“When I was doing it, I got paid to drive. You were judged on your merit as a driver... not the check that you brought,” Darren Manning said while sipping an after-hours beer and relaxing in the lobby of his company's new facility on the west side of Indianapolis.
The safety cult storm troopers continue their assault on auto racing and this time, even Formula One cannot escape their regulatory clutches.
In reference to the current effort to mandate either the Halo or Aeroscreen head protection safety gadgets for the 2017 racing season, F1 race director Charlie Whiting said, “If we eventually need to add a couple of seconds to the time required to get out (of the race car), I think that would be a small price to pay.”
I began driving race cars in 1985. In the thirty years since, I've had a total of one (1) serious neck injury while racing. It was at Plymouth Speedway in the summer of 1995. I have not had another neck injury since.
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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.
“After the latest tragedy in Indycar... it's time to shut down this ridiculously dangerous form of racing,” says Associated Press writer Paul Newberry in the wake of the tragic death of Indycar driver Justin Wilson.
A few years ago the late Mike Stephens, then owner of the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in Oklahoma, helped me find a ride in an open cockpit Toyota World Sports Racer. I had no experience in the type and missed the podium in consecutive races.
Indycars will be faster this year. Recent testing at Barber Motorsports Park demonstrated that the new “aero body kits” generate far more downforce, which resulted in nearly every car in the field beating last year's pole time.
Brian Vickers is back. Again. After being forced out of NASCAR racing for the third time with a major medical issue, Vickers has returned to Michael Waltrip Racing after a successful heart surgery. I remember Brian well from his days in the Hooters ProCup Stock Car Series, where I was SPEED's pit reporter for nine years.
When is the last time we saw a race with only one meaningful pass for the lead that was this enjoyable? Watching eventual winner Lewis Hamilton stalk Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg for the lead was a sight to behold and well worth the price of admission. Everyone knew it was going to be a Mercedes race, but few expected such a classic dogfight between their drivers.