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Not very “Aerodynameek” and a few too many – Le Mans 1982

At Le Mans 24h 1982 ACO is inspecting #77 Porsche 935
Martin Raffauf and Chris Hill look under the car with the ACO inspectors. Mechanic Jeff Lateer looks on with the camera. Tech inspection went very well for the 935 as we had Annie Verney with us to “discuss” any issues with the ACO as we proceeded.

The Garretson Developments Sports Car team entered two cars at Le Mans 1982, a March-Chevrolet and a Porsche 935. The March was an 82G, the March IMSA GTP car. The March was a fast car, but fragile. Most of the problem was due to the use of the Hewland DG300 gearbox in the original design. Used no doubt to save weight, it proved unable to handle the torque of the 6.0 liter Franz Wiess Chevrolet engines that we ran in the car. In the IMSA races up to this point we had constant gearbox issues, snapping input shafts and such. At Sebring, something broke in the gearbox after about an hour that left the car stuck in fourth gear, so we just continued and ran the rest of the 12 hours stuck in fourth gear and still finished second. We would have won easily with a functioning gearbox, as the car was much quicker than the 935. Bobby Rahal, Jim Trueman, and Skeeter McKitterick would drive this car at Le Mans.

#29 March Chevrolet at Le Mans 24H, 1982
The March gets a busy check out. Bobby Rahal looks on at the right rear with his hand on his chin. Mechanic Ron Trethan stands next to him with the hat.

The Porsche was our old reliable car we had been running since 1979, chassis #009 00030. This is a car we had built from the ground up in 1979 and knew very well. Bob Garretson, Annie Charlotte Verney and a Dallas businessman/racer, Ray Ratcliff, would drive this car.

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