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IMSA Supporting Cast

Story by Harry Kennison

This month's Vintage Corner will take a look at some of the other Porsche competitors that made up the IMSA GT and SCCA TransAm grids in the late 70's.


  Click on any photo to enlarge it

When it comes to racing Porsches, Hurley Haywood has to be near the top of the list. In his distinguished career that has spanned nearly four decades, Hurley has racked up five Daytona 24 Hour wins, three Le Mans 24 Hour victories, two Sebring 12 Hour wins and a couple of IMSA GT championships. When he wasn't teamed with his friend Peter Gregg, Hurley frequently drove for this Applejack Racing Porsche RSR at Elkhart Lake's Road America TransAm in 1974.

Another photo of the Applejack Racing Porsche RSR.

In 1977 Ted Field, heir to the Marshall Field Department Stores, fielded (so to speak) two Porsche 934 Turbos under the Interscope banner, one for Danny Ongais and one for himself—the "double zero" car shown here at the the Mid-Ohio IMSA GT race where he finished eighth. In 1979 Field would win the Daytona 24 Hour race co-driving with Ongais and the aforementioned Mr. Haywood.

Bob Hagestad, a Porsche dealer from Denver, Colorado, was a frequent competitor in the TransAm and IMSA GT wars of the late 70's. Although he never saw victory circle, his cars were beautifully turned out and always competitive. Here Bob waits on the starting grid at the 1974 Elkhart Lake TransAm race.`

One of the more colorful characters to field Porsches in the IMSA GT and TransAm championships in the late 70's and early 80's was John Paul Sr. Having made a fortune in mutual funds in the 60's, Paul was a millionaire before he was 30. With time on his hands, he took up racing Porsches like this highly modified Porsche RSR seen here at Mid-Ohio in 1977 finishing 6th overall. After several successful seasons, Paul Sr.'s career peaked with a TransAm championship in 1979 and later the 1982 IMSA GT championship with his son, John Paul Jr., at the wheel. Apparently Paul's early fortune wasn't enough to pay the racing bills. In 1983 he pleaded guilty to drug smuggling and attempted murder of a Federal witness among other things, but fled the country before sentencing. He was later captured in Switzerland and returned to the United States, where he served several years in prison before his release in 1992.