GTP: 1981 Kenwood BMW Press Kit

September 12, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Press kit for the 1981 March BMW M1/C IMSA GTP team and driver David Hobbs. Powered by a 3.5L inline-6, the March was one of the earliest GTP-class designs.

(To see the full-sized images in each gallery, click the icon at the bottom right on the menu bar.)

GTP: 1986 Daytona Finale IMSA GTP Race pt1

September 1, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

The final win for Bob Tullius in the GTP series also marks the first win for Chip Robinson in part 1 of the 1986 Daytona finale.

Courtesy of the American Le Mans Series.

GTP: 1986 Daytona Finale IMSA GTP Race Broadcast pt1 from on Vimeo.

GTP: 1986 Daytona Finale IMSA GTP Race pt2

September 1, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

The final win for Bob Tullius in the GTP series also marks the first win for Chip Robinson in part 2 of the 1986 Daytona finale.

Courtesy of the American Le Mans Series.

GTP: 1986 Daytona Finale IMSA GTP Race Broadcast pt2 from on Vimeo.

GTP: Mosport 1981

August 30, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

You’re starting last at Mosport in the newest, fastest machine on the sportscar scene, the Lola-T600.

You have six hours to slice through the three dozen cars, so time isn’t a major concern, but with the grid filled with bullet-like Porsche turbos, making it to the front won’t be the easiest of undertakings. Throw into the mix that like most tracks of this time, the daunting, brutally fast circuit has yet to receive many of the safety measures we take for granted today, and the race appears to have more chances for calamity than success.

Welcome to the world of sportscar legend Brian Redman and co-driver Eppie Wietzes, sharing the yellow #7 Cooke-Woods Racing car 28 years ago this month.

On that day in Mosport — August 16th, 1981 — Porsche prevailed as veterans Rolf Stommelen and Harald Grohs piloted their Andial Meister 935 to victory, despite a storming drive by Redman and Canadian Trans-Am veteran Wietzes to take second place.

After years of road car-themed Porsches, namely the 935 silhouettes, Lola unveiled the first serious alternative to GT racing (then classified as ‘GTX’) by bringing a real GTP solution to North America.

Facing a large horsepower deficit, Redman and Wietzes used all of the power their 5.7L Chevy V-8 had to offer, and relied heavily on the Lola’s advanced aerodynamics and superior downforce to scythe through the competition.

While it was still early in its development at Mosport, the T600’s massive underwing and sleek shape fulfilled everything IMSA founder John Bishop hoped the new GTP regulations would represent.

Thanks to the Lola, Porsche 935 owners knew their best days were behind them.

Many of the great sportscar names from the period were there at Mosport — Derek Bell in a Porsche 934, David Hobbs and Hans Stuck in a BMW M1, Hurley Haywood sharing a Bayside 935 with team owner Bruce Leven, Bobby Rahal and Gianpiero Moretti in their Momo-liveried 935, Bob Akin and Skeeter McKitterick in their Coke 935…Porsche icon Bob Garretson…Jim Busby and John Fitzpatrick…Spanish racer ‘Jamsal’…it was a packed grid.
The locals were also well represented, with esteemed Canadian driver Bill Adam in the race (driving a brutish Camaro), along with Uli Bieri, Ludwig Heimrath Jr. and Sr., and a large contingent of skilled professionals and enthusiastic gentlemen racers.

Look beyond the heavy hitters, and a few mechanical oddities made their way onto the grid — Porsche 914/6s, and even (take a deep breath) a Triumph TR-8!

Five wins in the GTP-class Lola helped to deliver the 1981 IMSA GT driver’s crown to Redman, yet Porsche’s sheer numbers meant Lola would have to settle for second in the manufacturer’s contest.

Enjoy this 38 minute highlight reel of the event — Redman’s Lola makes extensive use of in-car footage during the race — well ahead of its time in 1981.

