1985 CART PPG Indy Car World Series
|1985 CART season|
|PPG Indy Car World Series|
|Start date||April 14|
|End date||November 10|
|Drivers' champion||Al Unser|
|Nations' Cup||United States|
|Rookie of the Year||Arie Luyendyk|
|Indianapolis 500 winner||Danny Sullivan|
The 1985 CART PPG Indy Car World Series season was the 7th national championship season of American open wheel racing sanctioned by CART. The season consisted of 15 races. Al Unser, Sr. was the national champion, and the rookie of the year was Arie Luyendyk. The 1985 Indianapolis 500 was sanctioned by USAC, but counted towards the CART points championship. Danny Sullivan won the Indy 500, in dramatic fashion, a race that became known as the "Spin and Win."
In the fall of 1984, Rick Mears suffered serious leg injuries in a crash at Sanair. Mears drove only a part-time schedule in 1985, racing at Indianapolis, and subsequently on ovals only. Al Unser, Sr. took Mears' full-time seat at Penske Racing as a substitute for the season. Unser, Sr. had one win, ten top fives, and one other top ten, en route to the championship, a battle that climaxed in dramatic fashion in the final race of the season.
Defending series champion Mario Andretti won the season opener, finished 2nd at Indy, and won the next two races, jumping out to the early points lead. A mid-season slump, however, saw him have only one top five finish the remainder of the year. He then broke his collarbone in a crash at Michigan, and was forced to sit out one race. The driver of the season became Al Unser, Jr., who won the next two races (Meadowlands and Cleveland), and finished the year with nine finishes in the top 4.
At the midpoint of the season, Mario Andretti's points lead had dwindled, while Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser, Sr., and Al Unser, Jr. were all closing in. At the Pocono 500, Rick Mears triumphantly returned to victory lane after his leg injuries. Finishing second and third were Al Jr. and Al Sr., respectively, with Al Sr. now taking the points lead. Unser, Jr. ate away at the points lead over the next four races, and the Unsers were neck-and-neck approaching the season finale. Meanwhile, Bobby Rahal was making a championship run of his own, winning 3 of 5 races, and closing within 13 points of the points lead.
With two races to go, Unser, Jr. led Unser, Sr. by 3 points. Father and son finished 1st-2nd at Phoenix, and the standings were flipped. Al Sr. led Al Jr. by 3 points going into the finale at Miami. Rahal finished a distant 6th at Phoenix, and was mathematically eliminated from the championship.
The season finale at Tamiami Park ended in dramatic fashion. Danny Sullivan and Bobby Rahal finished 1st-2nd, but the attention of the day was focused on the Unsers. Late in the race, Al Unser, Jr. was running third, and Al Unser, Sr. was running 5th. At the moment, Al Jr. was leading the hypothetical title race by one point. Unser, Sr. caught and passed Roberto Moreno for 4th place in the closing laps, and thus won the championship by 1 point over his son. Unser, Sr. afterwards expressed some regret about snatching the championship title from his son, but felt it was his responsibility to his own team and his own sponsors to race to his ability all the way to the end, and it was also in the best interests of sportsmanship to all competitors not to give favor to his son. Unser, Sr. also knew his days were numbered as a competitive driver on the circuit, while he knew Unser, Jr. had many years ahead to have another chance at the title (Al Jr. would indeed win the championship twice - 1990 and 1994).
The 1985 season saw two controversies at two separate races. The Michigan 500 had to be postponed for a week due to tire issues. In September, the race at Sanair came to a bizarre conclusion when the pace car, leading the field on the final lap under caution, suddenly veered into the pits on the final turn. Leader Johnny Rutherford was not informed, and second place Pancho Carter accelerated past him and beat him to the finish line. Officials initially awarded the victory to Carter, and Rutherford protested. After review, Rutherford was eventually restored the victory.
