Before the factory availability of the vaunted, and highly sought-after, 1LE programs for Camaro and Firebird could be "hatched", some serious "engineering" had to be performed. Although folks like John Heinracy, and his "privateer" SCCA racing, helped perfect the breed, a little-known activity was ongoing up in Canada.
Fully supported by the Canadian arm, the GM/Player's Challenge was created for the '86 racing season, to be represented by Camaros and Firebirds only. Some would say a "domestic" answer to the Rothman's Porsche Cup for 944 Turbos, the Player's Challenge would prove to be the breeding ground for a few serious racers to "graduate" to Sedans...Scott Maxwell, Richard Spenard and, especially, Ron Fellows.
Interesting behind-the-scenes story @ the link: