1984 was the nineteenth season for the Sports Car Club of America’s Trans Am Championship. For the second consecutive year, the series received backing from the beer company Budweiser.

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 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 sixteen race championship kicked off in early May at Road Atlanta, followed by Summit Point Motorsports Park. The teams travelled to the west coast for events at Sears Point, the first of two stops at this track, and Portland. Returning to the east, drivers competed at the most important race on the calendar, Detroit, followed by Daytona International Speedway, Brainerd International Raceway, Road America 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 ventured west once more to Seattle International Raceway, Sears Point and Riverside International Raceway. The penultimate round was conducted at Green Valley, Texas and the finale, on November 11, took place at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

The ninth round of the 1984 Budweiser 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.

Willy T. Ribbs driving the No. 64 Roush Protofab built Mercury Capri started on the outside of the front row but moved into first-place on lap-2. Ribbs would go unchallenged and lead the remaining twenty-eight circuits. This marked his third victory of 1984 out of just five starts – he did not join the series until round five at Detroit. Ribbs Trans Am record stands at eight wins in seventeen races.
The No. 55 Huffaker Racing prepared Pontiac Trans Am was driven by former Sports Car Club of America champion Bob Lobenberg. Lobenberg scored his fourth pole of 1984 but only had one victory to show for his efforts – round two at Summit Point. Unfortunately, he suffered a flat tire on the pace. By the time Lobenberg returned to the pits, the brake line had been damaged. He was classified with a twenty-first place finish.
Finishing second to Willy T. Ribbs at Watkins Glen International, by a margin of 7.91-seconds, was the point’s leader, Tom Gloy. Gloy was gridded fourth for the start of the thirty-lap contest. The race result marked his eighth consecutive podium result of the year. To date, the driver of the No. 7 7-Eleven sponsored Mercury Capri has collected one victory (Detroit), five seconds and two third-place results.
The reigning Trans Am champion, David Hobbs, won the title in a Chevrolet Camaro. During the off-season, the DeAltley team retained their relationship with Chevrolet but chose to compete with a Corvette. However, Hobbs and his teammate, Darrin Brassfield, weren’t enjoying the same success with the new model. After nine rounds, they didn’t have any victories, but Hobbs finished third at Watkins Glen.
Another former Trans Am champion competing at Watkins Glen International was 1981 title holder Eppie Wietzes. Since winning the crown, Wietzes switched from a Chevrolet Corvette to a Pontiac Firebird. The Silk and Wietzes Motorsport team was only competing in selected events, but they had fourth and fifth-place finishes in just four starts. Wietzes qualified tenth for round nine and finished fifth.
Bob Sharp Racing was challenged by their new Nissan 300ZX Turbo. Their driver, Paul Newman, often qualified in the top ten. He had collected two fourth-place finishes, but his season to date also included three retirements. In the qualifying session at Watkins Glen International, Newman was the ninth fastest. Sadly, he would fail to finish this event when a camshaft pulley issue ended his race on lap-6.
One of the more curious entries at Watkins Glen International was the No. 32 Lincoln Mark VII, driven by former Sports Car Club of America amateur competitor Russ Theus. Before round nine, the Ford Motor Company Vehicle Dynamics Engineer entered Detroit and Road America but failed to finish both events. At Watkins Glen, his luck changed. Theus qualified fourteenth fastest and was in ninth at the checkered flag.

12Willy T. RibbsMercury Capri30-
24Tom GloyMercury Capri30-
37David HobbsChevrolet Corvette30-
46Wally Dallenbach, Jr.Chevrolet Camaro30-
510Eppie WietzesPontiac Firebird30-
613Jim MillerPontiac Trans Am30-
711Jim FitzgeraldDatsun 280ZX Turbo29-
829Peter DusChevrolet Corvette29-
914Russ TheusLincoln Mark VII29-
1027Jim SanbornPontiac Trans Am29-
1118Craig ShaferChevrolet Camaro29-
1223Doug MillsChevrolet Camaro29-
1317Del Russo TaylorPontiac Trans Am29-
1420Jack BroomallPontiac Trans Am29-
1516Richard ValentinePontiac Firebird28-
1624Joe GonzalezChevrolet Camaro27-
1726Tom AquilanteChevrolet Corvette27-
1821J. Kurt RoehrigBuick Regal Turbo26-
1912Tim EvansChevrolet Camaro24-
2022Dennis CuppyChevrolet Corvette24-
211Bob LobenbergPontiac Trans Am29Brakes
223Darin BrassfieldChevrolet Corvette23Tire
2330Michael OleyarChevrolet Corvette22-
248Greg PickettMercury Capri21Engine
2515Jim DerhaagPontiac Trans Am20-
265Paul MillerPorsche Carrera Turbo18Head Gasket
2719Ron DeppertChevrolet Corvette17Overheating
2832Jon GrayChevrolet Corvette8-
299Paul NewmanNissan 300ZX Turbo6Engine
3025Jerry SimmonsChevrolet Corvette5-

Copyright Notice:
All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © www.zoompics.com and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.

© Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016

Return to home page.