World Sports Racing Prototypes

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1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Drivers Teams Interserie (info)


The Interserie championship was founded in 1970 as a European version of North American Can-Am series. During the yearly seasons many original Can-Am cars, such as McLaren, Lola, Porsche, March and BRM, together with group 5 cars from the World Championship of Makes provided great battles and Interserie quickly became internationally recognized championship for top sports-racing cars. The first champion Juergen Neuhaus ran group 5 Porsche 917K in 1970 but then became era of true Can-Am cars and all seasons were won by Porsches 917 Turbo that were battled mainly by McLarens M8 and M20. There was a good variety though, with Lolas, Ferraris, Alfa Romeos and other interesting smaller sportscars.

In 1976 FIA created a new class for group 6 sportscars under 3 litres and since Interserie adopted new rules immediatelly, most of the Can-Am cars disappeared, except for Peter Hoffmann's McLaren M8F running now with 5 litre Chevrolet fitted and occassional starts of a similar car owned by Siegfired Rieger. The points were scored in two divisions, over and under two litre. This meant the end of the Porsche era. Winners raced cars like Lola, Sauber or TOJ. Only in 1978 Reinhold Joest became a champion with his old Porsche 908/3 Turbo.

This era of Interseries came slowly to and during yearly 80's when new cars were allowed to start. This opened the door for new group C1 and C2 prototypes as well as single seater Can-Am cars, which were usually build on F1 or F2 basics. In 1982 and 1983 it was not so obvious but coming years would be completely dominated by Porsche 956/962 and their derivates until early to mid 90s. While older group 6 cars were banned after 1984 season, we could also see real Can-Am cars such as Holbert CAC-2 or March Chevrolet. Last non-Porsche champion in division I was Klaus Niedzwiedz in 1984 with Zakspeed C1/8 Ford but since then Porsche Turbos won every race until the start of 1992 season. It was Charles Zwolsman, who broke that unusual Porsche's 50 victories in-a-row record, after winning at Mugello with his new Lola T92/10 Judd. But he did not participate regularly, so in 1992 and 1993 all other victories but one still went to Porsches 962 GTP entered by Kremer and Joest.

But with the end of Sportscar World Championship in 1992, group C cars slowly started to disappear from the top of results sheets. Only older Spices, Tigas, Argos or other C2 cars were seen by mid 90s and they ran at the end of the field. Since 1994 all top teams with group C based cars definitely lost their interest about Interserie races and potential winners came from private drivers that bought and ran older F1 or Indy Car based Can-Am machines. The only exception in the field represented very attractive Lola T92/10 Judd of Robbie Stirling from Canada, which was brought in by McNeil Engineering. Robbie was the quickest Interserie driver in 1995-1997 but never actually won the championship overall.

Situation became to be very bad in 1998 when half of 10 cars present in the first meeting became non-starters for various reasons and with only five of them on the grid Interserie Organisation needed to find a new direction how to save the series. First they tried to join their forces with similar championship for sportscars organized by Walter Pedrazza and called Austrian Euroserie by then but after two meetings the co-operation went to a nothing.

So since 1999 Interserie tried to go its own way and in fact it failed to be a sportscar series anymore. Under a new name 'Interserie I.S.O. Sprint' it became officially a club racing. All drivers had to be members of club I.S.O. Regulations were dramatically changed as well. Various kind of open wheel formula cars were allowed in and they soon replaced aging group C and Can-Am machinery. There were still some sportscars present during early years of 21th century but by 2004 there was almost no Interserie anymore. The Interserie organisation was still around but they almost dropped their own championship and rather run Super Sprint Challenge events together with Pedrazza's organisation. Interserie also tried to re-establish itself as a true sporscar series with longest tradition in Europe, so Endurance Interserie challenge was announced at the start of the season. It should be formed by 100 minute endurance races but the interest among potentional competitor was almost zero. All races but one were cancelled and the only event that happened was a procession of only four cars, two of which were Cup Porsche Carreras and one very slow two litre prototype. The Endurance races were also planned for 2005 season. It seems however that Interserie may became more a GT championship rather than a prototype series though.

Presented by WSRP Martin Krejci.
Last update: 2.10.2005