oldsmobile powered. Skeeter McKitterick-Paul Lewis and Tom Winters drove it. The Gebhardt JC853 BMW was driven by Gary Robinson-Greg Hobbs and Stanley Dickens. A most weird entry was the Badger Mazda driven by Frank Jellinek-John Grooms and Tom Bagley. An older Argo JM16 Mazda also was entered with George Petrilak-Graham Duxbury and Helmut Silberberger. A Royale RP40 Mazda would round out the entry list. Jim Rothbarth-Charles Morgan and Mike Meyer were at the wheel. Two reliable Fabcar Porsche also were here to last.

The GTO field was kind of fantastic, with Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota throwing their megabucks into the racetrack. Even Oldsmobile seemed to be willing to take its share of the pie. Jack Roush entered a bunch of Ford Mustangs, which were driven by an all-star team, such as Lyn St James-Tom Gloy-Bill Elliott and Bruce Jenner. Deborah Gregg-Bobby Akin and Scott Pruett were at the wheel of the Coke car, Todd Morici-Bruce Jenner and Gary Baker drove the third car while Lanny Hester-Maurice Hassey and Ken Johnson had a semi-private entry. The Chevrolet Camaros were impressive, with the Protofab entries, and the Peerless car. Wally Dallenbach, Tommy Riggins and John Jones in the first car, while Terry Labonte, Darrell Waltrip and Greg Pickett in the second one. Jack Baldwin, John Lloyd and Eppie Wietzes drove the most sophisticated Camaro on the planet. Robert Lappalainen, Bobby and Tommy Archer had another top notch car, entered by Brooks Racing. The two AAR Toyota Celicas were also wild cars. Chris Cord-Steve Millen and Jerrill Rice-Juan Manuel Fangio II and Ricky Rudd could also do very well in their mean machines. A single Oldsmobile Toronado and Mazda RX7 were entered. Well driven, they would have to survive a strong opposition. Roger Mandeville-Kelly Marsh and Danny Smith remained confident. A handful of privately entered Chevrolet Camaros and Corvettes, as well as three Pontiac Firebirds were meant to run for glory, but not for the class win. A Buick Somerset driven by Les Delano, Andy Peterey and Craig Carter easily qualified in the top ten. The GTU class was to be dominated by the Mazda RX7s, who did not meet any strong opposition. The CCR and Team Highball cars were the favorites, with Tom Kendall-Max Jones and Bart Kendall against Amos Johnson-Dennis Shaw and Buddy Lazier. Al Bacon, co-driven by Rod Millen and Bob Reed was lurching around. The ageing Porsche 911s would rely on their reliability, and the Escort car looked apt to threaten the Japanese domination. No Nissan were to be entered.

The practice sessions were to highlight the Chevrolet Corvette GTP domination, as per usual, should we say. But the lap times had fallen down by more than two seconds. The technical changes aiming at reducing the engines power looked efficient. The gap between the American car and its opponents seemed to have shrunk, as Jochen Mass finally took the pole over Bob Wollek. The Corvette was finally bound to the second row. The Jaguar driven by Hurley Haywood ended up in seventh position on the grid. A strong performance was to be made by the Spice Fiero driven by Don Bell and Jeff Kline, who posted a fantastic 1m49s719, beating every GTO car. The best of those big bangers was finally the Protofab Camaro car driven by Terry Labonte-Darrell Waltrip and Greg Pickett, fifteenth overall in 1m50s792. The Ford Mustang driven by Lyn St James-Tom Gloy and Bill Elliott was next. Tom Kendall was the best GTU qualifier in 2m02s467, just ahead of Al Bacon, who drove another Mazda RX7.

