It was time to move up. In 1983 Rob ran a Pontiac Firebird in IMSA GTO and selected Trans-Am races. By this time it was a crew of three - Pat and two other guys including John Pultz (Boz) who started working for Rob in 1978 after following him into the driveway after a race at Lime Rock. Rob had the Firebird built and to be charitable, the car was not at the top of the class. But it was a good learning experience as they ran a mixed schedule of IMSA and Trans Am, finishing third at the Elkhart Lake 500 miler.

Rob Dyson: "In 1982 I said to Smitty, I think we ought to move up." I thought we were capable at that time. We had a couple more guys hanging out with us, and I thought the Firebird would work. Another guy built it and the car really did not do anything very well, but it taught us a lot. The car was a one-off with everything built by us or by the guy who built it. The car was just so unique, so we were constantly updating and redoing stuff, usually by ourselves. But finishing third at Elkhart Lake was a highlight. We were running a car that was clearly outclassed and we just outlasted everybody. The long and short of it was that the Firebird was such a diabolical car, that when I got into the Porsche 962, we were able to run quickly right away."