IRL: WDW notes 96-01-24

Lake Buena Vista, Fla., January 24, 1996 -- The Indy Racing League kicked off its 1996 season at the Walt Disney World Speedway located just outside the entrance to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. 47 FF2000 cars took to the track in their...

Lake Buena Vista, Fla., January 24, 1996 -- The Indy Racing League kicked off its 1996 season at the Walt Disney World Speedway located just outside the entrance to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

47 FF2000 cars took to the track in their session on Wednesday morning. Jason Bright of Victoria, Australia was fastest with a time of 28.203 and a speed of 127.646 mph.

John Rock of Oldsmobile and Johnny Rutherford unveiled the new Aurora pace car. The Aurora sports a flamboyant gold and purple paint scheme. Gold front with a darker gold stripe on the rear door. The trunk deck lid is purple as is the rear quarterpanels. The rear of the car finishes off with another dark gold stripe.

Mike Waggoner, Manager of Motorsports for Walt Disney World discussed future plans for WDW Speedway. "I'm in the process of writing the 5 and 10 year business plans" said Waggoner. Waggoner hopes to have a driver school at the track in the immediate future. A September date is being discussed for the next race at WDW Speedway. There is no word on what type race that may be.

Waggoner said that Disney is very happy with motorsports. Don't be surprised if Disney builds another track in the future.

When asked about parking for the Magic Kingdom, Waggoner explained that building the Speedway actually added parking for the Magic Kingdom. If the track is not being used, the infield could be used as parking for other Disney attractions.

The Menard team is reporting that the cars are pulling 4.5 Gs through the turns at WDW Speedway. Richie Hearn of the Della Penna team, says that the headrest alleviates any problems with his neck. "I can feel it in my hands when the car gets heavy with downforce" said Hearn. Hearn didn't think that there would be any problems with fatigue during the race.

While testing the pyrotechnics for the opening ceremonies, staff members managed to set a brush fire in the infield which took several minutes to extinguish.

Tony George said that he expects to have 10-12 events on the schedule in 2-3 years. When asked about the improvements needed for the IRL, George said that the series needed more exposure. George also said that "we expect to have an international event or two."

When asked about Formula One, George said that the road course for Indianapolis was one the drawing board when the golf course was designed. This means that a road course could be built at IMS without bothering the existing portions of the golf course in the infield.

Roy Disney will give the command to start engines on Saturday.

The USA Today will have a very nice IRL insert in Friday's paper.

More tomorrow.....

Dave

__ David Reininger's Paper Race Old Rare and Out of Print Automotive Books http://www.motorsport.com/paper-race

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Richie Hearn , Jason Bright , Tony George , Johnny Rutherford