Learn more about the ALMS by visiting

(Video courtesy of the American Le Mans Series)

GTP: 1981 Mosport IMSA GT Race Broadcast from on Vimeo.

1981 Mosport Yearbooka

1981 Mosport Yearbook 2a

GTP: Hotchkis At The Historics

August 24, 2009 by Mark Hotchkis · 1 Comment 

Evolving from the all-conquering 956, the Porsche 962 made its debut at the 1984 Daytona 24 Hours and immediately showed incredible potential. Hotchkis Racing purchased the Porsche-commissioned Fabcar tub #962F01 from Holbert Racing in the summer of 1986, and has owned it ever since. As a kid, I remember staring through the same chain-link fence (which separated pit lane from the paddock area at almost every race track), watching my father John, co-driver Jim Adams and various other drivers — Chris Chord, Rob Dyson, Bob Kirby and my older brother John — all pilot the flame-belching purple Wynn’s car.

From the tight confines of the streets of Miami to the high banks at Daytona, the Hotchkis Racing 962 served as a dependable warhorse and never disappointed.

Today, the car lives in a deep, dark storage in Southern California, rarely seeing the light of day except for those one-time special events like the Rennsport Reunion and of course, the Rolex Monterey Historics. When we received our acceptance for the 962 at this year’s event, it was time to awaken the beast, dust her off and shake her down at a local track. All systems were go and considering the brief on-track time during the Historic weekend, we decided new tires would be a unnecessary, so we utilized our Goodyear rubber from the Rennsport Reunion in 2007.

Mark Hotchkis (L) poses with Gunnar Jeanette before their 10-lap race at the 2009 Historics. (©

Mark Hotchkis (L) poses with Gunnar Jeanette before their 10-lap race at the 2009 Historics. (©

Once we arrived at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and settled-in, it was time to head out for our first of two practice sessions. Our Porsche 962 is a 3.2ltr air-cooled single Garret turbo car, as opposed to a twin turbo water-cooled car. The engine is maintained by Porsche Motorsport North America and features the twin plug ignition of the later IMSA air-cooled 962’s, as opposed to the early single-plug, side intercooler engine. There is no mistaking an air cooled 962 engine as it warms up in the paddock. It tends to spit, shake and rumble at idle but is very crisp at the same time. For all of roughness while warming up, it clears up once it’s revved and the whine of the powerful horizontal fan takes over — almost like a supercharger sound.

Call me demented, but I could listen to the engine struggle at idle all day long – it’s too cool!

What is it like to drive a Porsche 962 at speed during the Historics? Although my time behind the wheel of this car is quite limited, it is without a doubt one of the most comfortable and confidence-inspiring race cars ever manufactured. As I slip down into the cockpit, I immediately recognize the well-planned ergonomics, all controls at my finger tips and a seat that anyone could easily fall asleep in.

Operating the 962 is quite simple: strap in, adjust the mirrors, take a deep breath then turn the key to start the engine. That’s right, the 962 utilizes a keyed ignition right out of a 911! Once the engine has lit, cockpit noise is dominated by the whirl of the horizontal fan. Select first gear — over to the left — pull back, and we’re off. The 962 uses a five speed synchro transmission with second through fifth gears set on a standard H-pattern. Accelerating up to speed, the engine’s fan gets drowned-out by the building turbo pressure and raw grunt of the Porsche flat-six.

Boost builds progressively and not at all like an on/off switch which one may think would be the case if they simply looked at the size of the turbo. Under hard acceleration, at 70 inches of mercury, it sounds as though an early-style jet engine is chasing from behind, but as the throttle is cracked for the next braking point, the twin wastegates make an instant loud chirp through the exhaust primary.

Our ten lap race for this year’s Historic was far too short. It should really be fifty minutes to an hour, or at least a fuel tank’s worth of running! We started on pole with Gunnar Jeannette alongside in the Kremer K8. Approaching the flag stand on the front straight it’s typical to hold the brake pedal with your left foot and build some boost with the right foot. At the green flag we both accelerated pretty well but I probably should have made it a second gear start instead of spinning the rears in first gear, but it all worked out entering Turn 2. Gunnar applied the pressure into the brake zones and through the turn-in points as I struggled for front grip.

