Ford hired Jack Roush to build and enter a Mercury Capri in the SCCA Trans-Am Championship before the 1984 racing season. Roush, who is a specialist in engines, enlisted the assistance of the specialized business Protofab to build the custom chassis. Charlie Selix founded Protofab, which hired engineers Bob Riley and Gary Pratt to develop the chassis.
The Trans-Am cars of the 1980s only vaguely resembled the road cars they were built on; they were very much a silhouette formula. The Protofab built Roush Capri had a steel tubular frame and fiberglass body. Roush concentrated his efforts on the Ford V8 with high-performance natural aspiration. The engine was capable of producing at least 650 horsepower and as much as 800 horsepower later, despite only having one carburettor.
In 1985, Willy T. Ribbs raced chassis 008 in the Trans-Am series as a Mercury Capri. More prize money was won by him in one season than by any other Trans-Am racer with eight victories.
In 1986, Scott Pruett drove chassis 008, now rebodied as a Mustang with Motorcraft sponsorship to win the IMSA GTO championship.
Restored by Chris Liebenberg to its championship spec and livery, the Mustang made its way to the west coast where it was sold to Phil Gallant, then to Zak Brown. The vehicle has made multiple appearances at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
Chassis 008 — Race Results
1985 Trans-Am Season — Willy T. Ribbs
April 21st. Firebird International Raceway. - 1st. Ribbs.
June 2nd. Sears Point. - 1st. Ribbs.
July 7th. Summit Point Raceway. - 1st. Ribbs.
July 21st. Brainerd. - 1st. Ribbs.
August 4th. Road America. - 1st. Ribbs.
September 1st. Circuit Trois-Rivieres. - 1st. Ribbs.
September 8th. Mosport International Raceway. - 2nd. Ribbs.
September 28th. Sears Point. - 1st. Ribbs.
September 29th. Sears Point Raceway. - 2nd. Ribbs.
November 3rd. St. Petersburg. - 1st. Ribbs.
1986 IMSA GTO
Scott Pruett, winner — 1986 Driver’s Championship
April 5th. Road Atlanta (GTO/GTU). - 1st in class, 1st OA. Pruett.
June 7th. Mid-Ohio (GTO/GTU). - 1st in class, 1st OA. Pruett.
June 22nd. West Palm Beach (GTO). - 1st OA. Pruett.
August 24th. Road America. (All Classes) - 2nd in class, 4th OA. Pruett, Jenner.
September 20th. Watkins Glen International. (GTO/GTU) - 21st in class, 40th/DNF. Pruett.
October 5th. Columbus Street Course. (GTO/GTU). - 7th in class, 7th OA. Pruett.
October 26th. Daytona International Speedway. (GTP/GTO). - 1st in class, 7th OA. Pruett.
1986 Trans-Am Season — Scott Pruett
May 18th - Riverside. - Scott Pruett. 1st.
August 16th Lime Rock. - Scott Pruett. 3rd.
September 14th Mosport. - Scott Pruett. 1st.
September 27th Sears Point. - Scott Pruett. 2nd.
September 28th Sears Point. - Scott Pruett. 3rd.
November 15th St. Petersburg. - Scott Pruett. 3rd.
1987 Trans-Am Season with Deborah Gregg
August 29th. Road America. - 3rd. Gregg.
September 13th. Memphis Motorsport Park. - 3rd. Gregg.
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