Sports Car Racing - A Selective History

Table of Contents

  1. Photo Resources
  2. Jim Hall's Chaparrals
  3. Ford GT-40
  4. John Wyer
  5. More Recent Fords
  6. Eric Broadley
  7. FIA
  8. 24 Hours of Le Mans
  9. Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am)
  10. International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)
  11. Demise of IMSA
  12. Professional SportsCar Racing (PSCR)
  13. US Road Racing Championship (USRRC)
  14. Grand American Road Racing (Grand-Am)
  15. Other Racing Links
  16. Turbine-Powered Racing Cars

Photo Resources

Chaparral 2G

Jim Hall's Chaparrals (1960s)

Chaparral Gallery at the Petroleum Museum in Midland, TX (grand opening in April 2004, notice thanks for Greg Fuchs)

Chaparral 1 (1961-1963) - USRRC open-top
Chaparral 2A (1964) - USRRC open-top, new body style
Chaparral 2C (1965) - refinement of 2A, hydraulic rear spoiler
Chaparral 2D (1966) - FIA coupe
Chaparral 2E (1966) - Can-Am open-top with large wing
Chaparral 2F (1967) - FIA coupe with large wing, 7.0L
Chaparral 2G (1967) - refinement of 2E, 7.0L, has boxy doors like the 2F to better direct airflow into the side radiators, and extended rear wheelwells, raced also during 1968 while 2H being developed
Chaparral 2H (1969) - Can-Am, intended as a streamlined coupe but John Surtees wanted an opening in the top for the driver
Chaparral 2J (1970) - Can-Am open-top, ground effect vehicle with snowmobile engine, raced four times then outlawed

(The designation 2B was perhaps not used because of the Chevrolet Grand Sport II(b); as far as I know, there was no 2I; 2K was an Indy car.)

Mark Cramer's collection of Chaparral web links

Chaparral chasis numbers

French pages - follow the racecars link to the 2A, 2E, 2F, 2G, 2H, and 2J

Paul Haney interview with Jim Hall (2001)

Chaparral 2E wing support diagram from engineering case study of stabilizer link failure

book: "Chaparral," Richard Falconer and Doug Nye (Contributor), Motorbooks Intl., 1992.

book: "Chaparral Can-Am and Prototype Race Cars," Dave Friedman, 1998. [don't have a copy]

book: Chevrolet -- Racing? 14 Years of Raucous Silence Paul Van Valkenburgh. [don't have a copy]

The Chaparral transmission was "actually a two-speed manual gearbox with a high performance lockup torque converter instead of a conventional clutch."

[the first use of a wing predates Jim Hall by 10 years - see Michael Fuller, A Brief History of Sports Car Racing, with picture of Michael May's Porsche Type 550 with mid-mounted wing in 1956; however, he was not allowed to race due to complaints from competitors]

Jim Hall's 2A design was perhaps influenced by the Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT and SS prototypes (1962). However, he was certainly involved in the 1963 era with the Corvette Grand Sport II(b) and the Chevrolet CERV II prototypes.

[models: 1/64 diecast: Hot Wheels 2A (released 1998), 2G (released 1969); 1/18 diecast: Exoto; also popular as slot cars]

1964 GT40

Ford GT-40 (Le Mans winner in 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969)

Ford GT home

Matthew Prater's Ford GT-40 home page at MTU

Robin Sundt's Ford GT-40 home page

The Roaring Forties

body style was based on Eric Broadley's Lola Mk. 6 GT, 1963

In 1966 Ford GTs finished first, second, and third at Daytona, first and second at Sebring, and first, second, and third at Le Mans.

Le Mans victories
1966 - Ford GT40 Mk2 (C. Amon, B. McLaren)
1967 - Ford GT40 Mk4 (D. Gurney, A.J. Foyt) [Ford GT Mark IV developed from Ford J-Car]
1968 - Ford GT40 (P. Rodriguez, L. Bianchi)
1969 - Ford GT40 (J. Ickx, J. Oliver)

books: ...(loaned out)...

book: The Inside Story of the Fastest Fords: The Design and Development of the Ford GT Racing Cars, by Karl Ludvigsen. [do not have; includes info on Ford G7A Can-Am car, ca. 1967]

GT40 chassis numbers

GPMA detail photos


John Wyer (1909-1989) - Ford GT-40s, Porsche 917s, and Mirages (ca. late 60s, early 70s)

