American racing great Sam Posey will be guest of honor at the 17th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 9-11, 2012. In a three-decade-long career, the New York-born Posey competed in just about every form of racing, including Can-Am, Trans-Am, World Endurance Championship, IMSA, Indy Cars, Formula 5000 and Formula 1.
Posey’s versatility landed him drives in a number of cars and categories starting with Formula Vee in the early 60s. He drove McLarens in Can-Am, Chevy Camaros for Roger Penske and Dodge Challengers in Trans-Am, NART Ferraris in the world endurance championship, as well as various entries in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He took an overall win at the 1975 12 Hours of Sebring in a BMW 3.0 CSL Coupe, and competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans ten times finishing a career best third in the 1971 race driving a Ferrari 512M for Luigi Chinetti’s famous North American Racing Team (NART). He is credited with giving Carroll Shelby his last victory for Ford when he won the 1969 Trans-Am race at Lime Rock in a Shelby-prepared Mustang. In 1972 Sam raced an Eagle to fifth place in the Indy 500. That same season marked Sam’s successful return to the Surtees Formula 1 team for the USGP at Watkins Glen. Posey’s last full racing season was 1981.
Perhaps the racing achievement closet to Sam’s heart was being the first to break Lime Rock Park’s one-minute barrier. In 1967 he piloted his McLaren Mk II Can-Am sports car to a single 58.6 second lap around his home circuit’s seven-turn, 1.53 mile road course. Sam’s comical PR-fueled feud with pal and fellow F5000 racer (and now fellow Speed TV F1 commentator) David Hobbs would make a fine and comical subject for a sequel to Sam’s autobiography The Mudge Pond Express.
In the television broadcast booth Posey made a lasting impression. Knowledgeable, articulate and keenly analytical Posey’s almost scholarly demeanor is ideal for analyzing races and their complex strategies for TV audiences. He got his first taste of commentating in 1974 when Sir Jackie Stewart, a three-time Formula One champion, could not attend the Indianapolis 500. Posey was deputized by ABC Sports and his TV career went into high gear. In 1989 Sam won an Emmy for Best Writing. With the advent of cable television’s SpeedVision (now SPEED TV) Posey had the perfect outlet for his talents.
Posey was a regular for ABC’s Indy 500 coverage from 1982-1996. One of his favorite commentary assignments was the Tour de France bicycle race during the early ’90s. For the past several years, Posey’s insightful and dramatic pre-race introduction for SPEED TV’s coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and every Formula 1 race continues to put even the most casual viewer on the edge of his seat.
Posey is also an accomplished artist, painter and architect having designed the race control tower at his favorite track – Lime Rock Park near his home in Sharon, Connecticut. An avid model railroader, he authored Playing With Trains, (published by Random House) and also autobiography, The Mudge Pond Express.
“Sam is one of the true gentlemen of motorsport and very respected for his knowledge, insight and dry humor.” says Bill Warner, Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance founder and chairman. “He has done so many things so well in racing and he has that one-of-a-kind style in the commentary booth. Sam is a big supporter of the Concours and has also been a judge and seminar panelist with us. It’s a great pleasure for me to have him in 2012 as our guest of honor.”
The 2012 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance will be held March 9-11 on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach adjacent to The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. The honoree for 2012 will be rally and endurance legend Vic Elford and the iconic Ferrari GTO will be featured. The show’s Foundation has donated nearly $1.8 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. and other charities on Florida’s First Coast since its inception in 1996.
[Source: Amelia Island Concours]