It was the first time that an IMSA race would take place on a street circuit, and certainly not the last. This event was to take place by the will of these two men: Ralph Sanchez and Phil Corey. Driving on such a track was certainly not an easy task, as you could find everything one could expect on a street circuit : slow corners, bumpy track, holes, narrow track or whatever else. It was not your dream racetrack but the promoters did the right thing to bring home a world class entry : $225200 was the total prize money so you could expect to find your dream field of racers and it proved true. As a result, the big entry list (92 cars) would not allow the entire field to race together and the three categories had to race separately. It was the first time it was to happen in IMSA history.
Several Porsche 935 Turbos would have to fight against many GTPs that should be more easy to drive on this kind of track. A bunch of Lolas, Marches, Nimrods, Jaguars and one Mirage M12, a Grid and the Ford Mustang Turbos would provide a lot of racing action. The rest of the field was made up of local cars such as one Chevron B36 Buick, driven by Del Taylor, a Mazda GTP, driven by David Loring, a monstrous Corvette fitted with a V8 7,5L engine driven by Richard Valentine, a BMW 320 for Fomfor and a Pontiac Firebird driven by Vicki Smith, who had Gene Felton as co-driver. Vicki Smith would finally drive solo.
Courtesy Gene Felton
One extra factor would interfere in the course of the action as the weather would rapidly become quite rainy and shorten the race.
33 cars took the green and John Fitzpatrick took the lead but was soon to be overtaken by Al Holbert driving a March 83G at the end of lap one. He was rapidly overtaken by Danny Ongais(Lola T600 Chevrolet). Behind, Bob Wollek was ahead John Fitzpatrick, John Paul Jr and Danny Ongais. Soon, Wollek would close on Al Holbert but the rain would get stronger. A real storm would fall onto Miami. The race had fallen into some chaos as everyone would spin or hit another car. As giant streams of water flowed on the track, cars began to slow down and waited for the Pace Car to stop the race. Some drivers would then go back to the pits for a refueling, as they thought that the race would go on, but, as it turned out, the race would soon be stopped after a 10 laps procession and be red-flagged. Wollek, who was second, would regret his act as he got back in ninth position! The standings were to be what it was on the 17th lap. Al Holbert was the first winner of that ill-fated Grand Prix of Miami. Second place went to John Paul Jr and third to Klaus Ludwig on the Ford Mustang Turbo who did a great job on a little adapted car.
The GTO race went to Gene Felton, driving the Stratagraph Chevrolet Camaro. He took the win after Don Devendorf's retirement due to a drown ignition. Ludwig Heimrath took second place on his Porsche 934 and Robert Overby was third on a Chevrolet Camaro.
The GTU race was the only one to be run under a dry weather and Roger Mandeville emerged as the winner of the race, he finished ahead Whitney Ganz whose Toyota Celica ran well on this track and Jack Dunham on a Mazda RX7. Promoters did lose a lot of money as this event was a completely disastrous one, but Ralph Sanchez had done a great job while promoting this race and the next years would be far more successful.
|1||41||March 83G Chevrolet||Al Holbert|
|2||1||Lola T600 Chevrolet||John Paul Jr|
|3||06||Ford Mustang Turbo||Klaus Ludwig|
|4||2||Porsche 935K4||John Fitzpatrick|
|5||44||Jaguar XJR5||Bob Tullius|
|6||5||Porsche 935K3||Dale Whittington|
|7||54||Mirage M12 Cosworth||Tony Garcia|
|8||12||Porsche 935L||Jochen Mass|
|9||09||Porsche 935L||Bob Wollek|
|10||16||March 83G Chevrolet||Marty Hinze|