Libra Racing, located in Colchester, Vermont, has been building and maintaining race and rally cars since 1972. Owned and operated by 11-time SCCA PRO Rally champion John Buffum, Libra built and campaigned a Ford Escort, with John Buffum driving the car to the 1973 SCCA Trans-Am Under 2.5 Liter Championship.
They then built the TR-7's and TR-8's with which John Buffum won the US and North American Championships in the late 70's. Then came the all-conquering Audi Quattros which carried Buffum to six consecutive US Rally Championships from 1982-87; 64 events with only two mechanical non-finishes!
In the late 80's and early 90's, along with building and servicing Paul Choiniere's Audi Quattros and S-2s, Libra has opened its doors to outside customers, having built Mazda 323's, Mitsubishi Eclipses and Galants for Carl Merrill (4), Noel Lawler (2), and Jim Wilson.
Choiniere won the championships in 1990, '92, '93 and '94 in Libra Racing Audis - another 51 events with only one mechanical DNF.
In late 1994, Libra built a Hyundai Elantra Open class rally car from the ground up for Paul Choiniere and Jeff Becker to defend their PRO Rally Championship. The car's debut saw a second-place finish in the 1994 Maine Forest Rally despite a broken drive shaft.
The car won its first rally at Cheraw, S.C. to start the 1995 SCCA/Michelin PRO Rally season at the Sand Hills/Sand Blast event, and followed with national wins at the Sunriser 400 Forest Rally in Ohio, the Wild West PRO Rally in Washington, the Rim of the World PRO Rally in California, and the Susquehannock Trail PRO Rally in Pennsylvania en route to their fourth straight national title.
Buffum and co-driver Mark Williams also won the International Rally of the Incas in Peru in September, 1995, in Choiniere's old Audi S-2, eclipsing the previous record by nearly three hours.
For 1996, Libra and Hyundai built another new rally car, with Buffum constructing a restyled '96 Hyundai Elantra for Choiniere and Becker. The car won its first event in Cheraw, SC, with a 14-second victory, and clinched the championship with wins in California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maine, and Michigan.
Choiniere also entered the Pike Peak Hill Climb for the first time in 1996, and finished second in the Open class in a 450 hp Elantra.
1997 brought the fourth new car in five years, with the building of a 1997 Hyundai Tiburon, the Korean car maker's new sports coupe. Choiniere won five events enroute to his sixth straight national title and seven championships in the last eight years.
Libra and Choiniere went back to Pike's Peak in '97 and scored their first-ever class win.
In addition to the new Tiburon, Buffum prepared the '96 Elantra for several events in order to procure manufacturer's points for Hyundai, and drove the car twice himself. He DNFed at STPR after leading the rally by five minutes. He scored a second place finish after leading at Ojibwe, but pulled over to let Choiniere score the driver's points.
Same situation at Wild West '98, where he had a one-minute lead over Choiniere, and pulled over to give Paul the points.
Choiniere and Libra Elantra driver Noel Lawler were one-two in Rumford, Maine. Buffum and Lawler were one-two at Ojibwe in Minnesota, while Lawler won Prescott and finished second at Lake Superior, giving Hyundai its third straight manufacturers title.
The team went back to Pike's Peak for the third time in 1998 with the same Hyundai Tiburon which had crashed badly in Pennsylvania three weeks before, and finished second in class.
Libra also supplies Michelin Pilot Rally tires and many competition parts used in other teams' cars.