The Chaparral 2K was designed and built for Jim Hall’s Chaparral Cars to compete in 1979 Indycar season, and was raced in CART in 1979 – 1982. Lola designer John Barnard created a Formula One-inspired ground effect conventional bonded and riveted aluminium monocoque chassis. At the front, lower wishbones and top rockers were fitted while the rear-end sported double wishbones. The new Chaparral was powered by a Cosworth-built 2.65 litre V8 engine and was painted in the bright yellow Pennzoil livery. Debuting in 1979 with driver Al Unser Sr., it went on to win six races in 27 starts over three seasons. Its greatest success came in 1980 when Johnny Rutherford won both the Indy 500 and CART championship. In 1979 Al Unser won the final race of the season and was 5th in the final standings. For the 1980 season, Hall hired fellow Texan and two-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford to drive the Chaparral 2K. Rutherford won the opening round at Ontario and continued this great run at Indy, scoring his third and the team’s second win in the classic event. Rutherford went on to win a further three races in the Chaparral that year. In twelve races he finished on the podium eight times and took a total of five wins, which was more than enough to beat Penske’s Bobby Unser in the CART championship. The 2K was used again in 1981 but by now many of the other manufacturers had caught up with ground effect cars of their own. Rutherford only managed to win the opening race and finished fifth in the standings. After continued poor results in the first races of the 1982, Hall decided to replace the ageing Chaparral 2K with a fresh March chassis for Rutherford to complete the season with.
|1980||USAC National Championship / CART||Indianapolis 500|
|Johnny Rutherford||4||Chaparral Racing|