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GTA

 

"The Golden Age" of Alfa
Romeo Racing in America
(1965 - 1975)



Autodelta

 

Although outwardly the cars look similar, there are many subtle differences between the GTA and GTV Alfa coupes, including a 400+ lbs. difference in weight. Mechanically, they are also quite different

Waiting in the Riverside Int'l Raceway garage paddock area for our respective races — my GTA/P (left), next to Oscar DuFau's highly modified and very, very quick steel bodied GTV (no, we didn't race in the same class). (c. 1969)

My High-Speed Time Trials & Alfa Expo West Race Results
(just two I still had)




This must have been a very fast course. Before my GTA came along, the Lotus Elan drivers owned this class. I went on to win the championship that year.


The AROC Alfa Expo West time trials at Ontario Motor Speedway - 1971)

The AROC Alfa Expo West high speed time trials results (Ontario Motor Speedway - 1971). This was the U2L sports racing/modified car class. That's a misprint for Noel Armstrong's car. He was driving his race prepared blue TZ (which he'd just sold) at this event. I think it was meant to read "GT Zagato".

All the above race cars except my street GTA, were trailered in. I made a big tactical error by not having enough gas (trying to save weight), causing my GTA to starve for fuel in the corners, even more evident in my 2nd run. Dumb!



8000+ rpms in 5th gear + short ratio gearbox + 5:38 hollow gear ZF limited slip Elektron differential

Riverside Int'l Raceway, CA. ProAm high speed times trials
(Lee Midgley and I sharing my 1600 Autodelta Alfa Romeo GTAP)

Late sixties, early 70's — My GTA placed way 1st in class and less than a minute off TTOD! Considering the cars competing, that was extraordinary.

Lee Midgley and I shared my GTAP for this race.

I was able to pull around 8000 rpm in 5th gear on the slightly shortened back Riverside straight, but Lee wouldn't say what the car had pulled for him.

Lee had the winning class time that day, almost half a minute faster than my best effort (I was 2nd fastest in class). I guess that answered my question.

I'm not sure who's who in what photos. My best guess is based on helmet style. Lee's stunning girlfriend, Laura Maddock took the photos, but no notes.


Although it's neat to see pics of early GTAs cornering with one front wheel in the air, they corner much faster on 4 tires than on 3 — because of the power to weight ratio of the "preparato" GTAs, Autodelta had to work hard to get that front wheel to stay put - Lee Midgley driving

Riverside Raceway, driving through the double set of S curves coming off the very fast back straight going 75 to 80 MPH. I'm pretty sure this is Lee driving.

Notice how flat this GTA sits, you can see the outside front wheel wanting to lift, but it doesn't. By this time, Autodelta had resolved the GTA's tendency to lift outside wheels on corners. Cars corner much faster on 4 wheels, than 3.


This GTAP has so much power, it would sometimes smoke both rears going through the gears, even with a very tight ZF limited slip — note the front end lifting under the hard acceleration weight transfer - this is definitely Lee Midgley driving this run

Riverside Int'l Raceway, high speed time trials - Autodelta GTA
(pedal to the metal in the trap straight — smoke coming off both
rear wheels and the front end lifting under the hard acceleration)


Lee Midgley (c) Jana Wagoner Havens, all rights reserved

Lee Midgley
(Courtesy of his daughter, Jana Wagoner Havens)

Lee was exactly what he looked like, a really nice guy, and one of the best drivers I've ever had the honor of co-driving with. Sadly, Lee passed in 1998.

While I was AROSC President, the club went from about 40 sporadic members to well over 300 very active members, so having extra funds, AROSC officially sponsored Lee Midgley's #93 1600 GTA racer at both the 1970 Riverside and Laguna Seca TransAm's. He won the Laguna Seca U2L TransAm, and as a measure of gratitude, presented me with his victory lap checkered flag.

Lee, his girlfriend Laura, and Lee's son, Chuck, were pretty much living out of Lee's old Dodge van on race days, so I paid their expenses to Seca (meals, motel, gas for the Dodge, etc.). AROSC paid the entry fees for both events.

Lee had crashed his GTA in Saturday's Laguna Seca practice, and spent that entire night putting it back together and un-tweaking the frame (big tree, little van, strong chain), so they forgot to put any AROSC stickers on his GTA.

After his win, Oscar DuFau and I put AROSC decals on Lee's GTA, too late for the very first track photos, but in time for other photo op's, while Lee's son and a friend were sticking sponsor tags on Lee's GTA based on highest spiffs.

Lee was an AROSC member, as were most of the local Alfa race car drivers at the time. Even Ing. Carlo Chiti of Autodelta was an honorary AROSC member.



John Shankle prepared 1.6L GTA leading the 2.0L Porsche 911s to a 1st place finish

My friend, Vic Provenzano on his way to "B" sedan
honors at Riverside Int'l Raceway
(Sports Car Graphic)

Vic Provenzano - 1600 GTA

Vic Provenzano - Vic's LHD 1600 GTA (they're using the
front spoiler I designed for Otto Zipper Racing)
c. 1972

SCCA "B" Sedan Championship Trophy being presented to Vic Provenzano at Alfa Romeo Inc. West, in El Segundo, CA.

(Sorry, I don't recall everyone's name, but of those I do, L to R): Santini, ukn, ukn, Bob Griffith, Vic Provenzano, Pietro Stocooro (head of ARIW), Lee Midgley, John Shankle, Luciano Morra. (Updates courtesy of Ernesto Stocooro)


Bob Griffith / Glen Shepard SCCA Ep Alfa Duetto

The Bob Griffith / Glen Shepard Alfa Romeo Duetto

 

Very first test run of the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2

First U.S. engine start-up and test run of the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2
Center (with hat), Santini, on right, Otto Zipper and Scooter Patrick


Pietro Stocooro, Scooter Patrick, Otto Zipper. Alfa Romeo T-33/2 - Otto Zipper Racing

Pietro Stocooro, Scooter Patrick, Otto Zipper - Alfa Romeo T-33/2 first tests
(1968, Willow Springs, CA. That's Scooter's Porsche 911 in the background ;)


Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2, Scooter Patrick, Otto Zipper, Santini

Santini, the Autodelta engineer/mechanic that oversaw my GTAP

I shot these transparencies at Santa Barbara, CA (Goleta Airport) in 1969.

(On the right): Otto Zipper, (Ing.) Santini - Alfa T-33/2 driven by Scooter Patrick for the factory supported Otto Zipper Alfa Romeo Racing Team.

Santini was the Autodelta ARI West liaison, and tweaked all of the Zipper Racing Team cars including the Tipo 33's and the GTA Jr driven by Jeff Kline.

He also set up most of the factory involved racing cars competing in the Western states - including the GTA's, GTA Jr's, GTAm's, the T-33, and others.


Alfa Romeo Autodelta Tipo 33/2 - Otto Zipper Alfa Racing Team

The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 being loaded into the Otto Zipper Alfa Racing Team transporter after it suffered an unknown mechanical problem during the qualifying heats on Saturday. It never made the race on Sunday.


Alfa Tipo 33/2, Joy Zipper. Otto Zipper, Santini, Enzo Giobbe

And the reverse shot. L to R: Joy Zipper, her husband Otto, Santini (hidden by the window frame), and (arm in frame), me. I am leaning into the T33/2 to take this photo. Nikon F2, Nikkor 13mm f.5.6 wide angle linear lens.

 

Otto Zipper's Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 at the 1968 L.A. Auto Show

The Otto Zipper Racing, Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 - at the 1968 L.A. Auto Show

 


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