Derek Bell, making a daring move with five minutes left in the race, drove his Porsche 962 prototype past Darin Brassfield's Chevrolet-March 85G yesterday and went on to win the Lowenbrau Grand Prix of Miami.
Bell, who drove the last half of the three-hour sports car race through downtown Miami after taking over from co-driver Al Holbert, fell behind Brassfield, 22, following the fourth and final full-course caution period of the International Motor Sports Association Camel GT prototype race.
The winners, driving a car sponsored by Lowenbrau, averaged 68.342 mph on the way to a 5.1-second victory over the Brassfield-David Hobbs car.
The yellow flag came out for the only serious accident in the race, which was marred by numerous spins, tangles between cars and meetings with the concrete barriers that lined the 1.85-mile, 12-turn course.
Gaston Andrey incurred a fractured right leg and possible hip injuries when his car, a Mazda Tiga, went out of control, flipped several times, slammed into the barrier and caught fire. Andrey was removed from the car quickly and treated at the site of the crash before being taken to Mercy Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.
Bell's turbocharged Porsche, which had built a wide lead early in the last hour, slowed briefly when the green flag came out following the last caution period. Brassfield slipped past into the lead on Lap 101.
Bell, 40, then began to stalk the leader, finally moving inside of Brassfield on lap 106. As the cars reached one of the slower turns on the course, Bell sped past, the cars bumping sides as he did.
Emerson Fittipaldi and Tony Garcia combined to take third place in the 111-lap race in another Chevrolet-March.
A protest by Fittipaldi following the race was turned down and he was fined $1,000 for hitting an official. In the first hour of the race, Fittipaldi's car was leading and Bob Wollek's car was second when a caution flag came out. The pace car pulled onto the track to pick up the leader and Fittipaldi said he and Wollek both were waved past by someone inside the pace car.
Both drivers drove past the pace car and were immediately black-flagged into the pits and assessed penalties of about half a minute. Fittipaldi leaped from his car, dashed up to pit official Bob Raymond and allegedly struck him.
A crowd estimated by police at 100,000 -- the biggest in the three-year history of the richest sports car race in the world -- watched the event.
Bell and Holbert won $50,000 and Brassfield and Hobbs earned $25,000 . . .
Juan Manuel Fangio II captured an easy victory in the second annual Mazda InterAmerican Challenge in Miami. Earlier, Willy T. Ribbs won a 30-lap GTO division sports car race on the twisting 1.85-mile, 12-turn course . . .
Dale Earnhardt passed Tim Richmond with 20 laps remaining and took Geoff Bodine by three car lengths to win the Richmond 400 NASCAR Grand National event.
Earnhardt, driving a Chevrolet, won $33,625 for his afternoon's work at the half-mile Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway. He averaged 67.945 mph.