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Number 44 1980 Triumph TR8 Bill Warner Jacksonville FL

Group 44 Triumph TR8

Bob Tullius’ Group 44 Team dominated with 8 wins, finishing second in1980 IMSA GTO Championship

1979 Triumph TR8 by Grand Prix Classics


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Bob Tullius’ Group 44 team was the British Leyland (Jaguar Triumph) factory USA racing effort. They won the Trans Am title with the Jaguar XJS in 1977 and 1978. In 1979 British Leyland backed the Group 44 team in its development and racing program with the Triumph TR8.

Bob Tullius realized the potential of the lightweight, aerodynamic V8 powered TR8 and proved that it was a race winner. In its debut race at the Watkins Glen 6 Hour the TR8 dominated the class against the Corvettes and Camaros and finished 1st in class and 7th overall. It was so successful in SCCA competition that the SCCA continued to give the TR8 added weight penalties. Tullius took the TR8 to the IMSA series where it finished 1st in class and 6th overall at the Sebring 12 Hours. The TR8 continued to dominate the GTO class over the Chevrolet Corvettes and Porsche RSR’s placing second in the IMSA GTO championship. The British Leyland factory backed Group 44 team is one of the most recognizable in motorsports having gone on to race in the GTP category with the Jaguar powered GTP cars. The Triumph TR8 was one of the most successful SCCA and IMSA production based racing cars built. With 8 class wins in the 1979-1980 seasons and second place in the 1980 IMSA GTO points championship.

 

Race History:

1979:
-7/7/79: 6 Hr Watkins Glen – 7th Overall, 1st in class
-8/5/79: Trans Am Watkins Glen – 4th Overall, 1st in class
-9/2/79: 500 Mile Road America – 6th Overall, 1st in class
-9/23/79: 100 Mile Road Atlanta – 13th Overall, 2nd in class
-10/14/79: Trans Am Laguna Seca – 11th Overall, 1st in class

1980:
-3/22/80: 12 Hr Sebring – 6th Overall, 1st in class
-5/4/80: 100 Mile Laguna Seca – 9th Overall, 2nd in class
-5/26/80: 1.5 Hr Lime Rock – 4th Overall, 2nd in class
-7/4/80: 250 Mile Daytona Paul Revere – 6th Overall, 1st in class
-8/17/80: 6 Hr Mosport – 8th Overall, 1st in class
-8/31/80: 500 Mile Road America – 7th Overall, 1st in class
-9/21/80: 50 Mile Road Atlanta 1 – 12 Overall, 2nd in class
-11/30/80: 250 Mile Daytona Finale – 8th Overall, 2nd in class

1981:
-3/21/81: 12 Hr Sebring, Group 44 – 10th Overall, 4th in class

 

History:

Surviving in stunning original race condition as it left the race track at its last race the Sebring 12 Hours. Still with paint, body and mechanics from March 1981. This TR8 stayed with Bob Tullius and the Group 44 team until 2008 when selling to its second owner. Then selling in 2011 to its third owner who undertook a comprehensive restoration. This is an opportunity to acquire one of the most recognizable, successful and original IMSA racing cars of the era. It is eligible to race today in most historic venues and would be a show stopper and race winner once again.

Condition:

Completely restored by Intrepid Racing in Sparks, Nevada the summer of 2013. Entered in the Quail Concours in Carmel and raced successfully in historic racing events. A full restoration file comes with the car showing a cost close to $200,000.

Documents:

Complete with a large file of Group 44 spec sheets, notes, records, original period racing photographs and bill of sale from Bob Tullius. Plus the restoration record.

 

May 15, 2014
Testing Bill Warner’s Triumph TR-8 at Roebling Road Raceway
posted by Chris Brewer
Filed under An Addictive Take On Cars, Automotive, Jacksonville, FL, Motorsports, Triumph

See online story with images>>

Bill Warner’s Triumph TR8

I have always had a passion for vintage cars and racing, long before anyone referred to them as “vintage.” I appreciate the comforts and safety of today’s airbag and computer module filled automobiles, but what truly captivates me is the raw simplistic beauty of the cars from days gone by.

 

Last week I was able join racing, journalism, and everything-automotive legend, Amelia Concours d’Elegance founder and director, Bill Warner and his newly refreshed Triumph TR-8 for some test laps around the Roebling Road Raceway near Savannah, Georgia.
Warner is preparing the car to compete in the vintage racing circuit. The day’s goal was test the TR-8’s readiness for the upcoming Lime Rock Park Historic Festival 32, held on Labor Day weekend, August 28 through September 1, 2014.

Successfully winning the race against the weather, we arrived at the track and unloaded the Triumph into the pit garage where Bill and his crew elevated the TR-8 on jack stands, removed the wheels, and rolled them over to the tire tech for a new set of Hoosiers. I was amazed by the level of involvement that Warner himself had in prepping the car, hands on in every aspect.

We left Jacksonville a little before 7am, there was a slight chance of thunderstorms in the forecast and in typical racing fashion we were competing with nature, racing up 95 north to beat the rain to the track.

 

Once the new tires where installed and final checks made, Warner gave the go ahead and the Group 44 built 1980 Daytona GTO class winner fired right up, sounding like the thunder that we had been running from all morning.

After hesitantly driving a few laps to test the Jacksonville based Gary Johns Automotive Machine freshly rebuilt engine, I was able to stand on the edge of the pit road while Warner provided an exhilarating driving master class on one of the Southeast’s most challenging and fastest tracks.

The Triumph TR-8 is definitely ready for the racing circuit, Warner is on his game -man, can he drive – and Automotive Addicts will be checking back with Bill and his team throughout the season to report to you on the progress of our hometown hero.

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