Road & Track May 2019

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

United States

in this issue

3 min
first time for everything

THE WORST THING THAT could happen, they told me, was taking out some grass. I managed to do worse. After a few laps containing exactly zero crashes at Oakland Valley Raceway Park, the part of my 11-year-old brain responsible for self-preservation went out to lunch, leaving me to huck the Yamaha-powered Fullerton chassis kart into a left-hander at a speed beyond what physics would allow. It was chaos, an explosion of turf and two-stroke wail, the chain flung to oblivion. It was beyond embarrassing. I was hooked. That was 20 years ago, my first time on track. The next year, I was at Oakland Valley weekly, racing in the local series. I crashed. I got hurt. Sometimes I won. I skipped school to travel the country, running against drivers who are…

5 min
mario’s luckiest 500

MARIO ANDRETTI’S NAME became so entwined with bad luck at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it spawned a tonguein-cheek noun: the Andretti Curse. In 1966, Andretti, 26 years old, was favored to win. He placed his car on pole, only to blow a cylinder after a few laps. The following year, his efforts were doused by a slipping clutch, and his race ended when his car lost a wheel. The year after, engine failure on lap one. For a while, at the biggest race in the country, it seemed as if Mario couldn’t do anything right. Then, 50 years ago, in a Brawner Hawk-Ford, he won his first and only 500. The triumph followed a crash in practice that destroyed his car and burned his face. But Andretti persevered, qualified on the…

1 min
where to eat in indy

BREAKFAST CHARLIE BROWN’S: Located on Main Street in Speedway, CB’s has been in business for 40 years. Bring your defibrillator because arteries start closing when you walk through the door. Keep your eyes open: A. J. Foyt eats here every morning. LONG’S BAKERY: If you love sugar, this is your nirvana. The best yeast doughnuts on the planet (get there when they’re hot) are cause for people to line up out the door. The Mary Anns and fried cinnamon doughnuts are to die for as well. LUNCH DAWSON’S ON MAIN: Simple food, done very well. The pot roast, onion soup, crab cakes, chicken-salad sandwich, and, drum roll please, the awesome breaded tenderloin are all off the chart. Best sit-down restaurant in Speedway. Bonus for Foyt spotters: A.J. is a regular. WORKINGMAN’S FRIEND: It’s nothing to look…

2 min
robert hubbard, 1943-2019

DR. ROBERT HUBBARD, co-inventor of the life-saving Head and Neck Safety device that revolutionized motorsport safety, has died after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 75. Hubbard’s career revolved around automotive safety. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan, where he studied the physical and mechanical properties of the human skull at the school’s Highway Safety Research Institute. He went on to specialize in biomechanical engineering at General Motors, studying crash-related injury and engineering early crash-test dummies in the 1970s. Hubbard partnered with IMSA legend Jim Downing in 1981. Together, they began to develop what became known as the HANS device in an effort to prevent fatalities caused by basal skull fractures. With Downing serving as test pilot, the comically large first-generation HANS device went through numerous iterations as…

2 min
when you send a race fan to space

QUICK BIO FEUSTEL HAS BEEN PART OF THREE SPACE-FLIGHTS AND SPENT A TOTAL OF 226 DAYS IN ORBIT. LIKE MOST OF US, Drew Feustel is a motorsports fan. Unlike most of us, he’s also an astronaut. Last year, Feustel spent more than six months orbiting Earth aboard the International Space Station. In between his normal duties, Feustel pointed a specially outfitted Nikon D5 toward the planet below. His most photographed subject? The road courses, ovals, and street circuits that make up the F1, IndyCar, and MotoGP calendars. Each photo required careful planning, and the window to get the shot was occasionally minutes long. (That’s what happens when you’re hurtling through space at over 17,000 mph.) The results, posted on Twitter and Instagram at @astro_feustel, are incredible. Feustel grew up in Detroit. His father, an…

2 min
le mans 2021: cheaper, simpler

THE ACO AND FIA will bid farewell to the LMP1 prototype class after the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 2020–2021 Super Season will fill the void with a new hybrid hypercar-inspired class in WEC. It takes a page from the GT-style prototypes that raced at Le Mans in the late 1990s, and today’s decimated LMP1 class should be revived by the concept. Engines and hybrid-energyrecovery systems taken from production supercars form the basis for the new class, and the rules now allow for either a custom racing chassis or a production-based race car. There’s enough leeway for manufacturers to create unique machinery, whether it’s based on a road car or solely for the track. Alternatively, brands can supply hypercar engines and energy-recovery systems (ERS) to other teams. Competitors could then…