The next race was due to take place in Miami, on the street circuit which had been christened the previous year. Twenty five cars would make it to the track. Two Nissan NPT90s, driven by Geoff Brabham and Chip Robinson would face two Jaguar XJR10s driven by Davy Jones and Raul Boesel. Three Porsche 962s and one 966, driven by John Paul Jr, were also entered. Bernd Schneider, James Weaver and Gianpiero Moretti, co-driven by Derek Bell, would all try to do as well as during the enduros. AAR entered two Eagle HF89s, with Juan Fangio and Rocky Moran driving. A contingent of Spice cars was also to be displayed, with Tom Milner bringing in two cars for Jeff Kline-Jeff Purner and Brian Bonner-Scott Sharp. A works car was entered with local hero Albert Naon driving, as well as Jim Miller's modified car, which was aptly renamed Miller. Tom Kendall drove it. The new Intrepid RM1 also was very fast, and Wayne Taylor could really do well. Gary Brabham was entered in a former Electramotive car, a Nissan ZX T GTP. The car was slightly outdated by now. The Lights class would a race within the race, and the car to beat was undoubtedly the Comptech Spice Acura driven by Parker Johnstone. The fiercest opposition for the British borne machine was again the pair of Kudzu DG1s, entered by Essex Racing. Charles Morgan and Tom Hessert drove them. The Bieri Racing Spice SE90P Ferrari, driven by Martino Finotto and Ruggero Melgrati was not to be underestimated, too. Firmin Velez and Patrick Bardinon were at the wheel of the works Spice SE90P Buick. As per usual, should we say, the only non-Spice car was the Argo JM19 Buick driven by Brent o'neill. David Tennyson fielded his own car, as well as HDF Motorsport, while Carlos Bobeda had purchased another one. Andy Evans and George Robinson drove the car which was powered by a Buick powerplant. The big surprise of the practice session was the new pole position grabbed by Wayne Taylor, who demonstrated the abilities of his new rocket. At the start, Wayne Taylor jumped in the lead,but he was soon to be overtaken by Davy Jones. Juan Fangio was out of the race after three laps, with engine problems consecutive to a spin. Tom Kendall also spun while Raul Boesel was running very strong, climbing up to second place, for a one-two Jaguar domination. Albert Naon Jr was out of the race on lap twenty one, when he hit the wall and destroyed the Spice. The Jaguar show would last for twenty three more laps when Davy Jones pulled his car into a corner with a blown engine. Raul Boesel would be blocked behind his teammate, and Bernd Schneider would take the lead. Then Bernd Schneider would spin and drop back.Then a surge of frenzy would take place when Rocky Moran would spin, and several cars would be involved in a turmoil. James Weaver and Firmin Velez would hit the tire walls. The Spice was the only car to be damaged, though. Raul Boesel was now back in the lead, with Tom Kendall now in second place and Geoff Brabham in third, followed closely by James Weaver. Not to be deterred, Tom Kendall would close in on Raul Boesel and the two of them would fight it off until the chequered, but Raul Boesel would win over Tom Kendall by 0.7s! Parker Johnstone easily won the Lights class over Charles Morgan and Tom Hessert.
Road Atlanta was the next round, and the field was made up with twenty one cars. Jaguar did introduce a brand new weapon in the name of the XJR16. Davy Jones was due to drive this car while Raul Boesel should drive the XJR10. Nissan Motorsport also new cars, with the NPT91 dedicated to both drivers. Geoff Brabham and Chip Robinson would have to cope with a car that was more difficult to set up. Wayne Taylor drove the Intrepid Chevrolet while Tom Kendall had the Miller Chevrolet. Three Porsche 962s, in the hands of Gianpiero Moretti, who shared his car with Derek Bell, James Weaver, who drove the Dyson Racing car, and Bernd Schneider, co-driven by John Winter, would try to resist the Japanese invasion. John Paul Jr was partnered by Vic Gonzales in the Gunnar Porsche 966. John Hotschkis and Jim Adams were the sole Pontiac proponents, and Tom Milner had brought his two Spice Chevrolet, which were driven by Brian Bonner and Jeff Purner. The Lights class had become the kingdom of Spice machines, which outnumbered the opposition. Parker Johnstone again seemed to be a little bit faster than the other cars. Jim Pace was the only non-Spice driver who could be a threat. Perry McCarthy had been hired to drive the works Spice SE90P Buick. Hugh Fuller and Ken Knott were at the wheel of the HDF Motorsport car, while David Tennyson always relied on Ferrari power. Carlos Bobeda and Andy Evans were the last Spice entry. Team Highball entered a Mazda powered Argo JM16 for Amos Johnson. Davy Jones dominated the practice session in his brand new car. He would do so in the race, which he dominated from the beginning. He was never to be challenged, even Chip Robinson, who finished second in the same lap, was never able to get close to him. The margin of victory was a little over one minute in a race that saw no yellow flag to become the fastest 300km race ever at an overwhelming 194,579km/h average.
