Road & Track July 2018

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

1 min
the helmet

From the rudimentary headgear of racing greats like Juan Manuel Fangio or Stirling Moss to the full-face, high-tech protectors of today, helmets are visible markers of the evolution of motorsport. They’ve helped stem the tragic attrition once commonplace in racing, while serving as banners of arms for its most memorable players. But they aren’t done evolving. Each year they become lighter, stronger, safer. And so the story of the sport continues to be written on the helmet. CANON EOS 5DS R, 70-200MM f/2. 8 LENS @ 200MM, ISO 500, 1/400 SEC @ f/2.8 LEFT: KURT WÖRNER COLLECTION; RIGHT: BARCROFT MEDIA/GETTY IMAGES…

1 min
hard-headed history

Following World War II, makeshift helmets began appearing on F1 grids. For a while, repurposed military and air-force headgear was de rigueur. In the Fifties, Fangio and Moss wore helmets of compressed cork, fashioned for equestrians by English hatmaker Herbert Johnson. With time, that design grew a tough plastic shell, like a hard hat. In 1956, while wearing such a helmet, William “Pete” Snell rolled his Triumph TR2 at a Sports Car Club of America event in California. Snell’s helmet (above), state-of-the-art at the time, failed to prevent a fatal head injury. The Snell Memorial Foundation, incorporated in 1957, has set safety standards for helmets ever since. NIKON D810, 50MM f/1. 4 LENS, ISO 50, 1/250 SEC @ f/4.0…

1 min
safety, icons

The helmet has long been used as a canvas. Certain drivers, like Jackie Stewart (right), became synonymous with their liveries. “Everybody in Scotland has a tartan,” he says. “The Stewarts were a royal clan, and the ‘Royal Stewart’ was a red tartan, for going into battle. My wife, Helen, bought a yard of silk in Royal Stewart, and can you imagine, a yard could not go all the way around the helmet. But we couldn’t afford another yard of expensive silk. So, to begin with, we stuck the silk on with glue, and then put nail varnish on it, so it wasn’t going to be taken off with rain. I still wear that tartan on my helmets to this day.” Bell introduced the full-face helmet in 1968. Dan Gurney wore it…

1 min
progress and personalization

Materials advancements—including carbon fiber, Kevlar, and polyethylene foam—have made helmets lighter, stronger, and more comfortable. Creature comforts like air conditioning and water lines ease driver fatigue. Yet other things remain the same: Liveries are often painted by hand and—despite sponsor encroachment—remain an expression of drivers’ personalities. Even as the helmet becomes safer, the very act of donning one is an acknowledgment that risk will always be a part of racing. NIKON D5, 24–70MM f/2. 8 LENS @ 56MM, ISO 2000, 1/160 SEC @ f/2.8 CANON 1D X MKII, 70–200MM f/2. 8 LENS @ 200MM, ISO 400, 1/320 SEC @ f/7.1…

4 min
dear r&t

RICHARD KORESSEL, EVANSVILLE, INDIANA THE SUPREME SEDAN I enjoyed Sam Smith’s writing style and insight on the BMW M5 [“New Religion”], but what stopped me in my tracks was Richard Pardon’s photograph on page 35. I’ve never run across a photo so complex and mesmerizing in any automobile magazine. I mean, it’s just a fender and a wheel, but… downright transcendent. HUGH COWDIN JR. PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND Your cover line for the BMW M5 was right—the numbers are shocking. We have: $127,295, 4269 pounds, one set of smoky brakes, and zero manual transmission option. Shocking indeed. Yet another reason sport sedans are on the decline. JIM GALLO WESTFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS The supercar-level acceleration figures were actually what we had in mind. The condescending remarks directed toward people choosing a nonmanual car are getting old. Like this from your…

2 min
editor’s letter

IN AN AUTOMOTIVE LANDSCAPE littered with cars seemingly cast from the same handful of molds, it’s become increasingly tough to stand out. Delivering something different—when the marketing people are demanding you build what is already in every driveway—requires thinking outside the box. Or at the very least, playing with the design and performance of the box to set it apart in a sea of sameness. Case in point is this month’s cover car, the Lamborghini Urus. Sant’Agata’s self-proclaimed supercar of SUVs takes aim at a popular segment, yet it promises to deliver a driving experience worthy of its legendary badge. Alfa, Bentley, Porsche, and most recently, Rolls-Royce have tried to deliver distinctive experiences wrapped in a crossover shape, with varying degrees of success. Now it’s Lamborghini’s turn. To help distinguish between…