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Tim's Forza History Class

The Legacy of Tony Adamowicz

By Tim DeLong- 01-11-2016



This history lesson is going to take a slightly different path. Instead of focusing on one car, were going to look at a few cars we have in Forza, that were driven by one of my all time favorite racers, a legend known as Tony “AtoZ” Adamowicz. Born in New Jersey in 1941, Tony AtoZ would go on to drive some of the greatest race cars of the era.

Tony Started his professional driving career in a Volvo PV 544, in which he won the SCCA B Sedan Championship.

His success captured the attention of Group 44 racing’s founder and driver, Bob Tullius. Tullius hired Adamowicz to drive, not only, the new Lotus Cortina, but to serve as a mechanic for the team, as well as drive the transporter to and from events.


By the early 1970’s Adamowicz was racing in the SCCA Trans-Am series. One of his notable rides was in the factory, Roy Woods prepared, AMC Javelin with team mate Peter Revson.

Adamowicz also tried his hand at Can-Am in a McLaren M8B and an M12.


Adamowicz would go on to become a founding member of PRDA (Polish Racing Drivers of America) and one of the first drivers for N.A.R.T. (North American Racing Team), where his success helped established Ferrari as a desirable marque in the American automotive marketplace.

Adamowicz has won several races and championships in many different classes, such as F5000, B sedan, A Sedan, Trans-Am, Can-Am, GT, GTP, GTU, and GTO, just to name a few.  He has also competed in the three biggest endurance races in the world, The 24 hours of Daytona, The 12 hours of Sebring, and the 24 hours of Le Mans, on several occasions.

Adamowicz also drove the Ferrari 512 BB/LM for Prancing Horse Farms in the 1981 Daytona 24. The team was positioned to win until they were collected by another car that had missed its braking point.

According to Adamowicz, two of his favorite championship winners were his 1968 Porsche 911 (Truly a 912 with 911 running gear and hand fabricated suspension), and his 1969 Eagle F5000 open wheel car. The Eagle was parked after the 1969 Championship win and wasn’t restored until 2008. At that time the current owner offered Adamowicz the opportunity to drive it in vintage competition. He has driven the Eagle from 2008 to 2015, making him the only person to drive the white number 7 Eagle in competition.

Now at the age of 74, he has been forced to hang up his helmet due to a brain tumor. Here’s to hoping that one of the greatest drivers in American motorsports history has a speedy recovery and is back on track soon.

For more highlights from an astonishing career, I suggest checking out his website.

 

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