The purple beast lines up alongside the Kremer K8 as the grid prepares to roll. (©

The purple beast lines up alongside the Kremer K8 as the grid prepares to roll. (©

The Hotchkis 962 utilizes a spool instead of a limited-slip differential and I still have not adjusted to it. This setup requires an aggressive corner entry with some rear brake bias to help rotate the car, and then to catch it with the throttle, otherwise the front end simply understeers too badly. For the first two or three laps Gunnar was right there, carrying monster corner speed while I was able to gap him in a straight line. As the pressures and temperatures began to build, the car came alive and I could get into a rhythm and concentrate on not making any mistakes and enjoying the brief time I had with such an incredible race car.

Aerodynamically and mechanically our car had good balance. The tunnels under the 962 really help with downforce and as speed builds the suction builds, and that is felt immediately through the steering wheel; it takes added effort to make even the slightest input. Braking during the race was pretty good. I don’t know if it was our old tires or the slick track or both but I would lock both the front and the rear separately at different brake points during the race. For example, I locked the inside front entering turn 2 and at the top of the corkscrew and locked the rears entering turn 11. Otherwise, the big Brembos hauled the car down at a good clip.

For the last four laps of the race I felt strong and mistake-free. Our car encountered traffic and simply sliced its way through, never skipping a beat and it gave me a chance to take it all in — the amazing engine sounds from behind me, the remarkable grip and ease of placement the 962 allows. Compared to other prototypes of the ‘80’s, the 962 is so comfortable and feels softly sprung without a lot of roll resistance so the knife-edge grip loss (common with other GTP cars) simply does not exist.

That’s probably the main reason why many drivers can step into this car and build confidence quickly – it’s that friendly. We went on to win the ten lap super-sprint and it all seemed to end almost as quickly as it began.

It was another race in the books for the Hotchkis 962 and I hate to say it, but now she’ll head back to the dark, dungeon-like storage facility. The purple beast will stay there until it’s time to be awakened again for another special Porsche event in the future.

GTP: Hotchkis Porsche 962 In-Car, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca from on Vimeo.

GTP: 1989 Portland IMSA GTP Race Broadcast

August 21, 2009 by Marshall Pruett · 1 Comment 

Spend 97 minutes with Geoff Brabham, Price Cobb, Davy Jones and the rest of the players in the 1989 Portland IMSA GTP race…one that went down in great controversy after the checkered flag was displayed early.

Jaguar’s Price Cobb crossed the finish line first as the checkered flag waved prematurely, and Geoff Brabham crossed it last just when it was scheduled to fall. Despite Nissan’s victory circle celebrations, the win would be overturned and given to Cobb.

While it made for great drama at the time; it’s all IMSA fans spoke about, but the altered outcome did little to sway the championship as the Nissan/Brabham freight train carried onto their second consecutive GTP title.

1st Lammers / Cobb Jaguar XJR-10 Castrol Jaguar Racing
2nd Geoff Brabham Nissan GTP ZX-T Electramotive Engineering
3rd Chip Robinson Nissan GTP ZX-T Electramotive Engineering
4th Nielsen / Jones Jaguar XJR-9 Castrol Jaguar Racing
5th Miller / Earl Spice SE89P Chevrolet Jim Miller Racing
6th Andretti / Wollek Porsche 962 Busby Racing
7th Moran / Ribbs Eagle HF89 Toyota All American Racers
8th Mass Porsche 962C Bayside Racing/Bruce Leven
9th Adams Porsche 962 Hotchkis Racing
10th Gianpiero Moretti Porsche 962C Momo/Gebhardt Racing

GTP: 1989 Portland IMSA GTP Race Broadcast from on Vimeo.

