Glitz. Glamour. Rampant cocaine useage. This was Miami in the 1980's, and for this weeks race we've got the 1986 Löwenbraü Grand Prix of Miami.
This race was televised on NBC, the same network that carried The Greatest Show That Ever Was at the same time, Miami Vice. The television graphics for the race itself were a total play on the Miami Vice logo, using the same font and colors as the show's logo.
This was the first year on the Bicentennial Park "street" circuit, a temporary circuit snaking it's way mostly through the park itself, with the only public roads being the on-ramp to the MacAurthur Causeway, and Biscayne Boulevard(so think of it as a much better, 80's version of the Valencia F1 circuit). Outside of the two public road sections, nothing remains of the circuit in 2015, with the lower portion being turned into the American Airlines arena, and the upper section now being home to the Perez Art Museum and the now renamed "Museum Park." Racing will return to the area in March when Formula E takes on the streets of Miami, on a circuit that does go around the AA arena, just in the opposite direction.
Twenty-nine of IMSA's GTP prototypes took the green, with Sarel van der Merwe in the beautiful Chevrolet Corvette GTP taking pole position. In the following hour and a half broadcast, you'll see how the three hour race plays out. Your commentators are Paul Page and Bobby Unser, with periodic race updates brought to you by a very young Dave Despain, and your pit reporters, Gary Gerould and Bruce Jenner(yes, that Bruce Jenner).
Notable drivers in the race are as follows : Sarel van der Merwe, Doc Bundy, Jo Gartner, Hans Stuck, Bob Wollek, Paola Barilla(heir to the family pasta business and fortune), Al Holbert, Derek Bell, Oscar Laurrari, John Paul Jr, Pete Halsmer, Lyn St James, Hurley Haywood, Brian Redman, Klaus Ludwig, Bob Tullius, Chip Robinson, David Hobbs, John Watson, Gianpiero Moretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Davy Jones, John Andretti, Danny Sullivan, AJ Foyt, Jim Busby, Darin Brassfield, and Elliot Forbes-Robinson.
Sit back, grab a cold one, some pizza, and enjoy the finest racecars to ever race in the USA.
Race of the Week is a (hopefully) weekly installment of racing from the past. Usually 90's or 80's, because it was just better back then.