PRUETT: The Ballad of the 1985 SunBank 24 at Daytona
With the 2015 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the books, let's look back and weave our way through the wild tale of the 1985 SunBank 24 Hours of Daytona. 30 years later, some of the details are still hard to believe.
The polesitter had to be bailed out of jail on a $125,000 bond before he could dominate time trials, the winning team relied on a feisty, flu-ridden Frenchman, a borrowed Belgian, a man known as "Super Tex," another simply known as "Senior," and just for kicks, a NASCAR star decided to pass 14 cars on the opening lap – before pitting moments later and handing everything back to Daytona Beach's sun-tanned racing gods.
And it didn't stop there.
Buried within the 76-car field, a young punk from Northern California was busy opening his endurance racing account at the 24 Hour. One of his fiercest rivals in the years to come would also make his Daytona debut, lasting all of 12 laps before retiring – the first car out of the race. Fathers raced against sons, legends of Indy car and stock car battled in a diverse array of untamed IMSA GTP machinery, and we even had the birth of a new class that survives in modified form today.
Read Full Story - http://www.racer.com/imsa/item/112998-pruett-the-ballad-of-the-1985-sunbank-24-at-Daytona
RCR Names Kate Dallenbach to Driver Development Program
Richard Childress Racing and Team Dillon Racing have named Kate Dallenbach as one of two female drivers in their development program for the 2015 season. The other driver joining the program is 14 year-old Ahnna Parkhurst.
Dallenbach, 17, is the daughter of Wally, Jr., NASCAR driver-turned-broadcaster, and Robin Dallenbach, a former driver herself with two starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Her grandfather, Wally Dallenbach, Sr., was a successful Indy car driver and Chief Steward.
Read Full Story - http://www.rcrracing.com/news/index.cfm?cid=52492
NRA Women New Energy | Kate & Robin Dallenbach
Daytona Speedway 11/15/14
In his first appearance back in the Trans Am series in over 25 years, Wally Dallenbach picked up where he left off. After starting 7th in his IOA/Bass Pro Chevy camaro, he carved his way to 2nd place before ignition problems slowed his car on the last two laps having to settle for a 3rd place finish.
"It has been a blast this week, getting back in a Trans Am car with Mike Miller Racing. I hope very much I can do this a lot more in 2015." says Dallenbach.
Cameron Lawerence drove his Dodge Challenger to victory for back to back championships. Joining a select club of drivers winning back to back titles in Trans Am such as Mark Donohue, Wally Dallenbach jr, Tommy Kendall, Peter Gregg, Doug Peterson and Tony Ave.
Thirty Years Ago at Sebring
Foyt Joins Wollek to Score Final Career Victory in Preston Henn Porsche 962
The IMSA prototype era was in its infancy, and the Porsche 962 made its first appearance at Sebring in 1985.
Variations of the Porsche 935 (including a 934 in 1983) won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring since 1978, with Porsche’s domination stretching back to 1976 when Carrera RSRs took back-to-back triumphs.
The 962 debuted with a pole-winning effort by Mario Andretti for the 1984 Rolex 24 At Daytona, although teams stayed with the trusty 935 that year. Mauricio DeNarvaez, Hans Heyer and Stefan Johansson won in a 935J, as Porsches took five of the top six places. Only the second-place Chevrolet-powered March of eventual Camel GTP champion Randy Lanier broke the 935 logjam.
For 1985, the 962 was already the car to beat. Five of the new models were on the grid, led by pole winner Hans Stuck in Bob Akin’s Coca-Cola entry and the second-qualifying Lowenbrau Special of Al Holbert, Derek Bell and Al Unser Jr.
Qualifying a lowly 13th was the pairing of Bob Wollek and A.J. Foyt in the Swap Shop Porsche 962. The season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona turned into a battle of father vs. son, with Al Unser prevailing in the Preston Henn-owned T-Bird Swap Shop 962 over his son, who was part of the lineup in the Holbert entry. For Sebring, though, Henn ran a two-car lineup of the IndyCar legend with the French endurance star.
Other favorites included the Group 44 Jaguar XJR-5 of Bob Tullius and Chip Robinson, and the Buick March with a lineup including 1982 Twelve Hours of Sebring winner John Paul Jr. Defending champion Randy Lanier started fourth in the No. 1 Chevrolet March co-driven by Bill Whittington, but the car failed to finish – setting its tone for a winless season.
The Paul Buick and Robinson Jaguar battled the top-qualifying Porsche entries early in the race, but the favorites all suffered various mechanical setbacks. Meanwhile, the Foyt/Wollek Porsche ran a steady and trouble-free race and ended up with a three-lap margin of victory. For Foyt, it was the last driving victory of his illustrious career.