1949 - became Aston Martin team manager
1959 - won Le Mans with Aston Martin DBR1 (C. Shelby, R. Salvadori)
1963 - joined Ford Advanced Vehicles in Slough, Buckinghamshire, England
1966 - after season ended, Ford closed FAV and encouraged John Wyer and John Willment to take over and start JW Automotive (JWA)
1967 - Gulf sponsored JWA Mirage M-1 [Ford in US developed J-Car / Mark IV; Ford left endurance racing after season ended]
                Mirage M-1

1968 - won Le Mans with Ford GT40 1075 (P. Rodriguez, L. Bianchi)
1969 - won Le Mans with same Ford GT40 (J. Ickx, J. Oliver) [first car to win Le Mans twice], also raced a Mirage M-2
                Mirage M-2

1970 - raced Porsche 917s

1971 - raced Porsche 917s, second at Le Mans
1972 - raced Gulf-Mirage M-6
1973 - raced Gulf-Mirage M-6
                Mirage M-6

1974 - raced Gulf-Mirage GR7, fourth at Le Mans
1975 - won Le Mans with Mirage GR8 (J. Ickx, D. Bell)
1976 - Gulf-Wyer sold the team to
Grand Touring Cars (GTC) owned by Harley Cluxton

GTC-Mirage team second at Le Mans '76 (GR8/Ford), second in '77 (GR8/Renault), tenth in '78 (M9/Renault), DNF in '79 (M10/Ford), DQ in '82 (M12/Ford)

In 1994, Gulf sponsored a Kremer CK8 Spyder, which ran sixth at Le Mans. Then in 1994 and 1995, Gulf sponsored GTC McLaren F1 GTR cars, which ran fourth at Le Mans '95 and fifth at Le Mans '96.

Gulf sponsored Audi R8 cars run by Johansson Racing; Johansson won the 2001 ELMS series title with a win at Most (after he "used an old John Wyer trick of painting a horseshoe on the side of his Gulf-colored car")

Gulf Oil sponsored cars at Le Mans

French pages - Mirage history

French pages - by year

Mirage chassis numbers (incomplete)

book: "The Certain Sound: Thirty Years of Motor Racing," John Wyer, Haynes, 1981 [now out of print].

Wikipedia article on John Wyer

book: "Blue & Orange: The History of Gulf in Motorsport," Michael Cotton and Martin Allerton, Coterie Press, 2004 [do not have; covers 1937 to 2001].

drivers: Jacky Ickx, Jackie Oliver, Pedro Rodriguez, Lucien Bianchi, Mike Hailwood, David Hobbs, Derek Bell, Brian Redman, ...

Bill Oursler's 917 history

John Horsman

More Recent Fords

... tbd ...

Holman/Moody Honker II (Can-Am 1967)

Ford F3L (1968-1969), 3 liter Cosworth F1 engine, poor aerodynamics [also known as P68 and P69 (open top)]

GT70, designed as rally car

Ford RS 200 rally car (styling by Ghia)


Ford C100 (1981-1986) - later known as Zakspeed C1/8 and C1/4
drivers: Klaus Ludwig, Klaus Niedzwiedz, ...
red #5, 1984
#5, 1984
first at Hockenheim and Nürburgring and second at Norisring in 1982 DRM season
first at Hockenheim and second at Mainz Finthen and Diepholz in 1983 DRM season
second at Interserie Erding in 1985 DRM season
ran in Supercup in 1986
Le Mans: DNA 1981, 2xDNF/2xDNA 1982, 1xDNF 1983]
[ pictures of C100 models]
Zakspeed C1 from Rosso Bianco Museum

Ford Mustang GTP - front engine sports car (1983-1984 and 1987 IMSA)
won Road America 1983, ran in US and in Germany (DRM) in 1984, after apparent lack of success with Probe GTP (see below) Rousch ran it again in 1987
long hood (side view of Panoz GTR reminds me of Mustang GTP)
drivers: Klaus Ludwig, Bobby Rahal, ...

Ford Mustang Probe GTP - rear engine sports car (1985-1989 IMSA)
refinement of C1 by Zakspeed
second at Watkins Glen and Sears Point in 1985, won Laguna Seca in 1986
drivers: Klaus Ludwig, Doc Bundy, Lyn St. James, Scott Pruett, Pete Halsmer, Ari Luyendyk, Tom Gloy, Chip Robinson.

