Brett Lunger in the AAR Jorgensen Eagle Formula 5000 at Road America in 1974. Copyright Larry Fulhorst 2017. Used with permission.

SCCA/USAC Formula 5000 1974

Following the loss of series sponsor L&M at the end of 1973, the SCCA teamed up with USAC to co-promote Formula 5000 for 1974, and this drew several major USAC teams into F5000. Vel's Parnelli Jones bought Lola T332s for Mario Andretti and Al Unser, as did Leader Card Racers for Mike Mosley, but Eagle built their own car, the Eagle 74A, for drivers Brett Lunger and Elliot Forbes-Robinson. The SCCA teams were led by Brian Redman and the Haas-Hall team, and Hogan Racing with drivers David Hobbs, both with Lolas.

In a highly-competitive season, the fight boiled down to Andretti versus Redman, the USAC legend versus Lancashire's finest. Andretti and Redman qualified 1-2 at each of the first four races, Redman winning the opener after Andretti retired, and then following the American home in 1-2 finishes at Watkins Glen and Road America, but the tables were turned at Ontario where Redman snatched pole position in the final minutes of qualifying, and then dominated the race from start to finish to take a narrow five-point lead in the championship. Andretti took pole yet again at Laguna Seca in the penultimate race, and again led, but a tyre exploded and Redman passed him to win, his eighth victory in 14 races for the Haas-Hall team since the start of 1973. Andretti won the final race, but Redman finished second to secure a deserved championship.

Behind the massed Lolas, James Hunt guest-drove the new Eagle 755 to second place at Laguna Seca and the Norris Industries Talon MR-1s, a production version of the McRae GM2, showed flashes of competitiveness.

The races

02 Jun 1974 > Mid-Ohio

15 Jun 1974 > Mosport Park

14 Jul 1974 > Watkins Glen

28 Jul 1974 > Road America

01 Sep 1974 > California Grand Prix at Ontario Motor Speedway

13 Oct 1974 > Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca

27 Oct 1974 > Riverside Grand Prix

1974 SCCA/USAC Formula 5000 Championship table

1Brian RedmanLola T332 - Chevrolet V8105 pts3 wins
2Mario AndrettiLola T332 - Chevrolet V897 pts3 wins
3David HobbsLola T330 - Chevrolet V855 pts1 win
4Eppie WietzesLola T332 - Chevrolet V849 pts 
5Brett LungerEagle 74A - Chevrolet V833 pts 
6John GunnLola T332 - Chevrolet V827 pts 
7Warwick BrownLola T332 - Chevrolet V820 pts 
8Graham McRaeTalon MR-1 - Chevrolet V8
Lola T332 - Chevrolet V8
McRae GM2 - Chevrolet V8
19 pts 
9Evan NoyesLola T332 - Chevrolet V818 pts 
10"Tuck" ThomasLola T332 - Chevrolet V816 pts 
11=James HuntLola T332 - Chevrolet V8
Eagle 755 - Chevrolet V8
15 pts 
11=Jon WoodnerTalon MR-1 - Chevrolet V815 pts 
13Mike MosleyLola T332 - Chevrolet V811 pts 
14=Horst KrollLola T300 - Chevrolet V810 pts 
14=Al UnserLola T332 - Chevrolet V810 pts 
16=Sam PoseyTalon MR-1 - Chevrolet V89 pts 
16=Tony SettemberLola T330 - Chevrolet V89 pts 
18Roger BighouseChevron B24 - Chevrolet V88 pts 
19=Jerry GrantLola T332 - Chevrolet V86 pts 
19=Nestor Garcia VeigaEagle 74A - Chevrolet V8
Lola T330 - Chevrolet V8
6 pts 

The points table is derived from Wolfgang Klopfer's excellent Formula A and Formula 5000 in America p50.