Porsche 962s swept the podium, with the Holbert team finishing second, followed by Pete Halsmer, Rick Knoop and Dieter Quester in Jim Busby’s BFGoodrich entry.
The GTO winner was the Ford Mustang driven Wally Dallenbach Jr. and John Jones, finishing a very respectable sixth overall in the Sebring debut of Jack Roush. Jim Downing and John Maffucci won the Camel Lights class in a Mazda Argo. In GTU, Gary Auberlen (father of current TUDOR Championship star Bill Auberlen) led the winning lineup in an upset victory driving a Porsche 911.
Wally Dallenbach, Jr., set for Trans Am return at 2014 Season Finale
MIAMI, Fla. (Sept. 21, 2014) - When the Trans Am Series takes to the road course at Daytona International Speedway for the 2014 Season Finale on November 15, 2014, it will do so with the key addition of one of the best known names in Trans Am and all of road racing: Wally Dallenbach, Jr.
Dallenbach’s accolades from his Trans Am career are as impressive as they are numerous, in the three years he competed full time, 1984, 1985 and 1986, he won Rookie of the Year honors and back-to-back Trans Am Championships. In all Dallenbach has 51 career starts in the Trans Am Series, nine wins, 30 top-five finishes and 36 top-ten finishes.
“What is so impressive about Wally’s tenure in Trans Am is the level of competition against which he won his Championship,” said John Clagett, President of The Trans Am Race Company. “He competed against names like Willy T. Ribbs, Paul Miller, Scott Pruett, Greg Pickett and Pete Halsmer and better yet, he won two Championships against them. He’s a great talent and a great person, and we’re so excited to have him back in the Trans Am paddock.”
Dallenbach will be resuming his Trans Am career behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Camaro, the same make and model with which he won his last Trans Am Championship in 1986, this time in the TA2 class.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in television but for now that phase of my life is over, and I’m excited to get back behind the wheel and resume my racing career,” said Dallenbach. “I’m genuinely excited and looking forward to returning to the Trans Am Series at Daytona, and I’m hoping to be racing with them full time come 2015.”
“This is a program I’ve been working on putting together over the past year or so,” continued Dallenbach. “Unfortunately, up until now, my broadcast schedule has prevented me from being able to make a commitment to racing, but now the timing and opportunity is right.”
“I love the TA class, they’re a blast to drive and in my opinion amongst the best racecars in the world. However, Trans Am has gone about the TA2 class the right way, the platform and rules package… it all just makes sense. And it seems to be where the real competition is right now, and that’s where I want to be, mixing it up with everyone else and really going for it.”
“The timing is right for TA2 to take that next step,” said Dallenbach. “I want to see Trans Am get back to a similar level in terms of manufacturer involvement as when I was racing, providing support to the Series, its teams and its drivers. Dodge is already here and hopefully some more programs are in the works. I’m just excited to be returning to what’s always been my favorite series, and I’d love to be racing full time next year in Trans Am.”
The Trans Am Season Finale, and the return of Wally Dallenbach, Jr., will take place at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, November 15, 2014.
About Wally Dallenbach, Jr.:
Wally's racing career spans more than 20 years with more than 300 starts and 27-plus wins in some of the most competitive racing series in the world, including 226 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and runs in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Series, IMSA GTS and GTU, Champ Car, IROC and the Trans Am Series. Wally has driven for some of the biggest names in motorsports, including Jack Roush, Rick Hendrick and Richard Petty.
His racing highlights include four class wins at the grueling Rolex 24 at Daytona, three class wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring, two Trans Am Series championships (was the youngest ever champion at a mere 22 years of age) and an open-wheel class win at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
In 2001, NBC / TNT lured Wally away from full-time driving and into the TV broadcast booth as an expert on-camera NASCAR and Indy Car Series commentator. He has also announced for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), Champ Car World Series (CCWS), and the Championship Off Road Racing Series (CORR), among others.
About Trans Am:
The Trans Am Series dates back to 1966. Throughout the years, some of the greatest names in motorsports have participated in the Trans Am Series. Past Trans Am Champions include Paul Gentilozzi, Tommy Kendall, Mark Donohue, Scott Pruett, Wally Dallenbach, Jr., George Follmer, Greg Pickett, Scott Sharp, Bob Tullius, Tony Ave, Bob Stretch, Simon Gregg, Doug Peterson, Cameron Lawrence and Chuck Cassaro.
The iconic Trans Am Series – America’s Road Racing Series–is operated by The Trans Am Race Company, LLC. Through a five-year agreement, the Trans Am Race Company manages the marketing rights to the series and is responsible for Trans Am Series public relations and promotions. SCCA Pro Racing sanctions Trans Am events and provides event operations services to the series. To learn more about Trans Am visit www.gotransam.com, www.facebook.com or @gotransam.
You can also read it here - http://dallenbachracing.com/press-release-1