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Turbo USAC cars in F5000?

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#1 ghinzani

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 12:05

Can anyone shed some light on this for me? I was just reading the race report in Autospurt for the 1974 US F5000 race at Ontario and there seems to have been some USAC Eagles entered, I guess with Offy power... they actually reversed the course direction to give them more of a chance. Reading beleive the lines I guess there was an attempt to unite USAC Indycar type racing and F5000. Whats the deal here? I know USAC/Indy allowed stock blocks but I always thought they were bigger than 5litres?



oh and a Talon F5000 car - was that developed from an Eagle or a McCrae? I hear conflicting reports (well read actually) and why the name? to spite Dan Gurney?


#2 fines

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 15:12

Firstly, the Talon was the successor to the McRae GM2. I'm sure Allen Brown and island can provide more info about the particulars, suffice it to say that Jack McCormack bought the design from Graham McRae.

Secondly, the SCCA Formula 5000 Championship amalgamated with the USAC Road Racing Championship in 1974. Remember, in 1971 USAC split its Championship Division into an Oval Division (the de facto Championship Divisíon from now on), a Dirt Track Division (to become the Silver Crown) and a Road Racing Division, the latter which collapsed after a single meeting in Kent/SIR in Sep (?) 1971. That was because every type of track effectively necessitated a special car to run on it, the ovals were for the Turbo-Offys and Fords, the dirt miles for the dirt cars with normally aspirated Offys, Fords and Chevys and the road circuits for normally aspirated Ford DOHCs and stock-blocks. I believe the latest stock-block displacement limit was 330 ci (5,400 cc), while the proper racing engines had 255 ci (4,200 cc), which was pretty close to the SCCA F5000 rules, which still allowed in 3,000 cc racing engines, iirc.

#3 ghinzani

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Posted 24 January 2003 - 17:42

I knew you'd know - thanks! :D

#4 Allen Brown

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 23:23

Few Indy cars ever appeared in F5000 and they didn't do too well. Bobby Unser led one race in his championship winning USAC Eagle but that was the only time one got near the front. Several more appeared with stock-block Chevies to F5000 rules.

The 1971 USAC Road Racing championship consisted of two races at Seattle on 7 Aug 1971. 30 cars turned up, including five or six Indy cars (two of which were turbos), a representative F5000 field and all sorts of oddities such as the Tipke, some car called a "Marshall", an ancient Lotus 33 with an Oldsmobile V8 in it, a Lotus 69 with a DFV in it and even a converted Can-Am McLaren Mk 2. Jim Dittemore won the first heat in his Lola T192 from Bill Brack (Lotus 70) and Gregg Young (F1 Surtees TS7). The second heat fell to Sam Posey (Surtees TS8) from Dittemore, Brack and Dick Simon's USAC Lola-Ford turbo. No champion was declared but Autoweek reckoned it would have been Dittemore.

Then, in 1974, the USAC entries were John Martin in his McLaren M16B, Tom Sneva in a Kingfish and Dick Simon, Lloyd Ruby, Billy Scott and Bobby Unser in Eagles. The F5000 cars also turned up to a USAC race: the Arizona 150 at Phoenix on 2 Nov 1974 and were completely uncompetitive.

And the Talon was indeed a development of the McRae GM2.


#5 PureSpeed

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 19:08

Ghinzani,fines and Allen Brown Update on 1971 USAC Road Racing Champion Jim Dittemore.

I have in my possesion, a letter from then USAC President declaring my pop, Jim Dittemore the Official 1971 USAC Road Racing Champion. He won the first race going away and was leading the second when the car overheated. He babied the Chevy-powered Lola T-192 home to hang on for second to Sam Posey and thereby won the championship. Dad also had two other podium finishes that year in F5000 with a second at Riverside in the season opener (had the lead last lap turn 9 and missed a shift coming out) and a third at Edmonton (where we-the IRL race this w/e) He also finished fourth at his favorite circuit, the old Laguna Seca course and several Top Tens that year in F5000.

Dad was inducted into the F5000 HoF last summer at Infineon Raceway along with David Hobbs,longtime friends Scooter Patrick, Davey Jordan and Elliot Forbes-Robinson, Tony Adamowicz, Graham McRae, Sam Posey and others.

This Spring he was inducted into the Legends of Riverside along with many of those same F5000 drivers previously mentioned plus Bob Bondurant, Dick Smothers, Jerry Grant and Lothar Motschenbacher.

Dad is retired and lives in Oroville,California. He will be 75 this December, enjoys tending his acre of land ,tinkering on cars and still likes to go fast. He last drove my M5 in 2008 and could still hang it out there. Last weekend, Herschel McGriff , at 81 years old,raced in a NASCAR event here at PIR in Portland (where I live) and finshed 13th after starting from the back of the field for an equiptment change.

I continue our family involvement in motor sports as I have represented a handful of open-wheel drivers (and one NASCAR driver) since 2000. I Will Race You MotorSports Management boasts IndyCar oval specialist Jaques Lazier, Airton Dare' (2000 IRL Rookie of the Year), Leilani Munter (IndyLights & NASCAR), Ian Costa (Formula BMW), and Scott Pierovich (USAC Sprint)

Reach me at IWillRaceYou@gmail.com


Jim Dittemore III (dad never used the Jr.)

#6 Allen Brown

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 21:19

Welcome Jim

I've only just spotted this thread has come back to live.

Those two races are not very well known and almost everything I know about them came from Competition Press. Does your father have any paperwork that could help us document that championship properly.