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GTP: Mosport 1981

August 30, 2009 by GTP.com · 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.
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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 www.AmericanLeMans.com.

(Video courtesy of the American Le Mans Series)

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

1981 Mosport Yearbooka

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GTP: 1981 Mosport IMSA GT Race Broadcast

March 14, 2009 by Terrance · Leave a Comment 


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

The 1981 IMSA GT race broadcast from Mosport near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Georgia.

Courtesy of the American Le Mans Series.

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