The 1978 Trans Am series had two classes - Category I and II. Many of the cars in Category I were from
the SCCA amateur ranks. Most of these cars started life as production vehicles that were modified for racing.
The Category II cars were purpose-built for competition. The class was for FIA Group 4 and 5 cars.
Category II rules were quite liberal allowing builders to create tube frame chassis cars and almost any modification
was allowed as long as the vehicle retained the original block and heads.
The championship consisted of ten events - all being one-hour in length. The exception was a six-hour race at Watkins Glen which offered double points. The series started in May at Sears Point and for the first time in Trans Am history, an event would take place beyond the North American borders of Canada and the US. Mexico's Ricardo Rodriguez Autodrome would host the series final round in November.
After the first six races, the 1978 Trans Am series was proving to be very competitive. In Category II, six different drivers claimed victories and there were five competitors with wins in Category I.
Mosport was round seven of the 1978 season. The race was scheduled to be forty laps around the 2.459-mile circuit which was 100-miles. It was a strong field with seventeen Category I entries and eleven cars competing in Category II.
|Gregg Pickett started third in his 427-cubic inch Category II Chevrolet Corvette. Pickett won the opening round in April at Sears Point. After this initial success, he had mixed results leading up to Mosport event. When Mosport race leader Ludwig Heimrath suffered a flat tire, Pickett inherited the lead which was he able to maintain and score his second victory of the season.|
|Bob Tullius won the Category I division at Mosport driving the Group 44 prepared Jaguar XJS. The Group 44 team did not score their first victory of the season until round four at Mont-Tremblant but after that they were unbeatable. However, Tullius’ chance of winning was in jeopardy when Bill Adam was entered in the No. 5 Chevrolet Corvette. At Mosport, Adam led the first 38-laps but a spin dropped him to second place in Category I.|
|Local racer Ludwig Heimrath was going for the ‘Hat Trick’ at Mosport. He won the previous two years – his 1977 victory was won in the courts after Peter Gregg’s Porsche was deemed illegal. Starting from the pole, Heimrath was increasing his lead by about 1.5-seconds/lap. On the tenth circuit, he hit something which caused a flat tire. After a pit-stop, Heimrath returned to the track in fourth - he set the fastest race lap and finished second.|
|Another local favourite was General Motors Dealer Maurice Carter. In 1973, Carter won an IMSA race at Pocono, Pennsylvania and a week later at Watkins Glen, New York he scored a Trans Am victory. The Trans Am event at Mosport was the only race Carter entered in 1978. He started twelfth overall and fifth in Category I. Unfortunately, his Chevrolet Camaro suffered an engine failure after just 2-laps.|
|Former Formula 5000 competitor Tuck Thomas drove a Category II Chevrolet Monza. Thomas scored a win at round three in Portland but like his competitors, he was not consistently at the top of the results sheet. At Mosport, he qualified behind Heimrath and finished third. His result tightened the Category II standings. He left Mosport as the leader with 70-points, one more than Monte Sheldon and two ahead of Heimrath.|
|California Dentist, Frank Joyce, took the final spot on the Category I podium. Joyce started the Mosport event fourth in class and eleventh overall. During the 1978 Trans Am season he had four podium finishes – always third place. Joyce was more consistent than many of his Category I competitors which contributed to a third place in the Driver’s Championship.|
|There was a total of nine Canadians participating in the Trans Am race at Mosport. The No. 11 Porsche Carrera RSR, in the background, was entered by Willie Goebbels for Hans Berner. Berner qualified twenty-second but did not start the race. Another Canadian, Klaus Bytzek finished fourteenth overall and eighth in Category II driving the No. 94 Bytzek Automotive Porsche Carrera RSR.|
|Round two at Westwood was a race of attrition and a steady drive allowed Nick Engels to finish third overall and capture his first Category I victory. At Mosport, Engels qualified his Chevrolet Corvette third and finished fourth in class. Westwood and Mosport would be the high points of his 1978 Trans Am season. Although Engels qualified well, he had many retirements.|
|Pontiac specialist Herb Adams entered a Firebird in Category II powered by a 366-cubic inch engine. The car was called the Silverbird. It made its first 1978 appearance in Portland with John Morton behind the wheel. Morton drove it in two more events but failed to finish. At Mosport, the car was driven by Jerry Thompson, who scored a seventh. Milt Minter had the best Silverbird result when he finished second at Laguna Seca.|
|1||II||Greg Pickett||Chevrolet Corvette||Pickett Racing||40||-|
|2||II||Ludwig Heimrath||Porsche 935 Turbo||Heimrath Racing Services||40||-|
|3||II||Tuck Thomas||Chevrolet Monza||Lancer Stores||40||-|
|4||II||Monte Shelton||Porsche 935 Turbo||Porsche+Audi Northwest||39||-|
|5||I||Bob Tullius||Jaguar XJS||Group 44, Inc.||38||-|
|6||II||Tom Frank||Chevrolet Monza||Executive Industries||38||-|
|7||II||Hal Shaw, Jr.||Porsche 935 Turbo||Hal Shaw Racing||38||-|
|8||I||Bill Adam||Chevrolet Corvette||D. B. Racing||38||-|
|9||I||Frank Joyce||Chevrolet Corvette||Phantom Racing||38||-|
|10||I||Nick Engels||Chevrolet Corvette||Metamorphic||38||-|
|11||II||Jerry Thompson||Pontiac Firebird||Adams Associates||37||-|
|12||I||John Huber||Chevrolet Corvette||Apple Valley Racing||37||-|
|13||I||Babe Headley||Chevrolet Corvette||Babe's Garage||37||-|
|14||II||Klaus Bytzek||Porsche Carrera RSR||Bytzek Automotive||37||-|
|15||II||Roger Schramm||Porsche Carrera RSR||Framm Promotions||36||-|
|16||II||Bruce Leven||Porsche 934||Bayside Disposal Racing Team||36||-|
|17||I||Fritz Hochreuter||Porsche 911 S||Fritz Hochreuter||35||-|
|18||I||Rod Bremner||Triumph TR7||Ashley-Abingdon||34||-|
|19||I||Bob Baechle||Chevrolet Corvette||Endurance Racing Enterprises||28||Transmission|
|20||I||Frank Sanchez||Chevrolet Camaro||Innovation Racing||22||-|
|21||I||Richard Hoffman||Chevrolet Camaro||Royal Racing||21||Ignition|
|22||II||Norm Ridgely||Porsche Carrera RSR||Ridgely Racing||19||Linakge|
|23||I||Dick Danielson||Chevrolet Corvette||Briggs & Stratton||16||Accident|
|24||I||Ken Williams||Datsun 240Z||Associated Speed Performance||10||Overheating|
|25||I||Donald Clement||Chevrolet Camaro||D.J. Racing||5||Accident|
|26||I||Maurice Carter||Chevrolet Camaro||Mo Carter||2||Blown Engine|
|DNS||I||Carl Shafer||Chevrolet Camaro||Oftedahl Racing||0||-|
|DNS||I||Hans Berner||Porsche Carrera RSR||Willie Goebbels||0||-|
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