Copyright Mark Windecker
The Lights class was no different, with Parker Johnstone also dominating the field and ending up with a new victory. He was challenged by Perry McCarthy, who drove the works Spice SE90P Buick, who had the fastest lap. Jim Pace finished third, but he was two laps down.
The next race took place at Topeka, Kansas, with a seventeen car field. Nissan Performance had two cars, again, with Geoff Brabham and Chip Robinson. They would have to face a fierce opposition from the TWR Jaguars. Davy Jones was still using the new XJR16 while Raul Boesel had to be content with the XJR10. AAR fielded two Eagle HF90 for Juan Fangio and Rocky Moran.
Gianpiero Moretti brought in a new car in the name of the Momo Gebhardt C901 Audi, which used the same powerplant as the one used by the Audi 200 Trans Am. A very special car, indeed, which required the attention of the whole team. Wayne Taylor again was eager to prove his mettle as his Intrepid was extremely efficient. Tom Kendall still had a Miller Chevrolet but he was eager to use the same car. Tom Milner fielded a pair of Spice SE89P Chevrolet with Brian Bonner-Jeff Kline and Jeff Purner-Tim McAdam. Chris Cord and Jim Adams shared John Hotschkis' Wynn's backed Spice SE90P Pontiac. For the very first time in years, no GTP Porsche was entered! The Lights class was scant, with only five cars to be entered. It looked like it would be a Spice Acura versus Kudzu fight. Parker Johnstone would have to watch over Charles Morgan and Jim Pace. Hugh Fuller-Ken Knott and Carlos Bobeda, both driving Spice Buicks, stalking just behind.
Copyright Mark Windecker
Once again, Davy Jones would dominate the practice sessions, just ahead of Wayne Taylor, whose Intrepid Chevrolet looked impressive. The Nissan NPT91s were behind. In fact, the race would be a forty-lap nose to tail run between the two cars, with Wayne Taylor trying hard to make a pass? But his attempts would prove unsuccessful. He then had to slow down, and Chip Robinson became second. Davy Jones seemed to have the race packed up when he spun and lost a lot of time. Chip Robinson inherited the lead in the next-to-last lap and won the race. Parker Johnstone again won the Lights class, but he had to avoid a first lap accident. He finally easoly edged Charles Morgan and Carlos Bobeda.
The next race was scheduled at Lime Rock. Nissan was willing to make it two in a row and had Chip Robinson and Geoff Brabham facing now two Intrepid Chevrolets. Tom Kendall had now his own car along with Wayne Taylor. Jaguar's stable was also stronger with Davy Jones and Raul Boesel both running an XJR16. The only Porsche available was Rob Dyson's car. Team owner would run with regular driver James Weaver. AAR had two cars with Juan Fangio and Rocky Moran. Tom Milner entered two cars, as per usual, with Jeff Purner-Tim McAdam and Brian Bonner. John Hotschkis fielded his now regular Spice SE90P Pontiac, which he drove with his son. Only six Lights car were to be entered. With the Comptech Spice Acura still the class of the field. The Bieri Racing Spice SE90P Ferrari, driven by Martino Finotto and Ruggero Melgrati could be a real threat, as well as the second Spice SE90P Ferrari, entered by David Tennyson, who was partnered by Ken Knott. Jim Pace drove the sole Kudzu entered, and Hugh Fuller-Mike Allison were at the wheel of the HDF Motorsport Spice SE90P Buick. Tom Kendall immediately proved he would become familiar with his new car as he took the pole in his Intrepid Chevrolet. He beat the previous mark in the process. Davy Jones was not far behind. The race proved tough on the leaders, as Tom Kendall and Wayne Taylor led early on the race, but they were somewhat sidelined by incidents during the race. Davy Jones then took over, but he had to pit, too. Then it was Chip Robinson who finally took the lead to finally grab the victory. Juan Fangio had his best season run, finishing second in his Eagle Toyota.
Copyright Mike Birch (courtesy Racingsportscars)
The Lights class was a bit different, with Parker Johnstone again dominating the race, but he would have to retire later in the race when he was involved in an accident. The car was somewhat destroyed and it was David Tennyson and Ken Knott who earned their first ever victory. Jim Pace took second while Martino Finotto and Ruggero Melgrati were third.
At Mid Ohio, twenty two cars made up the field. TWR fielded two Jaguar XJR16s for Davy Jones and Raul Boesel. Nissan Performance had two Nissan NPT91s. Geoff Brabham and Chip Robinson were having hard times with their cars. Bob Earl was the extra entry at the wheel of yet another Nissan NPT91.
