IRL: Legendary Indy 500 machines star at British Auto Festival

CHICHESTER, Great Britain, Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - Racing cars and drivers that have been stars of races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the past 90 years were among the many entries in this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed. Held in...

CHICHESTER, Great Britain, Tuesday, July 10, 2001 - Racing cars and drivers that have been stars of races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the past 90 years were among the many entries in this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Held in late June or early July each year on Lord March's Goodwood estate in southern England, the Goodwood Festival of Speed brings together a huge array hundreds of historic and modern competition cars and road cars. The event is open to the public, and fans are allowed to get very close to the cars on display.

One of the themes of this year's Festival was "90 Years of the Indianapolis 500 from 1911 to 2001." It was only appropriate, then, that one of the stars of the show was the Marmon Wasp that Ray Harroun drove to victory in the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911.

The Marmon Wasp and a 1908 Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix car were shipped to the Festival from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. This marked the first time the Wasp has been seen outside of the United States.

Three former Indianapolis 500 victors - Bobby Unser (winner in 1968, 1975 and 1981), Danny Sullivan (winner in 1985) and Bobby Rahal (winner in 1986) - took part in the event. While some cars were on display only, others were driven at speed on the road that runs up the hill past the Goodwood mansion.

Unser drove a Penske-Cosworth PC9B similar to the car that he used to win the Indianapolis 500 in 1981. Rahal climbed behind the wheel of the 1986 March-Cosworth 86C campaigned by Michael Andretti in the Indianapolis 500 that year. Sullivan drove a 1962 Watson-Offenhauser that made four Indianapolis 500 starts.

Among the other Indianapolis 500 cars on display and in action were a 1994 Penske-Mercedes PC23, which Al Unser Jr. drove to victory that year; a 1920 Ballot Straight 8 that finished second in the 1920 Indianapolis 500 and won the 1921 Italian Grand Prix; a 1932 Miller FWD; a 1938 Maserati 8CTF and a 1948 Kurtis-Kraft KK2000 that finished fifth in the 1948 Indianapolis 500 and also starred in the film "To Please A Lady" starring Clark Gable.

The 1962 Watson-Offenhauser Weinberger Homes Special represented the "roadster era" at the Brickyard at the Festival. This car completed every lap of its four Indianapolis 500 starts from 1962-65. In 1965, Gordon Johncock drove the car to a fifth-place finish in the "500," which was the last best finish for a roadster during the time when rear-engine cars were taking over.

Other American drivers who took part in the Festival included Phil Hill, who drove a replica of the Ferrari 156 "sharknose" he used to win the 1961 Formula One World Championship and Darrell Waltrip, who drove a 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo he used to win the 1985 NASCAR Winston Cup.

Cars and drivers that took part in last year's inaugural SAP United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis and will race in this year's event Sept. 30 also starred at Goodwood. In all, seven current Formula One teams participated: West McLaren-Mercedes, Ferrari, Jaguar-Cosworth, Mild Seven Benetton-Renault, Williams-BMW, Minardi-European and Lucky Strike British American Racing-Honda.

Ferrari's test driver, Luca Badoer, drove a Ferrari F1-2000 similar to the car that Michael Schumacher took to victory in last year's SAP United States Grand Prix. Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa drove a Jaguar-Cosworth R2 that fans will see in action at this year's SAP United States Grand Prix.

Last year's Indianapolis 500 winner, Juan Pablo Montoya, displayed a 2000 Williams-BMW similar to the ones that Ralf Schumacher and Jenson Button drove last year. McLaren's test driver, Alexander Wurz, drove one of last year's McLaren-Mercedes MP4/15s campaigned by Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard, while BAR's test drivers Takuma Sato and Darren Manning drove a BAR-Honda 002 similar to the one 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve raced last season.

-IMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams , British American Racing