Auto et Moto
Road & Track

Road & Track

November/December 2020

Road & Track includes technical features on automotive subjects, wide-ranging feature stories, spectacular automotive art and standard-setting new-car photography, humor, fiction, travel stories, book reviews and the most comprehensive racing coverage offered by a monthly magazine.Bonus: iPad Interactive

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1 min.
empty 500

IN 2001, HÉLIO CASTRONEVES broke tradition and veered right as he approached the turn towards Victory Lane. Overwhelmed with emotion after capturing his first of three wins at the Indianapolis 500, the Brazilian sprang from the cockpit, scaled the fence overlooking the grandstands, and brought the celebration to hundreds of thousands of adoring fans. The intimate gesture—a symbolic affirmation of the bond between drivers and audience that exemplifies the world’s largest single-day sporting event—was among the many benefits we surrendered in the wake of COVID-19. This year, racing in front of an empty house, Castroneves found the experience unsettling. “It was mixed feelings obviously, because it was my last Indy 500 with Team Penske and because of the fans not being there,” he says. “The big cheers and everyone screaming when we…

5 min.
the hornet

BLAME EDITOR-AT-LARGE PETER EGAN. When we came up with the original list of cars for this test, the MG TC wasn’t on it. Not that the MG isn’t significant. It debuted around the same time as this magazine. Legions of TCs crossed the Atlantic after World War II, following servicemembers who bought them on the cheap. The scrappy little MG was long part of the Road & Track fabric, the car responsible for America’s sports-car infatuation. But I’ve never understood the appeal. The TC has featured prominently at every vintage race I’ve attended, and I always wondered why anyone would want to drive one. It just seemed like a slow, loud, bad choice. Especially since that period saw cars develop at an astonishing rate, going from rudimentary carts with cycle fenders to…

6 min.
the revelation

IF YOU GREW UP WITH DIRT BETWEEN your toes and even a passing interest in cars, you know the Shelby Cobra. You know where it came from, who built it, and what it accomplished. How a fast-talking Texan conned and swindled his way toward the realization of a car that would change the course of racing history. An American dream written in aluminum, cast iron, and leaded gasoline. For those of us raised in places where a 911 is an exotic, where meteorites are more common than anything from Modena, a 1965 Shelby Cobra is peak sports car. But knowing all that can’t prepare you for how good it is to drive. Somehow, the decades of familiarity weren’t enough. A lifetime of seeing die-cast recreations and gaudy widebody kits did not…

5 min.
the screamer

THERE’S NO LOVE like teenage love. Our brains are maturing, our personalities crystallizing. Thanks to a glut of hormones, everything seems extremely, painfully important. Science shows that the music we listen to during our teen years gets folded into our neurons, the notes sending shivers down our spines decades later. Having seen my coworkers’ faces as this Phoenix yellow Integra Type R buzzroared down the straight at Lime Rock Park, I can tell you those feelings never fade. Road & Track’s senior staff averages 33 years old—impressionable youths when the Type R landed on these shores. As obsessive young gearheads, we were doomed to be forever smitten. And unrequited—we were too young, too light of wallet, our parents too uncool to give us a leg up into a fitted Recaro seat. But…

2 min.
in the end

WE DIDN’T EXPECT IT to go this way. In all of our years comparing cars, there has never been a unanimous vote. It’s one of the things we love about this job. Every one of us brings a lifetime of experiences and passions to the table every time we debate a comparison. Most of us have adored everything about cars since before we could spell our own names, and that sort of devotion doesn’t back down from a debate. Especially when it comes to the icons we gathered for this test. This was a collection of fantasies, an array of mechanical crushes. And meeting them in the flesh had to breed a new kind of argument. After all, who hasn’t pined for a chance behind the wheel of a McLaren F1?…

14 min.

SPORT DOES NOT exist in a vacuum. We’ve known since Berlin, 1936, when Jesse Owens hung four gold medals from his neck. Since 1968 in Mexico City, when Tommie Smith and John Carlos bowed their heads, fists held high. Since Colin Kaepernick knelt. Context cannot be torn from our baseball diamonds, our football fields, or our racetracks. Enter Lewis Hamilton, six-time Formula 1 champion, and perhaps the most visible Black athlete on earth. Hamilton emerged from the chaos of 2020 as one of sport’s most powerful and positive voices. In July, Hamilton knelt on the Formula 1 grid in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. It was only the beginning. Under his direction, the all-conquering Mercedes Formula 1 team has coated its Silver Arrows in black paint. Even Formula 1 itself caved,…