US Formula Super Vee 1985

The 1985 season did not see the one or two outstanding drivers that had been a feature of recent years but had a much more even field. Davy Jones, highly experienced but still only 21, won three races and finished second in another four in Garvin Brown's Ralt RT5/85 and was fastest in qualifying six times but with a points system that heavily favoured reliability, his three accidents at IRP, Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio were a serious limit on his points total. Ken Johnson, who had taken over the Provimi Veal Ralt from 1984 champion Arie Luyendijk, only won one race and only one pole position but always finished in the top ten and nearly always in the top five and won the title by a scant five points. Jeff Andretti also won three races and had pole position three times but he was much more erratic, crashing out of four of the first five races to ensure that he was never a championship contender. Former Midget racer Mike Groff finished the season stronly with two victories and looked good for 1986.

Ralt continued their domination of US Super Vee with nearly 90% of the grids and 11 out of 12 winners. They also swept the top six finishing places in half the races with only Belgian Didier Theys and his Martini MK47, winners at Watkins Glen, presenting any sort of challenge. Ansons continued to appear but shone rarely, Kim Campbell managing some decent performances and Tommy Byrne once qualifying in second spot for a guest drive in the Mark Pivec Racing Anson SA6.

The races

13 Apr 1985 > Long Beach

25 May 1985 > Indianapolis Raceway Park

02 Jun 1985 > Milwaukee Mile

23 Jun 1985 > Detroit

30 Jun 1985 > Meadowlands Sports Complex

07 Jul 1985 > Cleveland

03 Aug 1985 > Road America

25 Aug 1985 > Watkins Glen

01 Sep 1985 > Mid-Ohio

08 Sep 1985 > Sanair

06 Oct 1985 > Laguna Seca

13 Oct 1985 > Phoenix International Raceway

1985 Robert Bosch/VW Super Vee Championship table

1Ken JohnsonRalt RT5/84 - VW Brabham144 pts1 win
2Davy JonesRalt RT5/85 - VW Bertils139 pts3 wins
3Mike GroffRalt RT5/85 - VW Bertils
Ralt RT5/83 - VW Brabham
131 pts2 wins
4Cary BrenRalt RT5/85 - VW Brabham118 pts 
5Jeff AndrettiRalt RT5/85 - VW Brabham112 pts3 wins
6Jeff MacPhersonRalt RT5/84 - VW Brabham91 pts 
7Steve BrenRalt RT5/85 - VW Brabham
Ralt RT5/85 - VW Bertils
87 pts 
8Didier TheysMartini MK47 - VW Bertils86 pts1 win
9Ted PrappasRalt RT5/84 - VW Brabham
Ralt RT5/85 - VW Morris
86 pts 
10Matt McBrideRalt RT5/85 - VW Brabham70 pts 

Previous: the 1984 US FSV season

Next: the 1986 US FSV season

The other two races were won by Mike Hooper (Colin Bennett Racing Ralt RT5/84) and Peter Pandur (in his converted ex-F3 Ralt RT3). This points table is taken from the SCCA Pro Racing Media Guide 1988. Also see Gordon Kirby's seasonal survey in Autosport 23 January 1986 p57.

Until this season, Ralt had kept their RT5 FSV design in step with their RT3 Formula 3 design but for 1985 new FISA regulations enforced flat bottom to reduce ground effect. The detail of these regulations arrived very late, delaying Ralt's new RT30 F3 design which in turn delayed the production run of RT5s. Although ground effects stayed for FSV, a late decision around a new five-speed gearbox caused additional problems.

As before, most FSV races were held as support races to CART races and FSV was firmly established as the main ladder series into Indycar racing. One of the highlights of this relationship was the FSV race held at Indianapolis Raceway Park on the eve of the Indy 500. Howver, FSV's position was undoubtedly under threat with the announcement in October of ARS for 1986.