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.

15Wally Dallenbach, Jr.Mercury Capri30-
21Paul NewmanNissan 300ZX Turbo30-
36Paul MillerPorsche 924 Carrera Turbo30-
49Eppie WietzesPontiac Firebird30-
54Tom GloyMercury Capri30-
611Les LindleyChevrolet Camaro29-
73Jim FitzgeraldNissan 300ZX Turbo29-
814Doug MillsChevrolet Camaro29-
920Craig ShaferChevrolet Camaro29-
1016Jerry SimmonsChevrolet Corvette28-
1121Murray EdwardsChevrolet Corvette28-
1215Bruce JennerPontiac Trans Am28-
1313Peter DusPontiac Trans Am28-
1419John BrandtChevrolet Camaro28-
1523Jerry KuhnPontiac Firebird27-
1625Bob BienerthPontiac Firebird27-
1727Paul RomanoMazda RX-727-
1828Tom AquilanteChevrolet Corvette27-
197Elliot Forbes-RobinsonBuick Regal23Electrical
2017John SchneiderPorsche 924 Turbo15Fuel injection
2118Jerry MillerBuick Century14Transmission
222Willy T. RibbsMercury Capri12Engine
2310Jim MillerMercury Capri12Suspension
2424Kerry HittChevrolet Corvette11Suspension
258Chris KneifelMercury Capri8Brakes
2626Peter DemanChevrolet Corvette8Mechanical
2722Bob HagestadPorsche 924 Turbo3Suspension

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