Wayne Taylor and Tom Kendall drove their efficient Intrepid Chevrolets. AAR entered their Eagle HF90s for Juan Fangio and Rocky Moran. James Weaver was one of two Porsche competitors, with the Dyson car. Joest Racing had brought one car with Bernd Schneider and John Winter driving. A bunch of three Spices was here, and these were familiar cars. John Hotschkis would enter his Pontiac powered car for Jim Adams and Perry McCarthy, Tom Milner again brought in his two Spice Chevrolet for Brian Bonner-Jeff Kline and Jeff Purner-Tim McAdam. The Lights class was becoming a Spice-Kudzu duel but Spice outnumbered the field. Comptech had the strongest entry with Parker Johnstone at the wheel of the Acura powered car. David Tennyson was the winner of the last race and eager to make it two in a row. Martino Finotto and Ruggero Melgrati were the boiling Italian drivers who could do very well. Jim Pace and Charles Morgan were regular runner-ups, so you could count on them to win if they could. The two other Spices were outdated cars, Carlos Bobeda-Andy Evans and Hugh Fuller-Ken Knott drove them. Dennis Vitolo drove an even older Tiga Buick. Tom Kendall and Wayne Taylor dominated the practice sessions. Davy Jones and Chip Robinson were behind. At the start, Tom Kendall jumped into the lead, but Davy Jones managed to slip between the two Intrepid RM1s. Tom Kendall could fend the Jaguar off for two laps. Then Davy Jones was ahead : he increased his advantage steadily. The only unpleasant thing was Davy Jones' coolsuit, which failed. While the Jaguar was kind of uncatchable, Tom Kendall had to do with a hanging throttle. This became a real problem and he spun, letting his teammate grab second place. Geoff Brabham, who stuck in fourth place, lost his position when he had to pit after a puncture. At the end, Davy Jones won after a nearly perfect run. The car was running fine, and no one could beat him in the straights. Wayne Taylor took second and Tom Kendall was third. The Lights class was somewhat different from the usual scenario.
Copyright Mark Windecker
Parker Johnstone eventually led, with Ruggero Melgrati sticking to his tail. Then Ruggero Melgrati spun, and Parker Johnstone picked up a piece of debris on the track. He had to stop, and it gave the lead to David Tennyson, who was just ahead of Jim Pace. Then David Tennyson pitted for fuel, and Jim Pace was in the lead. When he was caught by Parker Johnstone, he certainly wouldn't let him pass, and the Spice spun! He was eight seconds down, caught him again and had to force him in the outside of the carousel when the two of them went by some backmarkers. Jim Pace pitted for slight repairs, and got out of the pits just in front of David Tennyson's Spice. The two of them engaged in just another battle, which the Kudzu DG1 won, at least.
The New Orleans race was a new venue on the Camel GT circuit. It was another street course, but it did not pull out a big entry list. Only seventeen cars were listed. The two Nissan NPT91s were entered for Geoff Brabham and Chip Robinson. The TWR Jaguar XJR16s were to be driven by Davy Jones and Raul Boesel, as were the two Eagle Toyotas by Juan Fangio and Rocky Moran. Wayne Taylor and Tom Kendall were at the wheel of the competitive Intrepid Chevrolets. A new entry was the Danka backed works Spice, which was to be driven by Perry McCarthy. Brian Bonner and Jeff Purner had to do their best with their Spice SE89P Chevrolet. The Lights class featured a classical battle between Championship leader Parker Johnstone and the two Kudzu DG1 Buick, driven by Charles Morgan and Jim Pace. David Tennyson and Hugh Fuller had their usual car, with Ken Knott and Firmin Velez driving the works Spice SE90P Buick for another good run. At the start, Perry McCarthy jumped into the lead, just ahead of Geoff Brabham and Chip Robinson, followed by Davy Jones.Perry McCarthy managed to pull ahead of his pursuers. In the Lights class, Parker Johnstone would pit early in the race, with brakes problems. Juan Fangio would hit a pile of tires while attempting to pass Chip Robinson. Perry McCarthy would have to stop on the track while overtaking a slower car, Geoff Brabham then had to hit the brakes. The rain then began to fall, and Juan Fangio also hit a pile of tires very hard. It was a retirement as well. The track became very slippery, with many cars spinning. Every car then went back to the pits for rain tires. After twenty laps, it was Davy Jones who was the new leader, followed by Wayne Taylor and Perry McCarthy, then Tom Kendall and Chip Robinson. The yellow was out while the Eagle Toyota wreck was removed from the track. At the restart, the Jaguar spun exiting a right hander. He got stuck for one minute trying to restart. Wayne Taylor and Perry McCarthy were now in contention for the lead. David Tennyson was leading the Lights class ahead of Charles Morgan. Perry McCarthy got stuck in a turn, the engine gone. Later, Chip Robinson's car would be withdrawn from the track, then he would be back again. As the track got dry, Wayne Taylor was the first to switch for slick tires. Davy Jones at this point had retired, with suspension problems. A big collision nearly occured between the two Nissan NPT91s and Tom Kendall when the rain began to fall again. An incredible deal of cars would spin at the same turn. The rain then turned into a storm. Every car had to pit for rain tires again. A medical would fly over the track and the yellow flag was set. After two more laps, the chequered was out, due to such horrendous race conditions. Wayne Taylor won his first GTP race, just ahead of Geoff Brabham. David Tennyson won the Lights class in his Spice SE90P Ferrari, just ahead of Charles Morgan, in a Kudzu DG1 Buick.(to be continued)