GTP: 2009 Monterey Historics Trackside Action

August 19, 2009 by · 8 Comments 

Here’s 36 shots from trackside at the 2009 Monterey Historics, featuring the IMSA GTP cars.

(To see the full-sized images in each gallery, click the icon at the bottom right on the menu bar.)

GTP: 1986 Porsche 962 Engine Warmup

August 19, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

If you listened to yesterday’s Porsche 956 engine warmup audio, you might have noted the slightly staccato, somewhat silky quality of the twin turbo 2.65L flat-6 motor.

Big turbo, big power. (©

Big turbo, big power. (©

Today it’s time to listen to that motor’s evil twin, the single turbo, air-cooled 3.2L motor in the back of Hotchkis Racing’s 1986 Porsche 962.

It pops, it growls, it snarls, and at times, it even rumbles like an American V-8.

We move our microphone around a bit to hear the different ancillaries — the turbo (at 1:06), the valvetrain (at 1:16) and the air cooling fan (at 1:53) to revel in the brilliance of Weissach’s iconic endurance powerplant.

GTP: 1986 Porsche 962 Engine Warmup from on Vimeo.

GTP: Porsche 956 Warmup Audio

August 18, 2009 by Marshall Pruett · 2 Comments 

Pick your choice of flat-6 please; do you prefer the staccato sounds of the 2650cc twin turbo, water-cooled motor in the 1983 Joest Racing Porsche 956, or do you like the rumbling, basso, dragster-like nature of the 3200cc single turbo, air-cooled German mill?

1983 Porsche 956. (©

1983 Porsche 956. (©

Take a listen to the twin turbo variant, and we’ll post the giant single turbo’s warmup tomorrow.

GTP: 1983 Porsche 956 Engine Warmup from on Vimeo.

GTP: Mazda’s Wailing Wankel: The 1992 RX-792P

August 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

I hope I’ll be able to hear the Mazda RX-792P this weekend as Patrick Dempsey’s pilots the car around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I say that I hope I’ll be able to hear it because after my last encounter with the car seventeen years ago, I’m still mostly deaf from the experience.

The hellfire and fury that is the Mazda RX-792P is back to delight and deafen an all new audience. (©

The hellfire and fury that is the Mazda RX-792P is back to delight and deafen an all new audience. (©

The RX-792P might be the most unapologetic GTP car of all time. It was unapologetically loud, hot, and amazingly good looking. Penned by Can-Am and IndyCar engineer and designer Lee Dykstra, the RX-792P never achieved the success it was meant to on the racetrack, but in the worlds of marketing and corporate image, the silver GTP cars made a lasting impact.

Our friend “Mulsanne Mike” Fuller has some nice technical tidbits on the car at his site, and while we’ll soon have our own technical appraisal  some new in-car footage to offer, our focus for the Historics is to help Mazda’s fans relive the era when the RX-792P originally raced.

So, step back into 1992 with us and experience Mazda’s GTP effort through race broadcasts, a photo gallery and the RX-792P’s press kit.

(To see the fill-sized images, click the icon at the far right of the menu bar below)

1992 New Orleans GTP Race:

GTP: 1992 New Orleans IMSA GTP Race Broadcast pt 1 from on Vimeo.

GTP: 1992 New Orleans IMSA GTP Race Broadcast pt 2 from on Vimeo.

1992 Road Atlanta GTP Race:

GTP: 1992 Road Atlanta IMSA GTP Race Broadcast from on Vimeo.

And the final event for the RX-792P, the 1992 Del Mar GTP Race:

GTP 1992 Del Mar IMSA GTP Race Broadcast pt 1 from on Vimeo.

GTP: 1992 Del Mar IMSA GTP Race Broadcast pt 2 from on Vimeo.

While this video isn’t of the RX-792P, it is of Mazda’s win at Le Mans in 1991. (Video Courtesy of Mazda)

Le Mans: Mazda 1991, We Won the Day from on Vimeo.

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