Author Topic: Watkins Glen 1968 Camaro RS Conv Pace Car Sports Car Road Racing 6 Hour & USRRC  (Read 2626 times)

SMKZ28

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A white 1968 Camaro RS convertible was used as the pace car for "A Premiere Double Header Weekend" of top level sports car road racing events held at Watkins Glen International Raceway in Watkins Glen, New York in July 1968.  The SCCA United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) event was held on Saturday, July 13, 1968 and the 6 Hours of Endurance for the World Championship of Manufacturers was held on Sunday, July 14, 1968.  Mark Donohue won the USRRC event in his Penske McLaren M6A 1/Chevrolet and the co-drivers of Jacky Ickx & Luigi Bianchi won the 6 hour event in their J.W. Automotive Engineering Ford GT40 (blue and orange car directly behind the Camaro).

While I only have photos of the Camaro pacing the 6 hour race, I would have to assume that it performed the same duties the prior day for the USRRC event.  (Update: the same Camaro did pace the USRRC race, see reply #8 of this thread for color photo.)

From the pictures it looks like the Camaro convertible was a Rally Sport with a black nose stripe, bumper guards, standard wheel covers and possibly white wall tires.  I'm always surprised to see a non SS Camaro used as a pace car.  You would think that the higher horsepower and better handling of an SS would be a better choice for high speed racetrack pace car duty.

Pictures:

1) https://www.motorsportimages.com/photo/1968-watkins-glen-6-hours-1013479936/1013479936/?p=9&search=1968%20watkins%20glen&is_popup=1
2) cropped version of #1
« Last Edit: December 24, 2020, 08:53:48 PM by SMKZ28 »

SMKZ28

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Several years ago I found four pictures of the 6 Hour event that were part of the Dave Friedman Collection held by The Henry Ford.  The website where I found them no longer exists and they were not currently posted on The Henry Ford Flickr page.  Unfortunately they were small so I tried enlarging them but their quality suffers.

SMKZ28

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1) Souvenir Event Program Cover (worthpoint.com)
2) Poster for event (worthpoint.com)

crossboss

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Thanks for posting, you guys are the best! Btw, not to hijack, on the poster (the red car), I believe its a Porsche 908. That evolved into the 917/30 that made over 1,000 HP!
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SMKZ28

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Thanks for posting, you guys are the best! Btw, not to hijack, on the poster (the red car), I believe its a Porsche 908. That evolved into the 917/30 that made over 1,000 HP!

Thanks

Four Porsche 908 coupes participated in the 6 hours.  Here is a color picture of the only one that finished the race.  Click on this link to see all the cars that participated: https://www.racingsportscars.com/photo/Watkins_Glen-1968-07-14.html

That Penske Porsche 917/30 is/was an awesome car!

crossboss

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Thanks for posting, you guys are the best! Btw, not to hijack, on the poster (the red car), I believe its a Porsche 908. That evolved into the 917/30 that made over 1,000 HP!

Thanks

Four Porsche 908 coupes participated in the 6 hours.  Here is a color picture of the only one that finished the race.  Click on this link to see all the cars that participated: https://www.racingsportscars.com/photo/Watkins_Glen-1968-07-14.html

That Penske Porsche 917/30 is/was an awesome car!



Thanks for the link to the race. Its notable that among the list of drivers were such 'legends', and some heroes of mine. And yes, the 917s were amazing…they essentially put the GT-40s out of competition.
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basecoupe#79

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I went to the Porsche Museum past Sunday and was surprised to see this.

basecoupe#79

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Sorry about side ways Pics.

SMKZ28

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I just found a fantastic photo that confirms my original suspicion that the same 1968 Camaro RS convertible that paced the 6 hour sports car race on Sunday, July 14, 1968 was also used to pace the SCCA United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) event the previous day, Saturday July 13, 1968.  This great color photo shows the Camaro in front of the field on the pace lap.  You can see the blue Penske McLaren M6A 1/Chevrolet of eventual winner Mark Donohue starting on the pole.  The photo seems to indicate that the Camaro was painted Capri Cream instead of Ermine White as I had originally surmised from the color photo in my first post of this thread.  Compare the color of the Camaro to the white Caldwell D7B Chevrolet of Sam Posey starting in second place to see the color difference.  You be the judge.

The image appears in the Healey family collection at Smugmug.  You can zoom in on the full size version here: https://garyellen.smugmug.com/Healey-Family-Photos/Box-11-1968-House-1968-69-Watkins-Glen/i-49jMjjx 

SMKZ28

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Here is another photo of the 1968 Camaro RS convertible pacing the SCCA United States Road Racing Championship (USRRC) event held on Saturday July 13, 1968. 

It was recently posted at The Revs Digital Library: https://library.revsinstitute.org/

 

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