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John Morton in his Frissbee at Road America in 1982.  Copyright Glenn Snyder 2009.  Used with permission.

Can-Am 1982

There was considerable reshuffling in Can-Am in 1982. With the withdrawl of Carl Haas, VDS was now the top team and started the season with former champion Patrick Tambay. When Tambay was tempted back to F1 by an offer from Ferrari, Al Holbert filled the seat and won four races in VDS-001 and VDS-002. Holbert had disbanded his team after a disappointing 1981 in his CRC-2. The Newman Racing team had grabbed Danny Sullivan from Garvin Brown and ran a single March 827 but the bulky car was not as quick as the 817.

But the quickest car turned out not to be one of the 1981 or 1982 designs but the Lola T332-based Frissbee. Galles Racing had acquired the assets of Brad Frisselle's team and developed the Frissbee into a regular race winner for their FSV star Al Unser Jr. Unser was first or second at seven races and narrowly beat Holbert to the title. Geoff Brabham guested in a second Galles-Frissbee but the only other lead runner in 1982 was John Morton, his aged Lola T333 now fully converted to the latest Frissbee specification.

Despite Galles' success, Can-Am now started to look a bit more like a ladder series for North American racing and less like the glamorous International series of previous years. The real culprit for this was the burgeoning success of CART, whose gravitational forces Can-Am would be unable to resist over the coming year.

The races

23 May 1982 > Road Atlanta

06 Jun 1982 > Mosport Park

27 Jun 1982 > Mid-Ohio

25 Jul 1982 > Elkhart Lake

05 Sep 1982 > Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières

12 Sep 1982 > Mosport Park

26 Sep 1982 > Caesars Palace

03 Oct 1982 > Riverside

10 Oct 1982 > Laguna Seca

1982 Budweiser Can-Am Challenge table

1Al Unser JrFrissbee GR3540 pts4 wins
2Al HolbertVDS-001500 pts4 wins
3Danny SullivanMarch 827390 pts1 win
4Bertil RoosMarguey173 pts 
5Jim CrawfordEnsign150 pts