Ford GT90 concept car

Ford GT in 2005

Eric Broadley

Lola history at

Wikipedia article on Lola

... tbd ...

Lola closes racing design in 2013


... tbd ...

Group 7

1972 - 1975 Group 6 (open-top, Formula 1 powered)

1982-1993 Group C Sports Prototypes, production-based engines

WSC 1985-1992

1991 change to F1-derived engines

FIA World GT (formerly BPR World GT series, 1994-1996)

GT series

FIA Sports Car Championship

24 Hours of Le Mans

Christophe Bastain's 24 Heures Du Mans page (race results 1923-on, and various pictures for 1987-on)

class winners (1923 on)

Stefan Ornerdal's Le Mans Register (including DNFs, etc.)

2013 Ornerdal's roster Audi R18 e-tron quattro (LMP1) McNish/Kristensen/Duval
2012 Ornerdal's roster Audi R18 e-tron quattro (LMP1) Lotterer/Fassler/Treluyer
2011 Ornerdal's roster Audi R18 TDI (LMP1) Fassler/Lotterer/Treluyer
2010 Ornerdal's roster Audi R15 TDI (LMP1) Rockenfeller/Bernhard/Dumas
2009 Ornerdal's roster Peugeot 908 HDi (LMP1) Brabham/Gene/Wurz
2008 Ornerdal's roster Audi R10 TDI (LMP1) Capello/McNish/Kristensen
2007 Ornerdal's roster Audi R10 TDI (LMP1) Werner/Pirro/Biela
2006 Ornerdal's roster Audi R10 TDI (LMP1) Biela/Pirro/Werner
2005 Ornerdal's roster Audi R8 (LMP1) Kristensen/Lehto/Werner
2004 Ornerdal's roster Audi R8 (LMP1) Ara/Capello/Kristensen
2003 Ornerdal's roster Bentley EXP Speed 8 (LMP900/IMSA GTP) Capello/Kristensen/Smith
2002 Ornerdal's roster Audi R8 (LMP900/IMSA GTP) Biela/Pirro/Kristensen
2001 Ornerdal's roster Audi R8 (LMP900/IMSA GTP) Biela/Pirro/Kristensen
2000 Ornerdal's roster Audi R8R-2000 (LMP900/IMSA GTP) Biela/Kristensen/Pirro
1999 Ornerdal's roster BMW V12 LMR (LMP/IMSA GTP) Winkelhock/Martini/Dalmas
1998 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 911 GT1-98 (GT1) Aiello/McNish/Ortelli [a Ferrari 333SP won the P class]
1997 Ornerdal's roster TWR Porsche WSC 95 (P) Alboreto/Johansson/Kristensen
1996 Ornerdal's roster TWR Porsche WSC 95 (P1) Jones/Wurz/Reuter
1995 Ornerdal's roster McLaren F1 GTR (GT1) Dalmas/Sekiya/Lehto [a Courage C34-Porsche won the IMSA WSC class]
1994 Ornerdal's roster Dauer/Porsche 962 GT (GT1) Dalmas/Haywood/Baldi [a SARD - Toyota 94C-V won the LMP C/90 class]
1993 Ornerdal's roster Peugeot 905 Evo 1C (LM class 1) Helary/Bouchut/Brabham
1992 Ornerdal's roster Peugeot 905B Evo 1 Bia (LM class 1) Warwick/Dalmas/Blundell
1991 Ornerdal's roster Mazda 767 B (Group 2) Weidler/Herbert/Gachot [a Spice SE90C-Ford Cosworth won the Group 1 class]
1990 Ornerdal's roster Jaguar XJR-12 (Group C1/IMSA GTP) Nielsen/Cobb/Brundle
1989 Ornerdal's roster Sauber/Mercedes-Benz C9 (Group C1/IMSA GTP) Mass/Reuter/Dickens
1988 Ornerdal's roster Jaguar XJR-9 LM (Group C1/IMSA GTP) Lammers/Dumfries/Wallace
1987 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 962 C (Group C1/IMSA GTP) Stuck/Bell/Holbert
1986 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 962 C (Group C1/IMSA GTP) Bell/Stuck/Holbert
1985 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 956 B (Group C1/IMSA GTP) Ludwig/Barilla/Krages
1984 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 956 (Group C1/IMSA GTP) Pescarolo/Ludwig
1983 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 956 (Group C) Schuppan/Haywood/Holbert
1982 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 956 (Group C/Group 6) Ickx/Bell
1981 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 936/81 (Group 6) Ickx/Bell
