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Jim Busby

14th June 1942 (Age 78)
Rancho Santa Fe, California
Most recent race (in database):

Jim Busby’s path was chosen when he was barely old enough to remember. Inspired by watching midget racing at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl as a child, he raced as soon as he was old enough. Initially that was in Californian hot rods and drag racing, but it was road racing and sports cars in which Busby made his name.

Formula 5000 accident and IMSA return

A broken back while competing in Formula 5000 sidelined Busby for a year but he worked with Peter Gregg at Brumos Racing during his recuperation. When Gregg switched to BMW for 1976, Busby was his replacement for what was his most successful IMSA GT campaign – his Porsche 911 Carrera RSR winning four races and Busby third in the championship.

He finished sixth on his debut at Le Mans in 1978 when driving a Kremer Racing Porsche 935 and won Mid-Ohio’s IMSA race with Bill Whittington. Gregg returned to the team in 1979 and sold Busby his BMW 320i with which he finished second at Road Atlanta.

Busby then co-drove John Fitzpatrick’s Porsche 935 in IMSA and the new World Sportscar Championship for drivers’ during 1981. They inherited victory in the Riverside Six Hours when Jochen Mass’s similar car retired.

Sportscars with BFGoodrich

His enduring association with BFGoodrich began in the 1982 Le Mans 24 Hours when his Porsche 924 Carrera GTR won the GT class using BFG’s road-specification tyres. They remained his sponsors and tyre suppliers during a 1984 season in the World and IMSA championships with a Group C2 Lola-Mazda.

Team and sponsor soon concentrated on North America and Busby bought a pair of Porsche 962s for 1985. They finished first and second at Riverside with the Pete Halsmer/John Morton leading Busby and Rick Knoop home. Starting 1986 in what would be his final year as a driver; Busby was third at Daytona and second at Sebring.

Team management

But he concentrated on managing the team from the next season. Perhaps its finest victory came in the 1989 Daytona 24 Hours when John Andretti, Bob Wollek and Derek Bell shared its winning Miller High Life Porsche 962.

Busby sold his team in 1990 after an unhappy year with a private Nissan. Racing on street-legal BFG tyres had been a brilliant marketing exercise but in the end it did hamper results. He later competed in historic Formula 1 – running a series of Cosworth-powered cars in conjunction with fine-art dealer William A.Karges.