1985 was the twentieth season for the Sports Car Club of Americaís Trans Am Championship.
Bendix Brakes replaced Budweiser as the series title sponsor.
1980 was a transition year for Trans Am as the two category system was eliminated. The most significant alteration to the rules was the removal of Category II - turbocharged Porsches and highly modified Camaros and Corvettes. The object of these changes was to create a competitive series with the costs of racing being within reach of teams. The decision was proving successful with the championship drawing large fields, closing race and capturing the imagination of race fans.
Trans Am cars use a tube frame chassis with bodywork that resembles road-going versions of the Pontiac Firebird, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Corvette and Mercury Capri. There are some engine equivalency formulas, with most cars using a production-based 310-cu.in. V8, which produces approximately 600-horsepower. The exceptions are Buick, Nissan and Porsche, which are powered by smaller displacement turbocharged motors. Most vehicles weigh about 2,600-lbs. with a maximum wheel width of 10-inches and a wheelbase of 110-inches. Given a long straight and proper gearing, a Trans Am car can reach a top speed of 180-mph.
The fifteen race championship kicked off at Firebird Raceway in Arizona, followed by the first of two visits to Sears Point. Round three takes place at Portland International Raceway. Then teams travel to the east coast for events at the most important race on the calendar, Detroit, followed by Summit Point, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Brainerd International Raceway, Road America, Lime Rock and Watkins Glen International. Then the series headed north of the border for weekends at Trois-Rivieres and Mosport Park. Back in the United States, the championship stops at St. Louis before venturing west. The penultimate round is conducted at Sears Point, while the finale takes place on November 3 at St. Petersburg, Florida.
The tenth round of the 1985 Bendix Brakes Trans Am Championship was held at Watkins Glen International, in conjunction with the Robert Bosch Super Vee series and a Sports Car Club of America National event. Drivers would compete for thirty laps around the eleven turn 3.337-mile road course.
|During the off-season, independent Trans Am entrant Wally Dallenbach signed with the Roush Motorcraft team driving the No. 4 Mercury Capri. Dallenbach arrived at Watkins Glen with three victories and the championship lead. He was fifth fastest in the qualifying session for round ten. Dallenbach would win the event and increase his points lead over his teammate, Willy T. Ribbs, to twenty-nine markers.|
|Last season, Bob Sharp introduced the No. 33 Nissan 300ZX Turbo for the teamís lead driver Paul Newman. It was a character-building year. But, in 1985, the car was proving to be quicker and more reliable. At Watkins Glen International, Newman collected his third consecutive pole position and would finish second. This would be the teamís last Trans Am start of the season as they wanted to prepare for the Runoffs.|
|The Paul Miller team struggled early in the event, but all was well by the end of the weekend. The No. 39 Porsche 924 Turbo was on its third engine by the start of the race. Miller qualified sixth fastest. This was the first time in two years that he didnít make the Fast Five. During the race, the rear main seal failed, causing the clutch to slip. However, he was able to survive the contest and finished third.|
|The 1981 Trans Am champion, Eppie Wietzes, was entered at Watkins Glen International, piloting the No. 94 Silk and Wietzes Motorsport prepared Pontiac Firebird. His first race of the season was at Detroit, where he retired. At Summit Point, Wietzes collected a fourth-place result but failed to finish at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He was gridded ninth for round ten and crossed the finish line in the fourth position.|
|Last seasonís Tran Am Champion, Tom Gloy, returned to the series in the familiar No. 7 Mercury Capri. By the time the series arrived at Watkins Glen, Gloy had earned six podiums finishes, of which one was a runner-up result but no victories. He was the fourth fastest in the qualifying session for round ten. Gloy was unable to defend against Wally Dallenbach, Paul Miller and Eppie Wietzes. He finished in the fifth position.|
|Independent Les Lindley made his Trans Am series debut in 1981. His best result that year was an eighth-place at Charlotte and this season, Lindleyís best finish was a fifth-place at Lime Rock Park. He was eleven fastest during the qualifying session for round ten. Lindley moved the No. 80 Lindley Racing Chevrolet Camaro to the sixth position at the checkered flag.|
|1||5||Wally Dallenbach, Jr.||Mercury Capri||30||-|
|2||1||Paul Newman||Nissan 300ZX Turbo||30||-|
|3||6||Paul Miller||Porsche 924 Carrera Turbo||30||-|
|4||9||Eppie Wietzes||Pontiac Firebird||30||-|
|5||4||Tom Gloy||Mercury Capri||30||-|
|6||11||Les Lindley||Chevrolet Camaro||29||-|
|7||3||Jim Fitzgerald||Nissan 300ZX Turbo||29||-|
|8||14||Doug Mills||Chevrolet Camaro||29||-|
|9||20||Craig Shafer||Chevrolet Camaro||29||-|
|10||16||Jerry Simmons||Chevrolet Corvette||28||-|
|11||21||Murray Edwards||Chevrolet Corvette||28||-|
|12||15||Bruce Jenner||Pontiac Trans Am||28||-|
|13||13||Peter Dus||Pontiac Trans Am||28||-|
|14||19||John Brandt||Chevrolet Camaro||28||-|
|15||23||Jerry Kuhn||Pontiac Firebird||27||-|
|16||25||Bob Bienerth||Pontiac Firebird||27||-|
|17||27||Paul Romano||Mazda RX-7||27||-|
|18||28||Tom Aquilante||Chevrolet Corvette||27||-|
|19||7||Elliot Forbes-Robinson||Buick Regal||23||Electrical|
|20||17||John Schneider||Porsche 924 Turbo||15||Fuel injection|
|21||18||Jerry Miller||Buick Century||14||Transmission|
|22||2||Willy T. Ribbs||Mercury Capri||12||Engine|
|23||10||Jim Miller||Mercury Capri||12||Suspension|
|24||24||Kerry Hitt||Chevrolet Corvette||11||Suspension|
|25||8||Chris Kneifel||Mercury Capri||8||Brakes|
|26||26||Peter Deman||Chevrolet Corvette||8||Mechanical|
|27||22||Bob Hagestad||Porsche 924 Turbo||3||Suspension|
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