On this Day in Trans Am History: August 14, 1966

August 14, 2020

On this Day in Trans Am History: August 14, 1966

August 14, 1966

“The Great Race” was the fifth event for the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli, a 12-hour race at Marlboro Park Raceway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, in the Washington, D.C. suburbs.

The race had 36 starters – 27 of them under two liters – with 22 competitors running at the finish.

A Cortina Lotus of Sir John Whitmore and Frank Gardner set the pace for more than two hours before falling back. It eventually placed sixth, and second in the under-two liter class.

Local driver Bob Tullius went on to dominate the event, co-driving a Dodge Dart with Tony Adamowicz. It was the second Trans Am victory for their pair, who won their class and took second overall in the series’ debut in March. Tullius began his racing career at the circuit in 1961.

Tullius and Adamowicz won by four laps, followed by the Plymouth Barracuda of Charlie Rainville and Scott Harvey, with the Barracuda of Bruce Jennings and Les Netherton another lap back. Charles Krueger and Hal Keck were fourth in a Dodge Dart.

Taking fifth, and winning the smaller-engine class, was the Alfa Romeo GTA of Sam Posey and Harry Theodorocopulos.

Bob Johnson, Don Sesslar and Tom Yeager had the top-finishing Ford Mustang, ninth overall and fifth in the over-two liter class. The lone Chevrolet Corvair in the field, driven by Mississippi drivers Spurgeon May and Bill Clay, failed to finish.

Belgium’s Jacques Ickx drove a Cortina Lotus with Hubert Hahne, dropping out after 105 laps. The race came only one week after the future racing legend competed in his first Grand Prix, crashing out at the Nurburgring on the opening lap. This was the second and final Trans Am for Jacky Ickx, who finished second in class and third overall with Hahne at Mid-America in June.

This was the sixth (and final) running of the Marlboro 12 Hours – a sports car race won in 1964 by Jackie Stewart in a Lotus Cortina. Trans Am returned for one final race at the circuit in August, 1967, with a Double 300. Jerry Titus and Bert Everett won the Under-two liter race in a Porsche 911, while Mark Donohue and Craig Fisher won the Over-two litre in a Chevrolet Camaro.

The circuit closed in 1969.

To watch history be made, download the Trans Am by Pirelli Racing App https://nagrasports.app.link/lIQjdAuxq7

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