Bob Sharp (racing driver)

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a Bob Sharp Racing car BobSharpZ31.JPG
a Bob Sharp Racing car

Bob Sharp (born March 11, 1939) is an American former racing driver and owner of Bob Sharp Racing. Bob is the father of Scott Sharp, an American professional racing driver, who is best known for his years as a competitor in the Indy Racing League.

Contents

Sharp's Datsun Bob Sharp Racing 1970 Datsun 240Z.jpg
Sharp's Datsun

Between 1967 and 1975, Sharp won the Sports Car Club of America national championships six times, (in B-Sedan, F-Production and C-Production) and the IMSA GTU title, racing for Datsun, whose cars he also sold. [1] One of his main motivations to campaign Datsuns was, he said, "You race cars to sell cars." His success with racing drove his Connecticut dealership to go from selling 200 Datsuns per year to selling 2000. [2]

In 1960, after serving in the Army and while attending college, Bob began racing his 1960 Austin-Healey "bug-eye" Sprite, in spite of it being his "daily driver" used to go back and forth to school. [2] While his time at Nichols College was wrapping up, his racing and Datsun owner's club started earning him customers from Boston to Philadelphia, with the dealership becoming known for its racing-inspired attention to detail. [3]

Bob, who was the premier Datsun racer on the East Coast, introduced Paul Newman to competitive driving in 1971. By the following year, Newman joined Bob Sharp Racing, driving one of Bob's 510 B-sedans, and they spent many weekdays at Lime Rock Park discussing racing, while Paul got comfortable with the new Datsun car. [4] [5]

SCCA National Championship Runoffs

YearTrackCarEngineClassFinishStartStatus
1964 Riverside Nissan Nissan G Production10Retired
1965 Daytona Nissan Nissan G Production34Running
1966 Riverside Nissan SRL311 Nissan F Production141Retired
Nissan Nissan G Production5Running
1967 Daytona Nissan Nissan F Production13Running
Nissan Nissan C Production123Running
1968 Riverside Nissan SPL311 Nissan F Production23Running
Nissan SPL311 Nissan C Production164Retired
1969 Daytona Nissan SRL311U Nissan D Production44Running
Nissan SRL311U Nissan F Production59Running
1970 Road Atlanta Nissan 240Z Nissan C Production24Running
1971 Road Atlanta Nissan 510 Nissan B Sedan11Running
Nissan 240Z Nissan C Production22Running
1972 Road Atlanta Nissan 240Z Nissan C Production11Running
Nissan 510 Nissan B Sedan11Running
1973 Road Atlanta Nissan 610 Nissan B Sedan211Retired
Nissan 240Z Nissan C Production11Running
1974 Road Atlanta Nissan 260Z Nissan C Production35Running
Nissan 610 Nissan B Sedan22Running
1975 Road Atlanta Nissan 280Z Nissan C Production11Running
Nissan 610 Nissan B Sedan23Running

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References

  1. Brian Long; Yutaka Katayama (April 2006). Datsun Fairlady Roadster to 280zx: The Z-car Story. Veloce Publishing Ltd. pp. 130–134. ISBN   978-1-904788-07-2.
  2. 1 2 Parkhurst, Terry (Spring 2002). "Bob Sharp and His "Beautiful Car"". Sport Z Magazine. Robert Bell: 20.
  3. Parkhurst, Terry (October 2012). "Bob Sharp - Fast with Class". Nissan Sport: 23.
  4. Matt Stone. Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman. pp.  24–27. ISBN   978-0-7603-3706-6.
  5. Rich Taylor. Lime Rock Park - 35 Years of Racing. Sharon Mountain Press. p. 117. ISBN   0-9633994-0-3.