TOP-SIX U.S. SPORTS CAR RACERS
Few have achieved so much in such a
concentrated timeframe. Considering
Donohue’s life ended in 1975, aged 38,
one can only imagine what the New
Jersey native would have achieved if
he’d been blessed with the longevity that
propelled Scott Pruett, Mario Andretti and
Hurley Haywood to unfathomable heights.
Beyond his success in open-wheel
racing, Donohue’s short, intense window
of sports car domination continues to
serve as one of the single greatest eras
produced by any driver in any category.
A product of SCCA club racing,
Donohue went on to capture the SCCA’s
biggest professional titles, with two USRRC
championships, three Trans-Am crowns,
and a Can-Am championship, all from
1967-’ 73. Six sports car titles in seven
years – and Donohue’s Can-Am coronation
was earned in one of the most fearsome
racecars ever built, the Porsche 917/30.
Between those titles, he also
anchored an unbelievable come-from-behind win at the ’ 69 Daytona 24 Hours.
Tied to racing maven Roger Penske,
Donohue took the nascent Penske Racing
from its infancy to become one of the
sport’s global benchmarks before his death.
In the USRRC’s greatest era,
Trans-Am’s defining time, and Can-Am’s
pinnacle, Mark Donohue was the lone
master and conqueror.
As a Formula 1 champion, Indy 500
winner, and four-time Indy car champ, the
transplanted Italian is most often
associated with his open-wheel career.
But the naturalized American’s body of
work in sports car racing makes it easy to
place him among the all-time greats.
A factory driver for Alfa Romeo,
Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar and Porsche,
Andretti was our most sought-after gun
for hire. With sports car victories coming
from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s,
including three victories at the 12 Hours
of Sebring in just a six-year span, plus a
win in the 1972 Daytona 6-Hour
Continental with Jacky Ickx, Andretti’s
reign continued long after many of his
contemporaries retired or struggled to
capture their former glory.
In 1995, at the ripe old age of 55,
Andretti added a class win at the
24 Hours of Le Mans to his résumé...
A victor in Ford’s GT40 MkIV, Ferrari’s
glorious 312s and 512s, and Alfa
Romeo’s T33, Mario was also entrusted
to race the very first Porsche 962.
Whether it was at home or abroad,
Andretti authored some of the most
memorable winning sports car drives, all
while piloting iconic cars in woefully
dangerous times. For five decades, if it
was a prestigious sports car event, A P P h