1980 Ornerdal's roster Rondeau/Ford-Cosworth M379B (Group 6) Rondeau/Jaussaud
1979 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 935 K3 (Group 5/IMSA GTX) Ludwig/Whittington/Whittington [a Rondeau/Ford-Cosworth M379B won the Group 6 class]
1978 Ornerdal's roster Ranault-Alpine A442B (Group 6) Pironi/Jaussaud
1977 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 936/77 (Group 6) Barth/Haywood/Ickx
1976 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 936 (Group 6) Ickx/van Lennep
1975 Ornerdal's roster Gulf-Mirage/Ford-Cosworth GR8 (Sport) Bell/Ickx
1974 Ornerdal's roster Matra-Simca MS670 C (Sport) Pescarolo/Larrousse
1973 Ornerdal's roster Matra-Simca MS670 B (Sport) Pescarolo/Larrousse
1972 Ornerdal's roster Matra-Simca MS670 (Sportscars) Pescarolo/Hill
1971 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 917 K (Competition Sports Cars) Marko/van Lennep
1970 Ornerdal's roster Porsche 917 K (Competition Sports Cars) Herrmann/Attwood
1969 Ornerdal's roster Ford GT 40 (Competition Sports Cars) Ickx/Oliver
1968 Ornerdal's roster Ford GT 40 (Competition Sports Cars) Rodriguez/Bianchi
1967 Ornerdal's roster Ford GT Mark IV (Prototypes) Gurney/Foyt
1966 Ornerdal's roster Ford GT Mark II (Prototypes) McLaren/Amon
1965 Ornerdal's roster Ferrari 250 LM (Prototypes 3.0-4.0L) Gregory/Rindt [a Iso Grifo A3C-Chevrolet won the Prototypes >5.0 L class]
1964 Ornerdal's roster Ferrari Tipo 275 (Prototypes 3.0-4.0L) Guichet/Vaccarella [a Iso Revolta Grifo A3C-Chevrolet won the Prototypes >5.0 L class]
1963 Ornerdal's roster Ferrari 250 P (Prototypes 2.0-3.0L) Bandini/Scarfiotti
1962 Ornerdal's roster Ferrari 330 TRI/LM Spyder (Experimental 3.0-4.0L) Gendebien/Hill
1961 Ornerdal's roster Ferrari 250 TRI/61 (Sport Cars 2.0-3.0L) Gendebien/Hill
1960 Ornerdal's roster Ferrari 250 TR59/60 (Sport Cars 2.5-3.0L) Frère/Gendebien
1959 Ornerdal's roster Aston Martin DBR1/300 (Sport-Prototypes 2.0-3.0L) Shelby/Salvadori
1958 Ornerdal's roster Ferrari 250 TR58 (2.0-3.0L) Gendebien/Hill
1957 Ornerdal's roster Jaguar D-type (3.0-5.0L) Flockhart/Bueb
1956 Ornerdal's roster Jaguar D-type (3.0-5.0L) Flockhart/Sanderson
1955 Ornerdal's roster Jaguar D-type (3.0-5.0L) Hawthorn/Bueb
1954 Ornerdal's roster Ferrari 375 Plus (3.0-5.0L) Gonzalez/Trintignant
1953 Ornerdal's roster Jaguar XK-120C (3.0-5.0L) Rolt/Hamilton
1952 Ornerdal's roster Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (2.0-3.0L) Lang/Riess
1951 Ornerdal's roster Jaguar XK-120C (3.0-5.0L) Walker/Whitehead

selected top drivers:

Tom Kristensen - 9 wins: 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2013 (plus five other top-5 finishes)

Jacky Ickx - 6 wins: 1969, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982 (plus four other top-5 finishes)

Derek Bell - 5 wins: 1975, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987 (plus seven other top-5 finishes)

Frank Biela - 5 wins: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007 (plus one other top-5 finish)
Emanuele Pirro - 5 wins: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007 (plus two other top-5 finishes)

Yannick Dalmas - 4 wins: 1992, 1994, 1995, 1999 (plus two other top-5 finishes)
Olivier Gendebien - 4 wins: 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962 (plus two other top-5 finishes)
Henri Pescarolo - 4 wins: 1972, 1973, 1974, 1984

