Will You Be Watching the Greatest Spectacle in Racing This Weekend?
There are three races that history has held above all others: the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Monaco Grand Prix, and the Indianapolis 500. For years, drivers from around the world participated in events around the world, before increasingly stringent sponsor and team demands left many of the world’s best drivers without the ability to try racing in other series.
We talk a lot about the first two races here at Petrolicious, but the Indy 500 deserves just as much coverage. Let’s start with the only driver to win all three of these iconic races: Graham Hill.
With a career that spanned from 1954 until his untimely death in an airplane crash little more than two decades later in 1975, Hill’s wins around the world come from sheer determination: many modern observers state that the driver’s work ethic enabled him to quickly excel in different disciplines—the Indy 500 is no exception.
Still attracting some of the world’s best drivers, the race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, located at the heart of Indianapolis, Indiana, a 2.5-mile oval famed for its incredible average speeds of above 230 mph (370 km/h) in the traditional Memorial Day race. As a result, the annual 500 mile open wheel race can be finished in as little as 2 hours and 40 minutes, as Tony Kanaan’s 2013 win demonstrates. Average speed, including pit stops? 187.433 mph (301 km/h).
Held each year since 1911, early speed merchants used it as the (very public) proving ground for technology like four-wheel-drive, aerodynamic aids, and mid-engined cars. Take a look at these iconic moments from the race’s past and don’t forget to tune in this Sunday.
Images Source: indianapolismotorspeedway.com