Drivers and Teams
|Team Penske||March 85C||Cosworth||4 (5)||Danny Sullivan|
|5 (1)||Rick Mears||Raced by Mears at Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Michigan (both races) and Pocono. Raced by Unser at all other races.|
|Doug Shierson Racing||Lola T900||Cosworth||30||Al Unser, Jr.|
|Truesports Co.||March 85C||Cosworth||3 (10)||Bobby Rahal|
|8||Ludwig Heimrath, Jr.||Mid-Ohio only.|
|Newman/Haas Racing||Lola T900||Cosworth||1 (3)||Mario Andretti||Andretti was injured at Michigan (1) and missed Road America. Jones replaced Andretti at Road America.|
|Patrick Racing||March 85C||Cosworth||20||Bruno Giacomelli||Giacomelli: Long Beach, Portland, Meadowlands, Cleveland, Road America, Mid-Ohio, Sanair, Laguna Seca and Miami. Johncock: Indianapolis. Swindell: Michigan (1) and Pocono. Whittington: Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Michigan (2), Phoenix.|
|Don Whittington, Jr.|
|60||Rich Vogler||Indianapolis Only.|
|All American Racers||Eagle 85GC/Lola T900||Cosworth||2||Tom Sneva||Raced an Eagle 85 for Long Beach, Indianapolis and Milwaukee, a Lola T900 for Portland, Sanair, Laguna Seca and Phoenix, and an Eagle 85GC for the remainder of the races.|
|Lola T900||97||Tony Bettenhausen, Jr.||Indianapolis Only.|
|Eagle 85GC/Lola T900||98||Ed Pimm||Raced an Eagle 85 at Long Beach and Indianapolis, a Lola T900 at Milwaukee, and an Eagle 85GC for the remainder of the races. Did not appear at Cleveland.|
|Kraco Racing||March 85C||Cosworth||18||Kevin Cogan|
|Alex Morales Racing||March 85C||Cosworth||21||Johnny Rutherford|
|Machinists Union Racing||March 85C||Cosworth||55||Josele Garza|
|59||Pete Halsmer||Halsmer: Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Portland, Meadowlands, Cleveland, and Michigan (2). Keegan: Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca and Miami. Ganassi: Michigan (1).|
|Galles Racing||March 85C||Buick/Cosworth||6||Pancho Carter||Carter raced at Long Beach, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Portland, Cleveland, Michigan (both), Pocono, Sanair, and Phoenix. Moreno raced at Meadowlands, Road America, Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca, and Miami. Buick engine for Long Beach and Indianapolis only.|
|Team Cotter||March 85C||Cosworth||9||Roberto Guerrero||DNS at Meadowlands due to practice wreck|
|Forsythe Racing||Lola T900||Cosworth||32/33||Howdy Holmes||Holmes in with No. 33 at all races except Laguna (accident), Phoenix and Miami. Lammers at Laguna (#32), Phoenix (#32) and Miami (#33).|
|Pace Racing||March 84C/Lola T900||Cosworth||36||Dennis Firestone||A March 84C was raced in the first six races, and a Lola T900 was raced in the remainder. Firestone raced the car in the first 13 rounds, Bigelow relieved Firestone at Michigan (1), and Crawford raced the car in the final two rounds.|
|Dick Simon Racing||March 85C||Cosworth||22/23||Raúl Boesel||No. 22 raced by Simon on ovals and Boesel on road/street circuits. No. 23 raced by Simon at Meadowlands, and Boesel at Indianapolis and Michigan (1).|
|Leader Card Racing||March 84C/March 85C||Cosworth||24||Rocky Moran||Moran raced at Long Beach (84C), and DNQ'd at Portland (85C) and Meadowlands (84C).|
|March 84C/March 85C||Tom Bigelow||Bigelow was listed on the Indianapolis (85C) entry, and raced the car at Milwaukee (85C), Michigan (1)(84C) and Pocono (85C).|
|March 84C||Phil Krueger||Krueger DNQ at Cleveland|
|March 85C||Herm Johnson||Johnson raced at Road America and Mid-Ohio|
|March 85C||Gary Bettenhausen||Bettenhausen raced at Sanair, Phoenix and DNS at Michigan (2).|
|March 84C/March 85C||Dominic Dobson||Dobson DNS at Meadowlands (84C), and raced at Laguna Seca (85C) and Miami (85C).|
|Canadian Tire Racing||March 85C||Cosworth||67||Jim Crawford||Sanair only.|
|76||Jacques Villeneuve||Villeneuve at all races except Indianapolis, Michigan (both) and Pocono. Parsons at Indianapolis.|
|Provimi Racing||Lola T900||Cosworth||61||Arie Luyendyk||All races except Michigan (WD), Pocono and Mid-Ohio (wreck in practice).|
|Wysard Racing||Lola T900||Cosworth||34||Jim Crawford||Crawford at Long Beach, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Meadowlands and Cleveland, Brassfield at Miami. Canadian Tire sponsorship at Indianapolis only, Malcolm Konner sponsorship at Meadowlands only.|