Hurley Haywood - 3 wins: 1977, 1983, 1994 (plus two other top-5 finishes)
Phil Hill - 3 wins: 1958, 1961, 1962
Al Holbert - 3 wins: 1983, 1986, 1987 (plus one other top-5 finish)
Klaus Ludwig - 3 wins: 1979, 1984, 1985
Allan McNish - 3 wins: 1998, 2008, 2013 (plus six other top-5 finishes)
Marco Werner - 3 wins: 2005, 2006, 2007

Hans Stuck (eight top-5 finishes)
Bob Wollek (seven top-5 finishes)

Can-Am (1966-1974 / 1977-1986 / 1989-1997 / 1998-1999)

Canadian-American Challenge Cup

Original series (1966-1974)

Can-Am series (1977-1986)

Can-Am champions, 1966-1986
Can-Am individual race results, 1966-1986

Shelby Can-Am (1989-1997)

latest Can-Am series (1998-1999) - PSCR used the name Can-Am in classifying GTP cars

IMSA (1969 - 1997, 2002-)

International Motor Sports Association

Started by John Bishop in 1969 (with help from Bill France). Bishop started Can-Am and Trans-Am when president of SCCA in 1960s, and is now the commissioner of Grand American Road Racing Association.

Camel GT started in 1971, GTP in 1981, Camel Lights in 1985

IMSA racing categories at IMSA History blog

picture of Brian Redman's 1981 Lola T-600 ("first true GTP")

in 1990s IMSA GTP roughly the same as FIA Group C

Bill Oursler's 956/962 history

WSC (open cockpit, two-seat) started in 1994 (replacing GTP and Camel Lights) after FIA Group C lost teams

Wikipedia article on IMSA

IMSA individual race results, 1971-1998

... tbd ...

cars: porsche 962s, gtp corvettes, jag xjr-7s, ford probe, nissan gtp, toyota, etc.

IMSA now Professional SportsCar Racing (see below)

Group 44 Jaguar at Portland in 1985 from Transmission Exchange

GTP pictures at Riverside in 1986 by Roy Hooper

Baumann Auto Technik (BAT) Chevy GTP

book: "Corvette GTP," Alex Gabbard, Howell, 1996. (do not have a copy)

drivers: Geoff Brabham, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Scott Goodyear, Pete Halsmer, Al Holbert, Klaus Ludwig, Lyn St. James, Hans Stuck, Bob Wollek, ...

1997 shakeup in US

Andy Evans bought IMSA in 1996 and renamed it to PSCR
Rob Dyson and others (re)started USRRC (see below)
Don Panoz and Skip Barber left USRRC to affiliate with PSCR

... more ...

Professional Sports Car Racing (1997-2001)

IMSA races renamed PSCR for last part of 1997

changed to American Le Mans series in 1999, ACO licensed Le Mans name to Don Panoz


racetracks (2006):

ELMS ran two races in 2000

Evans sold the series to Don Panoz in 2001, and the series started reusing the IMSA name again in October of 2001

USRRC (1963-1968 / 1998-1999)

United States Road Racing Championship

name of series in 1960s in which Jim Hall, Dan Gurney, etc., raced
USRRC individual race results, 1963-1968 (also USRRC GT, 1963-1965)

name reused in 1997 for organization started by John Bishop, Bill France Jr., Rob Dyson, Roger Penske, Skip Barber, and Ralph Sanchez

name changed to Grand-Am in 1999, switched to ISRS rules, tried to get joint acceptance of cars for events in US and in Europe

ISRS - open top sports prototype (like old Group 6)

Grand-Am (started in 1999)

Grand American Road Racing

primary owned by Jim France

feeling was that Grand-Am favored privateers over factories, with limited-cost cars remaining competitive over several years; but, early on, ALMS had better purses and better TV schedules

Wikipedia article on Grand-Am

Interview with Grand-Am President Roger Edmondson, Mark Cipolloni, November 9, 2005 Ted West article on Daytona Prototyes


racetracks (2006):

drivers: ... Hurley Haywood, Scott Pruett, EFR, ...

Other Racing Links

Turbine-Powered Racing Cars

Thrust-powered race cars

Some famous turbine-powered race cars:

[Mark's homepage] [CPSC homepage] [Clemson Univ. homepage]