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8W is forix.autosport.com's motorsport history section and covers the drivers, cars, circuits, eras and technology that shaped the face, sounds and smells of motor racing.

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1996 Indianapolis 500
The 239.260 car

Arie Luyendijk's Record Car, IMS Museum, 2014

The first Indianapolis 500 after the acrimonious split between CART and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway wasn't really memorable for the strength and depth of its starting field, comprising of a fascinating collection of left-over CART machinery that needed to be used ahead of the IRL's own new formula taking shape. Amidst the additional controversy created by the IRL 'locking out' the first 25 starting positions while CART hosted the rival US 500 at Michigan on the same day, and the tragedy of pole winner Scott Brayton being killed in practice, one amazing car-and-driver combination set a couple of qualifying records that will perhaps remain unsurpassed forever. Henri Greuter tells the story of Arie Luyendijk's Record Car.

 

Mercedosaurus Rex at Indianapolic Park
Part 18: The 1995 '500' - Did the Mercedosaurus bite its masters after all?

What's in the past is seldom set in concrete. History never stops developing. That's why regular 8W visitors may have noticed several recent updates to our Penske PC23-265E pages. Fresh insights supplied by new books from author Jade Gurss and former Penske designer Nigel Bennett, and additional information from former Penske engineer Nigel Beresford have since led to the definitive debunking of the persistent myth that Mercedes' one-off 1994 Indy 500 engine helped mask an inherent deficiency in the car's chassis design which consequently led to Penske's downfall in 1995. Henri Greuter now presents conclusive proof that this was not the case. In a substantial addition to Part 18 of his acclaimed series he will show that Penske's shocking 1995 Indy form had different reasons after all.

Emerson Fittipaldi, 1995 Indianapolis 500 practice, May 15, 1995

 

2014 Spa Six Hours report
Tropical Spa… but in the rainy season!

Martin Stretton, Ford GT40, 2014 Spa Six Hours

It’s almost a law of nature. If it rains at Goodwood, the sun will be out in full force at Spa – and vice versa. So when the 2014 Revival was graced with three days of Indian summer weather it was almost inevitable that conditions at Spa would be the reverse. And so it turned out. On the Saturday night of the Spa Six Hours the Ardennes were treated to thunderstorms of tropical proportions, and the race had to be red-flagged ten minutes from the end. Martin Stretton and Diogo Ferrão came through the deluge for a popular win, but the rain lashed down so hard that they were only able to pick up their trophies the following morning. Spraying the bubbly would have gone completely unnoticed in the monsoon that even to Francorchamps’ high standards was unprecedented.

 

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