STEALING THE 500: The Story of Carroll Shelby’s 1968 Turbine-Powered Indycars, Part 2 of 2

September 7, 2016
Stephen Cox Blog Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance
 
 
(Read Part 1 by clicking here) Ken Wallis was running out of time. Both of Carrol Shelby's turbine-powered cars were now at Indianapolis but they were nowhere near race-ready condition. His drivers, McLaren and Hulme, had only a six-day window before they returned to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix.
 
In a desperate bid to make the cars competitive, Wallis used a liberal interpretation of USAC's rules to design a new annulus (the engine opening that fed air to the turbine). When measured by technical inspectors, the annulus was under the legal 16-inch limit. But at full throttle on the race track, a variable valve system opened to permit greater air flow into the turbine. At best, this was a careful translation of the rules. If they were caught there was no guarantee that USAC wouldn't immediately disqualify the Shelby/Wallis Turbines. Such a move would be an unmitigated disaster not only for the team principals, but also for Goodyear, their drivers and their sponsors.

INDYCAR: What Jack Hawksworth Means for Open Wheel Racing

October 26, 2015
The Stephen Cox Blog is Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance
 
 
Jack Hawksworth is a nice kid and a good Indycar driver.
 
Some will take this column as a knock on Hawksworth, which is a complete misunderstanding of every word. It is no such thing. Ultimately, this is really not about Hawksworth at all. But his meteoric rise through the ranks exposes Indycar's gravest weakness and tells us a great deal about the inner workings of the series.

UNSCRIPTED: WHAT RACERS THINK OF INDYCAR – Answers from 10 Random Participants at All Levels

March 3, 2014
The Stephen Cox Blog is Presented by McGunegill Engine Performance


“It's all about money nowadays. I don't think it matters about how much talent you've got. It seems like if you've got more money, you get the shot. People like Oriol Servia, he's out of a ride and a talented guy. You've got Alex Tagliani... me... people who could do it. It's really difficult to get funding.”
    - Katherine Legge, 2-time Indy 500 starter, to Autoweek magazine

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Indycar Could Use a Few More Heroes

November 18, 2013
The Stephen Cox Blog is presented by McGunegill Engine Performance
 
The trouble with Indycar is not that there's no one available to take Dario Franchitti's place. The trouble with Indycar is that no one cares who takes Dario Franchitti's place. The series is fast running out of heroes and reinforcements aren't arriving quick enough. This is bad business.