RACER Journal: The Legendary Races Subject
Over a three-week interval in late Might and early June, all that’s fascinating, exhilarating and, sure, irritating about this sport all of us love is distilled into three iconic, but very completely different races.
Stubborn calendar issues put two of them on the identical day in late Might, albeit with the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500 separated by six time zones and a number of other hours. The third, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, straddles a mid-June weekend in northern France. Collectively, they kind auto racing’s unofficial, but highly-regarded Triple Crown.
Just one driver, the late Graham Hill, has received all three to finish the feat. However two-time Method 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso has been trying to emulate him since making a really aggressive, but prematurely-curtailed debut within the 2017 Indy 500. Alonso had already checked the Monaco GP field in 2006 and ’07. He added Le Mans in ’18, courtesy of Toyota’s manufacturing unit assault, then received once more this 12 months for good measure.
As for Indy, his return in 2019 with a highly-touted, McLaren-run program led to an ignominious failure to qualify. If and when he returns to the Brickyard on his elusive quest – and any true race fan hopes that he does – it’s more likely to be beneath very completely different circumstances.
If nothing else, Alonso and McLaren’s failure confirmed how important hard-earned expertise and information is to profitable at Indy – principally, the stuff that Roger Penske’s race groups collectively possess in huge portions.
The 2019 Indianapolis 500 marked Penske’s 50th anniversary competing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fittingly, it ended on one other victory, with Simon Pagenaud taking his first and his boss notching up an 18th.
RACER’s interview with Pagenaud reveals how a lot an Indy win means to this insightful and reflective Frenchman.
How a lot the “500” means to Roger Penske could be very apparent, too. Regardless of how profitable the 82 year-old dynamo is in his multi-faceted enterprise empire (brief reply: very), racing is what nonetheless drives “The Captain,” and the Month of Might in Indianapolis is the lodestone.
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