Tony Adamowicz, American racing driver, Died at 75


Tony Adamowicz was born on May 2, 1941, and died on October 10, 2016.

He was an American racing driver from Port Henry, New York.

He contested the Under 2-Liter class of the 1968 Trans-Am Championship in a Porsche 911, then raced in the Can-Am Series and Formula A/Formula 5000, winning the 1969 SCCA Continental Championship.

Tony had an opportunity to race in the 1970 Indianapolis 500, but during the first lap of his qualifying attempt in his Eagle-Offy the yellow light was shown and Adamowicz slowed.

But, the yellow was an error and Adamowicz was ordered to continue with the other 3 laps.

In the first lap, 6 mph (9.7 km/h) slower than his others, dragged down his average to a point where he was bumped from the field.

Tony had got in another car but crashed in practice before having a chance to requalify.

He returned to sports cars, racing TransAm in a an Autodynamics Dodge Challenger as teammate to Sam Posey, achieving second place in the 1971 24 Hours of Daytona in a Ferrari 512M, shared with Ronnie Bucknum, and third place in the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans with Sam Posey in the same car.

Following the decline of the Can Am and F5000 formulas, he moved to IMSA series and won the 1981 GTU championship in an Electramotive Nissan 280ZX and 1982 and 1983 GTO championships in an Electramotive 280ZX-T.

Tony returned to prototypes in 1984 but had little success at that level and retired after the 1989 24 Hours of Daytona.

Tony Adamowicz, currently competes in select vintage races in the same 1969-model Eagle racing car in which he won the 1969 SCCA Continental Championship.

That car is now owned by Doug Magnon, the founder of the Riverside International Automotive Museum, and prepared by mechanic Bill Losee.

Which bears the identical livery it carried back in 1969.

Because the Eagle had been parked immediately after the 1969 season, and was not run again until following its restoration in 2008, Adamowicz remains the only driver to actually have driven this car.

Adamowicz was diagnosed with brain cancer, glioblastoma, in early 2015.

Tony Adamowicz passed away at 75 years old.