The race was to start under a sunny weather, but the Chevrolet Corvette GTP would be again struck by another engine problem. It should be however fixed in just about four hours, which was enough to show up for the green. Klaus Ludwig would take another dream start and lead the race for the first ten laps, chased by Bob Wollek and Sarel van der Merwe, who drove somewhat carefully, not willing to harm his engine. The three of them would fly away from the rest of the pack, who was fighting hard. AJ Foyt, Price Cobb, Brian Redman, Jim Adams, Chip Robinson and Bob Tullius were nose to tail and squirming around the backmarkers. Sarel van der Merwe would show up in the lead for a bunch of laps but it was Klaus Ludwig who was the leader of the first hour mark. The best Chevrolet Camaro was tenth overall, and it was the Protofab car, who ran very strong. Bob Akin and Hans Stuck were to be sidelined by brake problems. It seemed that the two leading cars would be spared by any trouble, but it was not to be. The BF Goodrich car would suddenly stop with a broken valve, while Klaus Ludwig, who led the race, was to be hit on the banking by a backmarker. The Chevrolet Corvette GTP could have be back in the lead, but it was not to be the case. A slight mishap would put the car in third place. The lead was to be taken by The Foyt Racing car driven by AJ Foyt-Al Unser Sr and Danny Sullivan. This car was closely followed by the Holbert Racing entry driven by Chip Robinson-Al Unser Jr and Derek Bell. The Jaguar XJR7 was running strong, and was up to third place at the six hour mark. Still running strong, the two Protofab Chevrolet Camaros were leading the class.

Klaus Ludwig and Jochen Mass led the race in the early hours of the race.

The remainder of the race was to be a Porsche domination. With a 3,0L engine, the Foyt team was fast on the banking, while the 2,8L Holbert car was dominant in the infield. The next cars would then drop from the race, as the Jaguar XJR7, which had a blown head gasket. The Chevrolet Corvette GTP soon retired too, with a broken engine. The leading order was : Bell, Foyt, Dyson, Redman, Adams and Sigala. It was six Porsche ahead of everybody. Next came the first GTO cars! The Protofab Camaro driven by the same leading trio was just ahead of the two Toyota Celicas. The Porsche 962 driven by Brian Redman, Chris Kneifel, Kees Nierop and Elliott Forbes Robinson would then retire with a broken turbo, leading to an oil leak which made the rear end of the car catch fire. The Holbert car was still leading with four laps over the Foyt Racing Porsche at mid point. One could think that the race would turn into a boring procession, but at four o'clock AM, the leading car had a tyre burst. Losing their advantage, the race suddenly regained its interest. The leading GTO car had retired at mid race when Terry Labonte lost a wheel after the wheel nut worked loose, and it was Toyota which took the command of the class. Another major change was to happen within the race with a new leading car in the Lights class : the Spice Fiero driven by Don Bell, which dominated the class after a brief stint by the Gebhardt, pitted with an oil leak. Curiously, it was the Badger, a three year old car, which took the lead in this class. The end of the race would be difficult for many entrants. Early in the morning, the leading car was running without the driver's side window. This led to hot air flowing into the car. From this moment, driving the car proved too exhausting for the drivers who could not bear such heat. Every driver began to have trouble driving properly, and the situation became serious. Behind them, the Foyt Racing car began to gain ground on them. In fact, they had to take a crucial decision, if they wanted to have a chance for victory. The only one available to them was that Al Holbert, who was here as a Team Manager, and not supposed to drive, take on the wheel, to relieve his drivers. Chip Robinson was being taken care of by the medics and Derek Bell was stuck with cramps and Al Unser Jr was quite exhausted, so here it went. Behind them, the Foyt Racing car could keep up with them, but then they lost a cylinder, and they began to slow down steadily. They would retire after twenty three hours and forty minutes.

Attrition was strong in GTO when the leading Toyota had trouble with a broken suspension. They held a ten lap advantage over the Ford Mustang driven by Lyn St James, Tom Gloy and Bill Elliott which came down to a second place finish, four laps down. A cruel deception for the All American Racers team. Al Holbert handed the car to Derek Bell who crossed the finish line as a winner. Second overall was the Brun Motorsport car who had a very difficult start but a strong finish. They were eight laps down but had gained seven laps on the leaders within twenty hours. Third was the Dyson Racing car driven by Rob Dyson, Price Cobb and Vern Schuppan. The unfortunate Foyt Racing car took fourth. The GTO class was a new Roush victory, the third in a row at Daytona. The Lights class finally came back to the fastest car, the Spice Fiero driven by Don Bell, Bob Earl and Jeff Kline. They finished behind the leading GTU car, the Team Highball Mazda RX7 driven by Amos Johnson, Dennis Shaw and Bob Lazier. It was their third GTU victory in a row.