We all know that Rubens Barrichello was not retained by Williams F1 to race in 2012. For the experienced racer with 19 seasons of Formula 1 experience, this would seem like the end of an era for the Brazilian.
However, that does not mean that Rubens has to stop racing cars. IndyCar is just one example where Rubens’ experience and popularity would serve him well.
In my opinion, this would be a great time for the Brazilian to jump into the American open-wheel arena. He does have a few things going for him that would make him an attractive prospect in 2012.
A little known fact was that Nigel Mansell wasn’t the only Formula 1 driver who considered making the switch to IndyCar. In December of 1992, Aryton Senna came to the United States and tested for Penske Racing. This was a huge deal, even though it created little discussion in Europe.
They have Formula 1, so what would Europeans care about IndyCar? Wrong!
For those who don’t know Penske for IndyCar is much like Mclaren for Formula 1, so we are talking about testing for one of the top teams of the era. The test for more out of interest in the IndyCar for Senna, than a full time commitment to the series, but still important nonetheless.
Apologies that the video is not in English, but take a moment to view a little know piece of motorsport history. Thanks to MotorsportRetro for the find, and follow the link for a more detailed article.
Yesterday, the racing community lost an important member. IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon was killed in a crash at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The accident involved 15 cars, and Wheldon was the single fatality.
Wheldon was a driver of immense talent and reach in the racing world. Having started his career in karts in the United Kingdom, Wheldon had rivaled karters like future F1 World Champion Jenson Button. Trained by Terry Fullerton, Ayrton Senna’s great karting rival, Wheldon then moved to the United States rather than chasing a dream in Formula 1.
Almost two years ago, it was decided that IndyCar was going to through a massive redesign in the chassis and aero formula. A design contest was brought forward, and several companies set forward their designs. Dallara ended up winning the contract and a new prototype was put into motion.
However, this post is not about that car. It’s about something much more ridiculous.
Of the runners-up, one of the more laughable designs was a concept called the ‘DeltaWing’. The design itself shows the car with a ridiculous front track, and massively thin looking impact structures. The concept car looked like something out of ‘Wacky Races’.
It was clear why it wasn’t picked as the next generation IndyCar.
However Dan Gurney’s All American Racers has been brought on board, along with Panoz and Highcroft Racing, under the Project 56 banner have decided to build one anyway…to race in the 24 Hours of LeMans… in front of people. God help us…
What are your thoughts on the DeltaWing? Revolutionary or absolute joke?
I’ve been yearning a need of more racing with tight twisting road courses. After watching the Nascar Nationwide Race in Montreal a few weeks back, I found myself wanting more street circuit racing.
Then it hit me, why am I not watching IndyCar? That’s it! I need more IndyCar! The few races that I’ve seen on road courses have been bonkers, double-file restarts and the drivers like ‘Mr-Flip -ya the birdy- Will Power’ always serve to entertain.
Man, with the F1 season on break, I’m finding myself digging deeper and deeper into the past.
In 1992, Nigel Mansell won the Formula 1 World Championship for Williams. (Man, it seems so long ago since Williams have done well). In 1993, Mansell left the world of F1, and made a move to CART. He wanted to see if he could take on the world’s best in America (which he did, becoming the 1993 Champion).
However, his move into CART was not the smoothest as IndyCar racers wondered if he could hang in this different form of single-seater racing. Here is a video of Nigel Mansell’s first test in a CART IndyCar, narrated by Murray Walker.
You can hear the hesitation in “his” pit-team’s voices, as they got used to the bold style of “il Leone”. However, it all worked out in the end, Mansell’s entrance into CART IndyCar brought some of the most exciting IndyCar battles that the sport has ever seen. (In my opinion, Mansell was my favorite Indy Car driver, next to only Will Power and Alex Zanardi.)
Of course with Nigel, if he wasn’t battling, he wasn’t alive.
So in 2012, the IndyCar Racing Series is changing to a new chassis and aero formula. Designed by Dallara, you can see that the new rear pods are designed to increase safety.
However, the car does look like it designed out of Speed Racer. That’s really not a bad thing though. From what I’ve read, teams will have specialized aero configurations for road courses, street circuits and ovals, which should lead to some exciting racing. (More video and pictures after the jump)
Long Beach is just one of those tracks that you just have to love. A challenging street circuit and an amazing view. Check out the Indycar Series visit to this amazing track. (Video after the jump)
Still think that double-file restarts are a good idea? Mostly, I think it’s a problem with driver maturity that alot of these accidents happen. You keep hearing that you can lose an entire race in turn one, but yet most people always seem to forget about that.
Good racers always think about the long game, not the short. Watch the video.