Throwback Thursday: Mike Baldwin on Honda’s Revolutionary FWS1000

Larry Lawrence | November 1, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Mike Baldwin on Honda’s Revolutionary FWS1000

Throwback Thursday: Mike Baldwin on Honda's Revolutionary FWS1000
Photo by Henny Ray Abrams

In this week’s Throwback we wind back the time machine 36 years to March of 1982 and Daytona International Speedway. At the Daytona 200 that year, Honda debuted its revolutionary FWS1000. After a season in FIM World Endurance, Mike Baldwin came back to America and raced the FWS1000 V-Four to three wins in the six-race AMA Formula One Series. Baldwin won the ’82 championship giving Honda the distinction of becoming the first manufacturer to win the AMA Formula 1 title with a four-stroke-powered machine.

“That bike had an amazingly broad powerband,” Baldwin recalled of the FWS. “At Loudon one year I told my mechanic (Ray Plumb) that I was going to do a full lap without shifting gears. You’ve got to remember that Loudon was a pretty tight track and had some hairpin turns. Anyway, I went an entire lap in one gear and still turned a minute, 10.”

At Daytona the FWS proved to be ultra-fast, but tough on tires. Baldwin and Honda teammate Freddie Spencer ran up front early in the race, but both had to pit several times for rear tires, costing them a shot at winning the race. Spencer finished second to New Zealand GP racer Graeme Crosby and Baldwin was fourth after a late-race pit stop.

This Henny Ray Abrams photo shows Baldwin (No. 43) battling with speedy privateer Nicky Richichi (No. 25).

Larry Lawrence | Archives Editor In addition to writing our Archives section on a weekly basis, Lawrence is another who is capable of covering any event we throw his way.