13th September 1980
The ninth and final race in the Procar series took place in Italy in 1980 and was staged over 20 laps at 5.040 km each. The winner mastered the race distance of 100.8 km at an average speed of 155.31 km/h.
Nelson Piquet had every reason to rejoice this weekend. On the Saturday before his Grand Prix triumph, the Brazilian secured the third overall win in a row at the Procar series1980. Hans-Joachim Stuck and Jan Lammers squandered their chances with a collision.
80 Hans-Joachim Stuck’s “contact with the enemy” – 99 Jan Lammers, Imola, “procar” – Series 1980
With regards to the starting position, the race at Imola was just a matter of the best nerves. Prior to the final race in the Procar series, 5 drivers still had a chance to secure the overall win. First aspirant Nelson Piquet. His best time during practice was 1.3 seconds better than Didier Pironi’s. Strietzel Struck was unlucky at practice. With a wing broadening flying away at the rear, right and afterwards even engine failure. Carlos Reutemann also had problems with his engine, resulting in a last place starting position.
As expected, Piquet got off to the best start, followed by Heyer, Pironi and Jones. Lammers and Stuck were led the pursuit. The suspense already began to rise in lap 2. Stuck wanted to overtake Lammers. In the right turn before the finish line Strietzel was on the outside, suddenly pulled towards the inside and hit the door of Lammers’ M1. The Dutchman spun, was able to continue driving but had to head to the pit to collect a new rear left tyre.
99 Jan Lammers after contact
Stuck lost the front spoiler during the attack and soon was seen no more. Hans Heyer after the race: “The BASF racing car was at the rear on the straight, no sign of Stuck!” If this was supposed to be a comeback for the jostle in Zandvoort, then this attempt backfired. The suspense over the race and the championship title was gone. Piquet, who apparently was in the best shape of his life, would have had to drop out in order to give away the victory. But he drove lap for lap without any threat and won! Followed by Jones and Heyer, who was pleased with 3rd place, as the 6-cylinder engine started to fail towards the end of the race. Wolfgang Schütz in the Air Press M1 also gave a great performance. Starting from 13th position, he fought himself through the field and finished in 4th place. Motorcycle racing ace Johnny Cecotto for once tried his luck on four wheels with a 3rd M1 provided by GS and was able to finish in a remarkable 8th place. Alan Jones, on the other hand, was a bit disappointed. Not with regards to his placing, but because he rather would have finished in 3rd place at the Procar series, as he preferred the BMW 323i (3rd place prize) to the 528i (2nd place prize).
The prize for first place: A BMW 635CSi. The prize for second place: Alan Jones a BMW528i, the prize for third place: Hans-Joachim Struck a BMW 323i.