2/5/1941 - 10/10/2016
Best known for his endurance career, Tony still races in historic events & is working on numerous projects regarding his Le Mans past. He also does some driver instructing.Tony Adamowicz died 6 years ago, he was 75 , He would have been 81.
With a career spanning over 35 years, Tony Adamowicz starting racing in 1963 at Marlboro Raceway, Md. outside of Washington, DC., driving a Volvo PV 544 saloon. He finished 2nd in the regional championship the following year and won the championship in 1965.
In 1966 he was picked by Bob Tullius to drive for the Group 44 Racing team, racing a number of different cars, including a Triumph Spitfire, Lotus Cortina and a Dodge Dart. Driving with Bob Tullius, they won their class at the first TransAm Race held at at Sebring , Fl. in 1966 with a factory backed Dodge Dart. Later they won the 12 hour race at Marlboro, becoming the first American manufacturer to do so.
In 1968 he won the Under 2 liter TransAm Championship for Porsche, dominating the field with 6 out of 10 wins and two 2nd place finishes, securing the championship for Porsche in the Milestone Racing 911.
In 1969 he won the Formula A/5000 Continental Championship in the No.7 Gurney Eagle for Milestone Racing under the guidance of Carrol Smith, the Team Manager. This was his first ever drive in a open wheel racer. Marvin Davidson was the team owner for Trans Am and Continental F5000 Championship
In 1970, he drove with David Piper in the two car NART Ferrari 312P at Daytona 24 hour, finishing in 1st and 2nd place in class, 5th and 6th overall. The shared drive with Piper required driving 5 1/2 hrs without the aide of water for the 312P, due to lack of a spare radiator. 1970 was his first intro to the 24 hours Le mans in a 312P.
David Piper provided Tony his first Porsche 917K ride at Monza, later Watkins Glen and the 9hr of Kyalami in 1971. Tony was the only American driver to have driven the famed Porsche 917K.
1971, Tony also drove the Ferrari 512 series for NART, Finishing the 2nd overall in a 512S co driven with Ronnie Bucknum, it was closest finish at the time for the 24 hr race at Daytona. Tony and Greg Young won in a 521 M/ S at the 12 horas of Ecuador. Tony and co driver Sam Posey were awarded a podium 3rd place finish at the 24 hr Le Mans. In 1971 became one of 5 Internationally FIA graded drivers in the USA.
That year Tony also teamed with Peter Revson in the Roy Woods Racing TransAm AMC Javelins and the Questor Gran Prix at Ontario Motor Speedway in a F5000 Lola T192. he also drove Bruce McLaren's 1969 Championship M8B for Oscar Koveleski's Auto World Jerobee Mclaren, with highest pace independent Can Am finish at Mid Ohio behind Jackie Stewart's Lola and Jo Siffert's Porsche 917.
He also joined the PRDA team to drive in the famed Cannonball coast to coast race. With PRDA president Oscar Koveleski, Brad Niemcek and Tony, they drove a Chevy Van setting a new Van record that still stands.
Tony ran selected World Endurance races in 1972 driving a variety of carsa, becoming the only American to drive John Wyer's 3 liter Gulf Mirage.
For 1973 Tony competed in F5000 driving the Carling Black Label Lola T330 for Roy Woods Racing, establishing a new track record at Laguna Seca, and having to finish the the season driving one handed with his wrist in a cast.
The fuel crisis in the mid 1970s restricted his driving however in 1976 he was back on the World Endurance circuit driving a Ferrari for NART.
In 1979 Tony teamed with John Morton to finish 2nd overall and 1st in class driving a specially prepared vintage Ferrari 365 GTB4 only being beated by the twin turbo Porsche 935 of Danny Ongias and Ted Field.
Between 1980 and 1983, Tony drove for the Nissan Electramotive team, winning several IMSA championships with the 280ZX and 280ZX turbo, co-driving with Don Devendorf.
In 1983 he also drove with John Morton in the IMSA series with a Lola T600 and March GTP car.
He was at Le Mans again in 1984, driving the Group 44 Jaguar GTP with Claude Ballot Lena and John Watson. Along with Don Devendorf, Tony helped develop the Nissan GTP car which went on to dominate IMSA, winning 3 GTP Championships.
Tony continued to drive and instruct as well as race his old 1969 Championship winning Gurney Eagle in the 40th F5000 Reunion vintage races here in the USA. The car is currently owned by Doug Magnon, of the Riverside International Automotive Museum and is maintained by Bill Losee.
Tony also ran a retro race apparel business with partner Norman Silverman, president of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of So. California, Officially licensed by the Steve McQueen family, GULF, Heuer, Firestone and Goodyear, the company, a2z Racer LLC, is also licensed by Carroll Shelby, providing Shelby driving shoes and fitted 2005-2009 Mustang luggage as well as Vintage period correct COBRA race team jackets and caps and tee shirts.
Early in 2015 Adamowicz was diagnosed with brain cancer (glioblastoma). He died on October 10, 2016 at the age of 75