|Arciero Racing||Lola T900/March 85C||Cosworth||12||Bill Whittington||Whittington at all races except Michigan 1, Pocono, Sanair and Phoenix, Lanier at Phoenix. Lola T900 at all races except Michigan (2) and Miami.|
|Lola T900||57||Long Beach, Indianapolis, Portland, Meadowlands, Cleveland, Road America, Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca and Miami.|
|Hemelgarn Racing||Lola T900/March 85C||Cosworth||71||Michael Roe||Roe at Long Beach, Indianapolis, Portland, Meadowlands, Cleveland, Gehlhausen at Milwaukee and Michigan 1, Mansilla at Road America, Mid-Ohio, Sanair, and Brayton at Laguna Seca, Phoenix and Miami. Lola T900 at all races except Sanair.|
|Brayton Racing||March 85C||Cosworth/Buick||37||Scott Brayton||Buick engine at Indianapolis and Milwaukee, Dreisbach & Sons sponsorship at Long Beach and Michigan (2), Hardee's sponsorship at Indianapolis and Milwaukee, and Jolly Rancher sponsorship at Portland, Meadowlands, Cleveland, Michigan (1) and Pocono.|
|Interscope Racing||March 85C||Cosworth||25||Danny Ongais||Long Beach, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Michigan (both), Pocono, Phoenix and Miami only|
|AMI Racing||March 85C||Cosworth||43||John Paul, Jr.||Paul Jr. at Indianapolis and Cleveland, Lammers at Portland and Meadowlands.|
|Gohr Racing||March 85C||Chevy||56||Steve Chassey||Raced at all rounds except Long Beach and Sanair|
|Circle Bar Racing||Lola T900||Cosworth||38||Chet Fillip||Indianapolis (DNQ), Milwaukee, Cleveland and Michigan (1) only|
|Menard Cashway Lumber||March 85C||Cosworth||8||Herm Johnson||Indianapolis only (DNQ).|
|Tom Hess Racing||Lola T800||Cosworth||27 (29)||Dick Ferguson||Long Beach only.|
|Lola T900||Derek Daly||Indianapolis only.|
|Jeff Wood||Cleveland only.|
|Ian Ashley||Miami only.|
|Purcell Racing||March 83C||Cosworth||50||Tom Bigelow||Indianapolis only, neither car qualified.|
|Gilmore Racing||March 85C/Lola T900||Cosworth||14||A. J. Foyt||Entered at Indianapolis, Meadowlands, Cleveland, Michigan (1), Pocono, Sanair, Phoenix and Miami. Ran Sanair with Lola T900.|
|March 84C||41||Mike Nish||Indianapolis (DNQ) and Phoenix (DQ, Practice) only.|
|March 85C||Chevy||44||George Snider||Indianapolis only|
|Cosworth||84||Chip Ganassi||Indianapolis only|
|Dale Coyne Racing||Lola T800||Chevy||19||Dale Coyne||Entered all rounds except Indianapolis and Sanair|
|Theodore Racing||Theodore||Cosworth||15||Chico Serra||Portland only.|
- - The number in parenthesis is the number the car used at the Indianapolis 500, if a different number was used.
(R) Dedicated road course, (O) Oval/Speedway, (S) Temporary street circuit
- Indianapolis was USAC-sanctioned but counted towards the CART title.
Drivers points standings
In the Sanair race (Molson Indy Montreal), Roberto Guerrero had a strong lead until he lost control and spun. Late in the race Jacques Villeneuve collided with leader Bobby Rahal in attempt to challenge for the lead, taking both out. The race finished under a yellow flag, but the safety car entered pit lane on the final lap, and thinking there would be a final restart, Pancho Carter passed Johnny Rutherford after the safety car entered pit lane and before the finish line. CART initially declared Carter the winner, but an appeals panel later overturned the decision and confirmed Rutherford's victory. In many codes of motorsport (typically FIA Code) the safety car enters pit lane as the field is on the final lap, and the cars cross the checkered flag together without the safety car on course. However, this practice is not accepted in North America, where the safety car leads the leaders to the finish line if the safety car situation exists.
- Åberg, Andreas. "PPG Indy Car World Series 1985". Driver Database. Retrieved May 19, 2009.
- "1985 PPG Indy Car World Series". Champ Car Stats. Retrieved May 19, 2009.
- "Official Box Score: 69th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway". Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Retrieved May 19, 2009.
- "Champ Car > Standings after Beatrice Indy Challange [sic]". Champ Car World Series. October 24, 2008. Archived from the original on October 24, 2008. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
- ChampCarStats.com (Archived 2009-07-26)]