International Race of Champions

Introduce

Welcome to the International Race of Champions–the most unique concept in the history of auto racing–featuring 12 of the world’s greatest racing drivers engaged in high-speed, fender-bashing combat to determine the real world champion of racing drivers. The IROC series is the Super Bowl of motorsports, a concept that embraces the true essence of championship auto racing, with the absolute best drivers from all forms of automotive competition competing in identically prepared Camaro race cars for the championship of the world and a grand prize of $150,000. Drivers accumulate points in each race, and the winner of a race starts at the back of the field in the next race. The overall championship is awarded on total points at the end of the series.

Get Ready

International-Race-of-Champion-1Each of the four IROC races is tailored to fit a one-hour time slot for maximum TV coverage by the CBS Sports network. All cars are equipped with mounts the accommodate special Australian developed Race Cam mini cameras, and four cars in each race will carry them to provide viewers with the backseat ride of their lives.

NASCAR standout Neil Bonnett led wire to wire in the first 1984 race at Michigan International Speedway; Tom Sneva had victory snatched from his grasp in the final laps of the second race at the Burke Lakefront airport in Cleveland when a cut tire moved him aside for hard-charging CAle Yarborough. Moving on to the steeply banked Alabama International Speedway at Talladega for the third race, Darrell Waltrip survived a maze of wildly carreening Camaros to pick up the win. Back at Michigan International for the grand finale, Yarborough led the race while Bonnett bore down on him relentlessly. Bonnett passed Yarborough at the finish line for his second series win, but Yarborough captured the championship with his accumulation of points.

Pitting championship-caliber drivers against each other in identically prepared race cars is the basis of IROC competition, so the true skill and racing prowess of each driver are his only weapons. The concept is totally logical; but in practice, foreign drivers have experienced considerable difficulty in meeting the challenge. This stems in part from the types of racing they represent. No one prepares a race car better than the experienced IROC crews, and the drivers acknowledge their skills; but it’s still difficult for a driver to get comfortable in one of these brutal machines when he’s used to the finesse of a Formula 1 ride or a finely honed, lightweight GTP car. Even more surprising is the ease with which our domestic heavy equipment operators took to the road course action which was dominated by USAC’s Tom Sneva and NASCAR’s Cale Yarborough in 1984. If previous IROC races are any indication, the new IROC season promises to be spectacular.

Championship-caliber race drivers are busy people, but the IROC driver selection committee lures the superstars of Formula 1, Indy Car, NASCAR, IMSA, SCCA, and FIA to compete in the four-race series. Part of the enticement is the handsome purse, but most drivers will admit it’s ego–the competition amongst peers, the rivalry between NASCAR and the road racers. Of course, being in the limelight on prime-time TV doesn’t hurt either.

PREVIOUS IROC COMPETITORS

International-Race-of-Champion-2Former IROC competitors comprise a list of racing greats suitable for any hall of fame. Some of the greatest racers i n history have graced the IROC series, including such acknowledged superstars as Richard Petty, Rick Mears, Alan Jones, Don Whittington, Graham Hill, David Hobbs, Niki Lauda, and Keke Rosberg. Current IROC records show more than 50 top drivers with at least one appearance in the IROC.

RACE WINS Bobby Allison 4 Bobby Unser 4 Neil Bonnett 4 Cale Yarborough 4 Mark Donohue 3 Mario Andreti 3 Al Unser 2 Darrell Waltrip 2 Buddy Baker 1 Emerson Fittipaldi 1 George Follmer 1 A.J. Foyt 1 Peter Gregg 1 Gordon Johncock 1 Benny Parsons 1 David Pearson 1

The IROC Camaros are unique among race cars because they are built with a singular purpose: to run exactly the same as every other IROC Camaro on the track. Twenty of these sleek chariots were prepared by IROC’s in-house crew of professionals and all of them are maintained in immaculate condition. They are clones, cookie-cutter race cars designed to minimize an individual car’s influence on the outcome of the race. In the interest of reliability and close competition they are constructed for maximum durability and equipped with detuned engines that perform flawlessly. Championship drivers are the focus of this unique competition, but the IROC Camaros are stars in their own right. They represent the “Thunder Quotient,” a carefully tailored blend of Chevy thunder and IROC expertise. Nothing looks better than a Camaro on the move, and the full fury of a dozen snarling Z28’s in full flight is incomparable.

The IROC Camaros are actually fiberglass replicas fitted to basic Grand National chassis built by Banjo Matthews. IROC’s New Jersey-based crew hand-fabricates each car, and the men who build them are the same men who maintain them all through the series. These are the ultimate Camaros prepared for the ultimate drivers in the premier racing event of the season.

THE ENGINES

Competition IROC engines are assembled from the finest combination of factory and aftermarket parts available. They are based on components from Chevrolet’s heavy-duty parts program, which includes bulletproof racing hardware like the heavy-duty NASCAR cylinder block, forged crankshafts. Bow-Tie connecting rods, and aluminum cylinder heads. Race-proven aftermarket parts like Edelbrock’s Bow-Tie Victor Jr. intake manifold, Holley carburetors, Hedman headers, Crane cams, and MSD ignition systems are all prepared and assembled by Katech Inc., a highly regarded and closely connected Chevrolet engine building and R&D firm out of Mt. Clemens, Michigan–just in case your children ask you where thunder comes from.

International-Race-of-Champion-3The IROC series is run on three challenging high-speed ovals and a demanding road course to make things interesting. The series gets underway on the high banks at Daytona International Speedway, where NASCAR drivers are once again likely to display their considerable skills at high-speed drafting. Mid-Ohio’s beautiful twisting road course is the sight of the second IROC race and it promises to deliver a unique new perspective on the IROC challenge. Moving on to Talladega for the third race, race fans will be treated to the fastest of the IROC races on Alabama International Motor Speedway’s steeply banked tri-oval. As speeds escalate the potential for trouble is compounded, and Talladega’s ’84 IROC race delivered the thrills and spills like none other. This year’s race is certain to be equally entertaining, but it’s the grand finale at Michigan International Speedway that everyone will look forward to as the masters of the performance arts go head to head for all the marbles. The man with truly superior skill and courage will become a member of racing’s most unique fraternity–the IROC World Champions!

For the better part of a decade now, the IROC organization has devoted their considerable talents to staging the world premier championship auto racing series. IROC President Les Richter is a past president of Riverside Raceway and a former Los Angeles Rams linebacker whose towering presence is the kingpin of the IROC concept. Vice President and General Manager Jay Signore is the man responsible for the construction and maintenance of every IROC Camaro that’s evern run in the series. Jay’s expertise and drive, combined with the efforts of his hand-picked crew, have delivered what are widely recognized as some of the best prepared race cars in the business. Another important man in the IROC hierarchy is Michael Phelps, the reason between IROC and the CBS television network that will be covering each race. His task is monumental, but you’d never guess how much effort it took to put a dozen world champion drivers and track-scorching Camaros right in your living room.

These are the men who make it happen, but they are not alone. The IROC home team is comprised of some of the finest race car fabricators and mechanics to be found anywhere. The entire organization is dedicated to delivering a first class product every step of the way. No one does it better; if they did, they’d be working for IROC. When you see those IROC Camaros come thundering into your home this summer, raise a toast to the IROC team. They do it all for you!

You may like this post: Amato Racing