Winning the 1968 Under-2-Liter Trans-Am championship in a Porsche 911, and then the Formula 5000 championship in a Chevy-powered Eagle the following year, opened doors to new adventures and travel.

   1970  Daytona 24 Hours

    Feb 1, 1970

    Back-to-back Professional Road Racing Championships, led the way to many new opportunities for me as a driver.  None was more memorable than receiving a call from Mr. Luigi Chinetti, father of NART, to drive one of the Ferrari 312 P's entered in the 24 hour race at Daytona Speedway for the February 1970 race.

Tony flies through the infield part of the road circuit.

Tony a2z talks shop with co-driver David Piper

The 1970 Daytona 24-hours was Tony's first race in a Ferrari, SN 0870

Today in 2005,  it is valued at approximately $9,000,000 U.S.

    This was my first Ferrari ride and what a drive it was to be.  I was teamed with Englishman David Piper in chassis No 0870, while Michael Parkes and Sam Posey were in chassis No 0872.  Both were in the coupe configuration, most impressive in appearance by the low overall height and louvered rear window blending to the tail.

    I was most amazed with the chassis configuration, fully adjustable upper and lower, unequal length wishbones at the front with coil spring and damper units plus an adjustable anti rollbar, while at the rear there was a reversed lower wishbone, top link and twin radius arms per side.  However, more F1 inspired technology was to be revealed by the sound of this fine engine.  The engine was current 312F Formula 1, 60 degree 3 liter upright V-12, Wow! I was in the big time.

    Nothing could awake your adrenaline more than to hear the sound of 420 bhp at 9,800 rpm.  Although we could rev the engine to 11,500, we were told to conserve our exuberance for the 24 hr race. This package was truly one of the most beautiful and best sounding endurance race car built for its time.

    I was very fortunate to have my Formula A/5000 Championship crew chief, the late Carroll Smith as an advisor.  Carroll knew David Piper and Mike Parkes well and was able to assist in the chassis set up for this race.  Both drivers had experience with the 312P in spyder configuration, which was not as favorable in the handling department.  The coupe seemed to clean up the flow to the rear tail.  Both cars ran with aerodynamic aids front and rear to balance out the car.

    The cockpit was a very tight fit, fortunately I am of short torso to fit the very low roof line. Parkes and Posey had a bubble added to fit their helmets, looking quite out of place in such a clean body and aerodynamic roof  line.  The Daytona banking and straight away allowed speeds close to 200 mph, never the less I felt we had a better overall aero package.  Practice and qualifying went well for us, keeping in mind it was a long race and one must finish to win.  I looked forward to the race, knowing quite well we would be a winning combination.

    Getting behind the wheel, I couldn't help notice how incredibly agile and well balanced the chassis behaved.  Compared to my Formula 5000 Eagle, I felt the latest F1 development showed it's edge.  The car was awesome, nimble in every way, allowing you to take lines out of the norm and still allow quick laps and ability to pass at every opportunity.  One notices how important it is to have the mobility and stopping power of a fine tuned machine.

Tony would soon get his wish to see Mr. Ferrari

The bubble-roofed #24 car was entrusted to teammates Sam Posey and Ferrari engineer Mike Parkes.   Tony follows in this shot.

Tony Adamowicz, Gary Wheeler, Tony a2z, Tony Adamowics, a2zRacer, Gary Wheeler, Tony Adamowicz







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Tony Adamowicz, David Piper and CoCo Chinetti

1970 Daytona:  Scene in the NART garage.  Tony's door is wide open

Tony climbs aboard the #23 Ferrari 312P

Tony shrieks through the infield