On This Day in Trans Am History: Feb. 3-4
February 4, 2021
Feb. 3-4, 1968:
For the only time in its history, Trans Am ran concurrently with sports car prototypes in the 24 Hours of Daytona. With the sleek Ford GT Mk IV, Chevrolet Chaparral and Ferrari super-prototypes that had dominated the past three years relegated to the sidelines, the Trans Am came aboard to help fill that void. In all, the series accounted for more than a third of the 63-car grid.
The fastest of the Trans Am cars in practice – at more than 101 mph – was a creative Chevrolet Camaro entered by Smoky Yunick for Bruce McLaren and Jim Hall. However, that car ran afoul of the inspectors, who disqualified it, citing 27 irregularities. Not even Big Bill France could make them budge!
Mark Donohue qualified fastest of the 22 Trans Am entries in a Roger Penske Sunoco Chevrolet Camaro. Lining up behind Donohue was Jerry Titus, driving a Ford Mustang entered by Carroll Shelby.
Titus and Ronnie Bucknum went on to take the Trans Am victory with a fourth-overall finish, following a trio of Porsche 907s led by Vic Elford.
Peter Gregg finished ninth overall and first in Trans Am under two liter, co-driving the Brumos Porsche 911T with Swedish driver Sten Axelsson. It was Gregg’s first of five class victories in the Daytona classic.
Donohue, Bob Johnson and Craig Fisher was fastest in the class throughout the race, but had to make two extended unscheduled stops to change heads in the early morning hours. They went on to finish second in the over-two-liter TA class and 12th overall.
Stuntman Joie Chitwood took fourth in his own Camaro, one position ahead of the Ford Mustang of Sam Posey.
Learn more about Trans Am's history: https://gotransam.com/about/Our-History/59342