Ted Field

Ted Field

1/6/1953

An heir to one of America's most famous fortunes, that of Marshall Field, department store magnate of Chicago, Ted Field was born in a world of affluence.

He had just begun his racing career in driving Porsche 911s or Carreras. Danny Ongais was an ex-drag racer who worked his way into oval track racing and road racing. He was a completely devoted man, with a lot of talent. Their relationship would be somewhat strained. In the early 80s, the team had a huge shop in Santa Ana, California. The cars that they entered in IMSA were Porsche 934s in the beginning. Danny Ongais was involved in a wide program including Indycar racing, the IMSA Championship as well as Formula 5000.

He was the one who taught Ted Field how a racecar worked, because he knew how to deal with horsepower. He was certainly used to it. In 1977, he posted some very good results with the Porsche 934.

Switching to the Porsche 935 was no trouble to him. In 1978, the Hawaiian driver was probably the only one able to contest Peter Gregg's superiority. In 1979, the team had ordered a new single turbo Porsche 935. At Daytona, the Danny Ongais-Ted Field-Hurley Haywood team cruised to a well deserved victory. Then they brought a bunch of seconds and thirds but no other victory. Ted Field finished third overall in 1979 and 1980, mainly because of his many top five results.

Their car had been updated to the latest K3 specificities. In 1981, things did not improve for the team as the new GTP cars were being introduced. It was clear that things would not improve with the now ageing Porsche 935. After Danny Ongais' accident at Indianapolis and a quick recovery, Ted Field decided to make the move up to the GTP category. He had acquired three brand new Lola T600s! It was a new challenge for a team who was not used to this type of race cars. They got help from the guys who were working on the Indycar. In fact, the team won their first race at Riverside, almost three years after their last win. Ted Field and Bill Whittington won driving a normally aspirated Lola T600.

They won two other races, at Pocono and Daytona. Ted Field was second overall in the final 1982 standings behind John Paul Jr, who dominated the series, and Danny Ongais finished fifth. For that last race, they were entering the third car, fitted with a 3,4L turbo engine prepared by Ryan Falconer. The car proved extremely efficient and showed great potential for the year to come. The 3,4L V6 Chevrolet twin turbo engine proved extremeley powerful.

Rules were to change for the next year with twin turbos being banished. Ryan Falconer could certainly work on a single turbo engine but many setbacks were to happen early in the development of the car. The beginning of the 1983 was quite disappointing for the team and after a fire at Daytona, the team and Chevrolet had some disagreements. No one seemed willing to spend any money and Ted Field suddenly dropped the whole thing.

Ted Field also had interests in other areas, forming Interscope Communications and Interscope Records. He was also vocally involved with liberal causes. Interscope, which Field founded in 1979, is best recalled for its 1984 charmer and box office hit, "Revenge of the Nerds," which spawned three sequels, as well other box office hits such as "Three Men and A Baby" (1987), "Outrageous Fortune" (1987), and "Cocktail" (1988), all of which Field produced, and "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989), which he executive produced.

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