Like Pruett and Andretti, Haywood used
remarkable skill and longevity to his
advantage. But while those all-’rounders plied
their trade in everything from stock cars
to F1, this Chicagoan could be regarded as
America’s greatest pure sports car pilot.
Haywood dabbled in Indy car racing,
making five starts, including the 1980
Indy 500, but he’s forever linked with
fendered cars – with Porsche, Brumos
Racing, Can-Am, Le Mans, IMSA, and the
24 Hours of Daytona.
Active through approximately 450
sports car races from 1969-2012,
Haywood won in Porsche 911s, 914/6s,
911 Carrera RSRs, 917s, 934s, 935s,
936s, 956s, 962s, and DPs that used the
German marque’s powerplants.
Outside of his Porsche opportunities,
The first of Hurley
24 Hours of Le Mans
wins with Porsche
came in 1977, racing
a 936 with Jurgen
Barth and Jacky Ickx.
Andretti was a go-to driver for American,
British, German and Italian factories.
Andretti’s farewell to sports cars came at
Le Mans in 2000, as he pursued the overall
victory missing from his honor roll. An Indy
500, Daytona 500, three-time 12 Hours of
Sebring and big-time Daytona sports car
winner (albeit not in 24-hour guise), the
French daddy of all enduros is the only
major international event lacking Mario’s
name among its first-place finishers.
Other Americans may have won a
greater number of sports car races and
championships, but they would never be
confused with having more talent or
ability than that man Mario Andretti.
(LEFT) Andretti didn’t
capture a Daytona 24
Hours win, but he and
Jacky Ickx out-ran a
quality field to win the
(RIGHT) First of three
Sebring wins in 1967.
Haywood won IMSA GTP races for Jaguar
in Group 44’s XJR-5s and XJR-7s; raced
Lola and March GTPs and Nissan’s GTP ZX-T;
won the 1988 SCCA Trans-Am for Audi in
its unforgettable 5-cylinder, turbo 200
Quattro; raced the IMSA GTO Ferrari F40;
bridged the 1990s in IMSA and ALMS, then
continued winning in a Porsche-powered
Fabcar when Grand-Am’s Daytona
Prototypes arrived in the early 2000s.
Haywood’s final win in 2009, driving a
Riley-Porsche DP, was a deserving crown
placed atop five overall wins at Daytona,
three overall wins and six podiums at
Le Mans, plus a pair of Sebring victories.
His modest title tally aside, among
Americans with prestigious wins at the
world’s biggest sports car races, there’s
Hurley Haywood, and Haywood alone.
Mark Donohue (LEFT) won
six-straight races in the 1973
Can-Am Challenge with
Penske Racing’s awesome
1,100hp (make that nearer to
1,600hp in high-boost
qualifying spec) Porsche