Tom Klauser in the second Schkee at Road America in 1977.  Copyright Glenn Snyder 2009.  Used with permission.

Can-Am 1977

Formula 5000 had been a success by most standards but race promoters were pressing the SCCA to restart the Can-Am series, which had been North America's main road racing series in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They couldn't both be accommodated so the SCCA's Burdie Martin and Lola importer Carl Haas effectively merged the ideas; their new Can-Am allowing single-seater 5-litre sports cars to run alongside the expected new cars. The only new cars in 1977 were conversions of the F5000 Lola T332 series, including the striking Schkee design pictured here.

To the delight of race promoters, Tom Klausler won the opening race in the Schkee but thereafter more straightforward Lola conversions won every race. Carl Haas Racing won six and might have won more had lead driver Brian Redman not been injured when his Lola T332CS flipped over at the opening race. Redman's replacement, Patrick Tambay, easily won the championship. Haas Racing's main rival was VDS for whom Peter Gethin won at Road America.

The only constructor to build new cars for Can-Am in 1977 was Lola who were guided by Carl Haas to build a full body kit for the T332C F5000 but also to build a small run of new cars. Amongst the more professional F5000 conversions were Walter Wolf's team's conversion of a Talon F5000 for Chris Amon.

The races

12 Jun 1977 > Mont-Tremblant

26 Jun 1977 > Laguna Seca

10 Jul 1977 > Watkins Glen

24 Jul 1977 > Road America

07 Aug 1977 > Mid-Ohio

21 Aug 1977 > Mosport Park

04 Sep 1977 > Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières

25 Sep 1977 > Sears Point

16 Oct 1977 > Riverside

1977 Can-Am Championship table

1Patrick TambayLola T333CS159 pts6 wins
2Peter GethinLola T332CS108 pts1 win
3Elliot Forbes-RobinsonLola T333CS71 pts 
4John David BriggsLola T33251 pts 
5Don BreidenbachLola T332C40 pts1 win
6George FollmerLola T332C35 pts 
7Tom KlauslerSchkee23 pts1 win
8John GunnLola T332CS23 pts 
9Horst KrollLola23 pts 
10John MortonLola T33321 pts 

Next: the 1978 season