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Early 1980 IMSA GT Championship

John Fitzpatrick during practice for the Sebring 12-hour race in 1980
John Fitzpatrick during Practice for the Sebring 12-hour race in 1980. He and Dick Barbour would go on to win this race. (Chassis is 000 00009)
Bob Garretson in the Porsche 935 during practice, Daytona 24 Hours
Bob Garretson in #009 00030 during practice for the 1980 Daytona 24 hours. This is the original 1979 factory configuration on this car

By the time that we reached the IMSA Riverside Los Angeles Times Grand Prix in April, the Dick Barbour Racing team’s IMSA GT championship season had been a mixed one.

24 Hour Pepsi Challenge – Daytona (2/3 February)

Dick Barbour racing in the Porsche 935 during the Daytona 24 Hours in 1980
Driving the new Kremer K3 (chassis 000 00009), Dick Barbour enters Turn 1 during practice for the 1980 Daytona 24 hours. The car DNF’d due to an accident

We had started at the Daytona 24 Hours with a new Porsche Kremer K3 935, chassis #000 00009, a Kremer-built K3 from a factory chassis. That car had crashed at about 4:00 am on Sunday when Manfred Schurti was run into the wall by a slower car. Since I spoke a little German, and Schurti spoke very little English, Bob Garretson directed me to take Manfred to the infield hospital for his mandatory check-up after hitting the wall. Manfred, of course said he was fine and did not want to go, but IMSA insisted (any wall contact was deemed as a necessary visit to the doctor) So off we went. The doctor of course wondered why I was there and I explained that unless he (the doctor) spoke German, I had better hang around and translate. They checked him out, asked a bunch of questions, then cleared him to go. The second car (009 00030), still running in the 1979 factory standard configuration had finished ninth, although it had been delayed somewhat with water leaking from the intercooler tank (the original customer 935s in 1977-79 used the water-cooled intercooler configuration). It had been driven by Bob Garretson, Annie Charlotte Verney and Skeeter McKitterick.

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