On this day in 1969, the legendary actor, philanthropist and automobile enthusiast Paul Newman makes his onscreen racing debut in the action-drama film “Winning.”
Three years after making the film, Newman launched a racing career of his own, driving a Lotus Elan in his first Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) race in 1972. In the mid-1970s, he joined a racing team, and they finished in fifth place in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1977. Newman’s personal best finish was second place in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1979; he drove a Porsche 935.
From the mid ‘70s to the early ‘90s, Newman drove for the Bob Sharp Racing team, mainly in Datsuns and Nissans. He won four SCCA national titles: D-production in 1976, C-production in ’79 and GT-1 in 1985-86. He raced in Trans-Am and even in the Baja 1000.
As a team owner he joined Carl Haas in 1983 to form Newman-Haas racing, which went on to win 105 races and eight championships.
He never seemed to tire of the other side of the sport, though, staying behind the wheel long after most reasonable men had given up even playing golf. At 70 he co-drove a Mustang to victory in the GTS class of the 24 Hours of Daytona, the oldest driver to win a major sanctioned race. A decade later he was still at it.
Paul Newman was a racer who supported his habit by acting. That’s how he would have wanted to be remembered. He died at the age of 83 in September 2008 after a long battle with cancer. #paulnewman #winning #datsun #datsun510 #nissanz #racer #legend #racinglegend #icon #historicphoto #vintageracing