Sam Posey

Full Name:
Samuel Felton Posey
Born:
26th May 1944 (Age 74)
New York City, New York
Nationality:
American
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

Sam Posey was a wealthy New Yorker whose father had died during World War II. He loved to race – especially on road courses – and was equally adept in sports cars or open-wheelers.

Education and early racing career

Having studied design at Rhode Island, Posey seemed more interested in racing cars than anything else on graduation. He first competed in Formula Vee at Lime Rock in 1965 but Posey wanted to savour the classics so he raced in the following year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

He quickly developed a reputation as a fine all-rounder in the United States Road Racing Championship and North American Formula 5000 (then known as Formula A). His Ford Mustang won a Trans-Am race in 1969 and Posey drove Andy Granatelli’s STP Lotus-Plymouth in Indycar’s road races that year with third at Kent his best result.

Posey also returned to Le Mans in 1969 and his Ferrari finished in the top 10 for the next four years. Fourth with a NART Ferrari in both the Daytona and Le Mans 24 Hours in 1970, he returned to the Circuit de la Sarthe a year later to finish third when sharing the team’s Ferrari 512M with Tony Adamowicz. That 1971 result was achieved despite an early delay which prompted the laconic Posey to quip that "the only good thing about this car is its driver".

Formula 1 with Surtees

He added F1 to his varied racing résumé by driving a Surtees TS9-Ford in the United States Grand Prix of 1971 and 1972. His works car retired with engine failure on his debut and the Champcarr Inc-entered machine (that was now upgraded to TS9B-specification) finished 12th in 1972.

Third in the 1971 North American F5000 Championship with a Surtees TS8-Chevrolet, he finished as runner-up behind Graham McRae a year later despite not winning a race. Posey also drove a Norris Industries Eagle-Offy in three Indycar races during 1972 and finished fifth at both Indianapolis and Pocono.

He joined BMW’s IMSA team in 1975 scored a breakthrough victory for the marque in the Sebring 12 Hours when sharing a 3.0 CSL with Allan Moffat, Brian Redman and Hans-Joachim Stuck.

Television commentator

He continued to race until 1981 before turning his ready charm and sharp wit to the television commentator’s booth. His pits-to-car interview with 1986 Indianapolis 500 race leader Kevin Cogan during a late yellow was a classic. When Cogan politely asked not to be bothered, Posey admitted "I wouldn’t want to talk to me either." Cogan lost the race to Bobby Rahal on the restart.

Posey became a published author (about model trains in addition to his autobiography) in later years. Sadly, he has recently developed Parkinson’s disease although he continues to appear on America’s Speed Channel as an F1 expert.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1981 World Endurance Championship
Cooke-Woods Racing
5 0 1 0 78th 30
1980 World Championship of Makes 1 0 0 0 0
1977 World Championship of Makes 1 0 0 0 0
1976 World Championship of Makes
BMW Alpina
2 0 1 0 16
1976 SCCA/USAC F5000 Championship
Jack McCormack
2 0 0 0
0% win rate
14th 8
1975 World Championship of Makes
BMW
2 0 0 0 6
1975 IMSA Camel GT Championship
BMW Motorsport
1 0 1 1 0
1974 USAC National Championship
ChampCarr
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1974 SCCA/USAC F5000 Championship
McCormack Racing
7 0 0 0
0% win rate
16th 9
1973 World Championship of Makes
North American Racing Team
1 0 0 0 0
1973 USAC National Championship
ChampCarr
3 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1973 SCCA L&M F5000 Championship
Taylor-Entin
0 (2) 0 0 0 0
1973 Tasman Cup
ChampCarr
8 0 1 0
0% win rate
8th 9
1972 F1 World Championship
ChampCarr
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1972 World Championship of Makes
North American Racing Team
1 0 0 0 6
1972 USAC National Championship
ChampCarr
3 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1972 SCCA L&M Continental F5000 Championship
ChampCarr
8 1 5 0
0% win rate
2nd 69
1971 F1 World Championship
Team Surtees
1 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1971 International Championship of Makes
North American Racing Team
1 0 1 0 4
1971 SCCA L&M Continental F5000 Championship
ChampCarr
8 3 4 1
13% win rate
2nd 70
1970 International Championship of Makes
North American Racing Team
2 0 0 0 6
1969 International Championship of Makes
North American Racing Team
1 0 0 0 0
1969 USAC National Championship
Andy Granatelli
6 0 1 0
0% win rate
27th 370
1969 SCCA Formula A Continental Championship
Autodynamics Corporation
12 (1) 1 5 2
17% win rate
3rd 41
1968 SCCA Formula A Grand Prix Championship 2 (1) 1 0 0
0% win rate
0
1966 International Championship of Makes
Prototipi Bizzarrini
1 0 0 0 0